Sunday, March 9, 2008

Israel announces plans to build 750 new houses in East Jerusalem’s Pisgat Ze’ev settlement and 350 homes in Givat Ze’ev settlement just n. of Jerusalem, stating that the construction “is consistent with our long-standing position that building within the large settlement blocs, which will stay part of Israel in any final status agreement.” Israel’s Jerusalem Municipality approves construction of a new settlement neighborhood of 400 housing units in the Nabi Yaqub neighborhood n. of East Jerusalem. The Israeli DMin. reaches a deal with Jewish settler leaders for the removal of several unauthorized settlement outposts in exchange for approval of new construction in approved settlements. Jewish settlers fr. Hebron rally in East Jerusalem, calling for revenge against Palestinians for the 3/6 Mercaz Harav attack and threatening to raid Jabal Mukabir, where the gunman lived; Israeli police intervene to prevent a rampage. Meanwhile, the IDF raids a Palestinian elementary school in Hawara, nr. Nablus, while classes are in session, claiming that students threw stones at an IDF patrol; raids the PA civil defense headquarters in Ramallah, arresting an AMB mbr. staying there overnight as part of the 7/07 amnesty deal btwn. Israel and the AMB; conducts latenight arrest raids in and around Bethlehem, in Nablus town and r.c., nr. Tulkarm. An IDF soldier dies of injuries sustained in a 3/6 roadside bombing inside Gaza. (NYT, WT 3/10; OCHA 3/12; PCHR 3/13)