Friday, December 8, 2017

For a 2d day in a row, Palestinians gather across the oPt to protest U.S. pres. Trump’s 12/6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Israeli forces violently disperse them in al-Bireh, Hebron, Qalqilya, Bethlehem, Ramallah and nearby Nabi Salih, Nablus, Tulkarm, across East Jerusalem (Issawiyya, al-Tur, and the Old City), and along Gaza’s border near Khan Yunis, Jabaliya refugee camp, al-Bureij refugee camp, Rafah, and Gaza City; 2 Palestinians are killed, approximately 100 are injured (including 4 journalists), and at least 20 are arrested. Meanwhile, IDF troops shoot, injure, and arrest a Palestinian at the entrance to al-Bireh near Ramallah. Israeli soldiers also arrest 1 Palestinian, assault a 2d, and issue an arrest summons to a 3d during a late-night raid near Hebron; and patrol near Hebron throughout the day. In 3 separate incidents off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Jabaliya refugee camp and Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. (AP, HA, NYT, TOI, WAFA 12/8; EI, MNA, TOI, WAFA 12/9; PCHR 12/14)

Unidentified parties fire 3 rockets from Gaza toward Israel: 1 falls short of the border fence; 1 is intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system; and 1 lands in Sderot, damaging a number of cars. The IAF launches air strikes on 4 Hamas and PIJ sites in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza City, and Jabaliya refugee camp, killing 2 Hamas fighters and injuring at least 20 Palestinians, including a 6-month-old child. (EI, HA, MNA, REU, TOI, WAFA 12/9)

PLO secy.-gen. Saeb Erakat says that the Palestinians have decided not to engage in any talks with the U.S. until Pres. Trump reverses his 12/6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. He also says that they are still evaluating what other steps to take in response. (AJ, TOI 12/8)

The UNSC convenes a special session to discuss Trump’s 12/6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. UNSC members England, France, Italy, Bolivia, Uruguay, Senegal, China, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, and Russia jointly reject the new U.S. policy on Jerusalem. Later, PA pres. Abbas welcomes “the international consensus condemning Trump’s announcement, as was apparent at the [UNSC] session this evening.” (HA, WAFA 12/8)

The Czech Foreign Ministry denies rumors that Pres. Zeman intends to move the Czech embassy to Jerusalem and reaffirms Czech commitment to European Union (EU) policy regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, including the issue of Jerusalem. Later, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini confirms that the Czech Republic intends to conform to the EU’s position on Jerusalem. (HA, WAFA 12/8)