Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Hundreds of Palestinians across the oPt gather at protests against U.S. pres. Trump’s 12/6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. IDF troops violently disperse them at the Qalandia checkpoint, central Jerusalem, Abu Dis village, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Hebron, Jericho, Qalqilya, and along Gaza’s border near al-Bureij refugee camp; 11 Palestinians are injured. Meanwhile, IDF troops arrest 8 Palestinians during late-night raids near Ramallah, Hebron, and in Biddu (East Jerusalem). Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Khan Yunis, causing no damage or injuries. Along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces fire sound bombs and artillery at Palestinian lands and other property near Gaza City and Khan Yunis, causing no serious damage. (HA, TOI, WAFA, YA 12/20; PCHR 12/21; PCHR 12/28)

Palestinian diplomatic delegations discuss the future of the peace process with local officials in Moscow and Beijing. PLO executive committee member Salih Ra‘fat says that the delegations are part of the Palestinians’ efforts to gather support in the wake of U.S. pres. Trump’s 12/6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Both Russia and China have expressed interest in becoming more active in the peace process, and the Palestinians are looking to replace the U.S. as sole mediator. (HA, TOI, WAFA 12/20)

U.S. pres. Trump threatens to cut economic aid to any country that votes in favor of a UNGA resolution rejecting his 12/6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which is set for a vote on 12/21. “They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us,” he says. “Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care.” (AP, HA, TOI, YA 12/20; HA 12/21)