Wednesday, February 21, 2018

In the West Bank, IDF troops violently disperse Palestinians demonstrating outside Ofer Prison near Ramallah in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners; there are no serious injuries (4 Palestinians are arrested). They also violently disperse Palestinians protesting U.S. president Trump’s 12/6/2017 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in al-Bireh; there are no serious injuries. The IDF arrests 12 Palestinians during raids near Salfit, Tulkarm, Jenin, and Ramallah; violently assaults and injures a Palestinian at a mobile checkpoint near Ramallah; and patrols near Hebron and Nablus. Israeli forces raze almost 50 dunams (approximately 12 acres) of Palestinian land planted with olive trees, clearing space for the extension of the separation wall near Jenin. Israeli settlers slaughter 20 sheep and steal approximately 70 more from a Palestinian shepherd working near Nablus. They also visit religious sites outside a village near Nablus, sparking clashes between their IDF escort and Palestinian residents in the area; there are no serious injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolish a small Palestinian shop in Bayt Hanina and an agricultural structure and a house in Shu‘fat. They also arrest 5 Palestinian children as they are leaving school in Shu‘fat refugee camp. Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian protesters congregating near al-Bureij refugee camp, causing no damage or injuries. They arrest a Palestinian attempting to cross into Israel near Jabaliya refugee camp In 2 separate incidents off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Bayt Lahiya, injuring 1 fisherman. (HA, MNA, WAFA 2/21; MNA, PCHR 2/22; PCHR 3/1)

A Palestinian youth succumbs to injuries sustained in border clashes with the IDF in Gaza on 2/16. (TOI, WAFA 2/21)

The Egyptian authorities open the Rafah border crossing for passage in both directions. Although they initially stated that the crossing would remain open through 2/23, they close it after only a few hours. (JP, WAFA 2/21)

In a meeting of Israel’s security cabinet, IDF Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot says it was a “mistake” to return 2 Palestinian corpses to their families last week. He says that the protocol for returning such corpses has since been changed, but does not offer any details. (TOI 2/21)

The Jerusalem Municipality announces the construction of 3,000 new housing units for Israeli settlers between Gilo and the Gush Etzion settlement bloc. (WAFA 2/22; MEMO 2/23)