Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Uncoordinated stabbing and alleged stabbing attacks continue in the West Bank and Jerusalem, resulting in the deaths of 3 Palestinians. Two Palestinians open fire on an Israeli bus in Ramot, causing no damage. Israeli police then chase the shooters into the Old City, where they shoot and kill the 2 men after they allegedly attempt to ram their car into a Jewish Israeli pedestrian, causing no serious injuries. A 3d Palestinian is critically injured in the crossfire. The IDF maintains, for a 2d day, the closure of 1 village each nr. Qalqilya and Salfit. On the outskirts of the village nr. Salfit, Israeli soldiers open fire on 2 Palestinian youths as they approach an IDF checkpoint, killing 1 and critically injuring the other. An IDF spokesperson says that one of the youths was armed with a knife and intended to attack the soldiers. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 3/9; PCHR 3/10)

Elsewhere in the oPt, Hamas announces that 1 of its fighters died earlier in the day during unspecified training exercises. IDF troops raid a village nr. Jenin, sparking clashes with stone-throwing Palestinians; there are no serious injuries. They conduct further raids in and around Nablus, Qalqilya, Bethlehem, and Hebron, arresting 18 Palestinians. An Israeli settler stabs and injures a Palestinian nr. Nablus. Late at night, Israeli settlers spray price-tag graffiti on the walls of a Palestinian home in a village nr. Bethlehem. (MNA, TOI, WAFA 3/9; MNA, TOI, WAFA 3/10; PCHR 3/17)

In response to the string of attacks on 3/8 and after conferring with senior security officials, Israeli PM Netanyahu announces that Israel will complete the construction of the separation wall in the s. Hebron Hills. He also states that his govt. proposes new legislation to deter and punish Palestinians who enter Israel illegally, close Palestinian media outlets responsible for alleged incitement, and deny work permits to the families of Palestinians who commit serious crimes against Israelis. Israeli police immediately arrest 10s of Palestinians in raids across Israel, targeting those who entered the country without proper permits. (HA, JP, TOI 3/9)

The Israeli authorities inform 5 Palestinian food companies that their goods will no longer be permitted to pass through the Beitunia crossing for sale in Jerusalem. Israel last barred West Bank food products from entering East Jerusalem for a brief period in 2010. (TOI 3/13)

In Cairo, French FM Jean-Marc Ayrault says that France will not recognize the State of Palestine if the planned French peace initiative fails, effectively retracting his predecessor’s 1/29 pledge. “There is never anything automatic,” he says, adding that “France will present its initiative to its partners. It will be the first step, there is no prerequisite.” (TOI 3/9; JTA 3/10)