Monday, March 21, 2016

In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces carry out the punitive demolition of the Jabal Mukabir home of an imprisoned Palestinian accused of attacking Israeli soldiers on 10/10/2015, and also demolish a half-built home in Ras al-Amud. Also in Ras al-Amud, a Palestinian family demolishes their own home on Israeli orders. Later, the Israeli authorities return 2 bodies of Palestinians killed in confrontations with Israeli forces since the beginning of the habba (“surge” or “revolt” in English) in the oPt in 10/2015. One family rejects the body of their relative when they discover it is frozen, allegedly in violation of the deal they made with the Israelis (they had agreed to limit the size of the funeral and deposited a NIS 20,000 [around $5,250] guarantee). Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian woman at Haram al-Sharif after she confronts Jewish Israeli MK Shuli Mualem-Rafaeli. In the West Bank, IDF troops raid a number of quarries nr. Qalqilya, confiscating millions of dollars’ worth of equipment. They also raid a number of chicken farms and erect a mobile checkpoint outside a village nr. Ramallah, sparking clashes with stone-throwing Palestinians; 1 Palestinian is injured. The IDF violently disperses stone-throwing Palestinians in a village nr. Tulkarm, causing no serious injuries; raids a village council’s office in a village nr. Bethlehem, destroying property and breaking its main doors; conducts further raids and house searches nr. Tulkarm, Jenin, Nablus, and Bethlehem, arresting 4 Palestinians, issuing arrest summons to 2, and confiscating property; and patrols nr. Tulkarm, Jenin, and Hebron. Israeli forces begin razing 650 dunams (around 160 acres) of Islamic Waqf–owned land nr. Jericho, and confiscate heavy equipment from a factory nr. Bethlehem. Along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces conduct limited incursions to level land nr. Bayt Lahiya and Dayr al-Balah. (MNA, WAFA 3/21; MNA 3/22; PCHR 3/24)

A PA official who monitors settlement growth in the West Bank reveals that Israeli officials recently informed Palestinians in villages nr. Nablus of their intention to confiscate 1,200 dunams (around 300 acres) of nearby land. The IDF’s Coordinator of Govt. Activities in the Territories Unit (COGAT) disputes this figure, saying that only 612 dunams will be seized and incorporated into the nearby settlement of Eli. (MNA, WAFA 3/21; EI 3/30)

At the annual AIPAC conference in Washington, leading presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump present their foreign policy ideas and pro-Israel credentials. All the remaining candidates, except Sen. Bernie Sanders, are set to address the conferees (AIPAC rejected Sanders’s offer to give a speech via satellite after he declined to attend). (HA, JP, YA 3/21; JP 3/22)