Saturday, January 16, 2016

In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and kill a Palestinian at a checkpoint nr. Nablus after he allegedly throws a knife at them. Israeli forces seal off with cement blocks the main road leading to Nabi Salih nr. Ramallah, after the previous day’s protests in the village. The IDF conducts late-night raids and house searches in Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem and Hebron, arresting 1 Palestinian and issuing arrest summons to 3; patrols in 7 villages nr. Ramallah, 2 nr. Hebron, Tulkarm and 2 villages nearby, and 1 village nr. Jenin. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats nr. Khan Yunis and later nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmers working nr. Dayr al-Balah, causing no injuries or damage. In East Jerusalem, right-wing Jewish activists leave anti-Christian graffiti on the doors of Dormition Abbey nr. the Old City late at night. (JP, MNA, WAFA 1/16; HA, MNA, TOI, YA 1/17; PCHR 1/21)

The International Atomic Energy Agency reports that Iran has abided by its obligations under the 7/14/2015 nuclear deal it made with the P5+1, and the U.S. and EU formally begin lifting sanctions on Iranian banking, money transfers, trade, insurance, shipping, and other industries (sanctions relating to human rights and terrorism will remain in place). Meanwhile, Iran releases 4 U.S. prisoners, including Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian. In exchange, the U.S. releases 7 Iranian-Americans imprisoned on sanctions-related charges, inter alia. U.S. officials later confirm the swap, and say that Iran has agreed to release a 5th U.S.- Iranian dual citizen outside of the agreed swap. (AP, GDN, HA, FNA, WP 1/16; AFP, JP 1/17)