Monday, January 25, 2016

In the Beit Horon settlement nr. Ramallah, a settlement security guard shoots and kills 2 Palestinians after they allegedly stab 2 Israeli settlers, critically injuring both (1 will succumb to her injuries on 1/26). After the attack, the IDF encourages settlement security personnel to carry weapons at all times and tighten security procedures; locks down the nearby Bayt ‘Ur al-Tahta village where 1 of the alleged attackers was from, barring anyone from entering or exiting. Meanwhile, IDF troops conduct late-night raids and house searches in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya and 1 nr. Hebron, arresting 4 Palestinians; patrol during the day in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya and 1 nr. Salfit. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 3 Palestinians on late-night raids in Issawiyya. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI 1/25; EI, HA, NYT, YA 1/26; PCHR 1/28)

The Israeli press reports that the planning and building comm. of Israel’s Civil Admin. approved plans for the construction of 153 new settler residences in the West Bank last week, including 65 nr. Ariel; 28 in Carmel, s. of Hebron; and 60 in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc. The Israeli govt. does not confirm the announcement. Separately, PM Netanyahu orders the IDF to prepare a comprehensive plan to increase security in Israel’s West Bank settlements. (HA, TOI 1/25)

Senior Hamas and Fatah officials meet in Istanbul to discuss a possible resumption of national reconciliation talks, according to sources in Ramallah and Gaza. (TOI, XIN 1/25; NA 1/26)