Saturday, January 17, 2015

Off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing damage. In the West Bank, IDF troops punitively shut down a main road s. of Ramallah after Palestinians throw stones at Israeli settlers’ cars. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids nr. Hebron and Ramallah, assaulting 1 to the point of hospitalization; patrols nr. Qalqilya, Hebron, Tulkarm, Jericho, and Salfit. Also nr. Hebron, IDF troops violently disperse a peaceful demonstration with tear gas and stun grenades in Surayf village, injuring and detaining several Palestinians. Israeli soldiers also arrest a Palestinian at the separation wall nr. Jenin. Israeli settlers uproot 20 olive trees outside Turmus ‘Ayya and Ramallah. (MNA, WAFA 1/17; MNA 1/18; PCHR 1/22)

Following Iranian officials’ separate meetings with the U.S. and Russian delegations in Geneva, Iran’s Dep. FM Abbas Araghchi says, “We remain hopeful and I think that if the other side has the necessary goodwill and determination, it will be possible to reach a deal,” reflecting the optimistic atmosphere surrounding the upcoming round of negotiations. (MNA 1/17)