Friday, February 27, 2015

Off the coast of Gaza nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval forces fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, hundreds of Jewish Israelis visit a religious site in a Palestinian village nr. Salfit after IDF troops raid the village, shut down all the entrances, and force all the stores to close. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and occupation in c. Hebron, 5 areas nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Nabi Salih, Ni‘lin, Silwad, and Jalazun r.c.), and 2 villages nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum and ‘Izbat al-Tabib); 4 Palestinians are detained and 9 are seriously injured, including 1 photojournalist, and 3 Palestinians from live ammunition. IDF troops also dismantle and evacuate the rebuilt “Gate of Jerusalem” protest tent camp in Abu Dis for the 10th time. The IDF conducts house searches and raids in 1 village nr. Ramallah and 2 nr. Bethlehem, arresting 2 Palestinians and issuing summons to 3; patrols in 1 village each nr. Ramallah, Hebron, and Tulkarm, as well as 2 nr. Jericho. (MNA 2/27, 2/28; PCHR 3/5)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry calls PA Pres. Mahmoud Abbas and asks him to refrain from undertaking any further unilateral measures that might jeopardize a return to peace negotiations until after Israel’s 3/17 election. (JP 3/1)

Italy’s Chamber of Deputies passes a nonbinding res., 300–45, calling on the Italian govt. to recognize the state of Palestine. (TOI 2/27; MNA 2/28)

Ahead of Israeli PM Netanyahu’s speech to Congress on 3/3, Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Labor) publishes an op-ed in the New York Times criticizing Netanyahu for jeopardizing the U.S.-Israel relationship with a partisan controversy over the speech. (BB, NYT, TOI 2/27; HA, TOI, YA 2/28)

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) introduces the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which would give Congress a 60-day period to review and approve or disapprove any agreement the Obama admin. makes with the rest of the P5+1 and Iran. (AFP, AP 2/28)