Thursday, March 5, 2015

In Gaza, unknown assailants set fire to a Fatah leader’s house in e. Gaza City. Off the coast nr. al-Sudaniyya, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing 2 injuries and arresting 4 fishermen. IDF troops e. of Gaza City fire on Palestinian homes and agricultural lands in the area, causing damage but no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and raids in 1 village each nr. Bethlehem and Nablus, arresting 3 Palestinians; patrols in 2 villages nr. Hebron; arrests 1 Palestinian nr. Jenin. (MNA, WAFA 3/5; PCHR 3/12)

The PCC meets in Ramallah for a 2d day in a row and adopts several major resolutions, including calls to end security coordination with Israel, boycott all Israeli products, and to reject recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. The PLO Exec. Comm. will execute the decisions made by the council at an appropriate time, according to a statement released at the conference’s end. (MNA, NYT, TOI, YA 3/5; HA, JP 3/6).

Israeli officials announce that Israel will partially resume importing fruits and vegetables from Gaza next week (on 3/12), a practice halted in 2007 after Hamas began governing Gaza. (HA, REU, TOI 3/5)

Israel’s High Court of Justice issues an injunction temporarily delaying the demolition of 24 under-construction apartments in the West Bank settlement Beit El. The apartments were set to be destroyed by 3/8, and the court does not give a new deadline. Meanwhile, the IDF temporarily suspends its use of canine units in the West Bank, days after a video depicting an Israeli dog attacking a Palestinian youth on 12/23 proliferated in the media. (TOI, HA 3/6)

In Riyadh, U.S. Secy. of State Kerry briefs Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, other officials, and 6 FMs from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on the ongoing negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program. Kerry says that the U.S. is not seeking a “grand bargain” with Iran. (AFP, AP, JP, MNA, NBC, YA 3/5)

After receiving a letter of protest from a group of Democratic and Independent senators on 3/4, Majority Leader McConnell decides to temporarily postpone legislative action on the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, in an effort to consolidate bipartisan support. (TOI 3/6)