Saturday, March 7, 2015

IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of Khan Yunis fire warning shots at Palestinian farmers nr. the border fence, causing no injuries. A Palestinian is moderately injured when he triggers Israeli unexploded ordnance nr. Rafah. In the West Bank, IDF troops violently disperse over 1,000 Palestinians, mostly women, demonstrating nr. Qalandia to mark International Women’s Day, moderately injuring 4. They also violently disperse Palestinian activists as they are removing a metal gate installed at the entrance to a village nr. Bethlehem and a group protesting land expropriation in a village nr. Hebron. Israeli soldiers accompanied by Israeli settlers violently disperse Palestinians nonviolently protesting s. of Hebron. The IDF conducts patrols and house searches in a village nr. Hebron, arresting 2 Palestinians. The PASF raids Balata r.c. nr. Nablus, sparking a brief firefight with the wanted Palestinian; 2 bystanders are injured. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces conduct house searches and raids nr. the Old City, arresting 8 Palestinians; disperse a group of Palestinian youth throwing stones at the Jerusalem Light Rail in Shu‘fat, arresting 2. Israeli settlers assault a Palestinian man in Silwan, moderately injuring him. (AP, JP, MNA, WAFA 3/7; MNA 3/8; PCHR 3/12)

In Cairo, Islamic Jihad’s delegation departs after 6 days of negotiations with the Egyptian authorities on opening the Rafah border crossing. According to sources close to the talks, the Egyptians have agreed in principle to completely open the crossing once the violence in the Sinai Peninsula subsides, the PA unity govt. has staffed the crossing, and Hamas commits to not to interfere in Egyptian affairs. Also, Egyptian officials announce that the Rafah crossing will open on 3/9–10. (AFP, MNA 3/7)

In Paris, French FM Laurent Fabius, U.S. Secy. of State Kerry, UK Foreign Secy. Philip Hammond, German FM Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini meet to review recent progress in their negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. (TOI 3/6, 3/7; DPA 3/8)