Thursday, September 17, 2015

Amid escalating tensions in East Jerusalem, Israeli police violently disperse Palestinians protesting access restrictions at Haram al-Sharif in Issawiyya, Shu‘fat r.c., al-Tur, and Silwan, injuring at least 25 Palestinians and 3 Israeli police officers. Separately, Israeli forces arrest 5 Palestinians on late-night raids in al-Tur and Sur al-Bahir; shut down a café in al-Tur. As PM Netanyahu tries to push mandatory minimum sentencing for stone-throwers through the Knesset, Palestinians throw stones and a firebomb at an Israeli bus in Ras al-Amud in the evening, causing serious damage, and later throw stones at a bus driver nearby, causing minor injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and seriously injure 1 Palestinian during clashes in Aida r.c. and 1 Palestinian after he allegedly throws a firebomb at an Israeli military vehicle nr. Nablus. Along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces arrest 2 Palestinians attempting to cross into Israel for work. Separately, Egyptian authorities allow 500 Muslims from Gaza to pass through the Rafah border crossing for Hajj. In Israel, the IDF deploys an Iron Dome battery outside Ashqelon (nr. the Gaza border) in response to the escalation of violence in Jerusalem and in anticipation of possible tension over Palestinian prisoner Allan’s hunger strike. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA 9/17; MNA, YA 9/18; PCHR 10/1)

Israeli atty. gen. Yehuda Weinstein approves police use of Ruger sniper rifles against stone-throwing in Jerusalem. Meanwhile, Israeli PM Netanyahu approves a proposal to increase security in Jerusalem, providing 800 additional officers in the city from 9–10/2015. (HA, JP, WAFA, XIN 9/17; HA, NYT, TOI 9/18; HA 9/19; HA 9/21)

The UNSC releases a statement expressing “grave concern” over the recent violence in East Jerusalem, calling on all sides to work together to lower tensions and to refrain from provocative actions that would change the status quo at Haram al-Sharif. (UNSC 9/17; JTA 9/18)

At its general conference, the mbrs. of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reject, 61–43, with 33 abstentions, a res. proposed by Egypt and other Arab states calling for inspections and international oversight on Israel’s nuclear weapons program. (DS, HA, JP, TOI 9/17)