Friday, September 18, 2015

The Israeli crackdown on protests in East Jerusalem continues as the Israeli authorities restrict Palestinians’ access to Haram al-Sharif; only men over 40 and women are permitted to enter the sanctuary. Meanwhile, Israeli forces clash with Palestinian protesters across the city for the 2d day in a row (nr. the Old City and in Jabal Mukabir, Silwan, Issawiyya, Shu‘fat r.c., al-Tur, Abu Dis, al-‘Izzariya, and Wadi al-Juz); at least 4 Israeli police and 4 Palestinians are injured, and 11 Palestinians are arrested. Israeli forces also conduct raids and house searches in Silwan, Jabal Mukabir, Shaykh Jarrah, and the Old City, arresting 16 Palestinians and sparking minor clashes. (HA, JP, MNA, WAFA 9/18; PCHR 10/1)

As violence and tension spread from Jerusalem across the oPt, unknown persons launch a rocket from Gaza into Israel that lands in Sderot, damaging a bus. Iron Dome missile defense batteries intercept a 2d rocket fired toward Ashqelon. At night, IAF jets launch retaliatory air strikes on 3 Hamas military sites in n. Gaza, causing 2 minor injuries and serious damage. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing no damage. Israeli forces e. of al-Bureij r.c. arrest 2 Palestinians attempting to cross into Israel. In the West Bank, IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at Friday demonstrations against the Israeli occupation and recent restrictions at Haram al-Sharif in 7 areas nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, Nabi Salih, outside Ofer Prison, Silwad, ‘Abwayn, and Jalazun r.c.), and Kafr Qaddum nr. Qalqilya, in and around Hebron, Tulkarm, Qalqilya, and nr. Bethlehem; 8 Palestinians are injured and at least 13 Palestinians are detained. Israeli forces also patrol in 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 nr. Jenin. Meanwhile, Palestinian police officers assault 2 young Palestinian protesters in Bethlehem (a video taken of the incident will proliferate on Palestinian media in the next few days). The PASF reportedly blocked a group of demonstrators from approaching an Israeli military post to protest the recent Israeli restrictions on access at Haram al-Sharif. (AJA, HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 9/18; JP, MNA, YA 9/19; MNA 9/24; WAFA 9/27; PCHR 10/1)