Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Tensions in East Jerusalem and the West Bank remain high as Israeli forces continue to enforce the restrictions on Palestinian access to Haram al-Sharif and Hebron’s al-Ibrahimi Mosque that were announced on 9/27 and 9/28, respectively. More than 150,000 Jews attend a ceremony at the Western Wall outside Haram al-Sharif for the Jewish holiday Sukkoth. Meanwhile, Israeli police assault several Palestinians outside 1 of 3 closed entrances to the sanctuary and arrest 3 others nearby. (AFP, MNA, WAFA 9/30; PCHR 10/1)

In Gaza, the Egyptian authorities open the Rafah border crossing in 1 direction to allow Muslims to return to Gaza from Hajj. In the West Bank, IDF troops assault a Palestinian nr. Nablus; conduct raids nr. Hebron, arresting 2 Palestinians and sparking clashes with stonethrowing Palestinian youths (4 Palestinians are injured); patrol outside Hebron and Jenin during the day. Palestinians throw rocks at IDF troops outside Hebron, injuring 2. (MNA, TOI, WAFA 9/30; MNA, PCHR, TOI 10/1; PCHR 10/8)

In a speech to the UNGA in New York, PA pres. Abbas says that because the Israeli govt. continues to violate the Oslo Accords and other previous agreements on a daily basis, the Palestinians “cannot continue to be bound by [the] agreements” and that Israel “must assume all of its responsibilities as an occupying power”. At a ceremony outside the UN headquarters after the speech, Abbas and UN secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon oversee the ceremonial raising of the Vatican and Palestinian flags. (AJA, HA, MNA, NYT, YA 9/30; AFP 10/1)

Also in New York, Middle East Quartet reps. meet with the Jordanian, Saudi, and Egyptian FMs, and they issue a statement calling on all parties to “exercise restraint” and maintain the status quo at Jerusalem’s holy sites. They also agree to send Quartet envoys to Israel and the oPt in 10/2015 to facilitate the resumption of peace negotiations (the visit will be canceled on 10/12). (JP, TOI 10/1; HA 10/11)