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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
31 March 2016


Division for Palestinian Rights

Chronological Review of Events Relating to the
Question of Palestine

Monthly media monitoring review

March 2016

Monthly highlights

• World Bank statistics indicate Gaza has the highest rate of unemployment in the world. (1 March)

• Palestinian President Abbas reaffirmed his support for a French initiative to convene an international peace conference. (2 March)

• OCHA says Israel has demolished 323 Palestinian homes since the beginning of the year. (7 March)

• Deputy FM Hotovely says Israel does not intend to engage in peace talks with the Palestinians in the near future. (10 March)

• US Secretary of State Kerry says the US was discussing ways to help preserve the two-State solution. (13 March)

• Palestine was awarded a full membership in the Permanent Court of Arbitration. (14 March)

• UN human rights expert in the OPT criticises Israel over lack of access to areas he was meant to monitor. (21 March)

• US President Obama says he did not expect a breakthrough on an Israeli-Palestinian deal while he is in office. (24 March)

• Palestinian PM Hamdallah says Israel controls 85 per cent of Palestinian water resources . (24 March)

• Special Coordinator Mladenov issues a statement condemning extra-judicial execution of a Palestinian assailant in Hebron. (25 March)

•Palestine asks the United Nations to launch an investigation into alleged extrajudicial killings by Israel. (28 March)

• Israel continues to ban the entry of building materials needed by UNRWA in Gaza. (30 March)

1

During the raids across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Israeli soldiers arrested 19 Palestinians and confiscated equipment. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Palestine Riad Malki called on the international community to prohibit Israeli settlers from entering their countries and to boycott products from settlements. (The Jerusalem Post)

The EU renewed its support to Palestinian refugees with a first 2016 assistance package totalling € 252.5 million. (WAFA)

According to human rights Groups Addameer and Adalah, Israel still continues to withhold the bodies of nine Palestinians shot dead by Israeli forces after purportedly carrying out attacks. This act is a severe violation of international humanitarian law, stated the human rights groups. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian teachers continued sit-in demonstrations throughout the West Bank for a consecutive 16 days demanding a salary raise from the PA. (Ma’an News Agency)

According to World Bank statistics, the Gaza Strip has the highest rate of unemployment in the world. (UNRWA)

Israeli forces shot and injured two Palestinians in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan and demolished a house, citing unlicensed building as a pretext. (WAFA)

The Government of Japan made its largest ever one-time contribution of US $38.21 million to UNRWA to support health, education, and emergency humanitarian assistance in the Gaza Strip. (UNRWA)

2

Israeli forces closed all roads leaving Nablus city and shut the entrances to nearby villages after two Israeli soldiers were stabbed and injured in an attack near the Burin village in southern Nablus district. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israel’s High Court ruled that Israeli authorities are obliged to return 1,700 dunams (420 acres) of land back to private Palestinian landowners in Area C of the West Bank, which is under Israeli military and civilian rule. The land had been taken through military seizure orders between 1978 and 1984. But the Israeli military never used the land, except for two small bases, which were abandoned in the 1990s. Until now, however, Palestinian were not allowed to use the land. (Ma’an News Agency, The Jerusalem Post)

The Israeli authorities have denied a delegation of Belgian lawmakers entry into the blockaded Gaza Strip. The delegation of six MPs, representing several Belgian political parties, said that they had arranged the visit for the day before with the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, and planned to meet with civil society organizations and take field tours across the enclave at the request of the Belgian parliament. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces demolished dozens of structures in the hamlet of Khirbet Tana northeast of Nablus, in Area C of the West Bank, including houses, barns, and the hamlet’s sole school. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said that he would expel to Gaza families of assailants found to have encouraged them to attack Israelis. In a letter to Attorney-General Mandelblit released to the media, Netanyahu asked for a legal opinion on such a move, which he said would “lead to significant reduction in terrorist activities against the state and its citizens.” Mandelblit, who assumed his post last month, and his predecessor, have rejected similar expulsion proposals floated by right-wing cabinet ministers. But with pressure growing on Netanyahu to take tougher action against violence now in its sixth month, he appeared to have little to lose politically by formally asking for Mandelblit’s approval, even if it was unlikely to be granted. (Reuters)

Palestinian President Abbas, during his speech that inaugurated the 16th session of Fatah Revolutionary Council held in Ramallah, reaffirmed his support for a French initiative to convene an international peace conference to revive the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, by setting up a mechanism similar to Iran and 5+1 powers negotiations. (WAFA)

Referring to the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s proposal to expel the families of Palestinian attackers to Gaza, U.S. Department of State Spokesman Mark Toner said that such a move would be “counterproductive” and will only “exacerbate tensions”, adding that the U.S. expects both sides to take positive measures and avoid moves that risk leading to escalation. (The Middle East Monitor)

3

Israeli forces detained at least 16 Palestinians across the occupied West Bank in Nablus, Tulkarem, Jenin, Qalqiliya, and Hebron districts. In Jericho districts, Israeli forces detained a 14-year-old girl after the teenager stabbed and lightly injured an Israeli police officer. (Ma’an News Agency, WAFA)

Israeli forces took steps to prepare the demolition of the family home of a Palestinian man who had attacked an Israeli security guard in the settlement of “Ma’ale Adumim” last week, despite the fact that he was turned in by a relative. (The Times of Israel)

At least 46 Palestinian prisoners at the Israeli Etzion jail began an open hunger strike demanding better living conditions, after being “constantly humiliated, assaulted and beaten” in interrogations, in addition living in conditions that are “inhumane,” including filthy living spaces, inadequate medical treatment and lack of regular access to showers. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces sealed the village of Al-Issawiya in East Jerusalem shortly after gunshots were reportedly fired at Israeli police officers. (Ma ‘an News Agency)

Israeli bulldozers demolished a Palestinian gas station and a commercial building in the town of Hezma, northeast of Jerusalem, for having been built without the necessary construction permits. (The Middle East Monitor)

Dozens of Israeli settlers, under military protection, entered Hafira area to the south of Jenin city and performed religious rituals. (PNN)

4

A Palestinian woman rammed her car into an Israeli soldier in the West Bank and was shot dead by the Israeli soldiers at the scene. (Reuters)

Palestinian medical sources have reported that two medics of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation, after Israeli soldiers fired a gas bomb into their ambulance, at the northern entrance of Bethlehem city. (IMEMC)

Several protesters suffered from tear gas inhalation during clashes with Israeli soldiers during the weekly nonviolent protest in Ni’lin village west of Ramallah. (IMEMC)

Israeli NGO Shurat HaDin reportedly began collecting signatures in order to file a criminal complaint to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague against the heads of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) for alleged incitement against Israel. (WAFA)

Israeli Radio reported that “Israeli farmers in the Jordan Valley stated that the large food chains in Germany and the Netherlands have asked them to label their goods exported to Europe as coming from the occupied territories, as of the middle of this month.” (The Middle East Monitor)

UNICEF in Jordan has ended its contract with the international security company G4S following a campaign by BDS activists in the country and across the world over the company’s role in Israeli detention facilities for Palestinian prisoners. (PNN)

5

Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) on said his separation plan is the only initiative that safeguards Israel’s Jewish and democratic nature and ensures its security. (Ynetnews)

President Abbas is to meet with the US Vice President Biden in Ramallah to discuss the current tensions with Israel and the stalled peace process, a senior Palestinian official said. The official said, however, no new ideas had been presented before Biden’s visit. (Xinhua)

6

A Palestinian youth was shot and injured with a rubber-coated steel bullet during clashes with Israeli army in the town of al-Khadr to the south of Bethlehem, according to security sources. (Alray)

The Palestinians plan to return to the Security Council soon seeking a resolution to condemn Israeli settlements, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said. He said that all international efforts are welcome, including the French efforts, but he clarified that the ideas have not yet formed an initiative: “It is rather a set of ideas proposed by [former FM] Fabius... He speaks of an international support group to be formed in April and holding an international peace conference next June or July,” Hamdallah said. (Xinhua)

A paper, allegedly written by Saeb Erakat, which summarized the meeting with US Secretary of State Kerry on 21 February in Amman, was published by Asharq al-Awsat. According to the paper, Kerry opposed Palestinian efforts to join international institutions and treaties, and vowed to veto any Security Council resolution on settlements, Palestinian statehood or protection. (Ma’an News Agency)

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, at the opening of the OIC Summit in Jakarta, urged Israel to end the occupation of Palestinian territories, saying international patience “has long run out” . “Indonesia and the Islamic world are ready to take concrete steps to push Israel to end its colonization of Palestine and its arbitrary actions in Al-Quds Al-Sharif,” he said. (Haaretz)

Israeli forces detained a Palestinian woman in the old city of Jerusalem after Israeli soldiers and police officers dispersed a rally protesting against an Israeli “blacklist” of Palestinians banned from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque. (Ma’an News Agency)

7

The head of the Arab Parliament, Ahmad al-Jarwan, condemned the Israeli “field execution” of Palestinians, saying that targeting women, elderly, and even children cannot be tolerated. (Alray)

Israeli authorities will be putting barriers at bus stops in the “Gush Etzion” region in the West Bank, which have seen multiple knife and vehicular attacks. (Ynetnews)

Israeli Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Ze’ev Elkin said that the PA is dependent on Israel for their economic and security sectors, adding: “Security cooperation protects Abbas more than Israel.” (MEMO)

Israeli forces shot and wounded a Palestinian near the Gaza border. (WAFA)

Israeli forces detained at least 19 Palestinians, including six minors, in overnight raids across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Palestinian and Israeli sources said. (Ma’an News Agency)

French special envoy Pierre Vimont will meet with Israeli and Palestinian officials this week to discuss preparations for an international peace conference to renew stalled peace talks, the Palestinian envoy to France said. (The Times of Israel)

President Abbas in Jakarta accused Israel of attempting to “Judaize” the holy sites in Jerusalem. He also attacked Israel for building settlements. Jordan’s Prince El Hassan bin Talal stated: “Israeli infringements of international law in occupied Jerusalem have recently increased in a dangerous way.” (The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel)

An OIC resolution urged “member States and the wider international community to ban products produced in or by illegal Israeli settlements from their markets”. However, the move was not binding on member States. (AFP)

“Conducting Jewish marriage ceremonies inside Al-Haram Al-Sharif is an extremely dangerous phenomenon that constitutes a fresh challenge for the Jerusalemites,” said a spokesman for Fatah in East Jerusalem, after photos were posted on social media. (Gulf News)

Most Israelis believe Jerusalem is a divided city rather than a unified capital, according to a poll released by the Israel Democracy Institute. (The Times of Israel)

A plan to partition Jerusalem, promoted by Labour, has met criticism by the Israeli Right and Left wing. The plan would unilaterally fence off most of East Jerusalem’s Palestinian neighbourhoods and transfer responsibility for their 200,000 residents to the PA and the Israeli military in the occupied West Bank. Saeb Erakat, the Secretary-General of the PLO, called the proposal “racist.” “This plan clearly shows that even members of the so-called progressive Israeli camp are falling into the same policies of the Israeli right.” (The New York Times)

Israeli forces have demolished 323 Palestinian homes since the beginning of the year, OCHA said. (Gulf News)

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid boasted he could make a deal “tomorrow” with the US to approve Israeli construction in the main settlement blocs, in exchange for a freeze on building in isolated West Bank settlements. (The Times of Israel)

Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation Isabella Lövin refused to condition aid to Palestine on curbing incitement during a debate in the Swedish Parliament. The debate was initiated by the World Zionist Organization, which had sent a delegation to Stockholm. (The Times of Israel)

An Israeli court in Jerusalem sentenced prominent Palestinian lawyer Shireen Tareq al-Issawi and her brother to four and eight years in prison for being in contact with, and providing funds to, Palestinian prisoners. They stood accused of acting as couriers for Hamas and Islamic Jihad. (Ma’an News Agency, Times of Israel)

Palestinian teachers remained on strike for a fourth week. Over 3,000 teachers rallied outside the Palestinian Prime Minister’s office in Ramallah demanding a salary raise. (PNN)

8

A resident of East Jerusalem was shot and killed by Israeli forces after he shot and wounded two policemen in the old city of Jerusalem. (Haaretz)

A Palestinian from Qalqilya stabbed seven people in Jaffa, Israeli police said. One, an American tourist, died. The assailant was shot dead by police. (Haaretz)

The Palestinian Security Services lately uncovered a llamas cell in Hebron planning attacks against Israel, shootings and kidnappings, senior Palestinian officials said. (The Times of Israel)

Israeli soldiers arrested 20 Palestinians, including women, from different parts of the West Bank and Jerusalem. ( IMEMC)

The White House is exploring the possibility of supporting a Security Council resolution that would set the principles for a permanent Israeli-Palestinian agreement, though it is still under consideration, officials said. ( Haaretz)

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, Jean-Marc Ayrault, is heading to Egypt to promote the initiative for an international conference. (The Daily Star)

Israeli forces demolished the house of 22-year-old Ibrahim Skafi, who was killed after he ran his car into Israeli Border Police. (Ma ‘an News Agency)

A group of Palestinians and Palestinian-Americans who have been victims of Israeli settlement construction filed a claim demanding financial compensation worth billions of dollars from some of the companies, individuals and organizations responsible for funding the settlement construction. The lawsuit names multi-millionaire Sheldon Adelson, investor Irving Moskowitz, right-wing pastor John Hagee and other individuals. (IMEMC)

Israel’s Permanent Representative to the, UN Danny Danon, demanded that the Secretary-General revise a report to the CSW, in which Israel is blamed for the situation of the Palestinian women. (Jerusalem Post)

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, 8 March launched a Women’s Boat to Gaza project. (PNN)

Some 18 Palestinian political prisoners in the Israeli Etzion prison have launched a hunger strike in protest of a recent surge of ill-treatment and by the Israeli prison authorities. (WAFA)

Shin Bet and special forces arrested a Palestinian truck driver on suspicion that he ran over and killed a settler near Hebron last October. It is not yet clear whether the incident was intentional. (Haaretz, WAFA)

The IDF imposed a blockade on the West Bank villages of the Palestinians who had carried out stabbing attacks earlier in the day in Israel. Police also carried out searches at the house of another Palestinian who shot and wounded two Border Police in Jerusalem. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he would propose new laws in preparation to shut down a number of Palestinian media outlets under the pretext of “incitement”. Indeed, the Prime Minister sees a clear relation between the attacks against Israelis and the role played by Palestinian Media. (MEMO)

Palestinian Syndication of Journalists called for the protection of journalists from the Israeli violations targeting them and their profession. In a statement, the group described Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to close Palestinian media outlets under the pretext of “incitement” a “new occupation” targeting freedom of speech and aiming to suppress the Palestinian voice. (Safa News Agency)

9

The IDF arrested a knife-wielding Palestinian woman who broke into the “Kedumim” settlement. The suspect, who was chasing a female settler, was wrestled to the ground by security forces, Army Radio said. (Times of Israel)

Shots were fired at a bus travelling at the Ramot intersection in Jerusalem. No one was injured in the shooting. (Ynetnews)

Two Palestinians from East Jerusalem reportedly tried to run over policemen and civilians near a Jerusalem light rail stop. They were shot and killed by police. A Palestinian bystander was seriously wounded. (Haaretz)

Palestinian sources said that Israeli troops entered the village of Fandaqumia near Jenin where they searched the house of a Palestinian who in an Israeli jail, provoking clashes with local teenagers. (WAFA)

During a two-day visit to Israel, US Vice President Joe Biden said at a meeting with President Reuven Rivlin that the latest wave of violence cannot be resolved “just by physical force.” Earlier in talks with Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Mr. Biden condemned President Abbas for failing to condemn the attacks. (Haaretz)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu accused Fatah of publishing a statement in praise of the attack in Jaffa, in which an American tourist was killed and more than a dozen other people were wounded. (Haaretz)

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Office announced that Israel will complete the construction of the separation barrier in the Jerusalem area and the southern West Bank following the 8 March attacks. (Haaretz)

UN Special Coordinator Mladenov issued a statement condemning the multiple attacks in Tel Aviv/Jaffa, Petah Tikva and Jerusalem. Political, religious and community leaders on all sides must stand firmly against violence and incitement, he said. They must rebuild hope and show that a political horizon for a negotiated two-State solution is still possible. (UNSCO)

Israel’s Permanent Representative Danny Danon sent an urgent letter to the Security Council demanding a condemnation of the attacks in Jaffa and Jerusalem. (The Jerusalem Post)

The UN launched the 2016 Humanitarian Response Plan for Gaza. It requires US$571 million in 2016 to address the most urgent humanitarian needs through 206 projects. (OCHA press release)

A bill was formally submitted to the Israeli Knesset by Israeli Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) to deport the family members of Palestinian assailants who were killed by the IOF since October last year. The bill is gaining massive support. (PNN)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressed his condolences for the murder of an American tourist in a terror attack the day before during a meeting with US Vice President Joseph Biden, who earlier in the day slammed the Palestinian Authority for its failure to condemn the attack. (YnetNews)

President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly turned down a peace initiative put forward by US Vice President Joe Biden in Ramallah. The deal offered a settlement construction freeze and a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem in exchange for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and the relinquishment of Palestinian rights to return to live in Israel. (Al Quds)

The Government of Finland provided €3 million to help East Jerusalem Hospitals maintain critical medical services to Palestinians. (European Union)

Movement calls for separating Palestinian villages from Jerusalem via fence. In the midst of the current wave of terror, the members of the Save Jewish Jerusalem movement went on tour from Qalandia to Jabel Mukaber. Their proposed plan would place about 200,000 Palestinians outside the borders of Jerusalem. (YnetNews)

10

Israeli forces detained 33 Palestinians in different parts of the West Bank, including Jerusalem, and the districts of Qalqilia, Nablus and Hebron. (IMEMC)

Police arrested hundreds of illegal Palestinian workers, and dozens of Israelis who employed them, in a series of raids across the country. (The Times of Israel)

The Israeli government does not intend to engage in peace talks with the Palestinians in the near future, declared the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely. Negotiations with the Palestinians are currently not on the government’s agenda, as the priority is to halt a six-month wave of violent Palestinian uprising, suggesting that peace talks could only start after the violence abates. (Xinhua)

Israel will permit residents of the Gaza Strip to go abroad via the Allenby border crossing with Jordan, on condition that they do not return for at least 12-months. (Ma’an News Agency)

Hundreds of Palestinian workers demonstrated in Gaza City, protesting their worsening conditions amid rising poverty and jobless rates and dwindling government subsidies. (Xinhua)

11

Palestinian militants launched four rockets that landed in an open field near Sderot. No injuries or damage were reported. Hours later, Israeli jets struck targets in the Gaza Strip. No organization has claimed responsibility for the rockets. (Times of Israel)

12

An Israeli aircraft fired a missile which killed a Palestinian boy and his sister in Gaza. Their home was located near a Hamas training base. (Reuters)

A Hamas delegation, including Mahmoud al-Zahhar, arrived in Cairo in a Saudi-sponsored visit aiming to resolve the tensions Hamas and Egypt. (Ma’an News Agency)

Defence for Children International-Palestine accused Israeli forces of “improper use of crowd control weapons” against Palestinian children. (Ma’an News Agency)

13

Israeli forces wounded a 14-year-old Palestinian boy with a live bullet in the chest during clashes near Ramallah. (Ma’an News Agency)

Prime Minister Netanyahu said Israel holds Hamas responsible for any rockets fired at Israel, despite Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon saying the day before that Hamas was not seeking to escalate hostilities and likely did not launch the 11 March rockets. (Times of Israel)

Speaking alongside European Foreign Ministers in Paris, US Secretary of State Kerry said the US was discussing ways to help preserve the two-State solution. Mr. Kerry said, “There’s not any one country or one person who can resolve this. This is going to require the global community, it will require international support”. (Reuters)

Israeli authorities denied entry to Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, who was scheduled to meet with President Abbas and Foreign Minister Malki in Ramallah. On the same day, Malki travelled to Jordan in order to meet with Ms. Marsudi in Amman. (Ma’an News Agency)

The staff of five Palestinian companies, whose goods have been prevented from entering Jerusalem, protested near Israel’s Ofer Prison outside Ramallah. Israel reportedly had told the five firms on 9 March that their products would not be allowed to pass through the commercial Beitunia crossing. (Times of Israel)

14

Four Israeli soldiers were lightly wounded in two separate attacks in the West Bank. The incidents, a shooting and car-ramming respectively, took place close to the settlement of “Kiryat Arba” near Hebron. The two suspected assailants in the first attack and one from the second were shot dead. (Haaretz)

PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi was in Washington last week where she discussed the latest political developments in the OPT and the escalation of Israeli violations of international law, a PLO press release said. Ms. Ashrawi called on the US to support the French initiative to organize an international peace conference. (Ma’an News Agency)

A rocket was shot at Israel from Gaza. No Injuries or damages were reported. (Ynetnews)

It was confirmed that Israel and the Palestinians had engaged in secret talks about ceasing IDF operations in Ramallah and Jericho, with possible gradual restoration of the Palestinian control to the rest of Area A. (The Jerusalem Post, Gulf News, The Times of Israel)

Israel approved a new law targeting Israelis who employ or transport Palestinians with no work permit. (Gulf News)

Palestine was awarded a full membership in the Permanent Court of Arbitration, after 57 countries voted in favour, 24 abstained with none against. (IMEMC)

Permanent Representative of Israel to UNOG Eviatar Manor accused the UN Human Rights Council of blindly and consistently singling out of Israel, saying that the Council needs “immediate psychological treatment”. (Ynetnews)

15

A 24-year-old Palestinian man from Qalandiya refugee camp succumbed to wounds he sustained two weeks earlier during a confrontation with Israeli soldiers in the camp. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli security forces injured a Palestinian teacher when they lobbed a stun grenade into an elementary school in the West Bank village of Husan. (The Times of Israel, WAFA)

The Palestinians rejected the Israeli proposal to cease IDF operations in Ramallah and Jericho, and instead demanded that the army halt its activities in all areas controlled by the Palestinian governing body. (Times of Israel)

Egyptian security officials reported that the Hamas delegation to Egypt did not achieve its goals in smoothing over its relations with the Egyptian government. (Ynetnews)

Majid Faraj, the head of the Palestinian General Intelligence Service, will be put on trial in absentia in Gaza for foiling Palestinian attacks in the West Bank. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli authorities notified Palestinians in the Bethlehem district to stop the construction of several residential structures, under the pretext of construction without an Israeli permit. (WAFA)

The Israeli Government announced the seizure of 579 acres of land in the Jericho area, claiming it “State land”. (PNN) (Daily Star)

Israeli forces demolished a motorcycle repair shop near the entrance of the Qalandiya military checkpoint, under the pretext of construction without an Israeli permit. (WAFA)

Israeli forces searched homes in various districts of the West Bank and arrested 29 Palestinians. (IMEMC)

The US State Department expressed opposition to the Israeli expropriation of 578 acres of land in the Jordan Valley near Jericho, calling it “the latest step in what appears to be an ongoing process of land expropriations, settlement expansions, and legalizations of outposts that is fundamentally undermining the prospects for a two-State solution.” (Jerusalem Post)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the Israeli Government to “halt and reverse” the land confiscation saying the move is “an impediment to the two-State solution.” (Xinhua)

Palestinian drivers demonstrated to protest against tighter security and stepped up police activity at the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza, the main crossing point for vital supplies reaching Gaza. (Haaretz)

16

Israeli forces detained at least nine Palestinians in predawn raids across the West Bank, Palestinian and Israeli sources said. (Ma ‘an News Agency)

Five Palestinian teens suspected of throwing rocks and paint cans at the light rail train in East Jerusalem were detained, Israeli police said. (Ma ‘an News Agency)

During a meeting with Palestinian President Abbas in Ramallah, the Japanese Envoy to the Middle East confirmed his country’s support for the French initiative and called it to be expedited. (Ma ‘an News Agency)

Germany, France and the UK criticized Israel’s decision to appropriate large tracts of land saying the move violated international law and contradicted a two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (Haaretz)

Israeli forces demolished three structures and issued demolition orders for a further two in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. (Ma ‘an News Agency)

Palestinian drivers demonstrated to protest against tighter security and stepped up police activity at the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza, the main crossing point for vital supplies reaching Gaza. (Haaretz)

An Israeli court in Jerusalem sentenced seven Palestinian children to jail time ranging from 12 to 39 months for alleged stone-throwing, a lawyer with prisoners’ rights group Addameer said. (Ma ‘an News Agency)

Israeli authorities issued administrative detention orders, without a charge trial, against 43 Palestinian detainees, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society. (WAFA)

The EU and the Palestinian Civil Defence (PCD) marked in Ramallah the conclusion of a capacity-building programme. (EU)

Israeli forces demolished six stores in the Beita village market in southern Nablus, due to the structures reportedly lacking proper licenses. (Ma ‘an News Agency)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Moshe Ya’alon, Minister of Defence of Israel. The Secretary-General underlined the need for substantial policy changes on the ground and the need for both sides to restore a political horizon towards a peaceful two-State solution. (UN)

17

Israeli forces killed two Palestinian youths who allegedly attempted to carry out a stabbing near the settlement of “Ariel” in the north of the West Bank. (WAFA)

Israeli forces arrested 19 Palestinians in various West Bank cities, according to a Palestinian source. (Petra)

UNRWA has announced plans to build four new schools in the Gaza Strip funded by the UAE Red Crescent. This is the second phase of a project to build 12 new schools. (UNRWA)

The Palestinian Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah and PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi condemned Israel’s systematic land grab of Palestinian land and farms in the West Bank. (PNN)

The Government of Japan criticized the Israeli Government’s expropriation of nearly 2.3 square kilometres of land south of Jericho in the West Bank. (PNN)

The Palestinian Prisoners Committee stated that 24-year-old Yazan Mahmoud Nasrallah Hanani’s health condition had worsened after a 30-day hunger strike protest against his administrative detention at Israel’s Ketziot prison. (Press TV)

18

Israeli authorities shut down streets in Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem in preparation for the annual Jerusalem marathon, and arrested four Palestinians. (Ma ‘an News Agency)

Israeli soldiers blockaded Beit Fajjar south of Bethlehem and arrested one Palestinian; simultaneously, soldiers arrested nine Palestinians in overnight raids in the West Bank. (MEMO

UNRWA Director of Operations in Jordan, Roger Davies, and Deputy Chargé d’Affairs of the US Embassy, Henry Wooster, launched a project to expand the Baqa’a Main Health Centre to support Palestinian refugees in Jordan and throughout the region. The US contributed US $ 1.75 million (UNRWA)

Gidon Bomberg, founder and Israel director of Eco Peace, stated that Gaza could be a ticking time bomb of disease for the region if a serious sewage issue is not fixed immediately. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israel’s Channel 2 alleged in an investigative report that members of the Breaking the Silence NGO had tried to gather intelligence information about some IDF operation along the fence with the Gaza Strip. Prime Minister Netanyahu said security services would be investigating the allegations. (PNN)

Israel organized an eight- day seminar for 45 lawyers, scholars and judges from around the world with top Israeli legal experts on ways to fight BDS. (Ynetnews)

Israeli authorities shut down streets in Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem in preparation for the annual Jerusalem marathon, and arrested four Palestinians. (Ma ‘an News Agency)

Israeli soldiers blockaded Beit Fajjar south of Bethlehem and arrested one Palestinian, simultaneously, soldiers arrested nine Palestinians in overnight raids in the West Bank. (IMEMC)

UNRWA Director of Operations in Jordan, Roger Davies and Deputy Chargé d’Affairs of the US Embassy Henry Wooster launched a project to expand the Baqa’a Main Health Centre to support Palestinian refugees in Jordan and throughout the region. The US contributed US $ 1.75 million. (UNRWA)

Gidon Bomberg, founder and Israel director of Eco Peace stated that Gaza could be a ticking time bomb of disease for the region if a serious sewage issue is not fixed immediately. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israel’s Channel 2 alleged in an investigative report that members of the Breaking the Silence NGO had tried to gather intelligence information about some IDF operation along the fence with the Gaza Strip. Prime Minister Netanyahu said security services would be investigating the allegations. (PNN)

Israel organized an eight- day seminar for 45 lawyers, scholars and judges from around the world with top Israeli legal experts on ways to fight BDS. (Ynetnews)

An unidentified gunmen shot and killed a Palestinian woman in the northern West Bank. (WAFA)

19

Fifteen Egyptian police officers were killed and three were reported missing after gunmen attacked a police checkpoint in the northern Sinai Peninsula. Gunmen were believed to be affiliated to the Sinai Province organization (previously known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis). (Ma’an News Agency)

20

Israeli forces killed a Palestinian following an alleged stabbing attempt at Gush Etzion junction. (WAFA)

The PLO ambassador to Washington declared that members of the United States Congress were delaying a payment of $159 million in aid allocated for the Palestinian Authority in an effort to pressure the PA to relaunch negotiations with Israel. (Ma ‘an News Agency)

The Palestinian Water Authority declared that water from underground aquifers in the Gaza Strip suffered a deficit of over 100 million cubic meters (mcm) a year amid extremely high pollution levels. (Xinuha)

Palestinians met with representatives of the International Criminal Court to brief them on the details of claims filed against Israel at the Court which they hoped will lead to the opening of formal cases and investigations of Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (The Times of Israel)

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah declared that the latest Israeli decision to prevent products of five Palestinian food companies from entering the East Jerusalem market is a “political arbitrary decision.” (Xinuha)

21

Israeli forces detained 10 Palestinians from across the West Bank districts of Nablus, Bethlehem, and Hebron, in addition to five others from the Jerusalem area. (WAFA)

UNRWA announced that it would pay around $6 million to reconstruct and repair Palestinian homes in the Gaza Strip. (Arab48)

The Israeli Civil Administration issued an official notice to confiscate 296.5 acres of land from Palestinian villages in the northern West Bank district of Nablus. (Ma ’an News Agency)

Makarim Wibisono, the UN expert on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, voiced scathing criticism of Israel, as he stepped down, over what he said was a lack of access to areas he was meant to monitor. He presented his final report to the UN Human Rights Council, criticizing Israel’s refusal to cooperate with his mandate. (UN)

The Israeli authorities returned the bodies of two Jerusalemite Palestinians, who were shot dead after allegedly while carrying out attacks. (Ma ’an News Agency)

The UAE expressed grave concerns about the catastrophic human rights situation in the OPT, and flagrant violations of international law by the Israeli forces. (WAM)

UN High Commissioner for Refugees and former UNRWA head Filippo Grandi called on the Liberal Government to restore Canada’s funding for UNRWA, six years after the former Conservative Government cut support over the organization’s alleged ties to Hamas. (The Globe and Mail)

Israeli forces razed 650 dunums (0.65 square kilometres) of land in Jericho. (Middle East Monitor)

22

Israeli forces stormed the Arab American University [in Jenin] at dawn, raiding several buildings, where they confiscated files, computers, documents and left destruction behind. (WAFA, Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces shot with rubber-coated steel bullets and injured a 14-year-old student, near Bethlehem. (WAFA)

Israeli soldiers opened fire on Palestinian shepherds, and several Israeli military vehicles and bulldozers entered the Palestinian side of the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces stormed the Central Zakat Committee’s premises in Tulkarm. (WAFA, Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli authorities decided to ban the entry of five Palestinians to the Old City of Jerusalem, including Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, for a period of 15 days. (WAFA)

A Turkish medical NGO will carry out 20 surgeries in the Gaza Strip with the aim of helping Palestinians injured in the last Israeli offensive. (Anadolu Agency)

Israeli forces embarked on razing 40 dunums of land near Idna, to the west of Hebron. (WAFA)

Israeli forces demolished a number of Palestinian-owned structures and seized solar cells in the village of Janba, south of Hebron. (WAFA)

Israeli soldiers searched the Dheisheh refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, and arrested a 34-year-old Palestinian man. (IMEMC)

Israeli forces invaded the al-Khadr town and shot and injured a 9-year-old child, while many residents suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation. (ABNA)

According to local sources, Israeli forces demolished and removed Palestinian-owned residential structures in the village of Kherbet Tana. (WAFA)

23

According to Israeli and Palestinian sources, Israeli forces arrested 16 Palestinians during predawn raids across the West Bank. (Ma ’an News Agency)

The Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) published the findings of a poll which show more support for the two-State solution compared with surveys from the second half of last year. However, PSR found that 52 per cent continue to support a return to an armed intifada, believing it more effective than the isolated attacks. Only 29 per cent view negotiations as effective means of achieving a two-State solution. (Ma ’an News Agency, Middle East Monitor)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Palestine received an official letter from the Indonesian embassy in Amman stating that Palestinian passport holders no longer require a visa to enter Indonesia. (Middle East Monitor)

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Palestine, Riad Malki, told with European Parliamentarians in Brussels that Palestinian shooting and stabbing attacks against Israelis are driven by despair over the occupation, while condemning the terror attacks in Brussels. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Palestinian Government has announced that products from five Israeli companies will be prevented from entering the West Bank in response to a similar decision by Israel. (Middle East Online)

Hundreds of Israelis converged on religious sites across the West Bank ahead of Purim. Locals said settlers “provocatively” used a mosque’s loudspeakers in Hebron to sing racist songs that call for the expulsion of Arabs from the city. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces levelled land by entering the border area of the northern Gaza Strip. (Ma ’an News Agency)

The Palestinian Government ordered a boycott of five Israeli food-makers in response to Israel’s decision to stop admitting Palestinian-made produce from the occupied West Bank to East Jerusalem. With immediate effect, Palestinian vendors were barred from buying from Tnuva, Strauss Group Ltd., Tara, Soglowek and Tapuzina, but they could sell their existing stocks, the Government said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Via satellite from Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu told AIPAC’s leaders that he hoped the United States would continue to reject any move towards a UN Security Council resolution backing Palestinian statehood. Mr. Netanyahu also said he was ready to begin talks “immediately, without preconditions” for a two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but insisted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas did not back the idea. (Reuters)

24

Israel has closed off the West Bank from 23 to 26 March to prevent attacks over the Purim holiday, the IDF announced. (AP)

Israeli forces shot dead two young Palestinian men in Tal Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron after they stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint by the neighborhood. The Israeli soldier sustained light to moderate wounds in the shoulder and hand. (WAFA)

During a State visit to Argentina, US President Obama said he did not expect a breakthrough on an Israeli-Palestinian deal during his remaining nine months in office. He said a “bi-national” State with joint Israeli and Palestinian leadership was highly unlikely in light of the deep distrust between the two peoples. Mr. Obama also noted that he expected to continue his efforts to achieve Middle East peace after leaving office in January. (Times of Israel)

The Israeli Knesset yesterday approved a bill to deport the families of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces and accused of carrying out attacks against Israelis, Felesteen newspaper reported. (Middle East Monitor)

In Ramallah, Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh relayed his Government’s message to Paslestinian President Abbas that Jordan was determined to go ahead with its plan to install security cameras at the Al-Aqsa Mosque/Temple Mount despite differences between the two sides. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Israeli National Council for Planning and Building approved a plan for Elad’s Kedem settlement project in East Jerusalem’s Silwan neighbourhood despite over a decade of appeals against the move by Palestinian residents and Israeli rights organizations. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israel and the United States are making intense diplomatic efforts to block a resolution to be voted by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that would obligate the Organization to draw up a list of all Israeli and international firms operating directly or indirectly with settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. (Haaretz, Israel)

According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society , at least 23 Palestinians, including a minor girl, were detained by Israeli forces, mostly during predawn raids across the West Bank in Jerusalem, near Bethlehem, Ramallah’s Silwad village, Nablus and Qalqilia. (WAFA)

At the monthly Security Council briefing, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, unveiled a plan by the Quartet to produce a report that would help create a political environment for the two sides to resume peace negotiations. He told reporters that the Quartet, in its last principals meeting in Munich had decided to compile a report that will examine impediments to a two-State solution and recommend the way forward. (Xinhua)

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said that Israel controls 85 per cent of Palestinian water resources and Israel’s water consumption is seven times more than that of the Palestinians, which remains below the average level set by the World Health Organization. He warned that the water situation in Gaza is at risk of a humanitarian crisis due to the consumption of underground water and the shortage of drinking water caused by serious pollution. (Xinhuanet.com)

In a landmark victory for the Palestinian leadership, the UN Human Rights Council passed four resolutions relating to the Occupied Palestinian Territory. In a resolution [A/HRC/31/L.36] adopted without a vote, the Council reaffirmed the inalienable, permanent and unqualified right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. In resolution [A/HRC/31/L.37] adopted by a vote of 42 in favour, none against, with five abstentions, the Council demanded that Israel cease all practices and actions that violated the human rights of the Palestinian people or the character, status and demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory. In a resolution [A/HRC/31/L.38] on ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, adopted by a vote of 32 in favour, none against, with 15 abstentions, the Council requested the High Commissioner to review the implementation of recommendations addressed to all parties since 2009 and to present a report at its thirty-fifth session.

In particular, the resolution calls on the UN Human Rights Council to form a database of all actors conducting business in areas under Israeli military occupation. The resolution reportedly received major opposition from the US and EU prior to the vote. In a resolution [A/HRC/31/L.39] adopted by a vote of 32 in favour, none against, with 15 abstentions, the Council demanded that Israel immediately cease and reverse all settlement activities and requested the High Commissioner to investigate the implications of settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people. (ohchr.org; Ma ’an News Agency)

The Human Rights Council also appointed Mr. Stanley Michael Lynk (Canada) as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 1967. He replaced Makarim Wibisono, who resigned as Special Rapporteur in January over Israel’s failure to cooperate with him.

25

The IDF soldier, caught on film shooting dead an immobile Palestinian attacker, was brought to a detention hearing before the military court in Jaffa and is now being suspected of murder. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli soldiers arrested a young Palestinian woman in Hebron city allegedly for carrying a knife in her purse. (IMEMC)

Israeli forces shot and injured four Palestinians with live fire when clashes erupted near the border in the Gaza Strip, the Ministry of Health said. (News Agency)

Israeli settlers gathered outside the home of a human rights worker with the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem in Hebron to hurl abuse at him, a day after he captured on camera an Israeli soldier’s killing of a wounded Palestinian which sparked international outcry. After settlers threatened him, the worker said he feared for his life and the life of his family. (Ma ’an News Agency)

The Secretary-General visited the Nahr el-Bared camp in Lebanon, hosting mainly Palestinian refugees, where he inspected a school and was briefed on the ongoing reconstruction effort. He urged the international community to provide necessary funding to help finish the rebuilding of the camp destroyed almost a decade ago, and praised UNRWA for its relentless efforts. (un.org)

Following the killing of a wounded Palestinian by an Israeli soldier, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Mr. Nickolay Mladenov, issued a statement strongly condemning the “apparent extra-judicial execution” of a Palestinian assailant in Hebron in the occupied West Bank as “a gruesome, immoral and unjust act that can only fuel more violence and escalate an already volatile situation”. He welcomed the condemnation by the Israeli Minister of Defence and called on the authorities to swiftly bring to justice the perpetrator who had already been detained.

27

In a meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas at UNHQ, Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon reiterated his “deep concern over the situation and the need for both sides to diffuse tensions.” He also told President Abbas that “a political horizon must be restored without further delay for a resumption of peace negotiations towards a two-state solution.” He further underscored the need for making progress on Palestinian unity and for greater leadership on the reconstruction of Gaza. According to President Abbas’ spokesman, the two also discussed a possible Security Council resolution calling for a cessation of settlement construction. President Abbas brought up the French idea to hold an international conference to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which he believes, is a way of “salvaging” the peace process. (The Jerusalem Post)

28

Israeli forces detained at least 25 Palestinians, including minors, in overnight detention raids across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, while an Israeli court extended the detention of five East Jerusalem minors.

Five Palestinians are currently on a hunger strike in Israeli prisons to protest solitary confinement and Israel’s policy of administrative detention. The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society called for a sit-in in front of the International Red Cross building in Hebron on 28 March in support of the hunger strikers. Thirty Palestinian prisoners from Hamas in Ofer jail also expressed their intention to start on open-ended hunger strike on 28 March in solidarity with detainee Shukri Khawaja, who has been in an isolation cell for about one and a half years. (Ma ’an News Agency, ABNA)

Israeli authorities issued administrative detention orders against 27 Palestinian detainees, placing them in prison without a charge or trial, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS). Ten of the detainees received administrative detention orders for the first time, whereas the remaining 17 received renewed administrative orders. (WAFA)

Israeli troops raided the village of Qabatiya near Jenin and made preparations for the punitive demolition of the family houses of three Palestinians suspected of carrying out a fatal attack outside Damascus Gate entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City in early February.(Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli soldiers invaded an area north of Bethlehem, demolished a home, a playground, electricity and water networks, in addition to uprooting farmlands, belonging to a Palestinian family. (IMEMC)

The Palestinian Government has asked the United Nations to launch an investigation into alleged extrajudicial killings by Israel. The request follows the deadly shooting last week by an Israeli soldier of a wounded Palestinian assailant as he lay on the ground. Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said that past Israeli investigations have failed to “serve justice” and instead, he claims Israel has been “rewarded with impunity.” (AP)

More than 250 Israeli and Palestinian youth last week opened a social media campaign, calling on the public to engage in direct dialogue with one another. The campaign was developed as part of a leadership program run by the Kids Creating Peace educational organization, which brings together Israeli and Palestinian youth to develop a shared dialogue, in collaboration with the UK government. The campaign launch was the culmination of a year’s worth of meetings between Israeli and Palestinian youth, aged 14-18, who got to know one another by breaking down their stereotypes and developing a dialogue to promote coexistence. (The Jerusalem Post)

An Israeli settler deliberately ran over a 12-year-old Palestinian child while on his way back home south of al-Khalil. (ABNA)

Tensions rose sharply in Lebanon’s largest Palestinian refugee camp after deadly shootings by rival factions left two Palestinians dead. (Ma’an News, Reuters)

An Israeli peace group launched a comprehensive database of information on the location, activities and the evasive tactics used by businesses located in the occupied Palestinian territories. (Redress Information & Analysis)

A series of meetings are being held between Palestinian officials and representatives of the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutors office in Amman, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said. It was revealed that Palestinian rival factions Fatah and Hamas have discussed the possibility of creating a unity government and holding parliamentary elections within six months, though officials from the two parties disagree about the extent of progress currently made. (Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post)

Israel demolished two houses belonging to Palestinians in Bethlehem, near the Israeli separation wall and a military checkpoint north of the city. (Palestine Monitor)

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator warned that the village of Khirbet Tana in the Jordan Valley was at risk of “forcible transfer” after a wave of Israeli demolitions left more than a third of its residents homeless, stating: “It is hard to see how demolitions like the ones in Khirbet Tana are about anything other than pushing vulnerable Palestinians out of certain parts of the West Bank”. (Ma’an News)

Envoys of the Middle East Quartet met in Jerusalem to discuss preparations for the Middle East Quartet’s forthcoming report. During their visit they also took the opportunity to meet officials from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as officials from the Palestine Liberation Organization and Palestinian Authority. (un.org)

29

Israeli naval boats opened fire against Palestinian fishermen who were sailing offshore Gaza, while several armoured Israeli military vehicles and bulldozers entered Palestinian agricultural land, in central Gaza, and fired many rounds of live ammunition. (WAFA, IMEMC, Ma’an News)

Armed clashes broke out between Palestinian youths and Palestinian Authority security forces when they raided the Old City of Nablus in an attempt to detain a suspect in a recent murder case, leaving 13 wounded. (Ma’an News)

Israeli forces detained 12 Palestinians, including a journalist, in the Hebron district. (WAFA, IMEMC)

Israeli soldiers have arrested at least eight Palestinians in the West Bank districts of Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Qalqilia and Nablus. (IMEMC, WAFA)

An Indonesian minister said the Government would not establish official relations with Israel as Indonesia upholds efforts for Palestinian independence. (Xinhua News Agency)

Europe “welcomes” exports produced by Jewish settlers on occupied Palestinian land if labelled correctly, the EU’s envoy to Israel said, while insisting that the best way to stop boycotts would be to make peace between Israel and Palestine. (EU Observer)

Israel’s Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved a bill that seeks to allow the trial of Palestinian minors aged under the age of 14, but where sentences would be served after the defendants reach the age of 14. (Middle East Monitor)

A senior Palestinian official said that Israel informed the Palestinian National Authority of stopping import and export of gold into the Gaza Strip. (China.org.cn)

The Israeli authorities levelled a privately-owned playground and uprooted several trees in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan. (Ma’an News)

Four Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails have entered into a hunger strike in protest of being detained without a charge or trial. (WAFA)

30

Israeli police brutally beat up and imprisoned a Palestinian man, waving the Palestinian flag, as Israeli settlers were sightseeing the al-Aqsa holy site. (WAFA)

Palestinian mourners were attacked by Israeli troops with teargas during a funeral in Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem, causing many to suffocate from teargas inhalation. (WAFA)

According to security sources, during predawn raids, Israeli forces detained 19 Palestinians across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces stormed the family house of a Palestinian human rights worker, Iman Abu Shamsiyyeh, who had videotaped an Israeli soldier shooting dead an immobile Palestinian attacker in the Hebron neighbourhood of Tal Rumeida. According to witness, Israeli forces inspected identity cards and passports of Palestinian and international activists who had barricaded themselves inside the house after settlers threatened to burn it. (WAFA)

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas may visit Moscow in mid-April to discuss issues in the Middle East and bilateral relations with the Russian leadership, as disclosed by a diplomatic source from the Palestinian Authority. Earlier, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed concern over Israel’s illegal expropriation of 155 hectares of land near the town of Jericho. (Sputnik)

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) stated, on the occasion of Land Day, that Israeli occupation authorities had laid hand over more than 85 per cent of the total area of historical land of Palestine which was approximately 27,000 km2. (WAFA)

The Palestinian Bureau of Statistics revealed that child labour had severely risen in Gaza. In the duration of last five years, the number of working children between the ages of 10 and 17 had doubled to 9,700 in the territory. (Reuters)

For the third day in a row, Israeli authorities continued for unknown reasons to ban the entry of building materials needed by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip, jeopardising 46 UNRWA major projects. (Middle East Monitor)

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada called on the United Nations to review the appointment of the Canadian legal expert Stephane Dion as the new Special Rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories in order to ensure the Rapporteur had a “track record that can advance peace in region”. (Middle East Eye)

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reiterated its call on the United Nations Security Council to implement a special international protection system for Palestine, including the Holy Al-Quds, in line with the Fourth Geneva Convention; other pertinent resolutions to develop a timetable for ending the Israeli occupation; and achieving just and comprehensive peace, and the Arab peace initiative. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

An official Palestinian delegation of 15 high-profile members visited the family of Munir Ammar, the head of the Israeli forces’ Civil Administration in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, to offer their condolences in Ammar’s home, a Druze village in northern Israel. He died in a plane crash in the Lower Galilee in northern Israel last week. According to Israeli radio, “members of the delegation eulogized Ammar and enumerated his merits and his positive attitude towards his Palestinian counterparts in the West Bank.” PLO Executive Committee member Muhammad al-Madani, who led the delegation, said: “I hope the Palestinians and the Israelis will take practical steps towards peacemaking.” (Ma ’an News Agency)

UNRWA announced that Japan has donated US$500,000 to support efforts aimed at removing unexploded ordnance left over from the 2014 war in Gaza. Until now, some 3,000 out of 7,000 explosive devices left over from the war with Israel have been dismantled. Since 2014, at least 16 Gazans have been killed and 97 injured, including 48 children, by leftover Israeli ordnance. (Anadolu)

Israeli and Palestinian security officials reportedly met in Jerusalem to discuss the fate of security coordination between the two sides, Palestinian media reported. The Israeli delegation delivered its response to a proposal presented last February by Palestinian President Abbas. (The Times of Israel)

In a comment issued by the Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said it is extremely concerned about the apparent extra-judicial execution last Thursday of a Palestinian man in the West Bank, following two Palestinian men allegedly stabbing and wounding an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint in the Israeli-controlled area of Hebron. (www.ohchr.org)

31

Israeli forces detained at least 22 Palestinians in overnight raids in the occupied West Bank, in Hebron, Jenin, Nablus, Qalqiliya, Ramallah, and Tulkarem districts. (Ma’an News Agency, WAFA)

The Israeli Supreme Court rejected an appeal to allow a Palestinian doctor to participate in the autopsy of Abd al-Fattah al-Sharif, the Palestinian who, last week in Hebron, was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier while he lay wounded on the ground. The Palestinian doctor will only be allowed to be present and take notes at the autopsy, scheduled for 3 April. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli navy boats opened fire on Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip, forcing fishermen to head back to shore. No injuries were reported. As part of Israel’s blockade of the coastal enclave, Gaza fishermen are required to work within a limited “designated fishing zone” of six nautical miles off the coast. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israel’s state-run electricity company Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) is set to reduce the power supply to Jericho in the occupied West Bank over a debt of US$ 450 million. In January 2015, the IEC had cut the power to Palestinian cities for a number of hours every day over a similar debt. (AFP)

In a new report, the World Bank says the Palestinian mobile phone sector lost more than USD1 billion in potential earnings over the last three years, largely due to Israeli restrictions. Over 20 per cent of West Bank customers use Israeli providers because they offer high-speed internet capabilities. In 2015, Israel had agreed to permit a 3G broadband network in the West Bank, but this is not yet available to customers of Palestinian companies. Israeli restrictions prevent the import of telecom equipment for Palestinian companies and a second Palestinian mobile phone company in the West Bank from operating in Gaza. Also, the Palestinian government has not established a regulatory authority, leading to high pricing and market distortions. Despite these constraints, the Palestinian authorities have adopted a liberal licensing regime for Internet Service Providers (ISPs). There are more than 20 ISPs with rights to invest directly in broadband infrastructure and operate them. Few other countries in MENA have adopted this approach. (AP, World Bank)

In an interview with Channel 2, Palestinian President Abbas warned that the PA is on “the brink of collapse” and called on Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to halt military operations in Area A of the West Bank, giving the responsibility in this area to PA security forces. He added that Israel was breaking the Oslo Accords because, since 2000, the IDF has been operating in Area A and entering Palestinian cities without restriction, despite security cooperation with the PA. (Haaretz, Channel 2)

Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has called on Israel’s police and army to protect the man who received death threats last week after capturing footage of the killing of a wounded Palestinian man by an Israeli soldier in Hebron following the alleged stabbing attack by two Palestinian men. (Ma ’an News Agency)


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