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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
31 December 2014


Division for Palestinian Rights

Chronological Review of Events Relating to the
Question of Palestine

Monthly media monitoring review

December 2014

Monthly highlights

The Israeli organization “Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center” requests the ICC to investigate alleged war crimes committed by President Abbas. (1 Dec.)

• French law-makers vote in favour of recognising Palestine as a State. (2 Dec.)

• Over the last month Israeli forces carried out 112 assaults against the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Al Haram Al Ibrahimi Mosque. (2 Dec.)

• UN begins investigating Israeli attacks that hit UN facilities in Gaza and Palestinian militants' abuse of schools. (3 Dec.)

• Israel’s military said it had opened eight new criminal investigations into its Gaza war operations in July and August. (6 Dec.)

• A Palestinian Cabinet member, Ziad Abu Ein, died after confrontation with Israeli forces at a protest march. (10 Dec.)

• The EU General Court has annulled the Union’s decision to keep Hamas on a list of terrorist groups. (17 Dec.)

• High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention adopted a declaration recalling applicable international humanitarian law in the OPT. (17 Dec.)

• UNRWA calls for urgent funding for the reconstruction of Gaza after precise surveys revealed estimates of more than double of the initial amounts. (18 Dec.)

• UN Security Council failed to adopt a resolution calling for an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and East Jerusalem. (30 Dec.)

• Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed on to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. (31 Dec.)

1

The Palestinian national football team was awarded the Best National Team prize in Asia for the year 2014. The honoring ceremony came on the sideline of the FIFA 60th anniversary celebrations that were held in Manila. The Palestinian national team also qualified for AFC Asian Cup for the first time in history. The ceremony was attended by President of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, as well as other international football figures. (WAFA; Al-Hayyat Al-Jadida)

Israeli forces shot and critically injured a 22-year-old Palestinian woman after she stabbed an Israeli settler near the “Gush Etzion” settlement in the southern West Bank. (Ma’an)

Australian Labor MP Maria Vamvakinou tabled a motion in parliament calling for the Australian Government to support a Palestinian State. Vamvakinou, who co-convenes the Australian Parliamentary Friends of Palestine group, said international recognition was the only way to end the deadlock. The motion has bipartisan support, with Vamvakinou’s co-convenor the Liberal MP Craig Laundy, speaking for the motion. (The Guardian)

The Israeli intelligence organization “Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center” formally requested the ICC prosecutor to open an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. In a statement, the group said that the claim was based on “reports of Fatah-affiliated armed groups firing significant numbers of rockets on Israel from Gaza during Operation Protective Edge war along with Hamas. Rocket fire on civilians is a war crime under international law.” Shurat HaDin said Abbas could be tried at the ICC because he was a Jordanian citizen, and the Hashemite Kingdom was a member of the Court. It added: “If Shurat HaDin does not win this case, it is ready to go after Abbas for terrorist attacks during the Second Intifada should he ever decide to have the PA join the ICC’s Rome Statute.” (MEM)

Israeli sources said that Israel had started construction on a security water barrier along the borders with Jordan and Egypt in the Red Sea. The barrier will be 2.8 miles high. The sources said that the troubled security conditions in Egypt forced Israel to make this decision in order to abort any attempt from outsiders to sneak onto Israeli beaches. (PNN; Walla)

The Head of Palestinian Energy Authority Omar Kittaneh said that Israel had rejected a proposal for a Turkish power-generating ship to dock near Gaza in order to help solve the electricity crisis. (Al Quds)

Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian home under construction in the Al-Isawiya neighborhood of East Jerusalem, claiming it was built without a permit in an area designated as green space. (Ma’an)

An Israeli settler attacked a Palestinian taxi driver in Jerusalem with a pepper spray before fleeing the scene. (WAFA)

The Israeli army issued an order to confiscate 48 dunams of Palestinian agricultural lands belonging to residents of Rantis village, west of Ramallah. The order stated the lands would be used for military purposes. The village lost hundreds of dunams of agricultural lands in three main areas when Israel started the construction of the Wall in 2004. (IMEMC)

The Head of the Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs, Issa Qaraqe, said that efforts were underway to launch an international conference that will be dedicated to discussing the issue of sick Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. Qaraqe said the conference, which will be organized in co-operation with various international human rights organizations under the title “Stop Medical Crimes against Our Prisoners,” will address the largely deteriorating health conditions of many Palestinian political prisoners incarcerated by Israel. He stressed that the Israeli prison administration had wilfully failed to provide the necessary medical treatment for sick prisoners. Qaraqe called upon international human rights organizations and the United Nations to uphold their ethical and legal responsibility in this regard and intervene to protect the prisoners. The number of sick prisoners detained in Israeli jails has reached 1,500, of whom 80 prisoners are suffering from serious health problems and do not receive the necessary treatment; they suffer from malignant diseases, paralysis, and disabilities, in addition to cases of mental illness and neurological disorder. (WAFA)

Palestinian detainee Nahar Al-Saadi, from Jenin, is in his first week of a hunger strike in protest of ill-treatment from the Israeli Prison Service and their denial of a visit by his mother. Al-Saadi has been in solitary confinement since May of 2013. (IMEMC)

A 60-year-old Israeli man was seriously hurt after being run over by a car in the West Bank. Israeli security forces arrested three Palestinians on suspicion they were involved in the incident. The three suspects were apprehended in the town of Kfar Qabalan, near Nablus, and handed over to the Shin Bet security services for questioning. (The Times of Israel, Ynetnews)

Israeli forces raided several houses in Huwarra village south of Nablus. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian workers who tried to cross into Israel without permits near Jubara checkpoint, south of Tulkarem, according to witnesses. Israeli soldiers shut down the checkpoint in both directions, detaining a number of undocumented workers and deploying heavily in the area. (IMEMC)

Clashes broke out between Palestinian security forces and gunmen in al-Amaari refugee camp near Ramallah. A Palestinian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Ma’an that a large number of Palestinian security forces arrived at the main entrance of the camp and fired tear gas canisters at gunmen, who fired back at security officers for a short while. No injuries were reported. (Ma’an News Agency)

Cairo is planning on calling the different sides to resume ceasefire talks very soon, local Palestinian newspaper Al-Istiqlal reported. Egyptian Ambassador to the Palestinian Authority (PA) said Egypt has been doing its best to stabilise the ceasefire between the Palestinian and Israeli sides and is to sponsor indirect talks on the issue. The Ambassador added: “We are conducting discussions with the different sides and will invite them for talks at the appropriate time.” Meanwhile, the Ambassador said that Egypt is playing a big role in bridging the gap between Hamas and Fatah in order to end the internal division. (Middle East Monitor)

According to Meir Margalit, Meretz East Jerusalem portfolio head, rioting and terrorism in the capital will abate if the core concerns and problems facing Arab residents are addressed and resolved, he said during an interview to The Jerusalem Post. He added that these issues include dissolving the “Jewish state” bill,” aiding Palestinians in procuring residency status and building permits, ceasing home demolitions, creating economic improvements, and affording Arabs basic dignity and respect. (The Jerusalem Post)

The latest Israeli decision to apply Israeli law in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank “legalises occupation and reinforces Israeli racial and religious conditions”, the Anadolu Agency reported. The remarks were made by Palestinian experts during a workshop organised by the Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies (MADAR), a NGO in Ramallah. On 9 November, an Israeli ministerial committee of 10 members voted with a majority of six to four in favour of implementing Israeli law on illegal settlements. The decision is being prepared to be proposed to the Knesset for approval soon. Mohanad Mustafa, a MADAR researcher, said that this decision is based on the Oslo Accords, which stipulate that Area C remained under Israeli control. “This temporary division should have led to the establishment to the Palestinian State by the gradual stripping of Israeli control over this area,” Mustafa said. He noted that around 100,000 Palestinians live in this area; while around 350,000 illegal Israeli settlers are living there. (Middle East Monitor)

Dozens of Palestinians demonstrated outside the UNRWA headquarters in Gaza city to protest against the stagnated reconstruction process. The demonstrators held banners calling for an end to the Israeli blockade. According to a statement issued by the rally’s organizer, it slammed the international community, Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) for the slow process of allowing building materials into the Strip. Palestinian officials and critics of Israeli policy say that has made it impossible to rebuild, leaving 40,000 of the strip’s 1.8 million residents in temporary shelter and thousands more facing winter in barely habitable ruins. According to Palestinian Housing Minister Mufeed al-Hasayna, Gaza needs 8,000 tonnes of cement a day to meet demand. A new system set up with the United Nations to comply with Israeli requirements lets through at most 2,000. At that rate, reconstruction would take more than 30 years, he said. (xinhuanet.com, Reuters)

Fatah members are to discuss the idea of naming a deputy chairman for the movement next month, the Palestinian newspaper Al-Resalah reported Fatah Council member Abdullah Abdullah. Speaking to the newspaper, Abdullah said that Fatah had launched specialist committees to hold the movement’s conference due in January, noting that the idea is to be discussed in the conference. Internal Fatah issues and leaders to be elected during the conference would also discuss the issue of the presidential candidate. (Middle East Monitor)

2

Israeli forces arrested 13 Palestinians from Hebron and Bethlehem, as well as in the East Jerusalem town of Silwan, security sources reported. (WAFA)

Several Palestinians suffocated by tear gas fired by Israeli forces during an army raid on Ya’bad town to the southwest of Jenin, said security sources. Forces raided the town, intensively firing concussion grenades and tear gas canisters and forcing stores and businesses to close, triggering clashes with locals. No arrests were reported. (WAFA)

Palestinian security forces arrested two suspected fugitives in Hebron’s H2 area, which is usually under Israeli control, for the first time since launching a crackdown on outlaws over two months ago. “We have instructions from President Mahmoud Abbas and commanders of the security services to do whatever is needed in order to secure our citizens and terminate all negative phenomena which disturbs their lives,” a Palestinian security official said. Local youths threw stones at security forces as they made the arrests, with officers firing gunshots in the air. No injuries were reported. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned Israeli forces’ on-the-spot death sentences against Palestinians suspected of launching anti-Israeli attacks, the latest of which was on 1 December. The Ministry considered the incident a deliberate, premeditated “field execution” carried out under commands from the Israeli government, noting that the soldiers made no attempts to arrest the Palestinian woman and resorted to shooting her instead. (WAFA)

Palestinian Permanent Observer to the UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour said that by the middle of December he will submit a first draft resolution to the Security Council requesting to renew peace talks with Israel, which will include a set date for establishing a Palestinian State, according to Israel Radio. Mansour said that the request draft will also include a date by which the Israeli and the Palestinian delegations must come to an agreement. The text, shepherded by France, is expected to be discussed in Brussels today when US Secretary of State John Kerry holds talks with European ministers during a NATO meeting. (The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel)

French law-makers voted in favour of recognising Palestine as a State, following similar moves in Britain and Spain as European countries try to restart the stalled Middle East peace process. The highly symbolic vote in the lower house National Assembly is not binding on French Government policy. Members of Parliament (MPs) voted 339 to 151 in favour of a motion that invited Paris to recognise the state of Palestine “as an instrument to gain a definitive resolution of the conflict”. The Israeli Embassy in Paris said in a statement that “Israel believes that the vote in the National Assembly ... will reduce the possibility of achieving a deal between Israel and the Palestinians”. (AFP)

During a meeting in Jerusalem called by the Envoy of the Middle East Quartet Tony Blair with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Blair said that the key to resolving the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians was “cultural acceptance across the boundaries of faith” and if this could be achieved the political problems would also be resolved. (The Jerusalem Post)

Over the last month Israeli forces carried out 112 assaults against the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Al Haram Al Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron. The Palestinian Awqaf Minister, Yousef Edais, said in a statement that the occupation forces are trying to convey that no one exercises control on the Al-Aqsa Mosque and that Muslims have no right to it. (petra.gov.jo)

Egyptian authorities closed down Rafah crossing after they opened it for two days and only in one direction. According to the Ministry of Interior Crossing Committee, only 554 passengers who were stuck for over a month in Egypt due to the closure of the borders, were finally able to travel through. (Palestine News Network)

A 68-year-old Israeli man who was critically injured in a suspected hit-and-run attack in the West Bank the day before died of his wounds. (Times of Israel)

Jordan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Dina Kawar, said that she would be trying to get the Security Council to agree on a resolution before Christmas that would press for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She told a group of reporters that there were Palestinian and French drafts, and there might be others. (AP)

3

A 32-year-old Palestinian fisherman was critically injured in the head by shrapnel when Israeli navy ships fired several shells towards the coast near Gaza City. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces shot and injured a 14-year-old Palestinian boy in the foot during clashes with local youths in the Askar refugee camp, east of Nablus. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces arrested 16 Palestinians, including 10 teenagers, in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. (WAFA)

A 16-year-old Palestinian stabbed and moderately injured two Israelis in a supermarket near the “Ma’aleh Adumim” settlement. The assailant was shot and critically injured by an off-duty security guard. (Haaretz)

Officials said the United Nations had begun investigating Israeli attacks that had hit UN facilities in Gaza during last summer’s war and how Palestinian militants had come to store weapons at several UN schools. A team of UN investigators arrived in Gaza on 2 December to conduct the inquiry, and they had already met with Israeli representatives in Jerusalem. The investigation is expected to last three weeks. (Reuters)

The Belgian Le Soir daily reported that the parties comprising Belgium’s federal government had agreed to recognize Palestinian statehood unilaterally. (Haaretz)

The Belgian Foreign Minister said that his country is willing to support the idea of an independent Palestine as part of “a two-state solution” to the Middle Eastern problems. (Xinhua)

Bulldozers escorted by Israeli forces demolished 20 stores in the Shufat refugee camp in East Jerusalem. (Ma’an News Agency)

A Palestinian fisherman was injured by fire from an Israeli naval boat while sailing within the six-nautical-miles fishing zone, allowed by the IDF off Gaza. (IMEMC)

The European Union made a contribution of approximately $29.2 million to the payment of November salaries and pensions of around 68,500 Palestinian civil servants and pensioners in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. (Palestine News Network)

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) issued a report outlining that the Palestinian Authority lost at least $306 million in customs and sales tax in 2011 as a result of importing from or through Israel, and urged a radical change to the system. (The Times of Israel)

An Israeli local council said that it will spend $12.5 million in the “Har Homa” settlement in East Jerusalem. Construction first began on Har Homa in 1997, well after the Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. (AFP)

The Israeli High Court of Justice heard arguments by the state and lawyers for NGOs on the petition of eight human rights organizations against the state’s policy of demolishing homes of suspected Palestinian terrorists. The petitioners say the demolition is a form of collective punishment that violates international law and could in some cases be a war crime. The petitioners also argued that the fact that no such orders are issued for the destruction of homes of Jewish suspects is indicative of discriminatory behavior. (Haaretz)

The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the occupied Palestinian territories, James Rawley, called for an end to punitive demolitions, noting that punitive demolitions run counter to a range of rights and protections outlined in various international legal instruments that Israel has accepted. (United Nations)

Twenty six donors on announced contributions, or their intention to contribute, to the 2015 budget of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), as officials estimated that the chronically underfunded Agency would begin the year facing a $35 million deficit. (United Nations)

4

Israeli forces arrested 21 Palestinians, including six minors, from West Bank districts, according to security sources and a human rights centre. (WAFA)

Three European Union countries, France, Germany and Britain, are reportedly drafting a UN Security Council resolution outlining the principles of an Israeli-Palestinian final status deal and setting a two-year timetable for completing negotiations on such an agreement. (Haaretz)

The European Union Border Assistance Mission for the Rafah Crossing Point (EUBAM Rafah) conducted the first high-level seminar for senior Officers from the Palestinian Authority General Administration for Borders and Crossings (GABC), in the context of the Mission’s work with its Palestinian counterparts on maintaining their preparedness for a possible redeployment to the Rafah Crossing Point (RCP). (WAFA)

Thirty seven Israeli settlers entered into the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound protected by Israeli security forces. They attempted to perform religious rituals but were expelled by Palestinian worshippers and security. (Alray)

After recent attacks on Palestinian bus drivers in Jerusalem, including the death of one, around 40 Palestinian drivers at Israel’s largest bus company Egged have quit, no longer willing to work under constant abuse and the threat of violence against them. (Gulf News)

Haaretz reported that US President Barack Obama’s administration was examining taking action against the settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, rather than making do with issuing denunciatory statements. For example, the United States may refrain from vetoing condemnatory resolutions against the settlements in the UN Security Council, or it could issue clearer instructions to American officials about the ban on cooperating with the settlements or funding activity in them. (Haaretz)

At least 10 Palestinian political prisoners incarcerated in the Israeli Nafha prison have been in solitary confinement since June of this year. (WAFA)

The Israeli army prevented Palestinian students in Nablus from entering their school. This was done under the pretext that settlers’ vehicles were subjected to stone throwing in the area, MEMO sources have reported. (MEMO)

Israeli officials were quoted saying that senior officials at the White House and the US State Department held a confidential meeting to discuss the possibility of levelling sanctions against Israel to deter the Israeli Government from launching new construction projects in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem. (Times of Israel)

Brazilian social movements and trade unions and Palestinian groups had called on authorities to cancel a deal with Elbit, an Israel-based international defence electronics company, over its role in the construction of Israel’s Wall in the occupied West Bank and its close relationship with the Israeli military. (IMEMC)

5

A Palestinian girl was arrested at a checkpoint north of Jerusalem after moving towards some policemen and a security guard holding a knife. In another incident a Palestinian who was throwing stones was shot by soldiers and injured in his leg. (Haaretz)

US President Barack Obama is expected to meet with Jordan’s King Abdullah II at the White House to discuss regional issues, including the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process. (Times of Israel)

Sanitation workers in the Gaza Strip are on strike for the second day because they have not received their salaries for over six months. As a consequence, the health care system in the Gaza Strip is deteriorating in the wake of the sanitation crisis which has stalled all the departments of Al-Shifa Hospital due to garbage and waste accumulation. (MEMO)

Israel’s civil administration, a governing body that operates the occupied West Bank, said that a workshop had been held for Palestinian businessmen in Tel Aviv. The workshop took place at the Israel Export Institute in Tel Aviv. (Ma’an News Agency)

In wake of international criticism about the treatment of offenders who are Palestinian minors, Israel decided to establish a military juvenile court in the Palestinian territories. Similar to the Israeli law, the detention of minors in the pre-trial period will be significantly shortened, parents will be notified of the arrest and those aged 16 will no longer be tried as adults. (Ynetnews)

The Saudi Committee for the Relief of the Palestinian People (SCRPP) announced a $1 million donation to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) to support the food-insecure Palestinians. (Saudi Gazette)

On 5-7 December the Centre for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC hosted its 11th annual Saban Forum entitled “Stormy Seas: The United States and Israel in a Tumultuous Middle East.” Former US Secretary of State Clinton said that the relationship between the US and Israel was solid despite occasional disagreements and the US Government would continue its support of Israel regardless of which party won the elections. Israeli Labour Party leader Isaac Herzog said that he planned to establish a coalition between the parties opposing Prime Minister Netanyahu, and that he was planning to win the next elections and form the new Government which would “lead Israel in a different direction”. Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said he believed the last summer’s conflict moved anywhere from 10 percent of Israelis from the left to centre, and from the centre to the right. (Israel National News, PNN)

UK Members of Parliament held another debate on Palestine-Israel. The debate was mandated by an e-petition signed by 124,000 people. The debate was introduced by Labour MP Grahame Morris, who proposed an end to trade with Israeli settlements and an end to the arms trade with Israel, including the suspension of all arms export licences. (PNN)

A journalist from Palestine TV was shot in the leg at a Kufr Qaddum peaceful demonstration against a road which is closed to Palestinians but connects several settlements nearby. (Palestine News Network)

6

The PFLP celebrated its 47th anniversary with more than 1,000 people marching in the streets of Al-Bireh, a town adjacent to Ramallah. The movement called for Palestinian unity and an end to political division in the Gaza Strip. PFLP leader Khalida Jarrar urged Palestinian officials to bring the Palestinian case to the UN. (Ma’an News Agency)

Settlers attacked Palestinian homes in the Hebron neighbourhood of Al-Ja’bari, pelting them with stones, while Israeli soldiers stood by. (WAFA)

The head of the Palestinian Department of Prisoner Affairs Issa Qaraqe said that 2014 had been “the most difficult year” for prisoners who had been the victims of “Israeli revenge policies.” He said Israel’s move to re-arrest prisoners who were released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal in 2011 was a dangerous political action. Qaraqe also decried Israel’s policy of detaining minors, saying some 1,500 minors were detained in 2014, mostly in Jerusalem. He said there were 550 new Palestinian prisoners held under administrative detention this year, and that Israel had renewed administrative detention orders for 63 percent of prisoners. (Ma’an News Agency)

Islamic Jihad-affiliated prisoners in Israeli jails said that they would go on a hunger strike if Israeli authorities did not respond to the demands of 33-year old Nahar al-Saadi, a prisoner who has been on hunger strike for 16 days in protest against being denied family visits and being held in solitary confinement. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israel’s military said it had opened eight new criminal investigations into its Gaza war operations in July and August, including cases involving the deaths of 30 Palestinians. The military said it would investigate a July 20 air strike on the Abu Jama family home in Khan Yunis in which 27 Palestinians were killed. The new probes will also examine the deaths of two Palestinian ambulance drivers on July 25 in Israeli strikes and a July 29 incident in which, according to a rights group, a Palestinian carrying a white flag was killed. Four other inquiries will look into looting allegations. (Reuters)

A group of Palestinian youths volunteered to clean hospitals in Gaza while cleaning staff continued their fourth day of strike because they have not received wages for seven months. Piles of garbage filled various sections of Shifa hospital, al-Nasser Children’s Hospital, Abu Yousef al-Najjar, al-Harrazin, and the European hospital. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces detained two young Palestinians from Gaza who crossed the separation barrier into Israel east of Al-Bureij refugee camp. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian Christians and Muslims gathered in front of the Nativity Church in Bethlehem to announce the beginning of Christmas celebrations. The event was attended by Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, Vatican Envoy Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, Governor of Bethlehem Jibreel Al-Bakri, other representatives of the PA, and local and Parishioner officials. (PNN)

7

Israeli forces arrested a female Palestinian teenager, claiming that she intended to perform an attack on the Israeli checkpoint leading to the “Har Homa” settlement west of Bethlehem. (PNN)

At least 15 Palestinians, including five minors, were arrested by the Israeli army and police during predawn raids across the West Bank and Jerusalem. (WAFA)

PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi at a meeting with representatives of the American Council of Young Political Leaders at the PLO Headquarters in Ramallah said that the two-State solution was reaching its end. “The Israeli occupation is a liability for everyone; unless there is a serious effort by all members of the international community, including the United Nations, the European Union, and the United States, to intervene and to hold Israel accountable, Israel will succeed in superimposing ‘Greater Israel’ on historical Palestine and destroy the chances for peace, plunging the entire region into grave instability, violence and extremism,” she said. (WAFA)

Unidentified assailants hurled a Molotov cocktail at a settlers’ building known as the “Ovadia House” in the Silwan neighbourhood of East Jerusalem. The fire bomb caused serious damage to a car, but no casualties were reported. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli Forces detained 12 Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip and confiscated the four fishing boats. The arrests were the largest detention campaign against Gaza fishermen since the ceasefire announcement. (Ma’an News Agency)

8

A recent poll showed that 65 percent of Israelis do not want Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be re-elected. (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida)

An OCHA weekly report said that “rain-water accumulated in [Gaza in] several locations, blocking at least seven connecting roads and flooding several houses, forcing around 50 families in the Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood of Gaza City to evacuate their homes.” (OCHA, WAFA)

Israel’s Supreme Court is due to issue a ruling on whether to deport four Palestinian MPs, a statement by Israeli officials said. Muhammad Abu Teir, Ahmad Attun, Muhammad Tutah, and Khalid Abu Arafeh, all members of the PLC, said that they faced deportation from Jerusalem and the withdrawal of their residency rights. Abu Teir is currently being held in Israeli prison. Israeli lawmakers said that the basis for the ruling was disloyalty to the Israeli State. (Ma’an News Agency)

Groups of settlers entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and roamed the mosque provocatively under the protection of the Israeli special police. (Petra News Agency)

Israel has denied the President of the Irish Sinn Fein party, Gerry Adams, permission to enter Gaza. He is currently on a three-day tour of Israel and Palestine and had been invited to visit Gaza by UNRWA. In response to the ban, Adams said that “the Israeli decision is a reminder of the imperative of supporting the Palestinian efforts to secure UN and international recognition of the Palestinian State.” (The Irish Journal, PNN)

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, in a press release, praised the Swiss Government’s bid to convene a conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention and called on the Swiss to stand firm in the face of political pressure exerted by Israel and the US. (PCHR)

The U.S. State Department is calling on personnel at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to “uphold its stated policy of neutrality,” after its spokesman, Chris Gunness, called for a boycott of The Jerusalem Post last week. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned recent remarks made by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in which he pinned the blame on the Palestinian Authority for stumbling peace talks.

A number of Palestinians were allowed to enter Israel to visit their jailed relatives, a Red Cross spokeswoman said. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah commended the roles of the United Nations organizations in the reconstruction process of the Gaza Strip, and particularly the United Nations Office for Project Services “UNOPS”, considering their fundamental role in providing financial aid and specialized consulting. (WAFA)

Medical sources have reported that an extremist Israeli settler attacked and stabbed a Palestinian teen east of Hebron. (IMEMC)

9

The Civil Administration has in recent years earmarked 35,000 dunams (8,650 acres) of land currently defined as military firing zones to expand settlements and outposts, according to Dror Etkes, a settlement-tracking researcher. Etkes says his analysis shows that the administration has been surveying and mapping the land recently, although these are firing zones. (Haaretz)

The IDF said that its troops in the Hebron area were put on high alert over the past several days following intelligence assessments indicating that a terror attack may be imminent. (Times of Israel)

Several Israeli military vehicles infiltrated the Gaza borders from the eastern part of al-Qarara to the northeast of Khan Younes, said a WAFA correspondent. (WAFA)

The Israeli military committed war crimes during its Gaza offensive this summer and must be investigated, human rights monitor Amnesty International said. The destruction of four multi-story buildings during the last four days of the 50-day war was in breach of international humanitarian law, the group said in a report. (AFP)

The Palestinians will not wait for the upcoming Israeli elections to take their case to the United Nations Security Council, said Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. (Haartez)

Palestine officially became an observer at the meeting of the 122 countries that are members of the International Criminal Court; a move they say is a step toward joining the world’s permanent war crimes tribunal. (Associated Press)

The US State Department denied reports that it was considering imposing sanctions against Israel over new settlement construction in East Jerusalem, calling the claims “unfounded and completely without merit.” (Times of Israel)

A Swedish prosecutor dropped an investigation into whether laws were broken in 2010 and 2012, when Israeli forces boarded pro-Palestinian vessels aiming to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza, saying it was not possible to identify the perpetrators. (Haaretz)

The Palestinians in the Gaza Strip said that there was no significant improvement at Kerem Shalom, the sole commercial crossing point between the coastal enclave and Israel. (Xinhua)

Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, told the GCC that the international community and the Arab countries bore the responsibility of preventing Israeli practices of changing the Islamic features of Jerusalem and its sacrilege of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. (Alray)

UNRWA launched an emergency appeal for $414 million to support Palestine refugees living in the OPT. (UNRWA)

10

A Palestinian Cabinet member without portfolio, Ziad Abu Ein, died after a confrontation with Israeli forces at a protest march in the West Bank, officials said. Some witnesses said Israeli forces fired tear gas near the demonstrators, while other reports quoted witnesses as saying that he was struck by an Israeli soldier’s rifle butt. President Abbas called it a “barbaric act” and called for a three-day mourning period. “The Israeli Government bears full responsibility for the killing of Minister Abu Ein and the systematic crimes committed against the Palestinian people,” said Saeb Erekat, the Chief PLO Negotiator. UN Special Coordinator Robert Serry said he was deeply saddened and urged Israeli authorities to conduct a “prompt, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstance of his death.” An IDF spokesperson announced that Israeli and Jordanian pathologists would investigate the cause of death. (The Jerusalem Post, The Washington Post)

Disturbances by Palestinian protesters broke out in Qalandiya, an IDF source said. (PNN)

PA official Jibril Rajoub told press that the PA will end “all forms of security coordination with Israel for deliberately killing Minister Ziad Abu Ein.” (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli authorities arrested 11 Palestinians, including a woman and a local Fatah leader in Jerusalem. An Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma’an soldiers detained 19 Palestinians elsewhere in the West Bank overnight. (Ma’an News Agency, Petra)

US Secretary of State John Kerry will hold an emergency meeting in Rome on 15 December with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss the anticipated pre-Christmas Security Council vote on a resolution setting a final deadline for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines. According to a senior Israeli official, it will give Netanyahu a chance to present his stance on the two proposals being presented: one drafted by the Palestinians, the other by European States. (Haaretz)

If the Security Council rejects the resolution, then on that same day Palestinians will join the ICC, PLO Chief Negotiator Saeb Erakat told journalists. (The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz)

“We will not accept the French proposal with its current wording because it adopts the Israeli narrative which calls to recognise Israel as a land for the Jewish people. We told them that we will accept the proposal if our amendments are accepted,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said. He stressed: “In case the Palestinian amendments were not taken on board, Palestinians will have the choice to go to the UN Security Council with a Palestinian-Arab draft resolution.” (MEMO)

“If the Palestinians continue the process of becoming a full [ICC] member, they’re playing with fire,” an Israeli political source told Yediot Ahronot. “Then they will be vulnerable to suits by Israel for the PA’s involvement in terror attacks and its responsibility for rockets launched from its territory.” (Alray)

Hebron Mayor Daoud Al-Zatari said that he had recently received an envelope containing death threats and a toxic substance. He said that an extremist Zionist organization called “Pulsa DiNura Committee” is behind the attack. (IMEMC)

Israel’s Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon was caught on tape telling high school students in a settlement that the Obama Administration “won’t be around forever” and that once it is gone, Israel will resume construction in the settlements. For now, he said, Israel needs US support to confront anti-Israeli moves at the UN and other fora and has to be careful not to antagonize it. (Ynetnews)

Israel decided to illegally expropriate 321 dunums of Palestinian lands, west of Ramallah. (IMEMC)

Israeli authorities declared a 10,000 dunum area of private Palestinian land in the northern Jordan Valley, a closed military zone, in preparation to confiscating it, a local official said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahhar held Fatah responsible for the “siege on the Gaza Strip”, saying that Fatah is hindering the entry of construction materials while Israel is allowing it. (MEMO)

The Anadolu Agency quoted an IPU official as saying: “The number of Palestinian parliamentarians whose rights were violated is the highest in the world, amounting to 36 cases.” (MEMO)

The latest opinion poll by the Palestinian Centre for Public Opinion revealed that 83.3 percent of the Palestinian public support going to the ICC. 53.2 percent believe that the Palestinian resistance won the battle of the “Protective Edge,” 55 percent are pessimistic about the political future of the Palestinian territories, and 57.9 percent believe that firing missiles is a good idea. (PNN)

Sixty-three percent of Israelis favour peace talks with the Palestinians but 70 percent do not think such negotiations will actually lead to peace in the coming years, according to a recent poll. (Haaretz)

“The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah are concerned by the conviction on 3 December in an Israeli military court of activist Murad Shteiwi from Kafr Qadoum to 9.5 months in prison and by his further suspended sentence in case he again participates in demonstrations,” a statement said. “The EU missions are concerned that the imprisonment of Mr. Shteiwi, who is deeply committed to non-violence, is intended to prevent him and other Palestinians from exercising their legitimate right to protest.” (eeas.europa.eu)

Israeli troops shot and wounded a 14-year-old Palestinian boy in the head during a clash at Jalazone refugee camp in the West Bank, Palestinian security officials and medics said. The IDF maintained that no live fire had been used. (The Times of Israel)

On the occasion of International Human Rights Day, the WHO West Bank and Gaza Strip released a special report highlighting reduced access in 2013 to referral health services for Palestinian patients and health providers, especially to the specialist Palestinian referral centres located in East Jerusalem. (PNN)

A union that represents University of California student-workers and academic employees approved on a resolution to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. (PNN)

11

Thousands of mourners turned out for a State funeral for Palestinian Minister Ziad Abu Ein. (Haaretz)

Jordanian and Palestinian doctors taking part in the autopsy stated Abu Ein had died from being struck, inhaling tear gas and not receiving prompt medical attention. The Israeli doctor told Ynetnews, “He died from a heart attack. He had significant blockage of the arteries and his heart was in bad shape. When they grabbed his neck it caused massive stress … and then full blockage which is what killed him.” (The Jerusalem Post)

Protests against Abu Ein’s death flared up in East Jerusalem in Silwan, near the entrance of Shu’fat refugee camp, and Hebron, often resulting in clashes with Israeli forces, who fired dozens of tear gas canisters. Dozens reportedly suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation. (WAFA)

Israeli soldiers arrested eleven Palestinians, including two children, from different parts of the West Bank, including five in East Jerusalem. Several Palestinians were injured near Jenin. (IMEMC, WAFA)

Calls on the Israeli Government to conduct an immediate investigation into the killing of Minister Ziad Abu Ein were voiced by PLO Executive Committee Member, Hanan Ashrawi, Quartet Representative Tony Blair, the US State Department, the EU and several EU Member States. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin expressed his condolences for the death and vowed that Israel would thoroughly investigate the incident. (WAFA, The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz)

Following the recent vote in the Irish Senate, the motion at the Dail (Lower House) agreed on the goal of recognizing a Palestinian State, acknowledging the Irish Government’s actions aimed at achieving that objective. (www.dfa.ie)

The Danish parliament today is expected to debate a motion calling for the recognition of the State of Palestine. (Ma’an News Agency)

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid addressed The Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference, saying that Israel should turn to the Arab League to seek a regional peace agreement. He said this would not hermetically seal out terror, but it would give the Egyptians and Jordanians a role in helping Israel maintain its security. Lapid said that such an agreement would also open economic doors for Israel. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Secretary-General stated that he was deeply saddened by the death of Palestinian Minister Ziad Abu Ein and called on the Israeli authorities to conduct a swift and transparent investigation. (www.un.org)

The Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Mr. Robert Serry, issued a statement following his visit to Gaza informing that by the end of this month more than 20,000 homeowners are expected to be able to procure construction materials for urgent repairs. Challenges included a fragile and informal ceasefire, and a lack of empowerment of the Government of National Consensus in Gaza with no control over the crossings. (www.unsco.org)

Following the death of Minister Zia Abu Ein, the Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the UN, Riyad Mansour, demanded that the UN investigate the assault, and to provide protection to the Palestinian people. Mansour sent three identical letters to the Secretary-General, the President of the Security Council, and the President of the General Assembly. (IMEMC)

The BDS movement announced that a Brazilian company based in Rio Grande do Sul has cancelled a massive military deal with an Israeli company after a wave of protests broke out in the country over Israel’s suppression of the Palestinian people. The decision was also largely influenced by the work of prominent activists within the BDS movement. (middleeastmonitor.com)

It was reported that Israeli firefighters had determined that a fire at a mosque in the village of Mughayer, close to Ramallah in early November was an electrical fire, rather than an act of arson as was previously believed. (Haaretz)

Dozens of Israeli soldiers raided the town of Beit Ummar near Hebron, broke into a several homes, and arrested two Palestinians. (IMEMC)

Palestinian medical sources reported that 19 residents were injured, while dozens suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation, during clashes that took place in the town of al-Bireh, near Ramallah, following the funeral of Minister Ziad Abu Ein. (IMEMC)

Israeli forces detained at least 20 Palestinians from the West Bank and including East Jerusalem, Israel’s army and locals said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Unidentified armed men opened fire at the home and car of Hamas MP Azzam Salhab overnight, his relatives said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israel blasted Switzerland for calling a special meeting of the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention on 17 December, which is expected to censure Israel for its actions in the OPT. It said it would boycott the meeting along with other countries and reconsider its relations with the Swiss Confederation. (The Jerusalem Post)

President Mahmoud Abbas said he supported Egypt’s crackdown on tunnels linking the Gaza Strip to the Sinai Peninsula and any other action the country took to protect itself from militants, according to a media report. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Malki called on members of the diplomatic corps in Ramallah to urge their countries to take action in response to the killing of Palestinian Minister Ziad Abu Ein. (MEMO)

Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the Palestinian leadership had decided to “limit” relations with Israel by halting security coordination. (Ma’an News Agency)

It was reported that the Israeli newspaper Maariv revealed that 1,620 Israeli soldiers were injured during “Operation Protective Edge”, indicating greater losses than officially announced. (MEMO)

The Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Mr. Robert Serry, held a rare meeting with Hamas top official Moussa Abu Marzouk to discuss ways to speed up Gaza reconstruction. (The Daily Star)

It was reported that Islamic Relief was due to resume its operations in Palestine in defiance of a ban on working in the territory after Israel’s Defence Ministry described the aid group as a “terrorist organisation”. (The Guardian)

12

Yedioth Ahronoth’s website reported that a Palestinian car driver suffered from minor injuries due to his car’s collision with concrete blocks of the separation wall in the northern West Bank. (PNN)

A Palestinian man threw acid at Israeli civilians and wounded five at the tunnel checkpoint near the settlement of “Beitar Illit” close to Jerusalem. (Reuters)

Unidentified assailants opened fire on the Israeli embassy in Athens with a Kalashnikov assault rifle in the early hours today, police said, but no injuries or damage were reported. The Israeli Foreign Ministry, in a statement, blamed the Palestinian Government and its President for the attack. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Israeli police is boosting its presence in Jerusalem ahead of Friday’s Muslim prayers. (Times of Israel)

The Portuguese Parliament passed a recommendation calling on the Government to recognize Palestine. The motion was filed jointly by the centre-right majority and the Socialist opposition party. (AFP, The Jerusalem Post)

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein urged the Israeli authorities to take urgent steps to halt continuing injuries and fatalities occurring during protests in the Palestinian Territory, and to ensure meaningful investigations into all such incidents. (UNOG)

The UN Security Council said that Israel and the Palestinians must exercise “maximum restraint” and conduct a “swift and transparent investigation” into the death of a senior Palestinian official on 10 December after a clash with IDF troops in the West Bank. In a statement released Friday night, the 15-member body “expressed [its] sorrow at the death” and “condolences to the family of Minister Ziad Abu Ein, the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority.” (Times of Israel)

13

Heba Masalha, a lawyer working for the Palestinian Detainees Committee, managed to visit two Palestinian teens, held by Israel, who testified of horrific abuse and torture by the soldiers and the interrogators. (IMEMC)

14

“US Secretary of State John Kerry is having a series of meetings in Europe seeking to head off an end-of-year UN showdown over a Security Council resolution to set the parameters for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. During his first stop in Rome, he met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and, on Monday, with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Later on today, Kerry will travel to Paris for talks with European counterparts and then on to London to meet Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erakat and a delegation from the Arab League, who will urge the US not to veto the proposals. (AFP, The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque guarded by Israeli Special Forces. Some of the settlers provoked the worshipers, while one tried to climb onto the Dome of the Rock, making provocative gestures. “Students for the Temple”, “Women for the Temple”, “Hliba” and other organizations have called upon their supporters to take part in wide raids on the Mosque, in preparation for the Jewish Hanukkah Festival of Lights. (IMEMC)

The Israeli authorities notified Palestinians of orders to demolish their homes in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan. (WAFA)

Israeli authorities have earmarked hundreds of acres in the western outskirts of the village of Kafr al-Dik near Salfit in the central West Bank as natural reserves, a researcher called Khalid Maali said. He added that this was in preparation for confiscation so as to expand the three nearby settlements of “Ale Zahav,” “Peduel” and “Leshem.” (Ma’an News Agency)

A report published by the Palestinian Detainees Committee revealed that 17 Palestinian female detainees held in Israeli prisons are facing very harsh conditions, harassment and are denied the right to medical treatment. (IMEMC)

Hamas marked its 27th anniversary with a military parade through Gaza, including a flyover by a drone. An Israeli military spokesman confirmed the drone flight but would not comment on Israeli reaction. (AFP)

15

UN Special Coordinator Robert Serry briefed the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. (www.un.org)

Israeli soldiers raided a secondary school in Burin near Nablus after youths from the village threw stones and empty bottles at settler vehicles on a nearby main road. Soldiers surrounded the school and fired gunshots and tear gas canisters into the yard. Hundreds of children were trapped inside. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces detained at least 13 Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Palestinian leadership took a decision to go to the Security Council next Wednesday to vote ... to end the occupation,” senior PLO member, Wassel Abu Yussef said. (PNN)

Israeli soldiers arrested two Palestinians from their homes in Jenin, and one Palestinian at the Za’tara roadblock, near Nablus. (IMEMC)

The Palestinian leadership decided to continue security coordination with Israel for the time being, backtracking on earlier threats to dissolve security ties in the wake of the death of a senior PA official last week. (Ma’an News Agency, The Times of Israel)

Israel said it hoped the US would veto any moves at the UN to set a time frame for its withdrawal from the OPT, but a senior US official said it was too early to say. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would not be bound by any moves by the Security Council to set a timeframe to end the occupation, and would refuse the recognition of a Palestinian State on the 1967 borders. (AFP, The Jerusalem Post, PNN)

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned the continuous aggression of Israeli forces against Jerusalem and its people. The Ministry said in a statement that razing houses in Jerusalem was the worst form of occupation and racism. (Petra)

The Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office filed an indictment against three men for the arson “price-tag” attack at Jerusalem’s integrated Max Rayne Hand in Hand School late last month. They were charged with arson, breaking and entering and destroying property. The suspects are members of the Jewish extremist group “Lehava,” which follows the teachings of the late Jewish Defence League founder Meir Kahane, whose Kach Party was outlawed by Israel for inciting racism. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli police backed by soldiers stormed the East Jerusalem neighbourhoods of Tur, Jabel Mukabber, Silwan and the Shuafat camp, raided a number of houses, and arrested nine Palestinians. (Petra)

Israeli authorities notified local residents in the Hebron area of orders to stop the construction of eight homes currently under construction. The residents were notified to appear before the Israeli court next month. (WAFA)

The Israeli prison service has started serious punitive procedures against Palestinian prisoners who recently started a hunger strike in solidarity with cellmates held in solitary confinement. Some hunger-strikers were sent to wards of criminal prisoners, some were ordered to pay fines, others were deprived of family visits and still others of buying from the prison cantina for two months. (Ma’an News Agency)

21-year-old Izz al-Din Attun was assaulted by officers of the Israeli prison service while he was transported from a magistrate court in Jerusalem to Ramla prison. His request for medical treatment was denied and instead he was sent to solitary confinement for 24 hours. (Ma’an News Agency)

A group of 20 Israeli and American academics calling themselves “genuine Zionists” have sent written demands to the US Government and European countries insisting that they impose sanctions on Israeli politicians Naftali Bennett, Uri Ariel, Moshe Feiglin and PM Benjamin Netanyahu. The group is calling for the withdrawal of investments and the imposition of sanctions on the country, noting that though this campaign will not necessarily achieve peace, any extremist Israeli leader who violates international law must be punished. Furthermore, the group is demanding that the US freeze the four Israeli leaders’ bank accounts within the US and in EU countries, in addition to banning the extremist leaders from entering the US and the EU as a punishment for their actions. (IMEMC)

In less than a week, more than 5,000 people have already signed Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s pledge to boycott Hewlett Packard products. Chair of PSC, Hugh Lanning, explains in his article that “HP is contracted by the Israeli Government to provide the IT infrastructure to the Israeli navy, whose gunboats pounded the Gaza coast during the summer’s massacre.” (PNN)

Addressing members of the International Criminal Court for the first time, the Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour said that the Palestinian people have a consensus to join the tribunal in the hopes of seeking justice for Israel’s alleged crimes. (Times of Israel)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected bids to impose a United Nations deadline on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict amid a flurry of talks led by US Secretary of State John Kerry. (Times of Israel)

Palestinian officials said they plan to push for a UN Security Council vote this week on a resolution setting a November 2016 deadline for ending Israeli occupation. (The Guardian)

Head of Hamas Politburo Khaled Mashaal said there was no rupture in relations with the Fatah movement. (Ma’an News Agency)

In the monthly briefing of the Security Council, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East conveyed the Secretary-General’s hopes that the 15-member body would generate momentum towards a meaningful and constructive framework for renewed negotiations. He also told the Security Council that “Gaza can go both ways”, with potential for another implosion if critical issues are not resolved. (un.org)

16

Israeli forces arrested 12 Palestinians in the West Bank, according to Palestinian sources. (Petra)

A Palestinian threw a pipe bomb toward IDF forces in the West Bank carrying out an arrest near the Qalandiya checkpoint, a military spokeswoman confirmed. (The Jerusalem Post)

France tried to overcome resistance and rally international support for a draft U.N. plan setting a two-year deadline for peace talks on Palestinian statehood. (The Washington Post)

The European proposal for a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for the creation of a Palestinian state will probably include a reference to Israel as a Jewish state, the Times of Israel has learned. (Times of Israel)

The US will eliminate funding to the Palestinian Authority if the Palestinian Authority moved forward with a bid for statehood at the United Nations without Israeli consent, according to a new omnibus spending bill that congress has passed. (The Jerusalem Post)

US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with a delegation from the Arab League to discuss their UN Security Council resolution draft that sets a timeline for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines. (The Jerusalem Post)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused European Governments on Monday of siding with the Palestinians over their latest UN bid for statehood, saying their demands would endanger his country. (Ynetnews)

The Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman warned that Israel was facing an oncoming international diplomatic offensive, calling for pragmatism and seemingly accusing the Premier Minister of failing to take the diplomatic initiative during his tenure. (Times of Israel)

Over 10,000 people participated in the funeral procession of 21-year-old Mahmoud Abdullah ‘Adwan who was killed just hours earlier during an Israeli raid on the Qalandia refugee camp. Over 30 Palestinians were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets, in clashes that broke out near Qalandiya checkpoint, during the procession. Clashes took place overnight in different parts of Jerusalem, as protests continued following the death of Mahmoud ‘Adwan. Soldiers fired dozens of gas bombs, concussion grenades and rubber-coated metal bullets, wounding many Palestinians. (IMEMC, Ma’an News Agency )

Palestinian medical sources have reported that a woman was injured after being hit by a speeding Israeli settler’s car, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, and that the settler fled the scene. (IMEMC)

A 15-year-old Palestinian was arrested for allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli at an intersection in the West Bank. The suspect was detained pending investigation by the IDF and police. (Ynetnews)

Israeli police and army forces arrested 11 Palestinians from across the West Bank, mostly from Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club and a local activist. (WAFA)

US Secretary of State John Kerry has met the chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat in London over moves to set a timetable for an end to the Israeli occupation. A Palestinian official said Kerry informed Chief Negotiator Erekat that Washington will use its veto power to topple Jordanian-backed resolution that calls for ending the Israeli occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian with East Jerusalem as its capital. The official said the meeting with Kerry was very difficult, and that the Palestinians told him that, should Washington veto their resolution; the leadership will file applications to join more international, United Nations institutions, including the Rome Convention regarding joining the International Criminal Court. (BBC, IMEMC)

Media sources in Gaza has reported that five Israeli military vehicles carried out a limited invasion into Palestinian lands east of the southern Gaza Strip districts of Rafah and Khan Younis.(IMEMC)

The Israeli army minister Moshe Ya’alon called his army soldiers to stay in standby and to maintain the emergency situation regarding any possible military developments on the Gaza strip front. Ya’alon said in a meeting with the Oketz (canine special forces) units that “the army may resume its actions again in Gaza with full capacity “. (Alray.ps)

The Supreme Court of Israel rejected a petition submitted by human rights organizations against Israel’s policy of preventing residents of Gaza who have submitted lawsuits for damages against the Israeli military, and their witnesses, from entering Israel to attend their own court hearings. (IMEMC)

17

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said a draft resolution would be submitted to the Security Council after they agreed with France on a merged text, despite warnings the United States is likely to back Israel by vetoing the resolution. An Arab-backed draft of the text had previously set a deadline of two years for Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories, but France has pushed for a softer resolution that would instead set a timeframe for negotiations on a final settlement. (The Daily Star-Lebanon)

The European Parliament overwhelmingly backed the recognition of a Palestinian State “in principle”, following a series of votes on the issue in EU nations that have enraged Israel. The Parliament approved the motion by 498 votes to 88 with 111 abstentions, although it was a watered down version of an original motion which had urged EU member states to recognise a Palestinian state unconditionally. The motion said the parliament “supports in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two-State solution, and believes these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced”. (hurriyetdailynews.com)

The General Court of the European Union has annulled the Union’s decision to keep the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas on a list of terrorist groups. The decision had been based not on an examination of Hamas’ actions, but on “factual imputations derived from the press and the internet”, judges found. The court said it was therefore annulling Hamas’ designation but would temporarily keep existing measures against the group “in order to ensure the effectiveness of any possible future freezing of funds”. But European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said the EU continued to “consider Hamas a terrorist organisation” and would consider its response to the ruling. (BBC)

Musa Abu Marzooq, a senior Hamas leader, said in a statement that removing Hamas from the EU list of terrorist groups “is a victory to our people and to everyone who supports our people’s right in the resistance and those who support the elimination of the occupation”. (xinhuanet.com)

A number of Luxembourg Member of Parliament voted in favour of recognising a Palestinian State, through passing two motions to parliament. Deputies were unable to agree on one text, which is why members of parliament cast their votes on two separate documents, WORT reports. LSAP MP Marc Angel’s motion was accepted with 34 votes in favour, with three no votes and 23 abstentions. Angel had called for the “formal recognition of the State of Palestine at a moment deemed most appropriate, in the 1967 borders, changed only by agreement of both parties.” (Palestine News Network)

Groups of Jewish settlers stormed Al Aqsa Mosque yards via the Al-Magarbah Gate, under the pretext of tourism. (petra.gov.jo)

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has ordered the army to evacuate two bases over the Green Line to allow for settlement expansion. (Haaretz)

An Israeli court yesterday extended the detention of a female 18-year old Palestinian student until 25 December. The director of the legal unit in Al-Damir Association for Human Rights said that the student was arrested on 13 December on charges of throwing stones at Israeli soldiers. The court claimed the extension was made to allow time for more investigations to be made. (Middle East Monitor)

The Government of the United Kingdom, through the Department for International Development (DFID), contributed $4.7 million to the UNRWA Flash Appeal for Gaza, as part of its pledge during the Gaza donor conference, reported a press release issued by the UNRWA office in Jerusalem. (WAFA)

Speaking to the Palestinian newspaper Al-Resalah, the Head of Hamas political bureau, Khalid Meshaal, has blamed the Palestinian unity government for not seeking to lift the Gaza siege and starting the reconstruction. Meshaal described the situation in the region as “complicated”. He said that the area is witnessing changes of alliances and political equations. Regarding the Palestinian internal reconciliation, Meshaal said that the situation is “not OK” as it is facing a “deadlock”. “This must motivate us to challenge the situation because the reconciliation is not a marginal issue,” he said. (Middle East Monitor)

Hundreds of Palestinian students stuck in Gaza have presented a petition to the unity government and the Ministry of Education to demand the reopening of the Rafah crossing. Students have also organized a sit-in demonstration at the crossing to demand that Egypt reopen the border. (Ma’an News Agency)

Representatives of 126 High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention met in Geneva to adopt by consensus a ten-point Declaration recalling applicable international humanitarian law (IHL) in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East-Jerusalem. The conference was hosted by Switzerland in its capacity as Depositary of the Geneva Conventions. The ten-point Declaration reaffirms fundamental principles of international humanitarian law which all High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War must respect. It emphasizes that these principles also apply to non-state actors. The Declaration reaffirms the outcome documents of two previous conferences of 1999 and 2001 and reiterates legal obligations relating to developments in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 2001. (www.eda.admin.ch)

According to a poll published last week by the independent Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, sixty-six percent among 1,270 respondents said they believe they cannot criticize Abbas without fear, according to the survey with an error margin of 3 percentage points, and some of the Palestinian president’s recent actions only seem to confirm claims that dissent comes at a price. Last month, Abbas outlawed the West Bank’s largest labor union and briefly jailed its two leaders for organizing strikes. Security agents routinely monitor social media and send threats or complaints to some of those criticizing Abbas. (Gulfnews.com, The Times of Israel)

Members and supporters of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign will hand in a petition to Dunnes Stores head office in Dublin. The petition, signed by over 8,000 people and collected on streets around Ireland during 2014, calls on Dunnes Stores to make a public commitment that their outlets will not stock goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. The petition was initiated to coincide with the 30th Anniversary of the 1984 Dunnes Stores anti-Apartheid strike by IDATU (now called Mandate) members, and calls on Dunnes to support justice for Palestinians by standing on the right side of history this time. (Palestine News Network)

Jordan formally submitted to the Security Council a draft resolution calling for peace between Israel and the Palestinians within one year and an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories by the end of 2017. The draft resolution states that a negotiated solution should be based on several parameters including the 1967 borders, security agreements, and “Jerusalem as the shared capital of the two States which fulfils the legitimate aspirations of both parties and protects freedom of worship.” The text also “calls upon both parties to abstain from any unilateral and illegal actions, including settlement activities that could undermine the viability of a two-State solution.” (Reuters)

The Israeli municipality issued 11 demolition orders for houses in Silwan in East Jerusalem. (Ma’an News Agency)

It was reported that Harvard University Dining Services had decided to stop buying water machines from Sodastream and remove the Israeli company’s label from existing devices because it maintained a factory in the West Bank. (Times of Israel)

18

A 20-year-old Palestinian man was killed and four others wounded when a missile left by the Israeli army exploded in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. (PNN)

Israeli soldiers shot and injured a 22-year-old Palestinian man during an arrest raid in the Askar refugee camp in Nablus. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces detained eight Palestinians in East Jerusalem, including two minors. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli navy forces opened fire at fishing boats off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip. Several boats sustained damage, but no injuries were reported. (Ma’an News Agency)

President Abbas said he supported further negotiations over the draft Security Council resolution. He told a Palestinian leadership meeting: “[The resolution] comes in the context of our political battle to liberate the land and end the occupation of the Palestinian State. … We will continue in our consultations with the brothers and friends through deliberations, which will take place in the United Nations.” (AP)

A settler ran over and injured a six-year-old Palestinian boy with his car west of Ramallah. (Petra)

A group of Israeli settlers cut off an electricity line and left racist graffiti on Palestinian homes in the village of Burin, south of Nablus. (Ma’an News Agency)

An Israeli official said that several measures will be taken to facilitate the movement of Palestinian Christians during the Christmas holiday season, mainly affecting residents of the West Bank. Also, 700 Palestinian Christians from the Gaza Strip, including only those aged below 16 and over 35, will be allowed into Israel and the West Bank. 500 Palestinian Christians from the West Bank will also be allowed to visit first-degree relatives in the Gaza Strip, while 200 others will be given permits to travel through Tel Aviv airport, which is normally forbidden to Palestinians. (Ma’an News Agency)

A US official said that the US will not support the [Security Council] resolution put forward by the Palestinians setting the terms of a peace deal with Israel. (AFP)

The Russian Permanent Representative to the UN stated that Russia is ready to support a draft resolution to establish a Palestinian State. (PNN)

Prime Minister Netanyahu criticized President Abbas over the draft resolution calling for an Israeli withdrawal by the end of 2017, claiming that it would lead to a Hamas take-over of the West Bank. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman had earlier called the draft resolution an “act of aggression” against Israel. (Xinhua)

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) officially recognized Palestine as a State, expressed its support for ending the Israeli occupation, and called for speeding up the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. (IMEMC)

A Palestinian bus driver of the Israeli Egged bus company was injured after a number of Israelis assaulted him at the Central Bus Station in West Jerusalem. (IMEMC)

UNRWA called for urgent funding for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, where more precise surveys now reveal that the amount of damage is more than double than initially estimated after the summer war, with more than 96,000 homes damaged and destroyed. (WAFA)

An extremist Islamist group, Jund Ansar Allah claimed responsibility for a bomb attack that slightly damaged the French Cultural Centre in Gaza City last week without causing any casualties. (The Daily Star)

The Bureau of CEIRPP issued a statement on the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention held on 17 December in Geneva. (United Nations)

19

Turkey welcomed a European Union court’s decision to remove Hamas from a list of terrorist organisations, the Anadolu Agency reported. (MEMO)

The General Assembly of the United Nations passed a resolution recognizing the permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources. (IMEMC)

A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck southern Israel, causing no injuries, in the first such attack since September. (The Jerusalem Post)

Two hundred Palestinians from the Gaza Strip were given permits by Israel to attend Friday prayers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque on 19 December. (Ma’an News Agency)

Two months after donors pledged $5.4 billion to help rebuild Gaza barely 2 per cent of the money has been transferred. (Ynetnews)

The president of Harvard University has requested an investigation into the decision by the university’s dining service to stop buying equipment from SodaStream, a company whose factory is located in the settlement of “Ma’ale Adumim” in the West Bank. (The Times of Israel)

The Israeli army ordered a Palestinian to stop digging a water well on his land, located near Bethlehem and close to an Israeli settlement. (IMEMC)

20

The Israeli navy opened fire at Palestinian fishermen boats, this time along the As-Sudaneyya shore, northwest of the Gaza Strip. (IMEMC)

U.S. State Secretary John Kerry said in a lunch meeting with the Ambassadors of the 28 European Union states recently in Washington that Hatnua Chairwoman Tzipi Livni and former President Shimon Peres asked him to prevent a vote on the Palestinian issue in the UN Security Council from taking place before the elections in Israel, in order to avoid reinforcing Israeli hardliners, Foreign Policy reported. (Haaretz)

21

The IDF struck a site belonging to Hamas in southern Gaza near Khan Yunis following an earlier rocket attack from Gaza into Israel on 20 December, which exploded in open territory near the Eshkol Regional Council. Hamas has denied responsibility for an alleged rocket attack coming from Gaza, denouncing the recently renewed Israeli airstrikes as foolish. (The Jerusalem Post, IMEMC)

The Palestinian Government will make amendments to the draft resolution submitted to the UN Security Council last week setting terms and deadlines for a Palestinian-Israeli peace deal, the Palestinian Foreign Minister stated. (Ma’an News Agency)

22

The IDF said it detected rocket experiments in the Gaza Strip. During the experiments, Hamas fired rockets from Gaza towards the Mediterranean Sea. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that Hamas detained members of a global jihadi group in the Gaza Strip who fired a rocket into southern Israel over the weekend. (Xinhua)

The Palestinian UN Mission said that it would begin consultations with various parties to secure their support for the draft resolution that was presented to the UN Security Council last week. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would “vigorously oppose it”. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Hindu daily reported that India was considering changing its automatic support for the Palestinians at the United Nations and abstaining on those votes. (The Jerusalem Post)

Around 630 Palestinians left Gaza and entered the Egyptian Sinai through the Rafah crossing after Cairo authorised a temporary reopening of the border, a Palestinian official said. (Al-Arabiya)

Throughout 2014 there have been repeated instances of young Palestinians attempting to enter Israel from the Gaza Strip by breaching the border fence, but the practice seems to have become more common since Operation Protective Edge ended in August. (Haartez)

The Israeli Parliament’s finance committee approved spending $3.3 million (2.7 million Euros) to build a tourist centre at a settlement in the occupied West Bank, a statement said. The money was for a project at the Barkan settlement in the north of the Palestinian Territory, the Knesset statement said. (AFP)

Coca-Cola began construction on its first plant in Gaza as the Israeli Defence Ministry allowed nine trucks with production equipment to enter the enclave. (The Jerusalem Post)

Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah formed a committee to take control of Gaza’s crossings in a move aimed at accelerating the reconstruction process. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Egyptian Red Crescent supervised the entry of 220 tons of medical supplies into Gaza via the Rafah crossing, officials said. The supplies were sent by Algeria and Qatar. (Ma’an News Agency)

Eight Palestinians from East Jerusalem were indicted for inciting violence and supporting “terror” in postings on Facebook, an Israeli Justice Ministry spokeswoman said. (Ynetnews)

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika met with President Abbas. The two leaders agreed to establish a bilateral ministerial committee to boost cooperation between the two nations. Speaking to Algerian reporters, President Abbas also threatened to sever all ties with Israel if the statehood resolution presented to the UN Security Council last week did not receive approval. (The Jerusalem Post, Xinhua)

President Abbas appointed Jamil al-Barghouthi to replace Ziad Abu Ein as the head of the PA committee against the separation wall and settlements. (Ma’an News Agency)

Speaking at a closed university conference in Tel Aviv, Israeli MFA Avigdor Liberman emphasized the importance of reaching a regional peace agreement, pointing to potential diplomatic and economic consequences if Israel fails to initiate solutions to its conflict with the Palestinians. “This is important for our relations with the EU and the US. For anyone who doesn’t know, our largest market is the EU, in both exports and imports,” Lieberman asserted. (MEMO, The Time of Israel)

The UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict said that Israel had not yet granted the commissioners with access to the scene of the hostilities to conduct an investigation. (United Nations)

A Fatah official was murdered in the Yarmouk refugee camp, local activists said. They added that Abu Ahmad Tayrawieh was shot at the door of his home by a masked gunman. (The Time of Israel)

23

Violent clashes broke out between Israeli forces and Palestinians in Hebron. (Petra)

A number of journalists were injured by Israeli tear gas and sound grenades during a “Santa” demonstration at an Israeli checkpoint near Bethlehem. The IDF said approximately 80 protesters some dressed as Santas hurled rocks at security forces. (PNN, The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli soldiers arrested five Palestinians in Hebron and Nablus districts and 4 near Ramallah. (IMEMC)

Hamas has begun to rebuild its network of defensive underground tunnels, and Israel is watching closely for signs that it is working on new cross-border offensive tunnels as well, Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon said. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Security Council will vote on a draft resolution that sets terms for a final Israeli-Palestinian peace deal before the end of 2014, PLO Negotiator Saeb Erakat said. (Ma’an News Agency)

DFLP urged the Palestinian leadership to “immediately withdraw” the draft resolution, arguing that the leadership is presenting a confusing picture of the bid. “Both the original version and the amended version, including the French and British remarks, are beyond repair and reform,” the group said. (IMEMC)

Hamas said that it “refuses” the Palestinian bid at the Security Council if it “concedes” any of the Palestinian rights and principles. (MEMO)

Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi has criticized the resolution submitted to the Security Council by the PLO, urging the Palestinian leadership to strengthen the draft. (IMEMC)

“We rely on Russia in the negotiations with the Israeli side… in resolving the Middle East conflict”, Saeb Erakat said during a press conference in Moscow. “I demanded from [US Secretary of State] Kerry to change position and act within the framework of international law in the Middle East crisis’ mediation,” Erakat said. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said that the aspirations of Palestinians to gain international recognition and obtain statehood are supported by Russia. (www.sputniknews.com)

The family of the Speaker of the PLC, Aziz Dweik, called for national and international rights groups to put pressure on Israel to release him from prison, where he has spent seven months. (MEMO)

The Jordan-run Islamic Waqf commission told media sources groups of Jewish fanatics had entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque’s compound in the morning, before they were fended off by Palestinian worshipers who chanted religious slogans in defiance. (WAFA)

Arab League official Mohammed Sobeih warned of Israel’s further Judaization of Jerusalem, saying that Israeli has allotted some $17 billion for this process. (IMEMC)

Hundreds of Muslim Singaporeans visited Al-Aqsa Mosque as an act of support. (WAFA)

According to Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds, Secretary of State Kerry had been exerting much effort last week to suppress the UN vote on the Palestinian resolution, fearing such a step would negatively affect the upcoming Israeli elections and might bring extremists such as Naftali Bennett to the Israeli Government. (MEMO)

“There will be no discussions [regarding the Palestinian bid] in the UNSC until the end of the year”, the head of the Security Council and Chad’s Permanent Representative to the UN Mahamat Zene Cherif said. (MEMO)

Israeli authorities opened the Kerem Shalom crossing with Gaza to allow food and fuel supplies (400 trucks) into the enclave, a PA official said. (Ma’an News Agency)

An Israeli official said that the Israeli Government was pumping millions of dollars into Jewish settlements in the West Bank for public buildings and roads ahead of national elections. (The Daily Star)

Official data of the outstanding public debt of the Palestinian Government were reported. It showed that at the end of November 2014 the debt amounted to US$2.43 billion. A little more than half of it was local debt. (MEMO)

The World Bank transferred the sum of US$31.6 million to the Palestinian Government from the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan Trust Fund (PRDP-MDTF), a multi-donor budget support mechanism administered by the Bank. (WAFA)

The Jerusalem Planning and Building Committee approved the construction of 307 homes in the “Ramot” settlement in and 73 in “Har Homa” in East Jerusalem. (Haaretz)

24

Israeli forces raided the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of al-Tur at dawn and detained two Palestinians, locals said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli soldiers arrested three Palestinians from the Hebron and Nablus districts. Army dogs also attacked a child before the soldiers arrested him. (IMEMC)

Several armoured Israeli military vehicles raided the Qabatia town, near Jenin, and arrested two Palestinians, while many Palestinians suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation. It was also reported that Palestinian schoolchildren suffered effects of tear gas inhalation in Hebron. (IMEMC)

Several Palestinian students and residents had difficulty breathing after inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli forces during clashes that broke out in the old town of Hebron, according to local sources. (WAFA)

At least one Palestinian was killed after an Israeli armoured tank penetrated the southern Gaza Strip border and fired a shell towards a neighbouring house, according to WAFA correspondent. (WAFA)

A sniper in the Gaza Strip opened fire on an IDF force securing labourers doing work on the Gaza fence, the IDF Spokesman’s Office said. Israel deployed tank fire and an airstrike on targets in Gaza after its troops came under attack. A Palestinian militant was killed and an Israeli soldier wounded (The Jerusalem Post, The New York Times, The Washington Post)

Hamas said that Israel was “playing with fire” and warned that the movement had the right to “protect its people” in response to an attack by Israeli forces. (Sputnik News)

Palestinian shop owners say the Jerusalem municipality has recently launched a crackdown on businesses in East Jerusalem’s Old City, issuing heavy fines to business owners and harassing workers. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces demolished steel structures and a cave on private Palestinian land in the al-Tur neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, the owner said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process James Rawley said he was deeply concerned by reports of exchange of fire between Palestinian militants and the IDF in the southern Gaza Strip, which resulted in casualties on both sides. This follows a series of armed incidents since the end of November. The Deputy Special Coordinator urged all parties to maintain and reinforce the ceasefire of 26 August and refrain from escalating tensions. (United Nations)

Israeli forces demolished traditional stone walls in the town of Qusra near Nablus, a Palestinian official said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces shot and injured a five-year-old Palestinian boy in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet in East Jerusalem as he was getting out of a school bus. He sustained a fracture in the cheekbone. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces shot and injured two Palestinian teenagers with live bullets during clashes near the “Itamar” settlement, south-east of Nablus. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli settlers opened fire at Palestinian customs police officers near Salfit in the northern West Bank. No injuries were reported. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian Minister of National Economy Mohammed Mostafa said the Government intended to resubmit an international tender for oil drilling in the West Bank’s oil fields located near the 1967 borders. The tender was originally submitted last March, but the project came to a halt when Israel waged its war against Gaza. (WAFA)

The Israeli army demolished a Palestinian-owned poultry barn in the village of Idna, west of Hebron. (WAFA)

25

A firebomb attack on a car near the “Ma’ale Shomron” settlement, north of Nablus, left an 11-year-old Israeli girl severely burned and her father injured. (Reuters)

Israeli forces detained 14 Palestinians in the village of Azzun near Qalqiliya in the wake of a Molotov cocktail attack on a settler vehicle near the “Ma’ale Shomron” settlement. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces detained five teenagers after ransacking their homes. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces seized about 70,000 shekels in a Palestinian home in Qarboun village near Nablus after breaking into it. (PNN)

Israeli forces demolished six EU-funded irrigation pools used by Palestinian famers in Al-Jiftlik in the northern Jordan Valley. (IMEMC)

26

A 15-year-old Palestinian boy from Gaza died in an Israeli hospital from injuries he sustained during an Israeli bombardment last July. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli soldiers fired at the legs of two Palestinians approaching the Gaza border fence. One of them was hit and both were detained. (Ma’an News Agency)

A Palestinian man stabbed two Israeli paramilitary border policemen at the entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City, slightly injuring them. (AP)

27

Two Palestinians suspected of throwing a firebomb that wounded an 11-year-old Israeli girl and her father have been arrested in the West Bank, the Shin Bet security service said. (AFP)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the parliaments and governments of important countries in Europe have voted in favour of recognizing the Palestinian State. He pointed out that only nine countries opposed the Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations General Assembly in 2012. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry condemned the Israeli authorities’ decision to build 380 new housing units in East Jerusalem’s illegal Israeli settlements. (WAFA)

The Israeli Finance Ministry announced that it is going to sell to the Binyamin Regional Council, which includes the West Bank settlements of “Ofra”, “Talmon”, “Atara” and “Shvut Rachel”, 50 double-wide mobile homes at deeply discounted prices and without issuing a tender. (Haaretz)

Palestinian popular resistance activists in the southern West Bank attempted to build a tent village near the Jewish settlement of “Gush Etzion” in protest against Israeli confiscation of Palestinian lands. (Ma’an News Agency)

28

An 8-year-old Palestinian child sustained multiple injuries when an Israeli settler ran over him near the village of Zeif, east of Yatta to the south of Hebron, according to local sources. (WAFA)

Three Palestinians were injured after Israeli forces opened fire on protesters close to the Erez crossing on the border with Israel in the northern Gaza Strip. (Ma’an News Agency)

Hamas prevented dozens of children orphaned during its 50-day war with Israel from entering Israeli territory in a pre-arranged trip, organisers and officials said. (AFP)

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz warned that Israel would dissolve the Palestinian Authority if the resolution it is expected to bring to the UN Security Council by the end of the year actually passes. (The Jerusalem Post)

The IDF announced that it will withdraw its troops from communities bordering the Gaza Strip starting from Thursday, and said that soldiers will remain on guard at only three communities adjacent to the border. The decision was met by outrage among southern residents, as the Government has yet to deliver on its promise made during “Operation Protective Edge”, according to which an advanced security fence would be built along the border. (Ynetnews)

Prime Minister Netanyahu approved a new plan for sending 400 policemen to Jerusalem to boost security in the old city, Israeli media said. (Alray)

Senior Hamas leader Mousa Abu-Marzouk said that Palestinian factions were planning to hold a national conference and to form a national committee to oversee the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. (MEMO)

Israel agreed to allow 150 Palestinians who are enrolled in schools abroad but trapped in Gaza due to the closure of the Rafah crossing with Egypt to leave through Israel via the Erez crossing. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli bulldozers razed agricultural lands belonging to Palestinians in Khirbet al-Taweel, south of Nablus. Two Hebron district schools were also reported to have been targeted with unnecessary violence. (IMEMC)

29

Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian who had been hurling rocks at cars on a highway in the occupied West Bank, a military spokeswoman said. (Reuters)

Palestinians plan to submit today a final draft of a statehood resolution to the United Nations calling for a peace deal with Israel within a year and an end to occupation of the Palestinian Territory by the end of 2017, officials said. (Reuters)

Eight Palestinian National Consensus Government Ministers are to travel to Gaza from its West Bank base for only the second time since its formation in June 2014, a Minister said. The eight Ministers are travelling to Gaza to “carry out their duties”, Labour Minister Mamun Abu Shahla said. (AFP)

Israeli forces raided several areas in the West Bank and arrested four Palestinians from Ramallah, Jenin and Qabatiya, said security and local sources. (WAFA)

Israeli forces conducted early drills using live ammunition in Khirbet at-Tawil to the southeast of Nablus, said a local activist. (WAFA)

At least two Palestinians were injured, one of them seriously, when Israeli soldiers stationed at the entrance of the town of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, opened fire at their car, according to local sources. (WAFA)

Speaking at a conference of Diaspora rabbis in Jerusalem, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett vowed that he would not give away land for a Palestinian State as he rose to higher positions in the Israeli Government as previous Israeli leaders have done. (The Jerusalem Post)

“The draft Palestinian resolution submitted today to the UN Security Council on Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank fails to address a number of unresolved issues in Israeli-Palestinian relations even after amendments were made”, General Secretary of the Palestinian People’s Party Bassam Salhi told Sputnik News. The resolution still overlooked the issue of the status of Jerusalem and refers solely to the problem of Israeli settlements, while failing to suggest any mechanism for solving that problem, Salhi said. Hamas also criticized the text, calling on the Palestinian Government to withdraw the draft resolution. For his part, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Israel expected the “responsible” members of the international community to adamantly oppose the draft. The amendments to the draft have been supported by Arab countries. (The Jerusalem Post, MEMO, Sputnik News)

The draft Palestinian statehood resolution brought to the UN Security Council was not “constructive” and failed to take into account Israel’s security needs, a State Department spokesman said in a clear indication Washington would veto the resolution if needed. (The Jerusalem Post)

In a joint statement, the Jordanian Senate and Parliament Lower House held Israel fully responsible for the failure of peace efforts, for refusing to implement international resolutions, and slammed it for continuation of settlement construction as well as the unjust blockade of the Gaza Strip. (Petra)

The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that the Russian Foreign Minister and US Secretary of State discussed ways to restore the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks during a phone conversation. (Sputnik News)

A report stating that France and Great Britain, in coordination with the US, were working on a new peace initiative to be rolled out after the elections in Israel was greeted with scepticism by both Israeli and European diplomats who said they were unaware of any concrete plans. (The Jerusalem Post)

The number of Palestinians and Israelis was expected to reach about 6.4 million each by the end of 2016, with the number of Palestinians in “historic Palestine” (including Israel) amounting to a total of 7.2 million compared to 6.9 Jews by the end of 2020, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics’ report. (WAFA)

Private security guards at the Israeli settlement of “Ofra” north of Ramallah detained a 27-year-old Palestinian man near the entrance to the nearby village Silwad after reportedly assaulting him. (Ma’an News Agency)

Two brothers from East Jerusalem were indicted by the Jerusalem district attorney for joining Hamas and plotting to carry out a terror attack in Jerusalem on behalf of the terror group. (The Time of Israel)

Groups of Jewish fanatics broke into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem, continuing with almost daily provocative tours into the Islamic holy site, according to local sources. (WAFA)

Israel has used the Gaza Strip as a testing ground for new and illegal weapons, said Mustafa Barghouti, Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative party, as quoted by the Middle East Monitor. (Sputnik News)

Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip, while forces elsewhere shot at a group of Palestinians near the border fence. (IMEMC)

Hamas is in the midst of an extensive training program simulating cross-border raids on IDF positions near the border with the Gaza Strip, the Tel-Aviv-based Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) said. (The Jerusalem Post)

Continued fruit trade between Israeli farmers and Gazan merchants remains a crucial, “win-win” situation for both sides, the head of the Israel Fruit Growers Association told The Jerusalem Post. Gazans purchase some 10 to 15 percent of Israeli fruit supplies. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Commission of Detainees & Ex-Detainees Affairs said that the medical condition of prisoners Yousef al-Nawaja’a from Hebron and Ashraf Abul Huda from Nablus, detained in Ramla hospital, was getting worse. (WAFA)

The UN Fact Finding Mission on the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict said, in a statement, it was determined to assume its duties of investigating war crimes perpetrated in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem since 13 June 2014. (WAFA)

The Turkish Red Crescent Society announced that it would sponsor all the Palestinian orphans who lost their fathers in the latest Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, with each child receiving the equivalent of $102 per month. (Middle East Monitor)

30

Israeli soldiers arrested two Palestinians in the Husan town near Bethlehem, and one Palestinian in Bani Neim town near Hebron. Many residents suffered effects of tear gas inhalation. (IMEMC)

Israeli forces launched a major operation of detentions and home raids early morning in the town of Sinjil north of Ramallah, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said. The group said in a statement that about 30 young men were detained for several hours and questioned in the street, before being released. (Ma’an News Agency)

Violent clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli forces near the Abul Reesh checkpoint in the old city of Hebron. (Petra)

A recently released video of a speech made by Moshe Feiglin, deputy speaker of the Knesset, in July of this year, showed him calling for an Israeli sponsored bloodbath in Gaza. During the speech, Feiglin said that there were no innocent people in Gaza: “We have a war over here, and the war is not against the Hamas and there are no innocent people around it.” (PNN)

The Palestinian leadership condemned the killing of 17-year-old Imam Dweikat near Zaʻtara military checkpoint, south of Nablus, and called for supporting the Palestinian bid for statehood to end the Israeli occupation and the suffering of the defenceless Palestinian people.” (WAFA)

Speaking after a ministerial delegation from the West Bank arrived in Gaza, Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh accused the Government of failing “to keep its commitments, by not carrying out reconstruction, nor unifying institutions under the Palestinian Authority, nor organizing elections.” Palestinian Government spokesman Ihab Bseiso said that the visit aimed at fostering “real cooperation between all political parties that signed the Cairo and the al-Shati agreements and to ease the Palestinian Authority’s work in Gaza,” (Ma’an News Agency, Ynetnews)

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon ordered the Knesset to approve “El-Matan” settlement as part of the Israeli settlement of “Ma’ale Shomron”. (PNN)

According to the Coordinator of the National Committee Against the Wall and the Settlements, Rateb Jbour, Israeli forces prevented a Palestinian family from entering their lands under the pretext of having no entry permit. Imnezil is surrounded by Israeli settlements from both the north and south. (WAFA)

Palestinian medical sources in Jerusalem have reported that an elderly man died of wounds suffered more than three months ago, after Israeli soldiers opened fire on the funeral procession of a Palestinian child who was killed by army fire. (IMEMC)

Jewish extremists were allowed by the Israeli police to storm the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem through the Old City’s Mughrabi Gate. (Petra)

The Palestinian Environmental Quality Authority of Gaza has decided to stop importing batteries and electrical appliances from Israel. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli army confirmed that troops opened live fire during a confrontation that erupted last Sunday with Palestinian protesters at a border crossing in northern Gaza. An army spokeswoman said more than 40 Gazans approached the Israeli side of the Erez Crossing border terminal, where they began throwing stones at security forces. According to the rules of engagement, troops initially fired warning shots in the air to disperse the rioters, and then fired towards their legs, identifying one hit, the spokeswoman told Xinhua. (Xinhua)

The Israeli authorities demolished three Palestinian owned homes and a stall in Jerusalem, according to witnesses. (WAFA)

Dozens of Gazan university students who study outside the Strip were allowed to travel to Jordan via the West Bank, a Palestinian official said. The coordination with the Palestinian authorities was approved by Israel after the students were denied entry to Egypt through the regularly-closed Rafah crossing with Gaza. (Ma’an News Agency)

Egypt announced that work will begin next week to double the width of a buffer zone being built along the 10 kilometre border with the Gaza Strip, currently set at 500 meters. (AFP)

Israeli authorities destroyed three homes, a restaurant, and a butcher shop in the East Jerusalem village of Jabal al-Mukabbir in a dawn raid that left two Palestinian families homeless. (Ma’an News Agency)

The UN Security Council failed to adopt a Palestinian resolution calling for an Israeli withdrawal from the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem and the establishment of a sovereign and independent Palestinian State by late 2017. There were eight votes in favor, including France, Russia and China, two against and five abstentions (Lithuania, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Korea and the United Kingdom). Australia joined the United States in voting against the measure. (Reuters)

On six factions in the Gaza Strip – comprising of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and four left-wing groups – rejected the Palestinian draft resolution presented to the UN Security Council for voting on ending the Israeli occupation and establishing a Palestinian State. (Xinhua)

The United States encouraged Turkey to work with Hamas to “reduce tensions” between Palestinians and Israelis following a recent visit to Turkey by Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal. (Al-Ray)

The Palestinian National Consensus Government pledged to “work out” the issue of government employees in Gaza. Its spokesman said that the Government would guarantee the positions of all employees who worked for Hamas ministries before the formation of the National Consensus Government. (Ma’an News Agency)

31

At least one Palestinian was injured by live bullets and six others by rubber-coated steel bullets, whereas dozens suffocated by teargas during confrontations with the Israeli army in the village of Silwad, east of Ramallah, according to local sources. (WAFA)

Israeli forces arrested 19 Palestinians, including four minors, in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. (WAFA)

A 10-year-old Palestinian boy was injured while he was walking to school after an Israeli settler ran him over on the main road of the Palestinian village of Tuqu southeast of Bethlehem. (WAFA)

A number of Palestinians suffocated of gas inhalation after Israeli forces fired teargas bombs near Tal’at Abu Hadid in the old city of Hebron in the West Bank after clashes had erupted between Israeli forces and Palestinians. (Petra)

Dozens of Israeli settlers clashed with Palestinian farmers near the entrance gate to the Israeli settlement of “Nokdim” in the “Gush Etzion” bloc, in the West Bank. The clashes began after the farmers came to plow their lands without arranging it first with the Israeli authorities. (Ynet News)

Suspicion of a price tag attack arose after a Palestinian house near the Hebron Hills was set on fire while the occupants, a family, were inside. Outside of the structure, police found an inscription of the word “revenge”. (Ynet News)

Australia’s relationship with Palestinians and the Arab world would be damaged by its decision to vote, together with the United States, against a United Nations resolution that demanded the end of Israeli occupation within three years, the chief Palestinian representative in Canberra has warned. (The Guardian)

Russia expressed regret at the failure of the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution on Palestinian statehood, describing it as a “strategic error”. (AFP)

The European Union has underlined the urgency of resuming “meaningful negotiations” between Palestinians and Israelis after the UN Security Council rejected a resolution calling for an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories within three years. (Gulf News)

PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi said it was ironic that the United Nations Security Council chose to foil the Palestinian statehood bid in the year 2014, which was designated as the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. She evaluated the rejection of the resolution as “an indication of a failure of will by some members of the international community.” (WAFA)

Palestine will apply immediately to join the International Criminal Court, senior Palestinian officials said on 31 December, after the U.N. Security Council rejected a resolution on ending the Israeli occupation. Abbas will sign the Rome Statute later that day, adhering to the founding treaty of the ICC, where the Palestinians could sue Israeli officials for war crimes in the occupied territories, several top officials told AFP. The Palestinian leader will also sign 15 other international conventions, the sources said. (AFP)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed on to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, on 31 December, a day after a bid for independence by 2017 failed at the United Nations Security Council. (Reuters)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced that having no real Israeli partner that believed in peace was the main obstacle for achieving peace in the region. (Xinhua)

An Israeli settler was arrested for attacking the Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem, and vandalizing a cross and a statue. According to media reports, the church’s guard arrested the settler after the latter jumped over the wall and vandalized the cross and the statue which were at sight. (WAFA)

The Israeli Minister of Construction and Housing Uri Ariel called for “imposing the Israeli sovereignty over all areas in Jerusalem”. During a tour he took of Shuafat, a Palestinian neighbourhood in East Jerusalem, he said, “It is clear that there are parts where Israel does not exercise either its sovereignty or its control over, and this is happening here in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.” (Middle East Monitor)

A 39-year old Palestinian man from the northern West Bank village of Farun died after he suffocated amid the morning crush inside an Israeli checkpoint near Tulkarem while on his way to work in Israel. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli occupation authorities demolished a Palestinian home and razed agricultural land south of the West Bank city of Hebron. (Petra)

Al-Aqsa Association for Waqf and Heritage reported that Israel had carried out around 86 assaults and violations of Islamic and Christian Palestinian sites in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem in 2014. It said that about 30 cases of assault on mosques, 21 cases of assault on graveyards, six cases of attacks on Christian holy sites, and other sporadic attacks, including preventing calls for prayer in the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron for hundreds of times amounting to dozens a month, were documented. To the list the association added the complete destruction of 73 mosques, the partial vandalism of 197 mosques, and damage of one church during the war on Gaza. Al-Aqsa Association recorded five cases of burning mosques or parts of them, including the burning of Ali bin Abi Talib mosque in the village of Deir Estia, in Salfit, spraying of racist slogans on a shrine in Anata town near Jerusalem, Abu Bakr mosqe in Umm al-Fahm, and Abu Bakr mosque in the town of Aqraba, south of Nablus, and the Great Western mosque al-Mughayir village in Ramallah. (WAFA)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to take steps, yet to be specified, after President Mahmoud Abbas signed the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) earlier in the day along with other 19 international treaties. (WAFA)

The Palestinian representative to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation said in a statement that Nigeria’s abstention from a UN vote on Palestinian statehood was a “big disappointment” in light of the country's historical support for the Palestinian cause. Muhannad al-Akluk blasted the West African power in the statement, saying that voting against Palestine despite being a member of the OIC was a “clear contradiction”. (Ma’an News Agency)


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