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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
31 January 2015


Division for Palestinian Rights

Chronological Review of Events Relating to the
Question of Palestine

Monthly media monitoring review

January 2015

Monthly highlights

Palestinian President Abbas asks ICC to investigate war crimes committed in Palestine. (1 Jan.)

• Hamas says it was open to President Abbas' re-submission of UN resolution on a timetable for full Israeli pullout . (5 Jan.)

• President Abbas hints he might dissolve the Palestinian Authority. (15 Jan.)

• The UN calls on Israel to immediately resume the transfer of tax revenues owed to the Palestinian Authority. (15 Jan.)

• Hundreds of Palestinians protest the prolonged closure of the Rafah crossing. (16 Jan.)

• Diplomats from 9 countries visit the Gaza Strip to better understand the difficult situation facing Palestinians this winter. (20 Jan.)

• A Palestinian man attacks with a knife passengers on a bus in Tel Aviv. (21 Jan)

• Physicians for Human Rights accuse Israel of using human shields during the war in the Gaza Strip. (20 Jan.)

• The Palestinian agricultural sector in Gaza has incurred no less than $450 million in losses due to the war in summer 2014. (21 Jan.)

• UNRWA says it is forced to suspend its cash assistance programme in Gaza. (27 Jan.)

• A group of 63 influential MEPs call on EU Foreign Policy High Representative to suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement. (28 Jan.)

• Israeli authorities have recently sentenced 13 minors to serve between 14 to 28 months in jail and to pay fines.. (29 Jan.)

1

Israeli media said that 10 Palestinians were detained in a series of overnight raids across the West Bank on New Year’s Eve. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed a declaration asking the International Criminal Court to investigate suspicions of war crimes “committed in Palestine” since 13 June, said a nongovernmental Palestinian source who for years has taken part in Palestinian plans to join the Court. The declaration was enabled after Abbas signed the Rome Statute on 31 December and requested that the Palestinians join the ICC. The following morning, PA Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat delivered the request, along with 19 letters of accession signed by Abbas, to the United Nations’ main office in Jerusalem. On Friday they be received by the UN Secretary-General in New York. The request to investigate war crimes was sent to the Palestinian Ambassador in The Hague so it could be submitted to the Court. (Haaretz)

The Israeli police detained 5 women who were praying at Al-Aqsa Mosque, for attempting to stop yet another provocative tour carried out by extreme religious Israelis. (WAFA)

The Israeli authorities demolished residential Bedouin-oriented structures in Kherbet Um al-Jamal, a small village near Tubas in the central Jordan Valley, according to local sources. (WAFA)

Israeli soldiers opened fire on a Palestinian youth and severely injured him as he crossed the Burin intersection, south of Nablus. (Ma’an News Agency)

Local residents said that Israeli settlers had uprooted more than 5,000 olive tree saplings north of Ramallah. (IMEMC)

The ICC received a document declaring Palestine’s acceptance of the jurisdiction of the ICC since 13 June 2014. Acceptance of the ICC’s jurisdiction differs from accession to the Rome Statute. (www.icc-cpi.int)

2

Palestine transmitted to the UN documents relating to its accession to the Rome Statute as well as other treaties. The UN is reviewing these documents, the ICC said. (www.icc-cpi.int)

A confrontation broke out between security personnel from the United States Consulate in Jerusalem and settlers from the Adei Ad outpost in the West Bank after settlers hurled stones at two vehicles from the Consulate. According to both Palestinian and settler sources, the American security guards drew their weapons at the settlers. An official from the village of Turmus Ayya, near the scene of the incident, said that they had invited the US delegation to examine thousands of olive tree seedlings which were uprooted on the night of 1 January – some belonging to Palestinians from the village who hold American citizenship. (Ynet News)

The Israeli Government has partially opened the District Coordination Offices (DCO) barrier west of Ramallah to Palestinian traffic, after many years of claiming that opening the road there was impossible for security reasons. The barrier is located between Ramallah and Beit El, and for years was open only to VIP traffic. The barrier significantly lengthened the time necessary for travel to and from Ramallah for tens of thousands of residents from nearby villages. (Haaretz)

Israeli forces blew up part of a home and detained three Palestinians during a night-time raid on Ramallah, including one reportedly wanted for involvement in stabbing two Israeli policemen in Jerusalem last week. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinians in the al-Farrahin area east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestine become an official member of the ICC in early March, Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat said on 2 January. He acknowledged the failure of a resolution calling for an Israeli withdrawal by 2017 to win sufficient support at the United Nations Security Council. The recent action at the UN was a clear “message” to Washington, Erekat said, even as the Palestinians were “aware” the resolution would not pass. (The Jerusalem Post)

In initiating a war crimes probe against Israel with the International Criminal Court, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas may fall afoul of US legislation that would mandate defunding the PA. The US funds the PA to the tune of some $400 million per year. The Palestinian action is viewed by many leaders of the incoming Republican-controlled Congress as the latest justification to re-examine the PA’s American funding. (The Times of Israel)

France’s Ambassador to Israel Patrick Maisonnave said that Paris backed a UN Security Council resolution that aimed to establish a timetable for a full Israeli pullout from the West Bank and East Jerusalem in order to encourage Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace negotiations. (The Times of Israel)

Al-Aqsa Association for the Waqf and Heritage said that around 14,952 Israelis, including settlers, police, ministers and members of Knesset stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque during the year 2014. The association reported in a statistical report prepared with the help of witnesses daily in Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound that the 14,952 included 12,569 settlers, 1,102 intelligence officers, 1,084 soldiers in military uniform, and 197 public figures, including ministers, deputy ministers and members of the Knesset; an average of 1,246 Israelis per month overall and 1,047 settlers in specific. The numbers illustrate an increase by 12.7 per cent of Israelis from 2013 in general and 39 per cent of settlers. A total of 13,268 Israelis were reported to have broken into Al-Aqsa Compound, 9,050 of which are settlers. The highest number of incursions was reported in June (2,134), followed by September (1,615) and October (1,600). The association attributed the rise in these raids to support by political figures, such as the head of the Interior Committee in the Knesset Mary Rigab, in addition to the increasing number of religious edicts that allowed Jews to break into the Al-Aqsa, which they had prohibited in the past. (WAFA)

Some 200 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip traveled to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem after having received permission from Israeli authorities. (Ma’an News Agency)

A 25-year-old Palestinian man was shot in both feet by Israeli forces stationed in one of the watchtowers east of Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip. An Israeli army spokesperson said that there had been a “riot” of about 50 Palestinians. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued the following statement: The Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations in New York has transmitted to the Secretariat copies of documents relating to the accession of Palestine to 16 international conventions and treaties in respect of which the Secretary-General performs depositary functions. These include the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The original versions of these documents were delivered on 1 January 2015 to the Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the PLO and the PA. The documents are being reviewed with a view to determining the appropriate next steps.(UN News Centre)

3

A Palestinian fisherman was critically injured after an Israeli navy ship opened fire on his vessel off the cost of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli officials said that Israel would withhold tax revenue and seek ways to bring war crimes prosecutions against Palestinian leaders in retaliation for Palestinian moves to join the ICC. In a first punitive response, Prime Minister Netanyahu decided to withhold the next monthly transfer of tax revenue, totalling some $125 million. (Reuters)

Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian shepherds grazing their sheep near the town of Aqraba, south of Nablus. Israeli soldiers began firing tear gas canisters towards the shepherds and residents who attempted to help them, injuring two Palestinians. (WAFA)

A Palestinian Interior Ministry official said Palestine planned to submit a request to join Interpol in 2015. (Ma’an News Agency)

4

Israel arrested at least five Palestinians in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. (WAFA)

President Abbas said he was discussing with Jordan plans to resubmit to the Security Council a resolution calling for the establishment of a Palestinian State. (Reuters)

Israel’s Channel 10 reported that Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ya’alon had agreed to use 70 million shekels ($17.8 million) from the defence budget to evacuate a border police base in the “Beit El” settlement and to build infrastructure there for 300 new homes. (Haaretz)

Israel’s High Court froze the construction of the separation barrier near the West Bank village of Battir, whose ancient agricultural terraces were recognized last year by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. (Haaretz)

5

Israeli soldiers stationed along the border with Gaza opened fire towards agricultural land in the southern Gaza Strip, causing damage to crops. No injuries were reported. (WAFA)

Israeli forces detained seven Palestinians from Jerusalem and Hebron. (WAFA)

OIC Secretary-General Iyad Madani paid a rare visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque, urging Muslims to follow suit and come to the City in a bid to strengthen Palestinian claims to the holy site. “It is our right to come here and to pray here. No occupation authority should take this right from us,” he said. (AP)

Around 16 sheep belonging to a Palestinian farmer were killed in the village of Aqraba, south of Nablus, after eating plants sprayed with a toxic substance by an Israeli settler. (WAFA)

Israeli forces demolished a house under construction in Hebron. In the village of Hussan near Bethlehem, Israeli forces demolished several shops claiming that they had been built without permits. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Palestinian Prisoners Centre for Studies said in a statement that 7,110 Palestinians had been detained by Israeli forces in 2014, compared to 4,250 in 2013, and the total number of detainees had reached 6,800 by the end of 2014. (IMEMC, Ma’an News Agency)

Hamas said it was “totally opposed” to President Abbas’ plans to re-submit the UN Security Council resolution. (Ynetnews)

“We conveyed to the Israelis that freezing the [PA] tax revenues is an action that raises tensions,” the State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters. Psaki, however, also said it was within the power of US Congress to order cuts in the $440m aid to the PA if it continued with moves to join the ICC. The Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin, also denounced the tax freeze at a closed-door meeting with Israeli Ambassadors. (The Guardian)

OIC Secretary-General Iyad Madani said that he had the right to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque. “I, and every other Muslim, have the right to pray at the mosque as well,” he said. (Alray)

A FIFA delegation arrived in the Gaza Strip to help with a rebuilding project for football stadiums damaged during last year’s Israeli bombardment. The world football governing body is investing $1 million. (AFP)

Hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated in the northern Gaza Strip town of Jabalya to protest the ongoing electricity crisis. Gaza’s Electricity Distribution Company recently declared an emergency recourse to irregular power outages of one hour or two in several areas, further exacerbating the “six hours on, 12 hours off” power schedule. (WAFA)

6

Israeli soldiers invaded several Palestinian communities in different parts of the West Bank, broke into and searched dozens of homes, and arrested 21 Palestinians. One Palestinian teenager was shot and injured by Israeli forces during a raid in the southern West Bank town of Beit Ummar. (IMEMC, Ma’an News Agency)

Hamas denied reports that its leader Khaled Mashaal was being expelled from Qatar and find refuge in Turkey. The Israeli Foreign Ministry in the meantime praised the move. (The Jerusalem Post)

Hamas announced that it opposes the visits of Arabs and Muslims to Jerusalem and to Al-Aqsa Mosque as “normalization”. (Xinhua)

The administration of the Negev Military Prison has banned 50 Fatah prisoners from family visits for one month after they celebrated Fatah’s 50th anniversary, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club said. (MEMO)

Israeli officials were widely quoted as saying they would launch a counterattack of war crimes complaints against Palestinians using third-party NGOs as proxies. (The Jerusalem Post)

Three residents of East Jerusalem were convicted by Israel of planning a shooting attack on a Jerusalem wedding hall. (The Jerusalem Post)

An Israeli Military Court sentenced Hussam Hassan Kawasame of Hebron to three life sentences. He had been convicted of being the mastermind behind the 12 June kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers. (The Jerusalem Post)

A Palestinian delegation travel to the US to prepare a defence in a case in a US court against the PA and the PLO for their alleged support for attacks that killed or injured US citizens during the second intifada. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israel Electric Corporation CEO said a NIS 1.7 billion ($429 million) debt lead to a decision to cut electricity supplies to the PA-controlled territories in the West Bank. (Ynetnews)

Sources from the Palestinian Ministry of Finance stated that there was still no specific date for December salaries, after Israel withheld the Palestinian tax revenues. Ministry sources said that the PA hopes for support promised to President Abbas by the Arab countries, after the decision to head to the ICC. (PNN)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Sandra Mitchell of the US as new Deputy Commissioner-General of UNRWA. She replace Margot Ellis. (www.unrwa.org, www.un.org)

An internal IDF probe of the death of Palestinian Minister Ziad Abu Ein in early December 2014 after a heated confrontation with soldiers, cleared the troops of any wrongdoing, Israeli media reported. The probe maintained that all soldiers on the scene — including the one recorded grabbing Abu Ein by his neck and yelling at him — acted in accordance with army regulations. (The Times of Israel)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a notification saying that “The [Rome] Statute enter into force for the State of Palestine on 1 April 2015 in accordance with its article 126 (2)”. (The Jerusalem Post)

France warned the Palestinians against escalating a diplomatic battle with Israel after President Abbas said he would resubmit the Security Council resolution. “We are against the logic of letting this spiral (out of control),” Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters. “While we think the Palestinians have the right to move the status quo, at the same time there has to be an effort to find a consensus solution.” (The Jerusalem Post)

The EU criticized Israel’s move to freeze the transfer of some NIS 500 million ($125.8 million) to the PA following its move to join the ICC. (Haaretz)

Israel allowed 33 truckloads of cement and 24 truckloads of gravel to enter the Gaza Strip through the Karim Abu Salem border crossing in accordance with the mechanism the UN devised in agreement with both Israel and the PA. (WAFA)

The Israeli Prison Authority transferred female Palestinian detainee Amal Taqatqa from an Israeli hospital to prison, despite her need for further medical attention and treatment, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society stated. (IMEMC)

An Israeli military court approved administrative detention orders filed against 13 detainees, according to the lawyer of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society. (IMEMC)

US Republican Senator Rand Paul introduced a bill that would immediately halt US aid to the Palestinians until they halted their effort to join the International Criminal Court. (Ynetnews)

7

Israel has accused President Abbas of interfering in the country’s internal affairs by holding several meetings with Arab MKs and political and community leaders in Ramallah, encouraging them to run in the Knesset elections on a unified list and urging them to nominate Isaac Herzog to be the next Israeli Prime Minister. (Gulf News)

The Gaza City authority had said that the anticipated cold spell could cause a humanitarian disaster as the city’s partially destroyed infrastructure may not withstand flooding from heavy rain. (The Daily Star)

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah is scheduled to visit the Gaza Strip in the coming few days, Minister of Public Works Mufid Hasayneh said. (Ma’an News Agency)

After an internal investigation, the Israeli military acquitted the soldier who grabbed Palestinian Minister Ziad Abu Ein by the throat and hit him in the chest during a rally near Ramallah last December. Minister Abu Ein died following the incident. (WAFA)

The Youth Against Settlements Coalition in Hebron, reported that Israeli settlers broke into numerous Palestinian stores, closed by Israel since 2001. (IMEMC)

8

Egyptian military officials said the army was doubling the size of a buffer zone along the border with the Gaza Strip, an operation that would involve the destruction of 1,220 more homes and the eviction of residents in Rafah on the Egyptian side of the border. (AP)

The Prisoners’ Centre for Studies said in a report that at least 135 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails had been killed since 1967 due to torture or live fire shooting. (WAFA)

The Palestinian Water Authority said in a statement that 96 per cent of Gaza’s underground water was unfit or unusable as it did not comply with global standards. (PNN)

The President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, Minister Sidiki Kaba, welcomed the deposit by the State of Palestine of the instruments of accession to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and to the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the International Criminal Court. President Kaba stated, “Each ratification of the Rome Statute constitutes welcome progress towards its universality. I call on all members of the United Nations to join this permanent and independent system of international justice to fight against impunity and prevent the most serious crimes under international law, which is based on the principle of complementarity with domestic jurisdictions.” (www.icc-cpi.int)

A 21-year-old Israeli man was stabbed in the back with a screwdriver by an Arab suspect near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, in what police are deeming a terrorist attack. The suspect fled the scene. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli soldiers raided several Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem, imposed a siege on a number of areas, and arrested seven Palestinians. (IMEMC)

Local sources said that Israeli soldiers stationed on military towers across from Gaza, east of the Khan Yunis district, fired dozens of rounds of live ammunition, and several flares targeting Palestinian homes and lands. (IMEMC)

Israeli officials closed the Erez crossing after Hamas security forces approached the area. The general director of crossings and borders Nathmi Mhanna said, “Hamas put a mobile caravan belonging to its internal security personnel inside the crossing,” and condemned the move, adding that the closure meant that the injured and sick would be unable to cross and urgent humanitarian and medical aid unable to enter. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Palestinian Government said it would not be able to fulfil its responsibilities toward the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip unless it is allowed to regain full control over the area. Hamas officials had accused the PA of turning its back on the Gaza Strip and called for rescinding the reconciliation agreement, after the PA announced that it would not pay salaries to civil servants hired by Hamas and demanded that former PA civil servants, who refused to work under the Hamas administration, be reinstated. (The Jerusalem Post)

Two Palestinian teenagers were injured after Israeli forces opened fire with live bullets during clashes with locals in the village of Burin south of Nablus. (Ma’an News Agency)

9

Following the recent directive by the UAE President, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for the immediate establishment of an air bridge to deliver emergency relief supplies to Syrian refugees, Gaza and the rest of Palestine affected by the snow storm and the harsh winter conditions, Dubai Cares announced that it has contributed AED 5 million ($1.36 million) in support of the initiative. (www.wam.ae)

A four-month old baby froze to death near Khan Yunis, Palestinian sources told Israel Radio. Hundreds of Palestinians in the southern Gaza Strip were forced to evacuate their homes due to rising water levels, as a winter storm continued. An official responsible for the displaced said that 49 mobile homes had been inundated east of Khan Yunis, while 100 more families were living in destroyed homes that he deemed uninhabitable. (The Jerusalem Post, Ma’an News Agency)

The Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture in the Gaza Strip said that it would be allowed to import citrus fruits from Israel starting 11 January. (Ma’an News Agency)

Khader Adnan, a Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jails who staged one of the longest hunger strikes in history in 2012, has launched a new week-long hunger strike to protest his renewed detention without charge or trial by Israeli authorities. (Ma’an News Agency)

Several human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, Broederlijk Delen, Christian Aid, the Coalition for the ICC, FIDH, and Pax Christi Flanders welcomed Palestine’s accession to the Rome Statute of the ICC as a move that help deter war crimes and end impunity in the region, and urged European countries to support it. (Palestine News Network)

Key members of the United States Senate issued a warning to the Palestinian Authority, stating that the “deplorable, counterproductive” decision to join the International Criminal Court “ be met with a strong response.” “Existing US law makes clear that if the Palestinians initiate an ICC judicially authorized investigation, or actively support such an investigation, all economic assistance to the PA must end,” Senators Lindsey Graham, Robert Menendez, Chuck Schumer and Mark Kirk said in a statement. (Jerusalem Post)

10

Israeli police forces detained seven Palestinians in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem after a vehicle belonging to an Israeli settler was torched in the area. (Ma’an News Agency)

In the night from 11 to 12 January Israeli Forces arrested 16 Palestinians in different cities and towns across the West Bank and Jerusalem – al-Samou south of Hebron, el-Esaweyeh in East Jerusalem, A’sera al-Shimaliya near Nablus, Askar refugee camp in Nablus, Taybeh west of Jenin – according to reports by security and local sources. (Al-Bawaba)

Two Palestinian babies and a young man were found dead in Gaza, bringing the total death toll in winter storm Huda to four after Palestinians in the tiny coastal enclave endured their coldest night of the storm yet. A two-month-old baby girl was found dead in a shelter for the displaced in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. (Ma’an News Agency)

Two Palestinians were injured as an underground smuggling tunnel collapsed on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt because of the heavy rains. (Ma’an News Agency)

A Palestinian youth was injured in the Palestinian village al-Rihiya south of Hebron when an Israeli settler shot at him from the nearby settlement of Beit Hagai. (Ma’an News Agency)

A Palestinian girl from Nablus sustained wounds after a group of Israeli settlers hurled rocks at the car she was traveling in. (Ma’an News Agency)

11

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas participated, with leaders from around the world, in the rally in Paris against terrorism and in solidarity with the victims of the recent Paris attacks. Hundreds of Palestinians in Ramallah and Gaza City participated in rallies in solidarity with France. (Ma’an News Agency)

PLO factions met and discussed a recent Hamas statement that had held nationalist Palestinian factions responsible for the dire situation in Gaza, saying that they hold Hamas responsible for hindering the work of the Palestinian unity government in Gaza and for the failure of the unity government to take real control over Gaza. (Ma’an News Agency)

More than a decade after a series of shootings and bombings in the Jerusalem area, a trial is slated this week in New York to determine whether the Palestine Liberation Organization and Palestinian Authority should pay up to $1 billion to victims. (Reuters)

Israel’s High Court of Justice ordered the Israeli state to notify the village of Battir in the West Bank, a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site, 60 days in advance if it plans to construct the Separation Wall in the area, in effect closing the door to any construction without further legal proceedings. (Palestine News Network)

Israeli settlers tore down more than 170 olive trees in the village of Yasuf south of Nablus, the third such attack in the West Bank in three days. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it had succeeded in releasing Palestinian refugees who had been detained in Laos after having entered that country illegally to escape the civil war in Syria. (WAFA)

12

The Hamas movement invited Palestinian parties from across the political spectrum to an emergency meeting in Gaza City to discuss the crises facing the coastal enclave, including electricity and the civil servants’ dispute. (Ma’an News Agency)

On 12 January civil servants at the labor, justice, women’s affairs, and public work ministries in the Gaza Strip went on a protest strike because they have not received any salaries for nearly 12 months. (Ma’an News Agency)

Following the kidnapping of an Egyptian security officer in the Sinai, Egyptian authorities canceled a decision to open the Rafah crossing with Gaza for three days this week. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli police arrested a settler suspected of shooting and injuring a Palestinian teenager in Hebron, police said. (Ma’an News Agency)

President Abbas met with President Erdogan in Ankara, briefing the Turkish President on Palestine’s efforts to return to the UN Security Council and to join several international bodies including the ICC. (Xinhua)

President Obama told Prime Minister Netanyahu in a phone call that the US opposes Palestinian attempts to join the ICC, according to a White House readout. (USA Today)

13

Undercover Israeli officers arrested a young Palestinian man, who was leaving the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, after scuffles with a group of Israeli worshippers who invaded the yards of the Mosque while heavily guarded by the police. (IMEMC)

Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian farmers and bird hunters east of Khan Yunis in Gaza, witnesses said. No injuries were reported. (Ma’an News Agency)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is scheduled to visit Palestine at the end of January and meet with President Abbas during a six-day tour to the region, which include Egypt, Jordan, and Israel, Palestine’s Ambassador to Japan said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Spain’s Foreign Minister José García-Margallo arrived in Gaza for a short visit. He is scheduled to visit areas devastated by Israel’s military offensive as well as projects funded by the Spanish Government. Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli Foreign Ministry has issued a classified document to the country’s diplomatic missions abroad, in which it warns of a “political tsunami” against Israel in 2015, Yediot Ahronot reported. It states that many of the world’s Parliaments – especially in Europe – plan to recognize the State of Palestine. “[Several] European countries have started labelling settlement products and imposing sanctions on Israel,” the document said. “The rise of right wing and extreme left in the forthcoming elections in Europe put an end to the special relationship with Israel,” it added. “There is no guarantee that the US continue to use its veto against the Palestinians at the UN Security Council after the coming [Israeli] elections in March,” it warned. (Ynetnews)

A 4th Gaza infant died of severe cold in a trailer where the family was living after their house was destroyed during the summer war. (PNN)

Hamas-affiliated lawmaker and former Minister of Finance Omar Abd al-Raziq was released from Israeli custody on 12 January after he served six months without trial under administrative detention. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Club said that Israel tortures Palestinian prisoners by putting them in outdoor detention amidst severe cold. (PNN)

Israeli police and the Shin Bet closed three Muslim charities, Muslim Women for Al-Aqsa, The Al-Aqsa Champions, and the Al-Fajr Foundation for Culture and Literature, suspected of financing “organizations which identify with Hamas” and paying activists to confront Jewish visitors at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. (Ynetnews)

The Muslim Charities Forum was stripped of $380,000 in funding by the UK Government over alleged links with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. (www.albawaba.net)

Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Egypt said his country had provided $60 million in direct support for the Palestinian Government’s budget. (WAFA)

Spain’s Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo visited Gaza to see first-hand the situation following last summer’s conflict and to hear about the long-term humanitarian and political support required to help families in Gaza recover and rebuild. (www.unrwa.org)

14

Israeli forces detained 32 Palestinians, including minors, during raids in East Jerusalem and Hebron. (Ma’an News Agency)

President Abbas met with Egyptian President Al Sisi in Cairo and discussed the latest developments regarding efforts at the UN to set a deadline to end the Israeli occupation. (WAFA)

The Permanent Representative of Iraq to the Arab League said his country had transferred $28.7 million in direct support for the Palestinian Government’s budget. Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa announced that Qatar had transferred $25 million to the Palestinian Government, which would be allocated to support reconstruction in Gaza. (WAFA)

Israeli settlers slashed the tires of 11 cars owned by Palestinians in Beit Safafa in East Jerusalem and sprayed anti-Arab graffiti. (WAFA)

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin asked members of a large AIPAC delegation to use their efforts and abilities with the US Administration to help renew dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians with a view to reaching a final-status agreement. (Jerusalem Post)

Qatar transferred USD 25 million to the Palestinian Authority for reconstruction in the Gaza Strip. (Xinhua)

Hamas-affiliated parliament members in the Gaza Strip reactivated the coastal enclave’s parliament, which had been suspended since a unity deal between Fatah and Hamas was agreed upon in April 2014. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli authorities demolished a number of steel structures belonging to Palestinian citizens of Israel in the al-Araqib, in the Negev, for the 80th time in a row. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli authorities renewed the administrative detention orders of 30 Palestinian detainees, including MP Nayif al-Rujoub, and issued new sentences to six detainees. (Ma’an News Agency)

An Israeli delegation of Gaza border communities’ residents testified in Geneva before the United Nations Human Rights Council committee set up to investigate possible war crimes during Israel’s 50-day war in Gaza last summer. (Ha’aretz)

15

Israeli troops carried out several detention raids across the West Bank detaining ten young men in Jenin, Nablus and Hebron. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli troops stationed along the border with the southern Gaza Strip opened fire at Palestinian fields while farmers were tending their lands. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces launched a house-to-house sweep campaign in the village of Aboud to the northwest of Ramallah purportedly looking for individuals suspected in opening fire at an Israeli military vehicle nearby. (WAFA)

Israeli forces opened fire at two Palestinians near the Gush Etzion Junction between Bethlehem and Hebron in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday evening, killing one. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Arab League is meeting in Cairo to discuss the failed Palestinian resolution at the United Nations Security Council aimed at ending Israel’s occupation. “The meeting review a number of issues, the main one being the developments regarding the Palestinian case, especially after failing to pass the UN bid,” Deputy Secretary General Ahmed Helly told reporters. The meeting also discuss future steps to support the Palestinian position. (Daily Mail)

At the Arab League meeting in Cairo Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas proposed the formation of an Arab committee to be led by Kuwait to thrash out a renewed effort to go back to the UN Security Council for another draft resolution ending the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territory. However, he said the Palestinians would not mind having negotiations with Israel provided that there should be a clear-cut content and specific strategy. (Kuwait News Agency)

In response to financial crisis gripping the Palestinian Authority, in a speech at the meeting of the Arab League in Cairo President Abbas hinted that, should the situation remain as it is, he would dissolve the Palestinian Authority and hand over the responsibility of running the Occupied Palestinian Territory back to Israel. (WAFA)

The Erez border crossing in Beit Hanoun between Israel and the Gaza Strip operate as normal starting on 15 January after it was closed days earlier. (Ma’an News Agency)

Dozens of youth in the Gaza Strip marched along the seaport of Gaza city to protest the ongoing Israeli blockade imposed on the coastal enclave, and called for establishing a seaport to allow safe entry and exit of commodities and individuals. (WAFA)

The United Nations Security Council in its 7360th meeting debated “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine Question”. In the monthly briefing by the UN Secretariat, UN Assistant Secretary-General ad interim for Political Affairs Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen said that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was alarmed that the Israelis and Palestinians were engaged in a downward spiral of actions and counter actions and called on both sides not to exacerbate existing divisions. (Reuters)

The Middle East Quartet meet on 26 January in Brussels to discuss the next steps to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, the UN announced. (un.org)

Following the Arab League meeting and the Ministerial meeting of the Arab Peace Initiative Committee, Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah said that the Ministerial Council had decided to form a ministerial committee, chaired by Kuwait with membership of Mauritania, Jordan, Egypt, Palestine, Morocco, and the Arab League Secretariat, to conduct necessary consultations and mobilize support at the UN Security Council. He stressed how, with its current membership, the Council had become more “suitable for understanding the Palestinian cause”. (Kuwait News Agency)

The Palestinian Authority commission of prisoners’ affairs released a report saying that ‘Nafha’ prison’s administration allowed the prisoners to buy only 15 blankets from the prison’s store since the start of winter. ‘Nafha’ prison witnesses a series of oppressive practices against the prisoners including medical negligence, arbitrary searches, night raids, and refusing to let families bring heaters, blankets, and winter clothing to the prisoners forcing them to buy the expensive blankets from the prison’s store. (Palestine News Network)

At the monthly briefing to the Security Council, the UN has called on Israel “to immediately resume the transfer of tax revenues,” owed to the Palestinian Authority. The taxes were withheld after the authority decided to join the International Criminal Court. UN Assistant Secretary-General Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen told the Security Council that the freeze of about US$127 million (NZ$162 million) imposed on 3 January was in violation of the Oslo agreements between Israel and the Palestinians. (un.org)

16

The IDF arrested six Palestinian suspects in the West Bank overnight. Two men detained were affiliated with Hamas. (The Jerusalem Post)

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said Israel had irritated close allies by over-reacting to Stockholm recognizing the State of Palestine, saying its rhetoric over the issue had “crossed all limits”. “It has irritated not only us, but the Americans and everyone who has anything to do with them right now” Wallstrom said in an interview in daily Dagens Nyheter, where she sharply criticized Israel’s policies. “Israel has been extremely aggressive”. (The Jerusalem Post)

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird started a four-day trip to Israel, but decided not to visit the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque, which has been a tinderbox of violence in recent months. (thestar.com)

A group of 185 Palestinian Muslims from Gaza were allowed by Israeli authorities to travel to Jerusalem to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. (Ma’an News Agency)

Three months after the International Donor Conference in Cairo the majority of money promised for reconstruction in Gaza has yet to arrive, according to Mohammad Mustafa the chairman of the government committee on rehabilitation. Only Japan has provided the $500,000 it promised for removing rubble. The conference had been hailed as a success, with Qatar promising $1 billion, Saudi Arabia $500 million and the United States and the European Union a combined $780 million in various forms of assistance. UN and other officials said in December that barely two percent of the $5.4 billion pledged has been transferred to Gaza. The Palestinian Authority has said it not be able to move forward with Gaza’s reconstruction without full control of the border crossings. 100,000 people remain displaced and 22,000 housing units remain destroyed or badly damaged following the Gaza war last summer. (The Jerusalem Post; Churches for Middle East Peace)

Hundreds of Palestinians performed Friday prayers in front of the Rafah crossing in Gaza in protest over its prolonged closure. Protesters demanded that Egypt reopen the crossing and urged the Palestinian Authority to support them. The Palestinian Ministry of Internal Affairs says over 25,000 humanitarian cases are on a waiting list to use the crossing for medical treatment and to continue their studies abroad. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli authorities opened the Kerem Shalom crossing to allow cooking gas and diesel into the Gaza Strip. Last week, a local union official in Gaza told Ma’an that the territory was suffering a severe shortage of cooking gas as only 40 tons had entered over 10 days, despite daily needs of over 300 tons for the population of 1.7 million Palestinians. (Ma’an News Agency)

Hamas deputy leader Mussa Abu Marzouk said this week in an interview with pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat that Israel “rearrested and imprisoned many prisoners who were released, which is in violation of the Gilad Schalit prisoner exchange deal.” (The Jerusalem Post)

The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda opened an initial examination of the situation in Palestine, following the Palestinian Government accession to the Rome Statute on 2 January 2015 and its declaration of 1 January 2015, accepting the jurisdiction of the ICC “over alleged crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, since June 13, 2014.” A preliminary examination is not an investigation but a process of examining the information available in order to reach a fully informed determination on whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation pursuant to the criteria established by the Rome Statute. There are no timelines provided in the Rome Statute for a decision on a preliminary examination. (www.icc-cpi.int)

UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women Rashida Manjoo cancelled a planned ten-day trip from 19 January to the Palestinian territory to meet women survivors of violence due to lack of necessary support, including a visa, by the Israeli government. The programme included meetings with Palestinian officials, law enforcement agents, representatives of civil society organisations and survivors of violence in different locations as well as visits to prisons, refugee camps and shelters for women survivors of violence, among others. (ZeeNews.com)

A 24-year-old Palestinian farmer was shot and injured in the foot by Israeli forces stationed in a watchtower along the Gaza border while he was working on his field. (IMEMC)

Israeli soldiers ransacked several homes and stores in Sanour village, south of Jenin, and arrested one Palestinian man. Many residents suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation. (IMEMC)

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Israeli forces arrested four Palestinians in Hebron. (WAFA)

Israeli settlers uprooted around 20 olive trees from Palestinian-owned land in northern Ramallah. (WAFA)

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Israeli forces arrested eight Palestinians from across the West Bank. (WAFA)

Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird met with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki in Ramallah. Mr. Baird said in a statement: “I asked that the Minister strongly reconsider the consequences of moving forward with any action that may be counterproductive to a negotiated solution with the State of Israel. A desire for a future of peace, prosperity, stability and security for both Palestinians and Israelis must drive both parties toward direct negotiations.” (www.international.gc.ca)

The Israeli army demolished an animal barn belonging to a Palestinian family near the village of Bani Naim, east of Hebron. (WAFA)

Following a visit to Israel’s Hasharon and Majdo prisons, a lawyer of the Detainees and Ex-detainees Affairs Committee reported testimonies of several Palestinian minor inmates who said that they had been subjected to torture and physical abuse during their arrest, in detention and throughout their interrogation process. (WAFA)

Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman said Israel was lobbying member-states of the International Criminal Court to cut funding in response to its launch of an inquiry into possible war crimes in the Palestinian territories. “We demand of our friends in Canada, in Australia and in Germany simply to stop funding it,” he told Israel Radio. (Reuters)

19

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said in a statement that the Council of the EU would appeal the judgement of the EU General Court of 17 December 2014 that had annulled measures taken by the Council against Hamas, namely the designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization. (http://eeas.europa.eu)

Hamas police arrested Salafists trying to storm a French cultural centre in Gaza during a protest over the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. (Ma’an News Agency)

20

Hamas said that an explosion targeted the car of its senior security official in the Gaza Strip. No one was hurt. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli forces detained eight Palestinians from Hebron and assaulted two teenagers during a detention raid in the Arroub refugee camp, locals reported. They also detained a Palestinian teenager near Ramallah (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats near Gaza despite their being within the allowed six-nautical-mile zone, a fisherman said. (WAFA)

Speaking to reporters after meeting in Ramallah with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, President Abbas said he was committed to resuming peace talks with Israel “on the basis of the Arab peace initiatives and UN resolutions.” Addressing Israelis, Abbas said: “They must choose between peace and settlement expansion at our expense. You can’t achieve peace through collective punishment by withholding our money, and not through racist measures on the ground and the continued incarceration of thousands of prisoners.” The Japanese Prime Minister announced that his country would provide $100m to help reconstruct the Gaza Strip and create job opportunities for Palestinians. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian house in the East Jerusalem area town of al-Issawiya allegedly being built without a permit. (Ma’an News Agency)

A spokesman for the Palestinian Finance Ministry said the Government paid civil servants only 60 per cent of their salaries for December after Israel froze the transfer of taxes. Of the $100 million a month Arab “safety net,” the Palestinians only received a “very small amount,” he said. (Ynetnews)

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned statements made by Israeli Cabinet Ministers calling on certain countries to stop funding the ICC. (PNN)

Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said in a radio interview, “We have virtually started preparations to bring lawsuits against Israel at the ICC. In cooperation with international human rights organizations, we have started to collect evidence and affidavits that would be submitted to ICC.” Malki said the PA had contacted some prominent attorneys experienced in lawsuits before the ICC. (WAFA)

Diplomats must take a fresh look at the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in the hopes of reviving the negotiations after the March elections in Israel, the EU’s foreign policy chief said. Speaking at the Brookings Institution, Federica Mogherini suggested one way forward would be to enlarge the Middle East Quartet steering the negotiations. (AFP)

A group of officials from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs toured the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem under the guard of Israeli forces. On the same day, some 30 right-wing Israelis also entered the compound in groups, one of which provoked Muslim worshipers. Further, some 15 Israeli intelligence officers also toured the holy site. (Ma’an News Agency)

Dozens of laborers in Gaza protested in front of the unity government’s cabinet headquarters in Gaza City, decrying what they said was government neglect of their industry. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces handed 30 demolition threats of Palestinian-owned structures in al-Dir in the Jordan Valley, including residential sheds, animal barns, and fodder storage units. (Palestine News Network)

The Detainees and ex-Detainees Affairs Committee stated that three prisoners, who are held in solitary confinement in the Israeli al-Ramla prison, were suffering from terrible health conditions, being subjected to severe pressure and restrictions, psychologically tortured, and shackled even during family and lawyer visits. (WAFA)

Some 20 diplomats from 9 countries visited the Gaza Strip to better understand the very difficult situation facing thousands of Palestinians this winter, particularly those displaced by the hostilities this past summer. Led by the UN Humanitarian Coordinator James Rawley and UNRWA’s Director of Operations in Gaza, Robert Turner, the diplomats met with displaced Palestinians and discussed the need for long-term solutions for the coastal enclave. (unrwa.org)

175 tons of humanitarian aid from the UAE were delivered to the Gaza Strip through the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing. The shipment includes food, medicines and medical equipment. (Ma’an News Agency)

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A Palestinian man from Tulkarem refugee camp in the West Bank attacked passengers with a knife on a bus in Tel Aviv, wounding at least 12 people before being shot by a passing prison officer. (Ma’an News Agency)

A purportedly Zionist organization, calling itself Pulsa Di Noura, has sent a Palestinian activist from the East Jerusalem town of al-Isawiya a letter threatening to kill him if he doesn’t leave the area. About two weeks ago, the mayor of Hebron and a school principal in the city had received similar letters. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces launched a major detention campaign in the northern West Bank refugee camps of Balata and Askar in Nablus district, arresting 15 Palestinian men. (Ma’an News Agency)

The PLO Executive Committee is meeting to discuss a new Palestinian statehood resolution at the UN, which would call for the end of the Israeli occupation within two years, allowing for a year of negotiations. (Ma’an News Agency)

A new report by Physicians for Human Rights accused Israel of having used human shields and attacking medical workers and facilities during last summer’s war in the Gaza Strip. The report was based on testimony from eight overseas medical experts who had made three visits to Gaza and interviewed doctors and wounded Palestinians. (Haaretz)

The Palestinian agricultural sector in Gaza has incurred no less than $450 million in losses due to the war in summer 2014, according to the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute. While 57 per cent of Gaza’s families had no food security before the war, their situation was now even worse as the potential for recovery in agriculture – the major component of food security – remained unclear. (WAFA)

In an unprecedented move, the municipality of the illegal Israeli settlement Kiryat Arba near Hebron has asked a Palestinian resident nearby to pay a property tax of NIS 88,200 (USD 22,400) to the Israeli municipality. (WAFA)

Israeli authorities have issued administrative detention orders against 22 Palestinians, for 17 of whom for a repeated time, stated the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli authorities destroyed a Palestinian building in the Shu’fat neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, the third such home demolition in the city in the last two days. (Ma’an News Agency)

Egyptian authorities returned to Gaza 45 Palestinians who had spent several months in Egyptian prisons after they crossed into Egypt without documents hoping to travel by sea to Europe. (Ma’an News Agency)

Dozens of Palestinian children protested against the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip at the coastal enclave’s port, hoping to highlight the effects of a blockade entering its eighth year. (Ma’an News Agency, WAFA)

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Israeli forces arrested two Palestinians, and detained another two in various areas of the West Bank, according to security sources. (WAFA)

Israeli forces raided the village of Asira al-Shamaliya near Nablus and questioned several worshipers after they exited the Abu Khalil mosque following dawn prayers. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Resident Representative of Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Palestine Office, Youngwoo Kim, and Director of the UNOPS Jerusalem Operations Centre, Nick O’Regan, signed an MoU to partner in the procurement of educational and health equipment worth $807,938 for KOICA’s projects in Palestine. (Palestine News Network)

The council of the settlement of “Kiryat Arba” in Hebron has ordered a Palestinian local to pay $22,000 in property tax to the settlement, claiming that his house is located on land belonging to the settlement. The Palestinian said the move was unprecedented and was intended to force his family from their land, which settlers had been trying to accomplish since 2001. (Ma’an News Agency)

Qatar Red Crescent (QRC) has signed an MoU with the Palestinian Ministry of Public Works and Housing to carry out a relief project worth $1.5m to build 100 temporary homes for the Gazans in Beit Hanoun who lost their homes in Israeli attacks. (thepeninsulaqatar.com)

Unidentified assailants blew up a car belonging to a Fatah leader in Gaza City. The incident is the latest in a series of attacks on the cars and homes of Fatah leaders in the Gaza Strip. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Committee lawyers said Israeli authorities continued their medical neglect of about 2,000 prisoners with health problems, including 160 diagnosed with chronic diseases. (Ma’an News Agency)

UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl inaugurated the “Long Journey” exhibition of refugee-related photos and film in Al-Bireh and said. “We are committed to preserving the archive for future generations to ensure this essential part of Palestine heritage not be lost.”(unrwa.org)

According to a report partly commissioned by Physicians for Human Rights’ Israeli branch and carried out by eight independent medical experts, Israeli conduct during last summer’s war in the Gaza Strip increased the number of civilian casualties by failing to differentiate between military targets and civilian populations. The report said Israel’s “early warning” procedures -- including phone calls, text messages and dropping preliminary non-explosive missiles on buildings before striking them -- were inconsistent and often did not provide enough time for evacuation. Palestinian NGO Al-Mezan has said the ineffective use of preliminary warning strikes could constitute a war crime. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli gunboats opened fire on Palestinian fishermen off the coast of northern Gaza. The boats were damaged, but no injuries were reported. (WAFA)

Palestine and Russia signed agreements to establish two joint committees to supervise economic cooperation and fight money laundering. (Ma’an News Agency)

Bassil Nassar of UNDP in Gaza said that UNDP had received only five per cent of the $200 million pledged by donor countries for reconstruction in Gaza. (WAFA)

Israeli forces demolished Palestinian residential structures and sheds belonging to Bedouins in the village of Beit Iksa, north-west of Jerusalem. (WAFA)

The Israeli military court sentenced a 14-year-old Palestinian girl to two months in prison and a fine of 6,000 shekels (about US$1,500) for allegedly throwing stones at Israeli soldiers. (WAFA)

23

Egyptian naval forces shot and injured a Gaza fisherman who allegedly entered Egyptian waters. (Ma’an News Agency)

A settler car ran over and moderately injured a five-year-old Palestinian child. (Ma’an News Agency)

The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, James W. Rawley, expressed concern over the Israeli authorities’ recent spate of demolitions of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. “In the past three days, 77 Palestinians, over half of them children, have been made homeless. … Some of the demolished structures were provided by the international community to support vulnerable families. Demolitions that result in forced evictions and displacement run counter to Israel’s obligations under international law and create unnecessary suffering and tension. They must stop immediately,” Mr. Rawley said. (www.ochaopt.org)

President Abbas said that Palestinian membership of the ICC would be fully active by April. Abbas said the most important issues to bring to the ICC were Israeli settlements and assaults. (WAFA)

24

Young Palestinian men hurled improvised bombs at an Israeli military pillbox outside the settlement of “Beit El”. (Ma’an News Agency)

A Hamas spokesman said that failure to pay Hamas Government employees was a serious misstep for the national consensus Government. A Gaza-based Hamas lawmaker accused the PA of aggravating the suffering of Gaza residents by adding enormous taxes on the fuel which runs its sole power plant. The Palestinian Embassy in Cairo meanwhile accused Hamas of preventing 115 students in Gaza from leaving the territory. (Ma’an News Agency)

A Palestinian youth was shot and injured by live Israeli settler fire to the south of Bethlehem, while other settlers attacked passing Palestinian vehicles with rocks, according to local and security sources. (IMEMC)

25

Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian homes in the southern Gaza Strip, witnesses said. No injuries were reported. (Ma’an News Agency)

A Palestinian sustained wounds after he was stabbed by Israeli extremist settlers, near the southern West Bank city of [Hebron], local sources said. (ABNA)

26

Israeli Navy targeted Palestinian fishermen’s boats with a hail of gunfire northwest of Gaza, according to a WAFA correspondent, causing damages to the boats, while no injuries were reported. (WAFA)

Hamas test-fired several rockets from the Gaza Strip into the sea. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli soldiers arrested 12 Palestinians in different parts of the West Bank. (Petra)

Fatah is set to organize rallies across the West Bank in protest against “the Israeli occupation’s punitive procedures.” Fatah called on the Palestinian public to escalate its struggle against Israel through boycotts of Israeli products and “popular resistance.” (Ma’an News Agency)

Representative of India to the State of Palestine, Mahesh Kumar said, during a ceremony marking the Indian Republic Day in Ramallah, that his country continue to support the Palestinian sovereignty and independence, and continue to support initiatives at the UN for an early recognition of the State of Palestine. (WAFA)

The Arab and International Relations Council held a meeting in Amman to focus on the ways of reviving the Arab Peace Initiative. A number of current and former Arab Ministers took part. The Council is a non-profit organization established by Kuwait in 2009. (KUNA)

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said after meeting Israeli Foreign Minister Liberman in Moscow: “We expressed concern about the continued deterioration of relations between Palestinians and Israelis. We firmly believe that everything possible must be done to prevent the conflict from becoming [an] interfaith [one]… We are also ing to use the potential of the Quartet… which has been active at the level of Special Envoys, and if necessary also in the ministerial format. But again, these efforts must involve the leading Arab countries of the region.” (www.mid.ru)

Alaa al-Batta, spokesman for the committee formed to lift the Gaza blockade, said preparations are under way to launch within two months a boat service out of Gaza for the sick and students studying overseas. (AFP)

The Rafah crossing with Egypt had been sealed for a total of 241 days during 2014, and opened for 125, the Border and Crossing Authority reported. (IMEMC)

A 13-truck aid convoy packed with medicine and food supplies was dispatched from the UAE to the Gaza Strip to help those affected by the winter storm. (The National/UAE)

An Israeli court sentenced a 14-year-old Palestinian girl to two months for throwing stones and the possession of a knife. (Al-Jazeera)

The military Israeli prosecution has submitted an indictment against two Palestinian teens in connection with a December firebombing attack that left an 11-year-old daughter of a settler critically wounded. (The Times of Israel)

An Egyptian court dropped a case calling for the declaration of Hamas as a terrorist organisation, citing its lack of jurisdiction in the matter. (Aswat Masriya)

The Israeli Housing and Construction Ministry has earmarked some $215,000 for the expansion of the “Efrata” settlement near Bethlehem. (Haaretz)

Some 87 Palestinians left the Gaza Strip to visit relatives being held in Israeli jails, the ICRC said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli undercover police detained a 10-year-old Palestinian boy in the Shuafat neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, leading to clashes between locals and Israeli forces, the family said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin urged UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to take a stand against the Palestinian attempt to bring IDF soldiers and Israeli leaders in front of the ICC, he told Ynetnews in an interview. (Ynetnews)

Director of Hamas’ foreign affairs Osama Hamdan said that Hamas had asked the Egyptian side to contact the Israelis to resume the indirect ceasefire talks. (Palestinian Information Centre)

Israel prevented the Palestinian Minister of Public Works and Housing from leaving the Gaza Strip to travel to the West Bank. (Ma’an News Agency)

Dozens of Israeli settlers stormed Islamic religious sites in the village of Awarta, northwest of Nablus, and performed religious rituals exhibiting disrespect to Muslim residents, according to a local official. (WAFA)

The Middle East Quartet Envoys met in Brussels. EU High Representative Federica Mogherini attended the start of the meeting. They explored the role that the Quartet could play in supporting the resumption of meaningful negotiations with the aim of achieving a comprehensive peace agreement based on a two-state solution. They noted in this regard the importance of engaging closely with their Arab partners. They agreed on the importance of convening a meeting of the Quartet Principals as soon as possible. They also underscored the urgency of improving the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza and agreed that every effort should be made to encourage the fulfilment of pledges of assistance made at the Cairo Conference on the reconstruction of Gaza in October last year.(un.org)

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Israeli forces fired at Palestinian agricultural lands across the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, witnesses said. (Ma’an News Agency)

UNRWA has been forced to suspend its cash assistance programme in Gaza, the agency announced in a statement. The agency urgently requires $100 million in the first quarter of this year to allow families to repair homes with minor damage and to provide ongoing rental subsidies to the people made homeless by the war. (UNRWA)

Israeli troops stormed the northern West Bank village of Azzun east of Qalqiliya and apprehended two young Palestinian men and a teenager. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli troops shot and injured a Palestinian teenager during clashes near Joseph’s Tomb near Balata refugee camp in Nablus in the northern West Bank. According to Palestinian security sources, several buses loaded with ultra-orthodox Jews and settlers arrived to Joseph’s Tomb and performed religious rites at the holy site. They were escorted by more than 15 military vehicles. Clashes then broke out between young Palestinian men and Israeli soldiers. (Ma’an News Agency)

United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Mr. Robert Serry participated in a special event at the Yad Vashem in Jerusalem marking the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, which was attended by Prime Minister Netanyahu and representatives of the international community. In his remarks, Mr. Serry paid tribute to all Holocaust survivors and said that the United Nations was born in response to the unbearable suffering of the dark war years and that “we must fight anti-Semitism wherever it raises its ugly presence”. (unsco.org)

The Gaza-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights urged Palestinian authorities to abolish the death penalty, after two new sentences were handed down this month in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The PCHR called for “an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty as a form of punishment because it violates international human rights standards.” Under Palestinian law, collaboration with Israel, murder and drug trafficking are all punishable by death. (AFP, Ma’an News Agency)

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A group of 63 influential MEPs have called on EU Foreign Policy High Representative Federica Mogherini to suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement. The group, representing the five biggest parties in the European Parliament, noted that this call constitutes a ‘unique cross-party initiative’ intended to call on the EU to impose tough measures against Israel to hold it accountable for its massacre of more than 2,300 Palestinians in Gaza last summer. The group called on the European Commission “to consider the suspension of the Association Agreement with Israel unless Israel takes substantial and immediate steps to bring its conduct in line with international law.” (WAFA)

An Israeli settler from the illegal outpost in “al-Thuri” near Silwan in Jerusalem assaulted and attempted to kidnap a 14-year-old Palestinian boy while the boy was walking to school, the boy’s father says. A group of settlers stopped their private car and one of them stepped out and tried to drag the boy forcibly into the car, but the boy started to scream for help and managed to run away. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces have confiscated hundreds of dunams of Palestinian land in the Beit Ula town north of Hebron claiming the property is “state land.” (Ma’an News Agency)

Unidentified assailants set fire to the car of a Fatah official in Gaza, the second incident of its kind this week. (Ma’an News Agency)

According to a new report by Child Rights International Network, some 700 Palestinian children per year are arrested and face “ill-treatment” by Israeli forces. The report said that “during 2014, an average of 197 children were held in military detention every month, 13 per cent of whom are under the age of 16.” According to research conducted by Defence for Children International -- Palestine cited by the report, some 56 percent of children report having experienced “coercive” interrogation techniques during their time in Israeli custody. (Ma’an News Agency)

In a statement, the Special Coordinator expressed his outrage for the assault on the UNSCO compound in Gaza this morning. During a pre-announced demonstration, a number of protestors climbed the perimeter wall and entered the compound causing damage to United Nations premises and property. Due to precautionary measures taken, United Nations personnel working in the compound were unharmed. The Special Coordinator noted with deep concern that, despite repeated assurances, the security forces in Gaza did not take the necessary and timely measures to protect UNSCO’s compound. Pending a full transfer of security responsibilities to the legitimate Palestinian Authority, UNSCO continues to hold Hamas fully responsible for the security and safety of all United Nations personnel and operations in Gaza. (unsco.org)

In a report examining 70 raids on residential buildings in the Gaza Strip, Israeli human rights group B’Tselem criticized the Israeli government for what it called a deliberate policy of launching air strikes on homes that killed hundreds of civilians during last year’s Gaza war. (Ma’an News Agency)

UN Special Coordinator Robert Serry stated that he is “outraged” by the assault on UN premises in Gaza during a demonstration. In view of “increasing incitement against the United Nations in Gaza, the Special Coordinator is conducting an urgent review of operations in Gaza,” the statement said. Dozens of Palestinians in Gaza demonstrated outside of UNRWA’s office in Gaza to protest a decision to suspend cash transfers for those displaced by Israel’s summer military offensive. Protesters chanted slogans against the PA, Israel, and Robert Serry himself, calling UNRWA’s decision “political”. (Ma’an News Agency, UNSCO)

Israeli troops and intelligence officers stormed several houses and commercial stores in the Old City of Jerusalem and detained three young Palestinian men. (Ma’an News Agency)

A teenage Palestinian boy from the northern West Bank village of Tayasir east of Tubas sustained minor injuries after an Israeli UXO blew up when he walked through a field. (Ma’an News Agency)

Dozens of doctors and nurses who have not received their paychecks in months protested in front of the Ministry of Health building in the Gaza Strip. The protests are the latest obstacle facing Gaza hospitals, which have been beset by strikes by cleaning staff and other workers repeatedly over the past few months. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said the Israeli military’s bombardment of vulnerable homes during last year summer aggression on Gaza is a systematic policy carried out by the Israeli Government. (WAFA)

29

Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of northwestern Gaza City, witnesses said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces arrested eight Palestinians during predawn raid campaigns in the districts of Hebron, Jenin, and Qalqilya, according to local and security sources. (WAFA)

Members of the UK House Lords debate the resolution of the House of Commons of 13 October 2014 that “this House believes that the Government should recognize the State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel, as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-State solution”, as well as similar recommendations adopted by the European Parliament, and the Parliaments of Sweden, France, Ireland, Portugal, and Luxembourg. (UK Parliament)

The Palestinian Government intends to borrow money from local banks to pay 60 per cent of the public servants’ January wages, stated Foreign Minister Riad Malki, noting that the Government would bear an additional financial burden as a result. (WAFA)

The Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) limit the supply of power to the PA starting on 29 January over a debt of some NIS 1.8 billion ($ 424.3 million), cutting the power supply to the Palestinians by 50 per cent for two hours every day. (Ynetnews)

Israel and the Palestinians have failed to adequately investigate the full range of apparent human rights violations committed during the Gaza war last summer, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said in a report, which catalogued abuses blamed on both sides, including Israeli shelling of hospitals, of schools housing displaced people and of a group of children playing hide-and-seek on a beach, and witness reports of Israeli soldiers firing on civilians with white flags, and the shooting of an ambulance driver as he went to evacuate a child. Alleged abuses by Palestinian armed groups included locating military objects in civilian buildings, launching rockets from densely populated areas and executing suspected collaborators. (Reuters)

Israeli forces destroyed a water network which feeds Palestinian villages and Bedouin dwellings in the northern Jordan Valley, the head of the village council of al-Maleh and its surrounding Bedouin dwellings said. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli army demolished an animal barn and a makeshift residential structure near the village of Idna, northwest of Hebron in the West Bank, according to local sources. (WAFA)

The Israeli authorities have recently sentenced 13 minors to serve between 14 to 28 months in jail and to pay fines, according to their representative. About 99 minor prisoners are currently incarcerated in Ofer prison, of whom at least 33 were arrested last month during predawn and night army attacks on vulnerable towns and villages. (Ma’an News Agency)

Armed conflict in Gaza between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in 2014 left thousands of victims of laws of war violations and rights abuses with nowhere to turn for justice, Human Rights Watch said in its World Report 2015. “The appalling loss of civilian lives and property in Gaza was the predictable result of past fighting in which virtually no one responsible for violations was held to account,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, MENA director. “Countries that rightly advocate for justice for international crimes elsewhere should support Palestine’s accession to the International Criminal Court.” (hrw.org)

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IDF suppressed weekly protests near Ramallah, injuring a 15-year-old Palestinian boy in the thigh with a live bullet. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces raided the village of Qarawat Bani Zaid near Ramallah and detained a young Palestinian man, after raiding his home. (Ma’an News Agency)

According to a new publication by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Palestinians in historical Palestine outnumber Jewish Israelis by the end of 2020, 7.14 million compared to 6.87 million. (IMEMC)

In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned Israel’s settlement activities on occupied Palestinian land and its recent decision to approve the construction of 430 new settlement units. (WAFA)

UNRWA Commissioner-General, Pierre Krähenbühl, visited Lebanon where he met witH Lebanese Prime Minister Tamam Salam, Parliament Speaker, Nabih Berri and a number of senior Lebanese officials and diplomatic representatives, including the Ambassador of Palestine to Lebanon. He visited the Palestine refugee camp of Nahr el-Bared where he had the opportunity to inspect the latest developments of the reconstruction project. At the temporary shelters, Mr. Krähenbühl met with the displaced residents, the popular committees and Palestinian factions in North Lebanon. He reiterated UNRWA’s strong commitment to completing the reconstruction of the refugee camp and expressed his deep solidarity with the population. (unrwa.org)

31

Senior Palestinian officials Hanan Ashrawi and Saeb Erekat condemned a report that Israel had approved 430 more housing units in Jewish-only settlement in the occupied West Bank, calling for international action to end Israeli “impunity.” (Ma’an News Agency)

Dozens of Israeli settlers evening gathered on the main road between Ramallah and Nablus near the settlement of “Beit El” and hurled rocks at passing Palestinian vehicles. Several vehicles sustained damages in the attacks. Witnesses said that Israeli soldiers were standing next to the settlers as they attacked the vehicles but did not intervene. (Ma’an News Agency)


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