Thursday, October 29, 2015

IMF Imposes New Restrictions As Attacks Continue In West Bank, New Zealand Circulates New Draft Resolution For New Peace Effort

IDF imposes new restrictions on West Bank Palestinians as attacks persist

The army began implementing a series of dramatic new measures on Thursday to separate the Jewish and Palestinians populations in the West Bank in an attempt to curb the stabbing attacks that have plagued the area in recent weeks, an IDF official said.
Hebron and the Etzion Bloc have seen nearly daily attacks against civilians and security forces in the past week. In response, the IDF said that it would not allow Palestinian males between the ages of 15 and 25 to pass through Hebron’s Jewish settlement, except those that live in the surrounding area, who will be forced to undergo a thorough security check.
Meanwhile, an Etzion Bloc council leader said soldiers would separate Palestinian and Jewish residents at the Etzion Junction that has been the site of multiple terror attacks.

“In Hebron, since October 1, a total of 13 stabbing attacks or foiled attempts were carried out by Palestinians against civilians and security forces,” an IDF spokeswoman told The Times of Israel.
In nearly every one of these cases, the Palestinian attackers were shot dead by forces on the scene.
“In light of this reality, beginning on the morning of October 29, in accordance with a security assessment, several precautionary measures were taken in order to prevent potential attacks in the future and maintain the safety and well-being of Israelis,” she said.

The Etzion Bloc, a cluster of Jewish settlements south of Jerusalem, has also seen a spate of stabbing attacks. On Wednesday, a Jewish woman was stabbed in the back outside of a supermarket.

The head of the regional council, Davidi Perl, met with the local IDF brigade commander to develop new strategies to prevent future attacks, the council announced in an email to residents on Thursday evening.

“We decided upon a meaningful change in the defense approach for the area surrounding the Gush Etzion Junction,” Perl wrote in the email.

“Additional troops will reinforce the area and will carry out thorough searches. All of these decisions were made with the full support of the [West Bank] division commander and the [Central] Command general, who are in constant contact with me,” Perl said.

“In the past two weeks we have experienced, almost every day, a series of serious terror attacks in the Etzion Bloc. To our dismay, according to our intelligence assessment, we do not see an end in sight and do not identify a decrease in the terrorists’ motivation to attack,” Perl said.

A proposed UN resolution aimed at setting the stage for renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations is almost certain to raise objections from both sides with its calls for a halt to Israeli settlement construction and Palestinian action at the International Criminal Court.

The draft resolution, obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, notes “with alarm the escalating cycle of violence” between Israel and the Palestinians. It declares that a two-state solution, achieved through direct negotiations, is the only path to peace.

New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully, whose country is serving a two-year term on the Security Council, told a council meeting last week that recent events “cry out for action.”

The current wave of violence began in mid-September in Jerusalem amid tensions over a sensitive holy site and quickly spread deeper into Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Eleven Israelis have been killed, many of them stabbed to death by Palestinian terrorists, and 58 Palestinians, many of them attackers, have been killed.

The draft resolution demands that Israel and the Palestinians take steps “to end the violence, avoid incitement and protect civilians.” And it calls on both sides to refrain from “provocative acts, including acts which threaten the historic status quo of holy sites in Jerusalem,” including the hilltop compound revered by Muslims and Jews.

It asks members of the Quartet of Mideast mediators — the US, UN, European Union and Russia — as well as sponsors of the Arab peace initiative and Security Council members to assist the parties in preparing for negotiations.
“The only way to achieve peace is through direct talks between the parties,” he said. “The best way to reduce tensions in the region is to urge President (Mahmoud) Abbas to accept Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu’s call to meet with him.”

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