Posted March 13, 2018 05:04:33A week after a Palestinian uprising forced Israel to suspend its entire civil and military administration in the occupied West Bank, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has once again resorted to the military’s arsenal of repression.
The West Bank’s largest city, Jerusalem, is the only Israeli city under full Israeli control.
Israel is still trying to impose full control over the entire West Bank through the Oslo Accords, which were signed by then-Israeli President Ariel Sharon in 1993.
After decades of settlement expansion and an occupation that has seen more than 300,000 Palestinians killed, the Oslo Accord created an interim Israeli government in the West Bank.
However, the Palestinian leadership rejected the terms of the agreement, insisting on their own authority, and in March 2018, a new Palestinian president took office.
On March 12, Israel announced that it would suspend all settlement activity, including building, planning and building permits, and impose a nationwide curfew.
The move came after a violent wave of Palestinian street protests in the wake of the death of two Israeli teenagers in a shooting attack.
Israel also announced that all the West Jerusalem neighborhoods, which are under full Palestinian control, would be closed for three months.
That means no access to Palestinian schools, shopping malls, or the West bank.
Israel’s military, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), says the curfew will not be lifted until after the end of the summer, and that it will use all necessary force to keep the curfew in place.
In response, Israeli protesters have continued to hold demonstrations in Jerusalem and other major cities across the West.
At a press conference, Netanyahu said that the new Palestinian government in Jerusalem will be “unlimited,” but did not elaborate on how this will affect Jerusalem.
In response to the curfew, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians took to the streets in the capital, in what became known as the “Jerusalem Day” protests.
In the days leading up to the demonstrations, thousands of Israelis gathered in the center of Jerusalem, some wearing masks to protect themselves from tear gas and other projectiles fired at the crowds.
In addition, Palestinian demonstrators have continued their protests, with clashes breaking out with police and soldiers.
In a series of tweets, Netanyahu described the protests as “uncontrolled” and called on protesters to “return to the street.”
Israel’s military has since responded by launching hundreds of airstrikes against protesters in Jerusalem.
In an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 News, Netanyahu also called for the immediate release of Palestinian prisoners, calling for them to be freed and “returned to their homes.”
Israel also closed the West Wall in protest of the “unlawful demolition” of the Jewish Temple Mount.
Netanyahu later said the Temple Mount was “temporarily closed.”
The restrictions on the West and the east are part of a strategy to divide Jerusalem between the Palestinians and Israel.
While Netanyahu says he supports the Palestinians’ right to independence, the current Israeli government is determined to separate the city’s eastern and western halves, and plans to build an entire “Great Wall” that will separate the two halves.