Arab foreign ministers and representatives open 2-day meeting in Cairo; in attendance are Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Lebanon, Djibouti, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Bahrian, Oman, and...
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid to have the 1st discussions about forming a coalition. Lapid reportedly sets 2 conditions for joining a governing coalition: (1) a universal draft bill (see Quarterly Update in JPS 165) and (2) the resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians. Meanwhile, Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman says that domestic issues will be the priority of the next government. (HA, YA, JP 1/24)
Secy.-gen. of the PLO Executive Comm. Yasir ‘Abid Rabbuh says that Pres. Abbas wants to meet and talk with centrist mbrs. of the new Knesset in coming weeks, including newcomers such as Yair Lapid. (YA 1/24)
Nominated U.S. secy. of state John Kerry tells his Senate confirmation hearing that he intends to invest effort in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and hopes that the Israeli election can help restart talks. (JP 1/24)
Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 4 homes in 2 communities in the n. Jordan Valley; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Salfit at night. The IDF also patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin, 2 each nr. Jericho and Ramallah, and 1 nr. Tulkarm in the morning; in Tulkarm and 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon; and in ‘Ayn al-Sultan r.c. nr. Jericho, 2 villages each nr. Jenin and Qalqilya, and 1 village each nr. Jericho and Ramallah at night. (MNA 1/24; PCHR 1/31)
The International Federation of Journalists condemns a week of arrests of journalists by Hamas security forces in the Gaza Strip, and calls for the release of 6 detained media workers. (MNA 1/24)
Israeli security agency Shin Bet announces that for the 1st year since 1973, there were no Israeli casualties from a Palestinian attack in the West Bank. The report covering 2012 says that there was an uptick in so-called popular terror in the West Bank, referring to stone-throwing and Molotov cocktails. The report notes that 10 Israelis were killed in security-related incidents during 2012, and that more than 2,500 rockets and mortar shells were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel. However, Shin Bet reports that since Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012, no rockets have been fired. The report also records that 8 rockets were fired at Israel from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, and that there were 11 attempts to fire anti-aircraft weaponry at IDF planes, up from just 1 effort in 2011. (HA 1/24)
A number of Fatah leaders who fled the Gaza Strip during the Fatah-Hamas fighting in 2007 return to the territory, including former PA preventive security service head in Khan Yunis, Nasser al-Saqq. (MNA 1/24)
UN special rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism Ben Emmerson announces that the UN is launching an inquiry into the impact on civilians of drone strikes that will focus on 5 locations, including the Palestinian territories. The other 4 are Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. (BBC 1/24)
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators resume in Cairo talks to implement 9/13 agreement. Talks center on size of IDF force around Gaza settlements, extent of Palestinian authority in Jericho, and control of border crossings. (NYT 11/16)
Multilateral talks Environment Comm. holds session attended by delegates fr. over 40 countries in Cairo. (MENA 11/15 in FBIS 11/16)
Hebron settler kills Palestinian attacking him with hatchet; 2d attacker flees with settler's rifle. PFLP claims responsibility for attack fr. Beirut, names dead Palestinian as Muhammad Badawi Burkan, 26, of Hebron. Settlers riot, burning Palestinian vegetable stands and stoning Palestinian cars. In separate incident, Palestinian badly wounded in attack by Beit El settlers. (MM 11/15)
Hamas issues statement condemning PLO Chmn. Arafat's condemnation of 10/29 killing of settler Haim Mizrachi, calling it evidence of his "disgraceful submissiveness" and of his "readiness to liquidate the cause of our people." (MM 11/15)
Israeli Econ. Min. Shimon Shitreet says scope of support [for DoP] has diminished" due to recent killings of settlers. (CSM 11/16)
Qatar announces establishment of direct phone service to o.t., 1st Gulf state to do so. (MM 11/15)
U.S. Pres. Clinton assures Syrian Pres. al-Asad that U.S. and Israel support continued efforts for Syrian-Israeli agreement. Assurance transmitted in letter given Syrian FM al-Shara' by U.S. coordinator Dennis Ross, which also states Secy. of State Christopher will tour Middle East in early Dec. to pursue Arab-Israeli talks. (NYT, WP 11/16)
U.S. Dept. of Defense offers to sell Israel 20 modified F-15E (F-151) fighter-bombers, valued at $1.8 b. Israeli PM Rabin, after meeting with Secy. of Defense Les Aspin, says offer under consideration. (NYT, WP 11/16)
At meeting with journalists in Washington, Israeli PM Rabin identifies Ilam as major threat to Middle East peace, accuses Iran of supporting Somali militia leader Mohamed Farah Aideed. (WP 11/16)
Lt. Col. Muin Shabaita, 2d in command of Fateh militia in 'Ayn al-Hilwah refugee camp, Sidon, Lebanon, killed by unknown gunmen. Fateh security chief at 'Ayn al-Hilwah, Abi Husayn Farhud, blames FRC ("Abu Nidal" faction) for killing. (NYT, WP 11/16)
Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith (ADL) agrees to San Francisco court injunction not to use illegal means to gather information. ADL was found to have access to police files on Arab Americans, among other groups, and was accused in criminal investigation of providing information to South Africa and Israel. Civil suits by targets of ADL investigations remain open. (WP 11/16)
Arab foreign ministers and representatives open 2-day meeting in Cairo; in attendance are Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Lebanon, Djibouti, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Bahrian, Oman, and Libya (cf. 9/1) [MENA 8/30 in FBIS 8/31; NYT 8/31; MET 9/11].
Claiming "shape of post-cold-war world" is at issue, Pres. Bush says he will send Sec. Baker, Sec. Brady overseas to ask other nations to help pay multibillion-dollar cost of military operations and sanctions in Middle East [NYT, LAT, WP, WT 8/31].
Iraq moves some women and children hostages who had been placed at strategic locations in outlying areas as potential shields to Baghdad in preparation for being allowed to leave Iraq [NYT, LAT, WT, WP 8/31; MET 9/11].
In 1st criticism of U.S. military forces in Gulf, Soviet Union asks whether U.S. presence might be intended as permanent foothold in region [NYT, LAT 8/31].
U.S. officials report the CIA is training Kuwaiti resistance fighters at bases in Saudi Arabia [LAT, WP 8/31].
Palestinians in O.T. stage general strike to protest U.S. military presence in Gulf [MET 9/11].
Reacting to planned U.S. sale of $2.2 billion in military hardware to Saudi Arabia, Israeli Foreign Ministry demands that U.S. ensure Israel remains the dominant power in Middle East by providing additional military aid [WT, WP 8/31; MET 9/11].
Senior U.S. naval officer says U.S. warships are interrogating daily up to 75 commercial shipping vessels in Gulf; shipping has declined "dramatically" since sanctions were announced [WP 8/31].