Occupied Palestine/lsrael: Israeli officials say they are satisfied with Egyptian reaction to 2/4 bus attack, will not shift diplomatic course away from Cairo. [...
In the West Bank, 1 armed Israeli settler threatened 1 Palestinian man working his land near al-Khader. Israeli forces fired tear gas at protesters in al-Twana, causing tear-gas related injuries. (WAFA 9/17; PCHR 9/22)
PA president Mahmoud Abbas met Irish president Michael Higgins, prime minister Micheál Martin, and foreign minister Simon Coveney in Dublin. (WAFA 9/17; WAFA 9/18; UNOCHA 9/30)
In Syria, Israeli forces conducted air strikes near Damascus, reportedly killing 5 Syrians and 2 foreign nationals and causing damage. (AJ, AP, CNN, HA, REU 9/17)
Ireland upgrades the status of the Palestinian representation in Dublin from a “delegation” to a “mission” and grants the mission head ambassador status. It does not recognize Palestine as a state or give the mission greater diplomatic privileges or immunities. Israel expresses its “regret.” (HA, YA 1/25; WJW 1/27)
OCHA reports that Israel has barred the import of industrial fuel for Gaza’s electricity plant for 2 weeks and is now internally discussing disconnecting Gaza fr. Israel’s electricity and water grid. (Gaza authorities have been able to keep electricity generation at 30% of demand by increasing the amount of fuel smuggling through tunnels fr. Egypt.) UNRWA reports that it has suspended 23 approved building projects in Gaza because of Israeli restrictions on gravel imports. Meanwhile, IDF troops make 2 brief incursion into Gaza e. of Gaza Valley village and e. of al-Maghazi r.c. to level land and clear lines of sight. Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. OCHA reports that since 1/19, 3 Palestinians have been injured in tunnelrelated accidents (2 crushed transporting construction materials, 1 electrocuted). (JP 1/25; PCHR 1/27; OCHA 1/28)
Some 150,000 Egyptians of all socioeconomic backgrounds inspired by events in Tunisia answer a week of calls to attend a “day of revolution” antigovernment rally in Cairo’s Tahrir Square today (a national holiday to honor police), bringing blankets, food, and water and vowing to continue protests until Mubarak steps down, his government is dissolved, and parliament is disbanded. (The Muslim Brotherhood does not participate to allow the voice of the people to stay at the fore.) The government cuts cell phone and Internet service to limit international coverage and mobilization efforts via social networking sites. Late at night, government security forces raided the square firing tear gas and water cannons, beating some demonstrators, and arresting others in an unsuccessful effort to drive them out. After a paroxysm of retaliatory violence that kills 1 police officer and some looting in the National Museum on the square, protesters disengage and mobilize to call for nonviolence, notably creating a cordon around the museum to protect it. Parallel protests are held in Alexandria, Suez (where violent clashes kill 2 demonstrators), and several smaller towns, with larger protests called for Friday 1/28. By this date, there have also been several days of protests in Yemen calling for Pres. Saleh’s removal, citing economic ills, corruption, and rumors Saleh plans to install his son as his successor. (NYT, WP, WT 1/25; AFP, al-Masri al-Yawm 1/26; see also NYT 1/23; AFP 1/26; NYT 1/27)
Israeli communications M Limor Livnat resigns her job as coordinator btwn. the government, parliament, saying she cannot defend Netanyahu's administration in a no-confidence vote 6/24. She does not resign her cabinet seat. (ITV 6/21 in WNC 6/24; WT 6/22; WT 6/24; WP 6/26)
In Hebron, IDF wounds 24 Palestinian demonstrators. In Nablus, 1,000s of Palestinians hold anti-U.S./Israel rally to protest the 6/10 House decision on Jerusalem. (NYT, WT 6/22; MEI 6/27)
6 Irish UNIFIL soldiers are wounded while trying to clear Israeli mines fr. a road leading to their post on the edge of Israel's self-declared security zone. Israel has mined all roads in the area to "protect" an SLA post from resistance attacks, forcing the UN to communicate with its base solely by helicopter. (RL, RTE Radio One Network [Dublin] 6/21 in WNC 6/24; MEI 6/27) (see 6/14)
Concerned over Israel's settlement policy, 8 fmr. high-ranking U.S. officials sent Netanyahu a letter, urging him "not to take unilateral actions that would preclude a meaningful settlement and a comprehensive and lasting peace." (MM, NYT 12/16; MM 12/17, 12/18; MEI 12/20; WJW 12/26) (see Doc. D2)
In Dublin, EU criticizes Israel's 12/13 decision to reinstate settlement benefits. (WT 12/15)
Germany, Jordan sign 3 agmts. under which Jordan will receive $6.8-m. worth of technical assistance over several yrs. (JT 12/14 in WNC 12/17)
IDF, Hizballah clash in s. Lebanon. 1 IDF soldier is wounded; 2 Hizballah mbrs. are killed. (ITV 12/14, RL 12/15 in WNC 12/17; NYT 12/16; WT 12/18)
Heads of state of 12 EC countries end 2-day summit in Dublin, issue statement on Middle East opposing Israeli settlement policy, calling for international conference, and for strengthening trade links with O.T. [TDS 6/27 in FBIS 6/28; MEM 6/28].
Jean-Claude Amrie meets with 5 Palestinian academicians, is presented with 12- point memorandum outlining situation in O.T. [RMC 6/26 in FBIS 6/27].
Internal IDF paper recommends that chief of staff and defense establishment change criteria for reporting incidents in O.T. so that daily occurrences are more accurately portrayed [HAA 6/26 in FBIS 6/26].
Egypt's F.M. Esmat Abdel Meguid meets with Pres. Bush in Washington, no "breakthroughs" on peace process are reported, but U.S. interest in reviving process is affirmed [WP 6/28].
Bethlehem Mayor Elias Frayj meets with D.M. Moshe Arens to discuss situation in O.T. [JAA 6/26 in FBIS 6/28].
F.M. David Levy rejects Sec. Baker's formula for Israeli-Palestinian negotiation, echoes Shamir in saying talks cannot include deportees or E. Jerusalem residents [JPD 6/27 in FBIS 6/27].
B'Tselem issues report "Violence against Minors in Police Detention," which claims teenagers interrogated by police and Shin Bet agents are routinely beaten, chained in awkward positions or in "punishment cells" for hours at a time [JPD 6/26 in FBIS 6/27].
Syria rejects invitation from P.M. Shamir for Pres. Asad to go to Jerusalem for peace talks, calls the offer "a trick" [NYT 6/27].
Bush admin. says Israel's 6/24 pledge not to make special effort to settle Soviet Jews in O.T. is "a hopeful development," but one that stops short of what is necessary to free $400 million in U.S. aid for immigrant housing [LAT 6/26]; despite Sharon's statement, Israeli immigration officials say they have not been notified of any policy change [NYT 6/27]; official says Sharon's statement was most definitely not a change in Israeli policy [LAT 6/26; MEM 6/29].
P.M. Shamir has sent letter to EC leaders who will meet in Dublin on 6/27. Letter declares Israeli intent to renew peace effort, adds Arab countries continue terrorism against Israel [YA 6/25 in FBIS 6/28].
Health Minister Ehud Olmert, who was in charge of minority affairs in previous gov't., announces NIS 850 million proposal to gradually improve Israeli Arab towns and villages over a 10-year period. Plan has yet to be approved by full gov't. [JPD 6/26 in FBIS 6/26].
Egyptian analysts say suspension of U.S.-PLO dialogue harms Egypt's role and prestige as interlocutor between PLO and Washington [CSM 6/26].
Occupied Palestine/lsrael: Israeli officials say they are satisfied with Egyptian reaction to 2/4 bus attack, will not shift diplomatic course away from Cairo. [NYT, WP 2/6; MET 2/13].
PLO supporters in the O.T., including Sari Nusaybah, denounce 2/4 bus attack, say such attacks do not serve Palestinian interests and that the PLO is not responsible [FBIS 2/6].
Arab World: Islamic Jihad movement claims responsibility for 2/4 bus attack north of Cairo [LAT, NYT 2/6].
Egyptian officials express shock and embarrassment a2/4 bus attack, pledge to pursue peace efforts with Israel [WP 2/ 6].
Arab League, meeting in Tunis, decides to send 60-member high-level delegation to Washington, Moscow, and Dublin to argue that increased Soviet immigration to Israel will increase tensions and reduce the prospects for peace [NYT 2/8].
Occupied Palestine/Israel: IDF closes boys secondary school in Baytunia [FJ 2/12].
15-year-old Palestinian dies after fall while fleeing IDF troops [FBIS 2/6; FJ 2/ 12].
Palestinians kill 3 people suspected of collaborating with Israeli officials [FBIS 2/7; MET 2/13].