Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Some 1,000 international activists gather in Egypt in preparation for a 12/31 solidarity march to the Rafah border to mark the 1-yr. anniversary of Operation Cast Lead (OCL) and bring tens of thousands of dollars of humanitarian aid into Gaza, but Egypt vows to keep the border closed. French activists protest outside the French emb. in Cairo, while American activists visit the U.S. emb. Israel allows 3 container shipments of glass into Gaza for the first time since 6/07; says it will allow 3 containers of glass per day for 5 days a week for the next month (a total of 81 containers are allowed in as of 2/9, about 90 percent of what Israel had pledged). In the West Bank, Jewish settlers fr. Bet Ayn nr. Hebron attempt to force 2 Palestinian shepherds grazing their sheep on nearby Palestinian land to leave the area; when they refuse, 1 settler opens fire, hitting 1 shepherd in the shoulder; the IDF arrests both Palestinians while they are receiving medical care from paramedics. (NYT, PCHR 12/30; OCHA, PCHR 1/6; OCHA 2/11)

In Cairo, Mubarak and Netanyahu hold a 3-hr. mtg. to discuss the peace process. Afterward, Egyptian FM Ahmad Abu al-Ghayt publicly praises Netanyahu for raising new ideas for advancing the peace process. (NYT 12/30; HA 12/31; AFP, al-Dustur 1/5)

The Lebanese army directs symbolic anti-aircraft fire at 4 Israeli warplanes that violate Lebanese air space in s. Lebanon. (WT 12/30)