Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Obama receives Netanyahu at the White House for their 5th mtg. in what is billed as a “make-up visit,” with the primary aim to give a public show of unity. Obama pointedly dismisses any notion of a U.S.- Israel rift. Netanyahu urges the U.S. to press Abbas to enter direct negotiations when the PLO’s 4-mo. cap on proximity talks ends on 9/9 and before Israel’s 10-mo. settlement freeze expires on 9/26, and promises Israel will take its own (undefined) “concrete steps.” PA negotiations advisor Saeb Erakat says, however, that the onus is on Israel to halt settlement construction and agree to begin talks fr. the point they left off in 10/08 before direct talks can resume (IFM, JTA, WP 7/6; NYT, WP, WT 7/7; JPI 7/16)

In the West Bank, the IDF makes an evening raid into al-‘Arub r.c., arresting 1 Palestinian. Hamas officials in the West Bank report that the PA Security Forces (PASF) have arrested 8 al-Najah University professors and students for alleged ties to a Hamas charity. (PCHR 7/7; OCHA 7/9; PCHR 7/15)