Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pres. Obama, asked during his trip to Indonesia about his reaction to Israel’s 11/8 construction announcement, states sharply that “this kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotations. I’m concerned that we’re not seeing each side make the extra effort . . . to get a breakthrough. Each of these incremental steps can end up breaking trust.” Hours later, Netanyahu’s office responds saying “Jerusalem is not a settlement. It is the capital of the State of Israel. . . . Israel sees no link between the peace process and its development plans in Jerusalem.” (IFM, Israel Radio News [Internet], MNA, REU 11/9; NYT, WT 11/10)

Israeli tax authorities and border police seal the entrances to the Jerusalem suburb of Issawiyya, checking Palestinians leaving and entering the village and raiding businesses in search of Palestinian tax evaders. Border police fire rubber-coated steel bullets at stone-throwing Palestinian youths who confront them, injuring 19 Palestinian children (ages 10–15); 1 Israeli border policeman is also injured. Also in East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities raid, search 2 Palestinian homes in Silwan, arresting 2 Palestinians. Silwan residents report that in recent weeks, Israeli authorities have stepped up arrests of young Palestinian men in Issawiyya and Silwan, and that Jewish settlers and settlement guards in Silwan have been accosting local Palestinians more frequently, generating almost daily low-grade clashes. The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Issawiyya later in the evening; and conducts latenight arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron and nearby al-‘Arub r.c., in al-Bireh (searching the home of Palestinian Council secy. Mahmud al-Ramahi, but making no arrests; Ramahi was one of the Hamas-affiliated elected PC mbrs. that Israel arrested after the 2006 capture of Shalit to pressure Hamas but he was recently released; 7 Hamas-affiliated PC mbrs. are still jailed by Israel), and nr. Tulkarm. Meanwhile, the IDF makes brief incursions into n. Gaza nr. Bayt Lahiya and c. Gaza e. of al-Maghazi r.c. to bulldoze Palestinian lands along the border fence to clear lines of sight. Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 mortars fr. Gaza toward Israel, 1 landing in Israel and 1 inside Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. OCHA (11/11) reports that in the previous wk., the IDF imposed at least 8 new barriers to Palestinian travel around Hebron. (YA 11/9; NYT 11/10; OCHA, PCHR 11/11)