Thursday, January 6, 2011

Meeting in Sharm al-Shaykh, Israeli PM Netanyahu asks Egyptian pres. Mubarak to press the Palestinians to return to “direct, intensive, and serious negotiations,” but Mubarak replies that Israel must change its stance on settlement construction if it hopes to reach a final status accord with the Palestinians, blaming Israel for the latest impasse. Mubarak also cautions Israel against carrying out a major offensive against Gaza over escalating rocket and mortar fire in the past wk. (NYT, WP 1/7)

The PFLP fires 3 mortars fr. Gaza toward the IDF base at the fmr. Kissufim crossing into Gaza (closed in 8/2005); only 1 shell strikes inside Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF makes synchronized late-night air strikes on an IQB building in Gaza City and an open area e. of al-Shuka village in s. Gaza; no injuries are reported in either incident. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Tulkarm, 5 villages nr. Jenin, and 1 village nr. Jericho during the afternoon. (JP, MNA 1/6, JP, MNA, OCHA 1/7; PCHR 1/13; OCHA 1/14)