Saturday, December 1, 2012

U.S. secy. of state Hillary Clinton criticizes Israel’s 11/30 decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, saying ‘‘these activities set back the cause of a negotiated peace.’’ The British and French governments also condemn the settlement expansion plan, stating that international confidence in Israel’s desire to make peace is at risk. Meanwhile, PLO Executive Comm. mbr. Hanan Ashrawi refers to the decision as a ‘‘war crime,’’ a hint that the PA may consider taking Israel to the ICC. (JP, REU 12/2)

An independent Palestinian source in Gaza says that Palestinian factions will open reconciliation talks in Cairo in the next few days, under Egyptian auspices. (MNA 12/1)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF opens fire on 3 separate occasions on civilians and farmers in the area nr. the border fence, wounding 1 nr. Bayt Hanun and 2 nr. Jabalya. Israeli naval vessels fire on 3 fishing boats operating between 2.5 and 3 naut. mi. off the coast, in 1 case arresting 5 Palestinian fishermen. Israel’s recent shooting of Palestinians nr. the border fence prompts Hamas to complain about Israeli violations of the cease-fire, with spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri saying that they are discussing the situation with Egyptian officials. Islamic Jihad’s al-Quds Brigades warns that Israeli cease-fire violations (including shootings along the border, firing on Palestinian fishing boats, and continued use of surveillance aircraft over Gaza) may force a response. In the West Bank, the IDF shoots and wounds a Palestinian man in Dura village nr. Hebron, after a military patrol is attacked by stone-throwing youths. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night. (MNA, REU 12/1; MNA 12/2; PCHR 12/6)

Turkish FM Davutoglu calls Israel a ‘‘terrorist state’’ at a meeting of regional leaders at the Turkish-Arab Cooperation Forum in Istanbul, and urges collective action against Israel. (ToI 12/1)