Thursday, December 20, 2012

In the West Bank, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians in 1 village nr. Jenin and arrests 2 wounded civilians. The IDF also patrols in 2 villages nr. Jericho and 3 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, Jericho, and 4 villages nr. Hebron, 2 nr. Tulkarm, and 1 nr. Ramallah at night. Jewish settlers from Ma’ale Ephraim settlement nr. Nablus set fire to 2 Palestinian-owned cars. (PCHR 12/27)

Various Palestinian officials close to Pres. Abbas tell the Associated Press that there are plans to encourage the international isolation of Israel should Israeli PM Netanyahu win reelection and the peace process remain stalled. Options being considered include war crimes charges, urging sanctions, and ending security cooperation in the West Bank. Fatah official Nabil Shaath tells Palestinian news agency Ma‘an that the PA will further develop a strategy of boycott and civil disobedience in 2013. In response to these reports, the Israeli Foreign Ministry says that Abbas seeks to ‘‘incite a confrontation with Israel no matter what.’’ (AP, MNA 12/20; YA 12/21)

The EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton releases a statement expressing strong opposition to Israel’s ‘‘unprecedented expansion of settlements around Jerusalem.’’ Meanwhile, South Africa’s governing party, the African National Congress, votes at its annual conference to support the Palestinians’ Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. (EU Press Office 12/20; HA 12/21)

Human Rights Watch says that the IDF’s attacks on the media in the Gaza Strip during Operation Pillar of Defense that killed 2 and injured 10 media personnel violated the laws of war. (AP 12/20)

Israeli newspaper Ha’Aretz reports that the state has informed the High Court of Justice that the IDF will reduce the amount of time Palestinian minors can be held before they are brought before a judge. (HA 12/20)

An anonymous Israeli government official says that Israel and Egypt are continuing discussions behind the scenes in Cairo, intended to further ease restrictions on the Gaza Strip and to prevent a rearming of Hamas. (JP 12/21) I

srael’s UN amb. Ron Prosor submits a letter to the Security Council complaining that Hizballah has rearmed with tens of thousands of missiles, in violation of a UN arms embargo. (REU 12/20)