Sunday, May 20, 2012

In Cairo, Fatah and Hamas sign an agreement laying out a timetable for implementing the 5/2010 national unity accord: (1) the Palestinian Central Election Commission (CEC) is to begin updating voter registrations in Gaza on 5/22 (previously blocked by Hamas); (2) PA pres. and Fatah head Mahmud Abbas and Hamas leader Khalid Mishal are to form an interim government within 10 days; and (3) elections are to be held and a new permanent government installed within 6 mos. (NYT, WP 5/21; HA 5/22)

The New York Times confirms that Hamas is in the midst of its secret politburo elections that are expected to take several months. (NYT 5/21)

IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire on Palestinian agricultural areas in al-Qarara, wounding 1 unarmed civilian more than 600 meters (m) fr. the border (well outside the 300-m IDF-imposed no-go zone). In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Tulkarm and 2 nearby villages, 3 villages nr. Jenin, and 1 nr. Ramallah in the morning; in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya and 1 nr. Tulkarm in the afternoon (firing tear gas at stone-throwing Palestinian youths who confront them, causing no serious injuries); in Jericho and 1 village each nr. Jenin and Ramallah in the evening; and in 1 village each nr. Jericho, Qalqilya, and Ramallah late at night. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’ refugee camp (r.c.) and Hebron. (PCHR 5/23; OCHA 5/25)

Some 30,000 Israeli Jews march through East Jerusalem and the Old City to mark Israel’s 45th Jerusalem ‘‘reunification’’ day, celebrating Israel’s seizure of East Jerusalem in the 1967 war. In commemoration, Israel’s cabinet allocates $91 m. for the creation of ‘‘public spaces’’ (not identified) in Jerusalem over the next 6 yrs. to develop tourism and infrastructure. (JTA 5/20; WT 5/21)