Friday, December 6, 2013

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces open fire on agricultural lands nr. Khan Yunis, causing no casualties. In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot a Palestinian civilian with live ammunition in c. Hebron during a raid. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in Hebron at night; patrols in 3 villages nr. Hebron at night. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at weekly demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and occupation in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Nabi Salih, Ni‘lin), and 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum). There are no serious injuries except in Kafr Qaddum with 2 injured by tear gas canisters. Meanwhile, Jewish settlers vandalize property in a village nr. Nablus, leaving “price-tag” graffiti. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently disperse Palestinian worshippers at Haram al-Sharif, using tear gas, rubber-coated metal bullets, and stun grenades, injuring around 40. (MNA 12/6; PCHR 12/12)

As he departs Israel, U.S. Secy. of State Kerry says that Israel and the Palestinians are closer than they have been in years to achieving a peace deal. Speaking to reporters at Ben Gurion Airport, Kerry issues an upbeat assessment following 2 days of meetings with Netanyahu (who he met on 3 separate occasions) and Abbas (who he met once). Kerry says that 160 experts were involved in preparing a security plan presented by Gen. John Allen during the trip to both Netanyahu and Abbas (the details of which are not revealed). Separately, Israeli FM Lieberman tells the annual Saban Forum at the Brookings Institution in Washington that a deal is unlikely but talks are positive if only for the sake of conflict management. (HA, JTA 12/6)

An explosion targets IDF troops patrolling the border fence between the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and Syria, causing no injuries or damage. Army investigations conclude that the blast was from a bomb remotely-detonated as troops passed by. (YA 12/6; AFP 12/7)

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons announces in a statement that it has verified the destruction of Syria’s unfilled munitions, as well as the destruction of parts of buildings at weapons production facilities. (AP 12/6)

The UNGA approves Jordan’s 2-year term on the UNSC, taking the place that Saudi Arabia rejected on 10/18 as a protest over the UN’s response to the civil war in Syria. Jordan will assume its role on 1/1, having secured 178 votes from the body’s 193 mbrs. (AFP 12/6)