Monday, December 23, 2013

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces open fire on a Palestinian close to the border fence nr. Bayt Lahiya, seriously wounding him. The military claims that it targeted a suspect planting an explosive device. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 3 villages nr. Hebron and in Nablus and Askar r.c. at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. Meanwhile, a Palestinian stabs an Israeli policemen at Jab’a junction nr. Ramallah, wounding him. (HA, JP, MNA 12/23; PCHR 12/26)

Palestinian chief negotiator Erakat rules out extending peace talks beyond the 9-mo. deadline, claiming that contradictory statements attributed to him had been misunderstood. Erakat also says that there had been no direct peace talks in several weeks, with the sides meeting separately with the Americans to advance the process. (AP, JP, ToI 12/23)