Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Australian television channel ABC broadcasts claims that dual IsraeliAustralian citizen Ben Zygier committed suicide in a high-security Israeli jail in 2010 after being held for months in great secrecy and known only as ‘‘Prisoner X.’’ ABC says that the man had been recruited by Mossad. The Israeli government refuses to comment and immediately forces Israeli publications to remove reference to the story from online and print editions. However, a number of MKs refer to the story in the Knesset. (HP, REU 2/12)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Jenin in the morning, and in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Tulkarm in the morning, and in 1 village each nr. Bethlehem, Jenin, Jerusalem, Nablus, and Ramallah at night. (PCHR 2/14)

International NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) concludes that at least 18 Israeli air strikes in Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012 were in violation of the laws of war, highlighting specific attacks that killed at least 43 Palestinian civilians, including 12 children. (HRW 2/12)

Palestinian Ministry of Finance spokesperson Rami Mahdawi says that Israel is still withholding Palestinian tax revenue in breach of the 1994 Paris Protocol. (MNA 2/12)

The Senate Armed Services Comm. votes (14–11) along party lines to approve Pres. Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel to be the nation’s defense secretary, allowing his nomination to advance to the full Senate. Hagel’s nomination continues to be fiercely opposed by groups and senators known to have a pro-Israel line. (AP 2/12)