Friday, February 15, 2013

Israel’s Channel 2 television station reports that Israel and Hamas are conducting indirect negotiations through Egyptian mediators on issues pertaining to easing the blockade of the Gaza Strip, including the possible opening of the Rafah crossing to construction materials and other staple items. (JP 2/15)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village each nr. Jericho and Ramallah in the morning, and in 3 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 village each nr. Jericho and Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Bethlehem and Qalqilya at night. Hundreds of Palestinians protest outside Ofer prison nr. Ramallah in solidarity with prisoners on hunger strike. PC mbr. Mustafa Barghouti, Palestinian MK Ahmad Tibi, and Islamic Movement in Israel leader Shaykh Raed Salah attend Friday prayers outside the jail. (MNA 2/15; PCHR 2/21)

Israeli media reports that Jordan is in secret talks with officials from Israel’s Tamar natural gas field about exporting Israeli gas to power a potash plant on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea. (HA 2/15)

Bulgaria expels 3 Hamas-affiliated PC mbrs. on a publicized visit to the country, stating that they represent ‘‘a serious threat to national security.’’ This is unrelated to the recent claims (2/5) by the Bulgarian government regarding alleged Hizballah involvement in the 7/2012 Burgas bombing. (AP 2/15)