Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A report by the European Union’s consuls general in East Jerusalem and Ramallah is leaked, revealing that the diplomats have urged the EU to implement economic sanctions against Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The recommendations include that the EU ‘‘prevent, discourage and raise awareness’’ of direct investments by European companies in settlements. A previous leaked report (see JPS 163) had warned that Israeli settlement activities were ‘‘closing the window’’ on the 2-state solution, and encouraged the EU to look at ways of stopping ‘‘financial transactions in support of settlement activity.’’ (AP, HA 2/27)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Tulkarm and 1 village nr. Hebron at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. (PCHR 2/28)

The Israeli military reports that an errant mortar fired from inside Syria has landed in the occupied Golan Heights, causing no casualties. (AP, NYT 2/27)

At talks in Kazakhstan, Iran’s top official Saeed Jalili praises an offer of international concessions that would both allow Tehran to keep a limited amount of highly enriched uranium and also lead to the removal of some trade sanctions. Meanwhile, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says Iran should be threatened with intensified sanctions and military measures—while in Washington, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce introduces a bipartisan bill to move the U.S. to work with the European Union in cutting Iran’s access to the euro. (AP, REU 2/27)