Friday, January 4, 2013

PA pres. Abbas’s legal adviser Hassan al-Ouri says that the PA’s financial crisis may prevent it from joining several international and UN institutions. (MNA 1/4)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning and in al-‘Arub r.c. and Ithna r.c. (both nr. Hebron), 5 villages nr. Ramallah, 3 villages nr. Hebron, and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Bayt Sahur and Aida r.c. in Bethlehem at night. Israeli soldiers attack weekly nonviolent demonstrations held by Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, al-Nabi Salih), 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara), and 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum). There are no serious injuries, except in Bil‘in, where 2 Palestinians are wounded with live ammunition. Jewish settlers enter al-Manshiya village nr. Bethlehem, vandalize a car, and write ‘‘price-tag’’ graffiti. (PCHR 1/10)

Hundreds of thousands of Fatah supporters rally in Gaza City to mark the 48th anniversary of the founding of the movement, the 1st such show of support for Fatah in Gaza since 2007. Pres. Abbas tells the crowds in a televised address that Palestinian national unity is coming soon. Hamas’s acting PM Ismail Haniyeh calls Abbas to congratulate him on the occasion of the anniversary. Meanwhile, a report in Ha’Aretz says that IDF-PA security coordination is improving again, and the PA is renewing arrests of Hamas and Islamic Jihad suspects. (HA, MNA, REU 1/4)

Christian Science Monitor reports that Palestinian support for military operations against Israel has registered its most significant jump in 10 years (50.9%, up from 29.3% in 1/2011), spurred by Operation Pillar of Defense, ongoing Israeli settlement expansion, and frustration over a peace process that has been essentially deadlocked for more than 4 yrs. (CSM 4/1)

Egyptian security forces seize antitank and anti-aircraft missiles in the Sinai Peninsula, weaponry thought by Egyptian security sources to be bound for the Gaza Strip via the tunnels. (MNA 1/4)

In Syria, fighting between pro- and anti-government groups resumes in Yarmuk r.c. nr. Damascus, ending a short-lived cease-fire (see 12/21) and prompting another wave of Palestinian refugees. (AKH 1/4)

Recently retired Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin says in an interview with Israeli media that PM Netanyahu acted irresponsibly regarding Iran’s nuclear program and tried to convince him and colleagues to approve an ‘‘illegal’’ decision to attack Iran. (AP 1/4)