Monday, January 7, 2013

IDF general and head of Central Command Nitzan Alon approves 2 settlement outposts nr. Nablus by combining them into 1 settlement named Rechalim. (PCHR 1/10)

In the West Bank, IDF troops patrol in Bayt Umar village nr. Hebron, then fire rubber-coated steel bullets at stonethrowing Palestinians who confront them, wounding 1 child. The IDF also patrols in ‘Aqabat Jabir r.c. nr. Jericho at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in and around Bethlehem and in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. (PCHR 1/10)

Israel’s Shin Bet security service reports that 12/2012 saw a 400% increase in what the organization classifies as ‘‘terrorist attacks’’ in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israeli media promote the statistics as reinforcing recent remarks by IDF col. Yaniv Alaluf that a 3d intifada is already underway. Shin Bet also says that Palestinians fired 1 mortar from the Gaza Strip during the whole of 12/2012. (ToI 1/7)

U.S. pres. Barack Obama nominates Republican Chuck Hagel as his next defense secretary and counterterrorism adviser and John Brennan as head of the CIA. Hagel is expected to meet opposition over his record on Israel and Iran, while Brennan has faced criticism by human rights groups over his views on mistreatment of prisoners during interrogations. (REU 1/7)

The Lebanese army says that the U.S. has given 200 armored vehicles to Lebanon in order to support the armed forces’ ability to respond to crises. (REU 1/7)

Israel’s fin. min. Yuval Steinitz visits Washington, D.C., to press U.S. officials to tighten sanctions on Iran further and give Tehran a clear ultimatum, backed with a credible military threat, to halt its nuclear program. (AP 1/7; JP 1/8)