Saturday, June 15, 2013

Hassan Ruhani wins Iran’s presidential election, with a voter turnout of around 80%. The win is seen as a victory for moderate elements within the domestic political scene and a defeat for conservative clerical hard-liners. He will assume office on 8/3 when Ayatollah Ali Khamenei endorses the election results. White House spokesperson Jay Carney says that Obama congratulates Iranians for their courage in voting. (AP, REU 6/15)

In the West Bank, IDF troops violently disperse a march by hundreds of Palestinians, Israelis, and international activists in Bayt Liqya, nr. Ramallah, as demonstrators attempted to march to the site of 3 villages destroyed in al-Latrun in 1967.There are no serious injuries. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr Salfit and Hebron at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya, 1 village nr. Tulkarm, and 1 village nr. Salfit at night. Meanwhile, Jewish settlers set fire to more than 300 olive trees nr. Nablus. (MNA 6/15; PCHR 6/20)

Palestinian protesters in Nablus demonstrate against living costs, demanding a reduction in the Value Added Tax and a subsidy for basic goods. Palestinian People’s Party representative Khalid Mansour tells the rally that PA Pres. Abbas should reconsider the Paris Protocol, or even “disavow it completely.” (MNA 6/15)

Egyptian pres. Mohamed Morsi says that he has cut all diplomatic ties with Damascus and backs a no-fly zone over Syria, an announcement he makes at a rally in Cairo. (REU 6/15)