Thursday, November 21, 2013

In the West Bank the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in al-‘Arub r.c. and 1 village nr. Hebron, and in 1 village each nr. Qalqilya, Salfit, and Tulkarm; patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Jericho at night. IDF troops also bulldoze Palestinian-owned agricultural land in al-Khadir village nr. Bethlehem as a prelude to expanding a nearby settlement. (WAFA 11/21; PCHR 11/28)

An anonymous Palestinian official says that senior negotiator Mohammed Shtayyeh will not be returning for future talks with Israel, and that Saeb Erakat will remain chief Palestinian negotiator. Both men resigned on 11/13 in protest of the lack of progress in the talks; however, Erakat stayed on when Pres. Abbas requested. (MNA 11/21)

The Palestinian High Court of Justice rules that the strike launched by the General Union of Palestinian Teachers on 11/17 is legal, despite the attempt by the PA on 11/19 to have the court temporarily abrogate their right to strike. Minister of Education Ali Muhana calls on the teacher’s union to abide by the last agreement with the PA, reached in 9/2013 (see the QU in JPS 171 for more on the teacher’s strike). (MNA 11/21)

A 2nd day of talks in Geneva between reps. from Iran and the P5+1 ends without a breakthrough, as discussions continue about a potential interim accord. Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif tells reporters that the talks are going well but “differences of views” remain. Iran’s Dep. FM Abbas Araghchi suggests that differences amongst the 6 world powers were complicating efforts. Meanwhile, U.S. Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) says that lawmakers will seek to impose new sanctions on Iran in 12/2013 if there is no deal. (AFP, AP, HA, REU 11/21)