Monday, November 25, 2013

In the West Bank, IDF troops uproot around 60 olive trees in Tuqu‘ village nr. Bethlehem, while separately, Jewish settlers nr. Nablus attack a house in Burin village, throwing stones and a Molotov cocktail, causing no injuries. (MNA 11/25; PCHR 11/28)

The Israeli NGO Peace Now announces that an Israeli military cmte. has approved the construction of 829 new homes in West Bank settlements Givat Ze’ev, Nofei Prat, Shilo, Givat Salit, and Nokdim. The planned construction is condemned by Nabil Abu Rdeineh, aide to PA Pres. Abbas, as a “policy of escalation aimed at putting obstacles in front of the peace process.” (AFP, REU 11/25)

UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon announces that an international peace conference on Syria will take place in Switzerland on 1/22/14, in an attempt to bring about direct talks between the Syrian govt. and opposition forces. The statement describes 1 of the key goals of the peace talks as “the establishment, based on mutual consent, of a transitional governing body with full executive powers, including over military and security entities.” (AP, REU 11/25) 

Pres. Obama, speaking during a visit to San Francisco, defends the deal with Iran, saying that the U.S. “cannot close the door on diplomacy.” In a clear criticism of those who have attacked the agreement, Obama says that “tough talk and bluster may be the easy thing to do politically, but it’s not the right thing to do for our security.” Meanwhile, Israeli PM Netanyahu announces that national security adviser Yossi Cohen will visit Washington to discuss the agreement with U.S. officials. In the UK, Foreign Secy. William Hague urges Israel to refrain “from taking any steps that would undermine this agreement.” (REU 11/25; AP 11/26)