Thursday, October 17, 2013

In the West Bank, Israeli troops shoot dead a Palestinian bulldozer driver who smashed through the gate of an army base in between Jerusalem and Ramallah. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, and 1 village each nr. Jericho and Ramallah in the afternoon, and in 1 village each nr. Qalqilya and Ramallah at night. IDF troops also attack a funeral in Bayt Umar village nr. Hebron, injuring 2 with rubber-coated metal bullets. (HA, REU 10/17; PCHR 10/24)

PA Pres. Abbas’s spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudayna says that the Palestinians reject any Israeli plan to retain a security presence on any part of the West Bank or East Jerusalem in the event of an agreement to establish a Palestinian state. Abu Rudayna specifies that this is applicable to the Jordan Valley. (JP 10/17)

Syrian dep. PM Qadri Jamil says that an international conference known as “Geneva 2” is planned for 11/23–24, but this is denied by UN Peace Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi who says that no date has yet been set. (REU 10/17)

An unnamed Obama administration official says that the U.S. is contemplating an easing of sanctions through unfreezing funds if Tehran takes specific steps to curb its nuclear program. Another anonymous Western official says that the conversations were the most candid and detailed they had seen in 2 years. (NYT, REU 10/17)