Sunday, April 27, 2014

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night; patrols in Tulkarm and 1 village nr. Salfit in the morning, in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 4 villages nr. Hebron, Nablus and 1 village and Balata r.c. nearby, 2 villages nr. Qalqilya and Tulkarm at night. Jewish settlers from Yitzhar chop down an estimated 60 olive trees nr. Nablus. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently disperse Palestinian demonstrators in al-‘Izzariya, a protest in support of defending al-Aqsa mosque from Jewish extremists. There are no serious injuries. (MNA 4/27; PCHR 4/30)

The PLO Central Council in Ramallah adopts a plan to pursue efforts to join 63 UN bodies and international treaties, according to a public statement issued on the final day of a 2-day meeting. Separately, PA Pres. Abbas issues a statement to mark Holocaust Day, denouncing the Nazi genocide. Israeli PM Netanyahu dismisses the comments during an interview with U.S. television network CBS, and says that Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian govt. backed by Hamas. Meanwhile, IDF Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai tells a meeting of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Subcmte. on Judea and Samaria that construction plans for 19 Palestinian villages in Area C of the West Bank have been frozen in response to the reconciliation deal. In addition, U.S. Dep. National Security Adviser Tony Blinken tells CNN that the U.S. is ready to suspend aid to the PA if a unity govt. backed by Hamas fails to recognize Israel. U.S. Special Envoy Indyk leaves Israel for consultations in Washington. EU foreign affairs chief Ashton releases a statement expressing concern over the latest developments in the peace process, and reiterates EU support for the U.S.-led peace talks. She also welcomes the Palestinian unity govt., affirming that it must abide by the principles of nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and commitment to previous agreements. (AFP, JP, REU, WAFA, YA 4/27; HA 4/28)

Remarks made by U.S. Secy. of State Kerry on 4/25 at a private meeting in Washington are published by the Daily Beast, in which he says that without a 2-state solution soon, Israel risks becoming an “apartheid state.” In response, pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC says it is “deeply troubled” by the comments. (HA, NYT 4/28)