Tuesday, August 12, 2014

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF and armed Palestinian groups maintain the new 72-hour cease-fire. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Jenin, and 1 village each nr. Jericho and Salfit at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Jenin during the day. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces conduct widespread raids in the Old City, Silwan, Issawiyya, al-Tur, Suwana, and Shu‘fat, detaining 57 Palestinians. There are clashes in al-Tur and Issawiyya, and Israeli security forces injure 26 Palestinians with rubbercoated metal bullets.

During negotiations between reps. of Israel and the Palestinian delegation in Cairo, Israeli officials brief the media that there are large gaps remaining between the sides. These include disagreements over the opening of Gaza’s border crossings, including Rafah, and how the crossings will be supervised. According to a Palestinian source, Hamas insists on a total end to the blockade, rather than an “easing,” and objects to limitations on the entry of construction materials like cement and steel. Anonymous Egyptian sources express optimism about the possibility of reaching an agreement before the end of the cease-fire at midnight. Hamas official Ihab al-Ghossein says he is optimistic as “this time at least it is a real negotiation.” Islamic Jihad official Hassan Abdu says there have been “positive developments.” (AFP, AP, HA, JP, MNA, REU, YA 8/12; 8/13)