Monday, August 25, 2014

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF continues its assault with strikes on around 53 targets, killing 12 Palestinians and injuring dozens more. Also, IDF troops stationed nr. the border shell areas across the fence with artillery in 2 incidents. The armed Palestinian groups launch over 120 projectiles into Israel; of which, 102 land in open areas, 4 in urban areas, and 16 are intercepted by Iron Dome batteries. Also, Israeli authorities reopen the Erez border crossing, after closing it on 8/24. In the West Bank, a Palestinian teenager dies from injuries sustained in clashes with IDF troops on 8/15. The IDF conducts house searches and raids in 2 neighborhoods in Ramallah, Tulkarm r.c., and 1 suburb of Tulkarm, arresting 4. During the day, IDF troops conduct patrols in al-Fawar r.c., Hebron, and 1 village nr. Hebron; establish mobile checkpoints in 1 village nr. Hebron and 2 villages nr. Ramallah. In a village nr. Salfit, PA security forces detain 3 armed Israeli settlers and turn them over to IDF troops. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces enter Silwan to set up a mobile checkpoint and raid several houses. Stone-throwing Palestinian youth clash with the soldiers, but there are no arrests or injuries. (HA 8/25; PCHR 8/28)

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators return to Cairo and reports appear in the press of a potential breakthrough. Senior Islamic Jihad officials Khalid al-Batsh and Ziad Nakhleh are quoted saying they believe an agreement will be made within hours. Lebanon-based Hamas official Usama Hamdan says “there has been positive and fast progress.” An anonymous Palestinian official says that the Palestinian delegation would accept the new Egyptian proposal that would open the crossings into Gaza for aid and construction material, and defer disputed points to further negotiations to be held in 1 mo. Notably, Egypt requires the Rafah crossing to be negotiated with the Palestinians directly, separate from the indirect negotiations with the Israelis. Later in the day, however, senior Hamas official Musa Abu Marzuq says that there has been no progress in talks. (HA, JP, MNA, ToI, Yahoo! 8/25)

In closed meetings at the UN headquarters in New York, U.S. diplomats present principles for a UNSC res. that would call for a cease-fire in Gaza and conduct meetings with their German, French, and British counterparts, as well as Jordanians, in the hope of reconciling the 3 different proposals. The U.S. has sent Israel and Egypt a draft of the principles in the past 2 days. The Jordanian draft includes an international monitoring mechanism and the other 2 do not. (JP, REU 8/25)