Tuesday, June 3, 2014

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm in the morning, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron and 2 villages nr. Jenin at night. (PCHR 6/5)

Israeli PM Netanyahu says he is “deeply troubled” by the U.S. decision to maintain ties and aid to the PA unity govt. In response, U.S. State Dept. dep. spokesperson Harf says that the unity govt. is not “backed by Hamas” and contains “no mbrs. of Hamas.” Further endorsement of the new PA govt. comes from Russia, China, India, Turkey, France, and the UK. EU foreign affairs chief Ashton calls the formation of the unity govt. “an important step.” UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon also welcomes the move. Meanwhile, PLO executive comm. mbr. Hanna Amira says that Israel has notified the PA that it is imposing sanctions in response to the unity govt.’s formation. These include the invalidation of VIP cards of PA officials, reduction of tax revenues, which Israel collects and delivers to the PA, and prevention of visits between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. (AP, HA, MNA, REU 6/4)

A presidential election is held in Syria, and Pres. Bashar al-Asad is expected to win a majority of the vote. Opponents of the pres. dismiss the election because al-Asad’s 2 rival candidates, Hassan al-Nouri and Maher Hajjar, were both approved by a parliament dominated by al-Asad’s supporters. State Dept. dep. spokesperson Harf says the U.S. sees the election as “a disgrace” and that Pres. al-Asad “has no more credibility today than he did yesterday.” French FM Laurent Fabius calls it “a tragic farce.” (AP, REU 6/3)

Egypt’s election commission reports its official results, announcing that al-Sisi won 96.91% in the presidential vote, with a turnout of 47% of 54 m. voters nationwide. (AP, REU 6/3)