Friday, May 16, 2014

In the Gaza Strip, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops open fire on Palestinians throwing stones at their position nr. the border fence, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, IDF soldiers open fire on demonstrators in Hebron, wounding 2 with rubber-coated metal bullets, including a 14-year-old child who was blinded as a result. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Aida refugee camp (r.c.), Dahaysha r.c., and 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night; patrols in Qalqilya and 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 3 villages nr. Jericho, 2 villages nr. Ramallah, and 1 village nr. Hebron at night. Israeli settlers destroy 58 trees nr. Bethlehem. Meanwhile, IDF troops demolish an unauthorized structure in the Jewish settlement outpost Givat Assaf nr. Beit El. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at a weekly demonstration against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and occupation in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Nabi Salih, and Ni‘lin), and 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum). There are no serious injuries, except in Kafr Qaddum, where 1 is wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently disperse a group of Palestinians in Issawiyya protesting the killing of 2 teenagers the previous day. Fifteen are injured with rubber-coated metal bullets. (MNA, YA 5/16; PCHR 5/22)

Talks between reps. of Iran and the P5+1 powers in Vienna end with no results. Senior Iranian nuclear negotiator Iran’s and Dep. FM Abbas Araghchi says that the meeting made “no progress.” An unnamed U.S. official claims there was “great difficulty” in moving toward a consensus, and reports “significant” differences in positions. Due to the lack of progress, Iran’s FM Mohammad Zarif and EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton did not hold a concluding press conference as on previous occasions. Araghchi says there are further meetings planned in 6/2014, but gives no further details. Meanwhile, in comments given after a meeting with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, U.S. Defense Secy. Chuck Hagel says that the U.S. is committed to “ensuring Iran does not get a nuclear weapon.” (AP, HA 5/16)