Tuesday, February 18, 2014

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on agricultural lands nr. Khan Yunis, causing no injuries, while separately also open fire nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries. IDF troops conduct 2 separate limited incursions nr. Khan Yunis to level land. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. Meanwhile, IDF sources say that they discovered a large bomb buried nr. the border fence in the s. Gaza Strip, the 4th such device discovered since the beginning of 2014. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon; patrols in 2 villages nr. Hebron in the afternoon. Jewish settlers uproot 650 olive tree seedlings nr. Ramallah. (HA, MNA 2/18; PCHR 2/20)

Secy.-Gen. of the Fatah Revolutionary Council Amin Maqboul says that the group’s reconciliation delegation head Azzam al-Ahmad will not travel to the Gaza Strip until Hamas agrees to general elections and the formation of a unity govt. (MNA 2/18)

Two rockets fired from inside Syria land inside the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. (AFP 2/18)

Representatives of Iran and the P5+1 countries begin talks in Vienna to try and reach a comprehensive deal on Tehran’s disputed nuclear program. The P5+1 countries include the U.S., UK, France, China, Russia, and Germany. Bilateral talks between senior U.S. and Iranian officials take place on the sidelines. Under Secy. of State Wendy Sherman heads the U.S. delegation, with Iran’s Dep. FM Abbas Araghchi co-leading his side’s team with FM Mohammad Javad Zarif. (AP, REU 2/18)

Jihadist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis issues a statement warning tourists to leave Egypt by 2/20, or face attack by the group’s mbrs. (REU 2/18)