Friday, January 3, 2014

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces launch air strikes on 3 targets, causing no damage or casualties. Separately, Israeli forces open fire on 1 Palestinian collecting metal close to the border fence nr. Bayt Hanun, wounding him in the leg. Separately, during a protest, Israeli forces wound another Palestinian civilian close to the border fence with live ammunition. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning, in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Jericho at night. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at weekly demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and occupation in 2 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in and Ni‘lin), 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara), and 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum). There are no serious injuries. In East Jerusalem, a Palestinian woman attempts, and fails, to stab a border police officer nr. Nablus Gate. (JP, MNA, YA 1/3; PCHR 1/9)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry meets with Israeli FM Lieberman in the morning, before meeting Netanyahu again, and then heads to Ramallah for talks with PA Pres. Abbas. Israeli media reports that in discussion with Kerry, Lieberman states his opposition to the return of Palestinian refugees to the West Bank. In Ramallah, meanwhile, Kerry’s visit is met with a demonstration by hundreds of Palestinians protesting against the U.S. official and the peace process. (AFP, JP, ToI 1/3)

In Egypt, clashes between supporters of ousted pres. Morsi and security forces leave 17 people dead, and 62 wounded, with 17 mbrs. of the security forces also injured. An anonymous govt. official says that 258 protesters were arrested. The violence took place in a number of cities, including Cairo, Giza, Ismailia, Fayoum, and Alexandria. (AP, REU 1/3)