Tuesday, January 14, 2014

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces open fire on open farmland nr. Dayr al-Balah, causing no injuries. Separately, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion nr. Bayt Lahiya to level land. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 3 villages and al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron at night; patrols in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron at night. Jewish settlers throw rocks at a vehicle belonging to the PA Ministry of Health nr. Nablus, causing light injuries. (MNA 1/14; PCHR 1/16)

Reports surface in the Israeli media attributing Israeli DM Ya’alon with remarks describing U.S. Secy. of State Kerry as “obsessive” and “messianic.” The comments, made to associates in private, are condemned by the U.S. State Dept. Following a meeting with Netanyahu, Ya’alon issues an apologetic statement. The next day, Kerry tells reporters at a press conference in Kuwait that he would not let “one set of comments undermine peace efforts.” (AFP, HA, JP 1/14; HA 1/15)

The PLO Executive Cmte. meets in Ramallah, presided over by Pres. Abbas, and releases a statement that says the peace process will likely collapse unless it is based on relevant internationally-recognized terms of reference. (WAFA 1/14)

A referendum is held in Egypt on a new constitution, with the Muslim Brotherhood boycotting the vote and holding protests. Some 160,000 soldiers and 200,000 police officers are deployed to secure polling stations. Two small bombs explode, 1 in Cairo and 1 in Mahalla, causing no injuries. Clashes between supporters of former pres. Morsi and security forces leave 11 dead in Cairo, Giza, Bani Suef, and Sohag. (AFP, AP, REU 1/14)