Wednesday, January 22, 2014

In the Gaza Strip, an Israeli air strike kills 2 Palestinians in Bayt Hanun, a mbr. of Islamic Jihad and the other a mbr. of the PFLP. Meanwhile, Israeli forces open fire on farmland nr. Dayr al-Balah, causing no injuries, and separately, open fire on lands nr. Khan Yunis, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops fire tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets at Palestinians in Bayt Furik nr. Nablus, wounding 1, as residents try to repel Jewish settlers. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces raid the Abu Dis campus of al-Quds University, firing tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets after students clash with a group of soldiers checking IDs at the entrance. (JP, MNA 1/22; PCHR 1/23)

Israeli NGO Peace Now announces that Israel has approved 261 new housing units in 2 West Bank settlements, Nofei Prat nr. Jericho and Ariel, in the n. It is the 5th such move in the last 2 weeks. (AFP 1/22)

The opposing sides of Syria’s civil war meet in Montreux, Switzerland, as a long-awaited UN peace conference gets underway. The 1st day’s agenda is occupied by formal speeches; Syrian FM Muallem and opposition leader Jarba both issue strident denunciations of their opponents. U.S. Secy. of State Kerry calls the rough start to the talks “a tough and complicated process.” Meanwhile, a shell fired from inside Syria strikes a home in n. Lebanon, wounding 1. (AFP, AP, DS, REU 1/22)