Saturday, January 25, 2014

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces kill 1 Palestinian and wound 6 when protesters gather at the border fence. In the West Bank, IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 4 nearby villages, and 1 village each nr. Bethlehem and Jenin at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning; in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Tulkarm in the afternoon; and in Salfit and 1 nearby village, and al-‘Arub r.c. at night. (REU 1/25; PCHR 1/30)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry says that he intends to present his framework for final negotiations within a few weeks, according to an Israeli businessman who hears Kerry’s speech at a Davos meeting of “Breaking the Impasse,” a conference of Israeli and Palestinian business people. (See document D1 in JPS 169 for more on Breaking the Impasse.) In Davos, Kerry meets with Israeli PM Netanyahu, who tells Israeli journalists that he has no intention of evacuating any settlements. Meanwhile, the PLO’s 12-mbr. Executive Cmte. meets in Ramallah and agrees on recommendations to pursue options in various UN agencies, regardless of the state of the ongoing negotiations, according to cmte. mbr. Hanna Amirah. Any recommendations need to be approved by PA Pres. Abbas. (MNA 1/25; HA, JP 1/26)

At the UN-sponsored peace conference in Switzerland, Syria’s opposing sides hold their 1st face-to-face meeting, though only speak to each other through UN-Arab League joint special envoy Brahimi. The meeting lasts for 3 hours, with Brahimi describing it as “a good beginning.” Meanwhile, 5 rockets from Syria hit the Hermel region of Lebanon, an attack claimed by Jabhat al-Nusra in Lebanon and Abdullah Azzam Brigades. There is some damage, but no casualties. (AP, DS, REU 1/25)

Anti-govt. and pro-regime marches in Cairo and other Egyptian cities lead to street violence and clashes that kill 29 people. (REU 1/26)