Tuesday, November 19, 2013

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces launch air strikes targeting 2 chicken farms, a border fence tunnel, and an Islamic Jihad training site nr. Khan Yunis. There are no injuries reported in any of the attacks. IDF troops also conduct a limited incursion in s. Gaza to level land nr. the border fence. The IDF also shells agricultural land nr. Gaza City, with no damage or casualties. Separately, a Palestinian fighter is killed in an accidental explosion in Gaza City. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 3 nearby villages and al-‘Arub r.c., and 1 village each nr. Bethlehem, Jenin, Nablus, and Ramallah at night. Meanwhile, a Palestinian man shot by Israeli forces in 2006 dies of his wounds. Jewish settlers vandalize 2 cars and leave racist graffiti in a village nr. Nablus. (MNA 11/19; PCHR 11/21)

Following the 11/16 decision by Hamas officials, Ma’an News Agency’s office in Gaza City reopens, following 4 mos. of closure, with the authorities also announcing that Al-Arabiya TV’s offices would also reopen. Hamas closed the 2 news organizations on 7/25 after they reported that Muslim Brotherhood officials who had fled Egypt were being sheltered in the Gaza Strip. (MNA 11/19)

UNRWA Under Secy.-Gen. Jeffrey Feltman tells the UN Security Council (UNSC) that the agency will be unable to pay salaries to roughly 30,000 employees in 12/2013, including teachers and medical personnel, due to a $36 m. deficit. Meanwhile, hundreds of teachers gathered outside the High Court of Justice in Ramallah after the PA appealed to the court with the claim that the limited strike launched on 11/17 was in contravention of labor laws. (AFP, MNA 11/19)

A double suicide bombing kills 23 outside the Iranian embassy in Beirut, including an Iranian diplomat. The attack was claimed by al-Qa‘ida linked group Abdullah Azzam Brigades that, in a statement, said their demands were the withdrawal of Hizballah forces from Syria and the release of Salafist jihadists from Lebanese jails. Following the bombings, Hizballah’s dep. leader Naim Kassem says that the group will not be swayed from its course of support for the Syrian govt. Saudi Arabia condemns the attack as “cowardly.” (AFP 11/19; AP, REU 11/20)

Egyptian security forces storm Tahrir Square in Cairo, clashing with protesters who had gathered to mark the anniversary of deadly 2011 demonstrations. One person is killed in the confrontation. (AFP 11/19)