Wednesday, December 18, 2013

During an arrest raid in the Jenin r.c. in the West Bank, IDF troops kill 1 Palestinian and wound 6 others. En route to a suspect’s house in the camp, soldiers meet resistance from residents—including the use of an improvised explosive device—and respond with live fire. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian farmers close to the border fence nr. Bayt Hanun, causing no injuries. (HA, MNA 12/18, PCHR 12/19)

Palestinian chief negotiator Erakat tells reporters in Bayt Jala that the Palestinians and Israelis will require up to 1 more year to complete a peace deal, provided that a framework agreement can be put in place in the coming weeks. Erakat says that the Palestinians are thus prepared to extend talks beyond the 4/2014 deadline. (AP, REU, YA 12/18)

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Cmte. passes legislation, by a vote of 16–1, that would reform U.S. aid to Egypt, effectively lifting the hold on military aid that was put in place after the 7/2013 military overthrow of Egyptian pres. Morsi. The bill would amend the controversial “coup law” that forbids the transfer of U.S. aid to a country where a democratic govt. has been overthrown by the military; specifically, it would allow the pres. to waive that restriction on the basis of national security, providing that transferred aid supports democratization programs or facilitates new elections. (AP, REU 12/18)