Sunday, December 22, 2013

In Israel, an explosive device detonates on a bus in Bat Yam, causing no casualties as the vehicle had been evacuated. Israeli police describe it as a “terrorist attack,” and a Hamas spokesperson in Gaza describes the bombing as a “heroic act.” No group, however, claims responsibility. In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 1 rocket into s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Separately, a rocket fired from inside the Gaza Strip lands in Egyptian territorial waters nr. Rafah, causing no injuries. Hamas authorities say that the rocket was fired during a training exercise and reached Egypt by mistake. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Jenin and in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Tulkarm; patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning, in 2 villages and alFawar r.c. nr. Hebron, and in 2 villages nr. Salfit at night. (AFP, AP, HA, MNA, REU, YA 12/22; PCHR 12/26)

Asst. Secy.-Gen. on Palestinian affairs at the Arab League Mohammad Sbeih says that Kerry intends to present Palestinian and Israeli leaders with a framework peace deal by the end of the month. Sbeih also reveals Abbas’ position on the peace agreement, including refusal of any Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley, the entirety of East Jerusalem as the capital, limited land swaps of equal value, and no recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state.” (AP, MNA, ToI 12/22)

Reps. from Iran and the P5+1 suspend their talks in Geneva to resume after Christmas. (REU 12/22)