Saturday, August 17, 2013

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops arrest 3 Palestinians swimming off the coast of Bayt Lahiya. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Bethlehem and 2 nearby villages, and 2 villages nr. Jenin at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in Nablus and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. (PCHR 8/22)

The IDF fires a surface-to-surface missile at a Syrian army post after 3 shells land inside the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. The Israeli army retaliation destroys the Syrian military position but causes no casualties. (AFP, JP 8/17)

Egypt’s PM Hazem el-Bablawi proposes disbanding the Muslim Brotherhood. Meanwhile, clashes continue in Cairo between supporters of ousted Pres. Mohamed Morsi and security forces. On the border with the Gaza Strip, Egyptian authorities briefly open the Rafah crossing for“humanitarian cases” and stranded “international travellers.”(AFP, REU 8/17)

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton telephones new Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif to congratulate him on his appointment, telling him that the P5+1 group—the 5 permanent mbrs. of the UNSC plus Germany — is ready to “work with the new Iranian negotiating team” as soon as they are appointed. (AFP 8/17, JP 8/18)