Thursday, September 12, 2013

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion along the border fence nr. Khan Yunis to level land, before withdrawing. In the West Bank, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians protesting the arrival of 1,400 Jewish worshippers at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, injuring 7. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the afternoon; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning, and in 1 village nr. Jenin at night. The IDF also demolishes 4 Palestinian-owned commercial structures in Barta‘a village nr. Jenin. (HA, MNA 9/12; PCHR 9/19)

PA Pres. Mahmud Abbas meets with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Paris, as well as French pres. Francois Hollande, discussing with both the peace process. (WAFA 9/12)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry meets Russian FM Sergey Lavrov in Geneva to discuss Moscow’s proposal of securing and destroying Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile, talks that were described by Kerry afterward as “constructive.” Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz expresses cautious support for the plan, speaking to Israeli media. Meanwhile, 3 stray mortar shells land in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. (AFP, AP, JP, REU 9/12)

Egyptian interim pres. Adly Mansour extends a nationwide state of emergency for a further 2 mos. On the Rafah border, 2 Egyptian army tanks cross the initial border fence on the Egyptian side for the 1st time. Meanwhile, Egyptian authorities close the Rafah crossing for the 2d day due to unrest in the Sinai. (AFP, AP, MNA 9/12)

Iranian Amb. to the IAEA Reza Najafi says that Tehran will cooperate with the agency to “overcome existing issues once and for all,” speaking at his 1st board meeting. Distinct from the P5+1 (permanent mbrs. of the UNSC plus Germany) talks, the IAEA has held 10 rounds of talks since early 2012 to resume inspections into suspected weapon research. (REU 9/12)