Friday, September 27, 2013

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 1 rocket into s. Israel which causes no damage or injuries. In addition, Israeli troops fire upon a demonstration that approaches the border fence, as part of protests in solidarity with Palestinians facing restricted access to al-Aqsa mosque, injuring 5. In the West Bank, hundreds of Palestinians clash with Israeli troops as part of demonstrations marking the 13th anniversary of the 2d intifada. In al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron, the IDF opens fire with rubber-coated metal bullets, hitting a child and blinding her in 1 eye. In c. Hebron, more than 200 Palestinians throw stones at Israeli soldiers, who injure 23 Palestinians with live ammunition and rubber-coated metal bullets. There is also a protest outside Ofer prison nr. Ramallah, and in the Nablus area at Hawara checkpoint (where 1 person is injured with a rubber-coated metal bullet to the head). The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin and Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah at night. Jewish settlers set fire to 2 Palestinian vehicles nr. Beit El settlement n. of Ramallah. In East Jerusalem, Palestinian youths smash a hole in the separation wall in Abu Dis before Israeli forces arrive and violently disperse them. Outside the Old City nr. Damascus Gate, Palestinians throw stones at police officers. (JP, MNA, NYT 9/28; PCHR 10/3)

Diplomats from the Quartet meet on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York and issue a statement calling on both sides to take “every possible step” to make the current negotiations a success. Envoy Tony Blair says that the meeting heard of initiatives accompanying peace talks to boost the Palestinian economy. The Quartet reps. were also joined by Tzipi Livni and Saeb Erakat in their capacities as lead negotiators for their respective sides. (AP, JP 9/28)

The UNSC votes unanimously for a res. that will see Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile secured and destroyed. Kerry says that the res. shows diplomacy is able to “peacefully defuse the worst weapons of war,” adding that destruction of the arsenal will begin in 11/2013 and run through to mid-2014. The council also backs a road map for political transition in Syria, and calls for an international conference to be convened “as soon as possible.” (AP, ToI, REU 9/27)

U.S. Pres. Obama and Iranian pres. Ruhani speak on the telephone, the highest-level contact between the 2 countries since 1979. Obama, in comments at the White House, and Ruhani, via a Twitter account, said that both are committed to solving the nuclear issue. (REU 9/27)