Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron and 2 villages nr. Jenin at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the morning and in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm at night. (PCHR 5/23)

Kidnappers release 7 Egyptian security officialsin the Rafah area of the Sinai, following talks mediated by Bedouin tribal leaders. Subsequently, Egyptian authorities reopen the Rafah crossing. (MNA, REU 5/22)

The U.S. House of Representative’s Foreign Affairs Cmte. unanimously approves the “Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013” which both strengthens existing sanctions on Iran and imposes new sanctions. It is expected to pass the full 435-member chamber where it already has over 300 cosponsors. Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports that Tehran is pressing ahead with the construction of a research reactor in Arak. U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Patrick Ventrell responds to that report with the claim that Iran is “advancing its enrichment programme in blatant violation of its international obligations.” (AP, REU 5/22)