Thursday, June 13, 2013

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops operating from a border fence watchtower nr. Khan Yunis open fire and cause damage to a house. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron in the morning and in 1 village nr. Jenin at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya, 1 village nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Jenin, and 1 village nr. Jericho at night. Jewish settlers throw rocks and Molotov cocktails at Palestinian-owned homes and a car nr. Yitzhar settlement in the n. West Bank. (MNA 6/13; PCHR 6/20)

Israeli officials confirm that plans will proceed to build more than 1,000 new homes in Bruchin and Itamar settlements, drawing criticism from the U.S. administration, with U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Jen Psaki calling the announcement “unhelpful.” Bruchin was granted legal status last year, and its residents will be allowed to construct 550 new houses, while Itamar’s will be permitted to construct 537 new homes, in association with the relevant govt. agencies. (AP, REU 6/13)

An estimated 3,000 protesters march in Beersheba to demonstrate against the proposed Prawer Plan, which will displace tens of thousands of Bedouins in the Negev. Bedouins also conduct a community-wide strike in protest of the Plan. (AFP, YA 6/13)

U.S. Pres. Barack Obama authorizes sending U.S. weapons to Syrian rebels for the 1st time. Meanwhile, a statement from the White House says that between 100 and 150 people have died from chemical weapons attacks in Syria. (AP, REU 6/13)

UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky says that the peacekeeping dept. has asked Austria to delay to the end of 7/2013 its full troop withdrawal from the UNDOF mission in the Golan Heights to enable a smooth transition. Separately, the UN also says that Syrians are being killed at an average rate of 5,000 per month, with the overall death toll nearly 93,000. (AP 6/13)