Wednesday, June 26, 2013

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 3 villages nr. Hebron, Tulkarm, and 1 nearby village, Nablus, Tubas, and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; patrols in Jenin and 1 nearby village, and 1 village each in Bethlehem and Hebron. Jewish settlers attack Palestinian-owned vehicles nr. Nablus, causing damage but no injuries. Settlers also set fire to olive trees nr. Hawara village. (MNA 6/26; PCHR 6/27)

The Israeli army reopens Kerem Shalom and Erez border crossings into the Gaza Strip, closed on 6/23 as a punitive measure following rocket fire. (AFP 6/26)

The Jerusalem municipality approves construction permits for 69 new homes in East Jerusalem settlement Har Homa, a day before U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry is due to arrive for talks in Israel and the West Bank. (AFP, JP 6/26)

UNESCO’s World Heritage Cmte. in Phnom Penh passes a Jordanian-sponsored resolution in an 8–3–10 vote condemning Israeli actions in Jerusalem, such as developments of the Western Wall and Temple Mount site, and resolving to maintain the places of the Old City and Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on its World Heritage Sites in Danger list. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticizes the resolution, saying it is a “dark day for UNESCO.” (ToI 6/26)

Austria completes the withdrawal of its UNDOF peacekeepers from the Golan Heights, with the remaining 70 departing via Israel. (HA 6/26)

Unidentified gunmen kidnap 2 Egyptian police officers in the s. Sinai, reportedly in revenge for an earlier assault on a Bedouin man by a police officer during a dispute at a petrol station. (Ahram 6/26)