Tuesday, July 2, 2013

In the West Bank, Israeli soldiers shoot and kill a Palestinian man in Dura village nr. Hebron in response to stone-throwing at an IDF patrol. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Jenin, 1 village and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin at night. In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Khan Yunis to level land alongside the border fence. (MNA, REU 7/2; PCHR 7/4)

Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas says he is “optimistic” about U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry’s shuttle diplomacy, in comments he makes to reporters at a Ramallah press conference with Italian PM Enrico Letta. Meanwhile, U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Jen Psaki says in a press conference that no details of the peace talks will be divulged for the time being. In another development, Israel and the PA agree to form a biweekly committee on economic matters, a decision made in a meeting between Palestinian FM Shukri Bishara and Israeli FM Yair Lapid. Issues of concern for the committee will include crossings, fuel, and tax. (JP 7/2; MNA 7/3)

Egyptian pres. Mohamed Morsi rejects the military’s ultimatum to relinquish power, insisting on his democratic legitimacy and warning that any attempt to remove him and his govt. by force will plunge the country into chaos. Both Morsi and the military leadership say they will not back down from a violent confrontation. Violent clashes between supporters and opponents of Morsi in different neighborhoods of Cairo result in an estimated 7–11 deaths. Meanwhile, the Israeli army issues a statement revealing that the Egyptian military has moved several dozen armored vehicles into the border area nr. the Gaza Strip in coordination with Israel, part of efforts to combat security threats in the Sinai. (AP, NYT 7/2)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry meets with Russian FM Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of a security conference in Brunei and tells reporters afterward that a proposed peace conference on Syria will not happen until at least 9/2013. Lavrov also says that Kerry had recognized that “consolidating” the various Syrian opposition forces was the most important task ahead of any possible peace conference. (WP 7/2)