Saturday, April 13, 2013

Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas accepts the 4/10 resignation of PM Salam Fayyad, despite international pressure for him to stay on. Abbas asks Fayyad to remain as caretaker PM until a replacement is appointed. Secretary of Fatah’s revolutionary council Amin Makhoul welcomes the resignation, saying that Fayyad’s government had failed to solve pressing economic problems. U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry, speaking in Tokyo, says he would have preferred Fayyad to stay on and expresses hope that Abbas will appoint the ‘‘right person’’ to work with all parties and ‘‘establish confidence.’’ Meanwhile, Hamas officials claim that Fayyad’s departure is not at all connected to the national reconciliation process, though Senior Leader of Islamic Jihad Khalid al-Batsh says that Fayyad’s resignation presents an opportunity to form a unity government headed by Abbas. (MNA, REU, WAFA 4/13; AFP, MNA 4/14)

Israeli naval vessels twice open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the n. Gaza coast, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF forces shoot and injure 3 Palestinians during clashes in Bayt Ummar nr. Hebron. The IDF patrols in al-‘Arub r.c. in Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in al-Azza r.c. in Bethlehem, 2 villages each nr. Bethlehem and Ramallah, and 1 village nr. Jenin at night. (MNA 4/13; PCHR 4/18)