Monday, April 22, 2013

Palestinian prisoner and administrative detainee Samer al-Issawi agrees to end his hunger strike—which has lasted for more than 8 months and inspired widespread Palestinian protest in solidarity—in exchange for an early release. At one such rally today, IDF soldiers clash with residents in Abu Dis, East Jerusalem, shooting and injuring 1. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers destroy hundreds of almond and olive trees in Bayt Dajan nr. Nablus, while in Dayr Jarir nr. Ramallah, settlers attack Palestinian property and set fire to 10 vehicles. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning, and in 1 village nr. Hebron, 2 villages nr. Jericho, 3 villages nr. Jenin, 1 village nr. Qalqilya, 1 village nr. Salfit and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. IDF soldiers conduct house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin and in 1 village nr. Jericho at night. The IDF conduct a ground incursion close to the border nr. Bayt Hanun and level land. (REU, WAFA 4/22; MNA 4/23; PCHR 4/25)

An Israeli delegation meets their Turkish counterparts in Ankara to discuss ways of improving bilateral relations, including the question of financial compensation by Israel to the families of Turkish activists killed on the Mavi Marmara in 2010. (JP 4/21)

Al-Ahram cites Palestinian government sources claiming that Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas has asked Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Turkey play a more prominent role in the drive for national reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. (HA 4/22)

U.S. Defense Secy. Chuck Hagel announces an arms deal with Israel at a press conference in Tel Aviv alongside Israeli DM Moshe Ya’alon. The sale includes V-22 Osprey helicopter-plane aircraft, refueling tankers, advanced radars for fighter jets, and advanced missiles that target air defenses. During their remarks, Ya’alon tacitly confirms that Israel was responsible for a 1/30 air strike on an army convoy in Syria, saying that Israel has already acted to stop weapons falling into Hizballah’s hands: ‘‘When they crossed this red line, we acted.’’ (AFP, JP 4/22)