Thursday, May 2, 2013

In a meeting with Swiss FM Didier Burkhalter, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says that he intends to bring any proposed peace agreement with the Palestinians to a national referendum. Meanwhile, Israeli sources suggest that PM Netanyahu is afraid that Israel’s negotiation position would be undermined if U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry accepts the Arab League’s recent statement on borders and territorial exchange (see 4/29). Hamas leader Khalid Mishal rejects the Arab League endorsement of land swaps, and claims that the proposal is designed to find economic peace between Arab states and Israel. Meanwhile, Israel’s Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Netanyahu’s negotiation adviser Yitzhak Molcho arrive in Washington to discuss peace process issues with Kerry. (AP, HA, MNA 5/2)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 mortars from Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Hamas deploys Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigade (IQB) members nr. along the border fence to prevent rocket fire. Meanwhile, the IDF make a brief incursion into Gaza nr. Bayt Hanun to level land and clear lines of sight along the border fence. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers cut down over 50 olive trees in Dayr Jarir village nr. Ramallah. IDF forces attack a Palestnian funeral procession in Bayt Ummar village nr. Hebron, shooting and injuring 3 mourners. The IDF patrols in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, 3 villages nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Jenin, 2 villages nr. Jericho and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. At night, IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Bethlehem at night. (AA, MNA, ToI, YA 5/2; PCHR 6/9)

Hamas authorities in Gaza say that they have arrested 6 Salafists on suspicion of stealing weapons and plotting attacks. The Mujahidin Shura Council calls on the government to stop the detention campaign against its members. (MNA 5/2; PCHR 5/9)

Israel’s High Court orders DM Moshe Ya’alon to halt construction of the separation wall nr. the West Bank village of Batir, in response to a petition submitted by residents and Friends of the Earth Middle East. (HA, MNA 5/2)