Monday, November 26, 2012

Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas heads to New York ahead of the expected 11/29 UNGA vote on a resolution to upgrade the status of Palestine to a non-member observer state. PA officials express optimism about the anticipated level of European support, and also say they do not take seriously threats from Israel that the PA will be punished for pursuing the initiative. The Palestinians circulate a revised draft resolution. Behind the scenes, Israeli and U.S. officials press the Palestinians to tone down the wording of the text (see Quarterly Update in JPS 167 for details). Israeli diplomatic officials now say that Israel’s response to the bid will depend on what Abbas does with the upgraded status. Meanwhile, Hamas leader Mishal telephones Abbas to express Hamas’s support for the bid. (JP, HA, MNA, REU 11/26)

Israeli DM Barak (Independence party) announces he will leave political life after the national elections scheduled for 1/22/13. Likud primaries are held and result in a win for the more hard-line wing of the party, including an almost guaranteed Knesset seat for far-right activist Moshe Feiglin. Mins. Benny Begin, Dan Meridor, and Michael Eitan all fail to make the top 10 places on the party’s slate. (HA, REU, ToI 11/26)

Egyptian mediators begin separate talks with Hamas and Israel about fleshing out and implementing the details of the cease-fire. Palestinian demands reportedly include the opening of more Israeli crossings into the Gaza Strip. (JP, REU 11/26)

In Gaza, 2 Palestinian civilians die from wounds sustained during Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense, raising the comprehensive Palestinian death toll to 164. During the day, the IDF opens fire on Palestinian civilians approaching the border fence nr. Khan Yunis, lightly injuring 1. The IDF also opens fire on Palestinian civilians and farmers staging a march to the border fence e. of Jabalya to protest Israel’s imposition of a ‘‘no-go’’ buffer zone, injuring 2. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning, in 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the afternoon, and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night; conducts late-night house searches and arrest raids in al-‘Arub r.c. and 1 other village nr. Hebron, and 1 village nr. Nablus. (MNA 11/26; PCHR 11/29)