Thursday, December 27, 2012

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen 6 naut. mi. from the Gaza shore nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning, in 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Jericho, 2 villages nr. Hebron, and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night. Jewish settlers uproot 40 olive trees in Qusra village nr. Nablus. (MNA 12/27; PCHR 1/3)

PA pres. Abbas tells Israeli newspaper Ha’Aretz that if both settlement construction and the diplomatic stalemate continue after the forthcoming Israeli elections, he will dismantle the PA. He also says that Israel has reduced security cooperation with the PA since the UN vote in 11/2012. Abbas says he does not intend to bring charges against Israel at the ICC in The Hague, at least ‘‘as long as there are diplomatic negotiations.’’ Meanwhile, UK min. for the Middle East Alistair Burt condemns Israel’s plans to expand settlements in East Jerusalem and its official recognition of Ariel University Center as a university in unusually strong terms that refer to the Geneva Conventions. (HA, ToI 12/27)

Kadima chair Shaul Mofaz warns that Israel might be on the brink of a 3d intifada. Israeli media report an increasing number of small-scale clashes between Palestinians and the IDF in different locations throughout the West Bank since the end of Operation Pillar of Defense, including stone-throwing Palestinians attacking Israeli vehicles and IDF troops. (ToI 12/27)

Hamas issues an order banning Palestinian journalists in the Gaza Strip from working with or giving interviews to the Israeli media, and instructs government officials similarly. Meanwhile, Fatah cancels its anniversary celebrations in Gaza, citing Hamas’s refusal to agree to their proposed locations for the event. (Guardian, MNA 12/27)

In Syria, 4 Palestinians are killed when Syrian government forces shell Yarmuk r.c. nr. Damascus, the 1st attack of its kind since the rocketing of the camp on 12/16 that killed at least 25 people. (NYT 12/27; MNA 12/28)