Sunday, January 13, 2013

Israeli newspaper Yedi’ot Aharonot reports that the EU is preparing a new plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, to be presented following the forthcoming Israeli elections. The plan reportedly will be detailed and aim to complete negotiations on core issues during 2013. The initiative is sponsored by the British and French foreign ministries, but could be adopted by the whole EU. The PA subsequently says it is unaware of such a plan. Meanwhile, Jordan’s King Abdallah tells the French media that his country is working with European countries to restart the stalled negotiations. (AFP, JP 1/13; JP 1/14)

Israeli NGO Peace Now says that Israel’s Defense Ministry has published plans for around 200 new housing units in the West Bank settlement of Rotem in the Jordan Valley. Meanwhile, PM Netanyahu tells the cabinet that the government will ‘‘not allow anyone to harm the contiguity between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim,’’ referring to the removal of Palestinian activists from the Bab al-Shams protest camp in the E1 area. (AFP, JP 1/13)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning and in 1 village each nr. Qalqilya and Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Jenin in the afternoon, and in Nablus, Qalqilya, and 1 village each nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin, and Nablus at night. (PCHR 1/17)

Armed Palestinians protest in Jenin r.c., demanding the PA security forces return confiscated weapons to the resistance. The PA vows (1/14) to investigate the demonstration. (MNA 1/14)

Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad meets Arab League mbrs. to discuss the PA’s cash crisis and ways of raising the $100 m. promised by Arab countries but as yet undelivered. Fayyad claims that the situation may push 1.5 m. Palestinians into poverty. The Arab League agrees to form a delegation to press mbr. states to meet their financial obligations to the PA. (AP, MNA 1/13)

Senior IDF officers brief Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu that Syrian armed opposition groups have taken up positions along the border of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. (JP 1/13)

The Pentagon is sending briefings to senators in order to rebut what it calls ‘‘myths’’ about Defense Secretary–designate Chuck Hagel in the face of opposition to his appointment, in particular by pro-Israel groups. (WT 1/13)