Tuesday, January 15, 2013

U.S. columnist Jeffrey Goldberg reports that U.S. pres. Obama has repeatedly stated in private conversations regarding Israeli settlement expansion in the wake of the Palestinians’ UN bid that ‘‘Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are.’’ Anonymous sources close to PM Netanyahu respond that the Israeli leader will continue to resist international pressure. (HA, JP 1/15)

Hundreds of Palestinian government workers who have not received a full salary in 3 mos. protest outside PA PM Fayyad’s office in Ramallah. Meanwhile, PA security forces raid Balata r.c. in Nablus looking for the armed men involved in the 1/10 protests against the PA security forces, but make no arrests; masked gunmen fire in the air but not at the PA forces, causing no injuries. (REU 1/15; MNA 1/15)

Israeli Jerusalem municipal authorities and IDF soldiers demolish 2 Palestinian homes in the Sur al-Bahir neighborhood of East Jerusalem, leaving 22 people homeless. In the E1 area just outside East Jerusalem, Israeli security services block dozens of Palestinian activists who try to reoccupy the Bab al-Shams protest tent encampment. In the West Bank, the IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian teenager close to the separation wall by Budrus village nr. Ramallah. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Hebron at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Jenin, Tulkarm, 1 village nr. Hebron, and 1 village nr. Nablus at night. (MNA, REU 1/15; PCHR 1/17)

Democrat sens. Chuck Schumer and Barbara Boxer, well-known supporters of Israel, back Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel as the next defense secretary. The nomination has caused a storm of criticism from prominent proIsrael organizations and Congress mbrs. who are suspicious about Hagel’s views on Israel and Iran. (AP 1/15)