Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning; and conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in 2 villages nr. Jenin. (PCHR 7/5; OCHA 7/13)

In a television interview in Beirut, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command (PFLPGC) leader Ahmad Jibril states that his faction, along with Hizballah and Iran, would fight to defend Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad if foreign forces intervene in Syria. Jibril claims to have discussed the matter with Hizballah leader Hasan Nasrallah, but Hizballah does not comment. (WT 7/4)

Al-Jazeera satellite TV airs a special investigative report in which it claims to have uncovered new evidence that Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat did not die of natural causes in 11/2004 but was assassinated. The station funded scientific tests of Arafat’s clothing (kept by his widow, Suha Arafat) by a Swiss forensic institute that found unusually high traces of the radioactive substance polonium21. Suha Arafat immediately calls for Arafat’s body to be exhumed and tested. The PA says only that it would not ‘‘stand in the way of an exhumation.’’ (JAZ 7/3; NYT, WP 7/5)

Iran and the P5þ1 end 2 days of talks in Istanbul. Though the sides do not comment on progress, they say that deputies to Ashton and Jalili will soon meet to discuss how to reduce gaps in their positions and move negotiations forward. The meeting is later set for 7/24 in Turkey. (NYT 7/5, 7/10)