Monday, July 11, 2011

At EU urging, the Quartet convenes a senior-level mtg. in Washington to discuss issuing a statement on how to jumpstart the peace process, but because of sharp disagreements over a draft prepared by the U.S. in consultation with Israel, the members fail to issue a statement. (AFP 7/11; AP 7/12; WJW 7/14; Foreign Policy [online] 7/22; WJW 8/5) 

Unidentified assailants attack Egypt’s natural gas pipeline to Israel and Jordan again (see 7/4). In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes a grocery store, sheep farm, and garage on land in al-Jib village nr. Jerusalem, strategically located between Givat Ze’ev and Givon settlements; declares a Palestinian olive grove in the Wadi Qana area nr. Salfit a closed military zone and uproots 600 trees; patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah, 2 nr. Salfit, and 1 nr. Jenin; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin town and r.c. and in Qalqilya. The World Zionist Organization’s settlement division (newly transferred to Netanyahu’s control; see 6/19) allocates 54,000 d. of agricultural land to 21 Jewish settlements in Jordan Valley, nearly doubling the total farmland under their control to 110,000 d.; it also increases water allocations to Jewish farmers in the Jordan Valley. (JP 6/28; WP 7/12; PCHR 7/14; OCHA 7/15)

The Knesset passes (47-38) into law a bill that would sanction individuals and organizations that call for a boycott of Israel or its settlements, denying them tax breaks and barring them from working for the government. The Knesset’s legal adviser warns, however, that the measure is “borderline illegal” since it strays into the right to free political expression. Human rights groups plan to challenge the law in the High Court within days. (HA, JTA, MNA 7/11; JTA, WJW 7/14; JPI, WP 7/22)