Monday, January 17, 2011

Israel’s Jerusalem planning comm. approves construction of 92 housing units in Talpiot settlement and 32 apartments in Pisgat Ze’ev settlement. Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts patrols in 3 villages nr. Qalqilya, 2 nr. Salfit, 1 nr. Jenin, and 1 nr. Ramallah during the day and evening; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches, and patrols nr. Hebron, Salfit, and Tulkarm. (YA 1/17; PCHR, WJW 1/20; OCHA 1/21)

Israeli DM Ehud Barak resigns as head of the Labor party, taking 4 rightleaning party mbrs. with him to form a “new centrist independence faction” within Netanyahu’s governing coalition. The 8 remaining Labor MKs immediately withdraw fr. the coalition, leaving Netanyahu with a smaller but more stable coalition, controlling 66 of 120 Knesset seats. (NYT, WP, WT 1/18; WJW 1/20; JPI 1/28)