Saturday, February 12, 2011

The PLO Exec. Comm. says it plans to hold Palestinian legislative and presidential elections by 9/2011. Hamas says it will not participate in local or national elections, saying a national unity agreement must come before a vote. (NYT, WP 2/13; WP 2/16)

IDF troops on the Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials 3 times (twice in the fmr. Jewish settlements nr. the n. border fence, once nr. the border e. of Gaza City), wounding 3 Palestinians. In the West Bank, the IDF enters Qalqilya in the morning, patrols streets, setting up a checkpoint, raiding 1 store, and summoning 3 Palestinians for questioning; patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm, 1 nr. Salfit in the afternoon and 1 village nr. Qalqilya and 1 nr. Ramallah late at night. In Ramallah, 100s of Palestinians march in support of Egypt’s prodemocracy movement. (WP 2/13; PCHR 2/17; OCHA 2/18)

Egypt’s Supreme Military Council issues communiqué no. 4 pledging to “meet the legitimate demands of the people” and oversee a quick transition to a “democratic and free” Egypt run by civilians, but says Mubarak’s government and institutions will stay on as caretaker in the short term. It also pledges that Egypt will honor its international treaties, including the peace treaty with Israel. (Netanyahu welcomes the statement.) An opposition coalition called the Coalition of the Youth of the Revolution (representing mbrs. of the youth movement credited with rallying the protests, the Muslim Brotherhood, and El-Baradei’s umbrella organization) urges protesters to go home, saying it will lead negotiations with the military going forward. The army moves quickly through the end of the quarter to disband parliament, suspend the constitution, and appoint a legitimate constitutional reform comm. (NYT, WP, WT 2/13; NYT, WP, WT 2/14; NYT, WP, WT 2/16)