Friday, August 20, 2010

U.S. Secy. of State Hillary Clinton announces that the U.S. will host Palestinian Authority (PA) Pres. Mahmud Abbas and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington on 9/2 for their 1st face-to-face peace negotiations since late 2008, with the U.S. believing a final status deal could be reached within a yr. The Quartet simultaneously issues a statement reiterating its endorsement of direct talks toward a final agreement that “ends the occupation which began in 1967” and results in the creation of a Palestinian state; calls on “both sides to observe calm and restraint, and to refrain from provocative actions and inflammatory rhetoric.” Netanyahu’s office quickly welcomes the proposal. (AP 8/20; NYT, WP 8/21)

Palestinians (accompanied by Israeli and international activists in some locations) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, al-Ma‘sara, and Dayr Nizam/ Nabi Salih. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters; 10s suffer tear gas inhalation, and 1 Norwegian activist is arrested. (PCHR 8/26; OCHA 8/27)