Thursday, September 2, 2010

Direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are formally relaunched at a ceremony at the State Dept. in Washington, with Abbas and Netanyahu pledging to meet again on 9/13–14 in Egypt and then every 2 weeks thereafter to “keep momentum going.” Clinton, Abbas, Netanyahu, and U.S. special envoy George Mitchell meet, after which Abbas and Netanyahu meet privately for 90 mins. Mitchell then announces that the leaders have decided to work toward a “framework agreement” within a year that would outline “the compromises each side must be ready to make” to achieve peace as a 1st step before attempting to iron out a comprehensive peace treaty. (NYT, WP, WT 9/3)

For a 3d day in a row, IQB gunmen fire on a Jewish settler vehicle driving in West Bank area C, causing no injuries. Asked if Hamas’s political leadership approved the recent string of shootings, West Bank IQB spokesman Abu Ubaidah says the operations are “in harmony with the attitude of the political wing.” The PASF says that since the 1st shooting on 8/31, they have detained 300 Hamas mbrs. Late in the evening, the IDF patrol in villages nr. Jericho, Nablus, Qalqilya, and Salfit, making no arrests; conducts arrest raids in Hebron (shooting and wounding 1 Palestinian, releasing him to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society) and neighboring al-‘Arub r.c. Jewish settlers fr. Halamish settlement nr. Ramallah stone Palestinian vehicles driving by the settlement. Jewish settlers fr. Shilo settlement nr. Ramallah stone Palestinian cars on the Ramallah–Nablus road. Unidentified Jewish settlers stone Palestinian vehicles driving nr. Nablus. PCHR reports that Israel’s Gihon Water Company recently sent letters to churches and nunneries in the Old City of Jerusalem warning that their water service will be cut off if they do not immediately pay water consumption fees accumulated since 1967; historically, religious establishments in Jerusalem have been exempt from such fees. (PCHR 9/2; WP 9/4; PCHR 9/8; OCHA 9/17)