Saturday, September 25, 2010

Secy. of State Clinton races to broker a deal with Israeli officials to extend the settlement freeze 1 day before it is scheduled to expire, while Mitchell meets with Abbas in New York to urge him not to walk away from peace talks immediately if Netanyahu allows the freeze to expire. On the ground Jewish settlers begin positioning construction equipment in some settlements. In addition, Jewish settlers in Revava settlement nr. Salfit seize 30 d. of Palestinian agricultural land, raze crops, and install 2 mobile homes as a “new quarter” of the settlement. Jewish settlers fr. Nokdim settlement nr. Bethlehem place 3 mobile homes on nearby Palestinian land. Jewish settlers fr. Barqan settlement nr. Salfit raze adjacent Palestinian land to expand the settlement’s industrial zone. Jewish settlers fr. Givat Ze’ev settlement enter Beitunia town nr. Ramallah and make preparations to celebrate the Sukkoth holiday; the IDF removes them. (NYT, WP 9/26)

Meanwhile, Israeli-Palestinian clashes in Issawiyya, which began on 9/22, taper off by the end of the day, leaving a total of 99 Palestinians (including 17 children) and 9 Israelis injured (7 lightly, 2 moderately), and 70 Palestinians under arrest; during the rioting, Palestinians set fire to or damage 8 Israeli cars and vandalize an Israeli tourist information center. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Iraq Burin village nr. Nablus in the afternoon, firing tear gas and stun grenades at stone-throwing Palestinian youths who confront them, causing no serious injuries; fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists conducting a nonviolent march from Bayt Umar village to Karme Tzur settlement outside Hebron to protest land confiscations and settlement expansion; 10s suffer tear gas inhalation and 2 Palestinians and 3 Americans are injured. An Egyptian hospital reports that an armed Palestinian transported to Egypt for treatment has died of injures sustained in the 9/14 IDF shelling nr. Gaza Valley village. (NYT, WP 9/26; PCHR 9/30; OCHA 10/1)

Delegations headed by Hamas Political Bureau chief Khalid Mishal and senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad meet for 3 hours in Damascus, afterward issuing a statement confirming a restart of national unity talks. (AP 9/24; AP, REU 9/25; JP 9/27; MNA 11/1)