Monday, November 8, 2010

Israel’s Interior Min. says it will move forward with plans to build 1,300 new Jewish settlement housing units in East Jerusalem (978 in Har Homa/Jabal Abu Ghunaym, 320 in Ramot). At the same time, Israel issues construction tenders for 800 units in the West Bank settlement of Ariel, which Israel intends to keep under final status. Meanwhile, Israel’s Jerusalem municipal authorities issue a report stating that the municipality is currently building more than 13,500 housing units for Jews in various Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. The UN, U.S., and PA denounce the plans. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols without incident in Zayta village nr. Tulkarm in the morning; patrols in Bayt Liqya late at night, firing rubbercoated steel bullets, tear gas, stun grenades at stone-throwing Palestinian youths who confront them, causing no serious injuries. (HA, JAZ, MNA, YA 11/8; HA, NYT, WP, WT 11/9; OCHA, PCHR 11/11)

Pres. Obama dispatches U.S. Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on a 3-day regional tour of the Middle East, with stops in Syria (to warn Damascus against interfering in Lebanon), Turkey (to urge Turkey to repair its ties with Israel), Lebanon (to show support for Pres. Michel Suleiman), and Israel and Ramallah (to explore ways of reviving the peace talks). (XIN 11/8; AP 11/9; NYT 11/11)