Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Obama receives PA PM Mahmud Abbas in Washington for talks on bilateral relations and how best to proceed with peace talks in light of the flotilla incident. Obama, who has been in regular contact with Netanyahu since the flotilla attack, for the first time publicly proposes that Israel switch fr. a blanket ban on imports to Gaza with a list of exempted items permitted entry and instead allow all imports minus a list of banned items. (WP 6/9; NYT, WP, WT 6/10; WJW 6/17)

The PA says it has given Mitchell its baseline positions for direct talks with Israel and is prepared to begin direct negotiations once Israel does the same. Israel, however, says it will not lay out its negotiating position until direct talks begin “because that would be asking us to negotiate against ourselves.” (NYT 6/10)

IDF troops on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging construction materials in the industrial zone, causing no injuries. IDF troops make a brief incursion into the s. Gaza border area to level land to clear lines of sight. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrests raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron (including surrounding and searching the home of one of the organizers of the local separation wall protests, questioning him for 3 hrs. but not arresting him), Jenin; breaks up Palestinians and Israeli activists holding a nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in al-Walaja nr. Bethlehem, arresting 1 Palestinian, 2 Israelis. (PCHR 6/10, 6/17; OCHA 6/18)