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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
31 July 2013




Division for Palestinian Rights

Chronological Review of Events Relating to the
Question of Palestine

Monthly media monitoring review

July 2013



Monthly highlights

• OSCE Parliamentary Assembly grants Palestine membership status as a Mediterranean State that is a non-member of the EU (3 July)

• Palestinians observe ninth anniversary of the ICJ Advisory Opinion on the separation Wall (9 July)

• Israel condemns new European Commission directive banning EU funding of Israeli entities operating in occupied territories (16 July)

• Palestinian political leadership rejects Secretary of State Kerry’s plan for returning to peace talks with Israel (18 July)

• Kerry announces agreement between Israel and the Palestinians to lay the groundwork for resuming peace talks (19 July)

• European Commission publishes new guidelines barring EU agencies from funding entities connected to settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights (19 July)

• Israel to free some 82 Palestinian prisoners as a gesture to the PA in the context of renewal of peace talks (22 July)

• Israeli Cabinet votes to approve the release of 104 prisoners to clear the way for Israeli-Palestinian talks (28 July)

• Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams begin direct final status negotiations in Washington, D.C., and agree on a nine-month timetable (29 July)

1

Israeli forces arrested nine Palestinians from Nablus, Hebron, Tulkarm and Bethlehem. (WAFA)

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, in a meeting with a high-ranking US Congress delegation in Ramallah, called upon the US to put more pressure on the Israeli Government “which [continues] its daily violations against the Palestinians and keeps occupying their lands and building up settlements”. (Xinhua)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Italian counterpart, Enrico Letta, that he would be willing to sit in a tent and remain there “until white smoke comes out” if it would help advance negotiations with the Palestinians. (AP)

Speaking at a conference in Eilat, Israeli Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni warned that Israel may face a European economic boycott if it did not make progress in the peace process with the Palestinians. "We cannot deal with economic issues away from politics and the two-State solution. The Europeans are to boycott settlement products, but they also have a problem with Israel, which they consider a colonial State," she said. (Middle East Monitor)

The European Union provided €13 million to East Jerusalem hospitals in response to serious cash flow problems due to the failure of the Palestinian Government to pay their outstanding debt to the hospitals. (WAFA)

Finland’s Minister for International Development, Heidi Hautala, visited a Finnish water project in the West Bank. “Water is a human right that belongs to everyone”, Ms. Hautala said. During the past three years, Finland had been involved in enhancing the water supply of Palestinian villages on the north-western side of Jerusalem in collaboration with the Palestinian Authority (PA). Her trip also included a visit to Gaza, hosted by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). (formin.finland.fi)

Hundreds of fishermen gathered in Gaza City to protest Israel's blockade on the coastal territory. (Ma’an News Agency)

Media outlets reported that a delegation of Israeli settlers had left for a visit to the US and was due to meet with senior American officials, Congressmen, polling institutions and media organizations. It aims to persuade them that “Jews have the right [sic] to settle in the West Bank” and that [settlers] are a “main segment” of Israeli society. (www.middleeastmonitor.com)

Israel announced a crackdown against Jewish ultranationalists who vandalize Palestinian property, saying they were tantamount to terrorists and their attacks could fan sectarian violence. The move followed the arrest of a 22-year Israeli from an Orthodox Jewish town near Tel Aviv for the vandalism of the Latrun Monastery, in solidarity with settlers. Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon said that those suspected in so-called “price-tag” incidents would now be subject to longer detentions and denial of access to lawyers while under interrogation. (Reuters)

A group of Gaza residents visited their relatives in Israel jails, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). (Ma’an News Agency)

The Ahrar Centre for Detainees Studies and Human Rights reported that 1,790 Palestinians had been arrested by Israeli soldiers and 16 had been shot and killed by Israeli military fire in the first six months of 2013. (IMEMC)

A group of leaders in the African American community, including activist Angela Davis and actress Lisa Gay Hamilton, published an open letter supporting a statement by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alice Walker comparing Israel's treatment of Palestinians to the treatment of African Americans during the “Jim Crow” era of segregation and legal discrimination. (IMEMC)

2

Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian during a confrontation near Hebron. (Reuters)

Several Israeli army bulldozers and vehicles entered the border area in the southern Gaza Strip, north-east of Khan Yunis. (Ma’an News Agency)

An Israeli army jeep ran over and killed a Palestinian near Hebron. (WAFA)

Israeli forces raided the Nablus-area villages of Awarta and Beit Furik and ransacked several homes. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces arrested 13 Palestinians across the West Bank. (IMEMC, Palestine News Network)

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) detained 23-year-old Fawzi Abu Salah, a Palestinian from the town of Arraba near Jenin, after raiding his home, locals said. Israeli forces also interrogated his uncle, Jaafar Abu Salah, a former prisoner and a senior leader within the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said at a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Letta that US Secretary of State John Kerry had presented “useful and constructive suggestions”, and that the Palestinians were optimistic because Mr. Kerry was “serious and determined to reach a solution”. (AP)

Senior Executive Committee member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Wasel Abu-Yousif said that reaching a peace deal during Prime Minister Netanyahu's term of office had become “impossible”. He said, “The Israeli Government has taken all sorts of steps to undermine [US Secretary of State] Kerry’s efforts,” adding, “It only buys time in order to steal more Palestinian land and carry out more settlement construction.” (Middle East Monitor)

A poll conducted jointly by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah found that 62 per cent of Israelis and 53 per cent of Palestinians supported a two-State solution. Results also showed that 44 per cent of Israelis and 15 per cent of Palestinians believed that the two sides will not return to negotiations and armed attacks will continue while 21 per cent of Palestinians believed that the two sides will not return to negotiations but violence will not resume. (WAFA)

According to the Voice of Israel Radio, Israeli Minister of Finance Yair Lapid held a meeting with his Palestinian counterpart, Shukry Bishara, in order to ensure the resumption of economic talks and to renew economic cooperation between the two sides. Israeli Tax Department official Moshe Asher and his Palestinian counterpart, Yousef Az-Zamr, also participated in the meeting. (Petra)

According to an EU press release, the EU and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) had signed a €2.4 million agreement with Al-Quds University to support the preservation of Palestinian cultural heritage in Jerusalem’s Old City, historical research and the organization of workshops in relation to the historical sites. (Palestine News Network)

The District Committee for Planning and Building in Jerusalem revealed that it was planning to expand the “Mevo Huron” settlement in the Latrun area. (Alray Media Agency)

Peter Maurer, President of the ICRC, met with relatives of Palestinian prisoners at the start of his one-day visit to the Gaza Strip. The Head of the Supporters of Prisoners Association handed a petition to Mr. Maurer calling on the Red Cross to intervene to rescue the prisoners held incommunicado and to improve their living conditions. (Alray Media Agency)

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights condemned a decision by the UK Government to grant immunity to IDF Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz while visiting the country. The UK Government granted Mr. Gantz the status of “Special Mission” thus giving him immunity from the UK criminal justice system. (Ma’an News Agency)

3

Israeli forces went as far as 300 metres inside the central Gaza Strip, reaching the eastern part of al-Maghazi refugee camp, witnesses said. They said that three Israeli tanks and two bulldozers razed tens of dunums of agricultural land while shooting in all directions. (WAFA)

The IDF and Shin Bet arrested 30-year-old Palestinian official Iyad Adnan Duad and his two brothers, as suspects in a shooting attack in March near the settlement of “Kedumim”. During their interrogation, Mr. Duad admitted to his role in the incident and that he received aid from his brothers. (The Jerusalem Post)

Several Israeli military jeeps entered into the Al-Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, where troops detained four Palestinians, including two brothers, after breaking into their homes. The Israeli army said that 10 other detentions had been made across the West Bank, including in Ramallah, al-Bireh, Kharbat al-Misbah, al-Janiya and al-Tayba districts. (Ma’an News Agency, Petra)

During its twenty-second session held Istanbul, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe adopted a draft resolution granting Palestine membership status, as a Mediterranean State that is a non-member of the EU. (IMEMC)

Israeli forces arrested Palestinian Legislative Committee member Mohammed Abu Tair at his home in Ramallah. Mr. Abu Tair is a Jerusalemite who was deported to Ramallah by the Israelis in October 2010. (Middle East Monitor)

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said that almost 75 per cent of Gaza commercial terminals had stopped operating because of the shortage of many basic needs due to the Israeli blockade. He said that Israel had violated agreements such as the prisoner swap deal and the agreement with the hunger strikers in Israeli prisons. (Alray Media Agency)

James Rawley, the Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace process and UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, led a visit of humanitarian agencies to Gaza. “The cumulative impact of Israel’s restrictions, some of which have been in place for more than a decade, has devastated the livelihoods of families in Gaza, such as the farmers and fishermen we met today,” said Mr. Rawley. “The economy is effectively kept alive through public expenditure, international aid and the illegal tunnel trade, in which thousands of workers, some of them children, continue to risk their lives every day,” stated the news release. (UN News Centre)

4

Jamal Nazzal, a senior Fatah representative, called upon Palestinians to overthrow Hamas in Gaza. Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf expressed hope that the ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy would aid efforts to end divisions among the Palestinians. (The Jerusalem Post)

Ahmad Yousef, a senior Hamas official, noted that “[Hamas did] not fear the fall of President Mohamed Morsy… [However] we fear the dramatic changes that could cause things to go out of hand and lead to bloodshed. There is no doubt that the whole Arab world is waiting and hoping that the situation in Egypt stabilizes.” (Ma'an News Agency)

According to Palestinian sources, US Secretary of State Kerry was close to reaching an agreement on the resumption of peace talks with Israel for a period of six to nine months. The sources expressed the hope that a deal would be reached in the following week. While President Abbas was pleased with Mr. Kerry’s progress, he continued to demand a complete settlement construction freeze. (AP)

A new poll conducted by Yediot Ahronot found that over 50 per cent of Jewish Israelis did not believe that peace negotiations would resume after the latest visit of Secretary Kerry, versus 30 per cent who did. Furthermore, more than 71 per cent of respondents did not think that a final status arrangement could be reached with the Palestinians, as opposed to less than 22 who thought it possible. (Yediot Ahronot)

5

On the occasion of his recent official visit to Lebanon, President Abbas called upon Jews around the world to listen to the “Arab point of view” on stalled peace talks with Israel. (AP)

6

The Egyptian Government closed the Rafah border crossing citing a series of attacks in the Sinai Peninsula by armed gunmen as the reason for the closure. Egyptian security sources later stated that the crossing would remain closed “until further notice”. (IMEMC, Ma’an News Agency, WAFA)

Dozens of Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian Bedouins living in tents and steel structures in Huwara, south of Nablus. (Ma’an News Agency)

Abdulnasser Farwaneh, a researcher and expert on the issue of prisoners, said that Israel would refuse to release the 103 Palestinian prisoners detained prior to the Oslo Agreements, as demanded by the State of Palestine for the resumption of peace talks. (Saudi Gazette)

Under the patronage of the French Embassy in Israel, scientists from France, Israel, Jordan and Palestine will meet in the Israeli town of Sde Boker to discuss common water production issues, said French Ambassador Christophe Bigot. (Ynetnews)

7

The IDF arrested 23 Palestinians from Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin, Bethlehem and Hebron, in addition to two more from the East Jerusalem area of Abu Dis. Israeli forces also detained a 65-year-old man near Yatta in the southern West Bank. (Ma’an News Agency)

Dozen of Palestinian leaders met with Likud and Shas members in Ramallah at an event organized by the Geneva Initiative to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a possible solution to the stalemated negotiations. “I do not believe we can reach an agreement through US mediation alone,” said Nabil Sha’ath, a member of the Palestinian negotiating team. (The Jerusalem Post)

According to reports, US Secretary of State Kerry was to return to the Middle East later during the week to resume efforts to draw Israelis and Palestinians back into direct negotiations. That would be his sixth visit to the region in as many months. (AFP, Haaretz, Yediot Ahronot)

Israel had agreed to reopen a road connecting Ramallah to the northern West Bank, which had been closed since 2003. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli settlers from “Beitar Illit” flooded Palestinian-owned agricultural land, west of Bethlehem, with wastewater. (WAFA)

Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian farmers in the area of Nablus and damaged a private vehicle and a tractor. (Ma’an News Agency)

The IDF prevented several Palestinian farmers from working on their fields south of Nablus. (Ma’an News Agency)

8

Masked demonstrators affiliated with a new group called "Tamarod" marched through Ramallah calling for a third intifada. (Ma’an News Agency)

Prime Minister Netanyahu denied having met with senior Palestinian officials for secret talks after The Jerusalem Post reported that former PA Minister for Prisoners’ Affairs, Ashraf al-Ajrami, claimed that Mr. Netanyahu had recently met with PLO official Yasser Abed Rabbo at the former's home in Jerusalem. (Ma’an News Agency)

The President of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), Sepp Blatter, was due to meet with Israel's soccer chiefs and also hope to speak to political leaders on the matter of easing travel restrictions between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. (Haaretz)

The PA announced that it would begin an overhaul of national policies concerning children's rights. The change in policy will be based on studies done on children's health, rights, education, protection and disability that had been carried out by the Ministries of Health, Education and Social Affairs, as well as the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Save the Children and UN agencies. (Ma’an News agency)

Some 100 Israelis toured the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound dressed in shorts and improper clothes in a holy place, according to sources from the Muslim Waqf. (WAFA)

The Jerusalem Planning and Building Committee approved the establishment of a new national park – the Refaim Valley Park – in southern Jerusalem. More than 1,425 acres, one-fifth of the park, would be built on Palestinian land. (Haaretz)

Israeli settlers attempted to set up a tent on a property of the Islamic Waqf in the Mount of Olives area of Jerusalem, confronting Palestinians, one of whom, according to witnesses, suffered a head injury. (WAFA)

The IDF prevented farmers and shepherds from reaching their land in Umm al-Khair, near the “Carmel” settlement. (Ma’an News Agency)

The IDF demolished agricultural facilities, residential sheds and tents near Tubas in the Jordan Valley area. (WAFA)

9

Palestinian sources said that Israeli military vehicles, accompanied by bulldozers, advanced hundreds of metres into Al-Qarara town, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, uprooting Palestinian farmlands. (IMEMC)

US Secretary of State Kerry’s return to the region to restart talks between Israel and the PLO could be postponed because of his wife’s illness, a Palestinian official said. Instead, his team of advisers who stayed in the region could meet with Palestinian and Israeli negotiators, the official said. “Netanyahu proposed a temporary halt in settlements in the West Bank, but excluding East Jerusalem and the settlement blocks, which the Palestinians rejected,” he added. (AFP)

Kuwait and the World Bank signed a $50 million grant agreement to support the Palestinian Reform and Development Programme. The Kuwaiti Ambassador to Washington, Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah said, “The State of Kuwait is committed to support the Palestinian Authority and will remain engaged and committed to ensure the social and economic well-being of the Palestinian people.” (KUNA)

At a press conference after meeting Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem, FIFA President Blatter said that Palestinian football players’ travel problem was “of national interest” to Israel and that Mr. Netanyahu had agreed to help solve it. (The Washington Post)

Israel's District Court in Jerusalem issued a decision allowing settlers to obtain information on Palestinian land owners through the Land Registry. Israeli organizations had demanded access to information on the owners of the lands located near settlements for settlement expansion purposes. (Palestine News Network)

For the fifth day, the Egyptian authorities kept the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip closed. (World Bulletin)

According to a PLO statement on the ninth anniversary of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Advisory Opinion on the separation Wall, “Israel and members of the international community, including the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council, respectively, have the responsibility of ensuring compliance”. (WAFA)

During the commemoration of the ninth anniversary of the ICJ Advisory Opinion on the separation Wall, a group of Palestinian activists managed to demolish parts of the Wall in Abu Dis, in East Jerusalem, according to a press release issued by the Popular Resistance Committee. (WAFA)

OCHA issued a fact sheet on the humanitarian impact of the separation Wall in which it said that approximately 62 per cent of the Wall’s approved route was complete and a further 10 per cent was under construction. (www.ochaopt.org)

The President of the International Criminal Court, Song Sang-Hyun, appointed a three-judge panel to consider preliminary procedural hurdles to opening a criminal investigation against Israel for the May 2010 Gaza flotilla incident upon a request filed by the Comoros. (Haaretz)

10

Israeli soldiers raided a students’ dormitory in Al-Jneid, west of Nablus, and arrested a Palestinian student. Clashes broke out between the soldiers and residents, and the soldiers fired gas bombs, concussion grenades and rubber-coated metal bullets, injuring five Palestinians. Also, Israeli forces raided the Bartaa al-Sharqiya village and detained a Palestinian. (IMEMC, Ma’an News Agency)

An Israeli court confirmed that a Palestinian from the Gaza Strip, who had disappeared in Egypt the previous month, was being detained by Israel for “security crimes”. (AP)

After their meeting, Russian Federation Minister for Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov and Israel’s Minister of Justice and the Israeli Government’s envoy for talks with the Palestinians Livni agreed that it was vital to create “a favourable atmosphere to re-launch the Palestinian-Israeli talks”, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “The two Ministers focused attention on the prospects for promoting the Middle East settlement with a special emphasis on the efforts to find a way out of the protracted dead end in the negotiating process between the Israelis and the Palestinians”, the Ministry said. (ITAR-TASS)

We are in a state of crisis and reaching the end of the two-State solution," PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi said in a meeting with members of the Canadian Parliament. (The Jerusalem Post)

Minister of Construction and Housing Uri Ariel (Jewish Home party) said at a meeting of the settler leadership in Jerusalem that now was the time to step up the fight against a Palestinian State in the West Bank. Minister of Transportation Israel Katz (Likud) said he believed that Palestinians should be autonomous in the West Bank and should affiliate with Jordan, and that Gaza should be severed from Israel and connected to Egypt. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Palestinian National Council called for the formation of a national plan to be promoted internationally aimed at ensuring a full recognition of a Palestinian State. The Council also stressed in a statement the importance of implementing the Advisory Opinion of the ICJ on the illegality of the separation barrier being built by Israel in the Palestinian territories. (Kuwait News Agency)

Egypt reopened the Rafah crossing. Hamas authorities said that the crossing would be open in both directions for two days. For those leaving the Gaza Strip, priority would be given to those with visas for foreign countries, Egyptian citizens and patients. (Ma’an News Agency)

Some 100 Israelis entered the courtyard of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem escorted by police. A Palestinian official said that Israeli police had rejected a request to stop visits during the month of Ramadan. (Ma’an News Agency)

Settlers from “Susiya” bulldozed Palestinian land near Yatta, south of Hebron. (IMEMC)

The Israeli police had agreed to re-investigate the 2009 injury of American activist Tristan Anderson during a clash between Israeli security forces and anti-wall protesters. Yesh Din, an Israeli human rights organization, appealed to Israel’s High Court of Justice after the police closed the investigation without indicting any of the soldiers involved. (The New York Times)

Canadian and European activists staying in Gaza are planning to launch a flotilla to bring produce and textiles from Gaza to Europe. The project was named “Gaza’s Arc”. (Ynetnews)

11

Israeli forces seized a rifle and two pipe-bombs in a raid on Nablus, an Israeli army spokeswoman said. Moreover, two Palestinians were detained near Ramallah, she added. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired a rocket at southern Israel without causing casualties or damage, a police spokesman said. (AFP)

Local sources in the Al-Fawwar refugee camp, in the district of Hebron, reported clashes in the camp after Israeli soldiers invaded it at dawn. Sources reported that the soldiers fired dozens of rubber-coated metal bullets, gas bombs and concussion grenades. Furthermore, the army installed a roadblock at the entrance of the camp and violently attacked a number of children. (IMEMC)

According to a Palestinian security official, Egypt will limit both the movement of top officials of Hamas and tighten its stance on weapons smuggling along the border with the Gaza Strip. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Russian Federations’s Ministry of Emergency Situations had sent two planes to Syria with humanitarian aid for Palestine refugees, the Ministry’s spokesman said. (www.itar-tass.com)

Israeli settlers cut down 1,150 olive trees near Nablus, a PA official said. (Ma’an News Agency)

An Israeli court sentenced Palestinian Legislative Council member Mohammad Tawtah and former PA Minister for Jerusalem Affairs Khalid Abu Arafa to 30 months, plus a one-year suspended sentence for conducting “Hamas activities”, said Amjad Abu Asab, director of the Jerusalem prisoners' families committee. The judge ruled that the two must serve an additional six months if they enter Jerusalem, their home town. They had been in Israeli custody since Israeli police detained them in a raid on the Jerusalem headquarters of the Red Cross in January 2012, where they sought refuge in July 2010 along with lawmaker Ahmad Attoun, after Israel revoked their residency permits. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli daily Ma’ariv reported that Prime Minister Netanyahu had allegedly offered to release 104 detainees in stages, after the resumption of peace talks. Palestinian Minister for Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Qaraqe stated that President Abbas insists on the release of all 104 pre-Oslo detainees without any discrimination, or conditions. (IMEMC)

12

The stagnation in the peace process causes mounting frustration in the West Bank that Hamas was exploiting to try and rebuild its infrastructure there, a Palestinian security official told Israel Radio. (The Jerusalem Post)

US Secretary of State Kerry is expected to return to the region sometime the following week in his continued attempt to restart Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Israeli officials said. (The Jerusalem Post)

Around 75,000 worshipers prayed at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem for the first Friday of Ramadan, Israeli police said, and so far there had been no incidents. (Ma’an News Agency)

In an interview, Palestinian Minister of the Economy Jawad Najji noted that the Palestinian economic growth rate was witnessing a steady decline. He attributed this trend to the "Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip, the ongoing obstacles imposed by Israel to West Bank trade, as well as slow international donations and aid." (Xinhua)

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics said that the “total population of Palestine at mid- 2013 was about 4.42 million”. The estimated population of the West Bank was 2.72 million, that of Gaza, 1.7 million. Those under the age of 14 constituted 40 per cent of the population. (Palestine News Network)

A settler was arrested for staging an “Arab price-tag attack”. He eventually confessed that he had sprayed anti-Jewish graffiti on his own car. (Ynetnews)

"To immediately alleviate the housing crisis, we must massively build in [East] Jerusalem and the settlement blocks," Housing Minister Ariel was quoted as telling a parliamentary committee. "Settlements like Beit Arye, Ofarim, and Elkana are in the centre of the land," he said, "and we are prepared to launch 10,000 units there immediately." (AFP)

According to an unnamed Israeli official, as reported in Haaretz, consultants to European banks considered recommending not granting loans to Israeli companies operating in the West Bank. Israeli officials reportedly lobbied against the appearance of these recommendations, arguing that they would doom Mr. Kerry’s effort. (Haaretz)

Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said that the Israeli military should find another way to deal with young Palestinian stone throwers after a video had shown soldiers detaining a 5-year-old in Hebron. B’Tselem called the detention illegal. (AP)

Following the high number of Palestinian prisoners going on hunger strike in an attempt to apply pressure for their release, Israel's Justice Ministry was formulating a draft bill that would make it possible to force-feed them if their lives were in danger. (Haaretz)

The Almagor Terror Victims group lobbied Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein to prevent the release of Palestinian prisoners to jump-start peace talks. The group also visited Shas and the Bayit Yehudi factions. (The Jerusalem Post)

Seventy prominent Canadian writers had written an open letter to Canadian and Israeli officials urging Israel to cease its plans to evict Palestinians in the south Hebron Hill. (IMEMC)

13

Ghassan Shaka’a, a veteran PLO official and the current mayor of Nablus, warned that Palestinians in the West Bank would take to the streets and demonstrate against Israel if the peace process remained stalled. (The Jerusalem Post)

Former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin said that he no longer believed in a chance for a two-State solution. He blamed the absence of true leadership in Israel who were willing to take real action instead of making idle statements. (The Jerusalem Post)

According to eyewitness accounts, Israeli settlers from “Gush Etzion” attacked a house belonging to a 65-year-old Palestinian in the south of Bethlehem, causing damage to the house. (WAFA)

A PA official announced that Israeli authorities had begun construction work on a road that would link cities within Israel and settlements in the West Bank. (Ma'an News Agency)

Palestinian Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs Qaraqe, stated that detainee Abdullah Barghouthi, who entered his 75th day of hunger strike, was facing very serious health complications. He had not been responding to treatment, including intravenous glucose. (IMEMC)

14

According to a Gaza police spokesperson, a 5-year-old Palestinian boy was killed in the Gaza Strip after being struck by a stray bullet inside his home. (Ma'an News Agency)

A senior Hamas official said that the Egyptian crackdown on militants in the Sinai was part of an anti-Hamas campaign. (AP)

Chief PLO Negotiator Erakat said that Palestinians would like to see US Secretary of State Kerry’s efforts to revive peace talks succeed “so that we could reach a solution that would rid us of this unjust occupation”. (The Jerusalem Post)

According to Israeli officials, Prime Minister Netanyahu telephoned President Abbas to offer greetings for Ramadan. His office said that the Prime Minister had also told President Abbas that he hoped: "… we will have the opportunity to speak with one another not only during festivals, and will start negotiating. It's important." (Reuters)

An Israeli military court convicted Salam al-Zaghal of the murder of Evyatar Borovsky, a settler from “Yizhar,” who was stabbed to death in April 2011. According to an IDF statement, Mr. al-Zaghal would be sentenced in September. (The Jerusalem Post)

According to various Hebrew-language media outlets, two settlers assaulted a Jewish woman and a Palestinian man at a train station in Jerusalem's French Hill neighbourhood. (The Jerusalem Post)

More than 100 Israelis, including 18 rabbis, entered the Al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem's Old City through the Moroccan Gate. They toured the area accompanied by Israeli police officers. (Ma'an News Agency, Petra, WAFA)

Israel’s Minister of Trade and Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party leader Naftali Bennett warned that the Israeli Government must not release Palestinian prisoners as a gesture to open peace talks. He said: “Why should we have to hand over murderers in order to receive the dubious privilege of being able to negotiate with Abbas?” (The Jerusalem Post)

15

According to Israel Radio, Hamas had succeeded in regaining some of its capabilities destroyed in last year's “Operation Pillar of Defence”. Hamas had produced advanced M-75 rockets capable of targeting the Tel Aviv area. (Ma'an News Agency, The Jerusalem Post, Ynetnews)

According to security sources, Israeli forces held two Palestinian children, aged 7 and 10, for several hours near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the old city of Hebron. (WAFA)

According to State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, US Secretary of State Kerry will discuss his effort to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks with representatives from the League of Arab States in Jordan on 17 July. (Reuters)

In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, PLO Ambassador to the US Maen Areikat voiced his doubts on the intentions of Israel’s leadership to genuinely engage in dialogue – and on the prospects that Palestinian preconditions could reasonably be met. “Nothing has emerged from these meetings for the American side to be able to announce that the two sides accepted to engage politically,” he added. (The Jerusalem Post)

Fatah Central Committee member Sha’ath met with Russian Federation Minister for Foreign Affairs Lavrov in Moscow. Bilateral relations, mutual support, the Russian recognition of the State of Palestine, support of Palestinian participation in various international organizations, as well as topics of scholarships and cultural and trade exchanges, were discussed, according to Mr. Sha’ath. (Bahrain News Agency)

During his book presentation in Moscow, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that the current situation in the Middle East was conditioned by the absence of human rights. He added that the Russian Federation, the European Union, the United States and the United Nations should act jointly on the situation in Syria and on the Palestinian-Israeli track. (ITAR-TASS)

Palestinians demonstrated in Ramallah in protest against recent meetings between PLO officials and Israeli politicians, which they consider as a form of normalization with Israel. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Israeli High Court of Justice had scheduled a hearing for 2 September on Israel’s plan to expel eight Palestinian Bedouin villages in the South Hebron Hill from a military training area. (The Jerusalem Post)

After a 10 year legal battle, the Jerusalem District Court ruled that a 2003 real estate deal by settlers, which led to the eviction of a Palestinian family from their home near Ramallah, had been forged. (Haaretz)

According to local sources, a group of settlers assaulted a Palestinian shepherd in the south Hebron Hill. (Ma'an News Agency)

According to Palestinian settlement affairs official Ghassan Daghlas, who was in charge of monitoring settlement activity in the northern West Bank, Israeli military forces issued eviction orders to four homeowners in the Nablus-area village of Aqraba. (Ma'an News Agency)

A group of settlers threw stones at and severely beat a Palestinian man near the Israeli settlement of “Susiya”, south of Hebron. (Palestine News Network)

A Red Cross spokesperson announced that 65 family members, including 6 children, left Gaza via the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing to visit 39 jailed relatives in Israel. (Ma'an News Agency)

The Israeli Military Court slammed the way Israeli law enforcement authorities treated Palestinian minors suspected of criminal offenses. Threats, coached responses and incomplete recording of interviews were just some of the ways investigators violated the rights of young Palestinian suspects in the West Bank, the court said. (Haaretz)

Local authorities in the Palestinian village of Walajeh have found an innovative way to bring health care to residents living in Area C of the West Bank, where Israeli regulations banned construction. The clinic, which was collapsible, transportable and solar-powered, was the brainchild of architect Alberto Alcalde. (Haaretz)

A number of Palestinian activists placed banners and signs on the main entrance of several Palestinian cities calling for peace with Israeli citizens. (Palestine News Network)

16

According to the Wadi Hilweh Information Centre, Israeli extremists attacked Palestinians and damaged three cars in the Old City of Jerusalem. (IMEMC)

Palestinian Presidency Spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh said that President Abbas met with US Secretary of State Kerry in Jordan. Mr. Kerry assured Mr. Abbas that the US was committed to the two-State solution. Mr. Abbas will consult the Palestinian leadership on the offer made to him by Mr. Kerry in order to make a decision, said Wasel Abu Youssef, a PLO official. (IMEMC, Reuters)

President Abbas will decide how to reform the Government of caretaker Prime Minister Hamdallah on 14 August. “President Abbas must either choose someone else to form a Government or form it himself," explained PLO Executive Committee member Wassel Abu Yusef. (France 24)

Former PA Minister and Director of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction Mohammad Shtayyeh said that the formation of the new Government by 14 August was Hamas' “last chance” for national reconciliation. He said, “Hamas has to come and implement the terms of the reconciliation so we can end six years of division.” (Ma’an News Agency)

In a meeting with World Bank Country Director Miriam Sherman, interim Prime Minister Hamdallah called for more assistance to help the PA deal with financial challenges and Israeli restrictions on the Palestinian economy, WAFA reported. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian private hospitals had decided to stop treating PA security personnel because of the Government's outstanding bills that had reached over $8 million, said federation chief Dr. Nitham Nijab. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Egyptian army announced that it had managed to locate and destroy eight smuggling tunnels. (IMEMC)

A senior American official involved in the peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians warned that the European Union may adopt additional measures against Israeli settlements, such as labelling settlement products and requiring entry visas for settlers, if Secretary of State Kerry's efforts fail. (Haaretz)

Israel had condemned a new European Commission directive banning EU funding of Israeli entities operating in occupied territories. Under the guidelines, starting in 2014, Israeli projects applying for EU grants, prizes and other funding would be required to sign a clause that they operate within the Green Line. A spokesman for the European delegation in Tel Aviv told AP that the “territorial applicability clause” would not affect Israel's private sector, but rather bodies like research centres or NGOs. “Israeli entities situated in the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and East Jerusalem will not be eligible for EU funding,” he said. Israeli minister Silvan Shalom said that the measure was a “big mistake” which cast doubt on the EU's impartiality in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. PLO official Ashrawi welcomed the directive. (AP, BBC, Ma’an News Agency)

According to Waqf officials, Israeli police closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound to non-Muslims to prevent extremist Jews from stirring up trouble. (WAFA)

17

Twelve cars belonging to Jews living in the Abu Tor neighbourhood in Jerusalem were damaged overnight. Jerusalem police believed it to be a response to recent “price-tag” attacks. (AFP)

A 22-year-old Palestinian was shot in the leg during a gunfire exchange when an IDF patrol entered the village of Nabi Saleh, a witness declared. (Ynetnews)

During a meeting in Jordan, Secretary Kerry briefed representatives of the League of Arab States on his efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, as well as on American views on the crises and Syria and Egypt, reported an unnamed source. After the meeting, the League released a statement endorsing the US drive to relaunch peace negotiations. Diplomats said that the ideas proposed by Secretary of State Kerry “lay the proper foundation to start the negotiations”. (AP, Reuters, The New York Times)

In the wake of President Abbas’ meeting with US Secretary of State Kerry in Amman, Western sources said that Palestinians' conditions for renewing peace talks stipulated that they be granted approval to build an airport in Ramallah, the first in the West Bank. (Ynetnews)

Acting Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah said that Jordan was the most strategic partner for the Palestinians, stressing that the two sides coordinate at the highest levels. (The Jordan Times)

Prime Minister Netanyahu plans to ask European leaders to help postpone the publication of the new European Union guidelines concerning Israeli settlements. In an interview with Germany's Die Welt, the Prime Minister claimed that the move undermined the efforts of Secretary of State Kerry to renew peace negotiations. (Haaretz)

The Israeli Civil Administration’s planning committee approved the construction of 732 housing units in “Modi'in Ilit” and 19 in “Kfar Adumim” but Minister of Defense Ya'alon had yet to give them his stamp of approval. He had postponed the consideration of 300 new residential units in “Shiloh”, “Kochav Yaakov”, “Almog” and “Gilgal.” (Haaretz)

Israel’s Civil Administration issued a demolition order against structures belonging to two Israeli cellular companies. According to a conservative estimate, the “Beit El” settlement had earned hundreds of thousands of shekels over the past 13 years for keeping these two communications structures on private Palestinian land just outside the settlement. (Haaretz)

The Head of the IDF Central Command, Major General Nitzan Alon, admitted that the Israeli army had made a mistake when soldiers detained a five-year-old Palestinian boy the previous week in Hebron. (Haaretz)

18

Some 200 Israeli border police, accompanied by dogs, entered the East Jerusalem towns of Al-Aizaria and Abu Dis, launched a number of raids on Palestinian houses, and made arrests. Several people from Al-Aizaria were arrested, including five minors, according to residents. (Petra, WAFA)

Four Arab youths had been detained for throwing stones at police forces at the Damascus Gate in East Jerusalem. An Israeli border police officer suffered minor injury. (The Jerusalem Post)

Two rockets fired from Gaza landed in open territory near the Eshkol Regional Council, Israel Radio reported. No injuries or damage was reported. (The Jerusalem Post)

Undercover IDF soldiers arrested an 18-year-old resident of Bethlehem after raiding his home, and a 45-year-old man from the town of Tuqu, near Bethlehem. (WAFA)

President Obama spoke on the phone with Prime Minister Netanyahu and urged him to resume peace talks with Palestinians, the White House said in a statement. (Ynetnews)

In a meeting convened by President Abbas, the Palestinian political leadership did not approve Secretary of State Kerry’s plan for returning to peace talks with Israel, on the grounds that the proposed formula was insufficient because it did not require a freeze in Israeli settlement activity or insist that new negotiations be based on 1967 borders with minor adjustments. (The New York Times)

Mark Regev, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Spokesperson, denied that Israel had agreed to a formula for new talks with Palestinians based on 1967 borders, with agreed land swaps. He also stated that the report saying that Secretary Kerry would announce the relaunch of peace talks was untrue. (Reuters)

The Head of the Fatah delegation to the reconciliation talks, Azzam al-Ahmad, called upon Hamas to reach an understanding with Fatah regarding the formation of a new national Government of reconciliation before 14 August 2013. (WAFA)

The IDF was preparing to lift some restrictions on Palestinian movement in advance of possible renewed peace talks according to the Israel Army Radio. (AFP)

Hamas appealed to Egypt's new rulers not to pursue its destruction of smuggling tunnels into the Gaza Strip, warning that it risked throttling the territory. (Reuters)

Israel’s President Shimon Peres issued a statement calling on the European Union to reconsider its new guidelines on EU funding of Israeli entities operating in occupied territories. The statement said that US Secretary of State John Kerry was making progress and that talks could resume soon. (AP)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Minister of Justice Livni spoke with European Union officials including European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton. They both advocated for a freeze of the new EU guidelines forbidding EU funding for Israeli bodies located or operating in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the Golan Heights. (Haaretz, Yediot Ahronot)

Israel’s State Comptroller, Judge Joseph Shappira, released his annual report revealing that settlements do not pay leasing fees for land they received from the State and that Israeli authorities do not enforce the law on illegal construction, fearing opposition by settlers. B’Tselem issued a statement saying that Israel's entire law enforcement system in the West Bank was enslaved to the settlement project due to the policy of successive Governments. (www.btselem.org, Ynetnews)

Demolitions of unauthorized settler homes on private Palestinian property must be a top priority, Israel’s Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein said in a letter he wrote to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Minister of Defense Ya’alon, remarking that the lack of enforcement in Area C of the West Bank violated the rule of law, human rights, and personal property rights. (Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post)

The Israeli High Court of Justice extended until 29 July the deadline for the State Prosecutor's Office to respond to petitions against the planned expulsion of 1,300 Palestinians from an Israeli military firing zone in the south Hebron Hill. (Haaretz)

Palestinian protesters gathered in the centre of the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in Lebanon, calling on UNRWA to reverse its decision to cut assistance. (Ma’an News Agency)

The US State Department had declined to issue a rebuke of the EU for its settlement-related regulations. (The Jerusalem Post)

19

Wael Abu Rida, a Palestinian resident of Gaza, was indicted on several security related charges in the Beersheba District Court, Israel Public Radio reported. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli forces detained five Palestinians in raids across the West Bank, including two people in Jenin, two in Nablus and another in Abu Dis in East Jerusalem, an Israeli military spokeswoman said. (Ma'an News Agency)

US Secretary of State Kerry met with Chief Palestinian Negotiator Erakat for one hour in Amman, reportedly to go over the details of the proposal to resume stalled negotiations. A senior US State Department official also confirmed that Mr. Kerry will travel to Ramallah in the afternoon to meet with President Abbas. (AFP, Haaretz)

US Secretary of State Kerry announced that Israel and the Palestinians had laid the groundwork for resuming peace talks after an almost three-year stalemate, while cautioning that the deal was not final and required more diplomacy. (Reuters)

In a press release, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague welcomed US Secretary of State Kerry’s announcement that Israel and the Palestinians had reached agreement on a basis for resuming talks. (www.gov.uk)

Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erakat had been announced to open dialogue with his Israeli counterpart, Israel's Minister of Justice Livni, at meetings in Washington in the coming days. Both Mr. Erakat and Ms. Livni would meet with Secretary of State Kerry for initial talks. (AFP)

In a statement, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the announcement by US Secretary of State Kerry that the basis had been established to resume talks between Israelis and Palestinians. (www.un.org)

PLO Executive Committee member Ashrawi addressed a delegation led by former Congressman Geoffrey Davis of Kentucky. At the meeting, she stressed that "it is crucial for the US public to understand the Palestinian people's reality as an oppressed nation under occupation, yearning for freedom and justice, and it is time for Americans to speak out and bring their own Government to the recognition of the requirements of genuine peace." (Palestine News Network)

The European Commission published its new guidelines barring EU agencies from funding entities connected to settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights despite Israel's attempts to pressure the Commission and several prominent EU Member States to delay the publication. The guidelines would go into effect on 1 January 2014. (Haaretz)

Clashes broke out after settlers in Hebron attacked Palestinian homes in the Jabir neighbourhood near the settlement of “Kiryat Arba”. Israeli forces arrived at the scene and detained a Palestinian minor, witnesses added. (Ma'an News Agency)

20

Israel will not bow to the Palestinians' demand on the borders of their future State before peace talks begin but would meet their request for the release of some prisoners, Israeli officials said. A Palestinian official said that President Abbas had agreed to restart peace talks with Israel only after receiving a letter from the US Secretary of State guaranteeing that the basis of the negotiations would be Israel’s pre-1967 borders. (AP, Reuters)

The spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China said that China lauds Palestine and Israel for resuming peace talks and appreciates the efforts made by relevant sides to revive the stalled talks. (Xinhua)

21

The Office of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada, John Baird, said that the Minister placed phone calls to his PA counterpart, Mr. Malki, and Israel’s Chief Negotiator with the Palestinians, Justice Minister Livni, and offered his support in efforts to bring the two sides back to the negotiating table. (Global News)

Israeli President Peres hosted leaders from Israel's Arab community for an "iftar" dinner to break the Ramadan fast, during which he said that the resumption of peace talks “is a first step towards a great future". (Israel National News)

PLO Secretary-General Rabbo announced that the decision to return to the negotiating table was “conditioned on many clarifications about core issues”. The basis for the resumption of the negotiations would be laid during the Israeli-Palestinian-American meeting in Washington, D.C., in the coming days. (The Jerusalem Post)

A spokesman for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs voiced Iran’s opposition to a US-mediated resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, stating that Israel would never agree to withdraw from the occupied Arab land. (AFP)

In a statement issued, the Islamic Jihad movement said that returning to peace talks was a mistake. (Ma'an News Agency)

Settler leaders held an emergency meeting in Jerusalem against renewed Israeli-Palestinian talks. Following the meeting, the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip asked to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu. (The Jerusalem Post)

Egyptian authorities reopened the Rafah crossing after its closure a day earlier, allowing foreign nationals and patients seeking medical treatment to cross. (Ma'an News Agency)

Israeli forces partially reopened an entrance to the southern part of Hebron, a PA official said. (Ma'an News Agency)

22

Israeli tanks and bulldozers infiltrated nearly 300 metres into the eastern part of Al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, razing agricultural land and shooting towards farmers. No injuries were reported. (WAFA)

Israeli security forces arrested a Palestinian man on suspicion of hurling a firebomb that injured four IDF soldiers the previous May, the IDF's Spokesperson's Unit said. (Ynetnews)

Israeli police arrested a 45-year-old Palestinian resident of Bethlehem while being in Jerusalem. Reasons for the arrest remained unknown. (WAFA)

A rocket fired from Gaza at southern Israel exploded without causing damage or injuries, an Israeli police spokesman said. (AFP)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu announced that he was fast-tracking legislation that would allow him to put any peace deal with the Palestinians to a national referendum. (AP)

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said during a press briefing: “Last Friday, Secretary Kerry did announce an important first step in the process of bringing Israelis and Palestinians back together for direct talks. And we are working on a date for the parties to come to Washington in the coming weeks to move that process along”. (www.whitehouse.gov)

Palestinian officials had still not received an official American invitation to preparatory talks with Israel, to be held in Washington, D.C., this week. PLO sources attributed the delay to Israeli demands that Secretary of State Kerry add a new clause to the outline for talks, recognizing Israel as a “Jewish State”. (Haaretz)

According to its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Russian Federation lauds the agreement to reset the Palestinian-Israeli talks as announced by US Secretary of State Kerry at a press conference in Amman on 19 July. (Itar-Tass)

The European Union welcomed the announcement by US Secretary of State Kerry that an agreement had been reached establishing a basis for resuming direct final status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis. The EU also praised the significant efforts made by the League of Arab States confirming the strategic importance of the Arab Peace Initiative for all parties. (www.consilium.europa.eu)

Former US Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk was reported to be the US representative in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and was said to be favoured by both Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian President Abbas. (Haaretz)

The Telegraph reported that Prime Minister Netanyahu had vowed to hold the first referendum in Israel's 65-year history to give voters the final say on any peace agreement reached with the Palestinians. (The Telegraph)

President Abbas said that any future peace deal with Israel would be put to a referendum, in remarks published by Jordanian Al-Rai newspaper. (Middle East Online)

Israeli Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs approved a bill according to which Israeli Women's Labour Law would be applied in the West Bank, thus expanding the law's current jurisdiction beyond the Green Line. Currently, Israeli law did not have jurisdiction in the West Bank, and according to Ynetnews, the timing of the move to expand an existing law to include West Bank territories may prove controversial as it coincided with the renewal of peace negotiations. (Ynetnews)

It was reported in the Netherlands that at least two large retail chains in the country had stopped selling goods produced in Israeli settlements. A third chain assured its customers that the sources of its products were unrelated to settlements. (Ynetnews)

During the faction meeting of Likud-Beitenu, Prime Minister Netanyahu denied Israel’s commitment to a settlement freeze. Housing Minister Uri Ariel said however: “We are ready at any time to market thousands of units in Jerusalem but … this does not happen.” (Ynetnews)

Peace Now announced that 5,000 settlement unit plans had been advanced since the establishment of the current Government and until the announcement of renewed peace talks. It called on the Government not to approve any new construction to "truly give peace a chance". (The Jerusalem Post)

Israel plans to free some 82 of the 103 Palestinians sentenced to prison terms in Israel before the Oslo Accords were first signed in 1993 as part of the gestures to the PA in the context of the renewal of peace talks. The prisoners would not be released immediately but in four different stages during the talks. (Haaretz)

23

Residents in Nablus confronted an Israeli army force raiding neighbourhoods in the city, and several Palestinians were injured. The army arrested two teenagers during the raid. (WAFA)

Egypt’s Ambassador to the State of Palestine, Yasser Othman, said that relations between the Egyptian and Palestinian people were strong and could not be affected by any isolated voices. (WAFA)

A Hamas official said that the economy of the Gaza Strip had lost an estimated $230 million in June due to the closure of smuggling tunnels by Egyptian authorities. Over 20,000 people had lost their jobs in the construction industry as a result of shortages in raw materials, according to the minister. (Ma’an News Agency)

The EU and the State of Palestine marked the beginning of a €21 million construction project for seven courthouses and the headquarters of the Palestinian Bar Association. (Palestine News Network)

Two Palestinian refugees were killed in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria during clashes between Government forces and Free Syrian Rebels. (Ma’an News Agency)

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry told the Security Council that the Gaza Strip was experiencing “some serious shortages of fuel and basic building materials for which the tunnels had become the primary entry point due to severe restrictions on imports via the official crossings and the higher cost of fuel available from the West Bank and Israel.” (The Jerusalem Post)

Israel indicted two sisters of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh for entering the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing. Both held Israeli IDs. (Ma’an News Agency)

A federal appeals court invalidated a US law designed to allow US citizens born in Jerusalem to have Israel listed as their country of birth on passports. The court concluded that determining the status of Jerusalem was the prerogative of the President, and not of lawmakers. (Reuters)

Haaretz reported that EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Ashton was pushing for comprehensive guidelines to introduce separate labelling for products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank. According to the newspaper, Ms. Ashton had sent a letter to European Commissioners urging them to draft the guidelines by the end of 2013. Ms. Ashton’s Spokesperson, Maja Kocijancic, said, “We have committed to correctly implement the EU legislation relevant for origin labelling”, but added that it was “too early to confirm the timeline for next steps”. (AFP)

The Dutch branch of the German supermarket chain Aldi backtracked from its previously stated policy of boycotting settlement products and specified that “currently, Aldi does not offer any products from areas which the EU considers illegal settlements.” (The Jerusalem Post)

The Security Council held an open debate on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question”. UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry told the Council in his briefing: “This is the moment to translate our collective call for action into a shared sense of urgency in supporting leaders on both sides as they must realize that this is an opening they cannot afford to lose”. (UN News Centre)

24

Two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip and hit the south of Israel. No damage or casualties were reported. (Ma’an News Agency)

According to sources in the French Government, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius had personally urged senior Israeli and Palestinian officials to follow up on US efforts and rapidly resume direct talks. (KUNA)

Japan's Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumia Kishida met with the Israeli President Peres who commended the Japanese Government for its contribution to the peace process. Mr. Kishida was to attend the fourth Ministerial Meeting for the Corridor for Peace and Prosperity in Jericho, a Japanese initiative established in cooperation with the Israel, Jordan and the State of Palestine. (The Jerusalem Post)

Ahmad Rwaidi, the Palestinian President’s Advisor on Jerusalem affairs, warned that new Israeli-issued identity cards for Palestinians living in Jerusalem contained a new addition stating that residency was limited to 10 years. Mr. Rwaidi said that such policy was aimed at emptying East Jerusalem of its Palestinian residents. (WAFA)

During a meeting with German members of the European Parliament and the current Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, Elmar Brok, PLO Executive Committee member Ashrawi demanded European intervention to secure the release of jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti and Ahmed Sa’dat, head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and requested that Israel “respect international norms dealing with the immunity of elected officials.” (The Jerusalem Post)

A poll found that more than half of all Israelis would likely support any peace agreement Prime Minister Netanyahu submitted to a referendum. Thirty-nine per cent of respondents said that they would support any plan the Prime Minister presented, while another 16 per cent said that they would probably approve such a plan. Twenty per cent were sure they would vote against. (Haaretz)

Israel pushed ahead with its West Bank railway plan which would include 473 kilometres of rail with 30 stations on 11 lines and dozens of bridges and tunnels. The planned rail network, which would connect all West Bank cities, had been rejected by the PA. (Haaretz)

The office of the Muslim Waqf in Hebron announced that it had been informed by the Israeli military that the Israeli Government had retracted its earlier decision to close down the Ibrahimi Mosque [Cave of the Patriarchs] in Hebron during Lailat al-Qadr that Muslims commemorate as the night the Koran was revealed to the prophet Muhammad. (WAFA)

Two 20-year-old Israeli men from Jerusalem were arrested by the police's Nationalistically Motivated Crimes Unit on suspicion of burning fields belonging to Palestinians, causing a major fire near the outpost of “Ramat Migron” in the West Bank. (Ynetnews)

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, a Palestinian human rights group, announced that 12 prisoners in Israeli jails were currently on hunger strike. (WAFA)

25

Palestinian sources reported that Israeli soldiers repeatedly opened fire at workers and farmers working in Palestinian lands close to the border in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. A Palestinian teenager was transferred to Beit Hanoun Hospital after being shot in the right foot. (IMEMC)

According to IDF sources, a Palestinian man was arrested while preparing to shoot at an Israeli bus. The man had been suspected of past shootings at buses in the West Bank (Haaretz)

According to police reports, several Israelis were injured after Israeli Arabs threw rocks at a passing Egged bus in Jerusalem. The suspects fled the scene when police arrived and no arrests had been made. (The Jerusalem Post)

According to local sources, three Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli forces in the Jenin refugee camp. (Ma'an News Agency, WAFA)

Irish Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Paul Murphy had been condemned by fellow MEPs for suggesting that Palestinians begin an intifada to “overthrow the capitalist establishment of Israel.” In an interview the previous week with Russia Today, the Socialist Party MEP for Dublin said that a “struggle” along the lines of the first intifada was necessary. (The Jerusalem Post)

Retired US General James Mattis and former head of the US Central Command covering the Middle East said that the situation in the Middle East was “unsustainable” and that America was paying a military and security price “every day” as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He warned that the continued construction of settlements was liable to turn Israel into an apartheid State. (Haaretz)

During a meeting with Palestinians in Jericho, Israeli Minister for Energy and Water Affairs Shalom told reporters that US-sponsored peace talks with the Palestinians could begin as early as the following week. (The Jerusalem Post)

UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki-moon highly commended the efforts of US Secretary of State Kerry in trying to revive the peace process. Speaking to the press immediately before his bilateral meeting with Mr. Kerry, the Secretary-General urged the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships to seize this opportunity and respond ‘positively and courageously’. (www.un.org/sg)

The Attorney General of Hamas ordered the closure of the Ma'an News Agency and Al-Arabiya TV bureaus in Gaza after having received complaints that the media companies had reported “false news, fabrications and lies” regarding the smear campaign against Hamas and Gaza about events in Egypt, said Hamas Spokesman Ehab al-Ghsain. (Ma’an News Agency, Reuters)

After the fourth Ministerial Meeting of the Four Party Consultative Unit for the initiative of the Corridor for Peace and Prosperity, Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida expressed his commitment to supporting Middle East peace efforts and announced that Japan will provide ¥800 million in grant aid to the PA to help infrastructure development in the Palestinian territories. Mr. Kishida said that the project “aims at creating a prosperous region through regional cooperation in the Jordan Valley” and “will bring about tangible improvement” to the lives of the Palestinian people. (Global Post, WAFA)

In response to EU directives, Minister of Defense Ya’alon ordered the IDF’s civil administration to cease cooperation in joint projects with the EU. Consequently, IDF will refuse to grant new permits or renew existing permits for EU construction projects in Area C and will not issue or renew any documents that EU personnel might need for travel in the West Bank or into Gaza from Israel. (The Jerusalem Post)

The International Solidarity Foundation for Human Rights reported that dozens of families of Palestinian detainees held by Israel at the Nafha prison had been denied entry into the prison after female family members had refused to be strip-searched by Israeli soldiers. (IMEMC)

According to eyewitness accounts, Israelis slashed tyres and smashed windows of Palestinian owned vehicles in East Jerusalem. (WAFA)

26

Israeli forces detained Daoud Zubeidi, a former Fatah fighter, after raiding his home in the Jenin refugee camp, PA security sources said. (Ma’an News Agency)

A senior PA official reported that the direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, slated to start the following Tuesday in Washington, D.C., cannot be held before Israel agrees to the release of all detainees held since before the first Oslo agreement of 1993. (IMEMC)

The Israeli Government was not expected to approve a list of Palestinian prisoners to be released during its weekly meeting but will form a ministerial committee composed of Prime Minister Netanyahu, Minister of Defense Minister Ya'alon, Minister of Justice Livni and Internal Security Minister Yitzhak to handle the matter, said an unnamed source. (Ynetnews)

President Obama waived legislative restrictions on providing US funds to the PA. (www.whitehouse.gov)

The European Union expressed concern over reports that Israeli Minister of Defense Ya’alon had ordered restrictions on its aid activities in the West Bank and prevent its staff from entering Gaza through Israel. Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for EU High Representative Ashton, said that EU delegations in the area were seeking clarifications from Israel. (WAFA)

Prime Minister Netanyahu had told US Secretary of State Kerry that Israel would limit the issuance of building tenders to 1,000 housing units in West Bank settlements during the six to nine months of negotiations with the Palestinians. According to Israeli officials, Mr. Netanyahu had denied the existence of any agreement to freeze construction in the settlements. (Haaretz)

Settlers had started the construction of two units near “Boaz” settlement, said Ahmad Salah, Coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements. The construction was in direct violation of an Israeli court ruling preventing settlers from building in the area, he added. (IMEMC)

27

The Israeli military informed residents of a small village of Mafqara, south of Hebron, of its intention to demolish their homes and well. (WAFA)

Palestinian and international activists set up a makeshift tent village on land between two Israeli settlements inside the “Gush Etzion” block, according to one of the activists, to protest the seizure of land. (WAFA)

Israeli soldiers arrested three farmers and other activists, including internationals, who tried to reach their land near Yatta. An Israeli court had previously ordered the military to return the land to its Palestinian landowners. However, the military authority refused to enforce the ruling and declared the area a closed military zone. (WAFA)

28

An IDF trooper fired at a “suspicious” Palestinian approaching the border fence in the central Gaza Strip. Gaza health official Ashraf Al-Qudra said that the victim suffered multiple gunshot wounds. (IMEMC, Ynetnews)

Israeli forces arrested three people near Bethlehem and Ramallah, Israeli army sources and locals said. (Ma’an News Agency)

The US had given the Palestinians assurances that it will reject any Israeli proposals to establish a Palestinian State with provisional borders as part of an interim agreement, a senior Palestinian official was quoted as telling Al-Hayat. (The Jerusalem Post)

According to a statement from Prime Minister Netanyahu's office, the Israeli Government had approved a bill to submit any peace treaty with the Palestinians to a referendum. (AFP)

The Israeli Government confirmed US-born Ron Dermer as its new Ambassador to Washington. Mr. Dermer, seen as close to Republicans, was on record as sceptical about the two-State solution. (AFP)

The Israeli Cabinet voted to approve the release of 104 prisoners to clear the way for Israeli-Palestinian talks. Prime Minister Netanyahu said that he had agreed “to free 104 Palestinians in stages, after the start of negotiations and according to progress”. Chief Palestinian Negotiator Erakat said: “We will continue working for the release of all our political prisoners.” (AFP, AP)

Hundreds of Palestinians marched in Ramallah to protest a return to negotiations with Israel. Four PA police officers and three protesters were injured in clashes during the march, organized by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a Ma'an reporter said. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli Cabinet declared that groups carrying out “price-tag” attacks against Palestinians were illegal in the West Bank. (Haaretz)

29

According to Palestinian sources, Israeli soldiers arrested eight Palestinians in Hebron and Bethlehem. (Petra)

Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams flew to Washington, D.C. The Israelis will be represented by Minister of Justice Livni and Yitzhak Molcho, and the Palestinians by Chief Negotiator Erakat and Mohammad Shtayyeh, with meetings for the evening and continuing into the following day, the State Department said, “to develop a procedural work plan”. (AP, www.state.gov)

In a statement issued by the White House, President Obama expressed his satisfaction that Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas had accepted Secretary Kerry's invitation to formally resume direct final status negotiations and had sent senior negotiating teams to Washington for the first round of meetings. (The White House)

President Abbas expressed the view that the United States was serious in solving the Middle East conflict. He added that both President Obama and the Secretary of State Kerry had promised to support negotiations until there was a solution. (WAFA)

President Abbas laid out his vision for the final status of Israeli-Palestinian relations. In a briefing in Cairo to mostly Egyptian journalists, he said that “in a final solution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli – civilian or soldier – on our lands.” (AFP)

Jen Psaki, Spokesperson for the US State Department, announced that the Israeli and Palestinian delegations had “all agreed to focus on having talks not just for the sake of talks, but this is the beginning of direct final status negotiations on a nine-month, at least a nine-month, timetable.” (AFP)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Israeli Minister of Justice and Chief Negotiator in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks Livni. During the meeting, the Secretary-General expressed his strong support for the resumption of credible negotiations to achieve the two-State solution and expressed his appreciation for the recent courageous decision of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in that regard. (Ma'an News Agency)

US Secretary of State Kerry appointed Martin Indyk as Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations, replacing David Hale. Mr. Indyk was actively involved in negotiations during the Clinton Administration. (BBC, www.state.gov)

“All of the issues that are at the core of a permanent accord will be negotiated simultaneously,” Silvan Shalom, a member of the Israeli Cabinet, told Israel's Army Radio. Senior PLO official Abed Rabbo said that the US letter of invitation to the Washington talks had not specified which disputes were to be discussed. He told Voice of Palestine radio that the talks "will begin, in principle, on the issues of borders and security”. (AFP)

“The PFLP is against a return to negotiations," said one of the party's leaders, Khalida Jarrar. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israel was readying to boost supplies of fuel, food and construction materials to Gaza after Egypt had destroyed most of the tunnels. A defence official said that Hamas was working to maintain the ceasefire with Israel. (Ynetnews)

The PA Ministry of Health announced that it would send 61 million shekels that had been donated by the European Union to numerous hospitals including al-Maqasid Hospital, Augusta Victoria Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital, St. George Hospital and Princess Basma Hospital.

The Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip should immediately revoke the summary closure of Al-Arabiya TV and Ma’an News Agency offices, Human Rights Watch said. (www.hrw.org)

30

According to security and medical sources, seven Palestinians were injured by live and rubber bullets during a confrontation with Israeli soldiers who had raided Jenin refugee camp. Israeli forces detained at least one imam during the raid. (Ma'an News Agency, WAFA)

Just hours after direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians commenced in Washington, D.C., a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, striking an open area in the western Negev. No damage or casualties were reported. (Haaretz)

President Obama brought senior Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to the White House to give a boost to his Administration's third bid to relaunch the stalled Middle East peace talks. President Obama met with the teams on the second day of negotiations that began late on 29 July. After leaving the White House, the negotiators were expected to return to the State Department for a three-way meeting with Secretary Kerry and top aides. Prior to their White House meeting, the negotiators had met together without American mediators. (Haaretz)

The Middle East Quartet issued a statement welcoming the announcement by US Secretary of State Kerry that direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians had resumed the previous day. The Quartet commended both President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu for taking the courageous decision in the interest of their peoples, and expressed its determination to lend its effective support to the efforts of the parties and their shared commitment to achieve a negotiated two-State solution within the agreed time frame of nine months. (UN News Centre)

US Secretary of State Kerry said that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will hold their next round of talks within the next two weeks in Israel or the Occupied Palestinian Territory. (Reuters)

The Office of the Palestinian caretaker Prime Minister, Mr. Hamdallah, issued a statement denying reports that Mr. Hamdallah had apologized to President Abbas for his 21 June resignation. The statement further claimed that Mr. Hamdallah would continue in his post until “the legal period for his post expired”. (WAFA)

The European Union announced that it would cover about 60 per cent of the outstanding debt of $17 million incurred by the Palestinian Government for patients referred to six specialized hospitals in East Jerusalem. (Ynetnews)

Addressing an international conference dubbed “Palestine; Pivot of Muslim World Unity” in Tehran, the representative of the Palestinian Hamas Movement in Iran, Khaled Qadoum, lamented that Palestine had not been sufficiently prioritized by Muslim and Arab nations. He called upon Muslim nations to consider the Palestinian issue as their top priority. (NAM News Network)

The Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative, Mustafa Barghouthi, alleged that the Israeli decision to release 104 detainees as a “gesture of goodwill” was not an act of kindness but an overdue responsibility that ought to have been carried out 20 years ago when the first Oslo Agreement was signed between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization”. (IMEMC)

The PA Ministry for Prisoners’ Affairs released a report that quoted Wael Abu Rida, a Gazan held by Israel, as saying that he was seized while visiting Egypt's Sinai region the previous month. (Reuters)

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People held its 353rd meeting at UN Headquarters. During the meeting, the Committee unanimously approved Bolivia’s application for membership and the accreditation of five new non-governmental organizations. The Committee also approved the Terms of Reference of the Working Group of the Committee for cooperation with civil society organizations. (UN News Centre)

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The US had reportedly given the Israelis and Palestinians letters of assurances to renew talks. The content remained classified, yet, the US had apparently clarified to the Palestinians the US position that negotiations should be on the basis of the 1967 lines with land swaps, and had made clear to the Israelis the US position that the future borders will not be identical to the 1967 lines but will include changes in accordance with the reality on the ground. Moreover, the letter to the Israelis had apparently included an American declaration stating Israel is a “Jewish State” and that Palestine refugees should return to the future Palestinian State. (Haaretz)

A senior White House official said during a press briefing that “With the [negotiating] process moving forward, the risk of a clash at the UN or elsewhere is reduced or eliminated.” Senior officials from the White House and State Department suggested that referral to the International Criminal Court had been addressed before talks began in Washington. (Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post)

The Knesset approved the first reading of the bill that would require a referendum before any agreement with the Palestinians could be authorized. The bill would still need to pass its second and third readings. (Israel National News)

Speaking after a meeting in Vilnius with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, Israeli President Peres said that he had hope of achieving the main goal of “a Jewish State by the name of Israel and an Arab State by the name of Palestine, not fighting each other but living together in friendship and cooperation”. (The Lithuania Tribune)

Meretz party Chairwoman Zahava Gal-On stated that to turn renewed peace talks into a “genuine opportunity”, the Israeli Government must be prepared to negotiate along the 1967 lines and to compromise on land swaps and borders. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Israeli and Palestinian flags stood together during the Knesset Caucus on Ending the Israeli-Arab Conflict. Thirty of the 120 Members of the Knesset came to meet the Palestinian delegation, none from Likud-Beitenu or Bayit Yehudi. “There has to be pressure from the Knesset and the Israeli public on the Government to go all the way… [President] Abbas is taking a huge risk going to peace talks,” [former] PA Minister for Prisoners' Affairs Ashraf al-Ajami said. “I don’t want to talk about a last chance for peace, but we're both in trouble if it fails.” (Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post)

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved additional financing of $5 million to an ongoing project to support Palestinian non-governmental organizations in delivering social services “to poor and marginalized communities, with a particular focus on women and youth”. (The World Bank)

In a press release, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) stated that the European Commission’s Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) had allocated 1 million to UNICEF to help address ongoing humanitarian needs in child protection, safe water, sanitation, and hygiene to Palestinian children and vulnerable communities. (WAFA)

Iran despatched a consignment of humanitarian aid consisting of 4,000 packages of foodstuffs to Lebanon to be distributed among displaced Palestinians living in 12 refugee camps in the country. (Press TV)

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on Israel to investigate the comments made by Israel's Economy and Trade Minister Bennett, who had made claims about killing Palestinians. Following the news of the release of Palestinian prisoners, Bennett said: “If you catch terrorists, you have to simply kill them”. (Ma’an News Agency)

Following the investigation opened earlier during the month concerning the detention of a five-year-old Palestinian boy in Hebron, an IDF legal adviser said that the detention had been legitimate, stating that “IDF soldiers are authorized to deal with incidents where a minor is endangering the safety of the public and is even endangering himself or herself”. (Haaretz)

PLO Secretary-General Abed Rabbo warned that further Israeli settlement building in the West Bank would threaten the newly revived peace negotiations. “'The difficulties are clear and in light of the continued policy of the Israeli Government in terms of settlement building and racist statements […] the current peace process will have no future,'' said Mr. Rabbo on Voice of Palestine radio. (The Telegraph)

Palestinian settlement affairs official Daghlas reported that a group of 15 settlers from “Yizhar” had attacked Palestinian workers in the town of Asira al-Qibliya near Nablus. (Ma'an News Agency)

Human Rights Watch urged the Palestinian Government to investigate police beatings during a rally against Israeli-Palestinian talks. A Palestinian spokesman said that the police had acted in self-defense. (AP)

In a press statement, the Palestinian NGO Network, composed of 133 Palestinian non-governmental organizations in Jerusalem, West Bank and the Gaza Strip, said that resuming Israeli-Palestinian peace talks at the present time was “dangerous” because of Israel’s failure to officially commit to the preconditions proposed by Palestinian President Abbas, and added that “negotiations act as a cover for Israel's expansionist policies in a blatant exploitation of the so-called political process”. (Middle East Monitor, The Jerusalem Post)


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