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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
30 June 2013



Division for Palestinian Rights

Chronological Review of Events Relating to the
Question of Palestine

Monthly media monitoring review

June 2013

Monthly highlights
    • Palestinian President Abbas appoints Rami Hamdallah as new Prime Minister (2 June)

    • President Obama extends waiver on Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (4 June)

    • New 24-member Palestinian Government takes oath of office (6 June)

    • Hamas deploys 600-member force in the Gaza Strip to prevent rocket fire at Israel (17 June)

    • UN Meeting in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace opens two-day meeting in Beijing (18 June)

    • On World Refugee Day, PLO calls on the international community to hold Israel accountable for the creation and continuation of the Palestinian refugee situation (19 June)

    • Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah tenders his resignation from office (20 June)

    • UN Agency heads raise alarm at rising levels of food insecurity in Palestine (21 June)

    • President Abbas accepts the resignation of Prime Minister Hamdallah (23 June)

    • UN Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices says that Israel subjects Palestinian prisoners to 'abusive' detention, interrogation (27 June)

1

Egyptian authorities announced that they would increase the number of Palestinians allowed to travel to Egypt via the Rafah crossing from 800 to 1,100 travellers a day. (Islam Times)

2

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) entered several areas near Bethlehem, Hebron and Ramallah, broke into several homes, and arrested three Palestinians. (IMEMC)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas appointed Rami Hamdallah as new Prime Minister following Salam Fayyad’s resignation in April. Mr. Hamdallah is a Fatah member and has been dean of the An-Najah University in Nablus for the past 15 years. He has served as the Secretary-General of the Palestinian Central Elections Commission since 2002. US Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed Mr. Hamdallah’s appointment whereas a Hamas spokesperson, Fawzi Barhoum, called it “illegal”. (AP, Reuters, US Department of State)

Palestinian President Abbas met with Jordanian Minister for Foreign Affairs Naser Judeh to discuss US peace efforts. Palestinian Minister for Foreign Affairs Riad Malki commented that one of the top issues of concern to the two leaderships was Jerusalem. (WAFA)

Germany had given its tacit approval of European Union efforts to label products manufactured in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. (The Jerusalem Post)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sent a letter to the Palestinian Minister for Foreign Affairs Malki and expressed his concern and dismissal of the ongoing Israeli violations against Palestinians especially in Jerusalem, namely, home demolitions, forced evictions and movement restrictions. He also called for an immediate halt to those violations as well as for Israel’s adherence to international law. (WAFA)

Senior Fatah leaders Nabil Sha’ath and Othman Abu Gharbieh arrived in Gaza to take part in reconciliation talks with nationalist and Islamic political factions. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) announced that it will hold a conference in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku on 11 June, to create an Islamic financial safety net to support the State of Palestine. (KUNA)

Dozens of Israeli settlers closed the main road leading to the Palestinian town of Yasoof, near Salfit in the West Bank, and attacked a number of Palestinian cars and residents. (IMEMC)

The IDF and workers from the Jerusalem City Council delivered warrants against two homes in the Silwan neighbourhood in East Jerusalem. (IMEMC)

The Israeli authorities issued military orders to confiscate 60 dunums of land in Nablus. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Consul General of France in Jerusalem, Frédéric Desagneaux, inaugurated the upgrading of the drinking water service in the northern West Bank as well as its bond to the Maythaloun network for a total cost of € 9.5 million. (WAFA)

Protesters in Tel Aviv called for Israel’s withdrawal from the Occupied Palestinian Territory. (Press TV)

3

The IDF arrested five Palestinians near Bethlehem, Hebron and Ramallah. (IMEMC)

Aballah Aref Daraghmeh, a young Palestinian, was shot with a rubber-coated bullet after the IDF raided at dawn one of the residential areas in the Jenin Governorate. (Palestine News Network)

Palestinian Minister for Foreign Affairs Malki said that US Secretary of State Kerry would visit the Middle East from 13 to 15 June to discuss peace efforts with Israeli and Palestinian officials. (www.naharnet.com)

US Secretary of State Kerry, in his address to the American Jewish Committee Global Forum, asked American Jewish leaders to help break the deadlock in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process that he said helped fuel extremism and terrorism across the world. He pointed out that the Palestinian Government’s commitment to non-violence was Israel's best chance for the two-State solution. The day before his address, Mr. Kerry had called Israeli settlement construction “counterproductive”. (Haaretz, www.voanews.com)

Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon told the Knesset that there would be no peace between Israel and the Palestinians as long as the latter continued to educate their youth to hate Israelis. He also said that the Palestinian Government’s threats to walk away from the two-State solution should not be taken seriously as it was also not in their interests to end up with a bi-national State. (www.israelhayom.com)

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague congratulated the new Palestinian Prime Minister, assured him of the UK’s strong support for efforts to restart the peace process and its commitment to the two-State solution. (www.gov.uk)

Newly appointed Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah said that he would strive to continue the work of his predecessor and that he was ready to stand aside for a unity Government. (AFP)

The OPEC Fund for International Development signed a project agreement with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with a grant of $1 million to improve access to quality education for Palestinian children in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. (www.unesco.org)

The Union of Civil Servants in the West Bank said that it would suspend all protests against the Government to give time to the newly-appointed Prime Minister. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian Presidential Spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh qualified Israel’s decision to seize 60 dunums of land in Nablus for military purpose as “a deliberate move to destroy efforts by US Secretary of State Kerry to revive the stumbled peace process”. (WAFA)

The OIC condemned Israel’s decision to build 1,100 housing units in East Jerusalem. (The Gulf Today)

Israeli settlers set Palestinian agricultural land east of Nablus on fire causing heavy damage to crops and fields. (WAFA)

Palestinian Fire Service officials accused Israeli settlers from “Yizhar” of setting fire to some 1,000 almond and olive trees near the West Bank villages of Burin and Madama. (AFP)

The Israeli Government announced its decision to confiscate 370 dunums near Nablus. (IMEMC)

The Israeli human rights group Yesh Din asked the High Court of Justice to halt IDF plans to open a sewage treatment plant on land belonging to Palestinians from the town of Ein Yabroud. Yesh Din said that the plant only had the capacity to treat sewage from the “Ofra” settlement and would not be able to handle sewage from nearby Palestinian villages. (The Jerusalem Post)

Islamic Movement activists uncovered the previous week in the Jaffa cemetery five mass graves that held the remains of hundreds of people. The Movement said that the graves were those of Palestinians who were killed in Jaffa during the War of Independence. (Haaretz)

4

Israeli forces detained eight Palestinians across the West Bank. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian President Abbas told reporters in Ramallah that he wanted to return to negotiations "as soon as possible" to achieve peace based on a two-State solution”. He added that “Palestinian demands are known by Israel and the US, and now it’s time for Israel to accept them in order to start the negotiations". (Ma’an News Agency)

In a visit to a militarily strategic site in the West Bank, Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erakat called for an end to the Israeli occupation, and said that the Palestinians were prepared to wait “months” for a clear Israeli response regarding the agenda for peace talks, and will not allow US Secretary of State Kerry’s efforts to renew peace talks to fail. (Haaretz, The New York Times)

In a statement to the press on the forty-sixth anniversary of the Six Day War, Hanan Ashrawi, Executive Committee member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said that "the Palestinian people will never accept another Nakba". (The Jerusalem Post)

US President Barack Obama extended for six months a waiver on the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 that would move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “I hereby determine that it is necessary, in order to protect the national security interests of the United States, to suspend for a period of 6 months the limitations set forth in sections 3(b) and 7(b) of the Act,” he said in a Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of State. (JTA, www.whitehouse.gov)

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton congratulated Rami Hamdallah on his appointment as Palestinian Prime Minister, pointing out that there was now “a real opportunity for a renewed peace process” but also “a time of difficult choices and challenges for Palestine”. (www.consilium.europa.eu)

Newly-appointed Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah said that he planned to announce a new 24-member Palestinian Authority (PA) Cabinet on 6 June. (Ma’an News Agency)

Fatah Central Committee member Sha’ath and Fatah MP Faisal Abu Shahla met with Hamas' Imad Alami and Ghazi Hamada in Gaza to discuss obstacles to the implementation of national reconciliation. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinians from the village Dura al-Qari'a were to request the Israeli High Court of Justice to order the complete evacuation of the outpost of “Ulpana”. In June 2012, residents of five apartment buildings in the outpost had agreed to voluntarily evacuate their homes and have the buildings relocated to the nearby “Beit El” settlement after the Court had ruled that the buildings had been built on private Palestinian property. The petitioners now claim that the rest of the buildings in the outpost had been built on private Palestinian property as well. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli forces demolished four homes and four sheds in the An-Nuwei’ma area, north of Jericho. (IMEMC)

At a meeting with Israel’s Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel, settler leaders pointed out that there was a de facto freeze for housing tenders in West Bank settlements and East Jerusalem, and urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to allow new housing tenders over the pre-1967 lines. (The Jerusalem Post)

A number of extremist Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles in At-Tour, in East Jerusalem, and attacked local youths. Israeli policemen arrived at the scene and detained three Palestinians. (IMEMC)

5

During a Knesset debate on the Arab Peace Initiative, Prime Minister Netanyahu urged President Abbas to resume negotiations with Israel: "I want to send a message to Abu Mazen [Abbas]: Give peace a chance". He told the lawmakers that he had invited President Abbas several times to talks, noting that over the past few years, they had only engaged in short dialogues, and “that's no way to conduct negotiations”. (Haaretz)

Palestinian Minister for Civilian Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh said that President Abbas had informed US Secretary of State Kerry that the PA’s functional role would end if current efforts to revive the peace process did not succeed. He said, “Israel, as the occupying Power, would then have to assume full responsibility [over the Palestinian population]”. President Abbas had also agreed to extend the deadline until 20 June, on condition that Israel release Palestinian prisoners arrested before 1993. Mr. Sheikh said that the Palestinians reject the idea of a gradual release of the prisoners. A senior Israeli official also reportedly told Haaretz that President Abbas had given Mr. Kerry until 20 June to receive a clearly formulated offer to renew negotiations before the Palestinians resumed their unilateral moves at the UN. (The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz)

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin, speaking to Israel Radio, said that "Israel is ready and willing to resume direct peace talks at any moment. … The world is waiting now for Abu Mazen", he said, adding that "Abu Mazen hopes to continue the unilateral track as long as he thinks the international community supports it ... he has no reason to resume negotiations. … Today, the world understands more and more that this is where the problem is and is adopting our formula of peace talks without preconditions". (AP)

Quartet Representative Tony Blair congratulated Rami Hamdallah on his appointment as the Prime Minister of the State of Palestine, adding that the appointment of Mr. Hamdallah came at a critical juncture with many challenges but also a real opportunity for a credible political process. (www.quartetrep.org)

The EU contributed €19.2 million to the May salaries and pensions of nearly 75,000 Palestinian civil servants and pensioners in the West Bank and the Gaza. (www.europa.eu)

President Abbas said that the Palestinian people will never give up their right to East Jerusalem as the capital of their State despite all the Israeli measures intended to alter the character of the City. (WAFA)

A law allowing Israel to confiscate "absentee" properties may continue to be applied to Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said in a legal opinion. The decision was a reversal of his predecessors' position. (Haaretz)

A poll conducted by The Jerusalem Post showed that 72 per cent of Israelis viewed Jerusalem as divided and 74 per cent said that they rejected the idea of a Palestinian capital in any portion of Jerusalem. (The Jerusalem Post)

In a statement, PLO Executive Committee member Ashrawi strongly condemned an Israeli Supreme Court decision allowing an Israeli construction company to move forward with the construction of 700 new housing units in the settlement of “Alei Zahav”. (WAFA)

At a press conference, the PA Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs and the Palestinian Prisoners Society announced that 700 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails were to begin protests in order to be recognized and treated as prisoners of war. (Press TV)

The Spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China said that his country will host the United Nations International Meeting in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace in Beijing, to be held on 18 and 19 June at the request of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. (Xinhua)

B’tselem-The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories issued a report entitled “Acting the Landlord: Israel's Policy in Area C, the West Bank”. (www.btselem.org)

6

Dozens of Israeli soldiers raided the village of Kufur Qaddoum near the northern West Bank city of Qalqilya, firing live ammunition, concussion grenades and gas bombs. A 7-month-old infant suffocated after inhaling gas and received treatment from medics. (IMEMC)

Israeli forces detained two Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip and confiscated their boat. An Israeli military spokesperson said that the two men had been taken for questioning because they had deviated from the designated fishing zone. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces detained in Ramallah Abdul Jaber Faqha, 47, a Hamas lawmaker, said Foad al-Khafsh, head of the Ahrar Centre for Detainees Studies. There were currently 13 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Israeli prisons. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinians threw rocks and two firebombs at an Israeli bus near Ramallah. No injury or damage was reported. (The Jerusalem Post)

During a meeting with UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry, Chief Palestinian Negotiator Erakat said that calls made by Prime Minister Netanyahu asking President Abbas to resume direct peace talks were [illusory] and were aimed at holding the Palestinians responsible for the failure of US efforts to resume direct talks. (IMEMC)

The new 24-member Palestinian Government headed by Prime Minister Hamdallah was sworn in before President Abbas in Ramallah. Shukri Bishara had taken over the Ministry of Finance and Kamal al-Shirafi is the new Minister of Social Affairs. Ali Zaydan had moved from the Ministry of Transport and Communications to that of Higher Education. Nabil al-Dumeidi had taken over Mr. Zaydan's old portfolio. Jawad Awad is the new Ministery of Health and the Ministry of Local Government would be headed by Saed al-Kuni. All the other Ministries remained in the same hands, an official said. (Aljazeera.com)

According to Ma'ariv, the European Union had informed Prime Minister Netanyahu that if settlement construction continued in East Jerusalem, the EU will support Palestine at UN agencies and their access to the International Criminal Court. (Palestine News Network)

Plans to build a new road interchange in the E-1 zone that would connect East Jerusalem with the settlement of “Ma’aleh Adumim” was expected to be approved by an Israeli planning committee, Haaretz reported. Peace Now official Hagit Ofran said that although the new road would only be 100 to 200 metres long, it would have a political impact as it would connect settlements in East Jerusalem with “Ma’aleh Adumim” and would allow Palestinians to cross E-1 in a way that would enable Israel to say “There is no problem”. (AFP)

Israeli police closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque area for visitors and kept it open only for Muslims celebrating the al-Isra Wal Miraj holiday. As a result, Jewish fanatics said that they would carry out other activities outside the gates of the mosque and at the Western Wall. They also said that they would continue on with their tours the following Sunday, calling on other Jewish groups to join them. (WAFA)

Israeli settlers pelted stones at several Palestinian vehicles and smashed them as they drove south of Nablus. (Ma’an News Agency)

Settlers from “Bayt Ain,” south of Hebron, cut down 20 olive trees in Beit Ummar. (Ma’an News Agency, WAFA)

Jewish worshipers scrawled “Death to Arabs” on Palestinian homes during a visit by some 400 Israelis, accompanied by Israeli soldiers, to the Tomb of Joshua in Kifl Haris in the northern West Bank. (Ma’an News Agency)

A number of Palestinians had filed civil lawsuits against American organizations allegedly supporting “terrorist” acts by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank. Two US citizens were among those suing under the 1991 Anti-Terrorism Act. Abed Ayoub, member of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said that the law case was a good approach in a broader effort to protect Palestinian human rights. (alarabiya.net)

Israel released leading Hamas member and former Palestinian Minister of Prisoner Affairs Wasfi Qabaha, ending his two-year detention without charge or trial. (Ma’an News Agency)

An Israeli military spokesperson said that six Palestinians had been detained overnight in the Ramallah, Bethlehem, Nablus and Hebron districts. Palestinian security sources said that Israeli forces had also detained three brothers in a raid in Tulkarm. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued the following statement: “The Secretary-General congratulates Rami Hamdallah on his appointment as Prime Minister of Palestine, and wishes him success in his critical work ahead. He welcomes the formation of the new Cabinet that was sworn in today. The United Nations looks forward to continuing to work with the Government of Palestine and President [Mahmoud] Abbas in support of the State-building agenda and ongoing efforts aimed at a resumption of crucial and meaningful peace negotiations to achieve the two-State solution. The Secretary-General reiterates his appreciation for the many contributions of the outgoing Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, especially his commitment to readying Palestinian institutions for statehood. (UN News Centre)

In his report to the Human Rights Council, Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, said that Israel continued to annex Palestinian territory; demolish Palestinians’ homes; populate Palestine with Israeli citizens; routinely detain Palestinians without charges; collectively punish Palestinians through its imposition of a blockade on the Gaza Strip; and prosecute its occupation with impunity, refusing to accept the world’s calls to respect international law. He added that “irresponsible and dishonest smear campaigns to discredit those who document these realities do not change the facts on the ground.” (UNOG press release HRC13/153)

The International Labour Organization (ILO) said that a $4 billion US package unveiled the previous month by US Secretary of State Kerry to boost the Palestinian economy would likely falter if Israel did not lift a wide range of restrictions. "If that four billion flows in and meets all the security-driven restrictions, you will not get the proper result," cautioned Kari Tapiola, a special advisor to ILO [Director General] Guy Ryder. (www.ilo.org)

7

Israeli navy ships opened fire towards Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported. (Palestine News Network)

Israeli settlers allegedly burned a Palestinian car in East Jerusalem. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli settlers assaulted and injured a 66-year-old Palestinian farmer east of Nablus. (Ma’an News Agency)

Human Rights Council Spokesman Rolando Gomez told reporters: “The President [of the Human Rights Council] received a letter from Israel this week to express the desire to re-engage discussion to come back to the Human Rights Council.” Israel’s review was now likely to be scheduled for 29 October 2013, he added. (AFP)

Haaretz reported that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights was formulating a plan to provide emergency aid to Palestinians harmed by settler violence in the West Bank and looking for international organizations to provide the aid. The aid would include not only monetary grants but also other means. The aid would be given on an individual basis, and the UN would estimate the damage in each specific case. (Haaretz)

During a press conference at United Nations Headquarters in New York, the President of the Palestinian Olympic Committee, Major General Jibril Rajoub, said that promoting the ethics and values of sport in youth was a strategic choice for Palestine and sport represented a peaceful means of resisting Israel’s occupation. There were many examples of transgressions by Israel, Mr. Rajoub said, pointing to restrictions on the movement of Palestinian athletes, coaches and officials from sports associations, as well as foreign experts, instructors and representatives of bodies, such as the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA), and sporting equipment from entering Palestine. He called upon the international community to intervene “on the right side” and prevent Israel from further “suffocating” violations of the Olympic Charter and FIFA statutes, saying it was “sickening to target youth and sport”. Asked whether the upgrade of Palestine’s status at the United Nations had any impact on its membership in sporting organizations, he noted that Palestine had been a full member of the International Federation since 1998 and of the International Olympic Committee since 1993.

8

According to an activist with the anti-wall, anti-settlement committee in Bethlehem, Israeli forces destroyed the Palestinian protest village of Canaan for the third time. (Ma'an News Agency, WAFA)

According to a Palestinian local activist, the Israeli military closed a farm road in al-Khadr, south of Bethlehem, preventing area farmers from reaching their land. (WAFA)

Palestinian Minister for Foreign Affairs Malki met with a delegation from France's Green Party. He reiterated the commitment of the State of Palestine to re-launch peace talks. (Ma'an News Agency)

UN Watch, a pro-Israel human rights group, announced that, with backing from the US Government, it would call on the Human Rights Council to dismiss UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 Falk after the latter had demanded an investigation of the organization. (AFP)

9

Danny Danon, Deputy Minister of Defense of Israel and a prominent member of the Likud Party, said in an interview that the Israeli Government would not accept a Palestinian State within the 1967 borders. Prime Minister Netanyahu's office distanced itself from Mr. Danon’s comments. (USA Today)

OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu met with PLO Chief Negotiator Erakat. They discussed the ongoing preparations for a conference in Baku which would be aimed at supporting Jerusalem and its people. (OIC.org)

The Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation, chaired by Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni, voted in favour of a controversial "anti-terror bill" which proposed dramatically harsher penalties for anyone heading, supporting or sympathizing with terrorist groups, as well as those inciting terror and engaging in preparations to carry out violent attacks. (Xinhua)

10

According to security sources, confrontations erupted between Israeli forces and Palestinians after hundreds of Israeli settlers, under the protection of Israeli soldiers, broke into Joseph’s Tomb, east of Nablus. (WAFA)

According to local and security sources, Israeli forces arrested eight Palestinians from Hebron and Tulkarm. Two more Palestinians were arrested in East Jerusalem. (WAFA)

According to medical sources, a 22-year-old Palestinian farmer had been shot and critically injured by Israeli soldiers while he had been working on his land in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip. (WAFA)

The Israeli Interior Ministry decided to drop a plan to compel Gaza residents with Israeli citizenship to undergo [DNA] testing to establish their identity as a condition for visiting Israel or renewing their identity papers. (Haaretz)

According to Israeli media reports, US Secretary of State Kerry had decided to postpone a planned visit during the week to Israel and three other countries in the Middle East so that he could take part in decision-making discussions on Syria at the White House. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Palestinian preconditions for peace talks make a return to negotiations impossible. (www.france24.com)

Marwan Barghouti, a high-ranking member of Fatah, who currently serves a life sentence in an Israeli jail, told Xinhua via his attorney that the peace process had failed to achieve its goals over the past several years “because the Americans were biased towards Israel”. (Xinhua)

The United Arab Emirates’ Human Appeal International had offered $200,000 in support of 700 poor Palestinian families. The majority of the funds would be committed to sponsoring orphaned children in the West Bank city of Qalqilya. (www.uaeinteract.com)

The Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary, Zsolt Semjen, announced that the Hungarian Government would contribute 100,000 for the repairs of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Hungary would also raise the number of scholarships for Palestinians from nine to eleven. (www.politics.hu)

King Abdullah said that Jordan would continue playing its role as a custodian of Islamic and Christian sites in Jerusalem. The Kingdom, he added, would also continue its support for the Palestinian people as they faced Israeli measures aimed at altering the Arab identity of the holy city. (The Jordan Times)

A document on housing starts released by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics showed a significant rise in housing starts in West Bank settlements in the first three months of 2013 compared to the same period the previous year. (AP)

Former Israeli Minister for Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman acknowledged on Army Radio that there had been a de facto settlement freeze in Jerusalem since the beginning of 2013. "One should view this as a temporary hiatus," Mr. Liberman said. "We have an interest in [Secretary of State] Kerry succeeding.” Liberman added that "During [US Vice President Joe] Biden's last visit it was also not right to release the [construction] tender." (Haaretz)

According to Jawad Siyam, the Director of the Wadi Hilweh Information Centre, Israeli forces handed down eight demolition orders to the proprietors of homes and commercial properties in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan. (Ma'an News Agency)

Yediot Ahronot obtained a new Palestinian construction plan aimed at establishing “facts on the ground” in the West Bank, especially in Israel-dominated Area C. The plan includes the construction of six cities, two airports, a high-tech complex, a university and a system of highways. (Ynetnews)

Hebrew-language media outlets reported that President Abbas had rejected Prime Minister Netanyahu’s offer to release 50 prisoners who had been in Israeli jails since before the Oslo agreements and had instead insisted that 107 prisoners must be released as a condition to resume negotiations. (Palestine News Network)

Palestinian administrative detainees in Israeli prisons began an open-ended hunger strike to protest their detention for extended periods of time without trial. (www.middleeastmonitor.com)

A committee of the Israeli Ministry of Defense decided to pay compensation to two Palestinian families in Gaza, who lost two of their loved ones in a Hamas rocket attack in 2005 before the Israeli withdrawal from the coastal enclave. (Ynetnews)

The Human Rights Council held an interactive dialogue with Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 Falk on his annual report. (www.ohchr.org)

Jeu De Paume, a Paris museum subsidized by the French Government, opened an exhibition of photos of Palestinian suicide bombers described as martyrs, drawing protests from Jewish groups in France. (The Jerusalem Post)

11

A 45-year-old Palestinian man was shot and injured when Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets and gas bombs at a funeral procession in Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. (IMEMC)

Israeli intelligence officers forced a 24-year-old Palestinian man from Beit Ummar to drink a bottle of wine at gunpoint when he refused to give names of those who participated in clashes against Israeli forces. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces arrested 14 Palestinians, including a minor, in several cities across the West Bank. (Palestine News Network)

Palestinian medical sources reported that Khaled Jamal Kharboush had died of injuries he sustained in 2004 after having been shot by undercover IDF forces with a live round in the Tulkarm refugee camp in the northern West Bank. (IMEMC)

An IDF jeep came under fire at night as it drove past the “Qedumim” settlement, east of Qalqilya in the northern West Bank. (WAFA)

US officials said that Secretary of State Kerry had postponed a trip to Israel and Palestine scheduled during the week to attend White House talks on Syria. (AFP)

During a meeting held in Ramallah with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Palestinian President Abbas reiterated the Palestinians’ commitment to the peace process with Israel on the basis of the establishment of an independent Palestinian State on the pre-1967 lines, with Jerusalem as its capital. (The Jerusalem Post)

PLO Executive Committee member Ashrawi met with Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson and Consul General Axel Wernhoff to discuss the latest political developments in Palestine. (Palestine News Network)

The President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, received Palestinian Minister for Foreign Affairs Malki in Baku. President Aliyev praised the bilateral political relations and noted that the two countries had good potential for the development of economic cooperation and that business investment opportunities were being explored. (www.news.az)

Israeli Minister of Justice and Chief Negotiator Livni threatened to quit the coalition Government unless Prime Minister Netanyahu clamped down on ideological hard-liners opposed to an agreement with the Palestinians. (The Telegraph)

The new Palestinian Government headed by Prime Minister Hamdallah held its first meeting in Ramallah. Current and future financial, economic, political and social issues were discussed and each Minister was asked to prepare a plan for his or her Ministry for the next 100 days in order for the Government to present its 100-day plan. (WAFA)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “[Settlement construction] does not significantly change our ability to reach an agreement – that is a false claim. The real question is whether there is or isn’t a willingness [among the Palestinians] to accept a Jewish State”. (Haaretz)

The OIC donor conference in support of the Palestinian people opened in Baku. Delivering a keynote speech, Azerbaijani Minister for Foreign Affairs Elmar Mammadyarov expressed the hope that Palestine would be a full member of the UN in the near future, noting that Azerbaijan had decided to allocate funds for the development of infrastructure projects in Jerusalem. The participants will discuss a $500 million humanitarian aid to Palestine to be spent on the improvement of Palestine’s economy, health care and education. A conference on the establishment of the Islamic financial security network for supporting Palestine will also be held in Baku at the same time. (http://en.apa.az)

Speaking at the meeting of the OIC in Baku, Turkey’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoğlu said, “Jerusalem’s multi-cultural identity must be preserved to stop Jewishization policies”. He also said that “The OIC should work harder for Palestinians to reach independence”. (www.aa.com.tr)

The Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs said, during the first cabinet meeting of the new Government, that the financial crisis was getting worse, warning that the Government had internal and external debt of $4.2 billion. He also warned of a growing job crisis, with over 250,000 Palestinians currently unemployed and young people particularly affected. (Ma’an News Agency)

A security guard at the “Oranit” settlement in the northern West Bank opened fire at a number of Palestinian labourers and injured one. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli Military Prosecution was examining 15 air strikes conducted during the Operation Pillar of Defence in which Palestinian civilians were injured. The examination was being conducted in light of 50 complaints filed by lawyers and humanitarian groups over the past few weeks and was meant to determine whether the State should open a criminal investigation against IDF officers who had ordered the air strikes. (Ynetnews)

Husam Khalifa, a 12-year-old child arrested by the IDF on 10 June in the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, had been admitted to the Hadassah hospital after having been beaten while in custody by Israeli soldiers. (WAFA)

Israeli police arrested the director of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Najeh Bkairat, at the Allenby Bridge crossing between the West Bank and Jordan. (WAFA)

UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 Falk said that he would not resign from his post and accused critics who had called him anti-Semitic of trying to divert attention from his scrutiny of Israeli policies. (The New York Times)

12

The IDF arrested three Palestinians from the town of Durah near Hebron. (Palestine News Network)

Five Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets during clashes with the IDF in the Faraa refugee camp in the northern West Bank district of Tubas. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu recalled an official statement on the peace process which appeared to admit Israel’s settlement building was unhelpful in reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians. (AFP, Haaretz)

Speaking to reporters in Warsaw alongside Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “Israel is ready for the resumption of direct negotiations for peace without preconditions. I think we have to start peace talks immediately. My goal is to see a historic compromise that ends the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians once and for all”. (Ynetnews)

IC Power, part of Idan Ofer’s Israel Corporation conglomerate, had expressed interest in buying surplus electricity from what would be the West Bank’s largest power plant, which was being planned to be built in Jenin. (Financial Times)

Ynet reported that Israel was to proceed with a previously approved plan to build 675 new housing units in the settlement of “Itamar”. (Ynetnews)

The IDF demolished a house and a sheep barn in Bartaa al-Sharqiya, a town near the separation wall in the northern West Bank district of Jenin. (Ma’an News Agency)

Six bulldozers, escorted by three IDF vehicles, razed Palestinian agricultural land in the Kufr al-Deik area. (Palestine News Network)

Israeli police said that settlers had carried out 165 “price-tag” attacks against Palestinians and their property in the West Bank since the beginning of the year. (IMEMC)

An Israeli military court sentenced a Palestinian legislator, Abdul-Jabbar Foqaha, to six months’ imprisonment under administrative detention. (IMEMC)

An Israeli army spokesman said that Israeli forces had detained 10 Palestinians during raids around Hebron, Bethlehem and Ramallah. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) published its annual report entitled “Fragmented Lives: Humanitarian Overview 2012”, which aims to serve as comprehensive overview of the humanitarian situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and to monitor trends and developments. (www.ochaopt.org)

The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem released a new report entitled “Acting the Landlord: Israel’s Policy in Area C, the West Bank”. (www.btselem.org)

13

Israeli soldiers fired several rounds of live ammunition at Palestinian farmers east of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, to force them out of their land. (IMEMC)

Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Danon told Israel’s Channel 1: “The Jewish people are not settlers in the West Bank, but Israel will make the Palestinians settlers and Jordan will be the one taking control over Palestinians and that’s it”. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestine’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Malki said that Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Danon’s remarks had exposed the “true face” of the occupation as well as the strategy followed by the Israeli Government since 1967. Mr. Malki said that he had sent messages to the UN, the League of Arab States and the European Union to inform them of the obstacles threatening the peace process, as evidenced by the Israeli official’s remarks. (Ma’an News Agency)

Senior Palestinian official Sha’ath said that the PA would return to the negotiating table if Israel agreed to negotiate on the basis of the 1967 borders, freeze settlements and free political prisoners. “We’re not demanding that settlers be removed, just that settlements not be expanded. At the current building rate in the West Bank, there won’t be a Palestinian State left”, he told reporters in Ramallah. (Ynetnews)

UK Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt travelled to the Gaza Strip to complete his trip to the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Addressing youths, Minister Burt said, “British support for Gaza is strong and will continue. In Gaza, we are supporting UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East] to build 12 new schools by 2015, allowing an additional 24,000 pupils to access education. DFID [Department for International Development] funding to Gaza totals nearly $50 million a year and is set to increase. As part of our support we also want to see movement and access restrictions on Gaza lifted, so that Gaza and Gazans can fulfil their potential and the suffering of the people of Gaza can be brought to an end. Yesterday I discussed with President Abbas the urgent progress we want to see towards a Palestinian State. Today, in Gaza, I reaffirm that Gaza is a fundamental part of that future Palestinian State. A State of Palestine which doesn’t include Gaza and Gazans is simply inconceivable”. (www.gov.uk)

Israeli Minister of Housing Ariel said that there was a de facto halt in Israel’s construction of settlements in East Jerusalem, calling the situation “very problematic”. (Xinhua)

The Israeli High Court of Justice criticized the poor provision of postal services in East Jerusalem and told authorities that the process of improving these services needed to be accelerated. (The Jerusalem Post)

OCHA released a new report entitled “Communities in the Jerusalem periphery at risk of forced displacement”, in which it said: “Between 2008 and 2012, over 4,000 Palestinians, mostly from herding communities, were forcibly displaced due to the demolition of their homes on the grounds that they have no building permits. More than 520,000 Israeli civilians living in Israeli settlements, built in contravention of international law, receive preferential treatment in terms of the allocation of land, planning and provision of services”. (www.ochaopt.org)

Israeli Military Spokesman Maj. Guy Inbar said that Israel was to go ahead with plans to build more than 1,000 homes in the “Itamar” and “Bruchin” settlement in the West Bank and nearly 200 existing homes were expected to be granted official approval there. (AP)

Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah said that an Israeli settlement push in the occupied West Bank, involving the building of 1,000 new homes in two new settlements, was “killing the two-State solution”. “The international community must take action before this solution dies”, he said. (Reuters)

In reference to recent reports on the Israeli Government’s plan to approve the construction of additional settlement housing, US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said during a daily press briefing: “The Secretary has expressed his concern in the past both publicly and in private conversations. We don’t accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity”. (www.state.gov)

Dozens of Israeli settlers from “Yitzhar” near Nablus threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at Palestinian homes and cars near the settlement. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli military sources said that gunmen had opened fire at a settlement bus driving south of Nablus. There had been no injuries. (IMEMC)

Dozens of Israeli settlers from “Yitzhar” in Nablus threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at Palestinian homes and cars around the settlement. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Prison Administration of the Negev Detention Camp moved four Palestinian detainees on hunger strike into solitary confinement to force them to quit the strike. (IMEMC)

14

An Israeli soldier shot and seriously injured a Palestinian man at the Qalandia checkpoint, north of Jerusalem. The Israeli army claimed that the man had ignored a call to stop and kept walking towards soldiers carrying a knife. (IMEMC)

Two vehicles were badly damaged after being set on fire in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem. Graffiti reading “price-tag” was found on a nearby wall. (Ynetnews)

The Spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued the following statement:


United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967 Falk, said: “Six years of Israel’s calculated strangulation of the Gaza Strip has stunted the economy and has kept most of Gazans in a state of perpetual poverty and aid dependency. … The people of Gaza have endured the unendurable and suffered what is insufferable for six years. Israel’s collective punishment of the civilian population in Gaza must end today”. (www.unog.ch)

15

A group of settlers set fire to over 300 olive trees in the village of Imatin in Nablus. (The Palestine Chronicle)

16

Israeli Minister of Finance Yair Lapid and Palestinian Minister of Finance Shukri Bashara met and agreed on a series of economic cooperation projects. Mr. Lapid’s office said that the two had decided on a timetable to renew economic ties, which had been frozen for the last six months. (Ynetnews)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Office issued a statement saying, “The Cabinet … approved a decision that significantly expands the investigative and judicial tools available to the security forces and law enforcement authorities against so called ‘price-tag’ actions. In its decision, the Cabinet authorized Minister of Defense Ya’alon to use his authority under defence regulations to declare ‘price-tag’ activists an illegal association”. (Reuters, www.pmo.gov.il)

Fathiyeh Ajaj, a 75-year-old Palestinian woman, filed a complaint with the Israeli police after being assaulted by three Israelis as she waited for a bus in West Jerusalem. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli settlers destroyed an olive field in southern Nablus and 25 olive trees in the village of Qasra, south-east of Nablus. (WAFA)

UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi told the bi-annual meeting of UNRWA’s Advisory Commission that 7 out of the 12 Palestinian refugee camps in Syria had become “theatres of war” which were often inaccessible to UNRWA, and killings, kidnappings, poverty, destruction and fear had become part of daily life. He said that more than half of the 530,000 Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA in Syria were believed to be displaced, and 15 per cent of all refugees had fled abroad, including over 60,000 to overburdened Lebanon and over 7,000 to Jordan. (www.unrwa.org)

17

Prodded by Egypt, Hamas deployed a 600-member force in the Gaza Strip operating 24 hours a day to prevent rocket fire at Israel, a senior Arab source said. (The Time of Israel)

Israeli Minister of Industry, Trade and Labour Naftali Bennet told a meeting of the Yesha settlement group: “The idea that a Palestinian State will arise inside the land of Israel has reached a dead end. … Never in the history of Israel have so many people dealt with so much energy with something so pointless”. (AP)

Canada’s Minister for Foreign Affairs John Baird visited the West Bank to announce an immediate, $25 million contribution to aid Palestinians. “Canada supports a better, brighter future for all Palestinians. The quickest, most sure-fire way to realize the promise of increased prosperity and greater security is to stop negotiating about negotiations and return to the table without preconditions. That’s long been my position and that’s what we’re supporting here today”, he said. (www.international.gc.ca)

Israeli settlers from “Yitzhar” attempted to set a Palestinian-owned quarry on fire south of Nablus. Residents were able to put out the fire. (WAFA)

Israeli authorities issued three demolition orders for residential and commercial properties in Silwan in East Jerusalem. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli soldiers raided homes and arrested seven Palestinians in Hebron, Bethlehem, Nablus and Jenin. (IMEMC)

The Jerusalem District Court sentenced to four months of community service four former Israeli border police officers who had been caught on tape abusing a mentally challenged Palestinian. (Ynetnews)

18

Israeli soldiers entered the village of Teqoua, east of Bethlehem, firing gas bombs, rubber-coated metal bullets and concussion grenades at local youths who hurled stones at them. Several residents were treated for tear gas inhalation. (IMEMC)

A US diplomat said that Secretary of State Kerry would pay a two-day visit to the Middle East in the coming week to meet with Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian leaders. He was expected to present his plan concerning the resumption of peace talks. (Palestine News Network)

Speaking during the opening session of the UN International Meeting in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace held in Beijing, Chinese Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Ma Zhaoxu called for a resumption of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. “We need to redouble efforts to promote peace talks. … Regional turbulence has exacerbated the sufferings of the Palestinian people and may further escalate if the security and humanitarian situation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory is not improved. The international community should be fully aware of the important and urgency of settling the Palestinian question and make every effort to promote the resumption of peace talks”, Mr. Ma said. (AFP, www.fmprc.gov.cn)

Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the UN, told journalists during the UN International Meeting in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace in Beijing: “We believe that China is a very important political force that can contribute in a constructive and positive way to all other efforts exerted by many other political actors”. Earlier in the day, Mr. Mansour and other meeting participants met with Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs Wang Yi and other officials. Mr. Mansour said that they had heard a “very positive articulation by the Chinese Government and readiness and willingness to cooperate with all those … influencing events in the Middle East with the objective of trying to find a solution to this conflict”. (AP)

Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah had reportedly refused protection services offered by Israel and insisted that he would travel in Area C without protection. He had visited the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on 16 June during which his office rejected the presence of Israeli security officers. (Gulf news)

Six Palestinians were killed at the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria when a bomb exploded near the Palestine Hospital inside the camp. (Ma’an News Agency)

The PLO Negotiations Affairs Department issued a new fact sheet entitled, “The Israeli Government’s Unbreakable Commitment to the Israeli Settlement Enterprise”. The report indicated that the Israeli Government had built, on average, 24 settlement housing units per day during Mr. Netanyahu’s first term from 2009 to 2012. The report also noted that while Israeli officials had suggested that there was a de facto settlement freeze in East Jerusalem, the fact was that settlement activity had continued unabated and that such statements had been made to placate US Secretary of State Kerry. (Palestine News Network)

Two young settlers were arrested on suspicion of attacking and causing severe injuries to an 80-year-old Palestinian shepherd, Hassan Barhoush, in March 2013. (Ynetnews)

In the town of Azzun in the northern West Bank district of Qalqilya, Israeli settlers posted a banner saying in Arabic: “On Tuesday the village will become ours”. The banner was signed by “The Women of Samaria”, a far right settler organization. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Applied Research Institute (ARI), a Palestinian non-governmental organization, revealed that Israel intended to appropriate land in Bethlehem to expand the Jerusalem municipal boundaries. Jad Ishaq, ARI Executive Manager, said that the “Grand Jerusalem” plan would see the confiscation of 5.55 acres. (Ma’an News Agency)

In his message to the UN International Meeting in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace, delivered by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “As regional tensions rise due to the escalating conflict in Syria, we must not lose sight of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A resolution of this conflict is not a matter of less urgency”. He added, “The coming weeks will be critical. The parties must avoid actions that undermine prospects for a resumption of meaningful negotiations. In this regard, I remain deeply troubled by Israel’s continuing settlement activity in the West Bank, which is illegal under international law. … Israel must abide by its commitments under the Road Map to freeze all settlement activity and dismantle outposts erected after 2001”. (UN press release SG/SM/15116-GA/PAL/1272)

19

Palestinians in Gaza fired rockets at southern Israel, triggering air raid sirens in Ashkelon and surrounding areas. An Israeli army source said that the rockets had possibly fallen inside Gaza. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli soldiers entered Jenin, Nablus, Hebron and East Jerusalem, searching homes and detaining 18 Palestinians. (IMEMC)

Palestinian President Abbas received EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Ashton in Ramallah. Their talks focused on the international efforts led by US Secretary of State Kerry to restart the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, and Ms. Ashton reaffirmed the EU’s support for those efforts. (KUNA)

Following her meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah in Ramallah, EU High Representative Ashton said, “It’s a great pleasure to meet with you and to be here and to have the opportunity to talk to you about the current situation. To talk about the importance the European Union attaches to continuing to offer you the economic support that is so necessary and to of course continue in our efforts to support the peace process, the two-State solution, and to reaffirm that to you”. (www.consilium.europa.eu)

Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah received the Turkish Ambassador to Palestine, Sakir Torunlar, at his official residence in Ramallah. Mr. Torunlar congratulated Prime Minister Hamdallah on his new post and stressed the Turkish Government’s ongoing support to the Palestinian people. (World Bulletin)

Ghazi Hamad, a political leader of Hamas, revealed that political leaders of the group had held meetings with several European ambassadors and officials, as well as with senior American leaders. He said that the meetings had focused on moving Hamas from the terrorist organizations list. “There is no legal or political reason to keep Hamas on the terror list … but these talks are not on the decision making level yet”, he said. (IMEMC)

Speaking at the Fifth Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, Quartet Representative Blair said that a plan for progress that would align politics, economics and security might be put in place in the coming weeks, referring to efforts by US Secretary of State Kerry to revive the peace process. Mr. Blair warned that time was running out and that the window of opportunity might close forever. (WAFA)

During a discussion panel of former diplomats at the Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, former head of the Mossad Meir Dagan said that Israel must closely examine the Arab Peace Initiative and initiate proposals before the international community imposed a solution to end the conflict with the Palestinians. He said that, given the changing landscape and the departure of a number of long-time Arab and Islamic leaders, Israel had an opening to alter its regional standing. (The Jerusalem Post)

After a meeting of Fatah leaders, Presidential Adviser Rudeineh said that Fatah supported the President in his positions and had “affirmed its rejection of the pressures on Abbas and the leadership”, an apparent reference to Secretary Kerry’s mission. (AP)

Senior Islamic Jihad official Khader Habi accused Fatah and Hamas of not working enough to achieve national reconciliation. He said that the two parties had been exerting only “minor” efforts, and accused Hamas of delaying the reconciliation efforts. (Xinhua)

The head of the Representative Office of India to Palestine, B. S. Mubarak, handed a $180,000 check to Palestinian Minister of Education Ali Abu Zuhri during his visit to the Ministry in Ramallah. The money was the first instalment of a $1.8 million project funded by the Indian Government to construct two schools in West Bank villages. (Ma'an News Agency)

Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah met with the Special Representative of the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, Frode Mauring, to discuss joint efforts in supporting the Government’s national development plans and launch the Facilitating Access to Infrastructure Resilience in “Area C” and East Jerusalem programme (FAIR). (www.undp.ps)

In a statement to the press on World Refugee Day, the PLO called upon the international community to hold Israel accountable for the creation and continuation of the Palestinian refugee situation. (The Jerusalem Post)

Haaretz reported that Israeli Minister of Defense Ya’alon was negotiating with settlers to legalize the “Havat Gilad” outpost in exchange for their voluntary withdrawal from four structures in Area B in the West Bank. (Haaretz)

An extremist settler severely beat one of the guards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem after the guard prevented the settler from entering the mosque. (WAFA)

On the second day of the United Nations International Meeting in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace in Beijing, China’s Special Envoy on the Middle East Issue, Wu Sike, acknowledged that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was “both acute and complex” and could not be resolved by the efforts of the parties alone, and the international community had the inescapable responsibility to facilitate the Palestinian-Israeli peace process. The Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, Abdou Salam Diallo, closed the two-day deliberations, saying that the discussions should serve as a wake up call as the region arrived at historic crossroads, and that the focus should be keep on the strategic goals: the end of the Israeli occupation, the emergence of a sovereign and independent State of Palestine on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as capital, and the return of the refugees. (Division for Palestinian Rights)

A Knesset committee failed to convince a visiting Google representative from the company’s global headquarters to change the decision to use “Palestine”, not “Palestinian Territories”, across the company’s products. (Haaretz)

Several Palestinian entrepreneurs launched NEWpal, a youth group based in Ramallah, which aimed to give young Palestinians a voice in determining the Palestinian future. NEWpal hosted a full day “Future Palestine” conference, which was funded privately by Palestinian companies. (The Jerusalem Post)

20

At a meeting with EU High Representative Ashton, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu urged the European Union to join US attempts to restart stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The Prime Minister reiterated Israel’s position that talks should resume immediately and without preconditions. (The New York Times)

Speaking at the closing of the Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “The only way to achieve peace … is to begin the negotiations for peace. We’re ready to begin negotiations now, without preconditions”. (The Jerusalem Post, www.pmo.gov.il)

Palestinian Chief Negotiator Erakat called upon the international community to refrain from dealing with the Israeli Government until it stopped acting like a country above the law. He made the statement following a meeting with New Zealand’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Murray McCully, in which he presented documents and maps detailing Israeli settlement activity, the situation in Gaza and the displacement of Palestinians. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli Minister of Science and Technology Yaakov Perry said, during a speech at the United Nations Office at Vienna: “One of the good alternatives to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that needs to be examined and that has been brought up lately is the Arab League Peace Initiative. … The two-State solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the establishment of a Palestinian State, is a clear interest of the State of Israel”. (AP)

Jamal Muhissen, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee, said that the PA would redefine its relations with Israel if US Secretary of State Kerry’s efforts to revive peace talks between the two sides failed. “The Palestinian side is drafting its strategic plan to act on the international level or in regard to the relations with the Israeli side”, he said. (Xinhua)

Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah’s office said that he had submitted his resignation to President Abbas because of a “conflict over authority”. It was unknown whether Mr. Abbas would accept the resignation. (AP)

Channel 10 News reported on a document in which the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) had listed sanctions that it could impose on the PA if it did not pay its debt to the IEC, currently at 820 million shekels. The PA acquired 95 per cent of its electricity in the West Bank and 75 per cent of its electricity in Gaza from Israel. (www.israelnationalnews.com)

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics released a statistical review of the status of Palestinian refugees, in which it said that 42.1 per cent of Palestine’s total population were refugees. (www.pcbs.gov.ps)

During her visit to the UNRWA Rimal Boys’ Elementary School in Gaza, EU High Representative Ashton said, “I chose to be here [on World Refugee Day] to underline the situation in Gaza, and to say that we support the work of UNRWA. … I want to share with you our commitment to saying that we want to see the crossings open, and the economic situation improved”. (www.consilium.europa.eu)

The Government of Denmark and UNRWA signed a new agreement formalizing an increase in Danish contributions to UNRWA from approximately $12.5 million to approximately $16.1 million annually, providing predictable support to the Agency’s core services in education, health, relief and social services for the period 2013 to 2015. (www.unrwa.org)

Israeli forces handed demolition notices to nine Palestinian residents of the village of Duma in the northern West Bank district of Nablus. The notices instructed residents to clear their houses of their belongings. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli settlers from “Yitzhar” threw rocks at Palestinian cars in the northern West Bank district of Nablus. The windscreen and doors of one of the cars were damaged. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs warned of worsening health conditions in the Hasharon prison in Israel. The Ministry’s legal department said that the conditions were “not fit for humans”, adding that due to poor sanitary conditions, there had been an outbreak of fungal and skin infections at the prison. (Ma’an News Agency)

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, the body of independent experts monitoring the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by its State parties, issued its concluding observations on numerous countries, including Israel. The report charges that Israeli forces had been mistreating Palestinian children, including by torturing those in custody and using others as human shields. (www.unog.ch)

21

Israeli military forces arrested a Palestinian university student after raiding his house in Jenin in the northern West Bank. (Palestine News Network)

According to a senior Israeli official, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu had appealed to EU High Representative Ashton to withhold a planned joint statement by the 27 EU Minister for Foreign Affairs during their meeting in the coming week, in which they would condemn Israel for construction in West Bank settlements and call for labelling products from West Bank settlements when marketed in Europe. (Haaretz)

Human rights group B’Tselem published a footage that had been obtained from a security camera in the Palestinian village of Asira al-Qibliya, near the settlement of “Yitzhar” in the West Bank, showing a group of settlers setting fire to a Palestinian-owned storeroom and then fleeing the scene. (Palestine News Network)

The Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), Ertharin Cousin, and UNRWA Commissioner-General Grandi visited a Bedouin village between Jerusalem and Jericho where a food distribution carried out jointly by the two agencies was taking place. “High food prices and low wages mean that 1.6 million Palestinians don’t know from where their next meal is coming. … Food security is a vital component for sustained peace across the region”, Ms. Cousin said. A WFP press release on the occasion stated that the preliminary results of a joint UN survey carried out by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, WFP, UNRWA and the Food and Agriculture Organization found that in 2012, a total of 1.6 million people – or 34 per cent of households in Palestine – were food insecure, a dramatic rise from 27 per cent in 2011. (www.wfp.org)

22

Israel’s Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch blocked a Palestinian children's theatre festival from opening in East Jerusalem allegedly because the event was sponsored by the PA, contradicting an Israeli law passed as part of the Oslo peace process. The suspension would be valid for eight days of the festival, which had been held annually for 18 years. (Haaretz)

Some 50 settlers attacked Palestinian shepherds tending to their animals near the village of Burin in Nablus, clashing with Palestinian villagers, said PA officer in charge of monitoring settlements Ghassan Daghlas. The IDF dispersed the two groups with tear gas. However, settlers later on set fire to five dunums of land belonging to the Burin villagers. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israel’s Channel 2 television station reported that a US delegation headed by Vice Admiral Harry B. Harris visited, upon request by Secretary of State Kerry, the E-1 area between Jerusalem and the West Bank to see whether construction in the area threatened the territorial contiguity of a future Palestinian State. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinians in an area east of Nablus had been notified by registered mail that their 80 dunums of privately owned land would be confiscated by the Israeli authorities, said Palestinian official Daghlas. (WAFA)

23

Six rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel causing no damage, Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. The Israeli military said that two of the rockets were intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome missile defence system. No group claimed responsibility for the Palestinian rocket fire. (Reuters)

Israeli soldiers arrested 10 Palestinians in East Jerusalem and 4 children in the West Bank village of Azzoun, east of Qalqilya. (IMEMC)

Islamic Jihad announced that it was temporarily suspending ties with Hamas, accusing the movement of causing the death of Raed Qassim Jundeyeih, a member of Islamic Jihad's militant wing, the Al-Quds Brigades, who was shot the previous day by Hamas police officers. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian President Abbas accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Hamdallah, Presidential Spokesman Rudeineh said in a brief statement. He said that the President had asked Mr. Hamdallah to stay on as caretaker until a new Prime Minister was appointed. (DPA)

Palestinian President Abbas signed the Palestinian Deposit Insurance Corporation Law in a ceremony attended by the Governor of the Palestine Monetary Authority, Jihad Al Wazir, the heads of the Banking Sector and Association of Banks in Palestine. The law aimed at safeguarding small depositors and maintaining the stability of the banking system. (AMEinfo.com)

The Mossad abducted Wael Abu Reida, 27, a Palestinian from the Khan Yunis refugee camp, while receiving medical treatment in Egypt. He was taken from Sinai to an Israeli detention centre. (Ma’an News Agency)

24

In a statement, the Israeli army said that the Israeli air force targeted two weapon storage facilities in the central Gaza Strip and a rocket launch site in the southern Gaza Strip “in response to the numerous rockets launched at Israel in the past several hours”. Palestinian witnesses said that the air raids hit uninhabited sites belonging to Islamic Jihad causing no injuries. Israeli authorities also closed the Kerem Shalom crossing. (AFP)

Israeli soldiers arrested two Palestinians near Tulkarm in the northern West Bank, one in Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, two in the Old City of Nablus, and two children in Al-Ram in East Jerusalem. (IMEMC, Ma’an News Agency)

Speaking to Israeli Public Radio, head of the Parliamentary Foreign and Defense Committee and former Israeli Minister for Foreign Affairs Liberman, said that Israel should consider reoccupying the Gaza Strip and "cleansing" it. He said that in a few years Hamas would have thousands of rockets that would be able to reach Tel Aviv and beyond, adding, “We will find ourselves in a reality that they have all kinds of aircraft and rockets; Hamas is not losing time." (AFP)

The Council of the European Union debated recent events concerning the Middle East peace process. “Following the discussion, the EU High Representative reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to the two-State solution. The European Union fully supports the current efforts of the United States in support of the resumption of direct and substantial negotiations and welcomes the personal involvement and engagement of Secretary Kerry”, according to the press release issued (www.consilium.europa.eu)

Egypt had intensified a crackdown on smuggling tunnels between the Sinai desert and the Gaza Strip, causing a steep hike in petrol and cement prices in the Strip. Palestinians involved in tunnel businesses said that the campaign that had begun in March, including the flooding of underground passages, had recently been ramped up before the expected 30 June opposition protests in Egypt. (Reuters)

Tires were slashed on 22 cars in the Arab neighbourhood of Beit Hanina in East Jerusalem in another "price-tag" attack by suspected Jewish militants. Police had opened an investigation. (Reuters)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu dedicated a school named after his late father in the “Barkan” settlement. Speaking during the ceremony, Mr. Netanyahu said, “The most important thing is to deepen the roots because from these everything grows. … Today, we are here deepening our roots”. (AP)

Settlers attacked Palestinian shepherds in Hebron. Israeli soldiers arrived at the scene and arrested two shepherds. (IMEMC)

According to the Solidarity Foundation for Human Rights, an Israeli guard assaulted Abdullah al-Barghouti, a Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike. The alleged assault occurred at an Israeli hospital where Mr. Al-Barghouti was admitted at the time. The guard had allegedly become angry that Mr. Al-Barghouti closed the door during a bathroom visit despite instructions to leave it open. (Ma'an News Agency)

UNRWA Commissioner-General Grandi named 23-year-old Mohammad Assaf as the first UNRWA Regional Youth Ambassador for Palestine Refugees following Mr. Assaf’s winning the Arab Idol singing competition and his personal commitment to Palestinian refugees and to UNRWA. (UNRWA press release)

25

An Israeli driver said that shots were fired at his vehicle while he was travelling south of Nablus. There were no casualties. (Ynetnews)

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said that Palestinians would not recognize Israel, as he welcomed international activists to the Gaza Strip: “We had two wars in which hundreds of people died, and thousands of acres of land were destroyed, but Palestinians did not and will not recognize Israel”. (Ma’an News Agency)

At the outset of a meeting with visiting Georgian President Bidzina Ivanishvili, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Israel's “hope” was for a true peace that could only come through direct talks without preconditions. (The Jerusalem Post)

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the wave of demonstrations at home had delayed preparations for his planned visit to Gaza but that he intended to press ahead with the visit and could “make a surprise any time”. (AP)

Palestinian Chief Negotiator Erakat denied recent reports that a return to negotiations with Israel was imminent and that Palestinians were ready to accept a partial settlement freeze that would exclude main settlement blocks. He said that such a compromise would imply granting legitimacy to some of the settlements. “We will not accept anything less than a total settlement freeze”, he said. (DPA)

The IDF reopened all checkpoints near Nablus after a 30-minute closure in response to gun fire at an Israeli settler bus. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian youths burned tires and briefly stopped traffic on a main Bethlehem road as they protested against water shortages in the West Bank. Several dozen residents of Bethlehem's al-Azza refugee camp participated in the demonstration. (Ma'an News Agency)

Israeli settlers set fire to olive trees near the Huwara checkpoint south of Nablus and prevented Palestinians from crossing the checkpoint. (Palestine News Network)

The Israeli human rights organization Yesh Din reported that some of its activists had been injured following attacks by Israeli settlers from the “Givat Gilad” settlement near the northern West Bank city of Qalqilya. (IMEMC)

The Ahrar Center for Prisoners' Studies and Human Rights reported that Israel had released Eyad Hussein Shabaneh, considered to be the dean of Palestinian administrative detainees. (Palestine News Network)

The Israeli military court acquitted a Palestinian who had failed to stop at a temporary West Bank checkpoint. (Haaretz)

26

The Israeli army detained 19 Palestinians across the West Bank as clashes broke out in the Beit Ummar village in the southern West Bank district of Hebron. (Ma'an News Agency)

The centralized unit Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu had ordered the police to establish with the goal of creating an intelligence database and cracking down on right-wing Israeli extremist attacks against Palestinians, the IDF and left-wing targets, was off to a rocky start. The “price-tag” crimes unit had been allocated 80 positions but only approximately 30 police officers had been hired, with the rest expected by the year’s end. Chief Superintendent Udi Levy, a veteran officer of the West Bank’s detective unit, will head the department. (Haaretz)

US Secretary of State Kerry arrived in Jordan for another round of efforts to bring Israel and the Palestinians to the negotiating table. However, he acknowledged that time was growing short and gave little indication that he expected significant progress on his fifth visit to the region in as many months. (The Washington Post)

A senior cabinet minister from Prime Minister Netanyahu's Likud party stated that the Prime Minister would be willing to withdraw from most of the West Bank and evacuate numerous settlements as part of an agreement with the Palestinians, provided the Prime Minister’s security demands were met. (Haaretz)

Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of the PLO's Executive Committee, ruled out any success in the ongoing efforts by the US to revive the peace talks with Israel: “We don't expect to start direct negotiations with the Israeli side due to the positions of the current Government of Benjamin Netanyahu”. (Xinhua)

Jordan's King Abdullah said that Palestinians could launch an Arab Spring-style revolt if they felt prospects for a peaceful settlement of their conflict with Israel had reached a dead end. King Abdullah also welcomed efforts by US Secretary of State Kerry to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks but warned of a narrowing window for peace due to Israeli settlement building. (Asharq al-Awsat, The Jerusalem Post)

Islamic Jihad and Hamas resumed communications, three days after Jihad had severed ties following the death of one of their members at the hands of Hamas police officers. (Ma'an News Agency)

The IDF rounded up over 100 Palestinian workers in Bartaa Sharqiya, located in the “seam zone”, looking for those without permits. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli officials said that Prime Minister Netanyahu was preparing measures to stop building new settlement outposts and release Palestinian prisoners before the visit to the region of US Secretary of State Kerry during the week. The Prime Minister could free more than 100 Palestinians from Israeli jails and agree to freeze all construction in newer settlements. (The Times)

An Israeli planning committee granted final approval for the construction of 69 East Jerusalem settler homes, Councillor Meir Margalit said. (AFP, The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli authorities notified Palestinian residents of the town of Kufr Qaleel, south of Nablus, of their intention to take over some 380 dunums of their land for military purposes. (WAFA)

The fast food restaurants chain McDonald’s had refused an offer to open a branch in a mall to be built in the “Ariel” settlement. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Israeli Supreme Court will hear a petition by residents of Beit Safafa against the construction of a highway that would cut the East Jerusalem neighbourhood in half. (Haaretz)

On the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the Palestinian prisoners support association Addameer said that since the beginning of the Israeli occupation in 1967, a total of 73 Palestinian detainees had died from torture at the hands of their Israeli interrogators. (WAFA)

In response to a petition on the issue, the Ministry of Health informed the High Court of Justice that Israel’s six largest hospitals will open Muslim prayer rooms within the next 18 months. (Haaretz)

Mohammad Asaf, the 2013 Arab Idol winner, urged for Palestinian reconciliation: “My message is national unity and ending the split”, he said at a news conference held at the border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. (AP)

27

According to an Al-Aqsa source, Israeli forces detained three Brigade members in the northern West Bank district of Nablus. (Ma'an News Agency)

Shin Bet said that Israeli security forces arrested a five-man cell belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in the West Bank. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israel's Civil Administration in the West Bank raided a Palestinian village in the south Hebron Hill and distributed stop work orders for tents, hothouses, a water well and a solar panel – many of which had been set up with the help of the European Union for humanitarian purposes. (Haaretz)

US Secretary of State Kerry met with Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem before driving back to Amman where he would meet with President Abbas. Mr. Kerry was reportedly working on the American opening statement for the negotiations. (Deutsche Welle, Yediot Ahronot)

At a meeting with Secretary Kerry, King Abdullah II of Jordan said that Israel's unilateral measures and repeated violations against sacred Islamic and Christian sites in Jerusalem undermined peace opportunities. (Petra)

Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Israel must not "fool" itself into thinking that reaching a peaceful settlement with the Palestinians was optional, noting that peace with Palestinians was a must. (Haaretz)

No date had yet been set for Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan to visit Gaza, Hürriyet Daily News cited an official from the Prime Minister’s office as saying. The official added that the Turkish leader would visit the enclave at some point. (Turkish Weekly)

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malta George Vella hosted Palestinian Minister for Foreign Affairs Malki. The Ministers discussed the possibilities for strengthened cooperation, with Minister Vella stressing that Malta continued to support peace efforts for the Middle East and would do all it could for Palestinians to enjoy their full rights. (www.foreign.gov.mt)

At a ceremony marking the 109th anniversary of the death of Theodor Herzl, the founding father of Zionism, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that “peace rests on security. It is not based on good will or legitimacy as some think. It is based, first and foremost, on our ability to defend ourselves." (AFP)

A statement issued by the PA Negotiations Affairs Department headed by Chief Palestinian Negotiator Erekat said that “Settlement activity in and around Occupied East Jerusalem is one of the main reasons why the two-State solution is disappearing, as without East Jerusalem, there will be no Palestinian State.” (WAFA)

Abdelsalam Siyyam, a senior official in the Hamas movement, announced that Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan would visit the Gaza Strip on 5 July. (AFP)

The office of Malta’s Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, announced that the Prime Minister would visit Israel and the Palestinian territory in October. (Times of Malta)

Pope Francis granted a private audience to Ertharin Cousin, WFP Executive Director, who briefed the Pope, among other matters, on the deteriorating food security of one third of the households in Gaza and the West Bank. (www.wfp.org)

A Palestinian man was lightly injured after a group of settlers attacked him south of Hebron. (Ma'an News Agency)

Israel raided Susiya in the south Hebron Hill and issued stop-work orders against facilities, many of which were part of a humanitarian project funded by the European Union. (Xinhua)

Israeli forces demolished two Palestinian houses and sheds north of Jericho. (WAFA)

According to a Palestinian source, Israeli forces razed Palestinian-owned agricultural land and uprooted more than 200 olive trees in the village of Wadi Rahal, south of Bethlehem. (WAFA)

According to locals, Israeli forces began demolishing two agricultural properties in the Tammun village in the northern West Bank district of Tubas. (Ma'an News Agency)

According to local sources, Israeli settlers set fire to Palestinian-owned land north-east of the West Bank city of Nablus, following a series of ongoing settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties during the past 48 hours. (WAFA)

Israeli Attorney General Weinstein and Minister of Defense Ya'alon clashed regarding the legalization of Mitzpeh Kramim, a West Bank settlement built on private Palestinian land north-east of Ramallah. While Mr. Ya'alon said that the settlement deserved legal status, Mr. Weinstein opposed the conferral of such legal status. An Israeli court was scheduled to deliberate a Palestinian petition against construction in the settlement. (Haaretz)

Philippe Karsenty, a French media analyst, was convicted of defamation by a Paris Court for accusing France-2, a State television network, of staging a video that depicted a Palestinian boy being killed in a firefight between Palestinian militants and Israeli forces during the second intifada on 30 September 2000. Mr. Karsenty was fined €7,000. In a report issued in 2004, Mr. Karsenty said that the footage was orchestrated and that there was no proof that the boy had actually been killed. (The Guardian)

Twenty-four prominent Israeli writers had signed a petition in support of Palestinians in danger of eviction from their homes in the South Hebron Hills. (972mag.com)

“Israel's continued detention of an estimated 5,000 Palestinians should be of deep concern to the world,” said Palitha Kohona, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN, the current head the Special Committee to investigate Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories. He added that “Witnesses reported that some 200 children are in Israeli detention at any given time, that children are often taken away in the middle of the night, blindfolded and their hands tied, and that Palestinian children are denied requests to be accompanied by a parent, denied access to a lawyer, and put at serious risk of torture and ill-treatment at the hands of Israeli security officials”. He also noted the 20 Palestinian prisoners who were on hunger strikes to protest abuses. (UN News Centre)

For the third year in a row, UNRWA invited nearly 6,000 Palestine refugee children in the West Bank to participate in the EU-UNRWA Summer Fun Days. “From 23 June to 4 July, 55 UNRWA schools in the West Bank […] open their gates for two weeks of learning and fun, providing children with a chance to enjoy their summer break and have a respite from the difficulties of their daily lives”, a joint statement issued by UNRWA and the EU read. (http://ec.europa.eu)

28

Israeli soldiers shot a Palestinian man in the chest with a live bullet during clashes in Qalandiya refugee camp. The victim, in his 20s, underwent surgery. (IMEMC, Ma'an News Agency)

Israeli forces detained 10 Palestinians in early morning raids across the West Bank, an Israeli military spokesman said. (Ma'an News Agency)

President Abbas said that he was ready to resume talks with Israel "depending on the Israeli Government’s seriousness about reaching a peace arrangement on the basis of the two-State solution." (Al-Jazeera)

A poll published in Israel Hayom said that 56.9 per cent of Israelis believed that negotiations with Palestinians should resume and 28.6 per cent thought that they should not. Fifty-five per cent of those polled believed that it was not "possible to reach a permanent status arrangement,” and nearly 70 per cent were against "gestures” such as releasing prisoners and easing movement restrictions. (AFP)

The European Union was making its second contribution for the year in the amount of €9.95 million to the PA payment of social allowances to poor and vulnerable Palestinian families in the West Bank and Gaza through the PEGASE: European mechanism for support to Palestinians. (www.eeas.europa.eu)

The director of the Palestinian High Coordination Committee for Prisoners' Release, Amin Shuman, said that closed-door talks had taken place between Israeli and Palestinian officials on the release of Palestinian prisoners detained before the 1993 Oslo Accords. (Ma'an News Agency)

29

Israeli forces arrested two Palestinian teenagers east of Bethlehem. (WAFA)

The Applied Research Institute–Jerusalem said that Israel had collected $11 million per year from Palestinians in return for issuing travel permits to them. (Palestine News Network)

30

Israeli forces arrested five Palestinians from Hebron and another from Bethlehem. (WAFA)

US Secretary of State Kerry ended a shuttle diplomacy mission without an agreement on resuming Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. He told a news conference before his departure from Tel Aviv’s airport: “I am pleased to tell you that we have made real progress on this trip, and I believe that with a little more work, the start of final status negotiations could be within reach. We started out with very wide gaps and we have narrowed those considerably. We have some specific details and work to pursue, but I am absolutely confident that we are on the right track and that all of the parties are working in very good faith in order to get to the right place”. (Reuters, www.state.gov)

Settlers from “Bracha” and “Yizhar” torched Palestinian fields in Burin, south of Nablus. Earlier, settlers from “Yizhar” had set fire to Palestinian olive trees in Einabus near Burin, destroying 200 olive trees. (Ma’an News Agency)

Ma’ariv reported that Israel’s Jerusalem municipality’s finance committee was expected to approve the construction of 930 apartments in the “Har Homa” settlement. The project had been approved in 2011 by the Interior Ministry but frozen for “political reasons”. (Ma’an News Agency)


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