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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
31 October 2012



Division for Palestinian Rights

Chronological Review of Events Relating to the
Question of Palestine

Monthly media monitoring review

October 2012

Monthly highlights
• PA consults with Arab countries and other groups over the wording of a draft resolution to the General Assembly requesting acceptance of Palestine as a non-Member State (1 October)

• US warns European Governments against supporting a Palestinian bid for enhanced status at the United Nations (2 October)

• Churches leaders in the US and other faith-based organizations ask Congress to re-evaluate military aid to Israel (8 October)

• British public health journal The Lancet warns of health emergency for Palestinian refugees living across the Middle East and the Palestinian territories (9 October)

• Britain urges the Palestinian leadership to delay its bid for an upgraded status at the UN (17 October)

• General Assembly President says that the push by the Palestinians for upgraded status at the UN was likely to succeed (19 October)

• UNESCO Executive Board passes Russian Federation proposal to postpone vote on Israeli activities on Palestinian heritage sites prompting PA request for clarification from the Russian Federation (19 October)

• Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu vows to continue building in East Jerusalem (23 October)

• Guyana establishes diplomatic relations with Palestine (25 October)

UN Special Rapporteur calls for a boycott of Israeli and international businesses profiting from settlements (25 October)

1

Clashes were reported at the Qalandiya terminal, north of Jerusalem. Soldiers fired gas bombs and rubber-coated metal bullets at residents, and several Palestinians were treated for effects of tear gas inhalation. No arrests had been reported. (IMEMC)

A homeowner reported that Israeli forces had taken control of his home in Hebron for use as a temporary military post. (Ma’an News Agency)

An Israeli army spokesman said that two people had been arrested in Bethlehem for security questioning. (Ma’an News Agency)

A Palestinian woman, a teenage girl and two Israeli border guards were injured following clashes between dozens of Palestinian youths and Israeli soldiers in Ras al-Amoud in East Jerusalem, an Israeli police spokesperson said. Police had been in the Palestinian neighbourhood to make arrests in connection with an earlier incident. (IMEMC, Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces raided al-Jadida village in the Jenin area, stopped and searched Palestinians. They also set up a checkpoint at the entrance of Zabda village and stopped and searched vehicles. (Palestine News Network)

Israeli forces arrested three young Palestinians from Azzun village, east of Qalqilya. (Palestine News Network)

Palestinian media had quoted an unidentified Palestinian source as saying that Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas had rejected the request of United States President Barack Obama to resume unconditional talks with Israel. Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee member and Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erakat, however, said that the Palestinian side had not received any official offer or proposal from anybody to resume peace negotiations. (Xinhua)

Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that "[Foreign Minister Avigdor] Liberman's comments on the PA and its head do not represent the policy of the Israeli Government and harm Israel's interests. If Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] and Salam Fayyad don’t rule [the West Bank], as Liberman dreams … Hamas will." (The Jerusalem Post)

The PA had started consultations with Arab countries and other groups over the wording of a draft resolution to the General Assembly requesting acceptance of Palestine as a non-Member State, Chief Palestinian Negotiator Erakat said. During separate meetings with US Consul-General Michael Ratney, Consul-General Vincent Fean of the United Kingdom and the head of the Danish Mission in Ramallah, Lars Adam Rehof, Mr. Erakat said that the United Nations bid would not harm the peace process but rather complement it. (Ma’an News Agency)

Fatah, the Popular Struggle Front, the Palestinian Liberation Front and the Arabic Palestinian Liberation Front met in Gaza City and backed efforts to upgrade Palestine's status at the UN. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Gaza Strip’s sole commercial crossing, Kerem Shalom, would be closed until the following day because of Israeli holidays, Gaza crossing officials said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Egyptian Presidential Spokesperson Yasser Ali said that Egypt had no intention of establishing a free-trade zone with the Gaza Strip. "This was just an idea proposed by the media and was never looked into or discussed officially," Mr. Ali said during a press conference. (Ahram Online)

The PA Ministry of Finance announced a reduction in fuel prices. (Ma’an News Agency)

French and Swiss investigators will conduct parallel probes into the death of Yasser Arafat, Palestinian officials said. His remains would be exhumed, at a date that had been kept secret, to give each team a chance to draw samples to test for poisoning. The two teams were acting separately on behalf of Mr. Arafat’s widow, Suha Arafat, and the PA. (Gulf News)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel announced that Israel would not allow the vessel Estelle to breach the Gaza blockade. Israel was in contact with Governments whose citizens were passengers on the ship, which was scheduled to reach Gaza waters by the middle of October. According to activists, the ship had sailed from Sweden in July, passed through several ports and was currently moored in La Spezia, Italy. (The Jerusalem Post, The Saudi Gazette)

2

Three Molotov cocktails were thrown at an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) post south of Bethlehem, Israel Radio reported. No one was injured and no damage was reported. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli forces arrested seven “wanted” Palestinians from several cities in the West Bank and transferred to Israeli interrogation centres. (Palestine News Network)

Twenty Palestinians were killed in the Deraa refugee camp in southern Syria in heavy bombings by the Syrian army. (Ma’an News Agency)

One man was killed and another was wounded when a smuggling tunnel under the Gaza-Egypt border collapsed. (Ma’an News Agency)

More than 100 Israeli Jews, accompanied by soldiers, entered the premises of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem to perform religious rituals, witnesses and a local group said. Clashes subsequently broke out and Israeli police arrested two Jews, including Likud politician Moshe Feiglin, and three Arabs. (AFP, Ma’an News Agency, The Times of Oman)

An Israeli man was injured after a group of young Palestinians hurled stones at Jewish worshipers in Jerusalem. (Ma’an News Agency)

Hundreds of Palestinian workers protested outside the Taybeh crossing in the northern city of Tulkarm against what they described as mistreatment by Israeli soldiers. (Ma’an News Agency)

Some 200 people demonstrated in Ramallah to demand the resignation of PA President Abbas. The march had been called to denounce the arrests in the West Bank of supporters of Hamas and the arrests in the Gaza Strip of Fatah sympathizers. (AFP)

PA President Abbas said that he expected the General Assembly to vote on a resolution to admit Palestine as a non-member State "in less than a month or a month and a half". Speaking at his Ramallah office during a ceremony to honour high-achieving students from Jerusalem, President Abbas said that he expected the vote to be successful. (The Jerusalem Post)

The United States warned European Governments against supporting a Palestinian bid for enhanced status at the UN saying that such a move "would be extremely counterproductive" and threatens "significant negative consequences" for the PA, including financial sanctions. A US memorandum stated that Palestinian statehood "can only be achieved via direct negotiations with the Israelis" and urged the Governments "to support [American] efforts" to block the bid. The message had been communicated to representatives of European Governments at the General Assembly the previous week. Palestinian officials accused the US of exerting "tremendous pressure" on European Governments to oppose their bid. (The Guardian)

The Third South American-Arab Countries Summit concluded in Lima, Peru, and issued the "Lima Declaration" that underlined the necessity to reach a just, inclusive and permanent peace in the Middle East based on the land for peace principle and the implementation of other Security Council resolutions and the road map, to pave the way for an independent Palestinian State based on the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital. It called for removing settlements, including those in East Jerusalem, the release of prisoners and the lifting of the siege on Gaza. (Emirates News Agency)

Jordan's main opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, sharply criticized the appointment of a new Ambassador to Israel saying that it was not in the Kingdom's interests. "In an act of provocation towards Jordanians, the Government has named an Ambassador to the Zionist entity within the framework of the peace treaty which has been rejected by the Jordanian people", the Brotherhood said. (AFP)

PA Prime Minister Fayyad and the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, inaugurated the upgraded Palestine College for Police Sciences in Jericho. The €15 million college, which was designed, constructed and furnished by the UN Office for Project Services, was funded by the European Commission, Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. (www.unops.org)

The Government of Qatar had invited tenders for four construction projects in the first stage of a $254 million project to rebuild the war-torn Gaza Strip. (Ma’an News Agency)

Vandals spray-painted the phrase "price-tag" in Hebrew and anti-Christian graffiti on the gate of the Monastery of Saint Francis on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. It was the second attack on a Christian institution in less than a month. (BBC)

The Minister for Social Affairs of Lebanon, Wael Abou Faour, met with the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Filippo Grandi, to discuss the situation of Palestine refugees who had fled to Lebanon as a result of the turmoil in Syria. (www.nna-leb.gov.lb)

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society slammed Israeli prison procedures in the transfer of detainees between jails claiming that the facilities used were unsafe. The prisoners complained that holding cells in Israel’s Ramle prison had no bathrooms, limited air supply and were infested with cockroaches. They also claimed that Israeli authorities resorted to unnecessary force and did not provide enough food. (Ma’an News Agency)

Friends of the Earth-Middle East, consisting of Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians, had successfully pressured their Governments into acting to clean up the Jordan River, according to Gidon Bromberg, Director of the organization. (Haaretz)

3

Israeli forces raided the village of Beit Aynoon, north-east of Hebron, raiding several homes and taking up position on rooftops. The army activity was believed to be related to the previous day’s hit-and-run incident when a Palestinian taxi had ran over and injured four Israeli soldiers. (WAFA)

A dozen Israeli soldiers broke into the Ibrahimi School in Hebron and harassed children who had been on their break, according to international activists. (WAFA)

Confrontations broke out between young Palestinians and Israeli soldiers following the closure of the Qalandiya checkpoint. The soldiers fired tear gas canisters and metal bullets towards the Palestinians. No injuries were reported. (Ynetnews)

The PA had reportedly decided to beef up security around President Abbas out of concern for his life following his speech at the General Assembly. Nimer Hammad, the President’s political adviser, confirmed that tight security measures had been taken to ensure his safety. Mr. Hammad had reportedly claimed that Israel had been planning to get rid of President Abbas and had called for US intervention to stop the alleged scheme. (The Jerusalem Post)

The PA had requested European Union member States to help draft a resolution for the admission of Palestine as a non-member State in the General Assembly. Chief Palestinian Negotiator Erakat had reportedly met with the heads of EU missions in Jerusalem the previous month and had asked them – either as individual countries or collectively as the EU – to help draft the resolution. (The Jerusalem Post)

General Assembly President Vuk Jeremic said in a news conference: "My understanding is that the PA leadership is going to engage in extensive discussions [...] coming to a conclusion as to what they want to do some time in November.” (Reuters)

In Ramallah, the European Union and the PA concluded three days of policy dialogue in the areas of social affairs and health; transport, energy, environment and water; and economic and financial matters, respectively. Representatives from the two sides met as part of an annual dialogue in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy. (EU press release)

Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the European Union had taken the initiative to push for the labelling of all Jewish settlement products based on a unanimous decision they had taken in May. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Villy Sovndal, had urged the European Union to set down regulations that would force European marketing chains and stores to clearly label products originating from Israeli settlements. (Qatar News Agency)

A number of Jewish settlers had set up mobile homes on privately owned Palestinian land east of the village of Aqraba, south of Nablus, as a prelude to the establishment of a new settlement outpost, according to a local activist. (WAFA)

Chief Palestinian Negotiator Erakat strongly condemned new Israeli aggressions against Palestinian Christian and Muslim holy sites. He said: “After 45 years of Israeli occupation, a culture of hatred and racism has become mainstream among Israelis. School textbooks and official statements advocating that Jerusalem should exclusively be Jewish, total rejecting the Palestinian Christian and Muslim identity of the city, had paved the way for gangs of terrorists to attack Christian and Muslim holy sites”. Mr. Erakat called on the international community to “assume its duties and hold Israel accountable for its ongoing occupation and violations of international law. This culture of impunity that some countries have granted to Israel has allowed settlers to escalate their racist attacks against Palestinians without any legal accountability”. (www.nad-plo.org)

PA President Abbas’ adviser on Christian affairs, Ziad Al-Bandak, said that the heads of the Catholic Church had sharply criticized the latest “price-tag” attacks on Christian and Muslim holy sites in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. In related news, Israeli Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein expressed his support for the establishment of a special team to deal with the investigative and legal aspects of the "price-tag" phenomenon. (Ynetnews, Palestine News Network)

A group of settlers entered a Palestinian-owned bakery in East Jerusalem and attacked and wounded the owner while he was working. (IMEMC)

Human Rights Watch released a 43-page report entitled “Abusive system: criminal justice in Gaza” that documented violations by Hamas security services including warrantless arrests, failure to inform families promptly of the whereabouts of detainees and subjecting detainees to torture. It also reported on violations of the rights of detainees by prosecutors and courts and stated that military courts had frequently tried civilians in violation of international law. Prosecutors had often denied detainees with access to a lawyer and their right to due process in cases of warrantless arrests and abusive interrogations. (www.hrw.org)

The Interior Ministry of Hamas, in a statement, denied the allegations made in the Human Rights Watch report “Abusive system: criminal justice in Gaza" and accused the organization of political bias. The Ministry said that the cases cited “took place long time ago. … regarding the issue of torture, we don't have such a practice in any prisons". (AP)

A former Canadian Member of Parliament, Jim Manly, gave a news conference at the Vancouver airport before flying to Naples to join the Estelle, which was scheduled to sail from Italy to Gaza later in the month. He said that another ship, Gaza's Ark, which was being built in Gaza, would sail in 2013 to carry Palestinian exports to international customers as a challenge to Israel's blockade. (AFP)

The sailing vessel Estelle arrived in Naples, its last stop before its attempt to reach the Gaza Strip. By sailing the vessel, which carried balloons and books in Arabic for children, the Freedom Flotilla movement would attempt for the third time to break Israel’s Gaza embargo in order to bring aid to the Palestinians, as well as make a political gesture. (www.ansa.it)

4

A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit southern Israel, landing on the Hosh Ashkelon area without causing damage or injuries, an Israeli army spokesman said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli soldiers detained Ali Sami Aadi, 16, and Mofleh Raed Aadi, 17, near the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, for carrying “a sharp object”, according to Fathi Awad, Popular Committee Against Settlements Spokesperson in the town of Beit Ummar. (IMEMC)

Israeli soldiers entered the West Bank cities of Tulkarem, Jenin and Hebron, and broke into several homes and buildings and detained Palestinians. Clashes erupted with dozens of local youths who hurled stones and empty bottles at the soldiers who fired rubber-coated metal bullets and gas bombs. Several Palestinians were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation. (IMEMC)

Palestinians hurled stones and fired a makeshift grenade at IDF forces securing Joseph's Tomb in Nablus during a visit by some 1,200 Israelis. An IDF spokesperson said that there were no injuries or damage. (Ynetnews)

Israeli army forces arrested two Palestinians and transferred them to interrogation centres. (PNN)

During separate meetings with UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry, Consul-General of France in Jerusalem Frederic Desagneaux and EU Representative John Gatt-Rutter, Chief Palestinian Negotiator Erakat said that a draft resolution would be submitted to the General Assembly with the participation of Arab countries, which would stress anew relevant international resolutions and law and would consider all settlement activities and the annexation of East Jerusalem void. (WAFA)

PA Prime Minister Fayyad and Jordan’s Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh signed a number of vital trade agreements during Mr. Tarawneh’s visit to Ramallah to attend the Joint Jordanian-Palestinian Higher Committee meetings. (WAFA)\

Some 50 settlers entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque yards to perform religious rituals under Israeli police protection. (WAFA)

The Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, strongly condemned the intrusion by Israeli extremists into the Al-Aqsa Mosque where they practised religious rituals and then wrote racist slogans on the walls of a Franciscan monastery just outside Jerusalem's Old City. (www.oic-oci.org)

Israeli police arrested five Palestinians and one Jew following confrontations between Muslim and Jewish worshipers on the Temple Mount [Al-Haram Al-Sharif]. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Israeli Civil Administration notified a group of settlers in Hebron that it would not grant them a permit to purchase a contested house in a Palestinian neighbourhood near the Tomb of the Patriarchs due to faults found in their purchase agreement. Several settler families had entered the house towards the end of March and claimed that the house had been purchased legally. (Haaretz)

Palestinians from the Jabal al-Mukabber neighbourhood in East Jerusalem prevented settlers from the “Nof Zion” settlement from closing the main road by placing trash containers in the middle of the street following scuffles due to provocations made by settlers during the Jewish holidays. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Secretary-General of the Mauritanian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Ahmed Ould Mohamed Abdallahi, and Palestinian Ambassador to Mauritania Adnan Abou El Heija signed an agreement under which Palestinian students would be able to study in Mauritanian universities. (PNA)

The PA did not expect a significant boost in foreign budget assistance following the meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee on Assistance to the Palestinian People, held in New York in September, said a senior PA official on conditions of anonymity, adding that the report that had been presented by PA Finance Minister Nabil Qasis had not received a significant response. (Ma'an News Agency)

Fatah dismissed 18 senior Fatah officials, including PLO Executive Committee member Ghassan Shakaa, for running on non-Fatah slates in the upcoming local elections, Secretary-General of the Fatah Revolutionary Council Amin Maqboul said. (Ma'an News Agency)

Israeli authorities released 74-year-old Ahmad al-Hajj Ali, a Hamas-affiliated lawmaker, after a 16-month detention without charge. (Ma’an News Agency)

The U.S. Department of the Treasury designated two Palestinian-Lebanese charities – the Al-Waqfiya and the Al-Quds – under executive resolutions 13224 and 13224, on the US list preventing Americans from dealing with them for providing support to finance Hamas programmes and projects in the Occupied Palestinian Territory to spread Hamas influence and control. (U.S. Department of the Treasury, Palestine News Network)

The child advocacy organization Developmental Action without Borders or “Nabaa”, in a press release, stated that they disapproved of the decision by the Lebanese Ministry of Education to exclude non-Lebanese students from a free textbook distribution programme, which it regarded as unfair to Palestinian children and a violation of the international convention on the rights of the child to which Lebanon was a signatory. (The Daily Star)

5

The EU and Belgium joined forces through the European mechanism for support to Palestinians (PEGASE) to make the third contribution for 2012 to the PA’s quarterly payment of social allowances to Palestinian families in the West Bank and Gaza. The contribution amounted to €9.8 million, broken down to €9 million from the Government of Belgium and €0.8 million from the EU. (eeas.europa.eu)

The IDF closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque and intensified security procedures and prevented Palestinian worshipers from entering the mosque for fear of confrontations between Palestinian worshipers and Jewish religious groups who had increased their presence to perform religious rituals during the last days of the Jewish holidays. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinians threw stones at Israeli police near the Mughrabi Gate after prayers at the Temple Mount. The police used stun grenades to disperse the crowd. No injuries were reported. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli settlers destroyed 100 newly-planted olive saplings and at least 60 vine trees on private Palestinian land in Al-Khadr village near Bethlehem. (Ma’an News Agency)

In a private letter to the Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that he shared his "concerns about the problem of land confiscation by the Israeli authorities affecting the people of Beit Jala and similar Palestinian communities in the occupied territories". Mr. Hague and the Archbishop expressed opposition to the route of Israel's separation wall along the West Bank that adversely affected a community of monks, nuns and Christian families near Bethlehem. (The Guardian)

6

PA President Abbas called for an immediate meeting of the Jerusalem Committee of the OIC to discuss the unstable conditions in Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. (WAFA)

Israeli settlers from the “Nerya” outpost uprooted some 40 olive trees in the village of Ras Karkar, in central West Bank, a local official said. The settlers assaulted a group of 10 Palestinian villagers when they went to pick the olives. (Ma’an News Agency)

7

An Israeli aircraft missile wounded two militants described by the IDF as members of a global jihadist group based in the Gaza Strip. Eight bystanders were also wounded, including five children. Palestinians said that one of the militants had died in the attack. (Haaretz, The Christian Science Monitor, WAFA)

Israeli media reported that three young Israeli settlers had been taken into custody for attacking undercover Israeli officers posing as Palestinian shepherds in southern Hebron. (Ma’an News Agency)

Settlers from the settlement of “Hagai” threw rocks at Palestinian cars travelling on a road south of Hebron causing damage and one injury, according to Palestinian security sources. (WAFA)

Samir Issawi and Ayman Sharawna, two Palestinian prisoners on a hunger strike, were in critical condition, their lawyers told the PA Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs. Mr. Sharawna had been on hunger strike since 1 July and Mr. Issawi followed a month later, Ministry lawyers said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinians who had been freed from Israeli jails in the swap with Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit protested against the presence of Mr. Shalit at a Barcelona-Real Madrid football match. (The Jerusalem Post)

8

Izz ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, and Islamic Jihad’s Saraya Al-Quds claimed responsibility for firing some 55 rockets and mortar shells at southern Israel. Three of the rockets were reported to have hit Kerem Shalom. Two buildings had been slightly damaged and a number of zoo animals had been killed. (Ynetnews, Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post)

After reports that 55 rockets and mortar shells fell on southern Israel, a high-ranking Israeli army officer said that there would be no choice but to proceed with a comprehensive operation that would also involve a large-scale ground operation into the Gaza Strip. (Maariv)

The Ministry of Education in the Gaza Strip evacuated schoolchildren from five schools east of Khan Yunis owing to Israeli bombardments. (IMEMC)

Palestinian sources said that several shells had been fired by the IDF at al-Qarara village, east of Khan Yunis, and injured a Palestinian and damaged a mosque. Israeli artillery had also targeted the Al-Huda Mosque and a water tank in the town of Khouza, east of Khan Yunis and caused huge damage, the sources added. (Aljazeera, Petra)

In a statement, the military wing of Hamas said that it would scale up its response if Israel continued military operations against the Gaza Strip. "Going too far in the aggression on the Gaza Strip will provoke the Palestinian resistance into responding more strongly and on a wider scale,” a statement said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Two Palestinians had been arrested for attempting to enter an IDF base near Nablus carrying a number of improvised explosive devices, Israel Radio said. When they arrived at the gate of the base, the Palestinians announced to the soldiers that they had a bomb and that they had been sent to attack. The two men had been taken for further investigation. (The Jerusalem Post)

PLO Executive Committee member Erakat said that the Palestinian bid for UN non-member State status was the only way to face Israeli settlement activities and attempts to create facts on the ground. Mr. Erakat, during separate meetings with foreign diplomats, said that the UN bid did not contradict the peace process or international resolutions. He called on countries to participate in the drafting of a resolution to upgrade Palestine’s status, pointing out that the vote will most likely take place in November. (Palestine News Network, WAFA)

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, in a major foreign policy speech in Lexington, Virginia, said that he was committed to seeing the creation of a "democratic and prosperous independent Palestinian State living side by side with a secure Jewish State", adding that President Obama's Middle East peacemaking had failed, and that only a new president would bring a chance to begin anew. (The Jerusalem Post)

PA Spokesman Nimr Hamad said that legal advisers to the PLO and the PA were considering filing a lawsuit against Israeli Foreign Minister Liberman regarding his statements of incitement against PA President Abbas and threatening his life. The international community must not accept such statements, Mr. Hamad said, adding that the PLO would contact American, Israeli and European lawyers to form a legal committee to pursue the issue. (Palestine News Network)

The PA had not set a date for the payment of the salaries of government employees for the month of September, a PA spokesperson said. (Ma'an News Agency)

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People held its 345th meeting during which it adopted its annual report to the General Assembly. It also heard statements by three members of the jury of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine: John Dugard, Professor of International Law and former UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967; Stéphane Hessel, Honorary Ambassador of France, and Michael Mansfield, a prominent British lawyer. (Division for Palestinian Rights)

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine held its fourth session in New York on 6 and 7 October 2012. It focused on US and UN responsibility in the denial of the Palestinian right to self-determination. It concluded that, by not taking action proportionate to the duration and severity of Israel’s violations of international law, the UN had not complied with it obligations. (www.russelltribunalonpalestine.com)

Fifteen leaders of US churches and other faith-based organizations had asked Congress to re-evaluate US military aid to Israel. The religious leaders had sent a letter to Congress members calling for an investigation into possible violations by Israel of the US Foreign Assistance Act and the US Arms Export Control Act, which would make Israel ineligible for US military aid. (The Jerusalem Post)

9

Following an exchange of fire between Israeli forces and militants in Gaza, Gaza's Interior Ministry said that Israel's military launched some 20 tank shells and an air strike. A Palestinian health official said that five people were injured after a strike near a mosque. (AP)

According to an Israeli army spokeperson, Israeli forces detained three Palestinians in Nabi Saleh, Dura and Sarda. (Ma'an News Agency)

A senior Israeli commander, speaking on conditions of anonymity, told Ma’ariv that a large-scale military operation into Gaza was "inevitable" due to continued rocket fire into Israel. Palestinian armed groups had warned Israel not to invade the Gaza Strip. (Ma’an News Agency)

According to the IDF Spokesman's office, the Israeli Air Force struck a tunnel in the northern Gaza Strip in response to recent rockets fired into Israel. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli soldiers arrested the wife of a detainee, Mohammad Atiyya Abu Warda, after breaking into her home in Al-Fawwar refugee camp south of Hebron. (IMEMC)

Mahmoud Aloul, a member of the Fatah Central Committee and former Governor of Nablus, said that although the Palestinians had agreed to launch a “popular resistance against occupation, no one has dropped the armed resistance from his dictionary.” (The Jerusalem Post)

PA President Abbas told European diplomats that he would resume peace talks with the Israelis after the General Assembly vote on the Palestinian request for non-member State status in November. Officials said that President Abbas believed that a settlement freeze would no longer be necessary if he received recognition of a State. (The Washington Post)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had called for early elections which he said could be held within three months. (Reuters)

PA Labour Minister Ahmed Majdalani announced that the PA had approved a minimum wage of 1,450 shekels ($376) a month for the private sector. Protesting workers said that it was too low. (AFP, Ma’an News Agency)

Three truckloads of date bars produced in Gaza would be transported to the West Bank under the supervision of the World Food Programme as Israel reopened the Kerem Shalom crossing after the Jewish holiday. The date biscuits were destined for West Bank children receiving food support from the agency. (Ma'an News Agency)

During its weekly meeting in Ramallah chaired by PA Prime Minister Fayyad, the Cabinet condemned the escalating Israeli attacks against the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound as well as other Christian and Islamic sites in Jerusalem on a daily basis. (www.palestinecabinet.gov.ps)

Jewish settlers of “Eli” reportedly cut down over 70 olive trees on private Palestinian land near Nablus that belonged to the farmers in the village of Qaryut. (AP)

According to Palestinian sources, several Israeli settlers uprooted some 300 olive trees that belonged to residents of Al-Mogheer village, east of Ramallah. (IMEMC, WAFA)

Israeli Minister for Foreign Affairs Liberman condemned the vandalism of the Romanian church in Jerusalem in a meeting with Romania's visiting Minister for Foreign Affairs, Titus Corlatean. (AP)

The Israeli State Prosecutor's Office filed an indictment against another Israeli teenager who had participated in an attack against Arab youths in Jerusalem in August. (Ynetnews)

The Hussam Association for Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners reported that Palestinian female prisoners in Sharon Israeli prison were under harsh detention conditions and subjected to verbal abuse by Israeli criminal prisoners whose cells were located near the female prisoners’ section. (PNN)

The British public health journal The Lancet had published 32 abstracts highlighting a range of health concerns for Palestinian refugees living across the Middle East and Palestinian territories that warned of a Palestinian health emergency. (Voice of America)

UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos had confirmed to The Jerusalem Post that the investigation into a controversial Twitter posting by its staff member Khulood Badawi had been completed. Ms. Amos did not release details on the investigation’s findings, stating that she was awaiting recommendations from the United Nations Development Programme. (The Jerusalem Post)

10

The Israeli army bombarded several areas in the Gaza Strip resulting in considerable damage to several homes. On the same day, the Israeli Air Force fired missiles into Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, causing damages to a number of buildings, causing several children to suffer from anxiety attacks. The army also carried out a limited invasion into Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. (IMEMC)

At least five rockets were fired into the western Negev. No one was injured and no damage was reported. (The Jerusalem Post)

Gaza militants fired a rocket at Netivot. No injuries or damage were reported. (Ynetnews)

Hamas was coordinating with other Palestinian factions in Gaza to respond to the Israeli aggression, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar said. (Ma’an News Agency)

An Israeli man suffered slight injuries after he was stabbed by a Palestinian in the settlement of “Beitar Illit”. The authorities believed that the attacker, who had been captured, had nationalistic motives. (Ynetnews)

Israeli forces attacked a Palestinian funeral in Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, firing tear gas canisters and acoustic bombs, causing several suffocation cases. (WAFA)

According to a senior Egyptian source, the newly-elected Egyptian leadership was holding talks with different armed groups in Gaza to reinstate a truce and prevent further escalation with Israel. (IMEMC)

According to eyewitness accounts, Israeli military vehicles had crossed a hundred metres into the Gaza Strip in the vicinity of the Sufa crossing. Hamas' military wing issued a statement claiming that it had fired three rockets at Israeli military vehicles. (Ma’an News Agency, WAFA)

According to a European Union Co-ordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support (EUPOL COPPS) press release, three PA police officials had participated in a study trip to the Interpol office in France to increase their knowledge of international police cooperation. (WAFA)

Chief Palestinian Negotiator Erakat said that the statement of President Abbas on the resumption of peace talks had been misinterpreted as a green light to return to the negotiating table. "If they go back to the President's statements, they would not interpret them this way,” he said. (KUNA)

Rami Ihsan Tahboob, the first Palestinian Ambassador to Kuwait in more than 22 years, took his oath before President Abbas, Foreign Minister Riad Malki and other Palestinian and Kuwaiti officials. He would soon take up his diplomatic post in Kuwait City. (Gulfnews)

According to a senior Palestinian official, the PA had frozen the financial allocations paid monthly to all the factions under the umbrella of the PLO owing to the financial crisis. (Gulfnews)

As part of his visit to Ramallah, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Romania, Titus Corlãþean, was received by PA Prime Minister Fayyad. The meeting focused on the need to intensify economic cooperation in such areas as water management, agriculture, animal husbandry and health care. The Romanian official had proposed that cooperation projects be managed by a joint sub-committee on economic cooperation. (www.mae.ro)

Israeli authorities stopped 82 Palestinians from East Jerusalem at the Allenby Bridge who had been on their way to a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, claiming that they had failed to pay Israeli TV tax. (Gulfnews.com)

According to PA security sources, dozens of settlers stormed the evacuated “Tarsala” settlement, south of Jenin. (WAFA)

Settlers hurled stones at Palestinians returning from an olive harvest with dozens of youths responding by throwing stones at the settlers. Israeli forces later arrived and opened fire resulting in two Palestinian injuries. (IMEMC)

A number of extremist Israeli settlers uprooted some 300 olive trees that belonged to residents of Al-Mogheer village, east of Ramallah. (IMEMC)

Palestinian medical sources reported that two Palestinians had been injured after having been attacked by several extremist Israeli settlers in Burin village, near Nablus. (IMEMC)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu had decided to form a new Israeli police unit in the West Bank to counter attacks carried out by extremist settlers. (Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli forces ordered villagers to stop construction on five homes near Bethlehem, a local official said. (Ma’an News Agency)

The IDF declared its willingness to resume the translation of indictments submitted to military courts in the West Bank into Arabic but insisted that there was no need or duty to translate other documents such as verdicts or court transcripts. The IDF's position was in response to a petition submitted to the High Court of Justice by four Palestinian lawyers. (Ynetnews)

Iraq’s Representative to the League of Arab States (LAS), Qais al-Azzawi, said that the President of Iraq, Jalal Talabani, PA President Abbas and LAS Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby would open an international conference on Palestinian and Arab prisoners in Israel in Baghdad on 11 December. (www.pukmedia.com)

Israeli authorities released journalist Amin Abdul Aziz Abu Warda after having spent 10 months in administrative detention. (Palestine News Network)

In commemoration of International Mental Health Day, the PA Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization launched a three-year $1.5 million project funded by the EU to improve community-based mental health services in the West Bank and Gaza. (PNN)

11

Palestinian sources reported that the Israeli Air Force had fired a missile at a building in the Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood, north of Gaza City. Israel claimed that the building was used as a training camp by fighters while local residents said that the area was residential and had no training centres for armed groups. There were no reports of casualties. ((Ma’an News Agency, Ynetnews, IMEMC)

Israeli forces arrested five Palestinians from Bethlehem, Nablus and Tubas amidst intensive fire. (www.petra.gov.jo)

A Palestinian youth was arrested in the “Gush Etzion” settlement after soldiers found an 18-cm knife in his possession. (Ynetnews)

Israeli forces set up a checkpoint at the entrance of al-Fawwar refugee camp south of Hebron, backing up traffic, witnesses said. Soldiers had stopped and searched cars while checking IDs, according to commuters. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces stormed the village of al-Aqba, in the Tubas Governorate, and shot at Palestinians' houses, the head of the village council said. Soldiers also arrested two Palestinians from the Hebron and Nablus Governorates. (PNN)

The EU had advised the PA to “be careful” regarding “possible negative consequences of their decision” to seek non-member State observer status, Deputy Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Kourkoulas said. He stated that Athens’ main objective was “to keep the peace process alive and, in line with that objective, we will make a decision [how to vote] when the time comes”. The goal this time, he said, would be a unified EU position. (The Jerusalem Post)

“We fear that the election campaign in Israel would be accompanied by more assaults on the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, expansion of settlements and Judaization of Jerusalem,” PLO Chief Negotiator Erakat said in statements to a number of local news organizations. “These [actions] are war crimes.” (The Jerusalem Post)

A group of Israeli settlers in Hebron had been caught on video stealing olives from Palestinian farmland, local activists said. (Ma’an News Agency)

As the West Bank olive harvest season began, two Israeli rights groups, B’Tselem and Yesh Din, had released reports criticizing Israeli authorities for failing to protect Palestinians from settler violence or investigate attacks. Over the past week, Palestinian farmers had reported attacks almost daily. B'Tselem said that it had documented five of the attacks since 7 October in villages near Ramallah and Nablus. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, said that the Patriarchate would respond to Israeli attacks on holy sites by building new churches and repairing damages in the old ones. (Palestine News Network)

The Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt called for a jihad to liberate Jerusalem from Israeli rule. "Jerusalem is Islamic ... and nobody is entitled to make concessions" on the Holy City, said Sheikh Mohammed Badie in his weekly message to supporters. "The jihad for the recovery of Jerusalem is a duty for all Muslims," he said, stressing that the liberation of the Holy City "will not be done through negotiations or at the United Nations”. (AFP)

PA water officials complained of “Israeli extortion” as prices for water they purchase from Israel were set to rise, deviating from the price formula agreed under the Oslo Accords. Israeli Water Authority Spokesman Uri Schor said that "even when the water prices for the Palestinian Authority are revised, they will still be lower than the water rates for Israeli communities and companies”. (Haaretz)

Israeli soldiers handed a house demolition order to a resident of Dir Nitham village, near Ramallah, as the house, located in Area C, had been built without a permit. (IMEMC)

Palestinian lawyers would boycott Israeli courts to protest physical searches, the PA Ministry for Prisoners’ Affairs said. The Ministry said that Israeli prison authorities had been trying to restrict the work of Palestinian lawyers in order to target Palestinian prisoners and their right to legal representation. (Ma’an News Agency)

The United Nations Educational, Scietific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was in its "worst ever financial situation", Director-General Irina Bokova said. It had been forced to slash spending, freeze job hires and cut programmes after losing US funding over Palestine’s admission into the Organization, which had made up 22 per cent of its budget. "We're fundraising this year, but it's not sustainable on a long-term basis. We're not closing UNESCO, but Member States will have to rethink the way forward. UNESCO will be crippled," Ms. Bokova stated. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israel's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, had written to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the President of the Security Council, over their failure to condemn Gaza's rocket fire on Israel over the weekend. (Ynetnews)

Salvatore Lombardo, Director of External Relations of UNRWA, visited Finland and met with the cooperation partners of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs as well as other interested parties. Finland annually provided about 4.5 million in general support for UNRWA and was a member the UNRWA Advisory Committee. (formin.finland.fi)

Celebrated Israeli novelist David Grossman was working with Boualem Sansal, an award-winning Algerian writer, to launch a writers' drive for Israeli-Palestinian peace, to be presented at the Strasbourg World Forum for Democracy. (The Guardian)

12

A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip exploded in a backyard in the Israeli city of Netivot. There were no reports of injuries, but one person suffered from shock. (Ynetnews)

Dozens of settlers attacked a group of Palestinian farmers in Kufr Qaddoum, destroyed olive trees and stole olives that had been gathered. (Palestine News Network)

A group of settlers attacked Palestinian farmers harvesting olives in central Hebron. One of them was sent to a hospital with moderate injuries. (Ma’an News Agency)

The University of Bern's World Trade Institute organized a one-week training course on trade regulation from 7 to 11 October in Ramallah, financed by the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The PA had applied for observer status at the World Trade Organization and in that context, trade in agricultural products and compliance with sanitary and technical standards were among the PA priorities for capacity-building. The training course followed several other trade-related cooperation activities financed by EFTA since the entry into force in 1999 of its free trade agreement with the PA. (www.efta.int)

Israeli prison guards stormed the cells of Palestinian prisoners in Shata prison, in northern Israel, prompting clashes with detainees, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said. Prison authorities closed one section of the jail and moved three Palestinian detainees into isolation, the society said, condemning Israel's treatment of Palestinian prisoners. (Ma’an News Agency)

13

The Israeli Air Force struck targets in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for rockets fired on Israeli towns. The IDF Spokesperson’s Office said that its aircraft had attacked three targets, making direct hits. (Ynetnews)

An Israeli air strike killed two men identified as the most senior Al-Qaeda affiliates in Gaza as they rode a motorcycle in the northern town of Jabaliya. The Israeli military said that the two men had been planning to fire rockets into Israel. (Reuters)

Israeli settlers from “Shivot Rachel” attacked Palestinian farmers picking olives in the Nablus village of Qaryout, hours after setting dozens of olive trees in the same village on fire. (WAFA)

14

An air strike in central Gaza killed two Palestinian militants and wounded two others. An Israeli military spokesperson said the attack had targeted a rocket-launching squad. (Reuters)

15

Islamic Jihad leader Khader Habib denied knowledge of a truce agreement with Israel but said that Egypt was trying to negotiate a ceasefire. (Ma'an News Agency)

Israeli soldiers invaded Azzoun village, east of Qalqilya, and imposed a curfew. (IMEMC)

Israeli soldiers invaded Safa village, west of Ramallah, and arrested Ayman Karaja, a researcher working for the Addameer human rights group. (IMEMC)

Israeli forces detained at least 15 Palestinians across the West Bank, including a 15-year-old. Israeli forces also arrested two children, ages 11 and 12, in Silwan, in East Jerusalem. (Ma’an News Agency, WAFA)

The Israeli Ministry of Defense said that some two weeks ago, all the checkpoints between the Jordan valley and the rest of the West Bank had been opened to Palestinian traffic and that passage would be subject to the usual security checks. (AFP)

PA Prime Minister Fayyad and Minister for Foreign Affairs Malki met with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Brazil, Antonio Patriota, in Ramallah. Mr. Patriota reiterated that his country would continue to support Palestinian rights and praised PA efforts to develop and maintain the institutions and infrastructure of a State. (Ma’an News Agency)

In an interview with Haaretz, PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi said: “There are some [European States] that are saying we'll stand by you no matter what, but there are many significant European countries who say “[...] if you want us to support you in the UN, then you have to promise not to ask for retroactive accountability [for Israeli military actions]. And we say why, there is no statute of limitations on war crimes, and they say no, you have to promise that you won't go [to The Hague]”. (Haaretz)

PLO Executive Committee member Ashrawi met in Ramallah with Brazilian Minister for Foreign Affairs Patriota and Brazil’s Ambassador to the PA, Ligia Maria Scherer. She thanked Brazil for supporting the Palestinian statehood bid at the UN and for recognizing, in 2010, Palestine as a State, with East Jerusalem as its capital. (IMEMC)

The Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations, Susan E. Rice, said that the US "does not accept the legitimacy of Israeli settlement activity, and will continue to oppose any efforts to legalize outposts". (The Jerusalem Post)

Dozens of Israeli settlers vandalized agricultural land north of Beit Ummar, in Hebron, uprooting 15 almond trees. (PNN)

Israeli sources reported that dozens of Israeli settlers closed the southern entrance of the Al-Khadr village, south of Bethlehem, and blocked all Palestinian traffic, after claiming that some Palestinians hurled stones at a settler’s vehicle wounding a woman. (IMEMC)

Israeli officials confirmed that Israel had agreed to allow the return of 18 prisoners released as part of the Shalit exchange deal back to the West Bank. (Ynetnews)

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Serry issued the following statement: “I am alarmed at recent reports that Israeli settlers in the West Bank have repeatedly attacked Palestinian farmers and destroyed hundreds of their olive trees at the height of the harvest season. These acts are reprehensible and I call on the Government of Israel to bring those responsible to justice. Israel must live up to its commitments under international law to protect Palestinians and their property in the occupied territory so that the olive harvest – a crucial component of Palestinian livelihoods and the Palestinian economy – can proceed unhindered and in peace.” (www.unsco.org)

UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman said, in his briefing to the Security Council, that “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict drifts dangerously in a direction that must be avoided”. US Permanent Representative of the UN Rice said that "unilateral actions, including initiatives to grant Palestinians non-member State observer status at the UN, would only jeopardize the peace process and complicate efforts to return the parties to direct negotiations". Several other speakers, including China, the Russian Federation and Arab countries, expressed their support of the bid. (Reuters, UN News Centre)

16

A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel landed in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council area. The rocket landed near a home, causing some damage. Two local residents suffered from shock in the aftermath of the attack. (The Jerusalem Pos, The Times of Israel, Ynetnews)

IAF aircraft struck targets in the Gaza Strip in response to Palestinian rocket fire. (The Jerusalem Post)

Palestinian sources reported clashes between Palestinian residents and Israeli soldiers in Az-Zababda village near Jenin, and in Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. (IMEMC)

According to Israeli sources, Israeli forces detained a 27-year-old former prisoner at a checkpoint near Bethlehem. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces arrested two Palestinians from Nablus Governorate in the West Bank. (Palestine News Network)

According to security sources, Israeli forces had stormed the dormitory of the Arab-American University in Jenin to interrogate a number of students. (Palestine News Network)

According to Palestinian sources, Israeli forces attacked and assaulted a 19-year-old student from the village of Beit Ummar in Hebron. (Palestine News Network)

Ansar Bayt al-Maqdes, an Islamist group in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, said that it would take revenge against Israel for the killing of Palestinian militants in Gaza over the weekend. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli Defense officials stated that Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip had fired for the first time the previous week an anti-aircraft missile at an Israeli aircraft. (The Washington Post, The Jerusalem Post, Xinhuanet)

Israel's Defense Ministry denied a Palestinian report alleging that Defense Minister Barak had recently met with PA President Abbas in Amman with the participation of King Abdullah II. Mr. Barak had reportedly briefed President Abbas on his initiative that envisaged a unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank. President Abbas had reiterated his position against any plan envisioning a Palestinian State with provisional boundaries. (IMEMC, Xinhua)

In a letter to President Obama, PA President Abbas fended off US criticism of their bid for upgraded status at the UN, saying that the move would improve prospects for a peace accord with Israel and not damage them. (Reuters)

During a meeting with Brazilian Minister for Foreign Affairs Patriota and US Consul-General in Ramallah Michael Ratney, Chief Palestinian Negotiator Erakat said that a UN draft resolution being prepared emphasized the illegality of the settlements and noted that an Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories should be based on the 1967 borders. (Ma'an News Agency)

At a meeting with Brazilian Minister for Foreign Affairs Patriota, his Jordanian counterpart, Nasser Judeh, reviewed Jordan's efforts to push the peace process forward, adding that Jordan and Brazil saw eye to eye on different issues in the region. Both leaders underlined the need for efforts to enable the Palestinians and Israelis to resume peace talks and push the peace process forward. (PETRA)

The PA will close the gravesite of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Ramallah to visitors ahead of his body's exhumation. Investigators from France and Switzerland will conduct parallel probes into the death of the Palestinian leader. (Ynetnews)

Four Palestinians were injured after the Israeli army attacked non-violent protesters on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv road. One Palestinian was arrested. The Palestinians had briefly blocked the road to protest the uprooting of olive trees by settlers. (IMEMC, Ynetnews)

According to Palestinian sources, Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian home and a shed in Beit Hanina, in East Jerusalem. (Palestine News Network)

According to eyewitnesses, Israeli forces destroyed structures in the village of al-Seefer in the southern Hebron Hills. (Ma’an News Agency)

According to Palestinian sources, several Israeli settlers uprooted olive and grape trees that belonged to residents of Al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. (Palestine News Network)

Some 100 Palestinians, accompanied by international activists, blocked Route 443, also known as Ma'ale Beit Horon, to protest against settlers in the area, who they claimed had uprooted hundreds of olive trees during the harvest season. The Palestinians carried signs against the occupation that said "Stop settler terrorism". According to eyewitness accounts, IDF soldiers had fired stun grenades to disperse the demonstrators and arrested one activist for questioning. (The Jerusalem Post, Ynetnews)

According to eyewitnesses, Israeli forces issued orders to villagers to stop the illegal construction on their homes in Tuqu, near Bethlehem, as they were located in Area C. (WAFA, Ma’an News Agency)

France and the PLO signed an agreement for the repair of the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem’s Old City. The 200,000 agreement was signed in the presence of PA President Abbas, as well as Palestinian and French officials in the muqataa. (WAFA)

A US programme, offering some 30 scholarships to Palestinian students to study in Palestinian universities, had been suspended after Israel refused to give permits for Gaza students to travel to the West Bank during the year. The programme was launched in 2012 by US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton during a visit to the region. (Huffington Post)

17

Israeli forces raided two homes in the centre of Bethlehem, leading to clashes with local residents, witnesses said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Eyewitnesses reported that Israeli forces raided the villages of Samou' and Bani Na'im. (Palestine News Network)

PA security forces detained armed Israeli soldiers after they entered Tulkarm by mistake. (Ma’an News Agency)

Radio Bethlehem 2000 reported that Israeli soldiers invaded the Wadi Maaly area in Bethlehem. They clashed with dozens of local youths who hurled stones and empty bottles. (IMEMC)

The Israeli army launched multiple air strikes on a site in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza. No injuries had been reported, but several buildings had been damaged. (Ma’an News Agency, WAFA, PETRA, The Jerusalem Post)

According to the Yazkern organization, which was founded in 2001 with the aim of spreading the Palestinian narrative of Israel’s history among Israelis, dozens of Israeli army veterans had admitted their involvement in the displacement and/or massacre of Palestinian civilians in 1948. (Middle East Monitor)

According to a document that the Israeli Defense Ministry had released under a court order, the Israeli military calculated the number of calories Gaza's residents would have needed to consume to avoid malnutrition during a blockade of the Occupied Palestinian Territory between 2007 and 2010. While critics had claimed that the document was evidence that Israel had limited food supplies in order to put pressure on Hamas, Israel's military spokesman, Major Guy Inbar, said that a mathematical formula had been devised to identify food needs and avoid a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. (Aljazeera)

Britain urged the Palestinian leadership to delay its bid for an upgraded status at the UN, warning that the move would likely be detrimental to US re-engagement with the peace process following November’s US presidential elections. According to sources, however, the Palestinian leadership would press for a vote by 15 November and was confident of winning a majority. (www.guardian.co.uk)

The PLO Negotiations Affairs Department issued a new report entitled "Illegal Israeli Policies and Violations of International Law: Some Key Facts". According to a press release issued by the Department, the report consisted of a summary of key violations Israel committed on a daily basis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. (Palestine News Network)

According to Haaretz article, a new economic report implied that there were now more Palestinians than Jews in the territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan. (www.middleeastmonitor.com)

According to Israeli media reports, Prime Minister Netanyahu was expected to adopt the Levy Report after bringing the report's practical conclusions to the ministerial committee for settlements for approval. The Levy Report, which was published in June by retired Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy, had found that Israeli settlements in the West Bank were legal under international law and had recommended that the Government avoid demolishing them. Defense Minister Barak, however, came out against the prospect of the Government adopting the report saying that "[a]dopting the […] Levy Report […] would do the opposite of what its supporters expect". Foreign Minister Liberman had advocated the adoption of the report saying that it would solve problems in both national and international areas. (The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz)

Settlers threw Molotov cocktails towards Palestinian houses in an area near the “Beit El” settlement, east of Ramallah. (Ma’an News Agency)

According to Israeli residents, the Nof Tzion neighbourhood in East Jerusalem had, for the past four months, been plagued with recurring stone attacks carried out by Palestinians from the adjacent Jabel Mukaber neighbourhood. (Ynetnews)

According to eyewitnesses, an 18-year-old Palestinian was beaten by Jewish settlers while he was picking olives near the village of Iraq Burin, southwest of Nablus. (WAFA)

Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations Prosor called on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to prevent the Swedish ship Estelle from reaching the Gaza Strip. Mr. Prosor noted that sailing the ship to Gaza was a "provocative step" and that Israel would continue the blockade on Gaza. (Palestine News Network)

Rumours of a UN decision to re-introduce Holocaust studies in schools run by UNRWA had raised the ire of Jordanian teachers, who said that they would refuse to teach history that “harms the Palestinian cause”. (The Times of Israel)

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel accused Israel of giving preferential treatment to settlers over Palestinians in the West Bank and of applying different standards of law to each group. (The Jerusalem Post)

According to data compiled by the Israeli defence establishment, many of the Palestinian prisoners exchanged for the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit who had been deported to Gaza, had joined the Hamas leadership, while others were developing weapons and firing rockets on Israel. Furthermore, some had been recruiting new terror cells in the West Bank, including one Hebron cell that had planted a bomb in Jerusalem and had planned to kidnap an IDF soldier, a source had alleged. (Ynetnews)

The return to the West Bank of 18 prisoners who had been deported to the Gaza Strip following their release in the Shalit swap deal, had been postponed until after the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, Palestinian officials said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Ahmad Saadat, jailed leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said: "The Israeli prison authority did not abide by the hunger strike agreement, especially since the prisoner Dirar Abu Sisi is still isolated.” (Ma’an News Agency)

Israel had barred the families of 14 Palestinian ex-detainees from departing for a pilgrimage to Mecca, released prisoner Khader Adnan said. (Ma’an News Agency)

A resolution condemning Israel over its activities on Palestinian heritage sites had been postponed for six months after the intervention of the Russian Federation. The Russian initiative passed by a vote of 28 votes in favour and 23 votes against that included mainly Arab and African nations, as well as France, the only EU member to oppose. (Haaretz)

18

Israeli warplanes attacked two locations in the al-Zaytoon neighbourhood, south-east of the Gaza Strip. No injuries had been reported. (WAFA)

Voicing concern about a recent influx of increasingly potent weaponry into the Gaza Strip, Yosef Kuperwasser, Director of Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs, said that a major Israeli attack on Gaza would not curb growing extremism and stressed that international pressure was needed to try to put an end to militancy. (Reuters)

The armed wing of Hamas said that it would release a documentary showing exactly how IDF soldier Shalit was captured, as well as all the stages of the detention process. (Ma’an News Agency)

In an interview with Yediot Ahronot, PA President Abbas said: "I don't know what's going on [in Israel]. On the one hand, I read about public opinion polls showing that 70 per cent of Israelis want peace with us, but on the other hand, there is no process and we identify a lack of interest on your part. […] The Palestinian issue is not on the agenda of the [Israeli political] parties. The Likud is dealing with the Iranian threat, Labour with the price of cottage cheese, and the elections serve as just another excuse to delay [the resumption of peace talks].” (Ynetnews)

PA President Abbas formed a ministerial-level committee to deal with official relations with Egypt. The group would also deal with Palestinian borders with Egypt. (WAFA)

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal was reported to be planning his first trip to the Gaza Strip the following week. (Haaretz)

Top Gaza health official Mufeed al-Mukhalalati said, as he visited Egypt for talks with relief organizations, that the blockaded coastal strip had run out of 63 per cent of its medicine supply. He thanked Egypt for allowing more medicine to enter Gaza without restrictions, and Turkey for building a $35 million teaching hospital in central Gaza. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israel granted final approval to a plan to build 800 homes near “Gilo” settlement in East Jerusalem, with construction tenders likely to be published within a few months, Peace Now said. The move will mean the westward expansion of “Gilo” which was located very close to Bethlehem. (AFP)

In a press release, Chief Palestinian Negotiator Erakat stated: “The Levy Report simply reflects the position of a Government that has chosen to turn occupation into annexation and to impose an apartheid reality in Palestine rather than taking steps to make peace possible”, urging immediate international action, starting with the admission of the State of Palestine to the UN based on the 1967 borders. (www.nad-plo.org)

The construction of a new section of the separation wall will soon begin close to the Palestinian village of Batir. According to the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority, the expansion would change not only the landscape but also the unique way of life of traditional farmers in the area. (Haaretz)

The Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA) condemned accusations by Israel of its alleged money laundering on behalf of Arabs living in Israel. PMA described the allegations as unfounded. (WAFA)

Hamas hosted a mass march in the Gaza Strip to mark the anniversary of a prisoner exchange with Israel which had resulted in the release of more than 1,000 Palestinians, in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. At a news conference in Rafah, the spokesperson for the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, pledged further prisoner exchanges. (The Jerusalem Post, Ynetnews)

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay lamented Israel's decision to boycott the Human Rights Council after its announcement in March that it would investigate settlements. "I regret this. I hope that they will reconsider the matter... I also think that it is an unfortunate decision on the part of the Government of Israel to cut off relations with my office", she said, adding that she had sent a letter to Israeli authorities to express her "dismay" and "surprise". Ms. Pillay stressed that no other country had ever refused to cooperate with her office or take part in the Council's country reviews, and if Israel maintained its position, "it would be unprecedented". (AFP)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway cautioned pro-Palestinian activists and lawmakers aboard the vessel Estelle against attempting to break the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip to deliver humanitarian goods. Spokesman Svein Michelsen said that Minister for Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide regarded the mission as inherently dangerous and that activists risked being exploited by groups they would not want to support. The Minister believed that there was no humanitarian crisis that warranted such a delivery. Activists said that the Minister's comments would change nothing and that the ship was expected to arrive in Gaza on 20 October. (AP)

19

A large explosive targeting an IDF operation at the Gaza fence detonated, but caused no injuries, Israel Radio reported. An IDF vehicle and the fence itself suffered some damage. IDF tanks fired toward the suspected positions of the militants. (The Jerusalem Post)

Palestinian threw stones at passing Israeli cars and a bus near Azzun in the West Bank. There were no reported injuries. (Ynetnews)

Some 551,000 registered voters were expected to participate in the PA municipal elections in the West Bank, the first such ballot since 2005. Hamas said that it would boycott the elections and prevent elections in Gaza. (Ma’an News Agency, Ynetnews)

The push by the Palestinians for upgraded status at the UN was likely to succeed, the President of the General Assembly, Vuk Jeremic, said, while warning the US against cutting UN funding over the issue. (Reuters)

A Palestinian couple were injured after settlers assaulted them in an olive grove south of Nablus. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Rafah crossing on Gaza's border with Egypt would be open throughout the Eid al-Adha holiday for the first time, Gaza authorities said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Fuel donated by Qatar would be pumped into the Gaza Strip via an Israeli crossing starting 21 October, a Palestinian crossings official said. Delivery of Qatari fuel had begun in July but had been cut off after a border attack on Egyptian officers on 5 August. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli Government will transfer NIS 300 million in tax revenues to the PA to help in its financial crisis. (Haaretz, Palestine News Network)

A $220,000 donation from Japan had helped build a compost production plant in Jericho, a press release by the Representative Office of Japan to the PA stated. (www.ps.emb-japan.go.jp)

Qatar would channel goods and materials to rebuild Gaza via neighbouring Egypt, Qatari and Palestinian officials said. Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsy and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh discussed the project in a telephone call, the Hamas leader’s Spokesman, Taher al-Nunu, said. (Gulf Times)

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, in a press release, said that she deeply regretted the decision by the Ministry of the Interior of Israel to approve the expansion of the “Gilo” settlement by 797 new housing units. Together with the expansion of the neighbouring “Har Homa” settlement, it continued the process of separating East Jerusalem from the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory. (www.consilium.europa.eu)

British Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt condemned Israel's plans to expand the illegal settlement of “Gilo”, on the southern flank of East Jerusalem, and urged the Israeli Government to change its approach. (www.fco.gov.uk)

Israeli settlers in the south Hebron Hills assaulted Palestinian villagers. (Ma’an News Agency)

PA Foreign Minister Malki had asked the Envoy of the Russian Federation to the PA to clarify why the Russian Federation had called for the postponement of a vote on Palestinian heritage sites at UNESCO. He said that the delay was unfortunate and would allow Israel to continue its attacks on Palestinians. The issues postponed include the Mughrabi Gate leading to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the implementation of decisions relating to heritage sites in Hebron and Bethlehem, Palestinian cultural and educational institutions and reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. (Ma’an News Agency)

Jewish-American scholar and activist Noam Chomsky reportedly called for an end to Israel's siege of Gaza on his first ever visit to the Strip on 18 October, where he was to attend a conference at the Islamic University. (AFP)

20

PA President Abbas discussed the Palestinian bid to gain non-member State status at the UN with the Representative of Norway to the PA, Hans Friedland. Mr. Abbas briefed Mr. Friedland on the latest developments regarding the peace process in light of Israeli intransigence, its refusal to abide by international law and to stop settlements. (WAFA)

A Jerusalem district planning board approved the construction of a National Defence College near the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem. (The Jerusalem Post, Xinhua)

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Serry issued a statement saying that he and his staff, upon the invitation of the Palestinian Central Elections Commission, visited a number of polling stations in Ramallah and environs. While noting that the UN was not monitoring the elections, he said that he sincerely hoped that the poll would re-establish elections as a crucial component of an inclusive, democratic process and would serve as a prelude to general elections being organized for 2013 in all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory in the context of reconciliation. (www.unsco.org)

The Israeli navy took control of a Swedish-owned, Finnish-flagged ship Estelle, with 27 pro-Palestinian activists and three Israelis on board heading towards Gaza, and towed the vessel to Ashdod. The foreign activists included 11 Swedes, five Greeks, four Norwegians, three Spaniards, two Finns, one Canadian and one Italian, who would all be deported. The three Israelis would be taken to court, Israeli Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. Mikael Lofgren, a spokesman for the Swedish group “Ship to Gaza” that organized the voyage, said that the vessel carried musical instruments, theatrical equipment, wheelchairs, children’s books, 600 soccer balls and 41 tons of cement. (The Jerusalem Post, Europe Online Magazine)

21

PA President Abbas briefed Quartet Representative Blair on the latest developments in the peace process and efforts to achieve non-member State status at the UN. He also welcomed a delegation of Israeli military and political officials to the Presidential Headquarters in Ramallah and briefed them on developments in the Palestinian UN bid. (Ma’an News Agency)

Former US President Jimmy Carter, accompanied by former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, who belonged to “The Elders” group of eminent leaders, called on Israeli President Shimon Peres in the course of a visit to Jerusalem, the West Bank and Cairo with the former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson. They were in Israel to voice their concern about the “imperilled” two-State solution, particularly in light of Israel’s refusal to halt settlement expansion. The Elders last visited the region in October 2010 during which time they also visited Gaza. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Special Envoy of China to the Middle East, Wu Sike, urged the Israeli Government to take positive steps to create the atmosphere for resuming its peace talks with the Palestinians during his talks with Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intelligence Services Dan Meridor in Jerusalem. Mr. Wu said that the Palestinian issue had an overall impact on the entire Middle East and thus should not be neglected or marginalized against the backdrop of profound changes in the region. (Xinhua)

The Central Elections Commission have released the preliminary results of the municipal elections held in the West Bank the previous day that showed Fatah securing 440 of the 1,051 seats being contested. Fatah won local council majorities in six major towns but lost in five others. In Hebron, Fatah won 10 of 15 seats. In four of the towns where Fatah lost, including Ramallah, voters preferred independent lists dominated by Fatah breakaway candidates. In Bethlehem, leftists and independents won. The Commission placed turnout at 54.8 per cent compared to 74 per cent during the last time elections were held in 2006. (AFP, AP, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal)

Settlers from “Susia” settlement tried to torch a Palestinian taxi cab at the entrance to the village of Danya, in the southern Hebron Hills, in what police were investigating as a “price-tag” incident. (The Jerusalem Post, WAFA)

According to new data 3,374 Palestinians living in East Jerusalem received full Israeli citizenship between 2004 and 2010. (Haaretz)

22

According to militants, Hamas was working to suppress the more radical Islamic militant groups that had emerged in Gaza. Salafist militants said that Hamas had been making arrests in recent days and confiscating weapons from the Jaish al-Umma or Army of the Nation. (The New York Times)

An Israeli aircraft struck the northern Gaza Strip killing three Palestinian militants after mortar attacks had targeted Israeli troops on patrol earlier in the day, Gaza officials said. An Israeli army spokeswoman, however, said that Israeli forces had bombed two sites in northern Gaza, killing al-Qassam Brigades member Abdul-Rahman Abu Jalalah and Islamic Jihad fighter Yasser Tarabin, and that Israeli forces had not bombed Beit Hanoun, where 29-year-old Palestinian Khalil al-Kafarneh died in a hospital after he had reportedly been injured in an Israeli air strike on al-Sikka Street. (AP, Ma'an News Agency)

There would be no immunity for those firing rockets on Israel from Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said. His comments came before meeting Quartet Representative Tony Blair. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli forces arrested three “wanted” Palestinians from Ramallah and Nablus. The detainees were reportedly transferred to an Israeli interrogation centre. (PNN)

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that naval forces detained four Gaza fishermen for questioning after they had deviated from the designated fishing area despite warning shots. (Ma'an News Agency)

At a regional debate of Palestinian Ambassadors accredited in European countries in Warsaw, PA Minister for Foreign Affairs Malki said: “We are certain that we'll obtain the simple majority that is needed in the General Assembly." His Polish counterpart, Minister for Foreign Affairs Radoslaw Sikorski, said that there was a need for finding a way out of an impasse in peace talks between Israel and Palestine, and that there was room for these two States to live peacefully next to each other. (AFP, Polish Press Agency)

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Ashton arrived in Jordan for the first leg of a five-day visit to the Middle East. On 24 October, she will meet with Israeli President Peres, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Liberman and Minister of Defense Barak before meeting with PA Prime Minister Fayyad. She will meet with PA President Abbas the following day. The issue of the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process is one of the items in her agenda. (www.consilium.europa.eu, Xinhua)

The Elders met with PA President Abbas who briefed them on Palestinian efforts to get a UN non-member State status. PLO officials Hanan Ashrawi and Mohammad Shtayyeh also met with the delegation and discussed the latest political developments in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. (PNN, WAFA)

At a news conference, former US President Jimmy Carter said that the “policy of promoting a two-State solution seems to be abandoned now and we are deeply concerned about this move towards this catastrophic so-called one-State choice”. He added that Prime Minister Netanyahu lacked the courage of his predecessors and that he had abandoned the two-State solution, while President Obama’s Administration had shirked from the historical role played by the US in the region saying that "America now has ... zero influence on either side and in fact has withdrawn our commitment to be the major negotiator between the two sides… US Government policy in the last two or three years has been the rapid withdrawal from any kind of controversy." (Reuters, AFP, The New York Times)

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, paid an official visit to Gaza, the first visit by a Head of State to the Strip since Hamas took control in 2007. Qatar had called the visit a humanitarian gesture to inaugurate reconstruction projects financed by the Emirate and bring 90 tons of medical and food aid to the area. Fatah called on Palestinians to boycott the visit of the Emir saying that it would entrench the division between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. (Ma'an News Agency, The Washington Post, Reuters)

Egyptian authorities delayed fuel deliveries to the Gaza Strip until the following day to put in place stricter security for its transport across the Sinai, Egyptian sources said. Some 450,000 litres of diesel fuel donated by Qatar was to have been transported in eight tankers. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces demolished a water well in Wadi al-Ghrous neighbourhood, east of Hebron. (Ma’an News Agency)

According to local sources, Israeli soldiers arrested two Palestinian farmers and one international activist who had been attacked and injured as they harvested their olives near the settlement of “Ramat Yishai” by a group of armed settlers. (IMEMC)

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation had issued an apology, correction and clarification to a report on UNRWA after a complaint from Labour Member of Parliament Melissa Parke. (unrwa.org)

A letter, signed by 15 leaders of Christian churches calling on the US Congress to reconsider giving aid to Israel because of accusations of human rights violations, had outraged Jewish leaders. The Christian leaders said that their intention was to put the Palestinian plight and the stalled peace negotiations back in the spotlight at a time when all of the attention to Middle East policy seemed to be focused on Syria, the Arab Spring and Iranian nuclear threat. “We asked Congress to treat Israel like it would any other country,” said the Rev. Gradye Parsons, the top official of Presbyterian Church (USA), “to make sure our military aid is going to a country espousing the values we would as Americans — that it’s not being used to continually violate the human rights of other people.” (The New York Times, International Herald Tribune)

23

An IDF officer had been critically wounded while carrying out a routine patrol near the Gaza border fence by what the IDF believed was a roadside bomb. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the attack, Reuters reported. (The Jerusalem Post)

Jerusalem police arrested a 20-year-old Palestinian at the Qalandiya checkpoint who was carrying eight pipe bombs in his bag. The checkpoint was immediately closed to traffic. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli military vehicles crossed the border with Gaza a hundred metres into the town of Al-Qarara, in the southern Gaza Strip, amidst heavy gunfire towards houses while razing land. (WAFA)

PA employees, including teachers, suspended work over the late and incomplete payment of their salaries. Employees of UNRWA also went on strike to protest cuts in the Agency’s services and the dismissal of 130 workers. (Ma’an News Agency)

During a visit to “Gilo” settlement in East Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “United Jerusalem is Israel’s eternal capital. We have full rights to build in it. We have built in Jerusalem, we are building in Jerusalem and we will continue to build in Jerusalem.” (Haaretz, www.pmo.gov.il)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan issued a statement deploring Israel’s approval of plans for the construction of 797 housing units in the “Gilo” settlement. “Settlement activities are a violation of international law and Japan has repeatedly called upon Israel to fully freeze settlement activities. The Government of Japan does not recognize any unilateral act that prejudges the final status of the territories in the pre-1967 borders. Japan strongly calls upon Israel not to implement the above-mentioned plans of construction, for the sake of progress in the peace process,” the Ministry said in a statement. (www.mofa.go.jp)

The State-owned Bank of China had been the target of a $1 billion suit filed in New York State Supreme Court by the families of eight Israeli students killed in an attack on a Jerusalem high school in 2008. The lawsuit alleged that Hamas had been funding its terrorist activities via a Bank of China account in the United States and that bank officials had ignored warnings by Israeli counterterrorism officials regarding the account. (www.worldtribune.com)

24

Militants in Gaza fired more than 70 rockets and mortar shells at southern Israel. Three migrant workers were hurt, two of them seriously. Fire broke out in a greenhouse struck by a rocket and several houses sustained damage. (Haaretz)

Multiple Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip killed four people and injured eight overnight. Israeli planes struck a target in Rafah, killing a 32-year-old member of the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, and injuring another person. An air strike on Beit Lahia, in the north, killed a member of the military wing of Hamas and injured three others. Another strike, north-west of Beit Lahiya, killed two people and seriously wounded another. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli Defense Minister Barak said, "Hamas will receive its punishment” for firing rockets at Israel. (AFP)

Chief Palestinian Negotiator Erakat, in a press release, condemned the latest Israeli attacks against Palestinian civilians in Gaza and held the Israeli Government fully responsible. He called on Israel to stop its bloody escalation against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and called upon the international community to uphold its responsibilities towards the lives of people in Gaza and prevent a new massacre. (WAFA)

A Palestinian official said that Egypt was trying to mediate a truce between Israel and Hamas. "The contacts Cairo made resulted in a verbal promise by Hamas to calm the situation down and Israel said that it would refrain from attacks unless it was subjected to rocket fire from Gaza," an official who was close to the talks said. (The Jerusalem Post)

During a joint press conference with the visiting President of Bulgaria, Rossen Plevneliev, PA President Abbas said that talks with Israel could resume after gaining non-member status in the UN. He said that delegations and the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine at the UN were working on a resolution to be submitted in November, which would state that the borders of the Palestinian State would be the 1967 lines, and would call for a return to negotiations from the point where they had stopped. Mr. Plevneliev said that once the resolution was ready, it would be discussed among EU Member States to take a common position regarding it. He added that there was room for cooperation between Bulgaria and Palestine in the areas of tourism, agriculture and forestry. (WAFA)

Egyptian President Morsy said that Egypt would do its best to support Palestinians in their struggle against Israeli occupation "without declaring war against anyone. […] We are in the same trench with our people [the Palestinians] against any aggression on them. [....] Our security is their security and our blood is their blood". He also said, "Egypt respects international treaties ... but this does not mean it will accept what was accepted before ... we cannot rest while we see the people and the land of Palestine assaulted". (www.allAfrica.com)

PLO Executive Committee member Ashrawi said, in a meeting with US Consul General Michael Ratney in Jerusalem, that the Palestinians were pursuing the UN bid to upgrade Palestine to State status as a way of “preventing further instability... and to save the chances for peace”. She added that it was important for the international community to "support our right to self-determination and freedom before all chances for an independent Palestinian State on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, are destroyed". (The Jerusalem Post)

The PLO had begun distributing a position paper to European Governments which detailed plans to seek an upgrade of Palestine's status at the United Nations in November. In the document, the PLO emphasized that membership in the UN was no substitute for negotiations with Israel. It also said that Palestine's right to self-determination did not require Israeli approval. The text underscored concerns about how the United States and Israel would respond if the UN bid succeeded, and asked European countries not to go along with possible sanctions against the PA. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli Foreign Minister Liberman warned during talks with visiting European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Ashton in Jerusalem that if PA President Abbas "continues unilateral measures against Israel in the UN General Assembly, there will be difficult and far-reaching consequences". (Ma’an News Agency)

The heads of European Union missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah issued the following statement welcoming the Palestinian local elections: “The elections were well organized and took place in a peaceful atmosphere. The EU considers the holding of elections as an important contribution to Palestinian State-building and looks forward to future elections across the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” (www.europa.eu)

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Ashton and PA Prime Minister Fayyad announced the conclusion of negotiations between the European Union and the PA on a new European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan. The Plan would set the objectives of EU-PA bilateral relations for the next five years. Both sides also reiterated their commitment to a two-State solution and the creation of an independent State of Palestine, living side by side with Israel, in peace and security. (http://enpi-info.eu)

Bulgarian Minister for Foreign Affairs Nikolay Mladenov signed two agreements for knowledge transfer and exchange of experience with the PA. Mr. Mladenov, who was in Ramallah as part of an official visit by President Rosen Plevneliev to Israel and the PA, signed a protocol for cooperation in the spheres of agriculture and forestry, and as a framework and work plan for the implementation of the protocol for cooperation between the Bulgarian Ministry of Labor and Social Policy and the Ministry of Labor of the PA. (www.novinite.com)

Israeli forces destroyed five water wells in Kafr Dan village in Jenin claiming that they had no licensed. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces demolished agricultural facilities, wells and sheds in the town of Idna, west of Hebron. (WAFA)

Settlers from “Beitar Illit” pumped waste water onto Palestinian-owned agricultural land in the village of Nahalin, west of Bethlehem, causing severe damage to crops. (WAFA)

France condemned the decision by the Israeli Ministry of Housing to issue calls for tenders for 700 new homes in the settlements of “Pisgat Zeev” and “Maale Adumim” and reaffirmed that Israeli settlement activity was illegal under international law, “detrimental to efforts to restore trust between the parties” and constituted “an obstacle to a just peace based on the two-State solution”. (www.diplomatie.gouv.fr)

In a statement, the Government of Spain condemned the announcements made by the Israeli Government to authorize the construction of almost 800 new homes and plans for another 700 in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. “Spain reiterates that the settlements built in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, were illegal under international law and repeats the need to refrain from any action that could prejudice the issues that must form part of an agreed solution to the conflict, such as the Statute for the City of Jerusalem,” the statement added. (www.lamoncloa.gob.es)

During a visit to the UN office and an UNRWA project in Gaza, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Serry deplored the escalation of violence between Israel and Gaza. “I am concerned that with recurrent violence, as illustrated today, continued closures, and the persistent Palestinian divide, we will lose the race against time to preserve Gaza as a liveable place,” Mr. Serry said. (UNSCO)

Eighteen former prisoners who were deported by Israel to the Gaza Strip after the 2011 prisoner swap will return to their homes in the West Bank on 18 November, PA Minister for Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Qaraqe said. (Maan News Agency)

An Israeli TV programme, Channel Two News, had retracted a claim that rockets had been fired from an UNRWA school in Gaza during the 2008-2009 war. (www.unrwa.org)

25

A mortar shell was fired at the western Negev from the Gaza Strip hours after a lull in fighting went into effect as part of an informal Egyptian-brokered truce. (Haaretz, Ma’an News Agency)

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

Three Palestinian workers were buried under wreckage of an underground tunnel that collapsed south of the town of Rafah on the border between Gaza Strip and Egypt. (KUNA)

PLO Executive Committee member Erakat told visiting European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Ashton that voting in favour of the Palestinian UN bid was a vote for peace, security, independence, democracy and development in the Middle East. He said that voting will be in November, stating that consultations were being held regarding the wording of the draft resolution that would be submitted. (WAFA)

Guyana established diplomatic relations with Palestine. During his address to the General Assembly, the President of Guyana, Donald Ramotar, underlined Guyana’s strong support for the peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “Guyana recognizes the State of Palestine based on its 1967 borders and supports its aspirations to full membership of the United Nations”, he stated. Ambassadors to Palestine will be appointed on a non-resident basis. (www.kaieteurnewsonline.com)
Finland had called on Israel to lift the naval blockade on Gaza "without delay". Finland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement, said "… the blockade has negative repercussions for the political situation in the Middle East and is causing unnecessary suffering to civilians in Gaza".
(AFP)

Israeli authorities had reopened the Kerem Shalom and Erez crossings into the Gaza Strip after closing them a day earlier. Palestinian border official Raed Fattouh said that Israel would allow the entry of 167 truckloads of medical aid, clothes, shoes, fruit and livestock. (Ma’an News Agency)

An Israeli military court extended the detention period of Addameer researcher and human rights defender Ayman Nasser for nine more days. The main focus of the interrogation continued to be his civic activities relating to his role in advocating for the rights of Palestinian political prisoners. (Palestine News Network)

UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 Richard Falk called for a boycott of Israeli and international businesses that profit from settlements. He highlighted the activities of companies such as Caterpillar Inc. (USA), Veolia (France), G4S (United Kingdom), Dexia Group (Belgium), Ahava (Israel), Volvo (Sweden), Riwal Holding Group (the Netherlands), Elbit Systems (Israel), Hewlett Packard (USA), Mehadrin (Israel), Motorola (USA), Assa Abloy (Sweden) and Cemex (Mexico). While being committed to implementing European Union legislation and bilateral arrangements with regard to settlement products, a European Union representative said that the Union did not support sanctions. (www.un.org)

The “Miles of Smiles 17” solidarity convoy reached the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border terminal between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. Some 113 convoy members from different countries entered Gaza to deliver 25 wheelchair-accessible vans, 50 tons of wheat and 40 tons of medications. Sources at the Palestinian side of the terminal stated that Egypt had rarely allowed food supplies into the Gaza Strip via Rafah but it had been possible as part of new decisions made by Egypt’s President Morsy. (IMEMC)

26

Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported that a Palestinian had died of wounds sustained in an Israeli strike on Rafah two days earlier. (IMEMC)

Canada joined Israel and the US in calling for the removal of UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 Falk. Canada’s Minister for Foreign Affairs John Baird called his report “offensive and unhelpful”. (AFP, The Times of Israel)

28

A Hamas militant was killed and another one was wounded in an Israeli air strike in north-east Gaza Strip, medical and security sources said. The Israeli Air Force also carried out at least four more air strikes causing extensive damage. One injury had been reported. (IMEMC, Xinhua)

Two Grad rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel exploded in an open area near Beersheba, Army Radio reported. No injuries or damage were reported. Overnight on 27 October, two Qassam rockets fired into southern Israel exploded in an open field. The Popular Resistance Committees had taken responsibility for the attack. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Israeli Government unanimously approved a recommendation by Prime Minister Netanyahu to completely fortify all Israeli communities within a 4.5 to 7 km radius of the Gaza Strip. (Xinhua)

During a special session of the Knesset session in memory of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) said: "Rabin's political legacy was clear: to separate the peoples by dividing the country and creating two separate entities… The idea of separation has failed." Defense Minister Barak responded that "Rabin's legacy shows that only the two-State solution will ensure the existence of and peace in Israel." (Ynetnews, The Jerusalem Post)

Dozens of Palestinians, accompanied by international supporters, set up a protest tent in the Ush Ghrab area of Beit Sahur, near Bethlehem. The action aimed at stopping the planned construction of a settlement in the area. (IMEMC)

29

The Israeli army fired two artillery shells targeting an area east of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip. No casualties had been reported. (IMEMC)

Shin Bet announced that some 30 Hamas activists had been arrested in recent months on suspicion of setting up a branch of Hamas in the Ramallah area. (The Jerusalem Post)

Egyptian authorities transferred 350,000 litres of Qatari fuel into Israel for delivery to the Gaza Strip, a PA official said. (Ma’an News Agency)

In a report entitled “Trading Away Peace: How Europe Helps Sustain Illegal Israeli Settlements”, a consortium of 22 religious groups and charities across Europe including Christian Aid UK, the Methodist Church, Medical Aid for Palestinians, Quaker Peace and Social Witness and the Council for Arab-British Understanding, called on the European Union to ban or at least clearly label products originating in settlements. Other religious non-governmental organizations in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland also took part (www.fidh.org, Reuters, www.guardian.co.uk)

After meeting with Palestinian Chief Negotiator Erakat in London, UK Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said, “I expressed the UK’s deep concern about developments that threaten our shared goal, in particular, continued settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. … The UK remains committed to helping Palestinian State-building efforts and will be providing up to £122 million in support, over the period 2011 to 2015. to assist them in creating a sovereign and prosperous Palestinian State, living in peace alongside a safe and secure Israel.” (www.fco.gov.uk)

30

Israeli forces detained seven Palestinians overnight in the southern West Bank. (Ma’an News Agency)

An Israeli border police officer had been acquitted, on grounds of “reasonable doubt”, of causing the death of a 10-year-old Palestinian boy during a demonstration against the separation wall near the West Bank town of Na’alin. (Haaretz)

Israeli forces demolished a part of a house in the Hebron village of Beit Ummar and arrested the owner. (WAFA)

31

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip fired two Qassam rockets towards southern Israel. One of the rockets exploded in an open area but caused no damage or injuries. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli forces detained 24 Palestinians overnight across the West Bank. (Ma’an News Agency)

Travellers hoping to exit the Gaza Strip must register in advance, Maher Abu Sabha, the Crossings director in the Gaza Strip announced. The registration process had temporarily been cancelled during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. (Ma'an News Agency)

PA Foreign Minister Malki said that Palestinians were launching a last-minute diplomatic offensive to a series of European countries to vote in favour of their bid at the United Nations. Palestinian envoys had been dispatched to Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom during the week, hoping to persuade those countries to vote in favour of giving Palestinians non-member State status at the UN. (AP)

PLO officials said that PA Prime Minister Fayyad had presented the PLO leadership with a plan to form a more inclusive government that would include officials from every faction so as to evenly distribute responsibility before President Abbas returned to the UN in November. (Ma’an News Agency)

A lawyer, representing factions challenging the outcome of Bethlehem's local elections, announced that he had filed a complaint in court. (Ma'an News Agency)

The Minister for International Development of the United Kingdom, Alan Duncan, blamed the Israeli blockade for the high levels of unemployment in Gaza. (Palestine News Network)

A 13-year-old Palestinian girl was hit and seriously injured by a car driven by a settler near Hebron. (Ma’an News Agency)

Peace Now said that for the first time since 2005, new “unauthorized” settlement outposts had been established in the West Bank: “Nahalei Tal”, north-west of Ramallah, and “Tzofin North” adjacent to the “Tzofin” settlement, north of Qalqiliya. As opposed to the sporadic outposts created by the hill-top youths and evacuated every few weeks by security forces, it was evident that the two new outposts were highly supported by the authorities, the group said. (www.peacenow.org.il)

Israeli forces demolished two Palestinian homes north of Jericho in the central West Bank and animal barns belonging to a Palestinian family in the village of Nabi Samuel, north-west of Jerusalem. (Ma’an News Agency, WAFA)

A Hamas leader, Salah Bardawil, said that Hamas had handed a proposal to Egypt on mechanisms to implement reconciliation with Fatah. (Ma’an News Agency)


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