Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search

Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter

Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
30 November 2011



Division for Palestinian Rights

Chronological Review of Events Relating to the
Question of Palestine

Monthly media monitoring review

November 2011

Monthly highlights

• Prime Minister Netanyahu freezes Israel’s annual contribution to UNESCO (3 November)

• Israel intercepts two aid vessels bound for the Gaza Strip (4 November)

• US lawmakers lift suspension of aid to the Palestinians (7 November)

• The Russell Tribunal on Palestine rules that Israel is guilty of apartheid and prosecution crimes (9 November)

• The Committee on the Admission of New Members submits report on Palestine’s application (11 November)

• Israeli cabinet suspends release of taxes collected for the PA (14 November)

• European Parliament passes resolution pressing the US and EU to respond to the Palestinians' "legitimate demand" for UN membership (17 November)

• Israel closes Israeli-Palestinian radio station on charges of incitement (21 November)

• PA and Hamas leaders hail a new era of partnership at talks in Cairo (24 November)

• UN commemorates the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (29 November)

• Israel is to release $100 million in Palestinian tax revenue (30 November)

• General Assembly adopts resolutions on the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East (30 November)

1

Israel authorized its military to take all necessary steps to stop rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, including a ground operation, an Israeli military official said. By its decision, Israel authorized the military to act in accordance with the severity of Palestinian attacks, in that a ground offensive would be ordered only after massive rocket fire. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli forces detained Palestinian Legislative Council member and Hamas leader Hassan Yousef and his son after a raid on his home in Ramallah. Hamas Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri denounced the arrest. (Ma’an News Agency)

An Egyptian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that while Israel had agreed on 30 October 2011 to briefly delay expanding its military operations in the Gaza Strip to give Egypt time to try to persuade Palestinian militant factions to halt rocket fire on southern Israel, it had continued to widen its operations. Israeli military sources said that there had been no Israeli air strikes since the previous night but that two rockets had been fired from the Gaza Strip during that time. (AP)

Palestinian Authority (PA) Communications Minister Mashhour Abu Daqqa said that the Palestinians would ask the International Telecommunications Union to officially investigate the cyber-attack that had shut down Internet service across the West Bank and Gaza. "I think, from the manner of the attack and its intensity, that there is a State behind it and it is not spontaneous. Israel could be involved as it announced that it was considering the kind of sanctions it would impose on us," he added. (AFP)

In a New York Times opinion piece entitled “Israel and the apartheid slander”, former South African Judge Richard J. Goldstone said that while “apartheid” could have broader meaning, its use was meant to evoke the situation in pre-1994 South Africa. He said that it was an unfair and inaccurate slander against Israel, calculated to retard rather than advance peace negotiations. (www.nytimes.com)

The Spokesman for the Palestinian Authority Presidency, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, quoted President Mahmoud Abbas as saying, “Accepting Palestine into UNESCO is a victory for [our] rights, for justice and for freedom," adding “We believe that the whole world stood with the Palestinian people today, and that it was a vote in favour of establishing the State of Palestine as soon as possible”. (AFP)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his inner cabinet to discuss the best way to respond, including possible punitive measures, to UNESCO's decision to admit Palestine as a full member. Israel's Foreign Ministry had already condemned what it called a "unilateral Palestinian manoeuvre which would not bring any change on the ground but further removes the possibility for a peace agreement". Mr. Netanyahu had condemned the decision at the opening of the Knesset the previous day. He described the Palestinian bid as an attempt to seek a State without a [peace] deal and said that the PA had chosen to make a covenant with Hamas and take unilateral steps at the UN. (AFP)

Nimr Hamad, Adviser to PA President Abbas, said that Israel’s consideration of sanctions after Palestine’s admission to UNESCO meant that Israel was not taking the peace process seriously, adding that sanctions against the PA would be a clear violation of international conventions and initiatives. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations Office in Geneva, Ibrahim Khraishi, said that Palestinian diplomats were now planning to capitalize on UNESCO’s decision to join other UN agencies and a variety of other international organizations. He said that the UNESCO vote had set a precedent for allowing such broad memberships. (AP)

The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada, John Baird, told reporters: "Under no circumstances will Canada cover the [UNESCO] budgeting shortfall as a result of this decision and Canada has decided to freeze all further voluntary contributions to UNESCO." Canada provided almost $12 million annually to UNESCO. (The Vancouver Sun)

Prime Minister Netanyahu called for the accelerated construction of some 2,000 settlement units in Jerusalem, “Gush Etzion” and “Ma’aleh Adumim”, according to an official statement released after a meeting with his cabinet. A senior Israeli Government official said that a decision had been taken to halt transfers of funds to the PA as a temporary measure until a final decision is made. (Reuters, www.pmo.gov.il)

The PA Presidency said that Israel’s decision to speed up settlement construction amounted to a decision to "speed up the destruction of the peace process". Mr. Abu Rudeineh, Spokesman for President Abbas, also described as "inhumane" the Israeli decision to temporarily withhold funds collected on behalf of the PA. Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee member Saeb Erakat said: "The land on which these settlement units are to be built is occupied Palestinian land. The money that Israel is withholding is also Palestinian money. This theft is happening in broad daylight and the international community is bearing witness." (Ma’an News Agency, Reuters)

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the demolition of the unauthorized West Bank outpost of “Amona” by the end of 2012 and was expected to send out an official statement about the order in the following days. The State was expected to announce that the homes would not be demolished if settlers finalized their purchase of the land on which the outpost was located. (Haaretz)

Israeli Civil Administration inspectors, accompanied by police and security forces, started demolishing a number of transient structures in the “Ranat Migron” settlement. (Ynetnews)

According to local sources, Israeli forces prevented Palestinian farmers from Kafr Jammal, a village north of Tulkarm, from entering their agricultural land behind the separation wall for the olive-picking season. (WAFA)

Israel's Education Ministry had decided to follow the recommendations of the Shin Bet and closed down the Dorshei Yehudcha yeshiva in the settlement of “Yizhar”, following the involvement of its students in violent acts against Palestinians and Israeli security forces. (Haaretz)

Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian man and set fire to his tractor near Nablus, PA official Ghassan Daghlas said. (Ma’an News Agency)

2

Israeli forces detained 12 Palestinians across the West Bank overnight. (Ma’an News Agency)

Egyptian security officials expressed concern after recent violence in Gaza and said that Egypt “will not allow” a renewed Israeli operation against Gaza. (Ma’an News Agency)

According to his lawyer, Ahmad Rwaidy, a consultant for the office of PA President Abbas, was summoned by Israeli intelligence to report for interrogation. Adnan Husseini, Governor of Jerusalem, was also summoned for interrogation. (WAFA)

During a press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney expressed deep disappointment over Israel’s decision to speed up settlement construction in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Mr. Carney reiterated that “unilateral actions work against efforts to resume direct negotiations and they do not advance the goal of a reasonable and necessary agreement between the parties”. (www.whitehouse.gov)

French Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bernard Valero said that the proposed settlement building "is illegal in international law and is a threat to the two-State solution”. Steffen Seibert, a spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said that the building of settlements in occupied areas "hinders the goal we all must have of a two-State solution and is unjustifiable”. (BBC)

Regarding Israel’s decision to speed up settlement construction, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton said: "We call upon Israel to reverse this decision and call upon both sides to continue their engagement with the Quartet on advancing peace efforts." (AFP)

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement: “Israel’s announcement to accelerate the construction of 2,000 settlements housing units in response to the successful Palestinian application for membership of UNESCO is a serious blow to the Quartet’s efforts to restart peace negotiations. This settlement building programme is illegal under international law and is the latest in a series of provocative and unhelpful settlement announcements. I condemn the decision to accelerate such construction. I am also very concerned about Israel’s decision to withhold Palestinian tax revenues.” (www.fco.gov.uk)

In a press release, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned the Israeli Government's decision to hasten the building of 2,000 settlement units. The OIC also stressed total support for Palestinian efforts to gain full UN membership of an independent Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital. (WAFA)

In a statement, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Maurizio Massari expressed deep apprehension about Israel’s decision to authorize new settlements in occupied areas of East Jerusalem and the West Bank and to freeze payment of the tax revenues it collected for the PA. He also declared that such acts were “contradictory to the spirit and letter of the Quartet’s final declaration of 23 September.” (www.esteri.it)

In a statement, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden condemned Israel’s settlement policy and its decision to withhold PA tax revenues. The countries agreed that the way forward must be based on a resumption of negotiations and that such punitive measures would undermine the basis for such negotiations. (AFP, www.regjeringen.no)

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


Prime Minister Netanyahu emphasized Israel’s “right and obligation” to build and expand [settlements] in an “undivided Jerusalem”. (DPA, The Jerusalem Post)

Hamas urged PA President Abbas to abandon negotiations with Israel after the announcement of plans to accelerate settlement construction in the West Bank and the withholding of Palestinian tax revenues. Hamas said that the decisions showed that Israel had a policy to pressure and control the Palestinian people and urged Fatah leaders to build a new strategy based on resistance to achieve statehood. (Ma’an News Agency)

The PLO announced that it would file a lawsuit against Israel in the International Court of Justice for illegal and frequent freezing of tax funds collected on behalf of the PA. PLO Executive Committee member Hanna Amirah alleged that “Israel is using Palestinian tax funds as a weapon to punish the Palestinian people and that will not be allowed.” (gulfnews.com)

Representatives of Hamas and Fatah planned to meet in Cairo after the Eid al-Adha feast, which would begin on 6 November. The Egypt-sponsored plan to end the division between all Palestinian political factions would be discussed, said Fatah secretary Amin Maqbol. (MENA)

Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar stated: "If efforts are directed towards the establishment of a Palestinian State based on 1967 borders, we should unify our efforts. Of course [these are] not our borders; our borders are well known and cover the entire Palestine and even more than Palestine." (Fars News Agency)

Egyptian officials announced that the Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt would be closed on 4 November for six days for the Eid al-Adha holiday. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian medical sources reported that a 27-year-old Palestinian man had been killed by electric shock while working inside a tunnel under the Gaza-Egypt border. (IMEMC)

Assistant Deputy Minister for Antiquities at the PA Ministry of Tourism Hamdan Taha said that the Ministry would ask UNESCO to add 20 historical and archaeological locations to its list of World Heritage sites, including the old cities of Hebron, Bethlehem and Nablus, as well as the archaeological site of Tell al-Sultan in Jericho, Qumran on the banks of the Dead Sea, the old Gaza port of al-Balakhya, the Umm al-Rihan forest west of Jenin, the Gaza Valley and the South Hebron Hills. (PNN)

Leaders of four religious denominations, including the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, issued a statement backing the Palestinian bid for membership in the United Nations. (www.pcusa.org)

Ola Awad, President of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, said that inside the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Palestinians numbered about 4.2 million out of the 11 million Palestinians worldwide. The number was expected to reach 5.4 million by 2020 and 6.1 million by 2025. At total of 71 per cent were under the age of 21. Women’s participation in the workforce was still low at 15 per cent versus 67 per cent for men. About a third of women said that they had faced at least one form of violence. (PNN)

A group of settlers attacked and ransacked Palestinian homes in Al Baqa'a area, east of Hebron, according to local sources. (WAFA)

In a statement, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said: “The withholding of US dues and other financial contributions, required by US law, will weaken UNESCO’s effectiveness and undermine its ability to build free and open societies”. Ms. Bokova called upon “the US Administration, Congress and the American people to find a way forward and continue support for UNESCO in these turbulent times.” (www.unesco.org, Ma’an News Agency)

Two ships carrying 27 pro-Palestinian peace activists and large quantities of medical supplies and urgently needed humanitarian aid set sail from Turkey for the Gaza Strip. According to the Palestinian Network of Non-Governmental Organizations, the two boats also carried messages of solidarity, steadfastness, unity, liberation and hope to the Palestinian people. Israel had said that it would not allow the ships to reach the Gaza shore and considered their journey as “an act of provocation”. (IMEMC, Reuters)

3

A spokesman for the Hamas emergency services said that two Palestinians had been killed and one had been wounded by an Israeli air strike on Al-Sudaniyya in the northern Gaza Strip. The Israeli military had confirmed the strike, saying that the air force had targeted a “terrorist squad” that had opened fire on troops in an area near Gaza’s northern border with Israel. (AFP)

Palestinians opened fire on Israelis troops working on the Gaza fence near Kibbutz Zikim. The troops fired back killing two Palestinians. No injuries among the Israelis were reported. (The Jerusalem Post)

An Israeli drone launched missile fire targeting an area north-west of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza in response to confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli forces. No injuries were reported. (WAFA)

Israeli forces arrested seven Palestinians in the West Bank overnight. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Security Council’s Committee on the Admission of New Members held a closed-door meeting, with member States laying out their individual positions on the Palestinians’ request, diplomats said on condition of anonymity. The Committee would try to produce a report by 8 November, and indications were that the group would be unable to reach a consensus. The report would likely be a dry, diplomatic document that some committee members said supported the Palestinian’s bid and that others said opposed it. A vote to forward the report to the General Assembly could take place on 11 November, diplomats said. (The New York Times)

Diplomats said that Colombia, France and the United Kingdom had announced that they would abstain in any vote on full Palestinian membership of the United Nations. (AFP)

The Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation said in a statement: “We insistent on urging the Israeli Government to refrain from any unilateral actions that prejudge the result of the [negotiating] process on questions of the final status of the Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.” According to the statement, the Russian Federation found it “impossible to agree with decisions on collective punishment of Palestinians for their intention to enter the United Nations and its specialized organizations”. (AFP)

Due to considerable international pressure, Israel was unlikely to continue withholding tax revenues from the PA long past the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Ahda. According to a high-ranking official in the Palestinian Government, “Israel will not allow the PA to fall apart as it knows Hamas would take its place.” (Ma’an News Agency)

Following UNESCO’s decision to accept the PA as a full member, Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered the freezing of Israel’s $2 million annual contribution to the Organization. Mr. Netanyahu declared that such unilateral steps taken by the PA would not advance peace but push it further away. (www.mfa.gov.il)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon declared Palestinian efforts to join more UN agencies as “not beneficial for Palestine and not beneficial for anybody”. The Secretary-General urged Member States to make up for the shortfall in funding for UNESCO and other UN agencies. (AP)

PA Minister for Foreign Affairs Riad al-Malki said that President Abbas had given instructions not to apply to any more UN agencies after having gained UNESCO membership so as to focus all attention on getting full membership in the UN. (WAFA)

US President Barack Obama urged Bosnia not to support the Palestinian bid at the Security Council. According to a statement from the office of the Serb member of the country's three-member presidency, US Assistant Secretary of State Philip Reeker had personally handed over Mr. Obama's letter to the Presidency. (AP)

Jordan condemned an Israeli plan to demolish an access ramp to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. “Jerusalem’s [Waqf] (Islamic endowment) administration is the party with legal custody and sovereignty over Al-Haram Al-Sharif. Israel has no right to replace the bridge unilaterally,” Waqf and Islamic Affairs Minister Abdul Salam Abbadi said in a statement. (AFP)

Four “wanted Palestinians” were detained during a raid on Qabatiya village in the northern West Bank and taken for questioning by Israeli security forces. (Ma’an News Agency)

A report by two Israeli human rights organizations, the Public Committee Against Torture (PCATI) and Physicians for Human Rights, claimed that Israeli medical staff had been failing to report suspicions of torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners. The report, which was to be published later in the month, was based on 100 cases of Palestinian detainees brought to the Committee since 2007. Israel had denied torturing or ill-treating prisoners. (The Guardian)

4

A rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into the Ashkelon Regional Council. No one was wounded. (Haaretz)

A new report by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated that the weekly average of settler attacks resulting in Palestinian casualties and property damage had increased by 40 per cent in 2011 compared to 2010, and by over 165 per cent compared to 2009. (www.ochaopt.org)

Israeli forces detained three Palestinians, including two teenagers, in Hebron. (Ma’an News Agency)

PA officials released a list of 51 Palestinians who they said had been granted amnesty by Israel as part of a move to free “wanted” persons held in protective custody in the West Bank. (Ma’an News Agency)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a meeting in Cannes, France, with Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, emphasized that it was time for all sides to exercise restraint so as to step back from a collision course. He expressed his intention to work with the Palestinians, the Israelis and all other interested parties to that end. Mr. Ban reiterated deep concern at the recent decision announced by the Government of Israel regarding settlement activity and underlined his support for the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians to have a viable sovereign State. (www.un.org)

The President of the General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, in an address to the Special Political and Decolonization Committee of the General Assembly, said that it should continue working for a “just and comprehensive negotiated peace settlement” in the Middle East that would result in two viable sovereign States, Israel and Palestine, coexisting peacefully. (UN News Centre)

Some 30 people attended a mass in an orchard connected to the Cremisan monastery near Beit Jala, which locals feared would be annexed to Israel after a wall was completed near Bethlehem. The PA Presidential Adviser on Christian National and International Relations, Ziad al-Bandak, addressed the mass, wishing for the prayers of Muslims and Christians to be heard and for the wall that would usurp local land to be removed. (Ma’an News Agency)

The "Miles of Smiles Convoy 7" reached the Gaza Strip through the Rafah Terminal with about 100 participants from Algeria, Bahrain, France, Jordan, Kuwait and the United Kingdom. Coordinating its entry with Egypt, the convoy brought more than 10 ambulances and a number of other vehicles. (IMEMC, Middle East Monitor)

According to an army spokesman, the Israeli navy intercepted and boarded two vessels bound for the Gaza Strip, the Canadian vessel Tahrir and the Irish boat MV Saoirse“after all attempts to prevent them from breaking the maritime security blockade failed”. The two vessels had 27 passengers and crew on board, with aid supplies for Gaza. (Ma’an News Agency, Al-Jazeera)

5

Israeli forces fired on a group of people east of Gaza City, moderately injuring a 23-year-old man. Witnesses said that the gunfire erupted as farmers had been tending their land near Gaza City's juice factory near the Karni crossing into Israel. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces fired on an area in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, killing a 26-year-old Palestinian man and injuring three others, medical official Adham Abu Salmiya said. Islamic Jihad claimed that the deceased and two of those injured were its members and vowed to retaliate. (Ma’an News Agency)

Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, at the opening address of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, called for the creation of a Palestinian State but said that it should not resemble the territories that had been designated for black Africans during South Africa's apartheid years. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli authorities deported international activists who had been aboard two ships that had been heading to break the blockade on the Gaza Strip and seized by the Israeli navy in high waters the previous day. Israeli officials said that six passengers had been released and deported, including an Egyptian journalist and a Palestinian from inside Israel after he had been interrogated. (WAFA)

Several social activists and pro-Palestinian demonstrators "stormed" the Israeli Consulate in Boston in protest of the Gaza blockade and Israel’s interception of the Gaza-bound Freedom Waves flotilla. (Ynetnews)

6

Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip two rockets launched late in the evening against Israel. No injuries or damages had been reported in either incident. (Haaretz)

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that three Israeli settlers had been arrested on suspicion of attacking Palestinian and Arab-Israeli property and buildings, including a mosque. (AFP)

Anonymous attackers spray-painted the words “price tag” and threatened to plant a bomb in the Jerusalem offices of the Peace Now group. A red Star of David had also been spray-painted on the building the previous week. (Haaretz)

Students and volunteers campaigned on the streets of Jenin to encourage residents to boycott Israeli products as part of a nationwide campaign organized by the Palestinian National Initiative. The Palestinian Medical Relief Society supported the campaign. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli Interior Ministry Spokeswoman Sabine Haddad said that a group of 21 activists, who had attempted to sail to Gaza, remained in Israeli custody pending legal proceedings. The 21 activists from Australia, Canada, Ireland, the UK and the US were among 27 passengers and crew aboard two ships that had been intercepted by the Israeli navy as they tried to run the blockade of the Gaza Strip. (AFP)

According to reports released by Socialist party MEP Paul Murphy, 14 Irish citizens on one of the Freedom Wave ships bound for the Gaza Strip had been hosed down at gunpoint by Israeli commandos before being taken to jail, where they were subjected to abusive treatment. Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore condemned the Israeli action and voiced the Government’s opposition to Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. (Irish Examiner)

7

Israeli forces shelled the eastern Shujaiya district of Gaza City, with medics reporting that three people who had been injured who were then transferred to Shifa hospital in Gaza City. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that its soldiers had identified a “terrorist squad” planting two explosive devices adjacent to the fence in the northern Gaza Strip. The soldiers had fired on the suspects and confirmed a hit. (Israel Defence Forces, Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said during closed-door discussions in his office that the Palestinian pursuit of unilateral statehood went against the 1993 Oslo accords. (The Jerusalem Post)

US officials announced that lawmakers had lifted a hold on nearly $200 million in aid to the Palestinians that had been suspended in response to their bid for full UN membership. (AFP, France 24)

Israeli forces erected flying checkpoints around Nablus in the northern West Bank, searching cars and checking identity cards. A 25-year-old man had been detained at a flying checkpoint between Nablus and Huwwara. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli settlers chopped down more than 30 trees in Madama village south of Nablus, village council head Ihab Tahseen said. (Ma’an News Agency)

About 12 settlers were arrested after police dismantled three structures in the settlement outpost of “Oz Zion” east of Ramallah, an Israeli police spokeswoman said. (AFP, Business Recorder)

Settlers marched from the Supreme Court to the Knesset in protest to Israeli Government plans to demolish the “Amona”, “Givat Assaf” and “Migron” outposts. The State planned to submit a timetable for the demolition to the High Court of Justice on 11 November. The court had ruled that the outposts must be removed because they were located on private Palestinian land. (The Jerusalem Post, UPI)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu warned West Bank settlers not to build without authorization, saying that there were enough locations where legal construction was possible and that: "Our major efforts should be toward strengthening existing settlements, not battling the law." (News24)

According to local activists, a Palestinian farmer and his family had been arrested for working on their land in the village of Irtas, near Bethlehem. The farmer, Jamal Assad, said that the settlers had wanted to take over his land because it was located near the “Gush Etzion” settlement block, south of Bethlehem. He said that the settlers had cut down 80 olive trees and set fire to his house in order to force him to leave the land. (WAFA)

8

Israeli military officials said that an IDF attack on southern Gaza on 29 October had thwarted the launching of long-range rockets at Israeli targets. IDF officials were worried that the presence of long-range rockets in Gaza could endanger central Israel. (Arutz Sheva)

State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that Quartet envoys would meet separately with the Palestinians and Israelis on 14 November to encourage them to produce proposals on land and security. She indicated that the Quartet would still hold them to a deadline by which the two sides must produce "comprehensive proposals within three months on territory and security" and achieve "substantial progress" within the following six months. Before the Quartet meetings with the parties, US Special Envoy for Middle East Peace David Hale would also hold separate talks with PA President Abbas and chief Israeli negotiator Yitzhak Molho. (AFP)

US Republican Senator John McCain, lamenting the lack of progress on the Israeli-Palestinian front, recommended that President Obama put former President Bill Clinton in charge of Middle East peace negotiations in order to help energize the stalled process. Mr. McCain would like Mr. Clinton to take the role of the President’s special envoy “because he’s the person that came the closest and he’s the person that has the most credibility.” (AlertNet)

PA President Abbas told senior Fatah officials that, in a forthcoming meeting with Hamas Political Bureau Chief Khaled Mashaal, he intended to propose that general elections be held in May 2012. President Abbas told Fatah leaders to prepare for elections but advised that he himself would not be running for office again. (Haaretz)

Palestinian officials said that they had started work on a backup plan for their UN membership bid, by which they would seek an upgraded observer status that would give them access to key international organizations. They said that they had been lobbying foreign Governments, especially in Western Europe, in hopes of rallying support. (AP)

Nicholas Soames, President of the Conservative Middle East Council, warned that Britain could face “severe” consequences if it abstained in a vote on Palestinian statehood at the UN scheduled the following Friday. Mr. Soames believed that Britain, which could be accused of double standards, would lose the goodwill it had built up in the Middle East during the Arab spring if it abstained. (The Guardian)

PA Foreign Minister al-Malki told AP, "It is clear now, with the US counter-effort and intervention, that we are not going to have these nine votes." (AP)

Israel was likely to renew its fund transfers to the PA following the decision by the US Congress to unfreeze Palestinian aid. (Ynetnews)

In a meeting with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, Israeli Minister for Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman rebuffed a request that Israel stop withholding Palestinian tax money. (Haaretz)

A new study conducted by the Harry S. Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace, which was due for release, found that a strong correlation existed between unemployment, tough economic conditions and the nature of suicide attacks carried out by Palestinians in recent years. The study's co-authors said that they hoped the analysis could help authorities to consider economic improvement as an effective counter-terrorism method, as opposed to only traditional security measures and crackdowns. (Los Angeles Times)

Twenty-two-year-old Ramiz al-Shaer died when a smuggling tunnel in Rafah near the Egyptian border collapsed. Gaza officials said that over 160 young men had died at work in smuggling tunnels but due to extremely high rates of unemployment and a lack of alternatives, many were still drawn to the hazardous profession. (Ma’an News Agency)

Hatem Abdel Qader, former PA Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, said that, following its admission to UNESCO, the PA planned to pursue Israel legally in international forums for stealing Palestinian antiquities and changing the Arab and Islamic character of holy sites in Jerusalem. (The Jerusalem Post)

Settlement expert Khalil Tufkaji warned that the “Jerusalem Master Plan 2030” would make the dream of dividing Jerusalem into two virtually “impossible”. The plan, in which 60,000 settler units would be built in the next two decades, would reduce the number of Palestinians in the city from a 36 per cent to a 12 per cent minority and increase the Jewish population from a 64 per cent to a 88 per cent majority in the city. (Khaleej Times Online7)

A study commissioned by Israel's Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barakat to address housing shortages in the city showed designs for 60,718 housing units in the city, with 52,363 homes planned for East Jerusalem. (Ma’an News Agency)

The General Director of the Arab League Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Mohammed Aziz Ben Ashour, asked UNESCO to open an office in East Jerusalem to document and protect against attacks on Arab Islamic and Christian heritage. (Palestine News Network)

Several Palestinians, whose lands had become the site for the West Bank outpost of “Migron”, announced that they intended to drop the lawsuits they had filed for damages against the State. The settlers claimed that the Palestinians had failed to establish their ownership of the area. (Ynetnews)

Dozens of Palestinians who had lost relatives during “Operation Cast Lead”, Israel’s three-week military offensive in the Gaza Strip that started on 27 December 2008, were forced to put their compensation claims on hold, saying that Israel had placed near-impossible barriers for them to be able to proceed with their cases. Israeli restrictions prevented Gazans from entering Israel to testify, undergo medical exams or meet with their lawyers. But the biggest obstacle, the victims said, were steep court fees. (Haaretz)

Fatah Revolutionary Council member Khaled Aref called upon Palestinian factions to organize and control their arms in coordination with the Lebanese army and security authorities in order to “ensure stability” in the refugee camps in Lebanon. PA President Abbas declared in a speech in August, however, that there was no need for Palestinian arms because they were protected by the Lebanese Government and the Lebanese Army. (Ma’an News Agency)

Asked about the interception of a flotilla that had tried to dock in Gaza, the Spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that Mr. Ban was working with all sides to cool things down. He added that there was a need to avoid provocative actions at the present time. He reiterated that conditions in Gaza were unsustainable and that the closure of Gaza needed to end so that there could be free movement of people and goods. (UN News Centre)

9

Israeli forces fired two missiles north of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip damaging greenhouses, cutting power to large areas of the city and injuring one man. An Israeli military spokesman said that the raid was in response to a rocket fired at southern Israel late the previous day that had exploded in the Sha’ar Hanegev regional council district but caused no injuries or damage. (Ma’an News Agency, UPI)

According to Israeli police Spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld, a 21-year-old Jewish man had been arrested in connection with some of the attacks by extremists against Palestinians in the Jerusalem area. (AP)

The Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN, Ron Prosor, criticized the Security Council for not condemning rocket attacks on Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip. (AFP)

Israel’s President, Shimon Peres, called upon the PA to return immediately to direct negotiations with Israel. Mr. Peres said that “peace will not be achieved in the UN” and declared that the international organization cannot provide independence to the Palestinians or security to Israel. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Israeli military said that Gaza furniture-makers would be allowed to export their goods to Europe during the week for the first time since Hamas had taken over the territory in 2007. Israeli military Spokesman Major Guy Inbar also said that hundreds of tons of strawberries, as well as millions of carnations and other goods, would be exported later during the month. (AP)

The Israeli Civil Administration, in cooperation with the PA Ministry of the Economy, organized an employment fair aimed at connecting Israeli employers with Palestinian workers, thereby increasing the number of Palestinians working in Israel. (Ma’an News Agency)

Two proposals that would restrict foreign funding of Israeli leftist organizations were to be considered by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation. The proposal, submitted by Knesset Member Ofir Akunis of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud party, would bar foreign Governments and international organizations from contributing to leftist organizations. The second proposal, submitted by Knesset Member Faina Kirshenbaum of Foreign Minister Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party, would impose a 45 per cent tax on such foreign donations. Both Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Liberman would support the Akunis proposal. (Ynetnews)

British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould cautioned that, if passed, the bill proposed by Knesset member Akunis would reflect badly on Israel in the international community. Ambassador Gould told Mr. Akunis that UK support for non-governmental organizations was intended to promote universal values and was not aimed against the Israeli Government. (Haaretz)

During a meeting with settlement leaders, rabbis and Interior Minister Eliyahu Yishai, Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef said that Prime Minister Netanyahu must under no circumstances raze illegal outposts set to be demolished. He requested that Mr. Yishai relay the message to the Prime Minister. (Ynetnews)

A Palestinian man died after being run over by a car driven by an Israeli in the West Bank. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Jerusalem District Court rejected the State's appeal against the release of three suspected "price tag" vandals. (Haaretz)

Israeli police reported that three Palestinian cars had been torched and the phrase “price tag” spray-painted on a Palestinian house in Beit Ummar, a town near the West Bank city of Hebron. (AP)

Minister for Education Gideon Sa’ar condemned “price tag” attacks on soldiers, Palestinians and leftist activists, calling the gangs “a dangerous and cancerous tumour that must be removed”. Mr. Sa’ar referred to the vandals as “enemies of Judaism” and urged law enforcement officials to curb the attacks. (Ynetnews)

In a precedent-setting decision, the “Ma’aleh Adumim” municipality had agreed to recognize the rights of its Palestinian employees under Israeli labour laws that would entitle Palestinian workers to social benefits. (Haaretz)

PA Minister for Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Qaraqe condemned Israeli plans to build a new prison for Palestinians to replace the Damon and Tirtsa prisons, which had been declared unfit for use. In an official statement, Mr. Qaraqe said, “Building a new prison in the south of occupied Palestine means that Israel is determined to remain a state of prisons and camps, and that the policy of arrests and detention of the Palestinian people is continuing.” (Middle East Monitor)

After two days of extensive talks and testimonies from expert witnesses, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine ruled that Israel was guilty of apartheid and prosecution crimes. The tribunal, which had no legal status but which enjoyed international respect, hoped to inform the public about the reality of the situation in the OPT and pressure world leaders to take strong stances against Israel’s violations. (IMEMC)

Israel's mission to the EU said that an Irish member of the European Parliament, who was among more than 20 people who had been detained for trying to break a naval blockade by sailing to the Gaza Strip, would be deported back to Ireland the following day. (AFP)

10

The Israeli navy arrested three Gaza fishermen, two of them under the age of 18, while they were in the three-mile area allotted by Israel to Palestinian fishermen. (IMEMC)

Israeli forces detained four Palestinians from Beit Ummar, Awarta, Silwan and al-Dhaririya after raiding their homes during the night. The detainees were held in custody overnight. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) said that three of its leaders had been prevented from crossing into Jordan from the West Bank over the holiday of Eid al-Adha without any explanation. DFLP condemned the measure as "collective punishment". (Ma’an News Agency)

PA President Abbas arrived in Tunis for a three-day official visit at the invitation of Interim President Foued Mebazaa. President Abbas applauded the Tunisian revolution and claimed that “deep-rooting democracy in the Arab States will benefit the Palestinian cause”. (Bernama.com, Tunisian News Agency)

PA Spokesman Ghassan Khatib said: “We always hope [that] Britain will try to compensate for the Balfour Declaration by being more forthcoming and supportive regarding our basic rights such as independence and statehood.” (scotsman.com)

A PA official warned that the Middle East could be headed toward “violence and anarchy” if the Palestinian statehood bid was defeated. PA officials expressed outrage at France, the UK and the US for not supporting the statehood bid, and refused to say what their next step would be, given reports that they lacked the necessary nine affirmative votes in the Security Council. (The Jerusalem Post)

Dennis Ross, President Barack Obama's special adviser on the Middle East, announced that he would leave his post at the National Security Council by the end of the year. He was the second key adviser to step down in six months following the resignation of Special Envoy for the Middle East Senator George Mitchell. (BBC)

Within hours of graffiti having been discovered outside the home of Peace Now activist Hagit Ofran calling for her murder, Israeli police arrested a man they suspected of committing several similar crimes over previous last few months. (Haaretz)

The Council for Peace and Security, an Israeli organization that counted among its members over a thousand former high-ranking officials in Israel's national security establishment, including the IDF, the Mossad, and Shin Bet security services, published a report on "Defensible Borders and Strategic Depth”. The report argued that Israel did not need to control West Bank territory to keep Israel secure. (www.theatlantic.com)

According to Director-General Bokova, UNESCO has been forced to suspend all its spending programmes until the end of the year following the US withdrawal of its funding. "We will launch an emergency fund ... to [collect] contributions from Governments, the private sector, citizens and philanthropists," Ms. Bokova said, adding that none of the UNESCO members who had backed the Palestinian bid for membership had offered to make up the deficit. (AFP, Reuters)

The al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf (Islamic Endowment) announced that settlers had written racist graffiti, destroyed gravestones and tried to dig-up some graves in the Ma’man-Allah graveyard. The foundation held the Israeli Government responsible for the attacks and demanded the prosecution of the assailants. (IMEMC)

The State Prosecutor’s Office informed the High Court of Justice that it would order the eviction of the West Bank outpost of “Amona” to be completed by the end of December 2012. Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak asked the Court for an extension so that they may reach an understanding about the “Amona” and “Givat Assaf” razing. (Ynetnews)

The destruction of the “Givat Assaf” outpost, which sat on private Palestinian land and had been set to be demolished by a Supreme Court order, would be postponed by half a year. The Israeli Government would now return to the Court to seek legal backing for its announced delay. (Haaretz)

Dozens of Palestinians were expected to try to board Israeli buses that traveled on roads in the West Bank “to prove that Israel practices an apartheid regime in the occupied territories”. Legally, Palestinians are not forbidden from riding on Israeli buses, but many of the buses stop inside settlements where Palestinians are not allowed to enter by military decree. (Ma’ariv)

Israel had agreed to allow 250 to 260 tons of aid to enter Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing. Thirty private vehicles and 21 cement trucks would pass through the crossing as well as a "limited amount of cooking gas”. (The Jerusalem Post)

Hamas leader Saleh Arouri told a Gaza newspaper that more female detainees in Israeli prisons would be released as part of an exchange deal initiated the previous month. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian activists announced that a delegation of 200 international parliamentarians and political leaders would visit the Gaza Strip at the end of the month. The objective of the three-day trip, which would include visits to refugee camps and other sites, was to issue a universal declaration that rejected imposing sieges on a civilian population. (Ma’an News Agency)

Two Irish human rights activists, who were among 14 people detained by Israeli officials on 4 November while on their way to Gaza, had been prevented for a second time from flying home from Israel. The return of the two activists to Israeli custody put in doubt the speedy release of the other seven activists still in detention. (WAFA)

11

Israel, concerned that Hamas had obtained advanced Russian missiles that had been looted from Libyan military warehouses, accelerated plans to equip civilian planes with anti-missile defences. (Haaretz)

IDF soldiers accidentally shot and killed a 55-year-old Israeli man who had passed through a makeshift checkpoint between Yatta and Hebron without stopping. The checkpoint was erected after the IDF had received reports of a suspicious truck leaving one of the settlements in the area. (Haaretz)

Non-violent protesters were injured and arrested in five different locations in the West Bank after being directly hit by tear-gas and live munitions. International law stipulates that tear-gas canisters must be fired in an upwards arc and never directly at human beings. (IMEMC)

The family of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat would release the French medical report on the cause of Mr. Arafat's death. The report, which had ruled out cancer and an acute infection, considered a platelet disorder and poisoning as possible causes of death but doctors had been unable to conclusively determine what poison, if any, was in Mr. Arafat's system. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Permanent Representative of Portugal to the UN, José Filipe Moraes Cabral, the President of the Security Council for the month of November, told reporters after a closed meeting that the Committee on the Admission of New Members had approved a report in which it stated that its 15 members remained divided over Palestine’s bid for UN membership, and had sent the report to the Security Council, which would then decide what actions were to be taken. He gave no timetable. (AP)

PA President Abbas announced that he would meet with Hamas Political Bureau Chief Mashaal in the following 10 days to discuss the implementation of the Palestinian unity agreement. (Ynetnews)

Eighty-two-year-old Sami Younis, the oldest of the prisoners freed in exchange for the release of Gilad Shalit, had been taken into custody on suspicion of entering the PA’s territory in violation of the terms of his release. Mr. Younis was questioned by Israeli police and later released. (Ynetnews)

UNESCO had reprimanded Israel over a newspaper cartoon that showed the Israeli Prime Minister telling pilots to bomb the UN agency's office after bombing Iran. In a note to Israeli Ambassador Nimrod Barkan, UNESCO Director-General Bokova said that the cartoon “endangers the lives of unarmed diplomats”. (AP)

12

Israeli forces detained five Palestinians overnight in Hebron and Nablus. (Ma’an News Agency)

Philippine non-resident Ambassador to the PA Julius Torres told PA Assistant Foreign Minister Mohammad Tarshehani that it was time for Palestine to fully exercise its rights and gain full UN membership. (WAFA)

13

A Palestinian man was killed in the Egyptian city of Rafah as he tried to enter Egypt via a smuggling tunnel. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli soldiers suppressed a peaceful anti-settlements march in the village of Al-Walaja, north-west of Bethlehem, injuring three Palestinians, resulting in suffocation two arrests. (WAFA)

The Foreign Ministry of Estonia said that it would donate €50,000 in support of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to ensure that education was accessible to children in the Gaza Strip. (www.vm.ee)

Bulldozers accompanied by Israeli forces cut down trees and levelled land belonging to farmers from the village of Azzun Atma near Qalqilya. A local farmer said that the area had been bulldozed to “ensure security for settlements”. (Ma’an News Agency)

A committee of Israeli cabinet ministers voted to back two bills aimed at curtailing support of left-wing non-profit groups by foreign Governments. The vote threw the support of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Government behind the bills, which human rights groups had denounced as violations of free expression and an effort by the Government to silence its critics. Officials and legal experts said that the bills would probably be altered before reaching the Knesset and could ultimately be struck down by the Supreme Court. One bill would limit to about $5,000 a year the amount that a foreign Government, Government-supported foundation or group of Governments, such as the EU, could give to Israeli groups considered “political”. The other bill would impose a heavy tax on such contributions. The bills were largely aimed at groups that focused on Palestinian rights, civil liberties and other causes advocated by the Israeli left, many of which relied on European Government support. (The New York Times)

14

Israeli Air Force planes carried out a strike on Gaza without causing any injuries after Palestinian militants had fired a rocket at southern Israel, an IDF spokesperson said. Palestinian officials said that a Hamas naval policeman had been killed and seven others wounded in the Israeli air strike on their building in the northern Gaza Strip. (Haaretz)

Majdi Shakoura, a French consular official in Gaza, told AFP that he and his daughter had been injured and that his pregnant wife had miscarried in an overnight Israeli air raid. (AFP)

Israeli forces arrested eight Palestinians in the West Bank. (Qatar News Agency)

The IDF detained three young Palestinian men after storming the Balata refugee camp in Nablus. An Israeli army spokeswoman said that the three were taken for security questioning. In a similar incident in Ramallah, Israeli military forces stormed the homes of prisoners freed in the Hamas prisoners swap deal and summoned them to see Israeli intelligence officials. (www.presstv.com)

Quartet envoys met separately with Israeli and the Palestinian officials in Jerusalem. According to information released by the UN, the envoys “continued to encourage the parties to resume direct bilateral negotiations without delay or preconditions”. They also discussed with the parties their development of proposals on territory and security, called upon them to create a conducive environment for restarting talks and urged them to refrain from provocative actions. The envoys planned to hold a follow-up meeting in December. (UN News Centre)

"There is no doubt about the fact that Israeli settlements and the two-State solution are mutually exclusive," Chief Palestinian Negotiator Erakat said after meeting Quartet Envoy Tony Blair and other representatives of the Quartet in East Jerusalem. He added that Palestinians would be ready to negotiate but only once Israel froze its construction in both the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and accepted the lines that existed before the 1967 war as a clear term of reference for the talks. (DPA)

Chinese President Hu Jintao sent a cable to PA President Abbas to congratulate him on the anniversary of the 1988 declaration of Palestinian independence and to support his bid to gain full UN membership. Mr. Hu wished the Palestinians success in establishing an independent State based on the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital, living in peace with Israel. (WAFA)

PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi said that “the success or failure of the negotiations depends on the Quartet’s will to commit to clear and known peace requirements, make Israel commit to international law and 1967 borders and stop settlement activities, as well as determine a binding timeframe”. (WAFA)

Speaking to Gulf News, PLO Executive Committee member Tayseer Khalid said that the PLO would soon drop the "land swap" formula. He said that such a formula was only in talks by Israelis and the mediators and that "we have never signed an agreement with Israel, which states any shape of land swap formula". (Gulfnews)

PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad had signalled that he was ready to step aside to help reconcile Fatah and Hamas and pave the way for presidential and parliamentary elections. (Reuters)

At the daily US Department of State press briefing, Deputy Spokesperson Toner said that “for Hamas to play any meaningful political role, it needs to take the steps that we’ve called upon it to take: renounce violence, recognize Israel’s right to exist, adhere to past agreements”. As for PA Prime Minister Fayyad’s willingness to step down, if required, in order to allow for the creation of a unity Government, Mr. Toner said: “We believe it is important that the progress that the Palestinian Authority has made in institution-building continues uninterrupted”. (www.state.gov)

Fatah and Hamas had agreed on several controversial issues as part of a reconciliation deal signed on 4 May, senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad said. The details of the agreements would be released after a meeting scheduled to take place in late November between PA President Abbas and Hamas Political Bureau Chief Mashaal. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Consul-General of France in Jerusalem, Frédéric Desagneaux, told senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad that France would transfer €10 million to the PA by the end of the month. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli cabinet ministers decided to suspend the release of about $100 million in taxes owed to the Palestinians as a response to the successful Palestinian bid for admission to UNESCO. IDF sources said that "the cabinet's decision on the transfer of funds to the Palestinians is not final. The issue will be revisited soon." (The Washington Post, Ynetnews)

A senior Fatah official, Azzam al-Ahmed, warned that the PA could collapse in the absence of peace and tax funds. (Jerusalem Post)

Quartet Representative Blair said that he was continuing to pursue efforts with the Israeli Government to expedite the transfer of Palestinian tax revenues withheld by Israel, saying that the release of the funds was obligatory and served the interests of both sides. Mr. Blair affirmed the importance of the immediate transfer of these revenues, saying that “this is Palestinian money that is vital and necessary for the PA to continue functioning and providing services to Palestinians”. (Haaretz)

Palestinian officials reported that Israel had recently doubled the "Arnona" taxes imposed on Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem. The officials claimed that Israel was hardening the daily lives of Palestinian residents living in eastern Jerusalem and emptying the city of any Arab presence. (Xinhua)

The Israeli Antiquities Authority approved resumed excavation of 1,000 graves in the Mamilla Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem for the construction of the Museum of Tolerance, despite the discovery of ancient skeletons at the site, said Dimitri Diliani, a member of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council. (WAFA)

The Jerusalem municipality had issued an eviction order to a Palestinian family in Silwan with the intent to replace them with Israeli settlers. (IMEMC)

At the daily US State Department press briefing, Deputy Spokesperson Toner, in response to a question on whether settlers who held dual US-Israeli citizenship would be held liable under US law for criminal acts against Palestinians, said that he would need to take the question for further consideration. (www.state.gov)

The European network to support the rights of Palestinian prisoners, UFree, issued a statement revealing that the Israeli army had prevented Palestinians from travelling through the Allenby crossing between the West Bank and Jordan to meet with their family members who had been released by Israeli under the prisoner swap deal then sent into exile in Qatar, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey and the Gaza Strip. (IMEMC)

15

Israeli army tanks stationed in the Nahal Oz area east of the Al-Shujaiyeh neighbourhood of Gaza fired several shells at agricultural fields near Gaza City, locals said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israel rebuffed sharp criticism by France of an air strike that injured the French Consul in Gaza and members of his family. The French Foreign Ministry had summoned Israel's Ambassador to France over the incident. “While it is committed to Israel’s security, France reaffirms the urgent need to avoid any harm to civilians. This imperative was reaffirmed to the Israeli authorities,” said French Foreign Ministry Spokesman Valero. (The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz)

PA Foreign Minister al-Malki said that the Palestinian leadership would call a vote on the application for UN membership even without the nine votes needed from among the 15 members of the Security Council. Speaking to Voice of Palestine radio, Mr. al-Malki said that the vote would hold the Council members to their responsibility. (WAFA)

Speaking before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, IDF Chief Benny Gantz said that there was still a chance for West Bank violence over Palestinian disappointment in the event of a failed membership bid at the UN. He added that the IDF would be forced to launch an offensive if rocket attacks from Gaza continued to be launched into southern Israel. (Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post)

Speaking to Voice of Palestine radio, PLO Executive Committee member Erekat said that the role of the Quartet was not limited to facilitating talks between Palestinians and Israelis but extended to preparing the proper mutual grounds and environment to resume negotiations. Mr. Erekat stressed that the ball was now in Israel’s court, adding that it needed to fulfil its commitment to halt settlement activities and accept the concept of the two-State solution based on the 1967 borders. (WAFA)

During a meeting in London between King Abdullah II of Jordan and British Prime Minister David Cameron, the Monarch stressed the importance of exerting more efforts to bring the Palestinians and Israelis back to the negotiating table and ultimately establish an independent Palestinian State, based on the 1967 borders, and living in peace and harmony with Israel. For his part, Mr. Cameron expressed appreciation for King Abdullah’s efforts to push the peace process forward and Jordan’s pivotal role in the region. (The Jordan Times)

PA Prime Minister Fayyad was set to resign to enable the formation of a new Government. He would apparently be replaced by a Palestinian businessman who was politically unaffiliated and would be acceptable to the West as well as to Hamas and Fatah. The new Prime Minister would head a Government of technocrats whose writ would cover both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Senior Palestinian sources told Haaretz that a breakthrough had taken place in the Egyptian-brokered talks. The breakthrough had been spurred by the report of the Security Council Committee for the Admission of New Members, in which it was stated that some Members believed that Palestine did not fulfil the conditions for statehood because it did not control the Gaza Strip. Formation of a unity Government was thus expected to help the PA secure Security Council votes. (Haaretz)

PLO Executive Committee member Erakat called the withholding of Palestinian tax funds by Israel as "blackmailing, bullying and stealing", adding that "this money belongs to the Palestinian people". (Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli Housing Ministry said that it had published formal notice of its intention to invite tenders to build 749 housing units in “Har Homa” and another 65 in “Pisgat Ze’ev”, in East Jerusalem. "It will take a month or two before the tenders would be open to offers, [and] in another year, year and a half, building will start”, Housing Ministry Spokesman Ariel Rosenberg told AFP, adding that the decision to invite tenders "follows the recent Government decision to speed up building in Jerusalem". The Palestinians roundly condemned the move, with Chief Negotiator Erakat saying that the planned constructions proved that efforts by the Quartet to renew peace talks had failed. (AFP)

Israeli security sources reported that a group of settlers wrote graffiti on a Palestinian-owned apartment in Jerusalem in a “price tag” attack. Israeli police said that it apprehended two suspects who had confessed to the graffiti and vandalism charges. (WAFA)

IDF bulldozers demolished four Palestinian homes near the ancient city of Jericho. Israeli authorities said that the homes endangered a nearby archaeological site and had been built on government-owned land that was to be used by the nearby settlement of Vered Yericho. (AFP)

At a meeting with Quartet Representative Blair in Ramallah, PA President Abbas said that Israel's release of Palestinian prisoners jailed before the Oslo agreement of 1993 was one of his priorities. (NAM News Network)

Palestinian activists boarded a settler bus for Jerusalem at the Kohav Yakov and Psagot settlement bus stops. Israeli forces stopped the bus on the Hizma checkpoint and prevented it from entering Jerusalem. The bus was searched and seven activists were removed and arrested. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israel released the last of the six activists who were arrested after boarding an Israeli bus bound for Jerusalem. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign said that the activists had been inspired by the actions of Rosa Parks and others in the segregated US South and that the campaign proved that the West Bank was at the present time just as segregated as the US South had once been, if not more. (Ma’an News Agency)

16

Israeli air strikes injured two people in Gaza City, a Ma'an reporter said. Israeli F-16 jets fired at least one missile at the Tuffah neighbourhood, slightly injuring one woman and damaging several homes. Shortly after the strike, a rocket was fired from an open area in western Jabalya but failed to explode. The Israeli army said in a statement that the IAF had targeted "a terror tunnel and a terror activity site" in response to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Shin Bet captured two “Palestinian terror cells” that had been responsible for a number of attacks against Israeli security forces in the West Bank. The security agency said that the arrest had thwarted the cell's plan to attack a settler who frequently transported villagers from Shura throughout the West Bank. (The Jerusalem Post)

PLO Executive Committee member Ashrawi told US diplomats that Washington should stop submitting to Israeli policies if it wanted to regain influence among the Palestinian people and its leaders. "It is essential that Palestinians explore various constructive alternatives to the failed peace process," she said. (Ma’an News Agency)

PA President Abbas pledged to "speed up" work with Hamas to form a new caretaker Government and prepare for fresh elections. In an address to the PLO Executive Committee to mark seven years since the death of Yasser Arafat and the twenty-third anniversary of Palestine’s declaration of independence, President Abbas vowed to push ahead with efforts to cement a landmark unity deal between Fatah and Hamas. (AFP)

At a ceremony to commemorate Yasser Arafat’s death anniversary, PA President Abbas called on Palestinians to mount non-violent resistance to Israel's occupation. (Haaretz)

Senior religious leaders from across the Middle East and North Africa issued “The Marrakesh Declaration and Commitments to Action”, in which they rejected violence and called for deepened multireligious collaboration as the region underwent historic transformations. They committed to stand in solidarity with all vulnerable communities, to advocate for full religious freedoms across the region and to call upon all religious believers to become a united force to help ensure that Governments protected, served and honoured the full rights of all of their citizens without exception. The religious leaders, from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, the OPT, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey, were convened by the Religions for Peace Middle East and North Africa Council, a body led by religious leaders from the region. They were joined by representatives from the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Islamic Education Scientific and Cultural Organization. Calling on the religious communities to “unite on the basis of shared values,” the President of the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, noted in his message that this was the only way to “build flourishing communities committed to a just peace across the region.” (www.ReligionsforPeace.org)

17

The IDF closed off the entrance to the Palestinian village of Beita, south of Nablus, and refused to allow residents to enter or exit the area. (Ma’an News Agency)

Iran had been training Gazans to operate sophisticated anti-tank rockets, a senior IDF officer said. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli soldiers arrested seven Palestinians, including three Palestinian youths and one child, from Azzun, a village south of Qalqilya, and another three Palestinians from Hebron after raiding several houses and areas of the West Bank. (WAFA)

PLO Executive Committee member Ashrawi said that Europe must fill the "political void" left by the US in order to make progress on the peace process. Meeting with EU representatives in Jerusalem, Ms. Ashrawi said that EU nations must "distance themselves from Israeli unilateral measures and American prejudicial policies". (Ma’an News Agency)

A European diplomat said that the PA had offered the US a deal, in which it would freeze all moves to achieve full membership for Palestine in various UN agencies until the end of January, while the US and Israel would resume transferring funds to it. PLO Executive Committee member Saeb Erakat dismissed the report as “nonsense”. (Haaretz, Ma’an News Agency)

The European Parliament pressed the US and the EU to respond to the Palestinians' "legitimate demand" to be represented as a State at the UN. With Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in limbo, the European MPs made their plea in a resolution adopted in a show of hands ahead of a US-EU summit in Washington, D.C., on 28 November. (EUbusiness.com)

Israeli officials in Jerusalem said that PA President Abbas could not have both peace with Israel and reconciliation with Hamas, as Fatah announced significant progress toward forming a unity Government with Hamas. Washington was also sending messages to President Abbas not to sign off on a deal with Hamas, warning that the PA could once again face a cut-off in US funds if it did so without Hamas first recognizing Israel, forswearing terrorism and accepting previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements. (The Jerusalem Post)

Western diplomats warned that Israel was “playing with fire” by refusing to transfer revenues to the PA. (The Financial Times)

Israeli forces demolished an agricultural water pool in the al-Baq'a area located near the settlement of “Kiryat Arba”, east of Hebron. (The Palestine Telegraph)

Solar panels in the southern West Bank village of Imneizil, which had been built jointly by the Spanish organization SEBA and the Al-Najah University in Nablus, were at risk of demolition by the Israeli army for having been built without a permit. Israeli non-governmental organizations and the UN Human Settlements Programme had urged the army to freeze the order. The Spanish Government was also working through diplomatic channels to prevent the closure of the $495,000 project, most of which had been funded by SEBA. (AFP)

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation said that “Israel doesn’t even conceal that this step [of accelerating settlements] is sort of a punishment for Palestine’s joining the UNESCO and its attempts to join the UN”. Moscow believed that building Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land contradicted international laws and must be stopped. (TASS)

The spokesperson for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories of the Israeli Ministry of Defense said that a plan to import building materials for the private sector in the Gaza Strip had begun. It had been agreed that building materials for the renovation and rehabilitation of 10 private sector factories would be imported under a supervision and control mechanism designed by the international community. (www.mfa.gov.il)

The PA strongly condemned Israel's approval of hundreds of new settlement units built on Palestinian land in the West Bank and Jerusalem. The published bids for new settlement units "are a blatant example of Israel’s unilateral actions and noncommittal to international laws and understandings," the PA Cabinet said. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Arab Ambassadors Council in Brussels adopted a decision to support politically and financially the Palestinian delegations to the EU and to Belgium in their efforts and initiative to secure the release of thousands of Palestinian prisoners languishing in Israeli jails. PA Minister for Prisoners' Affairs Qaraqe would visit Brussels on 7 December for discussions with EU and Belgian authorities to garner support for the release of the prisoners, who number more than 5,000. (KUNA)

PA Minister for Prisoners’ Affairs Qaraqe urged Egypt to pressure Israel to release 127 long-term prisoners who had been detained before 1993. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian activist Khaled Abu Awwad would be receiving the UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence in a special ceremony to be held in Paris on 9 December. He heads the Palestinian branch of the Parents Circle Families Forum, an organization of Palestinians and Israelis who have lost immediate family members in the conflict, and was one of the founders of AI-Tariq (The Way), a Palestinian institution for development and democracy. (UN News Centre)

18

Israel carried out a de facto annexation of Palestinian land northeast of the Jordan Valley and had given it to the “Merav” settlement. “Merav”, a part of the Religious Kibbutz Movement, was about seven kilometres northwest of the parcel. (Haaretz)

PLO Executive Committee member Erakat described as “historic and significant” the European Parliament’s call for the US and the EU to respond to the Palestinians' "legitimate demand" to be represented as a State at the UN. In a statement aired over Voice of Palestine radio, Mr. Erakat voiced hope that the European States and the US Government would listen carefully and attentively to the voices of the European parliamentarians, especially as the European Parliament had important weight across the world. (Qatar News Agency)

A Hamas-appointed court ordered two major banks in Gaza to pay tens of millions of dollars in back fees and fines for refusing to accept the taxation power of the Hamas authorities, instead of the PA. (The New York Times)

The Israeli Foreign Ministry had rejected France's criticism of the decision to construct hundreds of illegal settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem. The Israeli Government maintained that it had the right to build in what it alone regarded as the “unified capital” of Israel. Construction work had been and was still ongoing in the city. (Middle East Monitor)

An Israeli army study showed that 6 out of 10 settlers had been drafted into combat units for their compulsory military services, indicating a sharp rise in numbers. According to a study on draft trends published by the military's personnel division, settlers were more likely than regular Israelis to try to join combat units. (AFP)

A group of Israeli settlers attacked a family at their farm in al-Khadr village, near Bethlehem. The land was located near the “Eliezer” settlement. (IMEMC)

19

Palestinian factions said that they had reached a vision of reconciliation but it was still early to announce that they would start forming a unity Government. (Xinhua)

Fatah leader Mohammad al-Nahhal said that a new Government was to be announced after a Cairo meeting between PA President Abbas and Hamas leader Mashaal. (Ma’an News Agency)

PA Prime Minister Fayyad said that he would quit his post as soon as Fatah and Hamas had agreed on the nomination of a new prime minister. (Xinhua)

Dozens of Israeli settlers attacked a shop in the West Bank belonging to a Palestinian man freed as part of the prisoner swap deal the previous month. No one was reported injured in the clash. (DPA)

According to a press statement, Palestinian civil society groups had launched a campaign calling for better aid delivery to the Palestinians. The Dalia Foundation, a community foundation based in Ramallah, would bring its message to the fourth High-level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, to be held in South Korea on 29 November. The statement included the Foundation's finding that civil society groups in the OPT had been complaining that donors "fund relief, not development" and "impose agendas rather than respond to local ones". (Ma’an News Agency)

According to reports, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu had decided to freeze the parliamentary process that would ratify bills aimed at limiting foreign funding of Israeli human rights organizations. (Haaretz)

20

In a meeting with US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, PA President Abbas called upon the US Administration to help the Palestinians to implement an agreement signed with former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on the release of prisoners in Israeli jails, especially those who had been detained before the Oslo accords in 1993. He stressed that Palestine’s quest to gain full membership in the UN did not in any way contradict either the peace process or the efforts undertaken to resume negotiations. President Abbas also stressed that the resumption of negotiations required the Israeli Government to commit to its responsibilities; stop settlement activities, including in East Jerusalem, and accept the two-State solution. Mr. Burns was to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. (WAFA, Maariv, AFP)

Fatah Central Committee member Sha’ath said that the PA leadership would not succumb to any “financial or morale extortion regardless of its size, and would proceed with its plans to achieve reconciliation with Hamas, adding that “nothing will stop us from achieving our national unity, including threats to cut off financial aid”. (The Jerusalem Post)

PLO Executive Committee member Erekat denied reports that the US had threatened to cut off aid to the PA in the event the Palestinian reconciliation agreement was implemented, adding that President Abbas, in his meeting with US Deputy Secretary of State Burns, had affirmed that Palestinian reconciliation was considered of supreme Palestinian interest. (WAFA)

The second largest Islamist group in the Gaza Strip, the Islamic Jihad, said that it was studying whether to run in the planned Palestinian general elections, after having boycotted all previous polls. "Our clear positions do not prevent us from holding a debate inside the movement to study recent developments, including the possibility of running in the upcoming elections", said Nafez Azzam, a senior leader of the movement, said, that the final decision to stand in parliamentary elections had not yet been made. (Xinhua)

The head of the Palestinian Association of Importers and Exporters, Muhammad Abu Eid, said that overall PA exports amounted to $400 million per year. Ninety per cent of all exports went to Israeli markets. Several members of the Association’s board and general assembly visited the port of Haifa the previous week where they discussed with their Israeli partners the impediments faced by Palestinian businessmen who imported and exported merchandise through the port of Haifa. (Ma’an News Agency)

More than a quarter of all children in the West Bank and Gaza lived in poverty, PCBS said in a report marking universal children's day. According to data collected by PCBS in 2010, 26.9 per cent of children experienced poverty. The proportion was significantly higher in Gaza (38.4 per cent) than in the West Bank (19 per cent). The report found that nearly half of the Palestinian population in 2011 was under the age of 18. About 65,000 children between the ages of 5 and 14 were working, and nearly half of the Palestinian children were refugees. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his forum of eight senior ministers had decided to continue Israel's freeze on the transfer of the PA's tax money due to the latest moves by Fatah and Hamas aimed at establishing a unity Government. (Haaretz)

A Jewish settler opened fire randomly at a Palestinian funeral in Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. The Palestinian mourners responded by throwing stones. Israeli forces arrived at the scene and fired tear gas at the Palestinians, causing many to suffer from suffocation. (WAFA)

Egypt's Muslim cleric, Imam of Al-Azhar Sheik Ahmed al-Tayeb, warned that Israel's settlement building in East Jerusalem was opposed by Muslims the world over. He said that harming the compound enshrining the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, the Haram al-Sharif, was a "red line that can't be crossed”. (Ma’an News Agency)

PA Presidential Adviser Ahmad Ruweidi said that Israeli settler organizations had been given the green light by the Israeli Government to take over a number of homes in central Jerusalem belonging to Palestinians, adding that settler groups would offer high prices for the properties and raid the houses with troops if families did not comply. (Ma’an News Agency)

Yedioth Ahronoth reported that Sweden had funded the publication of a booklet entitled "Colonialism and Apartheid – the Israeli occupation in Palestine". According to the report, the Swedish Government had transferred roughly $104,600 to a Swedish-Palestinian solidarity group for the creation of the booklet, in which the authors accused Israel of racist legislation, ethnic cleansing, racial segregation, establishing an apartheid regime in the territories and bombing Palestinian civilian homes. (Ynet News)

Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations B'Tselem and Al-Haq were to jointly receive the Danish Poul Lauritzen Foundation's annual human rights award. A statement from B'Tselem said that the award ceremony was scheduled to take place in Copenhagen on 29 November and would be presented by Danish Supreme Court Justice Poul Soegaard. (www.btselem.org)

21

The Israeli military prosecutor’s office decided not to prosecute a former Givati Brigade commander who had approved the bombing of a building during an air strike on Gaza City in 2009, which led to the death of 21 members of a Palestinian family. Ilan Malka would be merely reprimanded instead of being put on trial. (WAFA)

Israeli forces detained seven men in the West Bank: four in the Bethlehem area, two in Jenin and one in Qalquilya. (Ma’an News Agency)

The IDF court sentenced a soldier to 10 days in military incarceration after a video showed him hurling a stone at a Palestinian photographer of the B’Tselem human rights organization. (Ynet News)

King Abdullah II arrived in the PA presidential compound in Ramallah where he was received by President Abbas. Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh told a news conference at the compound that Jordan backed efforts by the Quartet to end the stalemate between Israel and the Palestinians, adding. "We support the resumption of direct negotiations, because the goal is to guarantee the creation of an independent Palestinian State". Mr. Judeh also expressed support for Palestinian efforts to form a unity Government. (DPA, Ma’an News Agency)

In Ramallah, Palestinian sources reported that King Abdullah had conveyed to PA President Abbas a European proposal to resume negotiations with Israel on the basis of the Quartet statement issued in September, without the Palestinian insistence on the freeze of settlement, in exchange for a promise by the EU, including France and the UK, to support the Palestinian application for UN membership in September 2012 if negotiations with Israel failed over the next year. For his part, President Abbas said after the meeting, "If Israel stops settlement activity and recognizes international authorities, we are ready to return to negotiations. These are not preconditions, but commitments and agreements between us and the Israelis.” But the President remarked that there were no signs so far that pointed to the imminent resumption of negotiations. (www.albawaba.com)

Following a meeting with the Palestinian Chief Negotiator Sha’ath in Copenhagen, Danish Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal said that Denmark would support Palestine’s bid to upgrade its status at the General Assembly. “Denmark is closely following the Palestinian application for membership of the United Nations. We also, however, fully realize what the result will be if the application is voted on in the UN Security Council,” Mr. Søvndal said in a statement. He added that it was “important that the parties go back to the negotiating table, which is the only place that a final solution to the conflict can be found.” (Politiken.dk)

The Prime Minister of Albania, Sali Berisha, met with the Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem. Mr. Berisha said that the Palestinian bid for recognition by the UN "sabotages the peace process. […] The attempt to circumvent Israel and the US is a mistake. Peace between Israel and the Palestinians can only come through direct negotiations and ensured security for two States." (The Jerusalem Post)

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton telephoned Prime Minister Netanyahu and demanded the release of Palestinian tax revenues that Israel had frozen for more than a month after UNESCO had accepted the Palestinians as a member. Israel held $100 million in PA tax revenues collected for the month of October as part of economic agreements between the two sides. Should the freeze continue through the end of November, the sum would amount to $200 million. According to an Israeli source, Prime Minister Netanyahu had rejected Secretary Clinton's request, saying that he lacked a majority in the cabinet on the issue. The source added that no decision would be reached on the matter until after a meeting on 24 November between PA President Abbas and Hamas leader Mashaal. (Haaretz)

PA Foreign Minister al-Malki said that the Palestinians were calling upon the UN Secretary-General to intervene and secure the release of tax and tariff funds held by Israel as a punitive measure after UNESCO granted the Palestinians membership in the organization. (AFP)

The EU had agreed on a 2 per cent budget rise for 2012, which included an extra €100 million in aid for the Palestinian territories. (Reuters)

PA Minister of the Economy Hassan Abu Libdeh called for Israel to be sued for withholding Palestinian tax funds and to demand compensation for losses caused by this measure. Mr. Abu Libdeh said that the Israeli decision “was a clear violation of a trade agreement [Paris Protocol] that allows Israel to collect taxes, which it is supposed to transfer to the Palestinian Authority for a 3 per cent commission,” adding that the time had come to stop Israel from using the agreement as a sword hanging over the head of the Authority. (WAFA)

Reaffirming its support to the Palestinian cause, India donated $1 million to UNRWA to provide daily supplement of food to thousands of Palestinian children in camps in the Gaza Strip. (www.hindustantimes.com)

About 20 right-wing Israeli activists were working on a project called “Hebrew Labor” with the goal of mapping Jerusalem businesses that employed Arabs and "warn the public" against buying from them. (Haaretz)

Israel had closed down All for Peace, the Israeli-Palestinian radio station, in what its backers said was a politically-motivated decision to silence criticism. Israel claimed that the station had been operating without a license, while the station maintained that it had a license from the PA and did not require permission from Israel. The station had offices in East Jerusalem, but broadcast from Ramallah. (The Independent)

Palestinian officials rejected Israeli television claims of incitement on the State-run Palestine television and radio stations, arguing instead that the incitement was actually found in Israeli media and school textbooks. The Israeli channels said that Palestinian media incited violence by making references to cities inside Israel and presenting documentaries about their Palestinian history. Mr. Ahmad Zaki, director of Voice of Palestine radio, defended references to the Palestinian history of the cities. (WAFA)

In a briefing to the Security Council, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, stressed the need for urgent political progress between Israel and the Palestinians through renewed negotiations in a conducive environment, warning that “without a credible political path forward, accompanied by more far-reaching steps on the ground, the viability of the Palestinian Authority and its State-building agenda – and, I fear, of the two-State solution itself – cannot be taken for granted”. (www.un.org)

The "Freedom Spring" solidarity convoy arrived in the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border. Representatives of the Arab spring movement were part of the convoy and planned to hold a meeting with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and several Palestinian officials, in addition to holding meetings with Gaza businessmen, representatives of women’s movements and representatives of local non-governmental organizations. They would also tour refugee camps and visit the UNRWA offices. (IMEMC)

22

Israeli and Palestinian sources reported that Israeli troops had raided several cities in the West Bank and arrested 17 members and supporters of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) wanted for involvement in attacks against Israeli targets. According to a member of the PFLP Political Department, the raid included Ramallah, Jenin and Nablus, said Zaher Al-Shashtari. (Xinhua)

A 30-year-old Palestinian man carrying a knife was apprehended while attempting to cross the security fence surrounding the settlement of “Otniel”. During interrogation, the man confessed to having planned to carry out an attack that he then retracted. (Ynetnews)

An explosion was reported following an IAF attack on a site operated by the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah. A PRC source said that the missile that was fired from the aircraft failed to explode. Palestinians also reported that the IDF had opened fire at houses east of Rafah. No injuries had been reported. (Ma’an News Agency; Ynetnews.com)

Israeli forces detained nine people overnight in raids across the West Bank, the army said. An Israeli military spokesman said that three people had been detained in Beit Ummar, two in Tulkarem, two in Tubas, one in Qalqiliya and one in Ramallah. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli bulldozers under the protection of Israeli soldiers razed 18 dunums of agricultural land, belonging to a Palestinian farmer in northeast Jericho, destroying the irrigation network that had been the main source of water for the land. (WAFA)

According to Dubai-based news website Al Moheet, Jordan’s Foreign Minister Judeh, commenting on the possibility of Hamas Political Bureau Chief Mashaal’s visit to Amman, said that Jordan had no intention of establishing bilateral relations with Hamas and that any upcoming visit by Mr. Mashaal to Amman would be "a quick one". (Kuwait News Agency)

The Jerusalem municipality had begun a collection campaign in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan of outstanding property and income taxes. Fakhri Abu Diyab, a member of the Committee to Defend Silwan, told WAFA that the tax collectors were accompanied by Israeli soldiers and police officers who closed the entrances to Silwan and ticketed outbound vehicles. Mr. Abu Diyab said that the campaign was a distraction since Israel continued to expel Palestinians from their houses to make room for Israeli settlers. (Palestine News Network)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed the need to de-escalate the current tensions in the Middle East so that direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians could resume as soon as possible. The Secretary-General’s spokesperson reported that Mr. Ban had appealed to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu by telephone to immediately resume the transfer of tax and customs revenues to the Palestinians, in line with Israel’s legal obligations. Mr. Ban also expressed to Mr. Netanyahu his deep concern about Israel’s announcement of further settlement expansions, including in East Jerusalem, which he noted undermined current peace efforts and was a violation of international law. But the Secretary-General welcomed Israel’s approval of $5.5 million in new UN construction projects in the Gaza Strip, and called for further measures towards lifting the closure of the Gaza Strip, in line with an earlier Security Council resolution. (www.un.org)

Wafa reported that two Israeli bulldozers razed large areas of agricultural lands east of Jericho in the occupied West Bank. According to the report, Israeli forces closed the area and kept farmers from their fields. Bulldozers dug up corn crops and an irrigation network belonging to the Erekat and Deibes families, respectively. (Ma’an News Agency)

A Tunisian medical aid convoy arrived in the Gaza Strip. Jalal Ayyad, head of the Amal Organization for Social Development in Tunisia, said that the visit was to show solidarity with Gaza. The Tunisian delegation was carrying 1.5 tons of medication and medical aid, officials said. The delegation would stay in Gaza for about a week to see the lasting effects of “Operation Cast Lead”. (Ma’an news)

23

A large number of Israeli forces stormed the central West Bank village of al-Nabi Saleh and arrested three Palestinian men aged 33, 20 and 16. (Palestine News Network)

Hamas had “indefinitely suspended” Political Bureau Chief Mashaal’s visit to Jordan, the first in over a decade. The authorities in Gaza said that the much-anticipated trip had been delayed due to diplomatic protocol. According to Musa Abu Marzouq, the Deputy Head of the Hamas’ Political Bureau, the resistance movement had moved to suspend any plans for an official visit to Jordan due to a “lack of commitment” on the Jordanian side. Zaki Bani Rsheid, head of the Political Department of the Islamic Action Front, said that Mr. Mashaal’s visit was being opposed by elements within the Jordanian Government that had been behind the 1999 expulsion of Hamas from Jordan, out of fears that the move would open the door to the resistance movement’s return to the Kingdom. The Jordanian Government had denied the allegation, stressing its commitment to improve its ties with the Palestinian group, which ruled the Gaza Strip. (The Jordan Times)

Hamas Political Bureau Deputy Head Abu Marzouq announced that the date for the reconciliation talks between PA President Abbas and Hamas Political Bureau Chief Mashaal had been moved to the following day. Mr. Marzouq told Palestinian media sources that the Hamas delegation would arrive in Egypt during the day, dispelling reports about the possibility of the postponement of the meeting because of the present unrest in Cairo. (Middle East Monitor)

PA Foreign Minister al-Malki signed a so-called "instrument of accession" to UNESCO in London, where the organization was created after World War II. The Palestinian flag would be raised at UNESCO but a date was not immediately set. The previous month's decision by UNESCO to admit Palestine as a member had triggered an immediate funding cutoff by the US that would force the organization to scale down literacy and development programmes in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan or the new nation of South Sudan. (AP)

Australian Ministers and members of Parliament were urged by a group of prominent Australians to support Palestine's bid for statehood during the last session of Parliament for the year. The Australian Palestine Advocacy Network, whose supporters included former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, church leaders, former ambassadors to Israel, members of the Labour and Green parties and businesswoman Janet Holmes à Court, had sent its executive to Canberra for three days to promote Palestinian statehood. Group President Rev. James Barr said that meetings had been held with representatives of the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, as well as MPs from all political factions. The group was using a recent poll that found that 62 per cent of Australians thought Palestine should be accepted as a UN Member State. (theage.com.au)

PA Foreign Minister al-Malki told AP that he hoped that the US could be persuaded to reverse its decision to cut funds to UNESCO adding that several countries had lobbied the US over the withdrawal of the funds and talks were planned between US officials and UNESCO Director-General Bokova. (The Washington Post)

France condemned the prolonged withholding by the Israeli authorities of tax revenues and customs duties collected on behalf of the PA. “These funds rightfully belong to the Palestinians and the withholding of them constitutes a violation of Israel’s commitments under the 1994 Paris Protocol… This should not be a matter of ‘punishing’ the Palestinians for their current initiatives at the United Nations, which are legal,” a statement read. (www.ambafrance-us.org)

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) urged the PA to reconsider its economic ties with Israel. In a statement, the Deputy Secretary-General of PFLP, Abdul-Rahim Mallouh, called upon the PA to assign a specialized committee to analyse economic relations and protect the economy from subordination to Israel. Mr. Mallouh urged Palestinians to boycott Israeli products, particularly settlement produce. The PFLP leader's remarks had coincided with mounting calls from world leaders urging Israel to release money it owed the PA. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian Minister of Detainees Qaraqe said in an interview that preparations had been completed to present to the General Assembly a draft resolution on the plight of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. The resolution would determine whether to request the International Court of Justice to issue an advisory opinion on the matter. (WAFA)

The second stage of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal, in which Israel was expected to release 550 Palestinian prisoners, would occur within the following 20 days, senior Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouq told Palestine Today. (The Jerusalem Post)

24

Israeli forces closed the al-Hamra military checkpoint in the northern West Bank. An Israeli army spokeswoman said that the troops had found an object they suspected was an explosive device at the site and that after a temporary closure the checkpoint "returned to regular operations". (Ma’an News Agency)

After meetings with Swedish officials, PLO official Sha’ath said that Sweden would stand with the Palestinians at the UN, citing the Under-Secretary to the Swedish Foreign Minister as saying that Sweden's vote against Palestinian membership of UNESCO in October would not be repeated in a General Assembly vote. (Ma’an News Agency)

At talks in Cairo, PA President Abbas and Hamas leader Mashaal had hailed a new era of partnership between their rival movements. “What is important to us is that we deal with each other as partners and shoulder the same responsibility toward our people and our cause,” said Mr. Abbas. “We want to assure our people and the Arab and Islamic world that we have turned a major new and real page in partnership on everything to do with the Palestinian nation,” Mr. Mashaal said. They also agreed to hold elections in May 2012. Other points of agreement included the release of Hamas and Fatah members held in prison by each side, preparing for the elections and reinforcing "the popular confrontations against the Israeli occupation”. Senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan said that Hamas and Fatah would meet again in Cairo in December to continue discussions on the unity deal. (AP, DPA, Ma’an News Agency)

Hamas leader Mashaal told AFPthat Hamas was looking to focus its energies on popular resistance without giving up its right to wage armed struggle against Israel, adding that "every people has the right to fight against occupation in every way, with weapons or otherwise. But at the moment, we want to cooperate with the popular resistance". (AFP)

Israeli Vice-President Silvan Shalom said that "a demonstration of Palestinian unity" blocked the way for direct talks with the Palestinians. "It is impossible to talk with a Government that is made up of those that want to destroy Israel," Mr. Shalom said. (The Jerusalem Post)

The head of Palestinian contractors said that Israel had set new restrictions on business owners in Gaza, having stopped issuing permits for businessmen, traders and contractors to Israel, and setting new restrictions that prevented them from continuing their work. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces demolished agricultural structures, water wells and a civilian house in Ezna town, west of Hebron. Israeli forces also raided the towns of al-Samoua and Beit Awa, south and south-west of Hebron. (Palestine Telegraph)

Israeli forces broke into the village of Umm Fagarah, demolishing several huts and detaining two girls in the village of At-Tuwani, south-east of Hebron, according to a press release by Operation Dove. Two bulldozers arrived in the village, escorted by five military vehicles and, without showing any demolition order, demolished two houses, a mosque, a barn and a generator room. After the demolitions, the army took away the two Palestinian girls without providing any explanation of charges against them. (WAFA)

Israeli forces demolished a car repair shop owned by two Palestinian brothers in the village of Um Safa, north of Ramallah, claiming that it had been built without permit. (WAFA)

25

Israeli Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein said that the partnership between PA President Abbas and Hamas proved that "Abbas is accepting Hamas' aggressiveness and terrorist ways against Israel and supporting the murder of innocent civilians". (Ynetnews)

Florida Democratic Congressman Ted Deutsch and New York Democratic Congressman Steve Israel had asked US Comptroller-General Gene Dodaro to investigate the PA use of American funding. The request came three weeks after Knesset member Moshe Matalon had sent a letter to the Budget Committees of the US Senate and House of Representatives, informing them of PA President Abbas’ reported policy of paying freed Palestinian prisoners who had been convicted of murder $5,000 and building them new homes. (The Jerusalem Post)

In response to a statement made by Foreign Minister Liberman on 23 November that “Israel would not transfer a dime of tax revenues to the PA” were it to form a unified Government with Hamas, Hamas leader Mashaal said that threats from the Israeli Government "do not scare us". Rather, [these threats] assure us that reconciliation is the best way forward for the Palestinian people”. (The Jerusalem Post)

A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said that moves towards Palestinian unity reduced the prospects for peace. “The closer Abu Mazen gets to Hamas, the further he moves away from peace”. (Reuters)

Islamic Jihad and Hamas organized mass rallies in Gaza City demanding the protection of Jerusalem's Palestinians and Muslim holy sites. (Ma’an News Agency)

PA Prime Minister Fayyad said that the PA was “fast approaching the point of being completely incapacitated” by Israel's refusal to hand over tax revenues belonging to it. “This is our money,” he said at a news conference alongside Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre. “It has nothing to do with donor assistance or anything like that.” (Reuters)

The Knesset was to hear a proposed law that would place West Bank settlement museums under Israeli law, reportedly intended as a first step towards annexation. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, in a statement to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, said that Israeli forces had killed three women and injured 35 in 2011 in the West Bank and Gaza. (Ma’an News Agency)

About 1,000 to 2,000 children from UNRWA schools in the Jericho area, together with world-renowned artist John Quigley, created a massive aerial image of the dove of peace as a peace message. (www.unrwa.org)

26

Israeli police said that Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired a rocket into the Eshkol region of southern Israel causing no casualties. (Ma’an News Agency)

An Israeli spokeswoman said that Israeli forces had detained seven Palestinians, including three men in Beit Ummar, two in Battir village near Bethlehem and two in the Ramallah area. The spokeswoman explained that the men had been arrested for suspected involvement in unspecified "terrorist activity". (Ma’an News Agency)

Acting on the advice of Israeli diplomats and security officials, Prime Minister Netanyahu delayed the demolition of a footbridge at Jerusalem's holy site to avoid enraging Muslims, Government officials said. The wooden ramp, which had been deemed unsafe by engineers, was erected by Israeli authorities as a stopgap after a snowstorm and earthquake in 2004 had damaged the stone bridge leading up from Judaism's Western Wall to the sacred compound where the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock shrine stood. Mr. Netanyahu had been cautioned that removing the structure and building a new bridge could enrage Muslims, especially in turbulent Egypt, who may mistakenly believe that the work could damage the Al-Aqsa, the officials said. (Reuters)

In a European day of action under the banner “Take Apartheid off the Menu”, human rights activists in 10 European countries held actions to call upon consumers to boycott food products made in Israeli settlements. The campaign focused on leading Israeli fruit and vegetable exporters Mehadrin and Agrexco, among others. Organizers of the campaign claimed that fruit and vegetable imports from Israeli settlements facilitated violations of Palestinian rights and international law. Demonstrations were held outside the British and French headquarters of Mehadrin, which activists said worked with the State-owned company Mekerot to deprive Palestinian communities of water. Campaigners in Rome also organized a Palestine contingent on a national demonstration for affordable access to water. (IMEMC)

27

Israeli warplanes hit targets in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza as well as greenhouses in the Khan Yunis district in southern Gaza. Both attacks caused material damage with no injuries. An Israeli spokesman said that the attacks were in response to rocket fire from Gaza. (Ma’an News Agency)

A senior Hamas figure said that PA President Abbas and Hamas Political Bureau Chief Mashaal had “quietly” decided to keep their respective Governments in the West Bank and Gaza in place until elections were held. (AP)

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon, said that Israel could cut water and power supplies to the Gaza Strip, saying that a unity Government of Hamas and Fatah "would transform the Palestinian Authority into a terrorist authority". (AFP)

PA President Abbas said that the refusal of Hamas to recognize Israel could be discussed in the following round of talks between Hamas and Fatah. "I would wish that Hamas would agree to this," he said. "Maybe this will be an issue to talk about in our next meeting." (AFP)

Official media reported that the Head of Mission of the Russian Federation to the Palestinian Authority, Alexander Rudakov, had presented a letter from President Dmitry Medvedev to PA President Abbas in which he had welcomed the reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas and applauded efforts to attain Palestinian statehood. The letter was received by the General Secretary of the Palestinian Presidency, Al-Tayeb Abdul Rahim, at the PA headquarters in Ramallah. (WAFA)

The Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, welcomed the meeting in Cairo between PA President Abbas and Hamas Political Bureau Chief Mashaal, underscoring the importance of Palestinian national unity in boosting the accomplishments recorded in the international arena. (International Islamic News Agency)

King Abdullah was to receive Hamas Political Bureau Chief Mashaal following Qatari diplomatic efforts, said Rakan Majali, the Jordanian Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications and Government Spokesperson. Mr. Majali added that the discussions would include reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. (The Jordan Times)

Islamic Jihad senior leader Sheikh Khalid al-Batsh said that the movement would support a Palestinian consensus on strategies to resist the occupation but on condition that popular actions did not become a substitute for armed resistance. He said, “Popular resistance is acceptable despite the fact that our enemy must be faced with painful ways, as peaceful rallies do not inflict casualties or cause pain to an enemy who mercilessly kills children”. Despite being convinced of armed resistance, the leader said that Islamic Jihad would discuss any new strategies with Fatah and Hamas. He stressed that the movement would never accept a Palestinian State based on the 1967 borders, adding, the "conflict will continue over the whole Palestine and not over a portion". (Ma’an News Agency)

Farmers in the Gaza Strip began exporting produce to Europe after Israel opened its border with Gaza for Palestinian goods. Yousef Shaath, from Gaza’s Agricultural Development Association, said that 250 farmers in Gaza hoped to export 600 tons of strawberries, 350 tons of bell peppers, 160 tons of cherry tomatoes and 17 million carnations, for estimated revenues of $25 million, a dramatic increase from the figures in 2010. According to Gisha, an Israeli human rights group, the level of exports still remained heavily restricted. Officials of the group described the current exception to the export ban as “helpful for select growers, but it fails to address the manufacturing shutdown and massive unemployment caused by the export ban”. (Ynetnews.com)

PA Prime Minister Fayyad said that he would not be able to pay upcoming public-sector salaries that supported nearly one-third of Palestinian families, which would be due in the first week of December. He said that the continued suspension of the tax transfers "has both an immediate impact on the lives of all employees and their dependents, some 1 million people ... (and) has a devastating indirect impact throughout the whole economy". (AP)

Peace Now filed a complaint with Israeli police over a series of "price-tag" death threats to the organization's activists, including Director-General Yariv Oppenheimer, that had been sent to their personal e-mail accounts. The police suspected that a 21-year-old man, who was arrested on 11 November, had been behind a number of past vandalism incidents. The man had previously admitted to committing numerous acts of vandalism, including spraying graffiti reading "price tag" and "death to the Arabs". (The Jerusalem Post)

A member of Fatah, Faysal Abu Shahla, said that Fatah and Hamas were in talks to release political prisoners in a bid to end all outstanding disagreements. “PA President Abbas gave instructions to the Director of the PA’s General Intelligence Service, Majid Faraj, to release Hamas-affiliated detainees according to the list received from Hamas,” he said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israel released 23-year-old Hamza al-Tarayra, a Palestinian detainee suffering from cancer, who had been in detention since 2009. (Ma'an News Agency)

An IDF court convicted Amjad Awad, a resident of the West Bank village of Awarta, for the murder of five members of the Fogel family in the “Itamar” settlement earlier during the year. The sentence would be determined at a later date. Two months earlier, his cousin, 18-year-old Hakim Awad, was sentenced to five consecutive life sentences. (Haaretz)

Without prior warning, Israeli forces demolished the International Solidarity Center in the village of Bil’in, west of Ramallah, according to a press release issued by the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements of Bil'in. (WAFA)

According to a statement, Fatah official Sha’ath was hospitalized after suffering a heart attack while on a plane leaving Brussels for Malaysia, causing the plane to make an emergency landing in Amsterdam. (Ma’an News Agency)

The staff of the PA Ministry of Health carried out a sit-in protest in front of the UN office in Ramallah in response to WHO Europe holding a conference at the invitation of Israel in Jerusalem. (WAFA)

Speaking at a press conference in Ramallah, Jamil Matawir, Deputy Chairman of the PA Ministry of Environmental Affairs, said that Israel controlled up to 85 per cent of Palestinian wells and underground water resources, negatively affecting the Palestinian ecosystem. Mr. Matawir called upon the UN to send a mission to investigate the effect of Israeli control of Palestinian water resources on the environment. General Director of the National Water Council Ahmed al-Hindi said that the average Palestinian consumed 70 litres of water per day and in some rural areas as low as 20 litres, while the WHO-recommended level was 100 litres per day. The average individual Israeli consumption, according to Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, was 242 litres per day. (Palestine News Network)

28

Israeli forces intercepted a Palestinian fishing boat and detained two Palestinian men, aged 20 and 21, in the Gaza Sea, in front of the Shati refugee camp, local sources reported. (WAFA)

In Amman, King Abdullah II discussed with visiting Israeli President Shimon Peres ways to overcome obstacles facing the revival of the Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations on the basis of the two-State solution. The meeting with President Peres came as a follow-up to the King's visit to Ramallah the previous week, where King Abdullah stressed the need to stop Israeli unilateral actions, particularly all forms of settlement building on Palestinian land as it posed a "serious obstacle" to peace efforts. (ammonnews.net)

In a speech delivered at the Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue in Vienna, PA President Abbas said, “We, the international Quartet and all the countries concerned with peace, are still waiting for a clear and written Israeli position regarding the issues of security and borders.” (WAFA)

Riyad Mansour, the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the UN, told Voice of Palestine radio that the PA had not yet decided whether to pursue its bid for membership at the UN. However, he confirmed that if new developments took place, the Palestinian leadership would immediately send a request to the Security Council asking for a vote. (Ma’an News Agency)

After meeting with Austrian President Heinz Fischer in Vienna, PA President Abbas said that he had set 4 May 2012 as the date for general elections with the aim of ending the division between Hamas and Fatah. Mr. Abbas said that a unity Government of technocrats, chosen from both factions, would be formed to prepare for the elections. President Fischer announced that Austria was upgrading the status of the Palestinian diplomatic representation from a PLO mission to a mission of the Palestinian Authority to be headed by an ambassador. (AP)

During a discussion of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that he was considering releasing the Palestinian tax revenue that Israel had frozen for over a month. He said that the decision to reconsider holding the $100 million came as the Palestinians had thus far refrained from pursuing any more unilateral moves in international organizations. Mr. Netanyahu also said that he saw the PA’s reconciliation with Hamas as a solely tactical move that “has no concrete solutions". One of Mr. Netanyahu's aides said that Israel had no interest in bringing about the collapse of the PA and for this reason it intended to release the funds. (Haaretz)

Israeli Defense Minister Barak spoke out in favour of releasing the funds to the PA, saying that “the money belongs to them; we just collect it”. (The Jerusalem Post)

The French Consul-General in Jerusalem and the PA Prime Minister signed an agreement on budgetary aid under which France would contribute a further €10 million to the PA, bringing its budgetary support for 2011 to €20 million. According to a press release by the French Foreign and European Affairs Ministry, the decision to grant this aid was made at the highest level of Government and reflects France’s support for the reforms being carried out by the Palestinian Authority, while the latter finds itself in a particularly difficult budgetary situation. (www.diplomatie.gouv.fr)

The head of the energy authority in the Gaza Strip, Kanaan Ubeid, said that Israel was “deliberately disconnecting the main electricity grid to the coastal enclave as part of a punitive policy", adding that "the Israeli occupation uses security pretexts to justify disconnecting a grid which provides 14 megawatts to the northern Gaza Strip". (Ma’an News Agency)

Peace Now official Hagit Ofran said that Israel had approved the construction of more than 100 homes in the West Bank settlement of “Shilo”. She said that the approval came to light after the group had petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court in March to halt the construction of an initial 50 housing units, prompting the court to request a Government response. "In reply... the Defense Ministry informed us that it had last month approved a plan to build 119 housing units, including the 50 already under construction," she said, adding that the latest spurt of building in “Shilo”, in the northern West Bank, had started a year before, initially without the necessary government permits. A Defense Ministry spokesman said that construction licenses had been given retroactively for "units already under construction" while those still in the planning stage would require separate permits in order for work to begin. (AFP)

Palestinians from the village of Qalandia, south of Ramallah, gathered to stop Israeli bulldozers from razing agricultural land for the expansion of the wall, Head of Qalandia village council Yousef Awad told the Voice of Palestine radio. He added that the area to be razed was about 400 dunums (400 square kilometers) and owned by a number of village residents. (WAFA)

Speaking in Amman during the opening session of the UNRWA Advisory Commission, Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi called upon the international community to renew and strengthen its support for Palestine refugees, particularly the youth, who formed a substantial and increasingly significant segment of the refugee population. He noted that, at a time when there were growing demands for human rights, fundamental freedoms and improved living conditions across the region, the international community, in consultation with refugees, must re-double its efforts to find a just and lasting solution consistent with UN resolutions. (UNRWA press release)

A new poll carried out by the Palestinian Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC) revealed that support for Fatah among residents of the PA had not been hurt by the exchange of prisoners or the “Shalit deal”, despite 86 per cent of those surveyed expressing their satisfaction with the results of the deal. The satisfaction rate was close to that of the Israeli satisfaction rate with the deal. The poll also showed that when it came to the political process, the majority of respondents (56.3 per cent) opposed the resumption of violence against Israel, compared with 45.5 per cent in April 2008. Furthermore, the percentage of supporters of terror operations dropped to 29.3 per cent in this poll, compared with 49.5 per cent in April 2008. (www.jmcc.org)

29

Israeli forces raided a number of houses in al-Khadr, south of Bethlehem, and arrested two Palestinians. Another three Palestinians from the Old City in Hebron were arrested for throwing stones at an Israeli patrol. (WAFA)

Shin Bet officials said that Israeli authorities arrested several Hamas members on suspicion of raising funds from abroad for activities in Jerusalem. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Icelandic Parliament approved a resolution introduced by Minister for Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphéðinsson, in which the Government was entrusted with recognizing an independent and sovereign State of Palestine within the pre-1967 six-day-war borders. The resolution was adopted without objections, with 38 votes in favour and 13 abstentions. This made Iceland the first Western European nation to recognize Palestine. (Iceland Review Online, Daily Kos)

PA President Abbas, in a joint press conference with Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, said that Austria was working inside the EU to push forward the Middle East peace process. "The Palestinian people highly appreciate Austria's role in the domain of human rights and in support of the two-State solution," President Abbas said. (KUNA)

In reference to the expectation of a vote in the Security Council, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “We successfully avoided the [negative] forecasts on the international stage. We see things quieting down on the Palestinian side – they have decided to stop these steps.” He added: “We didn’t need a veto in the UN Security Council. It’s in the Palestinian interest to stop. They know that their actions have a price.” According to Netanyahu, the PA does not plan to continue in its attempts to join UN agencies or bring the issue to a vote in the General Assembly. (The Jerusalem Post)

Senior Fatah official Abdullah Abu Samhadaneh said that a meeting between Hamas and Fatah would be held in Gaza to discuss outstanding topics for wrapping up the reconciliation deal. He said that the four issues to be discussed were passports, freedom of travel, political detainees and the reopening the Hamas and Fatah headquarters. (Ma’an News Agency)

Preliminary findings of an opinion poll conducted by the Arab World for Research and Development showed that majority of Palestinians believed that Salam Fayyad should be retained as Prime Minister in a unity Government. The results showed that about 57 per cent of Palestinians, 40 per cent in the Gaza Strip and 28 per cent in the West Bank, supported Mr. Fayyad to be the next prime minister. (WAFA)

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People held a special meeting at UN Headquarters, attended, among others, by the Presidents of the General Assembly and of the Security Council, the Deputy Secretary-General, the Chairman of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices and the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs. The meeting was followed by a film screening of “La Terre Parle Arabe”, the opening of a cultural exhibit in the evening entitled “A Palestinian vista – uprooted from our homeland… we rooted the homeland in ourselves,” and a performance by renowned musician Simon Shaheen. (www.un.org)

PA President Abbas, in a message on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, said that Palestinian people were adherent to their land and would stay on it. “The Palestinian State will be a multi- and democratic State where there will not be religious or racial discrimination; a peaceful State that wants to live in security and peace side by side with Israel and the rest of the region’s countries,” Mr. Abbas said. (WAFA)

In his message during the commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Secretary-General stressed the need for a just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine and to achieve a comprehensive peace in the Middle East. “The establishment of a Palestinian State, living in peace next to a secure Israel, is long overdue,” he said. (UN News Centre)

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Richard Falk, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, expressed his solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for self-determination, calling for urgent attention to the plight of the Palestinian Bedouin people of the occupied West Bank. Mr. Falk stressed that “[t]he proposed relocation of the Palestinian Bedouin, without the free and informed consent of the communities, amounts to forced transfer of protected persons under international humanitarian law”. (www.unog.ch)

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Tunisia reiterated its total support to the Palestinian application for full membership status in the UN, calling on all sides, and particularly on Security Council members, to "support this membership bid, which is part of the law and justice, and the international legality as strengthened by the relevant UN decisions." (Tunisian News Agency)

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova issued a message of support with the Palestinian people on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. In her message, Ms. Bokova said: “The decision taken by UNESCO Member States during the thirty-sixth session of the General Conference to admit Palestine to the Organization strengthens UNESCO’s resolve to deepen international cooperation in all of our areas of competence. Quality education, support to culture and the promotion of freedom of expression are essential conditions for a better future for all peoples in the region.” (UNESCO)

Hundreds of international activists and Gazans demonstrated in the Gaza Strip during the commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The activists burned Israeli flags to protest the “no-go” territory maintained by the Israeli Government, where troops had been directed to open fire at Palestinians if they entered the area. (Press TV)

In a statement issued by the Netherlands Representative Office, the Dutch Representative to the PA, Birgitta Tazelaar, welcomed the shipment of the first two truckloads of 2.6 tons of strawberries from Gaza that had successfully crossed the Kerem Shalom crossing. (WAFA)

Israeli authorities prevented Palestinian Legislative Council members Fayez Sakka and Qais Abdul Karim from travelling to participate and deliver a speech at an international parliamentary conference in Latin America. They were turned back at the Allenby Bridge while attempting to cross into Jordan. In a statement, Abdul Karim, a senior member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, condemned what he described as an “arbitrary measure, which comes as part of the hysterical Israeli reaction to the ongoing Palestinian political successes, particularly following its recent success at the international level”. (WAFA)

Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails sent a letter to PA President Abbas demanding support from the PA in their fight for better conditions. In the letter, the prisoners stated that Israel had enacted punitive policies against prisoners since the swap deal in October between Israel and Hamas, and that the situation for detainees was "on the verge of explosion". (Ma'an News Agency)

According to data in the military courts’ annual report obtained by Haaretz, over 99 per cent of cases heard by the Israeli military courts ended in a conviction. The military courts dealt with all criminal and security cases involving Palestinians from their detention through their appeals. According to the report, 9,542 cases were wrapped up in 2010, of which 2,016 involved “hostile terror activities,” 763 for disorderly conduct and the rest for illegal stay in Israel and traffic offences. (Haaretz)

A group of settlers from the “Yizhar” settlement south of Nablus raided the Madama village south of Nablus, destroying 10 olive trees. (WAFA)

The PA cabinet condemned Israel's decision to build new housing units in the illegal "Shilo" settlement. Ministers at the weekly cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Fayyad, also condemned Israel’s "continued illegal measures" to withhold Palestinian tax revenues. (Ma’an New Agency)

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemned the decision of WHO Europe to conduct a conference hosted by Israel in Jerusalem. PCHR stated that, by such action, “WHO sends an implicit recognition of Israel’s annexation of the city and gives implied legitimization to Israel’s illegal actions in Jerusalem over the past few decades.” (IMEMC)

The Minneapolis Minnesota Break the Bonds Campaign, a state-wide campaign aimed at stopping the US State of Minnesota from investment in Israeli bonds, had joined with several individuals and organizations in serving a lawsuit on the Minnesota State Board of Investment to demand that the Board divest from its purchase of sovereign Israel bonds. (IMEMC, www.MinnPost.com)

30

Israeli forces raided a Palestinian car rental company in Nablus, confiscated its computers and seized a large sum of money. Security sources said that soldiers also stormed a residential building near the company, when they searched a number of apartments and the former headquarters of the Palestinian stock exchange, and the al-Dahya area, east of Nablus, where they searched several homes. (WAFA)

Israeli soldiers arrested three Palestinian youths in the town of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, and took them to the Etzion detention center. The Beit Ummar City Council stated that the soldiers broke into several homes and violently searched them, causing damage and panic among the residents. (IMEMC)

Israeli army vehicles entered the Gaza Strip as Israeli soldiers fired from military watchtowers by the border. Four bulldozers, three tanks and several other military vehicles were seen levelling farmlands in the Juhor al-Dik and Maqbola neighbourhoods near the al-Bureij refugee camp. (Ma’an News Agency)

The IDF arrested 22 Palestinians in the West Bank, including nine senior members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israel freed 10 fishermen detained off the Gaza coast without releasing their boats, a Palestinian official said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli army bulldozers uprooted Palestinian farmlands owned by residents of Mas-ha town in the Salfit District. The soldiers also demolished stables in the area. (IMEMC)

Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni, during a meeting with PA President Abbas in Amman, said that the PA must return to Middle East peace talks with Israel, adding that Palestinians should not allow themselves to be swept up by extreme Islamic forces. (Haaretz)

Egypt had sent invitations to several Palestinian factions to attend bilateral meetings with officials in Cairo ahead of general reconciliation talks on 20 December. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Palestinian Liberation Front had confirmed receipt of the invitations and would send a delegation to Cairo on 4 and 6 December for talks on various elements of the deal. (Ma’an News Agency)

Hamas PLC faction head Mahmoud Al-Zahar said in an interview that PA President Abbas was not serious about reconciling with Hamas despite public statements to the contrary, allegedly because the US and Israel opposed it. Mr. Zahar said the proof was that Mr. Abbas was calling for legislative and presidential elections in May, knowing that the Government was supposed to be formed in January or February, but that difficult reconciliation issues could not be addressed fully and the required security could not be provided within this time frame. (Asharq Al-Awsat, AP)

Israel’s inner cabinet decided to release $100 million in Palestinian tax revenue. The decision applied to the funds that were supposed to be transferred in October and November. (The Jerusalem Post)

Farmers continued to grow produce in the Gaza Strip despite Israel's ban on exports but productivity had plummeted. PCBS reported that Gaza’s exports in 2005 had been worth $41 million, but that the figure had plummeted to $30,000 in 2006 and $20,000 in 2007, and that there had been no significant export trade in 2008. Israel had banned all exports from Gaza aside from a few trucks of berries and flowers per day during winter under an agreement with the Dutch Government. Farmers were denied access to lucrative markets in Israel and the West Bank. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli Foreign Minister Liberman denounced the decision to hand over $100 million in tax money to the PA, saying “Israel should have explained the decision clearly to the international community, instead of allowing pressure to lead to a mistaken decision”. (Haaretz)

Wael Safi, an environmental researcher, warned that a waste crisis was worsening in the Gaza Strip as imports of trucks had been prevented as part of Israel's siege. (Ma’an News Agency)

It was stated in a PCBS report that imports from Israel represented 71.8 per cent of the total of imports to Palestine in September 2011. Imports from Israel increased by 14.8 per cent from the previous month, while imports from other countries decreased by 20.9 per cent during the same period. Exports to Israel decreased in September by 7.5 per cent compared with August, while exports to other countries decreased by 19.7 per cent during the same period. (WAFA)

The General Assembly concluded its debate on the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East and adopted resolutions on the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine (167 to 7 - Canada, Israel, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and the US – with 4 abstentions); the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (115 to 8 - Australia, Canada, Israel, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and the US, with 53 abstentions); the Division for Palestinian Rights (114 to 9, with 54 abstentions), and the Special programme of the Department of Public Information (168 to 8, with 3 abstentions). Under the agenda item “The situation in the Middle East”, the Assembly adopted resolutions on Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan. (www.un.org)

The Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said in his address to the General Assembly that the Russian Federation was undertaking active efforts to re-launch the substantive negotiation process between Israel and Palestine, which should result in the formation of an independent territorially uninterruptable and viable Palestinian State inside the borders of 1967, with agreed territorial changes. He stressed that the Russian Federation had recognised the Palestinian State back in 1988 and this was why it supported Palestine’s application for fully fledged membership in the UN and had voted for the admission of Palestine to UNESCO. (Itar-Tass)

Li Baodong, the Permanent Representative of China to the UN, told the General Assembly that the international community should redouble its efforts to promote peace, speed up the political process for the settlement of the Middle East issue and avoid the escalation of turbulences in the region. Concerning the recent development in the Gaza Strip, he said: "China hopes that the parties concerned will keep restraint, avoid escalation of the tensions in the Gaza Strip, implement in good faith the relevant UN resolutions, lift all the blockades in the area and create favourable conditions for an early restart of peace talks.” (Xinhua)

The Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN, Abdullah Hussain Haroon, told the General Assembly that, "it would be important for the international community to work on freezing all Israeli settlement activity, helping Palestinians to strengthen State-building institutions, as well as ensuring progress on the UN membership status”. (Xinhua)

The Permanent Representative of Turkey to the UN, Ertugrul Apakan, in his address to the General Assembly, criticized Israel's settlement activity and rejected violence "in any shape or form", saying that only "meaningful engagement" between Israel and Palestine could bring about a peaceful resolution to the decades-old diplomatic impasse between the parties. "We call upon Israel to fulfil its responsibilities stemming from international law concerning the lasting peace in the Middle East and to put an end to all its activities destroying the basis for peace", he said. On the Gaza Strip, he called Israel's blockade "an embarrassment for the international community", adding that the international community must ensure accountability for both the blockade and Israel’s 2010 attack on an international humanitarian flotilla. (www.un.org, Xinhua)

The Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the UN, Kazuo Kodama, in his address to the General Assembly, condemned Israel's decision to accelerate settlement activity in East Jerusalem and freeze the transmission of tax revenues it collected on behalf of the PA, saying that both actions "are exacerbating tensions between the parties". Furthermore, he said: "Japan is also concerned about the provocations by use of force between Israel and Palestinian militants and calls upon both parties to exercise maximum self-restraint and avoid causing further victims". (Xinhua)

Jerobeam Shaanika, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Namibia to the UN, in his address to the General Assembly, said that the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict lay within finding a "lasting and comprehensive solution" to an independent State of Palestine. He voiced Namibia's support for the "restart" of the stalled Middle East peace process. (Xinhua)

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Hardeep Singh Puri, told the General Assembly that the "biggest stumbling block" to direct negotiations for the Middle East peace process was Israeli settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory. Voicing support for an independent Palestine, he said that India was "convinced" that Palestine met all criteria for UN membership, and expressed hope that the Security Council would be able to support this soon. (Xinhua)

The Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights reported that Israel had detained 40 fishermen, injured five others and seized nine boats since the start of the year. The organization said that statistics showed an increase in Israeli violations against fishermen and called upon the international community to take action. (www.mezan.org, Ma’an News Agency)


___________

Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter