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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
30 June 2012



Division for Palestinian Rights

Chronological Review of Events Relating to the
Question of Palestine

Monthly media monitoring review

June 2012

Monthly highlights
    • President Obama extends waiver blocking the transfer of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (1 June)

    • Arab States agree to set a “financial safety net” for the Palestinian Authority (3 June)

    • Fatah and Hamas agree on a new unity Government (6 June)

    • Knesset votes down bill retroactively legalizing homes on the “Ulpana” Hill neighbourhood in the West Bank settlement of “Beit El” (6 June)

    • US Secretary of State Clinton warns PA President Abbas of "negative consequences" if he returns to the UN to seek symbolic recognition of Palestine (12 June)

    • Fifty international aid groups and United Nations agencies issue a joint appeal calling on Israel to lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip (14 June)

    • PA condemns Israel's decision to demolish the 50 buildings of the Palestinian village of “Susiya” in Hebron (25 June)

    • British lawyers release report concluding that Israel's treatment of Palestinian children in custody was in breach of international law (26 June)

    • Sweden upgrades Palestine's diplomatic representation from a mission to an embassy (28 June)
1

An Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldier and a Palestinian militant were killed and several others were wounded in an exchange of fire that took place when an armed militant breached the border fence into Israel in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. The IDF said in a statement: “The killing of the terrorist prevented a terrorist attack in Israeli territory.” (Haaretz)

A rocket fired from Gaza into southern Israel landed in the Eshkol Regional Council. No injuries or damage were reported. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Israeli defence establishment had proposed that residents of the “Ulpana” outpost, in the “Beit El” settlement, be relocated to a nearby tract of land appropriated years ago for a military base. The Supreme Court had ordered the outpost evacuated by 1 July. (Haaretz)

A group of settlers set fire to a 1,000-year-old olive tree in central Hebron, witnesses said. Palestinian activist Issa Amro said that the settlers had also hurled stones at a community centre in the Tel Rumeida neighbourhood the following day. (Ma’an News Agency)

United States President Barack Obama extended a waiver for an additional six months blocking the transfer of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. President Obama's waiver followed in the footsteps of his predecessors, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, who had also extended the waiver every six months since the passage of a law by the US Congress in 1995 that had mandated moving the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (americantaskforce.org, JTA)

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel expressed outrage at the “disregard” by Israeli authorities of the immediate danger to the lives of two Palestinian prisoners – Mahmoud al-Sarsak and Akram al-Rekhawi – who had been on hunger strike and held in the Ramle prison clinic. The organization had petitioned an Israeli court on 24 May demanding immediate access by doctors. (Ma’an News Agency)

2

The IDF launched a series of air strikes on the Gaza Strip, injuring seven people in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza. The victims included four children who were taken to a hospital for treatment, medics said. In a press statement, the IDF said that it had targeted three weapons manufacturing facilities in the central Gaza Strip and two tunnels in the northern and southern coastal enclave, and added that the attacks had been in response to the death of an Israeli soldier during a skirmish along the Gaza-Israel border the previous day. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Palestinian Committee of the Parliamentary Union of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) called upon Israel to lift the embargoes on Palestine and to recognize the Palestinian State. In its final declaration, released after its first meeting in Istanbul, the Committee strongly condemned the attack by Israel on the humanitarian aid ship Mavi Marmara, and said that Israel should fulfil its responsibilities towards Turkey within the scope of international law. (International Islamic News Agency)

Sources close to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he was examining a two-par solution to the issue of the “Ulpana” outpost located in the “Beit El” settlement. In the first phase, the five “Ulpana” homes would be uprooted and moved to land not privately owned by Palestinians. Additionally, 10 new homes would be constructed in “Beit El” for every uprooted building, subject to approval by the Attorney-General. (Haaretz)

A group of settlers from “Kiryat Arba” posted leaflets in Palestinian communities near Hebron warning owners to evacuate their homes and halt building work, sparking clashes with residents. Clashes also erupted among the settlers and Palestinians while Israeli soldiers stood by, said Bassam Al-Jaabari, a Palestinian resident, who called upon Hebron's Palestinian Authority (PA) Municipality to provide them with documents proving their ownership of their homes to fight off takeovers by settlers. (Ma’an News Agency)

3

A Qassam rocket exploded in an open area at the Eshkol Regional Council. No injuries or damage were reported. (Ynetnews.com)

The Israeli Air Force launched renewed air strikes on the Gaza Strip, hitting a dairy factory that moderately wounded a man, medics said. Another air strike targeted an open area east of Gaza City, witnesses said. No injuries were reported. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, met with PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who was in Doha to take part in the Arab Peace Initiative Committee meeting. The two leaders discussed the peace initiative. (Qatari News Agency)

Upon request from the Palestinian side and during a special ministerial meeting of the Arab League Peace Initiative Committee in Doha, Arab States agreed to set a “financial safety net” for the PA, Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erakat said. The assistance, estimated at around $100 million, would be used in the event Israel froze the PA’s monthly taxes and revenues. In its final statement, the Ministerial Committee called on Palestinian parties to proceed with national reconciliation and work to overcome difficulties and obstacles. It welcomed efforts, under Egypt’s sponsorship, to achieve reconciliation through the formation of a competent transitional Government and arrangements for presidential and legislative elections. The committee also called for lifting all forms of the unjust and illegal Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip, condemning that as a violation of international and humanitarian law. It also supported the Arab League’s call for an extraordinary session of the General Assembly to discuss the Palestinian and Arab detainees in Israeli jails. The Committee urged the international community to compel the Israeli Government to release prisoners and detainees, especially those arrested before 1994. (Gulf Times)

PA President Abbas arrived in Ankara for a two-day visit to address the World Economic Forum and meet with Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, along the sidelines of the Forum. He would also meet with President Abdullah Gül in Istanbul, as well as Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. Mr. Abbas would also chair a business committee meeting to be attended by Turkish and Arab businessmen. (www.turkishweekly.net)

PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad met in Ramallah with the South African Representative to the PA. During the meeting, he called on the international community to follow South Africa’s example and boycott products produced in Israeli settlements. He praised South Africa’s recent determination to outlaw the labelling of settler products as “made in Israel”. (The Jerusalem Post)

A senior IDF officer said that an army probe into two separate shooting incidents involving settlers and Palestinians the previous month had indicated that Israeli teens tied and beat a Palestinian who had been shot and wounded near the West Bank settlement of “Yitzhar”. A similar incident had been recorded the previous week when an Israeli settler shot a Palestinian man in the stomach in a clash that began when 25 settlers set fire to wheat fields in the village of Orif, near Nablus. Some villagers came out to extinguish the fire and clashed with the settlers. In the wake of both incidents, the IDF confiscated the weapons of members of the security response team of “Yitzhar”. Israeli police had opened investigations into the incidents. (Haaretz)

PA Minister for Prisoners Affairs, Issa Qaraqe, told a Ramallah press conference that Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails threatened to restart a hunger strike if Israeli prison authorities continued to violate their recently concluded agreement (WAFA)

4

Three rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into the western Negev, which exploded in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council area. There were no injuries or damage. (The Jerusalem Post)

Palestinian sources reported that Israeli soldiers had entered the West Bank cities of Nablus, Salfeet, Qalqilia and Hebron and arrested seven men. Clashes had erupted and Palestinians had hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at the soldiers. No injuries had been reported. (Petra)

The Israeli Air Force carried out air strikes on Gaza, injuring a Palestinian, after a rocket was fired at southern Israel, the army and Palestinian medical sources reported. (AFP)

In Hebron, a Palestinian was in moderate condition after being shot by an Israeli border policeman whom he had stabbed, a police spokesman said. (AFP)

The owner of the Dalloul dairy factory, located in the al-Sabra neighbourhood of Gaza City, which had been flattened during the third day of air strikes by the Israeli Air Force, called for an international committee to prove that he had not stored weapons in his factory. (Ma’an News Agency)

An 18-year-old Palestinian man, Saraqa Qdeih, who had been wounded in an Israeli air strike in Khan Yunis on 1 June, died of his wounds, bringing the death toll to two, medics said. (WAFA)

PA President Abbas called on the Israeli Government not to turn its back on the two-State solution, warning that the opportunity “may not stay on the table for a long time”. In a speech during the World Economic Forum on the Middle East, North Africa and Eurasia 2012 in Turkey, Mr. Abbas said, “We are asking for peace, justice and freedom – our people have made great sacrifices when they accepted to establish their State on less that quarter of the original size of historic Palestine.” He also stressed the promising investment opportunities in various sectors of the Palestinian economy. (Haaretz, WAFA)

PA President Abbas would be meeting the new President of France, François Hollande, during his forthcoming visit to Paris, Presidential Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said. Mr. Abbas was also expected to meet French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on 7 June. (AFP)

Senior Hamas and Fatah leaders will meet to discuss nominations for Prime Minister of a new Government, a Fatah official said. Fatah Central Committee member Jamal Muhesin said that Azzam al-Ahmad, the head of Fatah's reconciliation delegation, would discuss possible candidates with Moussa Abu Marzouq, deputy of Hamas Political Bureau Chief Khaled Mashaal. President Abbas and Mr. Mashaal will select a new prime minister by 20 June after discussing nominations with other factions, he said. Once the new prime minister was selected, Mr. Abbas would issue a decree to hold a meeting of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Mr. Muhesin added. (Ma’an News Agency)

A reform committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed to new rules designed to boost women and youth candidates during the upcoming elections to the Palestinian National Council (PNC), Walid Awad, a committee delegate, said. He said that delegates had agreed that party lists for the elections must have at least one woman among the top three candidates. The minimum age had been lowered from 28 to 25 years, he added. The diaspora vote would be divided into six to eight constituencies and the committee and the Arab League would coordinate with host countries to facilitate elections, which had been slated for 2012. The committee was meeting in Amman, after last year's reconciliation deal introduced PLO reform into the leadership's agenda. (Ma’an News Agency)

Settlers from the “Hafat Ma'oun” outpost, built on Palestinian-owned land east of Yatta, in south Hebron, set fire to agricultural wheat crops belonging to Palestinians in Shoub al-Butom which was adjacent to the outpost. (Petra)

According to Palestinian sources, Israeli police arrested Najeh Bkeirat, head of the Manuscripts and Heritage Department at Al-Aqsa Mosque, at his East Jerusalem home and took him to a detention centre in West Jerusalem for interrogation. (WAFA)

5

Nine Palestinians were struck by riot dispersal fire at a rally near the Ofer prison to mark the forty-fifth anniversary of Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. (Ma'an News Agency)

A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in southern Israel without causing damage or injuries, the Israeli army said. The projectile landed in the Eshkol Regional Council in the Negev, resulting in a fire that was brought under control. (Ma'an News Agency)

Palestinians threw stones at an Israeli army vehicle in Hebron, causing no injuries, Army Radio reported. The IDF conducted a search of the area. (The Jerusalem Post)

Commemorating the day Israel occupied the Palestinian land on 5 June 1967, the office of PA Prime Minister Fayyad issued a statement stating that Palestinians were more determined, in spite of 45 years of occupation, to persevere in order to establish their fully sovereign independent State within the 1967 borders and with Jerusalem as its capital. (Ma'an News Agency)

Israeli settlers seized privately owned Palestinian land to expand an outpost south of Hebron, a local official said. (Ma’an News Agency)

According to PA officials, dozens of Israeli settlers entered Khirbet Tana, east of Nablus, and beat Muatasim Nidal Abu Heit after breaking the windshield of his car. An Israeli army spokesman questioned that account, stating that a fire had broken out in the area and that the security guard of “Gvaot Olam” outpost brought a team to extinguish it, after which Palestinians attacked the guard with clubs. (Ma'an News Agency)

The Israeli authorities ordered four Palestinian families to leave their homes in the Wadi al-Maleh area near Nablus as a prelude to evacuating its Palestinian residents, according to the head of the village council. (WAFA)

The World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) would consider, during its meeting from 24 June to 6 July in Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation, the inscription of 36 sites on the World Heritage List, including the Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route in Bethlehem, which had been submitted by Palestine. (www.unesco.org)

According to the annual report of the International Labour Organization, the situation of workers in the occupied Arab territories remained precarious due to the occupation and settlements, leading to a shrinking space for Palestinian development. (www.ilo.org)

Palestinian advocates warned that a new US Senate amendment on the issue of Palestine refugees could set back peace efforts. “It’s very dangerous. It can have a very bad reaction on the ground,” said Ghaith Al-Omari, a former foreign policy advisor to President Abbas, now with the American Task Force on Palestine. The amendment mandates that the Secretary of State must report how many of the Palestinians serviced by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) had fled in 1948, and how many were only their descendants. A Senate Republican aide said that puncturing the “UNRWA myth” of millions of refugees would help resolve a major stumbling block in negotiations. (The Jerusalem Post)

Three Palestinian prisoners had plotted to kidnap an IDF soldier after they had not been included in the Shalit prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas, according to an indictment filed with the Beersheba District Court by the Southern District Prosecutor's Office. The three prisoners, who were members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, met in prison in January and decided to kidnap an IDF soldier in hopes of forcing another prisoner exchange agreement with Israel. (Ynetnews)

According to a PA minister, Palestinian prisoners in Israel's Ramon jail set their cells ablaze in protest against a raid by a special unit of prison guards. An elite unit called Nahshon stormed several cells at the jail after prisoners had refused strip searches by prison authorities. (Ma'an News Agency, xinhuanet.com)

Palestinian prisoner Thaer Halahla, who had fasted for 76 days in protest of Israeli prison conditions, had been released, according to his relatives. (AFP)

Calling for an end to the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip, Robert Turner, Director of UNRWA in Gaza, said that UNRWA would downsize its job creation programme for Palestine refugees to 70 per cent due to a lack of funding. (WAFA)

6

Israeli aircraft struck two targets in the Gaza Strip, wounding at least two men, Palestinian medical sources said. One raid hit a Palestinian security facility north of the Gaza Strip and another raid hit a poultry farm in Rafah, in the south. The Israeli military said that the targets were "weapons storage facilities" and added that a rocket fired by militants in Gaza had landed in southern Israel several hours earlier, causing no casualties. (AFP)

Israeli forces detained, questioned and then released three Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza near the Egyptian border. An Israeli military spokesman said that the fishermen had deviated from the designated fishing zone and had not responded to calls to return to the area. (Ma'an News Agency)

Israeli troops arrested a member of the Freedom Theatre in the West Bank city of Jenin. The theatre's Israeli-Palestinian director, Juliano Mer-Khamis, was killed in April 2011 in the city's refugee camp by an unknown gunman, which had since then led to the arrest of several members of the theatre as part of the investigation into his murder. (AFP)

Turkey's Prime Minister Erdoğan warned Israel that regional anger had been mounting over its policies. He told the World Economics Forum on the Middle East, North Africa and Eurasia that the Palestinian issue remained "the most important problem threatening peace and stability in the region". (ibtimes.com)

Palestinian officials said that Fatah and Hamas had agreed on a new unity Government during their meeting in Cairo. Fatah delegation member Sakher Beseiso said that PA President Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal would meet on 20 June in Cairo to approve the new Cabinet, which would then be announced in Ramallah. (AP)

The PLO reform committee agreed on mechanisms to hold PNC elections, which must be approved by the Central Council if the PNC would be unable to meet, a Fatah official said. (Ma'an News Agency)

Visiting Istanbul at the invitation of Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan and attending the World Economic Forum, PA President Abbas thanked Turkey for its support on the Palestinian issue and called on the United Nations to accept Palestine as a Member State. (Today’s Zaman)

Gaza's sole power station shut down again after running out of fuel due to delays in the supply of Qatari fuel at the El-Arish border crossing with Egypt. (AFP, Ma'an News Agency)

Israeli forces seized a water tanker used to supply parts of the occupied Jordan Valley with drinking water and imposed a $450 fine on its owner, local officials said. (WAFA)

Israel said that it would build 851 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank. (Reuters)

Chief Palestinian Negotiator Erakat condemned the news of Israel’s planned settlement construction. "This is a very grave development … this undermines all efforts to revive the peace making between the two sides," he said. (AP)

US State Department Spokesman Mark Toner said that Israel’s planned construction "undermines peace efforts … We do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity. And, we want to see both parties refrain from these kinds of actions and to get back into negotiations," he said. (www.state.gov)

Despite the ruling by an Israeli court in favour of Palestinian landowners against attempts by Jewish settlers to take their land, Israeli settlers, protected by soldiers, prevented Palestinian farmers from reaching their agricultural land east of the town of Yatta, north of Hebron, under the pretext that the land was an Israeli military area. (Ma'an News Agency)

Israel's Knesset voted down a bill, aimed at retroactively legalizing homes on the “Ulpana” Hill neighbourhood in the West Bank settlement of “Beit El”, which had been built on privately owned Palestinian land. In a preliminary reading, 69 Knesset members voted against the bill, while 22 voted for it. The vote was held a day after Prime Minister Netanyahu announced that the Government’s position was to oppose the bill and threatened that any minister who supported it would be fired. Prime Minister Netanyahu wanted to move the five houses of the “Ulpana” outpost to a former military base and build 300 new housing units in the West Bank, an apparent bid to appease settlers and their supporters – his traditional power base – but a step also likely to anger Palestinians and draw international criticism. (Ma'an News Agency, Haaretz, Ynetnews)

According to crossing officials, Israeli authorities allowed the entry of around 135,000 litres of fuel donated by the Qatari Government into the Gaza Strip through Karem Abu Salem [Kerem Shalom] crossing after a month’s delay. Raed Fattouh, who headed a committee in charge of entry of products into Gaza, stated that the fuel would be used to operate Gaza’s only power plant. (WAFA)

Israeli bulldozers, accompanied by 10 Israeli military vehicles destroyed six water wells east of Jenin, according to local and security sources. Two wells were used to irrigate agricultural land and four supplied water to the Deir Abu Daif village. (WAFA)

Israel’s High Court of Justice issued an interim order stopping approximately 30 Palestinians from building in the area of “Susiya” settlement in the South Hebron Hills. (The Jerusalem Post)

In a new report, Amnesty International urged Israel to end the practice of administrative detention and release detainees or charge them with an internationally recognizable criminal offence and try them according to international standards. The PA welcomed the report and called upon Israel to implement the recommendations contained therein. (amnesty.org, Ma'an News Agency)

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel said that Palestinian footballer Mahmoud Al-Sarsak, who had been on hunger strike for 80 days in an Israeli prison, faced imminent danger of death. Mr. Al-Sarsak was arrested as he left Gaza en route to a match in 2009 and had since been held without trial or charge. (BBC)

The Non-Aligned Movement Caucus of the Security Council announced that it would formally request that Security Council members pay an official visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territory. (www.unmultimedia.org)

7

A Palestinian was killed and another was injured when a tunnel under the Gaza-Egypt border collapsed. (IMEMC)

Israeli forces seized at least three Palestinians near Ramallah and Hebron. (Ma’an News Agency)

PA President Abbas began an official two-day visit to France. “This visit, which is the first by a Palestinian leader since the start of [President Hollande’s] five-year term of office, will provide an opportunity for France to affirm its commitment to a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, requiring the establishment of a viable and sovereign Palestinian State, living side by side in peace and security with Israel,” said a French Foreign Ministry spokesman. (WAFA)

After officials met in Cairo to discuss the formation of an interim Government, expected to be announced on 20 June, Hamas leader Ismail Radwan said that the factions were committed to easing restrictions on their rivals’ activities, according to the May 2011 Cairo agreement. (Ma’an News Agency)

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry, in a statement, reiterated the international community’s view that all settlement construction was contrary to international law. The latest announcements, including adding 300 units in “Beit El”, deep inside the West Bank, were deeply troubling, he said. (UNSCO)

Trucks carrying fuel from Qatar crossed into the southern Gaza Strip after weeks of delay at the border with Egypt. The power authority in Gaza had announced the previous day that Gaza’s sole power station had ceased to function. (Ma’an News Agency)

Gaza's Rafah crossing was undergoing a $1.5 million overhaul, funded by the Islamic Relief and the Islamic Development Bank, which would bring the terminal up to international standards, director Maher Abu Sabha said. (Ma'an News Agency)

For a third consecutive year, UNRWA had signed a financial agreement with the regional government of Andalucía in Spain that would help provide health care for around 100,000 Palestine refugee women and their children. (www.unrwa.org)

“They need to condemn. We need to build,” Israel’s Construction and Housing Minister Ariel Attias told Army Radio. (Reuters)

The French Foreign Ministry said, “We condemn the announcements made yesterday by the Israeli Prime Minister and Minister for Housing relating to the construction of several hundred new homes in the settlements of the West Bank, some of them located far from the 1967 lines, at a time when it’s essential, above all, to avoid provocations and to renew the dialogue between the parties. We urge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to refrain from implementing these announcements. We reaffirm that settlement activity is illegal under international law, undermines, on the ground, the foundations of the two-State solution and constitutes an obstacle to peace.” (www.diplomatie.gouv.fr)

The Israeli Government announced that it planned to legalize 13 of the 18 settlement outposts against which petitions to the High Court of Justice had been filed, as the 13 outposts were not built on privately-owned Palestinian land. (Haaretz)

A group of settlers from “Gilad” set up stoning ambushes for Palestinian vehicles travelling on the main road near the town of Hawara, south of Nablus, while settlers from “Maon” and “Havat Maon” attacked Palestinian shepherds and farmers east of the town of Yatta, south of Hebron. (WAFA)

UNRWA’s Barrier Monitoring Unit and the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem released the preliminary findings of a joint study. UNRWA West Bank Director of Operations Felipe Sanchez noted: “The research presented today demonstrates once more that the barrier not only has a devastating impact on Palestine refugees’ livelihoods, but also on the surrounding environment.” (www.unrwa.org)

8

The US announced that it had appointed a new Security Coordinator to the PA and Israel. Adm. Paul Bushong will replace Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael Moeller and would be responsible for strengthening the PA security forces. (Ma’an News Agency)

At a press conference in Paris, PA President Abbas said that he was ready to accept "non-member State" status at the UN if Israel did not resume peace talks. During the same press conference, French President Hollande said: "Today, we must do everything to facilitate the recognition of a Palestinian State via a negotiated process…. The dialogue must resume. The sooner the better." (AP, BBC)

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said, “I condemn the announcement by Israel to authorize the building of 851 new settlement units across the West Bank. While we appreciate the Israeli Government’s efforts to avoid damaging legislation in the Israeli Knesset by voting against a bill to legalize West Bank outposts, the decision to move settlers from an illegal outpost by creating housing units in settlements elsewhere across the Green Line sets a dangerous precedent.” (www.fco.gov.uk)

In a communiqué, the Government of Spain condemned the announcement made by the Israeli authorities regarding the building of several hundred new homes in the West Bank. Spain considered that all the settlements built in occupied territories were illegal according to international law and that continuing to colonize the West Bank went against the commitments and obligations made by Israel to the international community. Continuing such actions would make any future peace agreement more difficult as they could affect the fundamental geographical continuity of the future Palestinian State. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain)

UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk expressed deep concern regarding the fate of two Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike – Mahmoud Sarsak and Akram Rikhawi – and called for their immediate release. “Israel must end the appalling and unjust treatment of Palestinian prisoners and the international community needs to raise its voice and take steps to end Israel’s flagrant misuse of administrative detention,” Mr. Falk said. (www.ohchr.org)

9

The Al-Hayat newspaper in London reported that a senior Egyptian source had stated that Cairo was holding talks with Israel in an attempt to ensure the resumption of direct peace talks with the Palestinians. (IMEMC)

OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu commended the statement of President Hollande, in particular France’s readiness to exert all efforts possible to facilitate the negotiation process, which would lead to peace and recognition of the Palestinian State along the 1967 borders. (www.oic-oci.org)

A medical spokesman in the Gaza Strip said that the enclave was facing the worst shortage of medications since the start of the blockade. (Ma’an News Agency)

Quartet Representative Tony Blair visited a school in the Jerusalem area village of Anata, the PA Ministry of Education said. Deputy Minister of Education Jihad Zakarneh said that the visit was to show support for PA efforts to boost education in Area C. (WAFA)

The Israeli army prevented Palestinians from completing the building of a mosque in an area near Yatta, east of Hebron, according to a local activist. (WAFA)

Some 1,000 people held a protest march in Tel Aviv against the occupation of Palestinian territory. Held under the banner "No social justice as long as the occupation persists", the protest marked 45 years of the occupation. Among the groups that took part were the Coalition of Women for Peace, Yesh Gvul, Hadash and Balad. (Ynetnews)

10

Israeli forces stationed along the Gaza border opened fire on homes and fields near Khan Yunis, witnesses said. No injuries were reported. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian officials said that Chief Negotiator Erakat, and Prime Minister Netanyahu's envoy, Yitzhak Molcho, had been meeting on a regular basis in hopes of finding a formula for restarting talks. They said that they had not eased their demands but were open to scheduling a meeting between Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Abbas. Palestinian officials said that Mr. Abbas was seeking a goodwill gesture from Israel, such as a "significant release" of Palestinian prisoners. An Israeli official confirmed that there have been "ongoing contacts at different levels". Mr. Erakat, however, denied that PA representatives had been holding behind-the-scenes talks with Israel. (AP, The Jerusalem Post)

The Israeli authorities allowed the entry of the third shipment of fuel donated by the Qatari Government into the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing, according to crossing officials. (WAFA)

Israeli settlers from the outpost of “Havat Ma'on”, in the governorate of Hebron, cut 30 olive trees in the nearby village of al-Tuwani, according to a local activist. Settlers also set fire to wheat fields in the villages in the southern Nablus governorate, according to local sources. (WAFA)

11

Israeli forces arrested five Palestinians in the West Bank, all teenagers, and an entire family from East Jerusalem, local sources and witnesses said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Following a meeting in Ramallah with Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Uri Rosenthal, Senior Fatah official Mohammad Shtayyeh urged Europe to play a greater role in addressing the question of Palestine. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli Middle East experts warned Prime Minister Netanyahu during a meeting the previous week that construction in the settlements or the burning of a major mosque by [Israeli] extremists could trigger a violent uprising in the West Bank. (Haaretz)

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reported that in 2011 around 25.8 per cent of Palestinians suffered from poverty in the Palestinian territory. It showed that 17.8 per cent of the population in the West Bank and 38.8 per cent in Gaza Strip lived below the poverty line. (WAFA)

Seven villages near Bethlehem, with a population of 30,000, had been without running water for more than 15 days, said the Joint Services Council for Development and Planning. The area was facing a water crisis despite sitting on top of the second largest reservoir in the West Bank, said the Council, while the Israeli national water company had not taken into account the area's increase in population since it started selling water 25 years ago. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian officials voiced concern about possible concessions by the Vatican ahead of talks between Israel and the Holy See on the status of Catholic Church property in Jerusalem. Similarly, in a statement, Hamas and Islamic Jihad urged the Vatican not to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Christian areas and churches in Jerusalem. “The Islamic and Christian holy shrines and landmarks [in Jerusalem] would remain Palestinian and Arab”, the movement said. (AFP, iqna.ir)

Suspected Israeli pro-settler activists vandalized Palestinian cars in Jerusalem, their second attack in a week, in apparent retribution for plans to move 30 settler families from “Ulpana”. (Reuters)

Settlers of “Karmi Tzur” settlement threw rocks at a Palestinian farmer working on his land near Hebron. As international activists and Beit Ummar residents intervened to help the farmer, Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and sound grenades and detained Beit Ummar popular committee member Mousa Abu Maria, the spokesman said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Preparations for the evacuation of the “Ulpana” outpost had begun, as the Defense Ministry transferred the first six caravans to a temporary neighbourhood established for the evacuees. (The Jerusalem Post)

The draft of a fiscal agreement between Israel and the Vatican covering Catholic institutions contained no distinction between Israel and the territories occupied in 1967, amounting to an indirect recognition of the annexation of East Jerusalem, Palestinians warned. (Haaretz)

On a visit to Lebanon, the International Development Minister of the United Kingdom, Alan Duncan, announced a new three-year package of aid for UNRWA which would help provide health, education and other vital services to tens of thousands of Palestine refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic. (UNRWA)

A Palestinian prisoners rights’ group said that Mahmoud Sarsak, a 25-year-old former football player imprisoned in an Israeli jail, had agreed to take milk during the following 72 hours while Israeli authorities reviewed his case following his hunger strike of more than 80 days. (AP)

The Palestinian Prisoners Committee said in a press release that Israeli security forces, holding five Palestinian prisoners in solitary confinement cells in Jalama prison, had been given a week by the court to deliver an indictment against the five detainees, or must otherwise release them. Prisoners had reportedly refused an offer of a two-year deportation in exchange for release. (Palestinian Information Center)

The Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations participated in early June in the 22nd meeting of parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, despite the objections of Canada, the US and Israel. The Mission said in a statement that it was an important achievement toward enjoying full membership in the UN. (Ma’an News Agency)

An international aid convoy arrived via the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, an Egyptian medical official said, carrying 10 tons of medicine and medical equipment. Over 100 activists from 17 Arab countries were on board the convoy, led by Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood leader Humam Saed. (Ma’an News Agency)

12

Israeli soldiers raided several homes in the districts of Ramallah, Nablus, Tulkarem and Hebron and detained 12 residents. Two residents were given notice of forthcoming home demolitions. During the raid in Nablus, residents, including children, were reportedly forced out of their homes and interrogated for several hours. (IMEMC)

The military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command said that it had fired four shells during an Israeli incursion south-east of Deir el-Balah, in central Gaza. (Ma’an News Agency)

According to media reports, the IDF had suspended the officer who had been filmed shooting at Palestinians during a weekly demonstration in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh on 1 June. (Ynetnews)

In a telephone conversation, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned PA President Abbas of "negative consequences" if he returned to the UN to seek symbolic recognition of Palestine, an official from Mr. Abbas' office said. Ms. Clinton had recommended that Mr. Abbas work on reviving peace negotiations with Israel and had told him that she was talking with the Israeli Government through the Quartet to present a new package as incentives to the Palestinians to resume negotiations, the Palestinian official said. (Xinhua net)

PA President Abbas said that Israel's claims in the Jordan Valley were based on economic interests, not security concerns. Furthermore, he said that the Jordan Valley was of industrial, agricultural and touristic importance to the PA, which would not accept anything less than its 37 kilometres along the Dead Sea. (Ma’an News Agency)

Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said that “proposals for new settlements around East Jerusalem, the lack of Palestinian involvement in Area C, the growth of settlements in the West Bank, settler violence and the financial situation of the Palestinian Authority all threaten the viability of a two-State solution”. (www.consilium.europa.eu)

Fatah Central Committee member Mahmoud al-Aloul said that the party’s position remained unchanged – that negotiations could not be resumed until Israel had committed to stop settlement expansion. In the meantime, they were considering going again to the UN to seek Palestinian membership, he said. (Ma’an News Agency)

For every 10 Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem, 7 settlers lived in settlements built on Palestinian land occupied since 1967, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics said in a report. The total number of settlers in and around East Jerusalem reached 262,000 residing in 26 illegal settlements. (WAFA)

In response to a freedom-of-information request filed by Hamoked (Center for the Defence of the Individual), the Israeli Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) released the data on residency rights, which showed that Israel had stripped more than 100,000 residents of Gaza and some 140,000 residents of the West Bank of their residency rights from 1967 to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1994. (Haaretz)

Israeli military authorities handed two Palestinians families, with a total of 17 members, notices that their homes and tents would be demolished, in addition to a kindergarten and a health clinic, as a measure to protect the security of settlers of “Susiya” settlement in the south Hebron hills. (WAFA)

Israeli authorities demolished a complex of sheep barns in an East Jerusalem neighbourhood, that included 20 tons of barley, the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights said. The family of 10 who owned the complex was ordered to pay a 50,000 shekel ($12,800) demolition fee, after having already paid 30,000 shekels ($7,720) for legal help to prevent the demolition. (Ma’an News Agency)

The “Binyamin Regional Council” was suspected of having allowed a contractor to continue building a [settlement] project on Palestinian land, even after it had received a stop-work order from the Civil Administration, Israeli police said. (Haaretz)

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) urgently called on the Israeli Football Association to raise the issue of Mahmoud al-Sarsak, a detained Palestinian soccer player from Gaza who was on hunger strike, with Israeli authorities. He had been imprisoned by Israel without charge or trial since July 2009. (Ma’an News Agency)

In a message to the UN International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East which had opened in Geneva, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had hailed the dedication and the courage of journalists, activists, policy-makers and civil society representatives who had worked to promote democracy across the Middle East and North Africa, and had urged them to continue their efforts to advance peace, especially among Israelis and Palestinians. (www.un.org)

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People met in New York. It reviewed the latest political developments and approved the provisional programme for the upcoming United Nations Asian and Pacific Meeting in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace, to be held in Bangkok on 10 and 11 July 2012. (www.un.org)

13

Israeli forces detained at least seven Palestinians across the West Bank, including a 16-year-old. (Ma’an News Agency, WAFA)

Hundreds of Palestinian workers held a protest outside the Al-Jalama crossing from the West Bank into Israel against mistreatment by Israeli security staff. Workers’ representatives said that Israeli forces regularly insulted and abused the workers as they crossed to reach their work. (Ma’an News Agency)

An Israeli navy boat attacked Olivia, a solidarity boat carrying international activists who monitored the plight of Gaza fishermen confined to a three-mile zone by Israel, forcing the boats to return to port. (WAFA)

The Israeli navy seized a fishing boat in waters off Rafah. The two fishermen were later released, but the boat was confiscated. (IMEMC)

Fatah and Hamas said that they were close to reaching an agreement on the formation of a “national consensus” Government that would be headed by PA President Abbas. Fatah official Ashraf Joma said that Palestinian leaders would meet in Cairo the following week to resume reconciliation talks and discuss the new Government, which would have a six-month mandate to prepare for elections, oversee the reconstruction of Gaza, the implementation of the reconciliation agreement and the reunification of State institutions. PA President Abbas and Hamas leader Mashaal were expected to meet in Cairo on 20 June to select cabinet ministers for the interim administration. Mr. Joma said that the new Government would be announced at the presidential headquarters in Ramallah, where 19 new cabinet ministers would be sworn in. (The Jerusalem Post, Ma’an News Agency)

The PA Ministry of Health sent medicine and medical equipment to the Gaza Strip. The batch, worth 2.5 million shekels ($644,500), would be delivered by the International Committee of the Red Cross. The Ministry would send another batch of medicine. (Ma’an News Agency)

The EU and the PA Ministry of Public Works and Housing inaugurated a 4.5 km road connecting the villages of Qaryout, Talfeet and Jaloud in the Nablus district. The ceremony took place in the village of Qaryout in the presence of the PA Minister of Public Works and Housing, Maher Ghonaim, the Nablus Governor, Jibrin Al-Bakri and the EU Representative, John Gatt-Rutter. (EU)

"The Holy See's position [on East Jerusalem] has not changed," the Vatican’s negotiator Ettore Balestrero told Vatican Radio after biannual talks between Israel and the Holy See on the status of the Catholic Church property. (AFP, nrconline.org)

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos said in a statement said that the blockade of Gaza amounted to collective punishment and called for its immediate lifting. (OCHA)

Israeli authorities started excavation work in and around Jerusalem's old city, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage said. Construction work to create new pools was also seen taking place south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Foundation added, noting that the work was part of Israeli plans to Judaize Palestinian neighbourhoods in the city. The Israeli Interior Ministry had given initial approval to a 9,000-square meter tourist centre in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Silwan and, on the same day, also granted a right-wing settler organization control of a spring in the neighbourhood. (Ma’an News Agency)

Dozens of settlers blocked the main road leading to Tuqu village near Bethlehem. They piled rocks on the road and threw stones at Palestinian cars, preventing them from leaving or entering the village. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces detained five Palestinians at a women-only protest in the southern West Bank city of Hebron after a group of settlers had attacked the women. Israeli forces detained four Palestinian protesters, as well as Palestine TV correspondent Diya Al-Junaidi. An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed that five women had been detained and transferred into custody. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israel was working to block the Palestinian bid to register the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, when the UNESCO World Heritage Committee would meet in St. Petersburg from 24 June to 6 July. UNESCO’s International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) had recommended that, “for technical reasons”, the World Heritage Committee should reject the application at this time, saying that the site could be considered to have been severely damaged or to be under imminent threat, and asking the Palestinians to “resubmit the nomination in accordance with normal procedures”. However, the PA, in its report to the committee, had said that “the combined effects of the consequences of the Israeli occupation and the lack of scientific and technical measures for restoring and preserving the property are creating an emergency situation that should be addressed by an emergency measure.” (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss released a 153-page report criticizing the Government’s handling of the Gaza aid flotilla in 2010. "The Prime Minister's decision-making was made without proper coordination, documentation or preparation, despite the fact that the Government, IDF top officers and senior intelligence officials were all aware that the Turkish flotilla wasn't like the flotillas that preceded it,” said the report. (Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post)

14

In the month of May, Israeli soldiers arrested 19 students in West Bank universities and detained two Palestinian sisters who were students in the Ukraine. (IMEMC, UFree Network)

Israeli forces stormed the town of Sammou, south of Hebron, searched several homes and arrested a 95-year-old man. Forces also arrested two Palestinian teenagers, aged 16 and 17, after raiding their family homes in the village of Taqou, east of Bethlehem. (WAFA)

According to the Palestinian Fishermen Syndicate, three Palestinian fishermen were seized by the Israeli navy in Palestinian territorial waters. (IMEMC)

A Palestinian sniper in the southern Gaza Strip fired at an Israeli farmer working in a field near Kibbutz Nir Oz in the Eshkol Regional Council area. The farmer hid behind a tractor until IDF soldiers arrived and evacuated him to safety. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli warplanes bombarded agricultural land in the area east of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, with no injuries reported. (WAFA)

Two Palestinians were wounded in an exchange of fire with soldiers near the security barrier between the Gaza Strip and Israel, officials on both sides said. (AFP)

Issa Amro, the coordinator of Youth Against Settlements, was detained by Israeli forces at the Allenby Bridge border. At the invitation of European Parliament member Luisa Morgantini, Mr. Amro was on his way to Italy to participate in a workshop on popular peaceful resistance. He was also expected to give a speech at the Italian parliament. (Ma’an News Agency)

Speaking at a conference at Bar-Ilan University to discuss Kadima’s ideology, its chairman, Shaul Mofaz, called on PA President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu to return to peace talks, noting that "[t]here is a historic opportunity today to establish a new national agenda. This is not a matter of forcing our worldview on anyone. It is not a matter of subduing some coalition partner. It is a statement and an act of leadership. The time has come to pass on to our children and grandchildren a proper country - a country within secure borders, a country with a Jewish majority, a Zionist country for all eternity." (Haaretz)

Chief Palestinian Negotiator Erakat said that the Quartet had failed to stop Israel’s illegal activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. He called on the Quartet to restore credibility and relevance to its role in protecting the prospects of peace in the Middle East. He concluded by saying that “for any peace talks to be successful, clear terms of references based on international law and relevant UN resolutions must be agreed on and respected and guarantees provided regarding implementation. Any Quartet calls for a resumption of negotiation in the absence of such basic requirements will be counterproductive and only lead to a meaningless process that is incapable of bringing about peace. Quartet members must know that the urgency of the situation cannot bear the luxury of such calls. The time is now for concrete actions that secure the two-State solution before Israeli actions makes such a goal unviable.” (WAFA)

The Palestinians conclusively affirmed their intention to put the Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route in Bethlehem on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The declaration sharply criticized the ICOMOS report on the Church of the Nativity, which was described as “biased” and “politicized” by Ambassador Elias Sanbar. UNESCO had declared that it would consider the proposal during its meeting in Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation, from 24 June to 6 July. (AFP)

A large police force and intelligence officers conducted a raid and arrest campaign throughout the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan to arrest what they called “wanted” Palestinians for participating in activities against settlers and forces in the area. (WAFA)

Officials of the Russian Federation announced a visit by President Vladimir Putin to Ramallah on 26 June to meet with PA President Abbas. The news was welcomed by Palestinians as a sign of an unshakable Russian support for the establishment of a future Palestinian State. Mr. Putin had also arranged for a 24-hour visit to Israel on the day before his meeting with President Abbas, aimed at discussing Russian-Israeli relations. (The Jerusalem Post)

Fifty international aid groups and United Nations agencies issued a joint appeal calling on Israel to lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip. The appeal stated that "for over five years in Gaza, more than 1.6 million people have been under blockade in violation of international law. More than half of these people are children. We the undersigned say with one voice: 'end the blockade now'". Among the signatories were Amnesty International, Save the Children, the World Health Organization, Oxfam, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and five other UN bodies. (Reuters, AP)

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs released a report on the humanitarian situation in Gaza entitled “Five Years of Blockade: The Humanitarian Situation in the Gaza Strip”. It highlighted the unsustainable situation in the area and the substantial losses inflicted by the blockade. It was revealed, for example, that “44 per cent of Gazans are food insecure and about 80 per cent are aid recipients” with “35 per cent of Gaza’s farmland and 85 per cent of its fishing waters totally or partially inaccessible due to Israeli-imposed restrictions.” (OCHA)

Joining the call of several UN agencies and numerous international aid groups on Israel to lift its blockade on the Gaza Strip, the World Health Organization issued a report stating, among other things, that the right of Gazans to health was dangerously compromised by the Israeli blockade. (WHO)

Another shipment of Qatari fuel was allowed into Gaza via the al-Oja crossing. Egyptian authorities allowed eight truckloads of fuel to cross to the Israeli side. The delay in the shipment had shut down the only power plant in Gaza when it ran out of fuel. (Ma’an News Agency)

The EU Co-ordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support (EUPOL COPPS) organized a two- day meeting in Ramallah as part of it broader agenda to increase its presence and improve cooperation with Palestinian police. The meeting was attended by 10 district commanders of the Palestinian Civil Police. (WAFA)

David Quarrey, the UK Foreign Office’s MENA Director, announced a £10,000 funding to the Sharek Local Council Project in Arroub refugee camp. This came as an encouragement to the youth-led organization’s stated goal “to build leadership, democracy, and good governance skills for young Palestinians through direct engagement with electoral processes and an understanding of concepts of democratic participation and citizenship.” (WAFA)

Egypt will close the Rafah crossing on the Gaza border for repairs until the following week, Egyptian security sources said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Ayman Darghmeh, a Palestinian Legislative Council lawyer, was released by Israeli authorities after six months of administrative detention. The Palestinian Prisoners’ Centre for Studies condemned the use of administrative detention, stating that Israeli forces still held 26 lawmakers, including speaker Aziz Dweik, and three former ministers, in prison. (Ma’an News Agency)

15

A resident was shot and wounded in his left forearm and his abdomen near the central West Bank city of Ramallah while dozens were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation after Israeli soldiers attacked a weekly non-violent protest against the separation wall and settlements, by firing rubber-coated metal bullets and gas bombs. (IMEMC)

An unidentified number of Palestinians were seized by Israeli soldiers near Ramallah and in the Ni’lin village. Fuad al-Khoffash, head of the Ahrar Centre for Detainees’ Studies and Human Rights, identified some of those arrested as former political prisoners. (IMEMC)

Quartet officials met in Brussels to discuss the continuing Israeli settlement activity and “to consult as they routinely do over the phone,” declared a spokesman for EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Ashton. (AFP)

The US State Department announced that Chief Palestinian Negotiator Erakat would travel to Washington, D.C., during the coming week for a meeting with US Secretary of State Clinton. (The Jerusalem Post)

Chief PA Negotiator Erakat declared that President Abbas would ask for the release of 123 prisoners detained prior to the signing of the Oslo Accord in 1993, before accepting to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. In the wake of Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Mofaz’s calls for the immediate resumption of negotiations, Fatah official Nabil Sha’ath stated that the PA was unsure about the commitment of the Israeli Government to resolve the issue of settlements after its failure to remove an illegal outpost despite court orders. (Ma’an News Agency)

A delegation of EU diplomats visited the Palestinian village of “Susiya”, in the southern Hebron hills, to "show their concerns over the humanitarian impact and political implications of the recent demolition orders". They called on Israel to honour its commitments towards the Palestinian residents of Area C by halting the destruction of homes and infrastructure. (Ma'an News Agency, Reliefweb, WAFA, Ynetnews)

Locals from the village of Ma'asara gathered together along with a group of international individuals, protesting the occupation, as well as actions and policies of Israel, such as the continued building of settlements around their village. (Palestinian News Network)

16

According to a statement issued by the office of PA President Abbas, the latter had instructed a Palestinian delegation to travel to the Vatican to discuss reports about a projected Vatican-Israeli agreement that might also include Catholic Church property in occupied East Jerusalem. (WAFA)

Settlers deliberately crashed several cars into a crowd of Palestinian mourners in Hebron, injuring several people. The Palestinians had gathered for the funeral of three people who had been killed earlier in a car accident in Wadi al-Houz, east of Hebron. (Ma'an News Agency)

17

Five Palestinians were wounded after an Israeli war planes targeted a workshop in Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip. In a separate air strike, a training centre of the armed branch of Hamas was targeted but no injuries were reported. (IMEMC, The Jerusalem Post, Reliefweb)

Several Israeli tanks and bulldozers moved into the area of Johr al-Deek village, south-east of Gaza city and flattened Palestinian lands. (PETRA)

The Israeli police said that an Israeli truck driver, who had allegedly been the target of an attempted robbery in the West Bank, fired shots and killed two Palestinians. (The Jerusalem Post)

A number of Palestinian youths had been suspected of throwing lit firecrackers at an army base outside Jerusalem, starting a large forest fire. Ten soldiers at the Oferit Army base in Jerusalem, next to Mount Scopus, had been slightly injured and two had to be taken to hospital for treatment. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Spokesman's office of the IDF said that an IDF patrol conducting routine activity adjacent to the Gaza Strip border was attacked by armed Palestinians who fired eight mortars at the forces. The Jihad Jibril Brigades of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the attack on Israeli forces in the area. In the fire exchange, one Gazan was moderately injured. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli security officials accused the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt of instructing Hamas to fire Grad missiles from northern Sinai into Israel. (IMEMC)

Israeli navy vessels patrolling the Gaza Sea arrested four Palestinian fishermen and confiscated their boat. According to media sources, Israeli ships had surrounded the boat and arrested the four fishermen. (Palestinian News Network)

The IDF arrested two Palestinian fishermen who had strayed beyond the boundaries of the designated fishing area off the coast of Gaza and had failed to stop when ordered to do so by the Israel navy. Both men were taken on board the navy vessel for questioning. (Ynetnews)

A Palestinian man was moderately injured by Israeli tank fire near the Gaza border. (Ma'an News Agency)

At the third international Islamic conference on Jerusalem, marking the Islamic religious celebration of Prophet Muhammad’s night journey and ascension (Isra and Miraj), PA President Abbas stressed Israel’s responsibility for the stalled peace process, noting that Palestinians had fulfilled their commitments. (WAFA)

The Spokesperson’s office of PA President Abbas said that the latter would not meet with Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Mofaz until the following month. The exact date of the meeting had yet to be arranged. (Ma'an News Agency)

The Israeli Cabinet approved the establishment of the Ministerial Committee on Settlement Affairs to be chaired by Prime Minister Netanyahu. Deputy Prime Minister Mofaz, Defense Minister Barak, Industry, Trade and Labour Minister Shalom Simhon and Minister Michael Eitan opposed the decision. “The Committee will have the authority to formulate Government policy regarding unregulated construction on State and private lands, including the main issues that have reached the courts. Committee decision will have the status of Cabinet decisions and ministers will be unable to appeal them,” according to the Office of the Prime Minister. (www.pmo.gov.il)

The Israeli border police arrested 11 settlers in the Ramat Migron outpost after they violated a military order prohibiting entry to the area overnight. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli military vehicles bulldozed and stormed an area east of Deir al-Balah, in central Gaza, amid heavy gun fire, moderately injuring a Palestinian man. The Israeli forces conducted combing operations, razed land and put up earth mounds. Israeli forces also stormed an area east of Johr a-Deek, south-east of Gaza, conducting similar combing operations, amid heavy gun fire. (WAFA)

No deal had been reached to free Mahmoud al-Sarsak, who entered his 92nd day of hunger strike, his lawyer said. Mr. Al-Sarsak had been demanding his release after spending nearly three years in jail without charge or trial.

18

Two Palestinian teenagers were killed in an Israeli operation in the central Gaza Strip. The Israeli army said that aircraft had “targeted a terrorist squad identified handling an explosive device near the security fence”. Residents said Israeli tanks had entered an area south of the Maghazi refugee camp and fired on Palestinians. (Ma’an News Agency)

Gunmen, firing anti-tank missiles from the Sinai Peninsula, attacked Israeli workers who were constructing a security fence along the border with Egypt. Israeli forces fired back at the assailants. One construction worker and two gunmen were reportedly killed. In response to the incident, the IDF deployed armoured forces near the Israel-Egypt border. (The Jerusalem Post, The New York Times, Reliefweb, Ynetnews)

A militant group calling itself the Mujahedeen Shura Council of Jerusalem and, claiming ties to Al Qaeda, said that it had carried out a deadly attack across the Israel-Egypt border which had killed an Israeli civilian. (AP)

The Israel Air Force struck targets in the northern Gaza Strip and killed two members of Islamic Jihad. According to reports, the two men were targeted while riding a motorcycle near the town of Beit Hanoun. According to the IDF, the two Palestinians were part of a sniper cell that had been responsible for previous shooting attacks on Israelis. (IMEMC, The Jerusalem Post, Ynetnews)

Israeli soldiers stormed the West Bank cities of Hebron, Jenin, Bethlehem and Nablus amid heavy shooting and arrested 10 Palestinians. (PETRA)

IDF forces operating in the West Bank arrested 18 Palestinians wanted for questioning by security forces. (Ynetnews)

Israeli forces raided a town near Ramallah and searched the home of Sheikh Mohammad al-Dahleh, who had been arrested on 14 June. (Ma'an News Agency)

Speaking in the Knesset at a meeting of his Yisrael Beitenu faction, Israeli Foreign Minister Liberman stated that there would be no diplomatic breakthrough as long as PA President Abbas was in power. (The Jerusalem Post)

According to the PA Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Fayed Mustafa, PA President Abbas would receive President Vladimir Putin in Bethlehem on 26 June. The two leaders would discuss issues concerning the peace process. (WAFA)

Hisham Kuhail, Director of the Palestinian Central Elections Commission, said that voter registration in the Gaza Strip would begin on 3 July, as planned. (Ma’an News Agency)

A booklet distributed to residents of the Beit El settlement instructed settlers to block roads, infiltrate IDF bases and commit 'price tag' acts in order to prevent the imminent evacuation of five homes by the Israeli Government. (Ynetnews)

Israeli forces tore down several tents and sheds in the Bethlehem area. (Ma’an News Agency)

A lawyer for the prisoner Mahmoud Sarsak, who had been on a hunger strike for more than three months, said that he had agreed to resume eating and would be released on 10 July in a deal with Israel. (AP)

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

Ten detainees in Israel's Gilboa prison were on hunger strike to demand reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, the PA Ministry of Detainee Affairs said. (Ma'an News Agency)

The human rights group, Adalah-NY, called on the international community to boycott Africa Israel Flagship Company, owned by Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev, for its involvement in building Israeli settlements. (WAFA)

19

Thirteen rockets fired by Palestinians in Gaza landed in open areas in Israel’s Negev region. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. Shortly after the rocket attacks, Israeli aircraft struck a target in the Gaza Strip. The IDF said that the target had been destroyed. Palestinian sources in Gaza said that one person had been severely wounded in what they called a targeted killing attempt. (Ynetnews)

Eleven Israeli Border Guard officers were wounded as a result of rocket fire on the western Negev. One officer sustained moderate injuries while the others were slightly hurt. Ten more Qassam missiles landed in the western Negev overnight. The alert level in the area was raised once again with the Israeli Military Home Front Command instructing residents of the Gaza vicinity communities to stay in very close proximity to shelters and other fortified structures. (Ynetnews)

The Izz ad-Din Al Qassam Brigades of Hamas declared on their website their willingness to comply with Egyptian efforts to broker a ceasefire if Israel stopped its aggression against the Palestinian people. (The New York Times, The Jerusalem Post)

The IDF raided the Dheisheh refugee camp and arrested Mohamed Yousef Zghari, a 20-year-old Al-Quds University student. Several Palestinians who had gathered and protested against the arrest, were met by tear gas and rubber bullets. (Palestine News Network)

Iraq’s Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari, informed PA President Abbas that the Iraqi Government had decided to provide the PA with $25 million. (WAFA)

Israeli forces seized five water tankers in the Al-Buqia area of the Jordan Valley, the only source of water in some parts of the Valley. (WAFA)

A mosque in the West Bank village of Jab’a, south of Ramallah, was set on fire in a suspected “price tag” arson attack. Graffiti carrying messages such as “The war has begun” and “You will pay the price” was spray-painted on the mosque’s walls. (Haaretz)

Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that the attack on a mosque was an outrageous, despicable and intolerable act. "We must respond with severity to the perpetrators," he said, adding that Israel must not allow tolerance for these types of incidents. (The Jerusalem Post)

PA President Abbas criticized the Israeli Government's record in prosecuting "price tag" attackers, referring to the suspected “price tag” arson attack on a mosque in the West Bank village of Jab’a. "Condemnation is not enough. He [Prime Minister Netanyahu] must stop this aggression against our places of worship and people by holding those who perpetrate these acts accountable," Presidential Spokesman Abu Rudeineh said. (The Jerusalem Post)

In the monthly briefing on the situation in the Middle East, Oscar Fernández-Taranco, Assistant-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, told the Security Council that sporadic clashes, military operations and announcements of settlement construction in the West Bank were challenging the positive environment created by recent fragile forward steps in the Israeli-Palestinian talks. “As we speak, there are ongoing intensive efforts to avoid a renewed deadlock,” Mr. Fernández-Taranco told the Council. “The latest announcements related to settlements are an added setback. It is in this spirit that Quartet envoys met in Brussels on 15 June. The envoys agreed that there was an urgent need for the parties to continue to pursue the present efforts towards resumed dialogue and substantive negotiations and that it was time for them to take the necessary steps towards this goal. Only a direct and meaningful dialogue can help restore belief in a negotiated peace,” he said. However, he said that he was worried that not enough steps had been taken to heed last month’s warning from the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, who had highlighted the need for confidence-building measures to overcome an “uncertain and fragile situation”. (www.un.org)

In a report presented to the Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue, criticized restrictions on free speech in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. He said that the practice of military censorship and some Israeli laws on funding of non-governmental organizations could have a chilling effect on the work of journalists and peace activists. He also criticized the PA for exerting “excessive Government control over the media” in the West Bank and reportedly harassing Facebook users. (AP)

20

A 14-year-old Gazan was killed in an Israeli air strike near Gaza City, raising to eight the total number of Palestinians killed in three days of violence, medics said. Moamen al-Adam died when a missile slammed into the Zeitun neighbourhood east of Gaza City, in a strike which also seriously injured his father. As the violence in and around Gaza entered its third day, there was no let-up in rocket fire from Gaza, with at least 10 hitting Israel despite seven Israeli air strikes overnight, police and the military said. (AFP)

The IDF's Iron Dome rocket defence system intercepted the first rocket in the Netivot area in the recent escalation during the past three days. Palestinians had fired over 70 rockets into Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip since 18 June. (The Jerusalem Post)

Six Palestinian fishermen in three small fishing boats were captured by the Israeli navy. (IMEMC)

Seven rockets were fired by militants in the Gaza Strip into Israel, causing no injuries or damage, according to an Israeli army spokesman. This came as a response to the killing of two Palestinians, bringing the number of Palestinians killed since the beginning of IDF assaults on the Gaza Strip on 18 June to nine. (Israeli News Now, Bloomberg Business Week)

The Egyptian Ambassador to the PA said that Egypt was working to restore calm to the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip. Ambassador Yasser Othman said that Egyptian authorities were in contact with all parties in order to quell the fighting and had called on Israel to stop attacks on Gaza so that Palestinian factions would also halt fire, he said. (Ma’an News Agency)

At a presidential conference in Jerusalem, former US Middle East Envoy Dennis Ross said that both Israelis and Palestinians had lost faith in the other's commitment to a two-State solution. "Confidence is something that when it's lost, you have to restore it. But this isn't a case of lost confidence, this is a loss of belief," he added. He outlined six steps Israel could take to restore belief that it was committed to a two-State outcome, most of which involved making visible preparations for the eventual evacuation of settlements and increasing Palestinian authority within the various areas of the West Bank. Palestinians, he said, must change the way they talk about Israel, starting with putting it on official PA maps in textbooks and websites. In addition, the PA should begin talking about the Jewish people's connection to the land and Jerusalem, in addition to discussing the difficult decisions peace would require of them. (The Jerusalem Post)

Chief Palestinian Negotiator Erakat and Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Mofaz held separate talks with US Secretary of State Clinton in Washington, D.C. In an interview with Israel Radio, Mr. Mofaz had blamed the Palestinian preconditions for the stalemate, stating that "over the past three years, the Palestinians have been placing preconditions on restarting the negotiations, and Israel and the US were mistaken in allowing them to do so." (Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post)

The Arab League condemned the Israeli attacks on Gaza and the burning of a mosque in the West Bank by Israeli settlers’ the previous day. Arab League Assistant Secretary-General for Palestine Affairs Mohammad Subaih said in a press statement that the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip aimed to divert attention from Israeli settlement activities and the Judaization of occupied Jerusalem. Mr. Subaih urged the international community to shoulder its responsibilities and provide protection to the Palestinians. (www.petranews.gov.jo)

A group of 30 Jewish settlers living in five unlicensed apartment blocks in “Beit El” said that they would go quietly, sparing Prime Minister Netanyahu a showdown with a core constituency. They accepted a Government proposal to move them and physically relocate the buildings, while the State would also erect 300 new homes elsewhere in their West Bank settlement. (Reuters)

The number of refugees registered by UNRWA totaled 5.1 million in 2012, according to a statistical review on the current status of the Palestinian refugees prepared by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics on the eve of the International Day of Refugees. According to UNRWA records, 40 per cent of Palestinian refugees reside in Jordan, 23.8 per cent in the Gaza Strip, 17.1 per cent in the West Bank, 10 per cent in Syria and 9.1 per cent in Lebanon. The percentage of Palestinian refugees of the total population in the Palestinian territory in 2011 was about 44 per cent, distributed into about 30 per cent in the West Bank and about 67 per cent in the Gaza Strip. The statistical statement noted that 35.4 per cent of Palestinians in refugee camps in the Palestinian territory in 2011 were poor, compared to 19.4 per cent in rural areas and 26.1 per cent in urban centers. The unemployment rate of Palestinian refugees among those 15 years and over was 26.1 per cent compared to 18.0 per cent for non-refugees in the Palestinian territory in 2011, while the illiteracy rate among Palestinian refugees in the same age range was 4.4 per cent, compared to 4.9 per cent for non-refugees. (WAFA)

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through “The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Campaign for the Relief of the Palestinian People of Gaza”, contributed $5 million for essential food needs of some of the poorest Palestine refugee families in the Gaza Strip through UNRWA.

Christian Aid and the Quakers called on the Foreign Affairs Committee in the British House of Commons to ask that the Government implement a total ban of settlement produce by introducing legislation. The call had been strongly condemned by the Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ), a London-based interfaith charity espousing constructive dialogue between Jews and Christians, who urged Members of Parliament not to support the ban. “The CCJ still opposes boycotts and considers continued diplomatic engagement and negotiation as the better response,” said CCJ CEO Rev. David Gifford. (The Jerusalem Post)

21

Israeli forces arrested four Palestinians and raided houses across the West Bank, according to security sources. (WAFA)

Israeli gunboats shelled a beach in northern Gaza, witnesses said, causing two explosions. No injuries were reported. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli news reports stated that a total of seven projectiles were fired from the Gaza Strip, all of which landed in open areas with no damage or injuries reported. The Iron Dome system intercepted at least one rocket fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip. (IMEMC, Ynetnews)

Sheikh Nafeth Azzam, member of the Political Department of Islamic Jihad, said that his organization was committed to the truce with Israel in the interests of the Palestinian people, and that its military wing, the Al-Quds Brigades, did not take responsibility for any rocket fired into Israel in the recent escalation in violence, despite two of its members having been killed in an Israeli air strike on northern Gaza on 18 June. (Ma’an News Agency)

Ashkelon Mayor Benny Vaknin cancelled school attendance after one of the rockets fired the previous day from Gaza had landed in an open area south of the city. (The Jerusalem Post)

An IDF raid on Tubas, Jenin, Nablus and Hebron resulted in the arrest of nine Palestinians. Palestinian security sources reported that four more Palestinians were arrested in Salfit, Shyoukh al-Arroub and Kufr Ra’i near Jenin. Further raids were conducted in Yabad, Arabeh and the Jenin area, without reports of arrests. (Petra)

Twelve Palestinians were injured after a tunnel collapsed in northern Gaza. About 200 Palestinians have been killed in similar tunnel accidents since the Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip started in 2006. (IMEMC)

Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby, during a press conference held in Cairo, condemned the continuous Israeli escalation against Gaza and criticized the international position towards that. (WAFA)

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Mofaz had a brief encounter with US President Obama at the White House, in which he told President Obama that there was an 18-month window of opportunity to resume talks with the Palestinians and stated that agreements on borders and security can be made. In a briefing for Israeli journalists after the meeting, he said that he had Prime Minister Netanyahu’s support in looking to restart talks without preconditions. (The Jerusalem Post, Ynetnews)

Quartet Representative Tony Blair opined that "It's strongly in Israel's interest to try to put this Palestinian issue in a more benign circumstance." Mr. Blair added that the very first step to achieve this is “to find a way to get back in a serious, proper negotiation." (The Jerusalem Post)

Vincent Fean, the British Consul-General in Jerusalem, stressed the urgent need to end the forced division between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. He drew on the example of the Palestinian Olympic athletes, declaring that “they have set a great example of unity of purpose, surmounting the division between the West Bank and Gaza – a division which needs to end, soon, for the good of the Palestinian people and to bring peace nearer,” adding that the “the Palestinian flag will be carried, with pride” at the London Games. (WAFA)

World Bank Vice-President for the Middle East and North Africa Inger Andersen concluded her first official visit to West Bank and Gaza. She welcomed the ongoing efforts for the improvement of conditions of life of the Palestinians but expressed concerns about “the deepening fiscal crisis in West Bank and Gaza”. (The World Bank)

A project funded by the Italian Government through the Palestinian Municipalities Support Program, announced by the Italian Consulate General in Jerusalem, will fund the renovation of the Jericho Mosaic Center, turning it into a new conference hall. (WAFA)

Asked about recent fighting in Gaza, the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General noted that, in a recent briefing to the Security Council, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Fernandez-Taranco said, “We continue to condemn all indiscriminate rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel, which must stop. We also urge Israel to show maximum restraint.” (www.un.org)

Mona Neddaf, a lawyer for prisoners’ rights group Addameer, sounded the alarm about prisoner Akram al-Rekhawi, who had begun a hunger strike more than two months ago after he was denied release on medical grounds. Mr. Al-Rekhawi was reported to be diabetic and asthmatic and to suffer from osteoporosis and high blood pressure. Physicians for Human Rights-Israel had filed a petition to allow independent doctors access to Mr. Al-Rekhawi, which had been rejected by an Israeli district court. (Ma’an News Agency)

Fifteen Palestinians had been rearrested since their release in the prisoner swap. Only three had been released after being rearrested. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israel lodged an official complaint with the United Nations on the rocket fire into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip over the past several days. Ron Prosor, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations, complained to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that “the lives of about a million Israelis are paralyzed” by the projectiles. The IDF said that 130 rockets had been fired into Israel since 18 June. Mr. Prosor stated that “as long as Israel’s southern communities will not know quiet, it will not be quiet in Gaza.” (The Jerusalem Post)

22

Israeli forces raided Beit Ummar village and Al-Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, and arrested two Palestinians. Another Palestinian was arrested at a military checkpoint, west of Bethlehem, in the West Bank. (Palestinian News Network)

The military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said that it had fired four rockets into southern Israel. An Israeli military spokeswoman said that two rockets landed in southern Israel, causing no injuries. (Ma’an News Agency, Ynetnews)

An Israeli air strike killed a Palestinian militant and wounded two other men in the Gaza Strip, Israeli and Hamas medical officials said. (Reuters)

Israeli authorities demanded that the two Israeli policemen, who had been charged for negligent homicide after they threw an injured Palestinian man out of a police vehicle, leaving him to die of dehydration, serve active prison sentences. (Haaretz)

Over 500 Palestinians and peace activists held a protest at the West Bank village of Susiya, in which Israel had recently served demolition orders. (Dailystar.com)

Following his talks with US Secretary of State Clinton, Palestinian Chief Negotiator Erakat said that he had relayed to the US Administration the Palestinian demands for full cessation of settlement construction and the release of a number of Palestinian prisoners before the peace process could be revived. (The Jerusalem Post)

Hamas had been avoiding elections because it had been losing support both in Gaza and in the West Bank, PA Prime Minister Fayyad said in an interview with The Washington Post. (The Jerusalem Post)

The European Union made its second contribution this year through PEGASE, in the amount of just under €9.9 million, to support the PA’s quarterly payment of social allowances to Palestinian families in need in the West Bank and Gaza. (Europa.eu)

Some 120 children from five neighbouring villages from the Nablus District met with the Palestinian Civil Police in Beita School during the four-day Young Police Summer Camp 2012. (Palestine News Network)

Israeli authorities requested the High Court for an additional delay of seven months for the demolition of the “Givat Assaf” outpost, as the Civil Administration had received new information, including maps and documents regarding land ownership, that needed to be checked. (Haaretz)

Palestinian prisoner rights group Addameer said that it was outraged by Israel's decision to renew by six months the administrative detention of former hunger striker Hassan Safadi, who had ended a 71-day hunger strike on 14 May. The organization expressed concern that the extension of Safadi's sentence may indicate that further breaches of the agreement could follow. (Ma’an News Agency)

23

Israel carried out air strikes in Gaza killing a six-year-old boy, but the Israeli military denied it was responsible. A Palestinian man was also killed, while 17 people were reportedly wounded in the strikes. Rocket fire wounded an Israeli man in Sderot. (AFP, Reuters, WAFA)

Hamas' military wing, the Izz ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, released a statement warning Israel over the recent escalation of violence in Gaza, saying that if Israeli air strikes continued, "we are ready to smash [Israel's] arrogance.” Israeli attacks, a statement published online said, were crimes which Hamas could not remain silent about and it vowed a "proper" response. (The Jerusalem Post)

24

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Israeli troops had responded "forcefully" to rocket fire from Gaza and could step up their response if a fragile truce failed to hold. (AFP)

Israeli forces stormed a school in the village of Imreiha, northwest of Jenin, and took down a Palestinian flag. (WAFA)

Three rockets landed in the Eshkol Regional Council area of Israel. Two mortar shells were also fired. None of the incidents caused damage or injury. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights condemned the heavy gunfire throughout the Gaza Strip during celebrations of the outcome of presidential elections in Egypt, as a result of which a Palestinian was killed and 19 others were wounded. (www.reliefweb.int)

Hamas welcomed the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt's presidential vote. "We will look to Egypt to play a big, leading role, a historic role, regarding the Palestinian cause, in helping the Palestinian nation get freedom, return home, and totally end the Gaza siege,” said Hamas leader Haniyeh. (Haaretz)

“Yesha Council” leaders voiced criticism of the violent acts of far right activists after unknown assailants punctured the tires of the settler council official Ze'ev Hever. Chairman Danny Dayan said: "Violence has become common currency in our camps while we remain silent,” admitting that they had not done enough to stop it. (Ynetnews)

A number of settlers cut the barbed wire fence placed around Palestinian agricultural land in al-Khadr, a town west of Bethlehem, and stormed it. (WAFA)

Israeli forces issued five demolition orders against homes that belonged to Palestinians in the West Bank village of al-Aqaba, east of Tubas. (WAFA)

PA Prime Minister Fayyad condemned the Israeli decision to demolish 50 houses along with a clinic, a community centre and solar energy facilities in the village of “Susiya”, in the southern Hebron Hills. (WAFA)

Egypt reopened its Rafah crossing to the Gaza Strip after a brief closure. (Ma’an News Agency)

Several prisoners recently freed from Israeli jails have set up a protest tent in Gaza City to call on PA President Abbas to fulfil his pledges to support them upon their release, including giving them jobs in the PA. (Ma’an News Agency)

25

Senior Fatah official Jamal Muheisen said that the PA was in touch with Egypt and other nations to reach a truce between Israel and Gaza militants. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces arrested a number of Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including an elderly person and a teenager. (WAFA)

PA President Abbas received Egypt’s Ambassador to the PA, Yasser Othman, and congratulated him on the election of the new Egyptian President. In addition, Mr. Abbas stressed the Palestinian leadership’s determination to end internal division by setting a date for presidential and parliamentary elections and forming a national unity Government. (WAFA)

PA President Abbas and Hamas leader Mashaal were set to organize a meeting after the Egyptian presidential election results had been announced, a Fatah official said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Russian Federation President Putin arrived in Israel and met separately with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Peres. Mr. Putin called on Israel and the Palestinians to resume negotiations saying, "We are calling all parties to resume negotiations, which is the only way to resolve the conflict”. (Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post)

The PA Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned Israel's decision to demolish the 50 buildings of the Palestinian village of “Susiya” in Hebron, urging the international community to take action to stop Israel's confiscation of land and to hold Israel accountable for destroying any opportunity for peace and negotiations. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli soldiers demolished several sheds used by Bedouins in Wadi al-Maleh in the northern plains of the West Bank, confiscating several water tanks used by residents, in an attempt to force them to relocate and leave the area. (IMEMC)

Israeli bulldozers demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib for the 39th time, said Ayman Odeh, a Palestinian lawyer who witnessed the demolition. Israel considered all Bedouin villages in the Negev illegal, while Bedouins say it is their ancestral land. (Ma’an News Agency)

In a press release, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage said that Israel’s Archeological Authority had demolished a historic Islamic site dating back to the Umayyad, Abbasid and Ottoman eras in al-Magharba neighbourhood of East Jerusalem. The Foundation also said that ancient Islamic sites had been destroyed and buried by Israel over the last five years during excavations in al-Boraq, 100 metres west of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Some of the demolished sites were a mosque and a school building dating back to the Umayyad era. The press release said, “Israel is planning to build a huge Jewish Center, including five underground floors”. (IMEMC)

Israeli police allowed 57 members of the Israeli navy and a member of the Knesset to take a tour of the Al-Aqsa Mosque’s yard. The Head of the Islamic Waqf department in Jerusalem characterized such tours as provocative. (Palestine News Network)

The IDF closed the Kerem Shalom border crossing in light of recent mortar shell attacks on southern Israel from the Gaza Strip. (Ynetnews)

Israeli authorities released Palestinian lawmaker Anwar Zaboun from Bethlehem after holding him in administrative detention for 10 months. (Ma’an News Agency, WAFA)

26

A projectile hit the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council area in southern Israel, causing no injuries, but some damage to a henhouse in one of the Council's kibbutzim. (Ynetnews.com)

Israeli forces arrested four Palestinians from different Governorates in the West Bank. The IDF also set up a military checkpoint at the entrance of al-Fawar refugee camp, south of Hebron, stopped Palestinians and checked their IDs. (Palestine News Network)

According to a military spokeswoman, Israeli forces detained at least five Palestinians from across the West Bank. Meanwhile, Israeli forces set up two checkpoints south and north of the Hebron area, checking identity cards and searching Palestinian vehicles. (Ma'an News Agency, WAFA)

Four Grad rockets were fired at Netivot from the Gaza Strip. Two rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome system, and the two others fell in open areas outside the city. No injuries or property damage were reported. (Ma'an News Agency, Haaretz, Ynetnews)

Israeli media reported that Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Mofaz would meet PA President Abbas in Ramallah on 2 July. While Chief Palestinian Negotiator Erakat denied reports of such a meeting, the PA President’s political adviser, Nimr Hamad, had confirmed the meeting. (Ma'an News Agency, Palestinian News Network, The Daily Star)

In an interview published by Russian news agency Interfax, and ahead of a meeting with Russian Federation President Putin, PA President Abbas leveled criticism at Prime Minister Netanyahu over the letter exchange between them. Mr. Abbas said that the letter that Mr. Netanyahu handed to the PA contained a message that was "too general" and did not address the demands stipulated by Ramallah. (Ynetnews.com)

Russian Federation President Putin and PA President Abbas visited Bethlehem, where the latter inaugurated a Russian cultural centre. After the visit, Mr. Putin praised Mr. Abbas’ "responsible" position in negotiations with Israel and said that the Russian Federation had no problem recognizing a Palestinian State. He also said, "I am sure that all unilateral actions are not constructive". For his part, Mr. Abbas reiterated that negotiations with Israel remained his key goal, urging Mr. Putin to revive peace efforts and hold the international peace conference in Moscow as agreed upon years ago. He also called on the Russian Federation to pressure Israel to release veteran Palestinian prisoners. An agreement was also signed between the PLO and the Russian Federation on the legal status of the Russian Museum in Jericho. (AFP, Haaretz, WAFA)

Egypt's Foreign Minister, Mohamed Kamel Ali Amr, said that the Egyptian Government would continue its efforts to support Palestinian reconciliation. (Ma'an News Agency)

The Construction and Planning Committee in Jerusalem approved the construction of 180 units for settlers in the “Armon Hanetziv” settlement. (IMEMC)

Residents of the West Bank “Ulpana” settlement outpost began peacefully evacuating their homes after an Israel High Court ordered the demolition of 30 apartments in five buildings in the outpost, a neighbourhood of the “Beit El” settlement. Defence military workers helped 15 out of the neighbourhood's 30 families to move their possessions to another nearby temporary neighbourhood in the West Bank. The demolition was expected to occur before 1 July. (AFP)

A delegation of senior British lawyers released a report concluding that Israel's treatment of Palestinian children in custody was in breach of international law. The delegation, which was led by the former high court judge Sir Stephen Sedley and included Britain's former Attorney-General, Lady Scotland, found that "undisputed facts" pointed to at least six violations of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Israel was a signatory. In transferring child detainees from the West Bank to Israeli prisons, Israel also breached provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The report was based on a visit to Israel and the West Bank funded and facilitated by the UK Foreign Office. (Ma'an News Agency, The Guardian)

In Tulkarem, Israeli forces entered the home of Palestinian prisoner Hamada Abu Awad in the Thanabeh neighbourhood. The prisoner's parents said that seven military vehicles had surrounded the house and soldiers had entered to search it. (Palestine News Network)

27

A Palestinian man, aged 30, was taken to the Hadassah Ein-Kerem Medical Centre in Jerusalem after having been shot by Israeli police force at the entrance to “Ma’aleh Adumim” settlement. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld claimed that police had acted in self defence after the suspect had rammed his car into a police vehicle and had tried to steal one of the security guard’s handguns. (The Jerusalem Post, WAFA)

Hamas announced the assassination of Kamal Ranaja, one of its senior members and a deputy of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, in Damascus. Hamas blamed the Mossad for the killing and confirmed that there were marks of torture on his body. Israeli Defense Minister Barak had denied the accusations. The funeral would be held in Jordan. (The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz)

Israeli authorities arrested six Palestinians belonging to the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine in the northern Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya for throwing stones at security forces and attacking local residents suspected of cooperating with Israel. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli forces stormed the office of Hamas members of the Palestinian Legislative Council in the northern West Bank city of Salfit. (WAFA, IMEMC)

In a telephone call, PA President Abbas discussed with Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal the political stalemate in negotiations and Israel’s unwillingness to halt settlement activities. (WAFA)

The Israeli Prime Minister's Special Envoy, Isaac Molcho, met with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton in Brussels. He briefed her on Israeli-Palestinian contacts in the context of the ongoing dialogue between Israel and the EU. (EU)

Hisham Khalil, the Executive Director of the Central Elections Commission, announced the start of an awareness campaign to update the electoral registers in 256 centres in the Gaza Strip. (Ma’an News Agency)

A poll commissioned by B’nai B’rith World Centre revealed that Israelis were divided over whether US involvement in the peace process had had a positive or a negative impact. A third of the respondents said that Washington had contributed to the advancement of the peace process, another third said that it had impeded it, and the last third did not have a clear opinion on the issue. (The Jerusalem Post)

A poll conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research showed that if elections between PA President Abbas and Hamas leader Haniyeh were held today, President Abbas would receive 49 per cent of the vote versus Haniyeh's 44 per cent. (The Jerusalem Post)

The “Ariel” University Centre in the West Bank was expected to be upgraded by the Israeli Council for Higher Education to university status in the coming weeks amid growing public criticism of the potential upgrade. (Haaretz)

A right-wing group blocked traffic on “Beit El” main street in protest against the eviction of “Ulpana” residents and the agreement signed between the outpost’s leaders and the Government. Meanwhile, the Israeli Government requested the High Court of Justice for an extension of the 1 July deadline to remove permanent buildings in the outpost. (Ynetnews, The Jerusalem Post)

Senior Hamas military commander Ibrahim Hamed was found guilty by an Israeli military court of having masterminded a string of deadly attacks during the second intifada, including the Café Moment, Hebrew University, and Zion Square attacks in Jerusalem and the Rishon LeZion pool hall bombing. (Haaretz, Ynetnews)

According to a Palestinian crossings official, Egypt had agreed to increase the number of persons passing through its Rafah crossing to 1,000 per day. (Ma'an News Agency)

A group of around 20 settler youths protested against “Ulpana” outpost residents’ compliance with Government evacuation plans. Violence soon erupted, with Yoel Tzur, one of the founders of the outpost, lightly injured. (The Jerusalem Post)\

UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk warned that the number of people affected by the demolition of Palestinian buildings had increased by 87 per cent compared to last year. Mr. Falk demanded that the Israeli Government immediately stop demolishing Palestinian homes and start fulfilling its obligation to protect the right to housing. (UNOG)

The Public Committee against Torture in Israel released a report saying that Israeli security agents continued to arrest and harass detainees' relatives to entice the detainees to cooperate with investigations. (Ynetnews)

Thousands of residents and institutions in Bethlehem signed an open letter urging the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO to recognize their city as a World Heritage Site. During a meeting with his Palestinian counterpart in Ramallah, Vladimir Medinsky, Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation, said that Moscow would vote to include Bethlehem on the UNESCO World Heritage List. (WAFA)

28

Two Arab teens from the village of Issawiya were arrested by Jerusalem police for starting several brush fires near an IDF base. (Ynetnews)

Sami Sadeq, Head of Al-Aqaba village council, reported that Israeli soldiers conducted military training inside the village, using live ammunition and shooting randomly, in violation of a recent Supreme Court ruling banning such training. (IMEMC)

Israel’s State Prosecutor Yehuda Weinstein decided not to press charges against two policemen for their killing of a Palestinian man in 2010, for lack of evidence. (Ma’an News Agency)

PA Chief Negotiator Erekat confirmed that a meeting would be held in Ramallah on 1 July between President Abbas and Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Mofaz. Hamas spokesman Abu Zuhri criticized the upcoming meeting as giving “the Israeli occupation a chance to cover its crimes and promote itself as eager for peace”. (Palestine News Network, The Jerusalem Post, IMEMC, Xinhua)

Sweden upgraded Palestine's diplomatic representation from a Palestinian mission to the status of an Embassy. Sweden had not recognized Palestinian statehood, but Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt had said: "The Palestinian Government has made significant progress in the work of laying the foundations for a Palestinian State. Sweden has a leading role in the international support for Palestinian State-building. It is therefore natural for us to take this step." (Ma’an News Agency)

A delegation under the leadership of Hamas Political Bureau Chief Mashaal met with Jordan’s King Abdullah II. (Ma’an News Agency)

The PA embraced the report produced by a team of nine independent British lawyers on Israel’s treatment of Palestinian minors. The report condemned the apartheid policies in Israel, affirming that “within Israel and the West Bank the two legal systems in operation were different. Israeli citizens, including the settler population in the West Bank, were subject to Israeli civilian and criminal law and Palestinians in the West Bank were subject to Israeli military law.” (WAFA)

Six people were arrested during the evacuation of the “Ulpana” settlement. Israeli border police removed one last family that refused to leave of their own volition and about 15 hilltop youths who had locked themselves in an apartment in one of the buildings. (The Jerusalem Post, Ynetnews)

Former Israeli Ambassador to South Africa Alon Liel said that Governments should follow the British and South African initiative in labelling products coming from settlements to give their consumers the choice to boycott these goods. (The Guardian)

Jamal Amr, an expert on building in Jerusalem, condemned the recent decision to construct 180 new settlements units in “East Talpiot” as part of a wider plan to occupy the spaces that remained in the Arab neighbourhoods in Jerusalem, and to reduce the Arabs living in the area to a minority not exceeding 12 per cent of the population. (Palestine News Network)

Several Palestinian and international rights groups harshly criticized Israel for not carrying out the promises that helped end the hunger strike of over 2,000 Palestinian prisoners. Only the return of 91 bodies from the “Numbers” cemetery was carried out. The PA was equally blamed for giving up too easily during negotiations and not taking the necessary precautions to ensure the implementation of the deal. (IMEMC)

Prisoner Samer Al-Barq entered his thirty-fifth day of hunger strike and was in critical health condition. The Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association said that he suffered from arrhythmia, ongoing fatigue and other serious health issues. Mr. Al-Barq entered this hunger strike after the prison administration decided to extend his administrative detention, breaking an earlier promise made during his previous hunger strike. (IMEMC)

Israel released two Palestinian legislators, Khalil Ar-Rabaey and Nesser Abdul Jawad, from prison, bringing the number of elected legislators imprisoned by Israel to 22. (IMEMC)

In a talk with Voice of Palestine radio, the Head of the Palestinian Water Authority, Shada al-Ateili, revealed that the quantity of water the Palestinians received in 2012 was less than that in 1995. In addition, Al-Ateli said that Israel wanted to raise the price of water, which would cost the Palestinian Treasury an additional 700 million shekels. (Ma’an News Agency)

UN Human Rights Council President Laura Dupuy Lasserre declared that on 6 July she would submit recommendations on members of a fact-finding mission on the impact of illegal settlements on Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Eviatar Manor, Deputy Director General for International Organizations at the Israeli Foreign Ministry responded by saying that “It is important for us to remind everyone that we are not going to cooperate with this fact-finding mission. They will not be allowed to enter the country or go to the West Bank.” (The Jerusalem Post)

Emer Costello, the Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council, joined the call of many MEPs in urging the EU External Action Service to ban settlement products. (ReliefWeb)

29

Two Palestinians, aged 18 and 19, were injured by a rubber bullet and a gas canister during the weekly march organized by the Popular Committee against the Wall in Bil’in. Dozens of Palestinians and peace activists suffered from suffocation due to gas inhalation during the clashes with Israeli soldiers. (Palestine News Network)

Egypt’s Interior Minister, Mohamed Ibrahim, announced the seizure of a weapon shipment headed to Gaza. The weapons included 138 rockets and some 7,000 rounds of ammunition. One of the smugglers was killed in the operation, with the others confessing their intention to sell the weapons to arms dealers. The source of the weapons was unknown. (The Jerusalem Post)

UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee voted 13-6 in a secret ballot to add Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route to the World Heritage List. After the vote, the Israeli delegate said, "The decision taken now was totally political and does great damage in our opinion to the (UN) convention and its image." The Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Armenian Churches had only given lukewarm approval to the move because of the dangers it potentially posed to their own rights to the shrine. (AFP)

PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi welcomed UNESCO’s decision to include Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route as a World Heritage Site. "Situated in the heart of the occupied Palestinian city of Bethlehem, the Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route are sites of enormous universal significance, not just to Christendom, but also to humanity as a whole," Ms. Ashrawi said. (Palestine News Network)

UNRWA and Human Appeal International, an Emirati NGO, launched their first joint education project in Gaza, under which nine additional classrooms will be constructed at the Al Durj Primary School in Gaza City to ease overcrowding. (UNRWA)

30

Israeli Government sources claimed that Prime Minister Netanyahu was responsible for the cancellation of the meeting between PA President Abbas and Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Mofaz. According to a Fatah official, the meeting was delayed in response to public pressure on President Abbas to not meet with Mr. Mofaz. (Ma’an News Agency, Ynetnews)

The PLO called for an emergency Security Council meeting on settlements. "We have decided to pursue contacts with all international blocs of the Security Council to adopt a resolution against settlements," a spokesman declared. (Ynetnews)


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