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



Division for Palestinian Rights

Chronological Review of Events Relating to the
Question of Palestine

Monthly media monitoring review

August 2013

Monthly highlights

• Israel adds 91 Jewish settlements on its national priority funding list (4 August)

• Chief Negotiator Erakat says Palestinian side mulling boycott of upcoming talks in protest against Israeli decision to build more than 1,000 settlement units (12 August)

• The first direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in three years held in Jerusalem. (14 August)

• Israel frees 26 Palestinians prisoners, the first batch of 104 serving long jail terms (14 August)

• Palestinian Prime Minister and UN Secretary-General sign a UN Development Assistance Framework for the State of Palestine for the years 2014-2016 (16 August)

• Israeli and Palestinian negotiators meet in Jericho (26 August)

• Norwegian Foreign Minister informs Palestinian President that without political progress, funds for Palestinian State-building would stop (27 August)

1

Witnessed said that Israeli forces arrested two Palestinians in East Jerusalem after raiding their home. (WAFA)

Palestinian medical sources in Hebron reported that several Palestinians had been injured and one had been detained by Israeli forces during a settler attack on a Palestinian funeral procession in Beit Ummar. (IMEMC)

In separate phone calls to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, US President Barack Obama commended their leadership and courage in resuming final status negotiations. President Obama underscored that while the parties have much work to do in the days and months ahead, the US would support them fully in their efforts to achieve peace. President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu agreed to continue the close coordination between the US and Israel on the peace process and other regional issues. President Obama reaffirmed to President Abbas that the US stood ready to support the parties in achieving a just and lasting peace based on the two-State solution, and would continue to work closely with the Palestinian Authority (PA) to achieve that goal. (www.state.gov)

With the beginning of the peace talks, US Special Envoy on security issues Gen. John Allen had been sent to the region in order to develop a security plan for a final Israeli-Palestinian agreement. Martin Indyk, the US Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations, was expected to arrive in the region and begin working on the talks in the second week of August. (The Jerusalem Post)

According to Yedioth Ahronoth, US Secretary of State John Kerry said, during conversations with members of Congress, that in a future peace deal, Israel will retain 85 per cent of the settlement blocks. (Ynetnews)

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton recalled in a statement EU support of the two-State solution and welcomed “the resumption of direct talks between the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams in Washington, D.C.” (consilium.europa.eu)

The Minister of Culture of Jordan, Barakat Awajan, and his Palestinian counterpart, Anwar Abu Eisheh, signed a three-year programme for cultural cooperation between the two countries in Ramallah. (Petra)

In response to two High Court petitions demanding a stop to the planned evacuation of eight villages in south Hebron Hills in the West Bank, Israeli authorities stated that the eviction was necessary as the area would be used as a training zone that would save the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) time and money. (Haaretz)

The Israeli Magistrate issued an eviction order of a Palestinian family from its home in East Jerusalem stating that the family was not a “protected tenant” and that the Jews that apparently owed the house decades ago wanted it back, Kareem Siyam, who lived in the house, said. (WAFA)

According to the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage, the Palestinian Information Center had reported that the Israeli Government was planning to construct a new settlement of 21 housing units and a synagogue close to the area of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. (Palestine News Network)

According to Palestinians sources in the Gaza Strip, there was a growing shortage of fuel after Egypt sealed off 80 per cent of the hundreds of tunnels that carried goods from Egypt into Gaza. Ynetnews)

The Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation, a Beirut-based Iranian charity, was financing a $2 million food aid project for the poor in the Gaza Strip. According to Mkhaimar Abusada, a political science professor at Al Azhar University in Gaza, the food relief project served as an Iranian reminder to Hamas that Iran was its only reliable backer. (The New York Times)

Hundreds of Israeli Arabs and Jews gathered at a highway junction near the town of Beersheba to protest Israeli plans to resettle up to 40,000 Bedouins and demolish 40 villages in the Negev region. (AFP)

The Emirates Red Crescent organized a number of mass iftars for people with special needs and poor families in Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. (Gulfnews)

2

Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), denounced recent statements by the Israeli Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, Naftali Bennett', regarding Palestinian prisoners. Ms. Ashrawi said, “It is astounding that Naftali Bennett, an Israeli Government official and Knesset member, has a complete disregard for due process, human rights and the value of life.” (Palestine News Network)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Palestine, in a statement, said that working hours at Rafah crossing had been reduced from 9 to 4 hours per day, allowing only Palestinians with dual citizenship, other Arabs and foreigners to cross the border. The Ministry called for the permanent opening of the crossing. (Palestine News Network)

The European Union contributed approximately €10.9 million to the payment of the salaries and pensions of nearly 75,000 Palestinian civil servants and pensioners in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for July from the contributions by the European Commission and the Government of the Netherlands. (reliefweb.int)

3

Israeli forces arrested the head of the Dar Salah village council. An Israeli army spokesman said that five people were arrested on that same night, one in Dar Salah, one in Beitunia and three in Hebron. (Ma’an News Agency)

The next round of direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks will take place in the region during the second week of August, Israel's Chief Negotiator and Israeli Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni said on Channel 10 television. She added that the talks would alternate between Israel and the Palestinian territories, and that the first of the 104 Palestinian prisoners to be released would take place before the negotiations resumed. (AFP)

Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erakat said that Israel would free the first 26 of a promised 104 long-serving Palestinian and Israeli Arab prisoners on 13 August. “The release of veteran prisoners will be in four batches, as Israel refused to release them all at once,” he said in a statement. Israel said that the men would go free in stages depending on progress in newly-resumed peace talks with the Palestinians. (AFP)

4

The Israeli Government placed 91 Jewish settlements on a national priority funding list, increasing by six a roster of dozens of enclaves already eligible for supplemental subsidies. PLO Executive Committee member Ashrawi said that the move would have a "destructive impact" on the peace talks. “This is exactly what Israel wants, have a process for its own sake, and at the same time have a free hand to destroy the objective of the process," she said. (BBC)

Israeli Minister of Energy and Water Resources Silvan Shalom alleged that the PA had rejected an Israeli “offer” to freeze construction activities in settlements located outside of settlement blocks, excluding “Ariel”, “Ma’ale Adumim” and “Gush Etzion”, and said that the PA had insisted on the release of Palestinian political prisoners. (IMEMC)

In a show of rejection of the PLO’s decision to return to negotiations with Israel, national and Islamic forces in the West Bank called for a demonstration that took place in the streets of Ramallah. Leaders of national and Islamic movements attended the demonstration that was spearheaded by the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The demonstration was the second of its kind in Ramallah during the past week. The first was a protest against the resumption of negotiations, organized by the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine, which had ended in clashes between the protesters and Palestinian riot police, who prevented the demonstrators from protesting in front of the presidential palace. (presstv.ir)

Egyptian media reported that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s anticipated visit to the Gaza Strip had been canceled. (The Jerusalem Post)

In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Bennett denied the existence of any agreement to freeze construction in the settlements and said that tenders for renewed construction in Jerusalem would be issued in the coming days. (Haaretz)

France disapproved of the inclusion of 91 Jewish settlements on the national priority funding list adopted by the Israeli Government, saying that it would undermine the future peace process. (France Diplomatie)

5

Several Palestinians suffered from suffocation due to gas inhalation after Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters towards Palestinians as they left a stadium in al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem, according to local sources. (WAFA)

Dozens of Palestinians threw stones at police in East Jerusalem causing light injuries to four officers. (The Jerusalem Post)

Palestinian Minister for Foreign Affairs Riyad Malki met with Iran’s Vice-President, Issac Jahangiri, in Tehran, and delivered congratulations on behalf of President Abbas to the newly sworn-in President of Iran, Hassan Rohani, assuring Mr. Abbas’ intentions of developing relations between Palestine and Iran. (WAFA)

President Abbas met in Ramallah with visiting British Foreign Office Director-General for Political Affairs and the UK Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Simon Gauss, who expressed Britain’s support for the establishment of an independent Palestinian State. Mr. Gauss also met with PLO Executive Committee member Ashrawi who said, during their meeting, that “There will never be a contiguous Palestinian State as long as settlements remain intact.” (Saudi Press Agency, Palestine News Network)

Israeli Chief Negotiator and Justice Minister Livni told Israeli Radio that she had preferred a prisoner release deal rather than agreeing to resuming peace talks based on the June 1967 borders, as it was the “least worst” strategic option for Israel. (Middle East Monitor)

The Palestinian Ministry of Health warned against a severe fuel shortage in the Gaza Strip, which had affected the work of hospitals. The shortage had caused almost 500 deaths and hundreds more were at risk of dying if the generators were not powered. (Palestine News Network)

6

Israeli police raided the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan. According to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, two Palestinian minors were assaulted and a third one was arrested. (WAFA)

Local sources reported that Israeli soldiers entered various Palestinian communities in the West Bank and arrested 12 Palestinians. (IMEMC)

Israeli troops with four tanks and three bulldozers raided and razed agricultural land in the eastern part of Bureij refugee camp in the centre of the Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported. (WAFA)

An IDF soldier was lightly injured by stones thrown by Palestinians during military operations in the Palestinian town of Beit Ummar, near Bethlehem. (Ynetnews)

Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernandez, used the opportunity of presiding over the Security Council for the first time to take aim at the veto power of its five permanent members, targeting the US for using the measure in favour of Israel when it came to resolutions regarding the Palestinians. (AP)

The Head of the Palestinian-Lebanese Dialogue Committee, Khaldoun al-Sharif, discussed a comprehensive plan to manage the Palestinian refugee presence in Lebanon in separate meetings held in Beirut with Palestinian officials. (The Daily Star)

The King of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, met with Palestinian President Abbas in Mecca to talk about the latest developments on the question of Palestine and the international efforts to establish a comprehensive and permanent peace in the Middle East. (Saudi Press Agency)

Palestinian activists gathered outside a checkpoint in Bethlehem, near the Aida refugee camp, to encourage Palestinians visiting Jerusalem during Ramadan to support Palestinian businesses over those owned by Israelis. (Palestine News Network)

The Palestinian Ministry of Finance discussed a grant of 21.5 million with the German Development Bank to develop and support Palestinian municipalities. (WAFA)

Rateb Jabour, Coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements, told Radio Bethlehem 2000 that Israel had approved the construction of 230 units in the illegal “Ma’on” settlement near the southern West Bank city of Hebron. (IMEMC)

According to official statistics, the West Bank settlement population had grown twice as much as the population in Israel itself, military radio said. (AFP)

In a statement, Hanan al-Khatib, a lawyer for the PA Ministry for Prisoners’ Affairs, said that two ailing Palestinian prisoners, one from the West Bank and another one from the Gaza Strip, had attempted suicide by swallowing unspecified pills. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian journalists published a petition aimed at pressuring Israel to grant them full freedom of movement and access in order to do their jobs, just as it allowed Israeli journalists to work freely in Israel and Palestine. (Palestine News Network)

A survey by the liberal Israeli Democracy Institute showed that most Israelis (65 per cent) would oppose any peace deal with the Palestinians that involved withdrawing to pre-1967 lines, even if land swaps were agreed to accommodate West Bank settlements. (Reuters)

A poll conducted by Alpha International showed that more than half of Palestinians support the resumption of peace talks with Israel. (The Jerusalem Post)

7

The IDF raided a number of West Bank towns and arrested several people, according to witnesses and security sources. (WAFA)

Israeli soldiers detained two Palestinians, one of them Al-Quds journalist Mohammed Mona, during a raid in Nablus. (IMEMC)

Yasser Abed Rabbo, Secretary-General of the PLO, said on Voice of Palestine that Israel wanted to abort the negotiations that had started only the previous week with its settlement activities, expressing concern that the Israeli Government was using the negotiations as a cover for settlement expansion. (WAFA)

Egyptian authorities said that the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip would be closed for four days during the Eid al-Fitr holiday. (WAFA)

Guy Inbar, Spokesman for the Israeli Civil Administration in the West Bank, said that initial plans to build 800 new settler homes had been approved though actual construction would require a green light from the Government. (Reuters)

Israel asked the High Court to reject the appeal filed by Almagor, a Jerusalem-based advocacy group for victims of terrorist attacks, on behalf of bereaved families and victims, against the release of Palestinian prisoners, as part of the renewal of negotiations. (Ynetnews)

Israeli authorities released a 60-year-old Palestinian, Omar Al-Barghouti, of Kubar village in Ramallah, after having detained him without charges for 34 months. Mr. Al-Barghouti had previously spent 26 years in Israeli jails and had last been detained in October 2010. (Ma’an News Agency)

Amnesty International urged Hamas authorities in Gaza to halt several executions that they said had been planned to be carried out after the week’s celebration of Eid al-Fitr. (Amnesty International)

8

During his visit to the grave of Yasser Arafat ahead of the Eid al-Fitr celebration, Palestinian President Abbas said that direct political talks between Israel and Palestine would start very soon, adding that the Palestinians will not abandon their legitimate rights and their right to declare East Jerusalem as the capital of their State. (IMEMC)

At a meeting with the leaders of the American Jewish Committee, US Secretary of State Kerry said that peace was a “strategic imperative” for both Israel and the Palestinians, and argued that the regional strategic environment had become favourable for a peace agreement because opponents of peace had weakened over the past two years. The meeting was held to update the Committee on the resumption of direct final status negotiations and to hear their perspectives. National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations Indyk and Senior Advisor and Deputy Special Envoy Frank Lowenstein also attended the meeting. (The Jerusalem Post)

In a letter to US Secretary of State Kerry, Chief Palestinian Negotiator Erakat demanded that he stop Israel from moving forward on plans for new settlement construction, warning that unless settlement expansion was stopped, he found it hard to see how negotiations could “bring about progress towards a peace agreement”. The letter detailed several plans that Israel had announced during the week, including construction of 63 housing units in East Jerusalem’s Jabal Mukkaber neighbourhood, construction of 878 units in various West Bank settlements, almost all of them outside the major settlement blocks. (Haaretz)

PLO Executive Committee member Ashrawi, in a press statement, urged Secretary of State Kerry to take “real action” against Israel, which she said was “openly disrupting” his peacemaking efforts, adding that “in absence of a clear international response, our duty is to protect our land and our people with the rightful tools of international legitimacy we have gained through statehood.” (Haaretz)

US State Department Spokeswoman Psaki said during the day’s press briefing that the US position on settlements had not changed. “We do not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity and oppose any efforts to legitimize settlement outposts … we are speaking to the Government of Israel and making our concerns known,” she said. (www.state.gov)

9

Addressing a crowd of worshippers during Eid al-Fitr prayers at Tehran University, Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Khamenei said that the US-brokered talks between Israel and the Palestinians were aimed at undermining the Palestinians’ resistance. (FarsNews)

British Foreign Office Minister Alastair Burt denounced the recent Israeli Government decision to construct 1,096 settlement units in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The Minister said that the focus should be on peace talks. (www.gov.uk)

Fatah Member of Parliament Majed Abu Shamallah warned of an impending security campaign by Hamas in the Gaza Strip after its security forces raided the homes of several Fatah leaders in the enclave. (Ma'an News Agency)

Israeli authorities appealed to the European Union to rethink planned sanctions against its organizations in the occupied territories and called for talks. (Reuters)

Protesters rallied in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners at the weekly demonstration in Bil’in near Ramallah. The IDF fired plastic-coated steel bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs toward the demonstrators. The tear gas canisters set fire to olive trees. (Ma'an News Agency)

10

Ahmad Salah, Coordinator of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in al-Khader, south of Bethlehem, said that the IDF had fired gas bombs at residents, including children, while celebrating Eid al-Fitr in the At-Tal area (old city). (IMEMC)

The IDF opened fire and killed Hussein Abdul-Hadi Awadallah, 30, from the An-Nusseirat refugee camp, as he attempted to cross the Gaza Strip fence. (Ynetnews)

The IDF broke into and searched several stores and shops in the town of Kufur Ra’ey near Jenin. (IMEMC)

Prime Minister Netanyahu sent a letter to Secretary of State Kerry complaining that the Palestinian Government’s incitement against Israel was continuing even after the return to “peace negotiations”. (Israel National News)

The United Arab Emirates’ Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Humanitarian Foundation concluded its Ramadan humanitarian activities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, reaching 25,000 people. Besides 10 major Palestinian cities, the population of 22 refugee camps, remote and rural areas, received food aid such as iftar meals, food baskets and Eid al-Fitr gifts for children. (Emirates News Agency)

11

The IDF fired at and lightly wounded a Palestinian following a disturbance on the Gaza Strip fence, an army spokeswoman said. (The Jerusalem Post)

Palestinian President Abbas and US Special Envoy Indyk met in Ramallah to prepare for the second round of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians due to be held in Jerusalem on 14 August. (WAFA)

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle met with Israeli officials on a visit to support nascent peace talks, offering to try to soften a European ban on dealings with Jewish settlements. (AFP)

Minister of Housing Uri Ariel said that Israel had invited bids for the construction of over 1,000 settlement units in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Mark Regev, Spokesperson for the Israeli Prime Minister, stated that the new “residential construction will always be under Israeli sovereignty under any peace agreement with the Palestinians”. (AP, IMEMC)

President Abbas said that Israeli-Arabs and former Jerusalem residents would be among the 104 prisoners released by Israel in the near future. He added that no freed Israeli Arabs or former Jerusalem residents would be deported, despite claims by Israel that it would demand that some be sent to Gaza or neighbouring Arab countries. (The Times of Israel)

The Almagor organization held a protest and a march to Mount Herzl in Jerusalem against the release of Palestinian prisoners as part of the resumption of peace talks. (The Jerusalem Post)

The ministerial panel on the release of Palestinian prisoners convened and approved a list of the first 26 prisoners to be freed ahead of the renewal of peace talks. The Prime Minister’s Office had confirmed that 14 prisoners would be released to the Gaza Strip and 12 to West Bank. (The Jerusalem Post)

12

Clashes erupted between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians during an IDF raid and arrest campaign in the town of Izzariyeh, southeast of Jerusalem. (WAFA)

An Israeli army spokesman said that the Israeli forces had arrested eight Palestinians, three in the Jenin district, two in Qalqilya, one in Budrus, one in Ramallah and one in Jericho. (Ma'an News Agency)

The IDF arrested 11 Palestinians from across the West Bank cities of Nablus, Hebron and Bethlehem. (WAFA)

President Abbas briefed visiting German Foreign Minister Westerwelle on the latest developments in the peace process. While President Abbas affirmed the Palestinian side’s commitment to achieving a comprehensive and just peace through negotiations, he denounced the ongoing Israeli settlement activities. Stressing his country’s support for the peace process, Mr. Westerwelle highlighted Germany’s and the European Union’s readiness to provide the Palestinian people with the support they needed to build the institutions of the Palestinian State. (WAFA)

Palestinian Chief Negotiator Erakat said that the Palestinian side was mulling to boycott the upcoming round of direct peace talks with Israel in protest against the recent Israeli decision to build more than 1,000 settlement units. (Xinhua)

During a press conference at the State Department with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Colombia, Maria Angela Holguin, Secretary of State Kerry noted that the Israeli Government’s “announcements with respect to settlements were to some degree expected because we have known that there was going to be a continuation of some building in certain places, and I think the Palestinians understand that. I think one of the announcements … was outside of that level of expectation, and that’s being discussed right now.” (www.state.gov)

Senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar told a news conference in Gaza that peace talks with Israel were “futile”. He said, “We renew our rejection of these futile talks, and consider them purely a means for the occupation [Israel] to look good to the international community”. (AFP)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom issued a statement urging the Israeli and Palestinian side to focus on the resumption of negotiations and to avoid steps that undermine efforts towards a negotiated two-State solution. (UK FCO)

The European Union urged Israelis and Palestinians to avoid any actions that could undermine the resumption of peace talks. Michael Mann, Spokesperson for EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, warned that fresh Israeli approvals for settlements in the West Bank threatened to render peace talks with Palestinians “impossible”. (AFP)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation said in a statement that Moscow was “seriously concerned” by the recent Israeli approvals for settlements in the West Bank and called it “a counterproductive step that complicates the atmosphere of the talks”. (AFP)

A senior Palestinian official demanded that Israel rescind its decision to approve tenders for over 1,000 new settlement units. (The Jerusalem Post)

Settlements monitoring official Ghassan Daghlas reported that a group of settlers had attacked Palestinian homes in the town of Jalud, clashing with local residents. He also stated that settlers from the “Bracha” settlement had begun setting up a number of tents on privately-owned Palestinian land east of the town of Burin. (Ma'an News Agency)

During a meeting with German Foreign Minister Westerwelle, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that the European Union’s new guidelines on the boycott of Israeli entities operating from beyond the 1949 Armistice Line would do nothing to help achieve peace but, in fact, would negatively affect the chances for peace. (Israel National News)

Ziad Abu Ein, Deputy Palestinian Minister for Prisoners' Affairs, said that Israel did not abide by the criteria agreed upon by both sides concerning the release of prisoners, stating that the list of 26 prisoners did not include inmates from Jerusalem and Arab residents of Israel. (Xinhua)

Hamas officials claimed that Egypt’s new Government had sharply cut the number of Palestinians allowed to enter Egypt from the Gaza Strip. (AFP)

13

Israeli naval forces detained three Palestinians fishermen off the Gaza coast. They were assaulted while in custody and transferred to a hospital for treatment. An Israeli army spokesperson said that the fishermen had deviated from the designated fishing zone. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces arrested 13 Palestinians during raids in the West Bank. (Ma’an News Agency)

Senior Palestinian official Abed Rabbo warned that the Middle East peace talks could “collapse” due to continuing Israeli settlement expansion. (France 24, Reuters)

According to a presidential spokesperson, Palestinian President Abbas had asked caretaker Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to stay on, tasking him with the formation of a new Government. (AFP)

A senior Israeli Foreign Ministry official was expected to issue a statement distancing Israel from the European Union’s recently published settlement guidelines. Israel was keen on beginning technical discussions with the EU on the lucrative Horizon 2020 R&D project, the EU’s innovation flagship programme meant to create jobs and fuel economic growth. Israel was the only non-EU country that had been asked to join the programme. A number of European officials had said that the EU had been keen on having Israeli involvement in the programme because of its cutting-edge research, technological and innovative capabilities. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Palestinian Minister of Economy, Jawad Al-Naji, announced that a Russian company was set to invest $30 million in a building complex in Bethlehem. The complex would house a music school, gym, administrative offices, gardens and other marketing and commercial spaces. Mr. Al-Naji added that the Russian Government would support the project. (Ma'an News Agency)

According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the unemployment rate in the Gaza Strip registered at 27.9 per cent compared with 16.8 per cent in the West Bank for the second quarter of 2013. The number of Palestinians employed in settlements increased from 16,000 in the first quarter of the year to 20,000 in the second quarter. Most of the Palestinians employed in Israel and the settlements were in the construction sector. (The Jerusalem Post)

According to unnamed sources, Egyptian army troops destroyed 5 underground fuel tanks and 10 pumps used to smuggle fuel across the border into the Gaza Strip. (www.worldbulletin.net)

An Israeli official announced that Israel was moving forward with a plan to build nearly 900 new settlement housing units in East Jerusalem. The units were in addition to the planned construction of over 1,200 other settlement homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem that the Israeli Government had recently announced. (AP, AFP)

Israel’s High Court of Justice rejected a petition to prevent the release of 26 Palestinian prisoners, the first group of 104 prisoners to be released as part of renewed US-brokered peace talks. The 26 prisoners, some said to have “blood on their hands”, were set to be released to the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the day. (DPA, Haaretz)

A group of United Nations independent human rights experts expressed deep concern at the alleged ongoing judicial harassment, intimidation and abusive treatment directed against Issa Amro, a prominent Palestinian human rights defender. (UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights)

14

Israeli warplanes struck two sites in Gaza in response to rocket fire against southern Israel the previous night, according to the Israeli military. There were no casualties on either side. (The New York Times)

The Israeli army arrested a number of Birzeit University students, including a senior member of the University’s Fatah youth movement. (WAFA)

The first direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in three years were held in Jerusalem. Both sides confirmed that the closed meeting had ended late at night after several hours. A senior Israeli official had described the talks as “long and serious”, but no statement had been released. A Palestinian official had been quoted as saying that they had agreed to meet weekly, alternating between Jerusalem and Jericho. (BBC, Haaretz)

Israel agreed to hand over to Palestinians the bodies of Palestinians buried in Israel as a gesture of goodwill in light of the resumption of peace talks. (Ynetnews)

Palestinian officials said that Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah had decided to remain on the job, weeks after announcing his resignation. Government Spokesman Ihab Bsaiso said, “There will be a new government and a new swearing-in ceremony”. (AP)

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Israel had started talks with the European Union over the “Horizon 2020” programme, a research grant programme that would be subjected to new regulations forbidding EU research grants to Israelis working in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. (AP)

Israel freed 26 Palestinians, the first batch of 104 Palestinians serving long jail terms, many for deadly attacks on Israelis. (Reuters)

An Israeli military prosecutor extended by six months the administrative detention of Palestinian prisoner Ayman Hamdan, who had been on hunger strike for 108 days. (WAFA)

15

Dozens of young Palestinian men burned tyres in Nablus and pelted right-wing Israelis with stones and empty bottles when they visited Joseph’s Tomb near the Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus, escorted by Israeli forces. Soldiers responded with tear gas canisters and stun grenades. No injuries were reported. Prior to the visit, Israeli military vehicles entered several neighbourhoods in Nablus overnight, ransacking several houses, according to Palestinian officials. (Ma’an News Agency)

Young Palestinian men clashed with Israeli troops when they searched several Palestinian homes in Jenin and detained two youths. The Israeli army said that the arrests of the two were among nine overnight arrests in the West Bank. (Ma’an News Agency)

The IDF sent reinforcement to the Erez border crossing with Gaza after the Egyptian army decided to close the Rafah border crossing due to the unrest in the country, Israel Radio reported. (The Jerusalem Post)

At a joint press conference with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Ramallah, Palestinian President Abbas said that all key issues had been discussed at a new round of peace talks with Israel, but declined to elaborate due to an agreed news blackout. (AFP)

On an official visit to Bulgaria, Palestinian Minister for Foreign Affairs Malki held talks with his Bulgarian counterpart, Kristian Vigenin. (Bulgarian News Agency)

The Fatah Central Committee held a meeting in Ramallah during which the members discussed several key issues in the region and progress in the negotiations with Israel, said Presidential Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh. During the meeting, President Abbas also congratulated the prisoners recently freed from Israeli jails, and wished speedy release for the rest of the prisoners. (WAFA)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with King Abdullah in Aqaba and discussed US Secretary of State Kerry’s efforts to resume negotiations between Israel and Palestine. Mr. Ban then travelled to Ramallah where he held talks with Palestinian President Abbas and other Palestinian leaders. During a news conference with President Abbas, Mr. Ban said that he was “deeply troubled” by continued Israeli settlement building, and warned that it would ultimately prevent the establishment of a Palestinian State. Before leaving Ramallah, Mr. Ban launched a new UN Development Assistance Framework, outlining how the Organization works with the Palestinian Authority. (Reuters, UN News Centre)

Egyptian authorities announced the closure of the Rafah crossing until further notice in both directions for security reasons. (Aswat Masriya)

16

In a meeting with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said that the root of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the refusal by the Palestinians to recognize the Jewish State “on any border” and had nothing to do with Israel's settlement enterprise, adding that the conflict had begun before even one settlement had been established. He stressed that construction in areas such as “Gilo” or in settlement blocks, which everyone, including the Palestinians, knew would stay under Israeli sovereignty in a future agreement, should not be the main issue of discussion. The main issue should be how to achieve a demilitarized Palestinian State that would recognize the one and only Jewish State. (Ynetnews)

At a press encounter following a meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called upon Israel and the Palestinians to refrain from acts that would endanger the continuation of renewed peace negotiations, adding that peace required leadership and compromise. He said that the United Nations will spare no effort to complement and facilitate the ongoing process. (www.un.org)

Speaking to Mawteny Radio, the senior member of Fatah's Central Committee in charge of the national reconciliation portfolio, Azzam Al-Ahmed, noted that the 14 August deadline for Hamas to fulfil certain obligations had passed, adding that Fatah may have to make “painful” decisions, and that Fatah would not “remain hostage to Hamas” on the formation of a national consensus Government and on the announcement of the dates for presidential and parliamentary elections. (Middle East Monitor)

The PLO Negotiations Affairs Department (PLONAD) issued a statement calling “the extension of the Absentee Property Law to Occupied East Jerusalem […] a blatant attempt to expand Israeli tools for the illegal expropriation of Palestinian land…” (PLONAD press release)

In an interview with The Financial Times, Israeli Minister of Finance Yair Lapid said that he was concerned that anti-Israel lobby groups in Europe were gaining more legitimacy, which would be “more and more painful” to Israel economically. (The Financial Times)

Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon signed a UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for the State of Palestine for the years 2014-2016 in Ramallah. At the signing ceremony, Mr. Hamdallah stressed the importance of the UN and its bodies in supporting the building of Palestinian institutions. (www.un.org)

17

According to a senior party official of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Israeli authorities had detained three women affiliated to their group. (Ma'an News Agency)

Security sources said that Israeli forces arrested two brothers from the town of as-Samu’, south of Hebron. (WAFA)

In a statement, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) expressed its concern about the worsening health of seven Palestinian detainees who had been on long-term hunger strike. The ICRC was particularly worried about Imad Abdelaziz Abdallah Batran, who had been on hunger strike for several weeks. (www.icrc.org)

18

Police were investigating a report that six masked men attacked a Palestinian shepherd after he and his flock crossed Highway 60 near the Psagot winery in the West Bank. (The Jerusalem Post)

During a meeting of the PLO Executive Committee in Ramallah, the Committee criticized Israel, threatening to go to international agencies and punish it for its “war crimes, anti-human, racist acts and violations of international laws”. (The Jerusalem Post)

Jordan’s King Abdullah expressed his country’s support for the creation of an independent and viable Palestinian State with the borders of 1967 that lived side by side along with Israel in peace and security. However, he warned that Israel's unilateral measures in Jerusalem had serious consequences for the future of the entire peace process. (Xinhuanet.com)

Amin Maqboul, Secretary-General of Fatah's Revolutionary Council, said that a meeting that was held to discuss political reconciliation had failed to make progress, as Hamas rejected a proposal presented by Fatah to hold legislative, presidential and general elections. (Ma'an News Agency)

Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah paid tribute to King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain for supporting the Palestinian cause. (Bahrain News Agency)

Prime Minister Hamdallah signed a $148 million agreement with the US Government aimed at supporting the PA’s budget. The US Government was represented by US Consul General Michael Ratney. (WAFA)

IDF troops were dispatched twice to remove roadblocks between a dirt path leading to four Palestinian villages in the south Hebron Hills and an asphalt road leading to the Israeli settlement of Mitzpeh Yair. The roadblocks had been set up by vandals, believed to be settlers, in an attempt to thwart access to the four Palestinian villages. (Haaretz)

Hanna Issa, Secretary General of the Islamic-Christian Committee to support Jerusalem and holy sites, stated that the new Israeli regional structural plan to protect buildings from earthquakes, known as A38, was in fact aimed at promoting settlement construction in the city of Jerusalem. She noted that the plan aimed at making “substantial changes to the construction in the old city of Jerusalem under the pretext of protecting buildings from earthquakes”. (WAFA)

According to media reports, Palestinian officials, who were part of the Geneva Initiative, and Israeli politicians, met in Budapest recently to discuss the resumption of negotiations between the Israeli Government and the PLO. (Ma'an News Agency)

19

According to security sources, Israeli forces arrested three young Palestinians from the town of Dura, south of Hebron, before raiding the headquarters of the Islamic Charity Association in Hebron. (WAFA)

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

According to eyewitness accounts, Israeli soldiers arrested a Palestinian from the town of Obaidiya, east of Bethlehem, after raiding his family home. (WAFA)

PA Minister of Finance Shukri Bishara announced that the PA was facing a severe financial crisis due to a massive budget deficit and the failure of Arab States to fulfil aid promises. (Ma'an News Agency)

The head of a union of Palestinian university professors and staff said that all Palestinian universities were facing a crippling financial crisis and some had not been able to pay salaries regularly over the past two years. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli bulldozers demolished 11 dwellings belonging to Bedouins in Beit Hanina, north of Jerusalem, under the pretext that they had been built without permit, displacing 53 people residing in the area. (WAFA)

According to local sources, a Palestinian man demolished his own home in the Sub Baher neighbourhood in southern Jerusalem after receiving a demolition notice from the municipality. He allegedly demolished his own home to avoid paying the demolition fee of NIS73,000. (Saudi Gazette)

During a Security Council open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay voiced concern over human rights implications for the protection of civilians of armed drone strikes carried out in the context of counter-terrorism in Gaza, among other countries. She said that the current lack of transparency surrounding their use created an “accountability vacuum” and affected the ability of victims to seek redress, and urged all relevant States “to clarify the legal bases for such strikes as well as the safeguards in place to ensure compliance with applicable international law”. She also said that Israeli-Palestinian peace talks could only succeed if the protection of human rights of all Palestinians and Israelis was placed at its centre, adding that the illegal blockade of Gaza must be lifted and freedom of movement throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory should be ensured. (UN News Centre)

20

Israeli soldiers shot and killed a 22-year-old Palestinian man and injured two others in clashes that broke out after a raid on the Jenin refugee camp. An Israeli military spokesperson said that forces had entered the camp to detain a suspect in terrorist activities. “Shots were fired at the forces and improvised explosives and rocks were hurled at personnel, lightly injuring two soldiers. Troops responded with live fire to eliminate the threat”, the spokesperson said. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli navy opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast, causing material damage but no injuries. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian medical sources reported that two young Palestinian men, who allegedly approached the Gaza fence, east of Jabalia town, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, were shot and injured by Israeli military fire. (IMEMC, Ynetnews)

The Palestinian delegation to the current peace talks headed by Chief Negotiator Erakat and Mohammad Shtayyeh, and the Israeli delegation of Chief Negotiator Livni and Yitzhak Molcho held two meetings in Jerusalem. Details were not made available. (AFP)

Israel’s Chief Negotiator Livni told Israel Radio that Israel would make “dramatic decisions” to reach a final peace agreement that would end the conflict with the Palestinians. (AP)

Palestinian Minister for Foreign Affairs Malki met with his Venezuelan counterpart in Caracas and discussed developing bilateral relations between both countries. (Ma’an News Agency)

In an interview with A-Shams radio, Chief Negotiator Erakat declared that Palestinian officials agreed on returning to the negotiating table with Israel as the US had assured in writing that all preconditions would be met. In return, Palestine had to commit not to unilaterally pursue its efforts for further recognition at the UN during the negotiation period. (Israel National News)

During a meeting with representatives of the Front for Democracy and Equality (Hadash) party, President Abbas said that Israel was placing “obstacles” on the way to the continuation of the peace talks by pursuing construction in settlements “in a provocative manner”. (Palestine News Network)

Hamas called upon Egyptian authorities to reopen the Rafah border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt to the public and welcomed the return of President Abbas' guards to help the permanent opening of the enclave's Rafah crossing point, a Hamas official said. (English.news.cn, KUNA)

Israeli forces demolished 10 structures constructed before 1967 in the Furush Beit Dajan and Al-Jiftlik areas in the Jordan Valley under the pretext that they had been built without a license. In Nablus, Israeli forces demolished two sheds and four rooms belonging to two Palestinians in the village of Froosh Beit Dajan, east of Nablus. In Silwan in East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolished part of a home. (Ma’an News Agency, WAFA)

During a briefing on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question”, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco told the Security Council: “We have now reached a decisive point. The test will be for both sides to go the distance and not disappoint their people”. “The Secretary-General and the United Nations, including with the Quartet, will continue to bring all possible support to their efforts”, he said, adding that the Quartet intended to meet soon to discuss next steps. (UN News Centre)

21

According to security sources, a 21-year-old Palestinian was shot and injured and a 16-year-old minor was arrested during clashes that erupted between Israeli forces and Palestinians in Daheisheh refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. (WAFA)

At a news conference in Jericho, where Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian police leaders had met, Israel’s Police Commissioner, Inspector General Yohanan Danino, said that a working group was currently looking at possible coordination between Israeli and Palestinian police forces and the Israeli army, which could result in mutual police patrols. Mr. Danino’s Palestinian counterpart, Maj. Gen. Hazem Attallah, said that the concept had not been finalized. (The Washington Post)

During a press briefing, US State Department Spokesperson Psaki replied to questions regarding claims that the Israelis were keeping US Special Envoy Indyk out of discussions in the resumed talks, saying, “Ambassador Indyk and his team have maintained an intense schedule of meetings with leaders and the negotiating teams, and at this point, the Secretary’s thought is that it’s important for the parties to have an opportunity to engage in direct bilateral discussions”. (www.state.gov)

The Palestinian Ministry of Communications issued, for the first time, five revenue stamps in different denominations, carrying the name State of Palestine and a picture of the Dome of the Rock. (The Peninsula)

According to a local activist, bulldozers, protected by Israeli soldiers, razed large areas of privately owned Palestinian land in Einabous village, south of Nablus, as a prelude to a take over of the land for the benefit of expanding the Israeli settlement of “Yitzhar”. (WAFA)

22

The IDF entered several neighbourhoods in Jenin in search of activists, including the village of Jaba, causing confrontation with Palestinian residents. The residents threw rocks while the soldiers fired tear gas and rubber bullets causing a number of people to be treated for tear gas suffocation. There were no reports of arrests. (WAFA)

During a meeting in Ramallah with members of the Israeli left-wing Meretz party, Palestinian President Abbas said that a “fair peace agreement with Israel would be final and binding”, adding "I know your concerns, but guarantee that at the conclusion of successful negotiations, we undertake to end all the demands. We will not ask to return to Yafo, Akko and Tzfat.” President Abbas also said that Israel's ongoing settlement activities “do not provide a favourable atmosphere for the current negotiations". Meretz leader Zahava Gal-On in turn said that her party remained committed to achieving a just and permanent peace agreement on the basis of the two-State solution with 1967 borders. (Israel National News, Ma’an News Agency)

In Moscow, Russian Federation Minister for Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov met with Chief Palestinian Negotiator Erakat. Mr. Lavrov said that the Russian Federation fully supported US efforts to relaunch the negotiations to achieve a final settlement, including all the issues concerning final status, in order for a Palestinian State to emerge, living in peace and security with Israel and other nations. (The Voice of Russia)

PLO Executive Committee member Ashrawi said that Israel was undermining negotiations by demanding the removal of the Americans from the negotiation room in a bid “to exploit their power over the Palestinians”. “We had an agreement on three-way negotiations. The Americans from the beginning were supposed to be there. I don’t know why the Israelis don’t want the Americans there as witnesses”, she said in an interview. (The Times of Israel)

Following the release of a film entitled “Camp Jihad” by an Israeli film-maker, UNRWA Spokesperson Chris Gunness, in a press release, rejected all allegations of UNRWA promoting anti-Semitism and inciting violence in its “summer camps”, adding that “UNRWA has conducted a lengthy and detailed investigation into the film and we categorically reject the allegations it contains. The film is grossly misleading and we regret the damage it has caused to UNRWA and the United Nations”. (unrwa.org)

Egyptian authorities were to reopen the Rafah crossing on 24 August for four hours daily, for humanitarian cases and Palestinians with foreign nationalities, Hamas officials said in a statement. (AFP)

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement calling on the international community, including the Quartet, to intervene and put an end to Israel’s escalation of settlement expansion, and to document Israeli violations in order to pursue Israel in international courts. The statement said that Israel was using the Absentee Property Law to illegally control Palestinian land and property, especially in Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley. Israel also passed laws to legalize illegal settlement outposts built on private Palestinian property, such as in the eastern countryside of Bethlehem and in Jerusalem, it added. (IMEMC)

A Hamas member, Dirar Abu-Sisi, embarked on a hunger strike in the Israeli Eshel Prison, protesting continued solitary confinement and inadequate medical care. Mr. Abu Sisi was accused two years ago of hundreds of attempted murders. (Ynetnews)

Israel’s Department for the Investigation of Police was currently investigating eight complaints filed by Palestinian minors regarding alleged abuse by interrogators at the Israel police station in the “Gush Etzion” settlement. In their testimonies to B’Tselem, the minors described being subjected to severe physical violence that, in some cases, amounted to torture. (www.btselem.org)

Israel deported a Palestinian prisoner, Ayman Abu Daoud, from Hebron to the Gaza Strip, as part of a deal to end his 40-day hunger strike. His wife and children remained in Hebron. (Ma’an News Agency)

23

On an official visit to Guyana, Palestinian Minister for Foreign Affairs Malki met with the President of Guyana, Donald Ramotar. (KanaNews)

According to a fact sheet issued by PLONAD, between the announcement of resumption of negotiations on 30 July and the third Israeli-Palestinian negotiators meeting on 20 August, 25 Palestinian homes had been demolished in occupied East Jerusalem. (Palestine News Network)

Minds of Peace, an apolitical organization committed to reaching a peace treaty on the Arab-Israeli conflict, gathered a group of 20 Israelis and Palestinians for two days on King George Street in Jerusalem in order to sign “The People's Peace Plan” which covered all aspects of final status negotiations, including Jerusalem, the settlements and the Palestinian’ right of return. (The Jerusalem Post)

24

French Minister for Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius met with Palestinian caretaker Prime Minister Hamdallah, and President Abbas. Two agreements were signed between the two Governments concerning the salaries of 180,000 civil servants ($12 million) and the construction of a solid waste treatment plant in the Gaza Strip ($13 million). During his meeting with President Abbas, the French Minister said that unless negotiations moved forward, developments in the Arab countries could become an obstacle in their way. He also described Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as “illegal under international law”. The following day, Mr. Fabius met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as well as other Government representatives and opposition leaders to discuss, among other topics, the recently approved EU Settlements Guidelines and regional instability. (Le Monde, The Jerusalem Post)

Five days after closing the Rafah crossing, Egypt announced the reopening of its borders with the Gaza Strip for four hours per day. Maher Abu Sabha, a Hamas official, said that the opening of the crossing for only four hours a day would be insufficient. (The New York Times)

25

Security personnel of the Israeli Ministry of Defense's Crossings Authority stopped a vehicle with two Palestinians for a routine check in the vicinity of the “Ariel” settlement and discovered concealed weapons. (Ynetnews)

The IDF arrested two teenagers, Mohammad Jadallah Sleibi, aged 17, and Mohammad Shehda Sleibi, aged 16, near the “Karmei Tzur” settlement, south of Beit Ummar near Hebron. (Ma'an News Agency)

Hamas said that it would invite Palestinian factions for discussions of joining in running the Gaza Strip. Fatah took the call as an attempt to evade national reconciliation aimed at restoring political unity to Gaza and the West Bank. (Xinhua)

A senior Fatah official, Azzam al-Ahmed, announced that the Palestinian Government will soon take “painful decisions” against Hamas and said that the latter would no longer be considered a partner in any process. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Al-Aqsa Foundation reported that some 65 Israeli settlers entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem with Israeli police escort. (Ma'an News Agency)

PA settlement affairs official Daghlas reported that Israeli bulldozers levelled private Palestinian land in Nablus in order to enlarge a settlement outpost known as “Hill 782”. (Ma'an News Agency)

Jerusalem municipality’s spokeswoman, Brachie Sprung, announced that the city had approved plans to construct 1,500 apartments in the East Jerusalem settlement of “Ramat Shlomo”. (The Washington Post)

Israeli authorities ordered the demolition of part of a Palestinian school located in East Jerusalem. (Ma'an News Agency)

Human Rights Watch said that Israeli forces should immediately end unlawful demolitions of Palestinian homes and other structures in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. “Demolitions of homes and other structures that compel Palestinians to leave their communities may amount to the forcible transfer of residents of an occupied territory, which is a war crime,” Human Rights Watch said. It documented demolitions on 19 August in East Jerusalem that had displaced 39 people, including 18 children. Israeli human rights groups and OCHA documented additional demolitions in East Jerusalem and the West Bank on 20 and 21 August that had destroyed the homes of 40 people, including 20 children, according to the organization. (www.hrw.org)

26

Three Palestinians were shot and killed during clashes with Israeli border police in the Qalandiya refugee camp near Jerusalem. Fifteen Palestinians were wounded and six of them were in serious condition. The border police said that the unit was attacked by hundreds of Palestinians while conducting an arrest of a terror suspect. (Haaretz)

Two Palestinian youths were hit by rubber-coated bullets and several others choked after they inhaled tear gas during clashes with Israeli forces in Sanur village near Jenin. Israeli forces raided the village and ransacked the home of a senior Fatah leader to summon his son for interrogation. (Ma’an News Agency)

Clashes broke out in Hebron between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian youths protesting the killing of three Palestinians in the Qalandiya refugee camp. The soldiers fired rubber bullets and arrested a number of the youths. (WAFA)

Two Palestinian youths were hit by rubber-coated bullets and several others suffered from tear gas inhalation during clashes with Israeli troops in the Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem. (Ma’an News Agency)

The IDF arrested Sheikh Mazen Abu Natsheh, a leader of Hamas, after raiding his house in al-Khalil, Mr. Natsheh's wife said. (The Palestinian Information Center)

Israeli forces arrested a Palestinian teenager in Beit Ummar near Hebron. (Ma’an News Agency)

UNRWA condemned the killing of one of its staff members and the wounding of another during the Israeli operation in the Qalandiya refugee camp. (www.unrwa.org)

The IDF raided the Bethlehem town of Beit Fajjar and confiscated construction equipment from several factories and workshops. (Ma'an News Agency)

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met in Jericho despite the announcement by the PLO that talks had been cancelled following the killing of three Palestinians earlier in the day. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Zeev Elkin asked Norway’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Espen Barth Eide, to discourage the Palestinians from taking unilateral steps in seeking international recognition, as it would represent a violation of the Oslo agreement. Mr. Eide was on a visit to the region to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders and begin what he said would be the last effort his country would make to institute the two-State solution agreed in Oslo in 1993. (The Algemeiner, The Local)

Palestinian Minister for Foreign Affairs Malki signed a cooperation agreement in the field of energy with his Venezuelan counterpart, Elias Hawa, in Caracas. The Venezuelan Government also announced the construction of a $15 million eye hospital in the State of Palestine. (WAFA)

The Dutch Government had reportedly asked the country’s largest engineering company, Royal HaskoningDHV, to rethink its participation in a project with the Jerusalem municipality because the project was based on the Palestinian side of the 1967 border. Israeli Foreign Ministry officials feared that this would be a trend in Europe and not an isolated incident. (Haaretz)

Israeli bulldozers demolished two Palestinian homes in Al-Tur, an East Jerusalem neighbourhood, under the pretext that they had been built without permit. (WAFA)

The IDF demolished a Palestinian house located in the village of Tal al-Saba in the Negev. (Ma'an News Agency)

27

In response to an UNRWA press release condemning the killing by the IDF of one its staff members during a confrontation in the Qalandiya refugee camp, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement calling on the organization “to return to its original humanitarian agenda of assisting Palestinian refugees, while refraining from any one-sided political advocacy activities.” (Israel Hayom, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

In a meeting with President Abbas, Norwegian Foreign Minister Eide said that without any political progress, the donations funding the Palestinian State-building would stop. (The Jerusalem Post)

In a meeting with members of the Swedish Parliament and representatives of the Swedish Jerusalem Committee, PLO Executive Committee member Ashrawi said that “without East Jerusalem as our capital, there can be no Palestinian State or any hope for peace”. She also deplored Israeli plans to annex Palestinian land. (Palestine News Network)

Israeli forces handed stop-work warrants to several Palestinian families in the southern West Bank town of al-Dhahiriya over allegedly building houses without licenses. An inspection committee would meet during the last week of September to consider possible house demolitions in the area. (Ma’an News Agency)

Vandals slashed the tyres of 10 cars in Beit Safafa in East Jerusalem. The words “price-tag” had been sprayed on walls nearby. (AP)

The Spokesperson for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Pillay said in a statement: “We are concerned about the forced eviction and forcible transfer of Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem… In this case, the permanent removal of the families … may amount to a violation of the prohibition the forcible transfer of individuals or communities under article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The case also raises concerns regarding the prohibition on forced eviction under international human rights law, and the enjoyment of the rights to adequate housing and freedom from arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy, family and home.” (www.ohchr.org)

Amnesty International reported that strong evidence showed that the three men, one of whom was a staff member of UNRWA, who were shot dead during an arrest raid in the Qalandiya refugee camp earlier in the week, were unlawfully killed by the IDF. The organization stated that “The intentional lethal use of firearms – such as firing live ammunition at individuals’ upper bodies – is only permissible if strictly unavoidable to protect life.” (Amnesty International)

28

Israeli troops shot in the foot and injured a 20 year-old Palestinian man near Ramadin, south of Hebron while he was on his way to work in Israel, the Palestinian Red Crescent Association reported. (Ma’an News Agency)

Clashes broke out in Ramallah between the police and Palestinians protesting negotiations with Israel. Several protesters and police were injured. (Ma’an News Agency)

President Abbas met and discussed with King Abdullah of Jordan the status of the peace negotiations with Israel. The King also reiterated Jordan's support for the Palestinian aspiration to establish a State based on the 1967 borders. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, met with President Abbas in Ramallah and discussed the latest developments in the Palestinian territories, with emphasis on the international efforts made to reactivate the peace process. Mr. İhsanoğlu also expressed his support for Palestine and stressed that the visit aimed to confirm the Islamic countries' support of the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination. (Emirates News Agency)

Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah said that the PA Ministry of Health had sent a medical aid convoy worth 3 million shekels ($818,577) to Gaza, consisting of medicine and equipment. (Ma’an News Agency)

A ceremony was held celebrating the completion of a new emergency room at the Red Crescent Hospital in Jerusalem funded by Japan. (Palestine News Agency)

East Jerusalem Education Bureau Director Samir Jibril informed families with schoolchildren in Jerusalem that several Palestinian schools would incorporate Israeli educational material in their curriculum. The Israeli municipality in Jerusalem had offered to increase salaries for teachers and principals who agreed to implement the plans. (Ma’an News Agency)

In response to a High Court of Justice decision, Israel’s Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein announced that Israel would no longer be able to confiscate land in East Jerusalem based on the 1950 Absentee Property Law, “except under special circumstances and subject to the prior approval of the Attorney-General.” (The Jerusalem Post)

According to an unnamed Palestinian source, a group of settlers raided a private Palestinian olive grove south of Nablus and destroyed dozens of trees. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian officials reported that more than 60 settlers, escorted by Israeli police, broke into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound following a call by several Israeli organizations urging Ultra-Orthodox Jews to commemorate the third anniversary of the shooting deaths that occurred in 2010 inside the compound. (Ma’an News Agency)

In a meeting with OIC members, Palestinian Minister for Foreign Affairs Malki condemned Israeli settlement expansion in Jerusalem and asked the organization to intervene to stop the "judaization" of the city. (Ma’an News Agency)

29

Israeli soldiers entered the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, leading to clashes with local youths. (IMEMC)

President Abbas met in Doha with Qatari Prince Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, and discussed the peace process, as well as ways to boost bilateral relations. (Qatar News Agency)

Israeli Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar said that the Israeli Government would not accept a Palestinian demand to return to the 1967 borders as part of renewed peace talks. As for the settlements, he said “We do not believe in uprooting Jewish communities and do not believe that this will lead to peace.” (Ynetnews)

An Israeli court demanded that the Israeli authorities explain the inconsistency of its policy in granting exit permits from the Gaza Strip to Israel. The demand came as a result of a petition filed by B'Tselem showing that the criteria for issuing the permits – exceptional humanitarian and medical cases – had not been respected. (Haaretz)

The number of settler homes initiated in the West Bank increased by 141.5 per cent in the first half of 2013, compared to the same period last year, according to data released by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, with 1,461 homes initiated during the first six months of 2013 and 1,089 homes initiated in all of 2012. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israel reversed its previous decision, based on the 1950 Absentee Property Law, to confiscate the Cliff Hotel in East Jerusalem from its owners, the State Prosecutor's Office informed the High Court of Justice. (Haaretz)

PA settlement affairs official Daghlas stated in a press release that several Palestinians who were working on their lands in the West Bank village of Qasra, were attacked with clubs and stones by settlers. The incident caused some injuries. (Jordan News Agency)

Palestinian prisoner Dirar Abu Sisi had reached a deal with the Israeli prison service and ended his 13 day hunger strike in exchange for better living conditions. (Palestine News Agency)

PLO Executive Committee member Ashrawi called upon the Dutch engineering firm Royal HaskoningDHV to end its involvement in an Israeli municipal wastewater treatment project in East Jerusalem, saying that the primary objective of the treatment plant “is to serve and to strengthen Israel’s illegal settlements, deepen its annexation of East Jerusalem, and consolidate its occupation of the West Bank – not provide clean water to Palestinians” as some Dutch Parliamentarians had claimed, adding that “the Palestinian National Authority is not a partner in this project”. (Palestine News Network)

Forty-four internationally-acclaimed writers had signed a petition supporting the campaign of 1,300 inhabitants of several West Bank villages to stop an Israeli plan to evict them. The villagers would challenge the IDF in the Supreme Court in Jerusalem at the beginning of the following week. (The Telegraph)

In its monthly report, the World Health Organization indicated that Gaza patient referrals for treatment outside the Gaza Strip were the highest in July since 2006 with almost 1,300 patients seeking Israeli permits to reach hospitals in Israel, East Jerusalem or the West Bank, and 85 per cent of permits were approved. (WAFA)

30

In a press statement issued by the PLONAD, Chief Palestinian Negotiator Erakat condemned the Israeli attempt to impose its educational system on Palestinian schools in East Jerusalem. (Palestine News Network)

During a demonstration against the wall in Bil’in in the West Bank, six Palestinians were shot by rubber-coated metal bullets and gas bombs fired by Israeli soldiers, and dozens were treated for tear gas inhalation. (IMEMC)

31

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

A 17-year-old Palestinian who was seriously injured by Israeli army gunfire during a raid on the Jenin refugee camp on 20 August died of his wounds. (WAFA)


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