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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
30 November 2010



Division for Palestinian Rights

Chronological Review of Events Relating to the
Question of Palestine

MONTHLY MEDIA MONITORING REVIEW
November 2010

Monthly highlights
    • Israel suspends cooperation with UNESCO for resolution declaring Rachel’s Tomb a mosque (3 November)

    • Israeli Interior Ministry announces construction of 1,300 new settlement units in East Jerusalem (8 November)

    • In Damascus, Fatah and Hamas agree to resume reconciliation talks after Eid al-Adha (10 November)

    • US offers Israel incentive package stipulating settlement construction moratorium for 90 days (13 November)

    • PLO Negotiations Chief says Palestinians might turn to the UN for recognition of a Palestinian State along 1967 borders if US does not pressure Israel on settlements (15 November)

    • Knesset passes referendum law before any withdrawal from “sovereign Israeli territory” (22 November)

    • Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe briefs the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question (23 November)

    • CEIRPP elects Ambassador Abdou Salam Diallo of Senegal as its new Chairman (23 November)

    • PA Information Ministry official says western wall is not a surviving remnant of the Jewish Temple (25 November)

    • 22 international human rights and humanitarian reports flow of construction materials into Gaza remains limited (30 November)

1

The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said in a statement that its fighters fired two 90-millimetre mortar rounds at an Israeli military installation east of Al-Maghazi, in the central Gaza Strip. An Israeli military spokesperson denied the report. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli soldiers entered two houses in Hebron, handing its residents orders to appear at a police station for questioning. They also searched a house in al-Fawar refugee camp, south-west of Hebron. Israeli soldiers also entered the towns of al-Samou’, Halhoul, Ethna, al-Dahiriya, Doura, Nouba, al-Shoyoukh and installed checkpoints. (IMEMC)

An Israeli soldier was sentenced to five months in prison for having been caught on camera pointing his gun at a handcuffed Palestinian prisoner, military sources said. (AFP)

Hamas official Fathi Hammad told the al-Hayat newspaper: "On the first day of the war [Operation Cast Lead], Israel targeted police stations and 250 martyrs who were part of Hamas and the various factions fell ... as well as 150 security personnel". Mr. Hammad said that Hamas was prepared to wage a war against Israel but ruled out an escalation any time soon. (UPI)

Egypt's Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman was set to visit Israel this week to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres as part of Egyptian efforts at renewing peace talks with the Palestinians. (Ynetnews)

In an interview with Ma’an Radio, Saeb Erakat, Head of the Negotiations Affairs Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said that an Egypt-proposed joint Arab initiative to bring Palestinian demands for statehood to the United Nations was close to being finalized. He said that the goal was to force Israel to stop expanding settlements before resuming negotiations, adding that the plan stemmed from the United States Administration’s failure to stop settlement expansion. He said, however, "When we talk about alternatives, this doesn’t mean failing [in the] talks; we want them to succeed". (Ma’an News Agency)

Moving the peace process to the United Nations would not solve the conflict, US State Department Spokesman Philip J. Crowley said. “The only way to end the conflict is to resolve the final-status issues. And the only way to resolve the final status issues is through a direct negotiation”. (Voice of America)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said that there was currently no offer from the US on the table that would grant Israel benefits in exchange for a reinstatement of the moratorium on settlement building. He added that the issue of the freeze was not being discussed at all. (The Jerusalem Post)

Arab League Secretary-General Amre Moussa said in an interview with Fox News Radio that the League would give the US a chance to break the current stalemate in negotiations, but that he saw no reason why the peace process should not be led by the UN. He said that settlements were still the "make or break" issue. Mr. Moussa said, "I'll tell you in all candour that the prevailing view is that the peace process has failed... You have heard President Abbas talking about a lot of alternatives. The first alternative in his opinion is to proceed on the path of negotiations… no settlements then the negotiations will go on. One of the most important alternatives is to get back to the United Nations.” (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli sources confirmed that Prime Minister Netanyahu had agreed to a US proposal for Israel to lease parts of the Jordan Valley from the Palestinians for an additional seven years, Army Radio reported. But Mr. Netanyahu, demanding that the lease period be longer, said, "Seven years is not enough – an arrangement like this needs to last for dozens of years”. (The Jerusalem Post)

Mahmoud Al-Bar, head of the General Federation of Palestinian Workers’ Unions, said in Salfit that settlers bulldozed land in preparation for construction in or near the settlements of “Ariel”, “Revava”, “Pedu'el”, and the Barkan industrial estate. He said that Salfit had been divided into three parts by settlements and was the only Governorate of the West Bank where settlements outnumbered Palestinian villages. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet called on the member States of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to implement its decision on the preservation of the heritage of the Islamic holy sites belonging to the Palestinian people, and UNESCO’s demand that the Israeli Government remove the Mosques of Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi in Hebron and Bilal bin Rabah in Bethlehem from the list of Israeli heritage sites. (www.palestinecabinet.gov.ps)

Political actors have to make courageous choices and not relent in pursuit of a peaceful resolution to create a viable State of Palestine, end the occupation, and find a lasting solution to the plight of the refugees, Filippo Grandi, Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), said, as the General Assembly began its annual consideration of the Agency’s work. (UN press release GA/SPD/467)

2

Israeli soldiers shot a Palestinian civilian near the Bureij refugee camp in Gaza, medical officials said. An Israeli military spokesman denied any army activity in the area. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli troops entered the West Bank village of Madama overnight, with locals reporting home invasions, shop closures, and what was described as an area lockdown. (Ma’an News Agency)

Six Palestinian were detained in overnight raids across the West Bank, an IDF spokesman said. (Ma’an News Agency)

One Palestinian was killed and several others injured in a car explosion in Gaza City. Officials said that an Israeli drone had struck the car, which an Israeli military spokesperson declined to comment on. The victim, according to sources in Gaza, was affiliated with the Jaish Al-Islam (Army of Islam) militant group. (Ma’an News Agency)

A mentally disabled Palestinian was shot by Israeli forces east of Khan Yunis, medics said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Prime Minister Netanyahu believed that the Obama Administration would renew its initiatives to relaunch direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians after the US mid-term elections, Government sources said. The Prime Minister was said to have asked US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to meet with him during his visit to the US next week. (Haaretz)

Mohammed Shtayyeh, a member of the Palestinian negotiating team, rejected the idea of an Israeli security presence in a future Palestinian State, but said that the PA would be open to foreign peacekeepers. (AFP)

Malaysia’s Foreign Minister, Datuk Anifah bin Haji Aman, reassured visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of Malaysia’s support for all the efforts of the international community to find a just, lasting, comprehensive and peaceful settlement to the Palestinian-Israel conflict, including the recent US initiative in hosting direct peace talks. (www.state.gov, www.thestar.com.my)

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri told BBC that the whole world was paying the price for Israel's policies toward the Palestinians, and that actions such as home demolitions were "not just inflaming the region but ... affecting the whole world". (BBC)

The suburbs of Jerusalem would one day be part of the Palestinian capital, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad declared as he opened East Jerusalem schools. The reception, marking the renovation of 14 schools with PA funds, had been moved to the Palestinian side of the separation wall after Prime Minister Netanyahu had renewed a ban on Palestinian leaders holding official functions in East Jerusalem. (AP, Haaretz)

Israeli police said that they would begin imposing house arrest on stone-throwing Palestinian youths in Silwan, in East Jerusalem, and hold their parents legally responsible for their actions. (AFP)

Israel's internal security service, Shin Bet, regularly violated the human rights of Palestinian detainees in a detention facility in Petah Tikva, the Israeli human rights groups B'Tselem and Hamoked said in a report. The report was based on testimonies from detainees and included claims of isolation, sleep deprivation and illegal interrogation methods. The Israeli Justice Ministry has denied the charges. (Haaretz, Ynetnews)

Current import levels in Gaza remained at less than 40 per cent of the pre-blockade levels, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in its latest report. The import of construction materials remained strictly limited and projects spearheaded by UNRWA had been delayed by Israeli border officials, the report said. Only a fraction of the materials needed were allowed into the area. (www.ochaopt.org)

Settler leaders accused the Israeli Government of enforcing an unofficial construction freeze. "The construction of more than 4,000 homes in the West Bank could begin immediately if the Defense Minister would sign off on the tenders," Chairman of the “Yesha Council” Danny Dayan told a lobby group. (AFP)

3

The Israeli army detained four Palestinians from the village of Kur, south of Tulkarm. (IMEMC)

The Israeli military said that a senior member of a group identified with al-Qaeda had died in a car explosion set off by an Israeli air strike in Gaza. The military said that the target had been Mohammed Namnam, 25, of the Army of Islam, who had been involved in attacks against Israelis. (AP, www.idf.il)

Israeli soldiers, supported by a number of armoured vehicles and tanks, invaded an area east of Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. The troops fired one shell and rounds of live bullets. No injuries were reported. (IMEMC)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office said in a statement: “The security cabinet today discussed incitement and the absence of a culture of peace in the Palestinian Authority. To this end, the ‘Culture of Peace and Incitement Index’, which had been developed by professional Government and security establishment elements, had been presented. … It had been agreed that the index would be constantly updated and presented in various forums in order to influence the Palestinian Authority to stop incitement to, and education for, violence”. (www.pmo.gov.il)

The European Union said that it would provide €11 million to the PA to support private sector development and an additional €20 to UNRWA’s General Fund. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israel announced that it had decided to block any Palestinian official, aside from the President and the Prime Minister, from crossing over the Allenby Bridge from the West Bank into Jordan. The move was reportedly aimed specifically at two senior officials – Ahmed Qureia and Mahmoud Dahlan. Despite the warning, Mr. Qureia had arrived at the bridge but had been prevented from crossing. PA Spokesman Ghassan Khatib said officials were being punished for their political positions in the peace talks. (Haaretz, Ynetnews)

Yasser Abed Rabbo, Secretary-General of the Executive Committee of the PLO, told Voice of Palestine radio that the Palestinians “are not affected by the results of these [US mid-term] elections”. A senior Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, expressed hope that the election results would ease US pressure on Israel, not least on the issue of settlements. (DPA)

Some 56 per cent of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory opposed a return to direct negotiations with Israel in the face of ongoing settlement expansion, according to an opinion poll conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Public Opinion. In addition, 56.2 per cent wanted rival Palestinian factions to sign Egypt's proposal for political reconciliation. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli authorities would permit a rare shipment of gravel required for construction to enter Gaza, and allow in electrical transformers designated for the Energy Authority, Palestinian official Raed Fattouh said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israel would suspend a strategic dialogue initiative with the United Kingdom as long as Israeli officials visiting Britain faced possible arrest for war crimes against Palestinians, officials said. The announcement came as British Foreign Secretary William Hague met with senior Israeli officials. The Foreign Office said that it was working to resolve the matter. (AP)

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement: “[In response to five UNESCO resolutions], including the resolution declaring Rachel’s Tomb to be a mosque, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon announced the suspension of Israel’s cooperation with the organization in the implementation of the five resolutions until these outrageous pronouncements are rescinded.” (AFP, www.mfa.gov.il)

Andrew Whitley, Director of the UNRWA New York Office, apologized and retracted "inappropriate and wrong" comments he had made on the right of return of Palestine refugees and again underlined that they did not represent the views of UNRWA. (www.unrwa.org)

British Foreign Secretary William Hague met with a group of Palestinian non-violent resistance activists near the Israeli wall surrounding Ramallah. He acknowledged the importance of non-violent actions, emphasizing the right of the Palestinians to resist for protection of their rights. (IMEMC)

4

Israeli forces detained nine Palestinians overnight in Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Hebron. (Ma’an News Agency)

The homes of two brothers in An-Nabi Salih, a village north of Ramallah, were raided by Israeli soldiers, with officers warning the men against participation in the village's weekly protest against land confiscation. (Ma’an News Agency, IMEMC)

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that she planned to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in the United States next week in a bid to keep the Middle East peace talks alive. “I want to reiterate that we are working on a non-stop basis with our Israeli and Palestinian friends to design a way forward in the negotiations,” Ms. Clinton told reporters in New Zealand. (AFP)

Saeb Erakat, Head of the Negotiations Department of the PLO, met with US Special Envoy for the Middle East, George Mitchell. Speaking with reporters in Washington, D.C., Mr. Erakat said, "They're saying that efforts may need two or three more weeks ... If the Americans need two more weeks they can have the two more weeks”, adding, “[t]here is no reason to convene the Arab follow-up committee until we hear what the Americans have to offer". (IMEMC)

Faisal Abu Shahla, a senior Fatah official, said that members of armed Palestinian groups would be protected under security arrangements that were a part of a planned unity agreement between Fatah and Hamas. "We are protecting resistance which is committed to the political decision," he said. (Ma’an News Agency)

The European Union announced a €20.7 million contribution to the PA for the payment of civil servants’ salaries. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli authorities partially opened the Kerem Shalom crossing with Gaza, telling liaison officials to expect some 200 truckloads of goods and the shipment of an additional 23 new vehicles. (Ma’an News Agency)

The family of a Jerusalem resident said that undercover Israeli officers beat Haitham Samih Darwish while he was working near the Austrian Hospice in the Old City. When his brother intervened, he had been detained, along with at least four others, on the same job site. According to the family, the man's beating had been unprovoked and without reason. (Ma’an News Agency)

According to Palestinian sources, clashes took place between dozens of residents of Silwan, in East Jerusalem, and Israeli soldiers. Clashes were also reported in the Ayyoub Well area and in Ein al-Louza. No injuries were reported. (IMEMC)

During a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, British Foreign Secretary William Hague pledged that Britain would act quickly to amend a law that put visiting Israeli officials at risk of arrest for alleged war crimes, the British Embassy’s spokesman said. Israel said that an annual strategic forum of Israeli and British officials, set to be held in London, had been relocated to Israel due to continued fears that Israeli leaders could be arrested on war crime charges. (AFP, AP)

5

At least three civilians were injured and many others treated for effects of tear gas inhalation, as Israeli forces sought to disperse the weekly anti-wall protests in the villages of Bil’in and Ni'lin. (IMEMC)

Asked whether the US would support a Palestinian bid for the UN to support the declaration of a Palestinian State, Acting Deputy Spokesman of the US State Department Mark Toner said that the US would discourage any step that might affect the direct negotiations. (www.state.gov)

Independent figure and businessman Munib Al-Masri will travel to Gaza today, ahead of what he said he hoped would be renewed Fatah-Hamas meetings in Damascus next week. Mr. Al-Masri, a Nablus billionaire and head of an independent movement to end Palestinian division, said that he would speak with Hamas leaders, including Ismail Haniyeh, and prepare the way for a Damascus meeting. (Ma’an News Agency, IMEMC)

Prince Turki al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia said that the key to peace was an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders. Promoting the Saudi-sponsored Arab Peace Initiative, he renewed the 2002 offer that Saudi Arabia, the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference would "end all forms of hostilities and commence normal and peaceful relations with the State of Israel". He said, however, that Saudi Arabia would continue refusing "to directly or indirectly engage Israel" until it withdrew from the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and the Sheba’a farms. (The Jerusalem Post)

PA President Abbas had reiterated that negotiations with Israel could not begin until Israeli ceased settlement construction. He said, "I know that they have built many settlements but this is enough, we cannot take that anymore. We cannot continue with the negotiations because the way they are building those settlements now is very ferocious, particularly in Jerusalem." (CNN)

Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni said that Israel must yield to the US proposal to extend its settlement building freeze by two months, blaming Prime Minister Netanyahu's Government for weakening Israel's security and world standing. (Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post)

According to a PLO report on settler violence, a sharp increase in assaults on Palestinians and vandalism of property had been recorded for October. Palestinians in the West Bank had reported a total of 277 cases of settler violence from August through October, with a sharp increase in incidents in the last weeks of October. "While Israeli settler violence against Palestinians is a daily occurrence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the past three months have seen a steady increase in settler violence against Palestinian civilians and property to coincide with the annual olive harvest," the report stated. The report also noted the prevalence of weapons amongst settlers, adding that private weapons had been frequently used against Palestinians during confrontations. (Ma’an News Agency)

According to an investigation by Haaretz, the Israel Lands Administration had been transferring properties in the Silwan neighbourhood and the Old City of Jerusalem to the right-wing groups Elad and Ateret Cohanim for low prices without issuing a tender, as required by law. The State and the groups involved had concealed the transactions and refused to give any information about them. (Haaretz)

Crossing terminals between Israel and the Gaza Strip were closed a day ahead of the scheduled weekend shut-down. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Russian Federation would grant $10 million worth of financial aid for humanitarian purposes to the PA. The Russian Foreign Ministry had been instructed to discuss conditions and a procedure for providing the aid with Palestinian officials. (Interfax News Agency)

According to news reports, Israel had decided to grant UNRWA approval to take a limited number of sub-machine guns into Gaza to serve the security detail guarding the heads of UNRWA in Gaza. The request to bring in four weapons had been made three years before and approved the previous week. UNRWA Director in Gaza John Ging said on his website that his life was in constant danger and that he needed more suitable protection than the handguns his bodyguards had been carrying. (Haaretz)

6

A Qassam rocket fired from Gaza landed on the Negev, causing no casualties or damages. Subsequently, Israel launched two air raids in the southern Gaza Strip, reportedly wounding one Palestinian. (AFP, Ma’an News Agency, www.idf.il)

The Head of the PLO’s Negotiations Affairs Department, Saeb Erakat, told Asharq al-Awsat that direct talks with Israel were useless unless a construction freeze on settlements in the West Bank was renewed. He added that the Palestinians would give the US another three weeks to receive a final decision by Israel. (DPA)

Speaking in Riyadh, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said that Europe must make a greater effort to convince Israel that reaching a peace deal was in its best interest. He urged Israel to extend the moratorium on settlement construction until a final agreement was reached. (AFP)

Ahmed Majdalani, member of the Executive Committee of the PLO, said that the PLO rejected “any temporary or long-term transitional solutions that Israel promotes”, adding that Israel was focusing on building settlements “rather than having a peace programme”. (Xinhua)

British Members of Parliament Jeremy Corbyn and Andrew Slaughter of the Labour Party met with Palestinian Legislative Council members Muhammad Totah and Ahmad Atoun in the Red Cross headquarters in Jerusalem, to express their solidarity with Mr. Totah and Mr. Atoun who remained in the Red Cross compound after refusing to leave Jerusalem after their residency rights had been revoked upon release from Israeli prisons. (Ma’an News Agency)

7

The IDF reported that Palestinians had hurled a fire bomb near “Ma'aleh Levona”, in the West Bank, damaging an Israeli bus. (www.idf.il)

A Palestinian man was wounded by Israeli gunshots as he was collecting scrap in the border zone of Gaza. (Reuters)

Speaking in Abu Dhabi, PA President Abbas said that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was creating obstacles to the peace process and reiterated his refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish State. He said that, unless a full settlement freeze came into effect, the Palestinians would move on to other alternatives to the direct negotiations, including asking the US to propose a solution or taking the matter to the Security Council. He concluded that if negotiations with Israel failed, the Palestinians would declare a sovereign State within a year. (IMEMC, Ma’an News Agency)

After meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, US Vice-President Joe Biden told Jewish groups that the Obama Administration remained “a steadfast and unwavering ally to Israel”, adding that there was no substitute to direct negotiations. (AP)

Israeli court documents released to anti-settlement activist Dror Etkes after a three-year court battle with the Israel Land Administration, showed that a string of Israeli Governments had helped cement Jewish presence in Arab areas of Jerusalem by selling or leasing property to settler groups at bargain prices. (AP)

Swedish Member of Parliament Mehmet Kaplan and artist Dror Feiler, who had both been on the humanitarian aid flotilla to the Gaza Strip earlier this year, had been denied entry into Israel. Mr. Kaplan and Mr. Feiler had planned to use their trip to Israel to lodge an official complaint with the Israeli police against the IDF for kidnapping, armed robbery, violence and obstruction of freedom. (Haaretz)

8

The IDF reported that it had arrested five “wanted” Palestinians in the West Bank overnight. (www.idf.il)

Haaretz reported that, for the first time since the outbreak of the second intifada, not a single security suspect was being sought by Israel in the northern West Bank. That was attributed to both the improved security situation there and the increasing cooperation between Israeli and PA security forces. (AFP, Haaretz)

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman warned that negotiating the borders of a Palestinian State without first having agreed on security arrangements for Israel would be a “historic mistake”. (AFP)

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told reporters during a visit to Gaza that the blockade on 1.5 million people was unacceptable, strengthened radicals and weakened moderates. “Gaza must not and will not be forgotten by us," he added. His comments came during a visit to a sewage treatment plant, south of Gaza City, which was being redeveloped with a €20 million ($28 million) grant from the German development bank KfW. Meanwhile, Senior Hamas leader and legislator Kamal Shrafi said that, while Hamas welcomed a visit by an official of Mr. Westerwelle’s standing, it was “completely wrong to come to Gaza and not meet with the legal Government's representative.” (AFP, DPA, Haaretz)

The Israeli Interior Ministry had announced that it was moving ahead with building 1,300 new settlement units in East Jerusalem. Details of a programme that would allow 930 new housing units to be built in the “Har Homa” C area, with another 48 units in “Har Homa” B and an additional 320 units being planned for “Ramot” were published. This announcement coincided with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to the US, including a meeting with US Vice-President Biden during the week. (Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post)

US State Department Spokesman Philip J. Crowley expressed deep disappointment following Israel’s announcement of advanced planning for new housing units in East Jerusalem. "It is counterproductive to our efforts to resume direct negotiations between the parties. We have long urged both parties to avoid actions which could undermine trust, including in Jerusalem, and we will continue to work to resume direct negotiations to address this and other final status issues". (www.state.gov)

Israeli Foreign Minister Liberman accused artists threatening to boycott a theatre in a settlement of waging "cultural terrorism" and demanded that the artists be denied state funds. The comments came after leading Israeli artists had announced their boycott of the opening of an $11 million performing arts centre in “Ariel”. (AP, Reuters)

Palestinian activist Abdullah Abu Rahma, a leader of a non-violent movement and currently imprisoned in an Israeli detention camp for “incitement”, would face two new hearings this week as Israeli prosecutors attempt to increase his sentence beyond the one-year term he was now serving. (IMEMC)

Documents released after a legal battle, led by Israeli human rights group Gisha, “reveal a deliberate policy by the Israeli Government in which the dietary needs for the population of Gaza are chillingly calculated, and the amounts of food let in by the Israeli Government measured to remain just enough to keep the population alive at a near-starvation level,” according to activists. (IMEMC)

During a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, the UN Secretary-General expressed concern over plans to build more Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem in the following statement:


According to Haaretz, the United Nations had expressed fear that the scheduled assumption of full authority for all crossings between Jerusalem and the West Bank by the Israeli Defense Ministry on 1 January 2011, would affect aid agencies' mobility and ability to provide humanitarian assistance in East Jerusalem and cause significant delays for UN staff. (Haaretz)

9

Gaza residents said that an Israeli artillery shell was fired towards two workers near the south-eastern border with Israel, slightly injuring both. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said, during a meeting with his Slovenian counterpart, Samuel Žbogar, that Israel was responsible for the obstruction of peace talks, especially due to its illegal settlement activities and ongoing violations in East Jerusalem. Mr. Maliki expressed the hope that, through the EU, Slovenia would play an important role in ensuring a credible peace process in order to achieve a comprehensive and lasting peace agreement. He called on Slovenia to help Palestinian academics by providing them with scholarships. The Slovenian Foreign Minister stated that his country supported the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to an independent State, and expressed the hope that the PA and Slovenia would be able to sign agreements for further political cooperation. Slovenia was providing training to Palestinian police and medical treatment to many children from the Gaza Strip. (www.mzz.gov.si, IMEMC)

Following Israel’s announcement of a plan to build more than 1,345 housing units in East Jerusalem, the Head of the PLO’s Negotiations Department, Saab Erakat, urged the world to recognize a Palestinian State in the West Bank and Gaza, saying: "This latest unilateral Israeli act necessitates dramatic international action for immediate recognition of the Palestinian State on the June 4, 1967 borders". (Ma’an News Agency, Reuters)

Israeli plans to build new settler homes in occupied East Jerusalem were not helpful for the Middle East peace process, US President Barack Obama told reporters during a trip to Indonesia. "This kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations," he said. "I'm concerned that we're not seeing each side make the extra effort to get a breakthrough that could finally create a framework for a secure Israel, living side by side in peace, with a sovereign Palestine. […] We're going to keep on working it though because it is in the world's interests. It is in the interests of the people of Israel and it is in the interests of the Palestinian people to achieve that settlement”. (Ma’an News Agency, Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office said in a statement: “Jerusalem is not a settlement; Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel. Israel has never accepted upon itself restrictions of any kind on construction in Jerusalem… Israel sees no connection between the diplomatic process and planning and building policy in Jerusalem, which has not changed in 40 years.” (www.pmo.gov.il)

In a statement, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton said that she was “extremely concerned by the announcement by Israel of a plan for the construction of 1,300 new housing units in East Jerusalem. This plan contradicts the efforts by the international community to resume direct negotiations and the decision should be reversed”. (www.consilium.europa.eu)

According to the Israeli NGO, Peace Now, Jewish settlers were poised to begin work on a new settlement outpost comprising 800 new homes. The new outpost would encircle the Palestinian town of Salfit, which lay just to the south of Ariel in the northern West Bank. The Israeli Interior Ministry and officials at the Ariel municipality declined to comment. However, a military spokesman rejected the Peace Now charges, saying that the project did not currently have approval. (AFP, Ma’an News Agency)

Confrontations erupted between Israeli forces and hundreds of Palestinian schoolchildren in the East Jerusalem village of Al-Isawiya. An Israeli police spokesman said that workers from the Jerusalem municipality performing car safety checks had been pelted with stones by local youth. He said that the police had responded and dispersed the young men. Palestinian sources in the village said confrontations had erupted after Israeli forces had erected roadblocks at the eastern entrance of the residential area, preventing schoolchildren from accessing their classrooms. When students had attempted to cross the road blocks, police and border guards had chased them away. (Ma’an News Agency, IMEMC)

Residents of the town of Silwan said that undercover officers had entered the area and detained five young men, while four others had sustained bruises when they attempted to repel the officers as they entered a grocery store at Beir Ayyoub. The officers had thrown teargas canisters inside the store. (Ma’an News Agency)

10

Israeli forces advanced hundreds of metres into the east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. (IMEMC)

A 28-year-old Palestinian man was slightly injured by Israeli fire while he collected scrap construction material in the northern Gaza Strip, near the Erez crossing. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces arrested senior Hamas member Mahmud al-Ramahi at his home in Ramallah overnight. Mr. Ramahi is Secretary of the Palestinian Legislative Council and the body’s third most senior member. An army spokesperson said that Mr. Ramahi had been detained “for being involved in recent Hamas activities”, adding that he was one of 11 people arrested by Israeli forces in the West Bank overnight. (AFP)

Israeli forces arrested five Palestinians in Hebron and two in Silwan in East Jerusalem. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Knesset approved a resolution stipulating that Israel opposed a unilateral declaration of statehood by the Palestinian Authority. “The Israeli Knesset believes that all points of dispute must be debated only within the framework of direct negotiations,” the resolution stated. (Ynetnews)

Fatah and Hamas agreed to resume reconciliation talks after the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha. “After the feast, we will fix a date,” said Hamas official Mussa Abu Marzuq, who led the latest round of talks with Fatah’s Azzam al-Ahmed in Damascus. (AFP)

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a new $150 million in assistance to the Palestinian Authority and called for other donor countries to step up aid. The new funding was described as budget support for the Palestinians and separate from the $400 million in aid that President Obama had pledged in June during a meeting with PA President Abbas at the White House. (AFP, www.state.gov)

Israeli Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser told public radio: “There has never been a freeze on construction in Jerusalem and there never will be such a freeze. That has been the policy of Israeli governments for 40 years. … It is inconceivable that there would be limitations on construction in areas where some 300,000 residents live.” (AFP)

PA President Abbas’ Spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said that Mr. Abbas had “instructed the Palestinian representative to the United Nations to request an urgent session of the Security Council to discuss the issue of widespread settlement in Jerusalem and the West Bank”. (AFP)

Yahud Talmon, President of the Economic and Social Committee of Israel, and Hanna Siniora, President of the Palestinian Economic and Social Council, issued a joint call on their Governments to restart the peace process and announced that they would co-host European talks later in the month. “We would like to see the visit put pressure on our leaders,” Mr. Siniora said, referring to meetings of the European Economic and Social Committee [a consultative body of the European Union], to be held from 28 to 30 November in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Ramallah. (AFP)

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people held its 327th meeting, in which it unanimously approved four draft resolutions. It also heard briefings by its Chairman and the Permanent Observer for Palestine on events that had taken place since its last meeting on 1 October, and one by Amira Hass, a reporter for Haaretz. (UN press release GA/PAL/1175)

11

Israeli authorities shut down the Allenby Bridge border crossing, stranding some 500 Palestinian travellers on the West Bank side of the crossing to Jordan, PA officials said, adding that the closure was in violation of an agreement. (Ma’an News Agency)

Residents said that Israeli soldiers had raided the town of Jaba, near Jenin, and that streets had been barricaded and stones thrown at the invading soldiers. (Ma’an News Agency)

According to the IDF, Israel aircraft and troops fired at a building in the central Gaza Strip where militants had been hiding, and confirmed a direct hit. Militants returned fire but no injuries were sustained. The IDF said that militants had planted explosive devices earlier in the day. In the same area the day before, two explosive devices targeting a passing IDF patrol had exploded along the Gaza border fence. No injuries had occurred in that incident. (Haaretz)

In his speech addressing a rally of thousands of Palestinians in Ramallah commemorating the sixth anniversary of the death of former PA President Yasser Arafat, PA President Abbas said: "We don't want settlements on our land for they are illegitimate from the beginning. We all are sure that Jerusalem is the Palestinians' capital and the refugees will return”. Mr. Abbas also appealed to Israel to choose peace over settlements, saying that opportunities for a peace deal must not be wasted. (AP, Ma’an News Agency)

In New York, US Secretary of State Clinton met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Speaking to the media before the meeting, Ms. Clinton said, “… the Prime Minister and President Abbas are both very committed to the two-State solution and we’re going to find a way forward". Mr. Netanyahu, for his part, said "a historic agreement" with the Palestinians was still possible. (www.state.gov)

During the meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, US Secretary of State Clinton, in a joint statement, reiterated that "the United States believes that through good-faith negotiations, the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable State, based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish State, with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements". (www.state.gov)

The United States announced that it had transferred $150 million in direct assistance to the PA, bringing its total budget assistance this year to a total of $225 million and the overall support and investment to nearly $600 million. “This figure underscores the strong determination of the American people and this Administration to stand with our Palestinian friends,” US Secretary of State Clinton said. (www.state.gov)

Israeli authorities demolished part of a Palestinian-owned barn in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Al-Issawiya, the owners said. Officials at the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem said that they had nothing to do with it. Young men from the neighbourhood lashed out against the Israeli presence in the area, on one occasion stoning the car of Hebrew University students. Israeli police were reportedly blocking streets in the area. (Ma’an News Agency)

A Palestinian mother and two children were attacked and injured in Tuqu, near Bethlehem, by Israeli settlers who threw stones. As other villagers clashed with the settlers, Israeli forces intervened and raided the Palestinian village. (IMEMC)

Concerning Israel’s restriction on the Gaza Strip, Director of UNRWA Operations in Gaza, John Ging, told BBC, “There's been no material change for the people on the ground here in terms of their status, the aid dependency, the absence of any recovery or reconstruction, no economy". (BBC)

12

IDF forces set up a blockade of the village of Nabi Saleh near Ramallah, preventing a folk festival to commemorate former PA President Yasser Arafat. Israeli army personnel also erected military barriers to separate the villages of Beit Ramba and Kufr Aein, north-west of Ramallah, and tightened measures and obstructed the passage of the vehicles through Israeli checkpoints. (IMEMC)

Three Palestinian civilians had been wounded and 18 seized, including 6 children, between 4 and 10 November, as Israeli forces continued to violate human rights, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights stated in its weekly report. (www.pchrgaza.org)

“There was not a word about Palestinian unity,” Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh commented following PA President Abbas’ speech on the sixth anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat. “The Palestinian leadership should get rid of the Israeli and American pressures that keep the issues difficult," he said, adding that Mr. Abbas had also failed to comment on the right of Palestinians to resistance. (Ma’an News Agency)

Around 160 people, Palestinians and international activists, conducted their weekly protest against the separation wall in Bil’in and Ni’lin, with IDF forces responding with tear gas. (Ynetnews)

13

Diplomatic sources said that the US had offered Israel an incentive package to reinstate a moratorium on West Bank settlement building in an effort to revive peace talks with the Palestinians. According to the sources, the deal stipulated that Israel would stop settlement construction for 90 days; it would not apply to East Jerusalem. The US would not ask Israel to extend the new moratorium when it expired. In addition, diplomats said that the US Administration would ask Congress to supply 20 F-35 fighter jets to Israel in a $3 billion deal. (AP)

Israeli sources reported that the Jerusalem municipality was weighing plans for the construction of 130 units in an area located between Beit Safafa and the “Gilo” settlement in East Jerusalem. (IMEMC)

Peace Now said that Israeli settlers had managed to start building 1,629 housing units and digging the foundations for 1,116 others since the end of the settlement freeze. (www.peacenow.org.il)

14

Israeli forces seized 11 Palestinians during raids in Jenin, Nablus, Bethlehem and Hebron. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting: “I intend to update my fellow Ministers on the general outline of the American proposal for the resumption of the peace talks. This proposal was raised during my talks with Secretary of State Clinton. It is still not final; it is still being formulated by the Israeli and American teams. If and when it is complete, I will bring this proposal to … the Cabinet.” A vote in Israel’s security cabinet was expected on 17 November. (AP, www.pmo.gov.il)

The Kol Hair weekly newspaper reported that Israel planned to put up for sale 3,000 new housing units in Jerusalem next year, including in East Jerusalem settlements. (MENA)

Palestinians said that Israeli settlers had burned about 200 olive trees belonging to residents of Salem village, near Nablus, and also torched nearby farms. (AFP, IMEMC)

15

A top Egyptian security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Egypt had cracked down on tunnels to Gaza and intercepted explosives destined for the enclave, a day after an Israeli official had said that Egypt was not doing enough to stop weapon smuggling to Gaza. (AFP)

Border officials said that the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt would be closed for six days, starting today, over the Eid al-Adha holiday. An Egyptian official said that the Rafah crossing would also be shut down every Friday and Saturday. (Ma’an News Agency)

US Assistant Secretary of State, Philip J. Crowley, said that the target to resolve all major issues between the Palestinians and Israelis by August 2011 might be delayed if need be. Acknowledging the impasse on settlements, Mr. Crowley told reporters, "We have got to get the parties back into negotiations, then we can see, once again … some forward motion." (www.state.gov)

Prime Minister Netanyahu was working on securing enough Cabinet votes to pass a US proposal to halt West Bank settlement construction for 90 days in order to restart peace talks with the Palestinians. Israeli officials said that although the plan included 20 stealth warplanes worth about $3 billion, Mr. Netanyahu sill faced opposition. Opponents, such as [Minister of Information and Diaspora Affairs] Yuli Edelstein, from the Likud Party, convened a group of hard-line lawmakers and settler leaders to fight the proposal. (AP)

Saeb Erakat, Head of the Negotiations Affairs Department of the PLO, said in an interview: “If the US does not force Israel to completely halt building in the settlements, including Jerusalem, until the end of negotiations, then the Palestinians will turn to the UN for recognition of a Palestinian State along ‘67 borders and whose capital is East Jerusalem.” (The Jerusalem Post)

Hesham Youssef, an official in the office of the Arab League Secretary-General, said, “If the news is true about there being a settlement freeze that excludes Jerusalem and that takes the criticism off Israel, I cannot imagine that would be acceptable to the Palestinian side or the Arab side.” (DPA)

Two committees dealing with construction in the Jerusalem area took off the agenda a plan for 1,300 new housing units in the “Gilo” settlement, apparently in response to a request from the Israeli Prime Minister’s bureau. (Haaretz)

An Israeli diplomat said, on condition of anonymity, that Israel would be allowed to finish hundreds of apartments already under construction in West Bank settlements, even if it agreed to a US-drafted deal to renew a freeze on new construction. (AP)

16

As a gesture on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, Israel granted amnesty to 45 “wanted” Fatah members as part of deal signed between Israel and the PA three years before. (Ynetnews)

Israel’s Finance Minister, Yuval Steinitz, told Army Radio, that the Obama Administration had not presented its proposal with the written details of a package of incentives, including the 20 new fighter jets, in exchange for a temporary freeze in West Bank settlement construction. Mr. Netanyahu's adviser, Nir Hefetz, also said that the Prime Minister and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had reached "understandings on the matter", but that the proposal would take time to formulate in writing. (Haaretz)

According to a senior Israeli official, PA leaders had voiced their opposition to both the White House and the US State Department regarding a package of US incentives for Israel in return for a new three-month settlement freeze. Israeli officials believed that the Palestinians were particularly concerned about the US guarantees that could prevent the Palestinians from demanding another extension of the freeze at the end of the 90-day period. Another point of contention was that the US promise to veto relevant proposals at the UN for more than a year would foil the Palestinian plan to get either the Security Council or the General Assembly to recognize a Palestinian declaration of statehood. (Haaretz)

Meron Reuben, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, warned Palestinians against going to the UN with a unilateral declaration of statehood, saying it could lead to the disintegration of all previous agreements between Israelis and Palestinians. “Unilateral [declaration] will bring about the abrogation of all agreements until today because in the agreements, it’s specifically stated that the sides cannot bring their case to international bodies,” he declared in comments to the B'nai B'rith International Policy Conference in Washington, D.C.. (The Jerusalem Post)

US Assistant Secretary of State, Philip J. Crowley, stated that Washington still believed a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians could be reached within the 12-month period. (www.state.gov)

China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei told a press briefing that China welcomed any international efforts to promote peace negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel. He said "properly dealing with the Jewish settlements and removing the obstacles to Palestine-Israel peace negotiations is the top priority," calling up on both sides to “…. create conditions for the early resumption of direct talks". (Xinhua)

Sri Lanka had offered a sum of $40,000 to strengthen educational development in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. A ceremony was held at the Representative Office of Sri Lanka in Ramallah to inaugurate the second stage of the project. (The Official Government News Portal of Sri Lanka)

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said that Prime Minister Netanyahu had not given the municipality permission to demolish homes in the East Jerusalem Arab neighbourhoods for political reasons. The city had carried out 20 home demolitions in the past year, compared to an average of 70 to 100 in previous years. (Haaretz)

One Palestinian and two Israelis were injured when vehicles were pelted with stones in separate incidents in the Jerusalem area. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli settlers set fire to Palestinian farmland between the West Bank cities of Nablus and Qalqilya. According to the PA official monitoring settler activity in the northern West Bank, Israelis from the settlement of Givat Gilad had set fires which burned about 100 trees in the village of Jit. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces arrested three Palestinians in Saffa, near Hebron, for trying to extinguish fires set by Bat Ayin settlers, according to local sources. (IMEMC)

17

Two Palestinians were killed in an Israeli air strike on Gaza City. An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed the assassination, saying "a senior operative belonging to the terrorist group Army of Islam was targeted" because the group had been plotting to attack Israeli citizens in the Sinai. (Ma’an News Agency, IMEMC, The Jerusalem Post)

PA officials said that Israel had transferred full security control of the West Bank city of Nablus to the PA. Until recently, PA troops controlled the city each day from sunup and had to leave their posts at midnight, which allowed Israeli forces to operate freely in the city, raiding houses and arresting "wanted" Palestinians. According to PA officials, liaison officers from Israel’s Civil Administration would now have to coordinate any operation in advance with the PA. (Ma’an News Agency)

PA officials said that their forces had arrested members of Hamas' armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, who were allegedly plotting to kill the Governor of Nablus, kidnap Israeli settlers and launch suicide attacks on Israeli targets in Jerusalem, in an effort to destabilize the situation in the West Bank. (Ma’an News Agency, IMEMC)

Israel pardoned 75 members of Fatah's armed wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, who had all been in various stages of an amnesty process established by Israel and the PA in 2007. Under the deal, the fighters had agreed to hand in their weapons and serve time in prison, in return for Israel's agreement not to arrest or kill them. (Ma’an News Agency, IMEMC)

Israeli forces detained a Palestinian man after raiding his house south of Nablus. (Ma’an News Agency)

In a recording posted on a website used by declared al-Qaeda affiliates, a group with avowed al-Qaeda links issued a threat in Hebrew, swearing to avenge Israel's killing of two Gaza militants . The speaker identified himself as a member of the group Jemaa Ansar al-Sunna or "Community of Sunna Supporters", which had a presence in Gaza. (Haaretz)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said that he was close to reaching an understanding with the US regarding a package of incentives that Washington, D.C. would offer in exchange for a 90-day construction freeze in the West Bank. Mr. Netanyahu's office issued a statement saying he hoped to conclude contacts with the US soon in order to present the deal to his 15-member security cabinet. "The Prime Minister will, with great determination, bring it before the Cabinet for a positive decision," his bureau said in the statement. Officials close to Mr. Netanyahu said that he would convene his cabinet within 24 hours to approve the deal. Mr. Netanyahu's office also said in a statement that "discussions with the United States over the formulation of the document of understandings does not involve Jerusalem". (Haaretz)

A senior US official stated that the Obama Administration was drafting written diplomatic and security assurances to Israel to persuade Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's Government to renew a freeze on West Bank settlement activity. (The Jerusalem Post)

According to Israeli media reports, around half of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's 27-member parliamentary caucus had signed a petition rejecting a new temporary freeze on construction in West Bank settlements. The petition, initiated by the council representing Israeli West Bank settlers, calls on Netanyahu not to renew the freeze and demands the implementation of the decision to continue building in the West Bank. (DPA)

The Ahrar Center for Detainees Studies reported that Israeli prison authorities had released Ayman Daraghma, one of the detained Palestinian legislators from the Tubas district, in the central West Bank. Mr. Daraghma, a member of Hamas’ Change and Reform Bloc, had been taken from his home in March 2009 and placed under administrative detention. (IMEMC)

It was reported that silent protests were staged by students outside the Main Library at Edinburgh University to highlight the effects of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian students as part of Edinburgh University Student Association's Right to Education Week. Similar protests were taking place simultaneously in universities across Scotland. (Edinburgh Evening News)

18

Two mortar shells fired from Gaza landed in Israeli territory, causing no injuries, according to an Israeli military spokeswoman. There was no immediate claim of responsibility from Palestinian armed groups in Gaza. (Ma’an News Agency, IMEMC)

The Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility for firing three mortar shells towards an Israeli intelligence headquarters along the Gaza border. (Ma’an News Agency)

The military wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine said that one of its fighters had been wounded in the northern Gaza Strip while firing a rocket-propelled grenade at an Israeli army vehicle along the border. (IMEMC, Ma’an News Agency)

According to a US official, the US would demand that Israel refrain from construction in both the West Bank and East Jerusalem as part of a 90-day settlement freeze Secretary of State Clinton had requested in exchange for a package of incentives. Meanwhile, an official close to the Shas party, who holds the balance of votes in the Israeli security cabinet, said that Israeli Defense Minister Barak had promised to authorize construction of hundreds of apartments in the West Bank immediately after the US-encouraged moratorium expired. The Shas official said that the party had received assurances that, should it abstain from the cabinet vote, construction would take place in specifically ultra-Orthodox communities and other projects would be built in a settlement just outside Jerusalem. (Haaretz)

Prime Minister Netanyahu said in a speech: "If I accept such an offer from the US Government, I will bring it before the cabinet and I have no doubt that my fellow ministers will accept it." Earlier, Mr. Netanyahu’s spokesman, Mark Regev, said that any future settlement moratorium would not apply to Jerusalem. (AP)

Nir Barkat, Mayor of Jerusalem, said that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu had prevented the Jerusalem municipality from demolishing houses in East Jerusalem in recent months. (AFP)

According to press reports, an IDF commander was suspected of blocking an investigation into the death of a Palestinian civilian in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. (The Jerusalem Post)

According to a poll commissioned by the Knesset Channel, 51 per cent of Israelis would be willing to accept the three-month freeze in exchange for aid from the US, while 45 per cent of the public oppose a freeze; 73 per cent agree with Prime Minister Netanyahu that any building freeze should not include Jerusalem, while only 22 per cent of Israelis think that construction in Jerusalem should be banned as well. Despite supporting a freeze, 68 per cent do not believe that it will help renew talks with the Palestinians, while 29 per cent think the opposite. (The Jerusalem Post)

Palestinian non-violent anti-wall activist Abdullah Abu Rahmah, who was due to be freed after completing a prison sentence for “incitement” and “organizing illegal demonstrations”, was likely to remain in detention following an appeal against his release by Israel’s military, said Jonathan Pollak, spokesman for the Popular Committee Against the Wall. (The Irish Times)

Shawan Jabarin, director of the Palestinian NGO Al-Haq, was due to be presented with a “distinguished graduate award” as part of the tenth anniversary celebrations at the Irish Centre for Human Rights in Galway. However, he would not be able to leave the West Bank to travel to Ireland for the ceremony because of an Israeli travel ban which he planned to challenge. (IRNA)

19

Israel’s military said that Gaza militants had fired a military-grade (“Grad”) rocket into the southern Israeli town of Netivot, causing damage but no injuries. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine had claimed responsibility. (AP, Haaretz)

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) struck a smuggling tunnel in the Gaza Strip. IAF aircrafts also struck three “terror sites” in Gaza earlier that day. Both strikes had come in response to rockets fired at Israel’s southern communities over the preceding few days. (dover.idf.il)

Witnesses said that Israeli fighter jets had fired two missiles and tanks had fired two shells east and north-east of Gaza City. Huge explosions had been heard in the area. Ambulances had taken four slightly injured people to Gaza hospitals, according to medical sources. Meanwhile, Israeli warplanes had carried out another raid on a post belonging to militants from Hamas in the south-east of the Gaza Strip, wounding one person. (AFP, Haaretz)

According to security sources, Israeli military personnel searched a school in Hebron and the nearby area, causing damage to furniture. Also, they erected a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Hebron. (IMEMC)

A website called "Israeli war criminals" displayed the pictures, names, and personal details of more than 200 participants of Operation Cast Lead for several days before being taken down by its US-based hosting service. (IMEMC, Haaretz)

"We refuse to allow the offer of planes be linked in any way to a freeze on settlements," PA President Abbas told Asharq al-Awsat. "The United States is an ally of Israel and we cannot prevent that," he added. "But let their aid be carried out far removed from the Palestinian peace negotiations and not be used as a pretext for giving more weaponry to Israel." (AFP)

Israeli Minister Ze'ev Benjamin Begin said that the US had not yet provided the guarantees [in writing] that Prime Minister Netanyahu said he had been offered verbally to persuade Israel to resume a settlement freeze. The latest snag concerned a pledge to provide Israel free of charge with 20 F-35 warplanes worth $3 billion. The US State Department had not made any comment about the situation. (Reuters)

Some 100 Palestinians and Israeli and foreign activists protested against the wall near Bil’in and Ni’lin. The protestors hurled stones at Israeli security forces, which fired rubber bullets and tear gas. A similar demonstration was held in Nabi Saleh. There were no reports of injuries. (The Jerusalem Post)

Sulaiman Zuhairi, a member of the Palestinian delegation at the International Telecommunication Union conference in Mexico in October, said that he had tabled a motion that would have secured them the rights of a member State, and after months of diplomatic preparation, it had been endorsed by around 50 countries and was on track to pass with the backing of an additional 40 States. There had been US objections, however, and the Palestinians backed down. (Reuters)

20

The Islamic group Ansar al-Sunnah, loyal to al-Qaeda and based in Gaza, claimed to have fired three mortars at Israel. (DPA)

The Islamic Jihad categorically denied the presence of al-Qaeda cells in the Gaza Strip, saying that such allegations were meant to rally regional support for any future aggression on the Gaza Strip. (The Palestine Telegraph)

Just days after Israeli troops oversaw the bulldozing of Palestinian homes and farmland in the village of Beit Ummar, Palestinians, internationals and Israelis gathered there to protest. The IDF fired tear gas and arrested three Israelis, two internationals and a 14-year-old Palestinian child. (IMEMC, The Palestine Telegraph)

21

Two Israeli soldiers received three-month suspended prison sentences and were demoted to sergeant from staff sergeant for using a 9-year-old Palestinian boy as a human shield when they forced him to check bags for explosives during the 2009 Gaza war. Deputy Knesset Speaker Ahmed Tibi said that by handing down such light sentences, the IDF court had conveyed the message that the lives of Arabs had less value than the lives of Jews. (The New York Times, Haaretz)

Speaking to reporters in Cairo after meeting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, PA President Abbas said that any American proposal for restarting Israeli-Palestinian negotiations must include East Jerusalem as part of a complete halt in Israeli settlement-building. (WAFA, The New York Times)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu told lawmakers that he had not yet received a written draft from the US over a proposed package of incentives in exchange for a freeze on West Bank construction. (Haaretz)

Prime Minister Netanyahu, facing mounting opposition, said that a planned new 90-day settlement freeze was not aimed at talks to define the borders of a Palestinian State. "There is no agreement that we will reach an agreement on borders within 90 days. There is no such demand and no such commitment," Mr. Netanyahu's office quoted him as telling members of the Likud party. (AFP)

In a move that could further increase tensions with the Palestinians, the Israeli Government approved a $23 million, five-year project to renovate and develop the Western Wall plaza and its environs. (The New York Times)

Thousands of young Jewish settlers held a mass demonstration outside Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's offices in Jerusalem to protest plans for a new ban on settlement building. (AFP)

22

Israeli police today shot a Palestinian worker who was in Israel without permission, officials said. Police said that the worker had tried to run over a group of people near Ashkelon. Police pursued the car and opened fire, injuring the driver in his foot. (Ma'an News Agency)

Ismail al-Ashqar, Chairman of the Palestinian Parliament's Security Committee, denied that phosphorous had been used in any rocket attacks on Israel in recent days. Israel had filed a protest with the UN, alleging that some of the recently fired mortar shells contained white phosphorous.
(Fars News Agency, The Jerusalem Post, Voice of America)

Israeli lawmakers were expected to approve a bill that would make it harder for their Government to cede East Jerusalem in any future accords. (AP)

After years of delays and a billion-euro price tag, Jerusalem's light rail system, which had stirred controversy across the Holy City, was gearing up for its long-awaited launch during the first half of 2011. The system had come under political attack because the completed network would run through East Jerusalem. (AFP)

Armed settlers stopped Palestinian farmers from working on their land in the West Bank village of Qaryut, south of Nablus, officials said. (Ma'an News Agency)

Israeli police destroyed the Bedouin town of al-Arakib, in southern Israel, after the residents rebuilt their homes for the seventh time in three months. (Ma'an News Agency)

Dozens of Palestinians were detained in an ongoing Israeli military arrest raid in the West Bank town of Beit Ula, north-west of Hebron. The raid had begun early in the morning, witnesses said. (Ma'an News Agency)

The Knesset passed a law stating that any withdrawal from “sovereign Israeli territory” must first be approved by the Knesset by a two-thirds majority, failing which a national referendum would be necessary. It would apply to any pullout from East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, both annexed by Israel, as well as in the event Israel was to cede land in exchange for keeping settlement blocks. Head of the PLO Negotiations Department, Saeb Erakat, said that with the passing of the new bill, “the Israeli leadership, yet again, is making a mockery of international law.” Hamas also criticized the law, saying it was a blow to "the illusions of the so-called peace”. (BBC, Haaretz, Ma’an News Agency, Xinhua)

Fatah's Revolutionary Council will hold its fifth session on 24 November 2010 to discuss a government reshuffle, among other issues, Council Member Fahmi Az-Za'areer said. (Ma'an News Agency)

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton said that Israel had failed to live up to its commitments on easing the blockade on the Gaza Strip. "Gaza remains a source of great concern for me ... at the present time, we think that what's happened with Gaza is unsatisfactory, the volume of goods is not increasing as significantly as it needs to," she said. She also urged Israel to allow exports out of Gaza and to let in construction material that UNRWA needed to rebuild schools. (The Jerusalem Post, Ma’an News Agency)

23

A 16-year-old Palestinian boy was arrested in Bil'in. Witnesses described a group of masked soldiers forcefully entering the boy’s house without a warrant. An Israeli military spokesman said that the teen had been arrested on "suspicion of participation in violent and illegal riots". (Ma’an News Agency, IMEMC)

On the new referendum law approved by the Knesset, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told regional council leaders in the Negev: "It's not a good law, certainly not at this point in time … I am just not sure it is needed right now. Israel's enemies are likely to use it to claim that we are against peace and handcuffing ourselves to prevent any progress in the peace process. […] A Palestinian State is in Israel's clear interest. This [law] won't do anybody any good. We must get past the obstacle of settlement freeze, because it is a weak point for Israel that cannot be explained to the world." (Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post)

Responding to the Israeli Knesset’s approval of a new referendum law, French Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Bernardo Valero said that France did not recognize Israel’s usurpation of East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan. “The stance adopted by the UN Security Council after approving resolutions 478 (1980) and 497 (1981) was confirmed by the European Union through its resolutions [adopted] on 8 December 2009,” Mr. Valero said in a statement. (SANA)

The EU Foreign Affairs Council discussed the situation in the Middle East, voicing concern at the current lack of progress and the ongoing settlement activities, particularly in East Jerusalem. Ministers also expressed their concern at the situation in Gaza, calling for the Gaza crossings to be opened and, in particular, for exports to be allowed out of Gaza. (www.consilium.europa.eu)

Over 20 East Jerusalemites had been rendered homeless when Israeli police delivered an eviction notice to three families. According to Israeli media reports, Wohl Investments was claiming ownership of the home. The case had been taken up by the settler advocacy organization “Elad”. (Ma’an News Agency, Haaretz, IMEMC)

Israel's Military Court of Appeals had extended the detention of anti-wall protest leader Abdallah Abu Rahmah past the term of his sentence. Mr. Abu Rahmah, the coordinator of the Bil'in Popular Committee, was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment for his role in his village's campaign against the wall, and was scheduled to be released on 25 November. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli authorities partly opened the Kerem Shalom crossing, while keeping all other goods transport terminals into Gaza sealed. The Palestinian liaison officer at the crossings said he had been told to expect the entry of 190 to 200 truckloads of goods and humanitarian aid for the day, including five truckloads of cement and iron bars to be used in UN-sponsored construction projects. Limited quantities of domestic-use gas and industrial diesel fuel would also be allowed into Gaza. (Ma’an News Agency)

In a report to mark International Children's Day, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that Israel was in breach of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. UNICEF also noted that Israel excluded the West Bank and the Gaza Strip from the application of the Convention, although this was occupied territory subjected to its military control. (IMEMC, www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk)

One day after an Israeli military court imposed a suspended sentence on two soldiers for using a child as a human shield in Gaza, Defence for Children International (DCI)-Palestine obtained an affidavit from a 13-year-old boy who reported being used as a human shield on 19 August 2010. This brought the number of human shield cases documented by DCI-Palestine to three in 2010. (www.dci-pal.org)

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe briefed the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. (UN News Centre)

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People elected Ambassador Abdou Salam Diallo, Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations, as its new Chairman. The Committee also approved the programme of the upcoming United Nations International Meeting on the Question of Palestine, to be held in Cairo, in February 2011, under the theme “The urgency of addressing the plight of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention facilities”. (UN News Centre)

24

The Israeli army said that its soldiers had detained three Palestinians in the West Bank overnight. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli army entered the villages of As-Sammou, Ithna and Beit Ummar, near Hebron, and installed several roadblocks. (IMEMC)

Commenting on the adoption of a new referendum law by the Knesset, a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said, “It is not the first time that the Israeli Parliament focuses on the problem of the occupied Golan Heights and East Jerusalem … Back then, UN Security Council resolutions 478 (1980) and 497 (1981), as well as UN General Assembly resolutions, condemned Israel’s actions and named them as illegal. Our country voted for these resolutions and remained committed to its positions.” (Itar-Tass)

PA Prime Minister Fayyad met with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan in Tokyo. Mr. Kan said that Japan would continue to support nation-building efforts by the Palestinians and would provide aid worth about $100 million in the current fiscal year for infrastructure and other projects. (Kyodo)

Israeli President Shimon Peres said, at a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in Kyiv, “I know that Ukraine is maintaining very good relations with many Arab countries … The development of Palestinian statehood and the establishment of peace between our country and our Palestinian neighbours could [include] a significant contribution by Ukraine to this process.” (Interfax-Ukraine)

Israeli authorities decided to partially open the Kerem Shalom and Karni crossings to allow aid into Gaza. Raed Fattouh, a Palestinian liaison official, said that approximately 200 truckloads of goods for the agricultural and commercial sectors would be allowed through the Kerem Shalom crossing, and that the Karni crossing would be opened to allow 120 truckloads for internationally funded projects. (Ma’an News Agency)

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini toured the Gaza Strip escorted by United Nations vehicles, visiting a UN-run school, a medical centre and areas destroyed during Israel’s 2008-2009 offensive. He also held talks with officials of UNRWA. Speaking in Beit Lahiya, in northern Gaza, Mr. Frattini urged Israel to ease its blockade. He highlighted the crisis with UN-run schools, saying that Israel had only authorized the importation of construction materials for seven schools, out of 100 needed. He also said, “Israel is ready to make concessions and release a huge number of Palestinian prisoners [in exchange for Gilad Shalit].” Mr. Frattini had met with Israeli Foreign Minister Liberman in Jerusalem and PA President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad in Ramallah the previous day. (DPA, Ma’an News Agency, www.esteri.it, www.mfa.gov.il)

Israeli settlers, accompanied by dozens of police, took control of a Palestinian-owned apartment in the Al-Tur neighbourhood in East Jerusalem, just hours after another house had been razed in the same neighbourhood, said Assaf Sharon of the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement. The building had been purchased by Lowell Investments, a foreign firm, believed to be a front for the “Elad” settler movement. (AFP, Xinhua, Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli army bulldozers levelled dozens of Bedouin structures in the Jiftlik area in the Jordan Valley in order to expand an Israeli settlement. (IMEMC)

25

UNRWA Director of Gaza Operations John Ging said he was surprised that details of his personal security arrangements had been publicly disclosed by Israeli officials. (The Irish Times)

Bahrain's King Hamad and President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt discussed efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, a senior Bahraini official said. Mr. Mubarak told AFP that he had briefed the King on "the latest contacts between the PA and the US", adding, "Israeli obstacles to a resumption of the negotiations are unacceptable". After the talks, Bahrain News Agency quoted Mr. Mubarak as saying "We do not want the negotiations to stop" . "We do not impose anything on the Palestinians – we discuss with them, we advise them, we take their demands into account and we adopt them.". (AFP, Ma’an News Agency)

Lebanon’s Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, in an interview, accused Prime Minister Netanyahu of destroying the Oslo accords. “We are faced with a total blockade of trying to swarm the peace process in details … Netanyahu doesn't believe in peace,” he said. (The Washington Post)

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan said, while on a visit to Lebanon, that if Israel attacked Lebanon or the Gaza Strip, "we will not be silent and we will support justice by all means available to us". (Hürriyet, The Daily Star)

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert criticized his successor, saying that Israel should agree to the US demand to halt settlement construction in the West Bank in order to restart peace talks. (AP)

A humanitarian convoy that had set out from London, in October, entered the Gaza Strip from Egypt, a participant said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said in a statement: "The Palestinian Authority Information Ministry's denial of the link between the Jewish people and the Western Wall is reprehensible and scandalous." The document in question, authored by senior PA Information Ministry official Al-Mutawakei Taha, says that the Western Wall is not a surviving remnant of the Jewish Temple, but is instead an integral part of the nearby Al-Aqsa Mosque. (DPA)

In a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu, a group of 60 Israeli experts in medicine, psychology, education, social work, and law, all of whom worked with children, accused Israeli police of flagrant violations of the law over their harsh and at times violent treatment of Palestinian children suspected of stone-throwing in East Jerusalem. Israel police denied the allegations. (AFP)

Canada would not attend the Durban III conference on racism in September 2011 because the event had negatively targeted Israel, the country's Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said. (AP)

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Following an official handover of control to PA security forces one week earlier, Israeli military vehicles were reported to have re-entered Nablus. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces detained five demonstrators at a weekly anti-wall rally near Bethlehem. (Ma’an News Agency)

Jia Qinglin, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, in Beijing, expressed hope for establishing an independent Palestinian State and peaceful coexistence between Palestine and Israel through negotiations based on relevant UN resolutions, the "land for peace" principle, and the Arab Peace Initiative. (Xinhua)

"We are preparing to give permission for the passage through Israeli territory of exports from Gaza, which could begin from the end of the first quarter of 2011, provided that the goods pose no security threat," said Major Guy Inbar, Spokesman for the IDF Gaza liaison office. Israel would insist that all "goods undergo prior inspection by representatives of the PA," he told AFP, adding that Israel already coordinated with the PA over imports into Gaza. (AFP)

Israeli troops demolished a mosque and more than 10 other structures in the West Bank, Palestinian sources have said. (www.aljazeera.net)

Israel was considering building a rail link from Tel Aviv to the settlement of “Ariel”, deep inside the occupied West Bank, a Transportation Ministry spokesman told AFP. "This shows not only Israel's short-term illegal activities in terms of settlement expansion, but its long-term planning and execution of colonial projects that aim at nothing less than ending the two-State solution," PA Spokesman Husam Zomlot said. (AFP, AP)

Yuval Rabin, son of the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, had joined forces with businessman and social activist Koby Huberman in order to advocate for the Israeli Peace Initiative, a response to the Arab Peace Initiative. The principles outlined were: a viable Palestinian State based on the 1967 borders and one-on-one land swaps; Jerusalem as the home of two capitals with special arrangements in the holy sites area; an agreed solution for the refugees inside the Palestinian State (with symbolic exceptions); mutual recognition of the national identities of the two States as the outcome of negotiations and not as a prerequisite; civic equality for Israel’s Arab citizens; and long-term security arrangements with international components. (Haaretz)

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Palestinian medical sources in Bethlehem said that 17 Palestinian workers had been wounded near the Israeli settlement of “Beitar Illit” after their vehicle flipped over as an IDF vehicle was chasing them. They were heading to Israel seeking work but apparently had no entry or work permits. (IMEMC)

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Israeli soldiers shot and wounded four Palestinians as they searched for building materials near Gaza's border with Israel, north of Beit Hanoun, medical sources and the military said. (AFP)

The Israeli army said that its report of a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel appeared to have been a false alarm. (AFP)

After meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Quartet Representative Tony Blair said that Israel needed to do more to ease its blockade of Gaza and allow exports from the Gaza Strip, noting that "there has been significant change in Gaza, but not nearly as much as we need”. He also expressed concern that projects he had been promoting, such as industrial parks and Rawabi, the first planned Palestinian city in the West Bank, were too often held up whenever there was an impasse in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. (AP)

German President Christian Wulff started his four-day visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. He met with Israel’s President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem, where they discussed the resumption of peace talks. Mr. Wulff told reporters, "I don't see an alternative to a two-State solution with an independent and long-term sustainable Palestinian State next to the Israeli State.” Mr. Peres also called for peace based on a two-State solution and thanked Germany for its support. Mr. Wulff was expected to meet with Kadima leader Tzipi Livni, and Prime Minister Netanyahu. (DPA)

According to US State Department documents released by WikiLeaks, prior to Operation Cast Lead, Israel had asked Egypt and Fatah if they were willing to assume control of Gaza once Israel defeated Hamas. According to a cable, both Egypt and Fatah had responded in the negative. (Haaretz)

Israel allowed small shipments of strawberries and carnations to be exported from Gaza as part of an arrangement with the EU. (AP)

Hebron's Governor, Kamil Hmeid, announced that Hebron was now free of settlement products, saying that the achievement had required huge efforts to rid markets and shops of settlement goods, and to support national produce. (Ma’an News Agency)

Accompanied by conductor Sian Edwards, the Palestine Youth Orchestra played before a packed audience at the Athens Megaron Concert Hall. The event had been sponsored by the Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company. (Athens News Agency)

29

Israeli forces opened fire on a peaceful protest march to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People in the northern Gaza Strip, demonstrators said. The Israeli military denied the shooting. (Ma’an News Agency)

The number of Israeli troops operating in the occupied West Bank was at its lowest level in more than 20 years, a military source said on condition of anonymity. Army Spokesman Captain Arye Shalicar said that the West Bank was at its most stable since the outbreak of the second intifada due to "better coordination between the Palestinian Security Forces" and the Israeli military. (AFP)

Two senior advisers of PA President Abbas, Abdullah Al-Ifranji and Rawhi Fattouh, despatched to discuss reconciliation with Hamas leaders, were denied entry into the Gaza Strip by Hamas security officers, Mr. Al-Ifranji said. (AP, Ma’an News Agency)

German President Christian Wulff, during a visit to Israel, called on Israel to show “constructive engagement” on settlement-building and the blockade of Gaza, while Prime Minister Netanyahu stressed that Germany could play a key role in Middle East peace. It was in Israel’s interest that Germany help the Palestinians with infrastructure-building. Mr. Wulff also visited the family of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and handed them a copy of the resolution passed by the German parliament, calling for his release. (DPA, DAPD)

Palestine refugees at the south Lebanon camp of Ein el-Hilweh staged a demonstration to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. They held banners confirming the need for armed struggle to recover Palestine and calling for Palestinian unity. (The Daily Star)

Israeli authorities decided to partially open the Kerem Shalom and the Karni crossings into Gaza. Palestinian liaison official Raed Fattouh said that 190 to 200 truckloads of goods for the agricultural and commercial sectors, in addition to 20 new cars, would be allowed through the Kerem Shalom crossing. (Ma’an News Agency)

City Hall Spokesman Elie Isaacson announced that 130 new apartments had been approved for the “Gilo” settlement. The project still needed final approval from Israel's Interior Ministry. "As far as we know, there is no freeze in Jerusalem. Jerusalem municipality is continuing to build in all parts of the city, both for Jews and for Arabs," Mr. Isaacson said. Husam Zomlot, a PA spokesman, said, "It's very clear cut that Israel has just decided to defy the international will and Israel has made sure that it opts for the settlement enterprise and not political settlements". (AP)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, delivered by Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro, that “two timelines reach a critical point in 2011. First, Palestinian President Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu have pledged to seek a framework agreement on permanent status by September. Second, the Palestinian Authority is on track to complete its two-year agenda of readiness for statehood by August.” Urging Israelis to look with fresh eyes at the emergence of a reliable security partner, he challenged the two leaders to show statesmanship and political courage in reaching a historic peace. General Assembly President Joseph Deiss called on the parties to step up their efforts to engage each other in honest negotiations and overcome deadlocks. “Violence and acts of terror must cease,” he said in his message. “International law and UN resolutions must be respected and actions which could aggravate the situation and increase suspicion and mistrust must be stopped.” The Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, Abdou Salam Diallo, highlighted the human tragedy of the Palestinians and stressed that Israel must be “called upon to adhere strictly to international humanitarian law,” particularly on the issue of settlements. “Unfortunately, it appears that Israel found itself unable to assume this undertaking, recognized by the entire international community as a minimum confidence-building measure,” he said. In a cultural performance entitled “The Gaza Monologues” by the Ramallah-based Ashtar Theatre, 25 young people narrated personal statements written by children in Gaza in the wake of the 2008-2009 Israeli offensive. UNRWA is presenting a photo exhibit entitled “Summer Games in Gaza” at UN Headquarters in conjunction with the Day. (UN News Centre)

The General Assembly began its consideration of the “Question of Palestine.” Joseph Deiss, President of the sixty-fifth session of the General Assembly, addressed the meeting in opening remarks. Abdou Salam Diallo, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable rights of the Palestinian People, introduced four draft resolutions: “Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People” (A/65/L.14 and Add.1); “Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat” (A/65/L.15 and Add.1); “Special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat” (A/65/L.16 and Add.1); and “Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine” (A/65/L.17 and Add.1). Rapporteur of the Committee Saviour Borg introduced its report (A/65/35). Libya’s representative introduced a draft resolution entitled “The one State solution” (A/65/L.24). Other speakers were the representatives of Palestine, Belgium (on behalf of the European Union), Egypt (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), the United Arab Emirates, the Syrian Arab Republic, Indonesia, Yemen, Lebanon, Cuba and Israel. (UN press release GA/11026)

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Five Palestinian workers were shot by Israeli soldiers as they were collecting stone fragments, north of Beit Lahia, in Gaza. (UPI)

Palestinian activists in Gaza cancelled a weekly demonstration against the Israeli-imposed “no-go zone”, north of Beit Hanoun, when Israeli tanks and military bulldozers entered the area. (Ma’an News Agency)

Five months after Israel had agreed to improve the situation in Gaza, 22 international human rights and humanitarian groups, including Amnesty International and Oxfam, said in a report that there had been no real signs of improvement. Israel had failed to accelerate the flow of construction materials into Gaza and had only approved 7 per cent of building plans for UNRWA. Because of this, 40,000 children had been forced into Hamas-run facilities. “Since the day the [Israeli] cabinet took its decision, the number of trucks entering the Gaza Strip every day via the Kerem Shalom Crossing has increased by 92 per cent," Israel’s COGAT responded in a statement. (The Jerusalem Post, www.amnesty.org)

Israel banned the construction of two new UNRWA schools on a site it said could be targeted in strikes on Hamas. "We saw an opportunity for building on the site of a security installation two civilian schools to educate thousands of children," UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness told AFP. (AFP)

Bulldozers of the Jerusalem municipal council, escorted by Israeli police and border guards, demolished a newly-constructed Palestinian home and a printing workshop in the neighbourhood of Al-Issawiya of East Jerusalem. Palestinians protested, throwing rocks and setting several cars on fire. (AFP, Ma’an News Agency)

“Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel; we will continue to build, and no freeze order ever applies to the city,” said Ofir Gendelman, Arabic Affairs spokesperson of Prime Minister Netanyahu. (IMEMC)


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