Israel asked to cooperate with neighbours to ensure peace; Palestinian National Authority urges international intervention; Israeli MPs criticise government over protest clashes; Ulpana outpost relocation ends peacefully
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    According to reports, Israeli President Shimon Peres has requested Russia to exert pressure on Iran over its nuclear programme. Peres was speaking following discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 25, 2012. Putin has responded saying that given the rapidly changing situation in the region and the world, it is necessary to find forms of cooperation between countries to ensure peace and calm and facilitate progressive development. 1 He also said that Russia finds unacceptable the use of principles of mutual destruction in the practice of international relations. 2

    In another development, the Palestinian National Authority’s Council of Ministers has urged international intervention in the continued Israeli raids and incursions in the Gaza Strip. The cabinet denounced recent acts such as setting of fire to Palestinian agricultural land by settlers; threats by Israeli forces to demolish tents and houses in Hebron; and burning of a mosque in the Jaba village in Jerusalem, and has said that continuation of attacks on civilians, property and holy sites by settlers requires immediate international intervention. 3

    According to reports, Meretz party MKs have criticised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government for stifling the right to protest following clashes between police and social justice demonstrators. Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On has said that Israel has become a police state in which the government uses the police as a political weapon to silence criticism. 4

    In other developments, the first stage of the evacuation of the Ulpana outpost in the West Bank has been completed peacefully, the Jerusalem Post has reported. Fifteen families from the outpost have relocated to housing in Bet El in the West Bank; another 18 families were relocated later in the week. The residents agreed to peacefully leave their homes in an agreement reached with the government. They have sought assurances from the government that it would build 300 new homes in Bet El and that the state would no longer support the demolition of Jewish homes in the West Bank. 5

    • 1. “Israel asks Russia to exert pressure on Iran, told to work with neighbours”, Interfax news agency, June 25, 2012
    • 2. “Mutual destruction has no place in foreign relations, Putin says in Israel”, RIA Novosti news agency, June 25, 2012
    • 3. “Palestinian cabinet urges international intervention over Israeli "escalation"”, Palestinian news agency Wafa website, June 19, 2012
    • 4. “Israeli MPs criticize PM over protest clashes”, The Jerusalem Post website, June 25, 2012
    • 5. “First stage of Israel's Ulpana outpost relocation ends "peacefully"”, The Jerusalem Post website, June 26, 2012