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  • April 26, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at cars traveling near Burqa, leading to clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians confronting the Israeli settlers. Israeli settlers also...

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  • April 24, 2021

    In the West Bank, about 30 Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian farmers working their lands in Humra; Israeli left-wing activists who witnessed the attack said the settlers also attacked them,...

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  • April 7, 2021

    In the West Bank, 1 Israeli settler struck and killed 1 Palestinian woman with their car near al-Samu’; it was unclear if the settler had rammed the woman intentionally. Israeli settlers with...

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  • April 5, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set up tents on Palestinian-owned land in Taqqua and 2 mobile homes in Asira. Israeli forces demolished barracks and construction materials in Jinsafut. 11...

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  • April 4, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized some 100 olive saplings in Qusra. An Israeli settler also opened fire at PA Lands and Water Authority employees working near al-Twana; no injuries...

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  • April 3, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked 1 Palestinian man in Jalud with sticks and rocks; when Israeli forces arrived, they fired stun grenades at other Palestinians trying to help the man...

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  • March 31, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers toured the al-Burj archeological site south of Hebron. Israeli forces sealed off parts of Sabastiyya to Palestinians. 3 Palestinians were arrested during raids...

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  • March 29, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers cut 15 olive trees west of Salfit. Israeli forces ordered a Palestinian to stop working his land in al-Twana and handed a stop-work order for a retaining wall in...

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  • March 27, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked 2 Palestinian famers and vandalized their property in Kafr al-Dik. Israeli settlers with military escort also forced Palestinians to leave private land...

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  • March 26, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 1 minor who was hit by a stun grenade; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Israeli...

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  • March 23, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted 25 olive seedlings, stealing 22 of them in Tell. Israeli forces sealed off 8 villages near Ramallah, leading to clashes with Palestinians in 1 of the...

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  • March 20, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers stole and vandalized some 2,400 almond seedlings in Dayr Nidham. Israeli forces seized 1 tractor in Kafr al-Dik. 9 Palestinians were arrested, including 8 during...

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  • March 18, 2021

    In the West Bank, 9 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Bayt Umar, Ya‘bad, Hebron, Jalazun, Qalandia, Salfit, Abu Dis, and Hizma; during a raid in Bayt Umar, Israeli forces assaulted 4...

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  • March 17, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers demolished part of a Palestinian-owned house in Hebron. Israeli settlers also stole 40 olive saplings in Jalud. Israeli forces razed 5 dunams (1.2 acres) of land...

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  • March 14, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accompanied by Israeli settlers, toured Susiya, closing off the town and surrounding area to Palestinians. Israeli authorities approved...

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  • March 11, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers opened fire at 2 Palestinian children near Yatta; no injuries were reported. 5 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Dura, Bayt Ula,...

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  • March 10, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort toured shines in Kafr Haris and Sabastiyya, closing the areas to Palestinians. Israeli forces arrested 5 Palestinian children aged 8-12 in...

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  • March 5, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israel settlers with military escort raided Madama, leading to confrontations with Palestinians; no injuries were reported. Israeli forces violently dispersed anti-settlement...

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  • February 25, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli authorities announced that it would seize 193 dunams (47.7 acres) of Palestinian-owned land near Dayr Dibwan for settlement expansion. 17 Palestinians were arrested...

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  • February 23, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces leveled land near Abu Dis to expand nearby settlements. 15 Palestinians were arrested, including 12 during a raid in and around Jenin, Tubas, Hizma, Bethlehem,...

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  • February 18, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set fire to 1 Palestinian-owned truck in Kafr Malik. Palestinians protested Israeli-inflicted electricity blackouts in Jiftlik. 5 Palestinians were arrested,...

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  • February 15, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian family in Iraq Burin, firing rubber-coated bullets and stones at the family and injuring the mother and 2 children; the settlers also...

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  • February 9, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort raided Luban al-Sharqiyya, during which 1 Israeli settler pushed 1 Palestinian off a 4-meter wall, causing him to be hospitalized. Israeli...

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  • February 7, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted 30 olive trees in Kafr al-Dik and uprooted 30 olive tree saplings and stole farm equipment in Burqin. Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian...

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  • February 2, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces conducted military drills in the Masafer Yatta area, damaging crops. Israeli forces also delivered demolition notices for 3 houses and 1 agricultural structure...

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  • February 1, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers brought their cattle to graze on Palestinian-owned agricultural land east of Yatta, damaging crops. Israeli settlers also vandalized 15 cars and 3 houses in Kafr...

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  • January 24, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian herders, forcing them to leave the land where their livestock was grazing. Palestinians threw stones at 1 Israeli settler near Dayr Abu Mash...

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  • January 21, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers blocked several intersections in the West Bank, including near Bethlehem, Burqa, Luban al-Sharqiyya, Jit, Qalqilya, and in the northern part of the Jordan Valley...

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  • January 19, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted 100 olive saplings in Yatta. Israeli forces shot and injured 3 Palestinians trying to enter Israel for work near the separation barrier north of...

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  • January 11, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted some 60 olive saplings in Jalud. Israeli settlers also attacked Palestinian vehicles traveling on the Nablus-Qalqilya road, leading to 1 injury and...

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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at cars traveling near Burqa, leading to clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians confronting the Israeli settlers. Israeli settlers also physically assaulted 2 Palestinians near al-Ibrahimi Mosque. Israeli forces razed Palestinian-owned land planted with almond trees west of Ramallah. Israeli forces also razed land in Bruqin and Nil‘in. 6 Palestinians were arrested, including 3 during raids in Jenin refugee camp and Hebron, and 3 at a checkpoint near Jit. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers attacked 2 Palestinian minors in Issawiyya; no serious physical injuries were reported. Israeli forces violently dispersed protests in Bayt Hanina, leading to clashes, and arrested 4 Palestinians. Israeli forces also briefly dispersed Palestinians celebrating by the Damascus Gate but allowed the celebrations to carry on shortly after. 2 Palestinians were charged with hate crimes after throwing coffee on an Israeli settler and putting a video of the incident on social media on 4/22. In Gaza, Israel closed the Gaza fishing zone, citing 3 days of rocket fire toward Israel; Israel claimed that 4 Israelis were injured due to the rocket fire, all from tripping while seeking shelter. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting at the Gaza fence for the 3d day in a row, leading to tear-gas related injuries. 2 Palestinians were arrested for crossing into Israel. Israeli forces also opened fire at agricultural lands east of al-Bureij; no injuries were reported. (HA 4/25; HA, PCHR, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/26; HA, WAFA 4/27; HA 4/28; PCHR 4/29)

The PA announced it will build a new city near Jericho, to be named Sama Qarantal. The city will accommodate between 15,000 and 20,000 people. (WAFA 4/26)

2 Egyptian officials said they had been briefed that PA president Mahmoud Abbas will postpone the Palestinian elections this week, citing Israeli unwillingness to let Palestinians in East Jerusalem partake in the elections. A Palestinian source said that a final decision will be made on 4/29, after a meeting between all Palestinian parties. (AJ, AP, HA 4/27)

Israeli member of Knesset, former minister, and leader of HaTzionut HaDatit (Religious Zionist Party) Bezalel Smotrich threatened that “Arabs are citizens of Israel, for now at least, and they have representatives at the Knesset, for now at least” during a party meeting. Smotrich further said that Palestinian-Israelis can only be “legitimate partners” if they accept Israel as a Jewish state. (HA 4/26)

The U.S. said it fired warning shots at an Iranian navy ship for being too close to 2 U.S. military vessels in the Persian Gulf. (AJ 4/27; AP 4/28)

In the West Bank, about 30 Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian farmers working their lands in Humra; Israeli left-wing activists who witnessed the attack said the settlers also attacked them, and that Israeli forces intervened on behalf of the Israeli settlers, firing tear gas at Palestinians. Israeli forces raided ‘Aqabat Jabir refugee camp, injuring 2 with live ammunition and others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also clashed with Palestinian youth in Hebron, leading to tear-gas related injuries. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed protests demonstrating in solidarity with Palestinians in East Jerusalem in al-Bireh, Huwwara, Dayr Sharaf, Husan, the Qalandia checkpoint, and Luban al-Sharqiyya, leading to tear-gas related injuries and 1 arrest. 3 Palestinians were arrested at checkpoints in Hebron, Bethlehem, and Qalandia. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers and right-wing Israeli activists gathered to attack Palestinians but were contained by Israeli forces. 1 Israeli settler was attacked by Palestinians in Wadi al-Juz. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters at the Damascus Gate, injuring 22 and arresting 17. 10 other Palestinians were arrested in the Old City after clashes with Israeli forces. Candidates of the upcoming Palestinian elections held a sit-in protest in front of the Orient House to demand that Palestinians in East Jerusalem partake in the elections. In Gaza, some 700 Palestinians protested by the Gaza fence against Israeli violence toward Palestinians in Jerusalem; 3 were reportedly injured by Israeli live ammunition and the protesters burned tires. 2 rockets were fired at Israel, with 1 intercepted and 1 landing in an open field; no damage was reported. 1 Palestinian was arrested after crossing into Israel via the Gaza fence. In Israel, Palestinian-Israelis protested the violence against Palestinians in East Jerusalem on 4/22 in Umm al-Fahm. Israeli activists protested the right-wing Israeli violence in East Jerusalem on 4/22 and prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in West Jerusalem. (HA, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/24; AJ, AJ, AP, HA, HA, HA, HA 4/25; HA 4/26; PCHR 4/29)

Israel used drones for the 1st time in the West Bank to drop tear gas at Palestinian protesters, occurring during the protest in Qalandia. The 1st time Israel used drones to drop tear gas against Palestinian protesters was in Gaza in 2018. (HA 4/28)

According to a Haaretz source, Hamas and Islamic Jihad sent a message to Israel via Egypt that the 2 groups are not interested in escalating tensions with Israel after several dozen rockets were fired at Israel on 4/23 and Israel fired missiles, causing damage in Gaza. 2 groups, Nidal al-Amoudi Division and the Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades, claimed responsibility for the rockets fired at Israel, saying they were in response to the violence by Israeli right-wing activists in Jerusalem on 4/22. (HA 4/24)

1 Iranian oil tanker was attacked by a drone off the coast of Syria. (AJ, AP, HA 4/24; AJ 4/25)

In the West Bank, 1 Israeli settler struck and killed 1 Palestinian woman with their car near al-Samu’; it was unclear if the settler had rammed the woman intentionally. Israeli settlers with military escort raided Kafr Haris and Sabastiyya, closing off areas of both towns for Palestinians. Israeli forces issued demolition orders against 64 Palestinian-owned structures in Ras al-Ahmar. Israeli forces also delivered demolition notices for 2 residential structures and 2 agricultural structures in al-Jiftlik. 19 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Ras Karkar, Dayr Jarir, Bayt Umar, Yatta, Tulkarm, Jenin, and Tubas. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolished 1 car repair shop, 1 garage, 2 rooms in Issawiyya, and seized vending stalls near the Haram al-Sharif compound. 1 Palestinian was arrested during a house raid in Ras Khamis. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/7; PCHR, WAFA 4/8)

Hamas declared a total lockdown of Gaza to curb the COVID-19 virus, which has been spreading at unprecedented levels. The lockdown will last until the morning of 4/16. Only food vendors and pharmacies will be allowed to remain open. In the 24 hours before the announcement, 6 people had succumbed to the virus in Gaza and 38 percent of tests were positive. 150 people were receiving care for the illness at a hospital. (HA 4/7)

An Israeli planning commission approved 540 new settlement units in Har Homa in East Jerusalem between the city and Bethlehem. The Jerusalem District Planning Committee will need to give the final approval to 540 units on 4/21. The PA condemned the decision. (HA, WAFA 4/7; MEMO, TOI 4/8)

1 Palestinian prisoner in administrative detention suspended his 47-day-long hunger strike after being promised that Israel would set a date for his release. (WAFA 4/7)

Palestinian human rights activist Issa Amro was acquitted of all charges in a Palestinian court. He had been charged with insulting higher authorities, causing public strife, and disturbing public order after writing criticism about the PA. (Twitter 4/7; Twitter 4/8)

Right-wing Israeli politician and leader of HaTzionut HaDatit (Religious Zionist Party) Bezalel Smotrich wrote on Twitter, “I heard that after Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, may he live a long life, said that a true Muslim must know that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish People, Ahmad Tibi opened his mouth against him. So, Ahmad, a true Muslim must know that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people, and over time Arabs like you, who do not recognize that, will not remain here. Rabbi Shmuel and tens of thousands of his students, including us, will make sure that happens.” Smotrich’s comments about Palestinian-Israeli politician Ahmad Tibi drew condemnation from pro-Israel organizations in the U.S., including the Anti-Defamation League and AIPAC offshoot Democratic Majority for Israel. (HA, HA 4/7)

Jordanian king Abdullah II said that “the sedition has been buried,” in reference to the alleged plot against him from 4/3, where his half-brother Prince Hamzah bin Hussein was placed under house arrest for steering the plot. The Jordanian government has banned all national outlets from covering the issue. U.S. president Joe Biden assured Abdullah II of his support in a call. (AJ, AP, REU 4/6; AJ, AP, HA, HA, REU 4/7)

The U.S. announced that it will resume providing aid to the UNRWA, which has been cut since 2018. In its 1st aid package, the U.S. will provide $150 million to the UNRWA, $75 million in economic and development assistance to the West Bank and Gaza, and $10 million for “peacebuilding programs” through the USAID. The U.S. also sent $15 million in assistance to the West Bank and Gaza to help with their COVID-19 response in March. The Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Gilad Erdan condemned the U.S. decision to resume aid to UNRWA, saying that Palestinian refugees are not “real” refugees. (AJ, ALM, AX, HA, NYT, REU, USAID, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/7; GDN, WAFA, WAFA 4/8; WAFA 4/12)

The U.S. also said it was ready to lift “sanctions that are inconsistent with the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action]” on Iran. The announcement came as indirect talks about the U.S. rejoining the Iran nuclear deal, brokered by the EU, were underway in Vienna. (HA 4/8)

Axios reported that the U.S. has asked Israel to provide the water to Jordan it requested last month, but that Israel is said to withholding due to prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s personal feud with King Abdullah II, which has been growing in recent months and straining the 2 countries’ relationship. (AX 4/7)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set up tents on Palestinian-owned land in Taqqua and 2 mobile homes in Asira. Israeli forces demolished barracks and construction materials in Jinsafut. 11 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Kaubar, Jalazun refugee camp, al-Izzariya, Qalandia, Sa‘ir, and Jenin. In East Jerusalem, 3 Palestinians were arrested during a raid in Issawiyya. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Gaza City; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/5; PCHR 4/8)

The PA sent letters to members of the Quartet for Middle East Peace, urging them to pressure Israel to allow East Jerusalemites to partake in the upcoming elections. (WAFA 4/5)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas went to Germany for a medical checkup. President Abbas was later said to be in good health. (AJ, AP, HA 4/5; AJ, AP, WAFA 4/7; WAFA 4/8)

The trial against Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu began after many delays. Prime Minister Netanyahu is charged with fraud, bribery, and breach of trust. Netanyahu’s trial began on the same day as Israeli president Reuven Rivlin started consulting with Israeli party leaders to determine who will go 1st at trying to form a government. (AJ, ALM, AP, HA, HA, NYT, REU, REU 4/5; HA 4/6)

The Jerusalem Post reported that the pharmaceutical company Pfizer has halted shipments of 700,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Israel because the country owes the company payment for 2.5 million doses of vaccines already delivered. Israel made a deal with the company, allowing them to use more collected data by the Israeli health system, and paid more per dose than any other country. (JP 4/5)

Former Jordanian crown prince Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, who was put under house arrest on 4/3, said in a voice recording that he will not stay silent, thus disobeying the Jordanian army’s orders not to communicate with anyone. Prince Hamzah is accused of being part of a plot against his half-brother King Abdullah II. Later in the day, Prince Hamzah was said to have pledged allegiance to King Abdullah in a letter after talking to his and Abdullah II’s uncle Prince Hassan. (AJ, AJ, ALM, AP, AX, HA, HA, REU 4/5; HA 4/6)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized some 100 olive saplings in Qusra. An Israeli settler also opened fire at PA Lands and Water Authority employees working near al-Twana; no injuries were reported and the settler was detained by Israeli forces. 1 Palestinian was arrested at a checkpoint southwest of Jenin. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian family demolished their own home in Jabal Mukabir and Israeli forces razed land east of Issawiyya. Israeli forces also sprayed skunk water at Palestinian homes and arrested 1 minor during a late-night raid in Issawiyya. 1 other Palestinian was arrested during a house raid in Abu Tor. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of al-Qarara, Abasan, and Bayt Hanun; no injuries were reported. (WAFA 4/4; WAFA 4/5; PCHR 4/8)

The Palestinian election committee said it had approved all 36 candidate lists submitted for the Palestinian legislative elections on 5/22. (AJ, TOI 4/4; AN 4/5)

Romania announced a $180,000 contribution to the UNRWA. (WAFA 4/6)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked 1 Palestinian man in Jalud with sticks and rocks; when Israeli forces arrived, they fired stun grenades at other Palestinians trying to help the man being assaulted. The man was later taken to a hospital for his injuries; Yesh Din released a video of the incident. The same group of settlers also uprooted olive, pine, and cypress seedlings and damaged power lines in the area. Israeli forces shot, injured, and arrested 1 Palestinian man in Qatanna. 3 others were arrested at military checkpoints near Tulkarm and Taqqua. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported but there was reported damage to fishing nets. (WAFA 4/3; HA, WAFA 4/4; PCHR 4/8)

The PA said it will ease the COVID-19-related lockdown by reopening schools for pupils in grades 1-6. The PA also extended the COVID-related state of emergency for another 30 days. (WAFA, WAFA 4/3)

Jordan said it had foiled a “malicious plot” against the country and put around 2 dozen people in house arrest, including former crown prince and half-brother of King Abdullah II, Prince Hamzah bin Hussein. Jordan said that an Israeli national with ties to the Mossad, Roy Shaposhnik, was aiding the plot and had arranged for Prince Hamzah and his wife to be flown out of the country on a private jet. Shaposhnik told Axios that he was not part of the plot, nor in the Mossad, but said that he did offer assistance to Prince Hamzah because of their friendship. Shaposhnik was previously an advisor to then prime minister Ehud Olmert. In a recording sent to BBC, Prince Hamzah said he was sent into house arrest because he was associated with critics of the Jordanian government and then criticized corruption and lack of freedom of speech in Jordan, but denied being part of a plot. Among the other people put under house arrest were Sharif Hassan bin Zaid and Bassem Ibrahim Awadallah, who are both members of the royal family. Awadallah is also a former minister of planning and finance. Prince Hamzah was crown prince from when his father King Hussein died in 1999 until 2004. A number of Jordanian allies including the U.S., the PA, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, and the Arab League expressed support of Abdullah II. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not comment on the situation, but defense minister Benny Gantz expressed support for Abdullah II. (AJ, AP, REU 4/3; AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, AX, BBC, HA, HA, HA, HA, NPR, NYT, REU, TOI, WAFA 4/4; AX, CNN, WAFA, WAFA 4/5; JP 4/6)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers toured the al-Burj archeological site south of Hebron. Israeli forces sealed off parts of Sabastiyya to Palestinians. 3 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Dayr Jarir and Jalazun. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian working for the Islamic Waqf was arrested at the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions and leveled land east of Dayr al-Balah. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/31; PCHR 4/1)

Palestinian political leader and Israeli prisoner Marwan Barghouti submitted an independent list of candidates, named “Freedom,” for the Palestinian parliamentary elections, with Nasser al-Kidwa 1st on the list and Marwan Barghouti’s wife, Fadwa Barghouti, 2d. (NYT 3/31; AP, HA 4/1)

During a meeting in Ramallah, PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh called on EU diplomats to pressure Israel to allow East Jerusalemites to partake in the upcoming elections. (WAFA 3/31)

Israel’s public broadcaster Kan reported that in early March, the head of Shin Bet Nadav Argaman held a meeting with PA president Mahmoud Abbas, PA intelligence service head Majed Faraj, and PA civil affairs minister Hussein al-Sheikh. In the meeting, Argaman is reported to have told President Abbas to cancel the Palestinian elections because Hamas was running, which Abbas refused to do. Argaman is also reported to have threatened to withhold all the PA tax revenue if the PA did not stop cooperating with the ICC investigation into war crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian territories. (HA 3/31; TOI 4/1)

After releasing its annual report on human rights abuses with language of the Israeli occupation removed from the title of the section on the West Bank and Gaza, the U.S. state department spokesperson Ned Price said that the U.S. does consider the West Bank to be occupied by Israel. Spokesperson Price deflected a question on whether the Biden administration considers the Israeli settlements illegal under international law. (I24, JP, TOI, WAFA 4/1)

The EU signed an agreement with the PA worth $26.8 million to promote agriculture. (WAFA 3/31)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers cut 15 olive trees west of Salfit. Israeli forces ordered a Palestinian to stop working his land in al-Twana and handed a stop-work order for a retaining wall in Teqqua. 2 Palestinians were arrested near Jenin and Bethlehem. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces notified PA governor of Jerusalem Adnan Gheith that he was banned from entering the West Bank for another 6 months. 4 Palestinians were arrested, including a journalist and her interviewee, in the Old City and al-Tur. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions and leveled land east of Dayr al-Balah. In Israel, Israeli police shot and killed 1 Palestinian-Israeli man suffering from a mental disability after being called by his mother to his family home in Haifa; the family criticized the Israeli police’s handling of the situation, saying that despite the man brandishing a knife, they could have subdued him with non-lethal means. (AP, HA, WAFA, WAFA 3/29; HA 3/30; PCHR 4/1)

The PA received 100,000 doses of the Chinese-made Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, donated by China. (HA, WAFA 3/29; ALM 3/31)

The PA foreign ministry summoned the representatives from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and the UK because of the countries’ change of vote on Palestinian issues at the UN Human Rights Council. Bulgaria voted against Palestine and the UK and Czech Republic abstained. (WAFA 3/29)

The PA also approved its budget for 2021, stating that it expects a deficit of $1 billion. (WAFA 3/29)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked 2 Palestinian famers and vandalized their property in Kafr al-Dik. Israeli settlers with military escort also forced Palestinians to leave private land that they were cultivating in Kafr Haris. 2 Palestinians were arrested, including 1 during a late-night raid near Tulkarm and 1 south of Bethlehem. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian was assaulted and arrested near the Haram al-Sharif compound. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA 3/27; PCHR 4/1)

Iran and China signed an agreement on military and economic cooperation estimated to be worth billions of dollars. Reports of the agreement stated that Iran will supply China with cheap oil for 25 years and China will make extensive infrastructure updates in Iran, and that the 2 countries will cooperate on the development of weapons. (AJ, HA, REU 3/27; HA 3/29)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 1 minor who was hit by a stun grenade; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Bayt Dajan, injuring 3 with rubber-coated bullets and others suffered tear-gas related injuries. 4 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Hebron and Tulkarm. In East Jerusalem, 2 Palestinians were arrested during a late-night raid in Wadi al-Juz. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of al-Fukhari; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/26; PCHR 4/1)

Israel handed over the body of 1 Palestinian man who was shot and killed by Israeli settlers on 2/5 to his family. (WAFA 3/26)

Haaretz reported that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is ignoring a request made by Jordan to have Israel supply water, as Jordan is experiencing a water shortage. Israel provides Jordan with water as agreed in the 2 countries’ peace agreement and Israel sometimes provides Jordan with extra water when Jordan is experiencing droughts. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s decision to ignore Jordan’s request is reportedly in retaliation for Jordan’s decision to close its airspace to him for a planned trip to the UAE after Israel complicated a planned visit by Jordan’s crown prince to the Haram al-Sharif compound on 3/10, which the crown prince ultimately canceled. (HA 3/26; HA, HA 3/29)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted 25 olive seedlings, stealing 22 of them in Tell. Israeli forces sealed off 8 villages near Ramallah, leading to clashes with Palestinians in 1 of the villages, Dayr Abu Mash‘al, causing tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also violently dispersed an anti-settlement protest in Beita, injuring 1 Palestinian with a rubber-coated bullet to his head, and others suffered tear-gas related injuries. 2 Palestinians were arrested, including 1 during a late-night raid in Anata, and 1 at a checkpoint in Halhul. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolished 1 house in Shu‘fat refugee camp. Israeli police physically assaulted and arrested 3 Palestinians in Silwan after stopping their car. 2 others were arrested during late-night raids in Issawiyya and al-Tur. In Gaza, rockets launched from Gaza landed in an open area near Beersheba, where Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was visiting during his election day campaign; no injuries or damage were reported. Israel subsequently attacked Gaza with fighter jets and helicopters, firing 5 missiles at sites near Gaza City and at 1 site in Dayr al-Balah, causing severe damage. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Gaza; no injuries were reported. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/23; AJ, WAFA, WAFA 3/24; PCHR 3/25)

Israel closed all crossings for the Israeli elections. (WAFA 3/21)

A poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that a single Fatah list would get 43% of the votes for the parliamentary elections while Hamas would win 30%; 18% were undecided. However, within the population of Fatah supports, some 10% would vote for a party headed by Mohammad Dahlan and 7% for a party head by Nasser al-Kidwa. (AP, HA, PCPSR 3/23)

Israelis voted in the general elections for the 4th time in 2 years. This time, there was not an obvious coalition to formed either, as many right-wing parties had promised not to support a government with Benjamin Netanyahu as its prime minister. Netanyahu, who had convinced the Palestinian-Israeli party Ra’am (United Arab List) to break with the Joint Arab List, also relied on religious Zionist parties, to the right of his Likud party, to be able to form a government. Those parties, including a significant majority of Likud, were vocally opposed to being in a governing coalition with Palestinian-Israelis. Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas said after the election that he was not wedded to either the right wing or left wing at that point. Meretz (Vigor) and Labor both had a better election than anticipated and went over the electoral threshold. So did the terrorist-supporting Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power), made up by followers of Meir Kahane. The Joint Arab List ended up with 6 mandates, down from 15, partially a result of lower Palestinian-Israeli voter turnout and because Ra’am received 4 mandates that previously would have gone to the Joint Arab List. (REU 3/22; AJ, AP, AP, GDN, HA, HA, HA 3/24; ALM, HA, HA, REU 3/25; AJ 3/26)

The Middle East Quartet members met for the 1st time since 2018 to discuss “meaningful negotiations” between Israelis and Palestinians. PA president Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the statement made by the Quartet. (AP, REU 3/23; HA, WAFA 3/24; WAFA 3/26)

The Dutch foreign ministry summoned the Israeli ambassador to the country for clarification as to why PA foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki had his VIP travel card confiscated after meeting with ICC personnel in the Hague. The Dutch foreign ministry said that “the ICC must be able to carry out its work without interference.” (HA, MEMO, REU, WAFA 3/23)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers stole and vandalized some 2,400 almond seedlings in Dayr Nidham. Israeli forces seized 1 tractor in Kafr al-Dik. 9 Palestinians were arrested, including 8 during raids in and around Salfit and Hebron, 1 was arrested at a checkpoint south of Tulkarm. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian was arrested in the Old City. Off the coast of Gaza, Israel naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian shepherds east of Juhur al-Dik. (WAFA 3/20; PCHR 3/25)

The PA announced that it had eased some of the COVID-19-related lockdown measures, including allowing commercial stores and public venues to reopen during the daytime. (WAFA 3/20)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas released a picture of him being vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. (WAFA 3/20; HA 3/21)

Large crowds of protesters demonstrated against Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu with some 20,000 people outside of his official residence and thousands elsewhere in Israel. The large demonstrations happened 3 days before the Israeli elections on 3/23. (AJ 3/20)

In the West Bank, 9 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Bayt Umar, Ya‘bad, Hebron, Jalazun, Qalandia, Salfit, Abu Dis, and Hizma; during a raid in Bayt Umar, Israeli forces assaulted 4 members of the same family. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian family cleared their house in preparation of its demolition by Israel in Silwan. 2 Palestinians were arrested during house raids in al-Tur. In Israel, Palestinians from the Naqab desert protested in West Jerusalem against Israeli demolition of their property. (WAFA, WAFA 3/18; PCHR 3/25)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas fired Nasser al-Kidwa as the chairperson of the Yasir Arafat Foundation and assigned Ali Muhanna as acting chairperson. President Abbas fired al-Kidwa from the Fatah Central Committee on 3/11 because al-Kidwa is running in the upcoming elections on a separate list from Fatah. Al-Kidwa is the nephew of Yasir Arafat. (WAFA 3/18)

The ICC said it had sent formal notices to Israel and the PA, giving them 1 month to seek deferral by providing evidence that they are carrying out their own investigations. PA foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki also met with the ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in the Hague to discuss PA cooperation with the investigation. (AP, WAFA 3/18; HA 3/20)

According to Axios reporting, the UAE leadership is “furious” at Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for seeking to use the country and its crown price Mohammed bin Zayed as a prop in his election campaign. Prime Minister Netanyahu planned to travel to the UAE on 3/11 but had to cancel when Jordan closed its airspace to him. Adding to the UAE, the leadership’s dismay at Netanyahu is in his proclamation that the UAE would invest $10 billion in Israel and an interview from 3/15 where Netanyahu claimed that bin Zayed had praised is economic leadership. The UAE retaliated by saying that the UAE investment is in its preliminary phase, that the country would “not be a part in any internal electioneering in Israel,” and by suspending a planned summit. Netanyahu has been pressuring the UAE to host a summit for Israel, the U.S., and other countries that have normalized relations with Israel in the last year, but this summit is now postponed. (HA, NAT 8/17; AJ, ALM, AP, AX, CNN, HA, TOI 3/18; ALM 3/19)

Ireland said it would contribute $7.14 million a year to UNRWA over the next 3 years. (WAFA 3/18)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers demolished part of a Palestinian-owned house in Hebron. Israeli settlers also stole 40 olive saplings in Jalud. Israeli forces razed 5 dunams (1.2 acres) of land, including 20 olive trees, in Ras Karkar. Israeli forces also seized an agricultural structure east of Yatta. 1 Palestinian was severely injuried after stepping on an unexploded ordinance left behind by Israeli forces east of Jericho. 13 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Bethlehem, Tuqu‘, Tulkarm, Qalqilya, Nablus, and Jericho. In East Jerusalem, 2 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Issawiyya. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/17; PCHR 3/18)

Haaretz reported that the Israeli Jerusalem municipality had asked the court for local affairs to reactivate demolition orders against 70 structures in al-Bustan, which would displace 1,500 Palestinians. The Israeli municipality wants to place a tourism park named The King’s Garden where the 70 structures are located, but plans for the structure demolitions have been suspended during the negotiations between residents and the municipality. Now, the municipality wants to push forward with its plans without a settlement. (HA 3/17; HA, WAFA 3/18)

60,000 COVID-19 vaccines provided by the WHO COVAX program to the PA arrived in Israel. 40,000 will be shipped to the West Bank and 20,000 to Gaza. PA health minister Mai al-Kaila said the PA will wait to use the AstraZeneca vaccines until the WHO confirms that they are safe to use. Many EU countries have suspended using the AstraZeneca vaccines after 1 otherwise healthy Danish woman died and 3 Norwegian health workers were in severe condition from blood clots after receiving the vaccine. (AJ, ALM, AP, HA, WAFA 3/17)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israeli police officers in a Palestinian-Israeli area of Israel that they should bring criminals to their “breaking point” and that they will catch them and “put them behind bars, maybe kill some of them.” (HA 3/17)

During a televised speech, Lebanese president Michel Aoun told prime minister-designate Saad Hariri to form a government or resign so that someone capable can take the position. (AJ, AP 3/17)

UAE newspaper The National reported that it had obtained a 4-page internal memo from the U.S. Biden administration dubbed The US-Palestinian Reset and Path Forward. The memo suggests that the Biden administration will roll back Trump administration policies on Palestine, including reestablishing diplomatic contacts with the PA and restarting U.S. financial assistance to Palestinians, including a $15 million COVID-19 aid package. (NAT 3/17; AJ, HA 3/18)

In the West Bank, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accompanied by Israeli settlers, toured Susiya, closing off the town and surrounding area to Palestinians. Israeli authorities approved seizure of a tract of Palestinian-owned land in Husan and Nahalin for settlement expansion. Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian during a raid in Hizma. Israeli forces also assaulted 1 Palestinian in Kafr Haris; Israeli forces said they thought the man intended to stab someone in a nearby settlement but did not arrest him after talking to his employer who confirmed he was waiting to get picked up. Elsewhere, Israeli forces raided Qaryut, leading to tear-gas related injuries and 1 Palestinian Red Crescent vehicle was vandalized by Israeli forces. 11 Palestinians were arrested, including 10 during raids in and around Yatta, Bayt Umar, Tuqu‘, Marda, and Hizma; 1 was arrested at a checkpoint south of Jenin. In East Jerusalem, 11 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in al-Tur, Silwan, Shu‘fat, and Issawiyya. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of al-Qarara and north of Bayt Hanun; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/14; PCHR 3/18)

Jamila al-Shanti became the 1st woman to gain a seat on the 15-member Hamas politburo. (ALM 3/14)

Palestinian refugees in ‘Ayn al-Hilweh refugee camp in Lebanon protested outside UNRWA offices against unaffordable food prices. (MEMO 3/15)

Kosovo opened its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem. Kosovo promised to open an embassy in Jerusalem as part of a normalization agreement between the U.S., Israel, and Kosovo on 9/4/2020, where the latter received financial incentives and recognition of the country. The PA and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation denounced Kosovo’s decision. (AJ, AP, HA, HILL, REU 3/14; ALM, WAFA, WAFA 3/15; WAFA 3/18)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers opened fire at 2 Palestinian children near Yatta; no injuries were reported. 5 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Dura, Bayt Ula, Sa‘ir, and Dheisheh refugee camp; during the raid in Dheisheh refugee camp, Israeli forces shot and injured 3 Palestinians with live ammunition. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of Johor al-Dik; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA 3/11; PCHR 3/18)

PA health minister Mai al-Kaila said that the PA will receive a donation of 100,000 doses of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine from China. Health Minister al-Kaila also said she had urged COVAX to stand by its initial promise of providing vaccines for Palestinians. According to al-Kaila, COVAX had originally promised vaccines to arrive in mid-February but now they are scheduled for May, and the number of vaccines earmarked for the PA is reduced to 168,000 down from 240,000. A shipment of 40,000 Sputnik V vaccine doses arrived in Gaza donated by the UAE. The former Fatah politician Mohammad Dahlan claimed responsibility for the shipment as he is a close advisor to the UAE crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed. (HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA 3/11)

Israeli authorities banned PA governor of Jerusalem Adnan Ghaith from communicating with 50 Palestinians in the West Bank, including PA president Mahmoud Abbas and all members of the Fatah Central Committee. (WAFA 3/11)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas, in his capacity as leader of Fatah, ejected Nasser al-Kidwa from the Fatah party because al-Kidwa had announced he would run on his own electoral list in the upcoming Palestinian elections. (AJ, ALM, AP, HA, YNET, WAFA 3/11)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly canceled a trip to the UAE, where he was to meet with UAE crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed, because his wife Sara Netanyahu was hospitalized with appendicitis. Other reports suggested that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s trip was canceled due to a political conflict with Jordan over the cancelation of the Jordanian crown prince Hussein bin Abdullah’s visit to the Haram al-Sharif compound on 3/10, which was canceled because Israel and Jordan could not agree on security arrangement. In turn, Jordan is said not to have allowed Netanyahu to use Jordanian air space to get to the UAE. It was later reported that Netanyahu had ordered Israeli air space closed to Jordan in retaliation, but that the Israeli transportation ministry had stalled the order, which was eventually canceled. (AJ, ALM, AP, HA, HA, HA, JP, REU, REU, REU 3/11; WAFA 3/12; HA 3/14)

Prime minister of the Czech Republic Andrej Babiš and prime minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán visited Israel to discuss cooperation in vaccine research and development with Prime Minister Netanyahu. During the trip, Prime Minister Babiš also opened a diplomatic office in Jerusalem. The Czech Republic received a donation of COVID-19 vaccines from Israel earlier this month. The PA and the Arab League condemned the Czech Republic’s decision to open the office in Jerusalem. (REU 3/9; HA, HA 3/11; ALM 3/12; AJ, HA, WAFA 3/13; HA, WAFA 3/14)

The Israeli state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries and the UAE state-owned weapons maker EDGE announced that they would develop an advanced drone defense system together. (ALM, REU 3/11; HA 3/12; JP 3/13)

Israel said it had concluded a military drill with Greece, Cyprus, and France in the Mediterranean Sea. (AJ, ALM, AP 3/12)

The Wall Street Journal reported that Israel has attacked at least 12 Iranian ships carrying oil and other goods en route to Syria since 2019, according to U.S. sources. 1 of the U.S. sources said that the Trump administration had tacitly supported the attacks. (HA, WSJ 3/11; ALM 3/15; HA 3/20)

Representatives from the UN, EU, Egypt, Jordan, Germany, and France met to discuss reviving talks between Israel and Palestine after the 2 countries’ elections this year. (AP 3/11)

A Los Angeles judge ruled to deny pro-Israeli lawyer David Abrams’s request to publicize the list of 64 presenters at a 2018 conference sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA). Abrams, who works for the Zionist Advocacy Center, claimed he was looking for information related to “anti-Israel terrorists” but was ultimately not allowed to dox the pro-Palestinian activists. The UCLA police had concluded that none of the speakers were “terrorists.” (PalLegal 3/11; LAT 3/17)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort toured shines in Kafr Haris and Sabastiyya, closing the areas to Palestinians. Israeli forces arrested 5 Palestinian children aged 8-12 in al-Rakiz near an Israeli settlement outpost; a video shows that the children were foraging vegetables when Israeli settlers started chasing them, leading to the Israeli forces arresting them. Israeli forces also demolished Palestinian-owned shops near Nablus, leading to confrontations with Palestinians, and delivered a demolition notice for a house under construction in Wadi Hummus in Area B. 9 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around al-Khadir, Bayt Fajjar, Aida refugee camp, Jenin, and Qalqilya. In East Jerusalem, 66 Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. Israeli forces arrested the former Mufti of Jerusalem Shaykh Ikrima Sabri at his home. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire and sprayed water at Palestinian fishermen within 6 nautical miles west of Gaza, causing damage to 1 boat; no injuries were reported. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions and leveled land east of al-Bureij and Dayr Balah. (AJ, HA, JP, MEE, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/10; AJ, AP, MEE, PCHR, WAFA 3/11; WAFA 3/12; NBC 3/13; HA 3/14)

Mohammad Dahlan, a political rival of PA president Mahmoud Abbas, said the UAE would send another 40,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine to Gaza. The UAE had previously sent 20,000 doses to Gaza in February. Dahlan, who is an advisor to the UAE crown price Mohammed bin Zayed, said the vaccines would arrive on 3/11. (TOI, TOI 3/10)

Yahya Sinwar won an internal Gazan election to retain his position as political leader of Hamas in Gaza. Sinwar narrowly defeated Nizar Awadallah, a founder of Hamas. Awadallah is said to represent the more conservative wing of Hamas. (AP 3/9; AJ, ALM, AP, HA, REU, TOI 3/10; HA 3/11)

An investigation by the Fake Reporter project showed that many of the 5,000 followers of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Arabic language Facebook page were fake. On 2/1, Prime Minister Netanyahu launched an Arabic language Facebook page as part of his push to convince parts of the Palestinian-Israeli population to vote for him in the upcoming Israeli elections, but some 20% of the surveyed followers were reported to be fake. (HA 3/10)

The Israeli Museum for Islamic Art canceled plans to sell 268 items after the Al Thani Collection promised to provide sponsorship to the museum for 10 years. (AJ, AP 3/10)

An Iranian container ship was hit by an explosion said to be from an explosive device while in the Mediterranean. Iran later said Israel was behind the attack. Israeli officials denied commenting on Israeli involvement. (AJ, REU 3/12; HA, REU 3/13; HA 3/15)

In the West Bank, Israel settlers with military escort raided Madama, leading to confrontations with Palestinians; no injuries were reported. Israeli forces violently dispersed anti-settlement protests in Bayt Dajan and Kafr Qaddum; tear-gas related injuries were reported. 7 Palestinians were arrested, including 7 during late-night raids in Yatta, Halhul, and al-Arub refugee camp, and 1 was arrested at a checkpoint near Bethlehem. In East Jerusalem, 2 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Silwan. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Bayt Lahiya, injuring 2 who were treated at a hospital. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of Juhur al-Dik; no injuries were reported. In Israel, thousands of Palestinian-Israelis in Umm al-Fahm protested Israeli police brutality directed at the Palestinian community in Israel; the mayor of Umm al-Fahm was threatened by Israeli police before the protest, saying that he would be held responsible for any disorder during the protest. (HA, MEE, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/5; WAFA 3/6; HA 3/7; PCHR 3/11)

The World Bank approved a $15 million grant to help Palestinian municipalities maintain services and hire people affected by COVID-19-related layoffs. (WAFA 3/6)

In the West Bank, Israeli authorities announced that it would seize 193 dunams (47.7 acres) of Palestinian-owned land near Dayr Dibwan for settlement expansion. 17 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Hebron, Tulkarm, Rujeib, Qalqilya, Ramallah, Rummana, Sawahara al-Sharqiyya, Aida refugee camp, Nablus, and Qusra. In East Jerusalem, 2 Palestinian was arrested during late-night raids in Issawiyya. (WAFA, WAFA 2/25; PCHR 3/4)

Israel imposed a general closure for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, closing all checkpoints for the Jewish Purim holiday. The closure was scheduled to be in effect from midnight on 2/25 to the night of 2/28. (HA 2/25)

The board of the Jewish National Fund voted to allocate $11.6 million to purchase land in the West Bank. (HA 2/25)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain’s prime minister Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa spoke on the phone about the U.S. plan to reengage diplomatically with Iran about its nuclear program. (AP, HA 2/25)

Israel said that an Israeli-owned ship was attacked by 1 or 2 missiles in the Gulf of Oman. Other reports said that the damage done to the ship was caused by a blast, to which the cause had not been determined. Israeli defense officials claimed that the missiles were fired by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. No injuries were reported, and the ship was able to continue to the UAE to repair the damage. Iran denied attacking the ship. (AJ, AP, HA, REU 2/26; REU 2/27; AJ, AP, HA, HA, REU 2/28; AJ, AP, HA, HA, REU 3/1)

Haaretz reported that 2 U.S. senators, Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Rob Portman (R-OH) were circulating a letter to U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken calling on him to take a more forceful stance on the ICC’s investigation of Israel and Hamas, in order to shield Israel. The pro-Israel group J Street said it was circulating their own letter, calling Cardin and Portman’s letter an “unnecessary act of political posturing,” saying the U.S. state department already rejected the ICC’s decision. J Street also criticized the Cardin and Portman letter for using “distributed territories” instead of “occupied territories” to describe the West Bank. (HA 2/25)

The U.S. attacked what the Pentagon said were Iranian-backed militia groups in eastern Syria, killing 17 people. The Pentagon said the strikes were in retaliation for 1 missile fired at a U.S. facility in Irbil, Iraq, which killed 1 U.S. national and injured 6 others on 2/15. (REU 2/25; AP, BBC, CNN, HA, REU 2/26)

Japan donated $39.7 million to UNRWA, $30.2 million for UNRWA core programming, and $9.5 million for expanding school services in Gaza. (WAFA 2/25)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces leveled land near Abu Dis to expand nearby settlements. 15 Palestinians were arrested, including 12 during a raid in and around Jenin, Tubas, Hizma, Bethlehem, Harmala, Bayt Umar, and al-‘Arub refugee camp, and 3 Palestinians were arrested at a checkpoint near Hebron. In East Jerusalem, 2 Palestinians were arrested in al-Tur and Shu‘fat refugee camp. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 4 nautical miles west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of Dayr al-Balah and al-Bureij; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA 2/23; PCHR 2/25)

In a report, Forensic Architecture concluded that a Palestinian man Ahmed Erekat was killed by Israeli forces in an “extrajudicial execution” on 7/23/2020. The Forensic Architecture report stated that Erekat was shot and killed while not posing a threat to Israeli forces and that the forces had prevented him from getting medical attention after he was shot. Israel claims that Erekat intended to ram Israeli forces at a checkpoint, but the report states that he did not accelerate his car while approaching the checkpoint, that he kept a low speed of 9.3 miles per hour, and that he held his arms in the air after exiting his vehicle after the accident. (GDN 2/23; +972, AJ, MDW 2/24; AP, HA 2/26)

Israel announced that it will share COVID-19 vaccination doses with Guatemala, Honduras, the Czech Republic, and Hungary, all countries that have enhanced ties to Israel in the last couple of years. Israel has been widely criticized for refusing to provide vaccines to Palestinians in the occupied territories, including by U.S. senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT), who said it was “outrageous that [Israeli prime minister Benjamin] Netanyahu would use spare vaccines to reward his foreign allies while so many Palestinians in the occupied territories are still waiting.” The PA foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki called Israel’s decision immoral. (AP, HA, REU 2/23; AP, NYT, 2/24; AJ, AJ, AP, HA, WAFA, WAFA 2/25; WAFA 2/28)

The World Bank threatened to suspend its financing of the COVID-19 vaccine campaign in Lebanon after reports that the vaccines had been given to politicians rather than people who should be 1st in line for a vaccine, such as health workers and the elderly. (AP 2/22)

U.S. state department officials attended a meeting at the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee. At the meeting, PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh welcomed the U.S. delegation and said that Israel was systematically destroying the possibility of a 2-state solution. (AP, WAFA 2/23)

6 Jewish American organizations wrote a letter to the new secretary of homeland security Alejandro Mayorkas, urging him to reverse the Trump administration’s policy change of labeling products made in West Bank settlements “made in Israel.” (J Street 2/23; HA, HUFF 2/24)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set fire to 1 Palestinian-owned truck in Kafr Malik. Palestinians protested Israeli-inflicted electricity blackouts in Jiftlik. 5 Palestinians were arrested, including 1 Palestinian who was arrested after being summoned for interrogation, and 4 teens were arrested in Hebron for throwing snow at Israeli forces. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians during a raid in Issawiyya; 3 Palestinians were injured by rubber-coated bullets, others suffered tear-gas related injuries, and 2 were arrested. 10 other Palestinians were arrested, including 9 who allegedly threw snow at Israeli police in Shu‘fat, Jabal Mukabir, and the Old City, and 1 was arrested at the Haram al-Sharif compound and reportedly beaten by Israeli police. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions and leveled land east of Dayr al-Balah. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/18; WAFA 2/19; PCHR 2/25)

The PA said the UAE is sending a shipment of 20,000 Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine doses to Gaza via the Rafah crossing. Israel allowed on 2/17 2,000 doses of the same vaccine to enter Gaza from the West Bank after refusing to let them enter Gaza. (AP, HA 2/18)

Israel announced that Palestinians from the West Bank working in Israel will be allowed to return to the West Bank from 2/21 after having to stay in Israel from the beginning of the 3d Israeli lockdown on 12/27/2020. The Palestinian workers have not and will not be offered a COVID-19 vaccine by Israel, according to a statement by the Israeli health ministry on 2/10. (HA 2/18; WAFA 2/20)

Nasser al-Kidwa, a member of the Fatah central committee, said he is involved in forming an alternative slate to Fatah and called on Marwan Barghouti, who is imprisoned in an Israeli jail, to join him. Al-Kidwa said the new slate is meant to change the PA, not to reform it. The Palestinian Central Elections Commission also warned that its website could have been hacked and asked Palestinians to verify their data and report anything unusual. (PCHR 2/18; HA 2/21)

Israel extended its ban of inbound and outbound flights until 3/6 to avoid the spread of COVID-19 mutations from other countries. (HA, JP 2/18)

Russia mediated in a prisoner swap between Israel and Syria where 1 Israeli woman who had entered Syria a couple of weeks prior was released to Israel in exchange for 2 Syrian nationals, nullifying a sentence given to a Druze woman in the Israeli-occupied Golan heights. According to Axios, Israel had meant to exchange 1 Syrian prisoner who had 14 years left of a sentence, but he opted to finish his sentence in Israeli jail rather than going to Syria. Israeli forces then arrested 2 Syrian shepherds in the buffer zone who were then released in the prisoner swap. Haaretz reported that the prisoner exchange deal included an undisclosed clause which could potentially anger the Israeli public. Later reports suggested that Israel has promised to provide hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 vaccines to the Syrian government as the undisclosed clause. 2 days later, the Israeli military removed a gag order revealing that the secret clause was that Israel would pay for millions of the Russian-made vaccine Sputnik V on behalf of the Syrian government. (AJ, AP 2/17; AP, AX, HA, HA 2/18; AJ, HA, HA, TOI 2/19; AJ, HA, HA, NYT 2/20; AP 2/21)

Israel announced that it and the U.S. have started developing a 4th missile shield called Arrow 4 to counter potential threats of ballistic missiles from Iran. The International Panel on Fissile Material (IPFM) said that Israel is expanding the Dimona nuclear facility, believed to be used for manufacturing material for nuclear weapons. IPFM made the discovery using satellite images. (GDN, HA, JP 2/18; JP 2/21; AP, HA 2/25)

U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken said the U.S. would return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement if Iran came back to full compliance with the deal. Iran has gradually stopped complying with the agreement after the Trump administration left the deal in 2018. Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded that Iran would “immediately reverse all remedial measures” if the Biden Administration lifted all sanctions. Iran has told the U.S. and the other JCOPA partners that if the U.S. doesn’t start reversing sanctions by 2/23, Iran will ban short-notice inspections by UN officials. The U.S. announcement came after Secretary Blinken had a meeting with JCPOA partners the UK, France, and Germany. (AJ, REU 2/16; AJ, AJ, AP, REU 2/17; AP, AP, HA, HA, REU, REU, VOA 2/18; AJ, AP, HA, REU 2/19)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian family in Iraq Burin, firing rubber-coated bullets and stones at the family and injuring the mother and 2 children; the settlers also stole olive saplings. Israeli settlers also assaulted 1 Palestinian in Luban al-Sharqiyya, causing their hospitalization. 1 Palestinian child was injured after a stun grenade left behind by Israeli forces exploded in his hands in ‘Aqabat Jabir refugee camp. Israeli forces delivered stop-work notices for 3 houses in al-Khadir. 20 Palestinians were arrested, including 19 during late-night raids in and around Balata, al-Ram, Hebron, al-Fawar refugee camp, Qabatiya, Surda, Jenin, ‘Azun, Aida refugee camp, and Dayr Nidham; 1 was arrested at a military checkpoint near al-Fawar refugee camp. In East Jerusalem, 2 Palestinian families demolished their own homes in Shu‘fat and Sur Bahir and 1 other family demolished their own animal shed in Silwan, all in order to avoid exorbitant Israeli demolition fees. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions and leveled farmland east of Jabaliya. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Jabaliya; no injuries were reported. (MEMO, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/15; PCHR 2/18)

An Israeli court in West Jerusalem upheld the eviction of 4 Palestinian families from their homes in Shaykh Jarrar. The court said the Palestinians had until 5/2 to leave their homes so Israeli settlers can move in. (WAFA 2/16)

Israel stopped a shipment of 2,000 vaccine doses sent from the PA in the West Bank to Gaza. The PA health minister Mai al-Kaila called the Israeli move arbitrary and contravening international law. Knesset foreign affairs and defense committee chairman Zvi Hauser said, “I don’t see Yahya Sinwar giving his vaccine to a merciful nurse. I assume they will go first to Hamas leaders, those who are responsible for the kidnapping of Israelis.” Another MK Avi Dichter argued that Israel should not be willing to help out Palestinians in Gaza because “Gaza has been detached and isolated from Israel . . . the considerations are totally different [than the West Bank].” PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said that the PA is awaiting more vaccine shipments before it starts vaccinating the general public. All 1st responders in the West Bank are said to have been vaccinated. (AP, HA, JP, MEE, REU, TOI, WAFA 2/15; AJ, HA, PCHR 2/16)

Israeli forces arrested 3 Israelis on suspicion of terrorism against Palestinians, it is unclear which attacks the arrests were related to. (HA 2/15)

Israel said it will conduct a military drill near the Lebanon border. The drill is expected to last until 2/17. (AJ 2/15)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort raided Luban al-Sharqiyya, during which 1 Israeli settler pushed 1 Palestinian off a 4-meter wall, causing him to be hospitalized. Israeli settlers also uprooted some 50 olive trees near al-Twana. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers and military escort raided Kafr Ni‘ma, leading to confrontations; no injuries were reported. Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian man trying to enter Israel for work at the separation barrier near Barta‘a. Israeli forces also clashed with Palestinians during a raid in Tuqu‘, injuring 1 child who was hit by a tear gas canister, others suffered tear-gas related injuries. 7 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Kaubar, Dura, Hebron, Dheisheh refugee camp, and al-Khadir; during the raid in Dheisheh refugee camp, 1 Palestinian was injured by Israeli forces using live ammunition and others suffered tear-gas related injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolished 1 Palestinian-owned home in Shaykh Jarrah. Palestinians protested the pending eviction of 4 Palestinian families in Shaykh Jarrah whose homes are expected to be taken over by Israeli settlers. Israeli authorities also banned the Old City’s caretaker of Islamic cemeteries from entering the city for 15 days. 5 Palestinians were arrested, including 4 during late-night raids in al-Tur and 1 at the Haram al-Sharif compound. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen within 6 nautical miles west of Gaza City, causing damage to 3 boats. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions and leveled farmland north of Bayt Lahiya. In Israel, 1 Palestinian from the West Bank was arrested at his workplace in Umm al-Fahm. (WAFA, WAFA 2/8; WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/9; PCHR 2/11)

Egypt announced that it would open the Rafah crossing “indefinitely.” It was reported that the decision was tied to the Fatah and Hamas reconciliation efforts and Palestinian plans to hold elections. (ALM, REU, WAFA 2/9; AJ 2/10)

14 Palestinian factions, including Fatah and Hamas, released a joint statement following 2 days of meetings in Cairo confirming the Palestinian elections to be held in May, July, and August. Islamic Jihad said the group would not run in the elections but that they would not interfere with them. (AJ, AP, HA, WAFA 2/9; HA, AP 2/10)

German foreign minister Heiko Maas tweeted that Germany does not agree with the ICC on the issue of the ICC’s territorial jurisdiction in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, saying that the State of Palestine is not recognized in international law. Foreign Minister Maas’s tweet came 1 day after he spoke with Israeli foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi, who has been reaching out to allies to have them publicly side with Israel in the matter of the ICC investigation. Unlike the U.S. and Israel, Germany is part of the ICC. The EU has said it supports the independence of the ICC. Canada and Australia, also members of the ICC, have also expressed dismay about the territorial jurisdiction ruling. The PA foreign ministry said it regretted that Israel had been successful in convincing Germany, Canada, Australia, Austria, Brazil, and others in opposing the ICC investigation. (HA, HA 2/9; WAFA 2/10)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted 30 olive trees in Kafr al-Dik and uprooted 30 olive tree saplings and stole farm equipment in Burqin. Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian worker trying to enter Israel by the separation barrier near Jenin. Israeli forces also shot and injured 2 Palestinians with live ammunition during clashes that unfolded as Israeli forces raided Jenin; 1 other Palestinian was hit by an Israeli forces’ vehicle and tear-gas related injuries were reported. Israeli forces also delivered stop-work notices for 7 houses near Nablus. Meanwhile, Israeli forces raided 2 houses near Haris and Dayr Istya in Area B and took measurements. 4 Palestinians were arrested, including 3 during raids in ‘Azun and 1 at a checkpoint near Abu Dis. In East Jerusalem, 5 Palestinians were arrested, including 4 during late-night raids in Issawiyya and Jabal Mukabir and 1 at the Haram al-Sharif compound. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen northwest of Khan Yunis and west of al-Sudaniyya; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/7; PCHR 2/11)

The PA announced it will begin using its own postcodes for international mail. PA minister of communications Ishaq Sidr said, “[f]rom April, postal items that do not bear a Palestinian postal code will not be processed . . . It is a question of asserting Palestinian rights.” (AJ 2/7)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces conducted military drills in the Masafer Yatta area, damaging crops. Israeli forces also delivered demolition notices for 3 houses and 1 agricultural structure west of Yatta and seized some 40 vegetable and fruit stalls and their contents near Jenin. 25 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Ramallah, al-‘Arub refugee camp, Hebron, Tubas, Barta‘a, Jenin refugee camp, and Tura; 2 Palestinians were shot and wounded during a confrontation in Kafr Malik. In East Jerusalem, 1 Israeli settler attacked an Orthodox church in the Old City, causing damage. 1 Palestinian family demolished their own home in Ras al-‘Amud, displacing 4, including 2 children, and 1 Palestinian demolished his own car repair shop. 5 Palestinians were arrested during raids in al-Tur and Issawiyya. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of al-Maghazi and Dayr al-Balah; no injuries were reported. In Israel, 2 people were killed by Israeli police, including 1 Palestinian passerby, and 2 were wounded during a shootout in Tamra; some 10,000 people later attended the funeral of the Palestinian passerby killed. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/2; HA, MEE, WAFA 2/3 HA, PCHR, WAFA 2/4; WAFA 2/5)

The PA administered its 1st COVID-19 vaccinations after receiving 2,000 vaccination doses from Israel on 2/1. The Palestinian minister of health Mai al-Kaila and several health workers were among the 1st Palestinians in the West Bank to receive the 1st of 2 shots. (AJ, AP, HA, REU, WAFA 2/2; WAFA 2/3; NYT 2/4)

The Israeli ministry of education reversed its decision not to allow high school students to submit their research proposals in Arabic, despite allowing the final exam papers to be written in Arabic. (HA 2/3)

The U.S. state department spokesperson Ned Price said during his 1st press briefing that normalization deals are “not a substitute for Israeli-Palestinian peace.” Spokesperson Price also said the U.S. would resume aid to Palestinians “very quickly.” Price praised the finalization of the Kosovo-Israeli normalization deal on 2/1. (HA 2/2)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers brought their cattle to graze on Palestinian-owned agricultural land east of Yatta, damaging crops. Israeli settlers also vandalized 15 cars and 3 houses in Kafr Haris. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles traveling near Huwwara. Israeli forces demolished and seized 25 structures, displacing 55 Palestinians, including 32 children, in Khirbet Humsa. Israeli forces also shot and injured 1 Palestinian who was trying to enter Israel for work near Barta‘a. 8 Palestinians were arrested, including 6 during raids in and around al-Mughayyir, Tulkarm, Qalqilya, and Hebron; 2 were arrested at checkpoints near Jit and ‘Azun. In East Jerusalem, 3 Palestinians were arrested during a raid in al-Tur; clashes broke out during the raid, leading to tear-gas related injuries. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/1; PCHR, WAFA, WAFA 2/2; REU 2/3; AP, HA, NBC, PCHR, WAFA 2/4)

The Rafah crossing was temporarily open for the 1st of 4 days. The last time the Rafah crossing was open was 11/26/2020. (GISHA, WAFA 1/31)

Israel delivered 2,000 COVID-19 vaccination doses to the PA intended for medical staff. Israel said it intends on sending the PA 5,000 doses. PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said the PA expects to have received 50,000 COVID-19 doses from 4 different companies by the middle of February. Prime Minister Shtayyeh also announced that the COVID-19-related lockdown of the West Bank was extended by 2 weeks. The WHO announced that Palestine will start receiving 37,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine around the middle of February though the COVAX program. PA president Mahmoud Abbas extended the COVID-19-related state of emergency for another 30 days. (AP, AP, HA, HILL 1/31; AP, HA, HA, NBC, WAFA, WAFA 2/1; WAFA 2/3)

1 Israeli settler from the Yitzhar settlement, Rabbi Yosef Elitzur, was convicted of inciting violence against Palestinians in 2 opinion pieces written by him. (HA 2/3)

The U.S. Joe Biden administration made its 1st official contact with Palestinian officials. The newly appointed deputy assistant secretary for Israel-Palestine Hady Amr spoke to several Palestinian officials. This marked the 1st official contract between Palestinian and U.S. officials since December 2017. (AX, HA 2/1)

A Biden administration official also said the administration is using and supporting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism, which has been widely critiqued for conflating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. For more about the IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism, see the IPS publication Zionism, Israel, and Anti-Semitism: Dangerous Conflation. (PCN 2/2; MDW 2/3; EI 2/4; HA 2/28)

Kosovo’s foreign minister Meliza Haradinaj and Israeli foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi signed an agreement between the 2 countries, which include Kosovo opening an embassy to Israel in Jerusalem and designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. In September, Kosovo, Serbia, the U.S., and Israel signed an agreement to have the 2 Balkan countries open embassies to Israel in Jerusalem in return for financial incentives. Serbia’s foreign minister said Serbia has “invested serious efforts in our relations with Israel in recent years and we are not happy with this decision.” Serbia is displeased that Israel as part of the agreement recognized Kosovo as an independent state. The PA, Turkey, the Arab League, and the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation also publicly criticized Kosovo because of the country’s decision to open an embassy in Jerusalem. (HA, REU, TOI 2/1; AJ 2/2; WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/3)

Hezbollah said it shot down an Israeli drone flying over Lebanese air space. (AP, HA 2/1)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian herders, forcing them to leave the land where their livestock was grazing. Palestinians threw stones at 1 Israeli settler near Dayr Abu Mash‘al. Israeli forces subsequently raided Dayr Abu Mash‘al, leading to clashes. 2 Palestinians were shot and injured with live ammunition and others suffered tear-gas related injuries; 25 were arrested. 1 Palestinian man died after inhaling tear gas fired at him as he was trying to enter Israel for work near the separation barrier in Far‘un. Israeli forces delivered demolition notices for 2 Palestinian-owned agricultural structures in the Jordan Valley, notified Palestinians in Dayr Istya that it will seize 600 dunams (148 acres) of agricultural land for settlement expansion, and demolished 1 agricultural structure and 1 water tank in al-Khadir. 4 Palestinians were arrested in Biddu and Bayt Ijza. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian minor was arrested in Silwan. In Israel, Israeli police conducted a large-scale raid campaign in the predominantly Palestinian-Israeli city Tur’an, arresting 145 people; Israeli authorities said the raids were conducted to combat a rise in violence in the city. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/24; WAFA 1/25; PCHR 1/28)

The chairman of the Palestinian central elections commission Hanna Nasser formally invited the EU to send election monitors to the upcoming Palestinian elections. (WAFA 1/24)

The Israeli attorney general Avichai Mendelblit said that he has closed the investigation of the torture of 1 Palestinian prisoner accused of planting explosives that killed 1 Israeli settler on 8/23/2019 near the Dolev settlement. Israel had been investigating Shin Bet officers who left the accused in critical condition after torturing him until he had a heart attack. Attorney General Mendelblit said his offices lacked evidence to conclude a crime had been committed. (HA 1/24)

The UAE government approved the opening of an Israeli embassy in the UAE as part of the UAE-Israel-U.S. normalization deal. Israel later in the day said it had officially opened its embassy in the UAE at a temporary location in Abu Dhabi. (AJ, AP, HA, HA 1/24; MEE 1/25)

Israel announced it would ban all flights in and out of the country from 1/26-1/31 due to the COVID-19 virus. (HA, HILL, REU, WP 1/24; AJ 1/25)

Lebanese cow herders said Israeli forces crossed into Lebanon and seized 7 cows in Wazzani. A spokesperson for the Israeli forces said the 7 cows had crossed the fence between the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and Lebanon. (HA, REU 1/26)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers blocked several intersections in the West Bank, including near Bethlehem, Burqa, Luban al-Sharqiyya, Jit, Qalqilya, and in the northern part of the Jordan Valley, throwing stones at Palestinian vehicles; 1 3-year-old Palestinian suffered injuries to his face near Burqa and several vehicles were damaged. Israeli forces arrested 15 settlers, most of whom were released within hours. Israeli settlers also threw Molotov cocktails at 2 Palestinian homes in Burin, causing damage. 16 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around al-Bireh, Kaubar, Hebron, Surayf, Bayt Umar, Jericho, Ya‘bad, and Qabatiya; clashes erupted during the raid in al-Bireh; 1 Palestinian was hit by a rubber-coated bullet and others suffered tear-gas related injuries and Israeli forces severely beat 1 Palestinian during a house raid in Kaubar. In East Jerusalem, 4 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Issawiyya and al-Tur; clashes broke out during the raids in both neighborhoods. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian shepherds northeast of Bayt Hanun; no injuries were reported. (HA, WAFA, WAFA 1/21; WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/22; HA, WAFA 1/23; HA 1/27; PCHR 1/28)

PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh called on the international community to put pressure on Israel to allow Palestinians in East Jerusalem to partake in the scheduled Palestinian elections. (WAFA 1/21)

Australia donated $1 million to the WHO in support of its efforts to combat the COVID-19 virus in the occupied Palestinian territories. (WAFA 1/21)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted 100 olive saplings in Yatta. Israeli forces shot and injured 3 Palestinians trying to enter Israel for work near the separation barrier north of Qalqilya. Israeli forces also destroyed Palestinian-owned crops while conducting drills in the Jordan Valley. 5 Palestinians were arrested during raids in al-Fawar refugee camp, Salim, and Kafr Rai. In East Jerusalem, 5 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Issawiyya. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces sprayed water from water cannons at Palestinian fishermen 3 nautical miles west of Bayt Lahiya. In Gaza, Israeli forces shelled al-Maghazi, al-Bureij, and Bayt Lahiya, injuring 1 Palestinian and damaging 1 house in al-Maghazi, after claiming 1 rocket fired from Gaza landed on an empty field in Israel. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/19; AJ, WAFA, WAFA 1/20; PCHR 1/21)

The PA received 5,000 doses the Russian-made COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V after Israel cleared the shipment. (AJ 1/19)

An Israeli court reversed its decision to freeze the bidding process for an Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem. The bidding process was halted on 1/15 after a petition by Palestinian residents and Ir Amim, which complained that 40% of the planned housing would be for Israeli citizens only, forbidding Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem from buying the property. (HA 1/15; HA 1/20)

At an Israeli cabinet meeting, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to legalize 3 Israeli settler outposts and establish 3 new settlements, but was stopped by Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz, who called the proposal “politically irresponsible . . . especially at such a sensitive time,” referring to either the upcoming Israeli elections of the transition of power in the U.S. (HA 1/19)

U.S. president Donald Trump pardoned the Israeli spy recruiter, Aviem Sella, who recruited Jonathan Pollard to spy on the U.S. for Israel in the 1980s. President Trump cited support for the clemency by Prime Minister Netanyahu, Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer, U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman, and Sheldon Adelson’s widow Miriam Adelson. Israel never extradited Sella to the U.S. after he was indicted in 1987. (AP, HA, JP 1/20)

At the confirmation hearing for Antony Blinken, U.S. president-elect Joe Biden’s pick for secretary of state, Blinken said he supported the normalization deals made between the U.S., Israel, and Morocco, and Sudan, Bahrain, and the UAE. Blinken also said that it is “vitally important” that the U.S. involve Israel in reentering the Iran Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreement, that he does not see an immediate way forward on finding a solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and that he and President-Elect Biden both oppose the BDS movement. He furthermore stated that he considers Jerusalem the capital of Israel and that the U.S. embassy to Israel would remain in Jerusalem. Blinken did not mention East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. (HA, MEE 1/19; HA, MEMO, REU 1/20)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted some 60 olive saplings in Jalud. Israeli settlers also attacked Palestinian vehicles traveling on the Nablus-Qalqilya road, leading to 1 injury and damage. Israeli forces shot and injured 7 Palestinians trying to enter Israel for work through the separation barrier near Far‘un. Israeli forces also seized heavy machinery used to rehabilitate a road in Kardala. 10 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Bayt Umar, Sabastiyya, Qabatiya, Jalazun refugee camp, and Nahalin. In East Jerusalem, 6 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Issawiyya. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen 3 nautical miles west of al-Sudaniyya; no injuries were reported. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian farmers east of Khan Yunis and Dayr al-Balah; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/11; PCHR 1/14)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Israeli defense ministry and the civil administration’s higher planning committee will approve 800 new settlement units in the Itamar, Beit El, Shavei Shomron, Oranit, Givat Ze’ev, Tal Menashe, and Nofei Nehemia settlements and settlement outposts. Prime Minister Netanyahu also said on Facebook that “[w]e’re here [in the West Bank] to stay. We’re continuing to build the Land of Israel.” Leader of the Israeli opposition Yair Lapid of the Yesh Atid party called the announcement of the new settlement units “irresponsible,” citing the U.S. presidential transition on 1/20. France’s foreign ministry, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the PA denounced the settlement expansion. Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz also approved a small number Palestinian construction projects in al-Walaja, Hizma, Bethlehem, and Bayt Jala. All the projects need secondary approval. (ABC, AJ, AP, HA, REU, TOI, TOI, WAFA 1/11; REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/12)

PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh and a member of the PLO executive committee condemned the UAE for allowing Israeli settler products to be imported to its market after the 1st shipment of Israeli settler goods arrived in the UAE. (WAFA 1/11; REU 1/14)

The PA health ministry said it had approved the Russian-made COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V for emergency use. (WAFA 1/11)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas issued 3 presidential decrees, 2 of which critiques say serves to bolster the power of the PA presidency ahead of potential elections later this year. 1 decree allows the PA president to select judges instead of approving judges, who would be selected based on seniority. The decree also allows the president to force Palestinian judges to retire 5 years before the set retirement age of 70. A 2d decree establishes administrative courts, which can hear petitions against officials and institutions, previously a duty of the High Court of Justice. The president of the administrative court is appointed by the PA president. (HA 1/28)

An Israeli court in Lod ruled that screening or distributing the movie Jenin Jenin from 2002 by Mohammad Bakri should be banned and copies of the movie destroyed. Bakri was also ruled to pay $55,000 to an Israeli soldier who appears in archival footage used for the movie and $16,000 for the cost of the trial. The Israeli judge said that Bakri did not do enough research to label the movie a documentary. The PA ministry of culture condemned the ruling. (HA 1/11; AJ, TOI, WAFA 1/12; WAFA 1/13)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that he regretted forming a coalition with Prime Minister Netanyahu, saying that Netanyahu “cheated me and cheated you [the Israeli public].” He then called on all opposition leaders, including the Joint Arab List’s Ayman Odeh, to join him in sending “Bibi [Netanyahu] home” in the upcoming election. (HA 1/11)

The foreign ministers of Germany, France, Jordan, and Egypt met in Cairo to discuss reviving peace talks between Israel and Palestine. The quartet expressed willingness to work closely with the U.S. to map steps toward peace. In a statement, the 4 called for a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. According to the Jerusalem Post, the 4 countries had tried to invite the Israeli and PA foreign ministers to the meeting, but both were unable or unwilling to travel for the meeting. (HA, WAFA 1/11; JP 1/12)

U.S. billionaire and mega-donor to Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump, and Israeli settlements Sheldon Adelson died. Adelson had recently flown the convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard to Israel from the U.S. so he could immigrate after being released from parole, and he bought the U.S. ambassador’s house in Tel Aviv from the U.S. state department earlier in 2020. Adelson was known to have had a large influence on U.S. president Donald Trump’s aggressively pro-Israel policies during his presidency. (AJ, AJ, HA, HA, HA, NYT, REU, REU 1/12)