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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 7, 2021

    In the West Bank, 5 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Qalandia refugee camp, Hizma, Dahariyya, and Jenin. Off the coast of Gaza, 3 Palestinian fishermen were killed in an...

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  • March 6, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized 15 olive trees in Artas. Israeli settlers with military escort also forced Palestinian farmers to leave their land in Kisan. Elsewhere, Israeli...

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  • March 4, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized 1 Palestinian-owned agricultural structure in Kafr al-Dik. Israeli forces delivered demolition orders for 7 Palestinian-owned homes in Ma‘in. 17...

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  • March 3, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers smashed the windows of 3 Palestinian houses and 2 vehicles in Huwwara. Israeli forces distributed notices to Palestinians in Yatta, declaring a large area east...

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  • February 27, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces seized 2 Palestinian-owned tractors in Bidya. 2 Palestinians were arrested at the Qalandia and Huwwara checkpoints In Gaza, 2 Palestinian minors were hospitalized...

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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 22, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces seized 12 residential tents in Khirbet Humsa; this marked the 4th time Israeli forces seized and demolished structures in the bedouin community this month. Israeli...

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  • February 19, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers tried to abduct 1 Palestinian man near Husan but ended up robbing him of NIS 25,000 ($7,600), the Palestinian man claimed. Israeli forces violently dispersed...

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  • February 17, 2021

    In the West Bank, 1 Palestinian woman died after having a heart attack as Israeli forces raided her home in Abu Njeim near Bethlehem. 4 Palestinians were arrested, including 1 at a checkpoint in...

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  • February 13, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers and military escort raided Qusra and Asira leading to confrontations with Palestinians; tear-gas related injuries were reported. Israeli forces violently...

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  • February 8, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers and Israeli forces attacked Palestinian journalists filming in the vicinity of the Ariel settlement. Israeli settlers also began construction on a tract of land...

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  • February 6, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers and Israeli forces harassed and threatened a family of Palestinian citizens of Israel who were picnicking near Jibiya to leave the area. Israeli settlers also...

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  • February 5, 2021

    In the West Bank, 1 Israeli settler shot 1 Palestinian man near Ras Karkar; according to Israeli authorities, the Palestinian man was unarmed and was shot at a settlement outpost near Ras Karkar;...

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  • February 3, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces demolished 15 tents, seized 3 vehicles, and arrested 1 Palestinian activist trying to prevent the forces from demolishing and seizing Palestinian property in...

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  • January 30, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set up mobile homes on Palestinian-owned land near Bidya. 3 Palestinians were arrested during house raids in Jenin. In East Jerusalem, 3 Palestinians were...

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  • January 27, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces raided Kafr Malik, leading to clashes with Palestinians; 1 Palestinian was shot by a rubber-coated bullet, others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Israeli...

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  • January 23, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers blocked an intersection at the Bethlehem-Hebron road and threw stones at Palestinian vehicles near Burin and Madama. Israeli settlers also raided Kafr al-Dik,...

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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 17, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked 1 Palestinian child outside of her home in Madama and threw stones at her family’s house; she was hospitalized for her injuries. Israeli forces...

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  • January 16, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles traveling near Luban al-Sharqiyya. Israeli settlers also raided several Palestinian hamlets in Masafer Yatta; no injuries...

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  • January 13, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers assaulted 2 Palestinian farmers in Khirbet al-Tawil, leading to their hospitalization. Israeli settlers also threw stones at Palestinian vehicles traveling near...

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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 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, 5 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Qalandia refugee camp, Hizma, Dahariyya, and Jenin. Off the coast of Gaza, 3 Palestinian fishermen were killed in an explosion northwest of Khan Yunis; there were conflicting narratives about how the explosion happened with reports of an Israeli naval attack and of a missile fired from Gaza. Israel denied responsibility and the interior ministry in Gaza said it would investigate the incident; the investigation concluded on 3/11 with the government saying an Israeli drone laden with explosive was caught in a fishermen’s net, killing the 3 fishermen. the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights had claimed that it was a militant faction from Gaza who was responsible. Israeli naval forces had earlier in the day opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Gaza city, causing damage to 1 boat. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian herders east of Khan Yunis; no injuries were reported. (AJ, HA, PCHR, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/7; HA 3/9; ALM, HA, PCHR, REU 3/11)

1 Palestinian man was sentenced to 2 years in prison, based on a plea bargain, by an Israeli military judge for not preventing an attack on an Israeli settler and for being a member of the PFLP. In the sentencing, the judge said a plea bargain had been reached, reducing the sentence because several Palestinians had been tortured during the interrogation related to the case. (TOI 3/7; HA 3/8)

According to Axios, PA civil affairs minister Hussein al-Sheikh sent a letter to the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for Israel-Palestine Hady Amr asking for U.S. support in the upcoming Palestinian elections and saying that Hamas has committed itself to nonviolence and the PLO parameters for a 2-state solution. Hamas has yet to publicly confirm Civil Affairs Minister al-Sheikh’s statement. (AX 3/10)

PA foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki said he will travel to the Hague to meet with ICC officials to discuss the investigations into possible war crimes committed by Israel. (WAFA 3/7)

Meretz (Vigor) leader Nitzan Horowitz said that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli settlers were responsible for the ICC investigation, drawing ire from the Israeli right. Several right-wing leaders said they would not sit in a coalition with Meretz based on those statements. Horowitz said the ICC investigation was a result of “unbridled settlement” and Israeli refusal to engage in negotiations with Palestinians. (HA, HA 3/7)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized 15 olive trees in Artas. Israeli settlers with military escort also forced Palestinian farmers to leave their land in Kisan. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers vandalized Palestinian-owned vehicles in Bruqin. Israeli authorities issued a military order seizing more than 658 dunams (163 acres) of Palestinian-owned land in al-‘Ubaydiyya. 10 Palestinians were arrested, including 4 near the separation barrier and 6 during raids in Hizma, Hebron, al-‘Arub refugee camp, and Nablus; clashes erupted during the raid in Hizma, leading to tear-gas related injuries. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/6; PCHR 3/11)

Demonstrations against Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued for the 37th Saturday in a row. Protesters were demanding Prime Minister Netanyahu’s resignation over Israel’s COVID-19 response, handling of the Israeli economy, and the corruption cases against him. (HA 3/6; WAFA 3/7)

Lebanese caretaker prime minister Hassan Diab threatened to resign to pressure politicians to form a government. Diab’s threat came as Lebanon entered the 5th day of mass protest as the country is facing a deep financial crisis in parallel with its political crisis. (HA, REU 3/6; AJ 3/7)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized 1 Palestinian-owned agricultural structure in Kafr al-Dik. Israeli forces delivered demolition orders for 7 Palestinian-owned homes in Ma‘in. 17 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around al-Khadir, Husan, Hebron, Nablus, Tulkarm, Abu Dis, ‘Azun, Beita, Ramallah, al-Bireh, Sabastiyya, and Jenin refugee camp. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces seized, for a 2d time, tents sheltering a family whose house was demolished in Issawiyya. 11 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Issawiyya, Shu‘fat refugee camp, and al-Tur; confrontations erupted during the raids in Issawiyya, leading to tear-gas related injuries and damage to property. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of Dayr al-Balah; no injuries were reported. (PCHR, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/4; PCHR 3/11)

Israeli authorities allowed changes to the structure of al-Ibrahimi Mosque, allowing the construction of an elevator to the designated Jewish area of the mosque. (WAFA 3/4)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas extended the COVID-19-related state of emergency for another 30 days. (WAFA 3/4)

According to Haaretz reporting, the Shin Bet has been threatening some Palestinian activists with administrative detention if they run in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections. Haaretz confirmed that at least 1 Palestinian activist was arrested and put in administrative detention for 4 months after announcing that he would run in the elections. (HA 3/4)

Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen and Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz met with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem to discuss a joint COVID-19 plan. Prime Minister Frederiksen had, prior to the trip, praised Israel’s vaccination campaign and said that Denmark is considering opening a vaccine factory with and/or in Israel, leading her own left-wing coalition to denounce her trip. The EU expressed dismay at the 2 European leaders’ trip, saying that cooperation on COVID-19 response was an EU issue 1st and foremost. (POL, POL 3/1; GDN, HA, REU 3/2; GDN, POL 3/3; AP, DR.DK, HA, POL, REU, TOI 3/4)

U.S. vice president Kamala Harris spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss the ICC investigation into Israel. Vice President Harris expressed support for the normalization deals between Israel, the U.S., and several Arab and African countries during the Trump administration. (REU 3/4; AJ, HA, TOI 3/5)

Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz told FOX News that Israel is constantly updating preparations to strike Iran. Defense Minister Gantz also said that Hezbollah has hundreds of thousands of missiles. (AP, AJ, FOX, HA 3/5)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers smashed the windows of 3 Palestinian houses and 2 vehicles in Huwwara. Israeli forces distributed notices to Palestinians in Yatta, declaring a large area east of the city Israeli state land. 6 Palestinians were arrested during raids in al-Fawar refugee camp, Birzeit, Nablus, Jenin refugee camp, and Ya‘bad; 5 Palestinians were injured during confrontations with Israeli forces spawning from the raids in Jenin and al-Fawar refugee camp, including 1 by live ammunition, 2 by glass shards, and 2 by rubber-coated bullets. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolished 1 Palestinian-owned house and 3 shops in Shu‘fat refugee camp. 2 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Jabal Mukabir. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of Abasan, Khuza‘a, al-Shuka, and al-Qarara; no injuries were reported. In Israel, Israelis attacked a Palestinian news crew working for Anadolu news agency in West Jerusalem, vandalizing their car. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/3; PCHR 3/4)

ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced that the ICC will start a formal investigation into war crimes committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza. On 2/5, the ICC judges decided that the ICC does have jurisdiction in the occupied territories. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the opening of a formal investigation “the essence of Antisemitism.” Both the PA and Hamas welcomed the investigation. Many human rights organizations likewise lauded the decision to investigate. The U.S. state department released a statement saying that the U.S. “opposes the ICC investigation into the Palestinian situation.” In the 1st stage of the investigation, Israel and the Palestinian parties have 30 days to inform the court if they will investigate alleged criminals themselves. (AJ, AP, BBC, DOS, GDN, HA, HA, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/3; AHQ, AJ, AP, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/4)

Israeli minister of environmental protection Gila Gamliel said Iran was behind an oil spill in the Mediterranean in what she described as “environmental terrorism.” According to Haaretz, Israeli military and intelligence agencies were caught by surprise by Environmental Protection Minister Gamliel’s announcement. The Israeli defense ministry later said it had found no evidence of Gamliel’s claim. (AP, HA, REU 3/3; AP, GDN, HA, TOI 3/4)

1 U.S. contractor died of a heart of attack during an attack on the ‘Ayn al-Asad air base in Iraq. At least 10 missiles were fired at the base. (AJ, AJ, AP, HA 3/3; HA 3/4)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces seized 2 Palestinian-owned tractors in Bidya. 2 Palestinians were arrested at the Qalandia and Huwwara checkpoints In Gaza, 2 Palestinian minors were hospitalized after Israeli naval forces opened fire at them while on a beach near Rafah. Israeli naval forces also opened fire at Palestinian fishermen some 6 nautical miles northwest of Rafah and 3 nautical miles west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA 2/27; PCHR 3/4)

All checkpoints to Gaza and the West Bank were closed by Israel for the Purim holiday. Closures are expected to last until the evening of 2/28. (HA 2/25)

The PA announced new COVID-19 restriction measures, including nighttime curfews starting at 7 p.m. and the closure of kindergartens and schools. PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh also complained that restrictions on movement between districts were not being followed. The new restrictions were imposed as the PA health ministry has found that the British and South African COVID-19 mutations were more prevalent in the West Bank than previously thought. Both mutations spread the virus faster and cause more severe illness, including in children. As the new restrictions were announced, the PA health ministry said that the intensive care units in the West Bank were at 95 percent occupancy. A total of 2,236 Palestinians have died of the COVID-19 virus in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza since the beginning of the outbreak. (AJ, HA, WAFA, WAFA 2/27)

The secretary general of the central committee of Fatah Jibril Rajoub said that Fatah is trying to get all Palestinian parties to run under 1 joint list for the upcoming Palestinian elections. (WAFA 2/27)

In Israel, Israeli protesters demonstrated against Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the 36th Saturday in a row. The protesters are demanding Prime Minister Netanyahu’s resignation for the government’s handling of the Israeli economy, his corruption cases, and the COVID-19 crisis. (HA 2/27)

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 forces seized 12 residential tents in Khirbet Humsa; this marked the 4th time Israeli forces seized and demolished structures in the bedouin community this month. Israeli forces also demolished 1 house under construction in Tuqu‘ and 2 agricultural structures in al-Khadir. 19 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Nablus, Qabatiya, Jenin refugee camp, Anabta, Hizma, Qalandia refugee camp, Bethlehem, Jericho, and Hebron; clashes erupted during the raid in Qalandia, leading to tear-gas related injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolished a 2-story apartment building in Issawiyya, displacing 4 families consisting of 17 members, including 12 children; according to 1 of the Palestinians living in the building, a Waqf guard who was a Shin Bet coordinator had told him 6 months prior that “there’s a 90 percent chance that your house will be demolished.” Israeli forces also demolished 2 Palestinian-owned shops in Sur Bahir. Israel also banned 1 Palestinian from al-Tur, where he lives, for 2 weeks. 2 Palestinians were arrested during a late-night raid in Kafr ‘Aqab; clashes erupted during the raid, leading to tear-gas related injuries. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian farmers east of Khan Yunis; no injuries were reported. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces sank 1 Palestinian fishing boat after opening fire at Palestinian fishermen 6 nautical miles northwest of Khan Yunis; no injuries were reported. (HA, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/22; HA, PCHR 2/25)

In Gaza, health workers began inoculating Palestinians with the Sputnik V vaccine provided by the UAE and the PA. (AJ, AP 2/22)

The World Bank said that the PA faces a funding gap of $30 million to secure the needed COVID-19 doses for a successful vaccination campaign in the West Bank and Gaza. The World Bank called on other countries to donate to shrink the gap. (AJ, HA 2/22)

The court overseeing Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial said the start of the evidentiary stage will be delayed until 4/5, after the Israeli elections. (AP 2/23)

Axios reported that U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken asked his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi to facilitate the transfer of more COVID-19 vaccines to the West Bank and Gaza. (AX, TOI 2/23; HA 2/24)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers tried to abduct 1 Palestinian man near Husan but ended up robbing him of NIS 25,000 ($7,600), the Palestinian man claimed. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting in Bayt Dajan and Kafr Qaddum, leading to tear-gas related injuries; 1 Palestinian was hit by a sponge grenade during the protest in Kafr Qaddum. 3 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Jenin and Qalqilya. In East Jerusalem, 2 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in 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. (WAFA 2/19; WAFA 2/20; PCHR 2/25)

Israel released the body of 1 Palestinian prisoner who died of a heart attack in an Israeli prison on 9/2/2020 to his family. (WAFA 2/19)

The PA said that Israel had agreed to vaccinate some 100,000 Palestinian workers from the West Bank who regularly travel to Israel for work. Israeli officials later said that it had not decided whether it would vaccinate the Palestinian workers, but it would discuss the issue. (HA, WAFA 2/19; HA 2/22)

In a statement released by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he announced that the president of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, assured him that he would move the country’s capital to Jerusalem from Herzliya. The statement did not say when the move would happen. (AP, HA 2/19)

In the West Bank, 1 Palestinian woman died after having a heart attack as Israeli forces raided her home in Abu Njeim near Bethlehem. 4 Palestinians were arrested, including 1 at a checkpoint in Hizma, 1 at a checkpoint near Bethlehem, and 2 during late-night raids in Qalandia. In East Jerusalem, 4 Palestinians were arrested in al-Tur. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions and leveled agricultural land east of Khan Yunis. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/17; PCHR 2/18)

Israel allowed 2,000 doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine to enter Gaza from the West Bank after refusing to let it enter Gaza since 2/15. (AJ, AP, REU, WAFA 2/17; HA 2/18)

The Palestinian central elections commission said that 93.3 of eligible voters were registered for the Palestinian elections as the registration process ended. Some 421,000 new voters were reportedly registered. (WAFA 2/17)

The Israeli central election committee disqualified the Palestinian-Israeli Labor candidate Ibtisam Mara’ana from running in the upcoming Israeli elections. The disqualification was made based on past statements perceived to be anti-Israeli, which critics have said were taken out of context. The request to disqualify Mara’ana was made by the racist far-right Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party. The decision is expected to be overturned by the Israeli supreme court. (HA, HA 2/17; HA 2/18)

After weeks of speculation in Israeli and U.S. media as to why U.S. president Joe Biden had not called Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu after taking office on 1/20, the call happened and was described as warm. Axios later reported that Prime Minister Netanyahu asked President Biden to keep the Trump administration-imposed sanctions on ICC personnel. (AJ, HA, REU 2/17; AX 2/24; AJ 2/25)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers and military escort raided Qusra and Asira leading to confrontations with Palestinians; tear-gas related injuries were reported. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 1 with rubber-coated bullets and others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also forced 1 Palestinian family of 13 to remove their residential tents in the Masafer Yatta area. Elsewhere, Israeli forces raided Ras Kaskar, leading to clashes; tear-gas related injuries were reported. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians during a raid in al-Tur; tear-gas related injuries were reported and 1 Palestinian was arrested. 1 Palestinian family started demolishing parts of their own house in Sur Bahir in order to avoid exorbitant Israel demolition fees. In Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Jabaliya refugee camp; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/13; PCHR 2/18)

Israeli protesters demonstrated against Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the 34th Saturday in a row. The protesters are demanding Prime Minister Netanyahu’s resignation over his corruption cases, COVID-19 response, and the Israeli economy. (WAFA 2/14)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers and Israeli forces attacked Palestinian journalists filming in the vicinity of the Ariel settlement. Israeli settlers also began construction on a tract of land in ‘Ayn Bus. Israeli forces seized and demolished residential tents in Khirbet Humsa provided by humanitarian agencies to displaced residents after Israeli forces demolished and confiscated and demolished 46 residential structures on 2/1 and 2/3. Israeli forces also demolished 1 water well in al-Mughayyir and 2 residential structures in Khirbet Yarza. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters demonstrating against stop-work orders delivered in al-Twana, leading to tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also shot and injured 1 Palestinian with live ammunition during a late-night raid near Jenin. Meanwhile, Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian trying to enter Israel for work near the separation barrier in Barta‘a. 14 Palestinians were arrested, including 13 during late-night raids in and around Jalazun refugee camp, Hebron, Nablus, Qabatiya, and al-Bireh, and 1 was arrested at a checkpoint near Nablus. In East Jerusalem, 4 Palestinian citizens of Israel were arrested at the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian famers east of Gaza City and Khan Yunis; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/8; CNN 2/10 PCHR 2/11)

PA and Hamas officials and members of 12 other Palestinian factions met in Cairo to discuss reconciliation and the Palestinian elections. (AJ, REU, WAFA, WAFA 2/8)

A Palestinian court in Nablus sentenced 1 Palestinian man to 5 years in prison for selling Israeli settlement products. (WAFA 2/8)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu pleaded not guilty in response to the corruption charges against him in an Israeli court. Prime Minister Netanyahu was forced to appear in court but left after 30 minutes as the judges excused his absence. (REU 2/7; AJ, AP, AX, CBS, CNN, HA, WP 2/8)

The U.S. said it will rejoin the UN Human Rights Council as an observer after the Donald Trump administration left the UN body, citing anti-Israel bias in 2018. The Biden administration wants to rejoin as a full member at an unset date. (NYT 2/7; TOI 2/8)

In an interview with CNN, U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken said he applauded the normalization deals between Israel, the U.S., the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan, and said that peace between Palestine and Israel is far away, saying the 2 need to engage in peace before the U.S. can get involved. Secretary Blinken also said the Biden administration supported a 2-state solution but when asked about whether a Palestinian state would have East Jerusalem as its capital, he said it was part of final status issues, despite saying the U.S. considers Israel’s capital Jerusalem. Former secretary of state John Kerry said the U.S. supports East Jerusalem as a future capital of Palestine during the Barack Obama administration. Lastly, Secretary Blinken said that the Biden administration would consider supporting the return of the Golan Heights to Syria if Bashar al-Asad was no longer in power. (HA, REU, State Department 2/8; HA 2/9; AJ 2/11)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers and Israeli forces harassed and threatened a family of Palestinian citizens of Israel who were picnicking near Jibiya to leave the area. Israeli settlers also assaulted Palestinian herders near al-Twana, forcing them to leave their livestock. Israeli forces injured 3 Palestinians during clashes at a raid in Jenin, including 2 who were shot with rubber-coated bullets and 1 who was run over by a military vehicle. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 5 with rubber-coated bullets; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed a tree planting event in Bidya, causing injuries. Israeli forces also clashed with Palestinians after establishing a checkpoint near Bayt Umar, leading to tear-gas related injuries. 1 Palestinian was arrested during a late-night raid in Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians during an Israeli raid in al-Tur. In Israel, more than 10,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel marched against gun violence in Tamra; 1 Palestinian-Israeli passerby was shot and killed by Israeli police during a shootout on 2/1. (AP, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/6; WAFA 2/7; HA, TOI 2/8; HA 2/9; PCHR 2/11)

In Israel, protesters demonstrated outside of prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official residence for the 33d Saturday in a row. This week, the thousands of anti-corruption protesters were joined by Palestinians from Silwan who protested the systematic eviction of Palestinians from the East Jerusalem neighborhood. (AP, HA 2/6; REU 2/7)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas met with the newly appointed UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process Tor Wennesland. (WAFA 2/6)

In the West Bank, 1 Israeli settler shot 1 Palestinian man near Ras Karkar; according to Israeli authorities, the Palestinian man was unarmed and was shot at a settlement outpost near Ras Karkar; Israeli forces subsequently raided the deceased Palestinian’s house. Israeli settlers also raided Luban al-Sharqiyya, leading to confrontations between Palestinians and the settlers’ military escort; tear-gas related injuries were reported. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Malik, injuring 1 with live ammunition. Israeli forces also violently dispersed a protest in Bayt Dajan, causing tear-gas related injuries. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed the weekly anti-settlement protest in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 5 Palestinians with rubber-coated bullets. Israeli forces also opened fire on Palestinians near Silwad, injuring 1 with live ammunition. 1 Palestinian was arrested during a late-night raid near Nablus. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire on agricultural lands east of Abasan and al-Showka; no injuries were reported. (AJ, AP, HA, JP, MEE, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/5; HA 2/11; PCHR 2/11)

The ICC ruled that it has territorial jurisdiction to persecute alleged war crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian territories, as it found Palestine to be “a State Party to the [Rome] Statute.” The ICC defined the occupied Palestinian territories as the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza. Israel has argued that the ICC does not have jurisdiction to prosecute matters pertaining to Israel and Palestine because Israel is not party to the Rome Statute and because Palestine is not a state. The latter 2 of the 3 ICC judges ultimately disagreed with erasing the final hurdle to start a formal investigation, 6 years after the ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda started her preliminary investigation into alleged war crimes made by Israel and Hamas. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the ruling “pure anti-Semitism” and said, “[w]e will fight this perversion of justice with all our might.” The PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh praised the decision. The U.S. State Department’s spokesperson said the U.S. has “serious concern about the ICC’s attempts to exercise its jurisdiction over Israeli personnel. We have always taken the position that the court’s jurisdiction should be reserved for countries that consent to it or that are referred by the UN Security Council.” Haaretz reported that Israel has started briefing military personnel on potential implications for them if the proceedings move to a trial. (AJ, AX, DOS, HA, ICC, NYT, WAFA, WAFA 2/5; AJ, AP, HA, HA, PCHR, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/6; AX, HA, HA, HA, MDW, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/7; WAFA 2/8)

An UNRWA spokesperson said that the UAE’s contributions to the agency dropped from $51.8 million in 2018 and in 2019 to $1 million in 2020. (AJ, HA 2/6)

The U.S. Biden administration notified Congress that it will remove the Houthi group from the list of foreign terrorist organizations. The Houthis were declared a terrorist organization by the Trump administration shortly before the Trump presidency ended. (REU 2/5; AJ 2/6; AJ 2/8)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces demolished 15 tents, seized 3 vehicles, and arrested 1 Palestinian activist trying to prevent the forces from demolishing and seizing Palestinian property in Khirbat Humsa; Israeli forces demolished 25 structures in Khirbet Humsa on 2/1. The EU said it would send representatives to Khirbet Humsa on 2/4 to witness the destruction; more than 70 Palestinians were displaced during the mass demolitions on 2/1 and 2/3. Israeli forces also conducted military drills in the Masafer Yatta area, damaging crops and agricultural structures for the 2d day in a row. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished 1 house under construction in Anata and 11 vending stalls near Jenin. Israeli forces also delivered 1 demolition notice for a house in al-Khadir. 25 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Tuqu‘, al-Fawar refugee camp, Bayt Umar, Hizma, Salfit, Nablus, Sabastiyya, Tulkarm, and Qabatiya. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian farmers east of al-Shuka and arrested 1 Palestinian in the vicinity of the Gaza fence; no injuries were reported. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen 3 nautical miles west of al-Sudaniyya; no injuries were reported. (REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/3; AP, HA, HA, NBC, PCHR, WAFA, WAFA 2/4; OCHA 2/5)

The Israeli high court of justice approved the punitive demolition of the family home of 1 Palestinian accused of killing an Israeli settler on 12/20/2020. The punitive demolition will displace 7 people: the accused Palestinian, his wife, 3 children, and 2 parents. (HA 2/3)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed retired police major general Aharon Franco to lead efforts to combat violence in Palestinian communities in Israel and said he had allocated $30 million for the efforts. Franco has made degrading comments about Muslims in Israel in the past. The Israeli plan to combat violence in the Palestinian communities includes confiscating weapons and the construction of police and fire stations in several cities and towns. Ayman Odeh of Hadash (The Democratic Front for Peace and Equality) called the plan inadequate and an “election ploy.” (HA 2/4)

3 of the 4 parties in the Joint Arab List announced they will remain on the same slate for the March elections as the more conservative Ra’am (United Arab List) broke with the alliance. The 3 remaining parties in the Joint Arab List are Hadash, Ta’al (Arab Movement for Renewal), and Balad (National Democratic Alliance). Hadash leader Ayman Odeh will continue to lead the slate. The leader of Ra’am Mansour Abbas said his party had not decided on who it would support amidst rumors that the party will support Benjamin Netanyahu. (HA 2/3; AJ, AP 2/4; MEMO 2/5)

Israeli forces conducted air strikes in Syria near Quneitra, causing damage but no injuries. Israeli forces also flew a drone over Lebanon, which evaded an anti-aircraft missile fired at it. Hezbollah said it shot down an Israeli drone on 2/1. (AP, HA, HA 2/3; AJ, JP, JP 2/4)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set up mobile homes on Palestinian-owned land near Bidya. 3 Palestinians were arrested during house raids in Jenin. In East Jerusalem, 3 Palestinians were arrested in Jabal Mukabir and al-Tur. (WAFA 1/31; PCHR 2/4)

In Israel, protests against Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued for the 32d Saturday in a row with thousands of people gathering outside of his official residence demanding his resignation over his corruption charges, COVID-19 response, and the Israeli economy. (AP, HA 1/30; PCHR 2/4)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces raided Kafr Malik, leading to clashes with Palestinians; 1 Palestinian was shot by a rubber-coated bullet, others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also razed hundreds of olive trees near Tubas. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished 1 residential structure and 1 agricultural structure in Sawahara al-Sharqiyya, seized 2 agricultural structures in Khan al-Ahmar, and demolished 1 mosque in a Bedouin community near Yatta. Palestinians protested the PA presidential decrees published on 1/11, which critics say serve to bolster the PA presidency at the expense of the judicial branch of government; the protests were held in front of the court complex in Ramallah. 18 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Jenin, Qabatiya, Madama, Sabastiyya, Hizma, Hebron, and Birzeit. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/27; HA, PCHR 1/28)

The PA announced it had decided to close the Allenby border crossing with Jordan to prevent the spread of new COVID-19 virus variants. The closure is in effect until 2/3. (WAFA 1/28)

After Israel refused to allow restoration work on the Dome of the Rock and other holy places in the Haram al-Sharif compound, Jordan’s foreign minister Ayman Safadi said Israel had agreed to retract its objections and allow the restoration work. (WAFA 1/27; WAFA 1/28)

Member of the Palestinian-Israeli Balad party Mtanes Shehadeh said after a meeting among members of the Arab Joint List that the list will likely be dissolved before the next election due to “fundamental political differences.” 1 of the reasons the Arab Joint List is having irreconcilable differences is that Mansour Abbas, the leader of the United Arab List, is seeking closer ties with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Another reason is the United Arab List’s more conservative values compared to the 3 other parties. Parties running for the Israeli elections have until 2/4 to submit their composition of candidates. (HA 1/25; HA, TOI 1/27)

Large protests broke out in Tripoli in Lebanon, leading to confrontations between police and protesters. 1 protester was reported dead and 226 people injured, including 26 police officers. The protesters started taking to the street on 1/25, demonstrating against the COVID-19-related lockdown measures and deteriorating living conditions. (AP 1/27; AP 1/28)

The new U.S. administration said it would freeze the sale of F-35 fighter jets to the UAE and munitions to Saudi Arabia to review the transactions. U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken said the practice of new administrations reviewing pending sales of weaponry is not uncommon. The sale of the F-35 fighter jets to the UAE was part of the Israel-U.S.-UAE normalization deal announced in August 2020. Secretary Blinken also spoke with the Israeli foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi over the phone to discuss, among other issues, expanding the Trump administration’s normalization efforts. (AJ, AX, HA, HA, TOI 1/27)

At her confirmation hearing, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. president Joe Biden’s nominee for UN ambassador, said that she finds the BDS movement “unacceptable” and that it is on “the verge of antisemitism.” Thomas-Greenfield also said she was looking forward to combatting “anti-Israel bias” at the UN and hoped to see more countries join normalization deals with Israel and the U.S. (HA, MEE, TOI 1/27)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers blocked an intersection at the Bethlehem-Hebron road and threw stones at Palestinian vehicles near Burin and Madama. Israeli settlers also raided Kafr al-Dik, destroying 120 olive trees, and breaking windows of an agricultural structure and stealing its contents. Israeli forces violently dispersed anti-settlement protests in the Masafer Yatta area, near Yatta, leading to tear-gas related injuries; Israeli settlers also unleashed dogs on Palestinian journalists covering the protest, leading to the hospitalization of 1 and injuries to 1 other. Israeli forces also raided Bayt Fajjar, leading to tear-gas related injuries. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed a protest in Kafr Qaddum; 2 Palestinians were hit by tear gas canisters. 1 Palestinian was arrested during a late-night raid in Jenin. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen 3 nautical miles west of Bayt Lahiya. In Gaza, 47 Palestinians were injured in a blast in Bayt Hanun; it is unclear what caused the explosion. (HA, PCHR, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/23; WAFA 1/24; PCHR 1/28)

In Israel, protests against prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued for the 31st Saturday in a row with thousands of people gathering outside of his official residence demanding his resignation over his corruption charges, COVID-19 response, and the Israeli economy. (AP 1/23; WAFA 1/24)

Palestinian-Israeli politician Sami Abu Shehadeh won the primaries for the leadership of the Balad party over the incumbent Mtanes Shihadeh. (JP 1/23; HA 1/24)

The U.S. national security council released a statement saying national security advisor Jake Sullivan promised Israeli national security advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat that the U.S. “will closely consult with Israel on all matters of regional security,” and that the U.S. would continue to build “on the success of Israel’s normalization arrangements.” (AX 1/23; AJ, MEE, REU, TOI 1/24; HA 1/27)

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 attacked 1 Palestinian child outside of her home in Madama and threw stones at her family’s house; she was hospitalized for her injuries. Israeli forces demolished 1 school and 1 mosque under construction in the Masafer Yatta area and 11 vending stalls in ‘Anin. Israeli forces also prevented maintenance work to be carried out in al-Ibrahimi Mosque. 1 Palestinian was arrested during a late-night raid in Bethlehem. In East Jerusalem, 4 Palestinians were arrested in the Old City and Jabal Mukabir. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian farmers east of Khan Yunis; no injuries were reported. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/17; WAFA 1/18; PCHR 1/21)

The Israeli higher planning committee gave the final approval for 365 new settler units and preliminary approval for 415 other settler units in the West Bank as promised by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 1/11. The decision drew condemnation from the PA, EU, UN, and several Arab countries. PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said he hoped that U.S. president-elect Joe Biden would work toward curbing Israeli settlement activities. Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz said that Prime Minister Netanyahu tried to stop Gantz’s approval of a small number of Palestinian construction projects in the West Bank. Netanyahu’s office denied the claim. (AP, HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/17; WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/18; AJ, WAFA, WAFA 1/19)

The Israel Prison Service announced that it would begin vaccinating all prisoners for the COVID-19 virus, including Palestinian prisoners. (AJ 1/17)

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas met with the heads of Jordanian, Egyptian, and PA intelligence services to brief them on the progress in Hamas-Fatah reconciliation and the upcoming Palestinian elections. (AP, JP, TOI 1/17; HA 1/18)

The Israeli minster of education Yoav Gallant instructed his ministry to ban schools from hosting representatives from organizations that “treat the IDF soldiers with contempt and call Israel an apartheid state.” Members of the Knesset have complained about B’Tselem director Hagai El-Ad’s access to speak to high school students. B’Tselem released a position paper on 1/12 explaining why the human rights organization now considers Israel an apartheid state. (HA, TOI 1/17; AJ, AP, CBS, HA, JP, MEE, TOI, WP 1/18)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles traveling near Luban al-Sharqiyya. Israeli settlers also raided several Palestinian hamlets in Masafer Yatta; no injuries were reported. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 6 with rubber-coated bullets; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also clashed with Palestinians during raids in Jaba‘, leading to tear-gas related injuries. 1 Palestinian was arrested in Hebron. In East Jerusalem, 3 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in al-Tur 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 on Palestinian farmers east of Khan Yunis; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/16; WAFA 1/17; PCHR 1/21)

Thousands of Israelis demonstrated against Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu near his official residence for the 30th Saturday in a row. The protesters are demanding that Netanyahu steps down due to the corruption cases against him, the Israeli economy, and his COVID-19 response. (HA 1/16)

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid said in an interview that he is ready to form a government supported by Palestinian-Israeli members of Knesset and that he wanted to do so after the last Israeli election but his then coalition partner, and now deputy prime minister and defense minister, Benny Gantz, refused. (HA 1/16)

The U.S. designated the UAE and Bahrain as “major security partners,” tying the decision to the 2 countries’ normalization deals with Israel. (AJ, HA 1/16)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers assaulted 2 Palestinian farmers in Khirbet al-Tawil, leading to their hospitalization. Israeli settlers also threw stones at Palestinian vehicles traveling near Turmus ‘Ayya, causing damage. Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian at al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron; Israeli authorities say the man had pulled a knife on the soldiers, but no injuries were reported among the Israeli forces. Israeli forces also razed farmland and uprooted some 80 olive trees in Bayt Umar. For the 2d time in less than 7 days, 1 Palestinian was injured by an unexploded ordnance left behind by Israeli forces near Hebron; the 1st time was on 1/8. 21 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Jenin refugee camp, Qabatiya, Ya‘bad, Tubas, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Bayt Umar, and Qalqilya; clashes erupted during the raids in Ramallah, leading to tear-gas related injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces raided al-Tur, leading to tear-gas related injuries; 4 Palestinians were arrested. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions and leveled farmland east of Khan Yunis. Israeli forces also shelled several places in the northern part of Gaza after claiming that an Israeli vehicle had been shot at; no injuries were reported. (HA, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/13; PCHR, WAFA 1/14)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at a campaign rally in Nazareth to try to reach out to Palestinian citizens of Israel after demonizing that part of the Israeli population for decades. At the rally, Netanyahu shared the stage with Nazareth mayor Ali Salam, who spoke in favor of the prime minister. 19 people were arrested during a demonstration against Netanyahu and several people were injured by police, including Palestinian-Israeli members of Knesset. (HA 1/13; HA, MEE 1/14; HA 1/15)

The Jerusalem planning commission approved plans to build a permanent U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. Haaretz reported that Prime Minister Netanyahu had been pressuring the city to accelerate the approving process before U.S. president-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. (HA 1/13)

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)