432 / 14551 Results
  • July 21, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers assaulted Palestinians herding sheep in al-Juwaya in the Masafer Yatta area. Israeli settlers also attacked Palestinian homes in Hebron, causing damage and...

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  • June 12, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces razed farmland in al-Khader, uprooting 95 olive trees. Israeli forces also seized 4 tents and delivered a stop-work order for a house near Yatta. Elsewhere, 1...

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  • May 20, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers razed a tract of Palestinian-owned farmland near al-Farisiyya. 1 Israeli settler also hit 1 Palestinian minor with his vehicle near Beita, causing fractures....

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  • April 1, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort raided Qaryut, leading to a confrontation with Palestinians; 2 were injured by baton rounds. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian...

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  • March 2, 2022

    In the West Bank, 1 Israeli settler was injured in a stabbing incident in Hizma; Israel claimed the man was stabbed by a Palestinian; 1 Palestinian man was arrested on 3/3 for the stabbing and for...

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  • February 27, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles and attempted to break into a house in Sinjil. Israeli settlers also blocked a main road in the Masafer Yatta area. Israeli...

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  • February 23, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort, for the 3d day in a row, tried to prevent Palestinian students from reaching their school in al-Lubban al-Sharqiya. Israeli forces...

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  • February 17, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort toured Sabastia, closing parts of the town off to Palestinians. Israeli forces shot and injured 2 Palestinians with live ammunition during a...

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  • January 24, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers let their cattle graze on Palestinian farmland in Makhoul, destroying crops. Israeli settlers with military escort also raided Huwwara, throwing stones at...

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  • January 6, 2022

    In the West Bank, an Israeli settler rammed by car 1 Palestinian man walking at the Beit Sira checkpoint, killing the man; it was unclear whether the settler rammed the man intentionally. Israeli...

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  • January 5, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted some 50 olive saplings in Kafr ad-Dik. A contractor working for the Israeli military intentionally rammed a 75-year-old Palestinian man, who was said to...

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  • December 26, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort blocked a road leading to Sinjil. Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian with a rubber-coated bullet to his chest during a raid in...

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  • December 17, 2021

    In the West Bank, 25 Israeli settlers posing as soldiers attacked a Palestinian couple in their home in Qaryut, leading to the hospitalization of both Palestinian victims; the settlers also caused...

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  • December 16, 2021

    In the West Bank, 1 Israeli settler was shot and killed and 2 others wounded when 10 shots were fired at their car at the Homesh settlement outpost near Nablus. Israel’s public security minister...

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  • December 14, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort attempted to raid a school in al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya before they were repelled by Palestinians protecting the students. Israeli forces razed...

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  • December 10, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles driving on Route 60 near the Yitzhar settlement, causing damage. Israeli settlers also started construction on a pool near a...

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  • December 6, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian minor after he allegedly rammed a car into the Jabara checkpoint near Tulkarm; 1 Israeli soldier was moderately injured. Israeli...

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  • December 1, 2021

    In the West Bank, 2 Israeli settlers were escorted out of central Ramallah by Palestinian security forces after Palestinians attacked their car and subsequently set it on fire. Israeli officials...

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  • November 18, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers and Israeli forces prevented Palestinian farmers from working their lands in at-Tabaqa. Israeli forces fired tear gas at Palestinian pupils heading to a school...

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  • November 17, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles near the Beit El settlement, causing damage. Israeli settlers also attacked Palestinians employed by the Land Settlement...

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  • November 10, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers shot and injured 2 Palestinians and injured 5 others with stones near Khalat al-Daba; 3 cars were also damaged. 13 Palestinians were arrested during late-night...

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  • October 26, 2021

    In the West Bank, 6 Israeli settlers attacked 3 Red Cross workers monitoring the olive harvest with pepper spray in Burin. Israeli settlers also uprooted 25 olive saplings in al-Masara. Israeli...

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  • October 16, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set fire to Palestinian olive trees and threw stones at Palestinian property near Burin. Israeli settlers with military escort also prevented Palestinians from...

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  • October 11, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked and injured 1 Israeli soldier and damaged 3 vehicles in the Yitzhar settlement as Israeli forces tried to remove 1 settler-erected tent. Israeli...

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  • August 17, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked a group of Palestinian children near Silat ad-Dhahr, catching, abducting, and torturing 1 for 1 hour and 30 minutes at the Hermesh settlement outpost...

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  • August 11, 2021

    In the West Bank, 1 Palestinian succumbed to injuries inflicted by Israeli forces on 8/3 in Jenin. Israeli forces demolished 1 poultry farm in al-Walaja, 1 rainwater collection well in Khallet al-...

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  • August 6, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted olive trees in Jaba‘. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters near the Evyatar settlement outpost near Beita, killing 1 Palestinian...

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  • May 14, 2021

    In the West Bank, 1 Israeli settler shot and killed 1 Palestinian and injured 1 other when the 2 confronted a group of settlers attempting to set fire to their crops near al-Rihiya, south of...

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  • February 28, 2021

    In the West Bank, large groups of Israeli settlers chanted racist slogans at Palestinians in Hebron and Israeli forces closed off large portions of the city for its Palestinian residents. Israeli...

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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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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers assaulted Palestinians herding sheep in al-Juwaya in the Masafer Yatta area. Israeli settlers also attacked Palestinian homes in Hebron, causing damage and injuring 1 Palestinian. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers set up settlement outposts in al-Buwairah. Israeli forces shot and injured 2 Palestinians with live ammunition during a protest against a late-night raid in al-Bireh. 14 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Birzeit, al-Bireh, al-Mughayyir, Ramallah al-Tahta, Deir Abu Mash’al, Huwwara, and al-Yamun. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian agricultural lands east of Abasan; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 7/21; WAFA 7/22; PCHR 7/28; UNOCHA 8/5)

The Israeli high court of justice postponed the eviction of a Palestinian family living in Silwan until further hearings have been made. (HA 7/22)

Israeli forces fired missiles from the occupied Golan Heights at Damascus, killing 8 people, including 3 Syrian soldiers, and wounding 7 others. (AP 7/21; AJ, F24, HA, TOI, WP 7/22)

Israel’s supreme court ruled that Israel is allowed to strip its citizens of their citizenship if they are convicted of treason, terrorism, or espionage. (HA, REU, WAFA 7/21; MDW 7/23; MEE 7/25)

Norway joined Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Holland, Spain, and Sweden in saying it had dismissed Israeli claims that 6 Palestinian rights organizations are terrorist organizations, citing insufficient evidence. Norway’s foreign minister Anniken Huitfeldt said she had raised concerns about the lack of evidence during her visit to Israel in March. Norway directly or indirectly funds Al-Haq, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, and Defense for Children International – Palestine. (HA 7/21)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces razed farmland in al-Khader, uprooting 95 olive trees. Israeli forces also seized 4 tents and delivered a stop-work order for a house near Yatta. Elsewhere, 1 Israeli military SUV rammed 1 Palestinian, causing severe injuries. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 6 nautical miles west of Gaza City. In Israel, Israeli authorities demolished 1 Palestinian-owned home in Tira, saying it was built without a permit. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/12; PCHR 6/16; UNOCHA 6/17)

The Washington Post released an investigation into the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh on 5/11, concluding that the shot that killed Abu Akleh was likely fired by Israeli soldiers. The investigation also rejected the Israeli narrative that crossfire between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants was happening at the time of the killing. (MDW, TOI, WP 6/12; WAFA 6/13)

PLO secretary general Hussein al-Sheikh and PA director of general intelligence Majid Faraj met with U.S. secretary of state for Near East affairs Barbara Leaf and her deputy Hady Amr in Ramallah. During the meeting, Secretary General al-Sheikh called on the U.S. to reopen its consulate to Palestinians in Jerusalem and to remove the PLO from the U.S. list of terrorist organizations. (WAFA 6/13)

The Israeli cabinet authorized a compensation program for cultural institutions in Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights, that are excluded from EU Creative Europe funding. Israel had agreed to exclude Israeli settlements from funding from EU’s Creative Europe program when it signed the funding agreement. (HA, JP 6/12)

U.S. president Joe Biden told reporters that his upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia, scheduled for the middle of July, relates to national security issues for Saudi Arabia and Israel. (AX, HA, REU 6/12)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers razed a tract of Palestinian-owned farmland near al-Farisiyya. 1 Israeli settler also hit 1 Palestinian minor with his vehicle near Beita, causing fractures. Israeli forces opened fire at a vehicle it claimed had tried to ram Israeli soldiers at the Hizma checkpoint; no injuries were reported and the driver fled the scene. 4 others were arrested as additional suspects. Israeli forces also delivered a stop-work order for a house in al-Khader and a demolition notice for a residential structure in al-Arroub refugee camp. Elsewhere, Israeli forces injured 6 Palestinians, including 3 with live ammunition 1 with a baton round, and 2 by ramming them with a car in Mazra‘a al-Gharbiya. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 4 with baton rounds and others with tear gas. 8 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Ni‘lin, al-Midya, Nur Shams refugee camp, and Hebron. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian was arrested in the Old City. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/20; PCHR 5/26; UNOCHA 6/4)

In Syria, Israeli forces fired missiles at the southern part of Damascus from the Israel-occupied Golan Heights, killing 3 people and causing damage. It was also reported by Syrian media that the missiles created a fire at the Damascus international airport. (AP, HA 5/20; AJ, REU 5/21)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort raided Qaryut, leading to a confrontation with Palestinians; 2 were injured by baton rounds. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian man during a raid in Hebron; Israeli forces claimed that the man had thrown a Molotov cocktail at the forces before they shot him in the head. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinians commemorating Land Day in Bil‘in, injuring 1 with live ammunition and others with tear gas. Elsewhere, Israeli forces shot and injured 2 Palestinians using live ammunition during a raid in Bani Zeid. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 9, including 3 minors, using baton rounds; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. 14 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in al-Yamun, Bayt Rima, Beita, Salfit, Bethlehem, and Hebron. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian woman was arrested at the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Gaza, 1 19-month-old Palestinian girl died after waiting 5 months for a permit to go to Israel to get surgery for a hole in her heart. Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian farmers east of Dayr al-Balah; no injuries were reported. (AJ, GDN, HA, MEE, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/1; PCHR 4/7; UNOCHA 4/10)

The UAE and Israel concluded negotiations on entering a free trade agreement, which will make 95% of trade products between the 2 countries custom free. The free trade agreement negotiations were part of the 2 countries’ normalization deal. (AJ, ALM, HA 4/1)

At the UN human rights council, 38 countries voted in favor of a resolution confirming the illegality of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories and the Golan Heights. Ukraine, Lithuania, Brazil, Cameroon, and Honduras abstained and the U.S., the UK, the Marshall Islands, and Malawi voted against. 41 countries voted for a resolution confirming the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination. Lithuania, Cameroon, and Honduras abstained, while the U.S., the UK, and the Marshall Islands voted against. (PCHR, WAFA 4/1; JP 4/3; AA 4/4)

In the West Bank, 1 Israeli settler was injured in a stabbing incident in Hizma; Israel claimed the man was stabbed by a Palestinian; 1 Palestinian man was arrested on 3/3 for the stabbing and for a different stabbing of an Israeli settler on 3/3. Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians and Israeli soldiers near the Homesh settlement outpost, throwing stones at Palestinian cars and assaulting Israeli soldiers; 8 Israeli settlers were arrested. Israeli settlers also attacked Palestinian farmers near Kisan, threatening Palestinians picking gundelia plants in Khirbat Makhul and forcing them to leave. Israeli forces violently dispersed the funeral procession for 1 Palestinian killed by Israeli forces on 3/1 in al-Arroub refugee camp, causing tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also fired a tear gas canister into a schoolyard in Tell, causing tear-gas related injuries. Elsewhere, Israeli forces delivered stop-work orders for 3 houses in al-Juwaya. Israeli forces also demolished 10 commercial structures in Hizma, affecting 13 Palestinian families. 37 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Silat al-Harithiya, Beita, Tell, Qalqilya, Husan, Dura, and Fawwar refugee camp. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces closed off Sheikh Jarrah to Palestinian visitors to facilitate a settler rally. Israeli forces also demolished 1 commercial structure in Bayt Hanina. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/2; HA, MEMO, PCHR 3/3; UNOCHA 3/11)

The PA closed the Christian organization Beit Al Liqa in Bethlehem for a week while it probed an event at the organization where prominent Israeli settler and former MK Yehuda Glick was present. Beit Al Liqa claimed that it was not aware of who Yehuda Glick was when he participated in the event and that he did not introduce himself to the organizers. (MEMO 3/3)

German chancellor Olaf Scholz met with Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett in Jerusalem, discussing the Iran nuclear deal and Russia’s war in Ukraine. Prime Minister Bennett said that the 2 had agreed to a new strategic partnership, which Bennett called a “big upgrade” in the 2 countries’ relations. Chancellor Scholz was also scheduled to meet with PA and Jordanian representatives in the West Bank and Jordan, but cut his visit to the region short. (AP, HA, HA, REU 3/2)

The Jewish Agency said that that up to 10,000 Ukrainian immigrants could arrive in Israel to seek Israeli citizenship based on their Jewish heritage. The Jewish Agency said that 5,000 Ukrainians had contacted the agency since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 2/24. 30,000 Ukrainian Jews immigrated to Israel between 2014 and 2018 after Russia annexed Crimea and fomented insurgencies in eastern Ukraine. The World Zionist Organization said on 2/27 that it wants to erect 1,000 portable structures for Ukrainian immigrants in the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and Israel. (HA 2/27; HA 3/2; AJ, MEMO 3/4; +972 3/22; HA 3/27)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles and attempted to break into a house in Sinjil. Israeli settlers also blocked a main road in the Masafer Yatta area. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting against settler violence in al-Lubban al-Sharqiya, assaulting 4 protesters and causing tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also delivered demolition orders for 3 homes, an agricultural structure, and a retaining wall in al-Walaja. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces delivered demolition orders for 3 commercial structures in Jabel Mukaber. 1 Palestinian family started demolishing their own home in Bayt Hanina, displacing 7. 4 Palestinians were arrested, including 2 at the Damascus Gate plaza and 2 at the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Israel, Israeli prison forces assaulted Palestinian prisoners in their cells in 2 sections of Rimon Prison. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at a landfill east of Dayr al-Balah; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/27; MEMO, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA 2/28; PCHR 3/3; UNOCHA 3/11)

The World Zionist Organization said it plans to make 1,000 portable structures available for Ukrainian immigrants in the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and Israel. Israel is expecting a large wave of immigration of Ukrainians with Jewish heritage as Russia attacked Ukraine on 2/24. The Israeli government will have to approve the placement of the portable structures for the Ukrainian immigrants. (AJ 3/4)

Israeli officials told Axios that U.S. president Joe Biden was disappointed that Israel refused to co-sponsor a UN security council resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 2/27. Israel, however, did vote in favor of a resolution at the UN general assembly condemning Russia’s invasion on 3/2. Israel is said to have asked the U.S. to understand its vague position regarding Russia’s invasion, given Israel’s cooperation with Russia on matters relating to Syria. The PA expressed “concern” about the situation but did not condemn Russia’s invasion. (HA 2/24; ALM 2/25; HA 2/26; AX, HA, NYT, TOI 2/27; HA 2/28; HA 3/1; HA, HA, HA 3/2; HA 3/3)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort, for the 3d day in a row, tried to prevent Palestinian students from reaching their school in al-Lubban al-Sharqiya. Israeli forces violently dispersed the funeral procession for a 14-year-old boy who was killed by Israeli forces on 2/22, causing tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also prevented Palestinians from digging a water well in Thaher al-‘Abed near Ya‘bad. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished 4 residential structures and 1 agricultural structure in Lasifer, displacing 30 Palestinians, and demolished 4 residential structures in Shaab al-Batm in the Masafer Yatta area, displacing 40 Palestinians. Israeli forces also delivered a punitive demolition notice against the home of 1 Palestinian prisoner in Silat al-Harithiya. 22 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in al-Arroub refugee camp, Salfit, Nablus, Jenin, and Deir Jarir. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers led by MK Itamar Ben-Gvir toured Sheikh Jarrah in protest over the 2/22 Israeli court decision to freeze the eviction of the Salem family. 14 Palestinians from the West Bank were arrested near the Damascus Gate plaza for being in East Jerusalem without a permit. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/23; PCHR 2/24; UNOCHA 3/11)

In Syria, Israeli forces fired missiles at Syria from Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing material damage in the province of Quneitra. (AJ, AP, HA 2/23)

Minister at the negotiations affairs department of the PLO Dr. Shaddad Attili spoke at the Israel Climate Change Conference in Jerusalem, saying that Israelis and Palestinians, along with others in the region, have to cooperate on climate change. Dr. Attili said that Palestinians have pushed back on climate initiatives because of the economic crisis in the PA. 1 of the issues Attili pointed to was the lack of water security and the inequity in distribution of water between Israel and Palestine. The climate conference was organized by Haaretz and Hebrew University. (HA, HA 2/23)

At the UN security council, a French representative said that France will continue to support the 6 Palestinian rights organizations that Israel deemed terrorist organizations in October 2021, citing a lack of evidence. Also at the security council meeting, the PA ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour charged Israel with crimes of apartheid, listing a number of violations committed by Israel, while wearing a mask with the text “End Apartheid.” (MEMO, TOI 2/23; AJ, MEE, MEMO 2/24)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort toured Sabastia, closing parts of the town off to Palestinians. Israeli forces shot and injured 2 Palestinians with live ammunition during a raid in Jenin. Israeli forces also demolished 2 agricultural structures in Duma and confiscated a tractor in al-‘Awja. 8 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Abu Dis, Aida refugee camp, Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus, Deir Istiya, and Jenin. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers marched near the Damascus Gate plaza, chanting anti-Palestinian slogans, and attacked a grocery store. Israeli forces demolished 1 commercial structure in Isawiya. Israeli forces also violently dispersed activists in Sheikh Jarrah, assaulting some before closing off the neighborhood. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/17; MEMO 2/18; PCHR 2/24; UNOCHA 2/28)

The Shin Bet sent messages to Palestinians from Umm al-Fahm warning them not to travel to Sheikh Jarrah on 2/18 for a solidarity gathering in the neighborhood. (MEE 2/18)

In Israel, Israel said it had shot down a drone that crossed from Lebanon into Israel. (AP, HA 2/17)

In Syria, Israeli forces launched surface-to-surface missiles from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights at Syria south of Damascus, causing damage. (AJ, AP, HA, JP, TOI 2/17)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas met with speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in Ramallah. (TOI, WAFA 2/17; HA 2/22)

İbrahim Kalın, senior advisor to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and Turkish deputy foreign minister Sedat Önal met with Israeli president Isaac Herzog in Israel, ahead of a planned meeting between President Herzog and President Erdoğan in Turkey, which is said to be scheduled for 9 March. (HA 2/17)

In a letter to the UN commission of inquiry into alleged war crimes committed by Israel during the May 2021 attack on Gaza, Israel’s foreign ministry said it would not cooperate with the commission and accused its 3 members of holding anti-Israel positions. (AP, AX, HA, JP, MEE, TOI 2/17)

Australian home affairs minister Karen Andrews said she is working to place Hamas in its entirety on the Australian list of terrorist organizations. (AJ, AP, HA, JP, MEE, REU 2/17)

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination set up an ad hoc conciliation commission to investigate the State of Palestine’s accusation against Israeli racial discrimination against Palestinians. (MDW 2/10; UN 2/17; WAFA 2/18)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers let their cattle graze on Palestinian farmland in Makhoul, destroying crops. Israeli settlers with military escort also raided Huwwara, throwing stones at Palestinian shops and vehicles, injuring 3 Palestinians and damaging 20 cars and 2 stores. Israeli forces delivered demolition orders for 4 houses under construction in Rujeib. Dozens of Israeli soldiers also raided al-Ibrahimi Mosque, closing it off to Palestinian worshippers. 9 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Ni‘lin, Kharbatha al-Misbah, Jaba‘, Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, Hebron, and Qalandia; Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting the raid in Qalandia, injuring 6 with rubber-coated bullets and others with tear gas. In East Jerusalem, 5 Palestinians were arrested during house raids in al-Tur and Silwan, including 3 minors. (AP, HA, JP, MEMO, TOI, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/24; IN, JP 1/25 CNN 1/26; PCHR 1/27)

Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement that the Russian and Syrian militaries will start patrolling the air space along the Golan Heights. (HA 1/24)

The UAE said it had intercepted 2 ballistic missiles targeting Abu Dhabi, allegedly fired by the Yemeni Houthi movement. The UAE and Saudi military coalition attacked Houthi-held areas of Yemen on 1/21, killing more than 80 people in Saada and Hodeida and cutting off internet access in the country. (HA, MEMO 1/21; AJ, AP 1/22; AP 1/23; AJ, AP, HA, MEE, REU, REU 1/24)

In the West Bank, an Israeli settler rammed by car 1 Palestinian man walking at the Beit Sira checkpoint, killing the man; it was unclear whether the settler rammed the man intentionally. Israeli settlers also tried to attack a car repair shop in Bazariya, but were repelled by Palestinians. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian man during a late-night raid in Balata refugee camp; Israel claimed the man had opened fire at Israeli soldiers raiding the camp; no Israelis were injured. Israeli forces also seized 1 excavator in Dura. 8 Palestinian minors were killed in a traffic accident in the Jordan Valley; PA president Mahmoud Abbas declared a day of national mourning after the accident. 21 Palestinians were arrested in Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron, al-Far‘a refugee camp, and Tulkarm; during the raid in al-Far‘a refugee camp, Israeli forces injured 1 Palestinian with a rubber-coated bullet and others with tear gas. In East Jerusalem, 2 Palestinians were arrested. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 6 nautical miles northwest of Rafah; no injuries were reported. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of Dayr al-Balah and Maghazi; no injuries were reported. (AJ, AP, AP, HA, HA, MEE, MEMO, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/6; PCHR 1/13)

Israeli deputy economy minister Yair Golan from the Meretz party called Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians a pogrom, in relation to attacks near at the Homesh settlement outpost. Deputy Economy Minister Golan was condemned by many Israeli politicians for his comments, and for calling the settlers “subhuman,” including by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett who said Golan’s remarks were “bordering blood libel” and that “[s]ettlement activity in the West Bank represents modern-day pioneering.” (AP, HA, TOI 1/6; HA, MEMO 1/7; HA, MEMO 1/8)

The Dutch government announced that it will no longer provide funding to the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC). Israel put UAWC, along with 5 other Palestinian rights organizations, on its terror list on 10/22/2021, claiming that the organizations are linked to the PFLP. The international community, including the EU, has criticized the terror designations for the organizations, saying Israel have not provided any evidence to support its claims. The Dutch government’s decision follows an external review predating the Israeli terror designation, which found that UAWC employees have personal ties to members of the PFLP, but that no funding has been used for PFLP purposes and that there are no organizational links between the PFLP and UAWC. The PA condemned the Netherlands’ decision to end funding, calling it pandering to anti-Palestinian sentiments. (AJ, ALM, AP, MEE, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA 1/6; AJ, WAFA 1/10; MEMO 1/11)

The Israeli military attorney told Adalah that it would not hand over the alleged evidence against the 6 rights organizations deemed terrorists by Israel, saying that the evidence is classified. (Adalah, WAFA 1/6)

Israeli Walla News reported that Israel’s director of European affairs at the foreign ministry, Aliza Bin Noun, shouted at European diplomats during a meeting where the Europeans complained about Israeli plans to build new settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. (MEE, MEMO 1/7)

A U.S. district judge in New York dismissed a lawsuit brought against the PLO and PA for the stabbing of 1 American man in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank in 2018. The judge called the U.S. law the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act of 2018, that allows individuals to sue the PLO and the PA, unconstitutional. (REU 1/7; WAFA 1/8)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted some 50 olive saplings in Kafr ad-Dik. A contractor working for the Israeli military intentionally rammed a 75-year-old Palestinian man, who was said to be in critical condition; the man was standing in front of a tow truck to prevent it from seizing cars from his village Umm al-Khair, when the truck driver plowed into him. Israeli soldiers at the scene did not assist the man after he was hit and instead left the area with the cars. Israel said that stones had been thrown at the truck leading up to the incident and that the driver had been hit by 1 of the stones. The man succumbed to his injuries on 1/17. 5 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Burqa, Beita, and Abu Dis. In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities demolished 1 Palestinian-owned home in Silwan, displacing 6. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of Dayr al-Balah and al-Fukhari; no injuries were reported. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of the shore; no injuries were reported. In Israel, a right-wing Israeli protester assaulted 1 Palestinian journalist interviewing him outside of the hospital where a Palestinian prisoner is being treated in relation to his hunger strike. (MEE, MEMO, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/5; HA, MEMO, PCHR 1/6; HA 1/14; HA, MEMO, WAFA 1/17)

A local committee in Israel approved more than 3,500 new settlement units in East Jerusalem. The plans will be discussed further at a municipal committee meeting on 1/17. (AP 1/5; MEMO, MEMO 1/6; MEMO, WAFA 1/7)

The Israeli government postponed discussions of a new settlement in the E-1 area north of Abu Dis and between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim indefinitely. (HA 1/5)

The Knesset passed legislation to connect homes constructed without permits to the electric grid in the Naqab desert. The legislation was put forward by Mansour Abbas of the United Arab List. It passed 61-0 as the Israeli opposition boycotted the vote due to the legislation being fast-tracked. During discussions of the legislation, Walid Taha of the United Arab List gave a speech in Arabic, angering members of the Likud party and leading Abbas to ask Taha to continue in Hebrew. (HA 1/4; HA 1/5; ALM 1/7)

1 Palestinian American man was sentenced by an Israeli military court to 2 life sentences and $820,000 in fines, in addition to having his home demolished, for the killing of 1 Israeli settler and injuring 2 other settlers near Za’tara on 5/2/2021. (HA, MEE 1/5)

1 Jewish Israeli man was sentenced to 1 year in prison for partaking in a mob attack in Bat Yam that in May 2021 caused serious injury to 1 Palestinian man. The Palestinian man was pulled out of his car and beaten by at least a dozen Israelis. The Jewish Israeli man was not charged with incitement to terror and theft with racist motives after entering a plea deal. (AP, HA 1/5)

In Syria, Israeli tanks opened fire at Syria from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Israel said it had fired warning shots at 6 suspicious people in Syria. (MEMO, REU, REU 1/5)

Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz met with Jordanian king Abdullah II in Amman, discussing security issues. (AP, ALM, HA, REU 1/5; ALM 1/6)

Haaretz reported that, due to a technical error, the Israeli state archive had revealed censored material from the Israeli cabinet meeting during the Nakba in the summer of 1948. Amongst the information accidentally released was agricultural minister Aharon Zisling’s statement to other high-level Israeli leaders that he “can forgive instances of rape” by Jewish militants against Palestinian women, which he considered less severe than stealing from Jews. In another instance, Israel’s prime minister David Ben-Gurion told the cabinet that he is against “wholesale demolition of villages . . . but there are places that constituted a great danger and constitute a great danger, and we must wipe them out. But this must be done responsibly, with consideration before the act.” (HA 1/5; MEE, WAFA 1/6)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort blocked a road leading to Sinjil. Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian with a rubber-coated bullet to his chest during a raid in Kafr Qaddum. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters near al-Mughayyir and Sahal al-Baqai’a, causing tear-gas related injuries. Elsewhere, Israeli forces blocked all traffic in and out of Hizma. 4 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Qalqilya, Aqabah, Tuqu‘, and Dayr Jarir. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces raided PA governor of Jerusalem Adnan Ghaith’s home. Israeli forces also raided the home of deputy director-general of the Islamic Waqf, Sheikh Najeh Bakirat, in Jabel Mukaber, handing him a summon for interrogation. 6 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Silwan and at the Haram al-Sharif compound. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 2 nautical miles west of al-Sudaniyya; no injuries were reported. In Israel, 1 Palestinian woman was killed and 2 others injured in a car bombing in Ramle; Israeli authorities suspected an assassination. The killing marked the 123d Palestinian killed in Israel in 2021. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/26; MEMO 12/27; PCHR 12/30)

The 1st case of the highly infectious Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus was detected in Gaza. The Omicron variant has become dominant in many countries and is capable at infecting vaccinated people, especially those who have not received a booster shot. In Gaza, about 25,000 out of 2 million people have received a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. (HA, MEMO, REU 12/26)

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said that Israel is denying 1 Palestinian prisoner access to the cancer treatment he needs. The Palestinian man has been detained since 10/25. (WAFA 12/26)

Qatar’s envoy to Palestine Mohammad al-Emadi said in a statement that Qatar, the PA, and Gaza’s electrical company have agreed to a project that will see Qatar invest $60 million in a gas pipeline from Israel to Gaza. The project will change the fuel input at Gaza’s power plant from diesel fuel to natural gas. (MEMO, TOI 12/27)

PA civil affairs minister Hussein al-Sheikh called on the international community to take action against Israeli settler violence. (WAFA 12/26)

The Israeli government approved a plan to double the settler population in the occupied Golan Heights. The $317-million plan will see Israel construct settler housing units and new infrastructure, including 3,300 new settlement units in Katzrin, 4,065 in Golan Regional Council, and 4,000 in 2 new settlements. Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett said the government investment in settlements in the Golan Heights was linked to the U.S. Trump administration decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the area in 2019 and the current Biden administration’s indication that it will not roll back the decision. (AJ, AP, DW, HA, MEE, REU, TOI 12/26; AJ, ALM, AP, MEMO, REU, TOI 12/27; CNN, MDW, TOI 12/28)

In the West Bank, 25 Israeli settlers posing as soldiers attacked a Palestinian couple in their home in Qaryut, leading to the hospitalization of both Palestinian victims; the settlers also caused significant damage to the interior of their home, their car, and their tractor; Israeli forces did not arrive to investigate the scene until 7 hours after it was reported. Israeli settlers also threw stones at 6 Palestinian homes and set a barn on fire in Burqa; Israeli forces subsequently violently dispersed Palestinians trying to repel the settlers. Meanwhile, Israeli settlers erected a settlement outpost named after the settler killed on 12/16, Nefei Yehuda, near the Kiryat Arba settlement; the Nahala movement financially supported the settlement outpost, as it had the Evyatar settlement outpost in May. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians in Hebron, causing tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Beita, injuring 5 with rubber-coated bullets and others with tear gas. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Bayt Dajan, injuring 5 with rubber-coated bullets and others with tear gas. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 2 with rubber-coated bullets and others with tear gas. Meanwhile, Israeli forces seized 1 tractor in Masafer Yatta. 5 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Arrabah, Silat ad-Dhahr, Jenin, and Burqa; Israeli forces seized 1 car during the raid in Jenin. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Sheikh Jarrah, injuring several journalists covering the event by physical assault, including 1 AP journalist; AP condemned the Israeli forces’ attack on its employee. 5 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in the Old City. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian agricultural lands east of Khuza‘a, Dayr al-Balah, and al-Qarara; no injuries were reported. (AJ, AP, AP, HA, HA, JP, MEE, MEE, MEMO, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/17; MEMO 12/18; JP, WAFA 12/19; PCHR 12/23)

PA foreign ministry called on the UN to establish a protective system to ensure the safety of Palestinians as Israeli settler violence continues to increase. (WAFA, WAFA 12/17; MEMO 12/18)

Haaretz reported that the Israeli company Candiru’s spyware had been purchased by Saudi Arabia, Spain, Israel (for the Shin Bet), Singapore, the UAE, and Germany, and had been used to target people in Catalonia, Lebanon, Yemen, the occupied Palestinian territories, Singapore, Iran, Armenia, and Turkey. It was also reported by the Guardian that NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware was found on jailed Indian dissident activist Rona Wilson’s phone. (AP, GDN, HA, HA 12/17)

The UN general assembly voted 156 for, 7 against, and 15 abstaining on a draft resolution confirming the rights of Palestinians over their natural resources in the occupied territories and the rights of the native population of their resources in the occupied Golan Heights. The resolution also called on Israel to stop exploiting the resources of the territories it occupies. The 7 countries voting against the resolution were Israel, Canada, the U.S., the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, and Palau. (WAFA, WAFA 12/17; WAFA 12/18)

In the West Bank, 1 Israeli settler was shot and killed and 2 others wounded when 10 shots were fired at their car at the Homesh settlement outpost near Nablus. Israel’s public security minister Omer Bar-Lev called it “Palestinian terror,” despite not having identified a perpetrator. Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian-owned vehicles traveling near Jenin, causing damage. Israeli settlers also made roadblocks and threw stones at Palestinian vehicles in the Hebron area. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles traveling near Huwwara and Nablus. Israeli forces physically assaulted 4 Palestinians, including 1 minor, in Hebron. Israeli forces also demolished 2 houses under construction in Jericho. Elsewhere, Israeli forces confiscated 1 tractor and 1 digger in Masafer Yatta. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters during a raid in al-Arroub refugee camp, injuring 2 minors with rubber-coated bullets and others with tear gas. 6 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Silat al-Harithiya, Madama, Jericho, Beit Fajjar, and Hebron. (AP, HA, MEE, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/16; AJ, HA, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA 12/17; PCHR 12/23)

The PA health ministry said that it had identified 3 cases of the highly infectious strain of the COVID-19 virus, the Omicron variant. The 3 were said to have returned to the West Bank from abroad before testing positive. 1 of 3 Palestinians in the West Bank are fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, and less than 140,000 have received a booster shot. (AP, HA, REU, WAFA 12/16)

Israel indicted a Palestinian taxi driver for having driven a Palestinian man from Qalqilya to the Damascus Gate plaza, before the man allegedly stabbed an Israeli and was subsequently executed by Israeli forces. The taxi driver is charged with negligence for not realizing that the man would commit an act of violence. (HA 12/16)

2 Palestinian men—1 a resident of Jaffa and 1 from Gaza—were charged with spying on behalf of Hamas by gathering information about the Iron Dome system and taking photos of Israeli soldiers in Ashkelon. (HA, MEMO 12/16)

In Syria, the Syrian military said Israeli missiles fired from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights had killed 1 Syrian soldier and caused damage in the south of the country. The Syrian military said its air defense system had intercepted most of the Israeli missiles. (AP 12/15; REU 12/16)

Israel’s environmental protection ministry said it had blocked a plan to allow oil tankers unloading crude oil from the UAE in the port of Eilat, which had been negotiated as part of the 2 countries’ normalization agreement. The plan would have seen the crude oil transferred from Eilat to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea. (REU 12/16)

The Times of Israel reported that the U.S. had shelved its plans to reopen a consulate to Palestinians in Jerusalem. ToI also said the Palestinian affairs unit at the U.S. embassy to Israel had begun reporting directly to the U.S. state department, rather than reporting to the U.S. ambassador to Israel, as had been the case since the Trump administration merged the consulate in Jerusalem with the U.S. embassy as part of its move from Tel Aviv. (TOI 12/15; MEMO 12/16; ALM 12/20)

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee announced it is launching 2 political action committees, which will allow the lobby organization to spend unlimited funds on political campaigns in the U.S. without having to report its spending to the U.S. government. (HA 12/17)

Meta Platforms Inc., the owner of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, announced that it had suspended some 1,500 fake accounts used to spy on people. The accounts are linked to 6 companies, including the Israeli companies Black Cube, Cognyte, Cobwebs Technologies, and Bluehawk CI. The 6 companies were said to have been targeting some 50,000 people. (HA 12/16; AJ 12/17; HA 12/21)

AP reported that the state of Oregon was exploring ways to divest $233 million of its employee retirement fund from Novalpina Capital, which owns a majority share in the Israeli spyware company NSO Group. NSO Group was blacklisted by the U.S. government in November for assisting in human rights abuses. The Oregon decision follows criticism from Oregon senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), who has been vocal about U.S. sanctions on NSO Group for abuses related to its Pegasus spyware. (AP 12/15; AP 12/17)

Ukrainian ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk said that Ukraine recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel during a speech at an event marking 30 years of relations between the 2 countries. Ambassador Korniychuk also said that he is seeking to open a branch of the Ukrainian embassy to Israel in Jerusalem. Israeli media speculated that Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky will open the embassy branch during a scheduled visit to Israel in 2022. (ALM, HA 12/17)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort attempted to raid a school in al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya before they were repelled by Palestinians protecting the students. Israeli forces razed agricultural lands in Birin, uprooting 120 olive and almond trees and demolishing 1 well in Khillat al-Furn. Israeli forces also raided Birzeit University, injuring 1 student with a rubber-coated bullet who was protesting the raid. 17 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Deir Abu Mash‘al, Deir Nidham, Kafr Ni‘ma, Bethlehem, al-Walaja, Sa‘ir, al-Shuyukh, Tarqumiyah, Tulkarm, Far‘un, and Kafr al-Labad; Israel also said that it had arrested 11 students of An-Najah University in Nablus, saying they were connected to a Hamas student network. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolished the foundations to a house in al-Tur and demolished 1 house near the Old City. 2 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Wadi al-Juz and Isawiya; Israeli forces confiscated 11,500 NIS ($7,300) during a raid in Sur Baher. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 6 nautical miles north of Rafah; no injuries were reported. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/14; PCHR 12/16)

Israeli Channel 13 reported that a group called Returning to the Mount are praying at the Haram al-Sharif compound by disguising themselves as Muslims while following Islamic practices of prayer, but reciting Jewish prayers. Channel 13 reported that members of the group meet to learn how to appear like Muslim worshippers. (MEMO, TOI 12/14)

The Palestinian prisoners’ club said Israeli prison guards assaulted at least 3 female prisoners in Damon prison when they refused to leave their cell. The 3 prisoners were also transferred to solitary confinement. (MEMO, WAFA 12/19; MEE, MEMO 12/20)

PA and U.S. officials held a virtual meeting discussing economic ties. The meeting was headed by PA economic affairs minister Khaled Osaily and acting assistant secretary of state for Near East Affairs Yael Lambert. (MEMO, WAFA 12/15; ALM 12/18)

Israel’s prime minister Naftali Bennett said settler violence is an “insignificant phenomena” in the West Bank, criticizing Israel’s public security minister Omer Bar-Lev, who on 12/13 brought up the issue in a meeting with U.S. state department undersecretary for political affairs Victoria Nuland. Prime Minister Bennett said that the settlers were the victims in the West Bank and needed the support of the Israeli government. Public Security Minister Bar-Lev subsequently reiterated his focus on settler violence during a trip to Hebron, saying that “it is truly difficult for some to look in the mirror” instead of tackling the issue of extremist settlers. (HA 12/14; HA 12/15; ALM 12/17)

Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on the UN Commission of Inquiry to investigate what HRW have found to be organized discriminatory behavior of Israeli law enforcement agencies when dealing with “Jewish ultra nationalist” and Palestinian citizens of Israel during the May 2021 civil unrest. HRW found that Israeli law enforcement used excessive force when dispersing Palestinians in Lydda while “failing to act even-handedly as Jewish ultra-nationalists attacked Palestinians.” (HRW, MEMO, WAFA 12/14)

Israel’s interior minister Ayelet Shaked announced that plans to construct the Trump Heights settlement in the Israeli occupied Golan Heights had advanced. The Trump Heights settlement, named after former U.S. president Donald Trump, will cover 70 acres. The announcement stated that construction of homes, public buildings, industrial zones, and roads can begin. (HA 12/14)

The Knesset passed the 1st reading of a bill that would allow Israeli police to conduct house raids in Israel without a court-issued warrant. An explanatory note to the bill clarified that the bill was intended for the Israeli police to use “in its battle against serious crime, and particularly serious crime in Arab society.” (Knesset 12/14; MEMO 12/15)

The officer of the Knesset granted the leader of United Arab List Mansour Abbas a security detail, as he was receiving a growing number of death threats. (MEMO 12/15)

The UAE said it had suspended talks with the U.S. on buying 50 F-35 fighter jets, citing “[t]echnical requirements, sovereign operational restrictions, and cost/benefit analysis.” The announcement follows U.S. concerns about the UAE’s relationship to China, including the UAE using Huawei 5G technology. The Trump administration had agreed to allow the UAE to purchase the F-35 fighter jets as part of the UAE’s and Israel’s normalization agreement. The UAE announced on 12/3, during a visit to the country by French president Emmanuel Macron, that it would buy 80 French-made Rafale fighter jets and 12 military helicopters. (AJ 12/3; AJ, AP, HA, MEMO, REU 12/14; REU, REU 12/15)

18 Democratic members of U.S. Congress wrote a letter to the Treasury and State Departments asking them to put sanctions on 4 foreign surveillance companies, including the Israeli NSO Group, citing the companies’ assistance in human rights abuses. Among the signatories were Senate finance committee chairperson Ron Wyden (D-OR) and House intelligence committee chairperson Adam Schiff (D-CA). (AJ, HA, MEMO, REU 12/15; +972 12/17)

Italy contributed $2.25 million to UNRWA programming in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and $1.13 million to UNRWA programming in Syria. (WAFA 12/14)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles driving on Route 60 near the Yitzhar settlement, causing damage. Israeli settlers also started construction on a pool near a water spring in Khirbet al-Farisiya. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Beita, killing 1 Palestinian man with a shot to his head; 68 others were injured, including 4 with rubber-coated bullets. The PA foreign ministry called in the ICC to take action against Israel’s killing of Palestinian protesters. The man was the 9th victim of Israeli gunfire related to the weekly anti-settlement protest in Beita since May. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 6 with rubber-coated bullets, including 2 minors. 5 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Beitunia and al-Bireh. In East Jerusalem, 2 Palestinians were arrested in Isawiya and Jabel Mukaber. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces arrested 2 Palestinian fishermen and confiscated their boat. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian bird hunters near the Gaza fence; no injuries were reported. (AJ, AP, HA, MEE, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/10; MEMO, PCHR 12/11; WAFA 12/12; HA, MDW 12/13; PCHR 12/16; HA 12/24)

In Lebanon, an explosion killed 1 and injured 4 others in the Burj el-Shamali refugee camp. Sources in the camp said the explosion happened in a Hamas weapons depot; however, Hamas denied the claim, saying the explosion was due to an electrical fault in a warehouse storing oxygen and gas cylinders for COVID-19 patients. (AJ, AP, HA, REU 12/10; AP, MEMO 12/12)

The New York Times reported that Israel consulted with the Biden administration before it struck 2 targets in Iran in June and September this year. (NYT 12/10; HA 12/11)

In promotional material for the upcoming book Trump’s Peace: The Abraham Accords and the Reshaping of the Middle East by Israeli journalist Barak Ravid, it was revealed that former U.S. president and likely candidate for the Republican presidential ticket in 2024, Donald Trump, made significant U.S. policy changes to help former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu win elections in Israel. Former President Trump told Ravid that he recognized the Golan Heights as part of Israel and, separately, announced plans to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem to help Netanyahu, who was struggling in the Israeli elections. Trump also told Ravid that he left the Iran Nuclear deal because of Israel and dismissed the idea that it was due to Israeli intelligence, mocking the idea that Israel had presented anything new at the time. Ravid further reports in his book that Trump believes that Netanyahu never had any interest in making peace with the Palestinians. Trump explained to Ravid that PA president Mahmoud Abbas “was almost like a father” and that he thought Abbas wanted to make peace more than Netanyahu. Trump acknowledged to Ravid that his strategy of pressuring the Palestinian leadership back to negotiations after recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel had failed, saying “[t]hese are hardened people.” Netanyahu and Trump had a significant personal fallout due to Israel’s push to annex most of the West Bank, outside of the framework of the Trump administration’s plan for a peace deal. It was also revealed that Trump now holds a grudge against Netanyahu because Netanyahu congratulated U.S. president Joe Biden on his election win in 2020, which Trump has falsely claimed to be fraudulent and has never officially conceded. Trump said he had not talked to Netanyahu since losing the election and said to Ravid during the interview, “fuck him [Netanyahu].” (AP, AX, AX, HA 12/10; FWD, HA, HA 12/12; AX, HA, IN, MEE, MEMO 12/13; TOI 12/14; GDN 12/20)

In Ravid’s book Trump’s Peace, new details about the normalization agreement between Israel and the UAE are also revealed. According to Ravid, Avi Berkowitz, aide to senior advisor to the president Jared Kushner, suggested to Netanyahu on 6/30/2020 that he normalize relations with the UAE instead of moving ahead with annexation of parts of the West Bank. The UAE ambassador to the U.S. Yousef Otaiba had been in talks with the U.S. about normalization since March 2019 and had been pushing normalization with Israel. Ravid also writes in his book that UK ambassador to the UN Karen Elizabeth Pierce warned Berkowitz and U.S. special envoy to Iran Brian Hook that the UK and other countries would recognize the State of Palestine if Israel moved forward with annexing parts of the West Bank. (FWD 12/12; AX, HA 12/13; MEMO 1/4)

Germany contributed with $23.75 million to the UNRWA. (WAFA 12/10)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian minor after he allegedly rammed a car into the Jabara checkpoint near Tulkarm; 1 Israeli soldier was moderately injured. Israeli forces temporarily evicted Palestinian families from their homes in Ibziq for 10 days, saying the Israeli military will carry out drills in the area. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished 1 Palestinian-owned house east of Yatta, displacing 5, and started installing a concrete structure near the entrance of Fawwar refugee camp. 5 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Silwad, Burqa, and Dura. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian family demolished their own apartment in Silwan, displacing 6. 4 Palestinians were arrested during a late-night raid in Isawiya, including 1 minor. (AJ, AP, HA, MEE, MEMO, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/6; MDW 12/7; PCHR 12/16)

The Israeli-run Jerusalem municipality announced that construction of an Israeli settlement in the Qalandia (Atarot) airport area was postponed on environmental grounds. The decision follows pressure from U.S. officials for Israel to drop the plans, which would create 9,000 new settlement units in East Jerusalem. The environmental survey is expected to take 1 year to complete. Regional cooperation minister Issawi Frej spoke at the committee meeting discussing the plan, arguing for reestablishing the airport for joint Israeli and Palestinian usage, but his suggestion was rejected. (AJ, ALM, ALM, HA, MEE, REU 12/6; MEMO, WAFA 12/7)

The PA said it would cut wages by 25% as it continues to financially struggle. The PA blamed the wage cuts on Israel’s continued deduction of PA tax revenue, which Israel says amounts to what the PA pays in stipends to Palestinian prisoners and their families. (HA, REU 12/6)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas met with Algerian president Abdelmadjid Tebboune in Algiers. President Tebboune announced that Algeria will grant the PA $100 million in financial aid and that Algeria will host a meeting between Palestinian factions. (WAFA 12/5; HA, MEMO, WAFA 12/6)

Israel formally joined the EU research and development program 2021-2027 Horizon Europe, which has a $108 billion budget. Israel will not be allowed to use EU-granted funds in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. (ALM 12/8)

The national security advisors of Iran and the UAE met in Tehran, discussing ways to overcome the 2 countries’ differences. (HA, MEMO 12/6)

In the West Bank, 2 Israeli settlers were escorted out of central Ramallah by Palestinian security forces after Palestinians attacked their car and subsequently set it on fire. Israeli officials claimed the 2 had entered central Ramallah by mistake, while others reported that the 2 were playing loud religious music to try to provoke a reaction from Ramallah residents. The 2 settlers were unharmed. Israeli forces demolished 2 agricultural structures in Nahalin. Israeli forces also raided the home of 1 Palestinian journalist coving the displacement of Palestinians in al-Twana in the Masafer Yatta area, seizing his cameras. Elsewhere, Israeli forces seized 6 tractors, 5 cars, 4 water tanks, and 3 trucks in Khirbet ar-Ras al-Ahmar. 4 Palestinians were arrested during house raids in Yatta, Idhna, Rafat, and Beit Sira. In East Jerusalem, around 150 Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. 2 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Isawiya and Silwan. (AP, HA, MEMO, MEMO, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/1; MEMO, PCHR, WAFA 12/2)

1 Israeli settler was sentenced to 20 months in prison for throwing stun grenades at Palestinian homes in Sarta in January, injuring 1. The settler was part of a group of several settlers who also threw rocks and vandalized 4 homes and 2 cars. (HA 12/1; MEMO 12/2)

The company Meta Inc., formerly known as Facebook, said it had removed 150 accounts, 79 pages, and 13 groups from Facebook and Instagram that it says are linked to Hamas. (HA 12/2)

At the UNGA, 3 resolutions pertaining to Palestine and Israel passed. 1 resolution condemning Israel’s annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights passed 94-8-69. 1 resolution calling for intensified efforts to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict with a 2-state solution passed 148-9-14. The countries that vote against were Australia, Canada, Hungary, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, and the U.S. A final resolution calling for preserving the Status Quo at the Holy sites in Jerusalem, usually passing with a higher margin, passed 129-11-31. Several countries, including the UK, explained their opposition to the resolution, saying that it usually refers to the Haram al-Sharif compound by also including the Jewish terminology the “Temple Mount.” The UK clarified that its vote does not signify a policy change, only an objection to the change in language. (UKGOV, UN 12/1; TOI, WAFA 12/2)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers and Israeli forces prevented Palestinian farmers from working their lands in at-Tabaqa. Israeli forces fired tear gas at Palestinian pupils heading to a school in al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya, for the 3d day in a row, injuring dozens with tear gas. 11 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Bethlehem and Ya‘bad. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Isawiya, causing tear-gas related injuries and arresting 1 minor. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Silwan during a raid, causing tear-gas related injuries. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 11/18; PCHR 11/25)

1 Palestinian prisoner ended his hunger strike to protest his administrative detention after 103 days as Israel and his attorney entered an agreement to end his detention. (WAFA 11/18)

Israeli sources said that Israel retroactively edited an intelligence file about al-Jalaa high rise in Gaza, that Israel bombed in May, before handing the file to the U.S. The edited file was given to the U.S. after it demanded a justification for the bombing of the building that housed media offices for the AP and Al Jazeera. (HA 11/18)

Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz said, during a meeting, that settler violence against Palestinians is “a grave phenomenon” and must be “uproot[ed].” Defense Minister Gantz was speaking after being presented with data of recent settler attacks on Palestinians during the olive harvest season. The data showed an increase of around 150% in settler violence against Palestinians compared to 2 years ago. (HA 11/19; GDN 11/28 WP 11/29)

Israel’s prime minister Naftali Bennett spoke with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after Turkey released 2 Israelis it had detained for 1 week for taking pictures of the presidential palace. The call between the 2 was the 1st between President Erdoğan and an Israeli prime minister since 2013. Erdoğan also spoke with Israel’s president Isaac Herzog. (AJ, TOI 11/18)

The Middle East Quartet released a statement after an in-person meeting in Oslo, calling for alleviating the PA fiscal crisis, easing access of people and goods coming in and out of Gaza, and curbing Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Quartet envoys also urged respect for civil society groups, hinting criticism at Israel’s decision to designate 6 Palestinian rights groups as terrorist organizations. (WAFA, WAFA 11/18; AP, HA, MEMO 11/19)

The 2d committee of the UNGA passed a draft resolution reaffirming the rights of the Palestinian people over their natural resources in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem and the Arab population in the occupied Golan Heights. 157 voted in favor, 14 abstained, and 7 voted against, including Canada, Israel, and the U.S. (WAFA 11/18; MEMO, MEMO 11/19; WAFA 11/20)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles near the Beit El settlement, causing damage. Israeli settlers also attacked Palestinians employed by the Land Settlement Authority with stones and clubs in al-Shuyukh, injuring 1 with injuries to his head. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers clashed with Israeli forces as the latter evacuated the Geulat Zion settlement outpost near the Shiloh settlement. Israeli forces fired tear gas at Palestinian pupils heading to a school in al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya for the 2d day in a row, injuring dozens with tear gas. Israeli forces also seized 2 residential structures and 5 agricultural structures in az-Za‘ayyem. 11 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Bil‘in, Jaba‘, Tulkarm, Sanniriya, Nablus, al-Ibayyat, and Deir Sammit. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian minor after he allegedly stabbed and wounded 2 Israeli soldiers in the Old City. Israeli forces also delivered demolition notices for 2 agricultural structures in Isawiya. 3 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Isawiya and Silwan. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen 2-5 nautical miles west of al-Sudaniyya; no injuries were reported. (AP, HA, JP, MEMO, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 11/17; PCHR 11/18)

1 39-year-old Palestinian prisoner died in an Israeli hospital of issues related to a heart condition. Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies said he died due to medical neglect by Israel. (AJ, JP, MEMO, PCHR, WAFA 11/18)

B’Tselem released footage that 1 of its activists had recorded in September, showing Israeli soldiers in Hebron rounding up 13 Palestinian children in the middle of the night and taking photos of them, asking them to say “cheese” for the camera. Many of the very young children are seen crying in the video. (HA, MEMO 11/17; AP, TOI 11/18)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas met with U.S. ambassador to the UN Linda Greenfield-Thomas. Ambassador Greenfield-Thomas urged the PA to end its payments to Palestinian prisoners and their families and to respect human rights issues. (HA, TOI 11/17; TOI, WAFA 11/18)

In Syria, Israeli forces fired 2 missiles from Israeli-occupied Golan Heights at Damascus, hitting 1 empty building. 1 of the missiles was intercepted by Syrian air defense. (AJ, AP, HA 11/17)

EU high representative for foreign affairs Josep Borrell told the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee that Israel has not provided the EU with any evidence proving their accusations that 6 Palestinian rights organizations are terrorist entities. PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh was also present at the meeting and criticized the new Israeli government’s approach to Palestinians and stance against a 2-state solution. He also said Israel had to stop dealing with Palestinians in Gaza differently than it does West Bank Palestinians. (WAFA, WAFA 11/16; HA, WAFA, WAFA 11/17)

Qatar and Egypt signed a deal to supply fuel and building supplies to Gaza during the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee meeting. The deal will see Qatar pay Egypt for oil and gasoline which will be given to Hamas and distributed at gas stations in Gaza and some funds will be directed at vulnerable families in Gaza and to help pay civil servants. The deal was reported to include a monthly transfer from Qatar to Egypt for distribution in Gaza of $30 million. (AJ, REU 11/17; MEMO 11/18; ALM 11/23; HA 11/27; HA 11/29; MEMO 11/30)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers shot and injured 2 Palestinians and injured 5 others with stones near Khalat al-Daba; 3 cars were also damaged. 13 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Beit Ur al-Tahta, al-Bireh, Jenin, Bethlehem, Husan, Dura, and Fawwar refugee camp. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces raided the home of 1 Palestinian prisoner in Wadi al-Juz and ordered its occupants to demolish it; municipality workers demolished parts of the inside of the home before leaving. (MEMO, WAFA, WAFA 11/10; HA, PCHR, WAFA 11/11)

PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh told reporters during a press conference in Ramallah that if Israel does not embrace a 2-state solution, it will result in a 1-state reality of “apartheid.” Prime Minister Shtayyeh reiterated his charge against Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett, accusing him of a 3-no mantra: no to meeting PA president Abbas, no to peace negotiations, and no to a Palestinian state. (AP, HA 11/10)

Palestinian politician, nephew of Yasir Arafat, and former chairman of the Arafat Foundation Nasser al-Kidwa charged PA president Mahmoud Abbas with destroying the Arafat Foundation in an advance statement for the anniversary of Arafat’s death. Al-Kidwa said that President Abbas is destroying the foundation by dismissing its board and canceling its independence from the PA. (MEMO 11/11)

Israel claimed to have new evidence against the 6 Palestinian rights organizations recently deemed terrorist organizations by the state, based on a plea deal from a Spanish citizen who worked for Health Work Committee, which is not 1 of the 6 rights organizations in question. According to the indictment, some money raised by the woman was transferred to the PFLP without her knowledge. The woman, however, only said that she had suspected the organization acted on behalf of the PFLP. (AP, HA, JP, TOI 11/10; +972, MEE 11/11)

Israel, the U.S., Bahrain, and the UAE participated in a joint military drill in the Red Sea. The naval drill is scheduled to last for 5 days. (AJ, AP, HA, MEMO 11/11)

6 progressive-leaning members of U.S. congress, including Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Mondaire Jones (D-NY), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Barbara Lee (D-CT), Melanie Stansbury (D-NM), and Mark Pocan (D-MN) met with Israel’s prime minister Naftali Bennett during a J Street-sponsored trip to Israel and Palestine. Representatives Bowman and Pocan also visited Hebron and Susiya with Palestinian activist Nasser Nawajah and the executive director of Breaking the Silence Avner Gvaryahu. A bipartisan group of House representatives and senators led by Chris Coons (D-DE) also met with Prime Minister Bennett and PA prime minister Shtayyeh. Senator Coons said the group had asked Israel to provide more evidence against the 6 Palestinian rights organizations (see above). Members of the Democratic Socialists of America, of which Bowman is a member, debated whether to expel Bowman due to his participation in the meeting with Naftali Bennett and his association with J Street. In the end, the Democratic Socialists of America did not expel Bowman but said that it expected to see significant movement from him on Palestine if it was to endorse him for the 2022 elections. (HA, TOI, WAFA 11/10; HA, MEMO 11/11; FOX, HA, MDW 12/1; HA 12/3)

The U.S. Biden administration reverted to the voting pattern of the Obama administration on UNGA resolutions pertaining to UNRWA. The U.S., Cameroon, Canada, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, and Uruguay abstained on 1 resolution in support of Palestinian refugees’ right of return, while Israel was the only country that voted against. The U.S. and Israel were the only 2 countries to vote against a resolution calling for Israel to end its occupation of the Golan Heights. The U.S., Canada, Hungary, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, and Israel also voted against a resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity and evictions in East Jerusalem. (MEMO, WAFA 11/10; FOX, JNS, JP 11/11)

In the West Bank, 6 Israeli settlers attacked 3 Red Cross workers monitoring the olive harvest with pepper spray in Burin. Israeli settlers also uprooted 25 olive saplings in al-Masara. Israeli forces demolished 4 Palestinian stores under construction in Deir Qaddis. Israeli forces also delivered stop-work orders for 4 houses under construction in Idhna. 8 Palestinians were arrested, including 6 during late-night raids in Dheisheh refugee camp, Hebron, Beit Umar, and Dura; 1 was arrested at the Container checkpoint and 1 in his shop in Arrabah. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting the demolition of graves at al-Yusufiya Muslim cemetery; 1 was arrested. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/26; MEMO 10/27; PCHR 10/28)

Israel’s public security minister Omer Bar-Lev ordered a ban on a cultural festival put on by the Catholic Church, claiming it was connected to the PA. The festival funded by Austria and France was set to take place for 3 days at Beit Abraham at the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem. Israeli forces closed a performance attended by the French consulate general. The organizer Bernard Thibaud said he was shocked by the Israeli behavior and would speak to the French foreign ministry to complain and possibly take Israel to court. (HA 10/26; I24 10/27; WAFA 10/28)

The U.S. state department said it was “deeply concerned about the Israeli government’s plan to advance thousands of settlement units, many of them deep in the West Bank. In addition, we are concerned about the publication of tenders on Sunday [10/24] for 1,300 settlement units in a number of West Bank settlements.” Haaretz reported that U.S. officials secretly had conveyed to Israel that the main concern for the U.S. is construction deep within the West Bank. When asked about the state department’s harsher tone toward Israel, state department spokesperson Ned Price said, “our public messaging on this is consistent with what we are seeing transpire so far. It only stands to reason that our public messaging may shift over time.” It was later reported by Axios that secretary of state Antony Blinken had a “tense” phone call with Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz over the issue of settlements. According to an Israeli official, the Israeli understanding was that the U.S. gave Israel a “yellow card,” a soccer reference for a warning. (AJ, AX, DW, FOX, HA, HILL, REU, TOI, TOI 10/26; ALM, AX, MDW, TOI 10/27)

Israel rebuked the U.S. statement that the U.S. had not been informed about Israel’s decision, from 10/22, to designate 6 Palestinian rights organizations as terrorists. The Israeli deputy director-general of strategic affairs in the foreign ministry Joshua Zarka said that he had told the U.S. about the Israeli decision when he visited the U.S. the week of the announcement. Deputy Director Zarka said that Spokesperson Price probably had not been updated on the issue. UN human rights commissioner Michelle Bachelet also condemned the terrorist designations by Israel, saying they should be overturned immediately. The Swedish foreign ministry said Israel had made such allegations before but never provided evidence. (HA 10/25; HA, HA, MEMO, WAFA 10/26)

An Israeli private jet landed in Saudi Arabia, marking the 1st time a direct flight from Israel landed in the country. On 10/25, the 1st ever direct flight from Saudi Arabia landed in Israel. It was an aircraft registered in the UAE. (JP, MEMO 10/27)

Israel launched a 2-day military drill, Southern Storm, simulating war with Hamas in Gaza. (TOI 10/26)

The U.S. secretary of homeland security Alejandro Mayorkas said Israel was among 4 countries the U.S. is considering for its visa waiver program. The subject of an Israeli visa waiver was discussed when Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett met President Joe Biden in August. (REU 10/26; HA, TOI 10/27)

It was announced by Israel that the country will join the EU Horizon Europe research program. The program provides funding for research and innovation and has a budget of $110 billion. Israel will be prohibited from using program funds to invest in East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, and the West Bank, according to the deal with the EU. Israel will formally join the EU program in December. (HA 10/26; MEMO 10/27)

Republican senators in the U.S. congress introduced a bill co-sponsored by 35 senators seeking to block the Biden administration from reopening the U.S. mission to Palestinians in Jerusalem. The bill “Upholding the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Law of 2021” was introduced by Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN). (TOI 10/27)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set fire to Palestinian olive trees and threw stones at Palestinian property near Burin. Israeli settlers with military escort also prevented Palestinians from reaching their olive trees to harvest near Yatta. Israeli forces fired tear gas at Palestinians harvesting olives near Zabbuba. Israeli forces also delivered demolition orders for 3 structures under construction in al-Meniya. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian family demolished parts of their own home in Silwan. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians gathered at the Damascus Gate plaza, firing sound bombs and spraying skunk water at protesters and property; 3 minors were arrested. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian agricultural lands east of Rafah; no injuries were reported. (HA 10/15; WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/16; PCHR 10/21)

In Syria, Syrian state media said an Israeli sniper, shooting from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, had assassinated a former Syrian lawmaker, Madhat Saleh, in Ein el-Tinneh. Israeli media had reported that Saleh was an agent operating for Iran. Saleh, who was from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, was imprisoned by Israel for 12 years until he was released in 1997. Saleh’s relatives denied he had any connection to Iran. (HA, WAFA 10/16; AJ, MEMO 10/17)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked and injured 1 Israeli soldier and damaged 3 vehicles in the Yitzhar settlement as Israeli forces tried to remove 1 settler-erected tent. Israeli settlers also installed water pipes on Palestinian-owned land in Ein al-Sakout. 14 Palestinians were arrested, including 13 during late-night raids in Beita, al-Khader, Umm Salamuna, and Yatta; 1 was arrested at a checkpoint near Jericho. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians at the Damascus Gate plaza using stun grenades and skunk water; 2 Palestinians were arrested. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian lands east of al-Qarara; no injuries were reported. Israeli forces also opened fire at municipal workers at a landfill near Juhor ad-Dik; no injuries were reported. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Gaza; no injuries were reported. (JP, WAFA, WAFA 10/11; HA, TOI 10/12; PCHR 10/14)

Founder of Rawabi City Bashar Masri announced that he will begin building 400 housing units on land belonging to the Greek Orthodox Church in East Jerusalem near Bayt Hanina. Masri said it had taken him more than 10 years to get the building permits from the Israeli municipality. (WAFA 10/11)

Israel issued permits for 442 undocumented Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza, making them official residents. Israel controls the Palestinian population registry so people without Israeli permits cannot receive a valid PA-issued identity card. More than 10,000 Palestinians are estimated to be living in the West Bank without being registered by Israel. Israel is said to register over 5,000 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza as part of an agreement made between Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz and PA president Mahmoud Abbas. (HA, TOI 10/11)

The Israeli high court of justice criticized the Israeli military for not protecting Palestinian farmers by enforcing a ban on Israeli settlers in the former Homesh settlement area. Because of the lack of enforcement, Palestinian farmers are frequently attacked by Israeli settlers in the area and Israeli settlers have erected a settlement outpost and a Yeshiva on the land. (HA 10/12)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas spoke with Pope Francis on the phone. (WAFA 10/11)

Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett said that Israel will never renounce its claim to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, even if Syria or its president Bashir al-Assad gains favor with the world. Prime Minister Bennett also said that his government seeks to increase the Israeli settler population in the area from 27,000 to 100,000. (MEE, MEMO, REU, TOI 10/11; ALM 10/13)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked a group of Palestinian children near Silat ad-Dhahr, catching, abducting, and torturing 1 for 1 hour and 30 minutes at the Hermesh settlement outpost before Israeli soldiers picked him up after being notified by Palestinians. Israeli forces demolished 1 house under construction in Yatma. 7 Palestinians were arrested, including 5 during late-night raids in al-Bireh, Hebron, and Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, 1 at a checkpoint near Ya‘bad, and 1 at a checkpoint while seeking an entry permit to East Jerusalem for treatment of cancer. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces raided and shut down a ceremony for Palestinians who passed their high school exams in Isawiya, claiming it was sponsored by the PA. Israeli forces also demolished 1 nursery school and 1 house in Bayt Safafa. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions and leveled farmland east of Maghazi and al-Bureij refugee camp. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Jabalia; no injuries were reported. (AA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 8/17; AA 8/18; PCHR 8/19; HA 8/26; JP 8/31; AP 9/10)

PA firefighters joined Israeli firefighters to combat wildfires raging west and southwest of Jerusalem. Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz thanked Mahmoud Abbas for “his initiative” in a tweet. The PA sent 20 Palestinian firefighters and 4 fire engines to help combat the fires. President Abbas later received a phone call from Israeli public security minister Omer Bar Lev thanking Abbas for sending the firefighters. (HA, MEMO, WAFA 8/18)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas, PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh, and foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki met with the Japanese foreign minister Toshimitsu Motegi in Ramallah. In a statement, the PA said Foreign Minister al-Maliki called on Japan to recognize the State of Palestine. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 8/17)

Issam Daalis, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, said that militant factions in Gaza will start violently resisting Israeli restrictions put on Gaza during May if those restrictions are not lifted by 8/21. The ultimatum was made after a meeting of senior Hamas members. Daalis also said that Egypt had asked Hamas to give Israel time and the Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett had said some restrictions would be gradually lifted. (MEMO 8/18)

Israeli Palestinian lawmaker Ahmad Tibi from the Joint List filed a complaint against an Israeli soldier who prevented him and 3 other lawmakers from reaching al-Ibrahimi Mosque on 8/14 during a protest against Israeli renovations to the structure. Tibi further asserted that the soldier assaulted him during the incident. (HA 8/18)

In Syria, Israeli forces fired missiles at areas within Quneitra province from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The extent of the damage or if there were any casualties was unclear. (AP, HA 8/17)

In the West Bank, 1 Palestinian succumbed to injuries inflicted by Israeli forces on 8/3 in Jenin. Israeli forces demolished 1 poultry farm in al-Walaja, 1 rainwater collection well in Khallet al-Dabe’, 1 car wash in al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya, and 1 agricultural structure in al-Fakhit. Israeli forces also handed an evacuation order to Palestinians near Tuqu’ for their livestock, forcing them to remove their livestock and dismantle their agricultural structures within 14 days. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting Israeli construction at al-Ibrahimi Mosque, leading to tear-gas related injuries; 3 were arrested. 9 other Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Jaba‘, Huwwara, and Yatta. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces summoned 2 Palestinian activists for questioning after they protested the arrest of a local activist in Sheikh Jarrah on 8/10. In Israel, Israeli authorities said they shot down a drone entering the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights from Lebanon, claiming the drone was operated by Hezbollah. Israel also said it had shot down a drone flying from Gaza into Israel, claiming it was operated by Hamas. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 8/11; HA, PCHR, REU 8/12; HA, MEMO 8/13)

The Israeli government gave its initial approval for the construction of more than 2,000 new settlement units in the West Bank and 863 housing units for Palestinian villages in Area C, including 150 units in Ma‘asara, 270 in Bir al-Basha, 223 in al-Masqufa, 160 in Khirbet ‘Aaba, and 50 in Khirbet Zakariya. Of the advanced settlement expansion plans, 908 are expected to get final approval next week, including 58 in Beit El, 285 in Har Brakha, and 105 in Alon Shvut. An Israeli official told Haaretz that the move was a “calculated risk” made by the government vis-à-vis the U.S. Biden administration. The Meretz party wrote a letter to Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz, calling the decision to expand Israeli settlements “a dangerous move.” The U.S. later criticized Israel’s decision to expand Israeli settlements, on 8/13, saying that settlement activity is an obstacle to a 2-state solution. (AA, AX, HA, REU 8/11; MEMO, WAFA, WAFA 8/12; HA, MEMO 8/13; JP 8/16)

IDF chief of staff Aviv Kochavi said the Israeli army will take harsher measures against Israeli soldiers who do not follow regulations, in response to the killing of 40 Palestinians by Israeli forces in the West Bank since May. The statement came after Chief of Staff Kochavi met with senior staff of the Israeli central command on 8/8 and urged them to take steps to reduce lethal shootings. Kochavi said the military will back soldiers who make mistakes in their judgements in relation to lethal shootings, but not if the soldiers act reckless. (HA 8/12)

Israel’s police commissioner Kobi Shabtai inaugurated a new police department focused on combatting crime in Palestinian Israeli communities, which seeks to increase the number of Palestinian Israeli police officers by 300%. 69 Palestinian citizens of Israel have been killed in Israel since 2021 and only 23% of the cases have been solved, whereas 71% of the cases involving Jewish Israelis have been solved by Israeli police. (HA 8/12)

Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid visited Morocco to meet with his Moroccan counterpart and open the new Israeli mission to Morocco as part of the 2 countries’ normalization deal. The 2 foreign ministers signed cooperation agreements related to air travel, culture, sports, and youth. Foreign Minister Lapid said the 2 countries would open mutual embassies within 2 months. The leader of the PJD party in Morocco condemned the decision to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel. Part of the 2 countries’ normalization deal was for the U.S. to recognize Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara during the Trump administration, a controversial recognition that the Biden administration has not reversed. (MEMO 8/10; AJ, AJ, AX, HA, MEMO, REU 8/11; AJ, ALM, AX, HA, HA, MEMO, REU 8/12; ALM 8/13; MEE 8/16)

U.S. CIA director William J. Burns met with Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennet and other Israeli officials during a trip to Israel. Director Burns is expected to meet with PA president Mahmoud Abbas and other senior PA officials on 8/12. Axios reported that Director Burns voiced concern to Prime Minister Bennett about Chinese investment in Israel. (AX 8/9; HA, MEMO 8/10; ALM, HA, MEMO, MEMO, REU 8/11; AX, HA, HA 8/12; AX 8/18; MEE, MEMO, TOI 8/19)

The private equity firm KKR announced that it will be funding a server farm in Israel to be completed in the 2d quarter of 2023. The server farm will be located underground in Petah Tikva. (HA 8/11)

Palestinian Israeli NGO Combatants for Peace asked the ICC to open an investigation into potential war crimes committed by Israel in demolishing the bedouin village Khirbet Humsa on 7/7. (HA 8/11; MEMO 8/13)

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said its investigation into the events of the Israeli assault on Gaza in May, dubbed Operation Guardians of the Wall, had showed that Hamas’s rockets fired at Israel “violated the laws of war and amount to war crimes.” HRW also said that Hamas’s rockets had killed 12 civilians in Israel and a misfired rocket had killed 7 Palestinians in Gaza. HRW released its investigation into Israeli actions during the assault on 7/27, finding that Israel had also committed war crimes. (HA, HRW 8/12; ALM 8/23)

France donated $575,000 to the UN World Food Programme for its programming in Gaza. (WAFA 8/11)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted olive trees in Jaba‘. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters near the Evyatar settlement outpost near Beita, killing 1 Palestinian and injuring 21 others with live ammunition and rubber-coated bullets; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. The killing of the Palestinian man, who was said to have been drinking water when he was shot in the chest, was the 40th by Israeli forces in the West Bank since May. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 4 with rubber-coated bullets and others with tear gas. 1 Palestinian was arrested at a flying checkpoint near Beit Fajjar. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian family started demolishing their own homes in Bayt Hanina, displacing 46 people. In Gaza, incendiary balloons sent from Gaza caused fires in Israel, and Israel struck targets in Jabalia refugee camp, causing damage. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen west of Jabalia refugee camp on 2 separate occasions; no injuries were reported. In the Golan Heights, 19 rockets were fired at the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights from Lebanon, with 3 falling within Lebanon and the rest in the Golan Heights; no damage was reported. Israel subsequently fired at Lebanon; no damage was reported. Hezbollah took responsibility for the rockets fired from Lebanon and the Lebanese army said it had arrested 4 suspects. Israel said that it does not believe that Hezbollah is seeking an escalation. (AA, AJ, AJ, AX, HA, HA, HA, MEE, MEMO, MEMO, REU, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 8/6; AA, AJ, AJ, HA, MEMO, MEMO, REU, WAFA, WAFA 8/7; HA 8/8; HA, HA, PCHR 8/12; AJ 8/15)

Hamas accepted an Israel and U.S. demand to allow the 2 countries to examine a list of families in Gaza that would receive a monthly stipend from Qatar, allegedly in order to ensure that the people on the list are not Hamas activists. Sources told Haaretz that Hamas was pressured to accept the demand by Palestinian banks, which would be exposed to sanctions if the stipends reached members of Hamas or other militants. (HA 8/6)

Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh met with the new Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran. (HA 8/6; AA 8/7)

Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett announced that Michael Herzog, the brother of Israeli president Isaac Herzog, will be Israel’s new ambassador to the U.S. (AA, ALM, HA, MEMO 8/6; HA 8/7; HA 8/8; ALM 8/9; ALM 8/10)

In the West Bank, 1 Israeli settler shot and killed 1 Palestinian and injured 1 other when the 2 confronted a group of settlers attempting to set fire to their crops near al-Rihiya, south of Hebron; +972 reported that the settlers mutilated the body of the Palestinian man they had shot dead. 10 Palestinians were killed and 209 wounded by Israeli forces throughout the West Bank. The casualties included: 1, and 39 injured during a protest in Shwaika near Tulkarm; several others were reported injured; 1 protester, and 2 injured in Salem; 1 protester in Asira; 1 protester, and 4 injured in Beita; 1 protester, and 18 others injured by live ammunition in Ya‘bad; 1 protester in Marda; 1 protester in Iskaka; 1 protester, and 4 injured in ‘Urif; 1 protester in Jericho; 1 Palestinian at a checkpoint, who allegedly tried to ram Israeli soldiers near Silwad; 148 protesters injured by live ammunition and rubber-coated bullets during protests in and around Dayr Nidham, Bayt Dajan, Bayt Furik, al-Fawar refugee camp, al-Khadir, Salfit, Tayassir, Huwwara, Aqraba, Ni‘lin, Jenin, Qalqilya, Tulkarm, and Qusra. 13 Palestinians were arrested, including 6 during late-night raids in and around Qalandia refugee camp, Bayt Umar, and Sa‘ir; 7 were arrested during protests at the al-Jalama checkpoint near Jenin. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces shot and injured 19 Palestinians using live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, and sound bomb canisters during protests in and around Shaykh Jarrah, Bayt Hanina, Silwan, and the Old City. 7 Palestinians were arrested during raids in al-Tur, Silwan, and Sur Bahir. In Gaza, 22 Palestinians were killed, including 6 children, and dozens injured, raising the comprehensive death toll since 5/10 from 114 to 136, including 33 children and 2 pregnant women. The casualties included: 9, including 3 children, and 73 injured, including 20 children, in air strikes on buildings in Bayt Lahiya and Bayt Hanun; 4 in an air strike on Gaza City, including 1 child; 3, including 1 child, in air strikes on Jabaliya; 1, and 16 injured, including 2 children, in air strikes on al-Bureij refugee camp; 1, and 1 wounded in an air strike on Abasan; 1 in an air strike while riding a motorbike in Rafah; 1 Palestinian was found dead in rubble from an air strike in Dayr al-Balah on 5/13; 1 Palestinian child succumbed to wounds sustained in an air strike on Gaza City on 5/12; 1 Palestinian succumbed to wounds sustained in an air strike on 5/12 in Bayt Lahiya. Israel also said it had assassinated 3 Hamas operatives, Shadi Abed Al-Hadi, Osama Shehadeh, and Zakaria Zarendah. Israeli air strikes also destroyed an interior ministry building west of Gaza City and 3 poultry farms near Rafah, killing more than 10,000 chickens. Israeli forces also struck the fishing ports in Gaza city and Khan Yunis. Damage to power lines in Gaza was reported, significantly reducing the amount of available electricity. In Israel, Israeli forces killed 2 people after several people crossed from Lebanon into Israel by Metula. Israel also said that 3 rockets were fired at Israel from Syria, with 2 landing in open land in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and 1 in Syria. 2 rockets from Gaza hit 2 houses in Sderot, causing damage and 1 injury. 1 rocket from Gaza lightly injured 1 Israeli driving near Beersheba. Israel barred people from outside of Lydda from entering the city from 4 p.m. and barred all its residents from leaving their homes after 9 p.m. 1 Palestinian-Israeli minor was seriously injured, and another minor lightly injured, after a firebomb was thrown at their house in Jaffa; Israeli police claimed without evidence that it was 2 Palestinian-Israeli men that had thrown the firebomb. Israeli forces were filmed kicking Palestinian-Israeli vehicles traveling in Umm al-Fahm and firing stun grenades at them for no apparent reason. Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian-Israeli minor in Lydda, claiming he tried to throw a firebomb at them. 5 Palestinian-Israelis were arrested in Umm al-Fahm after a fire was ignited at the town’s city hall. 9 Palestinian-Israelis were arrested in ‘Akka. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian-Israeli protesters in Kafr Kana, injuring 28. Israel also told international news outlets that it would conduct a ground invasion of Gaza shortly and then later apologized to the news outlets for providing false information; analysts suspected that Israel used the media outlets to lure Hamas militants into tunnels before heavily bombarding said tunnels; Israel said that dozens were killed in the attack on the tunnels. Israel also shot down 1 drone sent from Gaza. 1 Israeli woman succumbed to injuries sustained after falling while running to a shelter in Neta’im on 5/11, raising the Israeli death toll to 9. In Jordan, some 500 protesters tried to enter the West Bank through the Allenby bridge, but were dispersed by Jordanian forces 3 miles from the border. In Amman, thousands of protesters called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and ending the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty. (AJ, AJ, AJ, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, PCHR, PCHR, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/14; AJ, AP, AP, GDN, HA, HA, HA, PCHR, PCHR 5/15; TOI 5/16; HA 5/19; PCHR 5/20; MEE 5/21; NYT 5/26; +972 6/8; INT 7/15)

The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza said that 42% of the 119 people who have been killed in the Israeli attack on Gaza, at the time of reporting, were women and children. It also said 830 people had been injured. The UN estimated that 10,000 Palestinians have been internally displaced during the current escalation so far. (AJ, HA 5/14)

Spokesperson for PA president Mahmoud Abbas Nabil Abu Rudeineh said that the silence of the U.S. administration was encouraging Israeli war crimes in Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank. (WAFA 5/14)

Morocco sent 40 tons of emergency aid to Palestine and denounced Israel’s aggression toward Palestinians. (HA 5/15)

The U.S. deputy assistant secretary for Israel and Palestinian affairs Hady Amr landed in Tel Aviv in an attempt by the U.S. administration to deescalate the situation. (AX, HA 5/14; HA 5/15)

A letter co-signed by 11 Jewish Democrats in the house of representatives, led by Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), urged the Biden administration to be more active in ending the escalation of violence between Israel and Hamas and to do more to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The 11 members of Congress also expressed concern about the violence in East Jerusalem and urged Israel to halt the “unjust eviction” of Palestinians from their homes in Shaykh Jarrah, and said that the U.S. must address the deepening occupation. (HA 5/15)

Democrats in the House also debated the attack on Gaza on the floor, with 1 group of 11 speaking in defense of Palestinians and 1 group of 10 defending Israel’s actions. (AJ, HA 5/14)

ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said that she will continue with her inquiry into potential war crimes committed by Israelis and Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories despite Israel’s refusal to cooperate. Chief Prosecutor Bensouda also said that the investigation will include the current escalation of the conflict. (HA, REU 5/14)

The Italian trade union of port workers said that its members in Livorno had refused to load a shipment of weapons and explosives to be shipped to Israel, citing Israel’s attack on Gaza. (AA 5/15; WAFA 5/16; IN 5/17)

In the West Bank, large groups of Israeli settlers chanted racist slogans at Palestinians in Hebron and Israeli forces closed off large portions of the city for its Palestinian residents. Israeli forces assaulted and arrested 1 Palestinian minor in Jayyous. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers attacked 1 Palestinian minor with stones in the French Hill neighborhood, causing severe injuries to his face. Some 230 Israeli settlers also stormed the Haram al-Sharif compound; the PA and Jordan condemned Israel for allowing the settlers access. Israeli forces raided Silwan leading to clashes with Palestinians; tear-gas related injuries were reported. 3 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in al-Tur and Issawiyya. In Israel, Israelis attacked a transport van and its Palestinian driver in West Jerusalem after yelling that the driver was “Arab,” when the Palestinian driver tried to escape the mob he inadvertently killed 1 Israeli man with his vehicle; Israeli police initially arrested the Palestinian man but released him 36 hours and started rounding up 12 Israelis who had attacked the Palestinian man; the Palestinian man’s lawyer said in court that the attack was “a lynching.” (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/28; JP 3/1; HA, PCHR 3/4)

All checkpoints to Gaza and the West Bank were closed by Israel for the Purim holiday. Closures ended at midnight. (HA 2/25)

The Israeli cabinet approved starting to vaccinate Palestinians from the West Bank holding Israeli work permits and Palestinians working in Israeli settlements. Vaccination centers will be set up at West Bank crossings. The decision came days after the PA said that Israel and the PA had agreed that Israel would vaccinate Palestinian workers. (AP, HA, NYT, REU, TOI, TOI 2/28)

8 of 9 judges on the Israeli supreme court voted to overturn the Israeli central elections committee’s decision to disqualify the Palestinian-Israeli Labor party candidate Ibtisam Mara’ana from running in the Israeli elections. The Israeli central elections committee disqualified Mara’ana from running upon request by the racist far-right Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party on 2/17. (HA 2/28)

Israel designated the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity organization a terrorist organization for its ties to the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine. (JP 2/28)

The Syrian army said Israel fired rockets at southern Damascus from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights; there were no reports of casualties or damage. (AP, HA 2/28; AJ, JP 3/1)

Iran rejected an invitation to discuss reviving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) at an informal meeting with the U.S. and European stakeholders, saying that European and American parties have made actions and statements in the recent past that do not make the timing right for Iran. Iran later said that the U.S. should lift the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration before the parties can begin to engage on reviving the JCPOA. (AJ 2/28; REU 3/1)

Some 450 lawmakers in European countries and in the EU parliament signed a letter to EU High Representative Josep Borrell and European foreign ministers urging them to pressure Israel to stop the “de facto annexation” of the West Bank. (HA 2/28; WAFA 3/1)

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)