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  • February 1, 2024

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uproot 450 olive and almond tree saplings in Deir Sharaf. Israeli forces shoot and injure 4 Palestinians with live ammunition during raids in Tubas, Kafr al-...

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  • May 2, 2023

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  • July 3, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers assaulted 1 Palestinian man working his land near Kafr al-Labad; the man was hospitalized for treatment of his injuries. Israeli forces shot and injured 1...

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  • May 2, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces raided Kafr al-Labad, injuring 1 with a baton round and others with tear gas. Israeli forces also raided Ni‘lin, injuring 3 with baton rounds and arresting 1. (...

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  • April 9, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers assaulted 1 Palestinian shepherd near Kafr al-Labad, causing fractures and an injury to his eye. Israeli settlers also threw stones at a Palestinian family in...

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  • March 23, 2022

    In the West Bank, armed Israeli settlers chanted racist slogans at Palestinians traveling near the entrance of Nabi Salih. Israeli settlers also threw stones at a Palestinian vehicle in the...

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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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  • November 26, 2021

    Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 6 with rubber-coated bullets, including 2 minors, while others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces...

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  • December 17, 2005

    Senior Abu Rish Brigades (ARB) leader Khalid Abu Sitta is killed, 3 bystanders are wounded when his car mysteriously explodes nr. Khan Yunis; ARB claims it is an assassination, but the IDF denies...

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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uproot 450 olive and almond tree saplings in Deir Sharaf. Israeli forces shoot and injure 4 Palestinians with live ammunition during raids in Tubas, Kafr al-Labad, and Hebron. Israeli forces also seize 3 vehicles in al-Zawiya. Elsewhere, Israeli forces raze 5 dunams of land planted with grape vines, uprooting 300 trees in Battir. Israeli forces also arrest 41 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Tubas, Arrabah, Ein as-Sultan refugee camp, Bethlehem, Salem, Bayt Ibia, and Yatta. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers tour the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Gaza, Israeli forces bomb Gaza City, Nuseirat refugee camp, Dayr al-Balah, Khan Yunis, and Rafah, killing at least 118 people. Israeli forces also continue to raid al-Amal Hospital in Khan Yunis. In Lebanon, Hezbollah fires rockets at a radar station in Shebaa Farms. Israeli forces bomb Tayr Harfa. In Yemen, U.S. forces bomb a “UAV ground control station” and shoot down a drone over the Gulf of Aden. (HA 1/31; AJ, AJ, HA, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/1; UNOCHA 2/2)

More than 27,019 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 10,600 children and 7,200 women, and around 66,139 have been injured since 10/7. At least 8,000 people are missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 374 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 94 children. More than 4,391 people have been injured. Israel reports that 1,139 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed and 5,400 have been injured in Israel since 10/7, including Israeli soldiers. In addition, 222 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 1,293 injured in Gaza since the ground invasion began on 10/27. Over 1.93 million Palestinians, nearly 85% of the population of Gaza, have been displaced since 10/7. There has been a complete electricity blackout in Gaza since 10/12 due to the Israeli blockade. At least 70,000 housing units have been destroyed and 290,000 have been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7, constituting over 60% of all housing units. 200 trucks carrying aid enter Gaza via the Rafah and Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossings. Israelis block trucks carrying aid to Gaza arriving at Ashdod port. The New York Times says its analysis found that Israeli forces have destroyed hundreds of buildings in Gaza in at least 33 controlled demolitions, including schools, mosques, and entire sections of residential neighborhoods. UNRWA commissioner-general Philippe Lazzerini says UNRWA could be forced to shut down all its operations if funding does not resume. (AJ, AP, HA, HA, NYT, REU, UNOCHA, UNOCHA, WAFA 2/1; UNOCHA 2/5)

Israel releases 114 Palestinian detainees, taken from Gaza to Israel, via the Karem Abu Salem crossing. (HA 2/1

PA president Mahmoud Abbas speaks to Qatari emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in a phone call, discussing the situation in Palestine. (AJ, WAFA 2/1)

Hamas official Osama Hamdan says Hamas is studying the proposed ceasefire deal. (AJ, HA, REU 2/1)

Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant says Hamas’s Khan Yunis Brigade has been disbanded and that Israeli forces will push toward Rafah. Gallant also calls UNRWA “Hamas with a facelift.” (AJ, AP 2/1; AJ, NYT, REU 2/2)

Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed the Israeli military to examine if it could distribute aid in Gaza instead of UNRWA. Channel 7 reports that Foreign Minister Israel Katz called UNRWA a “part of Hamas’s murder machine.” (AJ, HA 2/1)

U.S. president Joe Biden signs an executive order allowing the U.S. to sanction people participating in acts of violence against civilians in the West Bank. The Department of the Treasury subsequently sanctions 4 settlers, David Chai Chasdai, Yinon Levi, Einan Tanjil, and Shalom Zicherman. In response to the sanctions, Israeli national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir calls on the U.S. to rethink its policy in the West Bank and calls the settlers “heroic.” Finance Minister Smotrich calls the decision “anti-Semitic.” Axios reports that the Biden administration considered adding Ben-Gvir and Smotrich to the list. (AJ, AJ, AP, AX, HA, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, REU, WAFA 2/1; HA, HA, NYT 2/2; HA 2/4)

UK foreign secretary David Cameron tells AP that UK recognition of the state of Palestine “cannot come at the start of the [peace negotiation] process, but it does not have to be the very end of the process,” saying “[w]hat we need to do is give the Palestinian people a horizon towards a better future, the future of having a state of their own.” Cameron also says that for the UK to recognize the state of Palestine Hamas leaders will have to leave Gaza. Cameron also meets with Lebanese caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati in Beirut. Israeli diaspora minister Amichai Chikli compares Cameron’s statement on recognition of Palestine to UK appeasement of Nazi Germany prior to World War II. (AJ, AP 2/1; AJ, HA, REU 2/2)

Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar tells reporters that Ireland wants the EU to review the EU-Israel Association Agreement on the basis that Israel may be breaching the agreement’s clause on human rights. (REU 2/1)

Belgian minister of development cooperation Caroline Gennez says she and Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib will summon the Israeli ambassador over the bombing of the Belgian development agency’s office in Gaza. (AJ 2/1; REU, WAFA 2/2)

The digital access group Access NOW says at least 30 people in Jordan, including journalists, lawyers, human rights activists, and political activists, have had their cellphones hacked using Pegasus spyware made by the Israeli company NSO Group. (AP 2/1)

Khader Adnan, a popular member of Islamic Jihad, died in his cell in the Magen-Nitzan prison in Ramle after an 86-day hunger strike in protest over his administrative detention. Adnan was the first Palestinian prisoner to die while on hunger strike since 1992 and several organizations had for weeks warned about his condition. In response to the death of the 45-year-old Adnan, Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired rockets at Israel, injuring 3 Chinese nationals working at a construction site in Sderot. Israeli forces conducted airstrikes and fired artillery shells at Gaza, killing 1 Palestinian man, injuring 5 in Beit Hanun, and causing damage in Gaza City, Khan Yunis, and Jabalia refugee camp. A ceasefire, brokered by the UN, Egypt, and Qatar took effect on 5/3 at 4 a.m. In the West Bank, PA forces violently dispersed a march in support of Adnan in Jenin using tear gas and stun grenades, arresting 3, including activist Ghassan al-Saadi. 1 Israeli settler was injured when unidentified assailants opened fire at vehicles near the Avnei Hefetz settlement north of Shufa. Israeli settlers threw stones at a Palestinian home in Kisan. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting the death of Adnan in Beit Umar, al-Khader, Ramallah, Hebron, al-Ram, Nabi Salih, Kafr al-Labad, and Qalqilya, leading to tear-gas related injuries. A general strike in protest over the death of Adnan was observed in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. 13 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Jalazun refugee camp, Fawwar refugee camp, Beit Umar, and Beit Tamer, including former cabinet minister Khaled Abu Arafeh. (AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, ALM, AX, HA, HA, HA, MDW, MEE, MEE, MEE, MEE, NYT, PCHR, REU, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/2; AIAJ, AJ, AP, AP, HA, HA, HA, MDW, MEE, NYT, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA 5/3; HA, MDW, PCHR 5/4; MEE, UNOCHA 5/5; MDW 5/6; UNOCHA 5/19)

Islamic Jihad spokesperson Daoud Shihab said that Israel had ignored attempts by Islamic Jihad, through Egyptian mediators, to secure Khader Adnan’s release. PA prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called Adnan’s death a “premeditated assassination” and the PA called for an international investigation. The International Committee of the Red Cross called on Israel to immediately release the body of Adnan to his family. (AJ, AJ, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/2; HA 5/7)

A Jerusalem court convicted a former border police officer of assaulting a Palestinian woman in East Jerusalem in November 2021 while she was still working for the Israeli military. (TOI 5/2; HA 5/3)

Amnesty International released the report “Automated Apartheid,” saying that Israel is using a new advanced facial recognition technology called Red Wolf to collect biometric data on Palestinians in the West Bank. The facial recognition cameras are installed at checkpoints in Hebron and are linked to the Blue Wolf and Wolf Pack database systems. Amnesty called on the international community to prohibit companies from providing surveillance technology to Israel. (AI, HA, MEE, WAFA 5/2; AJ 5/7)

EU high representative for foreign affairs Josep Borrell met with Israeli foreign minister Eli Cohen in Brussels more than a month after Cohen signaled that Borrell would not be allowed to visit Israel and the West Bank due to his criticism of the Israeli occupation. The 2 parties agreed to hold an Israel-EU association meeting by the end of 2023. Cohen said the meeting could take place in Jerusalem. (HA 5/1; ALM 5/2)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers assaulted 1 Palestinian man working his land near Kafr al-Labad; the man was hospitalized for treatment of his injuries. Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian at the al-Hamra checkpoint in Jericho. Israeli forces also delivered stop-work notices for 2 houses under construction near Yatta. 11 Palestinians were arrested, including 10 during late-night raids in Silwad, Yabrud, and Nabi Salih; 1 was arrested after returning from Jordan at the Allenby Bridge crossing. In Gaza, Israeli forces arrested 2 Palestinians for attempting to cross into Israel via the Gaza fence. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of al-Sudaniyya; no injuries were reported. (MEMO, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 7/3; PCHR 7/7; UNOCHA 7/22)

Israel announced that it will allow 400 Palestinians living in Gaza—only men over the age of 55 and women over 50—to visit Jerusalem for the celebration of Eid al-Adha, and 500 Palestinians in the West Bank will be given permits to travel through Ben-Gurion airport. (HA 7/3)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces raided Kafr al-Labad, injuring 1 with a baton round and others with tear gas. Israeli forces also raided Ni‘lin, injuring 3 with baton rounds and arresting 1. (MEMO, WAFA, WAFA 5/2; PCHR 5/12; UNOCHA 5/13)

Imam Sheikh Ismat Hammouri was charged in an Israeli court for incitement for a sermon he gave in April. According to the prosecution, Hammouri called on the crowd to liberate al-Aqsa Mosque. His lawyer called his arrest politically motivated. (HA 5/2)

Spain said that the mobile phones of Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez and defense minister Margarita Robles were infected by NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware in May and June of 2021. It was reported that the hacks happened during a political crisis with Morocco, which is said to have access to the Pegasus spyware. (HA, MEE 5/2; HA 5/10)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers assaulted 1 Palestinian shepherd near Kafr al-Labad, causing fractures and an injury to his eye. Israeli settlers also threw stones at a Palestinian family in Kafr ad-Dik. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian and injured 13 others during a raid in Deir Ghazaleh. The Israeli forces were raiding the home of 1 Palestinian man killed on 4/7 after allegedly killing 3 Israelis and wounding 10 others in Tel Aviv, when they allegedly were fired at by Palestinians in the house. Islamic Jihad said that the man killed was a member of their organization. 1 Palestinian high school student who was passing by the area on her way home from school and was injured by Israeli live fire succumbed to her injuries on 4/18. Palestinians vandalized Joseph’s Tomb near Nablus, a site frequently visited by Israeli settlers, causing damage to the site. PA president Mahmoud Abbas condemned the vandalism and said the PA would repair damage to the outside of the structure. (AJ, AP, HA, MEE, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/9; HA, JP 4/10; ALM, BBC, F24, HA 4/11; HA 4/12; HA 4/13; MEE, PCHR 4/14; MEE 4/18 HA 4/19; UNOCHA 4/23)

The Israeli coordinator of government activities in the territories (COGAT) announced restrictions on the West Bank city of Jenin, including barring Palestinian citizens of Israel from entering the city, barring Jenin residents from visiting relatives in Israel, barring merchants from Jenin from entering Israel, and banning paving materials from entering checkpoints around the city. The COGAT restrictions were said to be in response to the attack in Tel Aviv on 4/7 where 3 Israelis were killed, allegedly by a man from the Jenin area. The Jenin chamber of commerce said that 70% of the city’s buying power comes from Palestinian citizens of Israel and that the Israeli collective punishment of the city will have a severe effect on local businesses. The PA governor of Jenin called the restrictions “political terror.” (HA 4/9; HA 4/10; HA, MEMO 4/12)

In Syria, Israeli forces conducted air strikes in Masyaf, causing damage. (AJ, HA 4/9)

In the West Bank, armed Israeli settlers chanted racist slogans at Palestinians traveling near the entrance of Nabi Salih. Israeli settlers also threw stones at a Palestinian vehicle in the Masafer Yatta area, causing damage to the car. Israeli forces seized 1 tractor in the Jordan Valley. Israeli forces also blocked an agricultural road near Qusra with dirt mounds. Elsewhere, Israeli forces dismantled and seized 2 residential structures in al-Ouja, displacing 12. Israeli forces also raided Bayt Liqya, leading to a confrontation with Palestinians; 3 were injured by rubber-coated bullets and others suffered tear-gas related injuries. 32 Palestinians were arrested, including 2 at a checkpoint near Burqa and 30 during late-night raids in Abu Dis, Tuqu‘, Madama, Tell, Kafr al-Labad, Kafr Abbush, Illar, Ya‘bad, Fahma, and Tayba. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers led by MK Itamar Ben-Gvir toured Sheikh Jarrah. 1 Palestinian minor was arrested in the Old City. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/23; PCHR, WAFA 3/24; UNOCHA 4/10)

Haaretz reported that declassified material from the Shin Bet revealed that Israel funded and ran the Khaim prison together with the South Lebanon Army in the southern part of Lebanon. The documents revealed that from 1985 to 2000, prisoners in the Khaim prison were tortured and held in indefinite detention without a trial. (HA 3/23)

The Middle East Studies Association passed a resolution endorsing the BDS movement. 768 members voted in favor of the resolution while 167 voted against. (HA 3/23; WAFA 3/24; WAFA 3/25)

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)

Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 6 with rubber-coated bullets, including 2 minors, while others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also violently dispersed protesters in Bayt Dajan, causing tear-gas related injuries. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Beita, injuring 1 journalist with a rubber-coated bullet and others with tear gas. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Aida refugee camp, causing tear-gas related injuries. Meanwhile, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in al-Arroub refugee camp, causing tear-gas related injuries. 7 Palestinians were arrested, including 4 during late-night raids in Dheisheh refugee camp, Husan, and Kafr al-Labad, and 3 at checkpoints near Salfit and Qalqilya. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed a protest in Sheikh Jarrah, physically assaulting protesters and confiscating Palestinian flags; 2 were arrested. 1 other was arrested during a late-night raid in Silwan. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces arrested 2 Palestinian fishermen and seized 1 boat after detaining 5 on the same boat, claiming it was sailing beyond the Israeli-imposed fishing area; the 2 were released on 11/27. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 11/26; MEMO 11/27; PCHR 12/2)

In Jordan, thousands of Jordanians protested the Jordan-Israel deal to swap energy for water in Amman. The agreement was signed on 11/22 in the UAE and witnessed by U.S. climate envoy John Kerry. (AJ, HA, MEMO 11/26; TOI 11/27)

Israel’s transportation minister Merav Michaeli of Labor said she opposes the Jerusalem Cable Car project in East Jerusalem. The project has been condemned by Palestinians and Israelis and is set to have its final hearing of petitions against it at the Israeli high court of justice on 11/28. Transportation Minister Michaeli said the project does more scenic and political harm than it does good. (HA 11/26)

A bipartisan group of members of the House of Representatives led by Ritchie Torres (D-NY) sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission chairperson Gary Gensler asking him to review if Unilever is complying with US regulation after its subsidiary Ben & Jerry’s chose not to sell its products in West Bank settlements. (NYP 11/27; FOX 11/28)

The UK parliament approved UK home secretary Priti Patel’s decision to designate Hamas, in its entirety, as a terrorist organization. The UK said the designation was part of the country’s fight against anti-Semitism. The inclusion of Hamas in the Terrorism Act means that people expressing support for Hamas could face 10 years in prison. Both Hamas and the PA condemned Home Secretary Patel’s decision. (HA, MEMO, TOI 11/26)

Senior Abu Rish Brigades (ARB) leader Khalid Abu Sitta is killed, 3 bystanders are wounded when his car mysteriously explodes nr. Khan Yunis; ARB claims it is an assassination, but the IDF denies involvement. Palestinians fire 2 mortars fr. Gaza towards Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF fires 3 missiles at a rocket launching site nr. Khan Yunis, causing no damage or injuries; fires a missile at the main Rafah–Khan Yunis road, creating large crater; fatally shoots a PRC mbr. laying a roadside bomb nr. Erez crossing; fatally shoots 1 Palestinian, wounds a 2d who attempts to sneak into Israel fr. Bayt Lahiya to find work; fires on, wounds a mentally handicapped Palestinian who strays close to the Israeli border nr. Khan Yunis; fires on residential areas of Kafr al-Labad nr. Tulkarm, wounding, arresting, evacuating to an Israeli hospital a member of the PA security forces; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Issawiyya, Tulkarm (shooting and wounding a wanted Islamic Jihad mbr.) and nr. Hebron, Jenin. In response to the AMB–Islamic Jihad drive-by shooting on 12/16, the IDF closes some 50 roads in Hebron with sand barriers, blocks the main northern and southern entrances to Hebron with cement barriers. Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar cut down more than 150 Palestinian olive trees nr. Nablus. (BBC, HA, IMEMC, NYT 12/18; AFP 12/19; PLO press release 12/21; PCHR 12/22)