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  • May 31, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort raided Halhul, vandalizing 1 mosque; Israeli forces shot and injured 2 Palestinians with live ammunition and others with baton rounds and...

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  • January 3, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized an agricultural structure in Khallet al-Dabe. Israeli settlers with military escort raided Burqa, leading to clashes between Palestinians and Israeli...

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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 13, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian man and injured 3 others during a late-night raid in Nablus, Israel claimed that explosives had been thrown at the Israeli forces as...

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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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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort raided Halhul, vandalizing 1 mosque; Israeli forces shot and injured 2 Palestinians with live ammunition and others with baton rounds and tear gas when the Palestinians confronted the settlers. Israeli settlers also assaulted Palestinian farmers in Shufa, causing injuries. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers chased Palestinian herders off their land in al-Juwaya in the Masafer Yatta area and let their cattle graze on Palestinian crops. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers with Israeli police escort attacked 3 Palestinians in Silwan, causing hospitalizations, and vandalized 1 vehicle. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces arrested 8 Palestinian fishermen and seized 2 boats within 3 nautical miles northwest of the Rafah seaport; 6 of the 8 fishermen were released on 6/1. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/31; PCHR 6/1)

Hamas’s military judicial authority sentenced 2 Palestinians for spying for Israel. 1 of the Palestinians was sentenced to life in prison while the other received a 7-year sentence. (JP 5/31)

An Israeli military court sentenced 1 Palestinian man to life in prison plus 25 years for the killing of an Israeli soldier in the West Bank on 8/2019 and ordered him to pay $450,000 to the family of the soldier. The Palestinian man was not present at the killing, but the court claimed that he had formed a cell that incited the murder of the Israeli man. (HA 5/31)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas spoke with U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken in a phone call. According to Axios reporting, President Abbas pressed Secretary Blinken on Israeli attempts to change the Status Quo at the Haram al-Sharif compound, the lack of a political horizon, the Israeli settler march on 5/29, and the Biden administration’s failure to act on its campaign promises on Palestine. Abbas also asked the U.S. to remove the PLO from the U.S. list of terror organizations and to reopen the PLO mission in Washington D.C. Abbas also met with Jordanian foreign minister Ayman Safadi in Ramallah. (WAFA 5/31; AX, WAFA 6/1)

Haaretz reported that an Israeli plan to reduce the economic gaps between Palestinians and Israeli Jews living in Israeli cities had been postponed due to failure to fund the program. The plan was finalized in October 2021 in response to tensions between Palestinians and Israeli Jews in cities in which both populations reside. Additionally, some local governments have opposed earmarking funds exclusively for Palestinian communities in the cities they govern. (HA 5/31)

Israel and the UAE signed a free trade agreement removing tariffs on food, agriculture, cosmetics, medical equipment, and medicine. The agreement also defines tax rates, imports and intellectual property. The free trade agreement was part of the Israeli-UAE-U.S. normalization agreement. (REU 5/30; ABC, AJ, ALM, BB, HA, JP, MEMO, NBC, REU, TOI, WSJ 5/31; CNN 6/1; ALM, HA 6/2)

U.S. state department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters that the Biden administration remains committed to reopening the U.S. consulate to Palestinians in Jerusalem. The statement comes after reporting in the Times of Israel that the U.S. had given up on its plans due to the instability in the Israeli government coalition. (REU 5/31; MEMO 6/1; AX 6/4)

15 Democratic members of the U.S. house of representatives, led by Cori Bush (D-MO), wrote a letter to Secretary Blinken urging him to send the “strongest message possible” to prevent Israel from evicting more than 1,000 Palestinians from the Masafer Yatta area, calling the displacement of Palestinians “a war crime.” (HA, MEE 5/31; WAFA 6/1)

Lebanese parliament reelected Nabih Berri of the Amal Movement as speaker at the 1st parliamentary session of the newly elected parliament. Speaker Berri, who received 65 of 128 votes, has been the speaker of the parliament since 1992. (AJ, HA, MEMO, REU, REU 5/31)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized an agricultural structure in Khallet al-Dabe. Israeli settlers with military escort raided Burqa, leading to clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces; 3 were injured by rubber-coated bullets and others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces razed 40 dunams (9.9 acres) of Palestinian agricultural lands near al-Khader and a tract of land in Kafr ad-Dik. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinians protesting against the administrative detention of a Palestinian who has been hunger striking for 140 days in Fawwar refugee camp, leading to tear-gas related injuries. Elsewhere, Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian with live ammunition during a raid in Beit Umar; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also raided Huwwara and Tuqu’, leading to tear-gas related injuries. Meanwhile, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Abu Dis, causing tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also delivered demolition notices for homes in Nahalin. 13 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Ramallah, Husan, Anabta, and Silat al-Harithiya. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces delivered a stop-work order for a mosque in Isawiya. 5 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Silwan and the Old City. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of the coast; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/3; MEMO 1/4; PCHR 1/6)

2 Israeli soldiers died in a helicopter crash off the coast of Haifa. (MEMO, MEMO, REU 1/4)

Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid, who is promised to be prime minister in August 2023, said that he will not start negotiations with Palestinians about a final peace agreement. (HA 1/3)

Israeli ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan criticized actress Emma Watson for a post on her Instagram account expressing solidarity with Palestinians. Ambassador Erdan’s criticism came shortly after his predecessor Danny Danon called Watson an anti-Semite for the post on her social media account. The criticism of Watson’s post sparked debates about the limitations to speech in support of Palestinians. Dozens of other Hollywood stars, including Susan Sarandon, Mark Ruffalo, and Viggo Mortensen, later signed a letter supporting Watson’s post and confirmed their stance in support of Palestinian rights. (GDN 1/4; MEMO 1/8; AJ, GDN, MEE, WAFA 1/13)

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 forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian man and injured 3 others during a late-night raid in Nablus, Israel claimed that explosives had been thrown at the Israeli forces as they raided the city; no Israeli was injured during the raid; the PA condemned the killing. 23 Palestinians were arrested, including 1 at the Allenby Bridge and 22 during raids in Beitunia, Bayt Liqya, Ramallah, al-Bireh, al-Eizariya, Hebron, al-Arroub refugee camp, Qarawat Bani Hassan, Bidya, Ras al-Ain, Jamma‘in, and Qalqilya. In East Jerusalem, the Israeli municipality began razing land seized from 4 Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah, which served as a parking lot and car wash in preparation for construction of a settler park. 5 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in the Old City. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Beit Lahiya; no injuries were reported. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions and leveled land in the northern part of Gaza near the Gaza fence. Israeli forces also opened fire at Palestinian farmers working their lands east of Maghazi and Khuza‘a; no injuries were reported. (AJ, AP, HA, JP, MDW, MEE, MEMO, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/13; PCHR 12/16)

Haaretz reported that the Custodian General’s unit in the Israeli Justice Ministry is exploring plans to build 5 Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem: 1 in Sheikh Jarrah, 1 near the Damascus Gate, 1 in Sur Baher, 1 in Bayt Hanina, and 2 in Bayt Safafa. The Custodian General manages private property claimed by Israel to have unknown owners. Most of the properties managed by the Custodian General are in East Jerusalem. (HA, MEE 12/13)

The patriarchs and heads of local churches of Jerusalem released a statement warning that Israeli government is failing to protect the Christian community in Jerusalem from physical attacks by “radical groups” and groups trying to displace the Christian community from Jerusalem by acquiring “strategic property . . . using underhanded dealings and intimidation tactics to evict residents from their homes.” (TOI 12/19; BBC, HA, MEE 12/21)

Israel released the former leader of the northern branch Islamic Movement in Israel Sheikh Raed Salah after 17 months in prison for “incitement.” (MEMO 12/8; AJ, MEE, MEMO 12/13; MEMO 12/14)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas met with U.S. state department undersecretary for political affairs Victoria Nuland in Ramallah. (WAFA 12/13)

Israel’s prime minister Naftali Bennett met with UAE crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi. The 2 were said to have discussed Iran and building on the 2 countries’ normalization agreement. A joint statement later announced that the 2 countries had plans to establish a joint research and development fund. (AP, CNN, HA, MEMO, NYT, REU, REU 12/13; ALM, MEMO 12/14)

Israel’s public security minister Omer Bar-Lev told Undersecretary Victoria Nuland that he views settler violence “severely” and is taking action against it. Public Security Minister Bar-Lev’s comments drew the ire of Israeli politicians in his coalition and further right, who said that there is no issue with Israeli settler violence toward Palestinians. (HA 12/13; HA 12/16; ALM 12/17)

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)