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  • February 16, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted 50 olive trees in Kafr ad-Dik. Israeli settlers also attacked Palestinian herders in Kisan and let their dogs attack Palestinian-owned sheep. Israeli...

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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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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted 50 olive trees in Kafr ad-Dik. Israeli settlers also attacked Palestinian herders in Kisan and let their dogs attack Palestinian-owned sheep. Israeli forces delivered a demolition order against 1 EU-funded school in Ras al-Tin, affecting some 50 students from 1st to 6th grade, 2 water tanks, an agricultural structure, and a residential caravan in Atuf, and a stop-work order for a cemetery in Idhna. 15 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in al-Twana, Beit Umar, Bethlehem, Beit Fajjar, al-Lubban al-Sharqiya, Beita, Jaba‘, and Qabatiya. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently removed a local activist in Sheikh Jarrah who had set up an outdoor “office” in protest over MK Itamar Ben-Gvir’s provocative field office in the neighborhood. 1 Palestinian family received a notice to demolish their own home in Jabel Mukaber. 1 Palestinian was arrested during a raid in Isawiya. (MEE, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/16; PCHR 2/17; UNOCHA 2/28)

17 Israeli settlers were arrested for suspicion of assault and racially motivated vandalism for a raid against Palestinians and property in Huwwara on 1/24. 3 Palestinians were injured and several shops were damaged. (HA 2/16)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas met with İbrahim Kalın, senior advisor to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and Turkish deputy foreign minister Sedat Önal in Ramallah before the 2 Turkish representatives were scheduled to meet Israeli president Isaac Herzog. (ALM, HA 2/17)

Axios reported that the U.S. Biden administration, through ambassador Tom Nides, has urged Israel to deescalate the situation in Sheikh Jarrah to avoid a larger scale conflict. (AX 2/16)

Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) spoke at the Knesset, calling the establishment of Israel “the greatest political achievement of the 20th century.” Accompanying Speaker Pelosi to Israel were house representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Bill Keating (D-MA), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), and Andy Kim (D-NJ). Pelosi also met with President Herzog, addressing the Iran Nuclear Deal. The American representatives also met with members of Palestinian civil society and were given a tour of East Jerusalem by settlement expert Daniel Seidemann. (MDW 2/14; AP, HA, MEE 2/16; HA, TOI 2/17; HA 2/22)

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)