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  • September 27, 2023

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers raided Umm Safa, throwing stones at Palestinian farmers working their land. Israeli settlers also blocked Route 60 between Jerusalem and Ramallah, burning tires...

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  • September 26, 2023

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized electricity poles between Qusra and Jalud. Israeli forces demolished 1 house under construction and 1 shack in an-Nuway’imah near Jericho. In East...

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  • September 25, 2023

    In the West Bank, PA forces arrested Palestinian journalist Taraiq Yousef al-Sarkji in his home in Nablus. In Gaza, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters near the Gaza fence...

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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers raided Umm Safa, throwing stones at Palestinian farmers working their land. Israeli settlers also blocked Route 60 between Jerusalem and Ramallah, burning tires in protest over an Israeli demolition of a settlement outpost nearby. Israeli forces issued 12 stop work notices for 1 soccer field and 11 shacks in Masha and demolished an irrigation system under construction in Artas. Israeli forces also razed some 50 dunams (12.35 acres) of Palestinian land near Bruqin to expand the Brukhin settlement. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians celebrating Mawlid, the birthday of the Prophet Mohammad, assaulting people gathered at the Damascus Gate Plaza. In Gaza, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters near the Gaza fence, injuring 1 with live ammunition and others with tear gas east of Khuza’a. Israel claimed that Palestinians launched incendiary balloons at Israel. (QDS, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 9/27; HA 9/28; PCHR 10/5)

PA prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh met with Saudi non-resident ambassador to Palestine and consul general in Jerusalem Nayef al-Sudairi in Ramallah. It was al-Sudairi’s third day of meetings with Palestinian officials in the West Bank. Al-Sudairi also canceled a visit to the Haram al-Sharif compound on the occasion of Mawlid, reportedly after social media calls to prevent the visit in protest over the Saudi-Israeli normalization plans and due to the visit not being coordinated with the Jordanian-run Waqf, making the security a matter for the Israeli police. (HA, HA, MEE, NYT, QDS, WAFA 9/27)

UN envoy for the Middle East peace process Tor Wennesland said after visiting Gaza that the situation was dire and that all parties must avoid another conflict, saying that “the people of Gaza have suffered enough.” Wennesland also briefed the UN Security Council, saying that Israel has advanced more than 10,000 settlement housing units in the last 3 months, calling on Israel to cease settlement activity immediately and calling on member states to up funding for UNRWA and the World Food Programme, which both need funding for food assistance in Gaza and the West Bank. (REU, UN, WAFA 9/27; HA, HA 9/28)

The U.S. admitted Israel into its Visa Waiver Program, allowing Israelis to enter the U.S. for 90 days without obtaining a visa. Democratic senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jeff Merkey (D-OR), and Peter Welch (D-VT) criticized the move, saying Israel has failed to meet the reciprocity requirements as not all U.S. citizens are treated equally by Israel, referring to Palestinian Americans who do not enjoy the same freedom of movement in Israel and Israeli-controlled crossings in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as other Americans do. Palestinian American member of the House Rashida Tlaib also criticized the decision, saying “it explicitly condones and enables the Israeli government’s discriminatory practices towards Americans requesting entry, including hours of detainment and interrogation.” U.S. embassy to Israel chargé d’affaires ad interim Stephanie Hallett said the embassy had established a working group to solve the issue of Palestinian Americans not being able to drive from the West Bank to Israel. (AX 9/26; AJ, ALM, AP, AX, CNN, HA, HA, HA, MEE, NYT, REU 9/27; AJ, AJ, HA 9/28; WAFA 9/29)

The Lebanese army said it had exchanged smoke grenades with Israeli forces while working to remove “infringements” placed by Israeli forces on the Lebanese side of the Blue Line. A similar incident occurred on 9/23. (HA 9/27)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized electricity poles between Qusra and Jalud. Israeli forces demolished 1 house under construction and 1 shack in an-Nuway’imah near Jericho. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Gaza, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting near the Gaza fence east of Gaza City, injuring 11 with live ammunition, 1 minor with a tear-gas canister, and others with tear gas. Israeli forces also conducted airstrikes by drones and helicopters, striking 3 sites near the Rafah and Karni crossings and causing damage. (AP, HA, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 9/26; PCHR 9/27)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas met with Saudi non-resident ambassador to Palestine and consul general in Jerusalem Nayef al-Sudairi, receiving his credentials. Ambassador al-Sudairi also met with PA foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki, saying at a press conference that “the Arab Peace Initiative is the main point in any upcoming agreement” to normalize relations with Israel. Al-Sudairi also said Saudi Arabia “is working to establish a Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital.” (AJ, AJ, AP, HA, HA, MEE, QDS, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 9/26; GDN, HA, NYT 9/27)

UN envoy for the Middle East peace process Tor Wennesland met with Hamas officials in Gaza. (HA, HA 9/28)

Palestinian Americans and Arab American civil rights organizations filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government, stating that the government is endorsing discrimination against Palestinian Americans by admitting Israel into its Visa Waiver Program. American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee national executive director Abed Ayoub said the organization will hold the government “accountable for any actions that create separate classes of U.S. citizens.” The other plaintiffs were 3 Palestinian Americans and the organization Democracy for the Arab World Now. The plaintiffs argued that the U.S.-Israeli memorandum, which was kept secret, for the creation of the trial period “differentiate treatment to U.S. citizens who are ‘residents’ of the occupied West Bank, no including East Jerusalem; U.S. citizens who are residents of the occupied Gaza Strip; U.S. citizens who are registered on the [Palestinian Population Registry] but not residents in either the West Bank or Gaza Strip; and U.S. citizens who are not of Palestinian nationality.” Israeli foreign minister Eli Cohen announced that Israel had been admitted to the program on 9/25 2 days before the U.S. made an official announcement on 9/27. (AJ, REU 9/25; HA, MDW 9/26; HA, MDW 9/27)

The Israeli Justice Ministry’s police misconduct unit indicted an Israeli soldier for shooting a 16-year-old Palestinian girl in the back with a baton round while she was in her yard in Sheikh Jarrah in 2021. The unnamed soldier was charged with shooting with a firearm, severe injury under aggravated circumstances, and common assault. (HA 9/26)

Israeli tourism minister Haim Katz visited Saudi Arabia in the first public visit to the country by an Israeli minister. Katz was attending a conference of the UN World Tourism Organization. Israeli communications minister Shlomo Karhi and MK David Bitan are scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia on 10/2 for a Universal Postal Union conference in Riyadh. (AJ, ALM, HA, MEE 9/26; NYT 9/27; ALM 10/2)

Japan contributed $20 million to a project improving drinking water in Jenin. (WAFA 9/26)

In the West Bank, PA forces arrested Palestinian journalist Taraiq Yousef al-Sarkji in his home in Nablus. In Gaza, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters near the Gaza fence east of Gaza City, injuring 1 with live ammunition and others with tear gas. Israeli forces also conducted airstrikes, causing damage to 2 sites east of Gaza City. (HA, MEE, WAFA, WAFA 9/25; PCHR 9/27)

The non-resident Saudi ambassador to Palestine, Nayef al-Sudairi met with PLO secretary-general Hussein al-Sheikh in Ramallah. Al-Sudairi is expected to meet with PA president Mahmoud Abbas on 9/26, marking the first visit by a Saudi official to Palestine since 1967. (WAFA, WAFA 9/25)