Tuesday, November 27, 2018

In the West Bank, Israeli forces demolish a Palestinian residential structure in Suba village near Hebron and deliver a stop-work order to a Palestinian home under construction outside Yatta. Unidentified assailants throw rocks at an Israeli settler vehicle driving near Ramallah, causing minor damage and lightly injuring 1 settler. IDF troops arrest 14 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Tulkarm, Qalqilya, Hebron, Tubas, and Nablus; and patrol near Qalqilya, Tulkarm and Nablus. In East Jerusalem, Israeli police disperse a small protest against the detention of the PA’s governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith, outside a police station near the Old City; several Palestinians are arrested. Israeli forces also arrest a Palestinian during a raid in the Old City. (TOI, WAFA 11/27; MNA 11/28; PCHR 11/29)

Haaretz reports that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is planning to lay off more than half of its employees in the West Bank and Gaza in the coming weeks, following U.S. president Trump’s decision to slash U.S. aid to the Palestinians earlier this year. (HA, TOI 11/27)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announces that the prime minister is planning to visit Chad soon to re-establish diplomatic ties. The announcement comes hours after Netanyahu meets with Chadian president Idriss Déby in Jerusalem. “The two discussed shared threats and the struggle against terrorism, increased cooperation between the nations in the areas of agriculture, counter terrorism, border security, technology, solar energy, water, health and more,” the prime minister’s office statement reads. (HA, JP, TOI 11/27)

Czech president Milos Zeman formally inaugurates the new Czech House, a cultural center in Jerusalem that he has described as the “first step” toward moving the Czech embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. In a joint press conference with Zeman, Israeli prime minister Netanyahu says, “We have no greater friend than the Czech Republic in the eastern hemisphere.” (HA, JP, TOI 11/27)

In a wide-ranging interview with the Washington Post, U.S. president Donald Trump says that Israel is the “one reason for the U.S. to remain in the Middle East.” He is responding to a question about the future of the U.S. military presence in the Middle East specifically. “Oil is becoming less and less of a reason because we’re producing more oil now than we’ve ever produced.” Meanwhile, Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon says that the Trump administration is planning to release its long-awaited plan for Palestinian-Israeli peace in early 2019. (WP, YA 11/27; HA, MNA, MNA, TOI 11/28)

The Israeli authorities announce the seizure of 66 acres of Catholic Church-owned land in the northern Jordan Valley for “military purposes.” In response, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem says, “The Patriarchate is looking into the aspects of this decision in order to address it in the appropriate manner, have it contested and to stop further damage.” (MNA 11/27; FMEP 12/7)