Sunday, December 1, 2019

In the West Bank, 8 Palestinians were arrested, including 7 during late-night raids in and around Bayt Awa, Yatta, and Bethlehem; 1 at a flying checkpoint near Jenin. 1 Palestinian teenager was hospitalized after being beaten by Israeli forces during a daytime raid near Nablus. In East Jerusalem, 4 Palestinians were arrested during daytime raids in the Old City and Issawiyya. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen; no injuries were reported. (WAFA 12/1; PCHR 12/5)

Israel’s defense minister Naftali Bennett ordered the “planning processes to be advanced” for new settler housing in Hebron. The plan includes development of a closed fruit and vegetable market for settler housing. According to Defense Minister Bennett, the new settlement housing “will create territorial continuation from the Cave of the Patriarchs [al-Ibrahimi Mosque] to the Avraham Avinu neighborhood, and double the number of Jewish residents in the city.” PLO’s secretary general Saeb Erakat said in a tweet that Bennett’s announcement was the “first tangible result of the U.S. decision to legitimize colonization,” referring to U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo’s announcement from 11/18 that the U.S. no longer considers the Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law. Defense Minister Bennett also sent a letter to the Palestinian municipal government of Hebron demanding consent for the demolition of the fruit and vegetable market, threatening that Bennett would start legal proceedings to lift the municipality’s protected status over the site. (AJ, AP, HA, WAFA, WAFA 12/1; HA 12/8)

The Israeli cabinet approved an allocation of 40 million shekels ($11.5 million) for construction of 1st-aid stations and security in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The chairperson of the Joint Arab List Ayman Odeh subsequently sent a letter to the Israeli attorney general demanding an examination of the constitutionality of the allocation, saying that the approval “raise[s] a grave suspicion of a budget allocation in exchange for a political favor.” (HA 12/1)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. president Donald Trump spoke on the phone and, according to Prime Minister Netanyahu, the 2 discussed recognizing the Jordan Valley as Israel’s official eastern border in addition to a defense pact and Iran. (HA, TOI 12/2)