Friday, December 20, 2019

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set fire to 2 Palestinian-owned vehicles and sprayed graffiti on a wall in Far’ata village west of Qalqilya. In Gaza, 45 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces using live ammunition and rubber-coated bullets at protesters during the 85th weekly Great March of Return protest. Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported. Israeli forces also fired tear gas at Palestinian shepherds east of Rafah, causing tear-gas related injuries. In a separate incident, Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian agricultural lands east of Dayr al-Balah; no injuries were reported. (PCHR, WAFA 12/20; PCHR 12/26)

House Resolution 1865 was signed into law by U.S. president Donald Trump. H.R. 1865 is a 715 page-long appropriations bill for the 2020 fiscal year which allocates $150 million in aid to Palestine, $75 million in assistance to the PA security forces and $75 million for civilian and humanitarian programs and institutions not directly connected to the PA. The bill also seeks to “fix” the Anti-Terrorism Clarifications Act which became law on 10/3/2018 and effectively ended all aid for the PA, including security aid, as it subjected the PA to the jurisdiction of U.S. courts if the PA accepted any aid from the U.S. The “fix” gives U.S. courts jurisdiction if the PA or the PLO provides payments to any individual or family of an individual convicted of killing a U.S. citizen. (HA 12/18; Congress, FMEP 12/20)

The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda announced that there is basis to probe Israel for war crimes committed against Palestinians, but requested the ICC to decide on the question of the jurisdiction of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza. Chief Prosecutor Bensouda said that her preliminary investigation has found that “war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.” (AJ, Guardian, HA, HA, WAFA 12/20; HA 12/21)