Wednesday, January 23, 2019

In the West Bank, Israeli forces raze 15 dunams (approximately 3.7 acres) of Palestinian land near Hebron and another few dozen dunams of Palestinian land near Nablus. IDF troops arrest 9 Palestinians during late-night raids near Qalqilya, Hebron, and Nablus; and patrol near Qalandia refugee camp, Qalqilya, Salfit, Hebron, and Bethlehem. In East Jerusalem, 85 right-wing Jewish activists tour Haram al-Sharif in the morning. Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops arrest 2 Palestinians attempting to cross the border fence into Israel near Rafah. The IDF later reports that they damaged part of the fence. (MNA, MNA, MNA, WAFA 1/23; MNA, PCHR 1/24; PCHR 1/31)

After the exchange of violence along Gaza’s border on 1/22, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatens to escalate the IDF’s response if the shootings continues. “The response will be destructive and very painful, and we are ready for any scenario and escalation,” he adds. Later, Israel’s security cabinet meets to discuss the situation, and they decide to allow the transfer of $15 million in Qatari funds into Gaza within 24 hours. The entire cabinet reportedly supports the move. Netanyahu suspended the transfer for a 2d time on 1/22. A Qatari delegation arrives in Gaza to oversee distribution of the funds, which is planned for the afternoon of 1/25. (JP, JP, TOI, TOI 1/23; HA, MNA 1/24)