Tuesday, August 4, 2020

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set fire to 2 Palestinian-owned vehicles near Qalqilya. Israeli forces demolished 2 animal shelters in Kisan. Israeli forces also gave 4 families near Yatta demolition notices for their residential structures. 11 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Ramallah, Jenin, ‘Urif, Qalqilya, Bayt Umar, and Jericho; during a raid in Jericho, 2 Palestinians were shot by Israeli forces using rubber-coated bullets. In East Jerusalem, 2 Palestinians were arrested during raids. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire on agricultural lands east of Khuza‘a; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 8/4; PCHR 8/13)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas extended the state of emergency related to COVID-19 for another month. (WAFA 8/5)

An Israeli court ordered the release of PA governor of Jerusalem Adnan Ghaith who had been detained since 7/19. Governor Ghaith was released with the condition that he does not contact Fatah and other Palestinian officials in the West Bank. (WAFA 8/4)

In Lebanon, a massive explosion causing widespread destruction in Beirut killed at least 135 people, wounded more than 5,000, and left more than 200,000 people homeless. The explosion happened at the Beirut port and it is unclear what caused the explosion, but most sources attribute it to a fire at a fireworks warehouse which spread to an adjacent warehouse storing a large amount of ammonium nitrate fertilizer confiscated several years ago. Israel denied having a role in the explosion and was 1 of many countries to extend offers of humanitarian aid to Lebanon. (AJ, NYT, REU 8/4; AJ, AJ, CNN, HA, HA, HA, NYT 8/5; HA 8/6; HA 8/7)