Friday, August 14, 2020

Palestinians in Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank protested against the UAE’s decision to normalize its ties with Israel. In the West Bank, Israeli forces violently dispersed the weekly anti-settlement protest in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 3 Palestinians using rubber-coated bullets and 1 with a tear gas canister to his head. Israeli forces and Palestinians also clashed west of Ramallah with young Palestinians throwing stones and Israeli forces firing live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, and tear gas; 2 Palestinians were injured by rubber-coated bullets. 7 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarm, al-‘Amari refugee camp, and Bethlehem. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian family demolished their own home under construction in Silwan. In Gaza, Israel fired missiles and shells at Gaza City, Khan Yunis, and Rafah, causing extensive damage to 7 houses and minor injuries to 4 Palestinians; incendiary balloons were launched from Gaza toward Israel. It was reported that Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz had decided not to allow Qatari aid to enter Gaza as collective punishment for the incendiary balloons landing in Israel. Gantz has also ordered a halt of fuel transfers to Gaza and halved the fishing zone. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen, injuring 1 with a rubber-coated bullet. In Israel, Israeli police violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Jaffa demonstrating against the impending demolition of an 18th century Muslim cemetery. (HA, HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 8/14; AJ 8/15; PCHR 8/19)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas and chairman of the Hamas politburo Ismail Haniyeh spoke via phone. According to WAFA, Haniyeh expressed Hamas’s support for a collective Palestinian movement. (WAFA 8/13)

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Turkey is considering suspending its diplomatic ties with the UAE in light of the UAE’s decision to establish ties with Israel. Oman called the UAE’s decision “historic.” (HA, REU, WAFA 8/14; AJ 8/15)

U.S. congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) introduced a bill co-sponsored by 6 other members of the house which seeks to prohibit U.S. funding for areas annexed by Israel. (WAFA 8/17)

The U.S. lost a bid at the UN Security Council to extend an arms embargo on Iran. 11 members abstained, Iran and China opposed, and the U.S. and the Dominican Republic were the only members voting in favor. Russia called for a world summit to avoid further “confrontation and escalation.” (AJ, HA 8/14; AJ, HA 8/15; AJ 8/17)