Tuesday, August 25, 2020

In the West Bank, Israeli forces demolished 8 structures in a bedouin village north of Ramallah and delivered demolition notices for 2 houses near Bethlehem. 11 Palestinians were arrested in and around Tulkarm, Jenin, Bethlehem, and Ramallah; during the raid in Tulkarm, 2 Palestinians were shot by Israeli forces using rubber-coated bullets; during the raid near Jenin, 1 Palestinian was shot by live ammunition. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian-owned home was demolished in Silwan and 1 Palestinian family demolished their own home in Sur Bahir to avoid exorbitant Israeli demolition fees. 4 Palestinians were arrested. In Gaza, Hamas authorities initiated a 48-hour curfew after 4 members of the same family tested positive for the COVID-19 virus on 8/24; these were the 1st people to test positive in Gaza outside of designated quarantine facilities. Israeli forces attacked buildings east of Rafah, causing damage; incendiary balloons were sent toward Israel, causing fires. (AJ, AJ, HA, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 8/25; PCHR 8/27)

Both PA president Mahmoud Abbas and PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh met separately with the British foreign secretary Dominic Raab in Ramallah. President Abbas told Secretary Raab peace cannot be achieved by bypassing the Palestinians through normalization of relations with other Arab countries. (WAFA, WAFA 8/25)

Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz and the defense minister of the UAE Mohammed al-Bawardi spoke during a phone call where the 2 discussed shared security interests. (HA, REU 8/25)

U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo spoke to the Republican National Convention from Jerusalem while on an official trip to the Middle East. Secretary Pompeo’s performance at the Republican National Convention was a violation of the Hatch Act and a congressional investigation was initiated shortly after his speech was broadcasted. In his speech, Pompeo touted U.S. president Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, saying “this very city of God, Jerusalem, the rightful capital of the Jewish homeland.” Secretary Pompeo also met with the prime minister of Sudan Abdalla Hamdok to discuss normalizing ties between Sudan and Israel, among other issues. A Sudanese spokesperson said that the transitional government was not mandated to normalize ties with Israel. (AJ, HA, HA, HA, HA 8/25; HA 8/27)

The Democratic candidate for vice president Kamala Harris said in a call with Jewish supporters that a Biden administration will not condition U.S. military aid to Israel. (HA 8/26)

The director of UNRWA affairs in Gaza, Matthias Schmale, called on Israel to start allowing fuel into Gaza as Gaza’s only power plant had remained closed for 1 week due to lack of fuel as Israel blocked the entrance of fuel to Gaza. (WAFA 8/25)