Thursday, December 17, 2020

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted and stole some 250 olive saplings near Kisan. Israeli forces raided a school in Jenin, leading to tear-gas related injuries among students and teachers. 6 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Bethlehem, Ramallah, al-Mughayyir, Birzeit, and Tulkarm; during a late-night raid in Ramallah, Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces, leading to tear-gas related injuries. In East Jerusalem, 2 Palestinians were arrested in the Old City during raids. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands in the direction of a group of officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and journalists east of al-Fukhari; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/17; PCHR 12/24)

The PA announced new restrictions to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus as daily cases continued to rise. Among the new restrictions were closures of all schools and universities, a ban of movement between governorates, full closure of high-rate areas, temporarily banning Palestinian citizens of Israel from entering the West Bank, a ban on Palestinian workers traveling between Israel and the West Bank and must find accommodation at their workplace or stay home, and a ban of movement of individuals on Fridays and Saturdays. The restrictions are in effect until 1/2/2021. The announcement came as the West Bank and Gaza recorded 30 new deaths and 2,149 new cases in the last 24 hours. 132 Palestinians were in intensive care, including 36 on ventilators. The PA did not provide data from East Jerusalem. According to the World Health Organization, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza have a total of 133,185 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of which 25,160 are active. 1,186 deaths related to COVID-19 have so far been recorded. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WHO 12/17)

Germany contributed $10.5 million to the World Food Programme’s mission in the West Bank and Gaza. (WAFA 12/17)