Thursday, January 2, 2020

In the West Bank, Israeli forces raided a Palestinian-owned house in Kaubar and took measures to punitively demolish it; 2 of the house’s occupants are detained by Israel. Israeli forces also arrested 11 Palestinians, including 4 during late-night raids in and around Tulkarm, Jenin, and Ramallah; 1 on a street near Nablus; and 7 during daytime raids in and around Ramallah, Nablus, ‘Ayn al-Hilwa, and Hebron. During a daytime raid in Nablus, Israeli forces confiscated a tractor, and separately during a different raid in Nablus, Israeli forces seized carpentry equipment. 1 Palestinian was shot by Israeli forces after he allegedly attempted to carry out a stabbing by the Gush Etzion junction. Israeli forces also seized and impounded a PA health ministry vehicle providing medical services to 1,500 Palestinians in rural areas south of Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces fired tear gas and arrested 3 Palestinians at Bab al-Rahma in the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire east of Khan Yunis; no injuries were reported. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/2; WAFA 1/3; HA 1/7; PCHR 1/9)

9 Palestinians from Issawiyya in East Jerusalem were placed under nighttime curfew between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. 6 of the men were told that they were facing a nighttime curfew on 12/29, but the curfew did not take effect until 1/2. The Israeli military cited a 1945 Mandate-era regulation to justify placing the 9 under nighttime curfew. (HA 1/2)

The U.S. assassinated Iranian major general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and commander of the IRGC’s special forces Quds Force Qasem Soleimani and the deputy chairman of the Iraqi government-sanctioned militia Popular Mobilisation Forces, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, along with several other Iranian and Iraqi officials at Baghdad International airport. The assassinations were carried out by an American MQ-9 drone that fired missiles at the officials’ convoy as it was leaving the airport. The Pentagon released a statement saying that the strike was directed on behest of U.S. president Donald Trump and was aimed at “deterring future Iranian attack plans.” Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a statement that Iran would have 3 days of mourning followed by a retaliation. The speaker of the Iraqi parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi condemned the assassination, calling it “a flagrant breach of sovereignty and violation of international agreements.” (DOD, NYT, REU 1/2; AJ, AJ, AP, CNN, HA, WP 1/3; HA 1/4)