Monday, June 22, 2020

In the West Bank, a Fatah-organized anti-annexation protest in Jericho drew large crowds and several prominent speakers, including PA prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, UN envoy for Middle East peace Nickolay Mladenov, and other foreign diplomats. Israeli forces prevented Palestinians from other parts of the West Bank from reaching Jericho, leading to clashes in the northern part of the Jordan Valley where 8 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces using rubber-coated bullets and tear gas. Israeli settlers threw stones on Palestinian vehicles traveling between Nablus and Jenin, causing damage. Later, Israeli settlers raided Nablus, leading to confrontations between Palestinians and the Israeli forces escorting the settlers; 1 Palestinian was injured by rubber-coated bullets, others suffered tear-gas related injuries. 16 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Jalazun refugee camp, Kobar, Ramallah, Jenin, Tubas, Tulkarm, and Bayt Fajjar. In East Jerusalem, 3 Palestinians were hospitalized after Israeli forces fired tear gas outside their house in Issawiyya. 1 Palestinian was arrested in Issawiyya. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian shepherds east of al-Maghazi; no injuries were reported. (HA 6/21; HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/22; WAFA, WAFA 6/23; PCHR 6/25)

According to Haaretz sources, the Trump administration is considering green-lighting an Israeli plan for annexation of parts of the West Bank which would be rolled out over several installments rather than in 1 sweep. The plan is perceived as able to curb some of the criticism that Israel has received from several staunch supporters of Israel within the Democratic party since announcing its annexation plans. (HA 6/21)

120 Republican members of the U.S. House signed a letter to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressing their support for Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank. The letter said that the Republican lawmakers believe that “Israel has the right to make sovereign decisions independent of outside pressure.” The signatories represent a majority of the 198 republicans in the House. (HILL 6/22; HA 6/23)