Wednesday, June 24, 2020

In the West Bank, Israeli forces prevented Palestinians from reaching a rally against annexation and Palestinian officials from reaching a meeting in Fasayil in the Jordan Valley, leading to tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also demolished 1 house under construction in Bayt Sira and 1 house in Beitunia. Elsewhere, Israeli forces delivered an eviction notice to 1 Palestinian in al-Khadir. Israeli settlers destroyed 85 Palestinian-owned olive trees near Bardala. 22 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Qalqilya, ‘Azun, Jenin, Awarta, Nablus, Baytin, Ramallah, Hebron, and Qalandia. In East Jerusalem, Israeli setters seized a tract of Palestinian-owned land in Issawiyya. Israeli forces also demolished 1 Palestinian-owned home in Bayt Hanina. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire on agricultural lands east of Dayr al-Balah; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/24; PCHR 6/25)

The Jerusalem district court denied a request by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate to void the sale of its property in the Old City to the settler group Ateret Cohanim, ending a 16-year-long legal battle. (HA 6/26)

U.S. president Donald Trump aide Kellyanne Conway told reporters that President Trump will have “a big announcement” about the U.S. position on Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank after White House officials met for a 2d day in a row to discuss the issue. Conway also characterized concerns over potential reactions in the Middle East to Israeli annexation as overblown. (AJ 6/24; HA 6/25)

At a virtual UN Security Council meeting, the UN secretary general António Guterres called on Israel “to abandon its annexation plans.” After the meeting, the current and incoming EU members of the UN security council—Germany, Ireland, France, Estonia, Belgium, and France, as well as the UK and Norway—released a joint statement supporting Secretary General Guterres’s “grave concern.” Separately, more than 1,000 European parliamentarians from 25 counties signed a letter denouncing Israel, saying “[a]cquisition of territory by force has no place in 2020 and must have commensurate consequences.” Meanwhile, U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo told reporters that decisions about annexations are “for Israelis to make.” (AJ, BBC, German Foreign Ministry, HA, REU, REU, WAFA 6/24; AJ 6/25)

At an extraordinary meeting hosted by Sweden and Jordan to fundraise for UNRWA, 75 governments and non-governmental organizations pledged $130 million to the UNRWA budget. (WAFA 6/24)