Wednesday, November 18, 2020

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers toured Sabastiyya, closing off areas to Palestinians. Israeli forces closed off agricultural roads east of Yatta, preventing farmers from accessing their land. Israeli forces also delivered stop-work orders for 4 houses under construction in Kisan. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed protesters in al-Bireh demonstrating against U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo’s upcoming visit to a nearby Israeli settlement; tear-gas related injuries were reported. 8 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Tulkarm, Dheisheh refugee camp, and Safa. Elsewhere, Israeli forces fired tear gas at Palestinians entering Israel for work near Rummana. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces summoned PA minister of Jerusalem affairs Fadi Hidmi for interrogation. 2 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Issawiyya. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire on agricultural lands east of al-Fukhari; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 11/18, PCHR 11/19)

The PA announced that it was sending its ambassadors back to the UAE and Bahrain after recalling them due to the 2 countries’ normalization deals with Israel. (REU 11/18; TOI 11/19)

On the 1st day of a 3-day trip to Israel, U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo held a press conference with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the foreign minister of Bahrain Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani, saying that the 3 normalization deals with Israel have further isolated Iran. Foreign Minister al-Zayani called for negotiations between Israel and Palestinians, saying the “conflict must be solved.” Bahrain and Israel announced they would open embassies in each other’s countries and establish an online visa system as well as direct weekly flights between the 2 countries. (AJ, AJ, HA, TOI, REU 11/18; TOI 11/19)

A group of 3 bipartisan senators introduced 4 resolutions of disapproval of the U.S. administration’s plans to sell F-35 fighter jets, Reaper drones, and munitions to the UAE. The 3 senators initiating the disapproval resolutions were Rand Paul (R-KY), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Chris Murphy (D-CT). (HA 11/18)

At the UN, a resolution supporting Palestinian sovereignty in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, passed the general assembly with a 156-6 vote with Canada, Israel, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, and the U.S. voting against. The resolution is approved annually. (JP, WAFA 11/19)