Tuesday, October 20, 2020

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers emptied wastewater on Palestinian agricultural lands near Sabastiyya. Israeli settlers also assaulted Palestinians harvesting olives in Dayr al-Hatab, forcing the farmers to leave. Elsewhere, in the northern part of the Jordan Valley, Israeli settlers set up a cow shed and brought cows to Palestinian-owned land. Israeli forces demolished 1 market stall in Qalqilya and delivered stop-work orders for 3 houses and dozens of other structures in Qalandia. 5 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Tulkarm, al-‘Arub refugee camp, and Jericho. In East Jerusalem, 4 Palestinians were arrested during raids. In Gaza, Israeli forces fired 2 missiles, hitting empty land east of Dayr al-Balah, claiming that 1 rocket was fired toward Israel earlier in the day; no injuries were reported. Israel also said it had found a tunnel running near Khan Yunis tens of meters into Israel. Israel later claimed that the tunnel was built by Hamas. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen within 4 nautical miles off the shore of al-Sudaniyya; no injuries were reported. (HA, HA, HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/20; AJ, HA, WAFA 10/21; PCHR 10/22)

1 Palestinian man died while working in a quarry owned by the settler company Shapir Engineering and Manufacturing near the Modi’in Illit settlement in the West Bank. His employer did not call the Israeli ambulance service that the worker was entitled to as he was employed by a settler company, but rather called the Palestinian Red Crescent, which took 30 minutes to arrive at the scene and brought the Palestinian to a hospital in Ramallah, where he was pronounced dead. The employer also did not notify the police of the death. The family of the deceased Palestinian said that if the Israeli ambulance had been called he might have survived as they were stationed closer to the accident. (HA 10/26)

An envoy from the UAE accompanied by U.S. secretary of the treasury Steven Mnuchin and U.S. envoy for the peace process Avi Berkowitz was welcomed in Tel Aviv airport by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi, and finance minister Israel Katz. In the Tel Aviv airport, Israel and the UAE signed a mutual visa waiver agreement allowing citizens of both countries to travel to and from each other without obtaining a visa. The parties also signed a preliminary agreement to have oil from the UAE run through an Israeli pipeline supplying the European market. A member of the PLO executive committee Wasel Abu Youssef called the visit “shameful” and said such a visit emboldens Israel in committing crimes against Palestinians. A Hamas spokesperson, Hazem Qassem, said the visit “only encourage[s] the occupation to pursue the gradual annexation of West Bank lands.” Last week on 14 and 15 October, Israel announced 5,000 new settlement units in various settlements in the West Bank. (AJ, AJ, HA, HA, REU 10/20; TOI 10/21; LT, REU 10/22)

Israel struck a target in Syria; according to Syrian state media SANA, Israel hit a school in a village in Quneitra Province. However, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was a Hezbollah facility that was hit by the Israeli strike. (HA 10/21)