Thursday, October 29, 2020

In the West Bank, Israeli forces attacked Palestinian worshippers in al-Ibrahimi Mosque during morning prayers at the advent of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday. 5 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Bethlehem, Bayt Sahour, and Dura. In East Jerusalem, 4 Palestinians were arrested during raids in the Old City. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of Khuza‘a; no injuries were reported. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen within 2 nautical miles west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA 10/29; PCHR 11/5)

The PA requested help from the UN to get a baptismal font back that was seized by Israel near Bethlehem on 7/20 this year. The baptismal font dates back to the 5th century. (WAFA 10/29)

A large Israeli military drill in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights caused massive damage with some 1,500 dunams (400 acres) burned by fires sparked from the drill. (TOI 10/29; HA 10/30)

U.S. secretary of defense Mark Esper visited Israel, meeting with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz. Haaretz reported on 10/27 that Israel has requested F-22 fighter jets from the U.S., which are currently only used by the U.S. military. Meanwhile, the White House notified Congress of its intent to sell 50 F-35 fighter jets to the UAE as part of the normalization deal between Israel and the UAE. (AJ, HA, HA 10/29; LT 10/30)

The CEO of Golan Heights Winery in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights said in a statement that his wines will be sold in the UAE starting this week. The UAE does not recognize Israeli sovereignty in the occupied Golan Heights. (HA, REU 10/29)

U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo announced that U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem will be able to list Israel as the place of birth. The spokesperson for PA president Mahmoud Abbas condemned the U.S. decision. (HA 10/28; HA, REU, WAFA 10/29; AJ, IN, REU 10/30)