Saturday, April 3, 2021

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked 1 Palestinian man in Jalud with sticks and rocks; when Israeli forces arrived, they fired stun grenades at other Palestinians trying to help the man being assaulted. The man was later taken to a hospital for his injuries; Yesh Din released a video of the incident. The same group of settlers also uprooted olive, pine, and cypress seedlings and damaged power lines in the area. Israeli forces shot, injured, and arrested 1 Palestinian man in Qatanna. 3 others were arrested at military checkpoints near Tulkarm and Taqqua. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported but there was reported damage to fishing nets. (WAFA 4/3; HA, WAFA 4/4; PCHR 4/8)

The PA said it will ease the COVID-19-related lockdown by reopening schools for pupils in grades 1-6. The PA also extended the COVID-related state of emergency for another 30 days. (WAFA, WAFA 4/3)

Jordan said it had foiled a “malicious plot” against the country and put around 2 dozen people in house arrest, including former crown prince and half-brother of King Abdullah II, Prince Hamzah bin Hussein. Jordan said that an Israeli national with ties to the Mossad, Roy Shaposhnik, was aiding the plot and had arranged for Prince Hamzah and his wife to be flown out of the country on a private jet. Shaposhnik told Axios that he was not part of the plot, nor in the Mossad, but said that he did offer assistance to Prince Hamzah because of their friendship. Shaposhnik was previously an advisor to then prime minister Ehud Olmert. In a recording sent to BBC, Prince Hamzah said he was sent into house arrest because he was associated with critics of the Jordanian government and then criticized corruption and lack of freedom of speech in Jordan, but denied being part of a plot. Among the other people put under house arrest were Sharif Hassan bin Zaid and Bassem Ibrahim Awadallah, who are both members of the royal family. Awadallah is also a former minister of planning and finance. Prince Hamzah was crown prince from when his father King Hussein died in 1999 until 2004. A number of Jordanian allies including the U.S., the PA, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, and the Arab League expressed support of Abdullah II. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not comment on the situation, but defense minister Benny Gantz expressed support for Abdullah II. (AJ, AP, REU 4/3; AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, AX, BBC, HA, HA, HA, HA, NPR, NYT, REU, TOI, WAFA 4/4; AX, CNN, WAFA, WAFA 4/5; JP 4/6)