Friday, December 10, 2021

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles driving on Route 60 near the Yitzhar settlement, causing damage. Israeli settlers also started construction on a pool near a water spring in Khirbet al-Farisiya. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Beita, killing 1 Palestinian man with a shot to his head; 68 others were injured, including 4 with rubber-coated bullets. The PA foreign ministry called in the ICC to take action against Israel’s killing of Palestinian protesters. The man was the 9th victim of Israeli gunfire related to the weekly anti-settlement protest in Beita since May. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 6 with rubber-coated bullets, including 2 minors. 5 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Beitunia and al-Bireh. In East Jerusalem, 2 Palestinians were arrested in Isawiya and Jabel Mukaber. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces arrested 2 Palestinian fishermen and confiscated their boat. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian bird hunters near the Gaza fence; no injuries were reported. (AJ, AP, HA, MEE, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/10; MEMO, PCHR 12/11; WAFA 12/12; HA, MDW 12/13; PCHR 12/16; HA 12/24)

In Lebanon, an explosion killed 1 and injured 4 others in the Burj el-Shamali refugee camp. Sources in the camp said the explosion happened in a Hamas weapons depot; however, Hamas denied the claim, saying the explosion was due to an electrical fault in a warehouse storing oxygen and gas cylinders for COVID-19 patients. (AJ, AP, HA, REU 12/10; AP, MEMO 12/12)

The New York Times reported that Israel consulted with the Biden administration before it struck 2 targets in Iran in June and September this year. (NYT 12/10; HA 12/11)

In promotional material for the upcoming book Trump’s Peace: The Abraham Accords and the Reshaping of the Middle East by Israeli journalist Barak Ravid, it was revealed that former U.S. president and likely candidate for the Republican presidential ticket in 2024, Donald Trump, made significant U.S. policy changes to help former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu win elections in Israel. Former President Trump told Ravid that he recognized the Golan Heights as part of Israel and, separately, announced plans to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem to help Netanyahu, who was struggling in the Israeli elections. Trump also told Ravid that he left the Iran Nuclear deal because of Israel and dismissed the idea that it was due to Israeli intelligence, mocking the idea that Israel had presented anything new at the time. Ravid further reports in his book that Trump believes that Netanyahu never had any interest in making peace with the Palestinians. Trump explained to Ravid that PA president Mahmoud Abbas “was almost like a father” and that he thought Abbas wanted to make peace more than Netanyahu. Trump acknowledged to Ravid that his strategy of pressuring the Palestinian leadership back to negotiations after recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel had failed, saying “[t]hese are hardened people.” Netanyahu and Trump had a significant personal fallout due to Israel’s push to annex most of the West Bank, outside of the framework of the Trump administration’s plan for a peace deal. It was also revealed that Trump now holds a grudge against Netanyahu because Netanyahu congratulated U.S. president Joe Biden on his election win in 2020, which Trump has falsely claimed to be fraudulent and has never officially conceded. Trump said he had not talked to Netanyahu since losing the election and said to Ravid during the interview, “fuck him [Netanyahu].” (AP, AX, AX, HA 12/10; FWD, HA, HA 12/12; AX, HA, IN, MEE, MEMO 12/13; TOI 12/14; GDN 12/20)

In Ravid’s book Trump’s Peace, new details about the normalization agreement between Israel and the UAE are also revealed. According to Ravid, Avi Berkowitz, aide to senior advisor to the president Jared Kushner, suggested to Netanyahu on 6/30/2020 that he normalize relations with the UAE instead of moving ahead with annexation of parts of the West Bank. The UAE ambassador to the U.S. Yousef Otaiba had been in talks with the U.S. about normalization since March 2019 and had been pushing normalization with Israel. Ravid also writes in his book that UK ambassador to the UN Karen Elizabeth Pierce warned Berkowitz and U.S. special envoy to Iran Brian Hook that the UK and other countries would recognize the State of Palestine if Israel moved forward with annexing parts of the West Bank. (FWD 12/12; AX, HA 12/13; MEMO 1/4)

Germany contributed with $23.75 million to the UNRWA. (WAFA 12/10)