Tuesday, December 28, 2021

In the West Bank, Israeli forces uprooted 50 olive trees in Wadi Fukin. Israeli forces also demolished 9 residential and 14 agricultural structures in Ibziq. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished a house under construction in Qalqas. Israeli force shot and injured 6 Palestinians using live ammunition during a late-night raid in Tubas. 13 Palestinians were arrested during raids in al-Am‘ari refugee camp, Beit Umar, Halhul, Yatta, Jenin, Ya‘bad, and Kaft Laqif; 1 Palestinian was injured by Israeli live ammunition during a protest against the raid in al-Am‘ari refugee camp. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces physically assaulted 2 Palestinians in Isawiya and Jabel Mukaber. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian farmers east of Dayr al-Balah; no injuries were reported. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Gaza City; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/28; MEE, WAFA 12/29; PCHR 12/30)

The Jordanian Detainees Committee in Saudi Arabia said that a Saudi court had reduced the sentence of former Hamas official Mohammad al-Khodari from 15 years to 3 years in prison. Al-Khodari was 1 of some 60 Jordanian and Palestinian nationals to receive sentences by Saudi Arabia earlier this year for an affiliation with Hamas or other resistance groups. (MEMO 12/29)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas met with Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz at Gantz’s residence in Rosh Ha’ayin. The 2.5-hour-long meeting was attended by Israel’s coordinator of government activities in the territories Rassan Aliyan, PA civil affairs minister Hussein al-Sheikh, and head of PA security service Majed Faraj. Civil Affairs Minister al-Sheikh said the 2 sides spoke of a political horizon while Defense Minister Gantz tweeted that the meeting was about economic and civic measures and security coordination. An Israeli statement said Israel had agreed to register 6,000 Palestinians living in the West Bank and 3,500 living in Gaza, give the PA a $32-million advance on its tax income, and grant more business permits and VIP passes for the PA. Israeli and Palestinian officials said that President Abbas demanded more action against settler violence and the revocation of terror designations for 6 Palestinian rights organizations. It was President Abbas’s 1st meeting with an Israeli official in Israel since 2010. A Hamas spokesperson condemned Abbas’s visit, saying he was accommodating the occupation and “deepening Palestinian political divisions.” Islamic Jihad and the PFLP also condemned the meeting. (AP, HA, JP, TOI 12/28; ABC, AJ, ALM, AP, AX, F24, HILL, MEE, MEMO, MEMO, REU, TOI, WAFA, WAFA 12/29; ALM, HA, MEE, MEMO, MEMO 12/30; ALM, MEMO 12/31; TOI 1/1; TOI 1/2)

Israeli justice minister Gideon Sa‘ar said he wanted the Homesh settlement outpost legalized in response to the killing of 1 Israeli settler on 12/16. (HA 12/28)

In Syria, Israel conducted air strikes in Latakia, causing damage at the city’s port. Israeli sources claimed that Israeli missiles had hit Iranian munitions stored in containers. A Russian official said 4 missiles were fired from 2 Israeli F-16s, causing minor material damage. The Russian official also said that the Syrian air defense system was deactivated because a Russian plane was landing nearby. (AJ, AP, AP, GDN, HA, HA, NWK, REU 12/28; MEMO 12/29; AP, HA 12/30)