Tuesday, February 9, 2021

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort raided Luban al-Sharqiyya, during which 1 Israeli settler pushed 1 Palestinian off a 4-meter wall, causing him to be hospitalized. Israeli settlers also uprooted some 50 olive trees near al-Twana. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers and military escort raided Kafr Ni‘ma, leading to confrontations; no injuries were reported. Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian man trying to enter Israel for work at the separation barrier near Barta‘a. Israeli forces also clashed with Palestinians during a raid in Tuqu‘, injuring 1 child who was hit by a tear gas canister, others suffered tear-gas related injuries. 7 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Kaubar, Dura, Hebron, Dheisheh refugee camp, and al-Khadir; during the raid in Dheisheh refugee camp, 1 Palestinian was injured by Israeli forces using live ammunition and others suffered tear-gas related injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolished 1 Palestinian-owned home in Shaykh Jarrah. Palestinians protested the pending eviction of 4 Palestinian families in Shaykh Jarrah whose homes are expected to be taken over by Israeli settlers. Israeli authorities also banned the Old City’s caretaker of Islamic cemeteries from entering the city for 15 days. 5 Palestinians were arrested, including 4 during late-night raids in al-Tur and 1 at the Haram al-Sharif compound. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen within 6 nautical miles west of Gaza City, causing damage to 3 boats. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions and leveled farmland north of Bayt Lahiya. In Israel, 1 Palestinian from the West Bank was arrested at his workplace in Umm al-Fahm. (WAFA, WAFA 2/8; WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/9; PCHR 2/11)

Egypt announced that it would open the Rafah crossing “indefinitely.” It was reported that the decision was tied to the Fatah and Hamas reconciliation efforts and Palestinian plans to hold elections. (ALM, REU, WAFA 2/9; AJ 2/10)

14 Palestinian factions, including Fatah and Hamas, released a joint statement following 2 days of meetings in Cairo confirming the Palestinian elections to be held in May, July, and August. Islamic Jihad said the group would not run in the elections but that they would not interfere with them. (AJ, AP, HA, WAFA 2/9; HA, AP 2/10)

German foreign minister Heiko Maas tweeted that Germany does not agree with the ICC on the issue of the ICC’s territorial jurisdiction in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, saying that the State of Palestine is not recognized in international law. Foreign Minister Maas’s tweet came 1 day after he spoke with Israeli foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi, who has been reaching out to allies to have them publicly side with Israel in the matter of the ICC investigation. Unlike the U.S. and Israel, Germany is part of the ICC. The EU has said it supports the independence of the ICC. Canada and Australia, also members of the ICC, have also expressed dismay about the territorial jurisdiction ruling. The PA foreign ministry said it regretted that Israel had been successful in convincing Germany, Canada, Australia, Austria, Brazil, and others in opposing the ICC investigation. (HA, HA 2/9; WAFA 2/10)