Wednesday, February 17, 2021

In the West Bank, 1 Palestinian woman died after having a heart attack as Israeli forces raided her home in Abu Njeim near Bethlehem. 4 Palestinians were arrested, including 1 at a checkpoint in Hizma, 1 at a checkpoint near Bethlehem, and 2 during late-night raids in Qalandia. In East Jerusalem, 4 Palestinians were arrested in al-Tur. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions and leveled agricultural land east of Khan Yunis. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/17; PCHR 2/18)

Israel allowed 2,000 doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine to enter Gaza from the West Bank after refusing to let it enter Gaza since 2/15. (AJ, AP, REU, WAFA 2/17; HA 2/18)

The Palestinian central elections commission said that 93.3 of eligible voters were registered for the Palestinian elections as the registration process ended. Some 421,000 new voters were reportedly registered. (WAFA 2/17)

The Israeli central election committee disqualified the Palestinian-Israeli Labor candidate Ibtisam Mara’ana from running in the upcoming Israeli elections. The disqualification was made based on past statements perceived to be anti-Israeli, which critics have said were taken out of context. The request to disqualify Mara’ana was made by the racist far-right Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party. The decision is expected to be overturned by the Israeli supreme court. (HA, HA 2/17; HA 2/18)

After weeks of speculation in Israeli and U.S. media as to why U.S. president Joe Biden had not called Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu after taking office on 1/20, the call happened and was described as warm. Axios later reported that Prime Minister Netanyahu asked President Biden to keep the Trump administration-imposed sanctions on ICC personnel. (AJ, HA, REU 2/17; AX 2/24; AJ 2/25)