Saturday, February 20, 2021

In the West Bank, Israeli forces seized a tractor near Jericho and assaulted its 2 Palestinian owners as they tried to prevent the seizure, leading to hospitalization of 1 and arrest of the other. Israeli forces also violently dispersed a protest in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 2 with sponge grenades. 2 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Hizma and al-Shuyukh. In East Jerusalem, 2 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Silwan and Issawiyya; during the arrest in Silwan, Israeli forces also confiscated 1 Palestinian-owned vehicle. 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. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian lands east of Khan Yunis; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA 2/20; PCHR 2/25)

UNRWA announced that it will unify its food basket system in Gaza, canceling double portions for the most vulnerable families to expand its services to another 60,000 people. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights warned that the move will harm the poorest people in Gaza and that UNRWA needs to enhance its food program. (PCHR 2/21)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas signed a decree banning police pursuits and detentions based on “reasons related to freedom of expression and political affiliation.” The decree also said prisoners held because of political affiliation or for voicing opinions should be released. President Abbas also signed a decree allocating a minimum of 7 seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council to Palestinian Christians. (AP, HA, WAFA, WAFA 2/20; WAFA 2/21)

According to al-Arabiya, the Israeli government has asked Egypt to help negotiate a prisoner release with Hamas. (HA 2/20)

1 Israeli navy ship entered Lebanese territorial waters. (WAFA 2/21)