Tuesday, January 12, 2021

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted dozens of almond trees and grapevines in Bayt Umar and threatened the Palestinian landowners with guns. Israeli forces razed Palestinian-owned land in ‘Ayn Bus and seized 1 greenhouse in Bethlehem. Israeli forces also shot and injured 1 Palestinian with live ammunition as he was trying to enter Israel for work through the separation barrier near Far‘un. Elsewhere, Israeli forces dismantled and seized 1 agricultural structure in Tuqu‘. Israeli forces also arrested 1 Palestinian at the Qalandia checkpoint, claiming he wanted to stab a soldier with a screwdriver. 15 others were arrested during raids in and around Qabatiya, Jenin refugee camp, Burqin, Ramallah, Kafr Malik, Tulkarm, Tubas, and Nablus. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 7 nautical miles northwest of Rafah. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/12; PCHR 1/14)

The Israeli government told its high court of justice that it had delivered 100 COVID-19 vaccine doses to the PA and that more doses would arrive in some 10 days. The PA health ministry denied having received any doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Israel. (HA, WAFA 1/13)

The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem released a position paper “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: this is apartheid,” calling Israel an apartheid state. B’Tselem argued that the distinction between Israel proper, East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza has been obfuscated so that “the entire area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River is organized under a single principle: advancing and cementing the supremacy of one group—Jews—over another—Palestinians.” B’Tselem said it no longer could treat the occupied Palestinian territories as distinct from Israel as it has in the past and therefore needs to treat the area as 1 entity operating as an apartheid state. 2 particular developments led B’Tselem to change its viewpoint: the Nation-State law and the threats of annexation of Area C. Several Palestinian human rights organizations including al-Haq and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights have already called Israel an apartheid state. (AQ 11/12/2019; +972, AJ, AP, B’Tselem, CNN, GDN, HA, IN 1/12)

Israel attacked several places in Dayr al-Zur and Abu Kamal in eastern Syria with airstrikes, killing 57 people and wounding at least 37. According to a U.S. intelligence official, the strikes were made with intelligence from the U.S.; U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo had discussed the airstrikes with Mossad director Yossi Cohen at a D.C. restaurant on 1/11. Secretary Pompeo also announced that the terrorist group Al Qaeda has a home base in Iran without providing any evidence, a charge the Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called “warmongering lies.” On 1/10, Secretary Pompeo said that the Houthi rebels in Yemen would be added to the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations, a designation many humanitarian organizations lambasted as it will make it impossible to deliver aid to the civilian population living in Houthi-controlled areas who are heavily hunger stricken. (REU 1/10; AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, HA, HA, HA, REU 1/11; AJ, AJ, REU, REU 1/12; AA, AJ, FOX, HA, HA, HA, JP 1/13; HA 1/15; HA, HA 1/17)