Tuesday, July 27, 2021

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort toured Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus; 5 Palestinians were injured by rubber-coated bullets and others by tear gas as Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting the incursion. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 41-year-old Palestinian plumber who was returning home from work near Beita; the Israeli military said it would investigate why the man was killed as Israeli forces initially reported that he was advancing toward Israeli soldiers with an iron bar. Israeli forces subsequently injured 1 with live ammunition, 19 with rubber-coated bullets, and 72 with tear gas as they violently dispersed Palestinians protesting the killing of the man. Israeli forces also violently dispersed a protest in ‘Ain al-Hilweh against the creation of a settlement outpost, injuring 4 with pepper spray, and 1 was arrested. 3 others were arrested during late-night raids in Beit Fajjar and Jenin. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian started demolishing part of his house in al-Tur. 3 Palestinians were arrested in the Old City and Sheikh Jarrah. (REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 7/27; AJ, ALM, AP, HA, MEE, TOI, WAFA, WAFA 7/28; PCHR 7/29; HA 8/6)

The AP reported that PA president Mahmoud Abbas had fired the director of Ramallah’s national library Ehab Bseiso on 6/27 because of Bseiso’s criticism of the killing of Nizar Banat by PA forces on 6/24. PA forces also shut the office of J-Media in Ramallah. The director of J-Media Alaa al-Rimawi was previously arrested by PA forces after he gave a sermon at Banat’s funeral. (HA 7/27; MEMO, MEMO 7/28)

The Jerusalem Post reported that the Israeli government will not evict Palestinians living in Sheikh Jarrah for the time being if the high court of justice rules the evictions permissible on 8/2. According to a government official, the government is concerned about the optics given the international campaign and general opposition to the forced expulsions of Palestinians from East Jerusalem and the potential for causing a situation akin to the escalation of tensions between Gaza and Israel in May. (JP 7/27; MEMO 7/28)

The Knesset approved an amendment to the Basic Law of Government allowing the 2 government leaders Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid to rotate the prime minister position amongst them during the government’s 4-year term. (HA 7/28)

Iranian officials claimed that Iran had arrested members of a Mossad cell and seized weapons it had stored to allegedly use against Iranian forces during protests over water shortages in Iran. (ALM, HA 7/27; MEMO 7/28)

The U.S. arms company Lockheed Martin and the Israeli Rafael Advanced Defense Systems announced an agreement in principle to develop a laser air defense system to combat rockets. (JP 7/27; ALM 7/28)

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) released an investigation into Israel’s Operation Guardian of the Walls from May, in which the organization found that Israel committed war crimes. The investigation focused on 3 specific Israeli attacks against Palestinian civilians in which 62 were killed, the majority children. The HRW concluded that there were no military targets at or near the attacked areas, despite Israeli claims. HRW also concluded that Israel used U.S.-made munitions in at least 2 of the 3 attacks it investigated. HRW said it would release a report on potential war crimes committed by Palestinian militant groups in August. (AJ, AP, BBC, HA, HRW, MEE, WAFA 7/27)