Wednesday, June 16, 2021

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort toured Sabastiyya, closing off parts of the town to Palestinians. Israeli settlers also vandalized Palestinian-owned homes and vehicles in Qusra. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian, alleging that she attempted to ram Israeli soldiers with a car and brandished a knife near Hizma; it was reported that the Israeli soldiers left her to bleed out. Israeli forces also shot and critically injured 1 Palestinian teen during a protest against the Evyatar settlement outpost in Beita. Elsewhere, Israeli forces sealed off entrances to ‘Azun. Israeli forces also delivered demolition notices for 6 buildings under construction near Ya‘bad and ordered a Palestinian amputee to remove his vending stall on a road north of Jericho. 22 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Beita, Tulkarm refugee camp, ‘Ayn Yabrud, Burqa, Sa‘ir, and Hebron. In East Jerusalem, 1 Israeli settler sprayed paint in the face of prominent Palestinian activist Muna El-Kurd in Shaykh Jarrah; El Kurd was subsequently detained as was the Israeli settler, who occupied part of the El-Kurd family home. In Gaza, Israeli forces fired missiles at Khan Yunis and Gaza City, causing damage; no injuries were reported. Israeli forces also made incursions and leveled land east of Rafah. In Israel, 4 fires were said to have been ignited by incendiary balloons from Gaza. (AJ, DW, GDN, REU 6/15; AJ, ALM, AP, AP, GDN, HA, HA, IN, MEE, REU, REU, SKY, TOI, WAFA. WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/16; CNN, PCHR, WAFA 6/17)

Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor submitted a complaint to the Universal Postal Union condemning Israel’s decision to ban all mail to and from Gaza as part of tightening Israel’s blockade after “Operation Guardian of the Walls.” No mail has entered or left Gaza since 5/8. (WAFA 6/16; HA, WAFA 6/18)

Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh arrived in Morocco for a 4-day visit, where he is scheduled to meet with leaders of the 3 biggest political parties. A reception for Haniyeh was given by Moroccan prime minister Saad Dine El Othmani. (HA, REU 6/17)

From the senate floor, U.S. senator Bob Menendez criticized senate republicans for fast-tracking legislation that would block all U.S. aid to Gaza, saying the republicans are using Israel as a pawn for their own “partisan political purposes.” Senator Menendez said the republican-proposed legislation “is written so broadly, that, for example, before delivering clean water or water infrastructure, the president would effectively have to certify that anyone related to Hamas would never drink that water or drink from a water fountain that carried that water. This is simply absurd.” (HA 6/17)

The Zionist anti-occupation organization Americans for Peace Now announced it had changed its position on U.S. military aid to Israel, saying it supports conditioning the aid. President and CEO Hadar Susskind wrote in Time Magazine that the events in Gaza, East Jerusalem, and Israel in May made it clear that “military aid without conditions neither serves U.S. policy interests—nor, I would argue, does it serve Israel.” (HA 6/16)

The Israeli public broadcaster KAN reported that the UK had started listing “Occupied Palestinian Territories” instead of Jerusalem on 1 of its journalist’s passports. It was unclear if the change was a result of a new UK policy. (HA 6/16)

ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s 9-year term ended and UK lawyer Karim Khan took over the job as top ICC prosecutor overseeing probes into war crimes potentially committed in the Palestinian occupied territory, Afghanistan, Myanmar, and the Philippines. Khan previously led a UN special investigative team looking at crimes committed by the Islamic State in Iraq. (HA 6/15)