Thursday, June 24, 2021

In the West Bank, the prominent critic of the PA, Nizar Banat, died at a hospital after being arrested by PA forces in his home in Dura; the family of Banat said he was brutally beaten by 20 PA officers. Banat was a candidate for the Liberation and Dignity party before the PA canceled the elections scheduled for 5/22. The PA said it would open an investigation into how Banat died. Protests against the PA broke out in several places in the West Bank and PA forces violently dispersed the protesters using tear gas and batons. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting against the Evyatar settlement outpost near Beita, injuring 1 with live ammunition. Israeli forces arrested 11 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Nablus, Hebron, Salfit, and Bethlehem. In East Jerusalem, 7 Palestinians were arrested in Shaykh Jarrah and the Old City. (AJ, AP, HA, MEE, MEE, MEMO, PCHR, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/24; AJ, ALM, PCHR, WAFA 6/25; PCHR 7/1)

The New York Times released a visual investigation of the killing of 44 Palestinians in Gaza by the Israeli military on 5/16. The investigation showed how the Israeli military used U.S.-manufactured munitions to strike civilian targets in the Rimal area of Gaza City. The investigation also said that Israel’s claim that it had sought to bomb an underground military facility in the heavily populated area was unsubstantiated and that Israel made no effort to warn the Palestinians living in the area that it would attack the alleged underground military facility. (NYT 6/24)

73 House Democrats led by Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) urged the Biden administration to formally withdraw from the Trump administration’s peace plan, reopen the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem, restate that settlements are inconsistent with international law, and oppose expulsions of Palestinians from their homes. (HA, MEE 6/24; MEMO, WAFA 6/25)

Honduras opened an embassy to Israel in Jerusalem, being the 3d country to do so after the U.S. and Guatemala. The opening ceremony was attended by Honduras president Juan Orlando Hernández and Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett. (MEMO, WAFA 6/25)

UN secretary-general António Guterres and UN special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland criticized Israel for its settlement enterprise at the UN security council. (AP 6/24; AJ, HA, TOI 6/25)