Wednesday, March 3, 2021

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers smashed the windows of 3 Palestinian houses and 2 vehicles in Huwwara. Israeli forces distributed notices to Palestinians in Yatta, declaring a large area east of the city Israeli state land. 6 Palestinians were arrested during raids in al-Fawar refugee camp, Birzeit, Nablus, Jenin refugee camp, and Ya‘bad; 5 Palestinians were injured during confrontations with Israeli forces spawning from the raids in Jenin and al-Fawar refugee camp, including 1 by live ammunition, 2 by glass shards, and 2 by rubber-coated bullets. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolished 1 Palestinian-owned house and 3 shops in Shu‘fat refugee camp. 2 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Jabal Mukabir. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of Abasan, Khuza‘a, al-Shuka, and al-Qarara; no injuries were reported. In Israel, Israelis attacked a Palestinian news crew working for Anadolu news agency in West Jerusalem, vandalizing their car. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/3; PCHR 3/4)

ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced that the ICC will start a formal investigation into war crimes committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza. On 2/5, the ICC judges decided that the ICC does have jurisdiction in the occupied territories. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the opening of a formal investigation “the essence of Antisemitism.” Both the PA and Hamas welcomed the investigation. Many human rights organizations likewise lauded the decision to investigate. The U.S. state department released a statement saying that the U.S. “opposes the ICC investigation into the Palestinian situation.” In the 1st stage of the investigation, Israel and the Palestinian parties have 30 days to inform the court if they will investigate alleged criminals themselves. (AJ, AP, BBC, DOS, GDN, HA, HA, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/3; AHQ, AJ, AP, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/4)

Israeli minister of environmental protection Gila Gamliel said Iran was behind an oil spill in the Mediterranean in what she described as “environmental terrorism.” According to Haaretz, Israeli military and intelligence agencies were caught by surprise by Environmental Protection Minister Gamliel’s announcement. The Israeli defense ministry later said it had found no evidence of Gamliel’s claim. (AP, HA, REU 3/3; AP, GDN, HA, TOI 3/4)

1 U.S. contractor died of a heart of attack during an attack on the ‘Ayn al-Asad air base in Iraq. At least 10 missiles were fired at the base. (AJ, AJ, AP, HA 3/3; HA 3/4)