Wednesday, March 17, 2021

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers demolished part of a Palestinian-owned house in Hebron. Israeli settlers also stole 40 olive saplings in Jalud. Israeli forces razed 5 dunams (1.2 acres) of land, including 20 olive trees, in Ras Karkar. Israeli forces also seized an agricultural structure east of Yatta. 1 Palestinian was severely injuried after stepping on an unexploded ordinance left behind by Israeli forces east of Jericho. 13 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Bethlehem, Tuqu‘, Tulkarm, Qalqilya, Nablus, and Jericho. In East Jerusalem, 2 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Issawiyya. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/17; PCHR 3/18)

Haaretz reported that the Israeli Jerusalem municipality had asked the court for local affairs to reactivate demolition orders against 70 structures in al-Bustan, which would displace 1,500 Palestinians. The Israeli municipality wants to place a tourism park named The King’s Garden where the 70 structures are located, but plans for the structure demolitions have been suspended during the negotiations between residents and the municipality. Now, the municipality wants to push forward with its plans without a settlement. (HA 3/17; HA, WAFA 3/18)

60,000 COVID-19 vaccines provided by the WHO COVAX program to the PA arrived in Israel. 40,000 will be shipped to the West Bank and 20,000 to Gaza. PA health minister Mai al-Kaila said the PA will wait to use the AstraZeneca vaccines until the WHO confirms that they are safe to use. Many EU countries have suspended using the AstraZeneca vaccines after 1 otherwise healthy Danish woman died and 3 Norwegian health workers were in severe condition from blood clots after receiving the vaccine. (AJ, ALM, AP, HA, WAFA 3/17)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israeli police officers in a Palestinian-Israeli area of Israel that they should bring criminals to their “breaking point” and that they will catch them and “put them behind bars, maybe kill some of them.” (HA 3/17)

During a televised speech, Lebanese president Michel Aoun told prime minister-designate Saad Hariri to form a government or resign so that someone capable can take the position. (AJ, AP 3/17)

UAE newspaper The National reported that it had obtained a 4-page internal memo from the U.S. Biden administration dubbed The US-Palestinian Reset and Path Forward. The memo suggests that the Biden administration will roll back Trump administration policies on Palestine, including reestablishing diplomatic contacts with the PA and restarting U.S. financial assistance to Palestinians, including a $15 million COVID-19 aid package. (NAT 3/17; AJ, HA 3/18)