Thursday, March 18, 2021

In the West Bank, 9 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Bayt Umar, Ya‘bad, Hebron, Jalazun, Qalandia, Salfit, Abu Dis, and Hizma; during a raid in Bayt Umar, Israeli forces assaulted 4 members of the same family. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian family cleared their house in preparation of its demolition by Israel in Silwan. 2 Palestinians were arrested during house raids in al-Tur. In Israel, Palestinians from the Naqab desert protested in West Jerusalem against Israeli demolition of their property. (WAFA, WAFA 3/18; PCHR 3/25)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas fired Nasser al-Kidwa as the chairperson of the Yasir Arafat Foundation and assigned Ali Muhanna as acting chairperson. President Abbas fired al-Kidwa from the Fatah Central Committee on 3/11 because al-Kidwa is running in the upcoming elections on a separate list from Fatah. Al-Kidwa is the nephew of Yasir Arafat. (WAFA 3/18)

The ICC said it had sent formal notices to Israel and the PA, giving them 1 month to seek deferral by providing evidence that they are carrying out their own investigations. PA foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki also met with the ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in the Hague to discuss PA cooperation with the investigation. (AP, WAFA 3/18; HA 3/20)

According to Axios reporting, the UAE leadership is “furious” at Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for seeking to use the country and its crown price Mohammed bin Zayed as a prop in his election campaign. Prime Minister Netanyahu planned to travel to the UAE on 3/11 but had to cancel when Jordan closed its airspace to him. Adding to the UAE, the leadership’s dismay at Netanyahu is in his proclamation that the UAE would invest $10 billion in Israel and an interview from 3/15 where Netanyahu claimed that bin Zayed had praised is economic leadership. The UAE retaliated by saying that the UAE investment is in its preliminary phase, that the country would “not be a part in any internal electioneering in Israel,” and by suspending a planned summit. Netanyahu has been pressuring the UAE to host a summit for Israel, the U.S., and other countries that have normalized relations with Israel in the last year, but this summit is now postponed. (HA, NAT 8/17; AJ, ALM, AP, AX, CNN, HA, TOI 3/18; ALM 3/19)

Ireland said it would contribute $7.14 million a year to UNRWA over the next 3 years. (WAFA 3/18)