Wednesday, March 31, 2021

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers toured the al-Burj archeological site south of Hebron. Israeli forces sealed off parts of Sabastiyya to Palestinians. 3 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Dayr Jarir and Jalazun. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian working for the Islamic Waqf was arrested at the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions and leveled land east of Dayr al-Balah. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/31; PCHR 4/1)

Palestinian political leader and Israeli prisoner Marwan Barghouti submitted an independent list of candidates, named “Freedom,” for the Palestinian parliamentary elections, with Nasser al-Kidwa 1st on the list and Marwan Barghouti’s wife, Fadwa Barghouti, 2d. (NYT 3/31; AP, HA 4/1)

During a meeting in Ramallah, PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh called on EU diplomats to pressure Israel to allow East Jerusalemites to partake in the upcoming elections. (WAFA 3/31)

Israel’s public broadcaster Kan reported that in early March, the head of Shin Bet Nadav Argaman held a meeting with PA president Mahmoud Abbas, PA intelligence service head Majed Faraj, and PA civil affairs minister Hussein al-Sheikh. In the meeting, Argaman is reported to have told President Abbas to cancel the Palestinian elections because Hamas was running, which Abbas refused to do. Argaman is also reported to have threatened to withhold all the PA tax revenue if the PA did not stop cooperating with the ICC investigation into war crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian territories. (HA 3/31; TOI 4/1)

After releasing its annual report on human rights abuses with language of the Israeli occupation removed from the title of the section on the West Bank and Gaza, the U.S. state department spokesperson Ned Price said that the U.S. does consider the West Bank to be occupied by Israel. Spokesperson Price deflected a question on whether the Biden administration considers the Israeli settlements illegal under international law. (I24, JP, TOI, WAFA 4/1)

The EU signed an agreement with the PA worth $26.8 million to promote agriculture. (WAFA 3/31)