Friday, February 18, 2022

In the West Bank, 1 Israeli settler hit 1 Palestinian child with his car near Qalqilya, causing the child to be treated at a hospital in Israel for his injuries. Israeli settlers with military escort also demonstrated near Beita. Israeli left-wing activists were also demonstrating against the settlers who want to reopen the Evyatar settlement outpost near Beita. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Beita, injuring 7 with rubber-coated bullets and 87 with tear gas. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 3, including 1 child with live ammunition and 2 with rubber-coated bullets. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Bayt Dajan, injuring 16, including 2 with rubber-coated bullets, the rest with tear gas. In East Jerusalem, UN officials met with the Salem family who are threatened by eviction in Sheikh Jarrah, calling on Israel to stop all evictions in East Jerusalem. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting in solidarity with the Salem family. (HA 2/17; AJ, HA, MEE, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/18; MEMO 2/19; PCHR 2/24; UNOCHA 2/28)

In Israel, Israel said a drone crossed from Lebanon into Israel but that it lost radar contact with the drone shortly after. Hezbollah said it had flown a reconnaissance drone over Israel for 40 minutes. Later, Israel violated Lebanese air space by flying 2 low-flying fighter jets over Beirut. (AP, HA, HA, MEMO, MEMO, TOI 2/18; MEMO 2/20; HA 2/22)

Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem Theophilos III, Custos of the Holy Land Francesco Patton, and Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem Nourhan Manougian wrote a letter to Israel’s environmental protections minister Tamar Zandberg, requesting that she stop plans to expand the Jerusalem Walls National Park. The plans would expand the park into the church properties on the Mount of Olives. The 3 Christian leaders called the plans “a brutal measure that constitutes a direct and premeditated attack on the Christians in the Holy Land,” saying “we cannot help but feel that various entities are seeing to minimize, not to say eliminate any non-Jewish characteristics of the Holy City by attempting to alter the status quo on this holy mountain. They have failed due to the objection and lack of cooperation from the Churches. After their attempts failed, they resorted to statutory powers by advancing a plan to declare vast parts of the mountain as a national park.” The proposal to expand the park was scheduled to be heard at the Jerusalem Municipality’s local planning and construction committee on 3/2. However, Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority said on 2/21 that it would not move forward with the plans due to the objections from the church leaders. (MEE, MEMO, MEMO, TOI 2/20; HA, MEE, MEMO 2/21)