Monday, March 28, 2022

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers wrote racist graffiti on walls and vandalized vehicles in Turmus ‘Ayya. Israeli settlers also set fire to 5 Palestinian-owned vehicles in Jalud. (HA, WAFA, WAFA 3/28; PCHR 3/31; HA 4/1; UNOCHA 4/10)

King Abdullah II and crown prince Hussein of Jordan met with PA president Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. Israel’s Channel 13 reported that Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz wanted to join the meeting but was not allowed to by Israel’s prime minister Naftali Bennett, who reportedly feared that their meeting would overshadow the normalization summit (see below). (TOI 3/26; JP 3/27; HA, NAT, REU, TOI, WAFA, WAFA 3/28; WAFA 3/29; ALM 4/1)

The foreign ministers of the U.S., UAE, Morocco, Egypt, Bahrain, and Israel met in Sde Boker for the 2d day of a 2-day summit comprised of countries that have normalized ties with Israel with U.S. support. At the summit, U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken praised Israel’s normalization deals but said they were not a substitute for peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh called the normalization summit a “free reward for Israel,” given the lack of pressure on Israel to end its occupation. Israel’s foreign minister Yair Lapid said after the summit that Israel supports Morocco’s proposal to offer the Sahrawi people limited autonomy as part of Morocco. Foreign Minister Lapid further stated that Israel will work with Morocco against countries trying to “weaken Moroccan sovereignty and territorial integrity.” (ABC, AJ, ALM, ALM, AX, HA, JP, MEMO, NBC, NYT, REU, REU, REU, WAFA 3/28; F24 3/29; CNN 3/30; NEWYORKER 4/1; HA, JP 4/3; HA 4/4)

68 Democratic and Republican members of the U.S. Senate signed a letter to Secretary Blinken urging him to lead an effort to end the UN Human Rights Council’s commission of inquiry into alleged Israeli war crimes committed during the May 2021 Israeli attack on Gaza. The effort was led by Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Rob Portman (R-OH). (MEE 3/29)