Thursday, May 12, 2022

Palestinian honor guards carry the coffin of veteran Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during service at the presidential headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed on May 11, 2022 while covering a raid in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, was among Arab media's most prominent figures and widely hailed for her bravery and professionalism.

Ramallah, 12 May 2022
Credits: Oren Ziv / ActiveStills

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at 1 Palestinian vehicle driving near the Homesh settlement outpost, injuring 1 and damaging the car. Thousands of Palestinians partook in a funeral ceremony in Ramallah for Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed by Israeli forces on 5/11 in Jenin refugee camp. PA president Mahmoud Abbas spoke at the ceremony and awarded her the Al-Quds star of honor. Abu Akleh will be buried in East Jerusalem on 5/13. Israeli forces prevented Palestinians in the funeral procession from accompanying her casket through the Qalandia checkpoint from Ramallah to East Jerusalem. Israeli forces also demolished a water collection pond used for irrigation in Marj Na‘aj. 7 Palestinians were arrested, including 5 during a late-night raid in Hebron, Rumana, Qabatiya, and Burqin, and 2 at flying checkpoints in Hebron and Tulkarm. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces raided a house in Bayt Hanina, where friends and family of Abu Akleh were holding a memorial ceremony for her; Israeli forces confiscated Palestinian flags. Israeli police also raided Abu Akleh’s house on 5/11, confiscating Palestinian flags. 5 Palestinians were arrested during raids. (AJ, AJ, AP, CNN, GDN, HA, MEE, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/12; WAFA 5/13; PCHR 5/19; UNOCHA 6/4)

Israel’s higher planning council approved 4,427 new settlement housing units in the West Bank. 2,791 received final approval, while 1,636 were deposited for public comment before final approval. Among the new housing units are the retroactive legalization of the Mitzpeh Dani and Givat Oz VeGaon settlement outposts and expansion of the settlements of Negohot, Shvut Rachel, Dolev, Betar Ilit, and Kiryat Arba. According to Haaretz, the government’s meeting to approve the settlements was a condition by Yamina MK Nir Orbach to remain in the fragile government coalition. UN Middle East envoy Tor Wennesland condemned the settlement expansions. On 5/13, 15 European countries urged Israel to reverse its decision, including France, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Poland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden. (PCN 5/9; ABC, AJ, AP, GDN, HA, JP, MEE, MEMO, REU, TOI, WAFA 5/12; AJ, ALM, F24, REU, WAFA, WAFA 5/13)

Ecuadorian president Guillermo Lasso met with Israeli president Isaac Herzog in Jerusalem, saying he will open a representative office in Jerusalem and support Israel in votes at the UN. President Lasso also met with prime minister Naftali Bennett and foreign minister Yair Lapid. (HA 5/12)

The New York Times reported that the FBI stated in a 2018 letter to the Israeli government that it wanted to use NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware “for the collection of data from mobile devices for the prevention and investigation of crimes and terrorism” before purchasing the spyware later the same year. (NYT 5/12)