Tuesday, May 24, 2022

In the West Bank, 3 Israeli settlers, including 2 minors, were injured by Palestinians throwing stones at their vehicle near Huwwara. Israeli settlers vandalized 140 olive and almond trees and water tanks in Qaryut. Israeli forces shot and injured 3 Palestinians, including a minor during a raid in Jenin; 1 Palestinian security officer was also arrested during the raid. Israeli forces also demolished 2 agricultural structures in the Masafer Yatta villages of al-Twana and al-Juwaya. Elsewhere, Israeli forces erected a watchtower in Hebron. Israeli forces also demolished 1 mosque under construction in Arab al-Ramadin, leading to a confrontation with Palestinians; 3 were injured with live ammunition and baton rounds, and others suffered tear-gas related injuries. 11 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Abu Dis, Ras Karkar, Harmala, Surif, Dura, and Aqabat Jaber refugee camp. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces arrested 2 Palestinian fishermen and confiscated their boats within 6 nautical miles northwest of Rafah; the 2 were released through the Erez crossing on 5/25. (JP, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/24; AJ, HA, PCHR, TOI 5/25; PCHR 5/26; UNOCHA 6/4)

A CNN investigation confirmed eyewitness reports and other independent investigations that Israeli forces shot and killed Palestinian American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on 5/11 in Jenin refugee camp and that her killing was likely deliberate. CNN’s investigation was based on 11 video clips, forensic findings at the scene of the murder, audio analysis of the gunshots, and 8 eyewitness testimonies. Explosive weapons expert Chris Cobb-Smith found in his analysis that the markings from the shots near the body of Abu Akleh indicated that the murder was deliberate as they did not suggest they were a result of a burst of automatic fire, but intentionally targeted. CNN further confirmed through eyewitness accounts that there was no crossfire in the area where Abu Akleh was killed, as Israel continues to claim. Israel has refused to open a criminal investigation into the killing. (AP, CNN, HA, MDW, TOI 5/24; HA, JP, MEMO, WAFA 5/25)

Israel’s civil administration retroactively legalized the Mitzpe Lachish settlement outpost and approved construction of 158 new settlement units near Dura. (WAFA 5/24; MEMO 5/25)

The U.S. announced sanctions against 1 individual alleged to have raised money for Hamas and on Hamas’s Investment Office, which holds assets in Sudan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and the UAE. (ALM, HA, MEE, MEMO, REU 5/24)

Referencing the U.S. decision to delist Kahane Chai from its list of foreign terrorist organizations on 5/13, the PA called on the U.S. Biden administration to remove the PLO from the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations. (WAFA 5/24; MEMO 5/25)

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) slammed the EU for withholding aid from the PA due to 1 Hungarian Commissioner’s dissatisfaction with PA school textbooks. The NRC said the withholding of aid is jeopardizing the life of more than 500 cancer patients that have been unable to access proper treatment at the Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem and have led to salary cuts and cuts in aid to the most vulnerable Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. The EU is withholding some $230 million in aid. (AJ, WAFA 5/24; MEMO 5/25)

Former Israeli foreign minister and prominent MK of the Likud party Israel Katz boasted that he had threatened Palestinian students in Israel with a 2d Nakba if they continue to wave Palestinian flags at universities. Katz said, “Remember our independence war and your Nakba, don’t stretch the rope too much. [. . .] If you don’t calm down, we’ll teach you a lesson that won’t be forgotten.” (MDW 5/24; HA 5/26)

Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu arrived in Israel for a 2-day visit to Israel, Jerusalem, and the West Bank. Turkey’s and Israel’s normalization efforts were reported as a way for Turkey to strengthen its relations with the UAE and Egypt, for Israel and Turkey to cooperate in Syria to build a gas pipeline between the 2 countries, and for Israel to incentivize Turkey to take a tougher stance on Hamas. During the 1st day of his trip, Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu met with PA foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki in Ramallah, voicing support for a 2-state solution and criticizing Israeli settlements. Çavuşoğlu also met with PA president Mahmoud Abbas. The Turkish and Palestinian officials signed 9 cooperation agreements, including on economics, trade and infrastructure, and for developing an industrial area in Jenin. (AJ, ALM, AP, F24, HA, REU, TOI, TOI, WAFA, WAFA 5/24; HA, HA 5/25)

President Abbas met with president of the EU parliament Roberta Metsola in Ramallah. (WAFA 5/24)

Politico reported that U.S. president Joe Biden, in a 4/24 phone call to Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett, had assured him that the U.S. administration would not take Iran’s Revolutionary Guard off the U.S. list of terrorist organizations. President Biden’s decision was seen as an obstruction in finding common ground between the U.S. and Iran with the U.S.’s reentering the Iran Nuclear Deal. Prime Minister Bennett’s office confirmed the reporting. (HA, JP, POL 5/24; AX, MEMO 5/25; HA 5/26)