Thursday, February 23, 2023

In the West Bank, 1 Palestinian man succumbed to wounds sustained during an Israeli raid in Nablus on 2/13. An Israeli settler shot and injured 1 Palestinian woman after she allegedly attempted to stab a person near the Ma‘ale Adumim settlement. Israeli settlers also opened fire at buildings in Nabi Salih; no injuries were reported. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian man during a raid in al-Arroub refugee camp. Israeli forces also demolished commercial structures near al-Jalama. In Gaza, 6 rockets were launched at Israel from Gaza; no damage was reported. Israeli forces conducted airstrikes hitting 2 sites in Gaza and causing damage; no injuries were reported. (NYT, REU 2/22; AJ, AJ, AP, AP, GDN, HA, HA, IN, MEE, MEE, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/23; AJ, HA, MEE, WAFA 2/24; PCHR 3/2; UNOCHA 3/4)

A day after advancing plans for 3,144 new settlement housing units, the Civil Administration’s Higher Planning Council advanced plans for a further 4,013 new settlement units, including 1,135 in Ma’ale Adumim. The total number of settlement units advanced on 2/22 and 2/23 was 7,157, of which 1,900 were given final approval and the rest were advanced for deposit. Israel advanced 4,427 settler housing units in 2022 and 3,645 in 2021. (AP, HA, PCN, PCN 2/23; ALM, AP 2/24; WAFA 2/25)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu granted Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich authority over the Civil Administration, which was previously under the defense minister’s authority, and allowed Smotrich to create a settlement authority that will seek to improve services and infrastructure in Israeli settlements. The move was described as de jure annexation as Israel transferred the authority of the occupation from the military to a civilian entity. A Haaretz editorial described the move as creating “a formal, full-fledged apartheid regime.” (HA, REU 2/23; MEE 2/24; MDW 2/25; HA 2/26; HA 2/27)

The PA Foreign Ministry issued a statement calling the international community’s response to the Israeli massacre in Nablus on 2/22 “shy and weak.” A general strike was observed throughout the West Bank in protest against the event in Nablus. (WAFA, WAFA 2/23)

The Arab League condemned Israel’s deadly raid in Nablus on 2/22 after an extraordinary meeting was convened in Cairo. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation also condemned the Israeli actions. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/23)

Oman announced that it had opened its airspace to all carriers, allowing Israeli airlines to enter its airspace. (AJ, ALM, AP, AX, HA, MEE, REU, REU 2/23)