Thursday, July 20, 2023

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers began construction of a new settlement outpost in al-Sawahara. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian and injured 3 others during a raid in Nablus to facilitate a settler incursion at Joseph’s Tomb; Israeli police commissioner Kobi Shabtai took part in the settler tour of site. Israeli forces also shot and injured 1 Palestinian with live ammunition during a raid in al-Shuyukh. Elsewhere, Israeli forces seized 2 tractors in Khirbet Humsa. Israeli forces also razed olive, almond, and grape trees in al-Hardash near Tarqumiyah. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. 1 Israeli settler was attacked in the Gilo settlement, Israel arrested 3 Palestinians said to be suspects in Bethlehem on 7/22. (AJ, AP, HA, HA, MEE, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 7/20; HA 7/22; PCHR 7/27; UNOCHA 7/29)

PA prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh met with a delegation from the Australian parliament, including the speaker, Milton Dick. Shtayyeh called on Australia to recognize Palestine and to pressure Israel to allow Palestinian elections to be held in East Jerusalem. (WAFA, WAFA 7/20)

PLO member Azzam al-Ahmad led a Palestinian delegation to the BRICS summit held in South Africa. The BRICS members, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa passed a resolution calling for a Palestinian state. (WAFA 7/20)

U.S. senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Jim Risch (R-ID) introduced the Regional Integration and Normalization Act, earmarking funds to countries that would normalize relations with Israel. (MEE 7/21; HA 7/22)

Saudi Arabia signed an agreement to allow all UNESCO member states free access to a World Heritage Committee meeting in Riyadh in September, including Israel. Axios had reported that Saudi Arabia had refused to sign the agreement because of the participation of an Israeli delegation. (AX 7/20; ALM 7/21)

The EU donated $450,000 through UNRWA to families affected by the Israeli assault on Gaza in May. (WAFA 7/20)