Sunday, June 18, 2023

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles near Burqa. Israeli settlers also stole 10 sheep in Yasuf. Israeli forces raided Burqa leading to tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also raided Silat al-Harithiya, leading to tear-gas related injuries. Elsewhere, Israeli forces issued stop-work orders for 2 roads and 3 houses in Qarawat Bani Hassan. Israeli forces also issued a demolition notice for a primary school in Badia Yatta. PA forces assaulted and arrested 1 Palestinian student who was a candidate for president of Birzeit University’s student council In East Jerusalem. Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Gaza, 2 Palestinians were arrested by the Gaza fence. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/18; PCHR 6/19; PCHR 6/22; UNOCHA 7/8)

The Israeli cabinet approved changes to the settlement construction permit process, reducing the influence of the Civil Administration and the Ministry of Defense to significantly shorten the permit process. Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich was given authority to approve 1 of the permit stages. As a result of the changes, the Higher Planning Council will be approving 4,650 new settlement units in the West Bank. U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said that the U.S. “is deeply troubled by the Israeli government’s reported decision to advance planning for over 4,000 settlement units in the West Bank. We are similarly concerned by reports of changes to Israel’s system of settlement administration that expedite the planning and approvals of settlements.” Miller further called on Israel to “fulfill the commitments it made in Aqaba, Jordan and Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt” earlier this year. PLO secretary-general Hussein al-Sheikh said that the PA would boycott the Joint Economic Committee meeting on 6/19 is response to the cabinet decision. UN secretary-general António Guterres urged Israel to reverse its decisions. (AJ, AX, HA, MEE, NYT, PCN, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/18; AP, HA, HA, MEE, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/19; AJ, MEE, WAFA 6/20; MDW, MDW 6/21)

Israeli sources told Al-Monitor that Morocco had canceled the planned Negev Forum of the normalizing countries, Israel and the U.S., in the country due to the settlement decisions described above. (ALM, HA, MEMO 6/21)

Islamic Jihad secretary-general Ziyad al-Nakhalah met with Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran. (ALM 6/19)

A Hamas delegation led by its political leader Ismail Haniyeh arrived in Tehran for meetings with Iranian officials. (AJ, ALM, QDS, QDS 6/19; MEMO 6/20)

Israel preliminarily approved the development of the Gaza Marine gas field, saying it would require security coordination with the PA and Egypt. A PA official told Reuters that the PA is awaiting to see exactly what Israel has agreed to before it will comment. (AN, HA, JP, REU, TOI 6/18; ALM 6/19; MEMO 6/20)