Tuesday, June 20, 2023

In the West Bank, 1 Israeli settler and Israeli forces shot and killed 2 Palestinians who allegedly shot and killed 4 Israeli settlers and wounded 4 others at a gas station near the Eli settlement east of al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya. Israeli settlers subsequently raided al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya, setting fire to 30 cars and 10 homes. Israeli settlers also raided Huwwara setting fire to 20 cars, throwing stones at Palestinian vehicles, and attacking Israeli forces. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles near Nablus and Za‘atra. Israeli settlers, including Religious Zionism Party MK Zvi Sukkot, also entered the evacuated Evyatar settlement outpost in an attempt to resettle it. Israeli forces issued demolition notices for 3 homes and an agricultural building in al-Karmel. Israeli forces also closed several checkpoints near Jenin, Salfit, Ramallah, and Nablus. In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities demolished 1 Palestinian house in Silwan. Israeli forces raided the Haram al-Sharif compound, forcing overnight worshippers at al-Aqsa Mosque to leave in order to facilitate settler tours of the compound in the morning. (AJ, AJ, ALM, HA, HA, MEE, NYT, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/20; AP, HA, HA, HA, MDW, MEE, NYT, REU, REU 6/21; AJ, NYT, PCHR 6/22; HA 6/24; UNOCHA 7/8)

In response to the killing of the 4 settlers, Israel revoked travel permits for all Palestinians sharing the last names of the 2 alleged perpetrators. Israeli national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir demanded that the Israeli government respond to the killing of the 4 Israeli settlers by assassinations by airstrikes, demolitions, deportations, and death penalty. UN Middle East envoy Tor Wennesland said he was alarmed by the “cycle of violence.” (AJ, AJ, MEE 6/20; HA, HA, HA, HA 6/22)

Hamas political bureau head Ismail Haniyeh met with Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran. (MEMO 6/21)

U.S. ambassador to Israel Tom Nides tweeted that he was “[d]eeply concerned about the civilian deaths and injuries that have occurred in the West Bank these past 48 hours, including that of minors,” referring to both Israeli settler and Palestinian casualties. This led to criticism from Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Herzog, who said that the “balanced” statement was disrespectful to the Israeli settler casualties. Nides later condemned the killing of the 4 Israelis in a separate tweet. (HA 6/21)

UN Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry member Miloon Kothari said the commission would continue its investigation, calling the rise in Israeli settler violence disturbing and a means of Israeli annexation. (AJ, REU 6/20)