Wednesday, March 1, 2023

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian homes and vehicles in Beit Umar. Israeli settlers also assaulted 1 Palestinian herder in the Masafer Yatta area. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian man and injured 2 others during a raid in Aqabat Jaber refugee camp. Israeli forces also demolished 1 house in Furush Beit Dajan, displacing 7. 4 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Qusra, Qalqilya, and Jericho. In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities issued a demolition notice for a home in Silwan. 4 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Isawiya. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions and leveled farmland east of Khan Yunis. (AP, HA, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/1; AJ, MDW, PCHR 3/2; UNOCHA 3/19)

PA security forces prevented some 150 Palestinians from holding a press conference at the Watan Media Network office in Ramallah. The group was planning on criticizing the PA’s decisions to withdraw a draft resolution against Israel at the UN Security Council and to participate in the Aqaba summit on 2/26. (PCHR 3/3)

PA prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh toured Huwwara to inspect the damage after the Israeli settler raid on 2/26. Shtayyeh said it was time to confront the settlers through popular resistance. (WAFA 3/1)

The PA foreign ministry called on the U.S. and international organizations to intervene to end the Israeli sieges of Jericho and Huwwara. Jericho has been under siege since 1 Israeli American man was killed near the Dead Sea on 1/27 and Huwwara was still affected by the large-scale Israeli settler raid on 2/26. (WAFA 3/1)

Israeli finance minister and minister in charge of the civil administration at the defense ministry, Bezalel Smotrich, said “Huwwara needs to be wiped out. I think that the State of Israel needs to do that, not, God forbid, private individuals,” when asked about the Israeli settler attack on Huwwara on 2/26. The U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price condemned Smotrich’s comments, calling them “irresponsible, repugnant, and disgusting” and calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reject the comments. UN high commissioner for human rights Volker Türk called the comments “unfathomable.” Later on 3/4, Smotrich said “being upset, I misspoke” and Netanyahu called Smotrich’s statements “inappropriate” in a tweet on 3/5. (AJ, AJ, ALM, AX, HA, HA, HA, MEE, MEE, REU 3/1; MDW, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/2; AJ, ALM, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/3; PCHR, WAFA 3/4; AP, REU 3/5)

The Knesset passed the first of three readings of a bill that will reintroduce the death penalty to Palestinians. The legislation stipulates that a person who “causes the death of an Israeli citizen when the act is carried out from a racist motive . . . with the purpose of harming the State of Israel and the rebirth of the Jewish people in its homeland,” can receive the death penalty. The first reading passed 55-9. Germany expressed concern over the bill, saying it could negatively impact Israel-German relations. (DW 2/28; MEE, TOI, TOI 3/1; MDW 3/6)

Axios reported that the UAE postponed a trip by Prime Minister Netanyahu to the country in January, due to fears that Netanyahu would increase tensions Iran during the visit. (AX 3/1)

The EU donated $87 million to UNRWA. (WAFA 3/1)