Tuesday, March 7, 2023

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinians and their property in Hebron and Nablus, injuring 2 in Nablus. Israeli settlers also assaulted 1 Palestinian farmer working his land in ‘Urif. Israeli forces shot and killed 7 Palestinians, including the alleged perpetrator of the killing of 2 Israeli settlers on 2/26 and 1 minor, and injured 25 others during a raid in Jenin. 2 Israeli soldiers were injured. The PA called the raid a “heinous crime,” while the U.S. said Israel had a right to defend itself. Israeli forces also raided ‘Askar refugee camp, arresting 2 sons of 1 of the Palestinians killed during the raid in Jenin. (AJ, ALM, AP, AX, BBC, HA, HA, MDW, MEE, NYT, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/7; HA, PCHR, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/8; HA, PCHR, WAFA, WAFA 3/9; UNOCHA 3/19)

All crossings to the West Bank and Gaza were closed by Israel for the Purim holiday. The crossings will reopen on 3/8. (HA 3/5)

Israel Hayom reported that Israeli foreign minister Eli Cohen was working on normalization deals with Mauritania, Somalia, Niger, and Indonesia. Talks about normalization with those countries were reportedly brought up in conversations that included U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. Israel Hayom said Israeli talks with Mauritania were the most advanced of the 4 and that Israel had asked Germany to assist in its efforts. (ALM 3/7)

In Syria, Israeli forces conducted airstrikes in Aleppo, damaging the runway at Aleppo International Airport. The Syrian transport ministry said it had to reroute earthquake aid to other airports due to the strike. The U.S. and UN expressed concerns about the consequences of the attack, without mentioning the perpetrator. The airport reopened on 3/10. (AJ, ALM, AP, HA 3/7; REU 3/8; AJ, AP, HA 3/9; AP 3/10)

The Parliament of South Africa voted to downgrade the country’s diplomatic ties with Israel, making the Israeli embassy a liaison office, citing Israeli abuses of Palestinians. The South African government has to adopt the motion for the vote to take effect. (MEE 3/7; ALM, MEMO, WAFA 3/8)