Thursday, March 9, 2023

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers carried out excavations at a water spring in Ein al-Beida. Israeli forces shot and killed 3 Palestinians and injured 1 other during a raid in Jaba’. Israeli forces also assaulted 2 minors in Hebron. Elsewhere, Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian during a raid in al-Yamun. 8 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Jenin, Silat al-Harithiya, Sabastia, Beita, and Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces raided Makassed Hospital in al-Tur. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen west of Gaza City, injuring 4. In the Tel Aviv, an Israeli police officer shot and killed 1 Palestinian man after he shot and injured 3 Israelis; 1 of the Israeli victims succumbed to his injuries on 3/20. Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant ordered the military to demolish the Palestinian perpetrator’s family home. (AJ, AJ, ALM, AP, HA, HA, MDW, MEE, MEE, PCHR, PCHR, REU, REU, SKY, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/9; WAFA 3/10; MDW 3/14; PCHR 3/16; UNOCHA 3/19; HA 3/20)

The U.S. granted Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich a diplomatic visa for his trip to Washington D.C. where he will address the Israel Bonds summit. It had been reported that the State Department had been discussing if the U.S. should deny Smotrich entry to the country over his remarks in support of the settler attacks in Huwwara on 2/26, which the U.S. called “irresponsible, disgusting, and repugnant.” (ALM, AX, HA, MEE 3/9; MDW 3/10; MDW 3/11)

U.S. secretary of defense Lloyd Austin met with Defense Minister Gallant in Tel Aviv. Austin told reporters that diplomacy is the best option to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Austin also expressed concern about settler violence in the West Bank. Austin also met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (AJ, ALM, AP, AX, REU, REU 3/9; ALM, GDN 3/10)

The Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia wants U.S. security guarantees and assistance in building a civilian nuclear program in exchange for normalizing ties with Israel. (HA, NYT 3/9)

More than 90 Democratic members of the U.S. Congress signed a letter to U.S. president Joe Biden urging him to pressure the Israeli government not to undermine its judicial branch, to scale-down Israeli raids in the West Bank, and not to annex the West Bank. (HA 3/9)

EU high representative for foreign affairs Josep Borrell wrote an op-ed in Project Syndicate, saying that European and Arab states must start being more engaged in pursuing peace between Israel and Palestine as U.S. efforts have not brought peace any closer. Borrell wrote that he and other EU representatives have already taken an initiative to start talks with Saudi Arabia and the Arab League. Borrell also criticized Israel for allowing settler violence against Palestinians, not protecting civilians during military operations, expanding settlements, and eroding the status quo at the holy sites. (PS 3/9; WAFA 3/15)