Monday, September 18, 2023

In the West Bank, the Israeli military claimed that Palestinian militants had opened fire at Israeli soldiers on 3 separate occasions at the Salem checkpoint and in Dayr Sharaf and Jalbun, damaging 1 vehicle. Israeli forces subsequently raided Jalbun, leading to tear-gas related injuries, and closed off all checkpoints to Nablus. Israeli forces also demolished 2 Palestinian homes in Furush Bayt Dajan, 1 Palestinian home under construction in al-Jiftlik, 1 car was near Haris, and issued demolition notices for 3 agricultural buildings and 1 residential tent in al-Matar. Elsewhere, Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian minor with live ammunition during a raid in ‘Azzun. Israeli forces also shot and injured 1 Palestinian at a checkpoint east of Bethlehem, claiming he tried to stab a soldier. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian man at a checkpoint near the Har Homa settlement, claiming he had attempted to stab soldiers. In Gaza, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters near the Gaza fence north of Jabaliyya, injuring 1 with live ammunition and causing tear-gas related injuries. (HA, QDS, QDS, TOI, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 9/18; PCHR 9/21; UNOCHA 9/26)

COGAT said the Beit Hanun (Erez) crossing to Gaza would remain closed on 9/18. The crossing was scheduled to be reopened at midnight on 9/17 after it had been closed since 9/14 due to Israeli holidays. (HA, QDS 9/18)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas met with Algerian president Abdelmadjid Tebboune on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York. (QDS 9/18)

Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, the UAE, and the EU sponsored a conference called The Peace Day Effort to advance the two-state solution through political, economic, cultural, and security-oriented means. The conference was held in New York on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly meeting and attended by around 30 foreign ministers. China’s ambassador to the UN and U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for Israeli-Palestinian affairs Andrew Miller also attended. Saudi foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said before the conference that it was convened as “[p]eople have started to losing hope in a two-state solution” and that there can be no solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict without the establishment of a Palestinian state. Palestinian and Israeli officials were not invited to partake. The PA expressed satisfaction with the initiative. (HA, MEE, TOI 9/18; AN, WAFA 9/19 HA 9/20)

Ahead of traveling to the U.S. for the annual UN General Assembly session Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israelis who protest his government’s judicial overhaul are aligning themselves with the PLO and Iran. The Prime Minister’s office later clarified, after backlash from the Israeli opposition and Jewish organizations in the U.S., that Netanyahu was criticizing that Israelis were protesting Israel at the same time as supporters of the PLO and BDS were and that they should also protest “those who deny the State of Israel’s right to exist.” Later in the day, Netanyahu met with Tesla, X, and Space X owner Elon Musk in Silicon Valley, defending Musk against charges of anti-Semitism brought by the Anti-Defamation League, among others. (ALM, AX, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, MEE, MEE, NYT 9/18; REU 9/19)

Helicopter fighter pilot Shira Etting, a leader in the Israeli protest movement against the Israeli government’s judicial overhaul, told 60 Minutes that “[i]f you want pilots to be able to fly, and shoot bombs and missiles into houses knowing they might be killing children, they must have the strongest confidence in the people making those decisions.” (HA 9/18; HA 9/20)