Thursday, September 21, 2023

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers raided Burqa, throwing stones at homes and vandalizing 2 vehicles. Israeli forces raided a girl’s school in al-Eizariya, causing damage to school property. In East Jerusalem, 1 Israeli settler was injured in a ramming incident near Qalandia. 1 Palestinian suspect was arrested. Israeli forces also shot and injured 1 Palestinian at a light rail station in the French Hill neighborhood, claiming he had stabbed a settler. Israeli authorities forced 1 Palestinian family to demolish parts of their own home in Jabel Mukaber. In Gaza, Israeli forces shot and injured 2 Palestinians near the Gaza fence, claiming that 1 of them had opened fire at Israeli soldiers; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. (AP, HA, HA, QDS, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 9/21; PCHR 9/27)

Israel assassinated 2 people in a drone strike in Beit Jann west of Damascus. The 2 were reported to be members of Islamic Jihad, which Islamic Jihad denied. Israeli tanks also attacked 2 temporary structures erected by the Syrian army near the Golan Heights. (AJ, AP, HA, REU 9/21)

The UN release a report saying that Israeli settler violence had displaced more than 1,100 Palestinians in the West Bank since 2022. The report also said that the UN had counted an average of 3 settler attacks a day. (AP, HA, UNOCHA 9/21)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas addressed the UN General Assembly at its annual meeting, warning that peace in the region is impossible without the “Palestinian people enjoying full legitimate and national rights.” Abbas criticized world leaders for not holding Israel accountable for its atrocities and called on UN members to recognize the State of Palestine. It was reported that Palestinian officials had trouble getting meetings for Abbas on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly due to the publication on 9/7 of Abbas’ remarks at the Fatah Revolutionary Council in August that were said to be anti-Semitic. President Abbas met with UN secretary general Antonio Guterres. (HA 9/20; AJ, AP, HA, MEE, REU, WAFA, WAFA 9/21; WAFA 9/22)

PA prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh met with U.S. state department special representative for Palestinian affairs Hady Amr in New York. (WAFA 9/21)

PA ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour said in an interview that the Palestinian leadership is confident that Saudi Arabia would protect Palestinian interests in a potential normalization deal with Israel and that the Saudis have accepted the Palestinian position on the negotiations, including restarting peace talks and protecting Palestinians’ right to self-determination. Haaretz reported that the Palestinian demands includes a settlement freeze, expanding Areas B and C, full membership at the UN, reopening the PLO office in Washington, and reopening the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem. Israeli foreign minister Eli Cohen told Israel’s Army Radio that there is a likelihood that a normalization deal can be finalized in the first quarter of 2024. (HA, REU 9/21)

The Ad Hoc Liaison Committee held a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly annual meeting in New York. Prime Minister Shtayyeh called on representatives from some 30 countries at the meeting to help the PA overcome its political and financial challenges. (WAFA, WAFA 9/21)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Democratic Republic of Congo will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and that Israel will open an embassy in Kinshasa after meeting Congolese president Felix Tshisekedi at the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly meeting. (REU, TOI 9/21; AJ 9/22)

The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. has proposed that the potential Saudi nuclear program, which is part of the Saudi-Israeli normalization negotiations, will be run by the U.S. Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid called reports that the Netanyahu government is open to uranium enrichment in Saudi Arabia “reckless and irresponsible.” (HA, HA, MEE, WSJ 9/21)