Thursday, June 20, 2024

In the West Bank, Israeli forces shoot and kill a Palestinian child in Qalqilya. Israeli forces also attempt to assassinate a Palestinian man in a drone strike on a gas station east of Tulkarm; no injuries are reported. Elsewhere, Israeli forces arrest 20 Palestinians during late-night raids, including rearresting 77-year-old former speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council Aziz Dweik days after he was released after being arrested in October. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers tour the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Gaza, Israeli forces bomb Rafah, Gaza City, Khan Yunis, Nuseirat refugee camp, and Dayr al-Balah, killing at least 35 people, including  Al-Aqsa TV journalist Salim al-Sharafa, raising the death toll for media workers in Gaza to 152. 2 Israeli soldiers are killed near Gaza City. In Lebanon, Israeli forces bomb Srifa and Hanaouay, killing Hezbollah commander Abbas Fadel Ibrahim Hamzeh Hmadeh in Srifa. Hezbollah forces fire rockets at Kfarchouba and Shebaa Farms. (AJ, HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/20; AJ, HA, HA 6/21)

More than 37,431 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 15,694 children and 10,000 women, and around 85,653 have been injured since 10/7/2023. At least 10,000 people are missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 543 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7/2023, including 130 children. More than 5,200 people have been injured. Israel reports that 1,139 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed and 5,400 have been injured in Israel since 10/7/2023, including Israeli soldiers. In addition, 314 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 1,940 injured in Gaza since the ground invasion began on 10/27/2023. Over 1.93 million Palestinians, nearly 85% of the population of Gaza, have been displaced since 10/7/2023. There has been a complete electricity blackout in Gaza since 10/12/2023 due to the Israeli blockade. At least 79,000 housing units have been destroyed and 370,000 have been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7/2023. The U.S. says 1.4 million pounds of aid is delivered to Gaza via the floating pier. (AP, REU, WAFA 6/20; HA, NYT 6/21)

The Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs says the number of Palestinian prisoners who have died in Israeli prisons since 10/7/2023 has risen to 54. (AJ 6/20)

Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics president Ola Awad releases a report stating that 136,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the Nakba, including 37,500 in Gaza and 532 in the West Bank since 10/7/2023. (WAFA 6/20)

Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh meets with acting Iranian foreign minister Ali Bagheri in Doha. Hamas says it is planning a legal response to ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan’s request for arrest warrants for Yahya Sinwar, Ismail Haniyeh, and Mohammed Deif, calling the accusations against the 3 baseless and saying that Palestinians have a right and duty to resists the occupation by all means. (AJ, AP 6/20)

PLO secretary-general Hussein al-Sheikh tells Al Arabiya that the PA should assume control of Gaza, warning that a civil war could break out if it does not. Al-Sheikh also says that the PA has refused a U.S. and Israeli offer to take control of the Rafah crossing because this would be done without coordinating with Hamas. (HA 6/20)

The Wall Street Journal reports that Israeli intelligence agencies and U.S. officials estimate that that 50 captives are still alive in Gaza, while 66 could have been killed. (AJ, HA, HA, WSJ 6/20)

On 5/29 the Israeli military reportedly transferred control of dozens of bylaws at the Civil Administration from the military to a civilian body in the Defense Ministry under the ministerial portfolio of Bezalel Smotrich, who besides being the finance minister is a minister at the defense ministry.  Among the responsibilities transferred to the civilian body are settlement expansion, land expropriation, and road construction. Analysts calls the move a further step toward annexation of the West Bank as the move transfers more of the governance of the occupied territories from military to civilian administrators.  (GDN 6/20; AJ, HA, NYT, NYT, WAFA 6/21)

U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken meets with Israeli national security advisor Tzachi Hanegbi and Minister for Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer in Washington D.C., discussing Israel’s conflict with Hezbollah and the lack of aid arriving in Gaza. (HA 6/20; AJ, HA, NYT 6/21)

U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby calls Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s public criticism of the Biden administration on 6/18 “perplexing to say the least, certainly disappointing,” adding that “no other country is doing more to help Israel defend itself against the threat of Hamas.”  (AJ, AP, HA, HA, HA, REU 6/20; NYT 6/21)

Around 70 Democrats in the U.S. Congress urge the Biden administration to grant priority-2 designation to certain Palestinians under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, which would make it easier for Palestinians to come to the U.S. as refugees. (HA 6/20; NYT 6/21)