Monday, May 20, 2024

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers physically assault and pepper-spray a Palestinian man near Jericho. Israeli settlers also throw stones at vehicles traveling between Jericho and Ramallah, causing damage. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers steal a truck in al-‘Awja. Israeli settlers also bring their sheep to graze on Palestinian farmland and assault 2 Palestinians in Arab al-Milehat. Meanwhile, Israeli settlers prevent Palestinian farmers from cultivating their land in Khallet al-Fahm and al-Khader. Israeli forces demolish a Palestinian home in Artas and a carwash in Aqraba. Israeli forces also issue stop-work orders for 5 homes in Ni’lin. Elsewhere, Israeli forces arrest 3 Palestinians and seize construction equipment and 2 vehicles during a raid in Rujeib. Israeli forces also arrest 26 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Hebron, Ramallah, and al-Bireh. In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities summon PA governor of Jerusalem Adnan Ghaith, renewing the ban on his movement to the West Bank and into parts of East Jerusalem. In Gaza, Israeli forces bomb Gaza City, Beit Lahiya, Dayr al-Balah, al-Bureij refugee camp, Rafah, and Khan Yunis, killing at least 106 people, including 13 in an airstrike on Jabalia refugee camp. A premature baby dies in an incubator at the Kamal Adwan Hospital after the oxygen machine stopped working due to a lack of fuel. In Eliat, Israeli forces intercept 2 drones launched by the Islamic Resistance in Iraq. In Lebanon, Israeli forces bomb and kill a person riding a motorcycle in Mansouri. Israeli forces also bomb Blida, Jibbain, Odaisseh, Meiss Ej Jabal, and Chihine, killing 2 people in Meiss Ej Jabal. (AJ, HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/20; UNOCHA 5/22)

More than 35,562 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 15,103 children and 10,000 women, and around 79,652 have been injured since 10/7/2023. At least 10,000 people are missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 498 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7/2023, including 119 children. More than 5,000 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, 283 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 1,745 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. 39 trucks carrying aid enter Gaza. UNRWA says 810,000 people have fled Rafah since 5/6. (UNOCHA, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/20; UNRWA 5/22)

Addameer says Israel has arrested 8,800 Palestinians, including 293 women, 620 children, 75 journalists, and 5,900 people who have been placed in administrative detention, and that 18 detainees have died in Israeli prisons since 10/7/2023. (AJ 5/20)

PLO secretary-general Hussein al-Sheikh meets with U.S. national security advisor Jake Sullivan in Ramallah, discussing efforts to end Israel’s war on Gaza, the reopening of crossings for aid deliveries, and the Israel’s withholding of the PA’s tax revenue. (WAFA 5/20)

ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan announces that he has asked the court to issue arrest warrants for Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh, leader of Hamas in Gaza Yahya Sinwar, and al-Qassam Brigades leader Mohammed Deif. Netanyahu and Gallant are charged with the war crimes of extermination, starvation of civilians as a method of warfare, and the intentional killing of a civilian population. Haniyeh, Sinwar, and Deif are charged with extermination and murder, taking hostages, rape and sexual assault, torture, abuse of prisoners, and harm to their dignity. Hamas issues a statement saying Khan “is making an equivalence between the victim and his oppressor and is encouraging the occupation to continue its war of extermination.” Netanyahu calls the request for his arrest warrant “new anti-Semitism” and questions how Khan “dares [to] compare the monsters of Hamas to the soldiers of the IDF, the most moral army in the world.” U.S. president Joe Biden calls the action against the Israeli leaders “outrageous,” saying “[c]ontrary to allegations made against Israel by the International Court of Justice, Israel is not committing genocide.” PLO Executive Committee member Wasel Abu Youssef says the Palestinian people have a right to defend themselves and that arrest warrants should be issued for Israeli officials. Both the UK and the U.S. argue that the ICC does not have jurisdiction over Israel and Palestine. France, Germany, and many other countries issue statements in support of the ICC’s independence and procedures. The pre-trial court looking at Khan’s request is made up of 3 judges, Romania’s Iulia Motoc, who chairs the panel, Benin’s Reine Alapini-Gansou, and Mexico’s Socorro Flores Liera. (AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, AP, AX, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, NYT, NYT, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, WAFA 5/20; AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, AP, AP, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, NYT, NYT, REU, REU, REU 5/21; AP, AX, NYT, REU 5/22)

Defense Minister Gallant tells members of the Likud Party that if Israel chooses to continue the military occupation of Gaza the country would have to extend its compulsory military service to 4 years, saying he is against a Palestinian state in Gaza but thinks that administration by a local entity is “the least bad alternative.” Gallant also tells U.S. national security advisor Jake Sullivan that Israel intends to broaden its military operation in Rafah. Foreign Minister Israel Katz says he has asked AIPAC to work with the Biden administration and Congress to take “dramatic steps against the decision by the Prosecutor of the ICC to demand arrest warrants for PM Netanyahu and the Defense Minister.” (AJ, HA, NYT, REU 5/20; HA 5/21)

+972 Magazine reports that the Israeli military censor barred 613 articles from being published and redacted parts of 2,703 articles in 2023. (+972 5/20)

Former Vermont senator and author of the Leahy Law, Patrick Leahy, calls the Biden administration’s dismissal of allegations of Israeli violations of international and U.S. law “a mockery of the [Leahy] law.” (HA 5/21)

Graduate students at the University of California, Santa Cruz go on strike in protest against free-speech violations against pro-Palestine protesters. The strike is organized by United Auto Workers Local 4811, which represents 48,000 graduate students working at the 10 University of California campuses. More than 3,000 people have been arrested in pro-Palestine protests at U.S. campuses. (WAFA 5/18; AP, AP, HA 5/21)

Norway donates $10 million to the PA in support of the Palestinian health sector. (WAFA 5/20)