Monday, December 23, 2019

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian mother and her daughter in Hebron using pepper spray. Israeli forces seized a truck and a bulldozer in Bayt Umar near Hebron. Israeli forces arrested 14 Palestinians, including 1 disabled teenager by al-Ibrahimi Mosque; 9 during late-night raids in and around Hebron, Qalqilya, and Ramallah; 3 at a northern entrance to Bethlehem; and 1 at a flying checkpoint north of Tulkarm. Meanwhile, Israeli forces seized tents and uprooted trees in Khirbat Tana and dismantled residential shacks and a barn near Tubas. During the incident near Tubas, a B’tselem fieldworker was detained and his car was seized. In East Jerusalem, 7 Palestinians were arrested at the Haram al-Sharif compound and in Silwan. Approximately 232 Israeli settlers with military escort toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian bird hunters east of Khan Yunis; no injuries were reported. 1 Palestinian trying to cross the Gaza fence was injured by Israeli live ammunition; he was hospitalized and interrogated before being released on 12/24. Israeli forces also fired flare bombs and artillery shells east of Dayr al-Balah; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/23; PCHR 12/26)

Israel’s civil administration said it had reversed its initial decision to not allow any Christians from Gaza enter Jerusalem and the West Bank for Christmas celebrations. It said that all 950 applicants would be allowed to travel, pending a security screening. (HA 12/23)

The Israeli high court of justice criticized the Israeli government’s decision to return $63 million from the Palestinian Workers’ Sick Fund to Israeli employers. The $63 million were accumulated by payments from Palestinian workers in Israel to the sick fund for paid sick leave. The court ordered a freeze in payment to the Israeli employers and gave the Israeli state 3 months to respond to the justices’ questions. (HA 12/26)