Wednesday, January 15, 2020

In the West Bank, Israel issued a military order to seize 350 dunams (86.4 acres) of Palestinian farmland for expanding settlement roads south of Bethlehem. Israeli forces also seized equipment from a blacksmith shop near Salfit and a bulldozer near Nablus. 5 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Ramallah, Bethlehem, Nablus, and Hebron. Israeli settlers discharged wastewater on Palestinian farmland near Jalbun and threw stones at a Palestinian home in Madama, causing damage. Settlers also threw stones at Israeli forces as they demolished Israeli-deemed illegal settlement outposts near the Yitzhar settlement. In East Jerusalem, 2 Palestinians demolished their own homes in Jabal Mukabir to avoid exorbitant Israeli demolition fees. In Gaza, 4 rockets were launched at Israel, 2 of which were intercepted. There were no reports of damage or injuries and it was unclear who fired the rockets. Israel later struck several targets in Gaza. A military spokesperson said that it had struck “Hamas sites.” Israeli forces also sprayed herbicides over Palestinian farmland for the 2d day in a row. (HA, HA, HA, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/15; WAFA, PCHR 1/16)

The Israeli defense ministry approved 7 new Israeli “nature reserves” in Area C and the expansion of 12 already-existing “nature reserves.” The approval comes 1 week after Israeli defense minister Naftali Bennet said that he had started a campaign to ensure that Area C remains under Israeli control. The PA foreign ministry called the approval of the “nature reserves” a “scheme for the appropriation and seizure of Palestinian land.” (HA, JP, WAFA 1/15)