Thursday, February 20, 2020

In the West Bank, Israel issued demolition orders for 4 residential structures south of Hebron and 5 homes in the Ramallah area as punitive demolitions against alleged Palestinian attackers. Israeli forces violently dispersed a protest against the U.S. administration’s peace plan in Qalqilya, leading to tear-gas related injuries. 7 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Halhul, Ramallah, Salfit, and Anata. Israeli settlers severely beat 1 Palestinian doctor visiting patients near Bethlehem. In East Jerusalem, 3 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Silwan and Issawiyya. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian lands near Bayt Hanun and east of Dayr al-Balah. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/20; PCHR 2/27)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel will expand 2 settlements, Har Homa and Givat Hamatos, in East Jerusalem with 2,200 and 3,000 housing units respectively. Prime Minister Netanyahu also said that Israel would apply sovereignty to al-Ibrahimi Mosque. The PA called Netanyahu’s announcement part of “a systematic destruction of the two-state solution.” (HA, NYT, WAFA 2/20; JP 2/23)

Israel and the PA ended its trade dispute, allowing Palestinian goods to exit the West Bank and Israeli agricultural products to enter the West Bank market. Israel started banning Palestinian goods to the Israeli market on 2/2 and later expanded the ban of export from the West Bank altogether. (HA, WAFA, WAFA 2/20)