Monday, March 9, 2020

In the West Bank, Israeli forces uprooted some 400 olive tree saplings west of Bethlehem and seized a residential tent, a generator, and an animal barn in al-Mughayyir. Israeli forces also arrested 15 Palestinians during raids in and around al-‘Arub refugee camp, Ramallah, Baytin, Tulkarm, Jenin, and Nablus. In Gaza, the death toll from the fire in a bakery on 3/5 rose to 13 after 2 more people succumbed to their injuries. Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian shepherds east of al-Maghazi; no injuries were reported. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen 2 miles west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/9; PCHR 3/18)

Israeli defense minister Naftali Bennett announced that the Israeli government had approved to build a separate road for Palestinians to connect the northern and southern parts of the West Bank as Israel is moving forward with building 3,500 settler units in E-1 near East Jerusalem. Defense Minister Bennett said that Israel is “applying sovereignty [over the West Bank] in deed, not words.” The PA foreign Ministry said in a statement that, with the move, Israel is seeking to close the door for a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. (HA, JP, WAFA 3/9; AJ 3/10)

Qatar donated $10 million worth of medical equipment to help the PA combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the West Bank. There are 25 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the West Bank. (WAFA, WAFA 3/9)