Monday, April 20, 2020

In the West Bank, Israeli forces delivered a stop-work order for a mosque under construction in Kardala in the northern part of the Jordan Valley, 1 demolition notice for an agricultural structure south of Bethlehem, demolished 1 shack in Burqa, demolished parts of a structure at a tourist site in Sabastiyya, and razed 2 dunams (.5 acres) of land south of Bethlehem. Elsewhere, Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians near Taqqua; 2 Palestinians were hospitalized with wounds from rubber-coated bullets and live ammunition. 5 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Hebron and Bethlehem. Israeli settlers planted trees in Palestinian-owned land near Artas. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire on agricultural lands east of Bayt Hanun no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/20; PCHR 4/23)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and coalition partner Benny Gantz of Israel Resilience agreed to terms of a unity government, including splitting the 4-year term as prime minister with Netanyahu serving the first half and Gantz serving as deputy prime minister and defense minister; decisions on annexation of the entirety or parts of the West Bank to start after 7/1, and Gantz will not have a veto in the decision; and Netanyahu can veto appointments for attorney general and state prosecutor, both positions involved in Netanyahu’s upcoming trial. (AJ, AP, CNN, HA, NYT, REU, WAFA 4/20)

Syrian state media reported that the country’s military had intercepted several Israeli missiles over the Palmyra area. According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 9 people were killed by the Israeli missiles, including 3 Syrian nationals. The Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was in Damascus earlier in the day meeting with Syrian president Bashar al-Asad. (HA 4/20; AJ, JP 4/21)