Thursday, May 21, 2020

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers injured 2 Palestinians while throwing stones at a Palestinian-owned house in Yatma. Separately, Israeli settlers set fire to Palestinian-owned agricultural lands east of Tulkarm, damaging olive and almond trees. Israeli forces also confiscated 1 residential caravan in Bayt Dajan. 26 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Bayt Umar, Dura, Hebron, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Ya‘bad, Jenin, Nablus, and Qalqilya. During a raid near Ramallah, 1 Palestinian was injured by a rubber-coated bullet; 1 other Palestinian was injured by gunfire in Qalqilya, and clashes erupted during a raid in Ya‘bad; no injuries were reported there. In East Jerusalem, 3 Palestinians were injured in 2 separate attacks by unidentified perpetrators; 1 4-year-old girl was hit in the head by a bullet in Issawiyya and 1 man and his child were shot while working in a store in Shu‘fat. 1 Palestinian was arrested in Issawiyya. (HA, WAFA, WAFA 5/21; PCHR 5/28)

The PA formally informed Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories and the CIA that it was no longer participating in security coordination and intelligence sharing. PA forces also left Area B which, like Area C, is under Israeli military control. PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh also said that the PA would not accept COVID-19-related aid sent from UAE on a direct plane to Israel landing on 5/20, noting that the PA had not been informed about the shipment before it took off. All the COVID-19 material will instead go to Gaza, which witnessed 29 new confirmed COVID-19 cases today. (AJ, HA, HA, REU 5/21)

18 Democratic senators signed a letter addressed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, warning that annexation of parts of the West Bank “would betray our shared democratic values by denying Palestinians’ right to self-determination in a viable, sovereign, independent and contiguous state.” It further stated that annexation would likely erode the American people’s support for the U.S.-Israeli special relationship. (HA 5/21; WAFA 5/22)