Monday, June 29, 2020

In the West Bank, Israeli forces raided and surveyed a bedouin community adjacent to the Israeli settlement Ma’ale Adumim in preparation for annexing the area. 1 Palestinian woman died of the COVID-19 virus, marking the 8th COVID-19-related death in the Palestinian territories and 4th in the West Bank, excluding East Jerusalem. The district of Bethlehem started a 48-hour lockdown to combat the rise in COVID-19 cases. 9 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around al-‘Arub refugee camp, Jenin, Ramallah, and Tulkarm. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian was arrested in Issawiyya. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire on agricultural lands east of Dayr al-Balah; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/29; PCHR 7/2)

U.S. assistant to the president and special representative for international negotiations Avi Berkowitz and U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman met with Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz to discuss annexation of parts of the West Bank. According to Haaretz sources, Defense Minister Gantz told the 2 that 7/1 “is not a sacred date” for moving forward with annexation. Shortly after those details were reported, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “The issue [annexation] is not up to Kahol Lavan [Gantz’s Blue and White party]. They are not a factor either way.” (Axios, HA, HA, REU 6/29)

A letter by 4 progressives in the U.S. House, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and Betty McCollum (D-MN), to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo being circulated among other representatives was obtained by the Jewish Insider. The letter warns the State Department that the 4 will “pursue conditions on the $3.8 billion in U.S. military funding to Israel.” (Jewish Insider 6/29; HA 6/30)