Thursday, July 2, 2020

In the West Bank, Palestinians clashed with Israeli soldiers in Hebron, leading to tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also seized 4 trucks, claiming they were carrying stolen water from a water pipe near Hebron. Elsewhere, Israeli forces seized 2 excavators near Nablus. 7 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Jenin, Tulkarm, al-Fawar refugee camp, and Hebron. In East Jerusalem, 2 Palestinian families demolished their own houses under construction in al-Tur to avoid exorbitant Israeli demolition fees. 1 Palestinian was arrested during a raid in Issawiyya. In Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles off the coast west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported. Israeli naval forces also arrested 4 Palestinian fishermen within 6 nautical miles northwest of Rafah. (WAFA 7/2; PCHR 7/9)

The secretary-general of the Fatah Central Committee Jibril Rajub and the head of the Hamas political bureau Salah al-Arouri held a joint press conference formulating a plan of action to counter Israeli plans to annex parts of the West Bank. The 2 confirmed that the factions have had conversations on the issue previously. The chairman of the Joint List in Israel Ayman Odeh also joined the virtual conference. (AJ, HA, TOI, WAFA 7/2)

The PA finance minister Shukri Bishara said that the PA would cut wages for some 132,000 public employees by 50 percent, but not to less than $507 a month. The PA is facing a financial crisis due to not receiving tax revenue collected by Israel and from the COVID-19 crisis. (REU 7/2)

A fire broke out at an Iranian nuclear facility in Natanz. Iran refused to disclose the reason for the fire, but 3 Iranian officials told Reuters that it was caused by cyber sabotage. Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz neither denied nor confirmed Israel’s involvement, saying “[n]ot every incident that transpires in Iran necessarily has something to do with us.” (AJ 7/2; AJ 7/3; AJ, REU, REU 7/5; HA 7/11)