Tuesday, August 18, 2020

In the West Bank, Israeli forces arrested 8 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Jenin, Tubas, Nablus, Jericho, and Bethlehem. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian was shot and injured during a confrontation with Israeli forces that was sparked by a demolition of a 5-story Palestinian-owned building in Jabal Mukabir. In Gaza, incendiary balloons were sent toward Israel from Gaza, causing fires, and 1 rocket was launched at Israel. Israel fired missiles at Gaza near Rafah, Gaza City, Bayt Hanun, and Bayt Lahiya, causing damage; no injuries were reported. Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen west of Bayt Lahiya on 2 occasions; no injuries were reported. (AJ, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 8/18; AJ, HA, PCHR, WAFA 8/19)

The Gaza power plant stopped producing electricity as Israel stopped all deliveries of fuel to Gaza on 8/13. Palestinians in Gaza only have between 3-4 hours of electricity a day, as opposed to 8-12 hours, because of the power plant closure. (AJ, HA, REU, WAFA 8/18)

Secretary general of the PLO Saeb Erakat attacked the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation for not condemning the UAE’s move toward normalization, violating the Arab countries’ consensus of not making agreements with Israel until Israel and Palestinians have negotiated a peace agreement. PA president Mahmoud Abbas called the UAE-Israel deal nonsense and said that the UAE “have turned their backs on everything: the rights of the Palestinian people, the Palestinian state, the two-state solution, and the holy city of Jerusalem.” At the meeting, attended by officials from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Abbas praised the steps toward Palestinian organizational unity. (HA, REU, WAFA 8/18)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied reports that Israel would support U.S. sales of advanced weapons to the UAE as part of the normalization deal between the 2 countries. A spokesperson for the Sudanese foreign ministry said that Sudan is looking at normalizing relations with Israel; however, after Prime Minister Netanyahu welcomed the news and said the dialogue had been going on since 2/2020, the Sudanese foreign ministry walked back the announcement, saying that normalization had not been discussed. The prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan said that Pakistan would not recognize Israel until the establishment of a Palestinian state acceptable to Palestinians. (HA, HA, REU 8/18; AJ 8/20)