Thursday, November 12, 2020

In the West Bank, Israeli forces assaulted 1 77-year-old Palestinian man who refused to leave his land near Bayt Umar. Israeli forces also demolished 1 house, 1 retaining wall and a number of sheds in al-Walaja, and the foundations of 1 house in Bayt Jala. Elsewhere, Israeli forces leveled Palestinian land in Yanuh to expand a nearby settlement. Israeli forces also clashed with Palestinians during a late-night raid in Kaubar, leading to tear-gas related injuries. 8 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Qalandia, Tulkarm, Yatta, Nablus, and Beita. In East Jerusalem, 4 Palestinians were arrested during raids in al-Tur and Wadi Juz. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire on agricultural lands east of Khuza‘a; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 11/12; PCHR 11/19)

1 Israeli soldier who had been missing since 11/10 was found dead near the Hizma checkpoint in the West Bank. Israel did not provide any further details. (HA 11/12)

The Israeli attorney general Avichai Mendelblit announced that Israel will freeze enforcement of the Kaminitz Law, which aims at punishing Israeli residents who build without a permit. While the law does not single out Palestinian-Israelis explicitly, it disproportionately effects Palestinian-Israelis because the time it takes to obtain a construction permit in Palestinian areas of Israel is much longer than in Israeli-Jewish areas. According to Haaretz, it is estimated that 50,000 Palestinian-owned houses in Israel are built without a permit. The freeze, which lasts until 2023, was seen as a win for the Joint Arab List whose politicians have been working with Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz and justice minister Avi Nissenkorn to get it through. (HA 11/12)

Axios reported that U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo will visit Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Golan Heights. During his trip, Secretary Pompeo is scheduled to visit a settler winery in Psagot near al-Bireh, which announced it will make a new series of wine named after him. The winery is built on 80 dunams (20 acres) of privately-owned Palestinian land seized by Israel. Pompeo will be the 1st U.S. secretary of state to visit both the Golan Heights and West Bank settlements. Pompeo was also the 1st secretary of state to visit the Wailing Wall. PA prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said in a tweet, “[w]e deplore US Sec. of State Mike Pompeo’s intent to visit the illegal settlement of Psagot, built on lands belonging to Palestinian owners in Al-Bireh city, during his visit to Israel next week. This dangerous precedent legalizes settlements& a blot to int’l legitimacy/ UN res’s.” (AX, HA 11/12; AJ, Twitter 11/13; WAFA 11/15)

The NYT reported that U.S. president Donald Trump, in a meeting with U.S. military officials, requested options for attacking Iran’s nuclear site in Natanz. According to NYT sources, he was ultimately dissuaded by the military officials not to launch an attack on Iran. (NYT, REU 11/16)

The prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan said in an interview that the U.S. and at least 1 other unnamed country have been pressuring him to recognize Israel. Prime Minister Khan said he would not normalize relations with Israel until a peace agreement is made with Palestine. Khan, when pressed on what the 2d country was, said, “[l]eave this. There are things we cannot say.” (HA 11/17)