Sunday, November 15, 2020

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers used dogs to attack Palestinian farmers near Yatta. Israeli forces seized 4 Palestinian-owned tractors in al-Hadidyya. Israeli forces also fired tear gas at Palestinians trying to enter Israel near al-Midya. The Nablus governate was placed on a partial lockdown for 5 days after a rise in COVID-19 cases. The PA asked residents to stay inside between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. 2 Palestinians were arrested; 1 during a late-night raid in Hebron and 1 at a military checkpoint near Nablus. In Gaza, Hamas launched 2 rockets at Israel, both landing in open areas, and Israel fired missiles at Gaza, causing damage near Rafah, Bayt Hanun, and Khan Yunis. A source from Hamas said that the rockets were launched by mistake due to lighting and that Hamas does not seek an escalation of violence. Israel later said it believed the claim that the rockets were launched by mistake. (AJ, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 11/15; HA, PCHR 11/19)

The Israeli Lands Authority issued tenders for construction of a new settlement, Givat Hamatos, in East Jerusalem, dubbed the doomsday settlement as it would cut East Jerusalem off from Bethlehem and cut Bayt Safafa off from its surrounding towns. Tenders for a total of 1,257 settler units were issued. Israel’s plans drew condemnation form the PA, and the international community. The Israeli anti-occupation organization Peace Now called the plans a “lethal blow” to the 2-state solution. The EU high representative for foreign affairs Josep Borrell said in a statement that he was “deeply worried” about the decision and that “Israel should instead show vision and responsibility and reverse these negative decisions at this critical and sensitive time.” The UN envoy for the Middle East peace process Nickolay Mladenov also condemned the plans, saying “settlement construction is illegal under international law and I call on the authorities to reverse this step.” (AJ, EEAS, HA, PCN, REU, WAFA, WAFA 11/15; AJ, HA, PCHR, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 11/16; WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 11/17; SG, WAFA 11/18; WAFA 11/19)