Wednesday, January 20, 2021

In the West Bank, 5 Palestinians were arrested, including 3 during raids in and around Tulkarm and Anabta; 2 were arrested at the Qalandia checkpoint. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian was arrested during a raid in Issawiyya. In Israel, 1 44-year-old Palestinian prisoner died in the Israeli Rimonim prison; no official reason was given for his death, but the Palestinian Prisoners Society noted that he had health problems and had received the 1st dose of a COVID-19 vaccine 3 days prior to his death. (WAFA, WAFA 1/20; AJ, PCHR 1/21)

1 Palestinian man from the West Bank was indicted by Israel for smuggling drones into Gaza allegedly to be used by Hamas to film Israeli movement along the Gaza fence. (HA 1/20)

The Israeli ministry of housing and the Israeli land authority issued tenders for 2,572 new settler housing units, including 2,112 in the West Bank and 460 in East Jerusalem. (AJ, AP, PCN, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/20; WAFA 1/21)

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in as U.S. president and vice president in an inauguration ceremony closed to the public due to domestic terror threat at the Mall in Washington D.C. Outgoing president Donald Trump did not attend the inauguration. The Democratic party also took control of the Senate after 3 democrats were sworn in, giving the party control of the House, the Senate, and the White House. PA president Mahmoud Abbas and several other PA officials expressed optimism for what a Biden administration would do to curb Israeli maximalist policies. A Hamas spokesperson also expressed hope that a Biden administration would “correct the historical course of wrong and unjust American policies towards our people.” (AJ, BB, GDN, HA, JP, NBC, NYT, REU, TOI, WAFA 1/20; AP 1/21)

The UAE signed an agreement with the U.S. to buy 50 F-35 fighter jets and 18 armed drones as part of the normalization deal between Israel, the U.S., and the UAE. (HA, REU 1/20; REU 1/22)