Monday, February 1, 2021

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers brought their cattle to graze on Palestinian-owned agricultural land east of Yatta, damaging crops. Israeli settlers also vandalized 15 cars and 3 houses in Kafr Haris. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles traveling near Huwwara. Israeli forces demolished and seized 25 structures, displacing 55 Palestinians, including 32 children, in Khirbet Humsa. Israeli forces also shot and injured 1 Palestinian who was trying to enter Israel for work near Barta‘a. 8 Palestinians were arrested, including 6 during raids in and around al-Mughayyir, Tulkarm, Qalqilya, and Hebron; 2 were arrested at checkpoints near Jit and ‘Azun. In East Jerusalem, 3 Palestinians were arrested during a raid in al-Tur; clashes broke out during the raid, leading to tear-gas related injuries. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/1; PCHR, WAFA, WAFA 2/2; REU 2/3; AP, HA, NBC, PCHR, WAFA 2/4)

The Rafah crossing was temporarily open for the 1st of 4 days. The last time the Rafah crossing was open was 11/26/2020. (GISHA, WAFA 1/31)

Israel delivered 2,000 COVID-19 vaccination doses to the PA intended for medical staff. Israel said it intends on sending the PA 5,000 doses. PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said the PA expects to have received 50,000 COVID-19 doses from 4 different companies by the middle of February. Prime Minister Shtayyeh also announced that the COVID-19-related lockdown of the West Bank was extended by 2 weeks. The WHO announced that Palestine will start receiving 37,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine around the middle of February though the COVAX program. PA president Mahmoud Abbas extended the COVID-19-related state of emergency for another 30 days. (AP, AP, HA, HILL 1/31; AP, HA, HA, NBC, WAFA, WAFA 2/1; WAFA 2/3)

1 Israeli settler from the Yitzhar settlement, Rabbi Yosef Elitzur, was convicted of inciting violence against Palestinians in 2 opinion pieces written by him. (HA 2/3)

The U.S. Joe Biden administration made its 1st official contact with Palestinian officials. The newly appointed deputy assistant secretary for Israel-Palestine Hady Amr spoke to several Palestinian officials. This marked the 1st official contract between Palestinian and U.S. officials since December 2017. (AX, HA 2/1)

A Biden administration official also said the administration is using and supporting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism, which has been widely critiqued for conflating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. For more about the IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism, see the IPS publication Zionism, Israel, and Anti-Semitism: Dangerous Conflation. (PCN 2/2; MDW 2/3; EI 2/4; HA 2/28)

Kosovo’s foreign minister Meliza Haradinaj and Israeli foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi signed an agreement between the 2 countries, which include Kosovo opening an embassy to Israel in Jerusalem and designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. In September, Kosovo, Serbia, the U.S., and Israel signed an agreement to have the 2 Balkan countries open embassies to Israel in Jerusalem in return for financial incentives. Serbia’s foreign minister said Serbia has “invested serious efforts in our relations with Israel in recent years and we are not happy with this decision.” Serbia is displeased that Israel as part of the agreement recognized Kosovo as an independent state. The PA, Turkey, the Arab League, and the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation also publicly criticized Kosovo because of the country’s decision to open an embassy in Jerusalem. (HA, REU, TOI 2/1; AJ 2/2; WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/3)

Hezbollah said it shot down an Israeli drone flying over Lebanese air space. (AP, HA 2/1)