Monday, February 8, 2021

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers and Israeli forces attacked Palestinian journalists filming in the vicinity of the Ariel settlement. Israeli settlers also began construction on a tract of land in ‘Ayn Bus. Israeli forces seized and demolished residential tents in Khirbet Humsa provided by humanitarian agencies to displaced residents after Israeli forces demolished and confiscated and demolished 46 residential structures on 2/1 and 2/3. Israeli forces also demolished 1 water well in al-Mughayyir and 2 residential structures in Khirbet Yarza. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters demonstrating against stop-work orders delivered in al-Twana, leading to tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also shot and injured 1 Palestinian with live ammunition during a late-night raid near Jenin. Meanwhile, Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian trying to enter Israel for work near the separation barrier in Barta‘a. 14 Palestinians were arrested, including 13 during late-night raids in and around Jalazun refugee camp, Hebron, Nablus, Qabatiya, and al-Bireh, and 1 was arrested at a checkpoint near Nablus. In East Jerusalem, 4 Palestinian citizens of Israel were arrested at the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian famers east of Gaza City and Khan Yunis; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/8; CNN 2/10 PCHR 2/11)

PA and Hamas officials and members of 12 other Palestinian factions met in Cairo to discuss reconciliation and the Palestinian elections. (AJ, REU, WAFA, WAFA 2/8)

A Palestinian court in Nablus sentenced 1 Palestinian man to 5 years in prison for selling Israeli settlement products. (WAFA 2/8)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu pleaded not guilty in response to the corruption charges against him in an Israeli court. Prime Minister Netanyahu was forced to appear in court but left after 30 minutes as the judges excused his absence. (REU 2/7; AJ, AP, AX, CBS, CNN, HA, WP 2/8)

The U.S. said it will rejoin the UN Human Rights Council as an observer after the Donald Trump administration left the UN body, citing anti-Israel bias in 2018. The Biden administration wants to rejoin as a full member at an unset date. (NYT 2/7; TOI 2/8)

In an interview with CNN, U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken said he applauded the normalization deals between Israel, the U.S., the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan, and said that peace between Palestine and Israel is far away, saying the 2 need to engage in peace before the U.S. can get involved. Secretary Blinken also said the Biden administration supported a 2-state solution but when asked about whether a Palestinian state would have East Jerusalem as its capital, he said it was part of final status issues, despite saying the U.S. considers Israel’s capital Jerusalem. Former secretary of state John Kerry said the U.S. supports East Jerusalem as a future capital of Palestine during the Barack Obama administration. Lastly, Secretary Blinken said that the Biden administration would consider supporting the return of the Golan Heights to Syria if Bashar al-Asad was no longer in power. (HA, REU, State Department 2/8; HA 2/9; AJ 2/11)