Sunday, March 7, 2021

In the West Bank, 5 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Qalandia refugee camp, Hizma, Dahariyya, and Jenin. Off the coast of Gaza, 3 Palestinian fishermen were killed in an explosion northwest of Khan Yunis; there were conflicting narratives about how the explosion happened with reports of an Israeli naval attack and of a missile fired from Gaza. Israel denied responsibility and the interior ministry in Gaza said it would investigate the incident; the investigation concluded on 3/11 with the government saying an Israeli drone laden with explosive was caught in a fishermen’s net, killing the 3 fishermen. the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights had claimed that it was a militant faction from Gaza who was responsible. Israeli naval forces had earlier in the day opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Gaza city, causing damage to 1 boat. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian herders east of Khan Yunis; no injuries were reported. (AJ, HA, PCHR, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/7; HA 3/9; ALM, HA, PCHR, REU 3/11)

1 Palestinian man was sentenced to 2 years in prison, based on a plea bargain, by an Israeli military judge for not preventing an attack on an Israeli settler and for being a member of the PFLP. In the sentencing, the judge said a plea bargain had been reached, reducing the sentence because several Palestinians had been tortured during the interrogation related to the case. (TOI 3/7; HA 3/8)

According to Axios, PA civil affairs minister Hussein al-Sheikh sent a letter to the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for Israel-Palestine Hady Amr asking for U.S. support in the upcoming Palestinian elections and saying that Hamas has committed itself to nonviolence and the PLO parameters for a 2-state solution. Hamas has yet to publicly confirm Civil Affairs Minister al-Sheikh’s statement. (AX 3/10)

PA foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki said he will travel to the Hague to meet with ICC officials to discuss the investigations into possible war crimes committed by Israel. (WAFA 3/7)

Meretz (Vigor) leader Nitzan Horowitz said that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli settlers were responsible for the ICC investigation, drawing ire from the Israeli right. Several right-wing leaders said they would not sit in a coalition with Meretz based on those statements. Horowitz said the ICC investigation was a result of “unbridled settlement” and Israeli refusal to engage in negotiations with Palestinians. (HA, HA 3/7)