Wednesday, April 21, 2021

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort stormed Sabastiyya, closing off parts of the town to Palestinians. 6 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Ramallah, Hebron, Yatta, and al-Ram. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions and leveled land east of Rafah. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/21; PCHR, WAFA 4/22)

The racist Israeli organization Lehava called on its supports to gather at the Damascus gate in the Old City, where clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians have continued since Israeli measures against celebrations for Ramadan started on 4/13. The Lehava organizers called for breaking Palestinians’ faces and burning them alive. Israeli settlers have attacked Palestinians in East Jerusalem almost every night since 4/13. (HA 4/21)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas met with the Jordanian foreign minister Ayman Safadi in Ramallah. (WAFA 4/21)

Facebook said it had broken up a hacker network used by the PA’s intelligence service to spy on journalists, human rights activists, and government critics. Facebook said the intelligence service used compromised, fake profiles to befriend potential targets and trick them into installing malware on their computers. It was reported that some 800 people had been targeted in the Middle East. (AP 4/21; PCHR 4/22)

A powerful explosion occurred in an Israeli weapons manufacturing factory near Ramle. The factory said it “was a controlled test with no exceptional circumstances.” (HA, JP, TOI 4/21)

A British Zionist youth movement, Noam, boycotted an event with Israeli ambassador to the UK Tzipi Hotovely because of her “racist and anti-pluralistic views.” In a recent interview with the BBC, Ambassador Hotovely would not say if she favored a 2-state solution, saying she favors peace. (HA, JP 4/21)

A bipartisan bill that seeks to task the U.S. State Department with identifying opportunities to expand normalization efforts with Israel was introduced to the house. The bill was introduced by Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and Michael McCaul (R-TX). (JTA 4/21; JP 4/22)

The U.S. presented, through intermediaries, a list of sanctions to Iran that it is ready to lift in exchange for Iranian compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. A U.S. state department official also said that the U.S. had presented Israel with a list of sanctions that could potentially be lifted on Iran. (AP 4/21; AJ, HA 4/22)

UK Labour leader Keir Starmer withdrew from participating in a Ramadan iftar event because the organizer had retweeted a post about boycotting Israeli dates during Ramadan. It was also reported that Starmer had yet to respond to a letter sent to him by 25 members of the Labour party, complaining that the party is creating a “hostile environment” for Palestinians since Starmer became leader after Jeremy Corbyn resigned in 2019. (MEE 4/23; MEMO 4/25)