Tuesday, April 27, 2021

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set fire to 3 cars and sprayed racist graffiti in Bayt Iksa. Israeli settlers also threw stones at Palestinian vehicles traveling near ‘Urif, damaging 2. 7 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Bayt Hanina, Husan, Bethlehem, and Tubas; 1 Palestinian was hospitalized for his injuries after Israeli forces assaulted him during the raid in Bethlehem. In East Jerusalem, Israeli police said it had arrested 8 Israeli settlers for 2 attacks on Palestinians involving pepper spray. 8 Palestinians were arrested in the Old City. In Gaza, Israel said that 2 rockets were fired from Gaza toward Israel but landed within Gaza. The Gaza fishing zone was closed by Israeli authorities. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen on 2 separate occasions, injuring 1 with a rubber-coated bullet. (WAFA 4/27; HA, HA, WAFA 4/28; HA, PCHR 4/29)

Israel said it shot down a drone flying into Israeli airspace from Lebanon, claiming it was operated by Hezbollah. (AP 4/27)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is standing trial for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust, tried to appoint Ofir Akunis, a member of his own party, as justice minister. Hours later, the Israeli supreme court canceled Akunis’s appointment. (HA 4/28)

A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report said that Israel is guilty of committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. The 213-page report named “A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution” maintained that “Israeli authorities methodically privilege Jewish Israelis and discriminate against Palestinians. Laws, policies, and statements by leading Israeli officials make plain that the objective of maintaining Jewish Israeli control over demographics, political power, and land has long guided government policy. In pursuit of this goal, authorities have dispossessed, confined, forcibly separated, and subjugated Palestinians by virtue of their identity to varying degrees of intensity. In certain areas, as described in this report, these deprivations are so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.” PA president Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the report, urging the international community to intervene. The Israeli foreign ministry said that HRW is known to be anti-Israel. B’Tselem reached the same conclusion earlier this year and many Palestinian organizations have maintained for many years that Israel is guilty of apartheid. (AJ, CNN, GDN, HA, MDW, NPR, NYT, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/27; ALM, CSM, HA, HA, TOI 4/28; TOI 4/29; IN 4/30)