Monday, July 19, 2021

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers planted trees near al-Farisya and ‘Ain al-Hilweh. Israeli forces delivered a stop-work order to 1 Palestinian for his agricultural fields and seized 1 bulldozer. 9 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Tulkarm, Qalqilya, Beit Fajjar, al-Bireh, Dura, Bayt Liqya, Bayt Rima, and Jaba‘. In East Jerusalem, around 100 Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound for the 2d day in a row. 2 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Isawiya and Shu‘fat. (WAFA, WAFA 7/19; PCHR 7/29)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz spoke on the phone. According to Gantz’s office, the 2 discussed trust-building steps between Israel and the PA and Gantz gave Abbas best wishes on the occasion of Eid al-Adha. Their conversation was the 1st between Abbas and an Israeli minister since 2017, when Abbas spoke to then prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli president Isaac Herzog also called President Abbas to wish him a happy Eid al-Adha. (JP, REU, TOI, TOI, WAFA 7/19; ALM 7/22)

In Syria, Israeli forces conducted air strikes in as-Safira, south of Aleppo, killing 5 people. (AJ, AP, HA, HA, HA 7/20)

A freedom of information request revealed that the director general of the Israeli interior ministry lives in a house in the illegal settlement outpost Keida, which has had a demolition order against it since 2008. The interior ministry said in a statement that its minister Ayelet Shaked “is pleased that the director-general of her ministry lives in Keida.” (HA 7/20)

King Abdullah II of Jordan met with U.S. president Joe Biden in the White House. King Abdullah II was the 1st Middle Eastern leader to visit President Biden in Washington, as the U.S.-Jordanian relationship was tarnished during the Donald Trump administration due to the 1-sided peace proposal made by the administration. A read-out of the meeting said that the 2 discussed the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and Jordan’s relationship to Israel. (AJ, HA, JP, JP, MEE, NBC, NYT, REU, TOI, TOI 7/19; MEMO, WAFA 7/20)

The ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s issued a statement declaring it will end sales of its ice cream in Israeli settlements, saying that selling its ice cream in the occupied Palestinian territory “is inconsistent with our values.” Ben & Jerry’s also announced it would not renew its licensing agreement with manufacturers of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Israel but that the ice cream will still be available in Israel. Israel’s prime minister Naftali Bennett said that Ben & Jerry’s had decided to brand itself as an “antisemitic ice cream.” Foreign minister Yair Lapid, who weeks ago said his government would not call all criticism of Israel anti-Semitic, said the company was surrendering to BDS and anti-Semitism and that he would ask 35 U.S. states with anti-BDS laws to enforce them against the U.S. company. On 7/20, Prime Minister Bennett called the CEO of Unilever, the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s, to criticize the decision and Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. Gilad Erdan urged states with anti-BDS laws to take legal action against Ben & Jerry’s. The Israeli president Isaac Herzog likened the Ben & Jerry’s decision to terrorism. Ben & Jerry’s is known to engage publicly on progressive issues. Both founders of the company are Jewish-Americans. (AJ, ALM, AX, BenJerry, FOX, GDN, HA, HA, MEE, MEMO, NBC, REU, TOI, TOI, TOI, TOI, Twitter 7/19; AJ, AP, BBC, CNN, HA, HA, JP, JP, JP, MEE, MEE, REU, TOI, WAFA 7/20; HA, MEMO 7/21; AJ, AP, MEMO 7/22; GDN 7/23; HA 7/26; AX 7/27)