August 23, 2021

In the West Bank, PA forces arrested, for the 3d day in a row, Palestinian activists critical of the PA; at least 3 were rounded up. Israeli settlers set up 2 mobile homes in Deir Istiya. Israeli settlers also set fire to dozens of olive trees near Burin. Israeli forces razed a tract of land near Qalqilya to expand a settler-only road and sealed the entrances to Sinjil. Israeli forces arrested 5 Palestinians in and around Birzeit, Tulkarm, Kafr Qaddum, and Hebron. In Gaza, Israeli forces fired missiles at structures in Khan Yunis, Jabalia refugee camp, and Shuja‘iya, causing damage but no injuries. Israel said it was responding to incendiary balloons sent to Israel from Gaza. 2 Palestinians were arrested at the Erez crossing after receiving calls to come to the crossing for their trader permit applications. (HA, MEE, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 8/23; AJ, AP, MEMO, MEMO, MEMO, REU, WAFA 8/24; HA 8/25; PCHR 8/26)

Egypt said it had closed the Rafah crossing until further notice. Egyptian officials said the closure was connected to Egypt’s efforts to broker a long-term ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas. (MEE, REU 8/22; AJ, ALM, AP, HA, MEMO 8/23; HA 8/24)

1 Palestinian on administrative detention ended his hunger strike after reassurances from Israel that it would not extend his detention. The man was placed on administrative detention after being arrested on 2/22/2020 and had been hunger striking for 43 days. (WAFA 8/23)

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that Israel’s targeting of 4 high-rise residential buildings in Gaza during Operation Guardians of the Wall violated international law. HRW also called on Israel to produce the evidence it says it has in claiming malicious activity was carried out in the high-rises. (AJ, ALM, AP, HA, MEE, MEMO 8/23; MEMO 8/25)