October 20, 2021

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers stole harvesting equipment in Qaryut and tried to steal olive crops before being chased away by Palestinians. Israeli forces razed 10 dunams of agricultural land in Wadi Rahal. 18 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Iskaka, Silwad, Ein Yabrud, Jalbun, Hebron, and Atuf. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/20; PCHR 10/21)

Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett ordered 2 companies of Israeli “Border Police” soldiers to be deployed to fight violence in Palestinian populated areas of Israel. The decision follows debates among Israeli politicians on how to address the many killings in Palestinian-majority towns and villages, which has so far reached 102 in 2021. (HA 10/20)

Israeli authorities said that it had increased the number of work permits for Palestinians in Gaza, from 7,000 to 10,000, starting on 10/21. (ALM, AP, HA 10/20; HA 10/21)

Israel said it will require Palestinians working in Israel and in Israeli settlements to show proof of vaccination against the COVID-19 virus, starting on 11/1. (HA 10/20)

An Israeli military court allowed the publication of a 2016 conviction of an Israeli civil administrations major who was sentenced to 11 years in prison for raping 1 Palestinian woman and for receiving a bribe of a sexual nature. The Israeli soldier was also convicted of sexual harassment. (HA 10/20; MEMO 10/22)

Axios reported that U.S. national security advisor Jake Sullivan discussed the possibility of normalizing relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel during a meeting with Saudi crown prince Muhammad bin Salman in Neom, Saudi Arabia, on 9/27. According to Axios, 3 U.S. and Arab sources said Crown Prince bin Salman did not immediately reject the idea. It was unclear what the U.S. administration is offering Saudi Arabia for a normalization deal with Israel. The U.S., during the Trump administration, made big concessions to the UAE and Morocco in exchange for their normalization with Israel, including sales of advanced weaponry to the UAE and recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara to Morocco. The Saudi-led Arab Peace Initiative from 2002 laid out the parameters under which Saudi Arabia will normalize ties with Israel. (AX, HA 10/20)