Wednesday, December 8, 2021

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized some 70 olive trees in Khillat al-Dabe in Masafer Yatta. The Hebron Rehabilitation Committee said Israeli forces prevented its workers from renovating 12 Palestinian-owned homes in the al-Jabari area of Hebron. 12 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Bethlehem, Tuqu‘, Beit Fajjar, Beit Sahour, al-Am‘ari refugee camp, Beita, Bayt Dajan, and Rujeib. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian minor, facing eviction by Israeli settlers, allegedly stabbed an Israeli settler in her neighborhood in Sheikh Jarrah; the settler was lightly injured. The Palestinian girl was found in a nearby school 1 hour later and was arrested by Israeli forces; she denied involvement. Israeli forces also arrested 3 other people at the school and raided the girl’s home, arresting her mother. Israeli settlers toured Sheikh Jarrah, chanting “death to Arabs.” Israeli forces later closed off Sheikh Jarrah, preventing activists and journalists from entering the neighborhood. 5 Palestinians were arrested in Isawiya. In Israel, Israeli right-wing activists vandalized a mosque in Umm al-Fahm by spraying racist graffiti and drawing the Star of David on it. (AJ, HA, MEMO, MEMO, MEMO, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/8; ALM, HA 12/9; HA 12/10; PCHR 12/16)

The Israeli Jerusalem municipality advanced early-stage plans for a new Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem near Bayt Safafa, to be called Givat Shaked. The plans for the new settlement include 473 settler units, 2 schools, and synagogues. The settlement was 1st proposed by former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, but shelved after international outrage, including from the U.S. (HA, MEE 12/6; MEMO 12/7; TOI 12/8)

Members of the Hamas political bureau visited Moscow for meetings with Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov. (MEMO 12/8)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas met with Tunisian president Kais Saied in Tunis. (WAFA 12/7; WAFA, WAFA 12/8)

Jordan rescinded its submission to the Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, and apologized after pressure from Palestinians who called the film Amira offensive. The film depicts a Palestinian girl who is ostracized from her community after she discovers that she was conceived by sperm from an Israeli prison guard and not the Palestinian prisoners she thought was her father. The PA and Hamas were among those lobbying against the movie. (HA, MEE, MEMO 12/9)

Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz claimed, in response to a formal query by members of the Meretz party, that the 6 rights organizations he had declared terrorist organizations on 10/22 had PFLP members who did not work for them on their payroll. He also claimed that PFLP members controlled the organizations. (HA 12/8)

Lebanon’s labor minister Mustafa Bayram said Lebanon would ease restrictions on what professions Palestinian refugees in the country are allowed to work. Labor Minister Bayram’s office quickly sought to clarify that the changes would be within the confines of the current Lebanese legislation. The legislation does not allow much leeway for substantial changes to the rules banning Palestinians from certain jobs. Bayram, who is from the Amal party, was quickly shunned by Lebanese politicians from other parties, who said he does not have the authority to make any changes on the issue. Gebran Bassil of the Free Patriotic Movement called the comments “‘naturalization in disguise’ of the Palestinians . . . there shouldn’t be any stealing of jobs from Lebanese under the current circumstances.” Bayram eventually completely retracted his initial statement, saying that there will be no changes. (AA, JP 12/9; HA 12/13)