Sunday, December 26, 2021

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort blocked a road leading to Sinjil. Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian with a rubber-coated bullet to his chest during a raid in Kafr Qaddum. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters near al-Mughayyir and Sahal al-Baqai’a, causing tear-gas related injuries. Elsewhere, Israeli forces blocked all traffic in and out of Hizma. 4 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Qalqilya, Aqabah, Tuqu‘, and Dayr Jarir. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces raided PA governor of Jerusalem Adnan Ghaith’s home. Israeli forces also raided the home of deputy director-general of the Islamic Waqf, Sheikh Najeh Bakirat, in Jabel Mukaber, handing him a summon for interrogation. 6 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Silwan and at the Haram al-Sharif compound. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 2 nautical miles west of al-Sudaniyya; no injuries were reported. In Israel, 1 Palestinian woman was killed and 2 others injured in a car bombing in Ramle; Israeli authorities suspected an assassination. The killing marked the 123d Palestinian killed in Israel in 2021. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/26; MEMO 12/27; PCHR 12/30)

The 1st case of the highly infectious Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus was detected in Gaza. The Omicron variant has become dominant in many countries and is capable at infecting vaccinated people, especially those who have not received a booster shot. In Gaza, about 25,000 out of 2 million people have received a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. (HA, MEMO, REU 12/26)

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said that Israel is denying 1 Palestinian prisoner access to the cancer treatment he needs. The Palestinian man has been detained since 10/25. (WAFA 12/26)

Qatar’s envoy to Palestine Mohammad al-Emadi said in a statement that Qatar, the PA, and Gaza’s electrical company have agreed to a project that will see Qatar invest $60 million in a gas pipeline from Israel to Gaza. The project will change the fuel input at Gaza’s power plant from diesel fuel to natural gas. (MEMO, TOI 12/27)

PA civil affairs minister Hussein al-Sheikh called on the international community to take action against Israeli settler violence. (WAFA 12/26)

The Israeli government approved a plan to double the settler population in the occupied Golan Heights. The $317-million plan will see Israel construct settler housing units and new infrastructure, including 3,300 new settlement units in Katzrin, 4,065 in Golan Regional Council, and 4,000 in 2 new settlements. Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett said the government investment in settlements in the Golan Heights was linked to the U.S. Trump administration decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the area in 2019 and the current Biden administration’s indication that it will not roll back the decision. (AJ, AP, DW, HA, MEE, REU, TOI 12/26; AJ, ALM, AP, MEMO, REU, TOI 12/27; CNN, MDW, TOI 12/28)