Monday, January 31, 2022

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized some 100 olive trees east of Bethlehem. Israeli forces delivered demolition orders against 2 Palestinian-owned homes in al-Twana. 26 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Jericho, Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, Ein as-Sultan, Jiftlik, Jalazun refugee camp, Qatanna, Beit ‘Anan, Deir Sammit, Qarawat Bani Hassan, and Jenin. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian family demolished their own home in Jabel Mukaber. Israeli forces also delivered a notice to a family in Isawiya ordering them to demolish an extension to their house under construction. (MEMO, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/31; MEMO 2/1; PCHR 2/3)

An Israeli court ordered the Salem family in Sheikh Jarrah to leave their home between 1 March and 1 April. The eviction will displace 10 Palestinians, including 4 children. (WAFA 1/31; MEMO 2/1)

The Israeli military said it had sent its findings relating to the death of an 80-year-old Palestinian American man who died while being detained by Israeli forces on 1/12 to the U.S. A statement said that the military’s investigation had found wrongdoing, moral failure, and failure of judgement in relation to the death. The commander of the Netzeh Israel unit was rebuked, and 2 company and platoon commanders were dismissed, but no one was held directly responsible for the killing of the Palestinian man. U.S. state department spokesperson Ned Price said on 2/1 that the U.S. “expects a thorough criminal investigation and full accountability in this case.” PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh called the military investigation a “sham” and pointed out that Israel only conducted the investigation due to the man’s American citizenship. (HA 1/31; AJ, AP, AP, HA, HA, HA, MEE, MEMO, NYT, TOI 2/1; HA, HA, WAFA 2/2)

An Israeli military court convicted 1 member of Hamas for attempted manslaughter in relation to the killing of 1 Israeli soldier in on 8/7/2019. The Palestinian man was not at the scene of the murder. (HA 2/1)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas spoke with U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken in a phone call. According to a state department readout of the conversation, the 2 spoke about “the importance of strengthening the U.S. relationship with the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people, as well as the need to improve quality of life for Palestinians in tangible ways . . . [and] challenges facing the Palestinian Authority and the need for reform.” Secretary Blinken also spoke with Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid. (REU, WAFA 1/31; HA, JP, MEMO, WAFA 2/1)

Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz defended his meeting with PA president Mahmoud Abbas during a session at the Knesset, saying that it is in Israel’s interest to strengthen the PA. Gantz further stated, “[w]hether we like it or not, the Palestinian Authority is the legitimate and recognized leadership of our neighbors and has been for years.” (HA 1/31; MEMO 2/1)

Lebanon said it had arrested 35 people claiming to be Israeli spies working to infiltrate Palestinian organizations in Lebanon, Hezbollah, and the Lebanese intelligence agency. 15 had since been released, as Lebanon found that they were not spies working for Israel, and Lebanese intelligence confirmed that at least 12 were connected to Israel. (HA, MEMO 1/31)

Israeli forces fired several missiles at Damascus. Syrian air defense intercepted the missiles; however, material damage occurred during the interceptions. (AJ, AP, HA, JP, MEMO, TOI 1/31)