Monday, May 23, 2022

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers used pepper spray on a Palestinian family at a checkpoint near Burqa, injuring 3, including 1 infant; the infant was rushed to a hospital. Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian minor at a checkpoint near Ras Kaskar. Israeli forces also demolished 3 agricultural structures in Kafr ad-Dik, 2 residential structures near Jericho, and delivered demolition notices for 3 residential structures in al-Juwaya in the Masafer Yatta area. 10 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Ni‘lin, Kafr Ni‘ma, Karbatha al-Misbah, Birzeit, Harmala, Tuqu‘, Hebron, Balata refugee camp, Jenin, and Rumana. In East Jerusalem, 2 Israelis were detained at the Haram al-Sharif compound after engaging in Jewish prayers. (TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/23; HA, WAFA, WAFA 5/24; PCHR 5/26; UNOCHA 6/4)

2 Palestinians said that they were tortured for a month by the Shin Bet before confessing to throwing stones at Israeli forces, leading to 8-month sentences. The alleged torture included stress positions, solitary confinement, sleep and food deprivation, and denial of bathroom access. (HA 5/23; HA 5/24)

Haaretz reported that an Israeli probe into the death of a Palestinian man who was attacked by Israeli police in April at the Haram al-Sharif compound but died on 5/14 stated that the man had not been hit by an Israeli baton round; instead, the 21-year-old man had a heart attack that led to head trauma. (HA, TOI 5/23)

The PA foreign ministry said it had submitted a file to the ICC prosecutor documenting Israeli violations of international law, including the killing of Palestinian American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. The general secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative Mustafa Barghouti also called out the international community’s double standard in sending 42 ICC investigations to Ukraine to document violations of international law there while not starting an investigation into violations by Israel in Palestine. (AJ, MEE, WAFA 5/23)

Axios reported that the U.S. Biden administration is leading negotiations between Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt over Tiran and Sanafir Island in the Red Sea, which have been subject to dispute between Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Axios said that the negotiations are part of the U.S. and Israeli efforts to normalize ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Faisal bin Farhan said later, on 5/24, that Saudi normalization with Israel is dependent on an end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Haaretz later reported that Saudi Arabia directly approached Israel in 2017 about the status of the 2 islands because a transfer of the 2 required Israeli approval due to the Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement of 1979. (AX 5/23; MEE, MEMO, TOI 5/24; HA, MEMO 5/25; INT 5/27; HA, HA, HA 5/29; MEE, REU 5/30)

Israel Hayom reported that Israel and Morocco had signed 13 memorandums of understanding on issues pertaining to technology, agriculture, and climate at a conference in Casablanca dubbed Connect to Innovate. (ALM 5/26)