Tuesday, July 12, 2022

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized 450 olive, plum, grape, and almond trees near Turmus ‘Ayya. 7 Palestinians were arrested, including 5 returning to the West Bank from Jerusalem at the Qalandia checkpoint, 1 crossing from the West Bank to Jordan via the Allenby Bridge, and 1 while working his land in Idhna. (WAFA, WAFA 7/12; PCHR 7/21; UNOCHA 7/22)

Haaretz reported that the World Zionist Organization’s settlement division was finalizing plans to invest $8.5 million to connect settlement outposts in the West Bank to the Israeli electrical grid and preparing plans to have the outposts retroactively authorized by the Israeli government. (HA 7/12)

Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz approved 5,500 Palestinians to be registered with the Palestinian population registry and increased Gaza merchant permits for commerce in Israel from 1,500 to 15,000. Defense Minister Gantz also gave final approval for construction in Hizma and Harmaleh and 1st level approval for construction in Haris, Kisan, and Battir. Additionally, Israel said it would open a new crossing from Israel to the northern part of the West Bank to ease access to Jenin and delayed a meeting to expand Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem. The moves were described by Israel as a result of a meeting between Gantz and PA president Mahmoud Abbas last week and comes 1 day before U.S. president Joe Biden will arrive in Israel for a 4-day tour of Israel, Palestine, and Saudi Arabia. (AP, HA, WAFA 7/12)

4 members of the U.S. senate Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Dick Durban (D-IL), wrote a letter to U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken saying that the U.S. review of the evidence into the killing of Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh “hardly constitutes an independent investigation into the overall circumstances of her killing.” In a separate letter, U.S. senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) called on the Biden administration to provide a senior-level classified briefing on the investigation details and the administration’s plan for accountability. (ALM, HA 7/12; MEE, WAFA 7/13)

Citing insufficient evidence, the foreign ministries of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Holland, Spain, and Sweden issued a joint statement saying that the countries have decided to dismiss Israeli claims that 6 Palestinian rights organizations are linked to terrorism and will continue funding them. The rights organizations were designated terrorist organizations by Defense Minister Gantz in October 2021. (AP, HA, MEE, REU, WAFA, WAFA 7/12; MDW 7/15)