Thursday, January 5, 2023

In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian minor and injured 2 others with live ammunition during a late-night raid in Balata refugee camp. Israeli forces also seized 1 tractor in Maeen in the Masafer Yatta area and demolished 8 residential structures and 1 agricultural structure in Duma, displacing 25. 14 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Bayt Rima, Ein Yabrud, Tubas, Jenin, Faqqua, Balata refugee camp, Hebron, and Yatta. In East Jerusalem, the Israeli Jerusalem municipality issued demolition orders for 2 homes and 1 agricultural structure in the al-Saadi community and 3 homes in the Abu al-Nuwar community. 2 Palestinians were arrested in Sur Baher and at the Haram al-Sharif compound. (AJ, AP, HA, MDW, MEE, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/5; PCHR 1/12; UNOCHA 2/16)

The Gaza Health Ministry said Israel is halting the delivery of 8 different types of x-ray machines and spare parts to repair existing machines. (MEMO, REU 1/5)

The Palestinian prisoner Karim Younis was released after 40 years in Israeli prison for allegedly partaking in the kidnapping and killing of an Israeli soldier in 1980. Younis was driven to a train station in Ra’anana where a passerby helped him reach his family. The decision not to release him directly from the prison was made by Israeli national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir. Israel’s interior minister Arye Dery asked the attorney general to revoke Younis’ Israeli citizenship earlier in the week. (AJ, ALM, BBC, HA, HA, MEE, MEMO, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/5; MEMO 1/6)

National Security Minister Ben-Gvir also toured the Nafha Prison “to make sure murderers of Jews don’t receive better conditions since the construction of new prison cells,” saying “I was happy to see that the Israel Prison Service does not intend to improve the condition of their incarceration. I will continue to deal with the conditions of security prisoners so they won’t have excessive rights.” (HA 1/6)

The U.S. handed over a 2,700-year-old looted artifact back to the PA in Bethlehem. The artifact, described as a “cosmetic spoon,” was seized from the American venture capitalist Michael H. Steinhardt in 2021 who had bought it from an Israeli antiquities dealer and is said to have been stolen from Hebron. (NYT, WAFA 1/5; ALM, MEE 1/6; AP, HA 2/3)

At the UN Security Council, Israel received criticism from several security council members, including the U.S., for National Security Minister Ben-Gvir’s tour of the Haram al-Sharif compound on 1/3. PA UN ambassador Riyad Mansour said “[o]ur people are running out of patience and the moderation and sense of responsibility we display should never be construed as weakness. The record shows that Israel’s persistence on this path does not lead to surrender, but to uprising.” U.S. envoy Robert A. Wood criticized “unilateral actions” at the Haram al-Sharif compound. The emergency session was requested by China and the UAE on behalf of the PA and Jordan. (REU 1/3; AJ, MEE, WAFA, WAFA 1/4; HA, WAFA, WAFA 1/5; AJ, AP, MEE, TOI, WAFA, WAFA 1/6)

The Nation reported that Kenneth Roth, who led Human Rights Watch for 29 years, was denied a position as a senior fellow at Harvard University at the late stages of the hiring process due to alleged “anti-Israel bias.” The dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School Douglas Elmendorf apologized for his initial decision after weeks of negative publicity and Roth was offered the position on 1/19. (NA 1/5; AJ, GDN, MEE 1/6; AP, HA, MDW, MEE, NYT 1/19)