Thursday, June 8, 2023

In the West Bank, Israeli forces raided Ramallah to punitively demolish the family home of a Palestinian accused of planting 2 bombs in Jerusalem in November 2022; 35 Palestinians were injured, including 20 by live ammunition and others with baton rounds, including 2 clearly marked press photographers who were hospitalized with baton round injuries to their head and stomach. Israeli forces also raided Zweidin in the Masafer Yatta area, firing tear gas at Palestinians and seizing 1 bulldozer. Elsewhere, Israeli forces issued stop-work orders for 5 residential structures in al-Burj. Israeli forces also issued notifications to residents of al-Zawiya that Israel will seize 96 dunams (23.7 acres) of Palestinian-owned land. 27 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Beita, Arrabah, Yatta, Beit Umar, and Biddu. (REU 6/7; AJ, ALM, AP, HA, MDW, MEE, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/8; NA, WAFA 6/9; AJ 6/10; PCHR 6/15; UNOCHA 6/18)

A delegation of EU diplomats visited the Ghaith-Sub Laban family in the Old City of Jerusalem to show their support as the family is threatened by expulsion from their home this month. (QDS, WAFA 6/9)

Haaretz reported that Lehava chairperson Bentzi Gopstein was advising National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and others in the Israeli police. Gopstein is facing charges for inciting racism and terrorism against Palestinians and has been barred by the High Court of Justice from running for a seat in the Knesset. (HA, JP, TOI 6/8)

Saudi foreign minister Faisal bin Farhan told reporters that Saudi-Israeli normalization would have “limited benefits” without agreement on a “pathway to peace for the Palestinian people,” after a meeting with U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken. Farhan also said that Saudi Arabia is developing its own nuclear program and would prefer U.S. help in its development but had other bidders too. (AP, AX, REU, REU 6/8)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Secretary of State Blinken that Israel does not consider itself bound by any agreement made between Iran and the U.S. during a phone call. It has been reported that Iran and the U.S. are close to getting back on track on Iran deal renegotiations after secret meetings in Oman last month. According to a State Department spokesperson, Blinken also said that Israel needs to uphold commitments made during the summits in Aqaba and Sharm El Sheikh in the spring. (AX, HA, MEE 6/8)

The UN Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry said in its annual report that Israel is seeking to silence Palestinian civil society by labeling rights groups as terrorists. The report also said that Israel violates Palestinian human rights to ensure its permanent occupation. The commission also criticized Hamas and the PA for limiting expression of freedom. (AP, REU 6/8)

Adalah issued a position paper titled The Acceleration of the Annexation of the West Bank under the 37th Israeli Government led by Prime Minister Netanyahu, outlining the ways the Israeli government is accelerating policies to annex the West Bank. The paper mentions transferring management of settlements to Ministry of the Negev, the Galilee, and National Resilience, the appointment of Bezalel Smotrich as a minister in the Defense Ministry in charge of settlements, legalizing 10 settlement outposts, building over 7,000 new settlement units, re-establishing evacuated settlements, and introducing legislation that applies to the occupied territories. (Adalah, Adalah 6/8)