Thursday, June 15, 2023

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian herders in al-Thaala in the Masafer Yatta area, forcing them to leave their pastures. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian and wounded 2 others with live ammunition and 170 with tear gas during a punitive demolition raid in Nablus. The Israeli forces demolished the family home of 1 Palestinian accused of having killed an Israeli soldier in October 2022. Israeli forces also raided Ya’bad, razing a road, damaging 2 vehicles, and raiding the Electricity Authority building. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished 1 Palestinian-owned home in Bayt Jala. Israeli forces also demolished 8 residential structures east of Tubas, displacing 16. In East Jerusalem, an Israeli settler threw stones at the Cenacle Christian site, damaging windows. The vandal was released from custody on 6/16 under the condition that he stay away from the Old City for 30 days.  (ABC, AJ, ALM, AP, HA, MEE, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/15; HA 6/18; PCHR 6/22; UNOCHA 7/8)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas met with Chinese prime minister Li Qiang in Beijing. At the end of Abbas’ 4-day trip, the PA and China issued a joint statement where the PA supported China’s treatment of its Muslim minority in Xinjiang, which has been severely condemned by human rights organizations. (AP, WAFA 6/15; AP 6/16)

The UNRWA staff union in the West Bank ended its 4-month long strike and resumed services in the refugee camps. (WAFA 6/15; REU, WAFA 6/16)

The Islamic Supreme Fatwa Council in Palestine issued a fatwa against participation in the upcoming Israeli municipal elections in Jerusalem. (QDS, WAFA 6/15)

A conference on spitting attacks by Jewish people on Christians in the Old City organized by the Center for the Study of Relations Between Jews, Christians, and Muslims at the Open University of Israel was forced to change its venue from the Tower of David Museum in the Old City of Jerusalem after pressure from the Israeli-run municipality, including from the mayor’s office. Jerusalem deputy mayor Arieh King called the conference “anti-Semitic.” Officials from the Israeli Foreign Ministry and Jerusalem municipality were invited to attend the conference but refused. (HA 6/15)

A CNN investigation confirmed Palestinian eyewitness accounts that Israeli forces did not intervene to protect Palestinians from the Israeli settler pogrom in Huwwara on 2/26. An Israeli soldier told CNN that he and the other soldiers knew of the threat posed by the Israeli settlers but chose not to intervene and instead allowed the settlers to enter Huwwara. The CNN investigation also said that Israeli soldiers only intervened to prevent Palestinian residents from trying to repel the settler attack. (CNN, HA 6/15)