Friday, June 23, 2023

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with a military escort raided Deir Dibwan, setting fire to trees; 1 Palestinian was injured by live ammunition fired by Israeli forces during the raid. Israeli settlers also threw stones at Palestinian vehicles near Beitin and Hebron. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian man during a raid in Nablus. Israeli forces also shot a 5-year-old Palestinian boy in the eye with a rubber-coated bullet in Bizarya; the boy’s eye was later removed at a hospital. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 4 with baton rounds and others with tear gas. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Bayt Dajan, causing tear-gas related injuries. Meanwhile, Israeli forces seized 1 excavator in Dahariya. 11 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Askar refugee camp, Bethlehem, Abu Nuyaim, Beit Umar, Dura, and Tulkarm; 2 Palestinians were injured by Israeli live ammunition during the raid in Askar refugee camp. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/23; WAFA, WAFA 6/24; HA 6/27; PCHR 7/6; UNOCHA 7/8)

The Shin Bet said it had arrested 3 Israeli settlers following several Israeli settler attacks on Palestinian towns and villages in the past week. (AP 6/23)

Representatives from 20 EU countries visited Turmus ‘Ayya to express condolences to the victims of the Israeli settler attack on 6/21. In a statement the countries said as the occupier Israel is obligated to protect Palestinians and prosecute the violent settlers. (WAFA 6/23; HA 6/24)

Israeli national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir told Israeli settlers at the partly resettled Evyatar settlement outpost that the settlers should “[r]un to the hilltops” and build settlements “in all the hills around.” Ben-Gvir also called for the Israeli military to “launch a military operation, take down buildings and eliminate terrorists. Not just one or two, but dozens and hundreds and if needed, thousands.” Later on 6/25, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said such calls to grab land are “unacceptable to me.” (HA, WAFA, WAFA 6/23; WAFA 6/24; CNN 6/25)

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke with his Israeli counterpart Tzachi Hanegbi, expressing concern about Israeli settler attacks on Palestinian villages. Several Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including pro-Israel representatives, condemned the settler attacks, as did the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee. Morocco also officially canceled the second summit of the normalization organization the Negev Forum, citing “uncomfortable diplomatic relations.” The summit, scheduled to be held in Rabat, has been postponed since March. (HA, REU 6/23; HA, HA 6/24; HA, WAFA, WAFA 6/25)

U.S. national security spokesperson John Kirby said that U.S. officials had met with victims of the Israeli settler attacks on Turmus ‘Ayya on 6/21 and that U.S. citizens were among the victims. (AJ 6/23)

UN human rights commissioner Volker Türk criticized the Israeli usage of “advanced weapons” in the West Bank this week, saying it was adding to volatility of the situation. For the first time since the Second Intifada, Israel used drones and helicopters to attack Palestinians in the West Bank. (AJ, WAFA 6/23)