Wednesday, July 12, 2023

In the West Bank, unidentified gunmen opened fire at an Israeli settler vehicle near Qalqilya. Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians with batons, pepper spray, and stone at a spring near Tubas. Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian during a raid in Jericho. Israeli forces also leveled land and uprooted olive trees in Kafl Haris and razed an agricultural road in Zanuta. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters during a raid in Dheisheh refugee camp, causing tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also demolished a water cistern serving 6 Palestinian families in al-Baqa’a. 16 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Qalqilya, Bethlehem, Jericho, Tulkarm, Hebron, Ramallah, and Nablus. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces raided the home of Islamic Waqf Department deputy director Najeh Bkeirat in Sur Bahir, detaining him. Israeli forces also demolished a retaining wall in al-Tur and a pergola in Wadi al-Juz. Elsewhere, Israeli forces raided Silwan, damaging a house and causing tear-gas related injuries. (QDS, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 7/12; MEE, PCHR, WAFA 7/13; BTselem 7/19; UNOCHA 7/29)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas visited Jenin for the first time in 12 years, giving a speech in Jenin refugee camp. Abbas praised the steadfastness of the Jenin residents in light of Israel’s attacks. The visit followed Israel’s large-scale attack on Jenin refugee camp on 7/3 and 7/4. Around 1,000 PA troops secured the area for Abbas. Abbas also canceled a meeting with representatives of different Palestinian factions without giving a reason. (AJ, ALM, AN, AP, BBC, HA, MEE, NYT, QDS, REU, TOI, WAFA, WAFA 7/12; MEE 7/13; MDW 7/14)

2 Israeli settlers, including an off-duty soldier, were charged with terrorism, 1 for vandalizing a mosque in ‘Urif and the other for placing a chair in front of the door of a Palestinian home in Umm Safa and setting the chair on fire. Both incidents occurred in June. (AJ, HA, REU, TOI 7/12)

In Lebanon, Israeli forces opened fire at people approaching the border fence to Israel near Metula; 3 members of Hezbollah were said to be injured. (AJ, ALM, AP, HA, HA, MEE, REU 7/12; HA 7/13)

Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant visited Azerbaijan, discussing strategic, diplomatic, and security ties with President Ilham Aliyev, Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov, and other officials. (ALM 7/12; HA 7/13; ALM 7/14)

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) said she would not attend Israeli president Isaac Herzog’s address to Congress, citing Israel’s ban on Omar and representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) from entering Israel and Palestine in 2019, Israel’s increase in its killing of Palestinians in the West Bank, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement that he wants to crush Palestinians’ hope of statehood. Later on 7/13 and 7/14, Omar was joined in her boycott by Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Cori Bush (D-MO). Omar and Bowman also boycotted a speech by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi in June. (AX, HA, HA, MEE 7/13; HA, MEE 7/14; HA 7/15; WAFA 7/16)

A U.S. national security council spokesperson said that “[t]here is no talk of some kind of formal reassessment. The United States and Israel share a special bond, and our enduring commitment to Israel’s security is ironclad.” The statement followed a New York Times column by Thomas Friedman, who said a U.S. reassessment of its ties to Israel was inevitable. (NYT 7/11; HA, HA 7/12)