Tuesday, August 29, 2023

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked 1 Palestinian minor and detained him before Israeli forces arrested his 2 brothers who had arrived to help. Israeli forces demolished 1 Palestinian house under construction in al-Buwayb and stone wall fencing in al-Walaja. Israeli forces also issued 7 stop-work orders for homes in Ein ad-Duyuk at-Tahta. Elsewhere, Israeli forces seized 6 Palestinian-owned vehicles in Jinba in the Masafer Yatta area; 11 vehicles have been seized by Israeli forces in the Masafer Yatta area since 8/18. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian workers trying to enter Israel at the Qalqilya crossing, leading to tear-gas related injuries. 35 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Nablus, Siris, Zeita, Qalqilya, Ramallah, and Marah Rabah. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. In the Naqab, Israeli authorities demolished Palestinian homes in Tell ‘Arad. The demolitions were overseen by Israeli national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Construction and Housing Minister Yitzchak Goldknopf. Ben-Gvir called the demolitions “sacred work.” (HA, MEE, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 8/29; HA, MEE 8/30; PCHR 8/31; UNOCHA 9/11)

The Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia had agreed to resume financial aid to the PA in exchange for the PA ending its opposition to Saudi normalization with Israel. The Journal said that if PA counterterrorism measures in the West Bank succeeded then Saudi would not enter a normalization agreement that undermines efforts to create a Palestinian state. (MEE, WSJ 8/29; HA 8/30)

Israeli tourism minister Haim Katz said that he opposes Israel’s pursuit of entry to the U.S. Visa Waiver program, saying it “will oblige us to allow the entry of unwanted parties, Palestinians.” (HA 8/29)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised “the good neighborly relations” with Saudi Arabia after a plane bound for Israel from the Seychelles made an emergency landing in Jeddah due to a technical malfunction. (AJ, ALM, HA, MEE 8/29)

Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant met with U.S. officials, including Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf and National Security Council Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk in New York, inquiring about Saudi demands for normalization with Israel. Gallant also demanded that the U.S. assures Israel that it will preserve its qualitative military edge in the Middle East. The 2 parties also discussed tensions between Israel and Lebanon. It was reported that the meeting took place in New York City due to a ban by Prime Minister Netanyahu on his cabinet members meeting with U.S. officials in Washington D.C., with the exception of Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer. (AX 8/29; HA 8/30; ALM 9/1)

Parts of the minutes from the Israeli cabinet meeting on 8/30/1993, where the draft declaration of principles for the Oslo Accords were approved by the Israeli government, were released by the Israeli State Archive. In the meeting, then Foreign Minister Shimon Peres told the cabinet that the Palestinian negotiators wanted the Israeli settlements evacuated and upon Israel’s refusal offered to make the settlements free trade zones where both Palestinians and Israelis could live, which was also rejected by Israel. The minutes also showed that Israeli did not intend to discuss the final status of Jerusalem and wanted to maintain its “state lands” in Area C. (HA 8/30; HA 9/1; HA 9/5)