Tuesday, September 5, 2023

In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian during a late-night raid in Nur Shams refugee camp. Israeli bulldozers caused extensive damage during the raid, including to the main road leading to Tulkarm. Later in the day, PA forces opened fire at Islamic Jihad members in the camp; no injuries were reported. Israeli forces also shot and killed 1 Palestinian minor near az-Zubaidat, claiming he had shot and injured 1 Israeli soldier. Elsewhere, Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian with live ammunition during a raid in Bayt Umar; the soldiers also fired tear gas near a school, causing tear-gas related injuries among students and staff. Israeli forces also confiscated 1 tractor near Yatta and 1 road roller in al-Zawiya. 17 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Halhul, al-Arroub refugee camp, Ya’bad, al-Am’ari refugee camp, Birzeit, Kafr ‘Aqab, and ‘Anata. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian school in Kafr ‘Aqab was set on fire after it was forced to teach the Israeli curriculum instead of the PA curriculum. (AJ, AP, HA, HA, HA, MEE, QDS, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 9/5; MDW, PCHR 9/7; UNOCHA 9/11; UNOCHA 9/26)

Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem said the Israeli decision on 9/4 to close the Karim Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing would lead to an increase in tensions between Palestinians in Gaza and Israel. PA economy minister Khaled Assaili demanded that Israel reopen the crossing immediately. (HA, REU, WAFA 9/5; AJ 9/7; AP 9/8)

The High Follow-Up Committee for the Arab citizens of Israel declared a general strike in Israel over Israeli inaction in preventing and solving violent crime. (WAFA 9/3; ALM, QDS, WAFA 9/5)

Israeli military chief of central command Yehuda Fuchs said he will issue an administrative restriction order for Elisha Yered, a settler who took part in the raid on Burqa on 8/4 where 1 Palestinian man was killed. The order would prevent Yered from leaving the northern part of the Jordan Valley. (HA 9/5)

Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich said the Israeli government will start deducting additional funds from the PA taxes Israel collects to pay for the PA’s debt to the Israel Electric Corp (IEC). A spokesperson for Smotrich said the amount would be $5.2 million to $7.8 million per month depending on how much energy the PA purchases from the IEC. PA prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called the decision systematic piracy and theft. (REU, WAFA 9/5; MEMO 9/7)

PLO secretary-general Hussein al-Sheikh, head of PA intelligence Majed Faraj, and PA president Mahmoud Abbas’ foreign policy advisor Majdi Khaldi arrived in Riyadh for meetings with Saudi and U.S. officials, including National Security Council Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk, to discuss the Palestinian aspect of the potential Saudi-Israeli normalization deal. Khaldi told the New York Times that the PA demand is the implementation of the Arab Peace Initiative. See 8/30 for Axios’ reporting on the PA demands for support of the normalization deal.  (AX 9/3; MEE, QDS, TOI 9/4; HA, NYT 9/5; BBC, HA 9/7)

U.S. president Joe Biden nominated former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to be the next U.S. ambassador to Israel. Lew will have to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be instated. Lew sits on the U.S. board of directors for the National Library of Israel, a partly Israeli state-owned institution. If confirmed, Lew will replace Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Stephanie Hallett who has led the embassy since Tom Nides resigned in July. (AJ, ALM, AX, HA, MEE, NYT, REU 9/5)

Haaretz reported that Israel continued to sell weapons to Myanmar after a U.S. and EU arms embargo was placed on the country and despite the Israeli government claiming it had ended arms sales to the country in 2018. (HA, MEE 9/5)

Papua New Guinean prime minister James Marape and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu inaugurated the Papua New Guinean embassy to Israel in Jerusalem. Marape cited his Christian beliefs in making the decision to open the embassy in Jerusalem, which Israel will fund for the first 2 years. PLO Executive Committee member Wasel Abu Yousef said that Israel was “looking for any country – even if that country can only be seen under a microscope – so it can claim there are countries opening embassies in Jerusalem.” A picture circulating on social media showed the embassy completely empty, except for the embassy plague, the day after the inauguration. The PA, Jordan, and the OIC condemned the opening of the embassy. (AJ, REU, TOI 9/5; WAFA 9/6; WAFA, WAFA 9/7)