Tuesday, September 26, 2023

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized electricity poles between Qusra and Jalud. Israeli forces demolished 1 house under construction and 1 shack in an-Nuway’imah near Jericho. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Gaza, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting near the Gaza fence east of Gaza City, injuring 11 with live ammunition, 1 minor with a tear-gas canister, and others with tear gas. Israeli forces also conducted airstrikes by drones and helicopters, striking 3 sites near the Rafah and Karni crossings and causing damage. (AP, HA, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 9/26; PCHR 9/27)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas met with Saudi non-resident ambassador to Palestine and consul general in Jerusalem Nayef al-Sudairi, receiving his credentials. Ambassador al-Sudairi also met with PA foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki, saying at a press conference that “the Arab Peace Initiative is the main point in any upcoming agreement” to normalize relations with Israel. Al-Sudairi also said Saudi Arabia “is working to establish a Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital.” (AJ, AJ, AP, HA, HA, MEE, QDS, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 9/26; GDN, HA, NYT 9/27)

UN envoy for the Middle East peace process Tor Wennesland met with Hamas officials in Gaza. (HA, HA 9/28)

Palestinian Americans and Arab American civil rights organizations filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government, stating that the government is endorsing discrimination against Palestinian Americans by admitting Israel into its Visa Waiver Program. American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee national executive director Abed Ayoub said the organization will hold the government “accountable for any actions that create separate classes of U.S. citizens.” The other plaintiffs were 3 Palestinian Americans and the organization Democracy for the Arab World Now. The plaintiffs argued that the U.S.-Israeli memorandum, which was kept secret, for the creation of the trial period “differentiate treatment to U.S. citizens who are ‘residents’ of the occupied West Bank, no including East Jerusalem; U.S. citizens who are residents of the occupied Gaza Strip; U.S. citizens who are registered on the [Palestinian Population Registry] but not residents in either the West Bank or Gaza Strip; and U.S. citizens who are not of Palestinian nationality.” Israeli foreign minister Eli Cohen announced that Israel had been admitted to the program on 9/25 2 days before the U.S. made an official announcement on 9/27. (AJ, REU 9/25; HA, MDW 9/26; HA, MDW 9/27)

The Israeli Justice Ministry’s police misconduct unit indicted an Israeli soldier for shooting a 16-year-old Palestinian girl in the back with a baton round while she was in her yard in Sheikh Jarrah in 2021. The unnamed soldier was charged with shooting with a firearm, severe injury under aggravated circumstances, and common assault. (HA 9/26)

Israeli tourism minister Haim Katz visited Saudi Arabia in the first public visit to the country by an Israeli minister. Katz was attending a conference of the UN World Tourism Organization. Israeli communications minister Shlomo Karhi and MK David Bitan are scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia on 10/2 for a Universal Postal Union conference in Riyadh. (AJ, ALM, HA, MEE 9/26; NYT 9/27; ALM 10/2)

Japan contributed $20 million to a project improving drinking water in Jenin. (WAFA 9/26)