Thursday, September 28, 2023

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted and stole 35 olive tree saplings in Haris. Israeli settlers also threw stones at Palestinian vehicles traveling east of Bethlehem. Israeli forces shot and injured 2 Palestinians during a raid in Beit Umar. Israeli forces also raided Qalandia refugee camp, injuring 5 with baton rounds, including 1 who would lose his left eye. Elsewhere, Israeli forces raided Ya’bad, leading to tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also damaged and uprooted some 300 olive, grape, and fig trees near Haris. Meanwhile, Israeli forces seized water pipelines in Susiya. 6 Palestinians were arrested during raids in al-‘Awja, Qalqilya, Balata refugee camp, and az-Zubaidat. In East Jerusalem, Israel forced 1 Palestinian family to demolish part of their own home in Silwan. (QDS, QDS, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 9/28; PCHR 10/5)

Israel reopened the Beit Hanun (Erez) crossing for the first time in 2 weeks to allow Palestinian workers to enter Israel. The crossing will close again on 9/29. (AP, BBC, HA, HA, QDS, REU, TOI 9/28; AJ 9/29)

The group organizing the daily protests at the Gaza fence for the past 2 weeks, The Young Generation Uprising, announced that it had suspended the protests after mediators promised that Israel will halt punitive measures against Palestinian prisoners, the increased Israeli incursions at the Haram al-Sharif compound, and provide relief for residents in Gaza. (HA 9/28)

Haaretz reported that the Israeli Justice Ministry’s pardons department had approached the family of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was killed by 3 Israeli settlers in 2014, asking about the family’s stance on reducing the sentence of the 3, 2 of whom were sentenced to life in prison. Abu Khdeir’s father called the request “completely insane.” The 3 settlers abducted Abu Khdeir and burned him alive in forest near Jerusalem. (HA 9/28)

Israeli attorney general Gali Baharav-Miara approved usage of the NSO Pegasus spyware for wiretapping in the Israeli police investigation into the killing of a Palestinian family of 5 in Basmat Tab’un on 9/27. Israeli police usage of the Pegasus spyware has been banned for 1 and a half years. 190 Palestinians in Israel have been killed in 2023. (AJ, AP, TOI 9/27; HA, HA, MEE, TOI 9/28)

Attorney General Gaharav-Miara also closed an investigation into National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir drawing a gun on a Palestinian security guard in Tel Aviv in 2021, saying it could not be established whether he felt threatened. (HA 9/28)

U.S. senators, led by Jon Ossoff (D-GA), introduced a bill that seeks to strengthen the position of the U.S. security coordinator to Israel and the PA, preventing the position from being downgraded from a general officer and securing $75 million in annual funding for the security coordinator for 5 years. The bill, the Middle East Security Coordination Act of 2023, was co-sponsored by Todd Young (R-IN), James Lankford (R-OK), and Cory Booker (D-NJ). (AX 9/27)

It was reported in Martin Baron’s forthcoming book Collision of Power: Trump, Bezos, and the Washington Post, that former U.S. president Donald Trump wanted to leverage U.S. military aid to Israel to pressure Israel into accepting a peace deal with Palestine but was told he could not since there is not a connection between the two. (MEE 9/28; HA 9/29)