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The Health Ministry reported yesterday that there were 148 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. Many Israelis are disregarding the mask wearing and social distancing regulations. Health Minister Yuli Edelstein warned that Israel would soon exceed 200 new daily coronavirus cases if the public continued to ignore health guidelines.
Violence erupted in Jaffa last night after hundreds of residents, waving Palestinian flags, took to the streets to protest the killing of an autistic Palestinian man in Jerusalem 2 weeks ago by Border Police, who mistakenly thought he was a terrorist when he did not heed their orders to stop and instead began to run from them. The protests began peacefully at the Jaffa Clock Tower square but quickly spread and turned violent as demonstrators began lighting fireworks, setting garbage bins on fire and throwing rocks at busses.
Settler leaders are preparing to launch a campaign against the current formulation of the Trump peace plan, which calls for the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state in the areas of Judea and Samaria that will not be annexed by Israel. The campaign includes extensive print and digital messaging and activities on the ground aimed at promoting the application of Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank but without recognition of a Palestinian state, a settlement construction freeze or isolating remote settlements.
Israel’s Supreme Court yesterday struck down a law that had retroactively legalized about 2,000 settler homes built on privately owned Palestinian land in the West Bank. The 2017 law allowed settlers to remain on land if they had built there without prior knowledge of Palestinian ownership, or if homes were built at the state’s direction. Eight justices voted in favor and one against.
After cutting security ties with Israel because of Israel’s intention to annex parts of the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority has reportedly begun cooperating with the rival Tanzim militant group to maintain order in Palestinian localities that are under Israeli control.
Special emergency committees have been set up in Palestinian towns, comprised of Tanzim activists, past and present security personnel, and local dignitaries. The committees are meant to mediate internal disputes and conflicts that may arise between civilians of the same town, or between residents of neighboring towns and villages. These disputes often end in violence and result in casualties.
Prior to the cessation of security coordination, Israel allowed Palestinian armed forces to enter these areas as disputes spiraled into violence. Since security ties were severed, armed Palestinian security personnel are no longer allowed to move freely within Israeli-controlled territories. This has led to a spike in the number of casualties from violent conflicts, since Palestinian police forces are no longer allowed to enter these areas and restore order. Israeli officials are concerned that the cooperation between the PA and the Tanzim could embolden the Tanzim to use weapons against Israeli security forces in potential confrontations.
The Likud and Blue and White parties have agreed to jointly promote a reform that would lead to legalizing marijuana use. A statement released by the parties said the reform would introduce “a responsible model that will fit Israel and the Israeli population.”