PA backtracks on UNSC resolution in exchange for reduced Israeli raids: reports
Israeli media reported on Sunday that the Israeli government agreed to reduce military raids into Palestinian cities and towns in the occupied West Bank in exchange for the Palestinian Authority withdrawing its support for a UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate halt of illegal Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli forces have been escalating raids on Palestinian cities and towns in the occupied West Bank since last year, killing at least 48 Palestinians since the beginning of the year.
As part of the alleged deal, Israel also agreed to not authorise new settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank - a move, according to Israeli reports, that Israel wasn't planning to do anyway since the Israeli army's body in charge of new settlement building convenes every three months.
NEW: Israeli-Palestinian showdown at UN averted after U.S. mediation. The Palestinian Authority agreed to suspend its push for a UN Security Council vote on Israeli settlements in the West Bank in return for suspension of Israeli steps. My story on @axios https://t.co/zxsH4URz89— Barak Ravid (@BarakRavid) February 19, 2023
According to Israeli reports, Israel also agreed to freeze the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem for several months as well as agreeing to several economic steps to increase the PA's tax revenues by more than US$60 million a year.
The alleged deal was sponsored by the US, which committed for its own part to inviting Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to Washington later this year.
Since last week, Palestinians in Jerusalem have been performing open civil disobedience against Israeli authorities in protest of Israeli policies, including arrests, demolitions and expulsions.
Reportedly, the PA agreed to implement the US security plan to reinforce the PA's control over the northern occupied West Bank, where Palestinian resistance groups have been confronting Israeli forces in recent months.
Moreover, the PA agreed to a non-binding condemnation of Israeli settlement expansion at the UN while putting on hold moves to seek a United Nations Security Council resolution to condemn Israel.
The US is scrambling to avoid or forestall a UN resolution demanding an immediate halt to illegal Israeli settlements.https://t.co/2t49A1Z0SZ— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) February 20, 2023
Meanwhile, Israeli forces raided the northern occupied West Bank city of Nablus again on Monday, causing tens of Palestinians to asphyxiate with tear gas.
The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said in a press release that its medic teams treated 20 Palestinians of asphyxiation with tear gas during and after the Israeli raid into the city.
Local social media accounts reported the beginning of the Israeli raid around 1:30 am, shortly before reporting confrontations with gunfire between Palestinian fighters and raiding Israeli forces.
Watch: An Israeli military vehicle blocks the road in front of an ambulance during an Israeli military raid on the city of Nablus, north of the occupied West Bank, last night. pic.twitter.com/LWMLEFRzMG— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) February 20, 2023
The Nablus-based Palestinian armed group "The Lions' Den" released a brief statement on its Telegram channel at 1:59 am, announcing that its fighters were engaging Israeli forces with gunfire.
The group then called on residents to cheer its fighters with chants shortly before local social media accounts began to publish footage of Nablus at night, where gunfire can be heard alongside cheers.
During the raid, Israeli forces took measurements of a Palestinian home for later demolition. The house belongs to the family of 22-year-old Osama Tawil, whom Israeli forces arrested a week ago and accused of being behind a shooting attack against Israeli troops in the north of Nablus last October.
Slogans to the Lion’s Den, “Allah Akbar” shouts and armed clashed are being heard in the sky of Nablus. pic.twitter.com/57B8vLDu4d— Younis | يونس (@ytirawi) February 20, 2023
The shooting, claimed at the time by "The Lions' Den", killed one Israeli soldier. Israeli forces responded with a three-week-long blockade of the city.
"At around 1:30 am, the occupation forces surrounded the house with tens of soldiers, then entered the house and ordered all family members out," Kahled Tawil, Osama Tawil's brother, told The New Arab.
"We are five people in the house, including two children and my elderly parents, whom the soldiers shouted at and pushed around," said Tawil.
"We went to our neighbours' house, from where we heard the drilling in our house, and we understood that the occupation forces were preparing it for later demolition or detonation," he added. "The occupation army had informed us verbally that the house will be demolished but didn't tell us when it will happen, so we were surprised."
lsraeli occupation soldiers break into a Palestinian-owned house in Nablus city. pic.twitter.com/iw66oW2t3x— TIMES OF GAZA (@Timesofgaza) February 20, 2023
"We don't know any details about my brother Osama's condition since his arrest a week ago as he hasn't been allowed a lawyer's visit," Tawil said.
"The occupation only told us a few days ago that he was treated for injuries at an Israeli hospital and that his condition was stable," he added.
Osama Tawil was arrested a week ago, along with another Palestinian, in an Israeli military raid on Nablus, which residents described as one of the most violent in months.
During the same raid, Israeli forces killed a 27-year-old Palestinian delivery worker and wounded three more Palestinians with live fire.