Palestine Live Coverage: Updates from the West Bank and Gaza

Palestine Live Coverage: Updates from the West Bank and Gaza
Live Story
23 May, 2021

As Gazans tried to piece back their lives this weekend after a devastating 11-day bombardment by Israel that killed more than 200 people and made thousands homeless in the impoverished besieged enclave, Palestinians in the West Bank brace themselves for further violence from Jewish settlers and Israeli forces on Sunday.

A group of Jewish extremists reportedly called for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday, in an apparent renewed call for violence against Palestinians.

Meanwhile, Palestinians living in the flashpoint neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem say they have been placed “under a siege” by Israeli authorities.

Recently Israeli police have been preventing non-residents from entering the neighbourhood, which has been closed off, according to local reports.

As focus shifts back towards the West Bank, The New Arab brings you live coverage and updates throughout the day.

6:00 PM

That concludes our live coverage of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Thank you for joining us.

You can read more on the latest coming out of Palestine on The New Arab. Don't forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to stay connected!

5:25 PM

Jordan's King Abdullah says important to turn Gaza ceasefire into extended truce

Jordan's King Abdullah stressed the importance of the Gaza ceasefire being translated into an extended truce, state news agency Petra reported.

King Abdullah said Jordan "puts all its diplomatic relations and capabilities at the service of the Palestinian cause," Petra reported.

The king also said "there is no alternative to a two-state solution to achieve just and comprehensive peace", Petra added.

5:20 PM

Jordan slams Israeli escalations at al-Aqsa mosque compound

Jordan condemned Israeli escalations in al-Aqsa Mosque compound, and the attacks on worshipers and on the employees of the Jordan-run Jerusalem Endowment Department and Al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs.

Amman denounced the storming of the compound by a group of Jewish extremists under the protection of Israeli police.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Daifallah al-Fayez slammed the move as a dangerous escalation, provocative actions, and a blatant unacceptable violation that threatens international efforts for calm in the occupied Palestinian territories.

He warned Israel against continued violations, urging it to abide by its responsibilities under international law.

He called on the international community to compel Israel to stop violations and attacks against Palestinians in Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories.

5:00 PM

Recent Israeli violence has killed 277 Palestinians, injured 8500 others: Gaza health ministry

The "barbaric" Israeli aggression against Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip in recent weeks has killed 277 Palestinians, including 70 children and 40 women, and left over 8,500 wounded, Gaza's Minister of Health Mai Alkaila said during a press conference.

Israeli violence also targeted 89 medical centres and ambulance vehicles, Alkaila said, adding that these actions constituted a flagrant violation of all international conventions and treaties and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Among the clinics and medical centres targeted were Beit Hanoun, the Indonesian, and al-Shifa Hospitals, she said.

Health ministry buildings were also destroyed in the Gaza Strip, she said, adding that there were attacks on paramedics at al-Aqsa Mosque compound, in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in Jerusalem, and in the West Bank.

4:56 PM

UN official urges 'political process' amid Gaza reconstruction

A UN official in the besieged Gaza Strip on Sunday called for a "genuine political process" to avert further bloodshed after 11 days of Israeli bombardment that ravaged the Palestinian enclave.

Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA, told AFP that the reconstruction needed to go hand in hand with efforts to create "a different political environment". 

"We need to have a genuine, genuine focus on human development, on proper access to education, on proper access to jobs, on proper access to livelihoods," he said. "But this needs to be accompanied by a genuine political process."

Speaking earlier to a group of journalists, he said "the layers of hardship in Gaza keep getting thicker" because the root causes of the conflict have not been addressed.

1:45 PM

Israeli bombardment of Gaza exacerbates an already dire situation: UN official

Israeli aggression on Gaza has exacerbated an already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, resulting from nearly 14 years of blockade and reoccurring violence, Lynn Hastings, the UN humanitarian coordinator of the occupied Palestinian territory has said.

"The ceasefire must be solidified with all avoiding provocation. There must be a political horizon with the root causes of continued conflict being addressed," Hastings said.

She called for the urgent support of the needs of Palestinians in the besieged enclave, including those arising from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The humanitarian community was "working hard to bring in essential items, including food, medicine and fuel. This week, I will be releasing almost $US18 million from the oPt Humanitarian Fund and the Emergency Relief Coordinator in New York will release an additional $4 million to restore people's access to basic services, such as healthcare and water," Hastings said.

"Several locations that previously were key to providing basic services have been destroyed or damaged, including a medical laboratory that was testing for Covid-19,’’ the UN official added.

"Water sanitation pipelines have been damaged, threatening disease. The only primary healthcare centre in the north – which had the best rate of vaccination administration – has been damaged to an extent that they are no longer able to service the community – all during a global pandemic.

"The potential of this coastal area is immense; its economy must be allowed to fully function. Gaza must open-up and be reconnected to the rest of Palestine, including East Jerusalem. I reiterate the Secretary-General's call for Israeli and Palestinian leaders to revitalize serious dialogue to achieve a just and lasting solution for all."

1:35 PM

Israeli forces close off entrance to West Bank village

Israel's occupation forces closed off all entry points to the village of Deir Nidham in the occupied West Bank district of Ramallah, local sources reported.

Israeli forces sealed off the roads leading to the village using earth mounds, cement cubes and metal bars, denying entry and exit to the local Palestinians.

Israel has locked down the village's entrances on numerous occasions in the past few days. Local Palestinians were forced to reopen the barriers themselves, before the Israeli forces returned and closed off the roads leading to the village again.

Deir Nidham is adjacent to the illegal Israeli settlement of Halamish, whose settlers carried out several attacks Palestinian passers-by and drivers in the last week.

11:45 AM

UAE says it is ready to facilitate Israel-Palestinian peace efforts

The United Arab Emirates is ready to facilitate peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians, the UAE state news agency reported on Sunday, citing Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

Sheikh Mohammed's comments came in a telephone call with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, expressing support for Egypt's efforts to bolster a ceasefire agreed by Israel and the Palestinians after 11 days of violence.

The UAE, which last year signed an agreement to normalise relations with Israel, "is ready to work with all parties to preserve the ceasefire and find new ways to reduce escalation and achieve peace", the news agency quoted Sheikh Mohammed as saying.

10:48 AM

Israel's continued provocations in West Bank may reignite violence: Palestinian official

Israel's ongoing siege of the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood and continued raids of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound may reignite violence, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas, warned.

Israel is directly "responsible for sabotaging the efforts to stop the aggression, especially the efforts of the US administration, and Egypt's continuous efforts with all parties to stabilise the ceasefire and prepare for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip in cooperation with the international community and the US administration", Abu Rudeineh said.

The struggle in Jerusalem against occupation remains ongoing, he said, highlighting that Israeli forces continue to protect and support Jewish extremists and settlers in the occupied West Bank, in a blatant disregard of international efforts to stop the aggression.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh warned against reigning violence in the West Bank [Getty]
9:45 AM

Dozens of Israeli settlers force their way into Al-Aqsa complex

Around 50 Israeli settlers forced their way into the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday, according to a Palestinian agency.

In a statement, the Jordan-run Islamic Waqf Department said the settler incursion came after a hiatus of three weeks.

According to eyewitnesses, Israeli police barred Palestinian youths from entering the site since dawn and imposed restrictions on the entry of worshippers into the complex.

Five people, including a mosque guard, were detained by Israeli police, the Waqf Department said.

8:44 AM

Israeli forces detain 14 Palestinians in West Bank

Israeli forces detained at least 14 Palestinians during night raids across the occupied West Bank and in occupied Jerusalem, according to Palestinian security and local sources.

In Jerusalem, Israeli forces broke into the neighbourhood of Beit Hanina, where they detained three Palestinians, including Shadi Mutawir, a representative of the Palestinian Authority’s ruling Fatah Movement in the city.

In Jenin, north of the occupied West Bank, an Israeli army force raided the village of Kafr Dan and detained a father, Fo’ad Nayef Kamamji, and his four sons, Imad, Majd, Shas and Muharram, WAFA reported.

Occupation forces also stormed the nearby towns of Qabatiya and Ya’bad, where another two Palestinians were detained, WAFA added.

In Nablus, also in the north of the West Bank, Israeli occupation forces broke into Askar neighbourhood and Balata refugee camp, where they detained two Palestinians after raiding and searching their homes, the news agency said, adding that two further arrests made in the central West Bank province of Ramallah.