Monthly Report - December 2020


Israel started its Covid-19 vaccination campaign in December and, at the beginning of January, became the State with the highest rate of vaccinated population (10%). In fact, the vaccination campaign began in early December with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was shown on media receiving the first vaccine dose with some of his ministers.
Nevertheless, in mid-December a new lockdown was enforced in Israel, which will last until the first week of January: movement between towns and between Israel and Palestine is prohibited, only shops selling basic necessities will remain open.
In Palestine the first vaccine doses are expected for the beginning of January, even if no suitable infrastructure to deliver and store the vaccine has been set up. The Palestinian Authority declared they intend to give vaccine to the whole population in the shortest possible amount of time. According to the statement, new specific structures will be set up in the major towns, such as Ramallah, Bethlehem and Hebron. In mid-December a new full lockdown started (at first only in Hebron, Bethlehem, Tulkarem and Nablus Governatorates, but then it was extended to all Governatorates).

This lockdown forbids movements between Governatorates and forces all economic activities to remain close on Friday and Saturday. Moreover, a night curfew has been introduced. All these restrictions aim at containing a new spread of cases.
New elections will be held in Israel on March 23rd 2021, just one year after the agreement between the two parties “Likud” and “Blue & White”. Even if the agreement was supposed to create political stability, the State budget failed to pass on December 23rd, so the coalition completely collapsed. This new election will be the fourth in three years.
On 10th December a document was signed between Morocco and Israel in order to establish diplomatic relations again. Morocco officially recognized the State of Israel. Donald Trump declared himself satisfied about the Moroccan decision and recognized the Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara. Morocco is the 6th member of the Arab League to recognize the State of Israel, after Bahrein, United Arab Emirates and Sudan recognized it recently.


On the South-Hebron hills, demolitions and confiscations did not stop in December. On December 29th a huge demolition occurred in Khaldeiyeh, near the Palestinian village of Susiya. There were lots of soldiers throwing tear gas and sound bombs, which caused wounded, and four Palestinian men were arrested.
The entry gate to the Palestinian village of Susiya was closed on December 8th, so that teachers could not access the school. When teachers and activists tried to enter the school ignoring restrictions, all Palestinians were arrested and kept imprisoned for three hours before being released.
Israeli settlers from Susya settlement also attacked several farmers in the Palestinian villages nearby. On December 18th, settlers from different settlements and outposts raided all the villages in Massafer Yatta at night, claiming they were looking for stolen sheep. The following morning, a checkpoint was installed by the Israeli police and the settlers near the village of Al Mirkez, stopping and checking all the Palestinian cars in the area.
On December 24th more than 40 olive trees were uprooted and stolen near the Sumud Freedom Garden, in At-Tuwani. This area is near the illegal Israeli outpost of Havat Ma’on and the Ma’on settlement. The trees had been planted just a few months before.