8974 / 14704 Results
  • November 16, 2010

    As the quarter opens, Israel maintains a tight siege of Gaza aimed at unseating the governing Hamas authority, in control since 6/2007. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) enforce a 300-meter-deep no-...

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  • November 14, 2010

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in al-‘Araqa village nr. Jenin in the morning, questioning Palestinians on the street and summoning 4 for interrogation; conducts patrols without incident in 3...

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  • November 10, 2010

    In Gaza, IDF helicopter gunships fire on Palestinians scavenging construction material fr. the destroyed Dahaniyya airport in s. Gaza, causing no injuries. IDF troops on the Israeli side of the...

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  • November 9, 2010

    Pres. Obama, asked during his trip to Indonesia about his reaction to Israel’s 11/8 construction announcement, states sharply that “this kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace...

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  • November 8, 2010

    Israel’s Interior Min. says it will move forward with plans to build 1,300 new Jewish settlement housing units in East Jerusalem (978 in Har Homa/Jabal Abu Ghunaym, 320 in Ramot). At the same time...

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  • November 6, 2010

    In retaliation for Israel’s assassination of an AOI mbr. on 11/3, the PRCs fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In response, the IDF makes 2 air strikes...

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  • November 3, 2010

    In the morning, Israeli drones make an air strike on a car driving w. of Gaza City, assassinating Army of Islam (AOI) senior mbr. Muhammad al-Nemnem, wounding 2 bystanders; Israel later accuses...

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  • November 2, 2010

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire on Palestinians scavenging for construction materials at a demolished garbage collection center, wounding 1. IDF troops on the s. Gaza border shoot, wound an...

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  • October 31, 2010

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction material in the fmr. settlement sites, wounding 1. Hamas’s acting FM Mahmud Zahhar warns that Gazans...

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  • October 30, 2010

    Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF raids an olive press in Jit nr. Qalqilya, arresting the owner and...

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  • October 29, 2010

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials inside the former settlement sites, wounding 1. Also in Gaza, 10,000s of Palestinians turn...

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  • October 28, 2010

    Unidentified Palestinians fire a mortar fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts evening and late-night patrols in village nr. Jericho and in...

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  • October 27, 2010

    IDF troops on the e. Gaza border fire on Islamic Jihad mbrs. planting roadside bombs nr. the border fence e. of Jabaliya r.c., killing 1 Islamic Jihad mbr. and damaging a nearby Palestinian home....

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  • October 25, 2010

    Unidentified Palestinians fire 5 mortars fr. Gaza toward Israel, 2 landing in Israel and 3 inside Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols without incident in 2...

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  • October 24, 2010

    At his weekly cabinet session, Netanyahu confirms “intensive contacts” are underway with the U.S. on an incentives package to restart peace talks “in such a way that it cannot be halted in a few...

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  • October 21, 2010

    The Israeli human rights group Peace Now estimates that Jewish settlers have started work on 600 settlement housing units in at least 36 settlements since the freeze ended on 9/26. At least half...

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  • October 19, 2010

    The IDF makes 2 brief incursions into Gaza to clear lines of sight along the border e. of Jabaliya r.c. in the n. and al-Qarara in the s., exchanging gunfire with Palestinians in the s., causing...

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  • October 16, 2010

    Israel carries out 2 air strikes on armed Islamic Jihad mbrs. preparing to fire rockets fr. the n. Gaza border area, killing 2 Islamic Jihad mbrs. In the West Bank, the IDF beats and fires rubber-...

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  • October 15, 2010

    Israel announces plans to build 238 new settlement housing units in Pisgat Ze’ev and Ramot settlements in East Jerusalem. The PA and U.S. denounce the move as contrary to peace. Also in East...

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  • October 11, 2010

    In his first statement since the 10/8 Arab League decision, Netanyahu, at the opening of the fall session of the Knesset, publicly offers a “limited” extension of its partial settlement freeze if...

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  • October 9, 2010

    The PRCs claim responsibility for firing a mortar fr. Gaza into Israel, causing damage but no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols without incident in Dayr Istya in the afternoon; prevents...

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  • October 8, 2010

    Meeting in Libya, Arab League FMs strongly endorse the 10/2 Palestinian decision to halt direct talks with Israel until Israel halts settlement construction, pledging to meet again in 1 mo. to...

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  • October 6, 2010

    In a bid to secure the backing of rightwing coalition partners for a package of U.S. guarantees for a short extension of the settlement freeze, Netanyahu proposes legislation that would require...

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  • October 2, 2010

    Abbas convenes the PLO Exec. Comm. along with the Fatah Central Comm. in Ramallah to discuss the lapsed settlement freeze, issuing a statement afterward that the Palestinian leadership is in...

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  • September 29, 2010

    David Makovsky, director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, leaks details of the significant inducements currently offered by the White House to Israel if it would extend its...

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  • September 28, 2010

    Israeli naval vessels intercept a catamaran of Jewish activists off the Gaza coast, escorting it to Ashdod port without incident (see 9/26). The IDF carries out air strikes on a group of armed...

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  • September 27, 2010

    In the first full day after the expiration of the settlement freeze, the Israeli government approves construction of a new settler-only bypass road linking Kiryat Arba to the Tomb of the...

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  • September 26, 2010

    U.S. officials spend the day trying to broker a compromise with Israel that will guarantee that direct talks will continue. Despite U.S. appeals, Netanyahu allows the freeze to expire at midnight...

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  • September 24, 2010

    On the evening of the settlement freeze expiration on 9/26, Clinton meets with Abbas in Washington to brief him for the first time on the Israeli-U.S. negotiations over a U.S. incentives package (...

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  • September 23, 2010

    Clashes continue in and around Issawiyya between Israeli security forces and stone-throwing Palestinian youths for a 2d day. The IDF’s heavy use of tear gas in residential areas of Issawiyya...

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As the quarter opens, Israel maintains a tight siege of Gaza aimed at unseating the governing Hamas authority, in control since 6/2007. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) enforce a 300-meter-deep no-go zone inside the full length of the Gaza border and limits the Palestinian fishing zone off Gaza to 500–1,000 m off the immediate Bayt Lahiya (northern) and Rafah (southern) coasts, and 3 nautical miles elsewhere—restrictions that placed 17% of Gaza’s total landmass, including 35% of its viable agricultural areas, and 85% of the maritime areas allocated under the Oslo accords off limits to Palestinians. In the West Bank, governed by the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA), Israel’s easing of restrictions on Palestinian movement between major population centers (which began in summer 2009) continues, and IDF operations are relatively low. Overnight, unidentified Palestinians fire a homemade Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing damage but no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts latenight patrols without incident in Imatim village nr. Qalqilya. Jewish settlers fr. Gil’ad settlement burn 42 Palestinian olive trees nr. Qalqilya. Jewish settlers fr. Bet Ayn nr. Hebron set fire to 20 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of Palestinian olive and almond groves. (JP 11/16; PCHR 11/25; OCHA 11/26)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in al-‘Araqa village nr. Jenin in the morning, questioning Palestinians on the street and summoning 4 for interrogation; conducts patrols without incident in 3 villages nr. Ramallah and Salfit during the day and in Qabatya nr. Jenin late at night; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. IDF soldiers also make a late-night incursion into Tulkarm where they raid a home and business, confiscating money, personal property, and business assets, saying they are implementing an Israeli court order to confiscate $650,000 that the father of the family (currently jailed in Israel) confessed to receiving from Hamas as compensation for his company, which was destroyed by arson in 6/2007 during rioting over Hamas’s takeover of Gaza. A Jewish settler fr. Einav settlement deliberately runs down a Palestinian roadside vendor nr. Tulkarm, moderately injuring him; the IDF detains the settler at a nearby checkpoint for questioning. (WP 11/15; OCHA 11/24; PCHR 11/25)

In Gaza, IDF helicopter gunships fire on Palestinians scavenging construction material fr. the destroyed Dahaniyya airport in s. Gaza, causing no injuries. IDF troops on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials inside the industrial zone, wounding 1. IDF troops make a brief incursion into n. Gaza to level lands along the border fence n. of Bayt Hanun to clear lines of sight. In the West Bank, the IDF seals Issawiyya in an effort to contain ongoing stone-throwing clashes with local Palestinians angry over Israel’s recent Judaization efforts, tax raids, and increased arrests of local youths (see 11/9). After weeks of monitoring by the PA General Intelligence Service, PA police in Qalqilya arrest atheist blogger Walid Husayin for posting satirical rants against the Qur’an on Facebook, marking the first time the PA has arrested anyone for their religious views; the charges against him of heresy for “insulting the divine essence” can carry a sentence of life in prison. (AP, PCHR, WorldMag online 11/11; NYT 11/12, 11/16; OCHA 11/24; PCHR 11/25)

Pres. Obama, asked during his trip to Indonesia about his reaction to Israel’s 11/8 construction announcement, states sharply that “this kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotations. I’m concerned that we’re not seeing each side make the extra effort . . . to get a breakthrough. Each of these incremental steps can end up breaking trust.” Hours later, Netanyahu’s office responds saying “Jerusalem is not a settlement. It is the capital of the State of Israel. . . . Israel sees no link between the peace process and its development plans in Jerusalem.” (IFM, Israel Radio News [Internet], MNA, REU 11/9; NYT, WT 11/10)

Israeli tax authorities and border police seal the entrances to the Jerusalem suburb of Issawiyya, checking Palestinians leaving and entering the village and raiding businesses in search of Palestinian tax evaders. Border police fire rubber-coated steel bullets at stone-throwing Palestinian youths who confront them, injuring 19 Palestinian children (ages 10–15); 1 Israeli border policeman is also injured. Also in East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities raid, search 2 Palestinian homes in Silwan, arresting 2 Palestinians. Silwan residents report that in recent weeks, Israeli authorities have stepped up arrests of young Palestinian men in Issawiyya and Silwan, and that Jewish settlers and settlement guards in Silwan have been accosting local Palestinians more frequently, generating almost daily low-grade clashes. The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Issawiyya later in the evening; and conducts latenight arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron and nearby al-‘Arub r.c., in al-Bireh (searching the home of Palestinian Council secy. Mahmud al-Ramahi, but making no arrests; Ramahi was one of the Hamas-affiliated elected PC mbrs. that Israel arrested after the 2006 capture of Shalit to pressure Hamas but he was recently released; 7 Hamas-affiliated PC mbrs. are still jailed by Israel), and nr. Tulkarm. Meanwhile, the IDF makes brief incursions into n. Gaza nr. Bayt Lahiya and c. Gaza e. of al-Maghazi r.c. to bulldoze Palestinian lands along the border fence to clear lines of sight. Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 mortars fr. Gaza toward Israel, 1 landing in Israel and 1 inside Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. OCHA (11/11) reports that in the previous wk., the IDF imposed at least 8 new barriers to Palestinian travel around Hebron. (YA 11/9; NYT 11/10; OCHA, PCHR 11/11)

Israel’s Interior Min. says it will move forward with plans to build 1,300 new Jewish settlement housing units in East Jerusalem (978 in Har Homa/Jabal Abu Ghunaym, 320 in Ramot). At the same time, Israel issues construction tenders for 800 units in the West Bank settlement of Ariel, which Israel intends to keep under final status. Meanwhile, Israel’s Jerusalem municipal authorities issue a report stating that the municipality is currently building more than 13,500 housing units for Jews in various Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. The UN, U.S., and PA denounce the plans. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols without incident in Zayta village nr. Tulkarm in the morning; patrols in Bayt Liqya late at night, firing rubbercoated steel bullets, tear gas, stun grenades at stone-throwing Palestinian youths who confront them, causing no serious injuries. (HA, JAZ, MNA, YA 11/8; HA, NYT, WP, WT 11/9; OCHA, PCHR 11/11)

Pres. Obama dispatches U.S. Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on a 3-day regional tour of the Middle East, with stops in Syria (to warn Damascus against interfering in Lebanon), Turkey (to urge Turkey to repair its ties with Israel), Lebanon (to show support for Pres. Michel Suleiman), and Israel and Ramallah (to explore ways of reviving the peace talks). (XIN 11/8; AP 11/9; NYT 11/11)

In retaliation for Israel’s assassination of an AOI mbr. on 11/3, the PRCs fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In response, the IDF makes 2 air strikes destroying a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border (causing no injuries) and hitting a Hamas target in Khan Yunis (lightly injuring 1 Palestinian in a home nearby). In the West Bank, the IDF patrols without incident in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya, 1 nr. Jenin; conducts latenight arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem and neighboring Dahaysha r.c. and nr. Hebron. (AFP, YA 11/6; OCHA, PCHR 11/11)

In the morning, Israeli drones make an air strike on a car driving w. of Gaza City, assassinating Army of Islam (AOI) senior mbr. Muhammad al-Nemnem, wounding 2 bystanders; Israel later accuses Nemnem of involvement in “attacks against Israeli and U.S. targets in the Sinai Peninsula.” The IDF makes a brief incursion into c. Gaza e. of al-Bureij r.c. to level land and clear lines of sight; an Israeli tank fires a shell at the surrounding area, but no damage or injuries are reported. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols without incident in al-Yamun village in the afternoon; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron and in Nabi Salih. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces conduct early morning arrest raids, house searches in Silwan, detaining 5 Palestinians (including 4 children ages 13–16). Of note: Israel prevents fmr. PA PM and negotiations adviser Ahmed Qurai‘ from crossing into Jordan via the Allenby crossing, citing a previously unannounced decision by the government that from now on only Pres. Abbas and PM Fayyad would receive special treatment; Israeli security officials say the decision had to do with Qurai‘’s recent statements denouncing Israel’s settlement policy. The PASF for the 1st time arrests a Palestinian for selling goods made in a Jewish settlement, enforcing the PA’s 4/2010 law prohibiting the sale of settlement-produced products (see Quarterly Updates in JPS 156–57); the defendant is jailed in Bethlehem pending trial. (MNA, YA 11/3; NYT, PCHR, UNSCO 11/4; OCHA 11/5; OCHA, PCHR 11/11)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire on Palestinians scavenging for construction materials at a demolished garbage collection center, wounding 1. IDF troops on the s. Gaza border shoot, wound an unarmed Palestinian who strays nr. the border fence e. of Abasan. In the West Bank, the IDF enters Tulkarm in the morning, patrolling streets and photographing the Palestinian Technical College; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Tulkarm. In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities demolish a Palestinian car wash, auto repair shop, and 2 other portable structures in Bayt Hanina. (OCHA reports that another 7 Palestinian structures were demolished in Issawiyya and al-Tur between 10/27 and 11/2.) Meanwhile, at a dedication ceremony in Dahiyat al-Barid (in East Jerusalem but on the Palestinian side of the separation wall), PA PM Fayyad announces that the PA has renovated 15 schools in East Jerusalem in defiance of Israel’s ban on PA activity in East Jerusalem, saying “we are translating steadfastness into facts on the ground.” Fayyad had planned to attend the inauguration of the new schools in Shaykh Jarrah and Shu‘fat as well, but decided not to after Netanyahu pointedly renewed (11/1) his ban on allowing Palestinian leaders to carry out official business in the city and ordered security services to halt the visit if Fayyad proceeded. The Court of First Instance in Gaza sentences a Palestinian man to death by hanging for kidnapping and killing a 9-yr.-old girl in 2004. (JTA, UNSCO 11/2; NYT 11/3; PCHR, WJW 11/4; OCHA 11/5; see also AFP, HA 11/1)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction material in the fmr. settlement sites, wounding 1. Hamas’s acting FM Mahmud Zahhar warns that Gazans who fire rockets at Israel violate an agreement among Palestinian factions not to initiate strikes on Israeli targets and face possible arrest. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jericho and Jenin in the morning, making no arrests; makes a late-night raid into Mazra‘a village nr. Ramallah, patrolling streets and firing rubbercoated steel bullets, tear gas, stun grenades at stone-throwing youths who confront them, causing no serious injuries; makes a late-night raid on a Palestinian apartment building in Ya‘bad village nr. Jenin, photographing it and questioning the owner; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in al-Askar r.c. and nearby Nablus, in Hebron, and nr. Salfit. Jewish settlers fr. Shilo settlement throw stones at Palestinians driving on the nearby Nablus– Ramallah road, causing no injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces raid and search a Palestinian home in the alBustan area of Silwan early in the morning, arresting 2 Palestinians. (al-Hayat 10/31; PCHR 11/4; OCHA 11/5)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF raids an olive press in Jit nr. Qalqilya, arresting the owner and confiscating a bulldozer. (JP 10/30; PCHR 11/4; OCHA 11/5)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials inside the former settlement sites, wounding 1. Also in Gaza, 10,000s of Palestinians turn out for a rally commemorating Islamic Jihad’s 23d anniversary. Addressing the crowd by telephone from Damascus, the movement’s head, Abdallah Shallah, denounces the PA for having resumed direct talks with Israel, calls any formal agreement with Israel “forbidden religiously and politically,” and says the duty of all Palestinians should be to “eliminate” Israel. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in and around Tulkarm twice during the day, making no arrests. Palestinians (accompanied by Israeli and international activists in some locations) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, Nabi Salih/Dayr Nizam. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters; 10s suffer tear gas inhalation and 7 Palestinians are moderately injured. Jewish settlers from Shvut Rachel settlement nr. Ramallah, who have leveled 280 d. of adjacent Palestinian agricultural land since 10/24, place 9 new mobile homes on the cleared plot, effectively expanding the settlement. (NYT 10/30; PCHR 11/4; OCHA 11/5)

Unidentified Palestinians fire a mortar fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts evening and late-night patrols in village nr. Jericho and in Ramallah, making no arrests. (JP 10/28; PCHR 11/4; OCHA 11/5)

IDF troops on the e. Gaza border fire on Islamic Jihad mbrs. planting roadside bombs nr. the border fence e. of Jabaliya r.c., killing 1 Islamic Jihad mbr. and damaging a nearby Palestinian home. Earlier in the day, unidentified Palestinians fire 1 mortar fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in demolished buildings nr. the border fence n. of Bayt Lahiya, wounding 1. In the West Bank, IDF troops and intelligence units raid the homes of 2 local Hamas leaders and 1 local Islamic Jihad leader in Jenin, stating they had not come to arrest the men but to speak with them; the intelligence officers’ questions focus on relations between the PA and Hamas, the prospects for national reconciliation, Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and prospects for peace, the PA dismissal of Hamas mbrs. fr. public jobs, and the financial and political bans on Hamas. The IDF also bulldozes 18 d. of Palestinian agricultural land in Issawiyya nr. Jerusalem; patrols in Bayt Liqya late at night without incident; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah and nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin; conducts late-night patrols in Tulkarm, stopping Palestinian drivers to search their vehicles and check their IDs. Palestinians in Dayr al-Khattab village nr. Nablus report that in the previous wk. settlers fr. nearby Elon Moreh settlement pumped wastewater onto the villages agricultural lands, damaging 220 olive trees. Inside Israel, 100s of Israeli police escort 10s of right-wing Jewish extremists chanting “death to terrorists” on a march through the Israeli-Palestinian town of Umm al-Fahm in a show of force, sparking stone-throwing clashes with Palestinian residents; Israeli police respond with tear gas, stun grenades, and batons; 10 people are arrested, and around 24 injured (including 2 Israeli Arab MKs). (Financial Times, YA 10/27; NYT, PCHR 10/28; PCHR 11/4; OCHA 11/5)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 5 mortars fr. Gaza toward Israel, 2 landing in Israel and 3 inside Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols without incident in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm in the morning; conducts latenight arrest raids, searches nr. Hebron, Salfit. Jewish settlers fr. Taffuh nr. Salfit attempt to steal a horse fr. a Palestinian harvesting olives but leave when other Palestinians arrive. The PA says that foreign journalists who visit the West Bank through Israeli media facilitators are “unwelcome”—a move seen as an attempt by the PA to control its media image abroad. (JP 10/25; PCHR 10/28; OCHA 10/29; JPI 11/5)

At his weekly cabinet session, Netanyahu confirms “intensive contacts” are underway with the U.S. on an incentives package to restart peace talks “in such a way that it cannot be halted in a few weeks or months.” On or around this date, Netanyahu sends his chief negotiator Molcho back to Washington with new proposals for an incentives package; no details are released (IGPO 10/24; WP 10/25; NYT 10/27)

Israeli municipal authorities in Jerusalem approve a modified development plan for the Western Wall area that will involve underground tunnels, car parks, bus and police stations, Talmud and tourism centers, and opening of a new gate in the ancient wall around Jerusalem to provide access for Jewish settlers fr. the Silwan area. Palestinian residents of Silwan protesting the new moves clash with IDF troops who enter the neighborhood to disperse them, firing rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades, seriously wounding an 11-yr.-old Palestinian boy. Islamic Jihad fires 3–4 mortars fr. Gaza toward Israel, with only 1 landing inside Israel; no damage or injuries are reported on either side of the border. Gaza’s power plant receives a fuel shipment from Israel allowing the plant’s 2d turbine (shut down on 10/22) to resume operation; rolling blackouts drop back down to 4–6 hrs./day. The IDF makes a day-long incursion into s. Gaza to level lands along the border fence e. of al-Qarara to clear lines of sight. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin in the afternoon and nr. Qalqilya late at night. Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim heavily damage a Palestinian vehicle that breaks down on the road nr. the settlement. (JP 10/25; MNA 10/25; PCHR 10/28; OCHA 10/29)

The Israeli human rights group Peace Now estimates that Jewish settlers have started work on 600 settlement housing units in at least 36 settlements since the freeze ended on 9/26. At least half of the construction is to lay foundations for new houses—a priority for settlers in anticipation of reimposition of the temporary settlement freeze, which allowed construction to continue on units that already had their foundations poured. (NYT, WP 10/22)

Egypt allows an aid convoy of 140 vans to enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing; the humanitarian goods were provided by London-based pro-Palestinian activists. Unidentified Palestinians fire a mortar fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. IDF troops on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials inside the destroyed industrial zone, wounding 2. IDF troops also enter Gaza briefly to retrieve an unmanned Israeli drone that crashed nr. the northern border. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols without incident in villages nr. Jericho, Ramallah, Tulkarm; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. Palestinians report (PCHR 10/21) that in the previous week: (a) the IDF confiscated 130 d. of Palestinian agricultural land nr. Qalqilya for construction of a “security road” past Keddumim settlement, and (b) Jewish settlers seized and leveled 100 d. of Palestinian agricultural land located between the separation wall and the Green Line, accessible to the Palestinian owners only through a gate in the fence that the IDF opens only occasionally. In East Jerusalem, Israeli police raid and search a Palestinian clothing store. (AFP, JP, PCHR 10/21; NYT 10/22; PCHR 10/28; OCHA 10/29)

The IDF makes 2 brief incursions into Gaza to clear lines of sight along the border e. of Jabaliya r.c. in the n. and al-Qarara in the s., exchanging gunfire with Palestinians in the s., causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols without incident in Bayt Liqya and Jit nr. Qalqilya during the day and in Jinsafut village nr. Qalqilya late at night; conducts late-night house searches nr. Hebron, making no arrests. Israel releases Hamas-affiliated Palestinian Council mbr. Ali Romanin, who was detained by the IDF in 2006 as a bargaining chip following the capture of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. Jewish settlers fr. Beitar Ilit nr. Bethlehem set fire to 30 d. of nearby Palestinian agricultural land, damaging at least 600 trees. OCHA (10/22) reports that in the previous week an ailing 2-yr.-old Palestinian girl fr. Gaza died as a direct result of Israel delaying her transfer to an Israeli hospital for treatment. (MNA 10/19; PCHR 10/21; OCHA 10/22)

Israel carries out 2 air strikes on armed Islamic Jihad mbrs. preparing to fire rockets fr. the n. Gaza border area, killing 2 Islamic Jihad mbrs. In the West Bank, the IDF beats and fires rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists conducting a nonviolent march from Bayt Umar village to Karme Tzur settlement outside Hebron to protest land confiscations and settlement expansion, moderately injuring 1 American activist. Jewish settlers fr. Brakha settlement nr. Nablus attack, drive off Palestinians harvesting olives nearby. (WP 10/18; PCHR 10/21; OCHA 10/22)

Israel announces plans to build 238 new settlement housing units in Pisgat Ze’ev and Ramot settlements in East Jerusalem. The PA and U.S. denounce the move as contrary to peace. Also in East Jerusalem, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and water with a colored dye at Palestinians holding a sit-in in the al-Bustan area of Silwan after Friday prayers to protest Israel’s plans (announced in 3/2010) to demolish homes and businesses in the area to create the City of David, an archeological park to accommodate settlers; local Jewish settlers join in, stoning Palestinians and vandalizing Palestinian homes; 15 Palestinians are injured. Meanwhile, the IDF conducts synchronized daytime patrols in 2 villages and 1 open area nr. Jenin, making no arrests. Palestinians (accompanied by Israeli and international activists in some locations) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, Nabi Salih/Dayr Nizam. IDF soldiers fire rubbercoated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters; 10s suffer tear gas inhalation; 2 Israeli and 3 Palestinian activists are arrested (the Israelis are quickly released). Jewish settlers fr. Elon Moreh nr. Nablus fire on and chase off Palestinian farmers harvesting olives nr. the settlement, causing no reported injuries. Jewish settlers fr. Zohar settlement e. of Qalqilya set fire to Palestinian olive groves and prevent Palestinian fire engines fr. reaching the area, allowing 100 d. to burn. (NYT, WP 10/16; PCHR 10/21; OCHA 10/22)

In his first statement since the 10/8 Arab League decision, Netanyahu, at the opening of the fall session of the Knesset, publicly offers a “limited” extension of its partial settlement freeze if the Palestinians recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Abbas rejects this as a key concession that Israel seeks as a basis to reject Palestinian refugees’ right of return to their homes in Israel, noting that the PLO formally recognized the State of Israel in an exchange of letters before signing the 1993 Oslo Accord. The State Dept. suggests that Abbas make a counter offer to keep the process going. (AFP, NYT, WP 10/11; AFP, HA 10/12)

Meanwhile, Israel’s ministerial comm. on legislation sends a bill to the Knesset for a second reading that would require a national referendum before any territory could be ceded in a peace agreement. (JTA, NYT 10/11)

Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, IDF undercover units make an incursion into Silwan in East Jerusalem, arresting 4 Palestinian boys (ages 12–13), firing rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades at stone-throwing youths who confront them, seriously wounding a 14-yr.-old Palestinian boy; all 4 boys arrested are released on 10/12. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya. An Israeli military court sentences Abdullah Abu Rahma, head of the Popular Committee Against the Wall in the West Bank village of Bil‘in who organizes the weekly demonstrations against the separation wall, to 1 year in jail (including time served) and a $1,250 fine; Abu Rahma was arrested in 12/09 and convicted in 8/2010 of incitement and participating in illegal demonstrations. PA PM Salam Fayyad holds a groundbreaking ceremony to inaugurate a new agroindustrial park in the Jordan Valley, which is expected to create 10,000 new Palestinian jobs. (JTA 10/12; Israel National News, WT 10/13; PCHR 10/14; OCHA 10/15; Irish Times 10/21; UNSCO 10/22)

The PRCs claim responsibility for firing a mortar fr. Gaza into Israel, causing damage but no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols without incident in Dayr Istya in the afternoon; prevents Palestinians fr. accessing their land nr. Qalqilya to harvest olives; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya; fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists conducting a nonviolent march from Bayt Umar village to Karme Tzur settlement outside Hebron to protest land confiscations and settlement expansion; 10s suffer tear gas inhalation and 4 internationals and 3 Palestinians are arrested (the internationals are released the same day). (PCHR 10/14; OCHA 10/15)

Meeting in Libya, Arab League FMs strongly endorse the 10/2 Palestinian decision to halt direct talks with Israel until Israel halts settlement construction, pledging to meet again in 1 mo. to discuss alternatives and decide on next steps; a meeting is set for 11/9. (REU 10/8; MNA, NYT, UNSCO, WP 10/9; al-Ahram Weekly 10/8–14)

Overnight, in the West Bank, the IDF raids a Palestinian residential building in Hebron, killing 2 IQB mbrs. in an exchange of fire (with the IDF firing machine guns, medium-caliber bullets, and grenades) and then bulldozing the structure, also destroying an adjacent store, heavily damaging 4 houses and another store nearby, and arresting 12 Palestinians. The IQB mbrs. allegedly were behind the 8/31 shooting of 4 Jewish settlers nr. Hebron; Palestinians do not consider their deaths willful killings or assassinations. The IDF also patrols in 3 villages n. of Tulkarm late at night, making no arrests. Palestinians (accompanied by Israeli and international activists in some locations) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, Nabi Salih/Dayr Nizam. IDF soldiers fire rubbercoated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters; 10s suffer tear gas inhalation and a 13-yr.-old Palestinian is moderately wounded. In East Jerusalem, a Jewish settler deliberately attempts to run down a group of Palestinian stonethrowing children with his car in Silwan, injuring 2 (both age 10). Also in East Jerusalem, 2 settlement guards posted outside a Palestinian house previously seized by settlers beat a local Palestinian working on his home nearby; the IDF observes but does not intervene until the Palestinian begins to fight back, at which point they arrest him and order him to stay away from his home for 1 wk. (WP 10/9; PCHR 10/14; OCHA 10/15)

In a bid to secure the backing of rightwing coalition partners for a package of U.S. guarantees for a short extension of the settlement freeze, Netanyahu proposes legislation that would require those becoming Israeli citizens to pledge a loyalty oath to “the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state,” as opposed to simply “the State of Israel” as it is now worded. (NYT 10/7, 10/8; WP 10/11)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF retaliates with a late-night air strike on an IQB training site in the Shaykh Ridwan area of Gaza City, destroying a building, damaging 30 surrounding buildings and 3 cars, and injuring 6 Palestinian civilians. In the West Bank, the IDF makes a brief incursion into Tulkarm early in the morning to photograph the entrances of a police station, the local PASF and PA General Intelligence headquarters, and a PASF medical services building, withdrawing without incident; blocks Palestinians from joining a solidarity rally with Jewish settlers outside Bayt Fajjar village (site of a mosque arson on 10/4), sparking clashes between stonethrowing Palestinian youths and soldiers (no serious injuries reported); patrols late at night, without incident in 2 villages n. of Jenin; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’a r.c. and Zawata village, both nr. Nablus. The Israeli daily Ha’Aretz reports that nearly 350 housing units are currently under construction in West Bank settlements, including 56 in Keddumim nr. Qalqilya, 54 in Ariel n. of Salfit, 56 in Karme Tzur; 24 within Ma’ate Binyamin regional council area (nr. Jerusalem and Ramallah), 34 in Kiryat Arba, and 1 each in Barqan, Dolev, Kefar Adumim, Kochav HaShachar, Oranit, Revava, Sha’are Tikva, Tekoa, and Yakir. (HA, JP 10/6; NYT, PCHR, REU, YA 10/7; PCHR 10/14; OCHA 10/15)

Abbas convenes the PLO Exec. Comm. along with the Fatah Central Comm. in Ramallah to discuss the lapsed settlement freeze, issuing a statement afterward that the Palestinian leadership is in agreement that direct negotations should not resume without a halt to Israeli settlement construction. The statement is welcomed by Hamas. Abbas then leaves for Jordan and Egypt to urge Arab support for the Palestinian decision. (AP, HA, NYT, REU, WP 10/3; XIN 10/4; MNA 10/5)

Unidentified Palestinians fire a mortar fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists conducting a nonviolent march from Bayt Umar village to Karme Tzur settlement outside Hebron to protest land confiscations and settlement expansion; 10s suffer tear gas inhalation and a 14-yr.-old Palestinian is lightly injured. (JP 10/2; PCHR 10/7; OCHA 10/8)

David Makovsky, director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, leaks details of the significant inducements currently offered by the White House to Israel if it would extend its partial settlement freeze for 60 days (to avoid a crisis before U.S. midterm elections). The U.S. goal would be to reach an agreement on borders within the 60-day time period. (NYT, WP 10/1; al-Sharq al-Awsat 10/4; JAZ, NYT 10/7; WT 10/13; JPI 10/22)

Mitchell returns to the region for meetings with Abbas and Netanyahu. (NYT, WP 10/1)

For the 2d day in a row, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in evacuated settlement sites nr. the border, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF raids several Palestinian homes in the bedouin community of al-Hadidiyya in the Jordan Valley after complaints by local Jewish settlers that the bedouin were stealing water from Ro’i settlement. (PCHR 9/30; OCHA 10/1; PCHR 10/7; OCHA 10/8)

Israeli naval vessels intercept a catamaran of Jewish activists off the Gaza coast, escorting it to Ashdod port without incident (see 9/26). The IDF carries out air strikes on a group of armed Palestinians preparing to fire a rocket into Israel from an area nr. al-Bureij r.c. in c. Gaza (killing 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs.) and on the Nussayrat r.c. home of a Gaza Education Min. employee, causing heavy damage but no injuries. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the evacuated settlement sites near the border, wounding 1 deaf Palestinian. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols late at night, without incident in Qiffin village nr. Tulkarm; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. (CNN, JP, MNA, NYT 9/28; NYT, WT 9/29; PCHR 9/30; OCHA 10/1)

In the first full day after the expiration of the settlement freeze, the Israeli government approves construction of a new settler-only bypass road linking Kiryat Arba to the Tomb of the Patriarchs/al-Ibrahimi Mosque in c. Hebron, which could require the removal of 10s of Palestinian homes and confiscation of Palestinian agricultural land. Jewish settlers begin construction of 56 new houses in Karme Tzur. Armed Jewish settlers accompanied by IDF soldiers begin leveling 8 d. of Palestinian land in Wadi al-Hussein neighborhood in Hebron seized by settlers in 2008. State Dept. spokesman P.J. Crowley says the U.S. is “disappointed” Israel allowed the freeze to expire, saying Mitchell phoned Abbas to thank him for not suspending talks immediately and that Clinton had held a “business-like” phone conversation with Netanyahu about the freeze. (NYT, WP 9/28; PCHR, WJW 9/30; OCHA 10/1)

Secy. of State Clinton meets with Syrian FM Walid Moualem in New York to broach the possibility of reviving the Israeli-Syrian peace track, with the U.S. and Syria agreeing to develop some ideas on how to proceed. (NYT, WP 9/28)

In Gaza, IDF troops make a day-long incursion into s. Gaza to level lands in the no-go zone e. of al-Qarara to clear lines of sight. In the West Bank, the IDF seals an entrance to Jayyus village nr. Qalqilya; seals 2 entrances to Azun village, checking Palestinian IDs, saying stones were thrown from the village at passing IDF patrols (no arrests are made); conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Tulkarm; conducts late-night patrols in Jenin and 2 nearby villages, making no arrests. (PCHR 9/30)

U.S. officials spend the day trying to broker a compromise with Israel that will guarantee that direct talks will continue. Despite U.S. appeals, Netanyahu allows the freeze to expire at midnight local time (6:00 p.m. EDT). Abbas agrees not to follow through on threats to halt direct talks immediately to give U.S. diplomacy more time to work, but says he plans to consult with Fatah and PLO leaders, as well as the Arab League regarding how to move forward. (At his request, an Arab League session is set for 10/4, essentially leaving a week to resolve the freeze issue; the date is later changed to 10/6.) Even before the freeze ends, Israel’s Dep. PM Silvan Shalom lays the cornerstone for construction of a new yeshiva at a ceremony in Beit Romano settlement in Hebron attended by settlement leaders and right-wing Knesset members. Likud party mbrs. and 1,000s of settlers bussed in from around the West Bank attend a rally in neighboring Revava settlement to count down the end of the moratorium. In nearby Kiryat Netafim settlement, Jewish settlers hold a groundbreaking ceremony for construction of a new day-care center. Dozens of armed Jewish settlers from Ma’on settlement nr. Hebron guarded by IDF soldiers escort bulldozers to a nearby site where they begin laying the foundations for new homes at nearby Havat Maon outpost. After midnight, construction begins at several settlements across the West Bank. (NYT, WP, WT 9/27; NYT, WP 9/28; PCHR 9/30)

Meanwhile, timed with the lifting of the settlement freeze, 9 Jewish activists depart Cyprus on a catamaran, hoping to break the blockade of Gaza to deliver a token shipment of medicine and water purification equipment. In the West Bank, unidentified Palestinian gunmen fire on 2 Jewish settler vehicles driving nr. Hebron, moderately wounding 1 Jewish settler; no group takes responsibility. The IDF sends troops into Azun village nr. Qalqilya to patrol streets, set up checkpoints, and check Palestinian IDs, arresting 1 Palestinian; seals an entrance to Marda village nr. Salfit; conducts late-night patrols in Jenin town and r.c., making no arrests; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin and Nablus. In Gaza, IDF troops on the s. Gaza border e. of Khan Yunis fire warning shots at Palestinians conducting a nonviolent protest march to the border fence to protest Israel’s imposition of a buffer zone, seriously wounding 1. (NYT 9/27; WT 9/28; PCHR 9/30; OCHA 10/1)

On the evening of the settlement freeze expiration on 9/26, Clinton meets with Abbas in Washington to brief him for the first time on the Israeli-U.S. negotiations over a U.S. incentives package (see 9/20) and urges him not to walk away from direct talks immediately if Netanyahu allows the freeze to expire before a deal can be reached. (NYT 9/26) (see Quarterly Update for details) Clashes in and around Issawiyya between Israeli security forces and stonethrowing Palestinian youths continue for a 3d day. Off Gaza’s n. coast, Israeli naval vessels fire on a Palestinian fishing boat, killing 1 Palestinian fisherman. Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. n. Gaza toward Israel but it lands inside the Strip, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in ‘Anin village nr. Jenin in the afternoon without incident. Palestinians (accompanied by Israeli and international activists in some locations) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, Nabi Salih/Dayr Nizam. IDF soldiers fire rubbercoated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters; 10s suffer tear gas inhalation and 4 Palestinians are moderately injured (including 1 hit in the leg by live ammunition). (YA 9/21; JP 9/24; WP 9/25; PCHR 9/30; OCHA 10/1)

Clashes continue in and around Issawiyya between Israeli security forces and stone-throwing Palestinian youths for a 2d day. The IDF’s heavy use of tear gas in residential areas of Issawiyya causes a Palestinian toddler to suffer breathing difficulties; the child is evacuated to Israel’s Hadasah Hospital but dies. The IDF also patrols late at night in Khirbat Abu Falah village nr. Ramallah; no incidents are reported. In Gaza, a Hamas military court sentences a Palestinian to death by firing squad for collaborating with Israel. (NYT 9/24; PCHR 9/30; OCHA 10/1)