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  • May 20, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces ordered a Palestinian family to leave their 2 mobile homes and stop further construction north of Jericho. Separately, Israeli forces seized a mobile home in Bayt...

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  • March 4, 2019

    After unidentified Palestinians fly 2 incendiary balloons from Gaza into southern Israel, causing no damage or injuries, the Israeli Air Force conducts air strikes on 2 Hamas military sites near...

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  • January 20, 2019

    In the West Bank, IDF troops arrest 21 Palestinians during late-night raids near Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron, Qalqilya, and Tulkarm; and patrol near Ramallah, Hebron, Tulkarm, and Qalqilya. Israeli...

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  • November 27, 2018

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces demolish a Palestinian residential structure in Suba village near Hebron and deliver a stop-work order to a Palestinian home under construction outside Yatta....

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  • April 23, 2018

    Along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion to level land near al-Bureij refugee camp. IDF troops then arrest 4 Palestinian minors attempting to cross into Israel near the site...

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  • December 28, 2017

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces violently disperse Palestinian protesters gathering outside Ofer Prison in solidarity with imprisoned Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi; there are no serious...

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  • July 24, 2014

    The IDF continues its assault on the Gaza Strip by land, air, and sea, attacking over 90 targets and killing 104 Palestinians. One IDF strike on a UN-run school in Bayt Hanun kills at least 15,...

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  • July 9, 2014

    The IDF strikes targets across the Gaza Strip on the 2d day of OPE, killing 39 Palestinians. Fatal strikes take place in al-Maghazi r.c., Bayt Hanun, Gaza City, Nussayrat r.c. and Bayt Lahiya....

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  • February 20, 2014

    Off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. Rafah, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, while separately, Israeli forces fire 2 missiles that land close to the Egypt border fence,...

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  • December 26, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 2 rockets into s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Israeli PM Netanyahu holds Hamas responsible for any attacks launched from the territory. The Israeli...

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  • December 5, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Jenin at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Hebron at night. (PCHR 12/12)

    U.S. Secy. of State Kerry arrives in the region...

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  • November 7, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Jabaliya r.c. and level land close to the border zone, and also open fire on farmers, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, IDF...

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  • September 3, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries or damage to the vessels. IDF troops also conduct a limited incursion in land close to the...

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  • August 19, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian with live ammunition during clashes prompted by soldiers raiding the village of Jaba‘ nr Jenin. There are also clashes but no injuries...

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  • March 14, 2013

    IDF troops manning a watchtower nr. Tulkarm shoot and seriously injure a Palestinian teenager. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jericho in the morning and in 1 village nr. Jenin...

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  • March 4, 2013

    PA Pres. Mahmud Abbas meets with U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry in Saudi Arabia to discuss regional developments, the first such meeting between the two men since Kerry replaced Hillary Clinton....

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  • February 27, 2013

    A report by the European Union’s consuls general in East Jerusalem and Ramallah is leaked, revealing that the diplomats have urged the EU to implement economic sanctions against Israeli...

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  • December 3, 2012

    Britain, Denmark, France, Spain, and Sweden summon the Israeli ambassadors to their countries to protest Israel’s settlement construction plans. An anonymous senior European diplomat tells the...

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  • February 6, 2012

    Fatah PA pres. Abbas and Hamas leader Mishal end 2 days of talks in Qatar on forming by Fatah-Hamas consensus a transitional government of independent technocrats with a limited mandate to take...

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  • January 23, 2007

    The Israeli navy fires on a Palestinian fishing boat off the Rafah coast, arrests 3 fishermen. IDF troops on the central Gaza border fire on 3 unarmed Palestinians attempting to sneak into Israel...

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  • January 1, 2006

    The IDF launches an air strike on a PA municipal building nr. Khan Yunis, causing heavy damage; conducts mock air raids over Gaza; patrols in al-Khadir, firing on stonethrowing youths who confront...

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  • October 15, 2003

    Unidentified Palestinians detonate a roadside bomb outside Erez crossing as a U.S. emb. convoy (carrying the cultural attache, en route to interview Fulbright scholarship candidates) passes,...

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  • May 26, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes diminish. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) detonates a car bomb in West Jerusalem, causing no injuries. (NYT, WP, WT 5/27; MM 5/29; MEI 6/1)...

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  • January 2, 2000

    Ending a diplomatic row with Qatar, the PA agrees to let Palestinian Banker Abu Issa return to Doha and to appoint an international auditing firm to arbitrate its dispute with PIB. Qatar agrees to...

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  • November 16, 1999

    In Jerusalem, U.S. spedal envoy Dennis Ross meets with Israeli FM David Levy to discuss progress on final status talks. Although they discuss differences btwn. Israel and the Palestinian Authority...

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  • October 31, 1999

    Israel opens Shuhada Street, which runs along the border of a Jewish settlement in Hebron, to Palestinian taxis. According to Wye II, the route should have been opened to all traffic by yesterday...

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  • September 26, 1998

    In New York, Secy. Albright meets with PM Netanyahu, Arafat, Egyptian FM Musa, Lebanese PM Hariri. Arafat, Musa also meet. (MENA, RL 9/26, MENA 9/27 in WNC 9/29; WT 9/28; MEI 10/2)

    Turkey...

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  • October 27, 1997

    Russian FM Primakov arrives in Amman for 3-day visit, meets with Jordanian FM Tarawnah, then leaves for unscheduled visit to Syria. (ITAR-TASS [Moscow], SANA 10/27, MBC, RMC 10/28 in WNC 10/29; WT...

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  • September 20, 1997

    Jerusalem Post reports that Iran, Israel are holding contacts to resolve military tensions, settle Israels $1 b. debt to Iran, encourage commercial contacts. Israeli officials say Khatami...

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  • May 6, 1997

    FBI begins investigating whether a "senior U.S. government official" has been passing highly sensitive information to Israel. U.S. officials say that in 1/97, the National Security Agency...

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In the West Bank, Israeli forces ordered a Palestinian family to leave their 2 mobile homes and stop further construction north of Jericho. Separately, Israeli forces seized a mobile home in Bayt Dajan. In Gaza, Israeli forces fired an artillery shell and flare bombs east of al-Bureij; no injuries were reported. In Israel, Israeli forces shot and injured a man crossing from Jordan to Israel south of the Sea of Galilee. Israeli authorities said another man managed to flee and that Israeli police found a bag containing 9 handguns, 6 rifles, and NIS 500,000 ($143,000). (HA, WAFA, WAFA 5/20; PCHR 5/21)

The Israeli Prison Service transferred 1 Palestinian hunger-striker being held in administrative detention to solitary confinement. (WAFA 5/20)

At the UN Security Council (UNSC), the UN envoy to the Middle East Nikolay Mladenov told the council that Israel annexing part of the West Bank “would constitute the most serious violation of international law . . . [and] close the door to a renewal of negotiations.” He further stated that “Israel must abandon its treat of annexation.” Mladenov also called on the Quartet to take up a more active role. EU representatives at the UNSC also called Israel’s plans a violation of international law, expressing concern. In turn, Israel’s envoy to the UN Danny Danon told the council that “[a]ny decision on the topic of sovereignty will be made solely by the Israeli government with coordination with the American administration.” Separately, the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov told the new Israeli foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi that Russia opposes Israel’s annexation plans during a call. (AJ, HA, REU 5/20)

The EU, Italy, and Finland pledge to contribute $18.6 million to the PA for payments of medical referrals to East Jerusalem hospitals. (WAFA 5/20)

After unidentified Palestinians fly 2 incendiary balloons from Gaza into southern Israel, causing no damage or injuries, the Israeli Air Force conducts air strikes on 2 Hamas military sites near Gaza City, causing extensive damage. Hours later, IDF troops violently disperse hundreds of Palestinians gathering to continue the Great March of Return near al-Bureij refugee camp; there are no serious injuries. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops arrest 8 Palestinians during late-night raids near Jenin, Ramallah, and Bethlehem; and patrol near Nablus. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 1 Palestinian during a raid in Issawiyya. (HA, MNA, MNA, MNA, WAFA, WAFA 3/4; MNA 3/5; PCHR 3/7)

The U.S. formally merges its consulate in Jerusalem and its new embassy in the city to “form a single diplomatic mission.” The embassy’s new “Palestinian Affairs Unit” will serve Palestinians in Jerusalem out of the old consulate building, where all diplomacy with the Palestinians was based out of previously. In response, the PLO releases a statement calling the merging of the two offices a “denial of international law.” (AP, HA, JP, MNA 3/4; MNA 3/5)

In the West Bank, IDF troops arrest 21 Palestinians during late-night raids near Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron, Qalqilya, and Tulkarm; and patrol near Ramallah, Hebron, Tulkarm, and Qalqilya. Israeli settlers cut down 2 olive trees in a Palestinian grove near Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 4 Palestinians during a raid in Silwan. Along Gaza’s coast, IDF troops violently disperse a few hundred Palestinians gathering near al-Bureij refugee camp to continue the Great March of Return for a 3d day in a row; 1 Palestinian minor is injured. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Jabaliya refugee camp, causing no damage or injuries (1 fisherman is arrested). In Israel, Israeli forces demolish a Palestinian home for the 2d time in Lod. (MNA, WAFA 1/20; MNA, MNA 1/21; PCHR 1/24)

A Qatari diplomat says that the $15 million that was supposed to be transferred to Gaza last week is set to go through this week, following a relatively quiet day of protests on 1/18. “Due to the violence on the border, the Israeli government postponed it,” he says. “The agreement is subject to there not being too much violence, so last Friday they approved to do the third tranche.” (HA, JP, REU, TOI, YA 1/20)

YNet reports that PA prime minister Rami Hamdallah formally informed U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo that the Palestinians have decided to reject future U.S. financial assistance, including that which supports the PA security forces, in response to the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act, which the U.S. passed into law in 10/2018 (see *S. 2946 of 5/24/18 at congressionalmonitor.org for details). That law, which is set to go into effect at the end of the month, forced the Palestinians to either accept future U.S. aid or open themselves up to terrorism lawsuits from individual U.S. citizens, inter alia. (JP, TOI, YA 1/20)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu lands in Chad to renew the diplomatic ties between Israel and Chad that were severed in 1972. At a joint press conference with Netanyahu, Chad’s President Idriss Déby says, ‘The purpose of your visit is to bring our two countries closer and to cooperate.” Netanyahu calls it the renewal of ties a “breakthrough” and a sign of Israel’s “rising standing” in the Muslim world. (HA, JP, TOI, TOI 1/20)

After unverified reports of Syrian air defenses intercepting an Israeli air strike near Damascus, several ground-to-ground projectiles are fired from Syria into northern Israel. They are all intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. Late at night, Israeli forces strike approximately 10 government weapons depots, intelligence sites, and other targets in Syria, killing 21 people, including 12 member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. An IDF spokesperson says that Iranian forces were responsible for the projectile launched into Israel earlier in the day. “This was planned in advance as an attempt to deter us from continuing to act against them,” he says. (HA, JP, TOI, YA, YA 1/20; JP, TOI 1/21; HA 1/22)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces demolish a Palestinian residential structure in Suba village near Hebron and deliver a stop-work order to a Palestinian home under construction outside Yatta. Unidentified assailants throw rocks at an Israeli settler vehicle driving near Ramallah, causing minor damage and lightly injuring 1 settler. IDF troops arrest 14 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Tulkarm, Qalqilya, Hebron, Tubas, and Nablus; and patrol near Qalqilya, Tulkarm and Nablus. In East Jerusalem, Israeli police disperse a small protest against the detention of the PA’s governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith, outside a police station near the Old City; several Palestinians are arrested. Israeli forces also arrest a Palestinian during a raid in the Old City. (TOI, WAFA 11/27; MNA 11/28; PCHR 11/29)

Haaretz reports that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is planning to lay off more than half of its employees in the West Bank and Gaza in the coming weeks, following U.S. president Trump’s decision to slash U.S. aid to the Palestinians earlier this year. (HA, TOI 11/27)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announces that the prime minister is planning to visit Chad soon to re-establish diplomatic ties. The announcement comes hours after Netanyahu meets with Chadian president Idriss Déby in Jerusalem. “The two discussed shared threats and the struggle against terrorism, increased cooperation between the nations in the areas of agriculture, counter terrorism, border security, technology, solar energy, water, health and more,” the prime minister’s office statement reads. (HA, JP, TOI 11/27)

Czech president Milos Zeman formally inaugurates the new Czech House, a cultural center in Jerusalem that he has described as the “first step” toward moving the Czech embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. In a joint press conference with Zeman, Israeli prime minister Netanyahu says, “We have no greater friend than the Czech Republic in the eastern hemisphere.” (HA, JP, TOI 11/27)

In a wide-ranging interview with the Washington Post, U.S. president Donald Trump says that Israel is the “one reason for the U.S. to remain in the Middle East.” He is responding to a question about the future of the U.S. military presence in the Middle East specifically. “Oil is becoming less and less of a reason because we’re producing more oil now than we’ve ever produced.” Meanwhile, Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon says that the Trump administration is planning to release its long-awaited plan for Palestinian-Israeli peace in early 2019. (WP, YA 11/27; HA, MNA, MNA, TOI 11/28)

The Israeli authorities announce the seizure of 66 acres of Catholic Church-owned land in the northern Jordan Valley for “military purposes.” In response, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem says, “The Patriarchate is looking into the aspects of this decision in order to address it in the appropriate manner, have it contested and to stop further damage.” (MNA 11/27; FMEP 12/7)

Along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion to level land near al-Bureij refugee camp. IDF troops then arrest 4 Palestinian minors attempting to cross into Israel near the site of the incursion, and violently disperse Palestinian protesters throwing stones at the border fence near the main Great March of Return tent camp outside Khan Yunis (1 Palestinian is injured). Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Jabaliya refugee camp, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, Israeli forces carry out the punitive demolition of the Jenin home of a Palestinian imprisoned in connection with the 1/9/18 killing of an Israeli settler. Meanwhile, Israeli settlers damage 20 Palestinian vehicles and spray-paint “Death to Arabs” on a nearby wall in Bayt Iksa. Some of the same settlers vandalize more Palestinian property in Rammun village near Ramallah later in the day. IDF troops arrest 1 Palestinian during a raid in Bethlehem, and patrol near Nablus, Hebron, and Qalqilya. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 5 Palestinians during raids in Silwan, Issawiyya, and the Old City. (MNA, TOI, WAFA 4/23; PCHR 4/26)

A deaf Palestinian succumbs to injuries sustained on 4/1 when the IDF violently dispersed peaceful protesters along Gaza’s border. A Palestinian witness to the shooting says that the deceased was walking away from the border fence when an Israeli sniper shot him in the back of the head. His death brings the death toll stemming from the Great March of Return to 36. (HA, MNA, WAFA 4/23; EI 4/24; PCHR 4/26; HQ 5/5)

A mortar fired from Syria lands in the Israelioccupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. IDF artillery then shell the area from which the mortar was fired, causing an unclear amount of damage or injuries. “The IDF sees the Syrian civil regime as responsible for all that happens on its territory, and will not tolerate any attempt to harm the sovereignty of the State of Israel or the security of its citizens,” the IDF states after the exchange. (HA, YA 4/23)

Palestinian diplomats file a formal complaint against Israel with the UN office in Geneva responsible for monitoring the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The complaint alleges that Israel has violated the convention in a variety of ways, including the parallel justice systems for Palestinians and settlers in the West Bank. “Not only is the purpose of the settlement regime discriminatory in itself, it is further maintained by a system of discriminatory measures, severely depriving Palestinians of their fundamental rights,” one diplomat says. (MNA 4/24)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces violently disperse Palestinian protesters gathering outside Ofer Prison in solidarity with imprisoned Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi; there are no serious injuries. They shoot and injure 2 Palestinians during minor clashes near Ramallah. Israeli border police arrest a Palestinian, allegedly for carrying a bomb into a courthouse near Bethlehem. The IDF arrests 5 more Palestinians during late-night raids in Qalqilya and near Salfit, Jenin, and Hebron; and patrols near Hebron and Tulkarm. More than 20 Israeli settlers enter a Palestinian school in Burin village near Nablus, sparking clashes with stone-throwing students; 2 students are injured and 2 Palestinian vehicles are damaged. The settlers claim that some students from Burin threw stones at their cars earlier in the day. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 1 Palestinian during a raid in Issawiyya. In 4 separate incidents off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Bayt Lahiya and Jabaliya refugee camp, causing no damage or injuries (2 fishermen are arrested). Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmlands near Dayr al-Balah, causing no serious damage. (IMEMC, MNA, TOI, WAFA 12/28; PCHR 1/4)

PA FM al-Maliki says that the Palestinian leadership has decided to request, at a summit planned for 1/6 in Amman, the implementation of the Amman Summit resolutions of 1980, which stipulated a political and economic boycott of any country that moves its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. He also says that the PA will lobby in countries where Israeli diplomats are pressing governments to move their embassies to Jerusalem, and that they will wait for a new composition of the UNSC before resubmitting their application for full membership at the UN. (WAFA, WP 12/28)

The IDF continues its assault on the Gaza Strip by land, air, and sea, attacking over 90 targets and killing 104 Palestinians. One IDF strike on a UN-run school in Bayt Hanun kills at least 15, and wounds 200, mostly women and children seeking shelter. The Israeli army says it is investigating the incident and that “terrorists” opened fire at IDF personnel from the area of the school. Palestinians fire around 60 rockets into Israel, 15 of which are intercepted by Iron Dome, causing no damage or injuries (including 5 over Tel Aviv). On the ground in Gaza, al-Quds Brigades and al-Qassam Brigades claim to have killed 4 and 8 Israeli soldiers, respectively. In the West Bank, a reported 10,000 Palestinians gather in protest of the assault on Gaza and march from c. Ramallah to Qalandia checkpoint, where clashes with IDF troops break out. IDF troops kill 2 and injure more than 200 protesters, including 60 with live ammunition. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus in the morning. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces set up checkpoints to restrict access to Haram al-Sharif, leading to clashes and the arrest of 12 Palestinian youth. (AFP, AP, HA, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/24; PCHR 7/25)

Secy. of State Kerry meets with UN Secy.- Gen. Ban in Cairo once more. Meanwhile, in Amman, PA Pres. Abbas meets with Jordan’s King Abdallah and says “there is hope for a cease-fire” along the lines of “the Egyptian initiative” before fuller negotiations about wider demands. Kerry reaches out to Turkish and Qatari diplomats in an effort to garner support from Hamas’s regional allies for his cease-fire initiative. (AFP, AP, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/24)

Rivlin is sworn in as the new pres. of Israel, succeeding Peres. (HA 7/24)

The IDF strikes targets across the Gaza Strip on the 2d day of OPE, killing 39 Palestinians. Fatal strikes take place in al-Maghazi r.c., Bayt Hanun, Gaza City, Nussayrat r.c. and Bayt Lahiya. Among the dead is an Islamic Jihad commander, killed in a strike on his home in Bayt Hanun along with 5 civilians. Palestinians fire 82 rockets and mortar shells into Israel, with 48 rockets striking Israel and 21 intercepted by Iron Dome batteries. There are no injuries directly caused by projectile fire, but there is some damage to property. Rockets land in and around Dimona, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem. M-75 rockets are fired at Tel Aviv, as well as Nevatim military airport, 44 mi. away from Gaza City. Al-Qassam Brigades, al-Quds Brigades, and Ali Abu Mustafa Brigades (PFLP) all claim responsibility for rocket and mortar fire. Al-Qassam Brigades fighters attempt an attack via the sea, emerging close to Kibbutz Zikim for the 2d day in a row. (AFP, AP, HA, JP, MNA, YA, WAFA 7/9; PCHR 7/10)

Israeli PM Netanyahu says that “we have decided to further intensify the attacks on Hamas and the terror organizations in Gaza” and that “Hamas will pay a heavy price for the firing of rockets at Israeli civilians.” Hamas leader Khalid Mish‘al, in a press conference in Doha, Qatar, says that calm can be achieved through “an immediate halt to the aggression and bombings.” He also reiterates that he does not know who carried out the killing of the 3 Israeli settler teenagers in the West Bank. Meanwhile, PA Pres. Abbas accuses Israel of a “genocide” in Gaza and “a war against the Palestinian people as a whole.” He also describes diplomatic efforts at avoiding further hostilities, saying that Palestinian officials are talking to Egypt’s Pres. al-Sisi and UN Secy.-Gen. Ban. Egyptian foreign ministry spokesperson Badr Abdelatty says that “there is no mediation, in the common sense of the word,” but that Cairo is making “diplomatic efforts” aimed “at immediately stopping Israeli aggression and ending all mutual violence.” (AFP, AP, HA, JP, MNA, YA, WAFA 7/9)

Off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. Rafah, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, while separately, Israeli forces fire 2 missiles that land close to the Egypt border fence, causing no injuries. Separately, off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers attack a school in Burim village nr. Nablus. The settlers, along with IDF troops, subsequently clash with Palestinians, leaving 6 villagers injured. Separately, a Molotov cocktail is thrown at a settler’s car in the same area. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Dahaysha r.c. in Bethlehem and Al-‘Ubaydiyya village nr. Bethlehem at night; patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron at night. (MNA 2/20; PCHR 2/27)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry and PA Pres. Abbas meet for a 2d day in Paris. An unnamed State Dept. official characterizes the talks as “constructive.” PA spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudayna tells Palestinian media that there can be no agreement, whether framework or final, that does not include Arab positions based on international resolutions, in a reference to the 2002 Arab League peace initiative. Meanwhile, senior Palestinian official Nabil Shaath says that he held separate, and secret, meetings with diplomats from Italy, Norway, Austria, and the UK, to discuss the ongoing negotiations. (AFP, AP, MNA, REU 2/20)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports that amounts of enriched uranium in Iran’s stockpile have decreased significantly for the 1st time in 4 years, and also confirms that Iran is meeting its commitments under the 6-mo. interim agreement signed in 11/2013. Meanwhile, representatives of Iran and the P5+1 countries end talks with a framework for future negotiations and an agreement to hold their next meeting in Vienna on 3/17. However, little progress is made in this most recent meeting on the question of identifying Iranian concessions to be exchanged for a reduction in sanctions. Separately, the UK and Iran resume diplomatic relations, which were severed in 11/2011 when students ransacked the British embassy in Tehran. Bilateral relations will now be conducted directly “through non-resident charge d’affaires and officials,” according to a UK Foreign Office spokesperson. (AFP, AP, REU 2/20)

Egyptian military forces kill 10 suspected militants in a raid on Shaykh Zuwayd in n. Sinai, a death toll that officials claim includes senior mbrs. of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. (AP 2/20)

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 2 rockets into s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Israeli PM Netanyahu holds Hamas responsible for any attacks launched from the territory. The Israeli military conducts 1 air strike each in Gaza City and nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing some structural damage and wounding 2. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Jenin at night; patrols in Jenin and Hebron in the morning, in Jenin in the afternoon, and in 1 village and al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron and in 1 village nr. Jenin at night. Also, a Jewish settler driving nr. Salfit hits a Palestinian child, seriously injuring him. (AFP, HA, MNA, REU 12/26; PCHR 1/2)

Anonymous Israeli officials tell AFP that the govt. will announce plans for new settlement construction next week, to coincide with the scheduled release of Palestinian prisoners on 12/29. In response, Palestinian chief negotiator Erakat warns against such a step, saying that the Palestinians are ready to seek membership in 63 international organizations, including the International Criminal Court. An anonymous senior EU diplomat tells Israeli television that “there will be very little understanding from the European governments” to any such announcement. (AFP, HA, JP 12/26)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Jenin at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Hebron at night. (PCHR 12/12)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry arrives in the region and holds talks with PA Pres. Abbas in Ramallah to discuss a possible future peace agreement with Israel and the state of the negotiations. A Palestinian negotiator tells the media that Kerry did not present a final proposal and that discussions will continue. Kerry meanwhile affirms that the goal is a “viable Palestinian state.” Kerry also holds talks with Israeli PM Netanyahu, where, in addition to discussing the peace process, the U.S. diplomat offers assurances that core sanctions targeting Iran would remain in place throughout the 6-mo. interim period agreed on in Geneva. (REU, WAFA 12/5)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Jabaliya r.c. and level land close to the border zone, and also open fire on farmers, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops kill 2 Palestinians in separate incidents at checkpoints; 1st, at Za’atra nr. Nablus, where a Palestinian shoots fireworks at soldiers and is shot dead, and 2d, at Container checkpoint nr. Bethlehem where Israeli soldiers say a Palestinian attempted to attack them. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning, in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Tulkam in the afternoon, and in 2 villages and al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron at night. Jewish settlers vandalize Palestinian cars nr. Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces close 2 offices of charities it says are cover for Hamas activities. (JP, MNA 11/7; PCHR 11/14)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry heads to Amman, Jordan, and holds talks with King Abdallah and FM Nasser Judeh, with the king praising the “trust” Kerry has among all sides in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. At a joint press conference with Judeh, Kerry says that Israeli and Palestinians leaders had reaffirmed to him their commitment to negotiations. Later that day, Kerry holds another round of talks with Abbas, in Amman. In media interviews, he also reveals he will return the next day for another meeting with Netanyahu, an unplanned addition to the trip. In an interview broadcast on Israeli television, Kerry warns that without a peace deal, Israel could face a 3d intifada and “increasing isolation” and “delegitimization.” (AFP, AP, REU 11/7)

Swiss scientists say that tests show Yasir Arafat died with high levels of radioactive polonium in his body, but do not say that this was definitively the cause of death. Palestinian officials demand an international investigation into the “killing” of their former leader, according to PLO official Wassel Abu Yousef. (AFP, BBC, REU 11/7)

Diplomats from Iran and the P5+1 group begin talks in Geneva, coordinated by the EU’s Catherine Ashton, in an attempt to work out the details of a deal to end the dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program. (HA, REU 11/7)

An unnamed diplomat says that Jordan will replace Saudi Arabia on the UNSC for a 2-year term, after Riyadh rejects the position out of anger with the body’s inability to take what it deems appropriate action with regard to issues like Syria and Israeli-Palestinian relations. (AP 11/8)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries or damage to the vessels. IDF troops also conduct a limited incursion in land close to the border fence nr. Khan Yunis before withdrawing. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon and in 1 village nr. Hebron at night, and patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon and in al-‘Arub r.c., 1 village nr. Hebron, and in 2 villages nr. Jenin at night. In East Jerusalem, IDF troops clash with residents in Abu Dis after protests against the arrest of a cancer patient. Separately, Israeli police ban 10 Palestinians from attending prayers at al-Aqsa mosque when Jewish extremists plan to visit the compound. Police also arrest Shaykh Raed Salah, leader of the n. Islamic Movement in Israel, on suspicion of incitement. Salah refuses bail conditions that would keep him 30 km away from al-Aqsa for 30 days and remains in jail. (JP, MNA, WAFA 9/3; PCHR 9/5)

Palestinian and Israeli negotiators meet for a 5th round of peace talks in Jerusalem. PA FM Riyad al-Maliki tells the media that Abbas is seeking to arrange a meeting with U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry to express doubts about the nature of the talks and dissatisfaction at U.S. envoy Martin Indyk’s limited participation thus far. Meanwhile, Arab League Secy.-Gen. spokesperson Nassif Hetti tells reporters that an Arab ministerial delegation will meet Kerry in Rome on Sunday to discuss the peace process. (AFP, JP, MNA 9/3)

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Cmte. reaches an agreement on a draft authorization for the use of military force against the Syrian govt., with conditions narrower than those requested by Pres. Obama. The draft sets a 60-day time limit on any U.S. action with a conditional single 30-day extension possible. There is also a provision banning the use of ground forces. Speaking to the cmte., Defense Secy. Chuck Hagel says that the pres.’s national security team is now convinced that taking military action against the Asad regime targets would be the right course of action. Hagel also reveals that Obama approved plans in 1/2013 to give lethal aid to Syrian rebels, the 1st time such a decision has been made public. Meanwhile, pro-Israel Jewish community groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Cmte. (AIPAC) and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations back the administration’s call for a strike on Syria, following a conference call with Obama’s security advisers. In another development, UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon affirms that the use of force is only legal as self-defense or with UNSC authorization. (AP, Guardian, JTA, REU, WP 9/3)

An Egyptian military court in Suez hands down sentences ranging from 5 years to life to around 50 Muslim Brotherhood mbrs. convicted of violence against the army, in relation to the events of 8/14 (when security forces massacred anti-coup protesters in Cairo). Meanwhile, Egyptian helicopter gunships kill 8 suspected militants and wound 15 others in air strikes in the Sinai Peninsula nr. the Rafah border with the Gaza Strip. (AFP, AP, REU, NYT 9/3)

In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian with live ammunition during clashes prompted by soldiers raiding the village of Jaba‘ nr Jenin. There are also clashes but no injuries during an IDF raid of Jenin r.c. The IDF conducts additional house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 1 nearby village, Qalqilya and Jenin in the afternoon, and in Nablus at night, patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon, and in 1 village each nr. Qalqilya and Tulkarm at night. The IDF also demolishes 11 residential tents home to more than 50 Bedouin Palestinians in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Bayt Hanina. (MNA, WAFA 8/19; PCHR 8/22)

Pres. Mahmud Abbas meets with U.S. peace process envoy Martin Indyk in Ramallah to discuss the latest developments. (WAFA 8/19)

An Egyptian court orders the release of former pres. Husni Mubarak after he was cleared by a prosecutor in a corruption case. However, there is an outstanding retrial on charges of complicity in the murder of protesters during the 2011 revolution that deposed him. Meanwhile, Egyptian security forces arrest Muslim Brotherhood head Mohamed Badie, who was charged in 7/2013 with inciting the murder of protesters. UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon calls for the release of Pres. Morsi and says that“the political space for the Muslim Brotherhood should be expanded.” (NYT, REU 8/19)

Unnamed diplomats accredited to the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) say that Iran seems to be continuing to convert quantities of uranium gas into reactor fuel, thus holding back growth of the stockpile deemed most sensitive by the international community. (REU 9/18)

IDF troops manning a watchtower nr. Tulkarm shoot and seriously injure a Palestinian teenager. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jericho in the morning and in 1 village nr. Jenin at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 4 villages nr. Hebron, 2 nr. Jenin, and 1 each nr. Salfit and Tulkarm. (MNA 3/14; PCHR 3/21)

In an interview with Israeli television, U.S. Pres. Barack Obama says that Israel can no longer rely on a ‘‘a few [Arab] autocrats’’ to maintain regional stability and security, and that the Jewish state has ‘‘an interest in being able to speak to the Arab street.’’ Meanwhile, White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes confirms that Obama will not introduce a new peace initiative during his Middle East visit next week. In a meeting in Moscow with Russian pres. Vladimir Putin, Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas says he hopes that peace talks would resume later this year, though the chances remain slim. (AP, Guardian, REU 3/14)

The Palestinian Central Election Commission announces that the 36 West Bank municipalities where voting was postponed from the original 10/20/12 and 11/24/12 elections (see QU 166 and QU 167) due to court decisions, resignation of council members, and other factors will hold local elections on 6/1. (MNA 3/14)

The International Monetary Fund warns that the PA’s fiscal situation is ‘‘increasingly precarious’’ and urges action from donors to help reduce the significant budget deficit. The IMF projects a financing gap of about $400 million for 2013 and notes that unemployment increased to almost a quarter of the labor force by the end of 2012. (AFP, REU 3/14)

U.S. Pres. Barack Obama tells Israeli media that Washington considers a nuclear Iran to be a ‘‘red line’’ with all options on the table to stop it. Obama says that U.S. intelligence believes that it would take over a year for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. (AP 3/14; HA 3/15)

An anonymous Western diplomat says that following the recent detention (3/6) and release (3/9) of 21 UN observers by Syrian rebels, the UNDOF has stopped conducting patrols. (AP, REU 3/14)

PA Pres. Mahmud Abbas meets with U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry in Saudi Arabia to discuss regional developments, the first such meeting between the two men since Kerry replaced Hillary Clinton. Abbas requests Washington pressure Israel to adopt a settlement construction freeze and release Palestinian prisoners as a condition for the resumption of peace talks. Kerry’s regional tour does not include a visit to Israel or the o.t. this time. (JP 3/4)

Hamas keeps the Kerem Shalom crossing closed reportedly due to a dispute over the collection of customs revenue with the Palestinian company operating the terminal. Israel shut the crossing on 2/26 after a rocket was fired out of the Gaza Strip into southern Israel. (MNA 3/4)

IDF forces make a brief incursion into Gaza to level land and clear lines of sight along the border fence nr. Juhr al-Dik. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron in the afternoon (where there are clashes, but no injuries. At night, the IDF conduct house searches and arrest raids in 3 villages nr. Hebron and 2 villages each nr. Nablus and Qalqilya. (PCHR 3/6)

U.S. VP Joe Biden tells the American Israel Public Affairs Cmte. (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington that sanctions and diplomacy must be exhausted before the U.S. would consider using force to attack Iran’s nuclear program. (AP, REU 3/4)

A report by the European Union’s consuls general in East Jerusalem and Ramallah is leaked, revealing that the diplomats have urged the EU to implement economic sanctions against Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The recommendations include that the EU ‘‘prevent, discourage and raise awareness’’ of direct investments by European companies in settlements. A previous leaked report (see JPS 163) had warned that Israeli settlement activities were ‘‘closing the window’’ on the 2-state solution, and encouraged the EU to look at ways of stopping ‘‘financial transactions in support of settlement activity.’’ (AP, HA 2/27)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Tulkarm and 1 village nr. Hebron at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. (PCHR 2/28)

The Israeli military reports that an errant mortar fired from inside Syria has landed in the occupied Golan Heights, causing no casualties. (AP, NYT 2/27)

At talks in Kazakhstan, Iran’s top official Saeed Jalili praises an offer of international concessions that would both allow Tehran to keep a limited amount of highly enriched uranium and also lead to the removal of some trade sanctions. Meanwhile, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says Iran should be threatened with intensified sanctions and military measures—while in Washington, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce introduces a bipartisan bill to move the U.S. to work with the European Union in cutting Iran’s access to the euro. (AP, REU 2/27)

Britain, Denmark, France, Spain, and Sweden summon the Israeli ambassadors to their countries to protest Israel’s settlement construction plans. An anonymous senior European diplomat tells the Israeli newspaper Ha’Aretz that Britain and France see E1 development as a ‘‘red line’’ and feel Israel is acting ungratefully after the support it received during Operation Pillar of Defense. Former U.S. amb. to Israel Dan Kurtzer tells Ha’Aretz that the Obama admin. is angry over an Israeli official’s suggestion in a recent briefing that Israel generated the E1 plan in anticipation that Obama would refuse to reaffirm Bush’s 2004 letter to Sharon (which Israel views as U.S. approval of Israeli settlement expansion in areas it intends to keep under final status; see the Quarterly Update in JPS 132), when he entered office in 1/2009, as indeed occurred. Meanwhile, a source in the Israeli PM’s Office says there will be no retraction of the E1 construction plan. (HA, NYT, YA 12/3)

The dep. mayor of Jerusalem reveals that the municipality is expected to give final approval to a new settlement in occupied East Jerusalem called Givat Hamatos, the 1st of its kind since Har Homa in 1997. Located between Talpiot and Bayt Safafa, the new settlement will be on the agenda of the planning comm. on 12/19. In addition, Jewish settlers occupy a 5-story building in the Har Homa/Jabal Mukabir neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem that had previously been sold to a settler organization. (HA, JP 12/3)

Twelve Fatah mbrs. return to the Gaza Strip after fleeing in the 2007 conflict with Hamas. Returning Fatah mbr. Mahmoud Musleh says that around 450 Fatah mbrs. who fled to countries across the region, as well as to the West Bank, will return once procedures are complete. (MNA 12/3)

PM Ismail Haniyeh appeals to Arab states to help pay for reconstruction of the Gaza Strip following damage inflicted during Operation Pillar of Defense, estimated at $250–545 m. (REU 12/3)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF shoots a Palestinian child nr. al-Bureij r.c. close to the border fence, causing minor injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF kills a Palestinian civilian when a military jeep hits a car traveling on the Nablus– Ramallah road. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in Jericho and 1 nearby village, 3 villages nr. Ramallah, and 2 villages nr. Jenin later in the day; conducts night-time house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Tulkarm, and in Nablus and Balata r.c. (MNA 12/3; PCHR 12/6)

UN secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon accuses the Syrian government of serious violations of the 1974 agreement separating Israeli and Syrian forces in the Golan Heights. In a UNSC report, Ban expresses concern about recent incidents across the cease-fire line, and recommends a 6-mo. extension of the UN peacekeeping force in the Golan Heights. (AP 12/3)

Fatah PA pres. Abbas and Hamas leader Mishal end 2 days of talks in Qatar on forming by Fatah-Hamas consensus a transitional government of independent technocrats with a limited mandate to take the Palestinians to new presidential and parliamentary elections and to lead reconstruction of Gaza, as agreed under the 5/2011 national unity deal. To overcome international concerns about Hamas’s participation and differences between Fatah and Hamas regarding who should serve as PM (Hamas strongly opposed current PA PM Salam al-Fayyad), the sides agree that Abbas would lead the transitional government, serving as both pres. and PM. They stress that the new government “will be a technical one more than a political one” and that diplomacy will rest with the PLO. A meeting of all Palestinian factions is set for 2/18 to endorse the plan. Israeli PM Netanyahu immediately denounces Abbas for “joining forces with the enemies of peace.” The EU and U.S. say they look forward to continuing their support of the PA, provided the new government is committed to the Quartet principles of nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and adherence to existing peace agreements. (NYT, WP 2/6; AP, NYT, WP 2/7; see also MNA 2/5)

Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In response, Israeli warplanes make late-night air strikes on open areas nr. the Gaza border n. of Bayt Hanun, causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 nr. Salfit; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Tulkarm and nr. Jenin and Nablus. Just outside East Jerusalem nr. al-Tur, Israeli border police and an undercover unit bulldoze 20 d. of Palestinian land, demolishing 2 walls, 3 natural caves, and a water network supplying several Palestinian homes. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba settlement in Hebron escorted by IDF troops begin planting trees on 150 d. of nearby Palestinian agricultural land that the IDF previously declared a closed military zone. (PCHR 2/9; OCHA 2/10)

The Israeli navy fires on a Palestinian fishing boat off the Rafah coast, arrests 3 fishermen. IDF troops on the central Gaza border fire on 3 unarmed Palestinians attempting to sneak into Israel to find work, killing 1 Palestinian, wounding and arresting 2; sends bulldozers, tanks 150 m into Gaza e. of Dayr al-Balah to level, excavate land. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes a Palestinian barn killing animals inside, an irrigation system, and heavily damages 3 greenhouses nr. Nablus; conducts arrest raids, house searches in ‘Azun, Bayt Fajjar. Jewish settlers fr. Ma’ale Adumim severely beat a 16-yr.-old Palestinian. Some 40 masked Palestinian gunmen raid a vacant beach resort at a fmr. Israeli settlement site in Gaza owned by Fatah strongman Dahlan, overpowering the few Palestinian security guards watching the site, blowing up a reception hall, stating, without being specific, that they are sending Dahlan a message; no one is injured. ESF, Fatah mbrs. exchange fire outside the Bayt Hanun hospital, causing no injuries. In Gaza City, gunfire erupts btwn. guards outside the Palestinian Electricity Company offices and some 50 Palestinians demonstrating against recent power outages, leaving 1 Palestinian wounded. In Nablus, AMB mbrs. temporarily detain a French diplomat and his 2 body guards, set fire to their car initially suspecting them of being an IDF undercover unit. (OCHA, WT 1/24; PCHR 1/25)

The IDF launches an air strike on a PA municipal building nr. Khan Yunis, causing heavy damage; conducts mock air raids over Gaza; patrols in al-Khadir, firing on stonethrowing youths who confront the troops; conducts arrest raids, house searches in al-Arub r.c., nr. Bethlehem and Jenin; dismantles an unauthorized settlement outpost nr. Hebron. The AMB, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the PRCs confirm that their unilateral truce is over. Palestinians fire 3 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF also announces that around 3 wks. ago, the AMB fired a crude rocket fr. the n. West Bank towards, but not into, Israel, causing no damage or injuries, marking the 1st confirmed rocket fire fr. the West Bank. Jewish settlers attempt to bar Palestinian farmers fr. working their land nr. Qalqilya, but the IDF intervenes. In Khan Yunis, armed AMB mbrs. ambush a minibus of EU diplomats, kidnap 1 Italian official; PA security forces quickly identify and raid the kidnappers’ hideout, free the diplomat in an exchange of fire; no injuries are reported. Armed Palestinians storm a UN social club in Gaza (the last public bar in Gaza, open only to foreigners) after closing, throwing 2 explosives, injuring a security guard. (HA, XIN, YA 1/1; HA, IMEMC, NYT, WP, WT 1/2; PCHR 1/5; NYT 1/31)

Unidentified Palestinians detonate a roadside bomb outside Erez crossing as a U.S. emb. convoy (carrying the cultural attache, en route to interview Fulbright scholarship candidates) passes, destroying 1 of 4 armored cars, killing 3 U.S. security officers, wounding 1 U.S. diplomat; the convoy passes along a route and at a time a CIA detail involved in monitoring road map progress usually passes through the area, despite mos. of warnings fr. the PA of the dangers of routine movements, conspicuous bodyguards. AMB, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Resistance Comms. (PRC) deny responsibility, though a phone call to the press claims the attack on the PRCs’ behalf. After this 1st successful targeted attack against Americans by Palestinians, the U.S. for the 1st time discloses that in 6/03 a roadside bomb went off nr. a CIA vehicle in Gaza, causing damage but no injuries. Palestinians also detonate a smaller roadside bomb nr. an IDF convoy in Gaza, injuring 3 IDF soldiers. The IDF sends troops back into Brazil r.c., fatally shooting 1 Palestinian, searching and occupying homes, bulldozing land, demolishing a number of houses, shelling residential areas; arrests a Palestinian woman who attempts to stab a soldier at a Tulkarm checkpoint; conducts arrest raids in Bethlehem; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, Tulkarm; imposes a curfew on Nablus, escorts 100s of ultra-Orthodox Jews on a pilgrimage to Joseph’s Tomb. Israel orders another 3 West Bank Palestinian administrative detainees expelled to Gaza (see 10/14). An Israeli Arab dies of injuries received in the 10/4 Haifa bombing, bringing that toll to 21. (BBC, HA, MM, PR, PRCS 10/15; XIN 10/15, al-Ra’i 10/16 in WNC 10/18; AP, HA, MM, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 10/16; MM, WP 10/17; AYM 10/18 in WNC 10/25; PR 10/22; WJW 10/23; JPI, MEI 10/24; JPI 10/31)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes diminish. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) detonates a car bomb in West Jerusalem, causing no injuries. (NYT, WP, WT 5/27; MM 5/29; MEI 6/1)

The Organization of the Islamic Conference calls on members to suspend diplomatic relations with Israel until it lifts the siege on Palestinian areas. (ATL, IRNA 5/26, IRNA, MENA 5/27 in WNC 5/29; IRNA 5/26, SA 5/28 in WNC 5/30; WP, WT 5/27; HJ 5/27 in WNC 6/1)

Ending a diplomatic row with Qatar, the PA agrees to let Palestinian Banker Abu Issa return to Doha and to appoint an international auditing firm to arbitrate its dispute with PIB. Qatar agrees to send its emissary back to Gaza. (JT [Internet] 1/3) (see 12/28)

In Jerusalem, U.S. spedal envoy Dennis Ross meets with Israeli FM David Levy to discuss progress on final status talks. Although they discuss differences btwn. Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) delaying the 2d stage of the 2d further redeployment (FRD) outlined in Wye II, Ross says the problem should be worked out btwn. the 2 sides. Later in the day, Ross meets with PA head Yasir Arafat (MM 11/16; WP 11/17; MEI 11/26)

In Amman, the PA-Jordanian joint Technical Comm. ends a 2-day mtg. on bilateral trade and economic ties. (al-Quds 11/16 in WNC 11/22)

Algeria says it will agree to establish diplomatic relations with Israel as soon as it withdraws fr. the Golan Heights, s. Lebanon, the occupied territories. (ANSA (Rome] 11/16; MM 11/19)

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) expels 300 Palestinians fr. the caves in which they reside nr. Yatta on the West Bank, after declaring the area a closed military zone. (Gush Shalom press release 1/25; NYT 2/22)

IDF troops clash with Islamic Jihad mbrs. in s. Lebanon, killing 2 mbrs. On 11/15, Lebanese PM Salim al-Huss warned Palestinian groups that it is not in Lebanon's interest for them to stage attacks on Israeli targets in or fr. Lebanese territory. (APP 11/16 in WNC 11/21; al-Quds, al-safir 11/16 in WNC 11/22; RL 11/19 in WNC 11/23)

In Cairo, Egypt, Saudi Arabia close 2 days of higher comm. mtgs., agree to reduce barriers to bilateral trade. (MENA 11/16 in WNC 11/21) 

Israel opens Shuhada Street, which runs along the border of a Jewish settlement in Hebron, to Palestinian taxis. According to Wye II, the route should have been opened to all traffic by yesterday. (WP 11/1)

Israel blames a computer problem for the apparent "disappearance" of 17 Palestinians using the safe-passage corridor, who were recorded entering the route but not leaving. (AFP 10/31 in WNC 11/2)

Mauritania recalls its amb. to Iraq and bans the pro-Iraqi Ba`thist party in Mauritania, al-Tali'a, after Baghdad criticizes Nouakchott for establishing diplomatic relations with Israel, threatens retaliation. (AFP 10/31 in WNC 11/2; AFP 11/1 in WNC 11/3; AFP 11/3 in WNC 11/4; NYT 11/4; AFP 11/4 in WNC 11/5; MEI 11/12)

In New York, Secy. Albright meets with PM Netanyahu, Arafat, Egyptian FM Musa, Lebanese PM Hariri. Arafat, Musa also meet. (MENA, RL 9/26, MENA 9/27 in WNC 9/29; WT 9/28; MEI 10/2)

Turkey upgrades its diplomatic relations with Iraq to the ambassadorial level in response to a U.S.-backed agmt. btwn. the KDP, PUK (see 9/17), which it fears will encourage Kurdish separatists in Turkey. (ATL 9/26 in WNC 9/29; NYT, WT 9/27; MM 10/1; MIL 10/3 in WNC 10/14 MM 10/9)

In Maryland, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah meets with executives fr. 7 U.S. oil companies to discuss allowing them back into the kingdom for the 1st time since the Saudi oil industry was nationalized in 1973. (WP 9/30; MEI 10/2)

Iran resumes maneuvers on the border with Afghanistan. (WP, WT 9/27) (see 9/16)

Russian FM Primakov arrives in Amman for 3-day visit, meets with Jordanian FM Tarawnah, then leaves for unscheduled visit to Syria. (ITAR-TASS [Moscow], SANA 10/27, MBC, RMC 10/28 in WNC 10/29; WT 10/28; MM 10/29; RL 10/29 in WNC 10/30; MEI 11/7; JP 11/8)

PM Netanyahu gives address to opening of the Knesset's winter session, which is interrupted frequently by hecklers; calls for peace with Arabs based on firm security, self-defense; vows to prevent creation of Palestinian state or return of Golan and to build more settlements. Labor Chmn. Barak gives speech, urging Netanyahu's resignation. (ITV 10/27 in WNC 10/29; MM, NYT, WT 10/28; WJW 10/30)

Yemen announces plans to send low-level delegation to Doha economic summit; says it delegation will attend only to visit "a sisterly country . . . , not to hold talks with the Israeli government." (JTV 10/27 in WNC 10/29)

Israel warns Holland that it may expel diplomat Ferdinand Schmidt if he does not stop criticizing Israel in the media. (IDF Radio 10/28 in WNC 10/29)

In Beirut, 2 bombs, one at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and one at a newly completed bus station, explode, causing no injuries. The bombing at AUB, which occured just hrs. after a reception for AUB's new pres., marks the 1st attack on a foreign institution in Lebanon in 4 yrs. (NYT 10/28; MBC, RL, RMC, VOL 10/28 in WNC 10/29; MM 10/29; RL  10/29 in WNC 10/30; al-Quds al-`Arabi 10/29, RL 10/30 in WNC 11/3; WP 10/30)

Jerusalem Post reports that Iran, Israel are holding contacts to resolve military tensions, settle Israels $1 b. debt to Iran, encourage commercial contacts. Israeli officials say Khatami's election as Iran's new pres. has spurred hopes of improving ties. A Russian diplomat confirms that Moscow has offered to mediate. (JP 9/20)

FBI begins investigating whether a "senior U.S. government official" has been passing highly sensitive information to Israel. U.S. officials say that in 1/97, the National Security Agency intercepted a transmission btwn. 2 Israeli intelligence officers in Washington and Tel Aviv, discussing a request by Israeli Amb. to the U.S. Eliahu Ben-Elissar to activate a alleged mole code-named Mega to obtain the secret letter of assurances fr. fmr. Secy. of State Christopher to Arafat, which was attached to the Hebron protocol and has never been made public. The transmission suggests that Mega has provide information to Israel in the past. Israel denies spying. (WP 5/7; NYT, WP 5/8; MM 5/8; IDF Radio, ITV, YA 5/8 in WNC 5/9; MM, WP, WT 5/9; SANA 5/12 in WNC 5/13; MEI 5/16; JP 5/17)

Arafat, Israeli pres. Weizman meet in advance of U.S. special envoy Ross's arrival 5/8. (MM, WT 5/6; ITV 5/6 in WNC 5/7; CSM, MM, NYT, WP 5/7; AFP, YA 5/7 in WNC 5/8; WJW 5/8; JP 5/10; MM 5/12)

After Arafat-Weizman mtg., an Israeli-PA-U.S. security mtg. is held to discuss resuming coordination. (MM 5/7; ITV 5/7 in WNC 5/8)

Egyptian pres. Mubarak accepts Iran's invitation to attend the 12/97 OIC mtg. in Tehran but says that Egypt is not considering resuming diplomatic relations with Iran (severed after Egypt signed its peace treaty with Israel in 1979). (WT 5/7)

Iran's FM Velayati arrives in Beirut for mtg. with FM Buwayz. (VOL 5/6 in WNC 5/7; IRNA 5/7 in WNC 5/8)

Israeli police forcibly evacuate 30 Jewish settlers fr. a shack they had set up nr. Nablus in an attempt to expand Yitzhar settlement. (MM, NYT 5/7; IDF Radio 5/7 in WNC 5/8; PR 5/16)

IDF demolishes 2 Palestinian homes in Jerusalem, Ramallah for being constructed without a permit. (LAW 5/6; PR 5/16) (see 5/5)

A bomb explosion in s. Lebanon blamed on Israel kills 2 civilians, injures 2. A 2d bomb at the same site is dismantled. In a separate incident, Israeli planes attack suspected Hizballah targets in the Biqa` Valley, injuring 1 civilian. (RL, VOL 5/6 in WNC 5/7; WP 5/7)