651 / 15237 Results
  • July 22, 2014

    The IDF continues its assault on the Gaza Strip, killing 61 Palestinians. Local officials say targets struck include 5 mosques and a soccer stadium, in addition to other Palestinian infrastructure...

    Read more
  • July 21, 2014

    The IDF continues its attacks on the Gaza Strip from land, sea and air, killing 78 Palestinians, including 25 people from a single family nr. the border with Egypt and 10 who die in Khan Yunis...

    Read more
  • July 20, 2014

    The IDF continues its assault on the Gaza Strip by air and sea, and intensifies its ground offensive, especially in the Shuja‘iya neighborhood in e. Gaza City, killing 149 Palestinians....

    Read more
  • July 18, 2014

    The IDF continues its ground invasion, as well as air strikes in the Gaza Strip, killing 53 Palestinians, including 8 mbrs. of a single family killed in Bayt Hanun. IDF troops face resistance on...

    Read more
  • July 16, 2014

    The IDF strikes over 50 targets across the Gaza Strip, including the Interior Ministry building and a hospital, killing 23 Palestinians. Among these are 4 children, who are killed when IDF troops...

    Read more
  • July 15, 2014

    IDF strikes in the Gaza Strip continue, except in the hours following the govt.’s acceptance of the Egyptian cease-fire, killing 13 Palestinians. The IDF warns 100,000 residents of the al-Zaytun...

    Read more
  • July 12, 2014

    On the 5th day of OPE, the IDF strikes multiple targets across the Gaza Strip, killing approximately 48 Palestinians, including 21 in a single strike on the home of a senior police commander in...

    Read more
  • 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....

    Read more
  • July 8, 2014

    The IDF launches OPE, a major assault on the Gaza Strip. Israeli air strikes hit 150 targets across Gaza, killing 23 Palestinians and wounding more than 100. One attack in Khan Yunis kills 8 mbrs...

    Read more
  • June 17, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, the IDF launches 6 air strikes, destroying a blacksmith workshop and causing damage to vacant training sites belong to various armed groups. There are no injuries. In the West...

    Read more
  • January 28, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion nr. Khan Yunis and level land. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Nablus and 1...

    Read more
  • January 11, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces open fire on Palestinians close to the border fence nr. Dayr al-Balah, wounding 1. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian...

    Read more
  • November 17, 2013

    Off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. al-Waha, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries, but temporarily detaining 2. In the West Bank, the IDF...

    Read more
  • April 22, 2013

    Palestinian prisoner and administrative detainee Samer al-Issawi agrees to end his hunger strike—which has lasted for more than 8 months and inspired widespread Palestinian protest in solidarity—...

    Read more
  • March 30, 2013

    Palestinians commemorating Land Day clash with IDF forces across the West Bank, including in Bayt Ummar nr. Hebron, Jayyous nr. Qalqilya, al-Khader nr. Bethlehem, at the main Bethlehem checkpoint...

    Read more
  • February 13, 2013

    A district court nr. Tel Aviv publishes an officially sanctioned text regarding ‘‘Prisoner X,’’ now known to be Australian-Israeli citizen Ben Zygier (see 2/12), saying that the man was imprisoned...

    Read more
  • February 10, 2013

    British newspaper the Sunday Times reports that U.S. pres. Obama plans during his visit to the region in 3/2013 to offer to increase U.S. pressure on Iran in exchange for Israeli PM Netanyahu...

    Read more
  • November 22, 2012

    Israeli leaders defend the 11/21 Gaza cease-fire in the face of strong criticism from politicians like Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid and Kadima’s Shaul Mofaz, who believe that the operation had not...

    Read more
  • November 21, 2012

    A Gaza cease-fire comes into effect at 9 P.M. local time, officially bringing an end to Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense after 8 days of attacks, which saw the IDF hit around 1,500 targets and...

    Read more
  • October 16, 2012

    PA pres. Mahmud Abbas sends a letter to U.S. pres. Barack Obama to inform him that if the UN bid is successful, he intends to resume negotiations with Israel. (AFP, HA, REU 10/16)

    Qatar...

    Read more
  • July 14, 2012

    The IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in 2 villages nr. Salfit (synchronized), in Jericho and 1 nearby village (synchronized), and 1 village each nr. Bethlehem, Jenin, Qalqilya...

    Read more
  • May 30, 2012

    Israeli naval vessels halt and seize 2 Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, detaining 4 fishermen. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night patrols in al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron and...

    Read more
  • May 24, 2012

    The IDF issues a military order confiscating 29 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of Palestinian land in Dayr Istya village nr. Salfit for ‘‘security and military purposes and to combat terrorist attacks...

    Read more
  • May 6, 2012

    At the annual Likud party convention in Tel Aviv, Israeli PM Netanyahu expresses support for holding early elections in 9/2012, stating that waiting until scheduled elections in 10/2013 could “...

    Read more
  • February 5, 2012

    The IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning, 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 nr. Ramallah in the evening; raids, searches, and photographs shops in the Jenin industrial zone; conducts...

    Read more
  • December 7, 2011

    Overnight, Jewish settlers set fire to the entrance of a mosque, a car, and a construction vehicle in Burqin village nr. Salfit, moderately damaging the mosque and destroying the 2 vehicles. IDF...

    Read more
  • October 27, 2011

    Israel frees 25 Egyptian prisoners at the Taba border crossing with Egypt. Hrs. later, Egypt flies Grapel to BenGurion Airport in Tel Aviv. Grapel is expected to return home to the U.S. on 10/28...

    Read more
  • September 3, 2011

    U.S. admin. sources say Pres. Barack Obama’s admin. has “launched a last-ditch diplomatic campaign” to convince the Palestinians to abandon their statehood initiative at the UN by making it clear...

    Read more
  • August 29, 2011

    A 21-yr.-old Palestinian fr. Nablus enters Israel, steals a taxi in Tel Aviv, and drives it into a police checkpoint outside a popular nightclub, then stabs several bystanders before being subdued...

    Read more
  • July 30, 2011

    Unidentified assailants attack and damage Egypt’s national gas pipeline to Israel for the 3d time in a month and the 5th time since unrest in Egypt erupted in 2/2011 (see 7/11). IDF troops on the...

    Read more

The IDF continues its assault on the Gaza Strip, killing 61 Palestinians. Local officials say targets struck include 5 mosques and a soccer stadium, in addition to other Palestinian infrastructure and multiple tunnels. Prolonged Israeli shelling of Khan Yunis kills at least 6 and wounds more than 20. Also, the IDF strikes a UNRWA-run school in c. Gaza. Palestinian fighters kill 2 Israeli soldiers overnight and fire approximately 67 rockets and mortar shells into Israel, with 18 projectiles intercepted by Iron Dome batteries. In the West Bank, an Israeli citizen shoots and kills a Palestinian man between al-Ram and Hizma checkpoint n. of Jerusalem, reportedly after the Palestinian man threw stones at the Israeli’s car. IDF troops shoot and injure 5 Palestinians in ‘Askar r.c. nr. Nablus, during clashes in an arrest raid. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus and 2 villages nr. Ramallah at night. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces clash with Palestinians in at-Tur, Shu‘fat r.c., and Issawiyya, causing no serious injuries. (AFP, AP, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/22; PCHR 7/23)

After 1 rocket lands nr. Ben Gurion Airport, the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) bans flights to and from Israel for at least 24 hours, and the European Aviation Safety Agency advises all carriers to avoid Tel Aviv “until further notice.” Israel’s Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, in a statement, says “there is no need for U.S. carriers to suspend flights and reward terrorism.” U.S. Secy. of State Kerry and PM Netanyahu later discuss the FAA ban on a phone call. (AFP, AP, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/22)

At a monthly meeting of the EU Council, the 28 EU FMs issue a statement that “strongly condemns the indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel by Hamas and militant groups in the Gaza Strip” and also “condemns calls on the civilian population of Gaza to provide themselves as human shields.” Meanwhile, Secy. of State Kerry meets with Egypt’s Pres. al-Sisi in Cairo to discuss Gaza, and afterward, affirms that “there is a framework available to end the violence, and that framework was the Egyptian initiative.” Senior Fatah official al-Ahmad flies in to Cairo to also meet with Kerry. In Israel, UN Secy.-Gen. Ban meets with PM Netanyahu and at a Tel Aviv press conference, Ban condemns the rocket attacks, while the Israeli leader accuses Hamas of committing a “double war crime” of targeting Israeli civilians while using Palestinian civilians as human shields. (AFP, AP, HA, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/22)

The IDF continues its attacks on the Gaza Strip from land, sea and air, killing 78 Palestinians, including 25 people from a single family nr. the border with Egypt and 10 who die in Khan Yunis after shells hit their home repeatedly as they try to flee. An air strike on a tower in c. Gaza City kills 11, including 5 children. IDF troops shell al-Aqsa Hospital in c. Gaza, killing 4 and wounding 70. Palestinian fighters kill 9 Israeli soldiers during the fighting on the ground. Al-Qassam Brigades target Haifa, Tel Aviv, and Ashdod with rocket fire, with over 50 rockets fired into Israel, causing no injuries. In an al-Qassam Brigades operation, 12 Palestinian fighters enter Israel by a tunnel nr. Bayt Hanun and attack an IDF site, killing 4 and destroying a jeep with an RPG shell. Ten of the Palestinian fighters are killed in the operation and the other 2 return through the tunnel. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron, 1 nearby village and al-Fawar r.c., and 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Jericho and 1 village each nr. Hebron and Ramallah during the day. (AFP, AP, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/21; PCHR 7/22)

Speaking in a televised address, former Hamas PM Haniyeh says that “Gaza has decided to end the blockade by its blood and its heroism,” adding, “We cannot go back to the silent death” of the siege. Israeli DM Ya’alon tells a parliamentary comm. that the operation will continue “as long as necessary until the completion of the task.” However, Ya’alon mentions that the Israeli govt. would welcome the PA unity govt. exercising authority in Gaza, in an apparent reversal of policy. In Doha, Hamas leader Mish‘al meets with Pres. Abbas for the 1st time since the war began. PA spokesperson Abu Rudayna reiterates the PA leadership’s call for an immediate cease-fire as a way of realizing “the national goals of the Palestinian people.” In Cairo, UN Secy.-Gen. Ban holds talks with Egyptian FM Shoukri aimed at pressing for an immediate truce. Secy. of State Kerry also arrives in Cairo to facilitate the cease-fire talks. Kerry announces that the U.S. will send $47 m. in humanitarian aid to Gaza. Meanwhile, the IDF requests access to the U.S. War Reserves Stockpile based in Israel to resupply its munitions. (AFP, AP, HA, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/21)

The IDF continues its assault on the Gaza Strip by air and sea, and intensifies its ground offensive, especially in the Shuja‘iya neighborhood in e. Gaza City, killing 149 Palestinians. Palestinian fighters kill 13 Israeli soldiers and injure 53 others. In the West Bank, IDF troops open fire on Palestinians gathered to demonstrate in Hebron, Ramallah, and the surrounding areas, injuring dozens in Hebron, Qalandia, and Jalazun r.c. The rallies are celebrating the reported capture by Palestinians in Gaza of a live Israeli soldier. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Jenin in the morning, and in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Ramallah at night; patrols in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Jenin during the day. (AFP, AP, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/20; PCHR 7/21)

In Tel Aviv, PM Netanyahu says that the IDF is carrying out “complex, deep, intensive activity” in the Gaza Strip, for which there is “very strong support within the international community.” At the same press conference, DM Ya’alon says that in his “assessment,” the “lion’s share of the tunnels” will be destroyed “in another 2 or 3 days.” In the evening, the UNSC holds an emergency meeting, at the request of Jordan’s reps., and expresses “serious concern about the growing number of casualties.” Mbrs. call “for an immediate cessation of hostilities.” In Doha, UN Secy.-Gen. Ban meets with Qatari emir Shaykh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and PA Pres. Abbas. While there, Ban condemns what he calls the “atrocious action” of the IDF in killing “dozens more civilians.” Hamas leader Mish‘al visits Kuwait for talks with the emir, whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the Arab League. The latter issues a statement describing Israel’s attacks on al-Shuja‘iya as a “war crime.” (AFP, AP, HA, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/20)

The IDF continues its ground invasion, as well as air strikes in the Gaza Strip, killing 53 Palestinians, including 8 mbrs. of a single family killed in Bayt Hanun. IDF troops face resistance on the ground, in particular from fighters in al-Qassam Brigades and al-Quds Brigades, with both groups claiming attacks on IDF soldiers and positions inside the Gaza Strip. Palestinians fire more than 40 rockets into Israel, and Iron Dome batteries intercept several over Tel Aviv while 25 land in open areas, with no reports of casualties. In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure dozens of Palestinians in a number of protests in solidarity with Gaza, including at Qalandia checkpoint, outside Ofer prison, in Biddu village nr. Jerusalem, and in Shuqba village nr. Ramallah. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron at night; patrols in 3 villages each nr. Jericho and Ramallah, and 1 village nr. Salfit in the afternoon. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at weekly demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and occupation in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Nabi Salih, and Ni‘lin). There are no serious injuries, except in Nabi Salih, where 1 is hit by a bullet, and Ni‘lin, where another is hit by a bullet. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces clash with Palestinians at Haram al-Sharif, 9 are taken to the hospital, including at least 4 injured by rubber-coated metal bullets. (AP, HA, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/18; PCHR 7/19)

The Israeli security cabinet meets to discuss expansion of the ground operation, with Netanyahu saying that “since there is no way to deal with the tunnels only from the air, our soldiers are doing it now from the ground.” Meanwhile, Pres. Abbas asks France to lobby Hamas’s regional allies Turkey and Qatar to pressure the Palestinian group to accept a ceasefire. French FM Fabius meets Abbas in Cairo after flying out specifically to boost efforts at reaching a cease-fire. Abbas then heads to Turkey for talks with PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan. U.S. Pres. Obama, meanwhile, speaks with PM Netanyahu, underscoring Israel’s right to defend itself, but also stressing the risks of “further escalation.” In New York, the UNSC holds an emergency meeting at the request of Jordan, where it is announced that Secy.-Gen. Ban will head to the region the next day. Separately, EU foreign affairs chief Ashton publishes a statement, saying she is “very concerned” about the violence, “including the resumption of rocket fire into Israel and the Israeli ground operation.” (AP, HA, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/18)

After concluding a 6th round of talks since the beginning of the 6-mo. interim period began on 1/20, reps. of Iran and the P5+1 powers agree to extend talks on Iran’s disputed nuclear program until 11/24. (REU 7/18)

The IDF strikes over 50 targets across the Gaza Strip, including the Interior Ministry building and a hospital, killing 23 Palestinians. Among these are 4 children, who are killed when IDF troops shell a beach nr. Gaza City, an attack witnessed by a number of international journalists. IDF troops also destroy the house of a high-ranking Hamas political figure. Palestinians fire more than 60 rockets into Israel, including rockets aimed at Ashqelon and Ashdod. Iron Dome batteries intercept 4 of the projectiles. Rockets cause damage in Ashdod and Tel Aviv, and 1 soldier is injured. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 1 nearby village at night. (AFP, AP, HA, MNA, NYT, REU 7/16; PCHR 7/17)

UNRWA says that the Gaza Strip’s health system is on the brink of collapse, with 600,000 people facing water shortages and 22,000 seeking refuge in school shelters. (AP, HA, MNA, NYT 7/16)

Israeli DM Ya’alon asks Netanyahu’s security cabinet to authorize the mobilization of another 8,000 reserve troops, adding to the approximately 30,000 that have already been called up since 7/8. (AP, HA, NYT, REU 7/16)

After Hamas rejected the Egyptian cease-fire proposal the previous day, Dep. Hamas leader Abu Marzuq meets Egyptian officials and offers terms Hamas seeks in a cease-fire deal, such as “fully lifting the blockade on Gaza, including opening all the crossings and releasing the rearrested prisoners.” (See the Quarterly Update in JPS 173 for more on Hamas’s terms.) Pres. Abbas meets with Abu Marzuq in Cairo, and separately with Egypt’s Pres. al-Sisi and FM Sameh Shoukri, as well as Arab League chief al-‘Arabi. He also speaks with Hamas leader Mish‘al by telephone. Meanwhile, Secy. of State Kerry says that the U.S. is doing “everything in our power” to end the violence, in remarks he makes on an official visit to Luxembourg. Kerry speaks with the FMs of Egypt, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Pres. Obama says that the U.S. supports Egypt’s efforts to secure a cease-fire and restoration of the 11/2012 agreement. (AFP, AP, HA, MNA, REU, YA 7/16)

IDF strikes in the Gaza Strip continue, except in the hours following the govt.’s acceptance of the Egyptian cease-fire, killing 13 Palestinians. The IDF warns 100,000 residents of the al-Zaytun and al-Shuja‘iya neighborhoods to evacuate before morning on 7/16. Palestinians fire more than 120 rockets into Israel, including dozens directed at Tel Aviv, in a barrage claimed jointly by al-Qassam Brigades and al-Quds Brigades. Nr. the Erez crossing, 1 Israeli civilian is killed by a mortar shell while distributing food supplies to IDF soldiers. Nine rockets are intercepted by Iron Dome, and the rest caused no damage or injuries. (AFP, AP, HA, MNA, REU, WAFA 7/15)

Israel’s security cabinet votes 6–2 in favor of accepting the Egyptian cease-fire proposal from the previous day, and the IDF stops all strikes for several hours. PM Netanyahu says that if Hamas rejects the initiative, Israel will have “legitimacy” to take further action “to restore quiet.” PA Pres. Abbas, in Cairo for talks with Egyptian pres. al-Sisi, calls for the acceptance of the proposal. However, Hamas rejects the text, describing it as “an initiative of kneeling and submission,” and both the armed Palestinian groups and the IDF continue hostilities. Hamas spokesperson Abu Zuhri says that the group was ignored by Egyptian mediators, with Islamic Jihad official Khalid al-Batsh commenting that “initiatives shouldn’t be proposed through media outlets, but rather through the obvious channels, which are resistance factions and their leaders.” An unnamed senior PLO official says that “the Egyptians coordinated the initiative with Abbas and ignored Gaza,” and thus “Hamas leaders felt humiliated by the fact that the proposal was released without them being consulted about its contents ahead of time.” (AFP, AP, HA, MNA, REU, WAFA 7/15; PCHR 7/16)

After Hamas rejects the deal, Netanyahu vows to “significantly expand our offensive,” saying that the group “will pay for its decision.” Meanwhile, Dep. DM Danny Danon describes the Israeli govt.’s response to the Gaza crisis as a “failure” and Netanyahu fires him. (AFP, AP, HA, REU 7/15)

Suspected Salafi jihadists fire 3 rockets from the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, into Israel, wounding 4 civilians in Eilat. (REU 7/15)

In Vienna, reps. of Iran and the P5+1 powers continue their negotiations leading up to the 7/20 deadline for a comprehensive agreement on Iran’s disputed nuclear program. U.S. Secy. of State Kerry says they “have made progress . . . but there’s still more work to do.” Iranian FM Zarif says that Iran wants to “arrive at a solution everyone can be happy about.” The key issues remaining are Iran’s centrifuges and its uranium enrichment capacity over the next 10 years. (ALM, NYT 7/15)

On the 5th day of OPE, the IDF strikes multiple targets across the Gaza Strip, killing approximately 48 Palestinians, including 21 in a single strike on the home of a senior police commander in Gaza City. Air strikes also hit a center for the disabled, killing 2. The IDF warns Palestinians in the n. Gaza Strip to “leave their homes for their own safety,” adding that “it’s unsafe to be nr. Hamas.” Israel’s targets expand to include civilian institutions with suspected Hamas ties. Israeli naval forces raid the beach at al-Sudaniyya in the n. Gaza Strip, and clash with al-Qassam Brigades fighters. Palestinians fire some 70 rockets into Israel, and at least 6 are intercepted by Iron Dome batteries. In the evening, al-Qassam Brigades launches 10 rockets toward Tel Aviv, but they cause no damage or casualties. Overall, 2 Israelis are injured nr. Beersheba in the day’s barrage. In addition to s. and c. areas, rockets also land nr. Efrat settlement in the West Bank, causing no damage. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces clash with Palestinian youth in Issawiyya, al-Tur, and Qalandia. (AP, HA, JP, MNA, REU 7/12; PCHR 7/13)

Addressing the crisis in Gaza, the UNSC issues a presidential statement calling for a “de-escalation of the situation, restoration of calm, and reinstitution of the 11/2012 ceasefire.” It also expresses “serious concern regarding the crisis related to Gaza and the protection and welfare of civilians on both sides” and calls for “respect for international humanitarian law.” Media reports suggest that a cease-fire proposal is being drawn up at the initiative of the Palestinians with the involvement of Egypt and Qatar, but Islamic Jihad dep. head Ziad al-Nakhleh dismisses this as a rumor. (AP, HA, JP, MNA, REU 7/12)

Unknown persons fire 3 rockets from inside Lebanon that land into n. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF responds with artillery fire toward “the source of fire.” (AP, REU 7/12)

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)

The IDF launches OPE, a major assault on the Gaza Strip. Israeli air strikes hit 150 targets across Gaza, killing 23 Palestinians and wounding more than 100. One attack in Khan Yunis kills 8 mbrs. of the same family when their home is bombed. Hamas fighters infiltrate Israel by sea nr. Kibbutz Zikim and are all killed, according to the IDF. Al-Qassam Brigades says the operation goes as planned. Palestiniansfire approximately 130 rockets into Israel, with Iron Dome batteries intercepting at least 23 of them. Some rockets reach c. Israel, though most fall in the s. Warning sirens are heard in Tel Aviv, where an Iron Dome battery intercepts 3 rockets. The rockets cause damage to 2 houses, and lightly injure 2 people. In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure 3 Palestinians during clashes nr. Qalandia checkpoint, and also shoot and injure 2 Palestinians in clashes in n. Bethlehem. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus, 2 nearby villages, and Balata r.c. at night. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces detain 31 Palestinians in relation to the recent protests. (AFP, HA, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/8; PCHR 7/10)

The Israeli govt. authorizes a call-up of some 40,000 reserve troops, in preparation for a possible ground invasion. Israeli DM Ya’alon says it is likely to be a protracted campaign that will “exact a very heavy price from Hamas.” Al-Qassam Brigades spokesperson Abu Ubayda says that Israel must cease its offensive and commit to the 2012 cease-fire agreement. PA Pres. Abbas, meanwhile, demands that Israel immediately halt its offensive and asks the international community to intervene to halt the escalation. (AFP, AP, HA, JP, MNA, PCHR, REU, YA 7/8)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF launches 6 air strikes, destroying a blacksmith workshop and causing damage to vacant training sites belong to various armed groups. There are no injuries. In the West Bank, OBK continues. IDF troops open fire on Palestinians in Haris village nr. Salfit during a raid, wounding 1. During separate raids, Israeli soldiers shoot at residents in al-Fara‘a r.c. nr. Tubas, wounding 2, and shoot 1 in Balata r.c. nr. Nablus. IDF troops also demolish a house nr. Hebron because it was built without a permit. Also, IDF troops raid and confiscate property from 5 Hamas-linked charities. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron in the afternoon, and in Hebron and 8 nearby villages, Jenin and 6 nearby villages, Tulkarm and 4 nearby villages, Nablus and 8 villages, ‘Askar r.c. and Balata r.c. nearby, Salfit and 1 nearby village, 1 village nr. Qalqilya, al-Bireh, Tubas, at night; patrols in Hebron at night. (MNA, WAFA 6/17; PCHR 6/19)

Israeli PM Netanyahu meets with Quartet Rep. Blair in Tel Aviv and tells him that the 6/12 kidnapping “exposes the real face of Hamas.” Blair says that Hamas “cannot choose the political path on one hand and violence on the other.” Meanwhile, reps. from a number of factions, including Fatah and Hamas, hold a press conference in Gaza City. No group claims responsibility for the kidnapping of the teenage settlers. The reps. say they are prepared to confront any Israeli “aggression.” EU foreign affairs chief Ashton issues a statement condemning the abduction and urges “close cooperation between the Israeli and Palestinian security services.” (HA, JP, MNA 6/17)

Talks between reps. of Iran and the P5+1 powers on the disputed Iranian nuclear program continue in Vienna. Discussions last an hour and a half and cover “elements of the text that could be part of an agreement,” according to Michael Mann, an EU spokesperson. (AA, REU 6/17)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion nr. Khan Yunis and level land. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Nablus and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon. (MNA 1/28; PCHR 1/30)

PA Pres. Abbas says he is willing to accept an Israeli military presence in the West Bank for a 3-year transition period, in the context of a peace deal. He makes the remarks in an interview screened at a security conference in Tel Aviv. (HA, REU 1/28)

U.S. Pres. Obama gives his State of the Union address. In it, he pledges to veto any legislation that would threaten talks with Iran and reassures Israel that the U.S. will always be “at their side.” (See document D2 in JPS 171 for extended excerpts of Obama’s speech.) (REU 1/28)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces open fire on Palestinians close to the border fence nr. Dayr al-Balah, wounding 1. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Bethlehem and 1 nearby village and Aida r.c., 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village each nr. Ramallah and Salfit at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Hebron at night. In Jerusalem, a Palestinian stabs an Israeli man nr. the Damascus Gate of the Old City, wounding him. (HA, MNA 1/11; PCHR 1/16)

Former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon dies in Tel Hashomer hospital nr. Tel Aviv, aged 85, following 8 years in a coma. Sharon suffered a stroke in 1/2006 and never regained consciousness. U.S. Pres. Obama praises Sharon’s dedication to his country and his “unshakable commitment” to Israel’s security. (REU 1/11)

Off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. al-Waha, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries, but temporarily detaining 2. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Jenin and 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night; patrols in Tulkarm in the morning, in 3 villages nr. Tulkarm in the afternoon, and in 3 villages each nr. Hebron and Jenin, 1 village nr. Qalqilya, and in Tulkarm at night. In Abu Dis, East Jerusalem, an IDF raid sparks clashes, which lead to Israeli forces opening fire on students with rubber-coated metal bullets, injuring 40. Also in East Jerusalem, around 100 Jewish Israelis enter Haram al-Sharif, led by nationalist activist Yehuda Glick. (MNA 11/17; PCHR 11/21)

The General Union of Palestinian Teachers launches a limited strike in the West Bank in protest at the failure of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to implement previous agreements. The union’s secy.-gen., Ahmad Sahwil, says the union is prepared to begin a full, open-ended strike should the PA not meet its demands. They had threatened a strike in early 9/2013, but called it off following an agreement with the PA on 9/5 to raise teachers’ salaries by 10%. (MNA 11/17)

Three days before the onset of the 2nd round of negotiations in Geneva over Iran’s nuclear program, French pres. François Hollande, along with a delegation of senior officials including FM Laurent Fabius, arrives in Tel Aviv for his 1st official visit to Israel and the o. t. since taking office. (HA 11/18)

Palestinian prisoner and administrative detainee Samer al-Issawi agrees to end his hunger strike—which has lasted for more than 8 months and inspired widespread Palestinian protest in solidarity—in exchange for an early release. At one such rally today, IDF soldiers clash with residents in Abu Dis, East Jerusalem, shooting and injuring 1. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers destroy hundreds of almond and olive trees in Bayt Dajan nr. Nablus, while in Dayr Jarir nr. Ramallah, settlers attack Palestinian property and set fire to 10 vehicles. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning, and in 1 village nr. Hebron, 2 villages nr. Jericho, 3 villages nr. Jenin, 1 village nr. Qalqilya, 1 village nr. Salfit and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. IDF soldiers conduct house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin and in 1 village nr. Jericho at night. The IDF conduct a ground incursion close to the border nr. Bayt Hanun and level land. (REU, WAFA 4/22; MNA 4/23; PCHR 4/25)

An Israeli delegation meets their Turkish counterparts in Ankara to discuss ways of improving bilateral relations, including the question of financial compensation by Israel to the families of Turkish activists killed on the Mavi Marmara in 2010. (JP 4/21)

Al-Ahram cites Palestinian government sources claiming that Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas has asked Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Turkey play a more prominent role in the drive for national reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. (HA 4/22)

U.S. Defense Secy. Chuck Hagel announces an arms deal with Israel at a press conference in Tel Aviv alongside Israeli DM Moshe Ya’alon. The sale includes V-22 Osprey helicopter-plane aircraft, refueling tankers, advanced radars for fighter jets, and advanced missiles that target air defenses. During their remarks, Ya’alon tacitly confirms that Israel was responsible for a 1/30 air strike on an army convoy in Syria, saying that Israel has already acted to stop weapons falling into Hizballah’s hands: ‘‘When they crossed this red line, we acted.’’ (AFP, JP 4/22)

Palestinians commemorating Land Day clash with IDF forces across the West Bank, including in Bayt Ummar nr. Hebron, Jayyous nr. Qalqilya, al-Khader nr. Bethlehem, at the main Bethlehem checkpoint, and at Qalandia. No serious injuries are reported. Meanwhile, the IDF patrols in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Ramallah in the morning, and in 3 villages in Ramallah, 2 each nr. Hebron and Jenin, and 1 nr. Jericho at night. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night. Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. (REU 3/30; PCHR 4/4)

Israeli media report that the Israeli government is urging the Egyptian authorities to send Cairo’s ambassador back to Tel Aviv. The ambassador was recalled in 11/2012 as a protest against Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense. (MNA 3/30)

A district court nr. Tel Aviv publishes an officially sanctioned text regarding ‘‘Prisoner X,’’ now known to be Australian-Israeli citizen Ben Zygier (see 2/12), saying that the man was imprisoned ‘‘out of security considerations.’’ (REU 2/13)

In the West Bank the IDF patrols in Jenin town and r.c. and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in Bethlehem, nearby Aida r.c., 2 villages nr. Jerusalem, and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. (PCHR 2/21)

Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas says that an agreement has been reached with Hamas to form a unity government headed by Abbas and to hold elections 3 mos. after the Central Elections Commission is ready, but claims that Hamas does not want elections to take place yet. (MNA 2/13)

IDF soldiers in the Golan Heights shoot and wound a man who approached the border fence with Syria. (REU 2/13)

British newspaper the Sunday Times reports that U.S. pres. Obama plans during his visit to the region in 3/2013 to offer to increase U.S. pressure on Iran in exchange for Israeli PM Netanyahu making concessions to the Palestinians. (ToI 2/10)

Palestinian demonstrators—including Israeli Palestinian MK Ahmad Tibi— set up tents in Bayt Safafa, East Jerusalem, to protest Israel’s construction of a new highway intended to give Jewish settlers quicker access to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli navy arrests 4 Palestinian fishermen working 3 naut. mi. offshore nr. Gaza City. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning, and in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning, and in Nablus, Hebron’s Old City and 1 village nr. Hebron, Jenin and 1 nearby village, and Silwan in East Jerusalem at night. (MNA 2/10; PCHR 2/14)

Palestinian factions end talks in Cairo without reaching an agreement on specific steps forward to achieve national reconciliation. Fatah delegation head Azzam al-Ahmad claims that there was consensus on most of the issues, but disagreement on several points regarding an election law for the PNC. (AFP, MNA 2/10)

Israeli leaders defend the 11/21 Gaza cease-fire in the face of strong criticism from politicians like Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid and Kadima’s Shaul Mofaz, who believe that the operation had not successfully restored ‘‘deterrence.’’ DM Barak asserts that ‘‘it is still not time to enter Gaza in a very wide operation and conquer it.’’ Barak also reveals that Israel dropped 1,000 times as many explosives on the Gaza Strip as landed on its soil. FM Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) states that Israel will ‘‘eventually need to overthrow the Hamas regime.’’ (INN, JP, REU, YA 11/22)

In Gaza, Palestinian factions organize a major rally in Gaza City to celebrate the cease-fire and call for national reconciliation. On a rare visit to Gaza since the Hamas takeover in 2007, Fatah Central Comm. mbr. Nabil Shaath tells the crowds that Israel failed to isolate them from the West Bank. PM Ismail Haniyeh tells the rally that the ‘‘resistance fighters changed the rules of the game’’ but that the fighters should ‘‘guard’’ the truce ‘‘as long as Israel respects it.’’ (AP, MNA 11/22)

Meanwhile, the toll of Operation Pillar of Defense continues to climb: an Israeli soldier dies from injuries sustained by a Palestinian rocket attack during the operation, becoming the 2d soldier and 6th Israeli to die in the fighting. In the Gaza Strip, rescue workers pull the bodies of 2 more Palestinians from the rubble of the Dalou family home (bombed on 11/18), raising the Palestinian toll to 160. Though the ceasefire generally continues to hold, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians who protest at the border fence nr. Khan Yunis, injuring 1 man. (AP, MNA 11/22; PCHR 11/29)

In the West Bank, Israeli authorities transfer 30 Palestinian prisoners to administrative detention, apparently because of their involvement in solidarity events for Gaza. (MNA 11/22)

The IDF patrols in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Tulkarm in the afternoon; conducts house searches and arrests in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning and in Qalqilya, al-Bireh, Balata r.c. nr. Nablus, 3 villages nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Jenin, 1 village nr. Qalqilya, 1 village nr. Tulkarm, Nur Shams r.c. nr. Tulkarm, 1 village nr. Ramallah, and Bethlehem, 4 nearby villages, and Dahaysha r.c. and al-Azza r.c. (both nr. Bethlehem) at night. Those detained overnight include at least 5 mbrs. of the Palestinian parliament affiliated with Hamas. Right-wing Jewish extremists chop down 300 olive trees belonging to Palestinians nr. Hebron, leaving graffiti nearby reading ‘‘price tag’’ and ‘‘regards from Beersheba and Tel Aviv.’’ (MNA 11/22; MNA, ToI 11/23; PCHR 11/29)

The European Parliament passes a resolution expressing support for ‘‘Palestine’s bid to become a UN nonmember observer.’’ (EJP 11/22)

The Lebanese army disables a rocket aimed at Israel and say 2 others were fired but fell short of the border. No group claims responsibility. (REU 11/22)

A Gaza cease-fire comes into effect at 9 P.M. local time, officially bringing an end to Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense after 8 days of attacks, which saw the IDF hit around 1,500 targets and Palestinian armed groups fire around 1,500 projectiles (420 intercepted by Iron Dome). One hundred and fifty-eight Palestinians are dead, an estimated 60% of whom were civilians, while 6 Israelis were killed—4 civilians and 2 soldiers. The cease-fire deal is jointly announced by Egyptian FM Mohamed Kamel Amr and U.S. secy. of state Clinton at a press conference in Cairo. U.S. pres. Barack Obama speaks with Israeli PM Netanyahu to commend him on accepting the deal, stating that the U.S. will use the cease-fire to help Israel tackle issues such as weapons smuggling into Gaza. Obama also personally thanks Egyptian pres. Morsi for his efforts to secure a truce, comments Clinton echoes at the Cairo press conference, saying Morsi showed responsible leadership. Netanyahu tells the Israeli public that he hopes for an extended cease-fire but that tougher action might be necessary in the future. The cease-fire is not a signed agreement between Israel and Hamas, but includes pledges transmitted via Egypt to end Palestinian rocket and mortar fire and other cross-border attacks into Israel, and Israeli incursions into Gaza and assassinations. The sides also agree to further negotiations mediated by Egypt toward easing the Gaza blockade. Hamas chief Khalid Mishal says that Hamas will respect the truce but respond to any Israeli violations, and thanks Egypt for its role in securing the cease-fire. Mishal and Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip mark the cease-fire as a victory for the resistance. The UNSC issues a statement urging both Israel and Hamas to respect the cease-fire, and deploring the loss of civilian lives during the 8-day exchange. (AFP, Guardian, HA, MNA, REU 11/21)

During the day, before the cease-fire is implemented, the IDF attacks numerous targets in the Gaza Strip, killing around 20 Palestinians. A Palestinian-fired rocket wounds 4 Israeli soldiers. Unidentified Palestinians plant a bomb on a Tel Aviv bus, which injures two dozen Israelis, mostly lightly or moderately. Numerous groups claim responsibility for the attack, which is praised by Hamas as a natural response to Israeli aggression. In the hours after the ceasefire comes into force, Palestinians fire around a dozen rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel, causing no injuries. (HA, MNA, REU 11/21)

In the West Bank, the IDF opens fire on Palestinian protesters in numerous locations, as demonstrations in solidarity with Gaza continue. In clashes by Ofer prison nr. Ramallah, the IDF shoots 2 Palestinians in the legs with live ammunition. Serious clashes are reported in Hebron, Nablus, and Ramallah. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus and 2 nearby villages, Balata r.c. in Nablus, Hebron and 3 nearby villages, 2 villages nr. Jenin, and 3 villages nr. Ramallah at night. (REU 11/21; PCHR 11/29)

PA pres. Mahmud Abbas sends a letter to U.S. pres. Barack Obama to inform him that if the UN bid is successful, he intends to resume negotiations with Israel. (AFP, HA, REU 10/16)

Qatar announces a $254 m. plan for reconstruction in the Gaza Strip, the largest such injection of aid since the end of Operation Cast Lead in 1/2009. (REU 10/16)

Israeli government officials say that Palestinians deployed an anti-aircraft missile for the 1st time in the Gaza Strip the previous week, missing their target. (AFP 10/16)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 rockets from Gaza into Israel, 1 of which lands by a house nr. Ashqelon, causing no injuries. The IDF fires missiles at an IQB training site in the n. Gaza Strip at night, causing no injuries. IDF troops on the Gaza border open fire on Palestinians and internationals staging nonviolent protests nr. Bayt Hanun and the Erez crossing against Israel’s imposition of a no-go zone inside the Gaza border, causing no reported injuries. (JP 10/16)

Palestinian and international protesters block a key highway linking Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (Road 443) in the West Bank to protest the uprooting of olive trees by Jewish settlers. The IDF forces them off the road, firing shock grenades. (AIC, IMEMC 10/16)

PA security forces raid an apartment in Nablus and claim to have confiscated documents and weapons belong to the IQB. (MNA 10/16)

Israeli coalition party Yisrael Beiteinu announces it intends to request that the Central Election Comm. disqualify Balad party from the upcoming elections on the grounds that it ‘‘supports terror and acts against the existence of Israel as a Jewish, democratic state.’’ A Likud MK submits a similar petition. (JP, YA 10/16)

The IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in 2 villages nr. Salfit (synchronized), in Jericho and 1 nearby village (synchronized), and 1 village each nr. Bethlehem, Jenin, Qalqilya, Ramallah, and Tulkarm. Jewish settlers fr. Adei Ad outpost nr. Nablus beat a Palestinian shepherd grazing his sheep nearby and kill his sheep; an Israeli guard fr. nearby Shilo settlement intervenes and the settlers flee; the guard summons Israeli border police, who photograph the scene and take the shepherd’s formal complaint. (PCHR 7/19; OCHA 7/20)

In Israel, 1,000s of Israelis demonstrate in Tel Aviv to mark the 1st anniversary of the launch of the 2011 social justice protests against the rising cost of living. During the protest, one of the prominent activists connected with the July 14 Movement, Moshe Silman, immolates himself and is critically injured (he dies on 7/20). (WP 7/17; NYT 7/21)

Israeli naval vessels halt and seize 2 Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, detaining 4 fishermen. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night patrols in al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron and in 1 village nr. Jericho, and late-night house searches nr. Bethlehem, summoning 1 Palestinian for interrogation. (PCHR 5/31, 6/7; OCHA 6/8)

At a conference sponsored by Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), Israeli DM Ehud Barak says Israel should consider imposing final borders on the Palestinians, becoming the senior-most official to propose unilateral actions in light of the stalled peace process. Others (unnamed) reportedly (NYT 5/31)

urged against drastic unilateral steps, recommending that ‘‘unilateral steps could be phased in over many years and be designed ... to give Israel a stronger hand in final status’’—effectively what the Israel has been doing as unstated policy for decades. Speaking at the same conference, Gen. Shlomo Brom (Ret.), who heads INSS’s program on the Palestinian conflict, called the unilateral route ‘‘the only remaining course of action,’’ and former Israeli military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin, also an INSS staff member, told the conference that unilateralism was ‘‘the best of all evils,’’ urging Israel to take action in its own selfinterest, ‘‘without conditioning it on the agreement of the Palestinians.’’ (NYT 5/31)

At the INSS conference in Tel Aviv, Israeli DM Ehud Barak also states that Israel and the U.S. have different assessments of the Iranian nuclear timetable, stating, ‘‘Our clock is ticking faster.’’ He says Israel believes that Iran is rapidly approaching a ‘‘zone of immunity’’—the point at which its nuclear facilities would be so decentralized and well fortified that they would be beyond reach of a military strike. Speaking at the same forum, Israeli PM Netanyahu says that the only safe route is for Iran to stop all enrichment, to send all its uranium abroad, and to dismantle its nuclear facilities at Fordo, all of which must be verified by the IAEA. Meanwhile, former Mossad chief Meir Dagan argues that ‘‘if we bomb ... we will give them the legitimacy to attain nuclear military capability.’’ Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi (Ret.), former IDF chief of staff, recommended that more time be given for diplomacy and sanctions to work. (WP, WT 5/31)

Washington Times runs a special report on how Israel’s expanding relationship with China is raising international concerns. The report states that Israel has recently been expanding trade relations and military ties with China, seeing it as a large, emerging market for its military goods and an influential player who could pressure Iran. (WT 5/30; see QU in JPS 165 for details)

The IDF issues a military order confiscating 29 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of Palestinian land in Dayr Istya village nr. Salfit for ‘‘security and military purposes and to combat terrorist attacks.’’ The IDF patrols in Tulkarm and 2 villages nr. Qalqilya in the morning; stages synchronized patrols in 3 villages nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon; conducts other patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and Salfit in the afternoon; and undertakes late-night patrols in Tulkarm and neighboring Nur Shams r.c. Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar settlement nr. Nablus set fire to a small plot of crop land and attack Palestinians in nearby Madama village. (PCHR 5/31; OCHA 6/1)

Washington Jewish Week reports that in the previous wk., a U.S. court awarded the family of an American teenager killed in a 2006 Islamic Jihad suicide bombing in Tel Aviv (his father was seriously injured in the attack) $332 m. in damages from Iran and Syria. The family’s lawyers argued that Islamic Jihad was sheltered by Syria and funded by Iran. The family is unlikely to collect the money. (WJW 5/24)

After a 2d day of P5+1 talks with Iran, EU foreign policy chief Ashton announces that ‘‘significant differences’’ remain, but enough ‘‘common ground’’ existed to schedule a 3d round of meetings in Moscow on 6/18–19. (NYT, WP, WT 5/25)

The New York Times runs a special report on a congressional race for a House seat representing Queens, NY, that has been dubbed ‘‘Israelapalooza’’ for the way in which the candidates have touted their pro-Israel credentials in effort to win the endorsement of Ed Koch, former Democratic mayor of New York City, and the votes of Jewish constituents who make up 20% of the district’s population. For example, candidate Grace Meng, who built her political career as an advocate for Chinese Americans and yet has never visited China, made a recent trip to Israel that she has highlighted during her campaign. (NYT 5/24)

At the annual Likud party convention in Tel Aviv, Israeli PM Netanyahu expresses support for holding early elections in 9/2012, stating that waiting until scheduled elections in 10/2013 could “damage the state,” but he does not official call for early elections, as many had expected. Polls show that Netanyahu would likely win by a large margin and gain the leeway to form a more supportive and stable ruling coalition, leading some analysts to speculate (see NYT, WP 5/7) that a strong 9/2012 victory might embolden Netanyahu to stage an Israeli pre-emptive strike on Iran before U.S. presidential elections in 11/2012. The polls also indicate that the big losers in an early election would be DM Ehud Barak’s Independence party (likely to lose its 1 Knesset seat and control of the Defense Min. portfolio) and the opposition party Kadima (likely to lose half of its 28 seats).NYT, WP 5/7; NYT 5/9)

The IDF makes a brief incursion into the border area e. of al-Maghazi r.c. in c. Gaza, arresting 2 Palestinians who were attempting to cross into Israel to search for jobs. Israeli naval vessels twice fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the s. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts daytime patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 each nr. Jenin and Qalqilya; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Tubas; and conducts late-night patrols in Bayt Umar, Qalqilya, Tulkarm and 1 nearby village. (PCHR 5/10; OCHA 5/11)

The IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning, 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 nr. Ramallah in the evening; raids, searches, and photographs shops in the Jenin industrial zone; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Qalqilya, in Nablus, and nr. Jenin and Ramallah. Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim settlement nr. Qalqilya escorted by IDF troops bulldoze Palestinian land in nearby Kafr Qaddum, plant trees to claim the area. Jewish settlers fr. Talmon settlement nr. Ramallah raid the nearby village of al-Janyeh, vandalize 1 car and spray racist and threatening graffiti on homes and cars. (PCHR 2/9; OCHA 2/10)

Hamas officials report that the last Hamas official in Damascus, Imad al-Alami, has departed Syria and returned with his family to Gaza via Egypt for the 1st time since Israel deported him fr. Gaza to s. Lebanon in 1991. Hamas describes the closure of the Damascus headquarters as temporary but indefinite. (MNA 2/5; NYT, WP 2/6)

The Israeli cabinet unanimously approves a $2.3 b. project to build a “Red-Med” railway line linking Tel Aviv and Eilat to create an Asian-European cargo corridor bypassing the Suez Canal. Israeli official say China has expressed interest in the project. (JPI 2/17)

Overnight, Jewish settlers set fire to the entrance of a mosque, a car, and a construction vehicle in Burqin village nr. Salfit, moderately damaging the mosque and destroying the 2 vehicles. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction material in the demolished Erez industrial zone, forcing them to flee. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids and house searches nr. Hebron, Tulkarm. (PCHR 12/8, 12/15; OCHA 12/16)

Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and New Gingrich address the conservative Republican Jewish Coalition, criticizing U.S. Pres. Barack Obama for his weak and confused foreign policy and mistreatment of Israel. Neither endorses a 2-state solution, even though the Republican Party platform officially supports this. Romney pledges that his 1st trip as pres. would be to Israel. Gingrich promises that he would move the U.S. emb. fr. Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Republican candidates Michele Bachmann, John Huntsman, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum also address the forum and promise new approaches to the Middle East but do not go into detail. (NYT, WP 12/8)

Israel frees 25 Egyptian prisoners at the Taba border crossing with Egypt. Hrs. later, Egypt flies Grapel to BenGurion Airport in Tel Aviv. Grapel is expected to return home to the U.S. on 10/28. (NYT, WP, WT 10/28; JPI 11/4)

IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinian shepherds grazing animals nr. the abandoned Dahaniyya airport site, wounding 1. Israeli naval vessels fire on a Palestinian fishing boat off the Gaza coast (exact location not reported), forcing it to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Jenin and 2 nearby villages, 3 villages nr. Ramallah, and 3 nr. Qalqilya during the day; patrols in Birzeit, Jericho, and 2 villages nr. Qalqilya and Tulkarm late at night. (PCHR 11/3; OCHA 11/4)

U.S. admin. sources say Pres. Barack Obama’s admin. has “launched a last-ditch diplomatic campaign” to convince the Palestinians to abandon their statehood initiative at the UN by making it clear that the U.S. will veto and by presenting (soon, via the Quartet) a proposal for renewed talks as an alternative. The sources say that the Quartet proposal is aimed primarily at swaying UN member states to vote against a Palestinian statehood resolution and is not expected to result in a resumption of serious peace talks. (NYT 9/4).

The IDF conducts afternoon and evening patrols in Jenin and 4 nearby villages, 2 village nr. Tulkarm, and 1 nr. Hebron; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron. In Israel, as many as 400,000 Israelis turn out nationwide (more than 300,000 in Tel Aviv) for protests calling for social justice. July 14th movement organizers had called for a million-person march today to revive the Saturday protests, which fell off after the 8/18 Elat attack. After the rally, demonstrators begin taking down tent camps, as organizers switch attention to forming local committees to press for social reforms. (WP 9/4; PCHR, WJW 9/8; OCHA 9/9; Foreign Policy [Internet] 9/12; see also NYT 9/1)

Egypt, in effort to improve relations with Israel by strengthening border security, begins an operation to close smuggling tunnels under the Rafah border. Meanwhile, the Israeli emb. in Cairo hires contractors to erect a 12-ft. wall around the emb. in effort to deter the 100s (and sometimes 1,000s) of Egyptian who have gathered outside since the 8/18 Elat incident to protest the deaths of 3 Egyptian soldiers. (WP 9/4, 9/5)

A 21-yr.-old Palestinian fr. Nablus enters Israel, steals a taxi in Tel Aviv, and drives it into a police checkpoint outside a popular nightclub, then stabs several bystanders before being subdued by police; the PA condemns the attack. Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In Gaza, a 13-yr.-old Palestinian boy dies of injuries sustained in an IDF drone strike on 8/21. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jericho, 1 each nr. Ramallah and Tulkarm. (YA 8/29; NYT 8/30; PCHR 9/8; OCHA 9/9)

Unidentified assailants attack and damage Egypt’s national gas pipeline to Israel for the 3d time in a month and the 5th time since unrest in Egypt erupted in 2/2011 (see 7/11). IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinian farmers working nr. the border fence, grazing 1. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts synchronized morning patrols in 4 villages nr. Jenin; patrols in 3 villages nr. Tulkarm, 2 nr. Salfit, and 1 each nr. Jericho and Ramallah; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. In East Jerusalem, the IDF enters Silwan at midday, raiding a home and arresting a Palestinian. (JTA 7/31; PCHR 8/4; OCHA 8/5)

As many as 150,000 Israelis in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, Beersheba, and 6 other cities protest the high cost of living, demanding economic reforms, “social justice,” and “a welfare state now.” In previous days, the Histadrut, Israel’s labor federation, said it strongly supports the demonstrations. (WP 7/31; NYT, WP, WT 8/1)