905 / 15258 Results
  • September 6, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in al-‘Arub r.c., al-Fawar r.c., and 1 village nr. Hebron, and 1 village nr. Salfit at night. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and...

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  • September 4, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. In East Jerusalem, there are clashes in Abu Dis between Palestinians and Israeli forces who conduct a raid and enter the Al-Quds...

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  • August 29, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Nablus at night, and patrols in Tulkarm and 1 nearby village at night. In East...

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  • August 25, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon and in 1 village each nr. Ramallah and Salfit at night, patrols in 2 villages nr....

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  • July 14, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops posted on the border fence open fire on workers collecting scrap metal nr. Bayt Hanun, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the...

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  • June 26, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 3 villages nr. Hebron, Tulkarm, and 1 nearby village, Nablus, Tubas, and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; patrols in Jenin and...

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  • October 2, 2012

    An Israeli official announces that PM Netanyahu will visit Europe before the end of the year in order to try to persuade leaders to toughen sanctions against Iran. (AP, NYT 10/2; MNA, OCHA 10/5)...

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  • February 23, 2012

    Israeli and Palestinian officials issue opposing statements on the content of Israel’s principles on borders presented in the Jordanian-sponsored exploratory talks last quarter. Israeli officials...

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  • December 22, 2011

    The IDF makes a brief incursion into n. Gaza in the morning to level lands and clear lines of sight along the border e. of Jabaliya r.c., firing on nearby residential areas to keep Palestinians...

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  • December 14, 2011

    In light of Jewish settler violence against the IDF on 12/12, the Israeli cabinet approves several measures against right-wing Jewish extremists, including permitting their detention without trial...

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  • December 13, 2011

    Quartet officials open 2 days of meetings in Israel and Ramallah aimed at reviving peace talks. Palestinian advocacy groups note “a growing disconnect between the Quartet talks and the situation...

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  • December 12, 2011

    IDF spokesman Maj. Guy Inbar acknowledges that Israel plans to relocate some 2,000 Bedouin fr. 20 encampments in the hills e. of Jerusalem (in area C) to clear the way for the expansion of Ma’ale...

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  • March 5, 2010

    IDF troops stationed on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing into Gaza fire on Palestinians scavenging bricks from demolished buildings inside the former Erez industrial zone forcing them to flee...

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  • October 25, 2009

    In the West Bank, the IDF raids a house in Bayt Fajjar nr. Bethlehem and another in Jericho, arresting 2 Palestinians (including 1 teenager). (PCHR 10/29)

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  • October 4, 2009

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Lahiya shoot and seriously wound 1 Palestinian teenager who says that he was throwing stones at a dog on the beach when he was shot. (OCHA, PCHR 10/8)...

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  • July 2, 2007

    PA security forces continue targeting Hamas mbrs. in the West Bank for arrest, detaining and quickly releasing Change and Reform PC mbr. Ahmad al-Hajj Ali. In Gaza, the ESF arrests Army of Islam...

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  • March 30, 2007

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids in al-Til and neighboring ‘Allar; fires live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets at stone-throwing Palestinians demonstrating against Israeli...

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  • March 23, 2007

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza border shoot, wound a 14-yr.-old Palestinian boy who apparently strays nr. the border fence nr. Jabaliya r.c. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 2 Palestinian homes w....

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  • March 7, 2007

    Overnight the IDF raids the PA Military Intelligence headquarters in Ramallah, arrests 18 wanted AMB mbrs. who had been taking refuge there, 50 other PA Military Intelligence officers and...

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  • February 16, 2007

    As the quarter opened, Israel and the Palestinians both stated they were observing a cease-fire in Gaza that went into effect on 11/26/06, though near-daily cross-border incidents occurred. Israel...

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  • February 14, 2007

    In the West Bank, the IDF bulldozes 7 bedouin homes (displacing 75 bedouin), 5 other structures in Hathalin nr. Alasfir settlement southeast of Hebron; fires on 10s of Palestinians nr. Nablus...

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  • February 12, 2007

    The AMB fires 4 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Dahaysha r.c. in a car with Palestinian license plates to arrest...

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  • February 11, 2007

    IDF troops on the central Gaza border nr. Dayr al-Balah fire on Palestinian shepherds who stray nr. the border fence, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF releases 15 Palestinian schoolchildren...

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  • February 10, 2007

    IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of Dayr al-Balah fire on a Palestinian shepherd who strays nr. the border fence, wounding him. In the West Bank, the IDF halts a Palestinian school bus nr....

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  • February 9, 2007

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  • February 8, 2007

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza Border nr. Bayt Lahiya shoot, wound a Palestinian collecting scrap metal nr. the border fence. Islamic Jihad fires 6 rockets fr. Gaza toward the IDF post at the Sufa...

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  • February 6, 2007

    The IDF allows departures through Rafah crossing for the 1st time since 1/8, causing a near riot among the 10,000–12,000 Palestinians gathered in the exit area, forcing the EU monitors to close...

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  • May 22, 2006

    The IDF detains Change and Reform PC mbrs. Khalid Abu ‘Arafa, Ahmad Abu Atun, Muhammad Abu Tir for participating in a public demonstration at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount on 5/19 to urge...

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  • August 14, 2005

    As of midnight local time, the IDF seals the Gaza Strip in preparation for disengagement implementation beginning on 8/17, making it illegal for Israelis to enter Gaza. During the day, some 7,500...

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  • April 10, 2005

    Overnight, Hamas, the PRCs reportedly fire another 45 mortars, 30 rockets at Jewish settlements in Gaza (lightly damaging 1 house) and the Negev in retaliation for the deaths of 3 Palestinians on...

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In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in al-‘Arub r.c., al-Fawar r.c., and 1 village nr. Hebron, and 1 village nr. Salfit at night. 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), 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum), and 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara). There are no serious injuries (except in Kafr Qaddum where 3 are struck by tear gas canisters). In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces raid the al-Aqsa compound and disperse worshippers with stun grenades, after Palestinians threw stones at plainclothes policemen who entered the area. Fifteen Palestinians are arrested, while Israeli police say 2 officers are injured while an al-Aqsa medical official says 55 injuries were treated among Palestinians. (MNA, REU 9/6; PCHR 9/12)

PA Minister of Prisoner Affairs Issa Qaraqe announces that the remaining prisoner releases by Israel will take place on 10/29, 12/29, and 03/28. (MNA 9/6)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry travels to Europe on a trip intended to lobby for support for a strike on Syria, as well as discuss the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and meet with PA Pres. Mahmud Abbas in London, before returning to Washington. The itinerary also takes him to Lithuania—current holder of the presidency of the Council of the EU—and France. (AFP 9/5; AP 9/6)

U.S. Pres. Obama persuades 10 other leaders from the G20 nations to co-sign a statement urging a strong international response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian govt., though the text does not explicitly endorse military action. Meanwhile, an unnamed State Dept. official tells the media that a strike on Syria would not fundamentally alter the balance of forces on the ground in the country’s civil war. (NYT, REU 9/6)

Supporters of ousted pres. Morsi clash with security forces and those who back the military in protests across Egypt. Two are killed nationwide, and dozens injured. There are demonstrations in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, Fayoum, Damanhour, and a number of other towns and cities. (AFP, REU 9/6)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. In East Jerusalem, there are clashes in Abu Dis between Palestinians and Israeli forces who conduct a raid and enter the Al-Quds university campus. Meanwhile, right-wing Jewish extremists enter the al-Aqsa compound, prompting clashes with Palestinians, with Israeli security forces dispersing the crowds and arresting 7 Palestinians. Separately, Shaykh Raed Salah is released on bail, though Salah says he does not intend to respect the order banning him from Jerusalem. (HA, MNA 9/4; PCHR 9/5)

According to an anonymous Palestinian official speaking to the Associated Press, Israel intends to leave numerous settlements and military bases in the West Bank to set up a provisional Palestinian state. Meanwhile, aide to Pres. Abbas, Yasir ‘Abid Rabbuh tells Palestinian media that the talks are proving pointless and making no progress, and will fail to do so, without serious U.S. pressure. (AP, REU 9/4)

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Cmte. narrowly backs, 10–7, a compromise res. authorizing the use of military force in Syria. The full Senate will vote next week, and the House of Representatives must also approve the measure. Meanwhile, Russian pres. Putin says Moscow does not rule out approving a strike against Syria if there is clear evidence of the Asad regime’s culpability for the use of chemical weapons. (AP, REU 9/4)

Pres. Obama’s national security aides have recommended that the U.S. suspend military and economic assistance to Egypt in response to the military coup, according to unnamed U.S. officials speaking to the media. (AP, REU 9/4)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Nablus at night, and patrols in Tulkarm and 1 nearby village at night. In East Jerusalem, around 70 Jewish extremists accompanied by 40 mbrs. of the security forces enter the al-Aqsa compound, including the Dome of the Rock and the old mosque of al-Aqsa. (MNA 8/29; PCHR 9/5)

U.S. pres. Obama’s push for military action against Syria suffers a significant blow as the British Parliament votes against participation with a 285-272 vote that saw many Conservative MPs voting with the Labor opposition. Following the defeat, PM David Cameron acknowledges that Britain will now not take part in any attack on Syria. Meanwhile, Syria’s Pres. Asad vows that his country “will defend itself” against any military strikes, and Iran’s army chief of staff Gen. Hassa Firouzabadi tells the media that any attack on Syria “will drive the Zionists to the edge of fire.” (AFP, AP, Guardian, REU 8/29)

The Egyptian army kills 2 and detains 16 nr. al-Arish in what security sources describe as a targeted attack on “terrorist” outposts. (MNA 8/29)

The IAEA reports that Iran has prepared more than 1,000 advanced uranium enriching machines for start-up, but also says that Tehran has pushed back the time frame for a new reactor to come online. (AP 8/29)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon and in 1 village each nr. Ramallah and Salfit at night, patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 village each nr. Jericho, Ramallah and Tulkarm in the morning, in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm and 1 village each nr. Jenin and Salfit at night. Israeli bulldozers level privately-owned Palestinian land nr. Nablus to enlarge an illegal settlement outpost. In Jerusalem, dozens of right-wing Jewish activists enter the al-Aqsa compound and held discussions on the possibility of building a Jewish temple there. (MNA 8/25, PCHR 8/29)

The Jerusalem Municipality approves a budget for a NIS 62.4 million extension of the Ramat Shlomo settlement, adding some 1,600 housing units. Other projects approved include a NIS 20 million budget for developing a national park at the settlerowned “City of David” project in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan. Half of that latter budget will come from the prime minister’s office. Meanwhile, Israel’s Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel dedicates 2 new neighborhoods of 160 homes in the West Bank settlement Keddumim and says that a two-state solution will never happen. (AP, HA, JP 8/25)

Israel’s cabinet unanimously approves the appointment of Yossi Cohen as the new head of the National Security Council (NSC). Cohen, who spent 3 decades working for Mossad, replaces Yaakov Amidror. (YA 8/25)

Syria agrees to allow UN inspectors to visit the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Ghouta, a Damascus suburb. The U.S. State Dept. says that Secy. of State John Kerry told his counterparts in Britain, France, Russia, and Canada in a round of phone calls that there is “very little doubt” the Syrian govt. is responsible for gassing its own citizens. An unnamed administration official tells the media that despite this near certainty in Washington, the pres. still hasn’t decided how to respond. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich says that the U.S. and its allies should await the findings of the UN inspection team and avoid military action. (AP, REU, 8/25)

Three leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, including the organization’s Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie did not appear in court on the 1st day of their separate trials, apparently due to security reasons. The judge adjourns proceedings until 10/29. The charges are of inciting lethal violence during the events leading up to the military coup. (REU 8/25)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops posted on the border fence open fire on workers collecting scrap metal nr. Bayt Hanun, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon. In East Jerusalem, some 180 Jewish extremists enter the al-Aqsa compound accompanied by dozens of police officers. (MNA 7/14, PCHR 7/18)

Israeli PM Netanyahu telephones Palestinian pres. Abbas to extend him Ramadan greetings and expresses his hope that the 2 men can soon sit down for direct negotiations. It is the 1st time the 2 men have spoken since the most recent Israeli elections and since U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry began his most recent push to restart talks. (HA 7/14)

Egypt’s interim PM Hazem el-Beblawi fills senior posts in his new cabinet, including former amb. to the U.S. Nabil Fahmy as foreign minister. Mohamed El-Baradei is sworn in as vice present. Egyptian armed forces chief al-Sisi makes his 1st public remarks since removing Morsi, saying that the armed forces acted according to the people’s will. Meanwhile, U.S. Dep. Secy. of State William Burns arrives in Cairo for 2 days of talks with interim govt. officials and civil society and business leaders. In the n. Sinai, assailants attack a bus carrying workers, killing 3 people and wounding 17. (AP, REU 7/14)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 3 villages nr. Hebron, Tulkarm, and 1 nearby village, Nablus, Tubas, and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; patrols in Jenin and 1 nearby village, and 1 village each in Bethlehem and Hebron. Jewish settlers attack Palestinian-owned vehicles nr. Nablus, causing damage but no injuries. Settlers also set fire to olive trees nr. Hawara village. (MNA 6/26; PCHR 6/27)

The Israeli army reopens Kerem Shalom and Erez border crossings into the Gaza Strip, closed on 6/23 as a punitive measure following rocket fire. (AFP 6/26)

The Jerusalem municipality approves construction permits for 69 new homes in East Jerusalem settlement Har Homa, a day before U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry is due to arrive for talks in Israel and the West Bank. (AFP, JP 6/26)

UNESCO’s World Heritage Cmte. in Phnom Penh passes a Jordanian-sponsored resolution in an 8–3–10 vote condemning Israeli actions in Jerusalem, such as developments of the Western Wall and Temple Mount site, and resolving to maintain the places of the Old City and Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on its World Heritage Sites in Danger list. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticizes the resolution, saying it is a “dark day for UNESCO.” (ToI 6/26)

Austria completes the withdrawal of its UNDOF peacekeepers from the Golan Heights, with the remaining 70 departing via Israel. (HA 6/26)

Unidentified gunmen kidnap 2 Egyptian police officers in the s. Sinai, reportedly in revenge for an earlier assault on a Bedouin man by a police officer during a dispute at a petrol station. (Ahram 6/26)

An Israeli official announces that PM Netanyahu will visit Europe before the end of the year in order to try to persuade leaders to toughen sanctions against Iran. (AP, NYT 10/2; MNA, OCHA 10/5)

Hamas authorities in Gaza demolish 12 residential structures nr. Umm Nasir village on the grounds that the land is ‘‘state land,’’ displacing 60 residents and sparking clashes between police and residents that leave 2 children and 1 woman injured. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border open fire on Palestinians scavenging for construction materials nr. the border fence northwest of Bayt Hanun; no injuries are reported. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Hebron at night; raids a home nr. Hebron in the morning, detaining residents on the 1st floor and using the roof as a military observation point; conducts arrest raids and house searches in 1 village nr. Nablus and 2 villages nr. Hebron. Over 100 Israelis marking the Jewish holiday of Sukkot enter the al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem, protected by Israeli security forces, sparking confrontations with Palestinian worshippers; no serious injuries are reported. Jewish settlers vandalize/spray graffiti on a Jerusalem monastery. (PCHR 10/4; MNA, OCHA 10/5)

Israeli and Palestinian officials issue opposing statements on the content of Israel’s principles on borders presented in the Jordanian-sponsored exploratory talks last quarter. Israeli officials say the principles “effectively means a withdrawal from 90% of the West Bank,” similar to proposals made by Israel at the 2008 Annapolis conference. Palestinian officials counter that Israel never presented maps or discussed percentages, stating “If they wanted to say 90% they should have said 90%.” (WT 2/24)

Jerusalem Post reports that Naftali Bennett, former head of PM Netanyahu’s office and a former head of the YESHA settlers council who has recently launched a new group called One State Israel, has started circulating his proposed solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict to Israel’s political and military elites, who reportedly give it “high praise.” His “Israel Stability Initiative,” which he describes as “a practical plan for managing the . . . conflict,” calls for: (1) Israel unilaterally extending sovereignty over West Bank area C (60% of the West Bank); (2) granting citizenship to the 50,000 (by his estimate; as of 8/2011, OCHA put the figure at 150,000) Palestinians in Area C; (3) full PA “autonomy” in and freedom of movement among West Bank areas A and B; (4) no right of return for Palestinian refugees and no access for Palestinian refugees to areas under PA control; (5) a “full Israeli security umbrella” covering all of the West Bank; (6) the permanent separation of Gaza from the West Bank; and (7) heavy Israeli investment in economic projects in the West Bank that reinforce separation, such as joint industrial zones and separate road networks. (JP 2/23; YA 2/24; Foreign Policy online 5/1; see also OCHA, “Displacement and Insecurity in Area C of the West Bank,” 8/2011)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In retaliation, Israeli warplanes and IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire on open areas e. of Khan Yunis, causing no reported injuries. Late at night, after unidentified Palestinians fire another 2 Qassam rockets into Israel (causing no damage or injuries), Israeli warplanes make 3 air strikes on a group of armed Palestinians operating nr. Gaza City and on a Hamas training base in n. Gaza, causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops nr. Hebron uproot 690 trees and bulldoze 22 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of agricultural land, a well and water tank, and 800 meters (m) of fence surrounding the fields, located in Surif village; and demolish a mosque, a school, and 19 shelters in Khirbat Janba bedouin community; conducts daytime patrols in Qalqilya, Tulkarm, 4 villages nr. Ramallah, and 1 nr. Jenin (accidentally damaging 1 home and a water network when an IDF vehicle gets stuck); conducts afternoon and evening patrols in Qalqilya and 1 nearby village, Tulkarm and 3 nearby villages, and 1 village nr. Salfit; conducts late night patrols nr. Qalqilya. In Jerusalem, Israeli police arrest 7 Palestinians for jeering a group of Jews touring the Temple Mount/alAqsa Mosque compound. (JP 2/23; JP, WT, YA 2/24; PCHR 3/1; OCHA 3/2)

PA pres. and Fatah head Abbas holds separate meetings in Cairo with Hamas leader Mishal and Hamas’s acting PM in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh (marking their 1st meeting since 2007). Afterward, Fatah officials stated (Jerusalem Post 2/26) that Abbas has agreed to Mishal’s request to suspend talks on implementation of the 5/2011 Fatah-Hamas unity deal until Hamas resolves its internal disputes. (REU 2/23; JP 2/26)

The IDF makes a brief incursion into n. Gaza in the morning to level lands and clear lines of sight along the border e. of Jabaliya r.c., firing on nearby residential areas to keep Palestinians indoors. In Dura and Ithna villages nr. Hebron, the IDF destroys 1 Palestinian home, part of 2 other homes, 9 agricultural pools and irrigation networks, 4 water tanks, and 5 wells, also confiscating 15 water pumps and other agricultural equipment. The IDF also patrols in 3 villages nr. Qalqilya and 1 nr. Jenin in the evening; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Bethlehem and neighboring Dahaysha r.c. Washington Jewish Week reports that in the previous wk., Israel’s Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court rejected 2 lawsuits demanding the eviction of Palestinian families fr. their Silwan homes; the suits were brought by Eldad, an organization seeking to Judaize Jerusalem in part by settling Jews in the predominantly Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, nr. the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. (WJW 12/22; PCHR 12/29; OCHA 1/5)

At the close of 2 days of talks in Cairo, Fatah’s Abbas and Hamas’s Mishal agree that they will both sit on the comm. that will prepare for the next elections of the PLO’s parliament-in-exile, the Palestinian National Council (PNC), marking a major step toward Hamas joining the PLO. They also agree to form an interim unity government by the end of 1/2012 and to bring elected Hamas-affiliated legislators back into the PA’s parliament, the Palestinian Council (PC), in 2/2012. (NYT, AP, WP, WT 12/23; HA 12/28)

Reports indicate that Hamas is scaling back its presence in Syria because of violence there, but overall feels buoyed by the Arab Spring. Senior Hamas official Mahmud Zahar states that Hamas feels strengthened and validated by the popular support shown for Islamist parties in countries affected by the Arab Spring, suggesting that the new Tunisian model of power-sharing among Islamist and secular nationalist parties could be a model for the Palestinians. (WP 12/22)

In light of Jewish settler violence against the IDF on 12/12, the Israeli cabinet approves several measures against right-wing Jewish extremists, including permitting their detention without trial (administrative detention) and trial in military courts, allowing soldiers in the West Bank to arrest them, and banning them fr. entering the West Bank; it does not label them “terrorists,” which would have allowed security forces even greater leeway to act against them. Hrs. later, Israeli police raid a Jerusalem apartment and arrest 6 Israelis for involvement in “recent events” targeting Palestinians and the IDF. In apparent “price-tag” attacks to protest the government moves: Jewish extremists set fire to the Nabi Ukasha mosque in West Jerusalem (Israeli authorities have barred Palestinians fr. using the mosque but have allowed Jewish settlers affiliated with the extremist Kach party to use the courtyard as a playground); Jewish settlers fr. Burkan settlement set fire to 2 Palestinian cars in nearby Salfit; and Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar set fire to 2 Palestinian cars in nearby Douma village nr. Nablus. (NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 12/15; PCHR 12/22; OCHA 12/23)

Under pressure fr. PA and Jordanian officials, Israel reopens the Mughrabi footbridge to the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount (closed on 12/12/11), saying it will reinforce rather than rebuild it. Meanwhile, IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of Gaza City fire on a Palestinian who strays too nr. the border fence while hunting birds, moderately wounding him. IDF troops in the West Bank conduct late-night arrest raids, house searches in al-Fawar r.c. and Bayt Umar, both nr. Hebron. (NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 12/15; PCHR 12/22; OCHA 12/23)

Addressing 10,000s of Hamas supporters in Gaza City to mark Hamas’s 24th anniversary, Hamas acting PM Ismail Haniyeh says that “Today we say it clearly: Armed resistance and armed struggle are the strategic way to liberate the Palestinian land from the sea to the river,” but that if Israel were to turn over the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, Hamas could take a “temporary” respite “without Israel being recognized and without any concession being made.” Of note: at the rally, the flags of the Arab states are displayed except for Syria’s. (NYT 12/15)

The New York Times runs a long special report on a 6-yr. U.S. investigation of Lebanese Canadian Bank and its suspected role providing financial support to “terrorists.” U.S. officials allege—but refuse to release their evidence—that the investigation revealed that the bank laundered hundreds of millions of dollars fr. Hizballah criminal enterprises and that Hizballah had significant ties to Latin American drug cartels. U.S. investigators say the transactions also revealed a pattern “in which entities tied to Hezbollah have been buying up militarily strategic pieces of property in largely Christian areas” of Lebanon. Hizballah calls the claims “politically motivated propaganda.” U.S. admin. sources say that when the connections first came to their attention in fall 2010, some argued that the Hizballah link should be left unstated, but the admin. changed course (1) after Hizballah forced out Saad Hariri as PM and secured appointment of an ally in his place and (2) when the UN tribunal accused Hizballah of involvement in Rafiq Hariri’s assassination. (NYT 12/14)

Quartet officials open 2 days of meetings in Israel and Ramallah aimed at reviving peace talks. Palestinian advocacy groups note “a growing disconnect between the Quartet talks and the situation on the ground.” (NYT 12/14)

Jewish settlers take over several abandoned churches in a closed military zone nr. the Jordanian border to protest Jordan’s efforts to intervene with the Israeli government over its 12/12 closure of a footbridge used by nonMuslims to reach the Haram al-Sharif/ Temple Mount; IDF troops remove them and arrest 17. Other settlers block a main West Bank road and stone passing Palestinian vehicles. Later, about 50 Jewish settlers with inside information of IDF plans to remove the Mitzpe Yitzhar settlement outpost nr. Nablus that evening attempt to prevent the evacuation by breaking into an IDF base in the West Bank, setting fires, vandalizing vehicles, clashing with troops, and stoning a senior officer; troops detain 2. PM Netanyahu vows to “act aggressively against those harming Israeli soldiers and their commanders”; DM Ehud Barak condemns both incidents as “home-grown terror.” Late at night, Jewish settler youths enter Nablus to pray at Joseph’s Tomb, but they do so without the usual coordination with and escort of the IDF and deface a mosque. Meanwhile, IDF troops make a brief incursion into c. Gaza to level land and clear lines of sight along the border fence e. of Bureij r.c., firing on surrounding areas to keep Palestinians away, wounding a farmer working his field nearby. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinian and international activists staging a nonviolent protest march to the border nr. Bayt Hanun to protests Israel’s imposition of a no-go zone, causing no injuries; also fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction material in the demolished Erez industrial zone, wounding a 14-yr.-old boy. In the West Bank, the IDF makes a latenight raid on the home of Change and Reform PC mbr. Ayman Daraghmeh, arresting him (making him the 24th Hamas-affiliated PC mbr. now in detention); conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Salfit. (NYT, WP, WT 12/14; PCHR 12/15; OCHA 12/16; JPI 12/23)

The PA Tourism Min. launches a campaign in Bethlehem coinciding with Christmas called “Palestine Celebrating Hope.” Tourism M Kholoud Daibes says the intention is to convey to the estimated 50,000 foreigners visiting Bethlehem for Christmas “that we have hope of having our own independent state, and we need international support for that.” The initiative includes special tours of the separation wall around Bethlehem and free postcards of the Church of the Nativity, which tourists can mail at the Manger Square post office with Palestinian stamps. (WT 12/14)

IDF spokesman Maj. Guy Inbar acknowledges that Israel plans to relocate some 2,000 Bedouin fr. 20 encampments in the hills e. of Jerusalem (in area C) to clear the way for the expansion of Ma’ale Adumim settlement into the E1 zone to link it with Jerusalem. Officially, the government says the relocation plans are part of its broader initiative to “provide the bedouin across the West Bank with sites where they can build legally with access to water, electricity, and government services.” Construction in the E1 zone and settlers’ preparations for expansion of Ma’ale Adumim into the area have been planned since 2009, but this marks the 1st admission that the government has started logistical planning to remove the Bedouin population fr. the area. Meanwhile, Israeli DM Ehud Barak approves establishment of a new 40-unit settlement neighborhood and farm nr. Efrat settlement to expand the Gush Etzion settlement block s. of Bethlehem; the new settlement, to be called Givat Hadagan, was approved for development in the 1990s, with plans to build 500 housing units. Israel closes the old wooden Mughrabi footbridge (deemed unsafe) used by non-Muslims to reach the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount; the PA and Waqf officials protest, saying Israel plans to build a larger permanent structure to assert its control over the site, which is holy to both Muslims and Jews. Also in East Jerusalem, the IDF demolishes a Palestinian home in Bayt Hanina. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Qalqilya twice in the afternoon; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem and Jenin. Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar settlement nr. Nablus vandalize nearby Palestinian homes and cars twice during the day, including throwing a Molotov cocktail at a home. Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron nr. Qalqilya stone passing Palestinian vehicles, injuring 3 Palestinians. (HA 12/12; NYT, WP 12/13; PCHR 12/15; OCHA 12/16; HA 12/18)

Israel’s new amb. to Egypt, Ya’akov Amitai, arrives in Cairo. Israel withdrew its former ambassador for safety reasons on 9/9/11, when Egyptian protesters ransacked the Israeli embassy (see QU in JPS 162). (WP 12/13)

IDF troops stationed on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing into Gaza fire on Palestinians scavenging bricks from demolished buildings inside the former Erez industrial zone forcing them to flee, causing no injuries.

Palestinians hold protests across the West Bank and East Jerusalem after Friday prayers to denounce Israel’s decision to include West Bank holy sites on Israel’s national heritage register; clashes with the IDF (which include the IDF storming the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, firing tear gas and stun grenades to disperse worshipers) leave 2 Palestinians seriously injured (1 at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount; the other in al-Nabi Salih), and 50 Palestinians and 15 Israeli riot police lightly injured.

The IDF also fires rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists, some of whom throw stones at IDF troops, taking part in a nonviolent march to the separation wall in Bil‘in (10s suffer tear gas inhalation); fires rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades, tear gas at Palestinian and international activists, some of whom throw stones at IDF troops, taking part in protests against the separation wall in Ni‘lin (3 Palestinians are injured, including an 11-yr.-old child); fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, stun grenades at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists staging a nonviolent protest against settlement expansion nr. Dayr Nizam/al-Nabi Salih (injuring 6); conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. In Gaza, 4,000 Palestinians attend a Hamas rally calling on the PA to “unleash the resistance” over the holy sites controversy. (NYT, WP 3/6; OCHA, PCHR 3/11)

In the West Bank, the IDF raids a house in Bayt Fajjar nr. Bethlehem and another in Jericho, arresting 2 Palestinians (including 1 teenager). (PCHR 10/29)

New Israeli-Palestinian clashes erupt in East Jerusalem after Israel’s Islamic Movement and extremist Jewish groups call on their followers to rally in defense of the al-Aqsa Mosque and Temple Mount respectively. Israeli security forces deploy across the city to contain and prevent clashes, entering the al-Aqsa Mosque compound twice during the day with the stated aim of removing Palestinian demonstrators hiding among the approximately 200 worshippers at the site (temporarily locking worshippers inside the Dome of the Rock and the Southern Mosque), beating many Palestinians, firing tear gas and sound bombs, and arresting 10s of Palestinians (including PLC mbr. ‘Abd al-Qadir, who is ordered on 10/26 to stay out of Jerusalem for 21 days; see 10/4); as many as 25 Palestinians (including around 4 children, 7 women) and 5 journalists are injured. In a possibly related incident, Israeli security forces at Qalandia checkpoint arrest a Palestinian woman for allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli soldier; the IDF later raids her family’s house in Saffa nr. Ramallah. (NYT, WP, WT 10/26; OCHA, PCHR, WJW 10/29; PCHR 11/5)

An Israeli military court sentences 2 IDF soldiers to 20 days in a military prison, expels them fr. their unit, and prohibits them fr. serving as combat soldiers for having demonstrated in support of West Bank settlements during their swearing-in ceremony. (WJW 10/29)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Lahiya shoot and seriously wound 1 Palestinian teenager who says that he was throwing stones at a dog on the beach when he was shot. (OCHA, PCHR 10/8)

In the West Bank, the IDF arrests 5 Palestinian workers by the separation wall nr. Azun Atma nr. Qalqilya; conducts latenight raids, house searches in and around Qalqilya, arresting 3 Palestinians. (PCHR 10/8)

Major clashes erupt in Jerusalem sparked by rumors that Israeli authorities plan to allow Jewish settlers to enter the al-Aqsa Mosque compound to mark the Sukkoth holiday. In reaction, Muslim leaders call on Palestinians to rally to defend the mosque, prompting Jewish religious leaders to call followers to defend the Temple Mount. As some 200 Palestinians inside the mosque compound and some 150 Palestinians on the periphery hold off 100s of Jewish settlers fr. reaching the compound, Israeli security forces attempt to seal off the holy site and Jerusalem’s Old City to disperse the protesters and prevent violence fr. spreading. Minor incidents are reported in Ras al-Amud and al-Tur neighborhoods. Some Palestinians throw stones at security forces, who respond with stun grenades and a water cannon. Israeli security forces also arrest 10 Palestinians and violently beat 10s of others who attempt to force their way through IDF checkpoints around the Old City to reach the mosque. Among those arrested are 2 public figures—Shaykh Kamal al-Khatib and Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) mbr. Hatim ‘Abd al-Qadir (both quickly released on bail and forbidden fr. entering the Old City for 15 days). (WT 10/6; PCHR, WJW 10/8; OCHA Humanitarian Monitor 10/09)

PA security forces continue targeting Hamas mbrs. in the West Bank for arrest, detaining and quickly releasing Change and Reform PC mbr. Ahmad al-Hajj Ali. In Gaza, the ESF arrests Army of Islam spokesman Abu Khattab al-Makdisi, 2 other Army of Islam mbrs. in effort to find kidnapped BBC correspondent Johnston; the Army of Islam captures several Hamasaffiliated students in retaliation. Meanwhile, in the West Bank, the IDF unleashes attack dogs on, then fatally shoots a 15-yr.-old Palestinian boy during an arrest raid in Hebron; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron and Nablus, in Qabatya, and nr. Jenin, Qalqilya. A Jewish settler woman in Hebron beats a 14-yr.- old Palestinian boy who refuses to give her his puppy; the IDF arrests the boy. In Gaza, the IDF bulldozes Palestinian land in 2 areas along the n. Gaza border; shoots, wounds a Palestinian who strays nr. the border fence e. of Bayt Hanun. Israel announces that Israeli police and Shin Bet have arrested 11 senior Hamas mbrs. in Jerusalem for allegedly “recruit[ing] support for Hamas and giv[ing] the organization a foothold on the Temple Mount, in coordination with Shaykh Raed Salah’s Islamic Movement,” and have seized more than $95,000 in funds allegedly transferred fr. Hamas’s Damascus-based leadership; the 11 are all East Jerusalem residents, and 10 have Israeli ID cards. (IFM 7/2; HA, NYT, WP, WT 7/3; NYT, OCHA, WP 7/4; PCHR 7/5)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids in al-Til and neighboring ‘Allar; fires live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets at stone-throwing Palestinians demonstrating against Israeli excavations at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount, wounding 2. In addition to the weekly nonviolent demonstration in Bil‘in, 100s of Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists take part in nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall nr. Bethlehem, Marda, Salfit, Tulkarm; in each case, the IDF fires tear gas, percussion grenades to disperse the demonstrators, injuring several. In an evacuated settlement site nr. Khan Yunis, 1 Hamas mbr. is killed, 9 are wounded when explosives they are handling during a training exercise accidentally detonate. Nr. Rafah, 3 Palestinians are injured when they accidentally trigger an unexploded IDF shell. Jewish settlers fr. Beit Hadasah in Hebron chase, severely beat 3 Palestinians (ages 10, 40, 55); the IDF intervenes, arrests 1 Palestinian. The bedouin residents of the unrecognized village of al-Nasara in the Negev report that over the past 3 wks., Israel has issued eviction orders to around 250 residents, declaring plans to build an IDF installation on the site of the village. (NYT 3/31; OCHA 4/4; PCHR 4/5)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border shoot, wound a 14-yr.-old Palestinian boy who apparently strays nr. the border fence nr. Jabaliya r.c. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 2 Palestinian homes w. of Bethlehem nr. Kefar Etzion settlement; patrols Burkin southwest of Nablus (setting up a checkpoint, checking Palestinian IDs), Tulkarm; fires tear gas, percussion grenades at 10s of Palestinians as well as Israeli and international activists taking part in the weekly nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Bil‘in, beats others, injuring 8; fires on stone-throwing Palestinians at the Qalandia checkpoint protesting Israeli excavations at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount, wounding 1. Jewish settlers fr. Negohot settlement nr. Hebron stalk, beat, seriously injure an 11-yr.-old Palestinian boy. In Bayt Lahiya, 3 Palestinians are injured in a family feud with factional overtones. In Gaza City, Hamas mbrs. fatally shoot a Fatah mbr. (OCHA 3/28; PCHR 3/29)

Overnight the IDF raids the PA Military Intelligence headquarters in Ramallah, arrests 18 wanted AMB mbrs. who had been taking refuge there, 50 other PA Military Intelligence officers and employees (most of whom are released after interrogation); the IDF claims that the 18 were funded by Iran through Hizballah to carry out attacks on Israeli targets but offers no proof. During the day, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border send bulldozers 500 m into the border area nr. Bayt Hanun to level land, while IDF troops in the West Bank seal a Hamas-affiliated social services office and kindergarten in Bayt Fajjar nr. Bethlehem, another charitable society and kindergarten in neighboring al-Khadir. Late in the evening, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Azariyya nr. Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus, al-Til nr. Tulkarm, Tulkarm r.c. In Israel, Israeli police arrest Shaykh Raed Salah, leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, on suspicion of provocative behavior for attending a rally in East Jerusalem protesting Israel’s construction at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. In Gaza’s Nussayrat r.c., 4 unknown gunmen kidnap, break the hands of, then release a PA security officer. A PA General Intelligence Service mbr. dies of injuries sustained in interfactional fighting in Jabaliya on 2/2. (NYT, PCHR 3/8; OCHA 3/14; PCHR 3/15)

As the quarter opened, Israel and the Palestinians both stated they were observing a cease-fire in Gaza that went into effect on 11/26/06, though near-daily cross-border incidents occurred. Israel’s siege of Gaza, in place since Hamas took control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) on 3/28/06, remained, as did heavy restrictions on Palestinian movement in the West Bank. Today, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops on the n. Gaza border fire on several Palestinians collecting scrap metal nr. the border fence n. of Bayt Lahiya, wounding a 12-yrold boy. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in ‘Aida refugee camp (r.c.) nr. Bethlehem, Azun nr. Qalqilya, Qalandia r.c. (exchanging fire with Palestinian gunmen, leaving 2 IDF soldiers wounded), Tulkarm and nr. Hebron, Jenin; fires on stone-throwing Palestinians in and nr. Hebron demonstrating against Israel’s new construction at the Haram alSharif/Temple Mount (see 2/6/06 in the Chronology in JPS 143); fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, percussion grenades at 10s of Palestinians, as well as Israeli and international activists, taking part in the weekly nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Bil‘in, injuring 8. Jewish settlers fr. Tel Rumeida in Hebron occupy a Palestinian home next to the settlement; the IDF evicts the settlers but declares the area a closed military zone, barring the Palestinian family fr. returning. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba in Hebron vandalize Palestinian homes, shops; the IDF observes but does not intervene. A Fatah mbr. dies of injuries received in recent clashes in Jabaliya with members of the PA Interior Min.’s predominantly Hamas Executive Support Force (ESF). PA health sector employees in the West Bank begin an open-ended strike to protest the PA’s failure to pay their salaries. (OCHA 2/21; PCHR 2/22)

In the West Bank, the IDF bulldozes 7 bedouin homes (displacing 75 bedouin), 5 other structures in Hathalin nr. Alasfir settlement southeast of Hebron; fires on 10s of Palestinians nr. Nablus demonstrating against Israel’s construction at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount, wounding 1; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron and in ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’, Nablus, Qabatya; patrols, fires on shops in Kafr Dik nr. Salfit, also firing on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront them, causing only light injuries. Also in Hebron, 20 Jewish settlers occupy a vacant Palestinian building, but are evacuated by the IDF after sundown. (AP 2/14; PCHR 2/15; OCHA 2/21; PCHR 2/22)

The AMB fires 4 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Dahaysha r.c. in a car with Palestinian license plates to arrest a wanted Palestinian teenager; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Tulkarm, nr. Tulkarm, and in and around Hebron, Nablus. Israel’s mayor of Jerusalem Uri Lupolianski suspends for review construction work at the Haram alSharif/Temple Mount, though Palestinians hold small protests, throw stones at the IDF during the day in and around East Jerusalem, Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron and Ginat Shomron nr. Qalqilya prevent Palestinians from working their land nearby. Under IDF escort, Jewish settlers fr. Halamish nr. Ramallah uproot 50 olive trees in the Palestinian village of Dayr Nizam. In Gaza City, 200 family mbrs. of Palestinians held in Israeli jails demonstrate outside the PC headquarters, demanding that the PA do more to free their relatives. In Khan Yunis, unidentified assailants kidnap, quickly release unharmed fmr. PA atty. gen. Khalid al-Qidra. A Fatah mbr. injured during 1/29 ESF-Fatah clashes in Jabaliya r.c. dies. (MM 2/12; MM, NYT, WT 2/13; OCHA 2/14; PCHR 2/15)

IDF troops on the central Gaza border nr. Dayr al-Balah fire on Palestinian shepherds who stray nr. the border fence, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF releases 15 Palestinian schoolchildren detained outside Bethlehem on 2/10; fire on Palestinians holding a peaceful march nr. Hebron to protest Israel’s construction at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount, wounding 2. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba under IDF escort plant on nearby Palestinian land, apparently with the intention of eventually annex the area to the settlement. A Jewish settler fires on Palestinian children throwing stones at his car nr. Hebron, wounding 1 Palestinian bystander. (OCHA 2/14; PCHR 2/15)

IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of Dayr al-Balah fire on a Palestinian shepherd who strays nr. the border fence, wounding him. In the West Bank, the IDF halts a Palestinian school bus nr. Bethlehem, arrests 15 schoolchildren and detains them at detention facilities at Gush Etzion (no cause is reported); forces Palestinian stores in the Hebron market to close; sends troops into ‘Azun for a 2d day, firing on stone-throwing Palestinian youths, wounding 1; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, in Hebron, and nr. Bethlehem, Ramallah, Tulkarm. Sporadic Palestinian demonstrations against Israel’s construction at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount occur in Jerusalem, the West Bank; no injuries are reported. (NYT, WP, WT 2/11; MM 2/12; OCHA 2/14; PCHR 2/15)

Following Friday prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque, some 200 Israeli riot police raid the mosque compound, clash with stone-throwing Palestinian worshipers protesting over Israel’s excavation work nr. the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount (see 2/6); riots spread to other areas of the Old City, leaving at least 30 Palestinians requiring hospitalization, 15 policemen injured; some 3,000 Israeli police had been stationed around the mosque in anticipation of violence. UNESCO calls on Israel to “suspend any action [at the site] that could endanger the spirit of mutual respect.” In the West Bank, the IDF fires live ammunition, tear gas, percussion grenades to disperse a 10s of Palestinians in Hebron peacefully protesting Israel’s construction at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount; also fires on stone-throwing Palestinians holding a similar demonstration outside ‘Arub r.c., seriously wounding 1 Palestinian; sends troops into ‘Azun, fires on stone-throwing youths who confront them, wounding 2 Palestinians. (NYT 2/9; NYT, WP, WT 2/10; MM 2/12; OCHA 2/14; PCHR 2/15)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza Border nr. Bayt Lahiya shoot, wound a Palestinian collecting scrap metal nr. the border fence. Islamic Jihad fires 6 rockets fr. Gaza toward the IDF post at the Sufa crossing, causing no damage or injuries, prompting the IDF to shut the crossing. In Nussayrat r.c., a Palestinian is injured when an explosive device he is preparing explodes prematurely. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units in a car with Palestinian license plates into Baqa al-Sharqiyya nr. Tulkarm to ambush, arrest 2 wanted Palestinians; surrounds, photographs a municipal building in ‘Azun; fire live ammunition, tear gas, percussion grenades at 10s of Palestinians holding a peaceful demonstration in Hebron against Israel’s construction work at the Haram alSharif/Temple Mount, wounding 2 Palestinians; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Hebron, Tulkarm; bulldozes 400 m2 of Palestinian land nr. the entrance to ‘Azun for construction of an observation tower; confiscates 400 m2 of Palestinian land in Hebron for another observation tower. In Nussayrat r.c., 500 Palestinian children organized by an NGO demonstrate against the ongoing intra-Palestinian violence and for a national unity government. Some 400 Palestinian women, children attend a similarly rally organized by Islamic Jihad, the PFLP in Dayr al-Balah. The NIHC organizes a peaceful demonstration in Rafah against Israel’s construction at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. (MM 2/8; OCHA 2/14; PCHR 2/15)

On the 3d day of talks brokered by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in Mecca, Abbas, Hamas head Khalid Mishalsign an agmt. charging Haniyeh to form a national unity government within 5 wks., calling an immediate intra-Palestinian cease-fire. (MM 2/8; MM, NYT, UNIS, WP, WT 2/9; Daily Star, MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/10; MM 2/12)

The IDF allows departures through Rafah crossing for the 1st time since 1/8, causing a near riot among the 10,000–12,000 Palestinians gathered in the exit area, forcing the EU monitors to close the crossing late in the morning. Palestinians later fire on Rafah crossing in an attempt to force it to reopen, wounding 1 Palestinian bystander. Palestinians also fire 2 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in ‘Azun, clashing with stone-throwing Palestinians who confront the troops; conduct arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, nr. Qalqilya, and in Hebron, Tulkarm town and r.c. Israeli authorities begin excavation work 50 yds. fr. the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount with the stated purpose of replacing a centuries-old walkway damaged in a snowstorm in 2004, denies archeological digging is underway though it admits that, by law, any artifacts must be salvaged before work can begin; Waqf officials protest the work; Hamas organizes peaceful demonstrations in Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City, Jabaliya r.c., Khan Yunis, Nussayrat r.c., Rafah against the construction. In Gaza City, Dahlan’s bodyguards kill 1 ESF mbr., wound 3 in a drive-by shooting. In Khan Yunis, ESF mbrs. release Dahlan’s nephew, kidnapped on 2/3, after severely beating him. ESF, Fatah mbrs. exchange fire in Khan Yunis, wounding 1 bystander. ESF mbrs. break into a Force 17 base in Bayt Hanun, temporarily detain 4 Force 17 mbrs. In Gaza City, 2,000 PA employees rally to call for a halt to intraPalestinian violence. (IFM, MM, NYT, OCHA 2/7; MM, PCHR 2/8; PLONAD 2/9)

The IDF detains Change and Reform PC mbrs. Khalid Abu ‘Arafa, Ahmad Abu Atun, Muhammad Abu Tir for participating in a public demonstration at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount on 5/19 to urge people to donate money to the PA government, bars them fr. entering the holy site for 2 wks.; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Nablus and nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin, Ramallah. The High Court of Israel also approves a segment of the separation wall in Ramallah that will isolate at least 3,900 d. of Palestinian land and uproot 1,100 olive trees. Fatah and Hamas activists, mbrs. of the predominately Hamas ESF and the predominantly Fatah PA Preventive Security Forces (PSF) exchange fire nr. the PC headquarters in Gaza City, killing the Jordanian amb.’s driver, wounding 11 Palestinians in the crossfire; it is unclear who shot first and why. Fatah, Hamas gunmen (not mbrs. of the security forces) also clash in Khan Yunis, leaving 1 Fatah mbr. dead; Hamas says the incident was sparked by Fatah mbrs. attempting to kidnap 2 of its men, whereas Fatah says it began when Hamas mbrs. ambushed a Fatah vehicle. (AFP, HA 5/22; AFP, NYT, WP, WT 5/23; PCHR 5/25)

As of midnight local time, the IDF seals the Gaza Strip in preparation for disengagement implementation beginning on 8/17, making it illegal for Israelis to enter Gaza. During the day, some 7,500 PA security forces, overseen byEgyptian security officers, begin deploying nr. Gaza settlements to prevent Palestinians fr. approaching them. Before dawn, Palestinian gunmen fire on Kefar Darom, causing no damage or injuries; an IDF tank returns fire, accidentally targeting an IDF personnel carrier, wounding 5 IDF soldiers. In the West Bank, the IDF sends troops into Tulkarm, closes the main street, interrogates residents; conducts arrest raids, house searches in villages around Tulkarm; occupies a house nr. Nablus as an observation post. Nr. Qalqilya, a Palestinian dies of heat stroke after being handcuffed by IDF troops, left in the sun for hrs. In light of threats by Jewish extremists to storm the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount and destroy the al-Aqsa mosque, 100s of Israeli police, troops deploy in and around the Old City of Jerusalem to prevent possible Israeli-Palestinian clashes; 1,000s of Muslims fr. Jerusalem and Israel attempt to converge to defend the site, but West Bank Palestinians are barred fr. entering Jerusalem, Israeli Palestinians under age 45 are banned fr. accessing the mosque compound. Jewish settlers gather outside Homesh settlement to protest the disengagement, throw stones at passing Palestinian vehicles. In Gaza, Jewish settlers block Palestinian access to roads btwn. Kefar Yam and Shirat Hayam. A French sound technician covering the disengagement in Gaza is kidnapped by unknown Palestinians; Hamas accuses the PA of not doing enough to protect internationals working in Gaza, says targeting foreigners should be a red line. In light of recent kidnappings, the UN moves all nonessential foreign staff in Gaza to Jerusalem until further notice. (AFP, XIN 8/14; IMEMC, WT 8/15; PR 8/17; PCHR, REU 8/18; IMEMC 8/19)

Overnight, Hamas, the PRCs reportedly fire another 45 mortars, 30 rockets at Jewish settlements in Gaza (lightly damaging 1 house) and the Negev in retaliation for the deaths of 3 Palestinians on 4/9. The IDF arrests Fatah mbr. Firas Tanbur in Nablus on charges of planning a terrorist attack on behalf of Hizballah; Palestinians confront soldiers with stones during the raid; soldiers respond with rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas, injuring 10. The IDF also raids, searches an elementary school in, imposes a curfew on al-‘Asa’sa nr. Jenin; fires on stonethrowing Palestinians nr. Nablus; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin; occupies a Palestinian home in Ramallah as an observation post; sends troops into Aida r.c. to break up a nonviolent protest against threats by Revava to attack al-Aqsa mosque. Some 3,000 Israeli police bar a rally at the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif by Revava attended by only 50 rightwing Israelis. Israel reports that Egypt recently arrested a Fatah Hawks mbr. on charges of smuggling Strela surface-to-air missiles into Gaza. (HA, MM, NYT 4/11; XIN 4/12; OCHA, PR 4/13; MM, PCHR 4/14)