213 / 15237 Results
  • May 8, 2012

    The IDF bulldozes a 7-km Palestinian road that links Tubas and agricultural areas of Yazra village and a similar agricultural road leading from al-Khadir village (nr. Bethlehem) to outlying...

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  • February 2, 2011

    In retaliation for rocket fire on 1/31, the IDF makes an air strike on a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF arrests 3 Palestinian children (ages...

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  • May 18, 2009

    Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu begins a 2-day visit to Washington to discuss the peace process, Iran, bilateral relations, and Middle East regional affairs, holding his 1st mtg. with U.S. pres....

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  • November 6, 2008

    U.S. Secy. of State Rice begins her final 4-day Middle East tour of Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank to discuss efforts to achieve “lasting peace in the region consistent with the goal of...

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  • November 5, 2008

    Overnight, the IDF demolishes the Palestinian home nr. Dayr al-Balah that it says was hiding a tunnel, arresting 4 female residents, bulldozing an additional 2.5 d. of land. Retaliating for IDF...

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  • October 20, 2008

    By this date, Palestinian factions have agreed to an Egyptian proposal to resume their national unity dialogue in Cairo on 11/9. Hamas and Fatah are considering a draft memorandum of understanding...

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  • October 12, 2008

    Overnight, the IDF makes an incursion into Bethlehem, surrounding and firing on the home of a wanted Palestinian, raiding and several nearby homes, occupying 1 as an observation post; over the...

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  • February 2, 2008

    After mtgs. with Egyptian officials in Cairo, Hamas announces that the Rafah border will close on 2/3. Some 2,500 Palestinian women rally at the Rafah crossing to urge Egypt to keep it open; 10,...

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  • February 1, 2008

    In Gaza, 2,000 Palestinians hold a peaceful demonstration at a sealed breach in the Rafah border to urge Egypt to keep the border open. Outside Rafah, 2 Palestinian teenagers are injured when they...

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  • January 1, 2008

    IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of al-Bureij r.c. fire on Hamas mbrs. along the border fence, killing 1 Hamas mbr., then fire on Palestinians who attempt to evacuate his body, wounding 2...

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  • September 18, 2007

    Overnight, the IDF makes a major incursion into ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’a r.c. to arrest Hamas and PFLP mbrs., imposing a roundthe-clock curfew, firing on residential areas, occupying several homes as...

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  • July 21, 2007

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza border shoot, seriously wound 2 armed Palestinians nr. the border fence n. of Bayt Lahiya. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around...

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  • May 6, 2007

    Palestinians fire some 7 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, hitting a gas station in Sederot, lightly injuring 2 Israelis. An Islamic Jihad mbr. is injured when explosives he is handling detonate...

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  • May 2, 2007

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire on 2 Palestinians collecting scrap metal nr. the border fence n. of Bayt Lahiya, killing 1 Palestinian, arresting the other. In the West Bank, the IDF...

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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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  • March 6, 2007

    Late in the evening, IDF troops briefly cross into n. Gaza to search the border area nr. Bayt Hanun. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem (also searching 2...

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  • January 4, 2007

    The IDF makes its largest daylight arrest raid in the West Bank in more than 2 yrs., sending troops, armored vehicles, bulldozers into Ramallah, with helicopter support, arresting 4 and sparking...

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  • September 24, 2006

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in al-Fara‘a r.c. (firing on residential areas, damaging a UNRWA clinic), al-Khadir (firing on stone-throwing youths who confront them, wounding 1); conducts...

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  • August 16, 2006

    As the quarter opens,Israel’s blockade of Gaza enters its 6th mo., allowing no goods or people out (except for very limited medical emergencies) and letting only limited food and fuel supplies and...

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  • March 13, 2006

    Israel acknowledges that it has begun work on a new police headquarters, road network, and “other facilities” in Jerusalem’s E-1 development area, marking the 1st step in the largest settlement...

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  • February 25, 2006

    The IDF makes a rare raid into Jericho, turned over to PA security control on 3/16/05, to arrest a wanted AMB mbr. who is also a mbr. of the PA security forces; fires on residential areas of Bani...

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  • February 18, 2006

    The IDF tightens restrictions on Palestinian movement around Ramallah in the morning, coinciding with the convening of the new Palestinian Council (PC) session (see below); sends troops back into...

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  • February 17, 2006

    The IDF bars Palestinians under age 45 fr. attending Friday prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque; raids al-Khadir nr. Bethlehem, arresting 6 youths (aged 14–17) for throwing stones at Israeli vehicles along...

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  • February 5, 2006

    The IDF reopens the Qarni crossing (closed on 1/14); conducts an air strike on 2 cars driving in Gaza City, assassinating Islamic Jihad mbrs. Adnan Bustan, Jihad al-Sawafiri; patrols in and around...

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  • January 31, 2006

    IDF undercover units raid Jenin, assassinate West Bank head of Islamic Jihad’s al-Quds Brigades Nidal al-Sadi, his aide Ahmad Tubasi in a shootout that leaves 1 IDF soldier wounded; also open fire...

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  • January 11, 2006

    The IDF bars Third Way candidate Salah al-Masri fr. entering Gaza to campaign although he has the proper permits; prevents 2 of the PFLP’s Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa list candidates fr. crossing a...

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  • January 1, 2006

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

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  • December 19, 2005

    Overnight and into the predawn hours, the IDF conducts at least 13 air strikes on n. Gaza, destroying a bridge outside Bayt Hanun, damaging roads, hitting a PA naval police building, injuring 2...

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  • December 4, 2005

    Israel increases the number of Palestinian workers allowed into Israel fr. the West Bank to 37,000, while Israeli police launch a crackdown on Palestinians working in Israel without permits,...

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  • December 3, 2005

    After Palestinians fire 2 rockets into Israel, causing no damage or injuries, an IDF helicopter fires missiles at an Islamic Jihad charity in Gaza City, damaging the building, lightly wounding 1...

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The IDF bulldozes a 7-km Palestinian road that links Tubas and agricultural areas of Yazra village and a similar agricultural road leading from al-Khadir village (nr. Bethlehem) to outlying farmlands; demolishes a Palestinian restaurant in Bayt Jala (nr. Bethlehem); cuts down and confiscates 350 Palestinian olive trees and demolishes an irrigation network on a plot of land nr. Hebron that Israel has declared state land. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya; conducts late-night patrols in Tulkarm and 1 nearby village. (PCHR 5/10; OCHA 5/11)

In retaliation for rocket fire on 1/31, the IDF makes an air strike on a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF arrests 3 Palestinian children (ages 13–16) for straying nr. the separation wall in Bil‘in; makes a late-night raid on a Palestinian home in al-Khadir nr. Bethlehem looking for a 12- yr.-old boy who threw stones at troops earlier in the day, assaulting a boy in the house and knocking him unconscious (he is taken by ambulance to a hospital for evaluation), roughly searching rooms, and allegedly stealing gold; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Ramallah. (AFP, YA 2/2; PCHR 2/3, 2/10; OCHA 2/11)

In Ramallah, the PA, which had banned anti-Mubarak protests in the West Bank, organizes 100s of Fatah mbrs. into proMubarak demonstrations, with the PAcontrolled media denouncing Egyptian opposition figure El-Baradei as a war criminal and CIA agent, calling him responsible for the war on Iraq. Later in the day, some 150 Palestinians in Ramallah organize a counterdemonstration in solidarity with the Egyptian people but are beaten and dispersed by PA riot police, who arrest 2 journalists and a human rights worker monitoring the rally. To date, the PFLP is the only Palestinian faction to come out in support of the Egyptian demonstrators. (JP 2/2; Human Rights Watch press release, NYT, WP, WT 2/3; NYT 2/4; WP 2/7) 

Yemen’s pres. Saleh pledges he will not run again when his term ends in 2013 or appoint his son to succeed him. In the past 10 days, he has also promised to lift the state of emergency imposed since 1992, raised the salaries of soldiers and civil servants, pledged to hire more college graduates, cut income taxes, imposed price controls, extended welfare payments to an additional 500,000 Yemenis, waived college tuition fees for students for the current year, and promised to reopen voter registration to enable some 1.5 m. Yemenis to register to vote. Today, Obama issues a statement welcoming Saleh’s reform steps. The opposition remains dubious, with many saying Saleh must step down immediately. Hereafter, protests shrink in size (from the 1,000s to the 100s) but increase in frequency, becoming near daily events in Sana’a and Aden through the end of the quarter. (NYT, WP 2/3; NYT 2/4)

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu begins a 2-day visit to Washington to discuss the peace process, Iran, bilateral relations, and Middle East regional affairs, holding his 1st mtg. with U.S. pres. Barack Obama at the White House. Obama privately presses for a total Israeli settlement freeze and endorsement of a 2-state solution, with Netanyahu demurring. The leaders emerge showing no signs of tensions, instead stressing shared goals of preventing Iran fr. developing nuclear weapons and achieving peace btwn. Israel and the Palestinians. (HA, IFM, WP, WT 5/18; NYT, WP, WT 5/19; NYT, WJW 5/21; WP 5/24; NYT 5/29; JPI 6/4; HA 6/11; see also NYT, WP 5/17)

In the West Bank, the IDF makes a rare daytime incursion into al-Khadir nr. Bethlehem, raiding 2 secondary schools while classes are in session, holding the students for several hours while searching for a wanted person; no arrests are made. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in al-‘Arub refugee camp (r.c.) and 3 villages nr. Hebron. (OCHA 5/20; PCHR 5/21)

A 5th round of Palestinian national unity talks (5/16–18) ends in Cairo without any progress. (Xinhua–New China News Agency 5/18; NYT 5/20)

U.S. Secy. of State Rice begins her final 4-day Middle East tour of Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank to discuss efforts to achieve “lasting peace in the region consistent with the goal of a two-state solution.” The U.S. had announced the trip on 10/30, when optimism surrounding the Gaza ceasefire was high, hoping that the visit would end with the signing of an Israeli-Palestinian joint statement on future negotiations at a high-level Quartet meeting on 11/9. In the wake of the 11/4–5 violence, however, the White House declares today, as Rice begins her meetings, that it intends to leave IsraeliArab peacemaking to the Obama admin. and no longer thinks any Israeli-Palestinian peace deal will occur before Bush leaves office in 1/09. Rice meets with Livni today. (BBC 11/6; NYT, WP, WSJ 11/7) (WT 10/31; HA 11/8; IFM, NYT, WP, WT 11/9; WP 11/10)

IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire on Palestinian farmers working their fields nearby, forcing them to leave. The IDF also makes an air strike on a group of Palestinians nr. Jabaliya r.c. allegedly preparing to fire a rocket, injuring 1. Palestinians fire 4 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, in the morning, the IDF sends undercover units into Qalqilya driving a car with Palestinian plates to raid a store, arrest the owner; conducts a similar undercover raid into Nablus later in the day, raiding another store and arresting the owner; sends troops into al-Khadir village at midday, forcing stores to close, patrolling streets, withdrawing early in the evening; makes an evening incursion into Azun nr. Qalqilya, imposing a curfew, beating Palestinians who do not quickly leave the streets, withdrawing before midnight. Abbas accuses Hamas forces in Gaza of detaining nearly 50 Fatah members and supporters in a political move to undermine upcoming Cairo unity talks; at least 9 of those arrested, including a Fatah PC mbr., are released by the end of the day. A Palestinian woman dies of injures receive in the 11/4 IDF attacks on Gaza. (HA 11/6; MM 11/7; OCHA 11/12; PCHR 11/13)

Overnight, the IDF demolishes the Palestinian home nr. Dayr al-Balah that it says was hiding a tunnel, arresting 4 female residents, bulldozing an additional 2.5 d. of land. Retaliating for IDF attacks on 11/4–5, Hamas and Islamic Jihad mbrs. fire about 35 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries; the IDF strikes 1 rocketlaunching site in Jabaliya r.c. in n. Gaza, killing 1 Islamic Jihad mbr. and wounding 2 others (including senior cmdr. Issam Ba‘lusha) and 2 bystanders. Hamas officials state that they are in contact with Egypt to restore calm and would observe the ceasefire if Israel halted attacks; Israel says it intends to uphold the truce, but cuts off fuel shipments to Gaza and seals all crossings into the Strip indefinitely as punishment for the rocket fire. In the West Bank, the IDF makes a daytime arrest raid, searches a shop in al-Khadir nr. Bethlehem; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron and nr. Bethlehem, Ramallah. The IDF also demolishes 2 Palestinian homes in Silwan in East Jerusalem (displacing 9 Palestinians)— the 1st of 88 Palestinian homes slated for demolition to make way for a “national archeological park”—sparking clashes with local residents that leave 8 injured, 20 under arrest; also demolishes 1 Palestinian home in Shu’fat (displacing 11 Palestinians), a wedding hall in Bayt Hanina. (AFP, HA, XIN 11/5; NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 11/6; HA 11/8; OCHA 11/12; PCHR 11/13; NYT 12/7)

By this date, Palestinian factions have agreed to an Egyptian proposal to resume their national unity dialogue in Cairo on 11/9. Hamas and Fatah are considering a draft memorandum of understanding on national reconciliation proposed by Egypt that would be issued at the close of the Cairo summit (see Quarterly Update). (Electronic Intifada [online] 10/28; MNA 11/2; MNR 11/7; AFP 11/8; NYT, WT 11/9)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols, searches houses in al-Khadir, beats 3 Palestinians (ages 28, 37, and 63), claiming that Palestinians in the area had thrown stones at Israeli vehicles on a nearby settlersonly bypass road; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, nr. Hebron. More than 100 Jewish settlers block roads and throw stones at Palestinian cars nr. Qalqilya to prevent Palestinians, accompanied by international and Israeli peace activists, fr. reaching their groves to harvest olives. Inside Israel, Israeli police arrest 6 Israeli Jews fr. Tel Aviv for taking part in recent arson attacks against Israeli Palestinian property in Acre. (BBC 10/20; OCHA, WT 10/22; PCHR, WJW 10/23)

Overnight, the IDF makes an incursion into Bethlehem, surrounding and firing on the home of a wanted Palestinian, raiding and several nearby homes, occupying 1 as an observation post; over the next 12 hrs., troops evacuate, partially bulldoze, then storm the surrounded, vacant home, incorrectly believing the wanted man to be inside, rendering the house uninhabitable. The IDF also enters al-Khadir village nr. Bethlehem and al-Masayaf neighborhood in Ramallah in the morning, randomly checking Palestinians’ IDs, arresting 2 in al-Khadir and summoning 2 in Ramallah for questioning; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities formally open a synagogue built on confiscated and demolished Palestinian property; the ceremony is attended by several senior Israeli officials, rabbis, and right-wing Israeli MKs. (NYT 10/13; OCHA 10/15; PCHR 10/16)

After mtgs. with Egyptian officials in Cairo, Hamas announces that the Rafah border will close on 2/3. Some 2,500 Palestinian women rally at the Rafah crossing to urge Egypt to keep it open; 10,000 Palestinians take part in similar nonviolent rally in Gaza City. Egypt reports that it has arrested at least 14 armed Palestinians in the Sinai not far fr. the Rafah border. Palestinians fire 6 rockets fr. Gaza toward Israel; 1 lands inside Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF distributes fliers in Azun warning that unless local youths stopped throwing stones at Jewish settler vehicles traveling on Route 55 (see 2/1), the army would launch arrest raids, shoot stone-throwers, seal the village’s main entrance, and close shops nr. the road; fires on stone-throwing youths in al-Khadir, wounding 3; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron, nr. Jenin. (NYT, WP, WT 2/3; OCHA 2/6; PCHR 2/7)

In Gaza, 2,000 Palestinians hold a peaceful demonstration at a sealed breach in the Rafah border to urge Egypt to keep the border open. Outside Rafah, 2 Palestinian teenagers are injured when they accidentally trigger unexploded IDF ordnance. In the West Bank, the IDF sets up a checkpoint outside a Bayt Umar cemetery to check the IDs of mourners attending the funeral of the 2d Kefar Etzion attacker (see 1/24); later fires percussion grenades, rubber-coated steel bullets at mourners, wounding 6; fires on residential areas of al-Khadir nr. Bethlehem, causing no injuries; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Jenin, northwest of Jerusalem; fires rubber-coated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, international activists taking part in nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall in Bil‘in (injuring 2). Palestinian children throw stones at Jewish settler vehicles traveling on Route 55 nr. Azun and Route 60 nr. Hawara, damaging 2 but causing no injuries. Inside Israel, 20,000 Israeli Palestinians march in Sakhnin to protest a 1/27 government decision not to try police officers who fatally shot 13 Israeli Palestinians during 10/00 antigovernment demonstrations in Um al-Fahm in solidarity with the intifada. In Gaza City, Hamas-affiliated police release Fayyad adviser Ghul, arrested on 12/14. (AFP 2/1; NYT, WP 2/2; OCHA 2/6; PCHR 2/7)

IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of al-Bureij r.c. fire on Hamas mbrs. along the border fence, killing 1 Hamas mbr., then fire on Palestinians who attempt to evacuate his body, wounding 2 civilians; fatally shoot an unarmed Palestinian who strays nr. the border fence nr. Bayt Hanun. The IDF also sends tanks, armored vehicles, bulldozers into the Erez industrial zone and into Gaza nr. the Kerem Shalom crossing to level land. In the West Bank, the IDF raids, searches a school in Hebron, making no arrests; conducts arrest raids, house searches in al-Arub r.c. and nr. Hebron, Tulkarm. Israel’s Internal Security Min. bans the East Jerusalem–based National Commission Against Social Problems fr. holding its annual mtg. on the grounds that it is affiliated with the PA, which is barred fr. conducting official business in the city. Jewish settlers fr. Efrat and El Azara set fire to a 700-yr.-old mosque in nearby al-Khadir. Jewish settlers place 2 mobile homes on Palestinian land in Bil‘in that the Israeli High Court ruled on 9/4/07 should be returned to the village, attack local Palestinians who attempt to stage a sit-in to block them; Israeli police remove the settlers. In Gaza, Fatah-Hamas clashes continue overnight, leaving at least another 3 Palestinians dead and 30 injured. In Nablus, unidentified gunmen fire on the car of a Hamas-affiliated municipal official, wounding his wife. (REU 1/1; NYT, OCHA, WT 1/2; PCHR 1/3)

Overnight, the IDF makes a major incursion into ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’a r.c. to arrest Hamas and PFLP mbrs., imposing a roundthe-clock curfew, firing on residential areas, occupying several homes as military outposts, moving from building to building by breaking through walls (50 homes and 2 shops are damaged by the time the operation ends on 9/21), clashing with local gunmen, leaving 1 armed Palestinian, 1 IDF soldier dead. At dawn, Palestinians fr. neighboring Nablus obey calls from local mosques to march to the camp to force a lifting of the siege; when some throw stones at troops, the IDF responds with live fire, mortally wounding a 17-yr.-old Palestinian, barring ambulances from reaching the scene, allowing him to bleed to death; 4 other Palestinians are wounded. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem, nr. Hebron; issues a military order confiscating 523 d. of Palestinian land in al-Khadir and Artas nr. Bethlehem for expansion of Efrat settlement. Haniyeh meets with Islamic Jihad leaders in Gaza to ask them to halt rocket fire into Israel during Ramadan, which ends ca. 10/13, but no agmt. is reached; Damascus-based Hamas leader Khalid Mishal intends to hold similar talks with Islamic Jihad leaders in Syria in the next few days. In Gaza City, Hamas and Islamic Jihad mbrs. armed with sticks and axes clash when Hamas mbrs. reportedly attempt to take over the Islamic Jihad–run Asqalan Mosque; 3 Palestinians are injured. (NYT, OCHA 9/19; NYT, PCHR 9/20)

US. Secy. of State Condoleeza Rice begins the 1st of 3 visits to the region this quarter for talks with Olmert, Abbas in preparation for Bush’s proposed fall peace conference, now tentatively set for 11/15 in Washington. She returns to Washington on 9/20. (WP 9/18; WT 9/19; see also IFM, WT 10/17)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border shoot, seriously wound 2 armed Palestinians nr. the border fence n. of Bayt Lahiya. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin town and r.c., in al-Khadir nr. Bethlehem. In Nablus, PA security forces loyal to Abbas release Hamas official and senior adviser to fmr. Interior M Qawasmi Ahmad Dolah (arrested on 7/2); 6 other Hamas officials recently arrested in Nablus have been freed in the past few days. In Gaza, Hamas says that it is installing a temporary legal comm. comprising an Islamic law expert, a military court lawyer, and the head of the main prison temporarily to replace the nonfunctioning PA court system. (AP 7/21; WT 7/22; OCHA 7/25; PCHR 7/26)

Palestinians fire some 7 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, hitting a gas station in Sederot, lightly injuring 2 Israelis. An Islamic Jihad mbr. is injured when explosives he is handling detonate prematurely. In the West Bank, the IDF sends troops into Jenin town and r.c., firing on residential areas and stonethrowing youths who confront the troops, wounding 5 Palestinians; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron and in al-Khadir. Jewish settlers fr. Karme Tzur and Kiryat Arba set up a tent on a hill northeast of Halhul, later leave but vow to establish a new settlement on the site; the IDF observes but does not intervene. Jewish settlers fr. Einav nr. Tulkarm set fire to 80 d. of Palestinian olive, almond trees nearby. Nr. Ramallah, Palestinian gunmen fire on a convoy delivering gas to a Jewish settlement, wounding an Israeli security guard. Some 70 Palestinian protesters thought to be aligned with the Army of Islam throw stones, possibly fire at Fatah lawmaker Majid Abu Shamalah as he leaves an end-of-the-school-year celebration at a Rafah UNRWA school, prompting his bodyguards to open fire, killing 1 of their own and leaving 2 teachers, 2 protesters, and 2 schoolchildren (ages 9, 14) wounded; the attack on the school comes days after the Army of Islam warned the school against holding the celebration, which they condemned for involving “the mixing of adolescent boys and girls, which is forbidden in Islam.” Unidentified gunmen fire on a Fatah base in Bureij r.c., causing no injuries. A Palestinian possibly affiliated with the Army of Islam orders UNRWA employees off an agency minibus in Rafah before tossing a hand grenade inside, damaging it. (Jerusalem Post 5/6; NYT 5/7; OCHA 5/9; PCHR 5/10; AHR 5/15)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire on 2 Palestinians collecting scrap metal nr. the border fence n. of Bayt Lahiya, killing 1 Palestinian, arresting the other. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Tulkarm and in Balata r.c., Dura, al-Khadir, Nablus, Qabatya. Also in the West Bank, 10,000s of PA workers observe a 1-day strike called by the Fatah-aligned PA Government Employees Union to protest nonpayment of their salaries. (NYT, PCHR 5/3; OCHA 5/9; PCHR 5/10)

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)

Late in the evening, IDF troops briefly cross into n. Gaza to search the border area nr. Bayt Hanun. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem (also searching 2 schools in Bayt Fajjar and al-Khadir, confiscating computers, files, children’s schoolbags, a fax machine), Hebron, Nablus and neighboring Balata r.c., Qalqilya. (OCHA 3/7; PCHR 3/8)

The IDF makes its largest daylight arrest raid in the West Bank in more than 2 yrs., sending troops, armored vehicles, bulldozers into Ramallah, with helicopter support, arresting 4 and sparking an exchange of gunfire that leaves 4 Palestinians dead (including at least 3 bystanders), more than 20 wounded (including a journalist); the main target, local AMB leader Rabi‘a Hamad, is wounded but escapes. In reaction Abbas issues a statement saying that the raid proves that “Israeli calls for peace and security are fake.” Haniyeh again cuts short his regional tour to return to Gaza to deal with factional violence. In accordance with new security arrangements agreed by Abbas, Israel, the U.S., and European Union (EU) on 1/3, Haniyeh is forced to undergo a stringent security check before being allowed back into Gaza. In addition, the IDF sends undercover units into al-Duha nr. Bethlehem in a vehicle with Palestinian license plates, where they shoot, wound, arrest a wanted Palestinian; conducts arrest raids, house searches in al-Khadir nr. Bethlehem. Meanwhile, IDF troops on the Gaza border fire on Palestinian farmers working their land nr. the border fence n. of Bayt Lahiya, wounding 4. Suspected Fatah mbrs. ambush an ESF convoy in Bayt Lahiya, killing 1 ESF mbr., wounding 2. Later in the evening, ESF mbrs. surround the Bayt Lahiya home of PSF Col. Muhammad Gharib, who was allegedly involved in the ambush, sparking an exchange of gunfire and RPGs that leaves Gharib, 4 of his guards dead, at least 36 Palestinians wounded (including 8 children). In al-Maghazi and Dayr al-Balah, 5 Palestinians are wounded in clashes btwn. Fatah, Hamas supporters. Hamas releases Fatah mbrs. kidnapped in Bayt Lahiya on 1/3 in a deal brokered by smaller factions. In Gaza City, a Hamas mbr. dies of injuries he received on 1/3 when a bomb he was handling exploded prematurely. In Jenin, unidentified assailants set fire to car of the PA Prison Affairs M. (HA, MM 1/4; MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/5; NYT 1/6; HA 1/7; MM 1/8, 1/9; OCHA 1/10; PCHR 1/11; MM 1/12)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in al-Fara‘a r.c. (firing on residential areas, damaging a UNRWA clinic), al-Khadir (firing on stone-throwing youths who confront them, wounding 1); conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron (arresting a Force 17 officer), Jenin, Nablus. (PCHR 9/28)

As the quarter opens,Israel’s blockade of Gaza enters its 6th mo., allowing no goods or people out (except for very limited medical emergencies) and letting only limited food and fuel supplies and a handful of diplomats and international aid workers in; Palestinians are receiving on average 6–8 hrs./day of electricity and 2–3 hrs./day of water after Israel’s bombing of Gaza’s sole generator on 6/28. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) continues Operation Summer Rains (see Quarterly Update in JPS 141), which began on 6/28 after the capture of an IDF soldier in a Palestinian cross-border raid fr. Gaza on 6/25, making occasional ground incursions into Gaza, maintaining troops at the Dahaniyya airport site outside of Rafah. In Gaza, the IDF launches air strikes, destroying a empty Palestinian home in Gaza City, causing no injuries; sends at least 50 armored vehicles into the outskirts of Bayt Hanun, firing on residential areas, bulldozing large areas of agricultural land, ordering residents of 15 houses to surrender for ID checks, arresting 2 before withdrawing across the border. Also in Gaza, 1 Palestinian is killed, 3 are injured when they apparently prematurely detonate explosives they are handling. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Azun nr. Qalqilya (firing on stone-throwing youths who confront them, wounding 2), Fahma nr. Jenin (firing on residential areas, damaging homes), Jenin town and refugee camp (r.c.; wounding 1 Palestinian), al-Khadir nr. Bethlehem (firing on residential areas); conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Salfit. In Khan Yunis, a 14-yr.-old Palestinian boy is killed in crossfire btwn. Hamas Executive Support Force (ESF) mbrs., Fatah gunmen. (PCHR 8/17; OCHA 8/23; PCHR 8/24)

Two days after an Israel-Hizballah cease-fire went into effect ending 34 days of war (Israel dubbed its offensive Operation Change of Direction; see Chronology in JPS 141), the Lebanese government reaches a compromise agreement with Hizballah under which only the army will be allow to “carry weapons” s. of the Litani (allowing Hizballah to store weapons nr. the border with Israel) and the Lebanese cabinet votes to order the army to prepare to deploy across s. Lebanon (a precondition for an Israeli withdrawal). The UN estimates that since 8/14, more than 200,000 Lebanese have returned to their homes and 60,000 have returned fr. Syria, leaving more than 700,000 still internally displaced. The Lebanese government now puts the comprehensive toll at 1,152 Lebanese killed and some 3,700 wounded, with numbers expected to rise as more bodies are recovered. (UN Information Service, WP 8/16; NYT, WP, WT 8/17)

Israel acknowledges that it has begun work on a new police headquarters, road network, and “other facilities” in Jerusalem’s E-1 development area, marking the 1st step in the largest settlement construction project since 1967 to create “Jewish demographic continuity between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim” settlement; the project will include 3,550 housing units, 6 hotels, a park. Israel’s Internal Security M Gideon Ezra says the U.S. did not object to beginning construction. IDF undercover units, traveling in a car with Palestinian license plates, enter Jenin, call in 10 IDF vehicles for backup, raid and occupy several homes, arresting 2 wanted Palestinians. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Ramallah, in and around Hebron, and in Jenin town and r.c., al-Khadir, Nablus; begins construction of a new settler bypass road on Palestinian land in Hebron to link Abraham Avino and Ramat Yishai settlements. Jewish settlers fr. Suissa attack Palestinians, their farm animals and vandalize Palestinian homes in nearby Yatta. (IMEMC, JAZ, YA 3/14; MM, PCHR 3/16)

The IDF makes a rare raid into Jericho, turned over to PA security control on 3/16/05, to arrest a wanted AMB mbr. who is also a mbr. of the PA security forces; fires on residential areas of Bani Na‘im (wounding 2 Palestinians); conducts arrest raids, house searches in Budrus nr. Ramallah, Hebron (firing on residential areas, wounding 2 Palestinians); patrols in, fires on residential areas of Jenin town and r.c.; raids the PA Customs Dept. in Hebron, confiscating fireworks; sends troops into al-Khadir to arrest 3 Palestinian youths for stone-throwing. After IDF warplanes strike the n. Gaza no-go zone, Palestinians fire 2 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel; the IDF responds by shelling the no-go zone again; no damage or injuries are reported on either side. A Palestinian wounded in the IDF shelling of Bayt Hanun on 2/9 dies. (AFP, JAZ 2/25; IMEMC 2/26; PCHR 3/2)

The IDF tightens restrictions on Palestinian movement around Ramallah in the morning, coinciding with the convening of the new Palestinian Council (PC) session (see below); sends troops back into al-Khadir (see 2/17), sets up roadblocks, conducts ID checks looking for youths who threw stones at Israeli cars on Route 60, arresting 2; raids, searches a Palestinian home in Hebron, severely beating but not arresting 1 resident; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Aida r.c., arresting 2 15- yr.-old Palestinian boys. A Jewish settler is stabbed, wounded apparently by a Palestinian nr. Ma’ale Adumim. (HA 2/20; PCHR 2/23)

The new Palestinian Council (the second elected since the PC was formed in 1995) is sworn in in Ramallah, with Gazan reps. participating by video link, since Israel barred their passage to the West Bank. PA Pres. Mahmud Abbas invites the Hama-saffiliated Change and Reform party to form a cabinet. (WT 2/18; NYT, WP, WT 2/19; al-Hayat al-Jadida 2/19 in WNC 2/20; MM 2/20)

The IDF bars Palestinians under age 45 fr. attending Friday prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque; raids al-Khadir nr. Bethlehem, arresting 6 youths (aged 14–17) for throwing stones at Israeli vehicles along nearby Route 60; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya. (PCHR 2/23)

The IDF reopens the Qarni crossing (closed on 1/14); conducts an air strike on 2 cars driving in Gaza City, assassinating Islamic Jihad mbrs. Adnan Bustan, Jihad al-Sawafiri; patrols in and around Jenin (firing on residential areas, wounding 2 Palestinians) and in al-Khadir; conducts arrest raids, house searches in al-Azza r.c., Balata r.c., Bethlehem, Silwad; begins work on the separation wall extension around Ariel settlement. IDF undercover units also attempt to ambush Islamic Jihad’s Nablus military cmdr. Ahmad Raddad nr. Balata r.c. in an apparent failed assassination attempt; Raddad escapes unharmed. A Palestinian fatally stabs an Israeli woman, wounds 4 on a shared taxi nr. Tel Aviv. (IMEMC 2/5; VOI 2/5 in WNC 2/6; NYT, PCHR 2/6; NYT, PCHR 2/9)

IDF undercover units raid Jenin, assassinate West Bank head of Islamic Jihad’s al-Quds Brigades Nidal al-Sadi, his aide Ahmad Tubasi in a shootout that leaves 1 IDF soldier wounded; also open fire on angry Palestinians who gather to throw stones at the troops, wounding 11. The IDF reinforces troops in Hebron’s old city; demolishes 2 Palestinian homes nr. Bethlehem for being built without permits and being too close to the separation wall; bulldozes 2 d. of agricultural land adjacent to a settler bypass road nr. al-Khadir; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Aida r.c. and nr. Hebron (occupying a home as an observation post), Nablus, Tulkarm. Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Jewish settlers angry over the plans to evacuate Amona outpost bar Palestinians fr. traveling a stretch of the Nablus–Ramallah road nr. Shilo settlement. Also in protest of the Amona evacuation, 100s of Jewish settlers storm an IDF base at the nearby Ofra settlement. Meanwhile, Jewish settler families who have been squatting in Palestinian stores in the Hebron market leave voluntarily in exchange for the Israeli government’s promise to look into speeding up legal proceedings to expropriate the market and allow Jewish settlers to rent it. (NYT 1/31; NYT, WP 2/1; PCHR, WP 2/2; see also HA 1/18)

The IDF bars Third Way candidate Salah al-Masri fr. entering Gaza to campaign although he has the proper permits; prevents 2 of the PFLP’s Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa list candidates fr. crossing a checkpoint nr. Tulkarm; arrests 6 Palestinians hanging campaign posters for independent candidates in East Jerusalem; demolishes 3 Palestinian homes in al-Khadir for being constructed without permits; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Tulkarm town and r.c., nr. Ramallah, and in Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus, Qabatya. Palestinians fire a rocket fr. n. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF also scuffles with some 300 Jewish settlers blocking the dismantling of an unauthorized outpost nr. Neve Daniel s. of Jerusalem. A PA police officer wounded in Gaza clashes on 1/7 dies. (BBC, IMEMC 1/11; HA, IMEMC, NYT 1/12; PCHR 1/19)

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

Overnight and into the predawn hours, the IDF conducts at least 13 air strikes on n. Gaza, destroying a bridge outside Bayt Hanun, damaging roads, hitting a PA naval police building, injuring 2 officers. Israel allows the Palestinians to increase the hours of operation at the Rafah crossing fr. 4 hrs./day to 8 hrs./day. The IDF also exchanges fire with Palestinian gunmen in Nablus’s old city, wounding 2 gunmen; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Ramallah and in al-Khadir, Qabatya. An IDF undercover unit enters Burkin nr. Jenin, abducts, beats, detains a Palestinian. (IMEMC, PCHR 12/19; PCHR 12/22)

Israel increases the number of Palestinian workers allowed into Israel fr. the West Bank to 37,000, while Israeli police launch a crackdown on Palestinians working in Israel without permits, arresting 250. The IDF erects a fortified observation tower on the Gaza border nr. Khan Yunis; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Jenin, al-Khadir and nr. Hebron. AMB mbrs. fire 3 rockets into Israel, causing light damage but no injuries. Late in the evening, the IDF responds with artillery strikes on rocket launch sites in n. Gaza, with fighter jets creating sonic booms over the Strip and conducting air strikes on an Islamic Jihad charity and alleged weapons-making factory; Israeli DM Shaul Mofaz approves an increase in assassinations in response to the rocket attacks. PA police shoot, seriously wound a Palestinian driver in Ramallah who refuses to stop for an ID check, precipitating a protest by some 100 bystanders, joined by AMB gunmen who force local shop owners to close their stores in protest. (HA, IMEMC, XIN 12/4; HA, VOI, WT 12/5; IMEMC 12/6; NYT 12/7; PCHR 12/8)

After Palestinians fire 2 rockets into Israel, causing no damage or injuries, an IDF helicopter fires missiles at an Islamic Jihad charity in Gaza City, damaging the building, lightly wounding 1 bystander. In response, Palestinians fire 3 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In retaliation, the IDF carries out artillery and F-16 air strikes on open areas in Gaza, firing at least 30 shells and 3 missiles, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF fires on, sinks a Palestinian fishing boat in Palestinian waters off Gaza, killing 1 Palestinian, leaving 1 missing; the IDF says that it attempted to halt the boat after the Palestinian sailor headed toward Egyptian waters alone and returned with a passenger, but the boat ignored warning shots and fired back at the naval vessel, causing no damage or injuries. (The IDF says that videotape that routinely records the naval unit’s activity ran out about three minutes before the incident.) The IDF also begins work on a new segment of the separation wall northwest of Jerusalem in al-Jib, Dahiyat al-Barid; conducts arrest raids, house searches in al-Khadir, Qabatya nr. Jenin. A Jewish settler injures a Palestinian child in a deliberate hit-and-run nr. Qalqilya. A PA policeman, 4 Palestinians are shot dead in Bayt Hanun during a clash btwn. rival Palestinian clans that erupts at the funeral for the mbr. of 1 family who was killed on 12/1. (AP, HA, IMEMC 12/3; AFP, HA 12/4; PCHR, WT 12/5; PCHR 12/8; IMEMC 12/10)