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  • June 3, 2014

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm in the morning, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron and 2 villages nr. Jenin at night. (PCHR 6/5)

    Israeli PM Netanyahu says he is “...

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  • May 22, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion to level land close to the border fence nr. Khan Yunis. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village...

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  • February 19, 2014

    Off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. Rafah, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing damage but no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest...

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  • January 25, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces kill 1 Palestinian and wound 6 when protesters gather at the border fence. In the West Bank, IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 4...

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  • January 15, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 6 rockets toward s. Israel. Each is intercepted by the Iron Dome battery, except 1, which lands in an open area, causing no injuries. In response, the Israeli...

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  • January 14, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces open fire on open farmland nr. Dayr al-Balah, causing no injuries. Separately, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion nr. Bayt Lahiya to level land. Off the...

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  • November 7, 2013

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

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  • November 3, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Hebron, Jenin, Jerusalem, Nablus, and Ramallah at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. (PCHR 11...

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  • October 31, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, the IDF kills 4 mbrs. of Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades in 2 separate incidents. First, IDF troops working to close a tunnel on both sides of the border are targeted by an...

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  • August 21, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF forces shoot and injure 1 Palestinian in clashes provoked by an IDF arrest raid in Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nur...

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  • August 18, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Qalqilya, and in 3 villages, as well as al-‘Arub refugee camp (r.c.) nr. Hebron, 1 village each...

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  • July 18, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 2 rockets into s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Ramallah, Nablus, and Jenin r.c. at...

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  • July 16, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Jabaliya to level land alongside the border fence. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr...

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  • April 30, 2013

    U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry welcomes the Arab League’s expression of support for reviving peace talks made the previous day, describing it as a ‘‘very big step forward.’’ An Israeli official...

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  • March 24, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 nr. Nablus at night. Off the coast of the Gaza Strip,...

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  • February 9, 2013

    Palestinian and international activists set up a protest tent village named Canaan in the s. Hebron Hills, the 5th such encampment in the past few weeks. IDF forces attack them and dismantle most...

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  • February 7, 2013

    Israeli media report that National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror has recently privately warned PM Benjamin Netanyahu that settlement construction is causing Israel to lose support even among its...

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  • February 3, 2013

    Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu begins talks with Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party over a possible coalition, with the latter expected to present a lengthy list of demands. (HA 3/2)

    Chief PLO negotiator...

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  • January 31, 2013

    A UNHRC investigation into Israel’s settlements in the West Bank publishes its conclusions, declaring such activity a contravention of the Geneva Convention and thus a potential war crime under...

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  • January 24, 2013

    Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid to have the 1st discussions about forming a coalition. Lapid reportedly sets 2 conditions for joining a governing coalition: (1...

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  • January 22, 2013

    srael holds parliamentary elections, dealing a significant setback to current PM Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu joint ticket. The next Knesset will be almost evenly split...

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  • January 10, 2013

    The Egyptian government announces that Fatah and Hamas have agreed to start implementing previous reconciliation agreements, following talks between PA pres. Abbas and Hamas leader Mishal in Cairo...

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  • January 6, 2013

    PM Salam Fayyad says that the PA is in ‘‘extreme jeopardy’’ due to an unprecedented financial crisis caused by Israel’s withholding of tax revenues and the subsequent failure of Arab countries to...

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  • January 5, 2013

    Undercover Israeli police officers arrest 6 Palestinian youths in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem on suspicion of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at a Jewish settler-owned house....

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  • January 3, 2013

    In a meeting chaired by Pres. Abbas, the PLO Executive Comm. affirms the need for a UNSC resolution against Israeli settlement construction. Abbas also signs a decree changing the name of the PA...

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  • January 1, 2013

    In the West Bank, Jewish settlers attack Palestinian-owned vehicles in between Bethlehem and Hebron. Settlers also damage around 250 olive trees southeast of Nablus, and later cut down 12 olive...

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  • December 17, 2012

    Israel approves 1,500 new housing units in the Ramat Shlomo settlement in East Jerusalem. The government is expected to approve a total of 6,500 settlement housing units over the next week,...

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  • December 6, 2012

    PLO Executive Comm. mbr. Hanan Ashrawi urges the EU to go beyond verbal condemnation of Israeli violations and to take action—such as a full ban on the import of settlement products and...

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  • December 1, 2012

    U.S. secy. of state Hillary Clinton criticizes Israel’s 11/30 decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, saying ‘‘these activities set back the...

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  • November 28, 2012

    More than a dozen European countries express support for the Palestinians’ UN bid for statehood recognition. Israeli sources tell the media that Israeli PM Netanyahu and FM Lieberman are backing...

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In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm in the morning, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron and 2 villages nr. Jenin at night. (PCHR 6/5)

Israeli PM Netanyahu says he is “deeply troubled” by the U.S. decision to maintain ties and aid to the PA unity govt. In response, U.S. State Dept. dep. spokesperson Harf says that the unity govt. is not “backed by Hamas” and contains “no mbrs. of Hamas.” Further endorsement of the new PA govt. comes from Russia, China, India, Turkey, France, and the UK. EU foreign affairs chief Ashton calls the formation of the unity govt. “an important step.” UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon also welcomes the move. Meanwhile, PLO executive comm. mbr. Hanna Amira says that Israel has notified the PA that it is imposing sanctions in response to the unity govt.’s formation. These include the invalidation of VIP cards of PA officials, reduction of tax revenues, which Israel collects and delivers to the PA, and prevention of visits between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. (AP, HA, MNA, REU 6/4)

A presidential election is held in Syria, and Pres. Bashar al-Asad is expected to win a majority of the vote. Opponents of the pres. dismiss the election because al-Asad’s 2 rival candidates, Hassan al-Nouri and Maher Hajjar, were both approved by a parliament dominated by al-Asad’s supporters. State Dept. dep. spokesperson Harf says the U.S. sees the election as “a disgrace” and that Pres. al-Asad “has no more credibility today than he did yesterday.” French FM Laurent Fabius calls it “a tragic farce.” (AP, REU 6/3)

Egypt’s election commission reports its official results, announcing that al-Sisi won 96.91% in the presidential vote, with a turnout of 47% of 54 m. voters nationwide. (AP, REU 6/3)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion to level land close to the border fence nr. Khan Yunis. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Hebron, Qalqilya, and Salfit at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron, and 1 village each nr. Nablus, Ramallah, and Salfit at night. Israeli settlers use bulldozers to level Palestinian-owned land nr. Salfit. (MNA 5/22; PCHR 5/29)

Israeli PM Netanyahu says that “the idea of taking unilateral steps is gaining ground” among Israel’s political class, particularly in light of the collapse of U.S.-led negotiations, in an exclusive interview published by Bloomberg View. Netanyahu’s office subsequently clarifies that this is not a reference to any intention to evacuate settlements. Economy Minister Naftali Bennett welcomes the remarks and urges the adoption of his plan, which would include the annexation of parts of the West Bank. Meanwhile, senior Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official Hanan Ashrawi condemns talk of unilateral steps as a way to bypass talks, while U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Marie Harf responds to Netanyahu’s remarks by emphasising that “no one should take any steps that undermine trust, including unilateral.” (Bloomberg, HA, YA 5/23)

China and Russia veto a UN Security Council (UNSC) res., drafted by France, referring the Syrian crisis to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for an investigation into possible war crimes. The 13 other mbrs. of the UNSC vote in favor. It is the 4th time that China and Russia have blocked Western-drafted resolutions on Syria since spring 2011. Meanwhile, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) says that the last 100 tons of Syria’s declared stockpile of precursors for poison gas and nerve agents are ready for transport, but Syrian authorities say it is too dangerous to move them for the time being. (AFP, AP 5/23)

Gunmen kill Shadi al-Manaei, leader of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, along with 3 other mbrs. of the Egypt-based militant group, in a drive-by shooting in c. Sinai. Egyptian officials say that the attack is likely revenge for the group’s killing of local tribesmen as “collaborators.” (AP 5/22)

Lawmakers allied with Hizballah boycott a session of Lebanon’s parliament, blocking the body from electing a new pres. This is the 5th failed attempt in the past mo. Lebanon’s current pres., Michael Suleiman, is scheduled to leave office on 5/24, the last day of his 6-year term. (AP 5/22)

Off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. Rafah, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing damage but no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 4 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night; patrols in 3 villages nr. Hebron at night. Jewish settlers attack Burin village nr. Nablus, throwing stones at schoolchildren, and assaulting a Palestinian man. Israeli forces arrive and fire rubber-coated metal bullets at villagers, causing no injuries. Meanwhile, Jewish settlers destroy 700 newly planted olive tree saplings nr. Ramallah, and in another incident, Jewish settlers demolish a Palestinian-owned agricultural shed nr. Bethlehem. In East Jerusalem, 30 Palestinian-owned vehicles nr. Bayt Safafa are vandalized, with racist “price tag” graffiti left at the scene. (MNA, WAFA 2/19; PCHR 2/20)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry meets with PA Pres. Abbas in Paris to discuss the ongoing peace negotiations. The meeting was attended by Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat, PA spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudayna, and PLO Amb. to France Hayel Fahoum. State Dept. spokesperson Jen Psaki says that the “few hours” spent together were focused on “narrowing the gaps between the parties on a framework for negotiations.” State Dept. dep. spokesperson Marie Harf also says that Kerry expresses concern in the meeting about recent remarks made by Erakat about a potential boycott of Israel. Both before and after the meeting, Palestinian officials sound pessimistic about the prospects for a breakthrough, with an unnamed official describing the talks as facing a “real crisis.” While in Paris, Kerry also meets with Jordanian FM Nasser Judeh. (JP 2/18; AFP, AP, JP, YA 2/19)

On the 2d day of talks in Vienna, Dep. FM Abbas Araghchi tells Iranian media that representatives of Iran and the P5+1 countries have agreed on an agenda for negotiations and will meet again in Vienna at some point during the 2d half of 3/2014. Earlier, the U.S. State Dept. describes the 2d day of talks as “constructive and useful.” Meanwhile, Israeli media reports that a U.S. delegation will visit Israel to brief the Israeli govt. on the ongoing talks with Iran. (HA, REU 2/19)

Two suicide bombers attack the Iranian cultural center in Beirut, killing 8 and wounding dozens more. The attack is claimed by the al-Qa‘ida-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades, which says the bombing was a response to Hizballah’s involvement in the Syrian conflict on the side of the govt. (AP, DS, REU 2/19)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces kill 1 Palestinian and wound 6 when protesters gather at the border fence. In the West Bank, IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 4 nearby villages, and 1 village each nr. Bethlehem and Jenin at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning; in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Tulkarm in the afternoon; and in Salfit and 1 nearby village, and al-‘Arub r.c. at night. (REU 1/25; PCHR 1/30)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry says that he intends to present his framework for final negotiations within a few weeks, according to an Israeli businessman who hears Kerry’s speech at a Davos meeting of “Breaking the Impasse,” a conference of Israeli and Palestinian business people. (See document D1 in JPS 169 for more on Breaking the Impasse.) In Davos, Kerry meets with Israeli PM Netanyahu, who tells Israeli journalists that he has no intention of evacuating any settlements. Meanwhile, the PLO’s 12-mbr. Executive Cmte. meets in Ramallah and agrees on recommendations to pursue options in various UN agencies, regardless of the state of the ongoing negotiations, according to cmte. mbr. Hanna Amirah. Any recommendations need to be approved by PA Pres. Abbas. (MNA 1/25; HA, JP 1/26)

At the UN-sponsored peace conference in Switzerland, Syria’s opposing sides hold their 1st face-to-face meeting, though only speak to each other through UN-Arab League joint special envoy Brahimi. The meeting lasts for 3 hours, with Brahimi describing it as “a good beginning.” Meanwhile, 5 rockets from Syria hit the Hermel region of Lebanon, an attack claimed by Jabhat al-Nusra in Lebanon and Abdullah Azzam Brigades. There is some damage, but no casualties. (AP, DS, REU 1/25)

Anti-govt. and pro-regime marches in Cairo and other Egyptian cities lead to street violence and clashes that kill 29 people. (REU 1/26)

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 6 rockets toward s. Israel. Each is intercepted by the Iron Dome battery, except 1, which lands in an open area, causing no injuries. In response, the Israeli Air Force strikes 4 targets in the n. Gaza Strip, moderately wounding 1 woman and 4 children who were hit by shrapnel. Separately, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion nr. Khan Yunis to level land. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire on fishermen on 2 occasions, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF shoots and wounds 1 Palestinian in Aida r.c. in Bethlehem, during clashes between dozens of youth and soldiers positioned at the n. entrance to the camp. IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in Hebron and 4 nearby villages, and 1 village nr. Jenin at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Hebron and in Jenin and Jenin r.c. at night. Jewish settlers set fire to a mosque in Dayr Istya village nr. Salfit, leaving “price-tag” graffiti. Meanwhile, a group of Palestinians open fire on an Israeli vehicle nr. Nablus, causing damage but no injuries. (AFP, HA 1/15; MNA, PCHR, ToI 1/16)

In comments delivered after a meeting of PLO leaders in Ramallah, PLO Secy.-Gen. Rabbuh says that the peace process with Israel has reached an impasse and accuses Netanyahu of “deception and fraud.” Another PLO official Tayseer Khaled says that the demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state is “dangerous.” (JP 1/15)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces open fire on open farmland nr. Dayr al-Balah, causing no injuries. Separately, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion nr. Bayt Lahiya to level land. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 3 villages and al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron at night; patrols in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron at night. Jewish settlers throw rocks at a vehicle belonging to the PA Ministry of Health nr. Nablus, causing light injuries. (MNA 1/14; PCHR 1/16)

Reports surface in the Israeli media attributing Israeli DM Ya’alon with remarks describing U.S. Secy. of State Kerry as “obsessive” and “messianic.” The comments, made to associates in private, are condemned by the U.S. State Dept. Following a meeting with Netanyahu, Ya’alon issues an apologetic statement. The next day, Kerry tells reporters at a press conference in Kuwait that he would not let “one set of comments undermine peace efforts.” (AFP, HA, JP 1/14; HA 1/15)

The PLO Executive Cmte. meets in Ramallah, presided over by Pres. Abbas, and releases a statement that says the peace process will likely collapse unless it is based on relevant internationally-recognized terms of reference. (WAFA 1/14)

A referendum is held in Egypt on a new constitution, with the Muslim Brotherhood boycotting the vote and holding protests. Some 160,000 soldiers and 200,000 police officers are deployed to secure polling stations. Two small bombs explode, 1 in Cairo and 1 in Mahalla, causing no injuries. Clashes between supporters of former pres. Morsi and security forces leave 11 dead in Cairo, Giza, Bani Suef, and Sohag. (AFP, AP, REU 1/14)

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

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

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

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

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

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Hebron, Jenin, Jerusalem, Nablus, and Ramallah at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. (PCHR 11/7)

Israel issues tenders for the construction of more than 1,700 homes, shortly ahead of a visit by U.S. Secy. of State Kerry. The tenders are part of 3,500 homes whose planned construction was announced after the latest prisoner release. The tenders are for homes in East Jerusalem settlements Ramat Shlomo and Gilo, as well as West Bank settlements like Elkana, Ma’ale Adumim, and Beitar Ilit. There is also 196 homes planned for Karnei Shomron, a settlement outside the “blocs” Israel expects to keep in any future deal. Separately, Israeli media report that PM Netanyahu intends to build a separation barrier between the West Bank and Jordan, as part of the govt.’s plans to maintain an Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley. Responding to developments, Pres. Abbas spokesperson Abu Rudayna says that the decision to build a fence along the border with Jordan is aimed at undermining Kerry’s upcoming mission, while PLO mbr. Wassel Abu Yousef slams the settlement tenders and says the PLO is considering how to get UN action against these decisions. Kerry, in Egypt, responds to a question at a press conference with FM Nabil Fahmy by saying that settlement construction disturbs “people’s perceptions of whether . . . we’re moving in the right direction.” (AFP, JP, MNA, REU, ToI 11/3)

U.S. Undersecy. of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman assures Israel that Obama has not offered any sanctions relief to Iran and that Israeli security is a priority of the administration. Speaking to Israeli television, Sherman says that the U.S. may offer temporary, limited sanctions relief as part of the diplomatic process while leaving core oil and banking sanctions in place. (HA, JP 11/3)

In Egypt, U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry expresses optimism about a return to democracy, and describes Cairo as a vital partner of Washington. Unnamed senior State Dept. officials say that Kerry did not discuss ousted pres. Morsi’s trial in meetings with Pres. Adly Mansour and Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. (REU 11/3)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF kills 4 mbrs. of Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades in 2 separate incidents. First, IDF troops working to close a tunnel on both sides of the border are targeted by an explosion, wounding 5 soldiers. Returning fire, they kill 1 Palestinian. Subsequently, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) bombs another tunnel, killing 3 Palestinians who were inside. In addition, IDF troops along the border nr. Jabaliya r.c. open fire on an open area, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, Palestinian gunmen open fire on a settler vehicle close to Hawara checkpoint nr. Nablus, causing no injuries. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village each nr. Nablus and Jenin at night; patrols in 2 villages each nr. Hebron and Jenin and 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon. Jewish settlers vandalize around 300 olive trees nr. Qalqilya. Meanwhile, suspected Jewish settlers attack a Palestinian truck driver, as well as 2 Israeli soldiers at the entrance to Bet Ayn settlement. (HA, MNA ToI, YA 10/31; PCHR 11/7)

Reports emerge that Palestinian negotiators Saeb Erakat and Mohammed Shtayyeh have handed in their resignation letters to PA Pres. Abbas, in response to what the 2 describe as Israel’s lack of commitment to the peace process. However, PLO official Wassel Abu Yousef denies that any such resignation had taken place. At a meeting of the PLO executive cmte, Abbas says that the Palestinian leadership will take steps in response to Israeli settlement construction, but without specifying exactly what. (HA, JP, MNA, ToI 10/31)

The IAF attacks a shipment of missiles located at a Syrian military base, a strike confirmed by an anonymous Obama administration official. The air strike targets missiles at a base nr. Latakia thought to be en route to Hizballah. Meanwhile, the OPCW announces that Syria has met a deadline in the internationally mandated disarmament program, with equipment and production facilities rendered inoperable. (AP, REU 10/31)

U.S. VP Joe Biden and other administration officials work to convince lawmakers to hold off from passing further sanctions targeting Iran, to let the current efforts to secure a negotiated solution have some breathing space. Comments by sens. emerging from the private briefing with Senate Democratic leaders and Republican and Democratic mbrs. of the Senate Banking Cmte. indicate that the Obama administration had done enough to convince many of the need to wait. (AP, REU 10/31)

In the West Bank, IDF forces shoot and injure 1 Palestinian in clashes provoked by an IDF arrest raid in Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nur Shams r.c. nr Tulkarm at night; patrols in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, Jenin, and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. Inside Israel, suspected Jewish extremists vandalize a monastery nr. Beit Shemesh and leave “price-tag” graffiti. (WAFA 8/21; PCHR 8/22)

Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi says that the Palestinians may turn to UN bodies in response to Israeli settlement construction even before the current peace negotiations have come to a conclusion. In remarks made during a tour of East Jerusalem settlements, Ashrawi tells journalists “if Israel does not stop, then we have to move.” Meanwhile, Israel’s High Court of Justice rules that 30 structures in the Amana outpost in the West Bank should be demolished, but gives no evacuation date and leaves room for an appeal. (AP, JP 8/21)

A suspected chemical weapons attack takes place in Ghouta, a rebel-held suburb of Damascus, with wildly differing claims of fatalities (from a few hundred to over 1,000). Opposition forces blame the Bashar al-Asad regime, a claim denied by the govt. The UNSC holds an emergency meeting in response and calls for clarity, welcoming Ban Ki-moon’s call for a prompt investigation by UN inspectors. The U.S.-France-UK-drafted res. was changed to accommodate objections from Russia and China. (AFP, REU 8/21)

EU FMs meet for an emergency session in response to events in Egypt and agree to suspend the sale of security equipment and arms. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton says that “recent actions of the military have been disproportionate.” (NYT 8/19; AFP 8/21)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Qalqilya, and in 3 villages, as well as al-‘Arub refugee camp (r.c.) nr. Hebron, 1 village each nr. Bethlehem and Jenin, and Qalqilya at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Nablus and 1 village nr. Jenin at night. Jewish settlers from Migron outpost attack a Palestinian shepherd on his village land, severely wounding him and killing 2 sheep. (PCHR 8/22; YA 8/18)

The PLO Executive Cmte. meets in Ramallah, speaking out against recent Israeli settlement construction announcements and threatening to go to international bodies in search of redress. The cmte. also says it holds the U.S. administration responsible for failing to stop Israel’s settlement activity during the renewed peace talks. Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority (PA) PM Rami Hamdallah signs an agreement with U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem Michael Ratney in which the U.S. will pay $148 million to support the PA’s budget. (JP, MNA, WAFA 8/18)

A meeting takes place in the Gaza Strip between Hamas and Fatah leaders to discuss the possibility of holding presidential and legislative elections. However, on the same day, Fatah accuses Hamas authorities in Gaza of targeting its mbrs. for detention and harassment. Meanwhile, PA forces arrest 6 Hamas mbrs. in the West Bank. (MNA 8/18)

The U.S. State Dept. puts financing for economic programs directly involving the Egyptian govt. on hold, in the 1st real indication that the Obama administration will cut or curtail aid to the country in response to the military coup. Meanwhile, clashes continue in Egypt, with security forces killing at least 36 prisoners through suffocation after firing tear gas into a prison truck. The estimated death toll for 4 days of unrest in the country stands at around 900, with an estimated 70 police officers also killed. (AP, NYT 8/18)

A UN team tasked with investigating alleged use of chemical weapons arrives in Damascus and visits 3 specific sites. (AP, NYT 8/18)

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 2 rockets into s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Ramallah, Nablus, and Jenin r.c. at night; patrols in Tulkarm in the morning, in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Jenin, 1 village nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. (YA 7/18; PCHR 7/25)

Anonymous Palestinian sources inside the PA squash speculation that a breakthrough in U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry’s attempts to restart peace talks is imminent, with senior Fatah official Amin Maqboul telling the media that Israel’s refusal to hold negotiations based on the 1967 borders has stymied Kerry’s efforts. Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas meets with the PLO leadership in Ramallah to update them on progress in the discussions with Kerry, but no decision is reached on possible resumption. (HA, MNA, REU, WP 7/17)

Assailants attack Egyptian police officers in the n. Sinai, killing 2 and wounding 2. (AP 7/18)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Jabaliya to level land alongside the border fence. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon and Tulkarm at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah and injures 2 with rubber-coated metal bullets after opening fire at stonethrowing residents. (PCHR 7/18)

In an article based on leaked documents, Ha’Aretz reports that the EU will publish on 7/30 a set of new guidelines to restrict the eligibility of Israeli entities based or operating in the occupied territories for EU-funded grants, prizes, and financial instruments (see document A3 in JPS 169 for more). With these guidelines, the EU codifies its view of the settlements as illegal under international law. The guidelines are scheduled to go into effect on 1/1/14. The move is welcomed by senior Palestinian officials, with PLO Executive Cmte. member Hanan Ashrawi calling it “a significant development in the way the EU countries deal with Israeli occupation.” (HA, JP 7/16)

Assailants attack an Egyptian military outpost in the Sinai, injuring 6 soldiers and 1 civilian. (AP 7/16) Seven mortar shells fired from inside Syrian territory land in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. (HA 7/16)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry welcomes the Arab League’s expression of support for reviving peace talks made the previous day, describing it as a ‘‘very big step forward.’’ An Israeli official welcomes the development, but says that the framework will not be a starting point for talks. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni says that the Arab League proposal represents encouragement for the Palestinians that they have regional support for a negotiated agreement. PLO Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat says that the Arab League’s support for land swaps is nothing new. Meanwhile, Israel’s Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel says that his party, Bayit Yehudi, will not back a 2013 budget that does not include full funding for West Bank settlement construction projects. (NYT 4/29; MNA, JP 4/30)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF makes an air strike nr. Rafah assassinating Hitham al-Mishal, whom Israel accuses of being a Salafist militant responsible for arms manufacturing. In response, Hamas urges Egypt to ensure that Israel stays committed to the truce deal signed at the end of Operation Pillar of Defense in 11/2012 (see QU 167). Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen twice, once off the central Gaza coast nr. Dayr al-Balah and once off the south Gaza coast nr. Rafah, in the latter case causing damage and 1 injury. IDF forces also make a brief incursion into central Gaza nr. Juhr al-Dikto level land and clear lines of sight along the border fence. In the West Bank, a Palestinian fatally stabs a Jewish settler from Yitzhar at a Tapuach junction bus stop. In retaliation, Jewish settlers riot and attack Palestinians across the West Bank, including blocking roads and throwing stones at passing vehicles. Overall, the Palestinian civil defense report 57 fires across the West Bank caused by settlers, with damage to hundreds of olive and almond trees. In the most serious incident, Jewish settlers from Yitzhar settlement attack a mosque in Urif village and try to set it on fire; and stone a bus carrying Palestinian schoolchildren, injuring 2. The attack on Urif sparks clashes between IDF forces and Palestinians, leaving 4 Palestinians injured. Meanwhile, the IDF patrols in Hebron and 2 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Tulkarm in the afternoon, and in Bethlehem and Tulkarm at night. (HA, MNA 4/30; MNA 5/1; PCHR 5/2)

UNRWA estimates that 235,000 Palestinian refugees have been displaced inside Syria during the ongoing civil war. (AP, WAFA 4/30)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 nr. Nablus at night. Off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire twice on Palestinian fishermen nr. al-Waha resort, causing no injuries or damage. (PCHR 3/28)

Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas and U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry meet in Amman, following which PLO Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat reiterates the Palestinian opposition to a resumption of negotiations without a complete halt to settlement construction and release of Palestinian prisoners, (JP 3/24)

The Israeli government asks the High Court of Justice to delay by at least 90 days the evacuation of the unauthorized West Bank outpost Amona scheduled for the end of 4/2013. (JP 3/24)

IDF forces fire into Syria and destroy a machine gun position from where shots had been fired at Israeli soldiers twice in the previous 24 hours. (AP, REU 3/24)

Palestinian and international activists set up a protest tent village named Canaan in the s. Hebron Hills, the 5th such encampment in the past few weeks. IDF forces attack them and dismantle most of the tents. Elsewhere in the West Bank, Jewish settlers attack the Palestinian village of ‘Azun nr. Qalqilya, prompting clashes with residents. The IDF intervenes and opens fire with rubbercoated bullets on Palestinian villagers, injuring 3. The IDF also patrols in 4 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 village each nr. Hebron, Nablus, and Qalqilya at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the morning, in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages each nr. Bethlehem and Jenin and 1 village nr. Hebron at night. (HA, MNA 2/9; PCHR 2/14)

Palestinian factions hold a 2d round of talks in Cairo after discussions on 2/8 fail to reach an agreement. Sticking points are over elections to the PNC, the PLO’s parliament, and over legislative and presidential elections for the PA. (AFP 2/9)

Israeli media report that National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror has recently privately warned PM Benjamin Netanyahu that settlement construction is causing Israel to lose support even among its strongest allies in the West. Sources in Netanyahu’s office do not deny the substance of Amidror’s remarks, but say that they should not be seen as a hint that the PM is considering a settlement freeze to help start negotiations. (HA 2/7, 2/8)

Hamas official Izzat al-Rishq says that Fatah and Hamas will meet in Cairo on 2/10 to discuss the composition of a unity government. On 2/8, the discussion will focus on PLO reform. Meanwhile, an anonymous PA official tells Agence France-Presse that PA security forces have arrested more than 25 Hamas mbrs. over the past 48 hours. Earlier in the week, IDF forces arrested another 25 Hamas mbrs. in the West Bank, including 3 mbrs. of the PC from the Hamas-affiliated Reform and Change party. (AFP, MNA 2/7)

Islamic Jihad politburo mbr. Shaykh Nafith Azzam says that the group may run in the next elections of the PLO’s Palestine National Council (PNC) if certain conditions related to the political program, decision-making mechanism, and structure of the PLO are met. Azzan says PNC elections are necessary, particularly as the council represents Palestinians in Palestine and in the diaspora. (MNA 2/7)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin and 1 village each nr. Jericho and Ramallah, 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 2 villages each nr. Jenin and Tulkarm, 1 village nr. Jericho at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Jenin in the morning. (PCHR 2/14)

Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu begins talks with Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party over a possible coalition, with the latter expected to present a lengthy list of demands. (HA 3/2)

Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erakat says that the PA will not return to negotiations until Israel stops settlement construction and releases Palestinian prisoners. He also says that there would be no EU initiative to resume peace talks without U.S. involvement. Meanwhile, PM Netanyahu’s aide Yitzhak Molho announces he will be stepping down from the Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu coalition negotiation team in order to remain as the PM’s special envoy for peace negotiations with the Palestinians. (JP 2/4; HA 2/3)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. The IDF also opens fire on Palestinians collecting gravel close to the border fence in the n. Gaza Strip, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, Nablus governor Jibril al-Bakri says that the IDF has reopened several roads in Nablus that had been closed for 13 yrs. The IDF patrols in Jenin in the morning, in 1 village nr. Qalqilya and 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah, 1 village nr. Jericho, 3 villages nr. Salfit, and 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Silwan neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem and 1 village nr. Nablus in the afternoon, and in Qalqilya, Nablus and 3 nearby villages, Bethlehem and 3 nearby villages, al-Bireh. Tulkarm, and Hebron and 3 nearby villages at night. The IDF detains 20 Hamas mbrs., including an individual involved in national reconciliation efforts. (MNA 2/3; AP 2/4; PCHR 2/7)

Israeli DM Ehud Barak tells a security conference in Munich that Israel means what it says with regard to threats to take preemptive action against its enemies. The comment is taken as hint of admission that Israel was behind the air strike in Syria. U.S. officials now say that the attack targeted a weapons shipment bound for Lebanon but also caused collateral damage to a nearby research center, an explanation for the discrepancy between accounts of the target (see 1/30, 1/31). Meanwhile, UK newspaper the Sunday Times reports that Israel is considering establishing a 10-mi. buffer zone inside Syria to protect itself from rebels. (AP, JP, WP 2/3)

A UNHRC investigation into Israel’s settlements in the West Bank publishes its conclusions, declaring such activity a contravention of the Geneva Convention and thus a potential war crime under the jurisdiction of the ICC. The investigators, led by French judge Christine Chanet, call on Israel to halt settlement expansion and withdraw all settlers. Israel’s Foreign Ministry rejects the report, calling it counterproductive and the result of a ‘‘one-sided and biased approach towards Israel.’’ PLO Executive Comm. member Hanan Ashrawi welcomes the report, saying that the Palestinians are encouraged by its ‘‘candid assessment of Israeli violations.’’ (JP, REU 1/31)

Area council head for the Gush Etzion settlement bloc Davidi Perl says that the Israeli Defense Ministry has moved forward plans to build 346 housing units in Tekoa and Nokdim settlements. (JP 1/31)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in ‘Ayn al-Sultan r.c. nr. Jericho and 1 village each nr. Jericho and Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Bethlehem and 1 village each nr. Hebron and Jenin at night. (PCHR 2/7)

Senior Hamas official Yahya Moussa denies recent reports (see 1/30) that Khalid Mishal told Jordan’s King Abdallah to inform U.S. pres. Barack Obama that Hamas accepts the two-state solution. (MNA 1/31)

Syria and its allies condemn the presumed Israeli attack on a site close to the Lebanese border, which the Syrian military says struck a research center and which Western officials stated was a convoy of anti-aircraft batteries headed toward Lebanon for Hizballah. Israeli officials refuse to comment. Syrian amb. to Lebanon Ali Abdul-Karim Ali says that the country may choose a ‘‘surprise’’ response to Israeli ‘‘aggression,’’ while Syria also summons the head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Golan Heights to formally protest the raid. Russia says that if reports are confirmed, then the Israeli attack is a violation of the UN Charter and is ‘‘unacceptable.’’ The Arab League condemns what it calls Israel’s ‘‘cruel aggression,’’ while Hizballah releases a statement expressing ‘‘solidarity’’ with Syria and calling the strike ‘‘barbaric aggression.’’ (AFP, AP, FT, REU 1/31)

Iran writes a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency to announce its plans to install and operate advanced uranium-enrichment machines. The U.S. says that installation of new Iranian centrifuges would be a ‘‘provocative step.’’ (REU 1/31)

Pres. Barack Obama’s nominee for defense secretary, Republican Chuck Hagel, is questioned at a Senate Armed Services Comm. hearing, and is attacked by Republic lawmakers over his record on Israel and Iran. Hagel repeated his apology for his previous use of the term ‘‘Jewish lobby’’ in a 2006 interview with Aaron David Miller, and says it was wrong to suggest that pro-Israel groups ‘‘intimidate’’ Congress into doing ‘‘dumb things.’’ (AP, JTA, REU 1/31)

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid to have the 1st discussions about forming a coalition. Lapid reportedly sets 2 conditions for joining a governing coalition: (1) a universal draft bill (see Quarterly Update in JPS 165) and (2) the resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians. Meanwhile, Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman says that domestic issues will be the priority of the next government. (HA, YA, JP 1/24)

Secy.-gen. of the PLO Executive Comm. Yasir ‘Abid Rabbuh says that Pres. Abbas wants to meet and talk with centrist mbrs. of the new Knesset in coming weeks, including newcomers such as Yair Lapid. (YA 1/24)

Nominated U.S. secy. of state John Kerry tells his Senate confirmation hearing that he intends to invest effort in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and hopes that the Israeli election can help restart talks. (JP 1/24)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 4 homes in 2 communities in the n. Jordan Valley; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Salfit at night. The IDF also patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin, 2 each nr. Jericho and Ramallah, and 1 nr. Tulkarm in the morning; in Tulkarm and 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon; and in ‘Ayn al-Sultan r.c. nr. Jericho, 2 villages each nr. Jenin and Qalqilya, and 1 village each nr. Jericho and Ramallah at night. (MNA 1/24; PCHR 1/31)

The International Federation of Journalists condemns a week of arrests of journalists by Hamas security forces in the Gaza Strip, and calls for the release of 6 detained media workers. (MNA 1/24)

Israeli security agency Shin Bet announces that for the 1st year since 1973, there were no Israeli casualties from a Palestinian attack in the West Bank. The report covering 2012 says that there was an uptick in so-called popular terror in the West Bank, referring to stone-throwing and Molotov cocktails. The report notes that 10 Israelis were killed in security-related incidents during 2012, and that more than 2,500 rockets and mortar shells were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel. However, Shin Bet reports that since Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012, no rockets have been fired. The report also records that 8 rockets were fired at Israel from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, and that there were 11 attempts to fire anti-aircraft weaponry at IDF planes, up from just 1 effort in 2011. (HA 1/24)

A number of Fatah leaders who fled the Gaza Strip during the Fatah-Hamas fighting in 2007 return to the territory, including former PA preventive security service head in Khan Yunis, Nasser al-Saqq. (MNA 1/24)

UN special rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism Ben Emmerson announces that the UN is launching an inquiry into the impact on civilians of drone strikes that will focus on 5 locations, including the Palestinian territories. The other 4 are Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. (BBC 1/24)

srael holds parliamentary elections, dealing a significant setback to current PM Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu joint ticket. The next Knesset will be almost evenly split between the right-wing/religious bloc and centrist/center-left blocs, with the headlines dominated by the rise of centrist party Yesh Atid (‘‘There Is a Future’’) and its leader Yair Lapid. The final tally gives 31 seats to Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu, 19 to Yesh Atid, 15 to a resurgent Labor party, 12 to Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home, 11 to Shas, 7 to United Torah Judaism, 6 each to Meretz and Tzipi Livni’s party Hatnuah, 4 each to United Arab List and Hadash, 3 to Balad, and 2 to Kadima. Voter turnout overall is high, with the estimated turnout for Palestinian citizens of Israel at 56%, according to figures cited by Army Radio. At the end of the night, Netanyahu says that he sees ‘‘many partners’’ for his ‘‘goals’’ and will seek to assemble ‘‘the broadest’’ coalition possible. (REU, AP 1/22; JP 1/23; JP 1/24)

British foreign secretary William Hague warns that it is almost the last chance to bring about a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and condemns Israeli settlement construction. (REU 1/22)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers begin work to expand Halamish settlement nr. Ramallah. The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in al-Bireh at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 1 village each nr. East Jerusalem and Ramallah at night. (MNA, WAFA 1/22; PCHR 1/23)

Malaysia’s PM Najib Razak visits the Gaza Strip via the Rafah crossing. Pres. Abbas criticizes the visit as enhancing the Fatah-Hamas division. (MNA, NYT 1/22) 

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate and the PLO’s Information and Culture Department condemn today’s arrest of journalists in the Gaza Strip by Hamas authorities. Most of those detained are affiliated with Fatah. (JP 1/22)

The Egyptian government announces that Fatah and Hamas have agreed to start implementing previous reconciliation agreements, following talks between PA pres. Abbas and Hamas leader Mishal in Cairo. Abbas spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudaineh says the 2 sides agreed on the formation of several joint committees, including ones dealing with presidential and parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the formation of a Palestinian unity government, and the reconstruction of the PLO. (JP 1/10)

Gaza’s Minister of Public Works and Housing Yousef Subhi al-Ghariz says that the United Arab Emirates has donated $50 m. to build a housing project for Palestinians released from Israeli jails. (MNA 1/10)

IDF forces make a brief incursion into n. Gaza nr. Bayt Lahiya to level land 200 m inside the border fence. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, 2 villages nr. Hebron, and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. Jewish settlers from Yitzhar settlement nr. Nablus attack Palestinians from ‘Urif village; the IDF intervenes and opens fire on the Palestinians, wounding 1 in the leg with live ammunition. Jewish settlers from the Esh Kodesh outpost nr. Nablus open fire on Palestinians from Qusra village, wounding 1. Palestinians throw rocks at Jewish settler vehicles in the West Bank, injuring 3 Israelis in 2 separate incidents. (JP, MNA 1/10; PCHR 1/17)

Masked gunmen claiming affiliation to Fatah parade through Balata r.c. in Nablus and hold a press conference urging the PA security forces to stop imprisoning their members. (MNA 1/10)

The IDF closes a section of the highway close to the Egyptian border to civilian traffic, citing security concerns related to unrest in the Sinai Peninsula. Meanwhile, Egyptian security forces arrest 4 men nr. the Libyan border on suspicion of arms smuggling to Sinai— the haul includes anti-aircraft gun rounds, explosives, and RPG launchers. (ToI 1/10)

PA pres. Abbas rejects a conditional Israeli offer to let Palestinian refugees fleeing the civil war in Syria resettle in the West Bank and Gaza, claiming it would compromise the right of return. (AP 1/10)

PM Salam Fayyad says that the PA is in ‘‘extreme jeopardy’’ due to an unprecedented financial crisis caused by Israel’s withholding of tax revenues and the subsequent failure of Arab countries to send promised funds. Meanwhile, the union of government employees in the West Bank says it will continue its partial strike to protest salary delays; part of 11/2012’s salaries are still outstanding. (AP, MNA 1/6)

Sixty-two truckloads of gravel enter the Gaza Strip via the Rafah crossing, part of a shipment from the Qatari government intended to help reconstruction. It is the 2d such delivery since 2007, following the entry of building materials via Rafah on 12/30. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jericho in the morning, in 1 village nr. Jericho in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Ramallah, al-Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah, and Hebron at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Bethlehem, Tubas, Nablus and 1 nearby village, and 1 village nr. Hebron. (MNA 1/7; PCHR 1/10)

Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti says that Palestinians should use mass popular protest to help end the split between the governments in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, calling for sit-ins in front of Hamas and Fatah party buildings in Palestine and internationally. (MNA 1/6)

Talks continue among PLO leaders, the Free Syria Army, and Syrian regime forces about Yarmuk r.c., without concluding a deal. PLO representatives are demanding that all armed groups, including Palestinian gunmen, withdraw from the camp; that authorities allow food and fuel to enter for residents; and that all parties to respect the neutrality of the camp. (MNA 1/6)

Israeli PM Netanyahu vows to build a fortified fence along the border with Syria in response to claims that radical Islamist groups have taken over the area alongside the occupied Golan Heights. (AP, REU 1/6)

Undercover Israeli police officers arrest 6 Palestinian youths in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem on suspicion of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at a Jewish settler-owned house. In the Gaza Strip, the IDF opens fire on a garbage truck close to the border fence nr. Bayt Hanun, wounding 1 Palestinian. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers from the unauthorized outpost Esh Kodesh nr. Nablus attack the Palestinian village of Qusra, provoking clashes with residents. In response, the IDF deploys troops in the area and fires tear gas and stun grenades at villagers. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning, in 1 village nr. Jericho in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah, 1 village each nr. al-Bireh and Jericho at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in the Old City of Hebron, 1 nearby village, and 1 village nr. Jenin at night. The IDF attacks a nonviolent demonstration against the occupation and settlement expansion held by Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals in Bayt Umar village nr. Hebron, causing no serious injuries. (MNA 1/5, 1/6; PCHR 1/10)

PA security forces arrest the Hebronbased members of the National Unity Brigades, which announced its formation and called for a 3d intifada in a video released on 12/14. (JP 1/5)

Sources tell Palestinian Ma‘an news agency that PLO leaders, the Free Syria Army, and Syrian government forces are working toward a deal to end the fighting in and blockade of Yarmuk r.c. in Damascus, including the withdrawal of rebel fighters and the end to army shelling. (MNA 1/6)

In a meeting chaired by Pres. Abbas, the PLO Executive Comm. affirms the need for a UNSC resolution against Israeli settlement construction. Abbas also signs a decree changing the name of the PA to the ‘‘State of Palestine,’’ with all stamps, signs, and official letterheads set to carry the new name. (MNA 1/3; ToI 1/4)

IDF soldiers make a brief incursion into c. Gaza, e. of Juhur al-Dik, to level land 100 m inside the border fence. In the West Bank, Israeli undercover forces launch an arrest raid into Jenin, sparking a clash with a large crowd of stone-throwing Palestinians; troops open fire on the crowd, wounding 1 man in the leg. The IDF also patrols in 1 village each nr. Jericho, Ramallah, and Salfit in the morning, in 2 villages nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Salfit and 1 village each nr. Jenin, Jericho, and Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning and in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Salfit at night. (MNA 1/3; PCHR 1/10)

An anonymous Israeli security source says that the IDF is planning to escalate arrest raids targeting Hamas mbrs. in the West Bank due to a ‘‘certain awakening’’ or simmering unrest. (YA 1/3)

Around 30,000 people participate in a festival in Nablus to mark Fatah’s 48th anniversary. Meanwhile, the movement’s supporters in the Gaza Strip begin to gather in preparation for their rally on 1/4. (MNA 1/3)

The Israeli organization Ir Amin reports that in 2012, publication of tenders for settlement apartments in East Jerusalem showed a three-fold increase compared to 2011 (rising to 2,386 units), and units approved for future construction a four-fold increase (to 6,932 units). (HA 1/3)

Head of Operations, Logistics, and Property at Israel’s Defense Ministry, Bezalel Treiber, says that in light of the war in Syria, the government is looking to improve the border fence with Syria and may do the same with Jordan, funds permitting. (NYT, ToI 1/3)

Speaking at an annual conference for Israel’s ambassadors abroad, PM Netanyahu says that Iran has not yet crossed the ‘‘red line’’ set by Israel on its nuclear program. The same gathering receives a Foreign Ministry paper predicting that the Syrian civil war has weakened the ability of Asad and Hizballah to respond in the event of an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. (JP, ToI 1/3)

In the West Bank, Jewish settlers attack Palestinian-owned vehicles in between Bethlehem and Hebron. Settlers also damage around 250 olive trees southeast of Nablus, and later cut down 12 olive trees in Basalta nr. Nablus. In the latter case, Palestinians throw stones at the settlers, who are subsequently protected by IDF soldiers, who fire rubbercoated steel bullets and injure 3 Palestinians. The IDF also opens fire with live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets on Palestinians in Tamoun village nr. Jenin during clashes sparked by an arrest raid, injuring 30. The IDF also opens fire on stone-throwing Palestinian youths who challenge troops entering ‘Urif village nr. Nablus. The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning, in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Tulkarm in the afternoon, and in 3 villages nr. Tulkarm and 2 nr. Jenin at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. (MNA 1/1, PCHR 2/1)

Israel’s High Court of Justice gives the state an extended deadline for the demolition of unauthorized settler outpost Amona in the c. West Bank, delaying removal until the end of 4/2013. The outpost was set up on the site of a previous outpost of the same name that was evacuated in 2006, and had been slated for evacuation in February. (ToI 1/1)

Israeli newspaper Ha’Aretz reports that around 50 residents of Issawiyya in East Jerusalem have been arrested over the last month in clashes with security forces. Tensions are linked to the hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Samer Issawi, who comes from the village. (HA 1/1)

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) registers its opposition to the 12/27 Hamas-imposed ban on Palestinian journalists in the Gaza Strip working with the Israeli media. (Guardian 1/1)

Palestinians demonstrate in Nablus against a recent decision to end refugees’ exemption from electricity costs. Around 200 protesters clash with PA security forces, angry that a debt-exemption clause is not applicable to non-refugees. (MNA 1/1)

Senior Likud officials speak at a conference in Jerusalem on a ‘‘one-state solution,’’ including Min. Yuli Edelstein, who voices support for the annexation of Area C of the West Bank. Likud politician and Knesset candidate Moshe Feiglin outlines his plan to pay Palestinian families in the West Bank $500,000 each to emigrate abroad. (Guardian, ToI 1/1)

A report in JTA indicates that 2 major American Jewish groups—the American Israel Public Affairs Comm. (AIPAC) and the Reform movement—are in disagreement about how to respond to the Palestinians’ successful UN bid. AIPAC has supported 2 congressional bids to shut down the PLO office in Washington, D.C., while the Reform movement has urged Obama not to punish the Palestinians for the initiative. Both groups, however, are apparently waiting to see if the Palestinians will use their new status to bring Israel before the ICC before backing penalties. (JTA 1/1)

Israel approves 1,500 new housing units in the Ramat Shlomo settlement in East Jerusalem. The government is expected to approve a total of 6,500 settlement housing units over the next week, including almost 4,000 in Givat Hamatos–a new settlement nr. Bayt Safafa–and 1,000 units in Gilo South. Palestinian envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour urges permanent members of the UNSC to take action to stop Israel’s settlement plans in East Jerusalem. (JP, REU, MNA 12/17)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen working 7 naut. mi. off the Gaza coast nr. Wadi Gaza (wounding 1) and nr. al-Waha (causing no injuries). In the West Bank, the IDF shoots and injures a Palestinian man in a village nr. Nablus, after Jewish settlers entered the village and clashed with residents. Israeli forces also raid Jaba village in the n. West Bank, ransacking several homes and taking photographs of a number of buildings. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning, and in 1 village nr. Jenin, and Tulkarm and 1 nearby village in the afternoon; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon, and in Salfit, Hebron and 3 nearby villages at night. (MNA 12/17; PCHR 12/20)

Teachers in the West Bank go on strike to protest the delay in the payment of their salaries. The PA has not set a target date for paying back salaries. Meanwhile, the PA civil servants union accuses Israel of collective punishment for withholding Palestinian tax revenues and calls a strike from 12/18 to the end of the week. (MNA 12/17)

Hamas’s Interior Ministry in Gaza says that Fatah will be allowed to celebrate its 48th anniversary in Gaza, in order ‘‘to promote the atmosphere of unity.’’ (MNA 12/17)

Syrian rebels take control of Yarmuk r.c. nr. Damascus after a fierce battle pitting rebels and anti-Asad Palestinians against the pro-Asad PFLP–GC. PLO official in Syria Anwar Abdul-Hadi says that over half the Palestinian population of Yarmuk r.c. has fled; Palestinian amb. to Syria puts the figure at 95%. (MNA, REU 12/17)

PLO Executive Comm. mbr. Hanan Ashrawi urges the EU to go beyond verbal condemnation of Israeli violations and to take action—such as a full ban on the import of settlement products and reconsidering the EU-Israel Association Agreement—in light of Israel’s persistent human rights abuses. (WAFA 12/6)

Canadian FM John Baird says that PM Stephen Harper has relayed to Israeli PM Netanyahu Canada’s opposition to the recent settlement expansion plans. Netanyahu dismisses international anger and says that Israel will keep the area in question under any future peace deal. (AP 12/5; Globe and Mail 12/6)

Jordan’s King Abdallah II visits Ramallah for talks with Pres. Mahmud Abbas and other senior officials, in a high-profile show of support following the successful UN statehood bid (11/29). (AFP 12/6)

In the West Bank, Jewish settlers attack a Palestinian man during an olive harvest s. of Nablus, while IDF forces invade Barqa village nr. Nablus and ransack 36 homes. In c. Hebron, Israeli soldiers injure 20 Palestinians in clashes provoked when soldiers tried to arrest a Palestinian police officer, who resisted (it is unclear why he is wanted). The IDF patrols in Salfit and 1 village each nr. Jenin and Ramallah in the morning; 1 village each nr. Hebron, Qalqilya, and Salfit in the afternoon; 2 villages nr. Jericho and 1 village each nr. Jenin, Ramallah, and Salfit at night. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night. (MNA 12/6; PCHR 12/13)

Speaking after a visit to Damascus, Filippo Grandi, head of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), says that parties in Syria’s civil war must respect the neutrality of Palestinian refugees. He expresses particular concern over the role of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command (PFLP–GC), a pro-Asad faction that is strong in the Yarmuk r.c. nr. Damascus. (AP 12/6; AFP 12/7)

U.S. secy. of state Hillary Clinton criticizes Israel’s 11/30 decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, saying ‘‘these activities set back the cause of a negotiated peace.’’ The British and French governments also condemn the settlement expansion plan, stating that international confidence in Israel’s desire to make peace is at risk. Meanwhile, PLO Executive Comm. mbr. Hanan Ashrawi refers to the decision as a ‘‘war crime,’’ a hint that the PA may consider taking Israel to the ICC. (JP, REU 12/2)

An independent Palestinian source in Gaza says that Palestinian factions will open reconciliation talks in Cairo in the next few days, under Egyptian auspices. (MNA 12/1)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF opens fire on 3 separate occasions on civilians and farmers in the area nr. the border fence, wounding 1 nr. Bayt Hanun and 2 nr. Jabalya. Israeli naval vessels fire on 3 fishing boats operating between 2.5 and 3 naut. mi. off the coast, in 1 case arresting 5 Palestinian fishermen. Israel’s recent shooting of Palestinians nr. the border fence prompts Hamas to complain about Israeli violations of the cease-fire, with spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri saying that they are discussing the situation with Egyptian officials. Islamic Jihad’s al-Quds Brigades warns that Israeli cease-fire violations (including shootings along the border, firing on Palestinian fishing boats, and continued use of surveillance aircraft over Gaza) may force a response. In the West Bank, the IDF shoots and wounds a Palestinian man in Dura village nr. Hebron, after a military patrol is attacked by stone-throwing youths. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night. (MNA, REU 12/1; MNA 12/2; PCHR 12/6)

Turkish FM Davutoglu calls Israel a ‘‘terrorist state’’ at a meeting of regional leaders at the Turkish-Arab Cooperation Forum in Istanbul, and urges collective action against Israel. (ToI 12/1)

More than a dozen European countries express support for the Palestinians’ UN bid for statehood recognition. Israeli sources tell the media that Israeli PM Netanyahu and FM Lieberman are backing down after weeks of threats about the Palestinans’ UN bid. In light of the resolution’s assured passage, the Israeli government now intends to play down the significance of the vote. (HA, REU 11/28)

Hamas leader Khalid Mishal calls for Palestinians to unite through new PLO elections that would rebuild the organization to include all factions. (NYT 11/28)

An Egyptian official tells the media that the country’s security services are planning a crackdown on smuggling tunnels under the border with the Gaza Strip—even though, according to the official, tunnels are operating at 5% of the level they were operating at before Operation Pillar of Defense and are mostly being used to bring in construction material. (MNA 11/28)

In the Gaza Strip, 1 Palestinian fighter dies from wounds sustained during Operation Pillar of Defense, bringing the comprehensive Palestinian death toll during the operation to 165. In 3 separate incidents, IDF troops on the Gaza border open fire on Palestinians nr. the border fence: 1 civilian is injured e. of Rafah; another Palestinian civilian is wounded nr. Bayt Hanun while he is gathering iron and gravel nr. the border fence; and 7 Palestinians are injured (1 seriously) nr. the border in the c. Gaza Strip in what the IDF claimed was an effort to approach the fence in protest. The IDF also opens fire on Palestinian fishermen at sea nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries, and detains 9 fishermen. In the West Bank, the IDF levels olive groves and demolishes agricultural structures nr. Hebron; patrols in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning and in 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 2 nearby villages, and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. Jewish settlers vandalize at least 20 cars in a Palestinian village nr. Ramallah. (MNA 11/28; PCHR 11/29, 12/6)