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  • June 8, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian fisherman shot by Israeli naval forces off the coast on 5/26 dies of his wounds. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Tulkarm and...

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  • January 12, 2014

    In the West Bank, IDF troops clash with residents in Aida r.c. nr. Bethlehem, causing no serious injuries. At night, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 4 nearby...

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  • January 27, 2013

    The Israeli cabinet approves (16–3, with 1 abstention) a plan for the Bedouin communities in the Negev that would see thousands of so-called unrecognized villages destroyed and their populations...

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  • January 19, 2011

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in...

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  • January 13, 2011

    After receiving a warning fr. Egypt that Israel is serious about preventing further rocket and mortar fire fr. Gaza, Hamas authorities hold a 2d mtg. (see 1/11) with smaller factions to urge them...

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  • July 30, 2002

    A Palestinian suicide bomber detonates a device in a Jerusalem restaurant, lightly wounding 5 Israelis. AMB gunmen lure 2 Jewish settlers (diesel fuel salesmen) to Jamayn village, fatally shoot...

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  • June 30, 2000

    In Rabat, King Muhammad of Morocco meets with Israeli dep. PM Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, says he looks forward to visiting Israel "when the conditions are right." (MA 7/2 in WNC 7/3)

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In the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian fisherman shot by Israeli naval forces off the coast on 5/26 dies of his wounds. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Tulkarm and 1 nearby village, and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Ramallah in the morning, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron, 2 villages nr. Jericho, and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. (MNA 6/8; PCHR 6/12)

Pope Francis holds a peace prayer in the Vatican with Israel’s Pres. Shimon Peres and PA Pres. Abbas, a symbolic gesture proposed by the pontiff during his recent trip to the region on 5/24–26. (AFP 6/8)

Al-Sisi is sworn into office after his victory in Egypt’s presidential elections. During his speech at the inauguration ceremony, the head of the Egyptian military says that “there will be reconciliation between the sons of our nation except those who had committed crimes against them or adopted violence.” Abbas attends the ceremony and holds separate meetings with Secy.-Gen. of the Arab League Nabil al-‘Arabi, Egyptian FM Nabil Fahmi, and Moroccan FM Salaheddine Mezouar. (AP, WAFA 8/6)

In the West Bank, IDF troops clash with residents in Aida r.c. nr. Bethlehem, causing no serious injuries. At night, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 4 nearby villages, 1 village each nr. Jenin and Ramallah, and in Nablus; patrols in 6 villages nr. Nablus and 2 villages each nr. Hebron and Ramallah. (PCHR 1/16)

PA security forces clash with residents outside Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah, leaving more than 100 demonstrators and 40 police officers wounded. The confrontations begin when police try to reopen roads blocked as part of protests against the UNRWA employees’ strike that began 12/3. (HA, REU 1/12)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry meets with Arab League foreign ministers in Paris to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Those attending include PA FM Riad al-Maliki, along with the foreign ministers of Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt, and Morocco. (JP, ToI 1/12)

The Israeli cabinet approves (16–3, with 1 abstention) a plan for the Bedouin communities in the Negev that would see thousands of so-called unrecognized villages destroyed and their populations forcibly relocated to governmentapproved towns. The plan covers landownership issues, compensation, and investment in the region. The PM’s Office calls it a ‘‘compromise,’’ but Bedouin activists and human rights campaigners denounce it entirely. (JP 1/27, JP 1/28)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 nr. Salfit in the afternoon, and in Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in Aida r.c. nr. Bethlehem, Tulkarm, and 1 village each nr. Hebron and Tubas at night. (PCHR 1/31)

Tunisian pres. Moncef Marzouki postpones his visit to the Gaza Strip (see 1/20) until 3/2013, following discussion with Palestinian pres. Abbas, in order to ‘‘allow the path of reconciliation to progress.’’ Meanwhile, spokesperson for the Palestinian reconciliation comm., Abdul Aziz Qudaih, says that Morocco has pledged $500 m. to support reconciliation efforts, money to be used for compensation payments for those injured or who suffered property damage during Hamas-Fatah fighting in 2007. (MNA 1/27)

Turkish media report that the country’s dep. min. for energy and natural resources, Murat Mercan, has told Israeli Foreign Ministry official Michael Lotem that Israel’s energy cooperation with Cyprus would stand in the way of any proposed Israel-Turkey natural gas pipeline. The unofficial conversation took place during the Eurasian Economic Summit held in Istanbul. (REU 1/27)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Nablus and nr Jenin; conducts late-night patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah. (PCHR 1/20, 1/27; OCHA 1/28)

Lebanon introduces a draft of a major United Nations Security Council res. for debate that urges the international community to denounce Israeli settlement activity, using wording that artfully pieces together official U.S. statements on settlements to make it harder for the U.S. to object or veto. The U.S. ultimately urges Abbas to suspend discussion of the draft until a Quartet meeting on 2/5, suggesting the Quartet might issue a statement confirming 1967 borders as the basis of final status negotiations and condemning Israeli settlement construction. (NYT 1/20)

At an Arab economic summit in Sharm al-Shaykh, Arab leaders pledge $2 b. to shore up regional economies and generate jobs in hopes of preventing the spread of antigovernment riots like those in Tunisia. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait each pledges $500 m., with 11 other states pledging the other $1 b. Observers say however (see NYT 1/20) that leaders are acting more out of a desire to secure their leaderships than to reform and develop their economies, noting that none of the similar initiatives agreed at the last economic summit in 2009 have been implemented. By this date, numerous self-immolations (some fatal) and antigovernment protests have taken place in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen since the fall of Ben-Ali on 1/14, citing Tunisia as inspiration. In response to the Yemeni riots, the most severe to date, Pres. Ali Abdullah Saleh has cut income taxes in half, imposed price controls on basic goods, raised salaries for the army, and vowed his son will not succeed him, while the EU has announced an additional $19.5 m. in support to Sana’a for poverty programs. Today, an Egyptian Facebook group begins calling for massive street protests in Cairo on 1/25 to mark a “day of revolution against torture, poverty, corruption, and unemployment.” (WT 1/19; NYT 1/20; NYT, WT 1/25; see also al-Bawaba 1/17; NYT, WP 1/18)

After receiving a warning fr. Egypt that Israel is serious about preventing further rocket and mortar fire fr. Gaza, Hamas authorities hold a 2d mtg. (see 1/11) with smaller factions to urge them to adhere to a cease-fire, then deploys IQB mbrs. along the border and at makeshift checkpoints on roads leading toward the border to deter groups fr. firing into Israel. In the West Bank, the IDF steps up patrols dramatically, operating in 8 villages nr. Qalqilya, 3 nr. Jenin, 1 nr. Ramallah, and 1 nr. Tulkarm between late morning and late afternoon, arresting 1 stone-throwing teenager nr. Tulkarm and summoning several residents of Bayt Qad nr. Qalqilya for questioning; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin and Qalqilya. Jewish settlers fr. a settlement outpost nr. Nablus attack a Palestinian farmer working his field nearby; when nearby villagers come to the farmers aid, IDF troops intervene, firing rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas at the Palestinians, seriously injuring 2 and moderately injuring 1. (NYT, WP 1/14; PCHR 1/20; OCHA 1/21)

In Tunisia, opposition forces call for massive antigovernment demonstrations after Friday prayers on 1/14 to demand Pres. Ben Ali’s immediate resignation. In the days since 12/29/2010, protests have increasingly come to reflect deep-seated frustration with overall government corruption and lack of political freedom, rather than just economic angst. The major riots that first roiled the countryside have become increasingly violent and spread nationwide, reaching the capital on 1/12 and the key resort city of Hammamet (where Ben Ali and his extended family have residences) on 1/13, leaving at least 30 dead. In effort to quell protests, Ben Ali has simultaneously moved to appease and clamp down on critics, pledging to investigate government corruption and recent “excesses” by the security forces and firing his interior minister (directly responsible for orchestrating the crackdown on demonstrators), but also deploying army units and riot police around Tunis and imposing a nighttime curfew, blaming “foreign terrorists and Islamic radicals capitalizing on the frustrations of the unemployed.” Rumors suggest that close relatives of Ben Ali, including billionaire businessman Muhammad Sakher El Materi (his son-in-law and heir apparent), have already fled the country. Today, Ben Ali gives a hastily prepared television address. Appearing unsettled, he orders security forces to hold their fire and release jailed protesters, agrees to make other minor reforms, and pledges to give up the presidency when he turns 75 (in 2014) in keeping with the constitution, but rejects demands to step down immediately and end his 23-yr. authoritarian rule. In a threatening move, however, he withdraws the army fr. Tunis, replacing them with special police and other security forces more loyal to his ruling party. Credible rumors say the shift has come about because Tunisia’s army chief Gen. Rachid Ammar has refused Ben-Ali’s orders to shoot demonstrators. By this date, small protests inspired by Tunisian demonstrators have been held in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, and Morocco denouncing unemployment and corruption among the ruling elites, but are not perceived as destabilizing. (NYT, WP 1/13; NYT 1/14, 1/17, 2/24; see also WP 1/10, NYT 1/12)

A Palestinian suicide bomber detonates a device in a Jerusalem restaurant, lightly wounding 5 Israelis. AMB gunmen lure 2 Jewish settlers (diesel fuel salesmen) to Jamayn village, fatally shoot them; 1 of the assailants is later arrested. 1,000s of Nablus residents defy the 24-hr. curfew for a 3d day. The IDF removes the curfew on Qalqilya; bulldozes 3 Palestinian apartment buildings in Jenin allegedly housing bomb-making labs; directs heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Khan Yunis, injuring 2 women, 2 children sleeping in their homes. In the Israeli town of Ashkelon, an Israeli Jew (recently emigrated from Morocco) walking the beach nr. the home of a senior Israeli security official is stopped, searched, shot, seriously wounded by guards who thought he was a Palestinian attacker. An Israeli prosecutor charges 2 Palestinian detainees with masterminding attacks that killed 17 Israelis, marking the 1st indictments handed down in an civilian court against Palestinians detained during the al-Aqsa intifada. (AP, MM 7/30; JTA, MM, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 7/31; NYT 8/1)

In Rabat, King Muhammad of Morocco meets with Israeli dep. PM Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, says he looks forward to visiting Israel "when the conditions are right." (MA 7/2 in WNC 7/3)