954 / 14704 Results
  • April 25, 2013

    The IDF shoots and injures 1 Palestinian during clashes in Abu Dis, East Jerusalem, sparked by a visit to the neighborhood by an Israeli intelligence officer. In the West Bank, IDF forces uproot...

    Read more
  • April 22, 2013

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

    Read more
  • April 1, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and nearby al-‘Arub r.c, in 2 villages nr. Bethlehem, and in 1 nr. Jenin at...

    Read more
  • March 21, 2013

    U.S. Pres. Barack Obama meets with Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas in Ramallah, discussions that Palestinian officials later characterize as disappointing in regards to positions on settlements and...

    Read more
  • March 18, 2013

    Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s new coalition government officially takes office. Speaking in the Knesset, Netanyahu says that Israel is ready for a ‘‘historic compromise’’ with the Palestinians...

    Read more
  • February 17, 2013

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

    Read more
  • February 16, 2013

    In the West Bank, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and...

    Read more
  • February 15, 2013

    Israel’s Channel 2 television station reports that Israel and Hamas are conducting indirect negotiations through Egyptian mediators on issues pertaining to easing the blockade of the Gaza Strip,...

    Read more
  • February 8, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians gathered close to the border fence nr. Bayt Lahiya and separately nr. Abu Safiya, causing no injuries in either case. In the West Bank, the...

    Read more
  • February 6, 2013

    Israel’s Turkel Comm., which was charged with investigating the 2010 attack on the Gaza-bound Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, publishes recommendations of substantial changes in the way that the army...

    Read more
  • February 5, 2013

    White House spokesperson Jay Carney says that Pres. Obama will visit Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan in the spring, but states that Obama will not present a new peace initiative on the trip. (...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • January 30, 2013

    The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah release a statement expressing deep concern over the number of Palestinians killed recently in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and also the ongoing...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • December 29, 2012

    Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. al-Waha for the 3d consecutive day, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers nr. Hebron attack farmers...

    Read more
  • December 20, 2012

    In the West Bank, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians in 1 village nr. Jenin and arrests 2 wounded civilians. The IDF also patrols in 2 villages nr. Jericho and 3 villages nr. Ramallah in the...

    Read more
  • November 15, 2012

    Israel’s military assault on the Gaza Strip (Operation Pillar of Defense) continues, and projectile fire from Palestinian factions into Israel intensifies. The IDF kills 9 Palestinians, bringing...

    Read more
  • October 18, 2012

    Israel transfers tax revenues to the PA 2 weeks ahead of schedule in recognition of the economic crisis. The PA fin. min. announces it will pay partial salaries to workers. (MNA 10/18, 10/20)...

    Read more
  • October 6, 2012

    Israel’s air force shoots down an unmanned drone over the Negev desert. On 10/11, Hizballah confirms that it sent the drone, described by leader Hasan Nasrallah in a televised speech as a ‘‘...

    Read more
  • September 27, 2012

    PA pres. Mahmud Abbas addresses the UNGA in New York, announcing as expected that his government will seek non-member observer state status for Palestine (see Doc. B4 in JPS 166). Abbas also...

    Read more
  • July 23, 2012

    Qalqilya from laying water pipes from a well to a nearby plot of agricultural land, confiscating their excavator and a welding machine. The IDF also a patrols in Tulkarm in the morning; conducts...

    Read more
  • July 19, 2012

    The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah, 1 early in the morning and the other late at night; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya and Ramallah. Jewish settlers fr. Bet...

    Read more
  • July 7, 2012

    IDF troops open fire across the s. Gaza border into residential and agricultural areas of Khan Yunis in the morning, causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Tulkarm, 3...

    Read more
  • July 3, 2012

    The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning; and conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in 2 villages nr. Jenin. (PCHR 7/5; OCHA 7/13)

    In a television interview in...

    Read more
  • May 28, 2012

    Hamas’s acting PM in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh authorizes a senior CEC team to begin updating Gaza’s voter rolls, in keeping with agreements reached in Cairo on 5/20/12. The CEC estimates that since the...

    Read more
  • March 15, 2012

    Retaliating for Palestinian rocket fire on 3/14, the IDF carries out 2 air strikes on training sites in Gaza. Unidentified Palestinians fire at least 2 rockets in response. No injures are reported...

    Read more
  • March 14, 2012

    Retaliating for Palestinian rocket fire on 3/13, Israeli warplanes carry out 3 air strikes on open areas north and southeast of Gaza City and on a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border, in 1...

    Read more
  • March 9, 2012

    Israeli drones makes an air strike on a car in Gaza City, assassinating Zuhair al-Qaissi, top military cmdr. the Popular Resistance Comms. (PRCs) and senior PRC mbr. Mahmoud Hanani, and seriously...

    Read more
  • February 13, 2012

    IDF troops on the c. Gaza border e. of al-Bureij r.c. open fire across the border for 15 mins., causing no reported damage or injuries. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off...

    Read more
  • January 24, 2012

    In a State of the Union address devoted to domestic affairs, Pres. Obama pointedly calls on Syrian pres. Asad to realize “that the forces of change cannot be reversed and that human dignity cannot...

    Read more

The IDF shoots and injures 1 Palestinian during clashes in Abu Dis, East Jerusalem, sparked by a visit to the neighborhood by an Israeli intelligence officer. In the West Bank, IDF forces uproot around 700 olive trees in a village nr. Jenin. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning, in 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon, and in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, 3 villages nr. Hebron, 1 village each nr. Qalqilya, nr. Ramallah and nr. Tulkarm at night. IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in Hebron in the afternoon. The IDF makes an incursion into Gaza nr. Khan Yunis to level land and clear lines of sight along the border fence. (MNA, PCHR, WAFA 4/25; PCHR 5/2)

The Israeli air force shoots down an unmanned aerial vehicle over the Mediterranean Sea as it approaches the Israeli coast from the direction of Lebanon. No group claims responsibility, and Hizballah specifically denies involvement. (REU 4/25)

Israeli newspaper Ha’Aretz claims that the Obama admin. aims to host a Middle East peace summit in Washington in 6/2013, bringing together Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas, and Jordan’s King Abdullah II. U.S. officials deny the report. (HA 4/25)

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

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

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

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

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and nearby al-‘Arub r.c, in 2 villages nr. Bethlehem, and in 1 nr. Jenin at night. (PCHR 4/4)

The Hamas-controlled Education Min. in Gaza announces that men will be barred from teaching at girls’ schools, and separate classes for boys and girls from the age of 9 years old will be mandatory. (REU 4/1)

The head of Hizballah’s executive council Sayyed Hashem Safieddine accuses the U.S. government of interfering in Lebanese affairs—though without giving any specific details or allegations— and attacks a ‘‘destructive American project against Syria and the entire region.’’ (DS 4/1)

U.S. Pres. Barack Obama meets with Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas in Ramallah, discussions that Palestinian officials later characterize as disappointing in regards to positions on settlements and prisoners. Obama then delivers a speech to Israeli students in which he says further settlement construction is ‘‘counterproductive’’ to peace efforts, and urges the Arab world to ‘‘take steps toward normalizing relations’’ with Israel (See Documents in JPS 168 for excerpts). In Gaza, Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh dismisses Obama’s visit and says ‘‘American policies perpetuate the Israeli occupation.’’ (JP, MNA, REU 3/21)

Palestinian militants fire rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel, damaging 1 home in Sederot but causing no injuries. A small Islamist group called Mujahidin Shura Council claim responsibility for the launch, having previously claimed a 6/2013 attack on Israel from the Sinai. In response, the Israeli military announces that it is reducing the permitted fishing zone for Palestinians in Gaza to 3 naut. miles, as well as closing Kerem Shalom crossing. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. (JP, MNA, REU 3/21; PCHR 3/28)

A court in Cyprus convicts Hizballah member Hossam Taleb Yaccoub of plotting against Israeli interests on the island. Yaccoub was arrested on 7/13/12 after a tip off by Israeli intelligence. (REU 3/21)

Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a speech at the Shrine of Imam Reza in which he indicates openness to nuclear talks but is not optimistic about success. He also says that international sanctions have failed to isolate Iran. (WP 3/21)

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s new coalition government officially takes office. Speaking in the Knesset, Netanyahu says that Israel is ready for a ‘‘historic compromise’’ with the Palestinians. (JP, REU, WP 3/18)

In the West Bank, unidentified Palestinians open fire on and injure a Jewish settler at a bus stop nr. Nablus. The IDF patrols in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and conducts house searches and arrest raids in al-‘Arub r.c. and 1 village nr. Hebron, and 1 village nr. Nablus at night. (AP 3/18; PCHR 3/21)

A UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) fact-finding mission releases its report on Israel’s West Bank settlements, describing them as a ‘‘creeping form of annexation,’’ and calling on Israel to cease construction immediately and ‘‘initiate a process of withdrawal.’’ The report, presented by mission leader Christine Chanet, urges the international community to cut economic links with the settlements. The U.S. refuses to take part in the Council’s debate. Meanwhile, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay states that Israeli settler violence ‘‘continues to be perpetrated with impunity,’’ and further notes that excessive force by the IDF has resulted in Palestinian fatalities. (AFP, HA, JP, UNNC 3/18)

Lebanon reports that Israeli warplanes entered Lebanese airspace earlier in the day. Israel routinely conducts aerial surveillance over Lebanon even though this explicitly violates the 2006 Israel-Hizballah cease-fire agreement laid out in UN Res. 1701. (AP 3/18)

Iran and P5+1 group nuclear experts meet in Istanbul to review proposals put forward during the last round of talks in Kazakhstan (2/26-27). (AFP, XIN 3/18)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 1 village each nr. Jericho, Ramallah, and Salfit at night; conducts house searches and arrests in 2 villages nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Salfit and 1 village each nr. Hebron, Qalqilya, Tulkarm, and Aida refugee camp (r.c.) in Bethlehem at night. Schools across the West Bank are on strike to protest the failure of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to pay 1/2013 wages, with a second day of industrial action planned for later in the week. (MNA 2/16; PCHR 2/21)

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu tells Likud ministers that he intends to create a broad coalition following January’s elections in order to advance negotiations with the Palestinians from a position of strength. (AP, HA 2/17)

Israeli security officials visit Cairo for the second time in a week to discuss the regional security situation with Egyptian intelligence officials. Items for discussion include the security situation in Sinai and the indirect talks with Hamas. Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya confirms that the organization is indeed conducting indirect talks with Israel over the details of the cease-fire deal that ended Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense in 11/2012, including possibly allowing the entry of Qatari-donated construction materials to Gaza and the export of Gaza’s agricultural products to Israel. (MNA, ToI 2/17)

Hizballah forces controlling 8 Syrian border villages expand into other adjacent villages, prompting the fighting between Hizballah fighters and Free Syrian Army rebels in Syrian territory nr. the Lebanese border. (AP, REU 2/17)

In the West Bank, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrests in Hebron in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. (PCHR 2/21)

The Palestinian Central Elections Commission (CEC) announces that 155,000 people in the Gaza Strip (79% of eligible voters) have registered to vote in planned legislative elections, with 2 days remaining until the electoral roll closes. The CEC says that 76% of eligible West Bank voters are on the roll. The voter registration drive is the necessary step towards as yet unscheduled elections, should Fatah and Hamas agree on how to proceed and with several outstanding issues that could cause a delay. (MNA 2/16)

European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton issues a statement calling on Israel to improve conditions for Palestinian prisoners, noting ‘‘with concern’’ the case of 4 particular inmates on long-standing hunger strikes. (REU 2/16)

IDF soldiers provide medical assistance to 7 injured Syrian nationals they discover nr. the border fence in the occupied Golan Heights. The injured men reportedly are rebels fleeing fighting against forces loyal to Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad. (HA 2/16)

Hizballah leader Hasan Nasrallah makes a speech from an undisclosed location stating that his group does not need support from Syria or Iran for any future battle against Israel. The comments are seen as a reference to claims that Israel’s 1/30 attack on Syria targeted a weapons convoy destined for Hizballah. (REU 2/16)

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says that the country does not want to build nuclear arms but that if they did, no country could stop them. Khamenei also promises revenge on Israel for the death of Revolutionary Guards commander Hessam Khoshnevis, also called Hassan Shateri in some news accounts, who was killed in Syria close to the Lebanese border by rebel fighters that Tehran accuses of working to advance U.S. and Israeli interests. (REU 2/16)

Israel’s Channel 2 television station reports that Israel and Hamas are conducting indirect negotiations through Egyptian mediators on issues pertaining to easing the blockade of the Gaza Strip, including the possible opening of the Rafah crossing to construction materials and other staple items. (JP 2/15)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village each nr. Jericho and Ramallah in the morning, and in 3 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 village each nr. Jericho and Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Bethlehem and Qalqilya at night. Hundreds of Palestinians protest outside Ofer prison nr. Ramallah in solidarity with prisoners on hunger strike. PC mbr. Mustafa Barghouti, Palestinian MK Ahmad Tibi, and Islamic Movement in Israel leader Shaykh Raed Salah attend Friday prayers outside the jail. (MNA 2/15; PCHR 2/21)

Israeli media reports that Jordan is in secret talks with officials from Israel’s Tamar natural gas field about exporting Israeli gas to power a potash plant on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea. (HA 2/15)

Bulgaria expels 3 Hamas-affiliated PC mbrs. on a publicized visit to the country, stating that they represent ‘‘a serious threat to national security.’’ This is unrelated to the recent claims (2/5) by the Bulgarian government regarding alleged Hizballah involvement in the 7/2012 Burgas bombing. (AP 2/15)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians gathered close to the border fence nr. Bayt Lahiya and separately nr. Abu Safiya, causing no injuries in either case. In the West Bank, the IDF attacks Palestinian and international activists who built 3 tents on confiscated land e. of Yatta nr. Hebron, demolishing and confiscating the tents. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the morning; in 1 village nr. Jenin, 1 village nr. Tulkarm, and 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon; in 3 villages each nr. Qaliqlya and Ramallah, and 1 village each nr. Hebron and Jericho at night. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Salfit at night. Israeli soldiers attack weekly nonviolent demonstrations held by Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals in 4 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, al-Nabi Salih, Budrus), 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara), and 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum). In all, 1 Palestinian in Budrus is seriously wounded by a rubber-coated bullet and 2 Palestinians in Kafr Qaddum are moderately injured by tear-gas canisters. (PCHR 2/14)

Hassan al-Ouri, legal adviser to Palestinian pres. Abbas, says that the president will pardon a man jailed on 2/6 for insulting the PA leadership. (MNA 2/8)

Palestinian pres. Abbas meets Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan ‘Abdallah Shalah as part national reconciliation talks in Cairo. (MNA 2/8)

Iran’s amb. to Bulgaria Gholamreza Bageri says that Iran had nothing to do with the 7/2012 bombing of a bus in Burgas, following accusations by Bulgarian authorities that Hizballah was behind the attack. (REU 2/8)

The Lebanese military say that Israeli jets conducted mock raids overnight in Lebanese airspace. Meanwhile, a report by Lebanon’s amb. to the UN, Nawaf Salam, is published, detailing 54 violations of UNSC Res. 1701 committed by Israel in 12/2012. (JP, ToI 2/8)

Israel’s Turkel Comm., which was charged with investigating the 2010 attack on the Gaza-bound Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, publishes recommendations of substantial changes in the way that the army approaches possible war crimes committed by its own soldiers. (HA 2/6)

Israel’s military advocate gen. Danny Efroni reveals that the IDF is examining 70 cases in which non-combatant Palestinian civilians were killed during Operation Pillar of Defense. (YA 2/6)

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

A PA magistrate’s court in Nablus sentences a man to 1 yr. in prison for ‘‘extending his tongue’’ against the PA leadership and ‘‘fomenting sedition,’’ citing a 50-yr.-old Jordanian law. (JP 2/7)

Dep. Hizballah leader Naim Qassem dismisses Bulgaria’s 2/5 accusation that it was responsible for the 7/2012 Burgas bombing, saying that Israel was behind the ‘‘allegations and incitements.’’ Meanwhile, the Lebanese National News Agency reports that Israeli jets carried out a series of mock raids over s. Lebanon. (REU, ToI 2/6)

White House spokesperson Jay Carney says that Pres. Obama will visit Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan in the spring, but states that Obama will not present a new peace initiative on the trip. (NYT 2/5, HA 2/6)

Israeli security forces demolish a Palestinian-owned home in the Bayt Hanina neighborhood of East Jerusalem, leaving 4 families (30 people) homeless. IDF troops make 2 brief incursions into Gaza nr. Rafah and an area in c. Gaza to level lands and clear lines of sight along the border fence. The IDF opens fire on Palestinians gathered close to the border fence nr. Bayt Hanun and on Palestinians collecting gravel close to the border fence nr. Jabaliya, causing no injuries in either incident. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village each nr. Ramallah and Tulkarm in the morning, in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm and 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Bethlehem, al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, and Aida r.c. in Bethlehem at night. Jewish settlers set fire to 2 cars in a village nr. Ramallah and leave ‘‘price-tag’’ slogans. (WAFA 2/5; MNA 2/6; PCHR 2/7)

Bulgarian interior min. Tsvetan Tsvetanov accuses Hizballah of being behind a bomb attack on a bus of Israeli tourists in Burgas on 7/18/12. In response, U.S. secy. of state John Kerry and White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan say that the EU must take ‘‘proactive action’’ in opposing the Lebanese organization. (AP, REU 2/5)

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)

The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah release a statement expressing deep concern over the number of Palestinians killed recently in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and also the ongoing incursions by the IDF into West Bank Area A (under full PA control). UN humanitarian coordinator in the occupied Palestinian territories James W. Rawley says he is ‘‘seriously concerned’’ about Palestinian civilian casualties resulting from live fire by IDF soldiers. (EU Press Office, UNNC 1/30)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning and in Bethlehem at night. (PCHR 1/31)

Saudi newspaper al-Sharq reports that in discussions with King Abdallah of Jordan, Hamas chief Khalid Mishal accepted the idea of a two-state solution, which would mark a significant change in official Hamas policy if reiterated publicly (claims subsequently denied (1/31) by Hamas officials. Previously, Hamas had expressed willingness to observe longterm truce with Israel, but not to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. (HA 1/30)

Anonymous U.S. officials say that Israeli warplanes conducted an air strike inside Syria targeting a convoy believed to be transporting anti-aircraft weaponry to Hizballah in Lebanon. The Syrian government claims that the planes struck a military research center. The Lebanese military say that Israeli warplanes have increased their activity over s. Lebanon in the past week, including at least 12 sorties in the previous 24 hours. (AP, NYT, REU 1/30)

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)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. al-Waha for the 3d consecutive day, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers nr. Hebron attack farmers working nr. a settlement and drive them from the land. Palestinian and Israeli protesters demonstrate against settlement expansion and the occupation in separate protests in 2 villages nr. Hebron. In both cases, the IDF attacks the protesters, causing no injuries. The IDF patrols in 1 village each nr. Jericho, Ramallah, and Tulkarm in the morning, in 1 village each nr. Jericho and Ramallah in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Jenin at night. (PCHR 1/3)

Egyptian amb. to Lebanon Ashraf Hamdy tells Lebanese media that Cairo intends to forge close relations with Hizballah, due to its significance within Lebanese society and the political arena. (JP 12/29)

In the West Bank, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians in 1 village nr. Jenin and arrests 2 wounded civilians. The IDF also patrols in 2 villages nr. Jericho and 3 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, Jericho, and 4 villages nr. Hebron, 2 nr. Tulkarm, and 1 nr. Ramallah at night. Jewish settlers from Ma’ale Ephraim settlement nr. Nablus set fire to 2 Palestinian-owned cars. (PCHR 12/27)

Various Palestinian officials close to Pres. Abbas tell the Associated Press that there are plans to encourage the international isolation of Israel should Israeli PM Netanyahu win reelection and the peace process remain stalled. Options being considered include war crimes charges, urging sanctions, and ending security cooperation in the West Bank. Fatah official Nabil Shaath tells Palestinian news agency Ma‘an that the PA will further develop a strategy of boycott and civil disobedience in 2013. In response to these reports, the Israeli Foreign Ministry says that Abbas seeks to ‘‘incite a confrontation with Israel no matter what.’’ (AP, MNA 12/20; YA 12/21)

The EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton releases a statement expressing strong opposition to Israel’s ‘‘unprecedented expansion of settlements around Jerusalem.’’ Meanwhile, South Africa’s governing party, the African National Congress, votes at its annual conference to support the Palestinians’ Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. (EU Press Office 12/20; HA 12/21)

Human Rights Watch says that the IDF’s attacks on the media in the Gaza Strip during Operation Pillar of Defense that killed 2 and injured 10 media personnel violated the laws of war. (AP 12/20)

Israeli newspaper Ha’Aretz reports that the state has informed the High Court of Justice that the IDF will reduce the amount of time Palestinian minors can be held before they are brought before a judge. (HA 12/20)

An anonymous Israeli government official says that Israel and Egypt are continuing discussions behind the scenes in Cairo, intended to further ease restrictions on the Gaza Strip and to prevent a rearming of Hamas. (JP 12/21) I

srael’s UN amb. Ron Prosor submits a letter to the Security Council complaining that Hizballah has rearmed with tens of thousands of missiles, in violation of a UN arms embargo. (REU 12/20)

Israel’s military assault on the Gaza Strip (Operation Pillar of Defense) continues, and projectile fire from Palestinian factions into Israel intensifies. The IDF kills 9 Palestinians, bringing the death toll since 11/14 to 19, including 6 children. The IDF claims to have struck a total of 300 ‘‘terror activity’’ sites in the Gaza Strip, deploying air strikes, tank, and naval shelling and destroying 70 unmanned missile launch sites. The Israeli army also calls up 30,000 army reservists to prepare for a potential ground invasion. Three Israelis are killed by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip that hits a residential building in Kiryat Malakhi. The IDF cites an estimated 270 rockets fired by Palestinian factions since the start of the Israeli military assault, with over 100 shot down by the Iron Dome missile defense/intercept system. Meanwhile, the Israeli daily Ha’Aretz reports that Hamas leader Ahmad Jabari was negotiating a permanent truce agreement with Israel just hours before his assassination on 11/14 (see Selections from the Press in JPS 166). (BBC, HA, MNA, REU 11/15, 11/16)

Internationally, the U.S. continues to show support for Israel’s operation, with the Senate unanimously passing a resolution backing Israel’s right to defend itself (62 senators were cosponsors). Egypt, Jordan, Russia, and Turkey all condemn Israel’s use of force as disproportionate, while Hizballah leader Hasan Nasrallah calls on Arab countries to support Hamas. PA pres. Mahmud Abbas calls for an urgent Arab League meeting, and Egypt and Tunisia announce plans to send delegations to the Gaza Strip on 11/16 and 11/18 respectively. (Guardian, REU, ToI 11/15)

For a 3d night, Jordanians in various cities across Jordan protest against King Abdullah and a reduction in public fuel subsidies. Islamist opposition groups vow to keep up the demonstrations. Gunmen attack 2 police stations, sparking a clash that leaves 1 attacker dead and 17 people injured (including 13 police officers). (AP, NYT 11/15)

Israel transfers tax revenues to the PA 2 weeks ahead of schedule in recognition of the economic crisis. The PA fin. min. announces it will pay partial salaries to workers. (MNA 10/18, 10/20)

Israel grants final approval to a plan for 800 new homes in East Jerusalem, meaning an expansion of Gilo settlement. (AFP 10/18)

Bedouin citizens of Israel hold a protest outside government offices in Beersheba to call for an end to the pending demolition orders in Bir Hadaj village in the Negev. Meanwhile, Israeli authorities demolish the Bedouin village al-Araqib for the 43rd time. (JP 10/18; MNA 10/19)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya, 3 villages nr. Ramallah, and 2 villages nr. Jenin in the morning; in 2 villages nr. Jericho and 2 villages nr. Hebron in the afternoon; and in al-Bireh, 2 villages nr. Jericho, 1 village nr. Jenin, and 2 villages nr. Hebron (in 1 of which the IDF uses tear gas against stone-throwing Palestinians) at night. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire at Palestinian fishermen, causing no injuries. (PCHR 10/24)

In a report submitted to the UN Security Council (UNSC), UN secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon calls the Hizballah drone sent into Israeli airspace a ‘‘reckless provocation,’’ and criticizes Israel’s use of drones and fighter jets in Lebanese airspace as a violation of sovereignty. (AP 10/18)

Israel’s air force shoots down an unmanned drone over the Negev desert. On 10/11, Hizballah confirms that it sent the drone, described by leader Hasan Nasrallah in a televised speech as a ‘‘reconnaissance aircraft’’ whose parts were manufactured in Iran and assembled in Lebanon. (CNN 10/6; REU 10/11)

Israeli naval vessels off the Gaza coast open fire on Palestinian fishermen in the morning, with no injuries or arrests. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in 1 village nr. Ramallah, 1 village nr. Tulkarm, and 1 village nr. Hebron at night; conducts a house search and arrest raid in 1 village nr. Hebron. Jewish settlers nr. Hebron and nr. Ramallah attack Palestinian farmers. (PCHR 11/10)

PA pres. Mahmud Abbas addresses the UNGA in New York, announcing as expected that his government will seek non-member observer state status for Palestine (see Doc. B4 in JPS 166). Abbas also refers to current Israeli policies as ‘‘ethnic cleansing,’’ singling out settlement construction and home demolition for particular criticism. Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) criticize the speech for not offering anything new, but Fatah praises it as ‘‘historic.’’ Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu also addresses the assembly, notably literally drawing a ‘‘red line’’ on a cartoon of a bomb to illustrate his claim that Iran would be capable of making a nuclear weapon within a year. In contrast, U.S. officials play down the notion that Iran is on the brink of achieving a nuclear weapon. Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Iran is making progress in building a research reactor capable of potential weapon material, and Israeli media describe the Netanyahu government as urging the EU to impose further sanctions on Iran in light of the economic damage achieved by sanctions to date. (AP, HA, MNA, REU, ToI 9/27)

Israel approves a proposal to allow 5,000 additional entry permits for Palestinian construction and agricultural workers, bringing the total number of work permits issued by Israel to West Bank Palestinians to over 45,000. Israel also allows, for the 1st time since 2007, 3 truckloads of furniture to be exported from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank, destined for PA-run schools. This marks the 3d time in 2012 that Israel permitted the passage of goods from Gaza to the West Bank. Meanwhile Egypt informed Palestinian officials of their intention to ease travel through the Rafah crossing over coming days. (JP, MNA 9/27)

In the West Bank, Jewish settlers fr. Beitar Ilit settlement nr. Bethlehem dump sewage water on agriculture lands in the Fukin valley. Jewish settlers fr. Brakha settlement nr. Burin village s. of Nablus cut down over 60 olive trees. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jericho, 2 villages nr. Ramallah, and 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning; patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya and 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon; patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah, 1 village nr. Tulkarm (firing sound bombs), and 1 village nr. Hebron at night; conducts a house raid and summons in Qalqilya in the morning and house raids in 1 village nr. Hebron at night (beating 2 residents, arresting another 2, and firing tear-gas canisters at homes) at night. (PCHR 10/4)

U.S. and Lebanese government officials allege that Hizballah has sent military advisers to help the Asad government in Syria. UNRWA estimates that the total number of refugees fleeing Syria will reach 700,000 by the end of 2012. (REU, WP 9/27)

Qalqilya from laying water pipes from a well to a nearby plot of agricultural land, confiscating their excavator and a welding machine. The IDF also a patrols in Tulkarm in the morning; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Susia settlement nr. Hebron seize 5 d. of nearby Palestinian land. (PCHR 7/26; OCHA 7/27)

The longest-ever Palestinian hunger striker, Akram Rikhawi, ends his fast after 103 days in exchange for a pledge that Israel will release him 5 mos. early (in 1/2013). (NYT 7/24)

In Brussels for a regular meeting with the EU, Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman requests that, in light of the 7/18 Bulgaria attack, the EU add Hizballah to its terrorist list. The EU says that thus far there is no proof of Hizballah’s involvement in terror. (NYT 8/16)

Egypt eases travel restrictions on Palestinians that will make it easer for Gazans to enter and will allow them to stay for up to 72 hrs. before returning or transiting through. All Palestinians must still have Palestinian national identification, a passport, or proof of residency in a 3d country and obtain a visa. The move comes a week after newly elected Egyptian pres. Mohamed Morsi held separate meetings in Cairo with PA pres. Abbas and Hamas leader Khalid Mishal. (NYT, WT 7/24)

The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah, 1 early in the morning and the other late at night; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya and Ramallah. Jewish settlers fr. Bet Ayn nr. Hebron uproot 47 olive and almond trees, and 10 grape arbors on nearby Palestinian land. Jewish settlers raze 14 d. of Palestinian agricultural land nr. Bethlehem to establish a settler-only road. (PCHR 7/26; OCHA 7/27)

U.S. intelligence officials assert, without offering evidence, that a Hizballah cell linked to Iran carried out the 7/18 suicide attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria in retaliation for Israel’s recent assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists. (NYT 7/20)

U.S. pres. Obama signs legislation to extend the terms of Israel’s loan guarantees through the end of 9/2016. Without the move, loan guarantees would have expired at the end of 9/2012. Since 2004 the U.S. has given Israel $9 b. in loan guarantees, of which Israel has used $5.2 b. (HA 7/22; Foreign Policy online 7/31)

IDF troops open fire across the s. Gaza border into residential and agricultural areas of Khan Yunis in the morning, causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Tulkarm, 3 villages nr. Ramallah, and 1 village nr. Jericho in the morning; in Tulkarm and 1 village nr. Jericho in the afternoon; and in 2 villages nr. Jericho late at night. (PCHR 7/12; OCHA 7/13)

Acting on a tip from Israeli intelligence, police in Cyprus arrest a suspected Hizballah operative (a dual Lebanese-Swedish citizen) for allegedly plotting an attack on Israeli tourists. (JTA 7/15; NYT 7/19; JPI 7/27)

The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning; and conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in 2 villages nr. Jenin. (PCHR 7/5; OCHA 7/13)

In a television interview in Beirut, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command (PFLPGC) leader Ahmad Jibril states that his faction, along with Hizballah and Iran, would fight to defend Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad if foreign forces intervene in Syria. Jibril claims to have discussed the matter with Hizballah leader Hasan Nasrallah, but Hizballah does not comment. (WT 7/4)

Al-Jazeera satellite TV airs a special investigative report in which it claims to have uncovered new evidence that Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat did not die of natural causes in 11/2004 but was assassinated. The station funded scientific tests of Arafat’s clothing (kept by his widow, Suha Arafat) by a Swiss forensic institute that found unusually high traces of the radioactive substance polonium21. Suha Arafat immediately calls for Arafat’s body to be exhumed and tested. The PA says only that it would not ‘‘stand in the way of an exhumation.’’ (JAZ 7/3; NYT, WP 7/5)

Iran and the P5þ1 end 2 days of talks in Istanbul. Though the sides do not comment on progress, they say that deputies to Ashton and Jalili will soon meet to discuss how to reduce gaps in their positions and move negotiations forward. The meeting is later set for 7/24 in Turkey. (NYT 7/5, 7/10)

Hamas’s acting PM in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh authorizes a senior CEC team to begin updating Gaza’s voter rolls, in keeping with agreements reached in Cairo on 5/20/12. The CEC estimates that since the rolls were last updated for the 1/2006 elections, the number of eligible but unregistered Gaza voters has grown to as many as 250,000. (NYT 5/29)

In Hamza village, just n. of Jerusalem, Israeli security forces demolish a gas station, car wash, 2 auto body shops, and 2 cafeterias, confiscating several motorcycles, fuel pumps, gasoline, and equipment. Deeper in the West Bank, IDF soldiers nr. Qalqilya fire tear gas, stun grenades at a group of Palestinian laborers attempting to cross into Israel without permits to find work, causing no injuries but starting a small fire that burns a grove of 20 Palestinian olive trees. The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 nr. Jenin in the morning; in 1 village nr. Jericho in the afternoon; and in 2 villages each nr. Ramallah, Salfit, and Tulkarm and 1 nr. Jenin late at night. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Kafr Qaddum and nr. Hebron, Qalqilya, and Salfit. (PCHR 5/31; OCHA 6/1)

A Turkish court indicts 4 fmr. senior IDF commanders (fmr. IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and those who headed the Israeli navy, air force, and military intelligence) who were in authority when Israel killed 9 Turks aboard the Mavi Marmara aid flotilla ship to Gaza in 2012 (see QU in JPS 157). The 4 officials are unlikely to appear for trial but may be tried in absentia. (NYT, WP 5/29; NYT 6/5)

The Washington Post runs (5/28) a special report alleging proof of an elaborate plan orchestrated either by Iranback Hizballah elements or operatives based in Iran to assassinate U.S. embassy officials and their families in Azerbaijan. The U.S., however, refrains at this stage from accusing Iran or Hizballah of direct involvement. (WP 5/28)

Retaliating for Palestinian rocket fire on 3/14, the IDF carries out 2 air strikes on training sites in Gaza. Unidentified Palestinians fire at least 2 rockets in response. No injures are reported in the exchange. IDF soldiers at the Qalandia crossing detain a Palestinian leaving Jerusalem for the West Bank, suspecting him of involvement in the stabbing and wounding of an IDF soldier on Jerusalem’s light rail train earlier in the day. The IDF also demolishes a Palestinian home and animal farm in Qalqilya; uproots olive and almond trees on 30 d. of confiscated Palestinian agricultural land nr. Hamra settlement (nr. Nablus); patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah (synchronized), 1 nr. Qalqilya, and 1 nr. Tulkarm in the morning; and in 3 villages nr. Jenin (synchronized) and 1 nr. Ramallah late at night. Palestinian rights activists report that the health of administrative detainee Hana Shalabi is deteriorating after 30 days on hunger strike (see 2/16/12). Dozens of Palestinians rally outside Ofer prison in solidarity with her; IDF troops fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, stun grenades to disperse them. (JP, YA 3/15; WP, WT 3/16; PCHR 3/22; OCHA 3/23)

After Syrian pres. Asad issues a statement reiterating his position that opposition forces must first halt their fire before his forces would cease fire, Hizballah chief Nasrallah issues a statement saying that both sides should cease fire simultaneously. The statement is seen as Hizballah’s 1st cautious attempt to tone down its support for the Asad regime since Arab Spring protests in Syria began in 1/2011. Days after this, Nasrallah calls on Asad to undertake “serious and genuine” reform efforts, stating that it is the duty of all “whose hearts are throbbing with sympathy for the Syrian people” to seek a political solution to the problem (a statement seen as a rebuke to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, which wanted to arm the Syrian opposition forces to overthrow Asad). (NYT 4/6)

Retaliating for Palestinian rocket fire on 3/13, Israeli warplanes carry out 3 air strikes on open areas north and southeast of Gaza City and on a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border, in 1 instance causing a brush fire that heavily damages several business and 1 home, but causing no injuries. Later, unidentified Palestinians fire 2 rockets (1 Qassam, 1 Grad) fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF demolishes a car wash facility in Husan village (nr. Bethlehem) that is 200 meters fr. a settler-only bypass road. (JP, PCHR, YA 3/15; PCHR 3/22; OCHA 3/23)

As fighting between Syrian government and opposition forces intensifies, Hizballah endorses a Hamas’s plan to reach out to Syrian opposition contacts inside Syria and offer to mediate a cease-fire with the regime, but does not offer to participate itself. Hamas and Hizballah made a similar joint offer in 4/2011 to mediate a cease-fire but it was rebuffed by the Syrian government. (NYT 4/6)

Israeli drones makes an air strike on a car in Gaza City, assassinating Zuhair al-Qaissi, top military cmdr. the Popular Resistance Comms. (PRCs) and senior PRC mbr. Mahmoud Hanani, and seriously wounding 1 civilian bystander. Israel accuses Qaissi of plotting a cross-border attack similar to the 8/2011 Elat attack from Egypt. In response, Islamic Jihad and the PRCs fire at least 6 Qassam rockets, 4 Grads, and 2 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Later, Israel carries out 2 more air strikes on a rocket-launching team e. of Gaza City, killing 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs. Late in the evening Israeli warplanes make 3 air strikes on separate targets nr. Gaza City, striking a residential area (lightly injuring 2 civilians inside their home), targeting a garage under an apartment building (injuring 3 civilians, including a child), and targeting a group of armed Palestinians, killing 1 Islamic Jihad mbr. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 6 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning; 3 villages nr. Jenin in the evening (firing tear gas and stun grenades at stone-throwing youths who confront them in 1 instance, causing no injuries); and 1 village nr. Tulkarm late at night. Palestinians (accompanied by Israeli and international activists) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil’in, Nabi Salih, and Ni’lin; demonstrations in Bil’in and Nabi Salih also call for solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Similar protests area also held in Bayt Dajan nr. Nablus and Kafr Qaddum nr. Qalqilya. IDF soldiers fire live (Nabi Salih only) and rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, causing no reported injuries; 1 American activist is arrested. Jewish settlers fr. Eli settlement nr. Nablus uproot 40 nearby Palestinian olive trees. Jewish settlers fr. Metzad settlement nr. Hebron uproot 240 newly planted Palestinian olive and fruit trees nearby. (JP 3/9; NYT, WP, YA 3/10; PCHR 3/15; OCHA 3/16)

As the armed conflict in Syria escalates, Hamas officials in Lebanon meet with Hizballah leaders to urge them to back away from supporting the Asad regime, warning that continued support for a regime that kills innocent civilians would undermine Hizballah’s reputation. (NYT 4/6)

IDF troops on the c. Gaza border e. of al-Bureij r.c. open fire across the border for 15 mins., causing no reported damage or injuries. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore; they detain and confiscate 2 boats and arrest 2 fishermen. In the West Bank, the IDF bulldozes 8 tents (housing 83 Bedouin, including 48 children) and 8 sheep pens and fodder storehouses in Khirbet al-Rahwa s. of Hebron, nr. Tene Oranim settlement; demolishes 7 tents (housing 33 Bedouin, including 10 children) and 6 animal pens in Khirbet Tana and Khirbat Tuwayil in the Jordan Valley; conducts synchronized evening patrols in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya; conducts late-night arrest raids and house searches in Qalqilya, including rearresting 2 Palestinians released in the recent prisoner swap that freed IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit. Palestinians (including families of prisoners held in Israel) organized by Birzeit students stage a 2d nonviolent march to Ofer prison (see 2/11/12) to show solidarity with hunger-striking Islamic Jihad prisoner Khader Adnan, where the IDF again fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades to disperse them; 2 Palestinians are lightly injured. In East Jerusalem, Israeli municipal workers escorted by police and border police bulldoze a Palestinian playground, recreational center, and 2 other structures in Silwan; demolish a Palestinian home in al-Siwana. (PCHR 2/16)

Israel accuses Iran of staging 2 bombing attempts today against Israeli diplomatic targets in New Delhi, India, and Tbilisi, Georgia. In New Delhi, an unidentified motorist slaps a magnetic bomb on an Israeli emb. car in traffic; the bomb detonates, wounding the wife of an Israeli diplomat, her driver, and 2 bystanders. In Tbilisi, an unidentified assailant straps a grenade to a parked Israeli emb. vehicle, but it is discovered and disarmed. The attacks come a month after the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist and on the 4th anniversary of the assassination of Hizballah military commander Imad Mughniyah, both thought to have been carried out by Israel’s Mossad. No group claims responsibility; Iran denies responsibility. Indian authorities allow Israeli experts to join their investigation. (NYT, WP, WT 2/14; WP 2/15)

In a State of the Union address devoted to domestic affairs, Pres. Obama pointedly calls on Syrian pres. Asad to realize “that the forces of change cannot be reversed and that human dignity cannot be denied” and urges the international community to “isolate” his regime. He also stresses that the U.S. will not take any options (i.e., a military strike) off the table in dealing with Iran and emphasizes “our ironclad commitment—and I mean ironclad—to Israel’s security.” (NYT, WP, WT 1/25; WJW 2/2)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border nr. the Erez crossing fire warning shots and tear gas at a group of Palestinians and international activists staging a nonviolent march to the crossing to protest Israel’s imposition of a no-go zone; no serious injuries are reported. With a sharp increase in the number of Gazans seeking to exit to Egypt through the Rafah border, the Gaza Interior Min. reimposes requirements (lifted on 12/18/11) that Gazans register with the ministry before traveling. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 8 Palestinian homes in Anata village nr. East Jerusalem, displacing 52 Palestinians, including 29 children; escorts 100s of Jewish settlers to pray at Joseph’s tomb in Balata village nr. Nablus; patrols in 1 village nr. Salfit in the morning, briefly detaining several Palestinian for questioning; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron and Nablus. (JP 1/24; PCHR 1/26; OCHA 1/27)

After a long delay, Hamas authorities in Gaza allow the Central Elections Commission to open a voter registration office in Gaza to prepare for eventual elections in implementation of the 5/2010 national unity deal. (WP 1/25)

Jordan says King Abdallah will receive Hamas leader Mishal on 1/29, when he makes his 1st official visit to Jordan in 13 yrs. Officials say that the kingdom will continue to bar Hamas for undertaking political activities on its soil. Analysts view this as: (1) Jordan trying to take a more active diplomatic role and say reopening diplomatic ties with Hamas could be a step toward trying to broker reconciliation btwn. Hamas and Fatah (WP 1/25); and (2) the king engaging with Islamists, who have gained strength regionally during the Arab Spring, to quiet Jordan’s own Islamist opposition. (WP, WT 1/25)

Police in Azerbaijan arrest several people allegedly linked to an Iranian-backed Hizballah cell for plotting an attack against Israeli amb. to Azerbaijan Michael Lotem and on a Jewish school in Baku. (JPI 2/3; NHR 2/21)

A Lebanese court sentences fmr. brig. gen. Fayiz Karam to 2 yrs. in jail (including time served) for giving classified information to Israel. Karam, jailed in mid-2009, will be released in 6 mos. (NYT 1/25)