954 / 14704 Results
  • January 13, 2012

    The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning and in Jericho, 1 village nr. Jericho, and 1 nr. Jenin late at night. Palestinians (sometimes accompanied by Israeli and international...

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  • January 6, 2012

    IDF troops on the c. Gaza border fire warning shots at a Palestinian grazing sheep too near the border fence e. of Bureij r.c., wounding her in the foot. In the evening, the IDF shells an open ...

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  • December 18, 2011

    The last U.S. combat troops pull out of Iraq 2 wks. ahead of Obama’s 12/31/11 target date; 1,000s of U.S. diplomats and contractors remain in the country, as well as 150 U.S. soldiers tasked to...

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  • December 14, 2011

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

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  • July 26, 2011

    The IDF makes a brief incursion into s. Gaza to level lands and clear lines of sight along the border fence e. of al-Qarara. In the West Bank, the IDF begins leveling land for construction of a...

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  • June 13, 2011

    The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya during the day; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Salfit, in Qalqilya, and nr. Bethlehem. Jewish settlers fr. Ashkalot...

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  • May 15, 2011

    On the anniversary of the Nakba, 1,000s of Palestinians fr. the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria stage marches (mostly nonviolent, though some stone throwing) toward the Israeli border...

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  • January 24, 2011

    IDF troops make a brief incursion into c. Gaza northeast of al-Bureij r.c. to level land and clear lines of sight. In the West Bank, an IDF undercover unit enters Nabi Salih in the morning,...

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  • January 12, 2011

    In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 11 Palestinian homes (housing 50 individuals, including 30 children), 3 classrooms, 3 barnyards, and 2 tents deemed too close to the separation wall in Yatta...

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  • December 30, 2010

    With tensions on the Gaza border rising, Hamas secures the pledge of the major Palestinian factions, including Islamic Jihad, to observe the cease-fire Hamas declared in 1/2009 in the wake of OCL...

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  • May 27, 2010

    Israel warns that it will not allow passage to a flotilla of 8 boats organized by the Free Gaza Movement (FGM) and a Turkish organization, Humanitarian Relief Fund (going by the acronym IHH),...

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  • May 10, 2010

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem. In Israel, the IDF censor reports that several wks. ago authorities arrested Israeli Palestinians Ameer...

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  • December 26, 2009

    In the West Bank, IDF undercover units raid the Nablus homes of 3 AMB mbrs. (Nadir al-Sarkaji, Ghassan Abu Sharikh, and ‘Anan Sobeh) allegedly behind the fatal shooting of a settler on 12/24,...

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  • November 3, 2009

    An ailing Palestinian dies while waiting to exit Gaza to receive medical treatment in Egypt. (OCHA 11/09)

    In the West Bank, IDF troops raid a café in Tubas and question a number of the...

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  • October 12, 2009

    In the West Bank, IDF troops stationed atop Hebron homes occupied on 10/11 fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas at 10s of stone-throwing Palestinian youths who confront them, injuring 1...

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  • August 31, 2009

    Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the Bayt Lahiya coast, lightly injuring the occupants of a boat that catches fire. Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 rockets or mortars...

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  • July 18, 2009

    The IDF forces a Palestinian family to demolish their home in Sur Bahir on the outskirts of Jerusalem (displacing 9 persons), threatening them with a heavy fine if the IDF were to implement the...

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  • July 14, 2009

    The IDF sends troops, bulldozers into n. Gaza to level land along the border nr. Bayt Hanun; troops fire toward nearby residential areas to keep Palestinians indoors, causing no injuries. The UN...

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  • June 7, 2009

    No Israeli-Palestinian violence is reported in the West Bank or Gaza. (OCHA, PCHR 6/11)

    Lebanon holds parliamentary elections, with the U.S.-allied March 14th coalition winning 71 of 128...

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  • March 15, 2009

    The IDF opens a main checkpoint at Bayt Ibia nr. Nablus for the 1st time in 8 yrs., as a 1st step toward permanently relocating it (see 3/30 below). Unidentified gunmen fatally shoot 2 Israeli...

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  • January 8, 2009

    The UNSC passes (14–0, with the U.S. abstaining) res. 1860, calling for an “immediate, durable, and fully respected cease-fire, leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza” but not...

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  • August 6, 2008

    Meeting with Abbas in Jerusalem, Olmert pledges to release 150 Palestinian prisoners as a gesture to improve the climate of negotiations and support for Abbas; the release is tentatively set for 8...

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  • July 16, 2008

    The IDF conducts major late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, firing on residential areas and stone-throwing youths who confront them wounding 2, arresting 30; also conducts...

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  • May 21, 2008

    In Gaza, the IDF makes an air strike on an empty car in Jabaliya r.c. owned by a member of Hamas’s Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades (IQB) in an apparent assassination attempt, destroying the car,...

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  • May 15, 2008

    Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories commemorate the Nakba by visiting the sites of Palestinian villages destroyed in 1948, holding somber rallies and moments of silence, and, in...

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  • May 11, 2008

    Gaza’s power plant shuts down completely for lack of fuel. A Palestinian teenager (brother of the teenager who died on 5/8) succumbs to injuries sustained during the IDF’s 5/7 raid on Abasan. In...

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  • May 10, 2008

    Overnight, the IDF sends troops, bulldozers into Khuza, exchanging fire with local gunmen (wounding 1) and bulldozing 62 d. of agricultural land, 20 greenhouses before withdrawing in the early...

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  • May 9, 2008

    Hamas mbrs. fire 4 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, killing 1 Israeli civilian, wounding 3, in what may be the 1st fatal Palestinian mortar strike. The IDF retaliates with air strikes on Gaza...

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  • May 8, 2008

    In Gaza, a Palestinian teenager shot by the IDF during its 5/7 Abasan raid dies. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts latenight arrest raids, house searches in Hebron. As has occurred on numerous...

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  • May 7, 2008

    Israel begins wk.-long celebrations leading up to its 60th anniversary on 5/14, while Palestinians solemnly prepare to mark the Nakba; more than a dozen foreign heads of state, including U.S. Pres...

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The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning and in Jericho, 1 village nr. Jericho, and 1 nr. Jenin late at night. Palestinians (sometimes accompanied by Israeli and international activists) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil’in, Kafr Qaddum, and Nabi Salih. IDF soldiers fire rubbercoated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, causing no significant injuries; troops also temporarily occupy 1 Palestinian home in Kafr Qaddum as an observation post, confining the family to a single room. Some 250 Jewish settlers escorted by IDF soldiers march provocatively through Hebron’s Old City before and after conducting prayers at the Tomb of the Patriarch/al-Ibrahimi Mosque; the IDF declares surrounding areas a closed military zone for several hours, preventing Palestinian movement. (PCHR 1/19; OCHA 1/20)

Thai officials say that they have been working with Israel for weeks tracking “a group of people who appear to be from the Lebanese group Hizballah” who allegedly planned to attack tourist sites frequented by Israelis in mid-1/2012 in response to escalating U.S.-Israeli tensions with Iran and that Thai police have detained a Lebanese man in connection with the case. The U.S. and Israel issue warnings of a “real and credible” terrorist threat against Americans and Israelis in Bangkok. Hizballah officials deny the allegations as an Israeli fabrication. The suspect later (1/16) leads police to a warehouse containing large quantities of ammonia and fertilizer, commonly used to make bombs. (NYT, WP 1/14; WT 1/17)

IDF troops on the c. Gaza border fire warning shots at a Palestinian grazing sheep too near the border fence e. of Bureij r.c., wounding her in the foot. In the evening, the IDF shells an open area n. of Jabaliya town; 1 woman is sent to the hospital in shock. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts morning patrols in Jericho, nearby Aqabat Jabir r.c., Qalqilya and 1 nearby village, and 1 village nr. Ramallah; conducts late-night patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin, Ramallah (photographing several houses and old mosques in Um Safa), and Tulkarm. Palestinians (sometimes accompanied by Israeli and international activists) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil’in, Ni’lin, and Nabi Salih. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters; 3 Palestinians in Bil’in are injured by rubber-coated steel bullets. (PCHR 1/12; OCHA 1/13)

Jerusalem Post International republishes Sudanese media reports claiming that in the previous month, the Israeli air force struck at least 2 weapons convoys in Sudan believed headed for Gaza. The Sudanese military denies the reports, and Israel declines to comment. The Israeli navy has been operating in the Red Sea in recent years in effort to halt arms smuggling to Hamas and Hizballah. (JPI 1/6)

A computer hacker identifying himself as a Saudi Arabian teenager with the handle 0xOmar hacks 3 Israeli credit card companies and publishes online the credit card data and security information of at least 20,000 Israelis. While unable to confirm the identity of the hacker or hackers, the Israeli government calls it an act of cyberterrorism intended to harm the Israeli economy. (NYT 1/7; WP 1/8; JPI 1/17)

The last U.S. combat troops pull out of Iraq 2 wks. ahead of Obama’s 12/31/11 target date; 1,000s of U.S. diplomats and contractors remain in the country, as well as 150 U.S. soldiers tasked to train Iraqi security forces. (National Public Radio, REU 12/18; NYT 12/19)

Israel frees 550 Palestinian prisoners in the 2d stage of the swap that freed IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit in 10/2011; 41 are released to Gaza, more than 500 to the West Bank, a few to East Jerusalem and Jordan. Under the terms of the deal, Israel picked which prisoners to free and picked mostly Fatahaffiliated West Bankers as a gesture to Abbas; none are mbrs. of Hamas or Islamic Jihad or were involved in killing or wounding anyone; Palestinians complain that “many of those being released were due to get out within months anyway. . . . If Israel had wanted to make a real good-will gesture, the list would have been totally different.” (NYT, WP 12/19)

Stone-throwing Palestinian youths clash with IDF at the Beitunia checkpoint where some of the Palestinian prisoners freed by Israel are released, leaving 10s of Palestinians and 1 IDF soldier injured. Elsewhere in the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Jenin in the morning and in 3 villages nr. Jenin, Qalqilya, and Salfit in the evening (firing tear gas at stone-throwing youths in Jenin); makes a brief incursion into Qalqilya where they set up 2 checkpoints, detain 2 PA security forces officers for several hours, and summon 1 Palestinian for questioning. Jewish settlers block a Palestinian road nr. Moshe Zouhar settlement outpost nr. Qalqilya. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the Gaza City shore, detaining 1 boat and questioning 4 Palestinians (3 are released, 1 is sent to Israel for an unrelated medical issue). Gaza’s Interior Min. drops requirements for Gazans to register in advance of leaving Gaza through the Rafah crossing. The Israeli Housing Min. published tenders for construction of 1,028 Jewish settlement units in East Jerusalem (500 in Har Homa, 348 in Beitar Ilit, and 180 in Givat Ze’ev). The Gaza Central Drug Store receives an urgent shipment of medicine and supplies fr. the West Bank, enough to replenish its stores for several weeks (see 12/6/12). (HA 12/18; NYT, WP 12/19; PCHR 12/22; OCHA 12/23)

IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz announces that in light of the dramatically increasing number of covert foreign operations Israel has undertaken in the past year, the Israeli DMin. has formed a new operational branch called the Depth Corps specifically to handle special operations “deep in enemy territory.” The new branch (separate fr. the existing Northern, Southern, and Central Commands) will be headed by former special operations commander Maj. Gen. Shai Avital and will pull and coordinate resources fr. the military’s various elite commando units on an ad hoc basis, depending on the mission. While Israel does not confirm or deny covert operations abroad, media reports over the past year have indicated that Israel has carried out operations in Sudan (targeting arms traffic to Hizballah and Hamas), Iran, Lebanon, and Syria. According to HA, since most recent covert ops have targeted Iran, IDF insiders often refer to the Depth Corps as “Iran Command.” (AFP, IHY 12/16; HA 12/18; JPI 2/10)

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

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

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

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

The IDF makes a brief incursion into s. Gaza to level lands and clear lines of sight along the border fence e. of al-Qarara. In the West Bank, the IDF begins leveling land for construction of a new segment of the separation wall nr. al-Walaja nr. Bethlehem; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Jenin r.c. Hamas authorities in Gaza hang 2 Palestinians convicted of collaborating with Israel; the father and son were arrested in 2003 and convicted and sentenced in 2004 by the Fatah-led PA. (WP 7/27; PCHR 7/28; OCHA 7/29)

The U.S. for the first time explicitly states that it would veto a UN resolution endorsing Palestinian statehood. (JAZ, NYT 7/27)

In Lebanon, unidentified assailants detonate a roadside bomb nr. a UNIFIL convoy outside Sidon, wounding 5 French soldiers. Hizballah condemns the attack. (AFP, DPA 7/26; WT 7/27; DPA 7/28) (see 5/27)

The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya during the day; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Salfit, in Qalqilya, and nr. Bethlehem. Jewish settlers fr. Ashkalot settlement nr. Hebron raze 20 d. of Palestinian agricultural land adjacent to the settlement. (PCHR 6/16; OCHA 6/24)

After an extended delay of almost 5 months, Lebanon’s PM Najib Mikati forms a government, giving Hizballah and its allies 18 of 30 seats. (NYT, WP, WT 6/14; Carnegie Middle East Center, WT 6/15)

On the anniversary of the Nakba, 1,000s of Palestinians fr. the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria stage marches (mostly nonviolent, though some stone throwing) toward the Israeli border. In Lebanon, though troops, riot police, and UNIFIL soldiers deploy to prevent marchers fr. reaching the border, a large group succeeds in reaching the border fence nr. Hizballah-controlled Maroun al-Ras village, where they throw stones at IDF troops. IDF troops open fire into Lebanon, leaving 10 Palestinians dead and at least 112 wounded. Palestinians refugees marching fr. Syria knock down the border fence into the Golan Heights, enter the Druze village of Majdal Shams, and rally in the village square, erecting Palestinian flags. IDF troops open fire to drive them back across the border, killing 4 Palestinians and wounding around 200. On the border with Jordan, Jordanian troops fired tear gas and scuffle with some 800 Palestinians, preventing them fr. reaching the border, leaving 14 demonstrators and 3 police officers lightly injured. In Egypt, govt. forces reinforce their border, preventing some 250 Palestinians fr. marching to the Rafah crossing. In Cairo, riot police fire tear gas, disperse protesters converging on the Israeli embassy, injuring around 120. On the Gaza border, IDF troops fire live ammunition and artillery at Gazans marching toward the border, wounding at least 125. In the West Bank, IDF troops fire tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets to disperse around 1,000 stone-throwing Palestinians marching toward the Qalandia crossing (injuring 10s) and violently beat scores of Palestinians marching fr. Palestinian-controlled area A toward Israeli security-controlled area B in Hebron (injuring 10s). A large peaceful rally commemorating the Nakba is held in Ramallah. Numerous smaller and protests clashes are also reported in the West Bank and East Jerusalem; rights groups say some 185 Palestinians have been injured in these clashes over the past 3 days, 153 of them in Jerusalem. Netanyahu accuses the demonstrators of “incitement” and challenging “the very existence of Israel.” Other Israeli officials accuse Iran and Syria of instigating the Palestinians, noting that Syrian security did nothing to prevent Palestinians fr. approaching the border. (DS, IFM, IsRN, JAZ, JP, MA, YA 5/15; Christian Science Monitor, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 5/16)

Unrelated to the “March to Palestine,” IDF troops fired across the border into Gaza, killing a Palestinian who allegedly was planting an explosive device. Inside Israel, an Israeli Palestinian drives his truck into several cars, a bus, and pedestrians in Tel Aviv, killing 1 Israeli and injuring 17 in what Israeli police say was a deliberate terrorist attack; the driver, who is arrested, strongly denies deliberately harming anyone, saying he lost control of his vehicle when a tire blew. The IDF also patrols in 2 village nr. Qalqilya (arresting 1 Palestinian teenager for throwing stones) and 2 nr. Tulkarm; sends undercover units into Nur al-Shams r.c. nr. Tulkarm late at night, surrounding and raiding a house and arresting 1 Palestinian; conducts other late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around al-‘Arub r.c. and Hebron, and nr. Salfit. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba settlement in Hebron throw 4 Molotov cocktails at a nearby Palestinian home, causing minor damage. Israel resumes transferring VAT taxes to the PA (see 5/1), having received PA assurances that none of the money would be accessible to Hamas under the new Fatah-Hamas unity deal, but warning that it would reconsider suspending transfers if Hamas was allowed to join a PA govt. (NYT 5/16; PCHR 5/19; OCHA 5/20)

At quarter’s end, fierce fighting is ongoing in Libya and NATO intervention continues. Rebel-held areas increasingly report shortages of food and medical supplies. No reliable figures on casualties are available since independent media access and communications are extremely difficult. Deaths are thought to be well into the 1,000s and perhaps as high as 10,000. (WP 5/16; REU 6/9)

IDF troops make a brief incursion into c. Gaza northeast of al-Bureij r.c. to level land and clear lines of sight. In the West Bank, an IDF undercover unit enters Nabi Salih in the morning, arresting a 10- yr.-old Palestinian boy for throwing stones. The IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Tulkarm and nr. Jenin. (PCHR 1/27; OCHA 1/28)

With the support of the majority of parliament, Lebanese pres. Suleiman taps Hizballah’s candidate, billionaire Sunni businessman Najib Mikati, as PM designate to form the next Lebanese government. (NYT, WP 1/25)

In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 11 Palestinian homes (housing 50 individuals, including 30 children), 3 classrooms, 3 barnyards, and 2 tents deemed too close to the separation wall in Yatta village nr. Hebron; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Tulkarm r.c. In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities arrest 3 Palestinian teenagers taking part in a sit-in protest against Israeli Judaization efforts in the al-Bustan quarter of Silwan; demolish a Palestinian vendor’s semipermanent stand (in place for 11 yrs.) on Sultan Suleiman Street nr. Damascus Gate, confiscating his goods. (PCHR 1/13; OCHA 1/14; PCHR 1/20; OCHA 1/21)

While Lebanese PM Sa‘ad Hariri is in Washington meeting with U.S. Pres. Barack Obama, 11 cabinet ministers representing Hizballah and its allies (the March 8 coalition) resign in protest over Hariri’s refusal to convene an emergency cabinet session to discuss pending indictments by the UN special tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of Hariri’s father, fmr. PM Rafiq Hariri, which are expected to be issued before the end of the month. They call on Pres. Michel Suleiman to form a new government headed by the March 8 alliance. The move plunges Lebanon into its worst political crisis since 5/2008 (when Qatar brokered an agreement to end sectarian clashes that killed 81 Lebanese). (NYT, WP, WT 1/13)

With tensions on the Gaza border rising, Hamas secures the pledge of the major Palestinian factions, including Islamic Jihad, to observe the cease-fire Hamas declared in 1/2009 in the wake of OCL. Late in the evening, however, unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Zabbuba village nr. Jenin in the afternoon; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron. An Israeli court hands down a 9-yr. jail sentence to Israeli Palestinian Ameer Makhoul, who pled guilty in 10/2010 to spying on behalf of Hizballah as part of a plea deal. (JP, WP 12/31; PCHR 1/6; OCHA 1/7)

Israel warns that it will not allow passage to a flotilla of 8 boats organized by the Free Gaza Movement (FGM) and a Turkish organization, Humanitarian Relief Fund (going by the acronym IHH), currently en route to Gaza in an effort to defy Israel’s siege and deliver 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid, saying it will send Israeli naval commandos to intercept the boats and escort them to Ashdod port, where the 100s of activists onboard would be deported. The U.S. urges restraint. (NYT, WP, WT 5/28)

IDF troops on the Gaza border nr. the former Nahal Oz crossing fire on armed Palestinians laying a roadside bomb nr. the border fence, injuring 7; the Palestinians respond with mortar fire, causing no injuries. The IDF also makes air strikes, directs tank fire at an area s. of Qarni crossing in response to mortar fire fr. the area; 2 Palestinian civilians, no Israelis are injured in the exchange. In the West Bank, the IDF makes a predawn raid on a Palestinian home in ‘Arab al-Ramadin village nr. Hebron, firing tear gas in the home (8 family mbrs. are evacuated to a medical center for treatment); conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron (including arresting a 12-yr.-old boy, who is released on 5/28). (YA 5/28; PCHR 6/3; OCHA 6/4)

Israel charges 2 Israeli Palestinians, Ameer Makhoul (dir. of Ittijah, a union of Arab organizations in Israel) and Omar Said (also a pro-Arab advocate), with espionage for allegedly passing information on the location of IDF facilities to Hizballah, a charge the men deny. (WP, WT 5/28)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem. In Israel, the IDF censor reports that several wks. ago authorities arrested Israeli Palestinians Ameer Makhoul and Omar Said, mbrs. of Israel’s Balad party, on charges of spying and making contact with Hizballah. Lawyers for the men say Israel’s espionage laws are overly broad and the government construes e-mail conversations with anyone in Lebanon as being contact with Hizballah. (NYT 5/11; OCHA, PCHR, WJW 5/13)

In the West Bank, IDF undercover units raid the Nablus homes of 3 AMB mbrs. (Nadir al-Sarkaji, Ghassan Abu Sharikh, and ‘Anan Sobeh) allegedly behind the fatal shooting of a settler on 12/24, killing all 3 and wounding 1 bystander. The deaths constitute assassinations, as the men could have been detained: 2 of them are called to surrender and are fatally shot as they leave their homes unarmed; in the 3d case, soldiers enter the home, and when the wanted man refuses to exit a closet and surrender, soldiers rig the closet door with explosives and detonate the charge, killing him. IDF soldiers surrounding the buildings fire tear gas to disperse stone-throwing Palestinian youths who confront them, hitting 2 (ages 12 and 19) with tear gas canisters, injuring them. PA PM Fayyad denounces the IDF’s failure to coordinate the raids with the Dayton-trained PASF units responsible for security in Nablus, which were in the process of conducting a police investigation of the 12/24 killing. IDF troops in the West Bank also conduct late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Nablus. (NYT, WP, WT 12/27; JPI 12/28; PCHR 12/30; OCHA 1/6)

Hamas officials in Lebanon confirm that 2 senior Hamas bodyguards and a 3d person (possibly a Hamas mbr.) were killed and 5 people wounded late on 12/26 in a large explosion at a Hamas office in the Dahiya neighborhood of s. Beirut (Hizballah’s stronghold). (HA 12/26; Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, WT, XIN 12/27; AFP, Kuwait News Agency, Middle East News Agency, MNA, YA 12/28; MNA, al-Nahar, al-Sharq al-Awsat 1/6)

An ailing Palestinian dies while waiting to exit Gaza to receive medical treatment in Egypt. (OCHA 11/09)

In the West Bank, IDF troops raid a café in Tubas and question a number of the customers; conduct late-night raids, house searches in and around Jenin and in Qalandia r.c. s. of Ramallah, arresting 2 Palestinians. Israeli security forces arrest Jewish settler Yosef Spinoza of Shvut Rachel settlement on charges of collaborating with Yaakov Teitel (arrested on 10/7). (PCHR 11/5; JPI 11/12)

Late at night, the Israeli navy intercepts a ship nr. Cyprus carrying 600 tons of weapons allegedly en route fr. Iran to Hizballah. Israel claims the containers of rockets, guns, and other ammunition, bearing Iranian insignia and carrying Iranian export documentation, were loaded in Egypt and headed to Syria for land transport to Lebanon, but says that neither the ship’s crew nor the Egyptians who loaded the cargo knew that the containers held arms. Iran and Syria officially deny the claims. (NYT, WP, WT 11/5; JPI, WJW 11/12)

In the West Bank, IDF troops stationed atop Hebron homes occupied on 10/11 fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas at 10s of stone-throwing Palestinian youths who confront them, injuring 1 Palestinian teenager. The IDF also ambushes several Palestinian vehicles attempting to evade IDF checkpoints to transport workers to jobs in Israel, burning and destroying 3 of them; conducts late-night raids, house searches nr. Nablus, Hebron, Jericho, and Jenin, arresting 10 Palestinians. Jewish settlers fr. the unauthorized settlement outpost of Mitzpe Ami nr. Qalqilya set fire to a Palestinian olive tree field and block firemen fr. reaching the area, destroying as many as 250 trees; Israeli police arrest 13 settlers who refuse to leave the area. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba stone Palestinians harvesting olives nr. Hebron and steal harvested olives; the IDF observes but does not intervene. (OCHA, PCHR 10/15; OCHA Humanitarian Monitor 10/09)

In East Jerusalem, the IDF bulldozes a Palestinian home in Bayt Hanina neighborhood, displacing 5 Palestinians. (OCHA, PCHR 10/15; PCHR 10/22).

A mysterious explosion in Tayr Filsi village in s. Lebanon injures or kills at least 1 person. Israel cites the explosion as proof that Hizballah is stockpiling weapons in violation of UN Res. 1701 that ended the 2006 Lebanon war. (NYT 10/13)

Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the Bayt Lahiya coast, lightly injuring the occupants of a boat that catches fire. Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 rockets or mortars into Israel, causing no reported injuries or damage. (PCHR 9/3; WJW 9/3)

In the West Bank, IDF troops fire on Palestinian youths who allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail at their observation tower nr. Beit El settlement n. of Ramallah, killing 1 teenager with 3 gunshots to the chest and arresting 4 others; fire sound bombs and tear gas to disperse Palestinians and medical workers who approach the area, injuring a paramedic and an UNRWA worker. The IDF also conducts late-night raids, house searches nr. Ramallah, Nablus, Qalqilya, in and around Hebron, arresting 6 Palestinians (including 1 teenager). (OCHA Humanitarian Monitor 8/09; OCHA, PCHR 9/3)

Israel announces that it has arrested (on 8/10, not previously reported) and indicted 23-yr.-old Israeli Palestinian Rawi Fuad Sultani for taking part in a Hizballah-orchestrated plot to assassinate IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi. Israel alleges that Sultani, who worked out at the same gym as Ashkenazi, was recruited by Hizballah to monitor Ashkenazi’s movements and routine. (WJW 9/3; JPI 9/10; NYT 9/12; JR 9/29)

The IDF forces a Palestinian family to demolish their home in Sur Bahir on the outskirts of Jerusalem (displacing 9 persons), threatening them with a heavy fine if the IDF were to implement the demolition order; 4 yrs. ago, the family paid the Jerusalem municipality a $25,000 fine for the unlicensed building. The IDF also fires tear gas, stun grenades at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists staging a nonviolent protest in Wadi Abu al-Rish against the confiscation of local Palestinian land for the expansion of Bet Ayn settlement; IDF troops violently beat 5 Israeli demonstrators, detain 9 others. (OCHA, PCHR 7/23)

Lebanese villagers in Khirbat Slim, site of a 7/14 explosion of a suspected Hizballah arms cache, stone and beat UNIFIL troops who attempt to investigate the 7/14 incident, lightly injuring 14 soldiers; the patrol fires in the air to disperse the villagers, causing no injuries, but marking the most serious confrontation btwn. UNIFIL and local Shi‘i residents loyal to Hizballah since the 2006 war. (WT 7/19)

The IDF sends troops, bulldozers into n. Gaza to level land along the border nr. Bayt Hanun; troops fire toward nearby residential areas to keep Palestinians indoors, causing no injuries. The UN reports that in the previous wk., 4 Palestinians were injured in tunnel collapses on the Rafah border. The UN Development Program reports that it has begun a $12-m. project to remove the nearly 420,000 tons of rubble created by OCL. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Nablus. Palestinians report that in the previous wk., Israeli authorities removed remains fr. 300 graves at a Muslim cemetery nr. the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem to make way for construction of Israel’s national Tolerance Museum; the remains were reburied in a mass grave elsewhere. Jewish settlers level 18 d. of Palestinian land nr. Yitzhar settlement, in what local residents fear is an attempt to expand the settlement. (OCHA, PCHR 7/16)

A mysterious explosion levels a building in Lebanon’s Khirbat Slim, 12 mi. fr. the Israeli border, causing no casualties; Lebanese and Hizballah authorities secure the site, barring access to UNIFIL soldiers. Israel claims the site housed a Hizballah arms cache, indicating that Hizballah is rearming in violation of UN Res. 1701 that ended the 2006 Lebanon war. Hizballah claims that the explosion was caused by unexploded IDF cluster munitions left over fr. the war. (NYT 7/16)

No Israeli-Palestinian violence is reported in the West Bank or Gaza. (OCHA, PCHR 6/11)

Lebanon holds parliamentary elections, with the U.S.-allied March 14th coalition winning 71 of 128 seats to the Hizballahled opposition’s 57 seats in what is seen as a major defeat for Hizballah. After consultations with both sides, Pres. Michel Suleiman (6/27) taps Future Party head Sa‘ad Hariri to form a government. (IFM, NYT, WP, WT 6/8, 6/9; NYT, WT 6/28)

The donors Ad Hoc Liaison Comm. opens a 2-day mtg. in Oslo. (United Nations Information Service 6/8; IFM 6/9) 

The IDF opens a main checkpoint at Bayt Ibia nr. Nablus for the 1st time in 8 yrs., as a 1st step toward permanently relocating it (see 3/30 below). Unidentified gunmen fatally shoot 2 Israeli border policemen driving nr. Massu’a settlement in the Jordan Valley n. of Jericho, marking the 1st Israeli death in the West Bank since 4/25/08; Israel blames Palestinians, and individuals identifying themselves as mbrs. of the Imad Mughniyah Group, after the Hizballah military cmdr. assassinated in Damascus by unknown assailants in 2/08, later (3/16) claim responsibility. Jewish settler groups in the n. West Bank say Israel’s reckless removal of Palestinian checkpoints is to blame for the policemen’s deaths; the Israeli government denies any connection. The IDF conducts rare daytime arrest raids, house searches in Jalazun r.c.; patrols in Bayt Rima nr. Ramallah in the afternoon, firing on stone-throwing youths who confront them, wounding 4; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Tulkarm, and nr. Jenin, Ramallah. Palestinians in Umm Lasfa village southeast of Hebron report that in the past few days, the IDF has leveled 500 d. of village land to build 2 km of a new settler bypass road to Carmiel settlement; once completed, the IDF is expected to confiscate 1,000 d. of Palestinian land and displace 13 Palestinian families. (IFM 3/15; AFP, HA, NYT, WP 3/16; OCHA 3/17, 3/18; PCHR, WJW 3/19)

The UNSC passes (14–0, with the U.S. abstaining) res. 1860, calling for an “immediate, durable, and fully respected cease-fire, leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza” but not outlining an implementation or enforcement mechanism (see Doc. A8). Israel says it will not halt its operations until a Hamas cease-fire can be guaranteed. Meanwhile, Egypt begins intensive bilateral talks with Israeli and Hamas envoys to mediate a cease-fire.

Combat notes: The IDF carries out another 60 air strikes across Gaza, with heavy bombing of the Rafah border. Targets include more than 18 homes of senior IQB members (all believed to be in hiding), “a number of armed operatives” assassinated (not named), several groups of armed men, 15 tunnels (including some homes believed to be covering entrances to tunnels), 11 suspected weapons depots (including 1 mosque in n. Gaza), 15 rocket-launching sites, the PASF headquarters and PA Youth and Sports Min. offices in Rafah, and an Islamic Jihad office in Abasan. Target areas include Abasan, Bani Suhayla, Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (city center, al-Nasser), Jabaliya town and r.c., Khan Yunis, al-Nasser (n. of Rafah), Nussayrat, Rafah. Heavy naval shelling of Dayr al-Balah and the nearby al-Qur’an area of c. Gaza is also reported. As ground operations continue, the IDF begins moving a small number of reservists into the Strip for the 1st time since OCL began. Heavy artillery and ground fire is reported in Abasan, Gaza City (al-Sha‘af, al-Shuja‘iyya, Tal al-Hawa, alZaytun), al-Qarara. Late in the evening, IDF troops withdraw from al-Qarara; residents report at least 20 homes destroyed since the IDF took up positions in the city on 1/6.

Palestinians fire at least 15 rockets and 1 mortar into Israel, lightly injuring 4 Israelis. Areas hit by rockets include Ashdod, Ashqelon, Beersheba (4 Grads), Ofakim.

The Palestinian toll, including bodies recovered during the humanitarian lull today (see below), reaches at least 758 dead and more than 3,100 injured. In addition, a Ukrainian woman (married to a Gazan) and her toddler are killed by an IDF shell in Gaza City, becoming the 1st foreign casualties inside Gaza (1 Egyptian was killed on the Rafah border on 12/28). Today, 3 IDF soldiers are killed and 14 are wounded (1 seriously, 1 moderately, 12 lightly) during clashes inside Gaza, bringing the Israeli toll to 13–14 dead and more than 100 injured.

Humanitarian notes: IDF soldiers fire on relief workers in 3 incidents in which the UN and ICRC had fully coordinated their movements with the IDF in advance (providing the IDF with the license plates of the vehicles, giving precise times and routes of travel, and using clearly marked vehicles) and received IDF assurances that travel would be safe. One UN driver is killed and 2 other UN employees and 1 ICRC employee are wounded. The UN and other groups scale back or suspend aid deliveries to Gaza, citing security concerns.

During the humanitarian lull, the IDF allows ICRC workers back into a heavily damaged residential block of al-Zaytun (see 1/7), where they rescue 103 injured Palestinians who have been stranded since 1/5 and report finding 40–50 bodies, fearing that more dead and injured may be trapped under demolished homes. The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem reports (WP 1/9) new evidence that IDF soldiers stationed outside the destroyed houses were aware people were trapped but denied aid. UN Undersecy. Gen. for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes urges Israel to investigate, calling (WP 1/9) it “a particularly outrageous incident” and “absolutely horrifying.”

Israel allows 223 Palestinian dual nationals to exit Gaza via the Erez crossing for Jordan (see 1/2).

The UN estimates that 20,000 Gazans have been internally displaced by the fighting. (AP, HA, IDF, IHY, JP, MA, NYT, UNIS, YA 1/8; AFP, Daily Star, IDF, IFM, ITARTASS, MET, NYT, RFM, UNIS, WP, WT 1/9; AFP, AP, NYT, WT 1/12; AYM, JP, NYT, WT 1/13; IHY, MM 1/14; PCHR 1/15; WJW 1/16; NYT 1/17; ITIC 1/18; JPI 1/23)

In the West Bank, the IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian who allegedly attempts to set fire to a gas station outside the Ma’ale Adumim settlement e. of Jerusalem; fires live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians demonstrating against OCL in al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron, seriously wounding 2 (including a 12-yr.-old boy); fires live ammunition at Palestinians protesting against the separation wall in Bil‘in, wounding 1; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, in Qabatya nr. Jenin. (PCHR 1/15)

The PFLP General Command fires 4 rockets fr. s. Lebanon into Israel, 3 of which explode near Nahariya, lightly wounding 4 Israelis (5 others are treated for shock). The IDF fires 5 shells the border as a “measured response” and intensifies surveillance overflights of s. Lebanon. Hizballah, the Lebanese government, and Fatah and Hamas reps. in Lebanon condemn the fire, assuring Israel they have no intention of opening a 2d front. The Lebanese army and UNIFIL pledge to step up surveillance in s. Lebanon (ITV, MM, MNR, RFM 1/8; Guardian, HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT, SFR, al-Watan, YA 1/9; YA 1/10; AFP, AP, NYT, WT 1/12; HA, MM 1/15; JPI 1/23)

Meeting with Abbas in Jerusalem, Olmert pledges to release 150 Palestinian prisoners as a gesture to improve the climate of negotiations and support for Abbas; the release is tentatively set for 8/25. Today, Israel releases 6 Palestinian prisoners (fulfilling a requirement of the 7/16 prisoner release deal with Hizballah): the 6 include Hamas-affiliated Nablus mayor Adli Yaish (see 7/14) and 5 minors arrested for stone-throwing. Meanwhile, the IDF sends undercover units into Ramallah to arrest a wanted Palestinian; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, and in and around Jenin town and r.c., Tulkarm (breaking into a taxi company, stealing 3 cars). Armed Jewish settlers attempt to enter East Jerusalem’s Shu‘fat r.c. to establish an unauthorized outpost, claiming ownership of land inside the camp; the IDF bars their entry. (AFP, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 8/7; OCHA 8/13; PCHR 8/14)

The IDF conducts major late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, firing on residential areas and stone-throwing youths who confront them wounding 2, arresting 30; also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Jenin. (PCHR 7/17; OCHA 7/23; PCHR 7/24)

Israel, Hizballah implement a major prisoner exchange that includes Hizballah’s return of the bodies of the 2 IDF soldiers who were captured and killed on 7/06, sparking the 2006 Lebanon war, and Israel release of Samir Quntar (convicted by Israel in a 1979 attack that left 5 Israelis dead) (HA, IFM, MA, NYT, YA 7/16; AHR, IFM, NYT, WP, WT 7/17)

In Gaza, the IDF makes an air strike on an empty car in Jabaliya r.c. owned by a member of Hamas’s Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades (IQB) in an apparent assassination attempt, destroying the car, damaging surrounding homes, causing no reported injuries; sends tanks, troops into areas southeast of Gaza City to bulldozes 200 d. of olive groves. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border shell an alleged rocket-launching site w. of Bayt Lahiya in n. Gaza, injuring 2 Palestinian children (ages 4, 17) and damaging a house. IDF troops on the s. Gaza border direct heavy machine gun fire towards residential areas of Abasan, wounding 1 Palestinian inside his home. The Israeli navy fires on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF raids, searches a store in Yatta nr. Hebron, arresting the owner and confiscating a computer; chases and detains 17 Palestinian children who throw stones at an IDF post outside al-Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, questioning and releasing 12, arresting 5; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin. The IDF also demolishes a Palestinian home in East Jerusalem, displacing a family of 7. Jewish settlers fr. Itamar nr. Nablus seize an area of Palestinian land and begin leveling work for construction of a new settler-only bypass road. Jewish settlers angry over the removal of an IDF roadblock nr. Hebron demonstrate, block Palestinian traffic. Israel’s Housing min. issues tenders for construction of 286 new settlement housing units in Beitar Ilit nr. Bethlehem. A Palestinian teenager injured during the IDF’s 4/11/08 raid on al-Bureij r.c. dies (see Chronology in JPS 148). (PCHR 5/22; OCHA 5/28; PCHR 5/29)

Israeli police hold a press conference to announce serious new corruption and financial impropriety allegations against Israeli PM Ehud Olmert (see Quarterly Update for details). (NYT, WP, WT 5/22; NYT 5/23; MM 6/12; NYT, OCHA, WP, WT 5/28)

Israel, Syria, Turkey announce that Israel and Syria have been holding “serious and continuous” indirect peace talks through Turkish mediators since 2/07; high-level Israeli and Syrian negotiating teams are in Istanbul taking part in a preliminary round of indirect negotiations. (IFM 5/21; NYT, WP, WT 5/22; NYT 5/23; MM 6/12)

Lebanese political figures holding national unity talks in Doha formally announce that they have reached a comprehensive agmt. ending their 18-mo. political standoff and paving the way for Gen. Michel Suleiman’s election as pres, including agmts. on redistricting Beirut, an electoral law, and allotment of cabinet seats that will give Hizballah veto power over major decisions. (MM, NYT, WP 5/21; MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/22)

Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories commemorate the Nakba by visiting the sites of Palestinian villages destroyed in 1948, holding somber rallies and moments of silence, and, in Qalandia r.c., releasing 1,000s of black balloons (1 for each day since the State of Israel was declared). In Gaza, the IDF begins digging a trench (around 300 ft. long, 10 ft. wide, 15 ft. deep) fr. an IDF post e. of Abasan to Khuza, firing on nearby residential areas, causing no reported injuries. IDF troops at the Erez crossing fire bullets, tear gas at 100s of Palestinians staging a nonviolent protest against the Israeli siege. IDF troops on the c. Gaza border e. of Juhur al-Dik fire on 3 Palestinian girls who stray nr. the border fence, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Taqou’ nr. Bethlehem; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Nablus. A Palestinian civilian wounded during the 5/4 IDF incursion into Khuza dies. (CNN 5/15; PCHR 5/22)

Under a deal brokered by the Arab League, the Hizballah-led opposition and Lebanon’s ruling coalition agree to open talks in Qatar on 5/16 to negotiate an agmt. on a cabinet and new electoral law, to be followed by election of consensus pres. candidate Gen. Michel Suleiman. Hizballah removes roadblocks leading to Beirut airport, allowing some flights to resume in the evening. (BBC 5/15; NYT, WP, WT 5/16; WP 5/18)

Gaza’s power plant shuts down completely for lack of fuel. A Palestinian teenager (brother of the teenager who died on 5/8) succumbs to injuries sustained during the IDF’s 5/7 raid on Abasan. In the West Bank, the IDF imposes a 1-day curfew on Azun nr. Qalqilya; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin town and r.c., nr. Hebron. (WP 5/12; PCHR 5/15)

In Beirut, calm prevails but many roads remain closed and some Hizballah mbrs. continue to patrol streets. Hizballah and Jumblatt supporters exchange fire in the villages of Aley, Kayfun, and Shuwayfat s. of Beirut. Hizballah sends fighters convoys toward Druze leader Walid Jumblatt’s stronghold in the Chouf mountains, but they are ambushed en route by Druze militias fighters (some of whom had supported the opposition and stood with Hizballah until it moved deep into the Chouf, then switched sides to defend the Druze heartland), withdrawing with heavy casualties. (NYT, WP, WT 5/12; NYT 5/16; NYT, WP 5/18)

Overnight, the IDF sends troops, bulldozers into Khuza, exchanging fire with local gunmen (wounding 1) and bulldozing 62 d. of agricultural land, 20 greenhouses before withdrawing in the early morning. Palestinians shut down 2 of 3 turbines at Gaza’s power plant for lack of fuel. Hamas mbrs. fire 15 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing damage but no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in, fires on residential areas of Jaba’ nr. Jenin, firing on stonethrowing youths who then confront the troops, wounding 6; fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, and international peace activists holding a nonviolent demonstration nr. Tulkarm against Israeli restrictions on Palestinian movement, injuring 2 demonstrators and 2 journalists covering the event; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. (NYT, WT 5/11; PCHR 5/15)

Hizballah begins to pull back from areas captured on 5/9. Army commander Gen. Michel Suleiman orders all gunmen to leave the street, but some Future Movement supporters angry over their perceived loss in Beirut attack Hizballah and SSNP offices in n. Lebanon and the Biqa‘ Valley, leaving 12 Lebanese dead (at least 11 of them SSNP mbrs.), 20 wounded; heavy clashes are also reported in Tripoli (btwn. supporters of Future Movement and Alawi mbrs. of the Arab Democratic Party seeking to settle Sunni-Alawi scores fr. the 1980s). (WT 5/10; NYT, WP 5/11; see also REU 5/8)

Hamas mbrs. fire 4 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, killing 1 Israeli civilian, wounding 3, in what may be the 1st fatal Palestinian mortar strike. The IDF retaliates with air strikes on Gaza Interior Min. security offices in Rafah (killing 2 Hamas-affiliated security officers, wounding 5 civilians) and a naval police post on the s. Gaza shore (killing 3 policemen). In a mysterious incident northeast of Jerusalem, Ofra settlement guards fire on 2 Palestinians whom they claim approached the settlement fence carrying a hunting rifle, killing 1 Palestinian and detaining the other, turning him over to the IDF, which quickly seals the area; later, the AMB claims responsibility for an attack on Ofra but says the man killed was an innocent bystander and that its mbrs. escaped unharmed. Also in the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, international activists taking part in the weekly nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Bil‘in (10s suffer tear gas inhalation) and beat demonstrators at a similar protest al-Masa’ra (lightly injuring 3). (WP 5/10; NYT 5/11; PCHR 5/15)

Hizballah and its allies take control of streets in west Beirut, attacking and shutting down media outlets owned by Saad Hariri’s Future Movement, as the army steps aside, saying soldiers will keep peace but not take sides. Hizballah also takes over several government offices, but immediately turns them over to army. Clashes abate somewhat after Hariri orders his forces not to fight. (BBC 5/9; NYT, WP, WT 5/10; Los Angeles Times 5/12; NYT 5/18)

In Gaza, a Palestinian teenager shot by the IDF during its 5/7 Abasan raid dies. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts latenight arrest raids, house searches in Hebron. As has occurred on numerous occasions since Israel’s 2005 disengagement, 100s of Jewish settlers temporarily set up tents at the site of the evacuated Homesh settlement in the c. West Bank, vowing to rebuild the settlement and challenge any government efforts to remove additional settlements; the IDF closes off Palestinian traffic to the area and observes but does not intervene. (PCHR 5/15)

Hizballah leader Hasan Nasrallah makes a speech accusing Lebanese PM Fuad Siniora’s government of launching a war against Hizballah, warning of increased conflict if the 5/6 decisions are not reversed. Soon after, Hizballah sends more gunmen into Beirut’s streets and clashes intensify, especially in the mixed Sunni-Shi‘i neighborhoods of Mazra‘a and Ras al-Naba’a, and include machine gun and RPG fire, leaving 6 Lebanese dead, 8 wounded. (BBC 5/8; NYT, WP, WT 5/9; Asia Times 5/13)

Israel begins wk.-long celebrations leading up to its 60th anniversary on 5/14, while Palestinians solemnly prepare to mark the Nakba; more than a dozen foreign heads of state, including U.S. Pres. George W. Bush, plan to make official visits to Israel in the next wk. Overnight, in Gaza, IDF tanks and troops raid Abasan under cover of air support, cutting electricity to the area, exchanging heavy fire with Palestinian gunmen, making numerous air strikes and firing tank shells in the densely populated residential area, killing 1 armed Palestinian and 1 Palestinian civilian (a woman killed when soldiers detonate explosives outside her door and storm her home, detaining her children, ages 2–12, in a room for 6 hrs. before releasing them), wounding 19 armed men and 4 civilians (including 1 woman, 2 children), arresting 60 Palestinians (55 are released on 5/8), demolishing 2 Palestinian homes, and bulldozing large areas of agricultural land before withdrawing late in the evening. The IDF also makes an air strike on a group of armed Palestinians in Jabaliya r.c., killing 1 Palestinian resistance mbr., seriously wounding a 2d. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. (PCHR, WP 5/8; PCHR 5/15)

Hizballah mbrs. and their supporters in Amal and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) set up roadblocks leading to Beirut International Airport, other major roads in an effort to press the government to reverse its 5/6 decisions. They clash with gunmen affiliated with Saad Hariri’s Future Movement, leaving 5 civilians, 2 soldiers wounded. (NYT, WP 5/8)