76 / 15258 Results
  • July 20, 2023

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers began construction of a new settlement outpost in al-Sawahara. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian and injured 3 others during a raid in Nablus to...

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  • May 7, 2023

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set up caravans on Palestinian land near Mukhmas. Israeli forces demolished 1 Palestinian school in Jubbet ad-Dik; the EU delegation to the Palestinians called...

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  • March 22, 2023

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers assaulted Palestinians in Fasayil, injuring 1. Israeli forces raided Nablus and took measurements for a punitive demolition of a home belonging to the family of...

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  • December 15, 2020

    In the West Bank, around 20 Israeli settlers attacked Kisan, throwing stones at Palestinian-owned homes, causing damage. Israeli forces razed Palestinian-owned agricultural lands near Hebron and...

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  • November 20, 2018

    A Palestinian stabs and injures an Israeli settler outside the Bethlehem-area settlement Gilo. Israeli forces then seal the entrances to nearby Bayt Jala and conduct extensive raids and searches...

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  • February 21, 2018

    In the West Bank, IDF troops violently disperse Palestinians demonstrating outside Ofer Prison near Ramallah in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners; there are no serious injuries (4 Palestinians...

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  • January 26, 2017

    IDF troops conduct raids in Nablus, arresting 3 Palestinians and sparking minor clashes; 2 Palestinians are shot and injured. They also conduct overnight raids in Jenin r.c., arresting 2 Hamas...

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  • December 7, 2016

    Two Palestinians die in a tunnel accident late at night nr. Gaza City. Hamas claims the 2 men were mbrs. of its group. In the West Bank, Israeli forces demolish 2 Palestinian car washes n. of...

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  • November 2, 2016

    In the West Bank, IDF troops patrol nr. Hebron during the day; and arrest 16 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Ramallah, Tulkarm, and Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces...

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  • September 17, 2016

    In the 3d such incident in the area in less than 24 hours, IDF troops shoot and kill a Palestinian youth in c. Hebron after he stabs and injures an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint. After the...

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  • July 27, 2016

    Overnight in the West Bank, IDF troops assault the Hebron-area home of a Palestinian, allegedly a mbr. of PIJ involved in the killing of an Israeli on 7/1. After declaring the village a closed...

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  • July 24, 2016

    Amid heightened tensions and the ongoing IDF closures in the Hebron district, Israeli settlers enter Kafr Haris village nr. Hebron overnight to perform religious rituals. Palestinians in the area...

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  • January 30, 2015

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops e. of Khan Yunis open fire on agricultural land nr. the border fence, causing no damage or injuries. Later, Israeli soldiers e. of Rafah arrest 3 Palestinians as they...

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  • November 3, 2013

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

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  • August 13, 2013

    Israel releases 26 Palestinian prisoners, prompting celebrations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, Jerusalem municipality approves 942 settlement units for Gilo. (AFP, AP 8/13)

    In...

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  • August 12, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Qalqilya and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon. Jewish settlers attack...

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  • June 2, 2013

    U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry calls Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to express disapproval over plans for new construction in Ramat and Gilo settlements. Meanwhile, Jordanian FM Nassar Judeh, in a...

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  • May 30, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians who threw stones at a routine patrol in al-Khadir village nr. Bethlehem, wounding an 11-year-old with a rubber-coated metal bullet. The IDF...

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  • December 24, 2012

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm and 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village...

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  • December 17, 2012

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

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  • October 20, 2012

    Palestinians in the West Bank vote in local elections, the 1st elections in 6 yrs. Out of the 353 municipalities, the poll was held in only 92; 181 municipalities form councils without elections...

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  • October 19, 2012

    President of the UNGA Vuk Jeremic says that the Palestinian bid for non-member state is likely to succeed, and that it would likely occur in the second half of 11/2012. (REU 10/19)

    The EU...

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  • 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)...

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  • June 29, 2012

    Debate over moving toward a universal draft threatens to split Netanyahu’s newly expanded coalition. UltraOrthodox groups, angry over calls to remove their exemption from service based on...

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  • June 7, 2012

    Israel’s Jerusalem municipality approves construction of 2,500 new housing units in Gilo settlement. Also in East Jerusalem, the IDF demolishes 5 residential tents and 5 sheds in the Arab al-...

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  • December 28, 2011

    Anonymous Israeli officials say that 2 wks. ago, Abbas, under heavy Quartet pressure (especially fr. the U.S.), submitted a proposal for restarting talks that dropped demands that Israel halt...

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  • September 27, 2011

    Israel advances plans to build 1,100 Jewish settlement housing units in Gilo in southern East Jerusalem nr. Bethlehem. The U.S. says it is “deeply disappointed,” and calls the move “...

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  • July 5, 2011

    A French boat in the Freedom Flotilla II secretly departs Greece and is the first boat from the group to make it into international waters, headed toward Gaza. In the early afternoon, the IDF...

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  • April 4, 2011

    Israeli pres. Shimon Peres arrives in Washington for a 3-day visit. He meets today with Secy. of State Clinton; no details are released. (WJW 4/7)

    Israel’s Jerusalem planning comm. gives...

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  • November 29, 2010

    Israel’s Jerusalem municipal authorities approve zoning of land in East Jerusalem to accommodate construction of 130 new housing units in Gilo settlement. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire...

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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers began construction of a new settlement outpost in al-Sawahara. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian and injured 3 others during a raid in Nablus to facilitate a settler incursion at Joseph’s Tomb; Israeli police commissioner Kobi Shabtai took part in the settler tour of site. Israeli forces also shot and injured 1 Palestinian with live ammunition during a raid in al-Shuyukh. Elsewhere, Israeli forces seized 2 tractors in Khirbet Humsa. Israeli forces also razed olive, almond, and grape trees in al-Hardash near Tarqumiyah. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. 1 Israeli settler was attacked in the Gilo settlement, Israel arrested 3 Palestinians said to be suspects in Bethlehem on 7/22. (AJ, AP, HA, HA, MEE, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 7/20; HA 7/22; PCHR 7/27; UNOCHA 7/29)

PA prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh met with a delegation from the Australian parliament, including the speaker, Milton Dick. Shtayyeh called on Australia to recognize Palestine and to pressure Israel to allow Palestinian elections to be held in East Jerusalem. (WAFA, WAFA 7/20)

PLO member Azzam al-Ahmad led a Palestinian delegation to the BRICS summit held in South Africa. The BRICS members, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa passed a resolution calling for a Palestinian state. (WAFA 7/20)

U.S. senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Jim Risch (R-ID) introduced the Regional Integration and Normalization Act, earmarking funds to countries that would normalize relations with Israel. (MEE 7/21; HA 7/22)

Saudi Arabia signed an agreement to allow all UNESCO member states free access to a World Heritage Committee meeting in Riyadh in September, including Israel. Axios had reported that Saudi Arabia had refused to sign the agreement because of the participation of an Israeli delegation. (AX 7/20; ALM 7/21)

The EU donated $450,000 through UNRWA to families affected by the Israeli assault on Gaza in May. (WAFA 7/20)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set up caravans on Palestinian land near Mukhmas. Israeli forces demolished 1 Palestinian school in Jubbet ad-Dik; the EU delegation to the Palestinians called the demolition appalling. Israeli forces also demolished 1 guest house in Jiftlik and 2 houses under construction in al-‘Awja. 8 Palestinians were arrested, including 3 minors, during late-night raids in Ras Karkar, Jalazun refugee camp, Bayt Jala, Beit Sahour, al-‘Awja, and Masafer Yatta. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. (AN, F24, MEE, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/7; HA, WAFA 5/8; PCHR 5/11; UNOCHA 5/19)

Israeli forces partially lifted the siege on Jericho after 16 days, easing restrictions on entry and exiting the city, but maintaining the barriers and checkpoints that have been erected. (QDS 5/7)

The Israel Land Authority issued tenders for 1,248 housing units in the Beitar Ilit, Efrat, Kiryat Arba, Ma’ale Ephraim, and Karnei Shomron settlements in the West Bank and in the Gilo settlement in East Jerusalem. (REU 5/7; QDS, WAFA 5/8)

The Supreme Court of Israel denied a petition to immediately expel Palestinians living in Khan al-Ahmar. The judges said in the ruling that they accepted the government’s argument that the Palestinians cannot be expelled “for current reasons related to the security of a country and its foreign relations.” The petition was submitted by the settler organization Regavim. (HA 5/7; AA, HA 5/8)

The Israeli government allocated $8.8 million to develop an archaeological site in Sebastia. The government wrote in the proposal for the development of the site that it is doing so to prevent the PA from restoring the site. (TOI 5/7; PCN 5/8)

The World Food Programme announced that it will suspend food aid to 200,000 Palestinians, about 60% of current recipients in Palestine, from June due to severe shortage in funds. The organization said that it will have to suspend all its programs in the West Bank and Gaza by August if it does not receive new funding. (HA, REU 5/7; PCHR 5/8; AJ 5/28; HA 5/31)

Israel released Jordanian lawmaker Imad al-Adwan who was arrested on 4/23 at the Allenby Bridge, accused of smuggling weapons and gold. (AJ, AP, HA, REU 5/7)

U.S. national security advisor Jake Sullivan met with Saudi crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman in Riyadh, discussing normalization with Israel and peace in Yemen. Sullivan also met with the national security advisors of India and the UAE to discuss infrastructure plans in the Middle East. (AX 5/6; REU 5/7; AJ, AP, AX 5/8; HA 5/9)

The Arab League voted to readmit Syria to the organization during a closed meeting of foreign ministers in Cairo. Syria’s membership was suspended in 2011. (AJ, HA, MEE, NYT, REU 5/7)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers assaulted Palestinians in Fasayil, injuring 1. Israeli forces raided Nablus and took measurements for a punitive demolition of a home belonging to the family of a Palestinian killed during an Israeli raid on Jenin on 3/7. Israeli forces also issued 15 stop-work orders for structures in al-Jiftlik and demolition orders for 4 homes and 1 agricultural structure in Idhna. Elsewhere, Israeli forces raided Qaddura refugee camp, firing tear gas near the Palestine Medical Complex, leading to tear-gas related injuries among patients. 26 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Khirbet Abu Falah, Qaddura refugee camp, Eizariya, ‘Anata, ad-Doha, al-Walaja, Bethlehem, Beit Umar, Dura, Fawwar refugee camp, Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, Ein as-Sultan, Nablus, ‘Askar refugee camp, and Ya’bad. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/22; PCHR 3/23; UNOCHA 3/31)

The Israeli Land Authority published tenders for construction of 940 settlement units in the West Bank settlements Efrat and Beitar Illit and 89 settlement units in the Gilo settlement in East Jerusalem. (AP, PCN, WAFA 3/24; WAFA 3/25; MEMO 3/26; WAFA 3/27)

In Syria, Israeli forces conducted airstrikes on Aleppo International Airport for the second time this month, causing damage. (AJ, ALM, AP, HA, REU 3/22)

Haaretz reported that the Israeli military had conducted a psychological warfare operation against Israelis during the 2021 Operation Guardian of the Wall to garner support among the Israeli public for the Israeli military’s attacks on Gaza. The military used the social media platforms Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to upload propaganda from fake profiles. The campaign was launched 2 days into Israel assault on Gaza, as Israeli military personnel feared they were losing public support. (AP, HA 3/22) 

The Jordanian parliament voted to recommend expelling the Israeli ambassador to the country in protest over Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich’s comments on 3/19 in Paris that the Palestinian people do not exist while standing in front of a map depicting Greater Israel, including all of Palestinian and Jordan. (AX, WAFA 3/20; AJ, WAFA 3/22)

In the West Bank, around 20 Israeli settlers attacked Kisan, throwing stones at Palestinian-owned homes, causing damage. Israeli forces razed Palestinian-owned agricultural lands near Hebron and uprooted olive trees near Dura. Israeli forces also clashed with Palestinians during raids in Nablus and al-Bireh; 1 Palestinian was shot with live ammunition in Nablus and tear-gas related injuries were reported in both cities. 8 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Hizma, Bethlehem, al-‘Arub refugee camp, Ramallah, and Birzeit. In East Jerusalem, 9 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Issawiyya. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/15; WAFA 12/16; PCHR 12/17)

The Israel Land Authority published tenders for 290 new settler housing units in the Gilo settlement near Bayt Jala. (Ir Amim 12/16)

A Palestinian stabs and injures an Israeli settler outside the Bethlehem-area settlement Gilo. Israeli forces then seal the entrances to nearby Bayt Jala and conduct extensive raids and searches for the alleged attacker. The alleged attacker turns himself in to the Israeli authorities later in the day. Elsewhere in the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalize a Palestinian playground under construction outside Burqa village near Nablus. Israeli forces raze a small swath of Palestinian land near Jericho and uproot approximately 500 palm trees in the area. IDF troops arrest 8 Palestinians during raids near Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus, and Tulkarm; and patrol near Hebron. Along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion to level land near Gaza City. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishermen near Jabaliya refugee camp, causing no damage or injuries. (MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, TOI, TOI, WAFA 11/20; MNA, WAFA 11/21; PCHR 11/22)

A Palestinian succumbs to injuries sustained when Israeli forces shot him outside a police station in Jabal Mukabir on 11/14. (MNA, WAFA 11/20)

One day after the U.S.-based home-share company Airbnb announced it would no longer offer listings in Israel’s West Bank settlements, Israel’s Tourism Minister Yariv Levin says that the Israeli government intends to “act on several levels” to get the decision reversed. “First, we have turned to the management of the company, demanding that the decision be canceled,” he says. “We will help apartment owners to file claims in the U.S. in order to reach a situation that at least the company will have to compensate them for the damage it causes them.” (HA, TOI 11/21)

In the West Bank, IDF troops violently disperse Palestinians demonstrating outside Ofer Prison near Ramallah in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners; there are no serious injuries (4 Palestinians are arrested). They also violently disperse Palestinians protesting U.S. president Trump’s 12/6/2017 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in al-Bireh; there are no serious injuries. The IDF arrests 12 Palestinians during raids near Salfit, Tulkarm, Jenin, and Ramallah; violently assaults and injures a Palestinian at a mobile checkpoint near Ramallah; and patrols near Hebron and Nablus. Israeli forces raze almost 50 dunams (approximately 12 acres) of Palestinian land planted with olive trees, clearing space for the extension of the separation wall near Jenin. Israeli settlers slaughter 20 sheep and steal approximately 70 more from a Palestinian shepherd working near Nablus. They also visit religious sites outside a village near Nablus, sparking clashes between their IDF escort and Palestinian residents in the area; there are no serious injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolish a small Palestinian shop in Bayt Hanina and an agricultural structure and a house in Shu‘fat. They also arrest 5 Palestinian children as they are leaving school in Shu‘fat refugee camp. Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian protesters congregating near al-Bureij refugee camp, causing no damage or injuries. They arrest a Palestinian attempting to cross into Israel near Jabaliya refugee camp In 2 separate incidents off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Bayt Lahiya, injuring 1 fisherman. (HA, MNA, WAFA 2/21; MNA, PCHR 2/22; PCHR 3/1)

A Palestinian youth succumbs to injuries sustained in border clashes with the IDF in Gaza on 2/16. (TOI, WAFA 2/21)

The Egyptian authorities open the Rafah border crossing for passage in both directions. Although they initially stated that the crossing would remain open through 2/23, they close it after only a few hours. (JP, WAFA 2/21)

In a meeting of Israel’s security cabinet, IDF Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot says it was a “mistake” to return 2 Palestinian corpses to their families last week. He says that the protocol for returning such corpses has since been changed, but does not offer any details. (TOI 2/21)

The Jerusalem Municipality announces the construction of 3,000 new housing units for Israeli settlers between Gilo and the Gush Etzion settlement bloc. (WAFA 2/22; MEMO 2/23)

IDF troops conduct raids in Nablus, arresting 3 Palestinians and sparking minor clashes; 2 Palestinians are shot and injured. They also conduct overnight raids in Jenin r.c., arresting 2 Hamas affiliates and sparking a brief firefight; 1 Israeli soldier and 3 Palestinians are injured. Additional IDF raids in Abud village nr. Ramallah spark more clashes. No one is seriously hurt, and the IDF closes the village’s main entrance. After reports of stone-throwing outside Beita village nr. Nablus, the IDF seals the village’s main entrance (they will unseal it on 1/30). The IDF arrests 8 Palestinians on late-night raids nr. Qalqilya, Hebron, and Ramallah, and patrols nr. Hebron and Nablus during the day. Israeli forces uproot 500 olive trees nr. Hebron. An armed Palestinian opens fire on IDF troops nr. Qalqilya, causing no injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 1 Palestinian during a raid in Qalandia r.c. and demolish 13 residential and agricultural buildings in bedouin communities nr. al-‘Izzariya. Along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion to level land nr. al-Qarara. (HA, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 1/26; WAFA 1/30; PCHR 2/2)

The Jerusalem Municipality advances plans for 153 settler residences in Gilo, East Jerusalem. A municipal official says that the plans were held up for political reasons until U.S. pres. Obama left office on 1/20. (TOI 1/26)

Two Palestinians die in a tunnel accident late at night nr. Gaza City. Hamas claims the 2 men were mbrs. of its group. In the West Bank, Israeli forces demolish 2 Palestinian car washes n. of Jerusalem. IDF troops arrest 12 Palestinians and issue 4 arrest summons during late-night raids in and around Nablus, Hebron, Jenin, and Tulkarm, and patrol nr. Hebron and Nablus during the day. In and around East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 2 Palestinians during raids in Hizma village and Qalandia r.c. Late at night, they conduct raids in Shu‘fat r.c., sparking minor clashes with stone-throwing residents; there are no serious injuries. In Israel, Israeli forces demolish 2 homes in a bedouin village nr. Beersheba. An Israeli driver rams a Palestinian worker from Tulkarm while he is walking along a street in Tel Aviv, causing moderate injuries. (MNA, WAFA, YA 12/7; MNA, PCHR 12/8; PCHR 12/15)

A Jerusalem Municipality planning comm. approves the construction of 770 settler residences in the Gilo settlement in East Jerusalem. City officials say that the plans, initially approved in 2013, were “undergoing routine processes of allocation regarding roads and public spaces.” (MNA 12/9)

Israel’s Knesset passes a 1st reading of the new draft of the so-called regulations bill, which passed a preliminary reading on 12/5 and would retroactively authorize illegal settlement outposts in the West Bank. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI, YA 12/7; MNA 12/8)

A senior Israeli official says that Israeli PM Netanyahu has rejected French pres. François Hollande’s invitation to a mediated meeting with PA pres. Abbas after the next French-organized peace summit, which is set for 12/21. Later, Netanyahu calls Hollande personally to discuss the invitation. He tells the French pres. that he would be happy to meet with Abbas, but only if the conference is canceled. (HA, JP, YA 12/7)

In the West Bank, IDF troops patrol nr. Hebron during the day; and arrest 16 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Ramallah, Tulkarm, and Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolish a 2-story building in Bayt Hanina and arrest 3 Palestinians during late-night raids in Shaykh Sa‘ad. In Israel, Israeli forces demolish the “unrecognized” bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev for the 105th time since 2010. (MNA, TOI, WAFA 11/2; PCHR 11/3; PCHR 11/10)

The Jerusalem Municipality’s Local Planning and Building Comm. approves the construction of 181 new residences in the Gilo settlement. Meanwhile, Haaretz reports that settlers in the Ariel settlement have recently constructed 16 new buildings on territory that does not belong to the state, meaning that construction there should be illegal. (HA, JP 11/2; HA, JP 11/3)

In the 3d such incident in the area in less than 24 hours, IDF troops shoot and kill a Palestinian youth in c. Hebron after he stabs and injures an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint. After the attack, the IDF raids the alleged attacker’s nearby home and deploys reinforcements to the West Bank. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 9/17; PCHR 9/22)

Meanwhile, the IDF conducts raids in the Hebron-area village of Bani Na‘im, home to 2 of the Palestinians killed on 9/16, issuing multiple arrest summons and searching several homes. IDF troops arrest 9 Palestinians and issue 4 arrest summons on further raids in and around Nablus, Hebron, Tulkarm, and Ramallah. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 4 Palestinians during raids in Silwan and Issawiyya. A group of 5 Israeli youths, including an off-duty IDF soldier, assault a Palestinian child in Gilo, moderately injuring him. (MNA, TOI, WAFA 9/17; PCHR, YA 9/22)

Unidentified fighters fire 2 mortar shells from Syria into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. For the 1st time along the Israel-Syria border, Iron Dome missile defense batteries intercept both rockets, preventing any damage or injuries. (HA, JP, TOI 9/17)

Overnight in the West Bank, IDF troops assault the Hebron-area home of a Palestinian, allegedly a mbr. of PIJ involved in the killing of an Israeli on 7/1. After declaring the village a closed military zone, they cut the Internet and electricity, fire anti-tank missiles and other artillery at his 3-story residential building for 7 hours, and eventually demolish it, killing the man and injuring a 2d Palestinian. The operation sparks clashes with stone-throwing Palestinians in the area; 5 Palestinians are injured and 3 are arrested. (BBC, MNA, WAFA 7/27; PCHR 8/4)

After the major IDF operation nr. Hebron overnight, the PA announces that the IDF has agreed to begin lifting its general closure of Hebron and the surrounding district, which it put in place in the wake of a Palestinian’s shooting of a settler on 7/1. Tension remains high in Hebron, as the IDF patrols the region throughout the day. (JP 7/27)

Elsewhere in the West Bank, IDF troops arrest 11 Palestinians during late-night raids in Nablus and nr. Bethlehem. In East Jerusalem, Israeli police arrest 2 mbrs. of the Islamic Waqf after they allegedly assault 2 Israeli archaeologists at Haram al-Sharif, and arrest 2 Palestinians during raids in Silwan. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces confront a Palestinian fishing party late at night, damaging 1 boat and arresting 5 Palestinians. Meanwhile, a Gazan succumbs to injuries sustained in a confrontation with Israeli forces on 11/23/2001. In Israel, Israeli forces demolish several structures in the bedouin village of al-Araqib for the 101st time since 6/2010. The demolitions spark minor clashes, and several Palestinians are arrested. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 7/27; EI, MNA, PCHR, WAFA 7/28; PCHR 8/4)

Israeli NGO Peace Now announces that the Israeli govt. has opened tenders for the construction of 323 housing units in Israeli settlements nr. Jerusalem, including 89 in Gilo, 36 in Neve Ya’acov, 68 in Pisgat Ze’ev, and 130 in Har Homa. Meanwhile, the Israeli Knesset’s Ministerial Comm. for Legislation gives preliminary approval to a bill that would make some West Bank settlements eligible for special tax breaks in connection with the severity of their security situation. (MNA, PNOW 7/27; HA, TOI 7/28)

Amid heightened tensions and the ongoing IDF closures in the Hebron district, Israeli settlers enter Kafr Haris village nr. Hebron overnight to perform religious rituals. Palestinians in the area report that a group of Israeli settlers have been setting up a new illegal settlement outpost outside the village. Meanwhile, IDF troops conduct raids in Silwad village nr. Ramallah, sparking clashes with stone-throwing Palestinian youth; 1 Palestinian is seriously injured. Late at night, IDF troops arrest 10 Palestinians and issue 1 arrest summons during further raids and house searches nr. Hebron, Bethlehem, Nablus, and Jenin; and patrol in 5 villages nr. Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 3 Palestinians suspected of stone-throwing in Issawiyya. They also conduct raids in the Old City, breaking up a minor physical confrontation between Jewish Israelis and Palestinian youths (7 Palestinians are assaulted and 4 are arrested). Meanwhile, a Palestinian demolishes a room of his home in Silwan to avoid paying Israeli demolition fees. Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmers working nr. Khan Yunis, causing no injuries. In s. Israel, Israeli forces arrest several bedouin Palestinians after they try to stop an Israeli bulldozer from leveling land outside their village, al-Araqib. (MNA, WAFA 7/24; MNA 7/25; PCHR 7/28)

The Israeli press reports that the mayor of Yatta village, along with several human rights organizations, has submitted a petition to Israel’s High Court of Justice to lift the IDF’s closure of Yatta, which was imposed in the wake of the 6/8 attack in Tel Aviv. The petition states that all entry and exit from the village has been prohibited since 7/2, when the closure was re-enforced. The mayor reportedly complained to the IDF, which responded that the closure will continue because it is a “military-security need” and that it is “part of the effort to prevent further attackers from leaving the area.” (HA 7/24)

The Israeli press reports that the Jerusalem Municipality’s Local Planning and Construction Comm. presented plans for 770 settler housing units between the Gilo settlement and Bayt Jala late last week. The Israeli authorities previously approved 1,200 units in the area, and the reports today appear to cover the same development. (MNA 7/24)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops e. of Khan Yunis open fire on agricultural land nr. the border fence, causing no damage or injuries. Later, Israeli soldiers e. of Rafah arrest 3 Palestinians as they attempt to cross the border into Israel. Meanwhile, Palestinians gather outside UNRWA’s office in Gaza City in a sit-in protest organized by Hamas against the agency’s 1/27 suspension of its cash assistance program. In the West Bank, IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at weekly demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and occupation in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Nabi Salih, and Ni‘lin), and 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum); 1 Palestinian in each Nabi Salih and Kafr Qaddum are moderately injured. The IDF also disperses stone-throwing Palestinian youth nr. Ramallah; conducts house searches and arrest raids nr. Hebron; patrols nr. Hebron, Ramallah, and Tulkarm, as well as al-‘Arub r.c. (MNA 1/30; PCHR 2/5)

The Israeli govt. publishes tenders for the construction of a hotel and several offices in Ma’ale Adumim and 450 new homes in 4 other settlements in the West Bank. Also, the Jerusalem Building and Planning Comm. republishes a plan for 93 new housing units in s. Gilo in East Jerusalem. (HA, Peace Now 1/30)

Acting pres. of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Joachim Rücker receives a letter of complaint from Israel’s permanent rep. to the UN in Geneva Eviatar Manor, alerting him to the previously unreported fact that the head of the UNHRC’s 3-mbr. commission currently investigating possible war crimes committed during OPE, William Schabas, was paid $1,300 for a consulting job with the PLO in 2012. (HA 2/3)

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

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

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

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

Israel releases 26 Palestinian prisoners, prompting celebrations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, Jerusalem municipality approves 942 settlement units for Gilo. (AFP, AP 8/13)

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 2 rockets with one falling within the territory and the other landing in s. Israel but causing no damage or injuries. In response, the IDF launches an air strike at night, with no reported injuries or damage. Off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, injuring 3. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 3 villages nr. Ramallah, 2 villages nr. Nablus, and 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night. (JP, PNN 8/13; PCHR 8/15)

Israel releases 26 Palestinian prisoners, prompting celebrations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including fireworks and small rallies. Eleven of those released are welcomed by Pres. Abbas in his presidential compound in Ramallah, while 15 were released directly to the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, the Jerusalem municipality approves 942 settlement units for Gilo. (AFP, AP 8/13)

Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas asks caretaker PM Rami Hamdallah to form a new govt., a task he has 5 weeks to complete. (MNA 8/13)

An Iron Dome anti-missile battery successfully intercepts a rocket launched from the Sinai apparently targeting Eilat. (HA 8/13)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Qalqilya and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon. Jewish settlers attack Palestinian homes and set fire to Palestinian-owned land nr. Nablus, causing damage but no injuries. (WAFA 8/12; PCHR 8/15)

Israel gives final approval to a plan for 890 new homes in Gilo settlement in East Jerusalem. U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry says that recent Israeli announcements of new settlement construction likely will not thwart plans for talks scheduled for later this week. (AP, HA 8/12)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry calls Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to express disapproval over plans for new construction in Ramat and Gilo settlements. Meanwhile, Jordanian FM Nassar Judeh, in a joint press conference in Ramallah with PA FM Riyad Malki, announces that Kerry will shortly be in Amman for a 4th visit to Jordan to discuss peace efforts. (AFP, HA 6/2; JP 6/3)

Rami Hamdallah, president of an-Najah University, announces that Pres. Abbas has asked him to replace Salam Fayyad as prime minister and form a new govt., adding that most ministers will remain in post. Fayyad resigned on 4/13 and has been serving as a caretaker. U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry welcomes the appointment, but the decision is denounced by Hamas, whose spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum says that Abbas should have implemented the reconciliation deal achieved in Cairo in 5/2013, rather than name his own appointee. Meanwhile, senior Fatah leaders Nabil Shaath and Othman Abu Gharbieh arrive in Gaza to take part in talks with representatives of all factions about national reconciliation. (AFP, MNA, REU 6/2; JP 6/3)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian workers, injuring one farmer with live ammunition as he picks watermelons. Following the incident, an IDF spokesperson says that soldiers shot at Palestinians attempting to damage the border fence. Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron in the morning, and in Hebron, 1 village nr. Qalqilya, 1 village nr. Bethlehem and Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm, 1 village nr. Jenin, 1 village nr. Qalqilya, and 1 village nr. Bethlehem in the morning, in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon, and in Jenin, Tulkarm, and 1 village each nr. Ramallah, Jericho, Tulkarm, and Qalqilya at night. (MNA 6/2; PCHR 6/5)

Israeli Air Force planes conduct low-altitude fly-overs in the Bekaa Valley and other parts of e. Lebanon. (DS 6/3)

In the West Bank, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians who threw stones at a routine patrol in al-Khadir village nr. Bethlehem, wounding an 11-year-old with a rubber-coated metal bullet. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village each nr. Jenin, Qalqilya and Tulkarm in the morning, in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya, 2 villages nr. Tulkarm, and in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Hebron, and Tulkarm and 1 village nearby at night. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces clash with Palestinians in the Abu Dis and Eizariya neighborhoods while conducting arrest raids, detaining 29. Meanwhile, in Israel, security forces demolish 11 structures and tents in Attir and 3 homes in Beer al-Mashash, 2 Bedouin villages in the Negev. In the latter case, Israeli police officers fire rubber-coated plastic bullets and tear gas at residents, injuring 5. (MNA 5/30; PCHR 6/5)

Israel’s Housing Ministry releases a tender for the construction of 300 new homes in Ramot, a settlement in East Jerusalem, and also confirms a decision to sell 797 housing units in Moradot Gilo, another East Jerusalem settlement. A U.S. State Dept. spokesperson describes the move as “counterproductive,” while Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat says that the announcement sabotages U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry’s efforts to restart peace talks. Israeli officials stress that the announcement is not new construction but a republication of a tender previously issued. (AP, HA 5/30)

Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad says during an interview with Al-Manar TV that Russia is still committed to supplying his country with S-300 air defense missiles. Meanwhile, the UN Security Council agrees to add Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qa‘ida-linked rebel group operating in Syria, to a UN sanctions blacklist that imposes an assets freeze, travel ban, and arms embargo on the associated individuals and entities. (AP, REU 5/30)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm and 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon, and in 1 village each nr. Bethlehem and Hebron at night. (PCHR 12/27)

Israel’s Jerusalem District Planning and Building Comm. approves 1,200 new apartments in Gilo settlement in East Jerusalem. Meanwhile, Israel’s attorney general Yehuda Weinstein rules that there is no reason to prevent the Ariel University Center in the West Bank settlement of the same name from being recognized as an accredited university. In response, DM Barak orders the IDF command to approve the recommendations made by the Council for Higher Education in Judea and Samaria. Ariel settlement thus gains the 1st official Israeli university in the West Bank. (HA 12/24; JP 12/25)

In the run-up to Israeli elections, Israel’s education min. and Likud mbr. Gideon Sa’ar says that Likud does not support the establishment of a Palestinian state. (YA 12/24)

Human Rights Watch says that Palestinian armed factions violated the laws of war by firing rockets at Israeli civilians during Operation Pillar of Defense. (BBC 12/24)

Qatar’s Emir Shaykh Hamad BinKhalifa al-Thani tells PA pres. Abbas in a phone call that Qatar will pay its share of the $100 m. in aid pledged by the Arab League states. (MNA 12/24)

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

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

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

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

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

Palestinians in the West Bank vote in local elections, the 1st elections in 6 yrs. Out of the 353 municipalities, the poll was held in only 92; 181 municipalities form councils without elections due to a lack of candidates. Hamas boycotts the elections. The Central Elections Commission reports that around 515,000 Palestinians were registered to vote, of which 55% turned out to vote (by comparison, three-quarters cast ballots in the 2006 parliamentary elections and twothirds in the 2004 and 2005 municipal elections). Fatah has mixed results, partly due to the fact that its own mbrs. ran against each other, some as independents (27 Fatah mbrs. were subsequently expelled from the party for running in non-Fatah lists). (AP, BBC, NYT 10/20; AP, MNA 10/21; see also MNA 10/18; AP 10/19)

Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman criticizes European countries for their 10/19 opposition to plans for 100s of new homes in Gilo settlement, and PM Netanyahu vows to continue construction in East Jerusalem. Meanwhile, the Israeli NGO Peace Now reveals government plans to build a military academy on the Mount of Olives in occupied East Jerusalem. (AFP, ToI 10/20; JP 10/21)

The Israeli navy intercepts a boat (Estelle) of pro-Palestinian activists en route to the Gaza Strip. The IDF boards the vessel 30 naut. mi. off the Gaza coast and tows it to Ashdod. Separately, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning, and in 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. (BBC 10/21;  PCHR 10/24)

President of the UNGA Vuk Jeremic says that the Palestinian bid for non-member state is likely to succeed, and that it would likely occur in the second half of 11/2012. (REU 10/19)

The EU issues an expression of regret over Israel’s decision (see 10/18) to approve 800 new houses in Gilo settlement, East Jerusalem. (MNA 10/19)

Armed Palestinians in the Gaza Strip detonate an improvised explosive device nr. the border fence with Israel, damaging an IDF jeep but causing no injuries. IDF troops on the Gaza border open fire on volunteers working on farmland nr. al-Bureij r.c., causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning. (YA 10/19; PCHR 10/24)

A bomb blast in Beirut kills Wissam al-Hassan, head of Lebanese domestic intelligence, as well as another 9 people and injuring more than 100. In the aftermath, opposition politicians, including Saad Hariri, blame the Syrian government, and there are demonstrations across the country by Sunni Muslims. Lebanese PM Najib Mikati says he suspects the killing was linked to al-Hassan’s role in uncovering Syrian involvement in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafiq Hariri. Iran condemns the blast the next day and hints that Israel is responsible. (Guardian, NYT, REU 10/19; BBC, REU 10/20)

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)

Debate over moving toward a universal draft threatens to split Netanyahu’s newly expanded coalition. UltraOrthodox groups, angry over calls to remove their exemption from service based on religious reasons, raise the issue of service waivers for Palestinian citizens of Israel. The 2002 Tal Law exempting ultra-Orthodox Jews engaged in religious studies was invalidated by the High Court in 2/2012 and is set to expire at the end of 7/2012. (NYT 6/30)

Israel’s Housing Min. publishes tenders for the construction of 171 housing units in Gilo and Pisgat Ze’ev settlements in East Jerusalem. IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of Bureij r.c. catch and arrest 3 Palestinians (including 2 teenagers) attempting to sneak into Israel to find work. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages each nr. Ramallah and Salfit in the morning; and in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm and 1 each nr. Qalqilya and Ramallah 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, Kafr Qaddum, al-Nabi Salih, and Ni‘lin. IDF soldiers fire live ammunition (al-Nabi Salih only), rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters; 5 Palestinians are lightly injured by tear gas canisters (4 in Kafr Qaddum, including a child; 1 in Bil‘in). (PCHR 7/5; OCHA 7/13)

UNESCO’s World Heritage Comm. approves (13–6) a Palestinian request to place Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on its list of world heritage sites at risk because of its urgent need for repairs. The U.S. strongly opposed the request, stating the church was not imperiled. Israel denounces the vote, saying, ‘‘UNESCO is motivated by political and not cultural considerations.’’ (WP 6/30)

Israel’s Jerusalem municipality approves construction of 2,500 new housing units in Gilo settlement. Also in East Jerusalem, the IDF demolishes 5 residential tents and 5 sheds in the Arab al-Jahalin bedouin community e. of Jerusalem. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 5 wells and water and electricity networks in Bayt Qad village nr. Jenin (marking the 1st Israeli demolition in Area B in 2012). The IDF also patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 each nr. Jericho and Salfit in the morning; in Qalqilya and 1 nearby village, and in 1 village each nr. Jericho and Ramallah in the afternoon; and in 1 village each nr. Jenin, Qalqilya, and Ramallah late at night. Jewish settlers fr. Eliezer settlement nr. Bethlehem steal fencing surrounding a plot of nearby Palestinian crop land, leaving leaflets taking credit for the action signed by the ‘‘Green Helmets.’’ In Gaza, 1 Palestinian is killed and 1 is injured in a smuggling tunnel collapse on the Rafah border. (PCHR 6/14; OCHA 6/15)

A Palestinian court convicts Muhammad Rashid, the former economic adviser to late PA pres. Yasir Arafat and political ally to Abbas adversary Muhammad Dahlan, of embezzling millions of dollars in public funds during Arafat’s rule. Rashid had been charged in 4/2012 by an independent Palestinian anticorruption commission created in 2010. While few if any Palestinians thought that Rashid (who has lived abroad for years and was convicted in absentia) was innocent, many saw the case against him as, in the words of Palestinian analyst Hani al-Masri (WP 6/21), ‘‘a reaction to a political dispute [with Abbas], not a continuous fight against corruption.’’ Other critics noted (WP 6/21) that the commission had been selective about the cases it chose to investigate, and that of the more than 80 cases it had investigated, few had led to charges against senior officials. (WP 6/21)

Anonymous Israeli officials say that 2 wks. ago, Abbas, under heavy Quartet pressure (especially fr. the U.S.), submitted a proposal for restarting talks that dropped demands that Israel halt settlement construction but demanded that Israel release in exchange 100 Palestinian prisoners jailed since before the Oslo process began. Israel rejected this on the grounds that (1) it would replace 1 precondition with another, and (2) it was vague about whether the talks that would result would be preparatory talks or direct negotiations between Abbas and Netanyahu. There is no official Palestinian, U.S., or Quartet comment on this. Another Israeli official says that Israel is concerned that if talks do not resume by 1/26/12, Abbas would resume Palestinian statehood efforts at the UN, including seeking membership in various UN organizations. (HA 12/28, 1/1)

Late at night, unidentified Palestinians fire 4 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In response, Israeli warplanes carry out 3 air strikes on a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border and 1 air strike on a Hamas training site s. of Gaza City; damage but no injuries are reported. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts latenight arrest raids, house searches in Azariyya nr. East Jerusalem, in Hebron, and nr. Tulkarm. Israeli municipal officials in Jerusalem approve construction of another 130 housing units in Gilo settlement, s. of Jerusalem. (PCHR 12/29; YA 12/30; OCHA, PCHR 1/5)

As of this date, Congress has freed up only $40 m. of the $192 m. in humanitarian aid to the Palestinians that was frozen in light of the UN bid (see QU in JPS 162). USAID and the White House are pressuring Congress to release the rest of the money, calling it “in the interest of the Palestinians, Israel and the United States” to ensure continued development “vital to the establishing and strengthening the foundations necessary for a future Palestinian state.” (WP 12/29)

Israel advances plans to build 1,100 Jewish settlement housing units in Gilo in southern East Jerusalem nr. Bethlehem. The U.S. says it is “deeply disappointed,” and calls the move “counterproductive” to peace. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts synchronized daytime patrols in 2 villages s. of Jenin; conducts separate patrols in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning and 2 nr. Jenin in the evening. Jewish settlers erect racist banners against Palestinians along the Tulkarm–Nablus road nr. Einav checkpoint. In Gaza, 2 Palestinians working in a smuggling tunnel are killed when Egyptian security forces pump in wastewater to seal the tunnel. (NYT, WP, WT 9/28; PCHR, WJW 9/29; OCHA 9/30)

A French boat in the Freedom Flotilla II secretly departs Greece and is the first boat from the group to make it into international waters, headed toward Gaza. In the early afternoon, the IDF carries out air strikes on mbrs. of Tawhid and Jihad, a radical Islamist group that claims inspiration from al-Qa‘ida and is opposed to Hamas, as they prepare to launch a rocket fr. c. Gaza into Israel, killing 2 armed Palestinians and wounding 1. Late at night, the IDF carries out another air strike on armed Palestinians operating e. of Gaza City, lightly wounding 3. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Nablus. Israel’s Jerusalem municipality approves construction of 900 new housing units in Gilo settlement in East Jerusalem. (HA, JTA, YA 7/5; JP, NYT, WP, WT 7/6; PCHR, WJW 7/7; OCHA 7/8)

Israeli pres. Shimon Peres arrives in Washington for a 3-day visit. He meets today with Secy. of State Clinton; no details are released. (WJW 4/7)

Israel’s Jerusalem planning comm. gives preliminary approval for 942 new settlement housing units in Gilo and the Israeli DMin. announces that it has finished new zoning plans for several West Bank Jewish settlements, retroactively legalizing construction already underway. The State Dept. expresses “deep concern,” stating that the “Israeli settlements [are] illegitimate” and “Israel’s actions run counter to efforts to resume direct negotiations.” Israel charges Gazan engineer Abu Sisi (see 3/10) with developing rockets for Hamas and establishing a “military academy” in Gaza to train Hamas commanders. Hamas and Abu Sisi deny the charges. In Jenin r.c., unidentified assailants fatally shoot Israeli actor Juliano Mer-Khamis (half Jewish and half Palestinian) who runs a theater troop for Palestinian children in the camp (see Quarterly Update for details). Meanwhile, the IDF patrols in ‘Ayn al-Sultan r.c. nr. Jericho in the morning and in 4 villages nr. Jenin and Qalqilya in the afternoon; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Awarta (possibly in connection with the 3/11 Itamar murders). Jewish settlers fr. Taffuh settlement attempt to fence off a nearby plot of Palestinian land; the PA district liaison intervenes with the IDF, which removes the settlers but leaves the fencing marking off the land in place. (AFP, HA, MNA, YA 4/4; NYT, WP, WT 4/5; WP 4/6; NYT, PCHR 4/7; OCHA 4/15)

Israel’s Jerusalem municipal authorities approve zoning of land in East Jerusalem to accommodate construction of 130 new housing units in Gilo settlement. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians and international activists staging a nonviolent march to the Erez crossing to protest Israel’s imposition of a no-go zone inside the Gaza border; no injuries are reported. In the West Bank, the IDF releases Palestinians arrested on 11/24 for organizing weekly demonstrations outside Karme Tzur, forcing them to sign pledges that they will stay away fr. the settlement; conducts morning patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 2 nr. Tulkarm. (WP 11/30; PCHR, WJW 12/2; OCHA 12/3)