229 / 15237 Results
  • March 14, 2006

    Early in the morning, the British and U.S. monitors guarding 6 political prisoners in the PA’s Jericho jail pull out of the city, citing security concerns. Within 20 minutes, the IDF encircles and...

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  • March 12, 2006

    The IDF reopens the Qarni crossing (closed 3/11); further tightens restrictions on Palestinian movement around Tulkarm (see 3/9); conducts arrest raids, house searches in ‘Aida r.c., Jenin,...

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  • February 22, 2006

    After the AMB fires 3 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries, the IDF fires at least 15 artillery shells at n. Gaza, 1 of which hits an apartment building in Bayt Lahiya,...

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  • February 21, 2006

    The IDF closes the Qarni crossing after a roadside bomb explodes nearby inside Gaza, causing no damage or injuries; continues operations in and around Nablus for a 3d day, clashing with local...

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  • February 19, 2006

    The IDF sends troops into Balata r.c. in what it says is the beginning of an operation targeting the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB), Islamic Jihad, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (...

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  • February 14, 2006

    Palestinians fire 2 rockets fr. Gaza towards Ashkelon, damaging a building; in response, IDF artillery shells n. Gaza, hitting an apartment building, causing damage but no injuries; the IDF closes...

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  • February 2, 2006

    The IDF issues a military order restricting Palestinians entering Israel to using 11 West Bank border crossings, citing the need for “increased security”; the order also bars Israelis fr....

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  • January 23, 2006

    The IDF announces that it is suspending all military operations in the Palestinian areas until after the 1/25 elections, will act only in response to immediate threats; will allow PA security...

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  • January 18, 2006

    Responding to the 1/17 Ayadi assassination, an AMB gunman fires across the Gaza border nr. Bayt Hanun, fatally shooting an IDF soldier inside Israel. In response, the IDF recloses Gaza’s Erez...

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  • January 11, 2006

    The IDF bars Third Way candidate Salah al-Masri fr. entering Gaza to campaign although he has the proper permits; prevents 2 of the PFLP’s Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa list candidates fr. crossing a...

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  • December 22, 2005

    Islamic Jihad mbrs. fire 2 rockets fr. n. Gaza towards an IDF base nr. Ashkelon, injuring 5 IDF soldiers; the IDF retaliates with artillery fire on the launch site, killing 1 Palestinian bystander...

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  • December 20, 2005

    The IDF shoots, wounds a 15-yr.-old Palestinian attempting to sneak into Israel fr. Dayr al-Balah to find work; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Ramallah and in Azun nr. Qalqilya...

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  • December 19, 2005

    Overnight and into the predawn hours, the IDF conducts at least 13 air strikes on n. Gaza, destroying a bridge outside Bayt Hanun, damaging roads, hitting a PA naval police building, injuring 2...

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  • December 3, 2005

    After Palestinians fire 2 rockets into Israel, causing no damage or injuries, an IDF helicopter fires missiles at an Islamic Jihad charity in Gaza City, damaging the building, lightly wounding 1...

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  • November 13, 2005

    The IDF fires on 3 Palestinians nr. Jenin who were allegedly armed, approaching an IDF post; the 3 flee and are chased by IDF soldiers, who track down and fatally shoot 1 of the men, AMB mbr....

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  • November 10, 2005

    The IDF conducts arrest raids in villages around Hebron; patrols in Qabatya, temporarily occupying a Palestinian home as an observation post; begins construction of a new segment of the separation...

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  • November 7, 2005

    The IDF allows the PA to open the Rafah crossing for 4 hrs. to allow humanitarian cases to cross; demolishes a Palestinian home in Anata, East Jerusalem for having been built without a permit....

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  • November 5, 2005

    The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Qabatya, fires on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops, seriously wounding 6 boys ages 14–19; also conducts arrest raids, house searches...

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  • October 30, 2005

    Islamic Jihad announces that it will halt all rocket attacks fr. n. Gaza if Israel pledges to cease targeting its mbrs. Hrs. later, the IDF raids a house in Qabatya, assassinating Islamic Jihad...

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  • October 27, 2005

    By morning, the IDF imposes a general curfew across the West Bank, sealing all Palestinian-controlled areas (including the northern villages of Alar, Qabatya, Sa‘ida, al-Til, Yabad, which are...

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  • September 9, 2005

    The IDF blows up its last posts and observation towers in Gaza, completes removal of its equipment in preparation for a handover to the PA; the only settler or IDF structures left standing are the...

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  • August 16, 2005

    At midnight local time, the grace period runs out for Jewish settlers in Gaza to withdraw voluntarily in compliance with Israeli PM Ariel Sharon’s disengagement plan; at least 50% of the estimated...

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  • July 29, 2005

    The IDF conducts arrest raids in Dura, Qabatya, al-Til. Jewish settlers fr. Suissa attack, beat 3 Palestinian farmers working their land in Yatta; the IDF intervenes to arrest a 4th farmer....

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  • July 28, 2005

    Israel says it has begun construction of 2 additional fences around the Gaza Strip—1 of razor wire, 1 with electronic sensors and surveillance cameras—to ensure Israeli security after...

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  • July 3, 2005

    Some 20 IDF soldiers patrolling in Rafah exchange fire with Hamas mbrs., leaving 1 armed Palestinian injured. The IDF bulldozes part of a cemetery in Rafah to widen the Philadelphi route; sends...

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  • June 7, 2005

    The IDF raids Qabatya nr. Jenin to arrest wanted Islamic Jihad cmdr. Marawa Khalil (also reported as Murwa Kamil), exchanges gunfire with him, attracting a mob of stone-throwing Palestinians; in...

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  • March 7, 2005

    Palestinian gunmen fire on an Israeli border police post nr. the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, wounding 2. In response, the IDF imposes a 24-hr. curfew on Palestinian areas of...

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  • October 5, 2004

    The IDF assassinates Islamic Jihad’s military leader Bashir al-Dabash, his bodyguard Ahmad al-Arayir, firing 2 missiles at their car as they drive in Gaza City, also wounding 3 bystanders. In n....

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  • August 23, 2004

    In Rafat, the IDF opens fire on several Palestinians removing belongings fr. a home that the IDF earlier warned would be demolished, seriously wounding 1 Palestinian, firing on an ambulance that...

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  • July 16, 2004

    The IDF demolishes 3 brick factories, bulldozes agricultural land in continuing operations in Bayt Hanun; fires on residential areas of Rafah, Tulkarm r.c.; bulldozes 50 dunams of land nr....

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Early in the morning, the British and U.S. monitors guarding 6 political prisoners in the PA’s Jericho jail pull out of the city, citing security concerns. Within 20 minutes, the IDF encircles and imposes a curfew on Jericho, sends 80 tanks and armored vehicles, backed by helicopters, into the city, launching Operation Bring the Goods Home to take custody of the 6 prisoners (including PFLP head Ahmad Saadat). IDF troops surround the jail, order the 280 prisoners and PA guards to surrender, begin demolishing the jail and attached PA barracks, clashing with some prisoners, guards, and local Palestinians. (Although the U.S., Britain deny coordinating with Israel, Israeli DM Shaul Mofaz says Israel knew of the monitors pending departure and had been plotting the attack for 1 wk.). After 12 hrs., the remaining prisoners, including the 6 targeted men, surrender. At least 1 PA prison guard and 1 Palestinian prisoner are killed, more than 50 guards and prisoners are wounded, 10s of local Palestinians are injured. In response to the raid, Palestinian gunmen across Gaza and the West Bank (reportedly PFLP and AMB mbrs.) raid hotels, news outlets, and foreign offices, kidnapping at least 9 foreigners, vandalizing foreign-owned offices. Most foreigners kidnapped are quickly released. PA police fire on PFLP mbrs. breaking into the French Cultural Center in Gaza, killing 1 PFLP mbr., wounding 9. Some 15,000 Palestinians demonstrate in Gaza City. As a result of the violence, the UN suspends operations in Gaza; the EU withdraws observers from the Rafah crossing, forcing it to close. Meanwhile, the IDF also closes the Qarni crossing; bars a pregnant Palestinian woman fr. crossing a checkpoint to reach a Ramallah hospital, forcing her to give birth at the checkpoint; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem, nr. Hebron and Qalqilya, and in ‘Aida r.c., Jenin town and r.c., Qabatya; begins work on a new segment of the separation wall nr. Dahiyat al-Barid n. of Jerusalem. Israel releases jailed Change and Reform PC mbr. Omar ‘Abd al-Raziq on bail; he was detained 3 mos. ago on charges of belonging to and handling money for Hamas. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba hold Purim parades through Palestinian areas of Hebron under IDF escort, vandalizing Palestinian property and beating 2 Palestinian children (ages 11, 13). (AP, BBC, HA, IMEMC, JAZ, MM, PCHR, REU, XIN 3/14; HA, IMEMC, JAZ, MM, NYT, WP, WT, YA 3/15; DS, MM, NYT, PCHR 3/16; MA, Middle East News Agency, MM, VOP 3/18 in WNC 3/19; AP 3/20; MM 3/21, 3/23; HA 4/26; NYT 4/27)

The IDF reopens the Qarni crossing (closed 3/11); further tightens restrictions on Palestinian movement around Tulkarm (see 3/9); conducts arrest raids, house searches in ‘Aida r.c., Jenin, Qabatya. Palestinians fire 3 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, damaging 2 greenhouses but causing no injuries. Jewish settlers fr. Beit Ein uproot 200 d. of Palestinian olive trees nr. Hebron. (YA 3/12; PCHR 3/16)

After the AMB fires 3 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries, the IDF fires at least 15 artillery shells at n. Gaza, 1 of which hits an apartment building in Bayt Lahiya, wounding a 2-yr.-old Palestinian boy. The IDF also reimposes 2 roadblocks outside Jericho that were removed under the 3/16/05 agmt. turning over security control of the city to the PA, citing the PA’s 2/9 release of wanted AMB, Islamic Jihad mbrs. fr. the Jericho jail; continues arrest raids, house searches nr. Nablus; finds an empty rocket casing in a search in Qabatya; bulldozes a USAID-funded public park and playground in Azun nr. Qalqilya, saying it was built without permission (USAID donated $80,000 of the $120,000 cost); fires on residential areas of Bani Na‘im nr. Hebron. Israeli undercover units, driving a car with Palestinian plates, raid Allar, search a home, arrest a wanted Palestinian. Some 20 armed gunmen fr. the al-Yasir Brigades (an AMB offshoot) temporarily occupy the Rafah governorate offices to protest the appointment of a Khan Yunis resident as the new Rafah governor, demanding that the governor be a Rafah resident. (AFP, PCHR, XIN, YA 2/22; PCHR 2/23, 3/2)

The IDF closes the Qarni crossing after a roadside bomb explodes nearby inside Gaza, causing no damage or injuries; continues operations in and around Nablus for a 3d day, clashing with local Palestinians in Balata r.c., wounding 18; demolishes a Palestinian home in Hebron; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron, in Qabatya. Armed gunmen from the Amr Abu Sitta Battalions (a Fatah offshoot) raid the Khan Yunis municipal building and a municipal garage, ransacking the offices and stealing the keys for all municipal vehicles, after municipal officials refuse to loan the group a bulldozer to level land for a barracks. (IMEMC 2/21; NYT, PCHR 2/22; PCHR 2/23; NYT 3/4)

The IDF sends troops into Balata r.c. in what it says is the beginning of an operation targeting the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB), Islamic Jihad, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) that will continue for several days, firing on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops (killing 2 Palestinians, wounding 16), occupying an UNRWA school and several homes as operational bases, demolishing a Palestinian home. The IDF also launches air strikes on 2 Popular Resistance Comm. (PRC) mbrs. attempting to lay a roadside bomb or fire rocket nr. the n. Gaza border fence, killing both; fires across the Israeli border into Gaza towards Palestinian farmers working their fields nr. Abasan, causing no injuries; erects a gate at the entrance to Kafr Haris nr. Hebron, facing Ariel settlement; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron and in Allar nr. Tulkarm, al-Azza r.c., Bethlehem, Qabatya nr. Jenin; patrols in Tulkarm. Palestinians fire 2 rockets into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. (VOI, VOP, YA 2/19, VOP 2/20 in WNC 2/20; HA, IMEMC, NYT, WP 2/20; PCHR 2/23)

The Israeli cabinet approves steps to isolate and destabilize the new Hamasled Palestinian government, including immediately halting transfers of VAT taxes collected on the PA’s behalf, a source of some $50 m./mo. in revenues for the cashstrapped PA. The UN special envoy Alvaro de Soto reprimands Israel, saying “these are monies that belong to the Palestinians and should not be withheld.” (Israeli cabinet communique 2/19; VOI 2/19, VOP 2/20 in WNC 2/20; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/20; JP 2/20 in WNC 2/21; WP 2/21; PCHR 2/23)

Hamas nominates moderate Ismail Haniyeh, who led the Change and Reform slate in the 1/25/06 elections, as its candidate for PM to form a cabinet. (VOP 2/19 in WNC 2/20; WP 2/20)

Palestinians fire 2 rockets fr. Gaza towards Ashkelon, damaging a building; in response, IDF artillery shells n. Gaza, hitting an apartment building, causing damage but no injuries; the IDF closes the Sufa commercial crossing into Gaza for the day. The IDF demolishes 2 Palestinian homes in and just southeast of Jerusalem; conducts arrest raids nr. Bethlehem, Qalqilya and in Askar r.c., Bayt Jala, Qabatya (occupying 2 homes as observation posts), Tulkarm. Nr. al-Arub r.c., IDF soldiers stop and search a Palestinian school bus; when a student on the bus allegedly opens a window without permission, a soldier shoots him in the face, seriously wounding him. Jewish settlers fr. Elon Moreh nr. Nablus vandalize Palestinian homes in nearby Bayt Furik; the IDF intervenes, removes the settlers. AMB Nablus cmdr. Nasir Abu Aziz says the Nablus faction will take steps to foil the success of the Hamas-led government, saying “we would continue opening fire until they [Hamas] fail in their cabinet as they foiled Fatah.” (IMEMC, XIN 2/14; HA, PCHR 2/16)

The IDF issues a military order restricting Palestinians entering Israel to using 11 West Bank border crossings, citing the need for “increased security”; the order also bars Israelis fr. escorting Palestinians through other checkpoints into Israel. The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem (firing on residential areas) and in Nablus, Qabatya. Nr. Hebron, 2 armed Jewish settlers in a car intercept and board a Palestinian school bus, threaten the driver, beat several students, injuring 5; IDF soldiers fr. a post 100 m. away observe but only intervene after 40 mins. when the settlers call them to come arrest 1 Palestinian boy for throwing a stone at their car; the soldiers comply. In Gaza City, 20 Palestinian gunmen seal an EU office, demanding an apology for derogatory cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad run in the Danish press, then republished in Norwegian, French, and other European newspapers. Also in Gaza, the AMB releases a video statement warning that it plans to kidnap more foreigners in reaction to the cartoons, prompting European diplomats, aid workers to begin leaving the West Bank, Gaza. In Nablus, Palestinian gunmen kidnap a German teacher, thinking he is Danish or French; quickly turn him over to PA police once they realize their mistake. Fatah, Hamas denounce the targeting of foreigners. A Hamas mbr. is shot, wounded in Khan Yunis, possibly in retaliation for Hamas attacks on PA security force targets on 2/1. (IMEMC 2/2; NYT 2/3; HA 2/5; PCHR 2/9; HA 2/23)

The IDF announces that it is suspending all military operations in the Palestinian areas until after the 1/25 elections, will act only in response to immediate threats; will allow PA security forces to patrol armed in Palestinian cities during elections; will ease restrictions on Palestinian movement to facilitate voting. The IDF fires on 4 Palestinian children playing nr. Ramallah, thinking they are militants laying a roadside bomb, killing a 13-yr.-old Palestinian boy, wounding 2; arrests independent Jerusalem candidate Said Yaqin while campaigning in East Jerusalem; arrests Palestinian News Network (PNN) correspondent Mustafa Sabri in his Qalqilya home; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bethlehem, Hebron, Qabatya, Qalqilya, Ramallah, Tulkarm town and r.c. and nr. Jenin. Palestinians fire on an IDF patrol in the n. West Bank, wounding 1 soldier; fire 3 rockets fr. Gaza towards Sederot, causing no damage or injuries. (HA, IMEMC, YA 1/23; HA, IMEMC 1/24; HA 1/25; PCHR 1/26; PNN press release 1/28)

A Tel Aviv court issues a landmark ruling that Israel cannot use the 1950 Absentee Property Law to seize West Bank lands abandoned by Palestinians during the 1967 war. Coming fr. a lower court, the ruling constitutes a directive to other district courts and is not binding, as it would be had the High Court issued the ruling. (HA 1/24)

Responding to the 1/17 Ayadi assassination, an AMB gunman fires across the Gaza border nr. Bayt Hanun, fatally shooting an IDF soldier inside Israel. In response, the IDF recloses Gaza’s Erez crossing (reopened on 1/16 after 1 mo.) and Sufa commercial crossing. The IDF also arrests 7 Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa list candidates in Jerusalem as they prepare to hold a press conference on the upcoming elections; raids Jenin town and r.c., exchanges fire with wanted Palestinians, leaving 2 soldiers, 3 Palestinians wounded; also conducts arrest raids, house searches in ‘Ayn al-Bayda nr. Jenin, Amara r.c., Dura, Qalqilya and nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus, Qabatya, Tulkarm. Palestinians fire 3 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries; one lands inside Gaza. Israeli police in East Jerusalem arrest Palestinian candidates (including Change and Reform, Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa) slated to speak at an election rally, accusing them of belonging to outlawed groups and forcing the cancellation of the rally. (IMEMC, JP, YA 1/18; HA, NYT, PCHR, REU, YA 1/19; PCHR 1/26)

The IDF bars Third Way candidate Salah al-Masri fr. entering Gaza to campaign although he has the proper permits; prevents 2 of the PFLP’s Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa list candidates fr. crossing a checkpoint nr. Tulkarm; arrests 6 Palestinians hanging campaign posters for independent candidates in East Jerusalem; demolishes 3 Palestinian homes in al-Khadir for being constructed without permits; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Tulkarm town and r.c., nr. Ramallah, and in Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus, Qabatya. Palestinians fire a rocket fr. n. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF also scuffles with some 300 Jewish settlers blocking the dismantling of an unauthorized outpost nr. Neve Daniel s. of Jerusalem. A PA police officer wounded in Gaza clashes on 1/7 dies. (BBC, IMEMC 1/11; HA, IMEMC, NYT 1/12; PCHR 1/19)

Islamic Jihad mbrs. fire 2 rockets fr. n. Gaza towards an IDF base nr. Ashkelon, injuring 5 IDF soldiers; the IDF retaliates with artillery fire on the launch site, killing 1 Palestinian bystander in adjacent Jabaliya r.c.; Israel warns that it could send ground forces back into Gaza. The IDF also raids Nablus, assassinates local PFLP cmdr. Bashar Hanani (also reported as Bashar Khalani), AMB mbrs. Ahmad Jayyusi and Anas Hamad; shells areas northwest of Bayt Lahiya, wounding a farmer working his land; sends troops into Qabatya, fires on stone-throwing youths who confront them, wounding 5 Palestinians; raids, searches a building in Qiffin nr. Tulkarm, confiscating files fr. and sealing the offices of the Loans Association, Palestinian Peoples Party, Popular Campaign against the Wall, and Union of Agricultural Relief Comms.; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bethlehem, Nablus, Ramallah and nr. Hebron, Jenin; uproots 200 Palestinian olive trees northwest of Hebron to erect a gate cutting al-Jaba village off fr. a nearby Jewish settlement. In the evening, the Israeli security cabinet approves new measures, known as Operation Blue Skies, aimed at curbing Palestinian rocket fire fr. Gaza, including using artillery, helicopter, and gunboat fire to enforce a new n. Gaza buffer zone; more stringent monitoring of the Gaza Strip by air; “other steps we have not taken until now,” but does not immediately give orders for the IDF to implement the plan. (BBC, IMEMC, JTA, PCHR, PM, XIN, YA 12/22; BBC, HA, IMEMC, JTA, NYT, WP, WT 12/23; PCHR 12/29)

The IDF shoots, wounds a 15-yr.-old Palestinian attempting to sneak into Israel fr. Dayr al-Balah to find work; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Ramallah and in Azun nr. Qalqilya, Nablus, Qabatya, Yamun nr. Jenin; fires rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinian stone-throwers who confront the troops, injuring 5, precipitating gunfire fr. Palestinian militants that leaves 1 IDF soldier wounded. A Palestinian detained by an IDF undercover unit on 12/19 is released at the entrance to Jenin. Palestinians fire 5 rockets fr. Gaza towards Sederot and an IDF base, causing no injuries; IDF artillery shells uninhabited areas of n. Gaza in response. Jewish settlers fr. Ma’on bulldoze 15 d. of Palestinian land abutting the settlement. Some 20 armed AMB mbrs. demanding jobs in the security services, financial aid fr. the PA for 300 local AMB mbrs. occupy Bethlehem’s municipal building overlooking Manger Square; the stand-off ends peacefully when the PA agrees to consider their demands, allows them to walk out. Some 2,000 Palestinians rally outside the PC headquarters in Gaza City to express frustration over the PA’s failure to control the security situation inside Gaza. (AFP, AP, BBC, YA 12/20; HA, IMEMC, NYT 12/21; PCHR 12/22; WT 12/24)

The Israel Lands Administration demolishes 3 Israeli Palestinian homes in Lod (Lydda) for lack of permits; another 2,000 houses are threatened. (Arab Association for Human Rights press release 12/22)

Overnight and into the predawn hours, the IDF conducts at least 13 air strikes on n. Gaza, destroying a bridge outside Bayt Hanun, damaging roads, hitting a PA naval police building, injuring 2 officers. Israel allows the Palestinians to increase the hours of operation at the Rafah crossing fr. 4 hrs./day to 8 hrs./day. The IDF also exchanges fire with Palestinian gunmen in Nablus’s old city, wounding 2 gunmen; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Ramallah and in al-Khadir, Qabatya. An IDF undercover unit enters Burkin nr. Jenin, abducts, beats, detains a Palestinian. (IMEMC, PCHR 12/19; PCHR 12/22)

After Palestinians fire 2 rockets into Israel, causing no damage or injuries, an IDF helicopter fires missiles at an Islamic Jihad charity in Gaza City, damaging the building, lightly wounding 1 bystander. In response, Palestinians fire 3 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In retaliation, the IDF carries out artillery and F-16 air strikes on open areas in Gaza, firing at least 30 shells and 3 missiles, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF fires on, sinks a Palestinian fishing boat in Palestinian waters off Gaza, killing 1 Palestinian, leaving 1 missing; the IDF says that it attempted to halt the boat after the Palestinian sailor headed toward Egyptian waters alone and returned with a passenger, but the boat ignored warning shots and fired back at the naval vessel, causing no damage or injuries. (The IDF says that videotape that routinely records the naval unit’s activity ran out about three minutes before the incident.) The IDF also begins work on a new segment of the separation wall northwest of Jerusalem in al-Jib, Dahiyat al-Barid; conducts arrest raids, house searches in al-Khadir, Qabatya nr. Jenin. A Jewish settler injures a Palestinian child in a deliberate hit-and-run nr. Qalqilya. A PA policeman, 4 Palestinians are shot dead in Bayt Hanun during a clash btwn. rival Palestinian clans that erupts at the funeral for the mbr. of 1 family who was killed on 12/1. (AP, HA, IMEMC 12/3; AFP, HA 12/4; PCHR, WT 12/5; PCHR 12/8; IMEMC 12/10)

The IDF fires on 3 Palestinians nr. Jenin who were allegedly armed, approaching an IDF post; the 3 flee and are chased by IDF soldiers, who track down and fatally shoot 1 of the men, AMB mbr. Shuju‘a Balawi, and wound the other, finding them unarmed. The IDF also eases restrictions on West Bank Palestinian workers’ entry to Israel, issuing 8,000 entry permits, and allowing 1,700 West Bank employees of international organizations to enter Israel and Gaza; sends troops supported by helicopters into Jenin to raid a Hamas office, arresting 2 Palestinians, including a local Hamas spokesman; tightens restrictions on Palestinian movement around Jerusalem. Late in the evening, the IDF sends troops back into Jenin town and r.c., Qabatya (to patrol streets); conducts arrest raids, house searches in Tulkarm town and r.c. Palestinians fire a mortar at an IDF post at Gaza’s Qarni crossing, causing no damage or injuries; IDF artillery shells open areas of n. Gaza in response, causing no injuries. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba vandalize 2 Palestinian homes in Hebron, lightly injuring a 3-yr.-old Palestinian boy. (AFP, HA, IMEMC 11/13; HA, NYT, YA 11/14; PCHR 11/17)

The IDF conducts arrest raids in villages around Hebron; patrols in Qabatya, temporarily occupying a Palestinian home as an observation post; begins construction of a new segment of the separation wall in East Jerusalem nr. Azariyya; bulldozes land in Kafr Haris nr. Nablus for an observation tower. (IMEMC 11/10; PCHR 11/17)

Vice PM Peres loses the Labor party primaries to Histadrut labor union leader Amir Peretz, who ran on the promise to end Labor’s participation in a coalition government with Likud (to protest Likud’s cuts to economic spending and increased privatization) and to push for early elections if he won. (BBC, NYT, WP, WT 11/10; HA, WP, WT, YA 11/11; CSM, HA, JTA 11/14)

The IDF allows the PA to open the Rafah crossing for 4 hrs. to allow humanitarian cases to cross; demolishes a Palestinian home in Anata, East Jerusalem for having been built without a permit. Late in the evening, the IDF launches major arrest raids, house searches in Qabatya, occupying 13 Palestinian homes as observation posts; also conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Tulkarm and in Balata r.c., Dura, Hebron, al-Til, Jenin town and camp, neighboring Marka. Jewish settlers fr. Harsina nr. Hebron uproot 40 Palestinian olive trees. A mentally handicapped Palestinian wounded by IDF gunfire nr. al-Mahatin checkpoint nr. Khan Yunis on 9/9 dies. (PCHR 11/10; al-Awda news 11/12)

The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Qabatya, fires on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops, seriously wounding 6 boys ages 14–19; also conducts arrest raids, house searches in Dahaysha r.c., nr. Hebron. Palestinians fire 2 rockets at an IDF post at Erez crossing on the Gaza border, causing no damage or injuries. A 12-yr.-old Palestinian boy shot in the head by the IDF on 11/3 dies of his injuries. (IMEMC, XIN 11/5; NYT, WP 11/6; PM 11/7)

Islamic Jihad announces that it will halt all rocket attacks fr. n. Gaza if Israel pledges to cease targeting its mbrs. Hrs. later, the IDF raids a house in Qabatya, assassinating Islamic Jihad mbrs. Jihad Zakarna and Arshad Abu Zayd, also wounding at least 7 bystanders; Islamic Jihad retaliates by firing at least 2 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF also sets up 2 new artillery positions outside n. and s. Gaza to deter rocket fire; opens the Rafah checkpoint for several hrs. to allow Palestinians making the hajj to leave for Saudi Arabia. Shin Bet reports that it has detained 3 PRC “rocket engineers” in the Negev on their way fr. Gaza to the West Bank. In Ramallah, PA police fire in the air to disperse 60 Islamic Jihad mbrs. protesting outside Abbas’s residence against the PA’s arrest of 4 fellow mbrs. earlier in the wk. Jewish settlers fr. Elon Moreh severely beat a 73-yr.-old Palestinian man walking nr. the settlement. (AFP, HA, IMEMC, XIN, YA 10/30; HA, NYT, WP 10/31; PCHR 11/10)

By morning, the IDF imposes a general curfew across the West Bank, sealing all Palestinian-controlled areas (including the northern villages of Alar, Qabatya, Sa‘ida, al-Til, Yabad, which are considered Islamic Jihad strongholds), cutting off the n. West Bank from the rest of the West Bank, barring all Palestinian private vehicles in the n. West Bank; recommends that Palestinians leave the n. Gaza border area nr. Bayt Hanun; reshuts the Erez, Qarni crossings (opened 10/26). Overnight IDF air strikes on suspected rocket launching sites in n. Gaza damage a bridge but cause no injuries. During the day, the IDF continues mock air raids, sonic booms over Gaza; sends 35 jeeps, Apache helicopters into Jenin to arrest local Islamic Jihad leader ‘Abd al-Halim Izzeddin (a leading moderate in the group), 3 other Islamic Jihad mbrs.; also arrests the father of the 10/26 bomber, 13 suspected Islamic Jihad mbrs. in raids across the n. West Bank in connection with the Hadera bombing; 3 Hamas mbrs. are also arrested. In addition, the IDF clashes with more than 150 radical settler youths while evacuating 5 unauthorized settlement outposts nr. Efrat, Elon Moreh, Keddumim, Kiryat Arba, Worshippers Way in Hebron, leaving 1 IDF soldier hospitalized. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba harass Palestinians in Hebron. In the evening, the IDF assassinates Islamic Jihad n. Gaza cmdr. Shadi Muhanna, Muhanna deputy Muhammad Qandil, 5 others (including at least 3 bystanders), wounding 19 in an air strike on Muhanna’s car as he drives in Jabaliya r.c. just as evening prayers let out; also conducts several F-16 air strikes on open areas in n. Gaza (in 1 instance possibly targeting Abu Rish Brigades and Hamas positions in the area, but causing no injuries); conducts patrols, arrest raids, house searches in Dura, Jenin town and r.c., and nearby Kefar Rai. (AP, HA, YA 10/27; CSM, HA, JT, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 10/28; NYT 10/29; PCHR 11/10)

The IDF blows up its last posts and observation towers in Gaza, completes removal of its equipment in preparation for a handover to the PA; the only settler or IDF structures left standing are the IDF division headquarters nr. Neve Dekalim, which will be turned over to the PA, and the synagogues (see 9/8). In Gaza, the IDF shoots, wounds a mentally handicapped Palestinian who strays close to a checkpoint outside Khan Yunis. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Aqaba nr. Jenin; patrols in, fires on residential areas of Qabatya. In Gaza City, 1,000s of Palestinians attend Musa Arafat’s funeral; Abbas was expected to address the ceremony but does not attend because of the high number of gunmen present. The PRCs issue a further statement on the assassination, restating that the PRCs as an organization are not responsible but that some PRC mbrs. as individuals carried out the plot, which the PRCs claim was orchestrated by PA Civil Affairs M Muhammad Dahlan. (HA 9/9; NYT, WP, WT 9/10; PCHR 9/15)

At midnight local time, the grace period runs out for Jewish settlers in Gaza to withdraw voluntarily in compliance with Israeli PM Ariel Sharon’s disengagement plan; at least 50% of the estimated 8,500 settlers have already left, including all settlers fr. Dugit (est. 1990, pop. 70, size 245 dunams [d.; 4 d. = 1 acre].), Nisanit (est. 1980, pop. 1,100, size 1,610 d.), Pe’at Sadeh (est. 1989, pop. 110, size 935 d.), Rafiah Yam (est. 1984, pop. 130, size 574 d.), Shalev (est. 2001, pop. 50). Gaza and the n. West Bank remain closed military zones to Israelis for the duration of disengagement (see 6/30, 8/15). Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers prepare to forcibly remove the settlers who remain and the estimated 5,000 disengagement protesters (mostly West Bank settler youth) who snuck into the Strip. Meanwhile in Gaza, the IDF searches Palestinian homes nr. Bayt Lahiya, in Wadi al-Silqa; occupies a Palestinian home in Dayr al-Balah as an observation post. Jewish settlers fr. Gaza’s Gush Katif bloc, burn animal food storage bins in al-Mawasi. In Khan Yunis, 1,000s of Hamas supporters rally to celebrate the pending disengagement. In the West Bank, the IDF detains, beats a 16-yr.-old Palestinian who throws stones at troops outside Tulkarm; conducts arrest raids, house searches in villages around Hebron and in Qabatya nr. Jenin; demolishes an animal farm outside Hebron for construction of the separation wall; occupies 1 Palestinian home nr. Hebron, 1 nr. Tulkarm as observation posts. Jewish settlers fr. the West Bank settlement of Homesh (to be evacuated under disengagement) occupy, vandalize 2 Palestinian homes nearby; the IDF removes them. (BBC, IMEMC, XIN 8/16; PR 8/17; PCHR 8/18)

The IDF conducts arrest raids in Dura, Qabatya, al-Til. Jewish settlers fr. Suissa attack, beat 3 Palestinian farmers working their land in Yatta; the IDF intervenes to arrest a 4th farmer. Relatives of PA military intelligence officer ‘Abid (kidnapped 7/28) abduct 2 foreign UN workers in Gaza City to pressure the PA to get ‘Abid released; the PA secures ‘Abid’s release within hrs., and the UN workers are freed. (AFP, IMEMC, PCHR 7/29; PCHR 8/4; HA 8/8)

Israel says it has begun construction of 2 additional fences around the Gaza Strip—1 of razor wire, 1 with electronic sensors and surveillance cameras—to ensure Israeli security after disengagement; both fences will be inside Israel. IDF undercover units make a major incursion into Tulkarm, raid the home of wanted Islamic Jihad mbr. Mu’ayyad Musa, fatally shoot him in an apparent assassination. The IDF demolishes a Palestinian home in Husan w. of Bethlehem for construction of the separation wall; fires on residential areas of Budrus nr. Ramallah, Rafah; raids the Abu Huli neighborhood of Dayr al-Balah, searches homes, rounds up residents for interrogation, arrests 2; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bayt Khalil nr. Hebron, Burqin, Nablus, Qabatya, Yatta. Palestinians fire 3 rockets at Sederot and the Negev, a mortar at the Gaza security fence, causing no damage or injuries.Armed mbrs. of the Jenin Martyrs Brigades (a Bureij cell of the PRCs affiliated with Fatah) kidnap PA military intelligence officer Jihad ‘Abid (fmr. aide to fmr. military intelligence head Musa Arafat) as he returns to Gaza through the Rafah crossing. (AFP, HA, XIN, 7/28; NYT 7/29; PR 8/3; PCHR 8/4; HA 8/8)

Some 20 IDF soldiers patrolling in Rafah exchange fire with Hamas mbrs., leaving 1 armed Palestinian injured. The IDF bulldozes part of a cemetery in Rafah to widen the Philadelphi route; sends troops into Bayt Furik nr. Nablus, fires on residential areas, then fires on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront the troops, wounding 2; temporarily seals ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’ r.c. nr. Nablus, searches houses; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Qabatya nr. Jenin, in villages around Hebron; occupies a Palestinian home in Mughraqa as an observation post. An Israeli border policeman is seriously injured in a fall during scuffles with Palestinians at a separation wall demonstration nr. Har Adar. Palestinians fire 6 mortars at Jewish settlements in Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. (XIN 7/3; VOI 7/3 in WNC 7/4; YA 7/4 in WNC 7/5; OCHA 7/6; PCHR 7/7)

The IDF raids Qabatya nr. Jenin to arrest wanted Islamic Jihad cmdr. Marawa Khalil (also reported as Murwa Kamil), exchanges gunfire with him, attracting a mob of stone-throwing Palestinians; in the ensuing 90-min. clashes, Khalil and an unarmed Palestinian bystander are fatally shot, 9 Palestinians (including at least 3 bystanders) and 1 IDF soldier are wounded, Khalil’s house is demolished; 100s of Palestinians later march in Jenin, protesting the IDF operation and calling for revenge. In retaliation for the raid, Islamic Jihad fires mortars at Gaza’s Ganei Tal settlement, hitting a greenhouse and killing 2 Palestinian and 1 Chinese laborer, wounding 5 Palestinians. In further response to 6/6 events in Jerusalem, Hamas fires 3 Qassam rockets at Sederot and several mortars at Gaza settlements, causing light damage, no injuries; Israeli FM Silvan Shalom blames Hamas for “trying very hard to undermine our efforts to move toward peace with the Palestinian Authority.” The IDF also fatally shoots an Arab (identity unknown, carrying Egyptian bank notes) who tries to scale the Rafah border fence; fires a missile at Palestinian resistance mbrs. in Bayt Hanun, causing no damage or injuries; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron. (PRCS 6/7; MENA, VOP, XIN 6/7 in WNC 6/8; NYT, OCHA, PR, WP, WT 6/8; VOP, XIN 6/8 in WNC 6/9; PCHR 6/9; al-Ahram 6/10; PR 6/15)

Palestinian gunmen fire on an Israeli border police post nr. the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, wounding 2. In response, the IDF imposes a 24-hr. curfew on Palestinian areas of Hebron (still in place as of 3/12), beats several Palestinians, raids and searches homes, rounds up 200 Palestinians ages 16–40 for interrogation. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house searches in ‘Azun, Yatta, Qabatya nr. Jenin. Jewish settlers fr. Ma’on attack Palestinians herding sheep outside Hebron, injuring 3. Rival PA policemen clash in Ramallah, leaving 1 PA policeman dead. (MM 3/7; WT 3/8; OCHA, PR 3/9; PCHR 3/10; IMEMC 3/12)

The IDF assassinates Islamic Jihad’s military leader Bashir al-Dabash, his bodyguard Ahmad al-Arayir, firing 2 missiles at their car as they drive in Gaza City, also wounding 3 bystanders. In n. Gaza, the IDF fires a missile at a group of AMB mbrs. allegedly preparing an attack on IDF forces in Jabaliya r.c., killing 2 AMB mbrs., wounding 3; shells residential areas of Bayt Lahiya, hitting 3 homes, killing 3 Palestinians (2 may be Islamic Jihad mbrs. targeted for assassination), wounding at least 11 (including 9 children ages 7 mos.–13 yrs.). A Palestinian militant dies of injuries received in Jabaliya on 10/4. In s. Gaza, an IDF platoon leader wounds, then executes a 13-yr.-old Palestinian girl identified by soldiers under his command as a “nonthreat." The IDF also shells residential areas, conducts arrest raids and house searches, bulldozes 9 Palestinian homes and 52 d. in Khan Yunis; fires on residential areas of al-Qarara. In the West Bank, the IDF kills an AMB mbr. in an overnight exchange of gunfire in Hebron; seals, imposes a curfew on, fires on residential areas of, conducts arrest raids and house searches in Qabatya; lifts the 10/3 ban on Palestinians entering the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. The IDF announces that it has recently arrested 13 UN employees whom it plans to indict for “suspected links to terrorism”; says it has recently arrested a 24-yr.-old tanzim mbr. fr. Silwad for the Wadi al-Haramiyya shooting in 3/3/02 in which a gunman killed 7 IDF soldiers and 3 Jewish settlers using an antique rifle. (HA, PM 10/5; PSCT, VOI, VOP 10/5 in WNC 10/7; NYT, PR, WT 10/6; VOI 10/6 in WNC 10/8; PCHR 10/7; NYT 10/10; VOI 10/10 in WNC 10/12; NYT 10/12; MM 10/13; al-Quds 10/13 in WNC 10/19; MM, WP 10/14; WP 11/28)

In Rafat, the IDF opens fire on several Palestinians removing belongings fr. a home that the IDF earlier warned would be demolished, seriously wounding 1 Palestinian, firing on an ambulance that attempts to reach him, allowing him to bleed to death. The IDF fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis; demolishes a Palestinian home in alQarara; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Araqa and Qabatya villages nr. Jenin, Askar r.c. nr. Nablus, Balata r.c., Surif nr. Hebron, Tulkarm. Israel announces plans for another 533 new housing units in the Adam, Emmanuel, Har Adar, Har Gilo settlements in the West Bank. The PA announces that security forces have recently arrested 6 suspected collaborators in Gaza. ( JP, MM 8/23; DS, NYT, WP, WT 8/24; VOP 8/24 in WNC 8/26; PR 8/25; PCHR 8/26)

The IDF demolishes 3 brick factories, bulldozes agricultural land in continuing operations in Bayt Hanun; fires on residential areas of Rafah, Tulkarm r.c.; bulldozes 50 dunams of land nr. Jabaliya; conducts arrest raids nr. Tulkarm and in Araba, Qabatya. Armed PRC mbrs. ambush, kidnap Gaza police chief Ghazi Jabali, exchanging gunfire with this bodyguards, wounding 2; parade him through the streets of al-Bureij r.c., accusing him of stealing $22 m. in public funds; release him unharmed. Mbrs. of the Abu Rish Brigades (ARB; a Fatah offshoot) kidnap 4 French citizens, hold them hostage at a Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) office in Khan Yunis for several hrs., demanding that the PA fire corrupt security officials, before releasing them unharmed. Separately, ARB mbrs. kidnap Palestinian security official Khalid Abu al-Ula in Khan Yunis, free him by the end of the day. In the evening, Gaza’s PSF head Rashid Abu Shiblak, Gaza’s General Intelligence chief Amin al-Hindi resign, citing “the state of anarchy and chaos” in Gaza, the PA’s refusal to implement reforms, but Arafat refuses to accept their resignations. (NYT 7/16; VOI 7/16, HJ, VOI 7/17, AYM, HA, MA, al-Ra’i, YA 7/18, SA 7/19 in WNC 7/21; WP, NYT, WT 7/17; AYM 7/18, JP 7/20 in WNC 7/22; MM 7/19; DUS 7/19, AYM 7/20 in WNC 7/23; HA 7/20; NYT, PR 7/21; PCHR, WP 7/22; MEI 7/23; JPI 7/30; PR 8/4; AYM 8/6 in WNC 8/10)