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  • June 23, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and injured 2 Palestinians using live ammunition during a raid in Dheisheh refugee camp. 11 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Ramallah,...

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  • June 15, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces delivered demolition notices for 6 houses and 2 commercial structures in Ar-Rafaiya in the Masafer Yatta area and stop-work orders for 7 houses under construction...

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  • March 27, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set up caravans near Qusra. Israeli settlers also threw stones at commercial structures and vehicles in Burqa, causing damage. Israeli forces delivered stop-work...

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  • February 27, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles and attempted to break into a house in Sinjil. Israeli settlers also blocked a main road in the Masafer Yatta area. Israeli...

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  • January 14, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 6 with rubber-coated bullets and others with tear gas. 2 Palestinians were arrested, including...

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  • December 28, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces uprooted 50 olive trees in Wadi Fukin. Israeli forces also demolished 9 residential and 14 agricultural structures in Ibziq. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished a...

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  • December 26, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort blocked a road leading to Sinjil. Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian with a rubber-coated bullet to his chest during a raid in...

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  • December 21, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted 50 olive trees in Tarqumiyah as part of an effort to make a road to the Telem settlement. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian man near a...

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  • December 20, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian houses and vehicles in Kafr Qaddum, causing damage. Israeli forces raided the homes of 4 of the Palestinians accused of participating...

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  • December 17, 2021

    In the West Bank, 25 Israeli settlers posing as soldiers attacked a Palestinian couple in their home in Qaryut, leading to the hospitalization of both Palestinian victims; the settlers also caused...

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  • December 14, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort attempted to raid a school in al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya before they were repelled by Palestinians protecting the students. Israeli forces razed...

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  • December 13, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian man and injured 3 others during a late-night raid in Nablus, Israel claimed that explosives had been thrown at the Israeli forces as...

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  • November 18, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers and Israeli forces prevented Palestinian farmers from working their lands in at-Tabaqa. Israeli forces fired tear gas at Palestinian pupils heading to a school...

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  • November 14, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting a raid in Beit Iksa; no injuries were reported. 5 Palestinians were arrested including 4 during raids in Hebron and 1...

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  • October 19, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and injured 2 Palestinians during a late-night raid in Qalandia refugee camp; both were taken to a hospital for treatment. Israeli forces also razed a paved...

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  • October 14, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted some 80 olive trees in al-Mughayyir. 1 Palestinian man hit 1 Israeli soldier with his car at the Qalandia checkpoint, injuring the soldier. According to...

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  • October 3, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized dozens of olive trees in Burin. Israeli settlers also stole olives from a Palestinian farmer near Salfit. 8 Palestinians were arrested during late-...

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  • April 14, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized trees and 1 house under construction, and stole construction equipment in Jalud. 1 Palestinian was arrested at a checkpoint in Sa‘ir. In East...

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  • December 25, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces violently dispersed the weekly anti-settlement protest in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 2 with rubber-coated bullets; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Israeli...

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  • August 5, 2015

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces demolish 18 Palestinian homes and agricultural stores in 3 villages in the n. Jordan Valley and another home nr. Hebron. IDF troops conduct late-night raids and...

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  • August 3, 2015

    In Gaza, Israeli forces level land e. of Khan Yunis along the border fence. In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian man at a checkpoint s. of Nablus when he refuses to undergo...

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  • March 18, 2013

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

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  • October 15, 2012

    Members of the Knesset vote to dissolve the parliament, officially paving the way for early elections, expected in 1/2013. (HA 10/15)

    U.S. amb. to the UN Susan Rice says that the...

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  • December 20, 2011

    Israeli troops on the n. Gaza border twice fire at suspicious movement in open areas e. of Bayt Hanun, causing no reported injuries. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the...

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  • December 14, 2011

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

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  • June 20, 2009

    In the West Bank, the IDF fires tear gas and stun grenades at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists taking part in a nonviolent demonstration against the confiscation of Palestinian...

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  • December 6, 2008

    The IDF raids, searches a Palestinian home in East Jerusalem’s Ras al-Amud neighborhood, confiscating a computer and arresting a 21-yr.-old woman. Major Jewish settler violence in Palestinian...

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  • December 4, 2008

    OCHA urgently appeals to Israel to expand “the list of imports into Gaza . . . to include vital spare parts for maintenance and operation of the power plant, water and sanitation utilities, and...

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  • November 2, 2008

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late night arrest raids in and around Jenin town and r.c., Nablus, and in al-Fara‘a r.c. nr. Tubas (firing live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets on...

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  • October 14, 2008

    Egyptian border police blow up 10 smuggling tunnels along the Rafah border, causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian teenager nr. Beit El settlement nr...

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In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and injured 2 Palestinians using live ammunition during a raid in Dheisheh refugee camp. 11 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Ramallah, Bayt Rima, Beit Ula, Fawwar refugee camp, Idhna, Jenin, Jericho, and Fari‘ah refugee camp. In East Jerusalem, 4 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Silwan and Shu‘fat refugee camp. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen west of al-Sudaniyya; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/23; PCHR 6/30; UNOCHA 7/2)

The Israeli justice ministry began the process of registering land adjacent to the Haram al-Sharif compound, including at the Ophel Archeological Park in the Old City. (HA 6/26; MEE 6/27; MEMO 6/29)

Israeli military authorities extended the administrative detention period of 1 Palestinian prisoner by 4 months despite promising to release him at the end of his current detention period after he had been hunger striking for 111 days. The man is currently hospitalized for complications related to his hunger strike, which he ended on 6/21. The man resumed his hunger strike on 7/2 (WAFA 6/23; WAFA 7/5)

Hamas political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh met with Hezbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut. There were also reports that Haniyeh was scheduled to meet with Lebanese president Michel Aoun and prime minister Najib Mikati. (HA 6/23)

The PLO executive committee met in Ramallah. During the meeting, the committee discussed the U.S. Biden administration’s failure to fulfil its promises to the Palestinian people and plans to initiate national dialogue to end the intra-Palestinian political division. (WAFA 6/24)

Peace Now released a report marking the first year of the Bennett-Lapid government, detailing how the current Israeli government has accelerated the displacement of Palestinians compared to average numbers during the Netanyahu governments. Compared with the yearly average of the Netanyahu governments, the Bennett-Lapid government has promoted 26% more settlement units, issued tenders for 15% more settlement construction, demolished 35% more Palestinian homes in the West Bank, and 59% more Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem. Additionally, settler violence has risen with 45% and 45 more Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces compared with the yearly average of the Netanyahu governments. (PCN 6/23)

Israel’s foreign minister Yair Lapid met with his Türkiye counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in Ankara, in a bid to further normalized relations between the 2 countries. (AJ, ALM, HA, MEE, REU 6/23)

24 Democratic senators, led by Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), wrote a letter to the Biden administration, calling on it to “ensure that a comprehensive, impartial, and open investigation” into the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is conducted. The senators also addressed secretary of state Antony Blinken, attorney general Merrick Garland, and FBI director Christopher Wray. (HA, MEE, REU 6/23; AJ, MDW, WAFA 6/24)

President of Suriname Chandrikapersad Santokhi told the National Assembly that Suriname would not build an embassy to Israel in Jerusalem, citing budget constraints. Suriname announced plans to open an embassy to Israel in Jerusalem during a visit by its foreign minister Albert Ramdin on 5/30. (AJ, HA 6/24)

UNRWA announced that it had received pledges of $160 million for its general programming, but warned that it still expects a shortfall of $100 million in its core budget for 2022. (WAFA 6/24)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces delivered demolition notices for 6 houses and 2 commercial structures in Ar-Rafaiya in the Masafer Yatta area and stop-work orders for 7 houses under construction in Marda. 6 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Kharbatha al-Misbah, Nablus, Aida refugee camp, and Yatta. In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities demolished 3 Palestinian homes: 2 in Sur Baher and 1 in Bayt Hanina. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian farmers east of Beit Hanun; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/15; MEMO, PCHR 6/16; UNOCHA 7/2)

Haaretz reported that settler violence against Palestinians has been raising in 2022, with more than 400 recorded incidents in the 1st half of the year, compared to 650 recorded incidents in all of 2021. A source in the Israeli military told Haaretz that the military is aware of the situation and is seeing an increase in radicalized Israeli settlers. The Israeli military recorded 360 incidents of Israeli settler violence in the West Bank against Palestinians in 2019; in 2020 the number increased to 500, before in increasing to 650 last year. (HA 6/15)

An Israeli police investigation into the attacks on the funeral procession for Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on 5/13 found that Israeli police had acted with misconduct, but no commanders were disciplined. According to the Haaretz source, the decision not to discipline any of the commanders responsible was made before the investigation started. The report was also not released to the public. (TOI 6/15; AJ, F24, HA, JP, MEE 6/16)

An Israeli court found former Gaza director of the charity World Vision, Mohammad El Halabi, guilty of membership of a terrorist organization, providing information to a terror group, taking part in forbidden military exercises, and carrying a weapon. The purported evidence against El Halabi is kept secret and the guilty verdict was in part based on a confession given under duress to an informant. World Vision, independent audits, and the Australian government have all said they have found no evidence of wrongdoing by El Halabi since he was 1st arrested in 2016. El Halabi has declined multiple plea deals that would have seen him released before the upcoming sentencing, refusing to enter a plea for a crime he says he is innocent of. (WAFA 6/14; AP, HA, NYT, REU 6/15; WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/16; WAFA 6/19)

Palestinian officials said that the U.S. had refused Palestinian calls for peace negotiations, claiming that the Israeli political situation is too sensitive. The request was made during the weekend, when top Palestinian officials met with U.S. secretary of state for Near East affairs Barbara Leaf and her deputy Hady Amr in Ramallah ahead of president Joe Biden’s visit to Palestine, Israel, and Saudi Arabia on 7/13-7/16. Israeli sources told Haaretz that Secretary Leaf had asked Israeli politicians to refrain from sending Israeli soldiers into Area A and not to carry out punitive demolitions ahead of President Biden’s visit. Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid said that Israel is seeking peace with Saudi Arabia and elaborated, “I won't say whether we have under-the-radar talks with the Saudis . . . We have a joint interest in the subject of Iran, that it won't become a nuclear threshold state.” (AJ, AP, AX, AX, HA, HA, HA 6/15)

Russia summoned the Israeli ambassador to express “grave concern” over an Israeli air strike that damaged the Damascus International Airport on 6/10. The Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov called Israel’s reasoning for attacking the airport “unconvincing.” (HA, JP, REU 6/15)

Israel, Egypt, and the EU signed a deal to increase the sale of liquified natural gas from Israel to the EU via Egypt, in a stated effort to reduce EU countries’ dependency on Russian gas. The EU also said it would provide Egypt $105 million in aid to help the country cope with the rise in wheat prices. (ALM, AP, REU 6/14; ALM, AP, HA, MEE, MEMO, REU, TOI, WSJ 6/15)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set up caravans near Qusra. Israeli settlers also threw stones at commercial structures and vehicles in Burqa, causing damage. Israeli forces delivered stop-work orders for 1 house and electricity cables in al-Twana. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen northwest of Rafah; no injuries were reported. In Israel, 2 Palestinian citizens of Israel opened fire on Israelis in Hadera, killing 2 Israeli soldiers and wounding 5 others, including 1 soldier, before being shot and killed by Israeli undercover police. Israel said that the 2 attackers were affiliated of ISIS. 5 Palestinian citizens of Israel were arrested during subsequent raids in Umm al-Fahm under suspicion of having prior knowledge of the attack. (AJ, AP, DW, HA, HILL, MEE, NYT, TOI, WAFA, WAFA 3/27; ABC, AP, AX, CNN, GDN, HA, HA, HA, JP, MEMO, NPR, REU, SKY, TOI, WSJ 3/28; ALM, ALM 3/29; F24, PCHR 3/31; UNOCHA 4/10)

Members of the settler organization Ateret Cohanim entered the 1st floor of the Little Petra Hotel in East Jerusalem with Israeli police escort in an effort to cement the organization’s hold of the building. The ownership of the building is part of an ongoing legal case at the Israeli supreme court between the Greek Orthodox patriarchate in Jerusalem and Ateret Cohanim. The lawyers of the Palestinian family that runs the hotel were attacked with pepper spray by the Israeli settlers when they entered the building and Israeli police detained 1 of the 2 lawyers present at the site. (HA 3/27; MEE, WAFA 3/28; WAFA 3/29; WAFA, WAFA 3/30; PCHR 3/31)

The Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories announced that Israel will approve up to 20,000 work permits for Palestinians in Gaza for workers in construction and agriculture. The International Committee of the Red Cross in Israel also announced that Israel will allow family visits by Palestinians in Gaza to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisoners, for the 1st time since March 2020. (ALM 3/31)

U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken met with PA president Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. During the meeting, President Abbas called on the U.S. to help curb settler violence and end settlement expansion. Abbas warned Blinken that the PA may rescind its recognition of Israel and end security cooperation if Israeli unilateral actions are not curbed. Abbas also criticized the U.S. and its allies for its double standards in not applying sanctions against Israel for its violations of international law as they have done against Russia. (HA, MEE, WAFA 3/27; JP 3/28; AX 3/30)

The foreign ministers of the U.S., UAE, Morocco, Egypt, Bahrain, and Israel met in Sde Boker for the 1st day of a 2-day summit comprised of countries that have normalized ties with Israel with U.S. support. Among the subjects discussed at the summit were the perceived threat from Iran and the U.S.’s efforts to reenter the Iran Nuclear deal. The 1st day of the summit coincided with the 20th anniversary of the Arab Peace Initiative. Secretary Blinken also met with Israel’s prime minister Naftali Bennett, who shortly after, tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. (AJ, AP, GDN, HA, HA, HA, HA, JP, JP, REU, TOI, WP 3/27; HA, MEMO 3/28; AX, AX 3/30)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles and attempted to break into a house in Sinjil. Israeli settlers also blocked a main road in the Masafer Yatta area. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting against settler violence in al-Lubban al-Sharqiya, assaulting 4 protesters and causing tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also delivered demolition orders for 3 homes, an agricultural structure, and a retaining wall in al-Walaja. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces delivered demolition orders for 3 commercial structures in Jabel Mukaber. 1 Palestinian family started demolishing their own home in Bayt Hanina, displacing 7. 4 Palestinians were arrested, including 2 at the Damascus Gate plaza and 2 at the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Israel, Israeli prison forces assaulted Palestinian prisoners in their cells in 2 sections of Rimon Prison. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at a landfill east of Dayr al-Balah; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/27; MEMO, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA 2/28; PCHR 3/3; UNOCHA 3/11)

The World Zionist Organization said it plans to make 1,000 portable structures available for Ukrainian immigrants in the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and Israel. Israel is expecting a large wave of immigration of Ukrainians with Jewish heritage as Russia attacked Ukraine on 2/24. The Israeli government will have to approve the placement of the portable structures for the Ukrainian immigrants. (AJ 3/4)

Israeli officials told Axios that U.S. president Joe Biden was disappointed that Israel refused to co-sponsor a UN security council resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 2/27. Israel, however, did vote in favor of a resolution at the UN general assembly condemning Russia’s invasion on 3/2. Israel is said to have asked the U.S. to understand its vague position regarding Russia’s invasion, given Israel’s cooperation with Russia on matters relating to Syria. The PA expressed “concern” about the situation but did not condemn Russia’s invasion. (HA 2/24; ALM 2/25; HA 2/26; AX, HA, NYT, TOI 2/27; HA 2/28; HA 3/1; HA, HA, HA 3/2; HA 3/3)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 6 with rubber-coated bullets and others with tear gas. 2 Palestinians were arrested, including 1 during a late-night raid in Qalqilya and 1 at a checkpoint in Kafr Qaddum. In East Jerusalem, 5 Palestinians were arrested in the Old City. In the Naqab desert, Palestinians continued to protest, for the 5th day in a row, the forestation project that is seeking to displace Bedouins near Sawa by throwing stones at vehicles, injuring 1 police officer at the Nevatim air base southeast of Beersheba. (HA, WAFA, WAFA 1/14; PCHR 1/20)

Hamas official Basem Naim said Hamas and Fatah officials are meeting separately with Algerian mediators in Algiers to reconcile their divisions. Naim said meetings could continue until February and that Hamas has not ruled out direct meetings with Fatah. (MEMO 1/17)

The Israeli Defense and Security Forum, led by 3 former Israeli generals, wrote an op-ed in Haaretz, saying that Israeli leaders need to address the growing issue of Israeli settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank. (HA 1/14)

U.S. ambassador to Israel Tom Nides said he would not be visiting West Bank settlements during his tenure as ambassador, restoring the norm from before the Trump administration. Former ambassador David Friedman was an outspoken settler activist. (MEMO 1/15)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces uprooted 50 olive trees in Wadi Fukin. Israeli forces also demolished 9 residential and 14 agricultural structures in Ibziq. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished a house under construction in Qalqas. Israeli force shot and injured 6 Palestinians using live ammunition during a late-night raid in Tubas. 13 Palestinians were arrested during raids in al-Am‘ari refugee camp, Beit Umar, Halhul, Yatta, Jenin, Ya‘bad, and Kaft Laqif; 1 Palestinian was injured by Israeli live ammunition during a protest against the raid in al-Am‘ari refugee camp. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces physically assaulted 2 Palestinians in Isawiya and Jabel Mukaber. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian farmers east of Dayr al-Balah; no injuries were reported. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Gaza City; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/28; MEE, WAFA 12/29; PCHR 12/30)

The Jordanian Detainees Committee in Saudi Arabia said that a Saudi court had reduced the sentence of former Hamas official Mohammad al-Khodari from 15 years to 3 years in prison. Al-Khodari was 1 of some 60 Jordanian and Palestinian nationals to receive sentences by Saudi Arabia earlier this year for an affiliation with Hamas or other resistance groups. (MEMO 12/29)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas met with Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz at Gantz’s residence in Rosh Ha’ayin. The 2.5-hour-long meeting was attended by Israel’s coordinator of government activities in the territories Rassan Aliyan, PA civil affairs minister Hussein al-Sheikh, and head of PA security service Majed Faraj. Civil Affairs Minister al-Sheikh said the 2 sides spoke of a political horizon while Defense Minister Gantz tweeted that the meeting was about economic and civic measures and security coordination. An Israeli statement said Israel had agreed to register 6,000 Palestinians living in the West Bank and 3,500 living in Gaza, give the PA a $32-million advance on its tax income, and grant more business permits and VIP passes for the PA. Israeli and Palestinian officials said that President Abbas demanded more action against settler violence and the revocation of terror designations for 6 Palestinian rights organizations. It was President Abbas’s 1st meeting with an Israeli official in Israel since 2010. A Hamas spokesperson condemned Abbas’s visit, saying he was accommodating the occupation and “deepening Palestinian political divisions.” Islamic Jihad and the PFLP also condemned the meeting. (AP, HA, JP, TOI 12/28; ABC, AJ, ALM, AP, AX, F24, HILL, MEE, MEMO, MEMO, REU, TOI, WAFA, WAFA 12/29; ALM, HA, MEE, MEMO, MEMO 12/30; ALM, MEMO 12/31; TOI 1/1; TOI 1/2)

Israeli justice minister Gideon Sa‘ar said he wanted the Homesh settlement outpost legalized in response to the killing of 1 Israeli settler on 12/16. (HA 12/28)

In Syria, Israel conducted air strikes in Latakia, causing damage at the city’s port. Israeli sources claimed that Israeli missiles had hit Iranian munitions stored in containers. A Russian official said 4 missiles were fired from 2 Israeli F-16s, causing minor material damage. The Russian official also said that the Syrian air defense system was deactivated because a Russian plane was landing nearby. (AJ, AP, AP, GDN, HA, HA, NWK, REU 12/28; MEMO 12/29; AP, HA 12/30)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort blocked a road leading to Sinjil. Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian with a rubber-coated bullet to his chest during a raid in Kafr Qaddum. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters near al-Mughayyir and Sahal al-Baqai’a, causing tear-gas related injuries. Elsewhere, Israeli forces blocked all traffic in and out of Hizma. 4 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Qalqilya, Aqabah, Tuqu‘, and Dayr Jarir. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces raided PA governor of Jerusalem Adnan Ghaith’s home. Israeli forces also raided the home of deputy director-general of the Islamic Waqf, Sheikh Najeh Bakirat, in Jabel Mukaber, handing him a summon for interrogation. 6 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Silwan and at the Haram al-Sharif compound. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 2 nautical miles west of al-Sudaniyya; no injuries were reported. In Israel, 1 Palestinian woman was killed and 2 others injured in a car bombing in Ramle; Israeli authorities suspected an assassination. The killing marked the 123d Palestinian killed in Israel in 2021. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/26; MEMO 12/27; PCHR 12/30)

The 1st case of the highly infectious Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus was detected in Gaza. The Omicron variant has become dominant in many countries and is capable at infecting vaccinated people, especially those who have not received a booster shot. In Gaza, about 25,000 out of 2 million people have received a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. (HA, MEMO, REU 12/26)

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said that Israel is denying 1 Palestinian prisoner access to the cancer treatment he needs. The Palestinian man has been detained since 10/25. (WAFA 12/26)

Qatar’s envoy to Palestine Mohammad al-Emadi said in a statement that Qatar, the PA, and Gaza’s electrical company have agreed to a project that will see Qatar invest $60 million in a gas pipeline from Israel to Gaza. The project will change the fuel input at Gaza’s power plant from diesel fuel to natural gas. (MEMO, TOI 12/27)

PA civil affairs minister Hussein al-Sheikh called on the international community to take action against Israeli settler violence. (WAFA 12/26)

The Israeli government approved a plan to double the settler population in the occupied Golan Heights. The $317-million plan will see Israel construct settler housing units and new infrastructure, including 3,300 new settlement units in Katzrin, 4,065 in Golan Regional Council, and 4,000 in 2 new settlements. Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett said the government investment in settlements in the Golan Heights was linked to the U.S. Trump administration decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the area in 2019 and the current Biden administration’s indication that it will not roll back the decision. (AJ, AP, DW, HA, MEE, REU, TOI 12/26; AJ, ALM, AP, MEMO, REU, TOI 12/27; CNN, MDW, TOI 12/28)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted 50 olive trees in Tarqumiyah as part of an effort to make a road to the Telem settlement. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian man near a checkpoint in the Nablus area; Israel claimed that the man had attempted ramming soldiers with his car; no soldier was injured. Israeli forces demolished a 2-story house in Nahalin; Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinians protesting the demolition, causing tear-gas related injuries. 1 Palestinian was arrested during a house raid in Jericho. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian family demolished their own home in Jabel Mukaber, displacing 5. Israeli forces detained 3 Palestinian minors and seized their Palestinian flags after they had raised the flags on the Haram al-Sharif compound. 4 others were arrested in the Old City. In Israel, the Israeli member of the Knesset from the Religious Zionist party Itamar Ben-Gvir threatened 2 Palestinian Israeli parking garage employees with a gun when the 2 told Ben-Gvir not to park in a prohibited zone. (AP, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/21; MEE, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA 12/22; MEMO, PCHR 12/23)

Israeli media reported that Israel had handed over 2 Palestinians to the PA. The 2 were allegedly wanted by the PA when they were arrested in Israel. (MEMO 12/23)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas met with U.S. acting assistant secretary of state for Near East Affairs Yael Lambert in Ramallah. (WAFA 12/21)

The Fatah central committee convened without making any significant announcements. (WAFA 12/21)

Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said Hamas supports reconciliation talks with Fatah sponsored by Algeria. The talks were 1st announced by Algeria during a meeting between president Abdelmadjid Tebboune and PA president Mahmoud Abbas in Algiers on 12/6. (MEMO 12/22)

United Arab List leader Mansour Abbas said during a conference hosted by the Hebrew newspaper Globes that “Israel was born as a Jewish state. And that was the decision of the Jewish people, to establish a Jewish state. The question is not ‘what is the identity of the state?’ That’s how the state was born, and so it will remain.” Leader of the Joint List coalition Ayman Odeh criticized Abbas’s remarks, saying that “the state’s identity should interest every citizen.” PA president Mahmoud Abbas also criticized Mansour Abbas for his comments, saying that he has abandoned his own people to side with the “Zionist colonial project.” (JP, TOI 12/21; ALM, WAFA, WAFA 12/22; HA, MEMO 12/23; HA 12/25)

U.S. national security advisor Jake Sullivan met with Israeli president Isaac Herzog. President Herzog had said before the meeting he would raise with Security Advisor Sullivan his desire to have the yeshiva in the evacuated settlement outpost Homesh remain. 1 Israeli settler was killed at the Homesh outpost on 12/16. Meanwhile, Israeli Channel 13 reported that U.S. president Joe Biden ignored a request from Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett for a phone meeting. (TOI 12/22; ALM 12/28)

AP reported that former head of the Israeli military intelligence directorate Tamir Heyman acknowledged that Israel took part in the U.S. assassination of Iranian general Qassim Soleimani on 1/2/2020. (ABC, HILL, MEMO 12/21)

The Washington Post reported that the UAE had planted NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware on Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s then-fiancée’s phone prior to the killing of Khashoggi. The Post reported that Hanan Elatr’s devices were hacked while she was in Dubai airport due to her job as a flight attendant. While in Dubai airport, Elatr was detained and questioned as agents planted the Pegasus spyware on her devices. The Citizen Lab research group confirmed that the Pegasus spyware had been planted on her phone prior to the killing of Khashoggi. AP also reported that Citizen Lab had found Pegasus spyware on phones belonging to a Polish lawyer and a Polish prosecutor known to publicly oppose the right-wing Polish government’s attempts to undermine the judicial branch of government. (AJ, AP, HA, WP 12/21)

UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process Tor Wennesland called on Israel to cease settlement activities and displacement of Palestinians in East Jerusalem during a UN security council meeting. Special Coordinator Wennesland also warned that an increase in settler violence in the West Bank could ignite tensions between Hamas and Israel. (MEMO, MEMO 12/22)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian houses and vehicles in Kafr Qaddum, causing damage. Israeli forces raided the homes of 4 of the Palestinians accused of participating in the killing of an Israeli settler on 12/16 and took measurements for punitive demolitions in Silat al-Harithiya; the forces also violently dispersed Palestinians protesting the raids, injuring 1 with live ammunition. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinians protesting an Israeli incursion near Ramallah, inuring 1 with live ammunition and 1 minor with a rubber-coated bullet. Elsewhere, Israeli forces raided al-Lubban Ash-Sharqiya, assaulting the mayor of the village and several students. 13 Palestinians were arrested during house raids in Birzeit, Dura, al-Bireh, Kafl Haris, Abu Dis, Qatanna, Beit Umar, and Dahariya. In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities handed eviction orders to 2 families living on a plot of land in Sheikh Jarrah that Israel wants to construct a school on. The families were given until 1/25/2022 to leave their property, displacing 12 people. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions and leveled land east of al-Fukhari. Israeli forces also opened fire at Palestinian bird hunters east of Khuza‘a; no injuries were reported. In Israel, Israeli forces demolished the Bedouin village al-‘Araqeeb for the 196th time since 2000. (TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/20; MEMO 12/21; PCHR 12/23)

In East Jerusalem, EU representative to Palestine Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff led an EU delegation, meeting Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah threatened by Israeli forced evictions. (MEMO 12/21)

1 Palestinian prisoner in the Israeli Nafha prison allegedly stabbed 1 Israeli prison guard, lightly wounding the guard. There were subsequent reports of collective punishment of Palestinian prisoners in the same ward, including beatings and outdoor confinement in cold weather. (HA 12/20; WAFA 12/21)

Representatives for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel on administrative detention said the prisoners have decided to boycott sessions in Israeli military courts and in the supreme court from 1/1/2022 because of Israel’s arbitrary use of administrative detention on Palestinians. (HA 12/20)

PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said during the weekly cabinet meeting that the PA has sent a letter to the UN urging it to intervene against Israeli settler violence. (WAFA 12/20)

Palestinian member of the Knesset for United Arab List and chairperson of Knesset’s interior committee Walid Taha said he had canceled all official meetings for the week in protest over Israel’s interior minister Ayelet Shaked’s opposition to a bill that would provide electricity to Palestinian homes built in Israel without a permit. (HA 12/20)

Israel’s ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan wrote a letter to UN secretary-general António Guterres demanding that he acts to prevent UN funding from going to Palestinian rights organizations deemed terrorist organizations by Israel. The UN OCHA agency had mentioned its partnership with Health Work Committees in its plan for 2022, a Palestinian organization deemed illegal by Israel. (HA 12/20)

Israeli NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware was found on a Tunisian national’s phone. The man is part of a UN-mandated investigation into crimes committed in relation to the Saudi-led war in Yemen. (HA 12/20)

In the West Bank, 25 Israeli settlers posing as soldiers attacked a Palestinian couple in their home in Qaryut, leading to the hospitalization of both Palestinian victims; the settlers also caused significant damage to the interior of their home, their car, and their tractor; Israeli forces did not arrive to investigate the scene until 7 hours after it was reported. Israeli settlers also threw stones at 6 Palestinian homes and set a barn on fire in Burqa; Israeli forces subsequently violently dispersed Palestinians trying to repel the settlers. Meanwhile, Israeli settlers erected a settlement outpost named after the settler killed on 12/16, Nefei Yehuda, near the Kiryat Arba settlement; the Nahala movement financially supported the settlement outpost, as it had the Evyatar settlement outpost in May. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians in Hebron, causing tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Beita, injuring 5 with rubber-coated bullets and others with tear gas. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Bayt Dajan, injuring 5 with rubber-coated bullets and others with tear gas. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 2 with rubber-coated bullets and others with tear gas. Meanwhile, Israeli forces seized 1 tractor in Masafer Yatta. 5 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Arrabah, Silat ad-Dhahr, Jenin, and Burqa; Israeli forces seized 1 car during the raid in Jenin. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Sheikh Jarrah, injuring several journalists covering the event by physical assault, including 1 AP journalist; AP condemned the Israeli forces’ attack on its employee. 5 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in the Old City. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian agricultural lands east of Khuza‘a, Dayr al-Balah, and al-Qarara; no injuries were reported. (AJ, AP, AP, HA, HA, JP, MEE, MEE, MEMO, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/17; MEMO 12/18; JP, WAFA 12/19; PCHR 12/23)

PA foreign ministry called on the UN to establish a protective system to ensure the safety of Palestinians as Israeli settler violence continues to increase. (WAFA, WAFA 12/17; MEMO 12/18)

Haaretz reported that the Israeli company Candiru’s spyware had been purchased by Saudi Arabia, Spain, Israel (for the Shin Bet), Singapore, the UAE, and Germany, and had been used to target people in Catalonia, Lebanon, Yemen, the occupied Palestinian territories, Singapore, Iran, Armenia, and Turkey. It was also reported by the Guardian that NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware was found on jailed Indian dissident activist Rona Wilson’s phone. (AP, GDN, HA, HA 12/17)

The UN general assembly voted 156 for, 7 against, and 15 abstaining on a draft resolution confirming the rights of Palestinians over their natural resources in the occupied territories and the rights of the native population of their resources in the occupied Golan Heights. The resolution also called on Israel to stop exploiting the resources of the territories it occupies. The 7 countries voting against the resolution were Israel, Canada, the U.S., the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, and Palau. (WAFA, WAFA 12/17; WAFA 12/18)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort attempted to raid a school in al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya before they were repelled by Palestinians protecting the students. Israeli forces razed agricultural lands in Birin, uprooting 120 olive and almond trees and demolishing 1 well in Khillat al-Furn. Israeli forces also raided Birzeit University, injuring 1 student with a rubber-coated bullet who was protesting the raid. 17 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Deir Abu Mash‘al, Deir Nidham, Kafr Ni‘ma, Bethlehem, al-Walaja, Sa‘ir, al-Shuyukh, Tarqumiyah, Tulkarm, Far‘un, and Kafr al-Labad; Israel also said that it had arrested 11 students of An-Najah University in Nablus, saying they were connected to a Hamas student network. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolished the foundations to a house in al-Tur and demolished 1 house near the Old City. 2 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Wadi al-Juz and Isawiya; Israeli forces confiscated 11,500 NIS ($7,300) during a raid in Sur Baher. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 6 nautical miles north of Rafah; no injuries were reported. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/14; PCHR 12/16)

Israeli Channel 13 reported that a group called Returning to the Mount are praying at the Haram al-Sharif compound by disguising themselves as Muslims while following Islamic practices of prayer, but reciting Jewish prayers. Channel 13 reported that members of the group meet to learn how to appear like Muslim worshippers. (MEMO, TOI 12/14)

The Palestinian prisoners’ club said Israeli prison guards assaulted at least 3 female prisoners in Damon prison when they refused to leave their cell. The 3 prisoners were also transferred to solitary confinement. (MEMO, WAFA 12/19; MEE, MEMO 12/20)

PA and U.S. officials held a virtual meeting discussing economic ties. The meeting was headed by PA economic affairs minister Khaled Osaily and acting assistant secretary of state for Near East Affairs Yael Lambert. (MEMO, WAFA 12/15; ALM 12/18)

Israel’s prime minister Naftali Bennett said settler violence is an “insignificant phenomena” in the West Bank, criticizing Israel’s public security minister Omer Bar-Lev, who on 12/13 brought up the issue in a meeting with U.S. state department undersecretary for political affairs Victoria Nuland. Prime Minister Bennett said that the settlers were the victims in the West Bank and needed the support of the Israeli government. Public Security Minister Bar-Lev subsequently reiterated his focus on settler violence during a trip to Hebron, saying that “it is truly difficult for some to look in the mirror” instead of tackling the issue of extremist settlers. (HA 12/14; HA 12/15; ALM 12/17)

Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on the UN Commission of Inquiry to investigate what HRW have found to be organized discriminatory behavior of Israeli law enforcement agencies when dealing with “Jewish ultra nationalist” and Palestinian citizens of Israel during the May 2021 civil unrest. HRW found that Israeli law enforcement used excessive force when dispersing Palestinians in Lydda while “failing to act even-handedly as Jewish ultra-nationalists attacked Palestinians.” (HRW, MEMO, WAFA 12/14)

Israel’s interior minister Ayelet Shaked announced that plans to construct the Trump Heights settlement in the Israeli occupied Golan Heights had advanced. The Trump Heights settlement, named after former U.S. president Donald Trump, will cover 70 acres. The announcement stated that construction of homes, public buildings, industrial zones, and roads can begin. (HA 12/14)

The Knesset passed the 1st reading of a bill that would allow Israeli police to conduct house raids in Israel without a court-issued warrant. An explanatory note to the bill clarified that the bill was intended for the Israeli police to use “in its battle against serious crime, and particularly serious crime in Arab society.” (Knesset 12/14; MEMO 12/15)

The officer of the Knesset granted the leader of United Arab List Mansour Abbas a security detail, as he was receiving a growing number of death threats. (MEMO 12/15)

The UAE said it had suspended talks with the U.S. on buying 50 F-35 fighter jets, citing “[t]echnical requirements, sovereign operational restrictions, and cost/benefit analysis.” The announcement follows U.S. concerns about the UAE’s relationship to China, including the UAE using Huawei 5G technology. The Trump administration had agreed to allow the UAE to purchase the F-35 fighter jets as part of the UAE’s and Israel’s normalization agreement. The UAE announced on 12/3, during a visit to the country by French president Emmanuel Macron, that it would buy 80 French-made Rafale fighter jets and 12 military helicopters. (AJ 12/3; AJ, AP, HA, MEMO, REU 12/14; REU, REU 12/15)

18 Democratic members of U.S. Congress wrote a letter to the Treasury and State Departments asking them to put sanctions on 4 foreign surveillance companies, including the Israeli NSO Group, citing the companies’ assistance in human rights abuses. Among the signatories were Senate finance committee chairperson Ron Wyden (D-OR) and House intelligence committee chairperson Adam Schiff (D-CA). (AJ, HA, MEMO, REU 12/15; +972 12/17)

Italy contributed $2.25 million to UNRWA programming in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and $1.13 million to UNRWA programming in Syria. (WAFA 12/14)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian man and injured 3 others during a late-night raid in Nablus, Israel claimed that explosives had been thrown at the Israeli forces as they raided the city; no Israeli was injured during the raid; the PA condemned the killing. 23 Palestinians were arrested, including 1 at the Allenby Bridge and 22 during raids in Beitunia, Bayt Liqya, Ramallah, al-Bireh, al-Eizariya, Hebron, al-Arroub refugee camp, Qarawat Bani Hassan, Bidya, Ras al-Ain, Jamma‘in, and Qalqilya. In East Jerusalem, the Israeli municipality began razing land seized from 4 Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah, which served as a parking lot and car wash in preparation for construction of a settler park. 5 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in the Old City. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Beit Lahiya; no injuries were reported. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions and leveled land in the northern part of Gaza near the Gaza fence. Israeli forces also opened fire at Palestinian farmers working their lands east of Maghazi and Khuza‘a; no injuries were reported. (AJ, AP, HA, JP, MDW, MEE, MEMO, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/13; PCHR 12/16)

Haaretz reported that the Custodian General’s unit in the Israeli Justice Ministry is exploring plans to build 5 Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem: 1 in Sheikh Jarrah, 1 near the Damascus Gate, 1 in Sur Baher, 1 in Bayt Hanina, and 2 in Bayt Safafa. The Custodian General manages private property claimed by Israel to have unknown owners. Most of the properties managed by the Custodian General are in East Jerusalem. (HA, MEE 12/13)

The patriarchs and heads of local churches of Jerusalem released a statement warning that Israeli government is failing to protect the Christian community in Jerusalem from physical attacks by “radical groups” and groups trying to displace the Christian community from Jerusalem by acquiring “strategic property . . . using underhanded dealings and intimidation tactics to evict residents from their homes.” (TOI 12/19; BBC, HA, MEE 12/21)

Israel released the former leader of the northern branch Islamic Movement in Israel Sheikh Raed Salah after 17 months in prison for “incitement.” (MEMO 12/8; AJ, MEE, MEMO 12/13; MEMO 12/14)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas met with U.S. state department undersecretary for political affairs Victoria Nuland in Ramallah. (WAFA 12/13)

Israel’s prime minister Naftali Bennett met with UAE crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi. The 2 were said to have discussed Iran and building on the 2 countries’ normalization agreement. A joint statement later announced that the 2 countries had plans to establish a joint research and development fund. (AP, CNN, HA, MEMO, NYT, REU, REU 12/13; ALM, MEMO 12/14)

Israel’s public security minister Omer Bar-Lev told Undersecretary Victoria Nuland that he views settler violence “severely” and is taking action against it. Public Security Minister Bar-Lev’s comments drew the ire of Israeli politicians in his coalition and further right, who said that there is no issue with Israeli settler violence toward Palestinians. (HA 12/13; HA 12/16; ALM 12/17)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers and Israeli forces prevented Palestinian farmers from working their lands in at-Tabaqa. Israeli forces fired tear gas at Palestinian pupils heading to a school in al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya, for the 3d day in a row, injuring dozens with tear gas. 11 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Bethlehem and Ya‘bad. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Isawiya, causing tear-gas related injuries and arresting 1 minor. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Silwan during a raid, causing tear-gas related injuries. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 11/18; PCHR 11/25)

1 Palestinian prisoner ended his hunger strike to protest his administrative detention after 103 days as Israel and his attorney entered an agreement to end his detention. (WAFA 11/18)

Israeli sources said that Israel retroactively edited an intelligence file about al-Jalaa high rise in Gaza, that Israel bombed in May, before handing the file to the U.S. The edited file was given to the U.S. after it demanded a justification for the bombing of the building that housed media offices for the AP and Al Jazeera. (HA 11/18)

Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz said, during a meeting, that settler violence against Palestinians is “a grave phenomenon” and must be “uproot[ed].” Defense Minister Gantz was speaking after being presented with data of recent settler attacks on Palestinians during the olive harvest season. The data showed an increase of around 150% in settler violence against Palestinians compared to 2 years ago. (HA 11/19; GDN 11/28 WP 11/29)

Israel’s prime minister Naftali Bennett spoke with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after Turkey released 2 Israelis it had detained for 1 week for taking pictures of the presidential palace. The call between the 2 was the 1st between President Erdoğan and an Israeli prime minister since 2013. Erdoğan also spoke with Israel’s president Isaac Herzog. (AJ, TOI 11/18)

The Middle East Quartet released a statement after an in-person meeting in Oslo, calling for alleviating the PA fiscal crisis, easing access of people and goods coming in and out of Gaza, and curbing Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Quartet envoys also urged respect for civil society groups, hinting criticism at Israel’s decision to designate 6 Palestinian rights groups as terrorist organizations. (WAFA, WAFA 11/18; AP, HA, MEMO 11/19)

The 2d committee of the UNGA passed a draft resolution reaffirming the rights of the Palestinian people over their natural resources in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem and the Arab population in the occupied Golan Heights. 157 voted in favor, 14 abstained, and 7 voted against, including Canada, Israel, and the U.S. (WAFA 11/18; MEMO, MEMO 11/19; WAFA 11/20)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting a raid in Beit Iksa; no injuries were reported. 5 Palestinians were arrested including 4 during raids in Hebron and 1 at a flying checkpoint near Silwad. In Israel, Israeli forces raided Nafha prison, causing injuries to Palestinian prisoners. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 11/14; PCHR 11/18)

B‘Tselem accused Israel of using Israeli settler violence to take over some 11 square miles of Palestinian lands in the West Bank. B‘Tselem also said in the report that the Israeli government claims that settler violence is carried out by a small minority is incorrect and that Israeli forces do very little to stop it. B‘Tselem said that in some instances, soldiers participate in the attacks against Palestinians. (AP, B’Tselem, MEE, TOI, WAFA 11/14; MEMO 11/16)

Haaretz reported that the Israeli military has told the high court of justice that it no longer allows its soldiers to force Palestinians to answer questions in cases they are not directly involved in. The decision follows a petition by 40 Palestinians to the court to end the practice. (HA 11/14)

The U.S. treasury department announced that Israel and the U.S. have created a partnership in combatting ransomware. The announcement was made after U.S. deputy secretary of the treasury Wally Adeyemo met with Israel’s finance minister Avigdor Lieberman in Israel. (HA 11/14)

The South African government said it had withdrawn its support for the South African Miss Universe contestant because she and her team refused to boycott the Miss Universe event to be held in Eliat, Israel. The South African government cited “atrocities committed by Israel against Palestinians” as the reason. (AJ, TOI , WAFA 11/14; HA 11/15)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and injured 2 Palestinians during a late-night raid in Qalandia refugee camp; both were taken to a hospital for treatment. Israeli forces also razed a paved road connecting Ya‘bad and Mariha and delivered a demolition notice for a house under construction in Ghazara. 6 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Qalandia refugee camp, Rantis, Tulkarm, and Tulkarm refugee camp. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces and Israeli settlers clashed with Palestinians at the Damascus Gate plaza, injuring dozens of Palestinians; 22 were arrested. A video showed Israeli forces pulling 1 woman by her hair and beating Palestinians with batons. Palestinians in East Jerusalem have in recent weeks expressed dismay over Israeli forces’ decisions to disperse Palestinians present at the Damascus Gate plaza, leading to stone throwing. Palestinians also threw stones at a public bus near the plaza, lightly injuring 2 in the bus. In Israel, Israeli authorities delivered eviction notices for some 30 Palestinian shop owners in Tayibe and Qalansuwa, claiming that their stores were built without the correct zoning permits. (AJ, AP, HA, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/19; HA, MEE 10/20; PCHR 10/21)

Hussein al-Sheikh, head of the PA Civil Affairs Committee, said Israel had approved the registration of 4,000 unregistered Palestinians living in the West Bank, allowing them to receive Israeli-issued ID cards to be used at Israeli checkpoints. The 4,000 registrations was part of an agreement made between PA president Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli minister of defense Benny Gantz. (AP, HA, MEMO, WAFA 10/19; ALM, REU 10/20)

Swedish foreign minister Ann Linde met with PA president Mahmoud Abbas and prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh in Ramallah. After Foreign Minister Linde’s meetings, she criticized the alleged corruption in the PA on Swedish public radio. (Sveriges Radio 10/19; JP, TOI 10/21)

The far-right Kahanist Israeli lawmaker Itamer Ben-Gvir of the Religious Zionist party and Ayman Odeh of the Joint List got into a physical altercation at a hospital in Rehovot, where Ben-Gvir was trying to provocatively visit a Palestinian prisoner who has been hunger striking for 90 days. The Palestinian is protesting his administrative detention and is said to be in life-threatening condition. Odeh was with the family of the hospitalized prisoner when Ben-Gvir tried to provoke the family. Ben-Gvir later filed a complaint against Odeh at a police station, saying he was physically attacked. A video of the incident showed Odeh pushing Ben-Gvir. (HA 10/19; AP 10/21; WAFA 10/22)

U.S. ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield called reports of Israeli settler violence against Palestinians and their property “abhorrent” and called on Israel to fully investigate the incidents and the lack of response by Israeli forces during a UN security council meeting. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield also noted that the U.S. believes that the UN security council has an outsized focus on issues related to Israel. UN Middle East envoy Tor Wennesland also briefed the council on Israeli settlement plans in E1, calling them “very worrying.” (JP 10/19; HA 10/20)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted some 80 olive trees in al-Mughayyir. 1 Palestinian man hit 1 Israeli soldier with his car at the Qalandia checkpoint, injuring the soldier. According to Israeli authorities, the man intentionally rammed the soldier. Both were admitted to hospitals. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian minor and injured 1 other, claiming the 2 were throwing Molotov cocktails at cars driving near Bayt Jala. Israeli forces also delivered notifications to Palestinians in Yasuf that Israel will seize 40 dunams (9.9 acres) of land from residents to expand the Taffouh settlement. Elsewhere, Israeli forces seized and demolished structures used for agricultural and residential purposes in the Bedouin community of Qabbon. 17 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Beit Kahel, Beit ‘Anin, Biddu, Beit Sahour, and al-Arroub refugee camp. In East Jerusalem, 3 were arrested during house raids in the Old City. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Gaza. (AP, HA, HA, MEMO, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/14; MEE 10/15; AJ 10/17; PCHR 10/21)

The PA wrote a letter to the African Union’s Executive Council urging it to revoke Israel’s observer status, which it was given on 7/22 to the dismay of many of the Union’s members. (ALM, MEE, MEMO, WAFA 10/14)

In Lebanon, 6 protesters were killed and dozens injured in clashes during a demonstration against the judge presiding over the probe into the blast that killed more than 200 people on 8/7/2020. The demonstration was supported by Hezbollah; Amal movement supporters clashed with the Christian Lebanese Forces after being shot at during the protest. The Christian Lebanese Forces said Hezbollah had incited the violence. Videos showed heavily armed people in civilian clothes firing weapons and 1 man in civilian clothes firing an RPG. The U.S. subsequently offered the Lebanese army $67 million in military aid. (AP 10/13; AJ, AJ, AP, HA, MEMO, REU, REU, REU 10/14; AJ, AP, HA, MEMO, REU 10/15; HA, REU, REU 10/16; REU 10/17; AJ, REU 10/18)

Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz called on the Israeli military to “systematically, aggressively and uncompromisingly” act against settlers who are violent toward Palestinians or Israeli forces, as an uptick in Israeli settler violence had been recorded. (AP 10/15; AJ 10/17)

The U.S. Biden administration formally rejoined the UN Human Rights Council after the Trump administration left the council in 2018, citing anti-Israel bias. U.S. state department spokesperson Ned Price said that the U.S. would “vigorously oppose the council’s disproportionate attention on Israel.” (NYT 10/14; WAFA 10/16)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized dozens of olive trees in Burin. Israeli settlers also stole olives from a Palestinian farmer near Salfit. 8 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Balata refugee camp, Kobar, al-Bireh, Ni‘lin, and Kafr Ein. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolished fencing in Silwan, leading to a confrontation with its owners, 2 were injured by Israeli forces assaulting them with their rifles, including 1 minor. 1 Palestinian family demolished their own home in Bayt Hanina. 2 Palestinians were arrested near the Damascus Gate plaza. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/3; WAFA 10/4 PCHR 10/7)

Israel charged the 6 Palestinian prisoners who escaped Gilboa prison on 9/6 with offenses related to their escape, potentially carrying additional sentences of up to 7 years. 5 other Palestinian prisoners were charged with helping them escape, also risking 7 more years. Israeli police had initially said that the 6 had planned to carry out attacks; however, no such charges were filed against them. (AJ, HA, MEMO 10/3)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas met with 2 Israeli ministers from the Meretz (Vigor) party: health minister Nitzan Horowitz and regional cooperation minister Issawi Frej. The meeting took place in Ramallah to “boost” cooperation between the PA and parts of the Israeli government and to ensure that steps to hurt the 2-state solution are curbed. President Abbas said he invites all Israeli ministers to come to Ramallah and engage with the PA, saying “[w]e don’t have to agree, but we need to talk.” (ALM 10/1; HA 10/2; HA, MEE 10/3; ALM, MEMO, WAFA 10/4)

The PA urged the international community to intervene as settler violence against Palestinians continued to rise in the West Bank. (WAFA 10/3)

A delegation of Hamas officials met with Egypt’s intelligence chief Abbas Kamel to discuss a long-term ceasefire with Israel and intra-Palestinian relations. Hamas later released a statement, saying that the organization did not reach an agreement with Egypt about a long-term ceasefire with Israel despite media reports on the contrary. It was also reported that 19 members of the Hamas political bureau from Qatar, Turkey, and Gaza would meet in Egypt. (MEMO 10/3; ALM 10/12)

Palestinian officials told Haaretz that the U.S. is planning to reopen its consulate to Palestinians in Jerusalem after the Israeli government passes its budget in the Knesset. (HA 10/3; MEMO 10/4)

King Abdullah II of Jordan spoke to Syrian president Bashir al-Assad for the 1st time since the start of the Syrian Civil War in 2011. (REU 10/3; MEMO 10/5)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized trees and 1 house under construction, and stole construction equipment in Jalud. 1 Palestinian was arrested at a checkpoint in Sa‘ir. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces prevented, for the 2d day in a row, iftar meals to be delivered to Palestinian worshipers at the Haram al-Sharif compound. 8 Palestinians were arrested in the Old City, including at the Haram al-Sharif compound. (PCHR, WAFA 4/15)

Israel closed all crossings to Gaza and the West Bank for Israeli Independence Day. (PCHR 4/15)

UN-appointed human rights experts said that the 1st quarter of 2021 had seen a rise in settler violence compared to 2020 and that the settler violence was aimed at making Palestinian life “untenable.” The UN has recorded 210 incidents of Israeli settler violence against Palestinians in the 1st 3 months of 2021, including 1 leading to the death of a Palestinian. (AJ, ALM, WAFA 4/14)

HaMoked filed a petition, on behalf of Palestinians in Issawiyya, at the Israeli high court of justice to have the main road leading to the East Jerusalem neighborhood reopened after 20 years. The presiding judge gave the Israeli state until 5/13 to respond. (HA 4/14)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas spoke to German chancellor Angela Merkel, discussing the upcoming Palestinian elections and the participation of Palestinians in East Jerusalem. (WAFA 4/14)

Gregory Meeks (D-NY), the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee said that he and some of his colleagues were concerned after Reuters reported that the Biden administration had approved the sale of weapons to the UAE by the Trump administration. The sale process had been paused since Biden took office, but Reuters reported that Biden had approved the sale on 4/13. Rep. Meeks said he and the foreign affairs committee would review the sale. (REU 3/13; AJ, AP, HA 4/14; HA 4/15)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces violently dispersed the weekly anti-settlement protest in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 2 with rubber-coated bullets; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also violently dispersed a protest in Bayt Dajan, leading to tear-gas related injuries. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Dayr Jarir, injuring the village’s major and 1 other with rubber-coated bullets; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also raided Qabatiya, leading to clashes with Palestinians; 1 Palestinian was hit with a rubber-coated bullet, others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Meanwhile, Israeli forces took measurements of the house of a Palestinian accused of killing an Israeli settler on 12/21 for a punitive demolition. 4 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Qalqilya and Dayr al-Ghusun. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian was arrested in the Old City. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural fields east of Dayr al-Balah; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/25; PCHR 12/31)

The PA foreign ministry urged the UN Security Council to address the spike in Israeli settler violence against Palestinians. (WAFA 12/25)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Moroccan king Mohammed VI spoke via phone for the 1st time since the 2 countries’ normalization deal was announced on 12/10. Prime Minister Netanyahu said he had invited King Mohammed VI to Israel and later said that a Moroccan delegation would land in Israel soon. (AJ, HA 12/25; REU 12/26)

Israeli forces attacked the Syrian city of Masyaf near Lebanon, killing 6 people and causing damage. According to the Syrian military, it had intercepted a “barrage of Israeli missiles.” Low-flying Israeli fighters were filmed over Beirut shortly before the attack. (AJ, DT, HA, TOI 12/25)

Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told reporters in Istanbul that he wants relations with Israel to be better but that “[t]he Palestine policy is our red line. It is impossible for us to accept Israel’s Palestine policies. Their merciless acts that are unacceptable.” (AJ, HA, MEE, REU 12/25)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces demolish 18 Palestinian homes and agricultural stores in 3 villages in the n. Jordan Valley and another home nr. Hebron. IDF troops conduct late-night raids and house searches in 2 villages nr. Nablus, Hebron and nearby villages, and 1 village nr. Jenin, arresting 7 Palestinians and issuing an arrest summons to 1. They also conduct raids in a village nr. Ramallah, issuing arrest summons to 3 Palestinians and sparking minor clashes with stone-throwing Palestinian youths; 5 Palestinians are arrested. In East Jerusalem, Israeli officials order 2 Palestinians to vacate their homes before 8/11 on the grounds of “absentee ownership.” Similarly, the extended Abu Nab family is ordered to vacate their Silwan homes before 8/11 following a court ruling in favor of Israeli settlers’ ownership claims (the Israeli police will forcibly remove the Abu Nab family from their homes on 10/19). In East Jerusalem, an Israeli court orders the release of the Islamic Waqf employees that were detained on 8/4. (MNA, WAFA 8/5; HA, PCHR 8/6; PCHR 8/13)

Around 120 Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s Nafha Prison start an open-ended hunger strike in protest of solitary confinement, the recent ban on family visits, and other violations. The prisoners will continue their strike until the Israeli authorities end the “rabid attack against them,” according to PA Prisoners’ Affairs Comm. head Issa Qaraqe. (MEMO 8/6; MNA 8/8)

In Cairo, the Arab League’s Arab Peace Initiative follow-up comm. agrees to hold “Arab and international consultations” to draft a UNSC res. condemning Israeli settler violence against Palestinians. PA pres. Abbas attends and says that “if the Israeli govt. does not take steps to catch the perpetrators of the [7/31 arson attack], it will be a partner of these crimes.” (MNA 8/5; JP, MNA 8/6)

In Gaza, Israeli forces level land e. of Khan Yunis along the border fence. In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian man at a checkpoint s. of Nablus when he refuses to undergo a security check. Israeli forces conduct a raid in a village nr. Jenin, sparking clashes with stone-throwing Palestinian residents. According to the village residents, errant tear gas canisters fired by the Israeli soldiers landed in a nearby agricultural area, setting a number of olive trees on fire. IDF troops conduct latenight raids in Hebron and nearby al-‘Arub r.c., as well as Aida r.c. and 1 village nr. Bethlehem, arresting 7 Palestinians, assaulting 2, and issuing an arrest summons to 1. Meanwhile, Israeli forces demolish a home and part of another in an outpost nr. the Eli settlement. Israeli settlers throw rocks at Palestinian cars nr. Ramallah, causing damage; set fire to 10 olive trees nr. Qalqilya. In East Jerusalem, unknown assailants throw a firebomb at an Israeli car in Bayt Hanina, causing an accident and injuring 3 Jewish Israelis (9 Palestinians will be arrested in connection with this attack and indicted on 8/23). Israeli forces arrest 2 Palestinian children accused of stone-throwing and 5 Palestinians on raids in Silwan. (HA, MNA, WAFA 8/3; JP 8/4; PCHR 8/6; HA 8/23)

PA FM al-Maliki meets with ICC prosecutor Bensouda in The Hague and files a report on Israeli settler violence with the ICC. Meanwhile, Palestinian amb. to Jordan Atallah Khairi says that the Jordanian govt. and Palestinian leadership have agreed to submit a draft res. to the UNSC calling for international defense of Palestinian civilians following the 7/31 arson attack. (HA, MNA, TOI, WAFA 8/3; MNA 8/4)

On behalf of the State of Palestine, PA PM Hamdallah signs a formal request to join Interpol, an intergovernmental organization that facilitates police cooperation across borders. The PA plans to use membership to prosecute Palestinians living abroad on corruption charges. (TOI 8/3)

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

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

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

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

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

Members of the Knesset vote to dissolve the parliament, officially paving the way for early elections, expected in 1/2013. (HA 10/15)

U.S. amb. to the UN Susan Rice says that the Palestinian bid for non-member state observer status would ‘‘jeopardize’’ the peace process and complicate efforts to resume negotiations. Rice also emphasizes the illegitimacy of Israeli settlement activity. (REU 10/15; JP 10/16)

PA pres. Mahmud Abbas holds a meeting in Ramallah with an Israeli delegation involved with the Geneva Initiative, including 6 Knesset mbrs. (IMEMC 10/16)

Hamas reports that 10 of its mbrs. were arrested by PA security forces in the West Bank over the previous 24 hrs., with an additional 3 summoned for questioning. (MNA 10/15)

In the West Bank, the IDF raids a school nr. Yalla village in the south Hebron Hills area, detaining students, teachers, and international activists. The IDF also raids Bayt Umar village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, firing tear gas at stone-throwing Palestinians; at night, the IDF raids and imposes a curfew on Azun village nr. Qalqilya that lasts until the next day, and conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Nablus and Balata r.c. The UK newspaper the Guardian cites reports by the UN and a coalition of Israeli human rights groups on settler violence during the olive harvest that notes that 850 trees were vandalized in the harvest’s 1st week. (Guardian 10/15; AIC 10/16; PCHR 10/18)

Israeli troops on the n. Gaza border twice fire at suspicious movement in open areas e. of Bayt Hanun, causing no reported injuries. 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 patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning and in Tulkarm town and r.c. in the evening, in both cases firing at stone-throwing youths who confront them, causing no reported injuries. OCHA reports that in the previous wk., the IDF demolished 10 tents and 5 animal pens in the Bedouin village of Fasayil al-Wusta and 2 animal pens in the neighboring Bedouin village of Fasayil al-Fauqa, both in the Jordan Valley. (PCHR 12/22; OCHA 12/23)

Fatah and Hamas announce that, in keeping with their 5/2011 reconciliation deal, they have agreed on formation of a new Central Elections Commission to prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections. They fail to reach an agreement on formation of a caretaker government to take the Palestinians to elections, postponing further discussion until late 1/2012. (JPI 12/30)

After a UNSC briefing on the Middle East, 14 UNSC mbrs. criticize the U.S. (without naming it directly) for blocking any criticism of Israel’s recent approvals for new settlement construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank and of the increasing settler violence, as well as for threatening to veto any UNSC res. supporting Palestinian statehood. British UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, speaking on behalf of the European UNSC mbrs. (Britain, France, Germany, and Portugal), calls recent Israeli settlement and settler actions “devastating” to the 2-state solution, saying “Israel’s security and the realization of the Palestinians’ right to statehood are not opposing goals. On the contrary, they are mutually reinforcing objectives. But they will not be achieved while settlement building and settler violence continues.” Grant also calls on Israel and the Palestinians to send their comprehensive proposals on territory and security to the Quartet as soon as possible. (The Palestinians have already submitted theirs to the Quartet, so this is seen as an added rebuke to Israel, which has not done so.) (HA 12/21, NYT 12/22)

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

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

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

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

In the West Bank, the IDF fires tear gas and stun grenades at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists taking part in a nonviolent demonstration against the confiscation of Palestinian land in Wadi Abu al-Rish n. of Hebron to expand Bet Ayn settlement (the scene of heavy settler violence last quarter; see Quarterly Update in JPS 152), also violently beating several Palestinians and an international activist; Jewish settlers at the scene throw stones at the protesters, injuring a Palestinian photographer covering the incident. Other Jewish settlers fr. Bet Ayn uproot 150 Palestinian olive trees nr. the settlement. (OCHA, PCHR 6/25)

The IDF raids, searches a Palestinian home in East Jerusalem’s Ras al-Amud neighborhood, confiscating a computer and arresting a 21-yr.-old woman. Major Jewish settler violence in Palestinian areas of Hebron takes place for a 10th day, with settlers setting fire to 1 Palestinian home, vandalizing a number of homes and water tanks, attacking Palestinians. At the weekly cabinet session, acting Israeli PM Ehud Olmert calls the settler attacks a “pogrom” against Palestinians, orders Israeli police to end their “intolerable leniency” toward violent settlers. (BBC 12/7; WP 12/8; PCHR 12/18)

OCHA urgently appeals to Israel to expand “the list of imports into Gaza . . . to include vital spare parts for maintenance and operation of the power plant, water and sanitation utilities, and other critical infrastructure and basic services for the civilian population” so as to prevent further deterioration of humanitarian conditions in Gaza. Gaza banks close, fearing runs on cash. (Israel has again barred entry of cash to the Strip; see 11/24.) The Israeli government informs the High Court that it will lift a month-old ban on allowing journalists into Gaza, but takes no steps to do so. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night house searches nr. Nablus. Some 600 Israeli police and soldiers use rubber batons, percussion grenades, tear gas to evict 200 Jewish settlers fr. Beit Shalom, leaving 30 settlers and 3 soldiers injured, sparking settler violence against Palestinians across the West Bank. In Hebron, settlers rampage through Palestinian areas, burn 5 homes, set fires to olive groves, write racist graffitti, seriously damage other homes, cars, and cemeteries; at least 16 Palestinians are injured, including 2 who are shot and seriously wounded by a settler. During the rampage, the IDF declares the area a closed military zone, bars access to firemen and ambulances (settlers attack one fire engine), and takes no steps to halt settler rioting. Jewish settlers fr. Eli and Shilo settlements nr. Ramallah block the main Ramallah– Nablus road to Palestinian traffic, stone Palestinian cars; the IDF observes but does not intervene. Other Jewish settlers break car windows, write anti-Muslim graffiti on Palestinian homes in several villages e. of Qalqilya. (OCHA 12/4; NYT, WP, WT 12/5; WP 12/8; PCHR 12/18)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late night arrest raids in and around Jenin town and r.c., Nablus, and in al-Fara‘a r.c. nr. Tubas (firing live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets on stone-throwing youths who confront them, wounding 6); fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, international peace activists taking part in a nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Ni‘lin (injuring 2 Palestinians, 1 international). Israel imposes new restrictions requiring Palestinian medical personnel fr. the West Bank who work in Jerusalem to enter Jerusalem only through the Qalandia checkpoint, the most crowded checkpoint, causing them significant delays. Heavy rains cause the collapse of 10 smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border, trapping and injuring at least 7 Palestinians. Egypt allows the entry of a delegation of Islamic Jihad officials fr. Gaza who are heading to Damascus for a wk. of internal discussions on Egypt’s proposed national unity plan ahead of national unity talks in Cairo on 11/9. Inside Israel, Hebrew University student Ali Baher, an Israeli Palestinian, is detained by campus security, questioned for 3 hrs., charged with “inappropriate conduct” for refusing on political grounds to shake hands with Pres. Shimon Peres, who randomly approached Baher while he was touring the campus library meeting with students; the university evicts Baher from campus housing and orders a disciplinary hearing (date not set) to decide whether he should be suspended. (MNA 11/2; OCHA 11/5; PCHR, Physicians for Human Rights–Israel press release 11/6)

Concerned by the escalating settler violence directed at Israeli security forces, the Israeli cabinet at its weekly meeting votes to suspend all direct and indirect government funding to unauthorized settlement outposts (especially citing infrastructure such as roads, garbage collection, and school buses) in the 1st de facto admission that public funds are used to advance illegal settlement. Olmert also proposes increasing arrests and administrative detention of Jewish settlers who break the law. The Jerusalem District Juvenile Court remands and indicts 3 Jewish settler girls (ages 12, 15, 17) for reckless endangerment, aggravated assault of security forces, and obstruction of a police officer for attacks against Israeli border police in Givat Harsina on 10/30. IDF district cmdr. Noam Tivon cancels plans to give a speech at a yeshiva in Efrat settlement nr. Bethlehem after Jewish settlers fr. Hebron threaten to hold a massive demonstration to block his visit, calling him an “expulsion criminal” for previously ordering the removal settlers fr. the unauthorized Federman Farm outpost. (YA 11/2; NYT, WP 11/3; WT 11/4; MM 11/4, 11/7)

Egyptian border police blow up 10 smuggling tunnels along the Rafah border, causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian teenager nr. Beit El settlement nr. Ramallah, claiming that he was preparing to throw a Molotov cocktail; bulldozes the Palestinian home in Hebron where PA security forces claimed to find a tunnel on 10/13. Jewish settlers fr. Ma’on nr. Hebron assault a group of Palestinian children near the settlement. (OCHA, WT 10/15; PCHR 10/16; see also ICG 9/11)

Maj. Gen. Gadi Shamni, head of the IDF Central Command, warns the Israeli cabinet that Jewish settler violence is in danger of spinning out of control, stating, “an extreme incident could happen at any time. These people are conspiring against the Palestinians and against the [Israeli] security forces.” Shamni reports that in the past few wks. settlers have set a dog on an IDF reserve cmdr., broken the arm of a dep. battalion cmdr., slashed tires on IDF vehicles. In Hebron, he says settlers attacked an IDF officer who tried to stop settler children fr. throwing stones at Palestinians. (WP 10/15)