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  • April 10, 2015

    In the West Bank, IDF troops block a large funeral procession in a village nr. Hebron for the Palestinian man who died on 4/9 from health issues he developed in Israeli prison. The soldiers...

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  • April 9, 2015

    In the West Bank, a Palestinian man dies in a village nr. Hebron of complications related to health issues he developed in Israeli prison. The IDF conducts a house search in al-‘Arub r.c. nr....

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  • April 7, 2015

    In the West Bank, a Palestinian man stabs 2 Israeli soldiers at a junction nr. Ramallah, critically injuring 1, then the soldiers shoot and kill him. The IDF consequently conducts raids in several...

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  • April 4, 2015

    In Gaza, hundreds of Palestinians gather in Khan Yunis to demonstrate in solidarity with Palestinians in Yarmouk r.c. outside of Damascus. Off the coast nr. Jabaliya, Israeli naval forces open...

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  • April 1, 2015

    Off the coast of Gaza nr. al-Sudaniyya, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, Israeli forces confiscate a bulldozer in e. Nablus that...

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  • December 7, 2014

    Off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. al-Waha, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing no injuries or damage. In the West Bank, Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint nr....

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  • February 16, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops open fire on open land nr. Khan Yunis, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in 1 village...

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  • February 10, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 1 rocket into s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Later, a second rocket is fired, also causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts...

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  • February 4, 2014

    An Israeli officer is killed by friendly fire nr. the border fence between the Gaza Strip and s. Israel. In the West Bank, IDF troops raid the protest village ‘Ayn Hiljeh and detain 18...

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  • January 31, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian protesters close to the border fence nr. Jabaliya, wounding 7. Separately, Israeli forces open fire on an open area in the c. Gaza Strip...

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  • October 21, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. Also, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Gaza City to level land close to...

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  • October 1, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols nr. Tulkarm at night. In East Jerusalem, suspected Jewish extremists vandalize a Christian cemetery in Silwan, and left racist slogans on the perimeter walls. (...

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  • September 19, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in Hebron and 2 nearby villages and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. In Hebron, IDF soldiers clash with students,...

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  • September 9, 2013

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

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  • September 1, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Juhur al-Dik, where they level land close to the border fence and then withdraw. In the West Bank, the IDF injures 5 Palestinians nr....

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  • August 26, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion close to the border fence nr. Bayt Hanun, and level land before withdrawing. In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and kill 3 Palestinian...

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  • August 25, 2013

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

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  • August 24, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 1 village each nr. Hebron and...

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  • August 22, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries or damage to vessels. In the West Bank, the IDF shoots and injures a Palestinian in Dahaysha r...

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  • August 21, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF forces shoot and injure 1 Palestinian in clashes provoked by an IDF arrest raid in Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nur...

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  • August 18, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Qalqilya, and in 3 villages, as well as al-‘Arub refugee camp (r.c.) nr. Hebron, 1 village each...

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  • July 24, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus and Jenin at night. (PCHR 7/25)

    In Damascus, Syrian govt. forces fire a rocket into Yarmuk r.c., reportedly...

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  • June 15, 2013

    Hassan Ruhani wins Iran’s presidential election, with a voter turnout of around 80%. The win is seen as a victory for moderate elements within the domestic political scene and a defeat for...

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  • May 27, 2013

    U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry meets with Israeli justice minister Tzipi Livni and Special Envoy Yitzhak Molcho in Amman, their 4th meeting since Kerry’s arrival in the region on 5/23. Kerry also...

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  • May 21, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian teenager in al-Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah during a demonstration in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners. An IDF spokesperson says that...

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  • May 7, 2013

    Two small rockets and later a mortar land in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. While the IDF says the fire is ‘‘accidental spillover’’ from the Syrian civil war,...

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  • May 5, 2013

    The Israeli air force strikes a site nr. Damascus, in a new air strike on what unnamed Western intelligence sources say was a shipment of advanced, Iranianmade missiles heading to Hizballah in...

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  • April 29, 2013

    In Washington, U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry and VP Joe Biden meet with senior Arab officials including the Bahraini, Egyptian, Jordanian and Qatari FMs, and representatives from the PA, Arab...

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  • January 8, 2013

    Unidentified Israeli officials tell the Jerusalem Post that unofficial, informal talks under EU auspices are taking place between Israeli and Palestinian academics and former political and...

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  • January 5, 2013

    Undercover Israeli police officers arrest 6 Palestinian youths in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem on suspicion of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at a Jewish settler-owned house....

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In the West Bank, IDF troops block a large funeral procession in a village nr. Hebron for the Palestinian man who died on 4/9 from health issues he developed in Israeli prison. The soldiers violently disperse stone-throwing mourners, killing 1 Palestinian and injuring 13 with live ammunition and rubber-coated metal bullets. The IDF also violently disperses Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at weekly nonviolent demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and occupation in 6 areas nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, Silwad, Nabi Salih, Jalazun r.c., and outside Ofer Prison), Kafr Qaddum nr. Qalqilya, and outside an Israeli settlement nr. al-Bireh; 15 Palestinians are moderately injured and 4 are arrested. The IDF conducts house searches and raids in 2 villages nr. Nablus, arresting 2 Palestinians and assaulting 1; patrols in 2 villages each nr. Qalqilya and Ramallah, and 3 nr. Jericho. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI, YA 4/10; PCHR 4/16)

The Palestinian Medical Examination Union decides to halt the transfer of medical tests to Israeli labs, effectively signing the group on to the boycott of Israeli goods and products. (MNA 4/10)

Breaking the Palestinians’ nonintervention policy on the Syrian conflict, Senior Fatah official Tawfiq al-Tirawi calls for Palestinian fighters in Syria and Lebanon to defend Yarmouk r.c. against ISIS, which launched attacks in the camp on 4/1. Later, UN Dep. Special Envoy for Syria Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy flies to Damascus for consultations with the Syrian govt. about Yarmouk. (GDN, MNA 4/10)

In the West Bank, a Palestinian man dies in a village nr. Hebron of complications related to health issues he developed in Israeli prison. The IDF conducts a house search in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, sparking minor clashes; patrols in villages nr. Hebron, Ramallah, Tulkarm, and Jenin. During a patrol nr. Nablus, IDF troops assault a Palestinian man accused of throwing stones. Israeli settlers raze land nr. Bethlehem in preparation for the construction of a new bypass road. IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of Khan Yunis open fire on Palestinian farmers and land nr. the border fence, injuring 1. The union of public workers begins a general strike in protest of unpaid salaries since 6/2/2014. Meanwhile, several Palestinian parties in Gaza organize a march in solidarity with residents of Yarmouk r.c., outside Damascus. (MNA, WAFA 4/9; MNA 4/10; PCHR 4/16)

In Syria, 14 Palestinian factions meet in Damascus to discuss the recent ISIS attacks on Yarmouk r.c. PLO Exec. Comm. mbr. Majdalani says of the meeting, “We agreed that there would be permanent cooperation with the Syrian leadership and the formation of a joint operations room with Syrian govt. forces and the Palestinian factions that have a significant presence in the camp or around it.” Aknaf Bayt al-Maqdis—the main armed group opposing ISIS in the camp, an anti-govt. faction, and a Hamas offshoot—does not participate in the meeting. (BBC 4/9; AFP, AP, MNA, REU 4/10)

In the West Bank, a Palestinian man stabs 2 Israeli soldiers at a junction nr. Ramallah, critically injuring 1, then the soldiers shoot and kill him. The IDF consequently conducts raids in several villages in the area and detains 7 Palestinians. The IDF also conducts house searches and raids in and around Hebron, and in Tubas, arresting 7 Palestinians; patrols in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Salfit. IDF troops assault a Palestinian man at a mobile checkpoint in Hebron, lightly injuring him. Palestinians throw rocks at 2 Israeli buses nr. Jerusalem, lightly injuring 3 in the 2 incidents. Off the coast of Gaza nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing no damage or injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian doctor in Wadi al-Rababa. (WAFA 4/7; HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 4/8; PCHR 4/9)

Late at night, PLO delegates led by Exec. Comm. mbr. Ahmad Majdalani meet with Syrian dep. FM Faisal Mekdad in Damascus; Syrian govt. says it is ready to support Palestinian fighters in Yarmouk r.c., outside Damascus. (MNA 4/7; MNA, TOI 4/8)

Palestinian envoy to France Hale Fahoum says the Palestinian leadership supports the recently announced French initiative to pass a UNSC res. setting parameters for future peace negotiations. (YA 4/7)

FIFA Pres. Sepp Blatter says he opposes the Palestinian campaign to suspend Israel from international soccer competition ahead of a meeting with PFA head Jibril Rajoub in Cairo. (AFP, REU 4/7)

In Gaza, hundreds of Palestinians gather in Khan Yunis to demonstrate in solidarity with Palestinians in Yarmouk r.c. outside of Damascus. Off the coast nr. Jabaliya, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and raids in Tulkarm, Hebron, Bethlehem and nearby Dahaysha r.c., arresting 5 Palestinians; patrols in Qalqilya, 3 villages nr. Hebron, and 1 nr. Tulkarm. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently disperse with live ammunition Palestinians celebrating a soccer victory in Silwan, detaining 5. They also conduct house searches in al-Thawri, arresting 5 Palestinians; arrest 2 others in Ras al-Amud and Silwan. (AFP, MNA 4/5; PCHR 4/9)

In Syria, ISIS continues to make advances in Yarmouk r.c. outside Damascus, after entering the camp on 4/1. According to reports in the media, ISIS now controls 70–90% of the camp. (AFP, AP, MNA, REU, WAFA 4/4)

Off the coast of Gaza nr. al-Sudaniyya, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, Israeli forces confiscate a bulldozer in e. Nablus that Palestinians were using to open a road in the area. Elsewhere, IDF troops injure a Palestinian child and confiscate several solar panels in a raid in a bedouin village nr. Abu Dis. The IDF conducts house searches and raids in 1 village nr. Ramallah, ‘Askar r.c. nr. Nablus, and al-Fara‘a r.c. nr. Tubas, arresting 8 Palestinians and sparking clashes in which 2 more are injured; patrols in 3 villages nr. Hebron during the day. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces conduct a raid in the Old City, arresting 1 Palestinian. (MNA, WAFA 4/1; MNA, PCHR 4/2; PCHR 4/9)

In The Hague, Palestinian FM Riyad al-Maliki attends an induction ceremony at the ICC, marking the Palestine’s official membership at the court. Meanwhile, a German delegation is in Gaza to meet with reps. of Hamas and to discuss the possibility of a long-term cease-fire with Israel. (AFP, HA, JP, MNA, NYT, WAFA 4/1; ALM 4/14)

PA Finance Min. Shukri Bishara announces that PA employees earning more than NIS 2,000 ($515) per mo. will only receive 60% of their salaries for 3/2015 on 4/2, despite the Israeli govt.’s 3/27 pledge to unfreeze the transfers of tax revenues collected on behalf of the PA. This will be the 4th mo. in a row that PA employees have received reduced salaries. (REU, WAFA 4/1)

In Syria, fighters affiliated with ISIS conduct an assault on Yarmouk r.c. outside Damascus. During a day of intense fighting, they take control of large areas of the camp, casting further uncertainty over the fate of the approximately 18,000 Palestinian refugees and other civilian residents. (AFP, MNA 4/1; WAFA 4/2)

Egypt’s cabinet approves a new res. designed to crack down on smuggling tunnels from Gaza into Egypt, which would make tunnel digging, or knowledge of tunnel digging, punishable by life imprisonment and home confiscation. The res. will be passed by presidential decree on 4/12. (HA, MNA 4/3; EN 4/12; TOI 4/13)

In a letter to U.S. Pres. Obama, 79 Democratic mbrs. of Congress encourage the continued pursuit of a 2-state solution despite Israeli PM Netanyahu’s controversial campaign rhetoric. (AFP, JTA, TOI 4/1; POL 4/2)

After a 1-day extension to their 3/31 political framework agreement deadline, reps. of the P5 +1 and Iran agree to another extension until 4/2. (HA, REU, TOI, YA 4/1; HA, REU 4/2)

Off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. al-Waha, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing no injuries or damage. In the West Bank, Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint nr. Bethlehem detain a Palestinian man and woman, saying that the woman was planning to attack soldiers at a nearby checkpoint. The IDF conducts arrest raids and house searches in and around Jenin, Hebron, Nablus, Tulkarm, and Ramallah. Two Palestinians are arrested by IDF troops at checkpoints in c. Hebron and a village nr. Ramallah. The IDF also patrols in 1 village each nr. Salfit and Jericho. Israeli settlers level land around the Ahiya outpost nr. Nablus, clearing the area for expansion of the outpost. In East Jerusalem, unknown assailants throw a Molotov cocktail at an Israeli settler home in Silwan. Also, 2 Israeli settlers assault Palestinian employees of a gas station in ‘Ayn Karem, injuring 2. Israeli forces conduct arrest raids and house searches in Jabal Mukabir and Issawiyya. (MNA 12/7, 12/8; PCHR 12/10)

Nr. Damascus, Israeli fighter jets reportedly strike a convoy delivering S-300 missiles to Hizballah in Lebanon, killing 2 Hizballah fighters. The IDF makes no comment about the strikes. (HA, JP, TOI 12/7; HA, JP, 12/8)

In the Gaza Strip, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops open fire on open land nr. Khan Yunis, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Hebron, Jenin, Nablus, and Salfit at night; patrols in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Salfit, and in Qalqilya and 1 nearby village in the afternoon, in 3 villages and al-‘Arub refugee camp (r.c.) nr. Hebron and 2 villages nr. Ramallah at night. (PCHR 2/20)

Palestinian Authority (PA) Pres. Mahmud Abbas tells a group of visiting Israeli students in Ramallah that he does not seek to “flood Israel” with millions of Palestinian refugees or to change the country’s “social composition.” Meanwhile, at an Al Jazeera event in Oxford, UK, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat warns that Palestinians will call for a boycott of Israel and turn to international tribunals if the negotiations fail. (MNA, REU, YA 2/16)

In Egypt, a bomb explodes on a bus in Sinai, killing 2 South Korean tourists and the local driver, and wounding 12. Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis claims responsibility, and says that a suicide bomber executed the attack. (AP, REU 2/16; JTA 2/17; REU 2/18)

The Free Syrian Army (FSA) announces that it has replaced its leader, Gen. Selim Idriss, with Col. Abdelilah al-Bashir, a decision prompted by “the ineffectiveness of the command in the past few mos.,” according to an FSA statement issued following a meeting in Gaziantep, Turkey. Meanwhile, Syrian FM Walid Muallem accuses the U.S. of creating a “negative climate” for dialogue at the 2d round of talks in Geneva, as the Syrian delegation returns from Switzerland to Damascus. U.S. Secy. of State Kerry praises the opposition’s “seriousness of purpose,” and criticizes the Syrian govt. for stalling in Geneva and attacking civilians in Syria. On the Syria-Jordan border, 10 gunmen from Syria open fire on Jordanian troops as they patrol, according to a Jordanian military spokesperson. The soldiers return fire, wounding 7 and arresting 3, while suffering no injuries. (AP, REU 2/16)

Hizballah’s leader, Shaykh Hasan Nasrallah, says that his group intends to stay and fight in Syria because Lebanon is threatened by Takfiri groups. He also urges Arab nations to help a process of Syrian national reconciliation. (DS 2/16)

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 1 rocket into s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Later, a second rocket is fired, also causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 1 nearby village, Nablus, Tubas, 1 village and Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah at night; patrols in 2 villages each nr. Hebron and Ramallah, and in 1 village each nr. Jenin, Salfit, and Tulkarm at night. In East Jerusalem, Jewish extremists vandalize 16 cars in Silwan, and leave “price-tag” graffiti. (HA, ToI 2/10; PCHR 2/13)

A second round of UN-sponsored peace talks on Syria gets underway in Switzerland, with no sign of even a modest breakthrough. Meanwhile, Russia and China frustrate efforts to draw up a UNSC res. that would raise the prospect of sanctions against Damascus without unrestricted access for the delivery of humanitarian aid. Reps. from Russia promise to veto the res., saying that it would prepare the way for military strikes against the Syrian govt. Meanwhile, the OPCW says in a statement that Syria has shipped a 3rd batch of chemical weapons material out of its territory via an internationally accompanied Norwegian cargo vessel. (AP, MNA, REU 2/10)

The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, says that Tehran has developed new, more powerful centrifuges, used for enriching uranium. Salehi claims that the development does not violate the 6-mo. interim deal that went into effect on 1/20. Meanwhile, Pres. Ruhani states that the country’s doors are open to IAEA inspectors. (AFP, JP, REU 2/10)

An Israeli officer is killed by friendly fire nr. the border fence between the Gaza Strip and s. Israel. In the West Bank, IDF troops raid the protest village ‘Ayn Hiljeh and detain 18 participants. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron and al-Fara‘a r.c. nr. Tubas at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning, and 1 village nr. Hebron at night. During the raid in al-Fara‘a r.c., soldiers clash with residents, leaving 2 Palestinians wounded by live ammunition. In East Jerusalem, around 30 Israeli intelligence officers enter Haram al-Sharif, while separately a group of 17 Israelis enter the compound under armed guard. (HA, MNA 2/4; PCHR 2/6)

U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice tweets in defense of Secy. of State Kerry, following criticism from Israeli politicians. Rice states that attacks on Kerry are “totally unfounded and unacceptable” and that the U.S. govt. rejects “efforts to boycott or delegitimize Israel.” Meanwhile, Hamas official Salah Bardaweel tells the media that the organization will not accept any agreement that Abbas might sign with Israel. (JP 2/4)

The U.S. State Dept. confirms that top Syria diplomat Amb. Robert Ford will retire by the end of the month. He has been amb. to Syria since 1/2011, but left Damascus in 2/2012. (AP 2/4)

The Egyptian army shoots and kills 21 militants in 2 villages in c. Sinai during a raid on the area. (MNA 2/4)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian protesters close to the border fence nr. Jabaliya, wounding 7. Separately, Israeli forces open fire on an open area in the c. Gaza Strip, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF opens fire on a crowd of a few hundred Palestinian demonstrators outside Jalazun r.c., wounding 14 with live ammunition and 4 with rubber-coated metal bullets. The protest is a response to the killing of a camp resident on 1/29. In addition, Palestinians clash with Israeli forces nr. Ramallah outside Silwad village, with 1 Palestinian wounded by live ammunition. IDF troops detain 2 Palestinians who they say went to the entrance of Nahlilel settlement and set off fireworks. In Bethlehem, amid clashes with Israeli soldiers, Palestinian youth throw an improvised explosive device at Rachel’s Tomb. The clashes result in 7 arrests. Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinian activists with some internationals go to ‘Ayn Hiljeh, an abandoned Palestinian village in the Jordan Valley, as part of a demonstration protesting settlement activities and land confiscation. The Popular Struggle Coordination Cmte. says that the step is also aimed at averting reported Israeli intentions to annex the area. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 2 nearby villages, 2 villages nr. Salfit, and 1 village each nr. Bethlehem and Ramallah at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 3 villages in Hebron and 1 village each nr. Qalqilya and Tulkarm at night. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at weekly demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements and occupation in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Nabi Salih, and Ni‘lin), 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum), and 1 village nr. Bethlehem (alMa‘sara). There are no serious injuries, except in Kafr Qaddum (2 struck by tear gas canisters). (AP, MNA, ToI 1/31; PCHR 2/6)

In Switzerland, the 1st round of UN-sponsored peace negotiations on Syria ends with no breakthroughs or even seeming progress in bringing the 2 sides closer together. UN-Arab League joint special envoy Brahimi, who is serving as mediator, expresses frustration that even an agreement to allow an aid convoy to reach Homs remained elusive. Opposition delegates say they will return on 2/10, but govt. reps. say they would need to check with Damascus. (REU 1/31)

Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis fires a rocket toward Eilat from the Sinai Peninsula, which is intercepted by an Iron Dome missile defense battery. (YA 1/31)

The Egyptian military attacks militants in Shaykh Zuweid, Sinai Peninsula, with Apache helicopters and ground forces, killing 13. (AP 1/31)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. Also, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Gaza City to level land close to the border fence. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Tubas in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Salfit, and 1 village each nr. Jenin and Ramallah at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, in 1 village each nr. Hebron, Jenin and Salfit in the afternoon, and in 1 village each nr. Hebron, Jenin and Ramallah, and in Qalqilya at night. In East Jerusalem, an Israeli security guard is stabbed in Silwan, prompting Israeli security forces to patrol the community and clash with residents. (MNA 10/21; PCHR 10/24)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry says that IsraeliPalestinian talks are intensifying with “core issues . . . on the table.” He makes the remarks in a joint press conference with Qatari FM Khaled al-Attiyah after meeting with Arab League officialsin Paris. It is also announced that Qatar has agreed to provide $150 million in debt relief to the PA. Kerry praises what he calls the Arab League’s “remarkable commitment” to advancing the peace process. (AFP, REU 10/21)

Syrian pres. al-Asad says that “the factors are not yet in place” for an international peace conference known as “Geneva 2” intended to secure a political transition and settlement to the civil war. Asad, talking to Lebanese television, questions what groups will be present and their claims to be legitimate reps. of the Syrian people. Meanwhile, chief of the OPCW Sigrid Kaag says in Damascus that the Syrian govt. has thus far “fully cooperated” in the destruction of its chemical weapons arsenal. (AFP 10/21–22)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols nr. Tulkarm at night. In East Jerusalem, suspected Jewish extremists vandalize a Christian cemetery in Silwan, and left racist slogans on the perimeter walls. (MNA 10/1; PCHR 10/3)

Israeli PM Netanyahu addresses the UNGA with a focus on Iran, and dismisses efforts at a diplomatic thaw by new Pres. Ruhani as a trick by a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Netanyahu says Israel is prepared to go it alone in resisting what he says is Tehran’s drive to acquire a nuclear weapon. (AP, REU 10/1)

Inspectors from OPCW arrive in Damascus to begin the mission of dismantling and destroying Syria’s chemical weapons capacity and arsenal. (AP 10/1)

Egypt’s army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi calls for a quick transition to elections in an address to military officials. Meanwhile, around 100 protesters gather in Tahrir Square and chant anti-coup slogans. In the Sinai, 3 Egyptian police officers are injured by a roadside IED between Rafah and al-Arish, while Egyptian authorities announce that the Rafah crossing is open until Friday to allow Hajj pilgrims and humanitarian cases to cross. (MNA, REU 1/10)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in Hebron and 2 nearby villages and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. In Hebron, IDF soldiers clash with students, firing rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas. (WAFA 9/19; PCHR 9/26)

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat writes to U.S. Secy. of State Kerry, Russian FM Lavrov, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon to warn them that Israel’s actions in East Jerusalem are undermining peace talks. (WAFA 9/19)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry calls on the UNSC not to waste any more time in moving to approve the plan for removing Syria’s chemical weapons. Earlier, Russian pres. Putin says that his country has “every reason” to believe that the chemical weapons attack in Damascus was carried out by the rebels as a “provocation.” (AP 9/19)

Gunmen shoot dead an Egyptian police maj.-gen. and wound 9 other policemen and soldiers in clashes on the outskirts of Cairo, after state forces try to arrest suspects involved in the killing of police officers. (AP, REU 9/19)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Qalqilya and 1 village nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night. Jewish settlers from Beit El nr. Ramallah throw stones at Palestinian vehicles, while in a separate incident, settlers uproot some 40 Palestinian olive trees in the s. Hebron hills. In East Jerusalem, Jerusalem municipality-owned bulldozers level lands to make a trench between Issawiyya village and French Hill settlement, at the request of the latter’s residents. (MNA 9/9; PCHR 9/12)

Palestinian official Nabil Shaath tells the media that U.S. Secy. of State Kerry had “guaranteed us in writing” that talks would start from the 1967 lines, with State Dept. spokesperson Marie Harf subsequently denying such a document. (NYT 9/9)

The EU announces a €52 million assistance package to help PA development schemes, such as municipal infrastructure projects and private sector-led economic initiatives. The aid is the final part of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument assistance, with the total contributed to the Palestinians in 2013 now standing at €300 million. (MNA 9/9)

Russian FM Sergey Lavrov makes a statement calling for military action against Syria to be averted through a plan for the internationally coordinated destruction of Damascus’s chemical weapons’ arsenal. The dramatic intervention is welcomed as a possible breakthrough by Pres. Obama, who faces opposition in Congress and among the public to any U.S. military intervention. Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid postpones a scheduled test vote for lawmakers to assess the Russian plan. Syrian FM Walid Muallem welcomes the Russian proposal as a way of preventing “an American aggression.” (AFP, AP, REU 9/9)

The Egyptian military’s offensive in the Sinai continues, with security forces killing a further 9 militants and arresting 10 nr. Rafah. In 2 separate incidents in c. Sinai, gunmen open fire and wound 3 soldiers. In addition, Egyptian forces destroy 6 smuggling tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza border located n. of Rafah, with an Egyptian official claiming that more than 90% of the smuggling tunnels have now been destroyed. As part of the operation, Egypt’s military claims to have seized caches of weapons including a mortar belonging to Palestinian Islamic Jihad. (AFP, AP, MNA, REU 9/9)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Juhur al-Dik, where they level land close to the border fence and then withdraw. In the West Bank, the IDF injures 5 Palestinians nr. Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah during clashes which result from Palestinians trying to stop Jewish settlers throwing stones at cars nr. the camp. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Bethlehem, Qalqilya and 1 nearby village, Nablus, and Jenin r.c. at night. They patrol in al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in Tulkarm and 1 nearby village, as well as 1 village nr. Jenin at night. (MNA, WAFA 9/1; PCHR 9/5)

U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Jen Psaki confirms that U.S. peace process envoy Martin Indyk participated in 1 of the sets of meetings between Israelis and Palestinians that have taken place since the resumption of talks in 7/2013 (though without specifying which one). Meanwhile, Palestinian PM Rami Hamdallah says that a 2d group of Palestinian prisoners could be freed by Israel by the end of 9/2013. (JP, REU 9/1)

Secy. of State John Kerry tells U.S. television networks that the govt. has proof sarin gas was used in a recent Damascus chemical weapons attack, urging Congress to vote for military action against the Asad regime. Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition coalition issues a statement asking Congress to approve the strike. In France, Interior Minister Mauel Valls says that his govt. would not go it alone in Syria and will wait for the decision by the U.S. Congress. (AFP, AP, REU 9/1)

Egypt’s chief prosecutor orders ousted pres. Morsi and 14 other Muslim Brotherhood leaders to stand trial on charges including inciting violence and murder. The new regime also names a constituent assembly and gives it 60 days to review amendments that would erase articles brought in by the Brotherhood and other Islamic parties last year. (NYT, REU 9/1)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion close to the border fence nr. Bayt Hanun, and level land before withdrawing. In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and kill 3 Palestinian civilians and wound 18 others including 5 children during an arrest raid in Qalandia r.c. nr. Jerusalem. One of those killed was an UNRWA employee, the agency reveals. The IDF claims that its forces were met by a rioting crowd of some 1,500 camp residents throwing stones and petrol bombs. In Aida r.c. nr. Bethlehem, IDF troops shoot and wound 2 Palestinians with rubber-coated metal bullets during protests against the deaths in Qalandia. Meanwhile, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night, patrols in Tulkarm in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Jericho in the afternoon, and in Jenin at night. In a raid on Sanur village nr. Jenin, IDF troops clash with residents, shooting and wounding 2 Palestinians with rubber-coated metal bullets. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolish 2 homes in al-Tur. (AFP, HA, MNA, REU 8/26; PCHR 8/29)

In response to the killings in Qalandia, an unnamed Palestinian official tells news agencies that talks scheduled for today are canceled. However, U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Marie Harf categorically denies that any meeting was canceled. Israeli television subsequently reports that Israeli and Palestinian officials had met in the morning before the news broke of the Qalandia raid. An unnamed Palestinian official also subsequently confirms to Xinhua News Agency that the 2 teams met in Saeb Erakat’s house in Jericho. Meanwhile, Egyptian FM Nabil Fahmi holds talks with Pres. Abbas in Ramallah, and relays a message from interim Egyptian pres. Adly Mansour, thanking Abbas for supporting the military coup that ousted Morsi. (HA, JP, REU 8/26; MNA 8/28)

An Israeli delegation headed by outgoing National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror arrives in Washington for high-level talks with U.S. officials. Discussions are expected to focus on Syria, the Iranian nuclear program and future talks with Tehran, and the role of Hizballah in the Syrian civil war. U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice is coordinating talks on the U.S. side. (HA 8/26)

UN chemical weapons inspectors visit 1 of the sites in Syria allegedly targeted last week by chemical weapons. The convoy came under sniper fire on the initial attempt, but the team successfully visited the Damascus suburb Ghouta. The UN team’s work includes collecting samples of munitions fragments and debris and taking testimonies. Meanwhile, U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry says that Pres. Obama believes there must be “accountability” for those using “the world’s most heinous weapons,” and that the pres. is consulting with allies about how best to act. (AP, REU, WP 8/26)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon and in 1 village each nr. Ramallah and Salfit at night, patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 village each nr. Jericho, Ramallah and Tulkarm in the morning, in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm and 1 village each nr. Jenin and Salfit at night. Israeli bulldozers level privately-owned Palestinian land nr. Nablus to enlarge an illegal settlement outpost. In Jerusalem, dozens of right-wing Jewish activists enter the al-Aqsa compound and held discussions on the possibility of building a Jewish temple there. (MNA 8/25, PCHR 8/29)

The Jerusalem Municipality approves a budget for a NIS 62.4 million extension of the Ramat Shlomo settlement, adding some 1,600 housing units. Other projects approved include a NIS 20 million budget for developing a national park at the settlerowned “City of David” project in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan. Half of that latter budget will come from the prime minister’s office. Meanwhile, Israel’s Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel dedicates 2 new neighborhoods of 160 homes in the West Bank settlement Keddumim and says that a two-state solution will never happen. (AP, HA, JP 8/25)

Israel’s cabinet unanimously approves the appointment of Yossi Cohen as the new head of the National Security Council (NSC). Cohen, who spent 3 decades working for Mossad, replaces Yaakov Amidror. (YA 8/25)

Syria agrees to allow UN inspectors to visit the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Ghouta, a Damascus suburb. The U.S. State Dept. says that Secy. of State John Kerry told his counterparts in Britain, France, Russia, and Canada in a round of phone calls that there is “very little doubt” the Syrian govt. is responsible for gassing its own citizens. An unnamed administration official tells the media that despite this near certainty in Washington, the pres. still hasn’t decided how to respond. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich says that the U.S. and its allies should await the findings of the UN inspection team and avoid military action. (AP, REU, 8/25)

Three leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, including the organization’s Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie did not appear in court on the 1st day of their separate trials, apparently due to security reasons. The judge adjourns proceedings until 10/29. The charges are of inciting lethal violence during the events leading up to the military coup. (REU 8/25)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Jericho at night. (PCHR 8/29)

Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas says that there is “nothing” stopping him from meeting personally with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu “at the right time,” remarks he makes in a press conference in Ramallah with visiting French FM Laurent Fabius. (HA, JP 8/24) 

Egyptian authorities open the border crossing with the Gaza Strip atRafah for 4 hours, with 650 entering the Palestinian enclave, and some 300 exiting to Egypt. (MNA, REU 8/24)

U.S. Defense Secy. Chuck Hagel tells reporters at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur that the Pentagon is ready to carry out a military attack on Syria should the pres. order it. In Damascus, 3 hospitals report 355 deaths after an alleged chemical weapons attack last Wednesday (8/21), according to Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF). (REU 8/24)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries or damage to vessels. In the West Bank, the IDF shoots and injures a Palestinian in Dahaysha r.c. in Bethlehem after troops entered the camp, provoking clashes. IDF troops also clash with residents in Jaba‘ village nr. Jenin during a patrol, with Palestinian youth throwing stones and soldiers responding with rubber-coated metal bullets. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron at night, patrols in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Ramallah in the morning, 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Jenin at night. (PCHR 8/29; WAFA 8/22)

Palestinian officials say that U.S. envoy Martin Indyk and his team have not attended any of the negotiating sessions thus far at the request of the Israelis. Both Yasir ‘Abid Rabbuh and Hanan Ashrawi claim that Israel intends for the lack of U.S. participation in the 3 meetings, since the resumption of talks to strengthen Israel’s power over the Palestinians. Meanwhile, Pres. Mahmud Abbas meets with a delegation from the Israeli party Meretz in Ramallah, telling them that signing a peace agreement will mean the “end of the conflict” and that a future Palestinian state would agree to be demilitarized. Abbas also tells the Israeli politicians that the Palestinian leadership is unhappy with the slow pace of negotiations. (HA, JP, ToI 8/22)

Suspected mbrs. of the al-Qa‘ida-linked Brigades of Abdullah Azzam fire 4 rockets from s. Lebanon into n. Israel, causing no damage or injuries (and with 1 intercepted by Iron Dome missile defense batteries). The IDF says it views the attack as an isolated incident, and attributes it to “global jihad” elements. On 8/27, the brigades appear to directly claim responsibility for the attack via a statement published on the Twitter account of a Salafist cleric known to be affiliated with the group. Meanwhile, gunmen in Tripoli open fire and kill 3 outside the home of Hizballah supporter. (AP, HA, REU 8/22; YA 8/27)

Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz says that the govt. believes that Syrian forces are responsible for a chemical weapons attack that reportedly killed hundreds of people in Ghouta, a rebel-controlled suburb of Damascus. Meanwhile, Syria’s dep. PM says that foreign fighters and their international supporters are to blame for the attack. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich says that his govt. urges the Syrian authorities and the UN to agree on chemical weapons experts visiting the site of the alleged attack. (AP, AFP, REU 8/22)

Former Egyptian pres. Husni Mubarak is released from a prison cell and moved to house arrest at a military hospital. (NYT 8/22)

In the West Bank, IDF forces shoot and injure 1 Palestinian in clashes provoked by an IDF arrest raid in Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nur Shams r.c. nr Tulkarm at night; patrols in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, Jenin, and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. Inside Israel, suspected Jewish extremists vandalize a monastery nr. Beit Shemesh and leave “price-tag” graffiti. (WAFA 8/21; PCHR 8/22)

Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi says that the Palestinians may turn to UN bodies in response to Israeli settlement construction even before the current peace negotiations have come to a conclusion. In remarks made during a tour of East Jerusalem settlements, Ashrawi tells journalists “if Israel does not stop, then we have to move.” Meanwhile, Israel’s High Court of Justice rules that 30 structures in the Amana outpost in the West Bank should be demolished, but gives no evacuation date and leaves room for an appeal. (AP, JP 8/21)

A suspected chemical weapons attack takes place in Ghouta, a rebel-held suburb of Damascus, with wildly differing claims of fatalities (from a few hundred to over 1,000). Opposition forces blame the Bashar al-Asad regime, a claim denied by the govt. The UNSC holds an emergency meeting in response and calls for clarity, welcoming Ban Ki-moon’s call for a prompt investigation by UN inspectors. The U.S.-France-UK-drafted res. was changed to accommodate objections from Russia and China. (AFP, REU 8/21)

EU FMs meet for an emergency session in response to events in Egypt and agree to suspend the sale of security equipment and arms. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton says that “recent actions of the military have been disproportionate.” (NYT 8/19; AFP 8/21)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Qalqilya, and in 3 villages, as well as al-‘Arub refugee camp (r.c.) nr. Hebron, 1 village each nr. Bethlehem and Jenin, and Qalqilya at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Nablus and 1 village nr. Jenin at night. Jewish settlers from Migron outpost attack a Palestinian shepherd on his village land, severely wounding him and killing 2 sheep. (PCHR 8/22; YA 8/18)

The PLO Executive Cmte. meets in Ramallah, speaking out against recent Israeli settlement construction announcements and threatening to go to international bodies in search of redress. The cmte. also says it holds the U.S. administration responsible for failing to stop Israel’s settlement activity during the renewed peace talks. Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority (PA) PM Rami Hamdallah signs an agreement with U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem Michael Ratney in which the U.S. will pay $148 million to support the PA’s budget. (JP, MNA, WAFA 8/18)

A meeting takes place in the Gaza Strip between Hamas and Fatah leaders to discuss the possibility of holding presidential and legislative elections. However, on the same day, Fatah accuses Hamas authorities in Gaza of targeting its mbrs. for detention and harassment. Meanwhile, PA forces arrest 6 Hamas mbrs. in the West Bank. (MNA 8/18)

The U.S. State Dept. puts financing for economic programs directly involving the Egyptian govt. on hold, in the 1st real indication that the Obama administration will cut or curtail aid to the country in response to the military coup. Meanwhile, clashes continue in Egypt, with security forces killing at least 36 prisoners through suffocation after firing tear gas into a prison truck. The estimated death toll for 4 days of unrest in the country stands at around 900, with an estimated 70 police officers also killed. (AP, NYT 8/18)

A UN team tasked with investigating alleged use of chemical weapons arrives in Damascus and visits 3 specific sites. (AP, NYT 8/18)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus and Jenin at night. (PCHR 7/25)

In Damascus, Syrian govt. forces fire a rocket into Yarmuk r.c., reportedly killing 15 Palestinian civilians. (REU 27/4)

Assailants throw a bomb at security headquarters in Mansoura, Egypt, killing 1 and wounding more than a dozen. Meanwhile, Gen. al-Sisi calls for demonstrations in support of the ruling military and against “terrorism.” Separately, U.S. Pres. Barack Obama halts the scheduled delivery of 4 F-16 fighter planes to the Egyptian Air Force, with the Pentagon’s Press Secy. George Little saying that the decision was due to it not being seen as “appropriate” to complete the delivery at this time. (AFP, AP, NYT 7/24)

Hassan Ruhani wins Iran’s presidential election, with a voter turnout of around 80%. The win is seen as a victory for moderate elements within the domestic political scene and a defeat for conservative clerical hard-liners. He will assume office on 8/3 when Ayatollah Ali Khamenei endorses the election results. White House spokesperson Jay Carney says that Obama congratulates Iranians for their courage in voting. (AP, REU 6/15)

In the West Bank, IDF troops violently disperse a march by hundreds of Palestinians, Israelis, and international activists in Bayt Liqya, nr. Ramallah, as demonstrators attempted to march to the site of 3 villages destroyed in al-Latrun in 1967.There are no serious injuries. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr Salfit and Hebron at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya, 1 village nr. Tulkarm, and 1 village nr. Salfit at night. Meanwhile, Jewish settlers set fire to more than 300 olive trees nr. Nablus. (MNA 6/15; PCHR 6/20)

Palestinian protesters in Nablus demonstrate against living costs, demanding a reduction in the Value Added Tax and a subsidy for basic goods. Palestinian People’s Party representative Khalid Mansour tells the rally that PA Pres. Abbas should reconsider the Paris Protocol, or even “disavow it completely.” (MNA 6/15)

Egyptian pres. Mohamed Morsi says that he has cut all diplomatic ties with Damascus and backs a no-fly zone over Syria, an announcement he makes at a rally in Cairo. (REU 6/15)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry meets with Israeli justice minister Tzipi Livni and Special Envoy Yitzhak Molcho in Amman, their 4th meeting since Kerry’s arrival in the region on 5/23. Kerry also meets with Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas in Amman, their 3d meeting of the trip, before returning to Washington. Kerry tells reporters before he leaves the region that he expects answers from both Netanyahu and Abbas within one or 2 weeks. (HA 5/27)

Off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops demolish 3 Palestinian-owned houses and 2 sheds in the Jordan Valley village of al-Jiftlik. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 1 village each nr. Ramallah, Jenin, and Hebron, as well as al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning, 1 village each nr. Qalqilya, Jenin, and Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages each nr. Tulkarm, Ramallah and Qalqilya, and 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night. In East Jerusalem, suspected right-wing Jewish extremists vandalize 15 Palestinian-owned cars in the Shaykh Jarrah neighborhood. (MNA, WAFA 5/27; PCHR 5/30)

During talks in Brussels, EU foreign ministers fail to reach agreement on supplying arms to Syrian rebels but reinstate sanctions on Damascus and lift an arms embargo for the opposition. Member states like Britain and France are now free to go it alone in sending weapons should they see fit at some point. (NYT, REU 5/27)

In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian teenager in al-Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah during a demonstration in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners. An IDF spokesperson says that soldiers targeted a protester holding a Molotov cocktail; Palestinian witnesses say that the 13-year-old was walking with school friends when targeted. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, as well as 1 village each nr. Tubas and Tulkarm at night. Off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolish 4 Palestinian-owned residential buildings. (HA, MNA 5/21; PCHR 5/23)

The Israeli military announces that Palestinian fishermen will now be able to fish up to 6 miles off the coast of the Gaza Strip, extending the previous limit of 3 miles that was set in 3/2013. Meanwhile, an official from Hamas’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that the govt. is willing to close smuggling tunnels once a commercial crossing opens. (HA, MNA 5/21)

The Syrian army and Israeli forces have a brief exchange of fire over the cease-fire line in the Golan Heights. Damascus claims responsibility for firing at Israeli troops, damaging an army jeep but causing no injuries, with the IDF returning fire, reportedly destroying an army post but causing no injuries. IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz warns the Syrian govt. not to conduct any further attacks. (AFP, HA, REU, WP 5/21)

Egyptian forces conduct raids in the n. Sinai as the search continues for the kidnapped security officials. Egyptian authorities also keep Rafah crossing closed for the 5th consecutive day. (MNA 5/21)

Two small rockets and later a mortar land in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. While the IDF says the fire is ‘‘accidental spillover’’ from the Syrian civil war, rather than intentional, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command says that Syrian government has given the Damascusbased group permission to attack Israeli targets in the Golan Heights. Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad says that Syria is capable of facing Israel, but does not suggest Damascus will retaliate for the recent Israeli air strikes (e.g., 5/5). Hizballah’s deputy head Naim Qassem says that the Israeli attacks aim to boost the opposition fighters and does not comment on claims that missiles bound for the Lebanese group were the target. Meanwhile, Syrian rebel faction the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade says that it is holding 4 Filipino UN peacekeepers it detained on the Syrian side of the ceasefire line between Syria and the occupied Golan Heights, claiming that fighting had endangered the observers. (AP, JP, REU, WP 5/7)

Israeli officials say that PM Benjamin Netanyahu has promised U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry to ‘‘rein in’’ settlement construction until mid-6/2013 in the context of renewed efforts to resume negotiations. (HA 5/7)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the north Gaza coast, causing no damage or injuries. In East Jerusalem, some 40 rightwing Israelis enter the al-Aqsa Mosque compound protected by Israeli security forces, sparking clashes with Palestinian worshippers. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers attack Palestinian vehicles and agricultural land nr. Nablus, causing no injuries. The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron, 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. Also at night, IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in Nablus, 1 village nr. Nablus, 1 village nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Tulkarm. (MNA, WAFA 5/7; PCHR 5/9)

The Israeli air force strikes a site nr. Damascus, in a new air strike on what unnamed Western intelligence sources say was a shipment of advanced, Iranianmade missiles heading to Hizballah in Lebanon. Israeli officials later stress that the airstrikes are aimed at Hizballah rather than destabilizing or undermining Pres. Bashar al-Asad’s regime. The Syrian government accuses Israel of ‘‘gross aggression’’ and says that the strike ‘‘opens a door to all options.’’ The opposition Syrian National Coalition also condemns the strike, saying that Israel is ‘‘taking advantage’’ of the conflict. A U.S. intelligence official says that Washington was not given any forewarning of the air raid. Iran’s Foreign Min. states that countries in the region should oppose the ‘‘assault,’’ while the Iran’s army ground forces commander Ahmad Reza Pourdastan says Tehran is ready to support its ally. Egypt condemns the airstrikes, as does the Lebanese pres. Michel Suleiman. The Arab League demands that the UN Security Council act to end Israeli attacks on Syria, though without suggesting any specific measures. (Guardian, HA, JP, MNA, REU, YA 5/5; AP, REU 5/6)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF forces open fire on Palestinian gravel and metal collectors close to the border fence nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm in the morning, 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Salfit in the afternoon, and in al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron and 2 villages nr. Hebron at night. Also at night, IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Bethlehem, 1 village nr. Hebron, and 2 villages nr. Jenin. (PCHR 5/9)

In Washington, U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry and VP Joe Biden meet with senior Arab officials including the Bahraini, Egyptian, Jordanian and Qatari FMs, and representatives from the PA, Arab League, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia for talks on the peace process. Qatari PM Shaykh Hamad Bin Jassem al-Thani, speaking on behalf of the Arab League delegation, cites the possibility of a border agreement that includes mutually agree and minor land swaps between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Kerry affirms the importance of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative that promised full normalization for Israel’s complete withdrawal from the occupied territories (including the Golan). (AP, REU 29/4)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 rocket from Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In response to recent rocket fire (see also 4/27), Israel closes the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing, further restricts movement through the Erez crossing to ‘‘humanitarian cases,’’ though it cancels visits for Gazan families of Palestinians jailed in Israel (VIPs were the only others allowed to cross Gaza). Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishermen off the south Gaza coast east of Rafah, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF soldiers evict several hundred Bedouin from Wadi al-Malih village in the Jordan Valley after declaring the area a live fire training zone (see 4/24). Meanwhile, Israel demolishes 4 Palestinian apartments in the al-Tur neighborhood of East Jerusalem, as well as a water well and utility room in the al-Fawar r.c. in Hebron. The IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Tulkarm in the morning, in 2 villages nr. Jenin in the afternoon. At night, IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in Dahaysha r.c. in Bethlehem, in Hebron, in 5 villages nr. Hebron, in Nablus, and in 1 village nr. Ramallah. Jewish settlers attack Palestinians in Bayt Furik village nr. Nablus, injuring 2. (AFP, MNA REU 4/29; PCHR 5/2)

UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon urges the Syrian government to allow experts into the country to investigate reports of alleged use of chemical weapons. Damascus wants any investigation limited to a 3/2013 incident nr. Aleppo while Ban wants to also include a 12/2012 incident in Homs. (see 4/24) (AP 4/29)

Unidentified Israeli officials tell the Jerusalem Post that unofficial, informal talks under EU auspices are taking place between Israeli and Palestinian academics and former political and military leaders. These discrete dialogues are looking at final-status issues like Jerusalem in order to come up with recommendations for steps that could be taken by both sides. (JP, REU 1/8)

Israel’s Jerusalem municipality demolishes a Palestinian home in Silwan in East Jerusalem on the basis that it was built without a permit. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’ r.c. nr. Nablus, and 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night. (WAFA 1/8; PCHR 1/10)

Israel’s education min. Gideon Sa’ar convenes an unscheduled meeting of the Council for Higher Education in order to officially endorse the university status of Ariel settlement’s college. Speaking at Ariel University on the same day, PM Netanyahu says the settlement will ‘‘always remain under Israeli sovereignty.’’ (HA, JP 1/8)

Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad says that the PA is on the verge of bankruptcy, but that he is not afraid of popular protests against the PA similar to those that took place in 9/2012 (see Quarterly Update in JPS 166). Fayyad points out that international aid to the PA dropped from $1.8 b. in 2008 to $1 b. in 2011. (JP 1/8)

PA pres. Abbas appoints the new leadership of the Fatah comm. in the Gaza Strip, a group tasked with increasing the movement’s membership in Gaza. (MNA 1/8)

A military court in Gaza City sentences Fatah military leader Zaki al-Sakani to 15 yrs. in jail on charges of terrorism and illegal possession of explosives and weapons. Fatah denounces the verdict. (MNA 1/8)

Pro-Asad Palestinian factions in Damascus call for a cease-fire after a month of fighting in Yarmuk r.c. A statement signed by the PFLP–GC, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Nidal Front says that Palestinians in Syria must remain ‘‘neutral.’’ (AJE, Guardian 1/8)

Undercover Israeli police officers arrest 6 Palestinian youths in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem on suspicion of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at a Jewish settler-owned house. In the Gaza Strip, the IDF opens fire on a garbage truck close to the border fence nr. Bayt Hanun, wounding 1 Palestinian. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers from the unauthorized outpost Esh Kodesh nr. Nablus attack the Palestinian village of Qusra, provoking clashes with residents. In response, the IDF deploys troops in the area and fires tear gas and stun grenades at villagers. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning, in 1 village nr. Jericho in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah, 1 village each nr. al-Bireh and Jericho at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in the Old City of Hebron, 1 nearby village, and 1 village nr. Jenin at night. The IDF attacks a nonviolent demonstration against the occupation and settlement expansion held by Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals in Bayt Umar village nr. Hebron, causing no serious injuries. (MNA 1/5, 1/6; PCHR 1/10)

PA security forces arrest the Hebronbased members of the National Unity Brigades, which announced its formation and called for a 3d intifada in a video released on 12/14. (JP 1/5)

Sources tell Palestinian Ma‘an news agency that PLO leaders, the Free Syria Army, and Syrian government forces are working toward a deal to end the fighting in and blockade of Yarmuk r.c. in Damascus, including the withdrawal of rebel fighters and the end to army shelling. (MNA 1/6)