751 / 15241 Results
  • October 29, 2010

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials inside the former settlement sites, wounding 1. Also in Gaza, 10,000s of Palestinians turn...

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  • September 25, 2010

    Secy. of State Clinton races to broker a deal with Israeli officials to extend the settlement freeze 1 day before it is scheduled to expire, while Mitchell meets with Abbas in New York to urge him...

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  • September 16, 2010

    Clinton meets with Abbas in Ramallah, then stops in Amman to brief King Abdullah on the Sharm al-Shaykh talks. Clinton and Mubarak issue statements saying that they have jointly recommended a...

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  • July 26, 2009

    Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Bayt Lahiya, forcing them to return to shore; 2 hrs. later the navy posts warning signs 500–1,000 m fr. shore warning...

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  • June 12, 2009

    Egyptian authorities demolish 14 smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border. In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, stun grenades at Palestinians demonstrating against...

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  • March 15, 2009

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

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  • January 26, 2009

    No violence is reported in Gaza. Israel allows in 293 truckloads of humanitarian aid and commercial goods. In the West Bank, the IDF raids Battir village nr. Bethlehem early in the morning and...

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  • January 14, 2009

    Egypt announces that Gaza- and Damascus-based Hamas officials have agreed on a cease-fire offer to be present to Israel (see Quarterly Update). Israel agrees to send an envoy to Cairo on 1/15 to...

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  • December 14, 2008

    The IDF conducts synchronized, latenight arrest raids, house searches in 3 villages nr. Bethlehem; conducts additional late-night arrest raids, house searches in Balata r.c., Nablus. Jewish...

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  • November 8, 2008

    IDF troops, bulldozers cross into s. Gaza to level land along the border e. of Khan Yunis, exchanging fire with Hamas mbrs., causing no reported injures. In a similar incident nr. the Erez...

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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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  • September 27, 2008

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts latenight arrest raids, house searches in Nablus. A Palestinian gunman shoots at a Jewish settler vehicle nr. Ariel settlement, wounding 1 settler. Dozens of...

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  • March 28, 2008

    IDF troops inside Israel fatally shoot an armed Palestinian who approaches the s. Gaza border. The IDF also bulldozes 5 d. of Palestinian land inside the border fence nr. Wadi al-Silqa; later...

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  • February 12, 2008

    Overnight, the IDF sends 20 armored vehicles with helicopter support into Gaza City, clashing with local gunmen, wounding 7 Palestinians (including at least 2 bystanders). In the West Bank, the...

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  • September 18, 2007

    Overnight, the IDF makes a major incursion into ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’a r.c. to arrest Hamas and PFLP mbrs., imposing a roundthe-clock curfew, firing on residential areas, occupying several homes as...

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  • July 2, 2007

    PA security forces continue targeting Hamas mbrs. in the West Bank for arrest, detaining and quickly releasing Change and Reform PC mbr. Ahmad al-Hajj Ali. In Gaza, the ESF arrests Army of Islam...

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  • June 16, 2007

    U.S. Consul Gen. Jacob Walles meets with Abbas in Ramallah, says that the U.S. is prepared to resume direct aid as soon as Abbas swears in a new government that does not include Hamas, even if it...

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  • May 19, 2007

    The IDF makes 7 air strikes on Gaza, targeting 2 Hamas rocket-launching sites in n. Gaza, killing 3 Palestinian shepherds, 1 Palestinian child; hitting a car driving in Gaza City, assassinating...

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  • November 8, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF makes predawn artillery strikes on Bayt Hanun in retaliation for 11/7 rocket fire, hitting a residential area, killing 19 Palestinian civilians (17 in 1 family, including 8...

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  • October 3, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF withdraws troops fr. Bayt Lahiya after 3 days of operations; fires missiles fr. a drone at a car moving btwn. Gaza City and Bayt Hanun, wounding 3 AMB mbrs. (Ahmad Abu al-Kas,...

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  • July 29, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF sends troops back into s. Gaza to search for a reported tunnel on the Gaza-Egypt border, cuts power to Rafah, makes an air strike on a building in Gaza City that allegedly holds a...

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  • July 21, 2006

    Overnight, the IDF withdraws fr. alMaghazi r.c., leaving a total of 207 d. of land, 4 Palestinian homes demolished, 9 other homes partially demolished. Also in Gaza, the IDF fires a tank shell at...

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  • July 15, 2006

    Overnight, the IDF pulls troops out of central Gaza; makes air strikes on the PA Economics Min. offices in Gaza City (causing no injuries), a factory in Gaza City (killing 1 Palestinian, wounding...

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  • July 14, 2006

    Overnight in Gaza, the IDF conducts air strikes heavily damaging the offices of Change and Reform PC mbrs. in Bayt Lahiya (causing no injuries), destroying a bridge linking Nussayrat r.c. with...

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  • June 28, 2006

    Overnight, the IDF launches Operation Summer Rains, sending ground troops into s. Gaza; retaking the Dahaniyya airport area as a base, demolishing 5 Palestinian homes and bulldozing land to...

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  • April 21, 2006

    The IDF closes the Zatara checkpoint linking the n. and s. West Bank (closed almost continually through the end of the quarter); patrols in, fires on residential areas of Bethlehem (seriously...

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  • October 26, 2005

    Early in the morning, Palestinians fire 2 rockets fr. Bayt Hanun into Israel, causing no damage or injuries; IDF artillery responds, shelling a road and an open field n. Gaza where Palestinians...

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  • February 26, 2005

    A Damascus-based Islamic Jihad cell claims responsibility for the 2/25 Tel Aviv bombing, noting the end of the unofficial 1-mo. truce on 2/25 and stating that Israel had to be punished for cease-...

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  • December 6, 2004

    The IDF holds PA presidential candidate Mustafa Barghouthi at gunpoint at a Hebron checkpoint, denies him passage to a campaign stop in nearby Tal al-Armida village; imposes a daylong curfew on al...

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  • September 26, 2004

    The IDF fires missiles at a metal workshop (alleged weapons factory) in Khan Yunis, wounding an 11-yr.-old Palestinian; raids ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’ r.c., fires on stone-throwing youths who confront the...

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IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials inside the former settlement sites, wounding 1. Also in Gaza, 10,000s of Palestinians turn out for a rally commemorating Islamic Jihad’s 23d anniversary. Addressing the crowd by telephone from Damascus, the movement’s head, Abdallah Shallah, denounces the PA for having resumed direct talks with Israel, calls any formal agreement with Israel “forbidden religiously and politically,” and says the duty of all Palestinians should be to “eliminate” Israel. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in and around Tulkarm twice during the day, making no arrests. Palestinians (accompanied by Israeli and international activists in some locations) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, Nabi Salih/Dayr Nizam. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters; 10s suffer tear gas inhalation and 7 Palestinians are moderately injured. Jewish settlers from Shvut Rachel settlement nr. Ramallah, who have leveled 280 d. of adjacent Palestinian agricultural land since 10/24, place 9 new mobile homes on the cleared plot, effectively expanding the settlement. (NYT 10/30; PCHR 11/4; OCHA 11/5)

Secy. of State Clinton races to broker a deal with Israeli officials to extend the settlement freeze 1 day before it is scheduled to expire, while Mitchell meets with Abbas in New York to urge him not to walk away from peace talks immediately if Netanyahu allows the freeze to expire. On the ground Jewish settlers begin positioning construction equipment in some settlements. In addition, Jewish settlers in Revava settlement nr. Salfit seize 30 d. of Palestinian agricultural land, raze crops, and install 2 mobile homes as a “new quarter” of the settlement. Jewish settlers fr. Nokdim settlement nr. Bethlehem place 3 mobile homes on nearby Palestinian land. Jewish settlers fr. Barqan settlement nr. Salfit raze adjacent Palestinian land to expand the settlement’s industrial zone. Jewish settlers fr. Givat Ze’ev settlement enter Beitunia town nr. Ramallah and make preparations to celebrate the Sukkoth holiday; the IDF removes them. (NYT, WP 9/26)

Meanwhile, Israeli-Palestinian clashes in Issawiyya, which began on 9/22, taper off by the end of the day, leaving a total of 99 Palestinians (including 17 children) and 9 Israelis injured (7 lightly, 2 moderately), and 70 Palestinians under arrest; during the rioting, Palestinians set fire to or damage 8 Israeli cars and vandalize an Israeli tourist information center. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Iraq Burin village nr. Nablus in the afternoon, firing tear gas and stun grenades at stone-throwing Palestinian youths who confront them, causing no serious injuries; fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists conducting a nonviolent march from Bayt Umar village to Karme Tzur settlement outside Hebron to protest land confiscations and settlement expansion; 10s suffer tear gas inhalation and 2 Palestinians and 3 Americans are injured. An Egyptian hospital reports that an armed Palestinian transported to Egypt for treatment has died of injures sustained in the 9/14 IDF shelling nr. Gaza Valley village. (NYT, WP 9/26; PCHR 9/30; OCHA 10/1)

Delegations headed by Hamas Political Bureau chief Khalid Mishal and senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad meet for 3 hours in Damascus, afterward issuing a statement confirming a restart of national unity talks. (AP 9/24; AP, REU 9/25; JP 9/27; MNA 11/1) 

Clinton meets with Abbas in Ramallah, then stops in Amman to brief King Abdullah on the Sharm al-Shaykh talks. Clinton and Mubarak issue statements saying that they have jointly recommended a short 3 or 4 mo. extension to the settlement freeze during which Israel and the PA would focus on border issues in hopes of solving which settlements would stay and go under final status. Abbas states: “We all know there is no alternative to peace other than negotiating peace, so we have no alternative but to continue peace efforts.” (NYT, WP 9/17)

Mitchell goes to Damascus to brief Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad on the peace talks, saying for the first time that the U.S. intends to push for renewed Israeli-Syrian peace talks parallel to Israeli-Palestinian talks. (Asia Times 9/16)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts synchronized late-night patrols in 2 villages e. of Qalqilya, making no arrests; similar late-night patrols without incident in villages nr. Salfit; late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron, Tulkarm. (PCHR 9/23; OCHA 9/24)

Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Bayt Lahiya, forcing them to return to shore; 2 hrs. later the navy posts warning signs 500–1,000 m fr. shore warning fishing boats not to sail beyond that point, firing warning shots at boats that pass the line throughout the day. In the West Bank, the IDF makes a rare midday incursion into Silat al-Dahir s. of Jenin, searching homes and arresting 1 Palestinian; conducts latenight house searches in and around Jenin town and r.c., making no arrests; stages late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. Jewish settlers escorted by IDF troops seize a plot of land and a Palestinian home in Shaykh Jarrah in East Jerusalem (the Farhan-Hijazi properties), evicting a Palestinian family and beginning construction on the property; settlers have tried for years to seize the property, resulting in an Israeli court ruling in 2003 that the Palestinian family could remain in the home until the judiciary reached a final verdict, which it has not yet done; the Palestinian family immediately petitions the court to order the settlers to leave. The UN notes that in the previous wk., Palestinian residents of an area of Bayt Yatir village btwn. the separation wall and the Green Line nr. Hebron that the IDF declared a closed military zone in 1/09 have had their “permanent resident” permits required to access the area revoked by the IDF and replaced with “worker” permits, raising concerns that Israel intends eventually to evict them. (OCHA, PCHR 7/30; OCHA 8/18)

U.S. envoy Mitchell stops in Damascus to meet with Syrian pres. al-Asad, then heads to Israel for a 3-day visit to meet with PM Netanyahu and DM Barak, pressing both sides for the revival of the Israeli-Syrian track toward a comprehensive Israeli-Arab peace. Mitchell will also touch base with Abbas in Ramallah. (NYT 7/26; WP 7/27)

Egyptian authorities demolish 14 smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border. In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, stun grenades at Palestinians demonstrating against the separation wall in Bil‘in (10s suffer tear gas inhalation); fires tear gas at Palestinians taking part in weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall in Ni‘lin (10s suffer tear gas inhalation); carries out synchronized, late-night house searches in 4 villages s. and w. of Jenin, making no arrests. (PCHR 6/18)

U.S. special envoy Mitchell, on a 2-day trip to Syria, holds a “very positive” meeting with Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad in Damascus to discuss the peace process, bilateral relations, and regional affairs. (NYT, WP, WT 6/14)

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

No violence is reported in Gaza. Israel allows in 293 truckloads of humanitarian aid and commercial goods. In the West Bank, the IDF raids Battir village nr. Bethlehem early in the morning and occupies a Palestinian home, stating the home is needed for several days “for security purposes”; makes a latenight raid on a market in al-Fara‘ r.c. nr. Tubas, firing on stone-throwing youths who confront them, wounding 2 but making no arrests; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem, nr. Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah. (PCHR 1/29)

Obama’s newly appointed Middle East envoy George Mitchell begins an 8-day “listening tour,” with planned stops in Israel, Ramallah, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, France, and Britain. He will not meet with Hamas officials. (Globes, MM, al-Ra’i, YA 1/26; MM, NHR, NYT, QA, al-Thawra [Damascus], WP 1/27; WJW 1/29)

Egypt announces that Gaza- and Damascus-based Hamas officials have agreed on a cease-fire offer to be present to Israel (see Quarterly Update). Israel agrees to send an envoy to Cairo on 1/15 to be briefed on the plan. Meanwhile, Israel’s intense air, naval, and ground assaults on Gaza continue.

Combat notes: Under cover of air strikes and heavy shelling, IDF troops take up new positions in s. Gaza’s al-Fukhari area nr. the Sufa crossing (occupying several homes and expelling the residents) and al-Shuka village; Israeli fire is so intense that rescuers cannot reach the wounded or retrieve the dead. The IDF reports carrying out approximately 120 air strikes today (70 of them after nightfall) that kill 10s of Palestinians. Targets include at least 24 groups of armed Palestinians, 16 smuggling tunnels, at least 10 suspected weapons depots (including a Rafah mosque), and 24 rocket launching sites (killing senior IQB cmdrs. Walid Za‘abud and Muhammad Dash nr. al-Zaytun). Air strike target areas include Bani Suhayla, Bayt Lahiya, Gaza City (areas northwest of the city and al-Nasser, al-Sabra, al-Sha‘af, Shaykh Ridwan, al-Shuja‘iyya, Tal al-Hawa, al-Yarmuk, al-Zaytun), Khan Yunis, Khuza, al-Mughraqa, Nussayrat r.c., al-Qarara, Rafah, al-Shabura r.c., Twam, Yibna r.c. Heavy artillery and tank fire are reported in and around Bayt Lahiya (white phosphorous suspected), al-Bureij r.c., Gaza City (al-Sabra, al-Tuffah), Jabaliya town and r.c. Naval bombardment centers on Rafah’s Tal al-Sultan neighborhood.

Palestinians fire 14 rockets and 2 mortars, including 4 Grads (2 each in Ashdod and Beersheba), into Israel, causing no injuries. Gaza medical workers put the estimated Palestinian toll at 1,018 dead (including an estimated 300 children), 4,700 injured. The IDF reports 27 soldiers wounded (1 severely, 2 moderately, 24 lightly), mostly in ground fighting with Palestinians n. Gaza, including 7 soldiers wounded (1 severely, 1 moderately, 5 lightly) by a Palestinian antitank missile. The Israeli toll stands at 13–14 dead, more than 150 wounded.

Humanitarian notes: The IDF allows at least 108 truckloads of humanitarian aid into Gaza during the lull. A group of Israeli human rights groups (including Amnesty International–Israel, B’Tselem Gisha, Physicians for Human Rights–Israel) characterize Israel’s restrictions on aid and access to Gaza by relief groups and medial workers as a “blatant violation of the laws of warfare and raises the suspicion, which we ask be investigated, of the commission of war crimes.” (AP, BBC, CBS News, HA, IDF, IFM, JAZ, MM, QA, REU, RFM, XIN 1/14; AYM, HA, IDF, IFM, IHY, JAZ, MA, MM, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT, YA 1/15; ITIC 1/19; PCHR 1/22, 1/29)

The IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron and Jenin, in Bayt Sahur, and nr. Nablus. (PCHR 1/22)

Unidentified assailants fire 3 rockets fr. s. Lebanon into n. Israel. (Up to a dozen rockets total may have been fired, with others landing inside Lebanon). The IDF returns fire. No damage or injuries are reported. (MM, MNR 1/14; WP 1/15)

The IDF conducts synchronized, latenight arrest raids, house searches in 3 villages nr. Bethlehem; conducts additional late-night arrest raids, house searches in Balata r.c., Nablus. Jewish settlers in Hebron vandalize nearby Palestinian homes; the IDF fires on Palestinians who defend their properties, seriously wounding a 14-yr.-old boy with a gunshot to the head. In Gaza, an estimated 300,000 Hamas supporters attend a rally in Gaza City celebrating Hamas’s 21st anniversary. From Damascus, Hamas leader Khalid Mishal says that the movement will not renew the 6-mo. Gaza cease-fire when it expires on 12/19. Later, however, Hamas’s Gaza leadership says that it is willing to consider an extension; meets with reps. of other factions to discuss extending the truce. (NYT, WP 12/15; PCHR 12/18)

IDF troops, bulldozers cross into s. Gaza to level land along the border e. of Khan Yunis, exchanging fire with Hamas mbrs., causing no reported injures. In a similar incident nr. the Erez crossing, IDF soldiers exchange fire with DFLP gunmen, causing no reported injuries. The IDF also makes an air strike on an alleged rocket-launching site in n. Gaza, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Nur al-Shams r.c. nr. Tulkarm, nr. Bethlehem. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba beat a 6-yr.-old Palestinian boy on his way to school until his grandfather halts the attack; the IDF observes but does not intervene. Hamas accuses PA security forces in the West Bank of arresting 26 Hamas mbrs. and supporters, mostly in Hebron, but also in Bethlehem, Jericho, and Salfit. (HA, JP, MNA, REU, YA 11/8; HA, JAZ, MNA 11/9; OCHA 11/12; PCHR 11/13)

After a last-minute talks in Cairo between Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Sulayman and senior Hamas official Mahmud Zahhar fr. Gaza, Hamas’s dep. leader Musa Abu Marzuq announces from Damascus that Hamas will not attend national unity talks in Cairo on 11/9. Hamas officials cite Egyptian and PA unwillingness to compromise on the wording of an Egyptian draft national unity statement or to discuss issues of importance to Hamas, and the PA’s failure to fulfill a pledge to release 100s of Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners held in the West Bank as a confidence-building gesture in advance of the summit. (AFP 11/8; NYT, WT 11/9; see also MNR 11/7)

Rice stops in Jenin to meet with Abbas and to inaugurate a new hospital wing funded by USAID, announcing another $14 m. in USAID funds for Jenin. (HA 11/8; IFM, NYT, WP, WT 11/9)

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)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts latenight arrest raids, house searches in Nablus. A Palestinian gunman shoots at a Jewish settler vehicle nr. Ariel settlement, wounding 1 settler. Dozens of Jewish settlers rampage through Kafr al-Dik nr. Salfit, fire on and stone Palestinian homes and vehicles; the IDF sends in troops when Palestinians rally to defend their homes, firing tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets to disperse the Palestinians, wounding a 13-yr.-old boy and hitting and injuring a Palestinian man with an IDF vehicle. Nr. Nablus, a Palestinian shepherd is killed when he triggers IDF UXO. (NYT 9/29; OCHA 10/1; PCHR 10/9; AIC 11/9)

In Syria, a suicide car bombing kills 17 people, wounds 13 in Damascus. No group claims responsibility, and the intended target is unclear. (NYT, WP 9/30)

IDF troops inside Israel fatally shoot an armed Palestinian who approaches the s. Gaza border. The IDF also bulldozes 5 d. of Palestinian land inside the border fence nr. Wadi al-Silqa; later conducts arrest raids, house searches in Wadi al-Silqa, detaining 3 Palestinians. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night house searches in and around Nablus but makes no arrests; fires rubber-coated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, international activists taking part in the weekly nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Bil‘in (injuring 8, including 3 children). Jewish settlers fr. Efrat uproot 100 Palestinian olive trees to make way for new construction begun on 3/23. Palestinians stone Jewish settler vehicles nr. Ramallah, causing no injuries. In n. Gaza, 50,000 Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Fatah al-Yasir (an AMB offshoot) supporters hold a peaceful demonstration calling on the Arab League summit assembling in Damascus to find a way to break Israel’s siege of Gaza. In Jabaliya r.c., 2,000 Palestinians attend a rally organized by Islamic Jihad to call on Fatah and Hamas to form a unity government. (OCHA 4/2; PCHR 4/3)

Overnight, the IDF sends 20 armored vehicles with helicopter support into Gaza City, clashing with local gunmen, wounding 7 Palestinians (including at least 2 bystanders). In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units in a car with Palestinian license plates into Kafr Qaddum nr. Qalqilya to raid a store, arrest a wanted Palestinian; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, in Azun and Jenin town and r.c., and nr. Bethlehem, Hebron. (OCHA, WT 2/13; PCHR 2/14)

A car bomb explodes in Damascus, assassinating Hizballah intelligence and external operations head Imad Mughniyah, injuring 2 others. No group takes responsibility. Hizballah blames Israel, which hails his death and distances itself from the attack but does not explicitly deny involvement. (WP 2/13; NYT, WP, WT 2/14)

Overnight, the IDF makes a major incursion into ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’a r.c. to arrest Hamas and PFLP mbrs., imposing a roundthe-clock curfew, firing on residential areas, occupying several homes as military outposts, moving from building to building by breaking through walls (50 homes and 2 shops are damaged by the time the operation ends on 9/21), clashing with local gunmen, leaving 1 armed Palestinian, 1 IDF soldier dead. At dawn, Palestinians fr. neighboring Nablus obey calls from local mosques to march to the camp to force a lifting of the siege; when some throw stones at troops, the IDF responds with live fire, mortally wounding a 17-yr.-old Palestinian, barring ambulances from reaching the scene, allowing him to bleed to death; 4 other Palestinians are wounded. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem, nr. Hebron; issues a military order confiscating 523 d. of Palestinian land in al-Khadir and Artas nr. Bethlehem for expansion of Efrat settlement. Haniyeh meets with Islamic Jihad leaders in Gaza to ask them to halt rocket fire into Israel during Ramadan, which ends ca. 10/13, but no agmt. is reached; Damascus-based Hamas leader Khalid Mishal intends to hold similar talks with Islamic Jihad leaders in Syria in the next few days. In Gaza City, Hamas and Islamic Jihad mbrs. armed with sticks and axes clash when Hamas mbrs. reportedly attempt to take over the Islamic Jihad–run Asqalan Mosque; 3 Palestinians are injured. (NYT, OCHA 9/19; NYT, PCHR 9/20)

US. Secy. of State Condoleeza Rice begins the 1st of 3 visits to the region this quarter for talks with Olmert, Abbas in preparation for Bush’s proposed fall peace conference, now tentatively set for 11/15 in Washington. She returns to Washington on 9/20. (WP 9/18; WT 9/19; see also IFM, WT 10/17)

PA security forces continue targeting Hamas mbrs. in the West Bank for arrest, detaining and quickly releasing Change and Reform PC mbr. Ahmad al-Hajj Ali. In Gaza, the ESF arrests Army of Islam spokesman Abu Khattab al-Makdisi, 2 other Army of Islam mbrs. in effort to find kidnapped BBC correspondent Johnston; the Army of Islam captures several Hamasaffiliated students in retaliation. Meanwhile, in the West Bank, the IDF unleashes attack dogs on, then fatally shoots a 15-yr.-old Palestinian boy during an arrest raid in Hebron; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron and Nablus, in Qabatya, and nr. Jenin, Qalqilya. A Jewish settler woman in Hebron beats a 14-yr.- old Palestinian boy who refuses to give her his puppy; the IDF arrests the boy. In Gaza, the IDF bulldozes Palestinian land in 2 areas along the n. Gaza border; shoots, wounds a Palestinian who strays nr. the border fence e. of Bayt Hanun. Israel announces that Israeli police and Shin Bet have arrested 11 senior Hamas mbrs. in Jerusalem for allegedly “recruit[ing] support for Hamas and giv[ing] the organization a foothold on the Temple Mount, in coordination with Shaykh Raed Salah’s Islamic Movement,” and have seized more than $95,000 in funds allegedly transferred fr. Hamas’s Damascus-based leadership; the 11 are all East Jerusalem residents, and 10 have Israeli ID cards. (IFM 7/2; HA, NYT, WP, WT 7/3; NYT, OCHA, WP 7/4; PCHR 7/5)

U.S. Consul Gen. Jacob Walles meets with Abbas in Ramallah, says that the U.S. is prepared to resume direct aid as soon as Abbas swears in a new government that does not include Hamas, even if it controls only the West Bank; indicates that international sanctions on the PA would also be lifted. Abbas issues a presidential decree outlawing the ESF, Hamas’s IQB, all other militias affiliated with Hamas on the grounds that they carried out a “military coup against the Palestinian legitimacy and its government.” Abbas also angrily rejects offers by Arab League Secy. Gen. ‘Amr Musa to mediate btwn. him and Damascus-based Hamas leader Khalid Mishal, stating that he would not hold a dialogue with “killers.” Olmert says that Israel will “cooperate fully” with Abbas’s new government, calling the new situation “an opportunity.” Israel says it will allow food, basic supplies into Gaza but otherwise will consider Gaza a “terrorist entity” with which it will not deal. Haniyeh says Hamas will not seek to set up a parallel government in Gaza to rival Abbas, though it will assume day-to-day government functions. In Gaza, at least 2 Fatah mbrs. are killed in revenge slayings; bodies of 7 Hamas mbrs., 1 Fatah mbr. killed in recent fighting are found. Hamas mbrs. confiscate weapons fr. Fatah mbrs., set up roadblocks nr. crossing points into Israel to prevent Fatah officials fr. fleeing, but several senior Fatah mbrs. make it through the Erez crossing, are allowed by Israel to go to the West Bank. Looters break into Yasir Arafat’s fmr. residence, kept largely as a museum, and steal many items before Hamas mbrs. secure the building, prevent further thefts. In the West Bank, AMB mbrs. temporarily take over the parliament building, several PA ministries in Ramallah, ordering Hamas-affiliated employees to leave and not return, raising Fatah flags; raid the Hebron and Nablus municipal offices, order the Change and Reform–dominated municipal council mbrs. to surrender control of the city governments; in Bethlehem, Fatah mbrs. raid and search the homes of elected Change and Reform officials. The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Jenin. (MNA, OCS 6/16 in WNC 6/17; NYT, WP, WT 6/17; PCHR 6/21; WP 7/8)

The IDF makes 7 air strikes on Gaza, targeting 2 Hamas rocket-launching sites in n. Gaza, killing 3 Palestinian shepherds, 1 Palestinian child; hitting a car driving in Gaza City, assassinating Hamas’s Muhiy al-Din al-Sirhi, also killing 2 civilians traveling with him; destroying the Gaza City home of Hamas mbr. Imad Dallul in an apparent assassination attempt, wounding him and 3 other Hamas mbrs.; destroying 4 alleged weapons factories in Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, and Nussayrat r.c., damaging nearby homes. The IDF also shells residential areas in Bayt Hanun, injuring a Palestinian woman, 4 children. In Gaza City, 3 Palestinians are injured by IDF UXO; 3 Hamas mbrs. are injured when explosives they are handling detonate prematurely. Hamas fires an RPG at an IDF bulldozer leveling land along the Gaza border fence, injuring 2 IDF soldiers; fires 5 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, starting a brush fire but causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in, fires on residential areas of Nablus. Jewish settlers fr. Tel Rumeida in Hebron beat 2 international peace activists escorting Palestinian children nr. Beit Hadasah settlement. Jewish settlers fr. Itamar nr. Nablus burn Palestinian olive trees in nearby Bayt Furik. Meanwhile, at least 6 Palestinians are wounded in factional fighting in Gaza that includes a gun fight btwn. ESF and NSF mbrs. in Gaza City, a Hamas attack on a PSF base in Rafah, and Fatah’s kidnapping and malicious wounding of 2 Hamas mbrs. in Gaza City. NSF officers manning several checkpoints reportedly harass observant Muslims, ordering women to remove their head coverings and arresting bearded men on suspicion of being Hamas mbrs., raising public outrage against Fatah. Another Egyptian-brokered cease-fire (involving 3 phone conversations btwn. Abbas, Damascus-based Hamas leader Khalid Mishal) that was to go into effect at 3:00 P.M. local time is ignored by Hamas and Fatah. (NYT, WP 5/20; PCHR 5/21; OCHA 5/23; PCHR 5/24)

In Gaza, the IDF makes predawn artillery strikes on Bayt Hanun in retaliation for 11/7 rocket fire, hitting a residential area, killing 19 Palestinian civilians (17 in 1 family, including 8 children, 6 women), wounding 60–80 (including at least 26 children) in what the army says is a regrettable error; Israel suspends artillery fire on n. and e. Gaza pending an investigation. The IDF also fatally shoots 2 Palestinians (at least 1 armed), wounding 6 in Jabaliya; makes an air strike demolishing 1 Palestinian home in Gaza City after warning residents to leave. By nightfall, the IDF completes withdrawal of its forces fr. n. Gaza population centers into the border area btwn. the Strip and Israel officially ending Operation Autumn Clouds, leaving a total of 78 Palestinians dead (including 1 PSF officer and 50 civilians, including 16 children, 10 women), 262 wounded (including at least 67 children, 58 women), 250 d. of land razed, at least 16 homes and a mosque demolished, some 120 homes, 3 mosques, several schools, a hospital severely damaged Palestinians fire 13 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel in retaliation, causing no damage or injuries. In Damascus, Hamas leader Mishal calls on all factions to retaliate; a n. Gaza faction of Hamas’s Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades issues a statement blaming the U.S. for the casualties for its support of Israel and calls for attacks on U.S. targets worldwide, but a spokesman for Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades rejects the call, saying Hamas’s only theater of operations is Palestine. Bush sends his condolences, calls on all sides for restraint. The IDF also makes an air strike on a car in Gaza City, assassinating Hamas mbrs. Ahmad Awad (reportedly a chief rocket maker and son-in-law of PA FM Mahmud Zahhar), Ramzi Shuhaybir. In the West Bank, the IDF fires on Palestinians demonstrating against Operation Autumn Clouds, wounding 5; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin and Nablus, nr. Bethlehem and Jerusalem; orders 71 bedouin to evacuate land nr. Ramallah on the grounds that it is “state land.” (BBC, HA, IFM, al-Mezan Center for Human Rights 11/8; NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 11/9; OCHA 11/15; PCHR 11/16)

In Gaza, the IDF withdraws troops fr. Bayt Lahiya after 3 days of operations; fires missiles fr. a drone at a car moving btwn. Gaza City and Bayt Hanun, wounding 3 AMB mbrs. (Ahmad Abu al-Kas, Ayman al-Dar‘awi, Haytham Abu Hassanain), 7 bystanders in a failed assassination attempt; makes an air strike destroying the home of a Hamas mbr. in Abasan (warning residents in advance to leave), damaging 6 nearby homes and a kindergarten. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, in Qalqilya, nr. Jenin (firing on residential areas). Jewish settlers in Hebron throw stones at Palestinians. The AMB threatens to kill 3 senior Hamas leaders (including Damascus-based leader Khalid Mishal, Interior M Siyam) whom they accuse of sedition, “so these filthy people can be made an example.” Scattered Fatah-Hamas violence is reported during the day, with at least 1 Palestinian wounded in Rafah. (NYT, WT 10/4; PCHR 10/5; OCHA 10/11)

In Gaza, the IDF sends troops back into s. Gaza to search for a reported tunnel on the Gaza-Egypt border, cuts power to Rafah, makes an air strike on a building in Gaza City that allegedly holds a weapons cache; makes air strikes destroying 2 Palestinian homes in n. Gaza after phoning residents (at least 1 of them an AMB mbr.) to warn them to evacuate, also destroying 1 home nearby; shells residential areas of n. Gaza without warning (hitting 4 Palestinian homes, injuring 3 Palestinians), al-Shuka (wounding 2 Palestinians); temporarily occupies the Erez industrial zone, withdrawing after nightfall; sends bulldozers into southeastern Khan Yunis to raze 100 d. of agricultural land. UNRWA reports that it is housing in its schools some 1,200 Palestinians who have fled n. Gaza to escape IDF shelling. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Nablus to assassinate local Islamic Jihad military cmdr. Hani Uwayjan, a Palestinian civilian with him; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Hebron, Qalqilya; patrols in, fires on residential areas of Jenin, wounding 1 Palestinian. A Palestinian civilian wounded by IDF fire in Gaza City on 7/27 dies. (NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 7/30; PCHR 8/3)

The IDF keeps up intensive air and artillery strikes across Lebanon, targeting the Beirut–Damascus highway (closing the Syrian border crossing for the 1st time since 7/12; though the road is used primarily by civilians trying to flee the country and aid workers bringing in humanitarian assistance, Israel claims it targeted the road to prevent arms smuggling), killing at least 6 Lebanese civilians, wounding 2 UNIFIL monitors. During the day, the IDF withdraws troops fr. Bint Jubayl, claiming to have destroyed Hizballah’s elaborate network of tunnels and storage areas, but continues air and artillery strikes and keeps troops in the area, saying they could be sent back in at any time. Hizballah fires at least 90 rockets into Israel. Israel allows military planes delivering aid fr. Egypt, Jordan, the UAE to land at Beirut airport; a warship fr. Turkey brings medical supplies into Beirut port; a U.S. naval catamaran brings blankets, tarps, medical kits; aid workers in Lebanon complain that it is still too dangerous to transport aid supplies, that the IDF still requires convoy-by-convoy approval to move the aid to hard-hit areas. (NYT, WP, WT 7/30)

Overnight, the IDF withdraws fr. alMaghazi r.c., leaving a total of 207 d. of land, 4 Palestinian homes demolished, 9 other homes partially demolished. Also in Gaza, the IDF fires a tank shell at a home in Gaza City, alleging that a Hamas mbr. on the roof was preparing to fire an RPG, killing a handicapped Palestinian on the roof, 3 relatives inside, wounding 2; shells areas nr. Khan Yunis and the Sufa crossing in the south and in n. Gaza, wounding at least 6 Palestinian civilians. In the West Bank, the IDF withdraws troops fr. Nablus, ending a 3-day operation; before leaving, troops blow up the main government offices (killing a Palestinian bystander), fire on stone-throwing Palestinians youths, wounding 21. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya. (WP 7/21; NYT, PCHR 7/22; PCHR 7/27; B’Tselem 8/3)

The IDF calls up 3 battalions (several 1,000) additional reserves, positions troops and armor on the n. Israel border in preparation for “limited” ground operations to “mop up” Hizballah strongholds and weapons sites, continues pinpoint special forces operations inside s. Lebanon, urges residents to evacuate n. of the Litani River immediately (see 7/20; local officials estimate that 70% of the southern population has left). The U.S. approves Israel’s request to expedite delivery of precision-guided missiles (including at least 25, possibly 100, 5,000-lb GBU-28 bunker busters) to maintain the intensity of IDF air strikes. IDF artillery hits a UN observation post in Zarit, s. Lebanon, causing extensive damage but no injuries; makes air strikes on the Beirut–Damascus highway and several bridges, targeting empty passenger busses returning fr. Syria after evacuating foreigners; continues air strikes on Baalbek (killing at least 5 Lebanese civilians, wounding 20) and on s. Lebanon. At least 12 Lebanese are killed during the day. Hizballah fires 35–50 rockets into n. Israel, 10 of them hitting Haifa (injuring 3 Israelis) and others hitting Carmiel, Kiryat Shimona, Nahariya, Safad, Tiberias, and several n. Israeli villages. Hizballah acknowledges that 6 Hizballah mbrs. have been killed since 7/12, whereas Israel claims that around 100 have been killed. UN humanitarian relief coordinator Jan Egeland estimates that 500,000 Lebanese are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, but says that the UN cannot provide it without Israel, Lebanon guaranteeing safe corridors for movement of civilians and aid. Today, Israel allows 1 Greek ship carrying 22 tons of humanitarian goods to enter Beirut. (AP 7/21; NYT, WP, WT 7/22; NYT 8/11)

Overnight, the IDF pulls troops out of central Gaza; makes air strikes on the PA Economics Min. offices in Gaza City (causing no injuries), a factory in Gaza City (killing 1 Palestinian, wounding at least 9), a bridge nr. Bureij r.c.; fatally shoots an unarmed Palestinian who strays close to the Kissufim crossing. Palestinians fire several rockets into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. A Palestinian dies of injuries received during the IDF’s 7/6 failed assassination attempt on Zubaydi and Sadi. (NYT, WP 7/15; NYT 7/16; PCHR 7/20)

The IDF escalates its attacks on Lebanon, completing the naval blockade of the coast; making air strikes on Hizballah offices, homes of Hizballah leaders and a senior Hamas official; hitting scores of civilian infrastructure targets, particularly in pro-Hizballah neighborhoods in s. Beirut and s. Lebanon, and roads and bridges in e. and n. Lebanon (including destroying the last bridge on the Beirut–Damascus highway), also destroying numerous gas stations, fuel depots (including hitting Jiyeh terminal for a 2d day, creating a major oil slick), a major power plant s. of the capital; shelling ports in Amshit, Batrun, Beirut, Juniyah, Sidon, Tripoli, and Tyre and hitting a radar installation in the new Manara lighthouse in Beirut to disable Lebanon’s coast radar defenses. At least 16 Lebanese civilians are killed in an air strike on a civilian convoy fleeing Marwahin village in s. Lebanon after Israel warned residents to evacuate, bringing the estimated death toll since the start of the crisis to 92 Lebanese killed and at least 250 wounded, almost all of them civilians. Hizballah fires some 90 Katyushas at n. Israel during the day, hitting Tiberias for the 1st time, as well as Carmiel and Nahariya, lightly injuring at least 11 Israelis. Italy begins evacuating its citizens fr. Lebanon; Britain, France, the U.S. say they have plans to do the same. (HA, NYT, WP, WT 7/16; NYT 7/29; WP 8/1; NYT 8/3)

Overnight in Gaza, the IDF conducts air strikes heavily damaging the offices of Change and Reform PC mbrs. in Bayt Lahiya (causing no injuries), destroying a bridge linking Nussayrat r.c. with alMughraqa; directs tank fire on a Palestinian truck approaching its position but refusing orders to halt, killing 1 Palestinian, wounding a 2d. During the day, the IDF continues to shell n. Gaza, targeting 2 PA security offices and damaging 4 Palestinian homes; bulldozes 83 d. of Palestinian land nr. Dayr al-Balah, more than 100 d. of land outside al-Qarara; fires on residential areas of Khuza’ nr. the border, wounding a Palestinian woman inside her home. Some 50 Palestinian militants temporarily take over the Rafah crossing, allowing as many as half of the 4,000 Palestinian stranded on the Egyptian side to enter Gaza; Egyptian border police block Palestinians who try to cross fr. Gaza into Egypt. Palestinians fire at least 7 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing damage in 1 incident but no injuries. The IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron, in Tulkarm; prevents Palestinians under age 45 fr. attending Friday prayers at al-Aqsa mosque. (HA, JP 7/14; NYT, WP 7/15; OCHA 7/19; PCHR 7/20)

Overnight, after Olmert’s security cabinet approves a list of “more significant” Hizballah targets, the IDF makes air strikes on Hizballah sites in s. Beirut and targets the Beirut–Damascus highway (in an attempt to complete an air, sea, and land blockade on Lebanon). During the day, the IDF extends the naval blockade northwards to Tripoli; shells numerous bridges, roads, other civilian infrastructure, especially in s. Beirut; makes air strikes on the building serving as Hizballah’s headquarters and Nasrallah’s residence (destroying it), its al-Nur radio station (missing and hitting an apartment building), and the Beirut airport, a major power plant and a bridge s. of the capital, a PFLP base nr. the Syrian border. At least 8 Lebanese civilians are reported killed (3 in Beirut, 5 in the south), 55 injured during the day, raising the estimated death toll since the start of operations to 66 Lebanese (overwhelmingly civilians), more than 200 wounded. Hizballah continues to fire Katyushas at n. Israel, killing an Israeli woman,her 5-yr.-old grandson in Moshav Meron and injuring as many as 50 Israelis across the Galilee, including in Acre, Carmiel, Kiryat Shimona, Nahariya, Safad. Hizballah also hits an Israeli naval ship 10-mi off the coast nr. Beirut, disabling it, killing 1 Israeli sailor, leaving 3 other sailors missing, raising the comprehensive death toll to 13 Israelis killed (the majority soldiers), around 150 injured (mostly suffering shock). (HA, NYT, WT 7/14; NYT, WP, WT 7/15; NYT, WP 7/16; NYT 7/17, 7/19)

Overnight, the IDF launches Operation Summer Rains, sending ground troops into s. Gaza; retaking the Dahaniyya airport area as a base, demolishing 5 Palestinian homes and bulldozing land to improve lines of sight, and blowing up 3 bridges to control movement between the Rafah and Gaza City environs; conducting 7 air strikes on Gaza’s only electricity plant nr. Gaza City and 6 transformer stations, wounding 2 Palestinians, blacking out 45% of the Strip, and leaving Gaza fully dependent on electricity fr. Israel); shelling open areas of s. Gaza; repeatedly breaking the sound barrier over the Strip. The IDF’s elite Givati Brigade deploys outside n. Gaza, prepared to enter if rocket attacks resume. Midafternoon, IDF artillery begins shelling n. Gaza for the 1st time since the 6/9 incident that killed 8 Palestinians. After Palestinians fire 2 rockets into Israel in response (causing no damage or injuries), the IDF warns n. Gaza residents to evacuate the area, with Olmert saying that IDF operations will escalate until Shalit is released. In a warning to Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad and Hamas’s Damascus-based leadership, the Israeli air force makes overflights of Asad’s residence in Latakia (where he is believed to be staying) and along the Syrian coast. Meanwhile, Palestinians fire 6 more rockets toward Israel, but all land inside Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. The AMB says it has kidnapped a 62-yr.-old Israeli man fr. Rishon Letzion, inside Israel, who has been missing since 6/26; issues a statement threatening to target Israeli embassies abroad. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Iktaba nr. Tulkarm; raids a Fatah office in al-Bireh, confiscating computers, arresting 3 Palestinians; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Tulkarm, nr. Hebron. In Khan Yunis, 2 Palestinian children are killed when they accidentally detonate unexploded IDF ordnance. In West Jerusalem, around 100 ultra-Orthodox Jews attack a tour group of 50 pro-Israel Christians for wearing shirts saying “love your neighbor as yourself”; Israeli police intervene to stop the attack but make no arrests; 3 tourists, 1 police officer are injured. (AP, BBC, B’Tselem press release, HA, IFM, IMEMC, ITV, MM, NYT, PCHR, REU, Voice of the Arabs [Cairo], WP, WT, YA 6/28; OSC 6/28 in WNC 6/30; BBC, CSM, HA, IMEMC, MM, NYT, REU, WP, WT 6/29; Globe, PCHR 6/29; HJ 7/1 in WNC 7/1; see also AFP, MENA, PSCT 6/27 in WNC 6/28; OCHA 6/30; PCHR 7/6; REU 7/11)

The IDF closes the Zatara checkpoint linking the n. and s. West Bank (closed almost continually through the end of the quarter); patrols in, fires on residential areas of Bethlehem (seriously wounding 1 Palestinian stone-thrower), Nablus (wounding 3 Palestinians); conducts arrest raids, house searches in Jenin (targeting the AMB) and nr. Hebron, Qalqilya. Islamic Jihad claims to fire a 2d Grad rocket fr. Gaza towards Ashkelon (see 3/28), but the IDF reports no rocket fire. A Palestinian stabs, lightly wounds an Israeli border policeman at alRam checkpoint into Jerusalem, is arrested. Some 15 Jewish settlers fr. Tal Rumayda attack a group of Palestinian girls on their way to school and 5 international peace activists escorting them, causing minor injuries. (HA 4/23; PCHR 4/27)

Abbas vetoes Siyam’s 4/20 appointment of Abu Samhadana as Interior Min. inspector gen. and vows to block his plan to set up a new security force (the ESF). In Damascus, Hamas head Khalid Mishal accuses Abbas and Fatah of seeking to form a parallel government, conspiring against Haniyeh’s new government, committing treason, surrendering to Israel. Haniyeh denounces Mishal’s statements. (NYT, WP, WT 4/22; HA 4/23; MM 4/24–26; HA 4/30)

Early in the morning, Palestinians fire 2 rockets fr. Bayt Hanun into Israel, causing no damage or injuries; IDF artillery responds, shelling a road and an open field n. Gaza where Palestinians have launched rockets, causing no injuries. Despite the exchange, the IDF partially reopens the Erez and Qarni crossings. In the afternoon, an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber retaliating for the 10/24 Saadi assassination detonates a bomb in an open-air market in Hadera, killing 5 Israelis, wounding 6 seriously, 14 moderately. Palestinians also fire another rocket at the Negev (no damage or injuries), a mortar at an IDF post on the s. Gaza border (no damage or injuries). Israel immediately cancels a planned mtg. btwn. Israeli, PA cabinet mbrs.; Sharon says he will not meet with Abbas until he takes “serious action” against militants. Late in the evening, the Israeli cabinet approves Operation Starting All Over Again—a “broad and nonstop” offensive (including assassinations) against “terrorism” in the West Bank and Gaza that will continue until “terrorism” ends; says there are no plans for a ground offensive into Gaza at present, but restrictions on Palestinian movement across the West Bank will be tightened, diplomatic offensives will be raised to pressure Syria over its hosting of Islamic Jihad in Damascus. Meanwhile, right-wing Jewish settler youths occupy abandoned buildings nr. Elon Moreh, Keddumim settlements and site on Worshippers Way in Hebron, declaring new unauthorized outposts. (HA, WP, YA 10/26; HA, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT, YA 10/27; HA 10/28; IMEMC 10/31; PCHR 11/10)

A Damascus-based Islamic Jihad cell claims responsibility for the 2/25 Tel Aviv bombing, noting the end of the unofficial 1-mo. truce on 2/25 and stating that Israel had to be punished for cease-fire violations it committed; Islamic Jihad’s leadership in Gaza, however, denies responsibility, saying the group would continue to abide by an unofficial cease-fire. Israel shifts blame to Syria, which denies any responsibility, saying Islamic Jihad offices in Damascus have been closed for some time. Meanwhile, the PA security forces arrest 2 suspects in Gaza in connection with bombing; Israeli security forces arrest at least 5 suspects in Israel. The IDF tightens restrictions on Palestinian movement around Hebron; fires on 3 Palestinians attempting to sneak into Israel fr. Gaza to find work, killing 1 Palestinian, detaining 2; severely beats 2 Palestinians at a checkpoint at the entrance to al-Til nr. Nablus; places a curfew on Dayr al-Ghusun, hometown of the 2/25 suicide bomber, arrests the bomber’s 2 brothers, the village imam; fires on residential areas of Tulkarm town, r.c., and neighboring villages. An IDF border policeman shoots, wounds a Palestinian woman in Hebron after she allegedly tries to stab him during a security check. Some 15 Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba, escorted by IDF soldiers, severely beat a Palestinian farmer working his land outside Hebron; soldiers arrest the Palestinian, interrogate him before releasing him. PA security forces report that they have uncovered, sealed 12 smugglers’ tunnels in Rafah since deploying along the Gaza border. A Palestinian dies of injuries received on 2/26/04. (HA, JAZ, PRCS, VOI, VOP 2/26; IDF Radio, JAZ, NYT, PRCS, WP 2/27; MM 2/28; MM, PCHR 3/3; MEI 3/4)

The IDF holds PA presidential candidate Mustafa Barghouthi at gunpoint at a Hebron checkpoint, denies him passage to a campaign stop in nearby Tal al-Armida village; imposes a daylong curfew on al-Khadir; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, seriously injuring a 5-yr.-old Palestinian boy on the roof of his home; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bayt Sahur, Hebron and neighboring Bayt Kahil and Ithna, al-Khadir, Nablus, Taqu‘a nr. Bethlehem. (PM 12/8; PCHR 12/9)

In Damascus, Abbas, PA PM Ahmad Qurai‘ hold reconciliation talks with Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad, agree to resume high-level contacts, suspended by Syria in 1993 over the signing of the Oslo Accord. Abbas, Qurai‘ also hold talks with Hamas leader Khalid Mishal and the leadership of Islamic Jihad, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command to press them to support or take part in Palestinian presidential election, to keep a lid on violence in the run-up to elections in order to bolster national unity. (WT 12/6; MM 12/7; VOP, XIN 12/7 in WNC 12/9; MM, PR 12/8; VOP 12/9 in WNC 12/11; MM 12/10; WT 12/12)

The IDF fires missiles at a metal workshop (alleged weapons factory) in Khan Yunis, wounding an 11-yr.-old Palestinian; raids ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’ r.c., fires on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops; fires rubber bullets, tear gas at Palestinian, international peace activists staging a nonviolent protest against the separation wall; conducts arrest raids in Bethlehem, Jenin; lifts the 9/24 ban on Palestinians entering the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. Senior AMB mbr. Nimr Hassan is killed in Salfit when his M-16 explodes; the AMB claims that he was assassinated, his new gun was booby trapped by a collaborator. Palestinians fire 3 Qassam rockets at Sederot and 3 mortars at Gush Katif, causing no damage or injuries. Late at night, the IDF makes a major incursion into Jenin, raiding and searching a hospital (arresting 2 employees; wounding 7, including 2 children, with gunfire; damaging equipment), occupying buildings as sniper posts, conducting house searches. Outside Hebron, some 140 Jewish settlers attempt to reestablish 2 unauthorized settlement outposts previously evacuated by the IDF, scuffle with police, throw stones at Palestinian homes. (HA 9/26; IDF Radio, VOI, VOP, YA 9/26 in WNC 9/28; PCHR 9/30)

In Damascus, Hamas spokesman Izzeddin Khalil is killed when his car explodes in an apparent assassination. Anonymous Israeli security officials acknowledge Israel’s involvement; Sharon criticizes the “unnecessary babble.” (HA 9/26; JAZ, MA, VOP, YA 9/26 in WNC 9/28; VOI, YA 9/26, MA, VOP 9/27 in WNC 9/29; LBC, PSCT, SANA 9/26, AYM, HA, JP, SANA, Syrian Arab Republic Radio 9/27, JP, MA, Tishrin 9/28 in WNC 9/30; SANA, Syrian Arab Television Network 9/26 in WNC 10/29; MM, NYT, WP, WT, United Press International 9/27; MM 9/28; PR 9/29; MNR 9/29 in WNC 10/5; JPI 10/8)