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  • July 28, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and killed 1 11-year-old boy near Beit Umar who was sitting in his father’s car; according to the family, the child’s father decided to turn his car around...

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  • June 21, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers marched across the West Bank to protest the presence of Palestinians living in Area C, closing off much of Area C to Palestinians. Most of the marches were...

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  • December 31, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian homes with stones, causing damage in Huwwara. Israeli settlers also threw stones at Palestinian vehicles on a road near Huwwara. Elsewhere,...

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  • November 19, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers raided Silat al-Dahir, vandalizing Palestinian-owned houses and vehicles. Israeli settlers also razed Palestinian-owned land and planted their own crops in ‘Urif...

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  • October 1, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces raided Qatanna, leading to clashes with Palestinians; tear-gas related injuries were reported. Israeli forces arrested 1 Palestinian and seized his vehicle....

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  • September 10, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinians traveling on a road between Nablus and Jenin, causing damage to 10 cars. Israeli forces shut down the entrances to Zabbuba near...

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  • June 11, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked 1 Palestinian man in Burqa, causing fractures and bruises. An Israeli settler also set a car on fire and wrote racist graffiti in Zeita, south of Nablus...

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  • May 21, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers injured 2 Palestinians while throwing stones at a Palestinian-owned house in Yatma. Separately, Israeli settlers set fire to Palestinian-owned agricultural lands...

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  • December 27, 2019

    In the West Bank, 4 Palestinians were arrested at the Allenby border crossing for attempting to smuggle some 100 goldfinch birds to Hebron. Another 3 Palestinians were arrested during late-night...

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  • July 31, 2019

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces summoned an 8-year-old girl for interrogation for allegedly harassing Israeli settlers in Hebron. By the Gaza fence, 1 Palestinian was killed after he crossed into...

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  • February 25, 2018

    Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces shoot and fatally injure a Palestinian fisherman working near Gaza City. They arrest the injured man and his 2 colleagues. In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot...

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  • May 25, 2017

    In the West Bank, an Israeli settler driver allegedly rams a Palestinian youth nr. Hebron, causing serious injuries. Israeli settlers and IDF troops surround a Palestinian school in Tuqu‘ village...

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  • June 14, 2016

    The Israeli Air Force (IAF) launches a strike on an agricultural area along the border fence nr. Gaza City, causing minor damage and no injuries. The IDF says that the strike was a part of an...

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  • February 6, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 3 rockets into s. Israel, causing no damage or casualties. Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion nr. Khan Yunis to level land. Israeli forces at the...

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  • April 7, 2013

    U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry meets with Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas in Ramallah, and reportedly offers him incentives for a return to direct negotiations with Israel. Palestinian sources say...

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  • March 19, 2013

    The day before U.S. Pres. Obama arrives in Israel, the IDF and Israeli police raze 6 structures in 2 unauthorized Jewish settler outposts in the West Bank (Oz Zion and Ramat Migron). In...

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  • March 5, 2013

    Israeli media reports that PM Benjamin Netanyahu may adopt a package of ‘‘goodwill gestures’’ ahead of U.S. Pres. Obama’s upcoming visit, including transferring responsibility for 2 West Bank...

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  • July 22, 2012

    No Israeli-Palestinian violence is reported. (PCHR 7/26; OCHA 7/27)

    The Israeli DM files a petition with Israel’s High Court to allow the demolition of 12 small bedouin enclaves (200...

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  • June 19, 2012

    Israeli pres. Shimon Peres says he has met with Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas and other Palestinian officials several times in recent months to discuss resuming peace talks. The Palestinians do...

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  • May 29, 2012

    The IDF makes brief incursions into s. Gaza nr. Khan Yunis and c. Gaza nr. Wadi al-Silqa to level land and clear lines of sight along the border fence; in both cases, Israeli helicopters providing...

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  • April 23, 2012

    Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. IDF troops make a brief incursion into n. Gaza to level land and clear lines of sight along the...

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  • April 18, 2012

    Egypt’s Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa visits al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in what he calls an unofficial visit to show solidarity with the Palestinian people and their claim to East Jerusalem. Many...

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  • February 23, 2012

    Israeli and Palestinian officials issue opposing statements on the content of Israel’s principles on borders presented in the Jordanian-sponsored exploratory talks last quarter. Israeli officials...

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  • December 12, 2011

    IDF spokesman Maj. Guy Inbar acknowledges that Israel plans to relocate some 2,000 Bedouin fr. 20 encampments in the hills e. of Jerusalem (in area C) to clear the way for the expansion of Ma’ale...

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  • September 2, 2010

    Direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are formally relaunched at a ceremony at the State Dept. in Washington, with Abbas and Netanyahu pledging to meet again on 9/13–14 in Egypt and then every 2...

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  • September 1, 2010

    On the eve of ceremonies reopening direct Israeli-Palestinian talks, U.S. Pres. Barack Obama holds separate meetings with Abbas, Netanyahu, Egyptian pres. Husni Mubarak, and Jordan’s King Abdullah...

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  • August 31, 2010

    Hamas’s military wing, the Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades (IQB), takes responsibility for shooting at a Jewish settler vehicle driving nr. Hebron (in area C, under full Israeli control, where the...

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  • February 10, 2010

    In the morning, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Lahiya fire on Palestinians collecting scrap metal from destroyed sites nr. the border fence (no injuries are reported). In the West Bank...

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  • December 10, 2009

    The IDF conducts military exercises in the Golan Heights. Meanwhile, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border make a brief incursion to detain 2 Palestinian teenagers scavenging for scrap metal from...

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  • April 23, 2009

    In the West Bank, the IDF halts PA construction of a staging area outside Bethlehem where Pope Benedict XVI will be received when he visits the city on his upcoming tour (5/8–15), arguing that the...

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In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and killed 1 11-year-old boy near Beit Umar who was sitting in his father’s car; according to the family, the child’s father decided to turn his car around after seeing a flying checkpoint near the city, when the Israeli forces fired 13 bullets at the car. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters near the Evyatar settlement outpost, injuring 8 with rubber-coated bullets and others with tear gas. Elsewhere, Israeli forces delivered demolition orders against 1 water well and 1 agricultural structure in al-Fakheit in the Masafer Yatta area. 11 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Bethlehem, Hebron, and Jenin refugee camp. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces razed land and demolished 1 agricultural structure in al-Tur. 1 Palestinian was arrested during a late-night raid in Silwan. (AA, AJ, HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 7/28; AA, MEE, MEE, PCHR 7/29; MEMO, WAFA 7/30; HA 8/3; AA, WAFA 8/4; MEE 8/5; HA 8/8)

The Israeli ministry of defense said it had informed the PA that it would increase the number of work permits for Palestinians by 16,000. 15,000 of the permits would be for construction work and 1,000 would be for work in hospitality. The Israeli government would still need a final approval for the increase. (MEMO, TOI 7/28)

PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh met with EU envoy for the Middle East peace process Sven Koopmans in Ramallah, where he called for a revival of the peace process under the auspices of the Quartet on the Middle East. Envoy Koopmans also met with PA foreign minister Riyad Maliki and head of the civil affairs authority Hussein al-Sheikh. (WAFA 7/28; MEMO 7/29)

PA health minister and head of the PA environmental quality authority Mai al-Kaila and Jamil Matour met with the Israeli health and environmental protection ministers Nitzan Horowitz and Tamar Zandberg, both of the Meretz (Vigor) party, in Jerusalem to discuss cooperation on health and environmental issues. The agreements reached included direct ambulance service from Gaza to the West Bank via the Beit Hanun crossing, easing restrictions on Palestinian medical teams accessing East Jerusalem and Area C, and for Israel to accept vaccination certificates produced by the PA. The meeting was arranged by Israel’s minister of regional cooperation Issawi Frej upon the request of the U.S. The last time PA and Israeli ministers met was in 2018 when PA prime minister Rami Hamdallah met with Israeli finance minister Moshe Kahlon. (HA 8/28; MEMO 7/29; ALM 8/5)

Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz visited the French defense minister Florence Parly in Paris to relay Israeli findings in regards to the news that the Israeli company NSO Group’s spyware Pegasus had been used to spy on French President Emmanuel Macron’s phone. (AJ, HA, HA, REU 7/27; REU 7/28; ALM, MEMO, MEMO 7/29)

In a briefing at the UN security council, the deputy special coordinator for the Middle East peace process Lynn Hastings said that the UNRWA was facing “an imminent cash flow crisis” amounting to $100 million. Deputy Special Coordinator Hastings also called for Israel to ease restrictions on the entry of goods and people into Gaza. (MEMO 7/28; MEMO, WAFA 7/29)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers marched across the West Bank to protest the presence of Palestinians living in Area C, closing off much of Area C to Palestinians. Most of the marches were directed toward the Evyatar settlement outpost, which Israeli settlers are trying to rapidly expand to prevent the new Israeli government from evacuating it. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in al-Wad, leading to tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also delivered stop-work orders for 2 houses in Idhna and a demolition order for a 2.2-mile-long electric power line near Hebron. Elsewhere, Israeli forces continued blocking the main road to ‘Azun for the 6th day in a row. 15 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Bayt Liqya, Tulkarm, Zababdeh, Kafr Qaddum, Aida refugee camp, and Bayt Umar; during the raid in Bayt Umar, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters, leading to tear-gas related injuries. PA forces arrested prominent Israel and PA critic Issa Amro; Amro was later released in the morning of 6/22. In East Jerusalem, 1 firebomb caused minor damage in Shaykh Jarrah; Israeli police arrested 2 Palestinian minors suspected of throwing it. Subsequently, 1 Israeli setter used pepper spray on Palestinians in the area, and other Israeli settlers and Palestinians threw lawn furniture at each other. Palestinians were also said to have shot off firecrackers at Israeli settlers. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians in the area, injuring 20 with rubber-coated bullets and tear gas. Israel continues to prevent Palestinians not living in Shaykh Jarrah from entering while all Jewish Israelis are allowed to enter. Elsewhere, 1 Palestinian started demolishing his own commercial structure in Jabal Mukabir. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/21; AJ, AP, HA, HA, MEE, WAFA 6/22; PCHR 6/24)

Israel allowed a small amount of agricultural and textile products to be exported from Gaza for the 1st time since 5/8. Israel still maintains an even stricter blockade of Gaza than before “Operation Guardian of the Walls” in May. Gaza’s Pepsi factory, for example, sent home all its employees on 6/20 due to running out of carbon dioxide gas and syrup, which it has been unable to secure due to the Israeli blockade. (AJ, AP, HA, REU, REU, WAFA 6/21)

Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz signed an administrative detention order against a Palestinian citizen of Israel from Lydda. The man is the 3d Palestinian citizen of Israel with orders signed to be put in administrative detention since the middle of May. 12 Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem have also had administrative detention orders signed against them. 13 other Israeli citizens are held in administrative detention but with no order signed against them. It was unclear if any of the 13 were Jewish Israelis. (HA 6/23)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas called on all Palestinian factions to resume national dialogue. (WAFA 6/21)

Hamas’s Yahya Sinwar said that a meeting with the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process Tor Wennesland had gone poorly and that he would consult with the Hamas military wing to find a response to Israel’s continued tightening of its blockade after the latest escalation between Israel and Hamas in May. Sinwar and Wennesland met to discuss how the UN could mediate to strengthen the Hamas-Israel ceasefire. (HA 6/21; AJ 6/22)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian homes with stones, causing damage in Huwwara. Israeli settlers also threw stones at Palestinian vehicles on a road near Huwwara. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles traveling on a road near Burqa. Israeli settlers also uprooted some 300 olive trees in Haris. Israeli forces delivered eviction orders to 1 Palestinian family in al-Walaja. 16 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around al-‘Arub refugee camp, Dheisheh refugee camp, Bethlehem, Kaubar, Beitunia, Qalqilya, Anabta, and Nur Shams; during the raids in Dheisheh refugee camp, 4 Palestinians were injured. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians and Israeli police as they were protesting the death of an Israeli settler who died in a car crash during a police pursuit after throwing stones at Palestinians; a video showed Israeli settlers blocking the road where a Palestinian car was traveling and then viciously attacking it with various objects; 20 Israeli settlers were arrested by Israeli police. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire on agricultural lands east of Abu Safiyya and Bayt Hanun; no injuries were reported.  (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/31; HA, WAFA 1/1; PCHR 1/7)

Israel handed over the body of a Palestinian killed by Israeli forces on 2/22/20 to the family of the deceased. (WAFA 12/31)

The Israeli ministry for settlement affairs allocated $6.2 million for settler councils in the West Bank to help them buy drones and pay salaries in order to monitor Israeli-deemed illegal Palestinian construction in Area C. (HA 12/31)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers raided Silat al-Dahir, vandalizing Palestinian-owned houses and vehicles. Israeli settlers also razed Palestinian-owned land and planted their own crops in ‘Urif. Israeli forces delivered 1 demolition order for 1 agricultural shed in al-Walaja and 1 commercial barrack in Qalqilya, and delivered 1 stop-work order for 1 house under construction in Bayt Awa. Israeli forces also clashed with Palestinians in Bayt Umar, leading to tear-gas related injuries. 3 Palestinians were arrested, including 1 during a late-night raid in Yatta and 2 at checkpoints near Nablus and Bethlehem. In East Jerusalem, 2 Palestinians were arrested during raids in the Old City and Bayt Hanina. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 11/19; PCHR 11/26)

PA civil affairs minister Hussein al-Sheikh said, after a meeting with Israeli officials, that Israel has agreed to pay the PA the money it owes in tax revenue, about $890 million. (NYT, WAFA 11/19; HA 11/20)

The U.S. state department issued new guidelines of how to refer to products produced in Gaza and the West Bank as secretary of state Mike Pompeo was visiting Israel and Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Under the new guidelines, products imported to the U.S. from Area C of the West Bank would have to be labeled “Made in Israel.” Products can no longer be labeled “Made in West Bank/Gaza,” so products made in Gaza should be labeled “product of Gaza” and products made in Area A and B of the West Bank should be labeled “product of West Bank.” In a statement by Secretary Pompeo, he said that the U.S. is adhering to a “reality-based” approach, which would indicate that the new guidelines are a way for the U.S. administration to recognize Israel’s annexation of Area C. The statement also stipulated that “Gaza and the West Bank are politically and administratively separate and should be treated accordingly.” Secretary Pompeo also made another policy announcement during a press conference with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. At the press conference, Pompeo announced that the State Department regards the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as anti-Semitic and that the U.S. would start identifying organizations that support BDS to penalize them. The BDS movement released a statement reiterating that it rejects “all forms of racism, including anti-Jewish racism” and said it would resist “these McCarthyite attempts to intimidate and bully Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights defenders into accepting Israeli apartheid and settler-colonialism as fate.” The American Civil Liberties Union responded to Pompeo’s announcement that “[c]riticism of Israel, or any government, is fully protected by the First Amendment. Threatening to block government funds to groups that criticize Israel is blatantly unconstitutional.” Secretary Pompeo also visited the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and was the 1st secretary of state to do so. Pompeo’s visit to Israeli settlements in the West Bank was also a 1st for a U.S. secretary of state. Pompeo also tweeted, “Anti-Zionism is Anti-Semitism” (AJ, AJ, Amnesty, AX, BBC, BBC, DT, DW, HA, IN, IN, MDN, MEE, NYT, REU, REU, SKY, TOI, TOI, Twitter, Twitter, Twitter, U.S. State Department, WAFA, WAFA, WP 11/19; AJ, BBC, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WP 11/20)

The EU told Serbia and Kosovo that if the countries still desire to become member states of the EU, they will have to follow EU policy, including not moving their Israeli embassies to Jerusalem as this would undermine EU policy and international law. A statement released conveying the message referenced the White House meetings held on 9/5-9/7 in which U.S. president Donald Trump announced the embassy moves. (EU Commission 11/19)

At the UN general assembly, 163 countries voted for a resolution recognizing “the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine.” 5 countries—Israel, the U.S., Micronesia, Nauru, and the Marshall Islands—voted against. (HA 11/20)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces raided Qatanna, leading to clashes with Palestinians; tear-gas related injuries were reported. Israeli forces arrested 1 Palestinian and seized his vehicle. Israeli forces also clashed with Palestinians during a raid in Sabastiyya; 1 Palestinian bystander was hit in the head with Israeli-fired live ammunition. 20 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Jenin, Tubas, Qalqilya, Nablus, Hebron, and Ramallah. In East Jerusalem, 19 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Issawiyya, al-Tur, and Wadi al-Juz. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions to level agricultural lands east of Khan Yunis. In Israel, 2 Palestinians from Gaza were arrested after breaching the Gaza fence; according to the Israeli military, the 2 had 2 defective grenades and 1 knife in their possession when they were arrested. (HA, WAFA 10/1; PCHR 10/8)

The Israeli ministry of justice said, in response to a petition made by Adalah in August, that Israel will have to limit the amount of home demolitions conducted in Israel, which includes East Jerusalem. (Adalah, WAFA 10/5)

The PA ministry of local government issued building permits for Palestinian residents in the Jordan Valley. The minister, Majdi Salah, said that the PA no longer recognizes the classifications of areas A, B, and C made during the Oslo Accords and therefore is not bound by Israel’s claims of civil and military control in Area C. (WAFA 10/1)

Israel’s high court of justice rejected a petition to free a 49-year-old Palestinian who is held on administrative detention and has been hunger-striking for more than 60 days. The petition was rejected despite the Shin Bet and the Israeli Central Command caught lying about the Palestinian’s affiliation to Islamic Jihad. According to the prosecutors, he had been filmed saying he was a proud member of Islamic Jihad while interrogated; however, the transcripts do not back up their claim. (HA 10/6)

Israel and Lebanon confirmed that they would begin direct talks about their maritime borders on 10/14. The direct talks will be mediated by the U.S. and the UN. (AJ, BBC, HA, REU, TOI 10/1)

Armenia said it had recalled its ambassador to Israel over Israeli weapons sales to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has acknowledged use of Israeli-made drones to bomb Armenian forces and civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh, a de facto self-governed predominantly ethnically Armenian region within the borders of Azerbaijan. (REU, TOI 10/1)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinians traveling on a road between Nablus and Jenin, causing damage to 10 cars. Israeli forces shut down the entrances to Zabbuba near Jenin. 10 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Bethlehem and Hebron. The PA announced the highest amount of new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours; 1,000 Palestinians across Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, tested positive for the virus. In Israel, 1 Palestinian was arrested after entering Israel from Gaza to find work. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 9/10; PCHR 9/17)

Egyptian defense officials visited Israel and Gaza to facilitate a prisoner exchange between Hamas and Israel. (HA 9/12)

The Israeli government allocated $6 million to survey Palestinian construction in Area C deemed unauthorized by Israel. (HA 9/11)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked 1 Palestinian man in Burqa, causing fractures and bruises. An Israeli settler also set a car on fire and wrote racist graffiti in Zeita, south of Nablus. Israeli forces destroyed a 200-meter-long water pipe near Bardala and took measurements for a punitive demolition of the home belonging to the family of an alleged attacker in Ya‘bad. 11 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Bethlehem, Hebron, Ramallah, and ‘Azun. In East Jerusalem, 6 Palestinians were arrested in Issawiyya. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/11; WAFA 6/12; PCHR 6/18)

Yedioth Ahronoth reported that Israel is planning a census of Palestinians living in Area C, which would be the 1st since 1967. (HA 6/11)

In Lebanon, protesters rallied against the Lebanese government after the local currency lost 60 percent of its value in recent weeks. (REU 6/12; AJ, AJ 6/13)

U.S. president Donald Trump announced sanctions on the ICC and ICC personnel in retaliation to investigations into potential U.S. war crimes committed in Afghanistan. While Israel was not mentioned in Trump’s executive order, the country was mentioned in the accompanying press release: “the International Criminal Court has taken no action to reform itself and continues to pursue politically motivated investigations against us and our allies, including Israel.” (HA 6/11; WAFA 6/12)

More than 50 members of the U.S. congress called, in a letter, on U.S. ambassador David Friedman to condemn violence committed by Israeli settlers in the same manner he condemns violence committed by Palestinians. The letter noted the rise in cases of violence committed by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in recent months. (HA 6/11; WAFA 6/12)

The European Court of Human Rights ruled that the French courts had violated freedom of expression when 12 people from the BDS movement were convicted of inciting racism and anti-Semitism for distributing leaflets calling for boycotts of Israeli goods. France was ordered to pay each of the 12 campaigners $31,150. (Amnesty, HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/11)

The World Bank approved a $10 million grant to help operate and maintain a wastewater plant in Gaza. (WAFA 6/11)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers injured 2 Palestinians while throwing stones at a Palestinian-owned house in Yatma. Separately, Israeli settlers set fire to Palestinian-owned agricultural lands east of Tulkarm, damaging olive and almond trees. Israeli forces also confiscated 1 residential caravan in Bayt Dajan. 26 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Bayt Umar, Dura, Hebron, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Ya‘bad, Jenin, Nablus, and Qalqilya. During a raid near Ramallah, 1 Palestinian was injured by a rubber-coated bullet; 1 other Palestinian was injured by gunfire in Qalqilya, and clashes erupted during a raid in Ya‘bad; no injuries were reported there. In East Jerusalem, 3 Palestinians were injured in 2 separate attacks by unidentified perpetrators; 1 4-year-old girl was hit in the head by a bullet in Issawiyya and 1 man and his child were shot while working in a store in Shu‘fat. 1 Palestinian was arrested in Issawiyya. (HA, WAFA, WAFA 5/21; PCHR 5/28)

The PA formally informed Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories and the CIA that it was no longer participating in security coordination and intelligence sharing. PA forces also left Area B which, like Area C, is under Israeli military control. PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh also said that the PA would not accept COVID-19-related aid sent from UAE on a direct plane to Israel landing on 5/20, noting that the PA had not been informed about the shipment before it took off. All the COVID-19 material will instead go to Gaza, which witnessed 29 new confirmed COVID-19 cases today. (AJ, HA, HA, REU 5/21)

18 Democratic senators signed a letter addressed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, warning that annexation of parts of the West Bank “would betray our shared democratic values by denying Palestinians’ right to self-determination in a viable, sovereign, independent and contiguous state.” It further stated that annexation would likely erode the American people’s support for the U.S.-Israeli special relationship. (HA 5/21; WAFA 5/22)

In the West Bank, 4 Palestinians were arrested at the Allenby border crossing for attempting to smuggle some 100 goldfinch birds to Hebron. Another 3 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Jenin. 1 Palestinian was arrested in al-‘Arub refugee camp. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian was arrested in the Old City. In Gaza, 39 Palestinians were injured by Israeli-fired live ammunition and rubber-coated bullets during the 86th weekly Great March of Return protest. (HA, PCHR, WAFA, WAFA 12/27; PCHR 1/2)

Israeli defense minister Naftali Bennett issued directions to start registering settlements in Area C under the Ministry of Justice rather than the Israeli Civil Administration which is responsible for Israeli activities in the West Bank. (MEMO, WAFA, WAFA 12/28)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces summoned an 8-year-old girl for interrogation for allegedly harassing Israeli settlers in Hebron. By the Gaza fence, 1 Palestinian was killed after he crossed into Israel and opened fire on 3 Israeli soldiers, injuring all 3. Israeli forces subsequently shelled a Hamas outpost east of Khan Yunis. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire and fired flare bombs at Palestinian fishermen. Israeli forces also opened fire on farmers east of Khan Yunis, damaging a tractor. (AJ, HA, PCHR, WAFA, WAFA 8/1)

Israel’s transportation minister and member of Knesset Bezalel Smotrich wrote on Facebook that the approval for 715 housing units in Area C for Palestinians yesterday (7/30) was made “to prevent the establishment of an Arab terror state in the heart of Israel, to protect all of our Land of Israel and develop settlement and sovereignty in all its spaces.” The spokesperson for PA president Mahmoud Abbas, Nabil Abu Rudayna, said of the approval for the Palestinian housing units, “[t]he Palestinian people have the right to build on all of their land occupied in 1967 without the need for a permission from anyone. We will not give any legitimacy to the construction of a single stone in the settlements on our land.” (HA, WAFA, WAFA 7/31)

It was reported that Israel struck targets near Quneitra in Syria; no injuries were reported but there were reports of damage to structures. (HA 8/1)

U.S. president Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and U.S. special representative for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt met with Jordan’s King Abdullah and Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jordan. According to media reporting, King Abdullah stressed that a 2-state solution must include East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. (HA 7/31; FOX 8/1)

Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces shoot and fatally injure a Palestinian fisherman working near Gaza City. They arrest the injured man and his 2 colleagues. In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian minor amid clashes in Jericho. They also arrest 19 Palestinians and issue 4 arrest summons during late-night raids near Ramallah, Hebron, Nablus, and Bethlehem; and patrol near Hebron. Israeli settlers take over 120 dunams (approximately 30 acres) of Palestinian land near Nablus and plant it with wheat and grapes. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 2/25; EI 2/26; PCHR 3/1)

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre closes down indefinitely to protest a “systemic campaign” to persecute Jerusalem’s Christian community, according to a church official. The Jerusalem Municipality recently implemented a new policy of collecting taxes on church-owned property not being used for worship (see JPS 47 [3]), and the Knesset is set to take up a bill allowing the state to confiscate church property under certain circumstances. After the church shuts its doors, the Knesset committee set to debate that measure today postpones the proceedings to a later date. (HA, JP, TOI, WAFA 2/25)

Israel’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation approves a new bill that would strengthen the Israeli settlement enterprise by allowing the Jerusalem District Court to hear some cases related to property rights, building and construction, freedom of information, and restraining orders filed by Palestinians in Area C. (HA, JP, TOI, WAFA 2/25)

In the West Bank, an Israeli settler driver allegedly rams a Palestinian youth nr. Hebron, causing serious injuries. Israeli settlers and IDF troops surround a Palestinian school in Tuqu‘ village nr. Bethlehem. The soldiers arrest 2 teachers and 1 student who allegedly threw rocks at the settlers. IDF troops raid a printing shop in Ramallah, seizing $18,000 worth of equipment. They also arrest 2 Palestinians during a late-night raid nr. Ramallah, patrol during the day nr. Hebron and Qalqilya; and violently disperse Palestinian and international activists at a protest encampment outside Yatta village nr. Hebron; there are no serious injuries. The IDF injures 4 Palestinians in further clashes at a checkpoint nr. Qalqilya. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 6 Palestinians during violent raids in Issawiyya and Hizma. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats nr. Bayt Lahiya and Gaza City; there are no serious injuries or damage. (MNA 5/25; PCHR 6/1)

The Palestinian man seriously injured on 5/23 in a confrontation with Israeli forces in Netanya succumbs to his injuries. (MNA 5/25)

PA pres. Abbas meets with U.S. special rep. for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt in Ramallah to discuss the Dignity Strike. “We asked the American side to intervene in guaranteeing [our] prisoners’ rights and achieving their humane demands,” Abbas later tells the Fatah Central Comm. (JP, TOI 5/25)

Greenblatt also meets with Israeli PM Netanyahu to follow up on U.S. pres. Trump’s visit to the region on 5/22–23. The PM’s office then denies a report that the U.S. is pushing for Israel to transfer parts of Area C to Area B, increasing Palestinian control of the West Bank, as a goodwill gesture. (JP 5/26)

The IDF’s Coordinator of Govt. Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Yoav Mordechai says that the Israeli govt. will acquiesce to the PA’s 4/27 request to reduce the electricity supply to Gaza (see JPS 46 [4]). The PA, which typically pays NIS 40 m. (approx. $11.2 m.) per mo. for Israel to transfer electricity to Gaza, will reduce its monthly payments to NIS 25–30 m. (BBC, JP, MNA, TOI, YA 5/25; AP 5/31)

Hamas forces execute the 3 Palestinians convicted of crimes related to the assassination of senior Hamas cmdr. Fuqaha on 3/24 (see JPS 46 [3]). (JP, NYT 5/25; EI 5/26)

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) launches a strike on an agricultural area along the border fence nr. Gaza City, causing minor damage and no injuries. The IDF says that the strike was a part of an unspecified IAF exercise. In the West Bank, Israeli forces raid several homes in Yatta, the village of the Palestinians who attacked Israelis on 6/8 in Tel Aviv; and demolish a retaining wall nr. the village. Israeli soldiers arrest 1 Palestinian during a raid in ‘Askar r.c. nr. Nablus, sparking minor clashes with stonethrowing Palestinian youths (1 Palestinian is seriously injured). Israeli forces arrest 10 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Hebron, Jenin, Nablus, Bethlehem, Ramallah, and East Jerusalem; and patrol nr. Hebron and Ramallah throughout the day. (TOI 6/14; PCHR 6/16)

A COGAT official says that Israel’s political leadership has ordered COGAT to freeze any building plans in bedouin communities in Area C. Right-wing Israeli politicians think the PA is using building construction to consolidate power over Area C to keep the land in a future Palestinian state. (JP 6/15)

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 3 rockets into s. Israel, causing no damage or casualties. Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion nr. Khan Yunis to level land. Israeli forces at the border fence also open fire on land nr. al-Qarara village, causing no injuries. There are also 3 separate incidents of Israeli naval vessels opening fire on Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF opens fire with live ammunition on al- ‘Arub r.c. residents during clashes sparked by a raid, wounding 1. Meanwhile, IDF troops uproot around 120 palm trees nr. Jericho because they were not allowed to be planted in Area C. Separately, the Red Cross announces it has suspended the supply of tents to Palestinians displaced by Israel in the Jordan Valley, in protest at the IDF’s confiscation of the materials. The IDF patrols in 4 villages nr. Tulkarm in the morning, in Hebron and nearby al-‘Arub r.c., and 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Nablus at night. Jewish settlers attack Palestinian farmers in Qusra village nr. Nablus, causing no injuries. (JP, MNA, WAFA 2/6; PCHR 2/13)

Palestinian chief negotiator Erakat meets with U.S. envoy Martin Indyk in Jericho, but no details about the contents of discussions are made public. Meanwhile, EU foreign affairs chief Ashton expresses “deep concern” about Israel’s decision to build 558 new settlement housing units in East Jerusalem. (HA, MNA 2/6)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry meets with Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas in Ramallah, and reportedly offers him incentives for a return to direct negotiations with Israel. Palestinian sources say that offers include ensuring that Israel does not withhold transfer of tax revenues again and possibly expanding the PA’s jurisdiction to parts of West Bank Area C (under Israeli civil and security control). In addition, a Palestinian official claims that Kerry expresses interest in reviving the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002, which offered Israel full normalization for Israel’s complete withdrawal from the o.t. (including the Golan). (AP, MNA, REU 4/7)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 3 rockets from the Gaza Strip, with 1 landing in the Negev causing no damage or injuries and 2 landing inside Gaza. Meanwhile, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the north Gaza coast, causing no injuries or damage. In the West Bank, IDF forces shoot and seriously injure a Palestinian child during a protest in Aida r.c. in Bethlehem; another Palestinian is injured by the IDF during a demonstration in Um Rokba nr. Bethlehem. The IDF also patrols in Tulkarm in the morning, in 1 village nr. Hebron and 2 villages nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in al-‘Arub r.c., and 1 village nr. Hebron, and 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night. In another incident, Jewish settlers vandalize a mosque in in the Palestinian village of Tekoa nr. Bethlehem, leaving price-tag graffiti on the walls. (AFP, HA 4/7; PCHR 4/11)

The day before U.S. Pres. Obama arrives in Israel, the IDF and Israeli police raze 6 structures in 2 unauthorized Jewish settler outposts in the West Bank (Oz Zion and Ramat Migron). In retaliation, Jewish settlers vandalize 18 Palestinian cars and a bus in Nablus. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin at night. (MNA, YA 3/19; PCHR 3/21)

Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton sign a deal in Brussels for the EU to provide $9 million of new funding for Palestinian development, aimed at supporting the Palestinian presence in West Bank Area C (under full Israeli civilian and security control). Fayyad and his delegation then attend the annual meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC)—the main donor body responsible for formulating broad policy for development assistance to the Palestinians. There he presents a paper on how the Israeli occupation affects the Palestinian economy. Donors are asked by the Palestinian delegation to protect projects in Area C and are told how irregularities in aid transfers to the PA and Israel’s withholding of tax revenue have worsened a financial crisis. After talks, Norwegian FM and AHLC head Epsen Barth Eide says that progress was made towards securing the $1.2 billion needed to fund the PA this year (see QU 168). (AFP, MNA 3/18; HA 3/19)

A World Bank report warns of the continued deterioration of the Palestinian economy, citing Israeli-imposed restrictions and the impact of closures (See Docs in JPS 168). The report also notes a drop in donor funding, and the PA’s large debts to banks and suppliers. Palestinian gross domestic product grew 6.1% in the first three quarters of 2012, down from an 11% average in 2010 and 2011. (HA 3/12)

Israeli media reports that PM Benjamin Netanyahu may adopt a package of ‘‘goodwill gestures’’ ahead of U.S. Pres. Obama’s upcoming visit, including transferring responsibility for 2 West Bank roads to the PA, releasing Fatah prisoners, and approving building plans for Palestinian villages in Area C currently considered illegal. Netanyahu’s office denies the reports and says that any practical steps would only be taken if the Palestinian leadership returns to talks without conditions. (MNA, ToI 3/5)

In the West Bank, Jewish settlers uproot around 100 olive trees in Nahalin village nr. Bethlehem. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in Nablus, 1 village nr. Bethlehem, Aida r.c. in Bethlehem, 3 villages nr. Hebron and 2 villages nr. Jenin at night. (AP 3/5; PCHR 3/6)

Israeli security service Shin Bet publishes statistics indicating a 70% increase in violent attacks by Palestinians in the occupied territories during 2/2013 (138 incidents) compared to 1/2013 (83 incidents), most of which were the throwing of Molotov cocktails. (HA 3/5; XIN 8/6)

Hamas reports that PA security forces arrested 66 of the movement’s supporters in the West Bank during 2/2013, and summoned another 38 for interrogation. A senior Hamas official in the Gaza Strip says that PA Pres. Mahmud Abbas had ‘‘sold the reconciliation in return for an American smile.’’ (JP 3/5)

A week after assuming office, U.S. Defense Secy. Chuck Hagel hosts Israeli DM Ehud Barak at the Pentagon for talks on Iran and Syria, among other topics. Hagel assures Barak that there would be no interruption of funding for Israeli defense systems like Iron Dome, Arrow and David’s Sling, even as the looming sequester looks set to cost Israel around $155 million in defense assistance. (HA, JTA 3/5)

No Israeli-Palestinian violence is reported. (PCHR 7/26; OCHA 7/27)

The Israeli DM files a petition with Israel’s High Court to allow the demolition of 12 small bedouin enclaves (200 families, 1,500 individuals) in Area C in the Hebron Hills so the area (known as Firing Zone 918) may be used for military purposes; those evicted would be relocated to Yatta village in Area B. Israeli forces expelled some 700 Palestinians from the enclaves in 1999 and demolished their structures and wells, but the families sued the government in 2000 and were granted permission to return to the area until the case was resolved. After 5 yrs. of mediation, the sides declared an impasse in 2005. The government decided to take action now after noticing (according to the filing) ‘‘an increasing trend of augmenting and strengthening the population on the C Grounds.’’ (NYT 7/24; WT 7/25)

Israeli pres. Shimon Peres says he has met with Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas and other Palestinian officials several times in recent months to discuss resuming peace talks. The Palestinians do not comment. (WT 6/20) A previously unknown group calling itself the Mujahiddin Shura Council of Jerusalem (which claims ties to alQa‘ida) releases a video claiming responsibility for the 6/18 cross-border attack on Israel from Egypt. The video shows the 2 assailants killed by the IDF, identifying them as an Egyptian and a Saudi. (WP 6/20; NYT 6/21)

Responding to recent Israeli air strikes and cross-border shootings in Gaza that killed 6 Palestinians, Hamas’s IQB for the 1st time in more than a year fires a barrage of at least 45 rockets (including at least 10 Grads) fr. Gaza into Israel; 1 rocket damages an Israeli police barracks and injures 2 police officers, but the others land in open areas. The IQB says it is aiming predominantly at open areas to minimize the severity of its rocket fire and to ‘‘send a message’’ to Israel. Expecting retaliation, Hamas security officials vacate their bases. Israel initially issues a stern warning and carries out 1 air strike on a Palestinian rocketlaunching team nr. Dayr al-Balah, wounding 1 armed Palestinian. Late at night, however, Israeli warplanes and drones carry out 7 air strikes on Hamas targets across Gaza, seriously wounding 1 IQB mbr. The targets include a garage and a group of armed Palestinians in Gaza City, a vacant house in al-Bureij r.c., and 2 IQB training camps nr. Bayt Lahiya and Rafah. (HA 6/19; NYT, YA 6/20; PCHR 6/21; OCHA 6/22)

In the West Bank, Jewish settlers set fire to a mosque in the village of Jaba nr. Bethlehem and spray graffiti on its walls warning the Israeli government against evacuating the unauthorized settlement outpost of Ulpana (5 buildings, 30 families). This is the 12th mosque vandalized by Jewish settlers since 1/2011. Jewish settlers also vandalize the car of the settler leader negotiating the terms of Ulpana’s evacuation with the Israeli government. OCHA reports that in the previous week, the IDF carried out several significant demolitions in Israelicontrolled Area C: 14 residential structures and 11 animal pens in the al-Hirma bedouin community near Bethlehem (64 displaced, including 37 children); 6 seasonal residential structures in the Jordan Valley (20 displaced); 1 residential structure nr. Qalqilya; and 2 animal pens nr. East Jerusalem. (NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 6/20; OCHA 6/22)

The P5+1 and Iran close 2 days of ‘‘intense and tough’’ nuclear talks in Moscow. Both sides say that the talks were so detailed and so heated that they need a break to digest all that has been discussed and to confer with their governments. Iran reportedly offers to halt enrichment of uranium to 20% purity if the international community acknowledges Iran’s right to enrich uranium and immediately rolls back sanctions. The P5+1 refuses to delay or waive sanctions until Iran meets specific benchmarks of compliance. Ashton announces that the sides plan to send technical experts to Istanbul on 7/3 ‘‘to make sure all clearly understood the nature of both sides’ proposals’’ and to gauge the prospects for narrowing gaps and holding more negotiations. Meanwhile, the next round of EU and U.S. sanctions are scheduled to go into effect as scheduled on 7/1. (NYT 6/19; NYT, WP 6/20; NYT 7/2; WT 7/4; NYT 7/5)

Unidentified U.S. and Western officials confirm to the Washington Post (6/20) that the U.S. and Israel jointly developed the Flame virus to map and monitor Iran’s computer networks in preparation for a major cyberwarfare campaign. They said, however, that Israel deployed the virus unilaterally, without consulting the U.S., leading to its premature detection by Iran and to development of critical Iranian countermeasures. U.S. intelligence officials had hoped that Flame would reside undetected on Iran’s networks for years sending back valuable information. Computer experts said (WP 6/20) that Flame contained ‘‘DNA-like evidence’’ linking it to the Stuxnet virus (see QU in JPS 158). This would make the Stuxnet and Flame attacks the first recorded sustained cyber-sabotage campaign against a state. (WP 6/20)

Lebanon releases 9 Islamists (7 Lebanese, 1 Palestinian, 1 Saudi) tied to Fatah al-Islam who were among the approximate 180 people detained during the 2007 clashes between Fatah al-Islam and the Lebanese army in Nahr al-Barid r.c. in n. Lebanon (see QU in JPS 145–46). (WT 6/20)

The IDF makes brief incursions into s. Gaza nr. Khan Yunis and c. Gaza nr. Wadi al-Silqa to level land and clear lines of sight along the border fence; in both cases, Israeli helicopters providing cover to the troops fire on Palestinians working their lands nearby, causing no injuries but starting several brush fires (the largest of which destroys 30 d. of wheat). Later in the afternoon, IDF troops on the c. Gaza border fire toward Wadi al-Silqa, wounding 1 Palestinian civilian 1 km from the border fence (well outside Israel’s 300 m. no-go zone). In the West Bank, the IDF bulldozes at least 30 d. of Palestinian crop land nr. Hebron for the expansion of Harsina settlement, where 500 new housing units are planned. The IDF also conducts synchronized patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin in the morning and patrols in Tulkarm town and r.c. late at night (firing tear gas and stun grenades at stone-throwing Palestinians who confront them, causing no reported injuries). Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim settlement nr. Qalqilya violently beat a Palestinian teenager passing nearby. An Israeli court sentences Bassim al-Tamimi, the main organizer of the weekly nonviolent demonstrations in al-Nabi Salih, to 13 mos. in jail (time already served) for instructing youths to throw stones at IDF troops during protests. The case rested on the testimony of a 15-yr.-old Palestinian who confessed to stone-throwing during interrogation in custody, without access to a lawyer. Tamimi was granted a humanitarian release in 4/2012 after his mother suffered a stroke. Israel’s Tourism Min. and municipal officials in Jerusalem allocate more than $1 m. for a new settlement project in Silwan, in East Jerusalem. OCHA reports that in the previous week, Israeli authorities demolished 17 Palestinian structures in West Bank Area C (including 7 residences) and 11 animal pens in East Jerusalem; and ordered East Jerusalem Palestinians to demolish 1 home and 1 other structure or face demolition and fines by Israel. (WT 5/30; PCHR 5/31; OCHA 6/1)

Iranian officials confirm government computers are currently under attack by a sophisticated new virus called Flame, and accuse Israel and the U.S. of being behind it. (The U.S. declines to comment, whereas Israeli officials comment that ‘‘Israel is blessed with being a country rich in hi-tech ... both in the civilian and defense sector’’ and that ‘‘it’s certainly reasonable that [someone who views Iran as a threat] uses all means at his disposal, including these, to harm the Iranian nuclear system.’’) The new virus is a keystroke-logging program that steals data from infected computers and can be controlled remotely by whoever installed it. (NYT, WP 5/30; WT 5/31; JPI 6/8)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. IDF troops make a brief incursion into n. Gaza to level land and clear lines of sight along the border fence n. of Bayt Hanun, occasionally firing on the surrounding area to keep Palestinians away (no injuries reported). In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 2 Palestinian water tanks serving Palestinian agricultural land in area C; bulldozes 1 d. of agricultural land nr. Qalandia (n. of Jerusalem) that was previously confiscated for construction of the separation wall; conducts morning patrols in Qalqilya and 1 nearby village, 2 villages each nr. Ramallah and Tulkarm, and 1 nr. Jericho; afternoon patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 nr. Jenin; late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron; and late-night patrols in Bayt Umar, Birzeit, Jericho and 1 nearby village, Tulkarm, and 2 villages nr. Hebron and Ramallah (firing tear gas and stun grenades at stone-throwing Palestinian youths who confront them). Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar settlement nr. Nablus, escorted by IDF troops, throw stones at a Palestinian elementary school in nearby Ourif village; when local Palestinians throw stones back at the settlers, IDF soldiers fire tear gas at them to force them to disperse, causing no serious injuries. (JP, YA 4/23; PCHR 4/26; OCHA 4/27)

A Turkish official says that Turkey has blocked NATO from inviting Israel to participate in a NATO summit planned for Chicago in 5/2012 as part of a NATO outreach program to boost ties with nonmember states. NATO officials deny that the issue was ever discussed. Israel does not comment. (WP 4/24)

Egypt’s Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa visits al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in what he calls an unofficial visit to show solidarity with the Palestinian people and their claim to East Jerusalem. Many Egyptians and Muslims are angry that he broke an unofficial ban by Muslim clerics and Egyptian organizations on visiting areas under Israeli control. (WT 4/19)

Early in the morning, IDF troops make a brief incursion into c. Gaza e. of al-Bureij r.c., firing on the surrounding area; no damage or injuries are reported. Also in the morning, IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire on Palestinian houses and agricultural areas in Khuza; a Palestinian woman 1,000 m. from the border is hit in the head with live ammunition and is seriously injured. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 9 residential structures, 6 animal pens in al-Khalayli bedouin community in area C nr. Jerusalem, displacing 54 Palestinians (including 34 children); conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Tubas; late-night patrols in Jericho. In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities evict 2 Palestinian families fr. their homes in Bayt Hanina, ending a decade-long legal dispute with Jewish settlers over the ownership of the properties. (PCHR 4/19, 4/26; OCHA 4/27)

Israeli and Palestinian officials issue opposing statements on the content of Israel’s principles on borders presented in the Jordanian-sponsored exploratory talks last quarter. Israeli officials say the principles “effectively means a withdrawal from 90% of the West Bank,” similar to proposals made by Israel at the 2008 Annapolis conference. Palestinian officials counter that Israel never presented maps or discussed percentages, stating “If they wanted to say 90% they should have said 90%.” (WT 2/24)

Jerusalem Post reports that Naftali Bennett, former head of PM Netanyahu’s office and a former head of the YESHA settlers council who has recently launched a new group called One State Israel, has started circulating his proposed solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict to Israel’s political and military elites, who reportedly give it “high praise.” His “Israel Stability Initiative,” which he describes as “a practical plan for managing the . . . conflict,” calls for: (1) Israel unilaterally extending sovereignty over West Bank area C (60% of the West Bank); (2) granting citizenship to the 50,000 (by his estimate; as of 8/2011, OCHA put the figure at 150,000) Palestinians in Area C; (3) full PA “autonomy” in and freedom of movement among West Bank areas A and B; (4) no right of return for Palestinian refugees and no access for Palestinian refugees to areas under PA control; (5) a “full Israeli security umbrella” covering all of the West Bank; (6) the permanent separation of Gaza from the West Bank; and (7) heavy Israeli investment in economic projects in the West Bank that reinforce separation, such as joint industrial zones and separate road networks. (JP 2/23; YA 2/24; Foreign Policy online 5/1; see also OCHA, “Displacement and Insecurity in Area C of the West Bank,” 8/2011)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In retaliation, Israeli warplanes and IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire on open areas e. of Khan Yunis, causing no reported injuries. Late at night, after unidentified Palestinians fire another 2 Qassam rockets into Israel (causing no damage or injuries), Israeli warplanes make 3 air strikes on a group of armed Palestinians operating nr. Gaza City and on a Hamas training base in n. Gaza, causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops nr. Hebron uproot 690 trees and bulldoze 22 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of agricultural land, a well and water tank, and 800 meters (m) of fence surrounding the fields, located in Surif village; and demolish a mosque, a school, and 19 shelters in Khirbat Janba bedouin community; conducts daytime patrols in Qalqilya, Tulkarm, 4 villages nr. Ramallah, and 1 nr. Jenin (accidentally damaging 1 home and a water network when an IDF vehicle gets stuck); conducts afternoon and evening patrols in Qalqilya and 1 nearby village, Tulkarm and 3 nearby villages, and 1 village nr. Salfit; conducts late night patrols nr. Qalqilya. In Jerusalem, Israeli police arrest 7 Palestinians for jeering a group of Jews touring the Temple Mount/alAqsa Mosque compound. (JP 2/23; JP, WT, YA 2/24; PCHR 3/1; OCHA 3/2)

PA pres. and Fatah head Abbas holds separate meetings in Cairo with Hamas leader Mishal and Hamas’s acting PM in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh (marking their 1st meeting since 2007). Afterward, Fatah officials stated (Jerusalem Post 2/26) that Abbas has agreed to Mishal’s request to suspend talks on implementation of the 5/2011 Fatah-Hamas unity deal until Hamas resolves its internal disputes. (REU 2/23; JP 2/26)

IDF spokesman Maj. Guy Inbar acknowledges that Israel plans to relocate some 2,000 Bedouin fr. 20 encampments in the hills e. of Jerusalem (in area C) to clear the way for the expansion of Ma’ale Adumim settlement into the E1 zone to link it with Jerusalem. Officially, the government says the relocation plans are part of its broader initiative to “provide the bedouin across the West Bank with sites where they can build legally with access to water, electricity, and government services.” Construction in the E1 zone and settlers’ preparations for expansion of Ma’ale Adumim into the area have been planned since 2009, but this marks the 1st admission that the government has started logistical planning to remove the Bedouin population fr. the area. Meanwhile, Israeli DM Ehud Barak approves establishment of a new 40-unit settlement neighborhood and farm nr. Efrat settlement to expand the Gush Etzion settlement block s. of Bethlehem; the new settlement, to be called Givat Hadagan, was approved for development in the 1990s, with plans to build 500 housing units. Israel closes the old wooden Mughrabi footbridge (deemed unsafe) used by non-Muslims to reach the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount; the PA and Waqf officials protest, saying Israel plans to build a larger permanent structure to assert its control over the site, which is holy to both Muslims and Jews. Also in East Jerusalem, the IDF demolishes a Palestinian home in Bayt Hanina. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Qalqilya twice in the afternoon; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem and Jenin. Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar settlement nr. Nablus vandalize nearby Palestinian homes and cars twice during the day, including throwing a Molotov cocktail at a home. Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron nr. Qalqilya stone passing Palestinian vehicles, injuring 3 Palestinians. (HA 12/12; NYT, WP 12/13; PCHR 12/15; OCHA 12/16; HA 12/18)

Israel’s new amb. to Egypt, Ya’akov Amitai, arrives in Cairo. Israel withdrew its former ambassador for safety reasons on 9/9/11, when Egyptian protesters ransacked the Israeli embassy (see QU in JPS 162). (WP 12/13)

Direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are formally relaunched at a ceremony at the State Dept. in Washington, with Abbas and Netanyahu pledging to meet again on 9/13–14 in Egypt and then every 2 weeks thereafter to “keep momentum going.” Clinton, Abbas, Netanyahu, and U.S. special envoy George Mitchell meet, after which Abbas and Netanyahu meet privately for 90 mins. Mitchell then announces that the leaders have decided to work toward a “framework agreement” within a year that would outline “the compromises each side must be ready to make” to achieve peace as a 1st step before attempting to iron out a comprehensive peace treaty. (NYT, WP, WT 9/3)

For a 3d day in a row, IQB gunmen fire on a Jewish settler vehicle driving in West Bank area C, causing no injuries. Asked if Hamas’s political leadership approved the recent string of shootings, West Bank IQB spokesman Abu Ubaidah says the operations are “in harmony with the attitude of the political wing.” The PASF says that since the 1st shooting on 8/31, they have detained 300 Hamas mbrs. Late in the evening, the IDF patrol in villages nr. Jericho, Nablus, Qalqilya, and Salfit, making no arrests; conducts arrest raids in Hebron (shooting and wounding 1 Palestinian, releasing him to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society) and neighboring al-‘Arub r.c. Jewish settlers fr. Halamish settlement nr. Ramallah stone Palestinian vehicles driving by the settlement. Jewish settlers fr. Shilo settlement nr. Ramallah stone Palestinian cars on the Ramallah–Nablus road. Unidentified Jewish settlers stone Palestinian vehicles driving nr. Nablus. PCHR reports that Israel’s Gihon Water Company recently sent letters to churches and nunneries in the Old City of Jerusalem warning that their water service will be cut off if they do not immediately pay water consumption fees accumulated since 1967; historically, religious establishments in Jerusalem have been exempt from such fees. (PCHR 9/2; WP 9/4; PCHR 9/8; OCHA 9/17)

On the eve of ceremonies reopening direct Israeli-Palestinian talks, U.S. Pres. Barack Obama holds separate meetings with Abbas, Netanyahu, Egyptian pres. Husni Mubarak, and Jordan’s King Abdullah. In the evening, Obama hosts the leaders for a working dinner at the White House. (WP 9/1; NYT 9/2)

In the West Bank, the IDF continues to impose a curfew on Palestinian areas nr. the site of the 8/31 attack nr. Hebron and carries out house-to-house searches for the Hamas mbrs. involved, rounding up scores of Palestinians with suspected ties to the organization. In the evening, IQB gunmen shoot at another Jewish settler vehicle nr. Ramallah, in area C, wounding 2 settlers (1 seriously). The IDF also conducts latenight arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron, and nr. Ramallah, Salfit, Tulkarm. Jewish settlers retaliating for the 8/31 Hamas attack stake out a 15-d. plot of Palestinian land (exact location not reported) for a new settlement outpost but leave the area by nightfall, stone Palestinian vehicles on the Nablus–Qalqilya road, and vandalize a Palestinian home and set fire to adjacent grass land in Hebron. Meanwhile, in Gaza, IDF troops on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction material in the demolished Erez industrial zone, causing no injuries. The IDF also makes an incursion into the s. Gaza border areas e. of al-Shuka, accompanied by drones and helicopters, but withdraws 6 hrs. later without incident. (NYT, PCHR 9/2; PCHR 9/8; OCHA 9/17)

Hamas’s military wing, the Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades (IQB), takes responsibility for shooting at a Jewish settler vehicle driving nr. Hebron (in area C, under full Israeli control, where the PASF is not allowed to operate), killing 4 Jewish settlers, including a pregnant woman, marking the deadliest West Bank attack on Israelis in more than 2 yrs. and the first staged by Hamas since before the 1/2006 elections. Both Abbas and Netanyahu say the attack should not derail peace talks. The YESHA settlement council vows to renew construction in West Bank settlements immediately, before the temporary freeze ends, to demonstrate Israelis’ “resolve against terrorism.” Following the attack and throughout the night, the IDF seals the entrances to Hebron, Halhul, and al-Fawar r.c. and imposes a curfew on nearby Bani Na‘im village, raiding and searching homes and detaining Palestinians with suspected connections to Hamas. Meanwhile, Jewish settlers implementing their “price-tag” doctrine to punish Palestinians for any state acts against settlers, beat Palestinian farmers working their land nr. Emanuel settlement nr. Salfit and stone Palestinian vehicles traveling on the Nablus–Qalqilya road (2 separate incidents) as well as on a road bypassing Yitzhar settlement nr. Nablus. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba in Hebron attempt to break into a nearby Palestinian home but are prevented by the IDF. Late at night, the IDF patrols 2 villages nr. Salfit; no incidents are reported. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that in the previous wk. 3 Palestinians were killed in 2 separate tunnel collapses on the Rafah border. (NYT, WP, WT 9/1; PCHR 9/2; OCHA 9/3)

In the morning, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Lahiya fire on Palestinians collecting scrap metal from destroyed sites nr. the border fence (no injuries are reported). In the West Bank, an off-duty Palestinian policeman (not in uniform) stabs, kills an IDF soldier parked in a jeep at a junction s. of Nablus in Israeli-controlled area C and is detained by an Israeli security guard from a nearby Jewish settlement; PA Pres. Abbas denounces the attack, urging Palestinians to participate only in nonviolent protests against Israel. In response, the IDF raids, searches several Palestinian houses and the assailant’s home in al-Khiljan village southwest of Jenin, confiscating computers and cell phones, and arresting 6 Palestinians, including 4 of his brothers. The IDF also fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas to disperse Palestinians and international activists planting 500 olive trees on Palestinian land slated for Israeli confiscation in Bayt Umar village nr. Karme Tzur settlement; levels Palestinian land nr. Bayt Sahur for construction of an IDF observation post; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Bethlehem, Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah (arresting 20 Palestinians, all between the ages of 15 and 18), and nr. Hebron. (NYT, OCHA, PCHR, WP 2/11; OCHA, PCHR 2/18)

The IDF conducts military exercises in the Golan Heights. Meanwhile, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border make a brief incursion to detain 2 Palestinian teenagers scavenging for scrap metal from destroyed buildings nr. the border fence n. of Bayt Hanun, holding them for 12 hrs. of interrogation before releasing them. Israel allows Gazans to export 1 truckload of carnations (30,000 flowers), marking the first exports permitted since 4/27/09. In the West Bank, the IDF raids Khirbat Tana village, located in area C northeast of Nablus and w. of Mehola settlement, early in the morning, searching several homes and confiscating 4 tractors, stating the area is a closed military zone (see Quarterly Update for details). The IDF also shuts the Shavei Shomron checkpoint on the Jenin–Nablus route for road repair work that is expected to take 9 mos.; the closure creates long delays for Palestinians traveling between Jenin and the s. West Bank. Jewish settlers fr. Revava northwest of Salfit brutally beat a 13-yr.-old Palestinian child; the IDF evacuates the child to an Israeli hospital. (NYT 12/11; OCHA, PCHR 12/16)

In the West Bank, the IDF halts PA construction of a staging area outside Bethlehem where Pope Benedict XVI will be received when he visits the city on his upcoming tour (5/8–15), arguing that the plot falls in area C and therefore construction requires coordination with Israeli authorities. The IDF also beats several Palestinians holding a nonviolent protest against construction of a new settler-only bypass road nr. Carmiel settlement s. of Hebron (see 4/9), which is expected to displace 13 Palestinian families; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Tulkarm. Around 20 Jewish settlers fr. Kefar Etzion nr. Bethlehem chase off a Palestinian farmer working his land nr. the settlement. Nr. Qalqilya, Jewish settlers escorted by IDF troops prevent Palestinian farmers in Jit village fr. farming their land, vandalize 5 homes in the village. (OCHA, PCHR 4/29)