263 / 15237 Results
  • January 27, 2013

    The Israeli cabinet approves (16–3, with 1 abstention) a plan for the Bedouin communities in the Negev that would see thousands of so-called unrecognized villages destroyed and their populations...

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  • October 18, 2012

    Israel transfers tax revenues to the PA 2 weeks ahead of schedule in recognition of the economic crisis. The PA fin. min. announces it will pay partial salaries to workers. (MNA 10/18, 10/20)...

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  • October 6, 2012

    Israel’s air force shoots down an unmanned drone over the Negev desert. On 10/11, Hizballah confirms that it sent the drone, described by leader Hasan Nasrallah in a televised speech as a ‘‘...

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  • September 29, 2012

    Israel’s FM Avigdor Lieberman says that while it was not possible to stop the UNGA voting in favor of the PA’s bid for recognition as a non-member observer state, the Israeli government would ‘‘...

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  • July 27, 2011

    The IDF raids the Freedom Theater in Jenin, arresting 2 Palestinian employees (it is unclear if the raid is connected to the 4/2011 murder of the theater’s director, Israeli-Palestinian actor...

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  • June 19, 2011

    Israel’s homefront command begins a 5-day civil defense drill to test Israel’s emergency response to a massive missile attack. The IDF shoots, wounds, and arrests a Palestinian nr. the Israeli...

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  • June 2, 2011

    The Israeli DM announces that the 1st permanent section of a border fence between Israel and Egypt has been completed; Israel expects to finish the 135-mi. fence by mid-2012. In the West Bank, the...

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  • March 22, 2011

    Israel makes 2 air strikes on Gaza targeting the launch site of 4 mortars fired into Israel minutes earlier (causing no damage or injuries), hitting a nearby residential area, killing 4...

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  • July 28, 2009

    The IDF makes a brief incursion into Gaza e. of Gaza City to level land nr. the border fence. The UN reports that 9 Palestinians were killed and 16 injured in tunnel collapses in the previous wk....

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  • January 13, 2009

    The IDF significantly increases attacks on Gaza for the 2d straight day, as international mediation efforts led by Egypt to secure a cease-fire also intensify.

    Combat notes: The IDF...

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  • January 10, 2009

    Israel warns of an expanded ground war in Gaza and begins moving more tanks and reservists to the Gaza border. The IDF drops leaflets and sends out automated phone messages across Gaza, warning of...

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  • December 16, 2008

    Overnight, Islamic Jihad mbrs. in Gaza fire more than a dozen rockets into Israel in retaliation for the IDF’s 12/15 assassination of Nawahda, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF makes 2 air...

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  • June 24, 2007

    After Islamic Jihad fires several rockets fr. Gaza into Israel (causing no reported injuries), the IDF makes an air strike on a car in Gaza City assassinating Islamic Jihad mbr. Hussam Harb,...

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  • March 30, 2007

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids in al-Til and neighboring ‘Allar; fires live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets at stone-throwing Palestinians demonstrating against Israeli...

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  • January 9, 2007

    For a 3d day, IDF troops at the Erez crossing fire at Palestinians collecting scrap metal nr. the border fence, wounding 1 Palestinian. In the 1st such incident since the Gaza ceasefire went into...

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  • December 12, 2006

    DF troops on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Hanun open fire on Palestinian farmers who stray too nr. the border fence, seriously injuring 1. Palestinians fire 3 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing...

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  • December 6, 2006

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire on Palestinians collecting scrap metal nr. the border fence, wounding 4. The Israeli navy fires on Palestinian fishermen w. of Rafah, damaging some boats but...

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  • August 29, 2006

    The IDF continues operations in Gaza City, shelling, firing on, and using drones to fire missiles at any group of Palestinians in the eastern part of the city, killing at least 4 Palestinian...

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  • June 2, 2006

    The IDF fatally shoots 2 Egyptian border guards who cross the Israeli border into the Negev, while a 3d Egyptian escapes; Israel claims that the men intentionally crossed the border and fired on...

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  • March 28, 2006

    Israel closes all Gaza crossing into Israel, reimposing the full seal on the territories (set on 3/11) for parliamentary elections; sends troops into al-Fawwar r.c. to conduct arrest raids and...

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  • January 24, 2006

    The IDF bars CEC officials fr. transporting election boxes through a Tulkarm checkpoint to 21 al-Sha‘rawiyya polling stations; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Jenin. The Shin Bet summons...

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  • January 17, 2006

    The IDF assassinates senior Hamas military cmdr. Thabit Ayadi, fatally shooting him in a raid on Tulkarm, also arresting 3 Palestinians, raiding 10s of homes; demolishes 2 Palestinian homes nr....

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  • January 8, 2006

    Egypt allows the Rafah border crossing (closed since the incidents of 1/4) to reopen. The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Hebron and Tulkarm r.c., nr. Jenin, in and around Bethlehem....

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  • January 6, 2006

    Palestinians fire 2 rockets fr. Gaza at the Negev, causing no damage or injuries; the IDF responds with artillery fire on n. Gaza, damaging 3 homes in Bayt Lahiya. The IDF conducts arrest raids,...

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  • January 3, 2006

    As the campaign period for the 1/25 Palestinian elections opens, Israeli police in East Jerusalem arrest Independent Palestine candidate Mustafa Barghouthi as he campaigns, releases him after 4...

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  • October 30, 2005

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

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  • October 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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  • September 24, 2005

    Before dawn, Islamic Jihad and Hamas fire more than 30 rockets fr. Gaza at Sederot and the Negev, 3 of which lightly wound 3 Israeli security guards, 2 civilians. Early in the morning, the IDF...

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  • September 23, 2005

    Overnight, the IDF assassinates 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs. (Ra’id ‘Ajaj, Said alAshqar, Jamil Ja’ara) in a raid on Tulkarm. In the afternoon, Islamic Jihad fires at least 13 rockets at Sederot, the...

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  • September 6, 2005

    Israeli DM Shaul Mofaz orders IDF cmdrs. to carry out stringent roadblock checks, demanding that troops “show no pity for anyone, even if it causes traffic hold ups and anger.” In Gaza, the IDF...

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The Israeli cabinet approves (16–3, with 1 abstention) a plan for the Bedouin communities in the Negev that would see thousands of so-called unrecognized villages destroyed and their populations forcibly relocated to governmentapproved towns. The plan covers landownership issues, compensation, and investment in the region. The PM’s Office calls it a ‘‘compromise,’’ but Bedouin activists and human rights campaigners denounce it entirely. (JP 1/27, JP 1/28)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 nr. Salfit in the afternoon, and in Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in Aida r.c. nr. Bethlehem, Tulkarm, and 1 village each nr. Hebron and Tubas at night. (PCHR 1/31)

Tunisian pres. Moncef Marzouki postpones his visit to the Gaza Strip (see 1/20) until 3/2013, following discussion with Palestinian pres. Abbas, in order to ‘‘allow the path of reconciliation to progress.’’ Meanwhile, spokesperson for the Palestinian reconciliation comm., Abdul Aziz Qudaih, says that Morocco has pledged $500 m. to support reconciliation efforts, money to be used for compensation payments for those injured or who suffered property damage during Hamas-Fatah fighting in 2007. (MNA 1/27)

Turkish media report that the country’s dep. min. for energy and natural resources, Murat Mercan, has told Israeli Foreign Ministry official Michael Lotem that Israel’s energy cooperation with Cyprus would stand in the way of any proposed Israel-Turkey natural gas pipeline. The unofficial conversation took place during the Eurasian Economic Summit held in Istanbul. (REU 1/27)

Israel transfers tax revenues to the PA 2 weeks ahead of schedule in recognition of the economic crisis. The PA fin. min. announces it will pay partial salaries to workers. (MNA 10/18, 10/20)

Israel grants final approval to a plan for 800 new homes in East Jerusalem, meaning an expansion of Gilo settlement. (AFP 10/18)

Bedouin citizens of Israel hold a protest outside government offices in Beersheba to call for an end to the pending demolition orders in Bir Hadaj village in the Negev. Meanwhile, Israeli authorities demolish the Bedouin village al-Araqib for the 43rd time. (JP 10/18; MNA 10/19)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya, 3 villages nr. Ramallah, and 2 villages nr. Jenin in the morning; in 2 villages nr. Jericho and 2 villages nr. Hebron in the afternoon; and in al-Bireh, 2 villages nr. Jericho, 1 village nr. Jenin, and 2 villages nr. Hebron (in 1 of which the IDF uses tear gas against stone-throwing Palestinians) at night. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire at Palestinian fishermen, causing no injuries. (PCHR 10/24)

In a report submitted to the UN Security Council (UNSC), UN secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon calls the Hizballah drone sent into Israeli airspace a ‘‘reckless provocation,’’ and criticizes Israel’s use of drones and fighter jets in Lebanese airspace as a violation of sovereignty. (AP 10/18)

Israel’s air force shoots down an unmanned drone over the Negev desert. On 10/11, Hizballah confirms that it sent the drone, described by leader Hasan Nasrallah in a televised speech as a ‘‘reconnaissance aircraft’’ whose parts were manufactured in Iran and assembled in Lebanon. (CNN 10/6; REU 10/11)

Israeli naval vessels off the Gaza coast open fire on Palestinian fishermen in the morning, with no injuries or arrests. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in 1 village nr. Ramallah, 1 village nr. Tulkarm, and 1 village nr. Hebron at night; conducts a house search and arrest raid in 1 village nr. Hebron. Jewish settlers nr. Hebron and nr. Ramallah attack Palestinian farmers. (PCHR 11/10)

Israel’s FM Avigdor Lieberman says that while it was not possible to stop the UNGA voting in favor of the PA’s bid for recognition as a non-member observer state, the Israeli government would ‘‘exact a price’’ from Abbas in response. (HA 9/29)

Israel’s planning comm. approves establishment of a new Jewish community in the n. Negev in place of the Bedouin village Umm al-Hieran, whose roughly 500 residents will be forcibly relocated. (YA 9/29)

Israel releases 2 Hamas-affiliated mbrs. of the Palestinian Council after 15 mos. in administrative detention. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya and 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning, in 1 village nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Jericho in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Jenin at night. Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists protest land confiscation nr. Karme Tzur settlement nr. Hebron. (MNA 9/29; IMEMC 9/30; PCHR 10/4)

The IDF raids the Freedom Theater in Jenin, arresting 2 Palestinian employees (it is unclear if the raid is connected to the 4/2011 murder of the theater’s director, Israeli-Palestinian actor Juliano Mer-Khamis); conducts late-night raids in Silwan in East Jerusalem (arresting a 14- yr.-old boy) and nr. Tulkarm. Israel sues bedouin residents of al-Araqib in the Negev for $500,000 to cover the IDF’s cost of demolishing their village each time they rebuild it, saying the residents “have not respected legal rulings and continue to build illegally” and the government must protect “the public purse”; since the IDF demolished the 45 structures in the village in 7/2010, it has returned to level the village 20 times, but each time the bedouin return to rebuild. (BBC 7/27; PCHR, WP 7/28; OCHA 8/5)

Israel’s homefront command begins a 5-day civil defense drill to test Israel’s emergency response to a massive missile attack. The IDF shoots, wounds, and arrests a Palestinian nr. the Israeli military liaison office in Qalqilya, claiming he attempted to stab a soldier; enters Tulkarm (area A) in the morning, setting up a checkpoint outside a college and randomly stopping and questioning students, withdrawing later in the day; patrols during the day in 4 villages nr. Jericho and Qalqilya and late at night in Jericho; conducts latenight arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem and Tulkarm. (AFP, HA, JTA 6/19; PCHR 6/23; OCHA 6/24)

The Israeli cabinet approves moving the World Zionist Organization’s settlement division from under the control of the Agriculture Min. to under the control of the Prime Minister’s Office; the division has an annual budget of $7.25 m. for developing West Bank settlements (much of which has gone to unauthorized settlement outposts since 2005) and $14 m. for developing the Galilee and Negev. (AFP, HA, JTA 6/19)

The Israeli DM announces that the 1st permanent section of a border fence between Israel and Egypt has been completed; Israel expects to finish the 135-mi. fence by mid-2012. In the West Bank, the IDF arrests Hamas-affiliated PC speaker Aziz Dweik (no location reported); patrols in 5 villages nr. Jenin, Salfit, and Tulkarm during the day, checking IDs and issuing 2 orders to appear for questioning. Some 200 IDF soldiers and Israeli border police demolish 4 structures at the unauthorized settlement outpost of Aley Ayin nr. Nablus, sparking clashes with Jewish settlers that leave 1 police car destroyed by fire and 6 Israeli border police and 5 settlers injured. Jewish settlers fr. Havat Gilad nr. Qalqilya set fire to nearby Palestinian crops; when local farmers try to chase them away, the IDF intervenes, firing tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets and beating the Palestinians, injuring 3. Israel’s Prawer Commission issues its final report on how best to implement the 2008 Goldberg Commission’s recommendation that Israel should legalize unrecognized bedouin villages in the Negev, so long as their territory does not overlap with existing land settlement plans for the benefit of the Jewish population. (HA, JTA 6/2; PCHR 6/9; OCHA 6/10)

Israel makes 2 air strikes on Gaza targeting the launch site of 4 mortars fired into Israel minutes earlier (causing no damage or injuries), hitting a nearby residential area, killing 4 Palestinian civilians (including 3 children) and wounding 11 (4 critically); Netanyahu expresses regret for accidentally harming civilians but accuses Palestinian militants of using civilians as human shields to carry out rocket and mortar attacks (even while there was no rocket fire at the time of the strikes). In the evening, Palestinians fire a manufactured Grad rocket and several mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Later, the IDF carries out a 3d air strike, killing 4 Islamic Jihad mbrs. preparing to launch a rocket into Israel. The IDF also makes a brief incursion into Gaza northeast of Gaza City to level lands and clear lines of sight. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishermen off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF makes a predawn raid on Awarta, imposing a curfew and arresting 9 Palestinians, possibly in connection to the 3/11 Itamar murders; patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and Salfit. (IRM 3/22; NYT, REU, WP, WT 3/23; NYT, PCHR 3/24; OCHA 4/1)

The Knesset passes (37-25, with 58 abstaining or not voting) the “Nakba Law,” which allows state funding to be reduced to communities or groups that commemorate the Nakba, deny Israel is a Jewish state, question whether Israel is a democracy, or harm Israeli national symbols. It also passes (35-20, with 65 abstaining or not voting) the “Admissions Committee Law” allowing Negev and Galilee Jewish communities with fewer than 400 families to reject potential residents (i.e., Palestinians) who are “socially unacceptable.” (IsRN 3/23; JTA 3/24)

The IDF detains 2 Lebanese shepherds who accidentally crossed the Blue Line into Israeli territory and turns them over to the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). (DS 3/23)

The IDF makes a brief incursion into Gaza e. of Gaza City to level land nr. the border fence. The UN reports that 9 Palestinians were killed and 16 injured in tunnel collapses in the previous wk. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Tulkarm. Jewish settlers evicted fr. Inbalim on 7/27 set up 3 new mobile homes in Givat Egoz outpost nr. Talmon settlement, also nr. Ramallah. An Israeli court reverses its 7/27 temporary injunction on construction at the Farhan-Hijazi properties in Shaykh Jarrah, ruling that Jewish settlers may keep building and living on the site until the next court session to discuss the case on 9/23/09. Meanwhile, Israeli police raid 2 other Palestinian homes in Shaykh Jarrah (the Ghawi and Hanun properties) where ownership is contested by Jewish groups, ordering residents to vacate the homes by 8/10/09 or face expulsion; settlers attempt to occupy the Hanun home but are fended off by the family; both families immediately file an appeal to the Israeli High Court. Timed with Mitchell’s visit (see 7/26), Jewish settlers, as a protest message to Obama, set up 11 new unauthorized settlement outposts, symbolizing the 11 settlements established by Zionists in the Negev in 1946 in defiance of British prohibition. The settlers hold a press conference inaugurating the new outposts in Neria settlement, established in 1991 to protest a visit by Secy. of State James Baker who was then pressuring Israel to halt settlement construction. (NYT 7/29; OCHA, PCHR 7/30; OCHA 8/18)

U.S. NSA Jones and his chief Middle East adviser Dennis Ross begin a 3-day trip to Israel, with talks focused on Iran. (WP 7/27; NYT 7/29)

The IDF significantly increases attacks on Gaza for the 2d straight day, as international mediation efforts led by Egypt to secure a cease-fire also intensify.

Combat notes: The IDF tightens the cordon around Gaza City (focusing attacks on the outlying neighborhoods of Shaykh Ajlin, Tal al-Hawa, and al-Zaytun and open areas n. of the city), with troops reportedly taking fire from Palestinian rocket-propelled grenade antitank missiles and mortars. The IDF also launches a major incursion into Jabaliya under heavy shelling, engaging in heavy exchanges of fire with Palestinian gunmen, killing at least 13. In s. Gaza, the IDF continues heavy attacks on Khuza, including air strikes, intense shelling, and widespread bulldozing of some 50 houses and farms; Israeli fire is so heavy and constant that residents report being unable to reach the injured or flee their homes to seek shelter outside the village; IDF troops pull back fr. Khuza after nightfall.

The IDF reports carrying out more than 160 air strikes across Gaza. Air strike target areas include Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, Gaza City (al-Sabra, Shaykh Ridwan, al-Zaytun), Jabaliya r.c., Khan Yunis, Khuza, Nussayrat r.c., Rafah, al-Shuka, Tal al-Za‘atar, and the Twam area. Israeli gunboats shell Nussayrat r.c. Heavy tank and artillery fire are reported nr. Bayt Lahiya (white phosphorous suspected) and in Dayr al-Balah, Jabaliya town, Khan Yunis (white phosphorous suspected), Khuza, Nussayrat r.c. (confirmed use of flechette shells). For a 2d day, nearly half of the air strikes take place after nightfall, targeting Gaza City. Palestinians report 12 hrs. of constant Israeli bombardment of the Rafah border, with the IDF claiming to destroy 90 smuggling tunnels. (The IDF also demolishes 1 tunnel on the Gaza–Israel border nr. the Nahal Oz crossing.) Specific targets include a Hamas police headquarters in Gaza City, 31 groups of armed men, 25 rocket-launching sites, and 13 suspected weapons manufacturing and storage facilities.

On the ground, the IDF reports a total of 6 soldiers wounded (2 moderately, 4 lightly) in 2 exchanges of gunfire with Palestinians. In a 3d incident, IDF reservists open fire on an IDF paratrooper unit, seriously wounding 1 and moderately wounding 3. Palestinians report around 70 Gazans killed today, putting the estimated Palestinian toll at 971 dead and 4,400 wounded. The Israeli toll stands at 13–14 dead, more than 125 injured. (Israeli military intelligence confirms that 1 soldier killed on 1/6 or 1/8 was targeted by a suicide bomber, stating that several Palestinian suicide bombers, including some women and some dressed as IDF soldiers, have approached combat units.)

Palestinians fire about 11 rockets and 6 mortars into Israel, causing no reported damage or injuries.

Humanitarian notes: The IDF observes another 3-hr. lull, allowing 102 truckloads of aid into Gaza. (The IDF states that 1,028 truckloads of humanitarian goods have been allowed into Gaza since 12/27.) During the lull the ICRC rescues 100 Palestinians trapped in Jabaliya. Heavy IDF attacks in Rafah force UNRWA to close a medical center just n. of the border to ensure the safety of patients and to open more shelters for displaced residents. Human Rights Watch calls Israel’s 3-hr./day breaks to facilitate humanitarian aid “woefully insufficient.” Other aid groups (including Doctors Without Borders, the ICRC, the UN) complain that they are still able to import and distribute only a fraction of the emergency supplies available for Gaza because of Israeli delays and restrictions. (BBC, HA, IDF, IFM, MA, MM, REU, YA 1/13; AYM, IDF, IFM, MM, NYT, WP, WT, YA 1/14; NYT, PCHR, WP, XIN 1/15; ITIC 1/19)

In the West Bank, IDF troops at the Tarqumiyya crossing nr. Hebron fatally shoot a Palestinian who allegedly attempts to grab the gun of a border patrol officer after being denied permission to cross the checkpoint. Late in the evening, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bayt Awa, Dura, and Kafr Khalil (all nr. Hebron). A Jewish settler driving nr. Azun village e. of Qalqilya opens fire on Palestinian youths who stone his car, killing 1 Palestinian teenager, wounding 2. (HA 1/13; PCHR 1/15)

A Jordanian soldier fires on an Israeli border patrol unit operating along the Negev border with Jordan n. of Elat. The border police return fire. No injuries are reported. (MM 1/13; WT 1/14; JPI 1/23)

Israel warns of an expanded ground war in Gaza and begins moving more tanks and reservists to the Gaza border. The IDF drops leaflets and sends out automated phone messages across Gaza, warning of an escalation in fighting.

Combat notes: IDF tanks and artillery pound Gaza throughout the day. The IDF reports making air strikes on about 120 targets, including the home of IQB head Ahmad Jabari (presumed to be in hiding), at least 15 rocket-launching sites, 21 suspected weapons depots (including a mosque and school in Rafah, the homes of several Hamas mbrs.), 16 tunnels, 3 Hamas outposts, 1 police station, and 2 vehicles allegedly transporting weapons. In Khan Yunis, an air strike destroys Gaza European Hospital’s fuel depot, electricity generator, and water supply system. Target areas include Bani Suhayla, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Gaza City (al-Nasser, Shaykh Ridwan, al-Shuja‘iyya), Jabaliya, Khan Yunis, al-Maghazi, Nussayrat, Rafah. IDF ground forces engage in heavy exchanges with Palestinians in and nr. Bayt Lahiya. Heavy IDF tank and artillery fire are reported in Jabaliya (where 8 family mbrs. are killed by an IDF tank shell that lands outside their home), Khuza (possibly involving white phosphorus, burning 15 homes and 100s of individuals), Nussayrat, and Tal al-Hawa in Gaza City. The IDF claims to kill 16 armed Palestinians, including Hamas’s “leading authority on Grad rockets,” IQB cmdr. Amir Mansi, during a strike on a rocket-launching site. The estimated Palestinian toll reaches 820–840 dead.

Palestinians fire 9 rockets and 10 mortars into Israel, the fewest since OCL began on 12/27; 3 Grad rockets strike Ashqelon (each causing damage and light injuries, including shock), others land in open areas nr. Ashdod and in the Negev (causing no damage or injuries). The IDF reports 7 ground troops lightly wounded in various exchanges.

Humanitarian notes: The IDF observes a 3-hr. humanitarian lull to allow relief agencies to recover casualties and distribute food but does not allow new aid through Gaza’s crossings on the Sabbath.

Of note: The IDF reports that ground troops have been facing extensive tunnel networks inside the Strip, especially in Gaza City, which the Palestinian factions are using to try to ambush soldiers. IDF sources and Israeli journalists embedded with IDF troops report recent incidents in which Palestinian fighters tried to lure troops into a boobytrapped building in al-Zaytun; left a weapons cache rigged with explosives where the IDF would find it (the booby trap did not detonate); and sent a suicide bomber on a failed attempt to attack a group of soldiers. The IDF also acknowledges that it has rounded up and interrogated scores of Palestinians to gain knowledge of local Hamas positions and tactics. Israeli intelligence officers acknowledge phoning Gazans, sometimes overtly and sometimes pretending to be sympathetic Arabs fr. abroad, to gain information about conditions and locations of Palestinian forces on the ground. (AP, BBC, IDF, REU 1/10; IDF, NYT, WP, WT 1/11; MM, QA, WP 1/12; al-Akhbar, MM 1/13; NYT 1/14; PCHR 1/15; WJW 1/16; ITIC 1/19; JPI 1/23)

The IDF fires live ammunition at Palestinians demonstrating against OCL in Bayt Awa nr. Hebron, seriously wounding a 13-yr.-old boy; fires live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians holding a similar protest in Sa’ir nr. Hebron, wounding 3 Palestinians; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in ‘Askar r.c. nr. Nablus, nr. Hebron. (PCHR 1/15)

Overnight, Islamic Jihad mbrs. in Gaza fire more than a dozen rockets into Israel in retaliation for the IDF’s 12/15 assassination of Nawahda, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF makes 2 air strikes on Islamic Jihad mbrs. preparing to launch rockets nr. Bayt Hanun, injuring 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs., 1 bystander. OCHA reports that in recent days, Israel allowed 78 tons of chlorine and purification chemicals to be transferred to Gaza’s water authority, enough to treat Gaza’s water supply for 1 mo.; Gaza also received its 2d shipment (14 truckloads) of pharmaceutical supplies fr. the PA central pharmacy in Ramallah. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces bulldoze a tent and level land, displacing a Palestinian family whose home on the site they had bulldozed in 11/08. Inside Israel, some 200 Israeli police make an overnight raid on the Bedouin encampment of Abdallah al-Atrash in the Negev, which has existed for over 20 yrs., expelling 20 families and demolishing all structures. A Gaza court sentences Palestinian Muhammad Saidam, arrested in 2/08, to death for “treason, espionage, and collaborating” with Israel to assassinate mbrs. of the Palestinian resistance; PA pres. Abbas must approve the sentence before it can be carried out. (MM, OCHA 12/17; NYT, PCHR 12/18)

After Islamic Jihad fires several rockets fr. Gaza into Israel (causing no reported injuries), the IDF makes an air strike on a car in Gaza City assassinating Islamic Jihad mbr. Hussam Harb, wounding a 2d Islamic Jihad mbr., 3 bystanders. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Ramallah; patrols in, fires on residential areas of Nablus for a night, causing no injuries. Inside Israel, Israeli security forces demolish several bedouin homes in Um al-Hiram in the Negev. A Palestinian dies of injuries received in interfactional violence in Gaza City on 6/13. (WP 6/25; OCHA 6/27; PCHR 6/28)

Outside Metula in s. Lebanon, unidentified assailants detonate a car bomb as a UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) convoy passes, killing 6 UNIFIL soldiers (3 Columbians, 3 Spaniards), wounding 2 in the 1st targeted attack on the international mission since the 2006 Lebanon war. Amal, Hizballah denounce the attack, deny involvement. (NYT, WP, WT 6/25; NYT 7/7)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids in al-Til and neighboring ‘Allar; fires live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets at stone-throwing Palestinians demonstrating against Israeli excavations at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount, wounding 2. In addition to the weekly nonviolent demonstration in Bil‘in, 100s of Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists take part in nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall nr. Bethlehem, Marda, Salfit, Tulkarm; in each case, the IDF fires tear gas, percussion grenades to disperse the demonstrators, injuring several. In an evacuated settlement site nr. Khan Yunis, 1 Hamas mbr. is killed, 9 are wounded when explosives they are handling during a training exercise accidentally detonate. Nr. Rafah, 3 Palestinians are injured when they accidentally trigger an unexploded IDF shell. Jewish settlers fr. Beit Hadasah in Hebron chase, severely beat 3 Palestinians (ages 10, 40, 55); the IDF intervenes, arrests 1 Palestinian. The bedouin residents of the unrecognized village of al-Nasara in the Negev report that over the past 3 wks., Israel has issued eviction orders to around 250 residents, declaring plans to build an IDF installation on the site of the village. (NYT 3/31; OCHA 4/4; PCHR 4/5)

For a 3d day, IDF troops at the Erez crossing fire at Palestinians collecting scrap metal nr. the border fence, wounding 1 Palestinian. In the 1st such incident since the Gaza ceasefire went into effect on 11/26, an Islamic Jihad mbr. receives a phone call fr. the IDF warning him to evacuate his home pending an air strike; family and neighbors surround the home and no strike is carried out. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem, in Silat al-Harithiyya, nr. Nablus. Inside Israel, Israeli forces demolish 21 bedouin homes in Twayyil in the Negev. An ESF mbr. is injured in an exchange of fire btwn. ESF, Fatah mbrs. in Bayt Lahiya. ESF, Force 17 mbrs. clash nr. Abbas’s office in Gaza City, leaving a Force 17 mbr. wounded. After nearly 6 mos. of silence, the PRC faction holding captured IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit say that he is in “good health” and is being treated according to “Islamic standards.” (Negev Coexistence Forum press release 1/9; OCHA, WP, WT 1/10; PCHR 1/11)

DF troops on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Hanun open fire on Palestinian farmers who stray too nr. the border fence, seriously injuring 1. Palestinians fire 3 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries, bringing to 21 the number of rockets fired since the Gaza cease-fire went into effect on 11/26. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes a Palestinian home in al-Walaja nr. Bethlehem; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Abu Dis, Jenin town and r.c., and nr. Bethlehem, Tulkarm; bars a Palestinian heart attack victim fr. crossing a checkpoint to reach a hospital in Nablus, allowing him to die. Following the 12/11 attack on Balusha’s car in Gaza City, Abbas deploys extra security forces under his command across the Strip, sparking an exchange of gunfire btwn. Fatah, Hamas mbrs. during a Fatah demonstration in Khan Yunis against the killings, leaving 4 Fatah mbrs. injured. Inside Israel, Israeli police demolish 4 homes in the unrecognized village of Um Mitnan in the Negev. (IMEMC, MM 12/12; OCHA, WP 12/13; PCHR 12/14)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire on Palestinians collecting scrap metal nr. the border fence, wounding 4. The Israeli navy fires on Palestinian fishermen w. of Rafah, damaging some boats but causing no injuries. The AMB fire 3 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Also in Gaza, Palestinian haulers hold a 1-day strike to protest new Israeli restrictions barring the passage of specific types of trailers through the Qarni industrial crossing. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in ‘Askar r.c., Nablus, Qalqilya, al-Walaja nr. Bethlehem. Inside Israel, Israeli police demolish Israeli police demolish 17 homes in the unrecognized village of Twayyil in the Negev. (Palestine Information Center, Palestine Times [London] 12/6; MM, PCHR 12/7; IMEMC 12/12; OCHA 12/13; PCHR 12/14)

The IDF continues operations in Gaza City, shelling, firing on, and using drones to fire missiles at any group of Palestinians in the eastern part of the city, killing at least 4 Palestinian civilians, wounding at least 12. Also in Gaza, the IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian who approaches the n. Gaza border fence. In the West Bank, the IDF raids Balata r.c. nr. Nablus, fatally shoots 2 AMB mbrs. in what may be an assassination; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, and nr. Bethlehem, Jenin, Qalqilya. Of note: The Israeli prison authority transfers jailed Fatah tanzim leader and elected PC mbr. Marwan Barghouti fr. Haradim penitentiary nr. Tel Aviv to Nafha prison in the Negev; Palestinians alleged he was moved to isolate him fr. other Palestinian prisoners. The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem reports a “substantial increase” in the past 2 mos. of IDF soldiers beating, mistreating, humiliating Palestinians during encounters in the West Bank. Some 300 unemployed Palestinians demonstrate, scuffle with police in Gaza City, demanding welfare payments fr. the PA (see 8/28). (NYT, WP, WT 8/30; PCHR 8/31)

The IDF fatally shoots 2 Egyptian border guards who cross the Israeli border into the Negev, while a 3d Egyptian escapes; Israel claims that the men intentionally crossed the border and fired on IDF troops in a predawn raid; Egypt claims the men accidentally strayed across the border and the IDF fired first. The IDF also patrols in the Old City of Nablus, surrounding r.c.s; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron and nr. Jenin, Ramallah. (HA, MM 6/2; NYT, WP 6/3; MENA 6/3 in WNC 6/4; PCHR 6/8)

Israel closes all Gaza crossing into Israel, reimposing the full seal on the territories (set on 3/11) for parliamentary elections; sends troops into al-Fawwar r.c. to conduct arrest raids and house searches, fires on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops, wounding 6; also conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron and in Bethlehem, Nablus, Tubas. Israeli security contractors guarding the separation wall nr. Jerusalem shoot, wound a Palestinian who strays too close to the wall. Islamic Jihad fires a Grad missile (an Eastern European rocket with a range greater than a Qassam but less than a Katyusha) fr. Gaza towards Ashkelon, which lands unexploded causing no damage or injuries. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba attack Palestinians, vandalize property in Hebron. Separately, Jewish settlers fr. Hebron attack Palestinian children on their way to school by a Palestinian road that passes near a settleronly bypass road. Inside Israel, 2 bedouin are killed in the Negev when they accidentally detonate an unexploded Palestinian rocket. (IMEMC, YA 3/28; VOP 3/28 in WNC 3/29; HA, MM, NYT, OCHA 3/29; PCHR 3/30; MM 4/7, 4/13, 4/21)

Israel holds parliamentary elections, with voter turnout at a relatively low 63%. The Kadima party, founded by Ariel Sharon and led by Ehud Olmert, wins 29 of the 120 Knesset seats (less than expected) compared to Labor with 19 seats, Likud (the biggest loser compared with its 38 seats last election) with 12, Shas with 12, Yisrael Beiteinu with 11, National Union–National Religious Party with 9, Pensioners’ Party with 7, United Torah Judaism with 6, Meretz with 5, and 3 Arab parties with a total of 10. (MM 3/28; HA, JP, MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/29; NYT, WT 3/30; WP 3/31; XIN, YA 4/3)

The PC approves (71–36, with 2 abstentions) the Hamas-led cabinet. (NYT 3/29; XIN 3/28 in WNC 3/29)

The IDF bars CEC officials fr. transporting election boxes through a Tulkarm checkpoint to 21 al-Sha‘rawiyya polling stations; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Jenin. The Shin Bet summons PNN correspondent Mais Abu Ghazaleh for questioning, releases her with an “offer” to “consider cooperating with them to inform them on her future work with PNN.” Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into the Negev, causing no damage or injuries. Israel’s Jerusalem Municipality fines Fatah, Hamas, the PFLP $100,000 each for hanging campaign posters in East Jerusalem. Fatah gunmen in Nablus fatally shoot Fatah election official Yusif Hassuna after he tells them to stop shooting at campaign posters for Ghassan Shaka‘a (opposed by some Fatah mbrs.) on his house; 1,000 Palestinians later march to Nablus’s main police station to protest the killing, the police’s failure to end lawlessness. Some 40 Islamic Jihad mbrs. march in Tulkarm, demanding the release of prisoners fr. Palestinian jails, calling for an election boycott, firing on a PA police station (causing no injuries); PA police disperse the crowd. (AP, HA, IMEMC, PCHR, YA 1/24; PCHR 1/26; PNN press release 1/28)

The IDF assassinates senior Hamas military cmdr. Thabit Ayadi, fatally shooting him in a raid on Tulkarm, also arresting 3 Palestinians, raiding 10s of homes; demolishes 2 Palestinian homes nr. Bethlehem, 1 nr. Nablus; conducts arrest raids, house searches in al-Fawwar r.c., Hebron, Nablus, Ramallah. In retaliation, PRC mbrs. fire 2 rockets at the Sufa crossing into Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF also sends 100s of reinforcements to Hebron, where confrontations continue with Jewish settlers protesting their planned eviction fr. the Hebron market; several settlers are arrested. (AFP, HA, IMEMC, YA 1/17; IMEMC, NYT 1/18; PCHR 1/19)

Israeli authorities bulldoze 7 Palestinian buildings in unrecognized villages in the Negev for being built without permits, present bedouin with orders to demolish another 40 structures, including a mosque. (Palestine News Agency [WAFA] 1/18)

Egypt allows the Rafah border crossing (closed since the incidents of 1/4) to reopen. The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Hebron and Tulkarm r.c., nr. Jenin, in and around Bethlehem. Palestinians fire 2 rockets fr. Gaza into the Negev, causing no damage or injuries. Some 200 IDF soldiers raid, shut down the offices of the Hebrew Battalion in Tapuach settlement after intelligence shows that it is connected with the outlawed extremist Kach movement; soldiers also confiscate 6 dogs they say settlers trained to attack Palestinians. (HA, YA 1/8; IMEMC, YA 1/9; PCHR 1/19)

In the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Acre, the New Forum for Strengthening the Jewish Community in Acre holds a conference aimed at finding ways of achieving a permanent Jewish majority in the city. The group, which includes mbrs. of the elected local city council and is supported by the mayor, believes that Acre “has the right to exist as a mixed city only if it has a permanent Jewish majority.” (HA 1/8, 1/9)

Palestinians fire 2 rockets fr. Gaza at the Negev, causing no damage or injuries; the IDF responds with artillery fire on n. Gaza, damaging 3 homes in Bayt Lahiya. The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron, nr. Ramallah. Jewish settlers fr. Ma’on uproot 150 Palestinian olive trees in Yatta. The ARB, AMB, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, PRCs hold a press conference in Rafah calling on all Palestinian factions to halt intra-Palestinian violence in Gaza, condemning the death of 2 Egyptian border guards on 1/4. (AFP, HA, IMEMC 1/6; HA 1/8; YA 1/9; PCHR 1/19)

As the campaign period for the 1/25 Palestinian elections opens, Israeli police in East Jerusalem arrest Independent Palestine candidate Mustafa Barghouthi as he campaigns, releases him after 4 hrs.; detain 7 Fatah candidates campaigning in the city; disperse a Third Way rally led by Palestinian Council (PC) mbr. Hanan Ashrawi (Jerusalem); in 2 separate incidents, bars Central Election Commission (CEC) staff mbrs. fr. crossing a Tulkarm checkpoint to attend an election-related mtg. in nearby Dayr al-Ghusun and the Jordan Valley; blocks the transportation of election campaigning material fr. the West Bank to Gaza; sends troops into Jenin town and r.c. Meanwhile, the IDF opens the new Kerem Shalom commercial crossing on the Egypt-Gaza-Israel border; fatally shoots wanted Palestinian Mustafa Muhammad during an arrest raid nr. Hebron; raids a Palestinian school in Anata n. of Jerusalem, firing rubber bullets, injuring 1 teacher, 1 student and then fires on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront the troops, wounding 8; bulldozes a Palestinian home in Bayt Hanina; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bethlehem, Jalazun r.c., Jenin town and r.c., Nablus, Qalqilya; dismantles 3 unauthorized settlement outposts nr. Bat Ayin, Efrat, Pdu’el. In response to the 1/2 assassination, Islamic Jihad fires at least 12 rockets at the Negev, the ARB fires a rocket at Sederot, causing no damage or injuries; the IDF responds with artillery fire on 8 roads leading to the n. Gaza no-go zone, causing no injuries. The AMB, ARB claim joint responsibility for detonating an explosive device nr. an IDF bulldozer operating on Jenin r.c., seriously injuring 1 IDF soldier. PA police arrest Gaza AMB leader Ala’ al-Hams for plotting the kidnapping of 3 Britons on 12/28. Jewish settlers fr. Avraham Avino break into, rob, vandalize several Palestinian shops in Hebron. (AFP, AP, BBC, HA, IMEMC, JAZ 1/3; IMEMC, PMC, WP, WT, YA 1/4; HA, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 1/5; HA 1/6; PLO Negotiation Affairs Dept. press release 1/23)

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

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)

Before dawn, Islamic Jihad and Hamas fire more than 30 rockets fr. Gaza at Sederot and the Negev, 3 of which lightly wound 3 Israeli security guards, 2 civilians. Early in the morning, the IDF fires missiles fr. helicopters at warehouses and an alleged weapons factory in Gaza City and Jabaliya r.c., marking Israel’s 1st military operations against Gaza since disengagement; orders the Rafah crossing shut, saying it will allow humanitarian aid only into Gaza through the Sufa crossing; fires missiles fr. naval vessels at Palestinian fishermen who attempt to go out to sea; drops leaflets on Gaza warning of harsh retaliation against further rocket fire; warns the PA that it is responsible for preventing attacks fr. Gaza. Abbas meets with Hamas officials in Gaza, secures their pledge to halt all armed demonstrations. Hrs. later, IDF aircraft fire 5 missiles at 2 cars in n. Gaza, assassinating 2 Hamas mbrs. (Nafiz Abu Hassanian, Rawad Farhat); 2 other Hamas mbrs. may have been targeted but escape. During the day, IDF fighter jets bomb open areas along the n. Gaza border used by Palestinians to launch rockets, while tanks, artillery, infantry gather along the n. Gaza border in preparation for a major operation. Meanwhile, the IDF seals the West Bank, fires on Palestinians waiting to cross a checkpoint outside Nablus, wounding 3 (1 seriously); conducts patrols in Jama‘in village nr. Nablus; raids 20 houses in Hebron, interrogating and photographing residents. In the evening, Sharon convenes his security cabinet, which approves an “all-out continuous offensive” called Operation First Rain, using artillery, air strikes, assassinations in Gaza, saying that if Palestinian violence continues after several days, the full cabinet will convene to consider sending infantry back into the Strip. (JP, REU, WP, YA 9/24; AP, HA, IMEMC, JAZ, NYT, WP, WT, XIN, YA 9/25; MEI, PCHR 9/29; IDF press release 10/9)

Overnight, the IDF assassinates 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs. (Ra’id ‘Ajaj, Said alAshqar, Jamil Ja’ara) in a raid on Tulkarm. In the afternoon, Islamic Jihad fires at least 13 rockets at Sederot, the Negev in retaliation, causing no damage or injuries. At a heavily armed Hamas rally in Jabaliya r.c., a Qassam rocket paraded on a truck accidentally explodes in a crowd of 1,000s, killing at least 15 Palestinians (and perhaps as many as 21), wounding at least 100. Hamas accuses the IDF of firing missiles at the truck fr. a drone, but Israel denies this, the PA discounts it, the Fatah Central Comm. issues a statement holding Hamas responsible, and most Palestinians see it as an accident. Israel allows the PA to reopen the Rafah crossing for 48 hrs. to allow the passage of Palestinians with special needs, marking the 1st time the PA has processed travelers crossing an international border. (REU 9/23; NYT, WP, WT 9/24; WP 9/25; CSM 9/26; MEI, PCHR 9/29; DS 10/8)

Israeli DM Shaul Mofaz orders IDF cmdrs. to carry out stringent roadblock checks, demanding that troops “show no pity for anyone, even if it causes traffic hold ups and anger.” In Gaza, the IDF fires on a group of at least 60 stone-throwing Palestinians that attempts to enter the vacated Neve Dekalim site, killing 1 Palestinian, wounding 3. Palestinians in Gaza fire 2 rockets at the Negev, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Tubas nr. Jenin; imposes a brief curfew on, raids and searches homes in Kafr Qaddum nr. Qalqilya; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron; bulldozes 3 d. of Palestinian land at the entrance of Bayt Wazzan nr. Nablus for construction of an IDF checkpoint. (HA, YA 9/6; WP 9/7; NYT, PCHR, WT 9/8)