265 / 15237 Results
  • June 22, 2012

    By late afternoon, cross-border incidents in Gaza resume, with Palestinians firing some 26 rockets and mortars and Israeli warplanes and drones carrying out at least 5 air strikes. One Palestinian...

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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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  • April 7, 2012

    The IDF makes an air strike on a Palestinian rocket-launching team e. of Rafah, injuring 2 armed Palestinians. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast,...

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  • December 27, 2011

    In the morning, IDF troops on the c. Gaza border fire toward the village of al-Mussaddar, seriously wounding a 12-yr.-old boy on a donkey cart. In the evening, an Israeli drone fires a missile at...

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  • November 10, 2011

    Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries; in response the IDF carries out an air strike on a Hamas training post in Khan Yunis, causing no damage...

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  • August 23, 2011

    In Doha, PA pres. Mahmud Abbas meets with Arab League FMs and Arab League secy.-gen. Nabil Elaraby to discuss plans to seek recognition of Palestinian statehood at the UN in 9/2011. Abbas meets on...

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  • August 20, 2011

    Cross-border violence in Gaza enters its 3d day. Israel conducts 3 drone air strikes and 7 artillery strikes on Gaza, injuring 6 Palestinians (3 militants and 3 bystanders, including a woman and ...

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  • April 10, 2011

    Through UN and Egyptian emissaries, Israel and Gaza’s factions agree to a new cease-fire ending 4 days of heavy violence. Before the agreement is announced in the evening, Palestinians fire around...

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  • March 24, 2011

    Palestinians fire at least 7 mortars, 6 homemade Qassam rockets, and 2 manufactured Grad rockets fr. Gaza into Israel during the day, causing no injuries. Israel retaliates with several air...

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  • March 21, 2011

    In response to recent rocket and mortar strikes, Israel makes at least 10 air strikes (war planes and drones) on Hamas targets across Gaza (including a training camp, several factories, a mechanic...

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  • March 20, 2011

    Palestinians fire 3 rockets (including 1 Grad), 1 mortar into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Israeli naval vessels intercept a Palestinian fishing boat off the c. Gaza coast, releasing the...

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  • March 5, 2011

    Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Israel responds with at least 3 air strikes on Hamas training sites in Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City, and Khan Yunis,...

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  • March 3, 2011

    Overnight, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) fires a manufactured C5K (S-5) rocket fr. Gaza toward an IDF base inside Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West...

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  • January 22, 2011

    In Gaza, 1 Palestinian is killed and 2 are injured when they accidentally trigger IDF UXO while scavenging for construction materials in Gaza City. Unidentified Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza...

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  • January 13, 2011

    After receiving a warning fr. Egypt that Israel is serious about preventing further rocket and mortar fire fr. Gaza, Hamas authorities hold a 2d mtg. (see 1/11) with smaller factions to urge them...

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  • January 6, 2011

    Meeting in Sharm al-Shaykh, Israeli PM Netanyahu asks Egyptian pres. Mubarak to press the Palestinians to return to “direct, intensive, and serious negotiations,” but Mubarak replies that Israel...

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  • December 21, 2010

    AOI mbrs. fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel that lands nr. an empty school nr. Ashqelon, causing light damage and injuring 1 Israeli. In the afternoon, an IDF drone makes a missile strike...

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  • December 20, 2010

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the fmr. Jewish settlement sites, wounding 1. During the day, the PRCs fire 10 mortars...

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  • September 15, 2010

    Abbas, Netanyahu, Clinton, and Mitchell continue direct talks at Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem, meeting for 2 hrs. They allow a joint photo opportunity but do not address the press. (WP 9/15...

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  • August 2, 2010

    The Israeli human rights group Peace Now issues an 8-mo. assessment of Israel’s temporary settlement construction freeze documenting that: (1) construction of at least 600 housing units in over 60...

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  • July 31, 2010

    In continued retaliation for the 7/30 Grad strike, the IDF carries out a predawn air strike on c. Gaza assassinating senior Hamas military cmdr. and rocket maker Issa Batran, marking the 1st...

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  • April 2, 2010

    In response to recent escalating rocket and mortar fire, IDF warplanes and helicopters carry out 7 early morning air strikes on 2 caravans nr. Khan Yunis (no injuries), a cheese factory in Gaza...

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  • March 22, 2010

    Clinton, Netanyahu both address the AIPAC conference in Washington and then hold an 80-min. meeting on the sidelines to discuss recent tensions. In the evening, Netanyahu holds a working dinner...

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  • March 12, 2010

    In a 45-min. phone conversation, U.S. secy. of state Hillary Clinton sharply rebukes Netanyahu for the 3/9 Ramat Shlomo construction approval, demanding that Israel prove its desire to seek peace...

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  • February 9, 2010

    In the West Bank, the IDF and Israeli tax authorities reenter Shu‘fat r.c. (see 2/7–8), confiscating 10s of cars, arresting at least another 30 individuals (the UN puts the total number arrested...

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  • February 7, 2010

    Unidentified Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishermen off the n. Gaza coast, halting and seizing 2 boats...

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  • November 21, 2009

    In Gaza, unidentified Palestinians fire a rocket into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF retaliates with air strikes on 2 suspected weapons factories and a smuggling tunnel on the...

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  • May 19, 2009

    Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, damaging a house in Sederot but causing no injuries. Late in the evening, IDF warplanes make at least 7 air strikes on Gaza, hitting at least 4...

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  • May 1, 2009

    Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF responds with at least 1 air strike on a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border, causing no injuries. The IDF...

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  • February 1, 2009

    Palestinians fire at least 4 rockets and several mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, lightly injuring 2 IDF soldiers and 1 Israeli civilian nr. Nahal Oz. For a 3d day, the IDF relays automated phone...

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By late afternoon, cross-border incidents in Gaza resume, with Palestinians firing some 26 rockets and mortars and Israeli warplanes and drones carrying out at least 5 air strikes. One Palestinian rocket hits a factory in Sderot, injuring 1 Israeli civilian; the Israeli strikes kill at least 2 Palestinians (both armed) and injure at least 23 (2 militants, 6 PASF officers, and 15 civilians, including 1 woman and 1 child). Israel’s targets included a rocket-launching team nr. al-Bureij r.c. (1 killed); a group of armed Palestinians nr. Jabaliya (1 killed, 2 wounded); 2 IQB training camps in n. and c. Gaza (11 bystanders injured); and a PASF compound in the center of Gaza City (6 PASF officers and 4 bystanders injured). Israel now estimates that Palestinians have fired more than 130 rockets and mortars into Israel since 6/18. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in al-Nabi Salih in the morning; in 2 villages nr. Jericho and 1 each nr. Jenin and Ramallah in the afternoon; and in Jericho, neighboring ‘Ayn al-Sultan r.c., 1 nearby village, and 1 village each nr. Qalqilya and Ramallah late at night. Palestinians (accompanied by Israeli and international activists) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil‘in, Kafr Qaddum, al-Nabi Salih, and Ni‘lin. IDF soldiers fire live ammunition (al-Nabi Salih only), rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters; 1 Palestinian is hit by a tear gas canister in Bayt Umar and moderately injured. (YA 6/22; HA, NYT, WP 6/23; PCHR 6/28; OCHA 6/29)

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 an air strike on a Palestinian rocket-launching team e. of Rafah, injuring 2 armed Palestinians. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 6 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 nr. Qalqilya in the morning and early afternoon; patrols in Kafr Qaddum in the evening; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin and nr. Qalqilya. (PCHR, WJW 4/12; OCHA 4/13)

In the morning, IDF troops on the c. Gaza border fire toward the village of al-Mussaddar, seriously wounding a 12-yr.-old boy on a donkey cart. In the evening, an Israeli drone fires a missile at 2 mbrs. of a Salafist group riding a motorcycle in Jabaliya, assassinating 1 Salafist (Abdullah al-Talbani) and wounding a 2d Salafist and 3 civilian bystanders (including a child). In response, unidentified Palestinians fire a rocket toward Israel, but it lands inside the Strip, causing no damage or injuries. Late at night, an Israeli warplane carries out a 2d air strike on a car in Gaza City carrying 4 unidentified Palestinian resistance mbrs., wounding them. The right-wing Israeli Eldad Foundation announces plans to build a new tourism center at a disputed archaeological site just outside the Old City in East Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood. (JP, NYT 12/28; PCHR 12/29; OCHA 1/5)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries; in response the IDF carries out an air strike on a Hamas training post in Khan Yunis, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF confiscates 4 d. of Palestinian agriculture land nr. Hebron for expansion of a settlers-only bypass road; raids a house in Hebron, firing stun grenades and live ammunition, wounding and arresting 1 Palestinian; searches several abandoned houses and photographs an old mosque in Kafr Qaddum nr. Qalqilya; conducts 3 synchronized morning patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah, 2 villages nr. Tulkarm, and 3 nr. Jenin; conducts other morning patrols in 1 village nr. Salfit and late-night patrols in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya, 2 nr. Ramallah, and 1 nr. Salfit. Jewish settlers in Hebron set fire to 3 Palestinian vehicles. (PCHR 11/17; OCHA 11/18)

In Doha, PA pres. Mahmud Abbas meets with Arab League FMs and Arab League secy.-gen. Nabil Elaraby to discuss plans to seek recognition of Palestinian statehood at the UN in 9/2011. Abbas meets on the sidelines with U.S. asst. secy. of state Jeremy Feltman. (WAFA 8/23)

The IDF carries out a late-night drone missile strike on a car nr. Rafah, assassinating the head of Islamic Jihad’s military wing Isma’il Asmar, injuring a girl nearby. Islamic Jihad responds by firing 4 Qassam rockets and several mortars into Israel, lightly wounding an Israeli infant. (Egyptian officials say that a Palestinian rocket fired fr. Rafah landed on the Egyptian side of the border, in Egyptian Rafah, injuring 1 woman.) Israel responds with 2 drone missile strikes on a suspected rocket-launching team nr. Dayr al-Balah, wounding 2 armed Palestinians. In the West Bank, IDF soldiers enter Tulkarm, randomly stopping Palestinians and checking their IDs; conduct late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Bet Ayn nr. Hebron uproot 10s of olive and plum trees on nearby Palestinian land. The Israeli High Court rejects an appeal by residents of al-Walaja who challenged the separation wall route on the grounds that it would cut off the village from Bethlehem, holding that the residents did not prove that the planned route would severely harm the village. (JP, JTA, WAFA, WP, WT 8/24; PCHR, WP 8/25; OCHA 8/26; PCHR 10/27)

Cross-border violence in Gaza enters its 3d day. Israel conducts 3 drone air strikes and 7 artillery strikes on Gaza, injuring 6 Palestinians (3 militants and 3 bystanders, including a woman and child). The PRCs, Islamic Jihad, and Hamas fire as many as 64 rockets (including at least 7 Grads) and 18 mortars, killing 1 Israeli and wounding 6 in Beersheba, lightly injuring 3 Israelis in Ofakim when a rocket hits a house, and injuring 3 Palestinian laborers in Ashdod (2 seriously). Israeli naval vessels fire 3 times on Palestinian fishing boats off the Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. IDF soldiers on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Hanun fire warning shots at Palestinian fishermen on the beach nr. the no-go zone, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF carries out a major late-night raid on Hebron, sending 100 military vehicles into the area fr. 3 directions and rounding up some 120 Palestinians, mostly Hamas members and supporters, marking the largest West Bank arrest operation since 2003; those arrested include Hamas-affiliated Palestinian Council (PC) mbr. Muhammad Abu Jheisha and leading figures of several Hamas-affiliated charities. Jewish settlers fr. Migron outpost nr. Ramallah beat a 12-yr.-old Palestinian boy tending sheep nearby. (JP, YA 8/20; JAZ, JP, NYT, WP 8/21; MNA 8/22; IFM, PCHR 8/25; OCHA 8/26)

In Cairo, crowds outside the Israeli emb. grow steadily into the 1,000s overnight and throughout the day. Israel issues a formal expression of regret for the deaths of the Egyptian soldiers, but Egyptian leaders say it is inadequate. Egypt briefly threatens to recall its amb. fr. Israel, but backs down following international intervention to calm tensions. Israel shelves discussions of a major military strike on Gaza given the crisis with Egypt. (WP 8/20; NYT, WP 8/21; NYT 8/27; WP 8/28)

Through UN and Egyptian emissaries, Israel and Gaza’s factions agree to a new cease-fire ending 4 days of heavy violence. Before the agreement is announced in the evening, Palestinians fire around 20 rockets and mortars (including 1 Grad) fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries; Israel does not immediately respond; 1 rocket is fired after the announcement. In the West Bank, the IDF declares Awarta a closed military zone, then raids 10s of homes arresting 20 Palestinian youths and 3 women. The IDF patrols in Tulkarm and 2 neighboring villages, 3 villages nr. Qalqilya, and 3 nr. Ramallah. During a morning patrol in Zabbuba village nr. Jenin, IDF troops raid an Internet café in search of stonethrowing youths who confronted them, arresting 4 children age 11–17. Israeli interior M Eli Yishai, under pressure fr. Netanyahu, postpones a meeting of Jerusalem’s planning committee (set for later this wk.) until 5/5 (after Passover) to discuss building 980 settlement housing units in Jabal Abu-Ghunaym and 600 units in Pisgat Ze’ev. (AP, HA, IsRN, JP, REU, XIN 4/10; JTA, NYT, WP 4/11; PCHR 4/14; OCHA 4/15)

In Syria, after heavy clashes with protesters after Friday prayers on 4/8 and with mourners after funerals on 4/9, Pres. Bashar al-Asad deploys soldiers and tanks for the 1st time to surround and cut off towns where protests are being held. Instead of quelling protests, clashes continue and casualties slowly but steadily mount through the end of the quarter. Nationwide Friday protests (4/15, 4/22, 4/29, 5/6, and 5/12) steadily grow more massive (into the 10,000s) and the regime’s response more extreme. Shelling, sniper fire, and arrest raids became routine. In between Friday protests, Syrian forces raid areas where protests or funerals are the largest; Baniyas, Dara‘a, Homs, Latakia, and the Kurdish region remain frequent targets. Still, the various protests seem isolated, with little overarching organization. As of this date, human rights groups in Syria believe that at least 170 Syrians have died and some 800 have been detained since clashes began. The govt. has also expelled many media organizations and cut Internet and phone access to keep news of the clashes sparse. (NYT, WP, WT 4/11; NYT, WP 4/12; NYT, WP, WT 4/12–13; NYT, WP 4/14NYT, WP 4/15–16; WP 4/18; NYT, WP 4/19; NYT, WP, WT 4/19–20; NYT, WP 4/21; NYT 4/22)

Palestinians fire at least 7 mortars, 6 homemade Qassam rockets, and 2 manufactured Grad rockets fr. Gaza into Israel during the day, causing no injuries. Israel retaliates with several air strikes and tank fire on Hamas buildings and a launching site, lightly injuring 3 Palestinians. The largest strike (4 missiles) targets the fmr. PA General Intelligence building outside of Jabaliya in the evening, heavily damaging the building and collaterally damaging 30 homes, 4 businesses, and 2 schools. Sources say that Hamas seems to have stepped back fr. rocket and mortar fire since its large barrage on 3/19, with most fire now coming fr. Islamic Jihad and other groups. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 3 wells nr. Bethlehem (all more than 100 yrs. old); bulldozes a Palestinian road nr. Salfit for the 2d time in 3 mos. (Jewish settlers seek to annex the waterrich area to the Yakir and Revava settlements; Palestinian residents paved the road to claim ownership and repaved it after the IDF bulldozed the 1st time); patrols in 4 village nr. Qalqilya, 4 nr. Ramallah, and 2 each nr. Jenin (where troops fire tear gas at stone-throwing youths who confront them, causing no injuries) and Jericho, as well as searching 2 open areas nr. Tulkarm. (HA, IsRN, JP, JTA 3/24; NYT, WP, WT 3/25; PCHR 3/31; OCHA 4/1)

By this date, allied air strikes on Libya have reportedly “all but destroyed” the Libyan air force and air defenses and the focus has shifted to targeting Qaddafi’s ground forces. At this stage, NATO takes the lead fr. the U.S. in enforcing the no-fly zone. The intervention is not enough to give Libyan rebels the upper hand, however; fierce fighting continues nationwide through the end of the quarter. (NYT 3/24, 3/25)

In Yemen, Pres. Saleh, responding to growing pressure (see 3/18), reins in the military and states that he would step down if he could arrange “an honorable transfer of power” that would keep the govt. in “safe hands.” Over next 2 wks., Saleh and the opposition hold talks but cannot reach an agreement. Meanwhile, protests continue (mostly nonviolent, ranging in size fr. the 1,000s to around 100,000). (NYT, WP, WT 3/25; NYT, WP 3/26–27; WP 3/28, 3/29; NYT 3/29; NYT, WP 3/31–4/1;NYT 4/3)

In response to recent rocket and mortar strikes, Israel makes at least 10 air strikes (war planes and drones) on Hamas targets across Gaza (including a training camp, several factories, a mechanic’s garage, and a home), injuring at least 7 Palestinians (including 1 Hamas-affiliated police officer and 6 civilians, including 2 children) and collaterally damaging 10s of homes, 7 shops, and 2 cars; in at least 1 instance, Israeli intelligence officers phone a targeted house before a drone missile strike. Late in the evening, Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF for a 2d time (see 3/16) storms an al-Wataniya cell phone tower nr. Jenin, searching the area but making no arrests; patrols in al-Bireh, Jericho, Qalqilya and 3 nearby villages, 3 villages nr. Salfit (summoning 1 Palestinian for questioning). Jewish settlers stab 1 Palestinian and shoot 2 others in 2 separate, nonfatal incidents nr. Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Harsina settlement nr. Hebron stone nearby Palestinian homes and cars, lightly injuring 1 Palestinian girl. Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza hold their 7th straight day of demonstrations calling for national reconciliation. (IsRN, WP 3/22; PCHR 3/24; OCHA 4/1)

Palestinians fire 3 rockets (including 1 Grad), 1 mortar into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Israeli naval vessels intercept a Palestinian fishing boat off the c. Gaza coast, releasing the fishermen but seizing the boat. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 village nr. Ramallah in the morning and 4 villages nr. Qalqilya late in the day. In Gaza, 1,000s of Palestinian students at al-Azhar University hold a sit-in on campus in support of national reconciliation. (IsRN, XIN 3/20; IsRN, JP, WP 3/21; PCHR 3/24; OCHA 4/1)

Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Israel responds with at least 3 air strikes on Hamas training sites in Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City, and Khan Yunis, causing collateral damage to 6 homes but no reported injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts patrols in Jericho and 3 villages nr. Qalqilya and Tulkarm; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Nabi Salih, arresting an organizer of the weekly demonstrations against the separation wall. Palestinians and international activists demonstrate against construction of settlements and the separation wall at the Qalandia crossing and in Bayt Umar. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, injuring 4 Palestinians (including 2 journalists) and 1 international activist. Jewish settlers fr. Taffuh settlement s. of Nablus attempt to seize Palestinian agricultural lands e. of Salfit but are removed by the IDF. Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron settlement nr. Qalqilya stone Palestinian vehicles. (AFP 3/5; IsRN 3/6; PCHR 3/10; OCHA 3/18)

Overnight, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) fires a manufactured C5K (S-5) rocket fr. Gaza toward an IDF base inside Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF rearrests Hamas-affiliated Palestinian Council (PC) mbr. Azzam Salhab; conducts an unusually high number of patrols in and around Tulkarm, in al-Bireh, and in villages nr. Jenin, Qalqilya, Ramallah, and Salfit in the morning; conducts more patrols in villages nr. Qalqilya and Tulkarm in the evening and inside Jericho late at night. Jewish settlers fr. Halamish settlement nr. Ramallah block the road leading to nearby Nabi Salih village, stone passing Palestinian vehicles. Hamas-affiliated police force a bank to cash some $500,000 in stolen checks drawn against the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF) account, even though the account does not have enough money in it. Hamas’s Interior Min. confirms the incident, saying police were ordered to seize the money after PIF governors transferred funds out of Gaza to accounts in the West Bank (see Quarterly Update for details). The Palestine Monetary Authority, which regulates Palestinian banks, closes all Gaza branches until 3/6 in protest. (AP, MNA 3/3; PCHR 3/10; OCHA 3/18)

In Bahrain, Shi‘i and Sunni groups clash in the town of Hamad in the 1st serious display of sectarian violence. Frequent antigovernment protests continue thereafter, taking on an increasingly sectarian tone. (NYT 3/4, 3/5; WP 3/6; NYT, WP, WT 3/7; WP 3/10; NYT, WP 3/12; NYT, WP 3/13; NYT, WP, WT 3/14)

In Gaza, 1 Palestinian is killed and 2 are injured when they accidentally trigger IDF UXO while scavenging for construction materials in Gaza City. Unidentified Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza toward Israel, but it lands inside the Strip, killing 1 Palestinian civilian and wounding 2. IDF troops on Gaza border e. of Gaza City shoot and seriously wound a Palestinian farmer tending cows some 2,000 m fr. the border fence, well away fr. the no-go zone. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the Bayt Lahiya coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm during the day and in 2 villages nr. Jenin at night; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches, and extended patrols in Nabi Salih. (PCHR 1/27; OCHA 1/28)

After receiving a warning fr. Egypt that Israel is serious about preventing further rocket and mortar fire fr. Gaza, Hamas authorities hold a 2d mtg. (see 1/11) with smaller factions to urge them to adhere to a cease-fire, then deploys IQB mbrs. along the border and at makeshift checkpoints on roads leading toward the border to deter groups fr. firing into Israel. In the West Bank, the IDF steps up patrols dramatically, operating in 8 villages nr. Qalqilya, 3 nr. Jenin, 1 nr. Ramallah, and 1 nr. Tulkarm between late morning and late afternoon, arresting 1 stone-throwing teenager nr. Tulkarm and summoning several residents of Bayt Qad nr. Qalqilya for questioning; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin and Qalqilya. Jewish settlers fr. a settlement outpost nr. Nablus attack a Palestinian farmer working his field nearby; when nearby villagers come to the farmers aid, IDF troops intervene, firing rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas at the Palestinians, seriously injuring 2 and moderately injuring 1. (NYT, WP 1/14; PCHR 1/20; OCHA 1/21)

In Tunisia, opposition forces call for massive antigovernment demonstrations after Friday prayers on 1/14 to demand Pres. Ben Ali’s immediate resignation. In the days since 12/29/2010, protests have increasingly come to reflect deep-seated frustration with overall government corruption and lack of political freedom, rather than just economic angst. The major riots that first roiled the countryside have become increasingly violent and spread nationwide, reaching the capital on 1/12 and the key resort city of Hammamet (where Ben Ali and his extended family have residences) on 1/13, leaving at least 30 dead. In effort to quell protests, Ben Ali has simultaneously moved to appease and clamp down on critics, pledging to investigate government corruption and recent “excesses” by the security forces and firing his interior minister (directly responsible for orchestrating the crackdown on demonstrators), but also deploying army units and riot police around Tunis and imposing a nighttime curfew, blaming “foreign terrorists and Islamic radicals capitalizing on the frustrations of the unemployed.” Rumors suggest that close relatives of Ben Ali, including billionaire businessman Muhammad Sakher El Materi (his son-in-law and heir apparent), have already fled the country. Today, Ben Ali gives a hastily prepared television address. Appearing unsettled, he orders security forces to hold their fire and release jailed protesters, agrees to make other minor reforms, and pledges to give up the presidency when he turns 75 (in 2014) in keeping with the constitution, but rejects demands to step down immediately and end his 23-yr. authoritarian rule. In a threatening move, however, he withdraws the army fr. Tunis, replacing them with special police and other security forces more loyal to his ruling party. Credible rumors say the shift has come about because Tunisia’s army chief Gen. Rachid Ammar has refused Ben-Ali’s orders to shoot demonstrators. By this date, small protests inspired by Tunisian demonstrators have been held in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, and Morocco denouncing unemployment and corruption among the ruling elites, but are not perceived as destabilizing. (NYT, WP 1/13; NYT 1/14, 1/17, 2/24; see also WP 1/10, NYT 1/12)

Meeting in Sharm al-Shaykh, Israeli PM Netanyahu asks Egyptian pres. Mubarak to press the Palestinians to return to “direct, intensive, and serious negotiations,” but Mubarak replies that Israel must change its stance on settlement construction if it hopes to reach a final status accord with the Palestinians, blaming Israel for the latest impasse. Mubarak also cautions Israel against carrying out a major offensive against Gaza over escalating rocket and mortar fire in the past wk. (NYT, WP 1/7)

The PFLP fires 3 mortars fr. Gaza toward the IDF base at the fmr. Kissufim crossing into Gaza (closed in 8/2005); only 1 shell strikes inside Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF makes synchronized late-night air strikes on an IQB building in Gaza City and an open area e. of al-Shuka village in s. Gaza; no injuries are reported in either incident. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Tulkarm, 5 villages nr. Jenin, and 1 village nr. Jericho during the afternoon. (JP, MNA 1/6, JP, MNA, OCHA 1/7; PCHR 1/13; OCHA 1/14)

AOI mbrs. fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel that lands nr. an empty school nr. Ashqelon, causing light damage and injuring 1 Israeli. In the afternoon, an IDF drone makes a missile strike on a Hamas building in Rafah, injuring 2 IQB mbrs.; an hr. later, Israeli war planes make 3 air strikes on the same site, destroying it but causing no further injuries. IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi warns that the tension along the Gaza border is “fragile and explosive,” adding that while small Palestinian groups seem to be behind the recent rocket fire, Israel will hold Hamas responsible. Meanwhile, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the fmr. settlement sites, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes a Palestinian home in al-Nu‘man village nr. East Jerusalem’s Har Homa settlement (Jabal Abu Ghunaym), firing tear gas and beating Palestinians who attempt to stop the demolition, moderately injuring 1; the family had already been fined more than $13,500 for building without a permit. IDF troops also patrol in Silat al-Harithiyya nr. Jenin in the afternoon, firing tear gas at stone-throwing Palestinians who confront them and then raiding several Palestinian homes, summoning 1 Palestinian for questioning. The IDF also conducts latenight arrest raids, house searches in Nur Shams r.c. nr. Tulkarm and nr. Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities force a Palestinian to demolish his own home in Ras al-Amud or pay the government nearly $5,500 for doing the job. Israeli authorities demolish a 2d Palestinian home in Sur Bahir, southeast of Jerusalem; the family had already paid nearly $1,750 for building without a permit. (JP, REU, UPI, YA 12/21; NYT 12/22; OCHA, PCHR 12/23)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the fmr. Jewish settlement sites, wounding 1. During the day, the PRCs fire 10 mortars fr. Gaza toward Israel, with at least 9 landing inside Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Late at night, in response to the recent increase in Palestinian rocket fire, the IDF makes an air strike on a manned Hamas facility in Khan Yunis, injuring 2 IQB mbrs., marking Israel’s 1st targeting of an occupied Hamas facility since OCL ended in 1/2009. Hrs. later, the IDF carries out 6 more air strikes targeting 2 suspected tunnels nr. the border. Targets include Bayt Lahiya and Jabaliya in n. Gaza (hitting a poultry farm, killing 1,800 chickens), 3 smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border, and 2 alleged Hamas military sites in s. Gaza (an empty house in Shuka, also destroying a grocery store next door and damaging 2 nearby homes; and an abandoned dairy factory); no injuries are reported. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 4 Palestinian agricultural storehouses nr. Kiryat Arba settlement in Hebron; conducts morning patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 2 nr. Tulkarm; conducts synchronized late-night patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin. (AFP, JP, MNA 12/20; AFP, UPI 12/21; NYT 12/22; OCHA, PCHR 12/23)

Abbas, Netanyahu, Clinton, and Mitchell continue direct talks at Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem, meeting for 2 hrs. They allow a joint photo opportunity but do not address the press. (WP 9/15; NYT, WP, WT 9/16; PCHR 9/23; OCHA 9/24)

Just as the Jerusalem talks begin, Gaza’s PRCs fire 1 rocket and 9 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel (the highest 1-day total since 3/09), causing no damage or injuries. Israeli police claim 2 of the mortars contained white phosphorous and that the rocket, which landed in Ashkelon, appeared to be a manufactured Grad type, rather than a homemade Qassam; the IDF, however, calls the rocket a Qassam. (Ashkelon is in range of both Qassams and Grads.) The Israeli daily Yedi’ot Aharonot (9/16) cites an unidentified mbr. of an unnamed Gaza militant group as confirming that 2 mortars contained white phosphorous taken from unexploded IDF ordnance (UXO) from Operation Cast Lead, saying the Gaza factions are experimenting with modifying Israeli UXO for use against Israel. The IDF retaliates with air strikes on a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border (killing 1 Palestinian civilian, wounding 3), a factory n. of Khan Yunis (destroying it and damaging several surrounding homes, greenhouses, and businesses, but causing no reported injuries), and a vacant home southwest of Khan Yunis (destroying it). IDF troops also make a brief morning incursion 400 m. into s. Gaza e. of Khan Yunis to level land to clear lines of sight. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts separate synchronized late-night patrols in 2 villages e. of Qalqilya and 2 villages nr. Ramallah, making no arrests; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron, nr. Jenin. (HA, JP, YA 9/15; CNN, JP, PCHR, WT, YA 9/16)

The Israeli human rights group Peace Now issues an 8-mo. assessment of Israel’s temporary settlement construction freeze documenting that: (1) construction of at least 600 housing units in over 60 different settlements has begun during the freeze, with at least 492 of those units being constructed in direct violation of the freeze; (2) some 2,000 housing units started before the freeze was implemented on 11/26/09 are currently under construction; and (3) new construction starts during the freeze constitute approximately half of the normal settlement construction pace. (Peace Now press release 8/2)

Unidentified assailants fire 5–7 modified Grad-type rockets apparently fr. the Egyptian desert toward the Aqaba-Elat resort; 1 rocket lands harmlessly nr. the entrance to the Israeli resort town, 2 land inside Jordan (1 harmlessly, the other striking a taxi outside the InterContinental hotel in Aqaba, killing 1 Jordanian and wounding 3), 2 land in the Red Sea. Israel believes the rockets were all intended to strike Elat and calls Hamas “responsible” for the rocket fire; Hamas denies involvement. (JP 8/2; YT 8/3; WT 8/4; KUNA 8/5; HA 8/6; JPI, OCHA 8/13)

Israel’s Jerusalem municipal authority approves construction of 40 settlement housing units in Pisgat Ze’ev settlement in East Jerusalem. In the West Bank, the IDF dismantles and confiscates a Palestinian irrigation network nr. Hebron; patrols in 2 villages nr. Salfit at midday, making no arrests; arrests 3 Palestinian children (ages 13–14) nr. the separation wall nr. Bil‘in; sends undercover units in Jafna village nr. Ramallah late in the evening, raiding 2 Internet cafes and arresting 1 Palestinian; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Qalqilya. In Gaza, unidentified Palestinians apparently mishandle explosives in a home in Dayr al-Balah, triggering an explosion that injures 58 Palestinians (including 13 children, 9 women) and damages several surrounding homes. (AP 8/3; PCHR 8/5)

In continued retaliation for the 7/30 Grad strike, the IDF carries out a predawn air strike on c. Gaza assassinating senior Hamas military cmdr. and rocket maker Issa Batran, marking the 1st Israeli assassination in Gaza since Operation Cast Lead (OCL) ended in 1/09. (Israel attempted to assassinate Batran during OCL, making an air strike on his home, killing his wife and 5 of his children.) Later in the day, unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, damaging a vacant daycare facility. The IDF responds with 2 additional air strikes on a smuggling tunnel and an open area in s. Gaza. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the fmr. Jewish settlement sites and in the Erez industrial zone, wounding 3 Palestinians. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night house searches in and around Hebron, summoning several Palestinians for interrogation; fires tear gas and stun grenades at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists taking part in weekly nonviolent demonstrations against land confiscation and settlement expansion nr. Karme Tzur settlement nr. Hebron. (HA, IDF, YA 7/31; MEZ, NYT, WP 8/1; PCHR 8/5; OCHA 8/13)

In response to recent escalating rocket and mortar fire, IDF warplanes and helicopters carry out 7 early morning air strikes on 2 caravans nr. Khan Yunis (no injuries), a cheese factory in Gaza City (injuring 3 Palestinian children nearby), and a metal foundry in Nussayrat r.c. (no injuries) that Israel claims were weapons factories and arms depots, warning of broader retaliation if rocket attacks continue. The U.S. urges both sides to display restraint. Hrs. later, Hamas issues a statement saying it is working with Gaza factions to reimpose the cease-fire with Israel before it escalates out of control, but also condemns the Israeli air strikes for aggravating the situation and calls on the international community to press Israel to keep retaliation in check. (Salafist groups opposed to Hamas refuse to participate in the ceasefire.) In the West Bank, Palestinians stone a settler vehicle outside Hawara village nr. Nablus, causing it to crash (no word on injuries); the IDF sends troops into Hawara in pursuit of the stone throwers, arresting 1 Palestinian. The IDF also fires rubbercoated steel bullets, stun grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists taking part in nonviolent weekly demonstrations against the separation wall and settlement expansion in Bil‘in (10s suffer tear gas inhalation; 1 Israeli is arrested), Dayr Nizam/al-Nabi Salih (3 Palestinians injured), al-Ma‘sara (where only Palestinians demonstrated; 4 injured), and Ni‘lin (10s suffer tear gas inhalation); conducts latenight arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya. (AFP, JAZ, NYT, YA 4/2; NYT, WP 4/3; YA 4/7; PCHR 4/8; OCHA 4/15)

Clinton, Netanyahu both address the AIPAC conference in Washington and then hold an 80-min. meeting on the sidelines to discuss recent tensions. In the evening, Netanyahu holds a working dinner with Biden on bilateral relations. (JTA 3/22; JTA, NYT, WP, WT 3/23; WJW 3/25; JPI 4/2)

In Gaza, 1 IDF soldier is killed by friendly fire when IDF infantry and tank units on the Gaza border are mobilized to halt 3 unarmed Palestinians nr. the border fence, and the tank crew accidentally fires on the infantry unit on the Israeli side of the border; the Palestinians are not injured. After unidentified Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries, the IDF makes an air strike on an alleged weapons depot in Gaza City, destroying it and lightly injuring 8 Palestinian civilians (including 1 woman and 2 children). Later in the evening, unidentified Palestinians fire another rocket toward Israel, but it lands harmlessly nr. the Erez crossing. Late in the evening, IDF troops on the central Gaza border e. of Dayr al-Balah shoot, wound an unarmed Palestinian outside his home 500 m fr. the border. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in al-Fara‘a r.c. nr. Tubas. (HA, JP, NYT, YA 3/23; OCHA, PCHR, WJW 3/25)

In a 45-min. phone conversation, U.S. secy. of state Hillary Clinton sharply rebukes Netanyahu for the 3/9 Ramat Shlomo construction approval, demanding that Israel prove its desire to seek peace by revoking the plans, stating that the U.S. viewed his apology for the timing of the announcement alone as inadequate. She lists several additional steps the U.S. expects Israel to take to support the peace process and warns of consequences if Israel does not comply; no details are made public (State Dept. press release 3/12; WP 3/13; HA 3/15)

The IDF makes a day-long incursion 200 m into Gaza e. of Jabaliya, later moving s. toward Gaza City, to level land along the border fence to clear lines of sight. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Hanun fire on Palestinians scavenging construction materials from destroyed buildings, forcing them to flee, causing no injuries. Late in the evening, the IDF makes air strikes on a suspected weapons lab in Khan Yunis in retaliation for Palestinian rocket fire on 3/11, causing no reported injuries; Israeli naval vessels fire on a Palestinian fishing boat off the Bayt Lahiya coast, forcing it to return to shore. Israel, fearing serious Palestinian protests after Friday prayers over the 3/9 Ramat Shlomo construction approval, imposes a general closure on the West Bank through 3/16 and deploys extra units of riot police around Jerusalem; no violence is reported. In an effort to halt weekly Palestinian protests against the separation wall, the IDF issues a military order declaring Bil‘in and Ni‘lin closed military zones on Fridays until 8/17. Today the order is ignored: Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists stage a nonviolent march to the separation wall in Bil‘in and a protest against the wall in Ni‘lin, where some of them throw stones at IDF troops. In both cases, IDF troops fire rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades, tear gas (injuring 2 Palestinians in Bil‘in; arresting 1 Palestinian, 1 Israeli in Ni‘lin). The IDF also fires rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists staging a nonviolent protest against settlement expansion nr. Dayr Nizam/al-Nabi Salih (injuring 18); fires stun grenades and beats Palestinian and international activists demonstrating against the separation wall in al-Ma‘sara village s. of Bethlehem (injuring 2 Palestinians). Jewish settlers fr. Eli nr. Nablus uproot 40 Palestinian olive trees in nearby Qaryut village. (YA 3/12; OCHA, PCHR 3/18)

In the West Bank, the IDF and Israeli tax authorities reenter Shu‘fat r.c. (see 2/7–8), confiscating 10s of cars, arresting at least another 30 individuals (the UN puts the total number arrested at 92), and firing live warning shots at stone-throwing Palestinian youths who confront them, wounding a 14-yr.-old boy. The IDF also makes an incursion into Zayta al-Sha‘rawiyya village northwest of Tulkarm to arrest 3 14-yr.-old Palestinian boys as they leave school for lunch. Some 50 Jewish settlers fr. Brakha attempt to drive 2 Palestinian shepherds off adjacent Palestinian land in Iraq Burin village; after stone-throwing villagers come to the shepherds’ defense and drive off the settlers, settlement security guards return to the scene and open fire on the Palestinians, wounding 1. Late in the evening, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border for unknown reasons open fire on an open area of the Bayt Lahiya beach, causing no damage or injuries. Almost simultaneously, the IDF carries out air strikes, and a drone fires a missile at the Dahaniyya airport site in s. Gaza, causing no reported injuries; Israel says the air strikes are in response to Palestinian rocket fire over the past several days (see 2/2, 2/3, 2/7), though no rocket fire was reported today. Soon after, Israeli naval vessels fire on a Palestinian boat off the n. Gaza coast, forcing it to return to shore. (OCHA, PCHR 2/11; MNA 2/22)

Unidentified Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishermen off the n. Gaza coast, halting and seizing 2 boats, holding 4 fishermen for several hrs. of questioning before releasing them. In the West Bank, IDF troops surround and seal Shu‘fat r.c. nr. East Jerusalem in the evening, imposing a curfew. The IDF also makes a rare daytime incursion into Ithna village nr. Hebron, searching the home of a wanted Palestinian, without making any arrests; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Jericho and in al-Bireh (including searching the home of al-Bireh’s mayor, arresting his wife). (YA 2/7; WT 2/8; OCHA, PCHR 2/11)

In Gaza, unidentified Palestinians fire a rocket into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF retaliates with air strikes on 2 suspected weapons factories and a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border, injuring 8 Palestinians (2 seriously, 2 moderately, 4 lightly) and damaging another 2 factories and 4 homes nearby. Hrs. later, Hamas announces that it has secured renewed pledges from all Gaza factions to halt all rocket and mortar fire toward Israel, to preserve the stability in Gaza and prevent further Israeli retaliation, though the factions say they will respond to any IDF incursion into Gaza. (YA 11/21; HA, WT 11/22; WT 11/23; OCHA, PCHR 11/25; WJW 11/26)

Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, damaging a house in Sederot but causing no injuries. Late in the evening, IDF warplanes make at least 7 air strikes on Gaza, hitting at least 4 smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border (3 Palestinians working in tunnels are reported missing); a workshop in al-Daraj neighborhood in Gaza City, destroying it and heavily damaging a nearby marble factory, causing no casualties; a Hamas outpost nr. the border fence with Israel, causing no reported injuries; and a group of armed Palestinians in al-Zaytun neighborhood in Gaza City, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem. (OCHA, WT 5/20; PCHR, WT 5/21)

Palestinian Authority (PA) pres. Mahmud Abbas dissolves PA PM Salam Fayyad’s government and reappoints it, replacing 8 independent technocrats with Fatah members, none of whom are elected members of the Palestinian Council. (MNA 5/19; NYT, WT 5/20; NYT 5/21)

 

Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF responds with at least 1 air strike on a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border, causing no injuries. The IDF fires on a Palestinian woman grazing sheep nr. the border fence e. of Jabaliya, wounding her. In the West Bank, the IDF fires tear gas at stone-throwing Palestinians taking part in weekly demonstrations against the separation wall in Bil‘in, injuring 2; fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas on Palestinian, Israeli, and international human rights activists taking part in a nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in al-Ma‘sara (10s suffer tear gas inhalation) and Ni‘lin (injuring 5); conducts late-night house searches in Nablus and neighboring Balata r.c., but makes no arrests. Jewish settlers fr. Gilad settlement nr. Qalqilya, escorted by IDF troops, attack Palestinian farmers working their land in nearby Jit village, slashing tires of a tractor and ordering the farmers off the land, saying it belonged to them; the IDF troops confiscate the agricultural tools of the Palestinians and order them to leave the area, giving the tools to the settlers. (WT 5/3; OCHA 5/6; PCHR 5/7)

Palestinians fire at least 4 rockets and several mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, lightly injuring 2 IDF soldiers and 1 Israeli civilian nr. Nahal Oz. For a 3d day, the IDF relays automated phone messages to Rafah residents ordering them to evacuate houses nr. the border. The Israeli cabinet discusses the recent rocket fire at its regular weekly session, stating afterward that while Israel believes small Palestinian factions (including the AMB) are responsible for the fire, Israel would hold Hamas responsible and would respond “disproportionately” to each attack. After the cabinet session, Israeli warplanes fly over Gaza, setting off sonic bombs as a warning. Soon after, the IDF makes massive air strikes (apparently using GBU-39 bunker-busting munitions) on 6 smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border, and a smaller air strike on a Hamas-affiliated police station in c. Gaza (targeted previously); no injuries were reported. During the day, Israel allows 193 truckloads of goods (much of it seed and fodder) and 45 tons of medicine and medical equipment into Gaza during the day. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night house searches in ‘Askar r.c. nr. Nablus, Bayt Sahur, Tulkarm r.c. and nr. Jenin, making no arrests. (AP 2/1; HA, IDF Radio, MM, NYT, WP 2/2; MM, YA 2/3; NYT 2/4; PCHR 2/5)