265 / 15241 Results
  • May 31, 2006

    Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, hitting a house about 100 yds. fr. the Sederot home of Israeli DM Peretz, causing damage but no injuries. The IDF responds with artillery fire on n...

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  • May 16, 2006

    As the quarter opens, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) continue Operation Southern Arrow, with heavy shelling and air strikes on Gaza in response to Palestinian rocket fire (at a rate of 10 Israeli...

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  • April 30, 2006

    The IDF reopens the Qarni crossing (closed on 4/26); conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin, Nablus. Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage...

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  • April 7, 2006

    The IDF sets up another artillery battery nr. Kerem Shalom outside the s. Gaza Strip; conducts air strikes on a car nr. Rafah assassinating wanted senior PRC military cmdr. Iyad Abu al-‘Aynayn and...

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  • March 30, 2006

    A Palestinian hitchhiker dressed as an observant Jew detonates a bomb inside an Israeli car that picks him up outside Keddumim settlement, killing 4 Jewish settlers and himself; AMB–Nablus faction...

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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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  • March 18, 2006

    The IDF arrests 3 Change and Reform PC mbrs. outside Jerusalem on their way to visit al-Quds University in Azariyya; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Nablus (occupying 1 Palestinian home...

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  • January 31, 2006

    IDF undercover units raid Jenin, assassinate West Bank head of Islamic Jihad’s al-Quds Brigades Nidal al-Sadi, his aide Ahmad Tubasi in a shootout that leaves 1 IDF soldier wounded; also open fire...

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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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  • December 22, 2005

    Islamic Jihad mbrs. fire 2 rockets fr. n. Gaza towards an IDF base nr. Ashkelon, injuring 5 IDF soldiers; the IDF retaliates with artillery fire on the launch site, killing 1 Palestinian bystander...

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  • December 17, 2005

    Senior Abu Rish Brigades (ARB) leader Khalid Abu Sitta is killed, 3 bystanders are wounded when his car mysteriously explodes nr. Khan Yunis; ARB claims it is an assassination, but the IDF denies...

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  • December 2, 2005

    The IDF makes a predawn arrest raid on Awarta nr. Nablus targeting the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP); fires on 3 unarmed Palestinians attempting to cross the Gaza border...

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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 29, 2005

    As Operation Starting All Over Again continues, IDF warplanes launch 12 more air strikes on Gaza, cutting electricity to 1,000s of Palestinian homes, causing serious damage but no injuries;...

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  • October 28, 2005

    Overnight, the IDF deploys an artillery battery outside the s. Gaza Strip (since Operation First Rain, artillery has been positioned in Nahal Oz, outside the n. Gaza); begins massing troops in the...

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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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  • October 24, 2005

    Overnight, the IDF raids, imposes a curfew on Nur al-Shams r.c. and Tulkarm, fatally shoots Islamic Jihad West Bank military cmdr. Luay Saadi, Islamic Jihad mbr. Majid Askar in an apparent...

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  • September 27, 2005

    Overnight, the IDF conducts more arrest raids across the West Bank; fires missiles fr. F-16s at the Gaza Strip, destroying a bridge in Bayt Hanun allegedly used by Palestinians firing rockets, a...

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  • August 18, 2005

    In the morning, the IDF says that 70% of Gaza settlers have been evacuated, most Gaza residents have not resisted the evacuation, most protests and resistance are by West Bank settler youth (and...

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  • August 6, 2005

    The IDF makes a predawn raid on Mughraqa in s. Gaza, sending in troops backed by more than 20 armored vehicles to search houses; raids al-Quds University campus in East Jerusalem, arresting...

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  • July 15, 2005

    Citing retaliation for the death of an Israeli woman on 7/14, the IDF launches overnight missile strikes on 4 sites in Gaza: a Hamas cultural center in n. Gaza, 2 sites Palestinians have used to...

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  • June 18, 2005

    The IDF clashes with 4 mbrs. of the AMB, Islamic Jihad at an IDF outpost outside Gaza’s Kefar Darom settlement, killing 1 Islamic Jihad mbr., wounding an AMB mbr., while the 2 other gunmen flee....

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  • April 11, 2005

    Israeli DM Shaul Mofaz says that Israel will not respond to the barrage of rocket and missile fire following the 4/9 shooting death of 3 Palestinian teenagers, effectively accepting the...

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  • January 18, 2005

    A Hamas suicide bomber detonates a device nr. an IDF base nr. Gush Katif Junction in s. Gaza, killing 1 Shin Bet officer, wounding 7 IDF soldiers. IDF soldiers angry over the bombing fire on...

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  • January 13, 2005

    Late this evening, in response to assassinations in recent days, the AMB, Hamas, the PRCs stage a joint attack on the Qarni crossing, killing 4 Israeli civilian workers at the crossing and 2...

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  • January 11, 2005

    The IDF sends troops into Tulkarm, confiscates several car motors fr. a local business, clashes with armed Palestinians who arrive on the scene, killing 1 Palestinian resistance mbr., wounding 1...

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  • December 23, 2004

    IDF operations continue in Khan Yunis, where 2 Palestinians are killed in an explosion at the home of a leading Hamas mbr.; Palestinians say IDF tanks shelled the house, whereas the IDF says the...

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  • June 18, 2004

    The Palestinian Resistance Comms. (PRCs) fire a new Nasser 3 rocket, with a longer range than the Qassam 2, at Sederot, causing minor damage to a wall, garden shed; also fire 2 mortars at Gaza’s...

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  • August 24, 2003

    The IDF continues operations in Nablus for the 4th day, blowing up a building in the Old City suspected of being a Qassam missile factory, the 1st found in the West Bank, and clashing with...

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  • June 4, 2003

    The IDF demolishes 4 Palestinian homes in Rafah, 3 in Yatta; conducts arrest raids in Jenin. In Jerusalem, some 20,000 Jewish settlers demonstrate against the Aqaba summit. Palestinians fire a...

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Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, hitting a house about 100 yds. fr. the Sederot home of Israeli DM Peretz, causing damage but no injuries. The IDF responds with artillery fire on n. Gaza, wounding 1 Palestinian outside his Bayt Lahiya home. The IDF also demolishes a Palestinian home, surrounding structures nr. Hebron for being built without permits; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Dahaysha r.c., Qalandia r.c. nr. Ramallah, and nr. Hebron, Jenin, Jerusalem. (MM 5/31; NYT, PCHR 6/1; PCHR 6/8)

As the quarter opens, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) continue Operation Southern Arrow, with heavy shelling and air strikes on Gaza in response to Palestinian rocket fire (at a rate of 10 Israeli strikes per 1 Palestinian rocket attack) and tight restrictions on Gaza’s crossings (see Quarterly Update for details). The IDF also continues to separate the n. and s. West Bank by closing (since 4/21) the Zatara checkpoint s. of Nablus and to restrict movement into and out of the n. Jordan Valley. Meanwhile, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza continue to suffer severe economic shortages due to the U.S.- and Israeli-led economic sanctions on the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority (PA) that have prevented the PA from paying government workers’ salaries for 2 mos. Today, the IDF patrols in ‘Araba nr. Jenin, firing on residential areas; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Nablus. Islamic Jihad fires its 2d Grad rocket fr. Gaza toward Ashqelon, damaging a poultry farm but causing no injuries (see 3/28, 4/21). A Hamas mbr. is killed in a driveby shooting in Gaza City; no group claims responsibility. (MM 5/16; NYT, PCHR 5/18)

The IDF reopens the Qarni crossing (closed on 4/26); conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin, Nablus. Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries; the IDF responds by shelling n. Gaza, causing no injuries. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba vandalize Palestinian homes in Hebron for a 2d day. (HA, IMEMC 4/30; B’Tselem press release 5/1; OCHA 5/3; PCHR 5/4)

The IDF sets up another artillery battery nr. Kerem Shalom outside the s. Gaza Strip; conducts air strikes on a car nr. Rafah assassinating wanted senior PRC military cmdr. Iyad Abu al-‘Aynayn and 3 other PRC mbrs., also killing ‘Aynayn’s 5-yr.-old son, a young bystander, and wounding at least 14 bystanders, including ‘Aynayn’s 7-yr.- old daughter; steps up shelling across Gaza, particularly around Gaza City, including nr. Abbas’s presidential compound where he is currently staying (no injuries reported); blows up a Palestinian home in Hebron allegedly used for manufacturing explosives; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Balata r.c. (firing on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops, wounding 2), nr. Jenin. After Palestinians fire a rocket fr. n. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries; the IDF shells n. Gaza, injuring 4 Palestinians nr. Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya. Jewish settlers fr. Avraham Avino occupy a Palestinian house in Hebron, evicting the Palestinian residents (the IDF observes but does not intervene); the settlers claim to have purchased the building, but the Palestinian owners deny this; the Israeli Civil Administration says it is reviewing the claim. Jewish settlers fr. Elon Moreh beat a 73-yr.-old Palestinian farmer working on his land in nearby Salim. (AFP, HA, YA 4/7; Guardian, HA, NYT, WP 4/8; VOP 4/8 in WNC 4/9; PCHR 4/9; PCHR 4/13)

A Palestinian hitchhiker dressed as an observant Jew detonates a bomb inside an Israeli car that picks him up outside Keddumim settlement, killing 4 Jewish settlers and himself; AMB–Nablus faction claims responsibility. PA FM Mahmud Zahhar (Change and Reform) defends the bombing as legitimate resistance, whereas Abbas denounces it; Israel accuses the PA of encouraging terror. Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF responds by shelling n. Gaza fr. land and sea, causing no damage or injuries; makes 6 F-16 air strikes outside Bayt Hanun and Bayt Lahiya, damaging an electricity network, several roads; warns the PA that it will increase pressure on Palestinians firing rockets fr. Gaza, will fire on any place fr. which fire is directed at Israel, even if PA security forces are operating in the area. The IDF also closes the only checkpoints allowing Palestinian access to the n. Jordan Valley (at least through 4/5); closes all but 1 road leading into Tulkarm; erects a permanent observation post and tower on the Bethlehem– Hebron road into Hebron; issues military orders seizing part of a Palestinian home in Hebron nr. the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs, 200 sq. m. of Palestinian land in al-Arub r.c. nr. Hebron to expand an IDF outpost; searches the offices of the Cultural Forum in Sur al-Bahir outside Jerusalem, confiscating files, damaging furniture; breaks up a Land Day rally in East Jerusalem, arresting 4 Palestinians, including 2 journalists; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Nablus, Tulkarm. Jewish settlers, escorted by IDF troops, attack Palestinian farmers, international peace activists planting trees on Palestinian land in Hebron. (IMEMC 3/30; MM, NYT, WP 3/31; NYT 4/1; PCHR 4/6)

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 arrests 3 Change and Reform PC mbrs. outside Jerusalem on their way to visit al-Quds University in Azariyya; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Nablus (occupying 1 Palestinian home as an observation post); patrols in Tulkarm. Late in the evening, in response to Palestinian rocket and mortar fire fr. Gaza into Israel that causes no damage or injuries, the IDF makes air strikes on a water network in Khan Yunis (cutting off water to 6,500 Palestinians), open areas nr. Abasan, a water and an electrical network n. of Rafah, 2 roads leading to the n. Gaza no-go zone nr. Bayt Lahiya. (IMEMC 3/18; VOP 3/18 in WNC 3/19; XIN 3/19; PCHR 3/23)

IDF undercover units raid Jenin, assassinate West Bank head of Islamic Jihad’s al-Quds Brigades Nidal al-Sadi, his aide Ahmad Tubasi in a shootout that leaves 1 IDF soldier wounded; also open fire on angry Palestinians who gather to throw stones at the troops, wounding 11. The IDF reinforces troops in Hebron’s old city; demolishes 2 Palestinian homes nr. Bethlehem for being built without permits and being too close to the separation wall; bulldozes 2 d. of agricultural land adjacent to a settler bypass road nr. al-Khadir; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Aida r.c. and nr. Hebron (occupying a home as an observation post), Nablus, Tulkarm. Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Jewish settlers angry over the plans to evacuate Amona outpost bar Palestinians fr. traveling a stretch of the Nablus–Ramallah road nr. Shilo settlement. Also in protest of the Amona evacuation, 100s of Jewish settlers storm an IDF base at the nearby Ofra settlement. Meanwhile, Jewish settler families who have been squatting in Palestinian stores in the Hebron market leave voluntarily in exchange for the Israeli government’s promise to look into speeding up legal proceedings to expropriate the market and allow Jewish settlers to rent it. (NYT 1/31; NYT, WP 2/1; PCHR, WP 2/2; see also HA 1/18)

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 mbrs. fire 2 rockets fr. n. Gaza towards an IDF base nr. Ashkelon, injuring 5 IDF soldiers; the IDF retaliates with artillery fire on the launch site, killing 1 Palestinian bystander in adjacent Jabaliya r.c.; Israel warns that it could send ground forces back into Gaza. The IDF also raids Nablus, assassinates local PFLP cmdr. Bashar Hanani (also reported as Bashar Khalani), AMB mbrs. Ahmad Jayyusi and Anas Hamad; shells areas northwest of Bayt Lahiya, wounding a farmer working his land; sends troops into Qabatya, fires on stone-throwing youths who confront them, wounding 5 Palestinians; raids, searches a building in Qiffin nr. Tulkarm, confiscating files fr. and sealing the offices of the Loans Association, Palestinian Peoples Party, Popular Campaign against the Wall, and Union of Agricultural Relief Comms.; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bethlehem, Nablus, Ramallah and nr. Hebron, Jenin; uproots 200 Palestinian olive trees northwest of Hebron to erect a gate cutting al-Jaba village off fr. a nearby Jewish settlement. In the evening, the Israeli security cabinet approves new measures, known as Operation Blue Skies, aimed at curbing Palestinian rocket fire fr. Gaza, including using artillery, helicopter, and gunboat fire to enforce a new n. Gaza buffer zone; more stringent monitoring of the Gaza Strip by air; “other steps we have not taken until now,” but does not immediately give orders for the IDF to implement the plan. (BBC, IMEMC, JTA, PCHR, PM, XIN, YA 12/22; BBC, HA, IMEMC, JTA, NYT, WP, WT 12/23; PCHR 12/29)

Senior Abu Rish Brigades (ARB) leader Khalid Abu Sitta is killed, 3 bystanders are wounded when his car mysteriously explodes nr. Khan Yunis; ARB claims it is an assassination, but the IDF denies involvement. Palestinians fire 2 mortars fr. Gaza towards Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF fires 3 missiles at a rocket launching site nr. Khan Yunis, causing no damage or injuries; fires a missile at the main Rafah–Khan Yunis road, creating large crater; fatally shoots a PRC mbr. laying a roadside bomb nr. Erez crossing; fatally shoots 1 Palestinian, wounds a 2d who attempts to sneak into Israel fr. Bayt Lahiya to find work; fires on, wounds a mentally handicapped Palestinian who strays close to the Israeli border nr. Khan Yunis; fires on residential areas of Kafr al-Labad nr. Tulkarm, wounding, arresting, evacuating to an Israeli hospital a member of the PA security forces; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Issawiyya, Tulkarm (shooting and wounding a wanted Islamic Jihad mbr.) and nr. Hebron, Jenin. In response to the AMB–Islamic Jihad drive-by shooting on 12/16, the IDF closes some 50 roads in Hebron with sand barriers, blocks the main northern and southern entrances to Hebron with cement barriers. Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar cut down more than 150 Palestinian olive trees nr. Nablus. (BBC, HA, IMEMC, NYT 12/18; AFP 12/19; PLO press release 12/21; PCHR 12/22)

The IDF makes a predawn arrest raid on Awarta nr. Nablus targeting the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP); fires on 3 unarmed Palestinians attempting to cross the Gaza border fence into Israel to find work, killing 1 Palestinian, wounding 2; fires on, damages a Palestinian fishing boat off Rafah, arresting the fisherman; fires tear gas, rubber bullets, percussion grenades at Palestinians holding a weekly nonviolent protest against the separation wall in Bil‘in; confiscates 5 d. of Palestinian land nr. Alon settlement nr. Nablus for construction of an IDF outpost. Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries; fire at an IDF patrol nr. the s. Gaza border, causing no damage or injuries. (IMEMC, YA 12/2; HA, IMEMC 12/3; HA 12/4; PCHR 12/8)

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)

As Operation Starting All Over Again continues, IDF warplanes launch 12 more air strikes on Gaza, cutting electricity to 1,000s of Palestinian homes, causing serious damage but no injuries; continue conducting sonic booms over the Strip roughly every 20 mins. almost around the clock. The IDF also drops leaflets on Gaza warning of more air strikes until there is a “total cessation of terror attacks”; responds to Palestinians firing a rocket at Sederot (no damage or injuries) with artillery fire on the launch site in n. Gaza, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches and fires on residential areas in and around Balata r.c., Nablus; Palestinians set fire to 1 IDF vehicle in Nablus during the operation. The IDF also fires on stonethrowing Palestinians in Dura, wounding 8. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba rampage through Palestinian areas of Hebron, damaging 10s of houses, seriously injuring 1 Palestinian. Jewish settlers fr. Carmiel, rampage through Yatta village, damaging 10s of Palestinian homes and 1 car. In Ramallah, PA police break up a protest in front of the PA headquarters by Birzeit University students demanding the release of jailed student leader of the Islamic movement at Birzeit, Ala’ Barahma; several students are injured. (ABC News, YA 10/29; AFP, HA, IMEMC, WT, YA 10/30; IMEMC, OCHA 10/31; PCHR 11/10)

Overnight, the IDF deploys an artillery battery outside the s. Gaza Strip (since Operation First Rain, artillery has been positioned in Nahal Oz, outside the n. Gaza); begins massing troops in the Gaza border in case the Israeli cabinet calls for ground operations; conducts arrest raids, house searches in the n. West Bank targeting mostly Islamic Jihad mbrs. During the day, the IDF begins erecting a massive new checkpoint (the Zaatara checkpoint) s. of Nablus at Tapuach Junction that will sever the Nablus and Jenin districts from the rest of the West Bank, creating a northern West Bank canton; the crossing, which is similar to the Qalandia checkpoint that Israel has said will be treated as an international crossing, was approved by the IDF Central Command 9 mos. ago and should begin operation in 2 mos. An IDF drone fires on a car in n. Gaza that launched rockets toward Sederot (causing no damage), killing AMB mbr. Majid Nattat. Soon after, Palestinians fire another 2 rockets and a mortar toward Sederot, and the IDF carries out 2 air strikes on 2 roads leading to Bayt Lahiya; no injuries are reported in the exchange. Later, the IDF carries out another 3 air strikes on n. Gaza, causing no reported injuries; fires stun grenades to disperse Palestinians hoping to cross the al-Ram checkpoint into Jerusalem to mark the final Friday of Ramadan at al-Aqsa mosque. Late in the evening, the IDF launches F-16 air strikes on uninhabited areas of n. Gaza; patrols, shoots out street lights in Nablus; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Hebron. Palestinians then fire an antitank rocket at the Erez crossing, causing no damage or injuries. Meanwhile, 10,000s of Palestinians attend the Gaza funerals of the 7 Palestinians killed in the 10/28 Muhanna assassination; AMB, Hamas, Islamic Jihad hold massive armed marches, firing automatic weapons in the air in violation of their agmt. with the PA not to carry or use weapons in public. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba, escorted by IDF soldiers, severely beat 2 Palestinians in Hebron. Separately, Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba vandalize several Palestinian homes in Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Ramat Yishai violently beat 2 Palestinian teenagers in Hebron; the IDF intervenes and detains 1 Palestinian. Mofaz orders the eviction of 15 Jewish settler families living in the unauthorized enclave of Amona in Hebron. (AP, CSM, HA, IDF Radio, IMEMC, REU, YA 10/28; NYT, WP, WT 10/29; HA, IMEMC 10/30; OCHA 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)

Overnight, the IDF raids, imposes a curfew on Nur al-Shams r.c. and Tulkarm, fatally shoots Islamic Jihad West Bank military cmdr. Luay Saadi, Islamic Jihad mbr. Majid Askar in an apparent assassination; hrs. later, Islamic Jihad fires 5 rockets fr. Gaza into s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF responds with air and artillery strikes on open areas used for rocket launches in n. Gaza, causing no injuries; shelling fr. naval vessels at PA security forces sites in n. Gaza, causing no damage or injuries; ongoing mock air raids over Gaza, breaking the sound barrier to harass the population; closure of the Erez, Qarni crossings. During the day, the IDF also demolishes 2 stores nr. Jenin, claiming that they “could be used” to manufacture explosives; conducts arrest raids, house searches around Hebron for a 3d night, as well as nr. Jenin. A Palestinian gunman fires on an IDF post nr. Halamish settlement nr. Ramallah, causing no damage or injuries; the IDF returns heavy fire, killing a Palestinian bystander standing outside his home in neighboring Nabi Salih. (NYT, WP, WT 10/25; HA 10/25; PCHR 10/27)

Overnight, the IDF conducts more arrest raids across the West Bank; fires missiles fr. F-16s at the Gaza Strip, destroying a bridge in Bayt Hanun allegedly used by Palestinians firing rockets, a money changer’s office linked to Hamas, and an office building used by Fatah in Khan Yunis, causing no injuries. During the day, Palestinians fire several rockets or mortars toward Sederot, 1 of which lands inside the city, causing no damage or injuries; soon after, an IDF F-16 fires a missile nr. a housing project in Bayt Hanun, causing no damage or injuries; IDF artillery shells an open area in Bayt Hanun, causing no injuries. Mofaz warns that Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyya, Mahmud Zahhar could be targeted for assassination if there are further rocket strikes fr. Gaza; says Israel will continue striking Gaza until there is “a new reality there.” Islamic Jihad vows retaliation for the 9/25 assassination of its military cmdr. Khalil, but later, along with Hamas and the rest of the factions represented in the NIHC, reaffirms commitment to the unilateral truce agreed to by the Palestinian factions in 2/05. PA Interior M Nasr Yusuf gives orders for the PA security forces to “arrest any armed Palestinian not in uniform.” (HA, NYT, REU, WT 9/27; BBC, IMEMC, NYT, PCHR, WP 9/28; PCHR 9/29; MEI 10/12)

In the morning, the IDF says that 70% of Gaza settlers have been evacuated, most Gaza residents have not resisted the evacuation, most protests and resistance are by West Bank settler youth (and some American Jewish youth) who have come to Gaza in recent wks. to block the withdrawal. During the day, the evacuations of Gan Or (est. 1983, pop. 350, size 1,692 d., hrs. to evac. 5), Kefar Darom (est. 1989, pop. 490, size 276 d., hrs. to evac. 12), Kefar Yam (est. 1983, pop. 15, hrs. to evac. 3), Netzer Hazani (est. 1973, pop. 460, size 250 d., hrs. to evac. 5), Neve Dekalim (est. 1983, pop. 2,700, size 1,443 d., hrs. to evac. 35), Shirat Hayam (est. 2001, pop. 40, hrs. to evac. 5) settlements are completed. An increasing number of settlers set fire to their homes and to greenhouses as they leave to prevent them fr. being turned over to Palestinians. For the 1st time, 1 armed resident in Kefar Yam, 4 armed disengagement protesters in Shirat Hayam threaten to shoot IDF soldiers if they follow orders to remove settlers, but only if soldiers fire first; the incidents defuse without violence. Some Shirat Hayam residents also throw rocks at Palestinians in Mawasi as they evacuate. In Kefar Darom, 65 resident families agree to leave, but as many as 2,000 outside protesters refuse, many of them barricading themselves inside and on the roof of a synagogue; for the 1st time during the disengagement, the IDF uses water cannons against protesters and 2 IDF soldiers refuse to obey their orders, are removed by fellow soldiers; 58 Israelis are injured in clearing the synagogue, including at least 3 IDF soldiers, 27 border police (1 seriously when he falls accidentally); protesters throw paint thinner at IDF Southern Command chief Maj. Gen. Dan Harel, several soldiers. In Neve Dekalim, some 1,500 disengagement protesters hole up in 2 synagogues, refusing to leave even after residents have voluntarily evacuated, but are eventually extracted. Jewish settlers in s. Gaza spread nails along the coastal road in alMawasi to prevent movement of Palestinian vehicles. Meanwhile, Palestinians fire a rocket at Netzarim (still inhabited), lightly injuring an IDF soldier; 2 mortars at Gadid settlement (still inhabited), 3 mortars at Morag (evacuated) causing no damage or injuries. Palestinian gunmen fire on IDF troops nr. Kefar Darom, lightly injuring 1. The IDF conducts arrest raids in al-Mawasi; fires on residential areas of Bayt Lahiya, seriously injuring 1 Palestinian. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers fr. Homesh and Sanur attempt to break into a Palestinian home in nearby Asa’sa village; the IDF intervenes to stop them. Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim throw stones at Palestinian shops, cars nr. Qalqilya. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house searches in Dura, nr. Tulkarm; confiscates 500 d. of agricultural land nr. Eli settlement nr. Nablus. In Israel, disengagement protesters block roads nationwide. (AP, BBC, HA, Israeli Radio, ITV 8/18; NYT, WP, WT 8/19; PCHR 8/25)

The IDF makes a predawn raid on Mughraqa in s. Gaza, sending in troops backed by more than 20 armored vehicles to search houses; raids al-Quds University campus in East Jerusalem, arresting Palestine National Council mbr. Ali Abu Hilal, dir. of the university’s Center for Democracy and Human Rights; imposes a curfew on ‘Azun nr. Qalqilya; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, Rafah; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Hebron and al-Ram nr. East Jerusalem, nr. Nablus; patrols in Araba nr. Jenin, Ubaydiyya nr. Bethlehem, Tulkarm town and r.c. (firing on stone-throwing youths, wounding 1), Za‘tara nr. Bethlehem; fires on unarmed Palestinians attempting to sneak into Israel w. of Hebron to find work, wounding 2. The AMB, DFLP fire mortars at the IDF post at Erez crossing, causing no injuries. The Fatah offshoot Abu Rish Brigades fires a rocket at Neve Dekalim, causing no damage or injuries. Palestinians fire on an IDF patrol nr. Tulkarm r.c., causing no injuries but prompting troops to enter the camp, return fire, injuring 1 Palestinian bystander. Jewish settlers fr. Beit Hadasah severely beat a 16-yr.-old Palestinian in Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba severely beat a 14-yr.-old Palestinian boy in Hebron. A Jewish settler driving nr. Hebron chases, fires on a carload of Palestinian workers returning fr. their jobs in Israel, seriously wounding 1, lightly wounding a 2d. In Jerusalem, 20 Jewish settlers try to force their way into the al-Aqsa Mosque but are barred by Palestinian guards. PA judges go on strike and demonstrate outside the main court headquarters in Gaza. PA High Court chief justice Surani (whose home was attacked on 8/2) resigns to protest inadequate security (he retracts the resignation on 8/8). (HA, REU, XIN 8/6; REU 8/8; OCHA, PR 8/10; PCHR 8/11)

Citing retaliation for the death of an Israeli woman on 7/14, the IDF launches overnight missile strikes on 4 sites in Gaza: a Hamas cultural center in n. Gaza, 2 sites Palestinians have used to launch rockets in s. Gaza, and a metal workshop (alleged weapons factory) in central Gaza; at least 2 Palestinians are injured. Later in the day, an IDF drone fires a missile at a car driving in Gaza City, assassinating 4 Hamas mbrs. (Sabir Abu Assi, ‘Assim Abu Ras, Amjad Arafat, ‘Adil Haniyeh), wounding more than 12 bystanders; an IDF helicopter and ground troops fire 3 missiles at a car driving in Salfit, assassinating 3 wanted Hamas mbrs. (Muhammad Ayyash, Samir Dawahqa, Muhammad Mar’ai); an IDF helicopter fires at 3 Palestinians firing mortars at Gush Katif, injuring them. In clashes in Salfit after the assassinations, the IDF fatally shoots a stone-throwing Palestinian teenager. The Israeli strikes mark the definitive end of the 2/8 cease-fire; Hamas announces that it is considering massive retaliation. Israel blames Abbas for failing to crack down on militant groups. The IDF also continues operations in and around Tulkarm; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin, Nablus. Overnight, PA police searching for Hamas gunmen clash again with Hamas mbrs., this time in Gaza City, leaving 2 Palestinian children dead; during the clash, Hamas mbrs. destroy a PA armored personnel carrier with rocket-propelled grenades, burn a police station and a PA office building; Hamas, Fatah quickly convene an emergency mtg. to defuse tensions. Palestinians fire a barrage of at least 19 rockets and 10s of mortars at Neve Dekalim, lightly injuring 2 settlers, damaging 5 houses; 1 shell hits an industrial zone in the Negev, sparking a fire. A Jewish settler seriously injures a Palestinian teenager in a hit-and-run incident in Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Ramat Yishai throw stones, bottles at Palestinian homes in Hebron and at a Palestinian teenager, lightly injuring him. An Israeli court sentences an East Jerusalem Palestinian to 5 mos. in jail for joining Force 17 in 2000, calling it a “severe crime”; says at least 80 “Jerusalem Arabs” have been indicted on similar charges since 9/00. (IMEMC, JTA, NYT, UNIS, WP, YA 7/15; VOI 7/15 in WNC 7/15; Interfax, ITARTASS, JP, MENA, VOI, VOP, XIN 7/15 in WNC 7/16; HA, IMEMC, NYT, PRCS, REU, WP, WT, YA 7/16; VOP 7/16 in WNC 7/17; HA 7/17; OCHA, PR 7/20; PCHR 7/21)

The IDF clashes with 4 mbrs. of the AMB, Islamic Jihad at an IDF outpost outside Gaza’s Kefar Darom settlement, killing 1 Islamic Jihad mbr., wounding an AMB mbr., while the 2 other gunmen flee. The IDF also opens the Rafah crossing, with severe restrictions on who may cross, but otherwise continues to seal the Gaza Strip; raids a suspected Islamic Jihad weapons factory in Jenin, arrests 1 Islamic Jihad mbr.; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron, in Mughraqa, nr. Tulkarm; bulldozes 1 d. of Palestinian agricultural land bordering Kefar Darom. Around 30 armed Jewish settlers (young disengagement protesters who moved to Neve Dekalim in recent days) attack a group of Palestinians in al-Mawasi, beating 3, shooting and wounding 1; Israeli soldiers observe but do not intervene, delay the checkpoint crossing of an ambulance transporting the wounded man to the hospital. Soon after, Palestinians fire 4 mortars at Neve Dekalim, 1 rocket at Sederot, causing no damage or injuries. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba occupy 3 Palestinian stores in the Palestinian section of Hebron for use as a synagogue, uproot 33 olive trees, destroy a harvest of plums. (HA, XIN 6/18; VOI, VOP 6/18 in WNC 6/19; WP 6/20; OCHA, PR 6/22; PCHR 6/23; IMEMC 6/24)

Israeli DM Shaul Mofaz says that Israel will not respond to the barrage of rocket and missile fire following the 4/9 shooting death of 3 Palestinian teenagers, effectively accepting the Palestinian factions’ statement that the fire was a 1-time response. The IDF conducts arrest raids in Nablus targeting Palestinians it believes have ties to Hizballah, are planning a bombing; fires on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops, wounding 8 stone-throwers, 2 bystanders; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin, Nablus. (AP, HA, YA 4/11; OCHA, PR 4/13; PCHR 4/14)

Sharon holds his 11th mtg. with Bush in 4 yrs. at Bush’s Crawford, TX ranch; the Crawford venue is considered a gesture to “reward Sharon for taking the politically difficult step” of evacuating Gaza settlements and to highlight the close relationship btwn. the 2 leaders. (HA, MM, REU 4/11; BBC, HA, MM, NYT, REU, WP, WT 4/12; MM, NYT, PR, WP 4/13; AYM, HA, HJ, JP, Jordan Times 4/13 in WNC 4/14; MM, WJW 4/14; Forward, HA, JPI, MEI, MM 4/15; see also JP 4/6 in WNC 4/7; WP 4/9, NYT 4/10)

A Hamas suicide bomber detonates a device nr. an IDF base nr. Gush Katif Junction in s. Gaza, killing 1 Shin Bet officer, wounding 7 IDF soldiers. IDF soldiers angry over the bombing fire on Palestinians waiting to cross the nearby Abu Huli and al-Mahatin checkpoints, wounding 2, denying them medical treatment, only allowing them to leave the area to seek treatment after 2 hrs. The IDF makes a late-night incursion into Nablus, arrests 13 Hamas mbrs., destroys 2 Palestinian homes; fires on residential areas nr. the n. Gaza border and in Dayr al-Balah; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem, nr. Gaza City, nr. Ramallah. Islamic Jihad fires 2 rockets at Netzarim settlements and detonates a roadside bomb by an IDF patrol in Bayt Hanun, causing no damage or injuries. The PRCs fire 2 rockets at Netzarim, causing no damage or injuries. An Israeli teenager injured in a Qassam attack on 1/15 dies. (JAZ, VOI,. XIN 1/18, MA, VOI 1/19 in WNC 1/20; AP, HA, MM, NYT 1/19; WP 1/20; PCHR 1/27)

Abbas arrives in Gaza for several days of consultations, meets with faction leaders, security heads there. Abbas meets with Hamas leaders to urge them to halt attacks on Israeli targets. (JAZ 1/18 in WNC 1/20; MM, NYT, UPI, WT 1/19; PR 1/20)

Late this evening, in response to assassinations in recent days, the AMB, Hamas, the PRCs stage a joint attack on the Qarni crossing, killing 4 Israeli civilian workers at the crossing and 2 Israeli Palestinian truck drivers waiting to cross, wounding 10 people (4 of them Israelis, others not identified)—in the attack, 3 armed men, 1 fr. each group, detonate a truck bomb on the Palestinian side of the crossing, blowing open a gate to the Israeli side, then open fire with automatic weapons and toss grenades, while other mbrs. at a distance reportedly fire mortars and automatic weapons at the crossing; the 3 Palestinians initiating the attack are shot dead by the IDF. In response, IDF helicopter gunships fire rockets at Dayr al-Balah, the suspected home of the bombers, destroying a medical center run by a charity with links to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, wounding 1 Palestinian; IDF tanks also fire on targets in s. Gaza. During the day, the IDF makes a major raid into Bureij r.c., conducts arrest raids and house searches, bulldozes 41 d. of land, fires on residential areas (killing a 10-yr.-old Palestinian boy), fires on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops (wounding 2), sparking clashes with Palestinian militants (killing a wanted PRC mbr.). The IDF also fatally shoots a 2d Palestinian driving his pregnant neighbor to the Bayt Lahiya hospital when the car inadvertently enters an area where IDF arrest raids are under way, also injuring the woman’s husband; fires on residential areas of Tarqumiyya, Yatta; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Hebron (arresting local Islamic Jihad leader Khalil Mahsin), Ithna, Qalqilya, Taqu‘a, Tarqumiyya, Tulkarm, Yatta; issues military orders confiscating 363 d. of agricultural land in 5 villages northwest of Jerusalem, begins bulldozing 400 d. in Ithna w. of Hebron for construction of the separation wall. Unknown gunmen fire shots at the Gaza City offices of the Islamic Salvation Party’s al-Risala newspaper; editors believe the paper was targeted for its critical reporting on the 1/9 PA elections, which stressed the PA’s decision to extend polling hours, the PA’s skewed reporting of voter turnout figures. (AFP 1/13; JAZ, JP, VOI, VOP 1/13 in WNC 1/15; BBC, HA, MM, NYT, REU, WP, WT 1/14; MM 1/17; OCHA 1/19; PR 1/20; MEI 1/21; AYM 1/23 in WNC 1/24; PCHR 1/27; MEI 2/4)

The IDF sends troops into Tulkarm, confiscates several car motors fr. a local business, clashes with armed Palestinians who arrive on the scene, killing 1 Palestinian resistance mbr., wounding 1 armed Palestinian and 1 bystander; fires missiles at Gaza City, strafes the residential areas with machine gun fire; for no apparent reason fires on Palestinians waiting to cross Abu Huli and al-Mahatin checkpoints, causing no injuries; makes an incursion into Tubas nr. Jenin, fires on Palestinian youths who throw stones at troops; bulldozes Palestinian land around Gaza’s Erez crossing; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Asira and nearby Nablus, Balata r.c., Gaza City, Kafr Qadim nr. Qalqilya; bulldozes the Nabi Samuel road (the only entrance to villages located to the northwest of Jerusalem), transforms it into a car park and temporary housing for guards escorting workers constructing the separation wall in the area. The IDF bars Palestinians with Jerusalem IDs fr. crossing the Qalandia checkpoint into Ramallah without acquiring a new special permit; says they must also cross on foot, may not use vehicles. Hamas fires mortars, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) fires rockets into s. Gaza Jewish settlements, causing no damage or injuries; unidentified Palestinians fire 1 rocket into Israel fr. s. Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. 2 Palestinian gunmen fire on Israeli police officers searching for stolen cars nr. Tulkarm, wounding 1 before being shot dead. An Israeli dies of injuries received in a 1/2 Gaza mortar attack. (JTA, Reuters 1/11; NYT, WP 1/12; PCHR 1/13; PR 1/20; MEI 1/21)

IDF operations continue in Khan Yunis, where 2 Palestinians are killed in an explosion at the home of a leading Hamas mbr.; Palestinians say IDF tanks shelled the house, whereas the IDF says the men were preparing a bomb that exploded prematurely. The IDF withdraws fr. Khan Yunis late in the day, pledging to return as necessary to halt rocket fire, calling the open-ended operation Operation Violet Iron. The IDF turns over security control of Bethlehem to the PA security forces btwn. Christmas Eve and Armenian Christmas on 1/19; says it will give IDF soldiers manning checkpoints around Bethlehem special instructions on how to handle Christian tourists. The IDF tightens Palestinian movement around Nablus; fires on residential areas of Bayt Hanun (among the injured are children ages 2, 11, 14), Rafah; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Qalqilya and nr. Hebron, Nablus, Tulkarm. Palestinians fire at least 12 mortars at Jewish settlements in s. Gaza, causing minor damage but no injuries. (AFP, HA 12/23; VOI 12/23 in WNC 12/25; NYT, WP 12/24; PCHR 12/30)

Palestinian municipal elections begin, with voting in 26 West Bank municipalities. Hamas wins 27% of the seats, Fatah 59%. (PM 12/23; JAZ 12/23 in WNC 12/25; AP, NYT, WP, WT 12/24; JAZ 12/25, JAZ, VOP 12/26 in WNC 12/28; PR 12/29; MEI 1/7)

The Palestinian Resistance Comms. (PRCs) fire a new Nasser 3 rocket, with a longer range than the Qassam 2, at Sederot, causing minor damage to a wall, garden shed; also fire 2 mortars at Gaza’s Kefar Darom settlement, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF fires missiles at 2 metal workshops (suspected Hamas weapons factories) in Gaza City, destroying the buildings but causing no injuries. The IDF also bulldozes 77 dunams of agricultural land in Bayt Hanun, 37 dunams nr. Khan Yunis; demolishes 2 Palestinian homes in al-Qarara, 1 in Rafah; fires on residential areas of, conducts arrest raids in Askar r.c., then fires on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront the troops, wounding 4; raids residential areas nr. Dayr al-Balah, firing on homes, arresting several Palestinians, occupying and partially demolishing 1 house, destroying a fence and gas pipelines to a fuel station; conducts arrest raids in Hebron, Jenin, nr. Nablus. (HA, MA, MM, REU 6/18; VOI, VOP 6/18, VOI 6/19 in WNC 6/22; WP 6/20; PCHR 6/24)

The IDF continues operations in Nablus for the 4th day, blowing up a building in the Old City suspected of being a Qassam missile factory, the 1st found in the West Bank, and clashing with Palestinian protesters, leaving 12 injured; confiscates 360 dunams of land in Nazlat Issa, 300 dunams of land in Baqa‘ al-Sharqiyya; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis; shells areas of Rafah. The PSF seals 5 more tunnels on the Rafah border; Israel says the PA’s actions are not serious. Palestinians fire a Qassam-2 rocket fr. Gaza toward Ashkelon, causing no damage or injuries. In response, the IDF assassinates senior Hamas mbr. Ahmad Aishtawi, firing rockets at his car in Gaza City, also killing senior Hamas mbr. Wahid Hamad, 2 aides, wounding more than 12 bystanders (HA, PM 8/24; NYT, WP, WT 8/25; WT 8/26; PCHR 8/28)

The IDF demolishes 4 Palestinian homes in Rafah, 3 in Yatta; conducts arrest raids in Jenin. In Jerusalem, some 20,000 Jewish settlers demonstrate against the Aqaba summit. Palestinians fire a mortar at a Jewish settlement, a rocket at an IDF post, both in Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. In a move deliberately timed with the Aqaba summit, Tourism M Benny Elon begins work to set up offices of the pro-transfer Moledet party in 1 of the 2 Palestinian homes next to the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem’s Shaykh Jarrah neighborhood that Jewish settlers have been trying to seize for 1 yr. (see 4/27/03). (JP 6/4 in WNC 6/7; HA, MM, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 6/5; PCHR 6/12; PR 6/25)

In Aqaba, Bush meets with Abbas, Sharon, King Abdallah; then meets with Abbas, Sharon only. Afterward, Abbas and Sharon each give carefully worded statements reiterating their commitments to peace. (HA, MM 6/4; Interfax, ITAR-TASS, JT, MENA, QA, SA 6/4 in WNC 6/7; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/5; DUS, JP, JT, MA, MENA, NHR, QA, al-Quds, al-Ra’i, SA, SFR, Star, YA 6/5 in WNC 6/8; al-Quds 6/5, DUS 6/6 in WNC 6/10; MM 6/6; THWR , TSHR 6/7 in WNC 7/11; JPI 6/13; PR 6/18; JPI 6/20)