326 / 15199 Results
  • February 19, 2014

    Off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. Rafah, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing damage but no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest...

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  • February 18, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on agricultural lands nr. Khan Yunis, causing no injuries, while separately also open fire nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries. IDF troops conduct 2...

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  • December 10, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli troops open fire on agricultural areas nr. Khan Yunis, causing no casualties. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, in addition to...

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  • November 29, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmers working close to the border fence nr. Khan Yunis r.c., causing no injuries. Separately, IDF troops open fire on stone-throwing...

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  • November 5, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF troops positioned at the separation wall fire on stone-throwing Palestinian children nr. Qatanna village in East Jerusalem, seriously wounding 1 with a rubber-coated metal...

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  • October 12, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 3 villages nr...

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  • September 26, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 1 nearby village in the afternoon; patrols in 1 village each nr. Jericho and Ramallah. In Jerusalem, Israeli...

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  • September 25, 2013

    In the West Bank, Israeli troops enter Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah and open fire on Palestinians, injuring 3 with live ammunition. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr....

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  • September 22, 2013

    In the West Bank, a Palestinian sniper shoots and kills an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint in Hebron. Subsequently, IDF troops place the city under lockdown, and raid numerous homes. IDF troops...

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  • September 17, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct 2 separate, limited incursions nr. Khan Yunis, leveling land along the border fence before withdrawing. In the West Bank, the IDF shoots and kills a...

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  • September 16, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2...

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  • September 12, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion along the border fence nr. Khan Yunis to level land, before withdrawing. In the West Bank, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians protesting...

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  • September 10, 2013

    In the s. Gaza Strip, IDF troops confiscate 2 fishing boats nr. Rafah. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron, Tulkarm, and 1 village nr....

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  • September 6, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in al-‘Arub r.c., al-Fawar r.c., and 1 village nr. Hebron, and 1 village nr. Salfit at night. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and...

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  • August 25, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon and in 1 village each nr. Ramallah and Salfit at night, patrols in 2 villages nr....

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  • August 21, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF forces shoot and injure 1 Palestinian in clashes provoked by an IDF arrest raid in Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nur...

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  • May 27, 2013

    U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry meets with Israeli justice minister Tzipi Livni and Special Envoy Yitzhak Molcho in Amman, their 4th meeting since Kerry’s arrival in the region on 5/23. Kerry also...

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  • December 18, 2012

    Israel’s Housing and Construction Ministry publishes tenders for construction of West Bank settlement housing units in Karnei Shomron, Efrat, and Givat Ze’ev as part of the government’s decision...

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  • December 5, 2012

    The Higher Planning Council of the IDF’s Civil Admin. meets to advance plans for 3,400 new settlement homes in the E1 area between Ma’ale Adumim and Jerusalem. Construction is expected to begin in...

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  • December 3, 2012

    Britain, Denmark, France, Spain, and Sweden summon the Israeli ambassadors to their countries to protest Israel’s settlement construction plans. An anonymous senior European diplomat tells the...

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  • December 2, 2012

    The Israeli governmentt announces it will confiscate the VAT tax revenues it has collected for the PA during 11/2012, and use the NIS 460 m. of funds to offset the PA’s debt to Israel’s Electric...

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  • November 27, 2012

    An Israeli official tells the media that U.S.-Israeli efforts to soften the wording of the Palestinians’ resolution for the UNGA have failed, though reports indicate that the U.S. is still trying...

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  • November 11, 2012

    The IDF carries out air strikes on a number of targets in the Gaza Strip, killing 1 armed Palestinian and wounding a number of civilians. Palestinian groups fire around 100 rockets and mortars...

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  • March 19, 2012

    Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts morning patrols in 2 villages each nr. Jenin and Ramallah in...

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  • December 21, 2011

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials nr. the border, wounding 1 Palestinian. In the West Bank, the IDF bulldozes 2 storehouses...

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  • December 20, 2011

    Israeli troops on the n. Gaza border twice fire at suspicious movement in open areas e. of Bayt Hanun, causing no reported injuries. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the...

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  • January 30, 2011

    In light of domestic security concerns, Egypt seals its border with Gaza, causing almost all trade through the smuggling tunnels along the Rafah border to cease, sparking hoarding by Gazans. Hamas...

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  • December 29, 2009

    Some 1,000 international activists gather in Egypt in preparation for a 12/31 solidarity march to the Rafah border to mark the 1-yr. anniversary of Operation Cast Lead (OCL) and bring tens of...

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  • January 26, 2009

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

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  • January 18, 2009

    Israel’s unilateral cease-fire goes into effect early in the morning as planned, marking the official end to OCL. The IDF begins withdrawing ground troops fr. Gaza early in the morning and...

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Off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. Rafah, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing damage but no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 4 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night; patrols in 3 villages nr. Hebron at night. Jewish settlers attack Burin village nr. Nablus, throwing stones at schoolchildren, and assaulting a Palestinian man. Israeli forces arrive and fire rubber-coated metal bullets at villagers, causing no injuries. Meanwhile, Jewish settlers destroy 700 newly planted olive tree saplings nr. Ramallah, and in another incident, Jewish settlers demolish a Palestinian-owned agricultural shed nr. Bethlehem. In East Jerusalem, 30 Palestinian-owned vehicles nr. Bayt Safafa are vandalized, with racist “price tag” graffiti left at the scene. (MNA, WAFA 2/19; PCHR 2/20)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry meets with PA Pres. Abbas in Paris to discuss the ongoing peace negotiations. The meeting was attended by Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat, PA spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudayna, and PLO Amb. to France Hayel Fahoum. State Dept. spokesperson Jen Psaki says that the “few hours” spent together were focused on “narrowing the gaps between the parties on a framework for negotiations.” State Dept. dep. spokesperson Marie Harf also says that Kerry expresses concern in the meeting about recent remarks made by Erakat about a potential boycott of Israel. Both before and after the meeting, Palestinian officials sound pessimistic about the prospects for a breakthrough, with an unnamed official describing the talks as facing a “real crisis.” While in Paris, Kerry also meets with Jordanian FM Nasser Judeh. (JP 2/18; AFP, AP, JP, YA 2/19)

On the 2d day of talks in Vienna, Dep. FM Abbas Araghchi tells Iranian media that representatives of Iran and the P5+1 countries have agreed on an agenda for negotiations and will meet again in Vienna at some point during the 2d half of 3/2014. Earlier, the U.S. State Dept. describes the 2d day of talks as “constructive and useful.” Meanwhile, Israeli media reports that a U.S. delegation will visit Israel to brief the Israeli govt. on the ongoing talks with Iran. (HA, REU 2/19)

Two suicide bombers attack the Iranian cultural center in Beirut, killing 8 and wounding dozens more. The attack is claimed by the al-Qa‘ida-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades, which says the bombing was a response to Hizballah’s involvement in the Syrian conflict on the side of the govt. (AP, DS, REU 2/19)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on agricultural lands nr. Khan Yunis, causing no injuries, while separately also open fire nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries. IDF troops conduct 2 separate limited incursions nr. Khan Yunis to level land. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. Meanwhile, IDF sources say that they discovered a large bomb buried nr. the border fence in the s. Gaza Strip, the 4th such device discovered since the beginning of 2014. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon; patrols in 2 villages nr. Hebron in the afternoon. Jewish settlers uproot 650 olive tree seedlings nr. Ramallah. (HA, MNA 2/18; PCHR 2/20)

Secy.-Gen. of the Fatah Revolutionary Council Amin Maqboul says that the group’s reconciliation delegation head Azzam al-Ahmad will not travel to the Gaza Strip until Hamas agrees to general elections and the formation of a unity govt. (MNA 2/18)

Two rockets fired from inside Syria land inside the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. (AFP 2/18)

Representatives of Iran and the P5+1 countries begin talks in Vienna to try and reach a comprehensive deal on Tehran’s disputed nuclear program. The P5+1 countries include the U.S., UK, France, China, Russia, and Germany. Bilateral talks between senior U.S. and Iranian officials take place on the sidelines. Under Secy. of State Wendy Sherman heads the U.S. delegation, with Iran’s Dep. FM Abbas Araghchi co-leading his side’s team with FM Mohammad Javad Zarif. (AP, REU 2/18)

Jihadist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis issues a statement warning tourists to leave Egypt by 2/20, or face attack by the group’s mbrs. (REU 2/18)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli troops open fire on agricultural areas nr. Khan Yunis, causing no casualties. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, in addition to 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. Israeli forces also demolish Palestinian-owned structures in the n. Jordan Valley. In East Jerusalem, around 100 newly-recruited Israeli soldiers enter Haram alSharif escorted by police officers. (MNA, PCHR 12/10)

In Israel, attackers vandalize a dozen cars and leave racist graffiti in Akbara village nr. Safed. (MNA 12/10)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry tells the House Foreign Affairs Cmte. that the Obama administration is requesting that negotiators be given time to do their jobs in talks with Iran, and for Congress to hold off on passing any new sanctions-related bills. Kerry affirms that it is a “very delicate diplomatic moment.” U.S. Senate Banking Cmte. chmn. Tim Johnson (D-SD) says he will not back new sanctions legislation at this time. Meanwhile in Geneva, Iranian delegation head Hamid Baeedinejad says that talks with the IAEA are going smoothly. The meeting is also attended by officials from the U.S., China, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and the EU. (JP, REU 12/10)

U.S. Defense Secy. Hagel meets with the Qatari emir Shaykh Tamim bin Hamad and DM Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah, and signs a 10-year defense cooperation agreement that will govern interaction between U.S. and Qatari forces. (REU 12/10)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmers working close to the border fence nr. Khan Yunis r.c., causing no injuries. Separately, IDF troops open fire on stone-throwing Palestinians nr. Jabaliya r.c., wounding 1. In the West Bank, a Palestinian man dies from wounds inflicted when Israeli soldiers shot him in the head on 3/1 with a rubber-coated metal bullet during clashes at the entrance to Qalandia r.c. nr. Ramallah. Following his funeral, there are clashes at Qalandia checkpoint between stone-throwing Palestinian youth and Israeli soldiers who fire live ammunition and tear gas, with 1 Palestinian injured from a bullet to the leg. Separately, in al-‘Izzariya and Abu Dis neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, IDF troops shoot and injure 2 Palestinians with live ammunition during protests against the death of a Palestinian delayed at a checkpoint en route to hospital the previous day. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, in Dura and surrounding area nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in Hebron and al-‘Arub and 5 nearby villages, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah at night. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at weekly demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and occupation in 2 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Nabi Salih), 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum) and 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara). There are no serious injuries except in Bil‘in, with 2 injured by rubber-coated metal bullets, and in Kafr Qaddum with 2 injured by gas canisters. (MNA 11/29; PCHR 12/5)

A senior but unnamed official within Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs tells the media that Israel has been invited to join the UNHRC’s Western European and Others Group. The development was made possible by Israel ending its boycott of the UNHRC in 10/2013, as well as agreeing to participation in its Universal Periodic Human Rights Review process. On 11/6, ambassadors of the U.K., Australia, Canada, Germany, France, and the U.S. sent a letter to the UN institutions in Geneva to urge the inclusion of Israel in the regional group. (HA, ToI 11/29)

In a White House statement, the Obama administration confirms it is keeping oilrelated sanctions targeting Iran in place despite the recently-signed deal. Meanwhile, Tehran’s envoy to the IAEA tells the agency’s board in Geneva that the implementation of the deal will start by early 1/2014. Separately, Iranian pres. Ruhani says that his country will not decommission its nuclear plants. (AP, FT, REU 11/29)

The executive council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague rejects a request from Syria to convert facilities used to produce chemical weapons to other activities. (NYT 11/29)

Egyptian security forces violently disperse demonstrations in various parts of Cairo with tear gas and water cannons, as supporters of ousted pres. Morsi express their opposition to a new law restricting protests. There are also similar clashes in Giza, Alexandria, and Suez. According to Interior Ministry figures, 10 are wounded and 183 arrested. (AP 11/29)

In the West Bank, IDF troops positioned at the separation wall fire on stone-throwing Palestinian children nr. Qatanna village in East Jerusalem, seriously wounding 1 with a rubber-coated metal bullet. The IDF conducts house searches in Hebron and al-‘Arub r.c. nearby, in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; patrols in Tulkarm in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. (PCHR 11/7)

According to unnamed Palestinian officials, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators hold talks that break down in an argument over settlement construction, just hours before U.S. Secy. of State Kerry arrives in Jerusalem. The talks are the sides’ 16th such meeting, and U.S. envoy Martin Indyk also participates. On arrival, Kerry says that while the talks are experiencing difficulties, he still believes it is possible to reach an agreement. Israeli media report that Israeli negotiators have told their Palestinian counterparts that the separation wall will serve as the border of the future Palestinian state. (AFP, HA, MNA, REU 11/6)

UN and Arab League envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi meets Russian dep. FMs Gennady Gatilov and Mikhail Bogdanov and U.S. Undersecy. of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman to discuss preparations for a long-delayed peace conference known as “Geneva 2.” Reps. of China, France, and Britain join the meeting later. However, the talks end without a set date. (AFP 11/6)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 3 villages nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 3 villages and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, 2 villages nr. Ramallah, and 1 village each nr. Jenin an Jericho at night. Jewish settlers attack residents of Susia village nr. Hebron while they were picking olives, injuring 3. (MNA, WAFA 10/12; PCHR 10/24)

Jenin gov. Talal Dweikat says that the Palestinian National Security Services have detained nearly 100 people in the n. West Bank as part of a drive to tackle disorder in light of a recent spate of protests and violent targeting of PA buildings. PA forces deployed in Jenin on 10/4 to crackdown on disorder that followed the killing of Islam al-Tubasi in 9/2013. (MNA 10/12)

Iran’s official news agency IRNA reports that Iranian FM Zarif will lead the nuclear negotiation team at a new round of talk with the P5+1 group on 10/15–16, but will only attend the opening session before handing over to Dep. FM Abbas Araqchi. The U.S. delegation is reportedly set to include Undersecy. of State Wendy Sherman—who will lead the team—as well as sanctions expert Adam Szubin, the director of the Treasury Dept.’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC. Meanwhile, Israeli PM Netanyahu calls the leaders of France and Britain and urges them not to ease sanctions on Tehran, according to an Israeli govt. official. (AFP, AP, REU 10/12)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 1 nearby village in the afternoon; patrols in 1 village each nr. Jericho and Ramallah. In Jerusalem, Israeli security forces accompany Jewish right-wing activists as they enter the al-Aqsa mosque compound. According to reports, more than 700 ultra-Orthodox Jews have entered the compound to celebrate Sukkot since last Wednesday. (MNA 9/26; PCHR 10/3)

PA pres. Abbas addresses the UNGA and describes the current peace talks as a “last chance.” He urges international pressure to stop settlement construction, and says that the aim is to reach a permanent agreement within 9 mos., rejecting the possibility of a “temporary” arrangement. (AFP, AP, HA 9/26)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry and Iranian FM Zarif hold one-on-one talks at the UN, the highest level direct discussions in a generation. Zarif also discusses the nuclear issue with his counterparts from the UK, China, France, Germany, and Russia, as well as Kerry. The talks are widely described as positive, with Kerry calling the meeting “very constructive” but with many questions remaining. (AP, REU 9/26)

The U.S. and Russia reach agreement on a draft UN res. designed to rid Syria of its chemical weapons. The compromise makes the measure legally binding but avoids automatic recourse to military force by way of enforcement, instead requiring another res. under Chapter 7 to be passed. (AP, REU 9/26)

In the West Bank, Israeli troops enter Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah and open fire on Palestinians, injuring 3 with live ammunition. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Jericho at night.

In Jerusalem, security forces raid the al-Aqsa mosque compound in response to stone-throwing from Palestinians. (MNA, YA 9/25; PCHR 9/26)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry says that Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to intensify the peace talks and increase the U.S. role. Kerry describes 2 tracks: 1 among the 2 sides’ negotiators, and another among Abbas, Netanyahu, Kerry, and Pres. Obama. (HA, REU 9/25)

Unnamed Western diplomats claim that envoys from the U.S., Russia, France, China, and Britain have come to an agreement on the basis of a res. on Syria’s chemical weapons, something denied by Russian sources. Meanwhile, UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky says chemical weapons experts will investigate 3 alleged incidents of chemical weapons use earlier this year in Syria, and seek information on 3 alleged incidents in 8/2013. (AP, REU 9/25)

In the West Bank, a Palestinian sniper shoots and kills an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint in Hebron. Subsequently, IDF troops place the city under lockdown, and raid numerous homes. IDF troops open fire on Palestinians throwing stones in c. Hebron, wounding 1 with a rubber-coated metal bullet. Elsewhere, Jewish settlers nr. Qalqilya move into Palestinian-owned lands and destroy some 30 olive trees and damage equipment. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron in the morning, and in Hebron and 2 nearby villages, 2 villages nr. Ramallah, 1 village nr. Jenin and Qalqilya at night; patrols in 3 villages nr. Tulkarm in the morning, in 3 villages nr. Jenin, 2 villages nr. Tulkarm, 2 villages nr. Qalqilya and Salfit and 1 nearby village in the afternoon, and in Jenin and 1 nearby village, 1 village nr. Tulkarm and Hebron at night. (MNA 9/22; PCHR 9/26)

Israel permits the 1st delivery into the Gaza Strip of cement and steel for use by the private sector since 2007, with 70 trucks entering, according to PA official Raed Fattouh. (MNA 9/22)

Unidentified gunmen open fire on an Israeli army patrol operating close to the border with Syria in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The IDF returns fire to the source. There are no reports of damage or casualties on either side. Meanwhile, Pres. Asad praises the role of China and Russia, in an interview with Chinese television, and says he is not worried about a draft res. submitted by the U.S., UK, and France. Separately, SNC head Ahmad Jarba writes to the UNSC to say his opposition group is prepared to attend a proposed Geneva conference if the aim of the talks is to establish a transitional govt. (REU, ToI 9/22)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct 2 separate, limited incursions nr. Khan Yunis, leveling land along the border fence before withdrawing. In the West Bank, the IDF shoots and kills a Palestinian in Jenin r.c., and wounds 4 others in subsequent clashes. Islam al-Tubasi was killed when Israeli soldiers raided his house and shot him. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Ramallah and Nablus at night; patrols in 1 village and al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron, and in 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. (MNA 9/17; PCHR 9/19)

For the 1st time in 6 years, Israel will allow entry into the Gaza Strip of a limited quantity of construction materials intended for private projects, according to separate reports by crossings director Nazmi Muhanna and an unnamed Israeli defense official. Three hundred and fifty trucks of cement, steel and concrete will cross into the territory weekly. (REU, WAFA 9/17)

PA Pres. Abbas meets in Ramallah with U.S. peace process envoy Martin Indyk, where the 2 assess the outcome of previous rounds of negotiations (8 meetings in total). Meanwhile, PLO Secy.-Gen. Yasir ‘Abid Rabbuh tells Palestinian media that the “indicators” of the talks have thus far been negative. (JP 9/17)

Diplomats from the U.S., Britain, Russia, France, and China begin talks in New York on a draft res. that will implement the proposed plan to rid Syria of chemical weapons. U.S. Secy. of State Kerry insists that the agreement with Moscow must be backed up by the threat of force in the case of noncompliance, talking to reporters on Capitol Hill. Russia, meanwhile, says that a res. will not allow the use of force. (AP, REU 9/17)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Ramallah, 1 villages nr. Tulkarm and Qalqilya at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Bethlehem and 1 village nr. Bethlehem in the morning. Israeli forces also demolish a Palestinian village in the Jordan Valley, destroying around a dozen residential structures as well as 2 dozen other structures. Dozens of residents of Khirbat Makhul are left homeless. (MNA 9/16; PCHR 9/19)

The Israeli media reports that PM Netanyahu is unhappy with Justice Minister and chief negotiator Tzipi Livni, who is apparently undermining his position in talks with the Palestinians. Livni reportedly is willing to remove all IDF troops from the Jordan Valley, something Netanyahu will not countenance. Meanwhile, PA Pres. Abbas says that Israel will have no presence along the future border of a Palestinian state with Jordan. (INN, JP 9/16)

The U.S., Britain, and France issue a joint warning to Syrian pres. Asad that there would be consequences should he fail to comply with the international community’s demand he hand over his entire chemical weapon stockpile. Meanwhile, UN human rights investigator Karen Koning Abuzayd says that war crimes attributed to the Syrian opposition are largely being carried out by foreign fighters. Also today, Turkish warplanes shoot down a Syrian helicopter after it crossed the border, according to the Turkish military. (AP, REU 9/16)

Egyptian forces storm Delga in c. Minya province, seizing control from supporters of ousted pres. Morsi and arresting more than 50 persons. Meanwhile, in the n. Sinai Peninsula, assailants hit a police bus with a roadside bomb, wounding 9, and then kill 1 of those who jumped clear. (AFP, AP, MNA 9/16)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion along the border fence nr. Khan Yunis to level land, before withdrawing. In the West Bank, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians protesting the arrival of 1,400 Jewish worshippers at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, injuring 7. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the afternoon; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning, and in 1 village nr. Jenin at night. The IDF also demolishes 4 Palestinian-owned commercial structures in Barta‘a village nr. Jenin. (HA, MNA 9/12; PCHR 9/19)

PA Pres. Mahmud Abbas meets with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Paris, as well as French pres. Francois Hollande, discussing with both the peace process. (WAFA 9/12)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry meets Russian FM Sergey Lavrov in Geneva to discuss Moscow’s proposal of securing and destroying Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile, talks that were described by Kerry afterward as “constructive.” Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz expresses cautious support for the plan, speaking to Israeli media. Meanwhile, 3 stray mortar shells land in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. (AFP, AP, JP, REU 9/12)

Egyptian interim pres. Adly Mansour extends a nationwide state of emergency for a further 2 mos. On the Rafah border, 2 Egyptian army tanks cross the initial border fence on the Egyptian side for the 1st time. Meanwhile, Egyptian authorities close the Rafah crossing for the 2d day due to unrest in the Sinai. (AFP, AP, MNA 9/12)

Iranian Amb. to the IAEA Reza Najafi says that Tehran will cooperate with the agency to “overcome existing issues once and for all,” speaking at his 1st board meeting. Distinct from the P5+1 (permanent mbrs. of the UNSC plus Germany) talks, the IAEA has held 10 rounds of talks since early 2012 to resume inspections into suspected weapon research. (REU 9/12)

In the s. Gaza Strip, IDF troops confiscate 2 fishing boats nr. Rafah. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron, Tulkarm, and 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night; patrols in Jenin and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. In al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, IDF troops detain 13 Palestinians. In East Jerusalem, suspected Jewish extremists vandalize 3 buses and leave “price-tag” graffiti in Silwan, while separately dozens of Jewish right-wing activists enter the al-Aqsa mosque compound under police protection. (MNA 9/10; PCHR 9/12)

Israeli Foreign Ministry officials meet with senior EU officials to discuss the new settlement guidelines, and end by resolving to meet again to continue the discussions. Following the meeting, both sides issue upbeat assessments of the dialogue. (JP 9/10)

U.S. Pres. Obama says in a speech at the White House that he has asked Congressional leaders to postpone a vote authorizing force while a “diplomatic path”is pursued, a reference to a Russian proposal to achieve the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. In response to Moscow’s proposal, France pushes for a UN res. that would be under Chapter 7 and threaten “serious consequences” for non-compliance—a framework immediately rejected by Russia. The Syrian govt., meanwhile, accepts the Russian idea. (AFP, AP, NYT, REU 9/10)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in al-‘Arub r.c., al-Fawar r.c., and 1 village nr. Hebron, and 1 village nr. Salfit at night. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at weekly demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and occupation in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Nabi Salih, and Ni‘lin), 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum), and 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara). There are no serious injuries (except in Kafr Qaddum where 3 are struck by tear gas canisters). In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces raid the al-Aqsa compound and disperse worshippers with stun grenades, after Palestinians threw stones at plainclothes policemen who entered the area. Fifteen Palestinians are arrested, while Israeli police say 2 officers are injured while an al-Aqsa medical official says 55 injuries were treated among Palestinians. (MNA, REU 9/6; PCHR 9/12)

PA Minister of Prisoner Affairs Issa Qaraqe announces that the remaining prisoner releases by Israel will take place on 10/29, 12/29, and 03/28. (MNA 9/6)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry travels to Europe on a trip intended to lobby for support for a strike on Syria, as well as discuss the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and meet with PA Pres. Mahmud Abbas in London, before returning to Washington. The itinerary also takes him to Lithuania—current holder of the presidency of the Council of the EU—and France. (AFP 9/5; AP 9/6)

U.S. Pres. Obama persuades 10 other leaders from the G20 nations to co-sign a statement urging a strong international response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian govt., though the text does not explicitly endorse military action. Meanwhile, an unnamed State Dept. official tells the media that a strike on Syria would not fundamentally alter the balance of forces on the ground in the country’s civil war. (NYT, REU 9/6)

Supporters of ousted pres. Morsi clash with security forces and those who back the military in protests across Egypt. Two are killed nationwide, and dozens injured. There are demonstrations in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, Fayoum, Damanhour, and a number of other towns and cities. (AFP, REU 9/6)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon and in 1 village each nr. Ramallah and Salfit at night, patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 village each nr. Jericho, Ramallah and Tulkarm in the morning, in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm and 1 village each nr. Jenin and Salfit at night. Israeli bulldozers level privately-owned Palestinian land nr. Nablus to enlarge an illegal settlement outpost. In Jerusalem, dozens of right-wing Jewish activists enter the al-Aqsa compound and held discussions on the possibility of building a Jewish temple there. (MNA 8/25, PCHR 8/29)

The Jerusalem Municipality approves a budget for a NIS 62.4 million extension of the Ramat Shlomo settlement, adding some 1,600 housing units. Other projects approved include a NIS 20 million budget for developing a national park at the settlerowned “City of David” project in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan. Half of that latter budget will come from the prime minister’s office. Meanwhile, Israel’s Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel dedicates 2 new neighborhoods of 160 homes in the West Bank settlement Keddumim and says that a two-state solution will never happen. (AP, HA, JP 8/25)

Israel’s cabinet unanimously approves the appointment of Yossi Cohen as the new head of the National Security Council (NSC). Cohen, who spent 3 decades working for Mossad, replaces Yaakov Amidror. (YA 8/25)

Syria agrees to allow UN inspectors to visit the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Ghouta, a Damascus suburb. The U.S. State Dept. says that Secy. of State John Kerry told his counterparts in Britain, France, Russia, and Canada in a round of phone calls that there is “very little doubt” the Syrian govt. is responsible for gassing its own citizens. An unnamed administration official tells the media that despite this near certainty in Washington, the pres. still hasn’t decided how to respond. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich says that the U.S. and its allies should await the findings of the UN inspection team and avoid military action. (AP, REU, 8/25)

Three leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, including the organization’s Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie did not appear in court on the 1st day of their separate trials, apparently due to security reasons. The judge adjourns proceedings until 10/29. The charges are of inciting lethal violence during the events leading up to the military coup. (REU 8/25)

In the West Bank, IDF forces shoot and injure 1 Palestinian in clashes provoked by an IDF arrest raid in Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nur Shams r.c. nr Tulkarm at night; patrols in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, Jenin, and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. Inside Israel, suspected Jewish extremists vandalize a monastery nr. Beit Shemesh and leave “price-tag” graffiti. (WAFA 8/21; PCHR 8/22)

Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi says that the Palestinians may turn to UN bodies in response to Israeli settlement construction even before the current peace negotiations have come to a conclusion. In remarks made during a tour of East Jerusalem settlements, Ashrawi tells journalists “if Israel does not stop, then we have to move.” Meanwhile, Israel’s High Court of Justice rules that 30 structures in the Amana outpost in the West Bank should be demolished, but gives no evacuation date and leaves room for an appeal. (AP, JP 8/21)

A suspected chemical weapons attack takes place in Ghouta, a rebel-held suburb of Damascus, with wildly differing claims of fatalities (from a few hundred to over 1,000). Opposition forces blame the Bashar al-Asad regime, a claim denied by the govt. The UNSC holds an emergency meeting in response and calls for clarity, welcoming Ban Ki-moon’s call for a prompt investigation by UN inspectors. The U.S.-France-UK-drafted res. was changed to accommodate objections from Russia and China. (AFP, REU 8/21)

EU FMs meet for an emergency session in response to events in Egypt and agree to suspend the sale of security equipment and arms. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton says that “recent actions of the military have been disproportionate.” (NYT 8/19; AFP 8/21)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry meets with Israeli justice minister Tzipi Livni and Special Envoy Yitzhak Molcho in Amman, their 4th meeting since Kerry’s arrival in the region on 5/23. Kerry also meets with Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas in Amman, their 3d meeting of the trip, before returning to Washington. Kerry tells reporters before he leaves the region that he expects answers from both Netanyahu and Abbas within one or 2 weeks. (HA 5/27)

Off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops demolish 3 Palestinian-owned houses and 2 sheds in the Jordan Valley village of al-Jiftlik. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 1 village each nr. Ramallah, Jenin, and Hebron, as well as al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning, 1 village each nr. Qalqilya, Jenin, and Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages each nr. Tulkarm, Ramallah and Qalqilya, and 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night. In East Jerusalem, suspected right-wing Jewish extremists vandalize 15 Palestinian-owned cars in the Shaykh Jarrah neighborhood. (MNA, WAFA 5/27; PCHR 5/30)

During talks in Brussels, EU foreign ministers fail to reach agreement on supplying arms to Syrian rebels but reinstate sanctions on Damascus and lift an arms embargo for the opposition. Member states like Britain and France are now free to go it alone in sending weapons should they see fit at some point. (NYT, REU 5/27)

Israel’s Housing and Construction Ministry publishes tenders for construction of West Bank settlement housing units in Karnei Shomron, Efrat, and Givat Ze’ev as part of the government’s decision to build 3,000 new settlement units to punish the Palestinians for their successful UN bid. The U.S. expresses disappointment with what it calls Israel’s ‘‘pattern of provocative action’’ with regard to settlement construction, saying the repeated announcements and plans ‘‘run counter to the cause of peace’’ and put the two-state solution ‘‘further at risk.’’ Britain, France, Germany and Portugal–European members of the UNSC–issue a joint statement condemning Israel’s 12/17 decision to construct homes in Ramat Shlomo settlement in occupied East Jerusalem. (ToI, AP, HA 12/18)

IDF forces make a brief incursion into s. Gaza to level land along the border fence. In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians nr. Aida r.c. in Bethlehem, causing no injuries; this marks the 6th day of confrontations since Israeli forces killed a Palestinian youth in Hebron’s Old City on 12/12. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 each village nr. Bethlehem and Hebron at night. (PNN 12/19; PCHR 12/20)

Israeli military sources say that there are cracks appearing in the co-operation between the IDF and the PA’s security forces, though the operational relationship remains generally positive. One example of this deterioration is the PA security forces stopping IDF troops from pursuing their activities on at least 2 occasions in the past few weeks. (YA 12/18)

Reports suggest that more than 1,000 Palestinian refugees living in Syria crossed over the border into Lebanon in just 24 hours, fleeing fighting in Yarmuk r.c. (REU 12/18)

The Higher Planning Council of the IDF’s Civil Admin. meets to advance plans for 3,400 new settlement homes in the E1 area between Ma’ale Adumim and Jerusalem. Construction is expected to begin in 1–2 years. (HA, JP 12/5)

In Berlin, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu meets German chancellor Angela Merkel, who expresses dismay at settlement expansion. Israeli media reports say that Merkel’s message is that Netanyahu must choose between the peace process and establishing a Palestinian state on the one hand, and continued settlement growth and international isolation on the other. Meanwhile, the E.U. summons Israel’s amb. for a meeting, following similar moves by Britain, Denmark, France, Spain, and Sweden on 12/3. Palestinian pres. Abbas says he is determined to block the proposed settlement construction E1 with all legal and diplomatic means. Islamic Jihad issues a warning Israel to expect recent actions, such as settlement expansion and demolitions, to provoke a response. (REU 12/4; AP, HA, MNA, REU 12/5)

Hamas-affiliated Reform and Change mbr. Nasser al-Shaer tells Palestinian media that national reconciliation is the PA’s top priority following the successful UN bid. Senior Hamas official Ahmad Yousef cautions, however, that political instability in Egypt could delay unity talks mediated by Egyptian officials. (MNA 12/5)

In the West Bank, Jewish settlers uproot around 200 Palestinian-owned olive trees in a village nr. Bethlehem. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jericho, and 6 villages nr. Hebron at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Tubas, 2 villages nr. Jenin, and 1 village each nr. Nablus, Tulkarm, and Tubas at night. (IMEMC 12/5; PCHR 12/13)

A mortar shell fired during an exchange inside Syria accidentally lands inside the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, nr. an IDF base, causing no damage or injuries. Israel lodges a formal complaint with the UN. Meanwhile, the UN Disengagement Observer Force, deployed in the Golan since 1974 to monitor the Israel-Syria cease-fire, announces that it will reinforce its security due to threats of cross-border violence posed by Syrian rebels. (JP 12/5)

Armed clashes take place in Tripoli as Syria’s civil war continues to spill over into Lebanon, with gunmen loyal to opposing sides in the Syrian fighting clashing in the city. The fighting has killed 6 people and wounded around 60 since the beginning of the week, sparked by the deaths on 11/30 of over a dozen Lebanese fighting with the rebels. (AP 12/5)

Britain, Denmark, France, Spain, and Sweden summon the Israeli ambassadors to their countries to protest Israel’s settlement construction plans. An anonymous senior European diplomat tells the Israeli newspaper Ha’Aretz that Britain and France see E1 development as a ‘‘red line’’ and feel Israel is acting ungratefully after the support it received during Operation Pillar of Defense. Former U.S. amb. to Israel Dan Kurtzer tells Ha’Aretz that the Obama admin. is angry over an Israeli official’s suggestion in a recent briefing that Israel generated the E1 plan in anticipation that Obama would refuse to reaffirm Bush’s 2004 letter to Sharon (which Israel views as U.S. approval of Israeli settlement expansion in areas it intends to keep under final status; see the Quarterly Update in JPS 132), when he entered office in 1/2009, as indeed occurred. Meanwhile, a source in the Israeli PM’s Office says there will be no retraction of the E1 construction plan. (HA, NYT, YA 12/3)

The dep. mayor of Jerusalem reveals that the municipality is expected to give final approval to a new settlement in occupied East Jerusalem called Givat Hamatos, the 1st of its kind since Har Homa in 1997. Located between Talpiot and Bayt Safafa, the new settlement will be on the agenda of the planning comm. on 12/19. In addition, Jewish settlers occupy a 5-story building in the Har Homa/Jabal Mukabir neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem that had previously been sold to a settler organization. (HA, JP 12/3)

Twelve Fatah mbrs. return to the Gaza Strip after fleeing in the 2007 conflict with Hamas. Returning Fatah mbr. Mahmoud Musleh says that around 450 Fatah mbrs. who fled to countries across the region, as well as to the West Bank, will return once procedures are complete. (MNA 12/3)

PM Ismail Haniyeh appeals to Arab states to help pay for reconstruction of the Gaza Strip following damage inflicted during Operation Pillar of Defense, estimated at $250–545 m. (REU 12/3)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF shoots a Palestinian child nr. al-Bureij r.c. close to the border fence, causing minor injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF kills a Palestinian civilian when a military jeep hits a car traveling on the Nablus– Ramallah road. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in Jericho and 1 nearby village, 3 villages nr. Ramallah, and 2 villages nr. Jenin later in the day; conducts night-time house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Tulkarm, and in Nablus and Balata r.c. (MNA 12/3; PCHR 12/6)

UN secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon accuses the Syrian government of serious violations of the 1974 agreement separating Israeli and Syrian forces in the Golan Heights. In a UNSC report, Ban expresses concern about recent incidents across the cease-fire line, and recommends a 6-mo. extension of the UN peacekeeping force in the Golan Heights. (AP 12/3)

The Israeli governmentt announces it will confiscate the VAT tax revenues it has collected for the PA during 11/2012, and use the NIS 460 m. of funds to offset the PA’s debt to Israel’s Electric Corporation. On 11/11, Israel’s fin. min. Yuval Steinitz had warned of such a measure in response to the UN bid. (HA 12/2)

The Israeli newspaper Ha’Aretz reports that 5 senior European ambassadors—from Britain, France, the EU, Germany, and Holland—have communicated strong opposition to Israel’s 11/30 plan to expand settlements and develop the E1 area outside of East Jerusalem. An anonymous British diplomat tells the paper that ‘‘London is furious with the decision over the E1 corridor.’’ UN secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon describes Israel’s plan as an ‘‘almost fatal blow’’ to prospects for peace. Israeli PM Netanyahu dismisses the international criticism at the weekly cabinet meeting, saying that Israel ‘‘will carry on building in Jerusalem and in all the places that are on the map of Israel’s strategic interests.’’ (AFP, HA, REU 12/2)

Addressing 1,000s of Palestinians in Ramallah on his return from the UN, Palestinian pres. Abbas says he will resume national reconciliation efforts soon. Jamal Ubeid, a mbr. of Fatah’s High Comm. in Gaza, announces that Hamas will allow 20 senior Fatah mbrs. who fled the Gaza Strip in 2007, when Hamas took over, to return. (AFP, MNA 12/2)

In the West Bank, Jewish settlers s. of Hebron set fire to a Palestinianowned car and vandalize a Palestinian house. The IDF patrols in Jenin, 2 villages nr. Qalqilya, and 1 village each nr. Jericho and Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Tulkarm in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Salfit at night. (PCHR 12/6)

Syrian rebels open fire on a Lebanese border patrol approaching the border, the 1st such clash between the 2 parties. There were no casualties. (REU 12/2)

An Israeli official tells the media that U.S.-Israeli efforts to soften the wording of the Palestinians’ resolution for the UNGA have failed, though reports indicate that the U.S. is still trying to convince key countries not to support it. Other reports suggest that the UK will back the bid if Abbas agrees not to use the upgrade to take Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague. France says it will vote in favor. (Guardian, HA, JP, REU 11/27)

Investigators exhume the remains of Yasser Arafat in Ramallah in order to seek possible traces of poison. A Palestinian medical team worked with Swiss, French, and Russian forensic teams, before the tomb is resealed. French magistrates opened a murder inquiry into Arafat’s death in August, following findings by a Swiss institute of high levels of polonium on Arafat’s clothing supplied by his widow Suha, as part of an Al Jazeera investigation. (AFP, REU 11/27)

Former Israeli FM Tzipi Livni announces that she is leaving the Kadima party and will run in the forthcoming elections as the head of a new party, Hatnua. A handful of Kadima MKs resign from the party and are expected to join her new party. (YA 11/27)

In Gaza, a Fatah delegation joins Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh for a ceremony to honor families bereaved in Operation Pillar of Defense. Meanwhile, Palestinian factions hold a meeting in Gaza Strip and agree to hold a joint rally raising Palestinian flags to support the UN bid. (MNA 11/27)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF opens fire on farmers and civilians nr. Jabalya at the border fence, causing no injuries. The IDF opens fire nr. Rafah at Palestinians nr. the border, wounding 1. The IDF also fires warning shots at Palestinians collecting scrap metal nr. Bayt Hanun, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin, and conducts house searches and arrest raids in Tulkarm at night. Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails launch a 1-day hunger strike in solidarity with long-term hunger strikers Ayman Sharawna and Samer Issawi. (MNA 11/27; PCHR 11/29)

The IDF carries out air strikes on a number of targets in the Gaza Strip, killing 1 armed Palestinian and wounding a number of civilians. Palestinian groups fire around 100 rockets and mortars into Israel, causing 3 injuries and structural damage. Israeli PM Netanyahu tells the weekly cabinet meeting that the army is prepared to intensify its attacks; a number of ministers urge an escalation in military operations (such as assassinations), as well as other measures, like cutting off electricity. A source in Netanyahu’s office says that the PM is preparing international public opinion for a military operation in Gaza. (AP, HA 11/11; JP 11/12; PCHR 11/14)

U.S. pres. Barack Obama tells PA pres. Abbas that his administration opposes a Palestinian bid for non-state membership of the UN. Abbas tells a rally in Ramallah marking the anniversary of Yasir Arafat’s death that the PA is under huge pressure to stop the UN initiative, but that they would continue regardless, as it is intended to save the two-state solution. (AFP, JP 11/11)

PA pres. Abbas announces that Russia will join an international investigation into whether Yasir Arafat was murdered. French and Swiss experts will exhume the late Palestinian leader’s body later in the month, after an Al Jazeera report in July suggested he was murdered with polonium. (REU 11/11)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Bethlehem (firing rubber bullets and tear gas at children going to school) in the morning; patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah. Israeli police deliver notices to 13 Israeli activists, banning them from taking part in weekly demonstrations in West Bank villages. (972mag 11/11; PCHR 11/14)

Israeli forces fire into Syria in what the military calls a warning, after stray munitions from fighting between Syrian troops and rebels hit the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The incident, described by Israel Radio as the 1st direct engagement of the Syrian military on the Golan since the countries’ 1973 war, highlights international fears that Syria’s civil war could ignite wider regional conflict. An Israeli security source said the military fired in the direction of a Syrian army mortar crew that had launched a shell that overshot the Golan disengagement fence on Sunday, exploding near a Jewish settlement without causing casualties. (REU 11/11)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts morning patrols in 2 villages each nr. Jenin and Ramallah in the morning and afternoon patrols in Qalqilya and in 2 villages each nr. Jenin, Qalqilya (synchronized), and Tulkarm; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Nablus. (JP 3/19; PCHR 3/22; OCHA 3/23)

In Toulouse, France, a gunman on a motor scooter opens fire on a Jewish school, killing a rabbi and 4 students (all dual French-Israeli citizens), wounding another 6 students (1 seriously). Authorities say the shooting appears linked to 2 recent shootings of 3 French soldiers in and nr. Toulouse. In those attacks, an assailant believed to be targeting French soldiers of Arab extraction to punish them as traitors for participating in the French military given its involvement in Afghanistan allegedly lured and shot 3 soldiers; 2 of North African origin were killed, whereas a black soldier was wounded. (NYT, WP, WT 3/20)

British FM Hague meets with Israel’s Vice PM Dan Meridor on a 2-day official visit to Israel. Talks cover Iran but focus on economic cooperation. (JPI 3/30)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials nr. the border, wounding 1 Palestinian. In the West Bank, the IDF bulldozes 2 storehouses and 2 wells nr. Salfit; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Jenin town and r.c., and nr. Hebron. (PCHR 12/22, 12/29; OCHA 1/5)

Israel denounces the 12/20 statement by Britain, France, Germany, and Portugal at the UNSC, accusing the 4 EU states of interfering in its internal affairs. Israeli FM spokesman Yigal Palmor adds: “We felt that the European statement broke all the diplomatic rules. You aren’t meant to issue such a harsh statement by surprise, without prior consultation.” (NYT 12/22)

Israeli troops on the n. Gaza border twice fire at suspicious movement in open areas e. of Bayt Hanun, causing no reported injuries. 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 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning and in Tulkarm town and r.c. in the evening, in both cases firing at stone-throwing youths who confront them, causing no reported injuries. OCHA reports that in the previous wk., the IDF demolished 10 tents and 5 animal pens in the Bedouin village of Fasayil al-Wusta and 2 animal pens in the neighboring Bedouin village of Fasayil al-Fauqa, both in the Jordan Valley. (PCHR 12/22; OCHA 12/23)

Fatah and Hamas announce that, in keeping with their 5/2011 reconciliation deal, they have agreed on formation of a new Central Elections Commission to prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections. They fail to reach an agreement on formation of a caretaker government to take the Palestinians to elections, postponing further discussion until late 1/2012. (JPI 12/30)

After a UNSC briefing on the Middle East, 14 UNSC mbrs. criticize the U.S. (without naming it directly) for blocking any criticism of Israel’s recent approvals for new settlement construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank and of the increasing settler violence, as well as for threatening to veto any UNSC res. supporting Palestinian statehood. British UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, speaking on behalf of the European UNSC mbrs. (Britain, France, Germany, and Portugal), calls recent Israeli settlement and settler actions “devastating” to the 2-state solution, saying “Israel’s security and the realization of the Palestinians’ right to statehood are not opposing goals. On the contrary, they are mutually reinforcing objectives. But they will not be achieved while settlement building and settler violence continues.” Grant also calls on Israel and the Palestinians to send their comprehensive proposals on territory and security to the Quartet as soon as possible. (The Palestinians have already submitted theirs to the Quartet, so this is seen as an added rebuke to Israel, which has not done so.) (HA 12/21, NYT 12/22)

In light of domestic security concerns, Egypt seals its border with Gaza, causing almost all trade through the smuggling tunnels along the Rafah border to cease, sparking hoarding by Gazans. Hamas authorities assure the public that it has enough fuel and food stockpiled to last several days, warning merchants against hiking prices. OCHA however—noting that Israel continues to cut off all industrial fuel imports to Gaza for a 3d week making Gaza all the more reliant on smuggled fuel—expresses concern that fuel shortages will quickly become a problem, affecting the ability of municipal authorities to provide electricity, water, and sewage treatment. Meanwhile, Hamas officials in Gaza report that at least 8 Hamas mbrs. jailed in Egypt are among those freed during prisons breaks and rioting across Egypt in recent days; at least 2 have already returned to Gaza through smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in a village nr. Tulkarm during the day; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron and nr. Jenin and Qalqilya (warning the mayor of Jayyus that his house would be turned into an IDF post if stone-throwing at troops fr. the village continued). (AFP, MNA 1/30; PCHR 2/3; OCHA 2/4)

With major protests (10,000s) in Egypt continuing unabated and a “march of millions” called for 2/1, the Obama admin. calls on Mubarak to facilitate an “orderly transition” to a more representative government but does not explicitly call on him to resign, with Secy. Clinton stressing “we are not advocating any specific outcome,” but “it needs to be done immediately.” France and Germany issue similar statements. Joint Chiefs of Staff head Adm. Mike Mullen phones Egyptian military chief of staff Gen. Sami Anan to express “his appreciation for the continued professionalism of the Egyptian military” in refusing to engage protesters. Amid signs that Mubarak’s regime might really topple, Egypt’s organized opposition parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood, huddle for most of the day to discuss whether they could project a united front to provide direction and leadership to the popular protests, choosing opposition figure and fmr. IAEA head Muhammad El-Baradei (as a nonthreatening figure to the West) to represent the opposition in negotiations with the government over a transition and naming 10 persons they would delegate to an interim unity government. But when El-Baradei speaks in Tahrir Square in the evening, demonstrators reject him, saying the opposition parties do not represent them. Fearing that outside forces could begin smuggling weapons into the country to back an overthrow, Egypt seals the Gaza border indefinitely and, with Israel’s permission, moves 2 battalions (800 soldiers) into the Sinai for the 1st time since the 1979 peace treaty was reached, requiring the area to be a demilitarized zone. Israeli officials hold nearly around-the-clock strategy meetings to discuss the implications for Israel if Mubarak’s government falls, fearing that Mubarak’s overthrow could strengthen Hamas in Gaza and destabilize Jordan, but seeing Mubarak’s appointment of Suleiman, who has overseen Israeli-Hamas prisoner release talks, as a hopeful sign. Netanyahu orders officials to stay publicly silent as events play out. (MNA, NYT, WP 1/30; NYT, WP, WT 1/31)

Some 1,000 international activists gather in Egypt in preparation for a 12/31 solidarity march to the Rafah border to mark the 1-yr. anniversary of Operation Cast Lead (OCL) and bring tens of thousands of dollars of humanitarian aid into Gaza, but Egypt vows to keep the border closed. French activists protest outside the French emb. in Cairo, while American activists visit the U.S. emb. Israel allows 3 container shipments of glass into Gaza for the first time since 6/07; says it will allow 3 containers of glass per day for 5 days a week for the next month (a total of 81 containers are allowed in as of 2/9, about 90 percent of what Israel had pledged). In the West Bank, Jewish settlers fr. Bet Ayn nr. Hebron attempt to force 2 Palestinian shepherds grazing their sheep on nearby Palestinian land to leave the area; when they refuse, 1 settler opens fire, hitting 1 shepherd in the shoulder; the IDF arrests both Palestinians while they are receiving medical care from paramedics. (NYT, PCHR 12/30; OCHA, PCHR 1/6; OCHA 2/11)

In Cairo, Mubarak and Netanyahu hold a 3-hr. mtg. to discuss the peace process. Afterward, Egyptian FM Ahmad Abu al-Ghayt publicly praises Netanyahu for raising new ideas for advancing the peace process. (NYT 12/30; HA 12/31; AFP, al-Dustur 1/5)

The Lebanese army directs symbolic anti-aircraft fire at 4 Israeli warplanes that violate Lebanese air space in s. Lebanon. (WT 12/30)

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

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

Israel’s unilateral cease-fire goes into effect early in the morning as planned, marking the official end to OCL. The IDF begins withdrawing ground troops fr. Gaza early in the morning and releases reservists from call-up later in the day, with Olmert stating that Israel intends to pull out of Gaza as quickly as possible. Israel generally observes its cease-fire during the day, but maintains a policy of firing on Palestinians who stray close to the Gaza border fence or approach withdrawing troops. After firing 15 rockets into Israel early in the day (lightly injuring 2 Israelis in Ashdod), Hamas and other Palestinian factions declare their own Gaza cease-fire but warn that they would resume fighting if Israel does not withdraw quickly. (Unidentified factions fire 4 rockets after Hamas’s announcement, causing no injuries.) Egypt, France, the EU, and the Arab states shift their mediation efforts to securing a lasting truce and securing donor aid to fund Gaza reconstruction. 

Combat notes: The IDF carries out 3 air strikes against 1 group of armed Palestinians that fires on IDF ground forces nr. Wadi al-Silqa and 2 rocket-launching sites nr. Bayt Hanun; no injuries are reported. IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire on a group of Palestinians inspecting damage to agricultural land nr. the border, killing 1 Palestinian civilian. The Israeli navy fires a missile at the PA General Intelligence compound in n. Gaza. Israeli warplanes continue low-level overflights of the Strip throughout the day, keeping many Palestinians off the streets. By day’s end, the IDF pulls troops in n. Gaza back into the buffer zone along the n. Gaza border; redeploys outside Gaza City’s al-Dahadih, al-Sha’af, Tal al-Hawa, and al-Zaytun neighborhoods; pulls troops out of al-Zahra’ in c. Gaza; withdraws from the al-Fukhari area and al-Mughraqa in the south.

Palestinians attempting to return to their homes in Gaza City’s northwestern neighborhoods find widespread devastation (especially in Twam, used as a staging area for the IDF’s tank corps), prompting 100s to return to UNRWA shelters. Residents of al-Atatra and al-Salatin areas on the northern outskirts of Gaza City similarly report 10s of homes and 3 schools destroyed, large tracks of agricultural land razed, significant damage to infrastructure. In s. Gaza, residents of the al-Fukhari area report at least 30 homes demolished, large areas of agricultural land razed since troops occupied the area on 1/14. Rescue workers combing the rubble in heavily damaged areas in and around Gaza City report finding at least 35 bodies in the Twam area, 95 bodies in al-Zaytun neighborhood, 24 bodies in Atatra and Izbat ‘Abid Rabbuh, 5 in Jabaliya. Palestinian workers begin repairing water and electricity lines in various areas. Israel allows 150 truckloads of humanitarian goods into Gaza. (AFP, IDF, IFM, NYT, WP, WT 1/18; HA, IDF Radio, MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/19; NYT 1/20; PCHR 1/22; FT 1/28; PCHR 1/29)

The IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin. (PCHR 1/22)