295 / 15241 Results
  • January 14, 2015

    In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and kill a Palestinian at a junction between Bethlehem and Hebron, later alleging that the man was attempting to steal a car. The IDF raids the home of 2 PA...

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  • January 8, 2015

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli authorities close the Erez border crossing to all but foreigners and Gazans with medical emergencies after Hamas officials set up a makeshift office for security...

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  • December 29, 2014

    In the West Bank, Israeli soldiers open fire on 2 Palestinian teenagers walking in a mountainous area s. of Nablus, killing 1 and seriously injuring the other. The IDF says they were throwing...

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  • December 28, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops violently disperse 2 separate groups of Palestinian protesters, injuring 3 with live ammunition nr. the Erez border crossing and 4 nr. Shuja‘iya. Separately, Israeli...

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  • November 19, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, unknown Palestinians fire shots toward IDF troops nr. the Erez crossing, causing no injuries. In 2 separate incidents, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmers nr. the border...

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  • August 25, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, the IDF continues its assault with strikes on around 53 targets, killing 12 Palestinians and injuring dozens more. Also, IDF troops stationed nr. the border shell areas across...

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  • August 24, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, the IDF continues its assault with air strikes on over 50 targets, killing 18 Palestinians and injuring dozens more. Also,IDF troops stationed nr. the border shell areas across...

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  • July 15, 2014

    IDF strikes in the Gaza Strip continue, except in the hours following the govt.’s acceptance of the Egyptian cease-fire, killing 13 Palestinians. The IDF warns 100,000 residents of the al-Zaytun...

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  • October 29, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian in Tuqu‘ village nr. Bethlehem with live ammunition. The troops entered the village firing gunshots after a petrol bomb was thrown at a...

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  • June 26, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 3 villages nr. Hebron, Tulkarm, and 1 nearby village, Nablus, Tubas, and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; patrols in Jenin and...

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  • June 23, 2013

    Palestinians in the Gaza Strip fire 6 rockets into s. Israel at night, causing no damage or injuries, with 2 intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. In response, the Israeli Air Force...

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  • April 29, 2013

    In Washington, U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry and VP Joe Biden meet with senior Arab officials including the Bahraini, Egyptian, Jordanian and Qatari FMs, and representatives from the PA, Arab...

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  • March 28, 2013

    Israel reopens the Kerem Shalom and Erez crossings on the border with the Gaza Strip that were closed on 3/21 because of Palestinian rocket fire. Israeli navy vessels open fire on Palestinian...

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  • February 26, 2013

    The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry warns that ‘‘the two-state solution is now on life support’’ and that 2013 is a ‘‘critical year.’’ Meanwhile, U.S. Secy....

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  • October 16, 2012

    PA pres. Mahmud Abbas sends a letter to U.S. pres. Barack Obama to inform him that if the UN bid is successful, he intends to resume negotiations with Israel. (AFP, HA, REU 10/16)

    Qatar...

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  • June 17, 2012

    IDF troops under helicopter escort make a predawn incursion into Wadi alSilqa in c. Gaza to level Palestinian land to clear lines of sight. During the 12-hr. operation, Israeli helicopters...

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  • March 30, 2012

    Weekly Palestinian protests against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion this week coincide with Land Day, the annual event to protest Israel’s discriminatory land...

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  • March 7, 2012

    Early in the morning, the IDF shuts the Erez border crossing into Gaza and makes a brief incursion into the destroyed Erez industrial zone to repave a road. Also in the morning, IDF troops on the...

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  • March 6, 2012

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots and tear gas at Palestinians and international activists staging a nonviolent march towards the Erez crossing to protest Israel’s imposition of...

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  • February 28, 2012

    Gaza’s power plant shuts down completely for lack of fuel imports— a result of Israeli import restrictions; OCHA reports that because of ongoing fuel and electricity shortages, more than 40% of...

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  • February 21, 2012

    West Bank Islamic Jihad spokesman Khader Adnan, held in Israeli administrative detention and observing a hunger strike since 12/17, ends his fast after reaching a deal with the Israeli Justice Min...

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  • February 2, 2012

    Israeli warplanes make 6 late-night air strikes targeting a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border in Yibna r.c. (causing no injuries); a home in Rafah (phoning the family 5 mins. in advance to warn...

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  • January 24, 2012

    In a State of the Union address devoted to domestic affairs, Pres. Obama pointedly calls on Syrian pres. Asad to realize “that the forces of change cannot be reversed and that human dignity cannot...

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  • November 28, 2011

    Israeli PM Netanyahu says that since the 11/24 Abbas-Mishal meeting seemed more symbolic than substantive and the PLO/PA has not made moves since the 11/1/11 UNESCO vote to gain membership in...

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  • November 23, 2011

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians hunting for birds in the fmr. Nisanit settlement area nr. the Erez crossing, forcing them to flee. For the 3d straight day,...

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  • November 1, 2011

    Retaliating for the 10/31 UNESCO vote, Netanyahu suspends the transfer of VAT taxes Israel collects on the PA’s behalf and orders accelerated construction of 2,000 settlement housing units in East...

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  • October 24, 2011

    Egypt announces that it has reached a deal with Israel to release suspected spy for Israel Ilan Grapel in exchange for 25 Egyptians jailed in Israel for nonsecurity-related offenses. (NYT, WP 10/...

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  • May 31, 2011

    IDF troops make a brief incursion into c. Gaza to level land along the border fence e. of al-Bureij r.c., clearing lines sight. IDF troops manning the Israeli side of the Erez crossing fire...

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  • May 10, 2011

    IDF troops on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing into Gaza fire warning shots at some 80 Palestinian and international activists staging a nonviolent march to the border to protest Israel’s...

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  • November 29, 2010

    Israel’s Jerusalem municipal authorities approve zoning of land in East Jerusalem to accommodate construction of 130 new housing units in Gilo settlement. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire...

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In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and kill a Palestinian at a junction between Bethlehem and Hebron, later alleging that the man was attempting to steal a car. The IDF raids the home of 2 PA security officers nr. Nablus, and Palestinian officials call it a provocative step. On a late-night arrest raid in Jenin r.c., Israeli soldiers shoot and injure a Palestinian man with rubber-coated metal bullets and arrest 4 others, sparking clashes with stone-throwing residents and arresting 1 more. Hours after unknown assailants shoot at an Israeli military vehicle nr. Abud village n. of Ramallah, Israeli forces conduct house-to-house raids in the village, fire stun grenades and flares, and shut down a road leading to a nearby monastery. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids nr. Salfit and Hebron; demolishes 1 Palestinian home and 2 animal shelters in a village nr. Ramallah; arrests a Palestinian outside the Gush Etzion settlement nr. Bethlehem. Separately, an Israeli settler runs over with his car 2 sheep belonging to a Palestinian nr. Nablus. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli authorities reopen the Erez border crossing, having closed it on 1/8. IDF troops e. of Rafah open fire on agricultural land nr. the border fence, causing damage. Dozens of employees of the Hamas-run govt. protest outside the PA unity govt.’s headquarters in Gaza City, calling for their full salaries to be paid for the 1st time since 6/2. In East Jerusalem, unknown Israelis vandalize 11 Palestinian-owned vehicles in Bayt Safafa, puncturing tires and leaving racist pricetag graffiti. Israeli forces conduct a house search in al-‘Izzariya, arresting 2 Palestinians. In s. Israel, an Israeli police officer shoots and kills a 22-year-old Palestinian with live ammunition during an arrest raid in Rahat in the Negev, sparking clashes between the police and local Palestinians. Separately, Israeli forces demolish several steel structures in the nearby Palestinian bedouin village al-‘Araqib. This is the 80th time Israeli authorities have ordered demolitions in the village since 2010, when it was 1st targeted. (JP, MEE, MNA, NYT, TOI, WAFA 1/14; MNA, PCHR, WAFA 1/15; EI 1/16; PCHR 1/22; OCHA 1/23)

Hamas reactivates Gaza’s separate Palestinian Legislative Council and convenes a session of the body, a move that contravenes the national reconciliation deal that was announced on 4/23. No other parties attend the session. The decision comes after 2 weeks of increased tension between Hamas and the PA unity govt. (AFP, MNA, NYT 1/14; MNA 1/15)

PA Pres. Abbas meets with Egyptian pres. al-Sisi in Cairo to discuss Abbas’s proposed resubmission of the draft UNSC res. and the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. (MNA, REU, WAFA 1/14)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry meets with Iranian FM Zarif in Geneva to discuss the negotiations over Iran’s disputed nuclear program. Kerry says he is hoping to “accelerate the process to make greater progress,” but he will not participate in the coming 3 days of bilateral talks or the broader talks between reps. of Iran and the full P5+1 on 1/18. (ALM 1/17)

In the Sinai Peninsula, the Sinai Province of the Islamic State kills 3 bedouins suspected of collaborating with Israel. (MNA 1/15)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli authorities close the Erez border crossing to all but foreigners and Gazans with medical emergencies after Hamas officials set up a makeshift office for security personnel nr. the crossing earlier in the day. IDF troops open fire on a Palestinian attempting to cross the border fence into Israel, injuring and detaining him. In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uproot around 580 olive and almond trees outside 2 villages nr. Ramallah. The IDF patrols in villages nr. Qalqilya and Hebron, as well as al-‘Arub r.c. In East Jerusalem, a Jewish Israeli man is stabbed with a screwdriver while walking nr. the Old City. Following the attack, the IDF conducts house searches and raids in the Old City, arresting 5 Palestinians. (HA, JP, MNA 1/8; MNA 1/9; OCHA, PCHR 1/15)

After beginning preparations on 1/4, Egyptian forces begin extending the buffer zone along the border with Gaza, demolishing structures and evicting families from their homes. (DNE, EN 1/8; AFP 1/9)

In the West Bank, Israeli soldiers open fire on 2 Palestinian teenagers walking in a mountainous area s. of Nablus, killing 1 and seriously injuring the other. The IDF says they were throwing stones and ignored warning shots. Late at night, IDF troops open fire at a Palestinian vehicle outside Bayt Umar nr. Hebron, seriously injuring 2 men. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids nr. Ramallah and Hebron; patrols nr. Jenin and Hebron. Israeli soldiers also arrest 1 Palestinian at a checkpoint outside Bayt ‘Amr village and construct a surveillance tower at a checkpoint nr. Tulkarm. Private Israeli security guards from the Ofra settlement assault and detain a Palestinian nr. Silwad. Off the coast of the n. Gaza Strip, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats on 2 separate occasions, causing no damage or injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces conduct house searches and arrest raids in Silwan. (JP, MNA, NYT, WAFA 12/29; JP, MNA, TOI 12/30; PCHR 12/31)

Jordan submits the Palestinians’ amended draft res. to the UNSC after the Arab Group at the UN approves the amendments. PA Pres. Abbas predicts a vote will be held on 12/30. Secy. of State Kerry calls 13 FMs from around the world to argue against the measure, then a U.S. State Dept. spokesperson says that the U.S. will not support it. (AFP, AP, HA, JP, TOI 12/29; MNA 12/30)

A PA unity govt. delegation arrives in Gaza City to coordinate reconstruction efforts, open the crossings, and deal with issues facing Gaza’s workers. It is the 2d meeting of the govt. in Gaza since its formation on 6/2 (the 1st was on 10/9). Dozens of Palestinians gather at the Erez border crossing to protest the unity govt.’s perceived inaction. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Environmental Quality Authority of Gaza announces that it will stop importing batteries and electrical appliances from Israel, citing their detrimental effects on the environment and the import fees collected by Israeli authorities. (HA, MNA, YA 12/29)

Egyptian security forces uncover and demolish 19 tunnels leading from Gaza under the border into Rafah, including 1 that led to a house 1,700 m from the border. (DNE 12/29; MNA 12/30)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops violently disperse 2 separate groups of Palestinian protesters, injuring 3 with live ammunition nr. the Erez border crossing and 4 nr. Shuja‘iya. Separately, Israeli soldiers fire live ammunition at Palestinian farmers approaching the border fence nr. Khan Yunis, causing no injuries. Meanwhile, the Gaza power plant shuts down, having exhausted its fuel reserves. Scheduled power outages increase from 12 to 18 hours a day, on average, with all electricity consumed having been purchased from Israel and Egypt. Meanwhile, Hamas prevents 37 children orphaned during OPE from attending a 1-week publicity tour to Israel and the West Bank sponsored by an Israeli nongovernmental organization, saying that the trip’s goal was normalization. In the West Bank, an 8-year-old Palestinian from Nabi Salih is moderately injured when a leftover Israeli sound bomb explodes in his hand. IDF troops raid a school in a village s. of Bethlehem. Later, Israeli forces raze agricultural land in a village s. of Nablus, then set up earth mounds in the area in preparation for military exercises. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids nr. Nablus, Jenin, and Ramallah, as well as Askar r.c. and Jenin r.c.; patrols nr. Tulkarm, Hebron, Jenin, and Jericho. An Israeli settler hits a 7-year-old Palestinian boy with his car, moderately injuring him, before fleeing the area s. of Hebron. PA security forces conduct a late-night raid n. of Ramallah and arrest 1 Palestinian journalist. (MNA, NYT, WAFA 12/28; EI, MNA 12/29; YA 12/30; PCHR 12/31; OCHA 1/2)

Senior Hamas official Abu Marzuq criticizes the Palestinian leadership for amending the proposed UNSC res. without consulting Hamas. Meanwhile, U.S. Secy. of State Kerry calls PA Pres. Abbas and asks him to delay the submission of the amended res. until after the Israeli elections on 3/17/2015. (MNA, TOI 12/28; HA, TOI 12/29; ALM 12/30)

In the Gaza Strip, unknown Palestinians fire shots toward IDF troops nr. the Erez crossing, causing no injuries. In 2 separate incidents, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmers nr. the border fence, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF informs residents nr. Jenin that 1,000s of dunams of land in the area will be seized; delivers demolition orders for 8 structures to Palestinians in a village nr. Hebron. Elsewhere, a Palestinian throws a Molotov cocktail at a settler nr. Hawara village s. of Nablus, and IDF troops impose a curfew on the village. The IDF conducts arrest raids and house searches nr. Hebron, Nablus, Qalqilya, and in Jenin r.c. Clashes break out with residents nr. Nablus, injuring 4 Palestinians in ‘Askar r.c. Late at night, a group of settlers, accompanied by IDF troops, enters a village e. of Ramallah and tries to burn a Palestinian’s home, but residents stop them. An Israeli settler attempts to run over 3 Palestinians with his car s. of Hebron, causing no injuries or damage. In East Jerusalem, municipal authorities and IDF troops deliver a demolition order to the Silwan home of the Palestinian who was suspected of shooting right-wing Jewish activist Yehuda Glick on 10/29 and was killed hours later by Israeli security forces. (See QU in JPS 174 for more.) In Israel, police arrest a U.S. citizen, saying that he has been living in Israel illegally for 18 mos., he possesses illegal weapons, and that he is planning attacks on Haram al-Sharif with his roommate, an IDF soldier. (MNA, WAFA 11/19; IMEMC, MNA, PCHR 11/20; PCHR 11/27; AFP, JP, HA 12/9)

Israeli authorities announce that the bodies of the 2 Palestinians who attacked a synagogue in West Jerusalem on 11/18 will not be returned to their families. Following the announcement, clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces break out in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Jabal Mukabir, where the men were from, Sur al-Bahir, Silwan, Issawiyya, and al-Tur; 12 Palestinians are injured by rubber-coated metal bullets. (HA, TOI 11/19; MNA 11/20)

Palestinian bus drivers working for Egged continue their strike for a 2d day, protesting the death of a driver on 11/16. (IMEMC 11/19)

Israeli authorities approve the construction of 78 new homes in 2 settlements in East Jerusalem. (AA, REU 11/19)

For the 2d day in a row, U.S. Secy. of State Kerry meets with Oman’s FM Alawi in London to discuss the negotiations between reps. of Iran and the P5+1 over Iran’s disputed nuclear program. (AP 11/19)

Jordan’s govt. formally condemns the attack on the West Jerusalem synagogue on 11/18. The Jordanian parliament holds a moment of silence for the 2 Palestinians who were killed by Israeli police after perpetrating the attack, and Jordanian PM Abdullah Ensour sends a letter of condolence to the men’s family. (TOI 11/21)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF continues its assault with strikes on around 53 targets, killing 12 Palestinians and injuring dozens more. Also, IDF troops stationed nr. the border shell areas across the fence with artillery in 2 incidents. The armed Palestinian groups launch over 120 projectiles into Israel; of which, 102 land in open areas, 4 in urban areas, and 16 are intercepted by Iron Dome batteries. Also, Israeli authorities reopen the Erez border crossing, after closing it on 8/24. In the West Bank, a Palestinian teenager dies from injuries sustained in clashes with IDF troops on 8/15. The IDF conducts house searches and raids in 2 neighborhoods in Ramallah, Tulkarm r.c., and 1 suburb of Tulkarm, arresting 4. During the day, IDF troops conduct patrols in al-Fawar r.c., Hebron, and 1 village nr. Hebron; establish mobile checkpoints in 1 village nr. Hebron and 2 villages nr. Ramallah. In a village nr. Salfit, PA security forces detain 3 armed Israeli settlers and turn them over to IDF troops. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces enter Silwan to set up a mobile checkpoint and raid several houses. Stone-throwing Palestinian youth clash with the soldiers, but there are no arrests or injuries. (HA 8/25; PCHR 8/28)

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators return to Cairo and reports appear in the press of a potential breakthrough. Senior Islamic Jihad officials Khalid al-Batsh and Ziad Nakhleh are quoted saying they believe an agreement will be made within hours. Lebanon-based Hamas official Usama Hamdan says “there has been positive and fast progress.” An anonymous Palestinian official says that the Palestinian delegation would accept the new Egyptian proposal that would open the crossings into Gaza for aid and construction material, and defer disputed points to further negotiations to be held in 1 mo. Notably, Egypt requires the Rafah crossing to be negotiated with the Palestinians directly, separate from the indirect negotiations with the Israelis. Later in the day, however, senior Hamas official Musa Abu Marzuq says that there has been no progress in talks. (HA, JP, MNA, ToI, Yahoo! 8/25)

In closed meetings at the UN headquarters in New York, U.S. diplomats present principles for a UNSC res. that would call for a cease-fire in Gaza and conduct meetings with their German, French, and British counterparts, as well as Jordanians, in the hope of reconciling the 3 different proposals. The U.S. has sent Israel and Egypt a draft of the principles in the past 2 days. The Jordanian draft includes an international monitoring mechanism and the other 2 do not. (JP, REU 8/25)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF continues its assault with air strikes on over 50 targets, killing 18 Palestinians and injuring dozens more. Also,IDF troops stationed nr. the border shell areas across the fence with artillery in 3 incidents. The armed Palestinian groups launch approximately 135 projectiles into Israel; of which, 125 land in open areas, 5 in urban areas, and 10 are intercepted by Iron Dome batteries. Israeli authorities temporarily close the Erez border crossing, except for humanitarian cases, in response to a mortar shell wounding 3 Israelis nearby, which is claimed by al-Qassam Brigades. In the West Bank, approximately 400 Israeli settlers, escorted by IDF troops, enter a village nr. Salfit to visit religious monuments. In a village w. of Ramallah, IDF troops open fire with live ammunition and tear gas on a group of stone-throwing Palestinian youth, injuring 1. Separately, IDF troops fire tear gas at Palestinian children on their way to school in a village s. of Hebron; establish 5 mobile checkpoints around Ramallah; and conduct patrols in Hebron and 2 villages nr. Jericho. Late at night, the IDF conducts 1 house search and arrest raid in a village nr. Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces enter Wadi al-Juz to set up a mobile checkpoint and raid 2 houses. (JP, JTA, YA 8/24; HA 8/25; PCHR 8/28) 

Israeli PM Netanyahu says that OPE will continue until its goals are reached, in comments to the press ahead of a special cabinet meeting at the Israeli Defense Ministry. Also, the Israeli govt. calls up 10,000 additional reserve troops. (AP, HA 8/24; AFP, HA 8/25)

After meetings with Arab League secy.-gen. Nabil al-‘Arabi and reps. of several Palestinian factions, PA Pres. Abbas returns to Ramallah from Cairo. Abbas will meet with senior Palestinian officials to further develop his new diplomatic initiative before U.S. Secy. of State Kerry visits in the coming days. Meanwhile, Hamas leader Khalid Mishal says in an interview with Iranian TV that Hamas would not return to negotiations in Cairo. (JP 8/24; HA, ToI 8/25)

IDF strikes in the Gaza Strip continue, except in the hours following the govt.’s acceptance of the Egyptian cease-fire, killing 13 Palestinians. The IDF warns 100,000 residents of the al-Zaytun and al-Shuja‘iya neighborhoods to evacuate before morning on 7/16. Palestinians fire more than 120 rockets into Israel, including dozens directed at Tel Aviv, in a barrage claimed jointly by al-Qassam Brigades and al-Quds Brigades. Nr. the Erez crossing, 1 Israeli civilian is killed by a mortar shell while distributing food supplies to IDF soldiers. Nine rockets are intercepted by Iron Dome, and the rest caused no damage or injuries. (AFP, AP, HA, MNA, REU, WAFA 7/15)

Israel’s security cabinet votes 6–2 in favor of accepting the Egyptian cease-fire proposal from the previous day, and the IDF stops all strikes for several hours. PM Netanyahu says that if Hamas rejects the initiative, Israel will have “legitimacy” to take further action “to restore quiet.” PA Pres. Abbas, in Cairo for talks with Egyptian pres. al-Sisi, calls for the acceptance of the proposal. However, Hamas rejects the text, describing it as “an initiative of kneeling and submission,” and both the armed Palestinian groups and the IDF continue hostilities. Hamas spokesperson Abu Zuhri says that the group was ignored by Egyptian mediators, with Islamic Jihad official Khalid al-Batsh commenting that “initiatives shouldn’t be proposed through media outlets, but rather through the obvious channels, which are resistance factions and their leaders.” An unnamed senior PLO official says that “the Egyptians coordinated the initiative with Abbas and ignored Gaza,” and thus “Hamas leaders felt humiliated by the fact that the proposal was released without them being consulted about its contents ahead of time.” (AFP, AP, HA, MNA, REU, WAFA 7/15; PCHR 7/16)

After Hamas rejects the deal, Netanyahu vows to “significantly expand our offensive,” saying that the group “will pay for its decision.” Meanwhile, Dep. DM Danny Danon describes the Israeli govt.’s response to the Gaza crisis as a “failure” and Netanyahu fires him. (AFP, AP, HA, REU 7/15)

Suspected Salafi jihadists fire 3 rockets from the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, into Israel, wounding 4 civilians in Eilat. (REU 7/15)

In Vienna, reps. of Iran and the P5+1 powers continue their negotiations leading up to the 7/20 deadline for a comprehensive agreement on Iran’s disputed nuclear program. U.S. Secy. of State Kerry says they “have made progress . . . but there’s still more work to do.” Iranian FM Zarif says that Iran wants to “arrive at a solution everyone can be happy about.” The key issues remaining are Iran’s centrifuges and its uranium enrichment capacity over the next 10 years. (ALM, NYT 7/15)

In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian in Tuqu‘ village nr. Bethlehem with live ammunition. The troops entered the village firing gunshots after a petrol bomb was thrown at a settler bus traveling on the main road in the village (causing no injuries). The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin in the morning, in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon, and in Tulkarm and 1 nearby village, and in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Jenin at night. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces demolish a four-storey building home to 20 people in Bayt Hanina. (MNA 10/29; PCHR 10/31)

Israel frees 26 Palestinian prisoners, who are welcomed by Pres. Abbas in Ramallah, PM Hamdallah, and other cabinet mbrs. Five of the 26 are released to the Gaza Strip, where thousands greet the freed men at the Erez crossing. (HA, REU 10/29)

Israel appears before the UN Human Rights Council to face claims of discriminatory polices and breaches of international law. Israel’s dep. atty. gen. accuses the council of subjecting Israel to disproportional and politically motivated scrutiny. (AFP 10/29)

Negotiators from Iran and the IAEA both release positive statements following talks, with a new meeting set for 11/11 in Tehran. No details are provided, but the IAEA spoke of a “very productive meeting” while Iranian negotiator Reza Najafi spoke of a “new chapter of cooperation.” (AP 10/29)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 3 villages nr. Hebron, Tulkarm, and 1 nearby village, Nablus, Tubas, and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; patrols in Jenin and 1 nearby village, and 1 village each in Bethlehem and Hebron. Jewish settlers attack Palestinian-owned vehicles nr. Nablus, causing damage but no injuries. Settlers also set fire to olive trees nr. Hawara village. (MNA 6/26; PCHR 6/27)

The Israeli army reopens Kerem Shalom and Erez border crossings into the Gaza Strip, closed on 6/23 as a punitive measure following rocket fire. (AFP 6/26)

The Jerusalem municipality approves construction permits for 69 new homes in East Jerusalem settlement Har Homa, a day before U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry is due to arrive for talks in Israel and the West Bank. (AFP, JP 6/26)

UNESCO’s World Heritage Cmte. in Phnom Penh passes a Jordanian-sponsored resolution in an 8–3–10 vote condemning Israeli actions in Jerusalem, such as developments of the Western Wall and Temple Mount site, and resolving to maintain the places of the Old City and Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on its World Heritage Sites in Danger list. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticizes the resolution, saying it is a “dark day for UNESCO.” (ToI 6/26)

Austria completes the withdrawal of its UNDOF peacekeepers from the Golan Heights, with the remaining 70 departing via Israel. (HA 6/26)

Unidentified gunmen kidnap 2 Egyptian police officers in the s. Sinai, reportedly in revenge for an earlier assault on a Bedouin man by a police officer during a dispute at a petrol station. (Ahram 6/26)

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip fire 6 rockets into s. Israel at night, causing no damage or injuries, with 2 intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. In response, the Israeli Air Force strikes 4 targets in the Gaza Strip belonging to Islamic Jihad, causing 1 injury and property damage. The Israeli military also closes the Kerem Shalom and Erez crossings. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus, 2 villages nr. Hebron, 1 village each nr. Tulkarm, Nablus, Ramallah, Jenin, and Jenin r.c. at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah at night. In East Jerusalem, suspected Jewish extremists vandalize 2 dozen cars in Bayt Hanina, leaving “price-tag” slogans. (HA, MNA 6/24; PCHR 6/27)

Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas accepts the resignation of PM Rami Hamdallah, after failing to persuade him to remain in the post during talks over the weekend. Hamdallah is, however, subsequently designated head of an interim govt., until a replacement can be found. Reports indicate that Hamdallah’s unhappiness over his role in the govt. focused on a dispute with Mohammed Mustafa and Ziad Abu Amr, who had been appointed by Abbas as deputy prime ministers. (HA, JP, REU 6/23)

In Washington, U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry and VP Joe Biden meet with senior Arab officials including the Bahraini, Egyptian, Jordanian and Qatari FMs, and representatives from the PA, Arab League, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia for talks on the peace process. Qatari PM Shaykh Hamad Bin Jassem al-Thani, speaking on behalf of the Arab League delegation, cites the possibility of a border agreement that includes mutually agree and minor land swaps between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Kerry affirms the importance of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative that promised full normalization for Israel’s complete withdrawal from the occupied territories (including the Golan). (AP, REU 29/4)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 rocket from Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In response to recent rocket fire (see also 4/27), Israel closes the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing, further restricts movement through the Erez crossing to ‘‘humanitarian cases,’’ though it cancels visits for Gazan families of Palestinians jailed in Israel (VIPs were the only others allowed to cross Gaza). Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishermen off the south Gaza coast east of Rafah, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF soldiers evict several hundred Bedouin from Wadi al-Malih village in the Jordan Valley after declaring the area a live fire training zone (see 4/24). Meanwhile, Israel demolishes 4 Palestinian apartments in the al-Tur neighborhood of East Jerusalem, as well as a water well and utility room in the al-Fawar r.c. in Hebron. The IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Tulkarm in the morning, in 2 villages nr. Jenin in the afternoon. At night, IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in Dahaysha r.c. in Bethlehem, in Hebron, in 5 villages nr. Hebron, in Nablus, and in 1 village nr. Ramallah. Jewish settlers attack Palestinians in Bayt Furik village nr. Nablus, injuring 2. (AFP, MNA REU 4/29; PCHR 5/2)

UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon urges the Syrian government to allow experts into the country to investigate reports of alleged use of chemical weapons. Damascus wants any investigation limited to a 3/2013 incident nr. Aleppo while Ban wants to also include a 12/2012 incident in Homs. (see 4/24) (AP 4/29)

Israel reopens the Kerem Shalom and Erez crossings on the border with the Gaza Strip that were closed on 3/21 because of Palestinian rocket fire. Israeli navy vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries or damage. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron and in Tulkarm in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Jenin, and 1 village each nr. Bethlehem, Jericho, Ramallah, and Tulkarm at night. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron in the morning. Israeli media report that the IDF has arrested around 50 Palestinians during the last two months for suspected involvement in a Fatah-affiliated resistance cell in Bayt Fajjar, a West Bank village nr. Bethlehem. (HA, MNA 3/28; PCHR 4/4)

Fatah official Yahya Rabah says that Egypt will host initial consultations with Fatah and Hamas in order to relaunch national reconciliation talks, and attempt to move beyond discussions and on to implementation. (MNA 3/28)

The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry warns that ‘‘the two-state solution is now on life support’’ and that 2013 is a ‘‘critical year.’’ Meanwhile, U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry says that Pres. Barack Obama will not bring a new peace initiative with him on his planned visit to the region in 3/2013. (HA, REU 2/26)

The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) claims responsibility for a single rocket fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip, which causes no casualties or damage. The group says the rocket is in retaliation for the death of Arafat Jaradat in Israeli detention. Israel responds by closing the Erez and Kerem Shalon crossings. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in and around Hebron and al-Fawar r.c. during the day, causing no serious injuries. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Nablus in the afternoon, and in and around Bethlehem and Aida r.c. and in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. Meanwhile, more than 200 activists and residents of Bayt Safafa in East Jerusalem protest plans for an extension of the Begin Highway that will run through the neighborhood. (HA, JP, REU 2/26; HA 2/27; PCHR 2/28)

The Palestinian Authority announces that it has paid the remainder of 1/2013 salaries owed PA civil servants. (MNA 2/26) The U.S. Senate confirms Chuck Hagel as the new defense secy. in a 58-41 vote. Only four Republicans voted to confirm his nomination, reflecting the controversy over Hagel’s appointment (see JPS 167). (REU 2/26)

Iran and the P5+1 group (permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) begin two days of talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan, the first such meeting since 7/2012 (see QU 165). (AP, REU 2/26)

PA pres. Mahmud Abbas sends a letter to U.S. pres. Barack Obama to inform him that if the UN bid is successful, he intends to resume negotiations with Israel. (AFP, HA, REU 10/16)

Qatar announces a $254 m. plan for reconstruction in the Gaza Strip, the largest such injection of aid since the end of Operation Cast Lead in 1/2009. (REU 10/16)

Israeli government officials say that Palestinians deployed an anti-aircraft missile for the 1st time in the Gaza Strip the previous week, missing their target. (AFP 10/16)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 rockets from Gaza into Israel, 1 of which lands by a house nr. Ashqelon, causing no injuries. The IDF fires missiles at an IQB training site in the n. Gaza Strip at night, causing no injuries. IDF troops on the Gaza border open fire on Palestinians and internationals staging nonviolent protests nr. Bayt Hanun and the Erez crossing against Israel’s imposition of a no-go zone inside the Gaza border, causing no reported injuries. (JP 10/16)

Palestinian and international protesters block a key highway linking Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (Road 443) in the West Bank to protest the uprooting of olive trees by Jewish settlers. The IDF forces them off the road, firing shock grenades. (AIC, IMEMC 10/16)

PA security forces raid an apartment in Nablus and claim to have confiscated documents and weapons belong to the IQB. (MNA 10/16)

Israeli coalition party Yisrael Beiteinu announces it intends to request that the Central Election Comm. disqualify Balad party from the upcoming elections on the grounds that it ‘‘supports terror and acts against the existence of Israel as a Jewish, democratic state.’’ A Likud MK submits a similar petition. (JP, YA 10/16)

IDF troops under helicopter escort make a predawn incursion into Wadi alSilqa in c. Gaza to level Palestinian land to clear lines of sight. During the 12-hr. operation, Israeli helicopters repeatedly fire on surrounding areas to keep Palestinians away, wounding 1 Palestinian and starting a brush fire that destroys 15 d. of wheat. Late at night, unidentified Palestinians fire at least 1 Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel. Israeli helicopters respond by firing 2 missiles at a Palestinian workshop in Rafah, injuring 5 Palestinian civilians (1 seriously) and damaging 7 nearby houses. IDF troops stationed on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing fire on open areas along the border inside Gaza, causing no reported injuries. Meanwhile, Israeli naval vessels fire warning shots at Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast 3 separate times and off the s. Gaza coast once, forcing the boats to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts 2 sets of synchronized morning patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin and 3 nr. Ramallah. Other IDF patrols are conducted in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning; in Tulkarm and 2 villages nr. Qalqilya in the evening; and in Jenin and 1 village each nr. Jericho and Tulkarm late at night. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Tulkarm and nr. Tubas. A Jewish settler driving nr. Hebron fatally shoots 2 Palestinians standing at an intersection, saying he felt threatened. Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim settlement nr. Qalqilya set fire to Palestinian olive and almond trees on a nearby plot of Palestinian land. A Palestinian demolishes his own home and farm in Bayt Iksa village just n. of Jerusalem after being given orders to tear down the structures or face a fine and fee for having the IDF do the job. (IDFS 6/18; PCHR 6/21; OCHA 6/22)

Weekly Palestinian protests against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion this week coincide with Land Day, the annual event to protest Israel’s discriminatory land policies. Israel seals the Erez crossing for 2 days (3/30–31), citing security concerns. Palestinians (accompanied by Israeli and international activists) hold their weekly nonviolent demonstrations in Bil’in, Kafr Qaddum, Nabi Salih, and Ni’lin (with protests in Bil’in and Ni’lin also calling for reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas). IDF soldiers fire live ammunition (Nabi Salih only), rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at these protesters, injuring 11 Palestinians (including a child) and 1 international (4 Palestinians are wounded by live fire in Nabi Salih; the rest are hit by tear-gas canisters in Kafr Qaddum). Palestinians hold at least 5 other Land Day rallies in the West Bank (outside Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem, outside Ofer Prison and at 2 points along the separation wall nr. Ramallah, and at the Qalandia crossing n. of Jerusalem). IDF soldiers fire live ammunition (Ofer and Qalandia only), rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at these protesters, injuring 19 (including 2 children; at least 7 are hit by live fire and 1 is seriously injured by a tear-gas canister to the head). In Gaza, Hamas authorities allow 1,000s of Palestinians to conduct a nonviolent demonstration nearly a mile from the Erez crossing, deploying police to prevent the protesters from marching to the border. Nonetheless, IDF troops on the Gaza border fire on the demonstration, killing 1 Palestinian and wounding 37 (1 seriously; including 16 children). A major protest planned for East Jerusalem does not materialize. Inside Israel, some 2,000 Israeli Palestinians demonstrate in the Galilee, with no violence reported. (NYT, WP 3/31; OCHA, PCHR 4/5)

Nonviolent Land Day protests are also held in Jordan and Lebanon. In Lebanon, 100s of Palestinians and Lebanese gather at Beaufort castle, 9 miles fr. the Israeli border, where Lebanese military forces deploy to prevent them fr. marching to the border. In Jordan, some 20,000 Palestinians march toward the West Bank border but stop 4 miles. No violence is reported in either case. (NYT, WP 3/31)

The IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 nr. Jericho in the morning; patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin (firing stun grenades at stone-throwing Palestinian youths who confront them, causing no injuries) and 1 nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon; conducts late-night patrols in Jericho and nearby `Ayn al-Sultan r.c., 1 village nr. Hebron, and 1 nr. Ramallah. (PCHR 4/5)

Early in the morning, the IDF shuts the Erez border crossing into Gaza and makes a brief incursion into the destroyed Erez industrial zone to repave a road. Also in the morning, IDF troops on the c. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians who stray too near the border fence, forcing them to flee. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night patrols in Jericho, and late-night arrest raids, house searches in Tubas. (PCHR 3/8; PCHR 3/15; OCHA 3/16)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots and tear gas at Palestinians and international activists staging a nonviolent march towards the Erez crossing to protest Israel’s imposition of a no-go zone, causing no serious injuries. The IDF raids several auto repair shops in Barta’a village nr. Jenin, confiscating 17 cars with Israeli license plates. Nr. Hebron, 2 Palestinian teenagers are killed and 3 are wounded when then accidentally trigger an unexploded IDF mortar shell while scavenging at a refuse dump. OCHA reports that 1 Palestinian was killed in the previous week in a smuggling tunnel accident on the Rafah border. (PCHR 3/8; OCHA 3/9)

On the morning of Super Tuesday primary voting, the 3 leading Republican presidential candidates (Gingrich, Romney, and Santorum) address the AIPAC conference via satellite, accusing Obama of being weak on Iran and insufficiently supportive of Israel. Sometime today, Netanyahu gives Romney a personal briefing by phone on the situation in Iran. (NYT 3/7; WJW 3/15; NYT 4/8)

Obama holds a press conference to criticize Republicans and other mbrs. of Congress for “beating the drums of war” against Iran, stating: “When I see the casualness with which some of these folks talk about war, I’m reminded of the costs involved in war . . . [T]his is not a game.” (NYT 3/7)

Gaza’s power plant shuts down completely for lack of fuel imports— a result of Israeli import restrictions; OCHA reports that because of ongoing fuel and electricity shortages, more than 40% of Gazans have been without running water for the past week and rolling blackouts across the Strip have increased to 18 hrs./day. Israel allows the International Comm. of the Red Cross (ICRC) to bring in enough fuel to supply back-up generators at Gaza hospitals for 2 weeks. Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians and international activists staging a nonviolent march to the Erez crossing to protest Israel’s imposition of a no-go zone along the border; no injuries are reported. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Zabbuba village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, firing on residential areas to keep Palestinians indoors and then firing tear gas at stone-throwing youths who confront them, causing no serious injuries; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, and nr. Qalqilya and Salfit. Jewish settlers enter a Palestinian a Palestinian area n. of Hebron but are followed and removed by Israeli border police. (JP, YA 2/28; PCHR 3/1; OCHA 3/2)

West Bank Islamic Jihad spokesman Khader Adnan, held in Israeli administrative detention and observing a hunger strike since 12/17, ends his fast after reaching a deal with the Israeli Justice Min. under which authorities agree to not renew his detention order and to release him 3 weeks early (on 4/17/12) provided no new information on his case comes to light. As a result, a meeting of Israel’s High Court, set later for the day, is canceled. That hearing could have ordered a broader review of Israeli military courts and the policy of administrative detention, which Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu sought to avoid. Israel is currently holding around 320 Palestinian administrative detainees, down from 800 in 1/2008. Meanwhile, Palestinians demonstrate in solidarity with Adnan outside Ofer prison nr. Ramallah, clashing with IDF soldiers; 4 Palestinians are moderately injured, and 2 are arrested. (NYT, WP, WT 2/22; PCHR 2/23; OCHA 2/24)

Unidentified Palestinians fire a mortar fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at about 75 Palestinian and international demonstrators staging a nonviolent march towards the Erez crossing to protest Israel’s imposition of a nogo zone along the length of the Gaza border; no injuries are reported. IDF troops on the Gaza border n. of Bayt Hanun fire warning shots at a smaller group of Palestinians staging a similar nonviolent march to the border, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Jenin and 1 nearby village in the morning; in and around Tulkarm and in 1 village nr. Jenin (firing tear gas and percussion grenades at stone-throwing youths who confront them, causing no serious injuries) in the afternoon; and I Tulkarm and 1 village nr. Salfit late at night. IDF undercover units make a late-night incursion into Anabta village nr. Tulkarm, raiding several homes, cars, and a grocery store, detaining 3 Palestinians. (JP 3/21; PCHR 2/23)

Hamas authorities in Gaza for the 1st time allow 100s Palestinians to demonstrate against the Syrian regime of Pres. Bashar al-Asad. (NYT 2/22)

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that Egypt is brokering talks in Cairo between Israel and Hamas authorities in Gaza to increase the amount of fuel Israel allows into Gaza to run Gaza’s electricity plan so as to ease rolling blackouts across the Strip. OCHA reports that Israel allowed in more fuel this week, but blackouts are still averaging 8–16 hours/day, compared to 12–18 hrs./ day in recent weeks. In 1/2012, Egypt tightened its restrictions on fuel trucks traveling toward the Gaza border area to limit smuggling of fuel through the tunnels under the Rafah border (see Quarterly Update in JPS 163). (OCHA 2/24)

Israeli warplanes make 6 late-night air strikes targeting a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border in Yibna r.c. (causing no injuries); a home in Rafah (phoning the family 5 mins. in advance to warn them to leave); an open area nr. Khan Yunis (no injuries); a storage building in Nussayrat r.c. (no injuries); and a grocery store in Bayt Lahiya (damaging 13 nearby buildings; lightly injuring 3 bystanders, including 2 children). Israeli drones make air strikes on 2 Palestinian homes in Jabaliya (lightly injuring 1 Palestinian; damaging 8 homes, an elementary school nearby). In the West Bank, the IDF bulldozes 30 d. of Palestinian land in Jayyus village n. of Qalqilya, in an area where Jewish settlers have previously attempted to place mobile homes to expand Tzofim settlement; patrols in 6 villages nr. Ramallah and 2 villages nr. Qalqilya in the morning; and in Tulkarm and 3 nearby villages, and 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon. The IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Qalqilya. (JP 2/3; PCHR 2/9; OCHA 2/10)

UN Secy.-Gen Ban makes a brief visit to Gaza to inaugurate a UN-funded housing project. Relatives of Palestinians jailed in Israel try to block his entry to the Erez crossing to protest his refusal to meet with them. During the visit, Ban calls on Israel to maintain the cease-fire with Gaza and allow Gaza’s borders to open for trade. Later, he addresses the Herzliya conference, telling Israeli officials and analysts to “think carefully about how to empower those on the other side who wish for peace.” (WP, WT 2/3)

In a State of the Union address devoted to domestic affairs, Pres. Obama pointedly calls on Syrian pres. Asad to realize “that the forces of change cannot be reversed and that human dignity cannot be denied” and urges the international community to “isolate” his regime. He also stresses that the U.S. will not take any options (i.e., a military strike) off the table in dealing with Iran and emphasizes “our ironclad commitment—and I mean ironclad—to Israel’s security.” (NYT, WP, WT 1/25; WJW 2/2)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border nr. the Erez crossing fire warning shots and tear gas at a group of Palestinians and international activists staging a nonviolent march to the crossing to protest Israel’s imposition of a no-go zone; no serious injuries are reported. With a sharp increase in the number of Gazans seeking to exit to Egypt through the Rafah border, the Gaza Interior Min. reimposes requirements (lifted on 12/18/11) that Gazans register with the ministry before traveling. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 8 Palestinian homes in Anata village nr. East Jerusalem, displacing 52 Palestinians, including 29 children; escorts 100s of Jewish settlers to pray at Joseph’s tomb in Balata village nr. Nablus; patrols in 1 village nr. Salfit in the morning, briefly detaining several Palestinian for questioning; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron and Nablus. (JP 1/24; PCHR 1/26; OCHA 1/27)

After a long delay, Hamas authorities in Gaza allow the Central Elections Commission to open a voter registration office in Gaza to prepare for eventual elections in implementation of the 5/2010 national unity deal. (WP 1/25)

Jordan says King Abdallah will receive Hamas leader Mishal on 1/29, when he makes his 1st official visit to Jordan in 13 yrs. Officials say that the kingdom will continue to bar Hamas for undertaking political activities on its soil. Analysts view this as: (1) Jordan trying to take a more active diplomatic role and say reopening diplomatic ties with Hamas could be a step toward trying to broker reconciliation btwn. Hamas and Fatah (WP 1/25); and (2) the king engaging with Islamists, who have gained strength regionally during the Arab Spring, to quiet Jordan’s own Islamist opposition. (WP, WT 1/25)

Police in Azerbaijan arrest several people allegedly linked to an Iranian-backed Hizballah cell for plotting an attack against Israeli amb. to Azerbaijan Michael Lotem and on a Jewish school in Baku. (JPI 2/3; NHR 2/21)

A Lebanese court sentences fmr. brig. gen. Fayiz Karam to 2 yrs. in jail (including time served) for giving classified information to Israel. Karam, jailed in mid-2009, will be released in 6 mos. (NYT 1/25)

Israeli PM Netanyahu says that since the 11/24 Abbas-Mishal meeting seemed more symbolic than substantive and the PLO/PA has not made moves since the 11/1/11 UNESCO vote to gain membership in other UN organizations, he is considering releasing VAT taxes. (NYT 11/29) (see 11/23/11)

King Abdallah of Jordan hosts Israeli pres. Shimon Peres in Amman to discuss reviving Israeli-Palestinian talks. (NYT 11/29; JPI 12/9)

Israeli naval vessels fire warning shots at Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, detaining and confiscating the boat, arresting 1 fisherman, and returning another fisherman to Gaza through the Erez crossing. Late at night, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border responding to 2 loud explosions inside Gaza in an open area n. of Bayt Lahiya fire into Gaza for 20 mins., causing no reported damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages each nr. Qalqilya and Ramallah and 1 nr. Salfit during the day; conducts late-night patrols in Jericho. An Israeli military court convicts a 2d Palestinian teenager fr. Awarta in the murder of 5 Jewish settlers in Itamar on 3/11/11; another Palestinian teen was convicted on 9/13/11. (PCHR 12/1; OCHA 12/2; JPI 12/9)

In the 1st Lebanese-Israeli crossborder attack since 10/2009, unidentified assailants fire 3 rockets fr. s. Lebanon into n. Israel, damaging 2 buildings in the western Galilee, but causing no injuries. Israel responds with artillery fire, causing no reported damage or injuries. UNIFIL calls for “maximum restraint.” (DS, NYT 11/29; NYT, WP, WT 11/30)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians hunting for birds in the fmr. Nisanit settlement area nr. the Erez crossing, forcing them to flee. For the 3d straight day, Israeli naval vessels fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the s. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. Late at night, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border make a brief incursion into areas n. of Bayt Lahiya, searching the area and opening fire, but causing no reported damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF escorts Jewish settlers into Nablus late at night to pray at Joseph’s Tomb, raiding several Palestinian homes. (PCHR 11/24; PCHR 12/1; OCHA 12/2)

The PA warns that unless Israel releases VAT taxes (suspended on 11/1/11 in violation of the 1994 Oslo Accord), it will be unable to pay civil servants salaries on 12/1 (affecting around one-third of Palestinians) and PA services would likely be disrupted. PA PM Salam alFayyad states: “With each passing day, the [PA] becomes weaker, and it is fast approaching the day when it becomes completely incapacitated.” The UN, U.S., and Quartet have each contacted Israeli PM Netanyahu in recent days to urge him to restore the transfers, with Quartet special envoy Tony Blair stating today: “Only those who oppose peace and Israeli-Palestinian cooperation benefit from the withholding of PA funds.” A Netanyahu aide says that if the PA pledges not to pursue membership in any more UN organizations and backs off planned reconciliation talks with Hamas, Israel would probably restore the transfers, saying, “The idea is to influence Palestinian decision making.” (NYT 11/24; WP 11/28)

Smugglers attempting to sneak into Israel fr. Egypt clash with Egyptian border police inside Egyptian territory (killing 2 border police) and then cross into Israel where they exchange fire with IDF soldiers (causing no reported injuries) before fleeing back into Egypt and escaping. (WP 12/3)

Retaliating for the 10/31 UNESCO vote, Netanyahu suspends the transfer of VAT taxes Israel collects on the PA’s behalf and orders accelerated construction of 2,000 settlement housing units in East Jerusalem’s Har Homa settlement and the nearby West Bank settlements Efrat and Ma’ale Adumim, calling it Israel’s “right and obligation” to build in Jerusalem. Meanwhile, Palestinian IP addresses and Palestinian phone networks in the West Bank and Gaza come under “multiple attacks” by computer hackers originating from many countries; the PA says the attacks appeared linked to the UNESCO vote and it believes they were “organized by a state” [i.e., Israel]. (HA, NYT, WP 11/2)

The IDF drops flyers over Khan Yunis warning residents to stay away fr. the 300-m. no-go zone. IDF troops manning the observation towers on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing fire warning shots at Palestinians and international activists marching toward the border to protest Israel’s imposition of a no-go zone; no casualties are reported. In the evening, unidentified Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’ r.c. nr. Nablus and nr. Jenin; conducts late-night patrols in Jenin. The Israeli Comm. against House Demolitions (ICHAD) submits a report to the UN special rapporteurs on Palestine that concludes that Israeli policies in East Jerusalem (e.g., restricting building permits, demolitions, revoking permanent residency status) are forcing Palestinians to flee in what may constitute a war crime. In the West Bank, the IDF rearrests senior Hamas official Hassan Yousef in Ramallah for having links to a “terrorist” organization; Yousef was 1st arrested in 2005, was released on 8/4/11 as part of a mass release to ease prison overcrowding. (JP 11/1; PCHR 11/3; OCHA 11/4)

Egypt announces that it has reached a deal with Israel to release suspected spy for Israel Ilan Grapel in exchange for 25 Egyptians jailed in Israel for nonsecurity-related offenses. (NYT, WP 10/25)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the former Erez industrial zone, forcing them to flee. A Palestinian is killed when a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border collapses. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols twice in Tulkarm, as well as in 3 villages nr. Jenin, 2 nr. Ramallah, and 1 nr. Jericho; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Salfit. (PCHR 10/27; OCHA 10/28)

IDF troops make a brief incursion into c. Gaza to level land along the border fence e. of al-Bureij r.c., clearing lines sight. IDF troops manning the Israeli side of the Erez crossing fire warning shots at Palestinians and international activists staging a nonviolent march to the border fence to protest Israel’s imposition of a no-go zone, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Jericho and 1 village nr. Ramallah; conducts a midday arrest raid, house search in Hebron. A Gaza military court sentences a Palestinian man to death for collaborating with Israel. (PCHR 6/2; OCHA 6/3)

IDF troops on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing into Gaza fire warning shots at some 80 Palestinian and international activists staging a nonviolent march to the border to protest Israel’s imposition of a buffer zone; no injuries are reported. 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 Birzeit and 2 nearby villages and in Tulkarm and 1 nearby village. Jewish settlers block Palestinian traffic on the Tulkarm-Nablus road nr. Bayt Lid, marking the 2d anniversary of the shooting death of a settler there. Jewish settlers guarded by the IDF hold religious services at the fmr. Homesh settlement site (removed by the IDF in 2005 as part of the Gaza disengagement). (OCHA, PCHR 5/12)

Israel’s Jerusalem municipal authorities approve zoning of land in East Jerusalem to accommodate construction of 130 new housing units in Gilo settlement. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians and international activists staging a nonviolent march to the Erez crossing to protest Israel’s imposition of a no-go zone inside the Gaza border; no injuries are reported. In the West Bank, the IDF releases Palestinians arrested on 11/24 for organizing weekly demonstrations outside Karme Tzur, forcing them to sign pledges that they will stay away fr. the settlement; conducts morning patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 2 nr. Tulkarm. (WP 11/30; PCHR, WJW 12/2; OCHA 12/3)