456 / 15225 Results
  • August 17, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops arrest 3 Palestinians swimming off the coast of Bayt Lahiya. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Bethlehem and 2 nearby villages,...

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  • July 16, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Jabaliya to level land alongside the border fence. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr...

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  • June 27, 2013

    In the West Bank, the Israeli military distributes stop work orders in the s. Hebron hills, including for construction on tents and a solar panel provided by the EU for humanitarian reasons....

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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 20, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Khan Yunis to level land by the border fence. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Jenin at night;...

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  • June 14, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops operating from a watchtower on the border fence nr. Dayr al-Balah open fire on a Palestinian farmer, injuring him. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches...

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  • June 13, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops operating from a border fence watchtower nr. Khan Yunis open fire and cause damage to a house. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1...

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  • June 11, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Dayr al-Balah, levelling land alongside the border fence. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 4...

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  • June 6, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; patrols in Salfit and 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, in...

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  • June 5, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 3 mortar shells across the border into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 3 villages...

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  • May 21, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian teenager in al-Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah during a demonstration in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners. An IDF spokesperson says that...

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  • May 15, 2013

    Unidentified Palestinians fire a rocket from Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. IDF forces and Palestinians clash across the West Bank and East Jerusalem on Nakba Day, with 25...

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  • May 12, 2013

    The Fatah Central Committee accepts the Arab League’s latest proposal (4/29) authorizing land swaps with Israel and welcomes U.S. efforts to revive the peace process. Meanwhile, Israeli opposition...

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  • May 11, 2013

    Dozens of Jewish settlers from Yitzhar settlement enter Burin village nr. Nablus and clash with Palestinians. The IDF intervenes, violently dispersing the Palestinian residents with tear gas and...

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  • May 9, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF forces demolish 10 commercial properties nr. Jenin. The IDF patrols in 1 village each nr. Jenin and nr. Qalqilya in the morning, in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and...

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  • May 8, 2013

    Israel’s Justice Minister Tzipi Livni meets with U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry in Rome, following a meeting last week in Washington that discussed the possibility of reviving Israeli-Palestinian...

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  • May 7, 2013

    Two small rockets and later a mortar land in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. While the IDF says the fire is ‘‘accidental spillover’’ from the Syrian civil war,...

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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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  • April 12, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in in al-‘Arub r.c. and 1 village nr. Hebron, and in 1 village nr. Jericho in the afternoon, and in 3 villages nr. Jenin and 1 nr. Ramallah at night; conducts...

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  • April 7, 2013

    U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry meets with Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas in Ramallah, and reportedly offers him incentives for a return to direct negotiations with Israel. Palestinian sources say...

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  • April 2, 2013

    Palestinian prisoner Maysara Abuhamdieh dies in Israeli jail from complications caused by terminal cancer, prompting clashes between protesters and IDF forces in Hebron. The Palestinian Prisoners...

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  • March 27, 2013

    Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat says that a delegation of Arab ministers, including the foreign ministers of Palestine, Qatar, Jordan, and Egypt, will go to Washington to discuss the Arab...

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  • March 6, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin in the morning, and conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron and 2 villages nr. Jenin at night. (PCHR 3/7)

    ...

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  • March 2, 2013

    Israeli pres. Shimon Peres gives PM Benjamin Netanyahu 2 more weeks to form a new government, after the initial 28-day period passes without a successful coalition agreement being reached. (HA,...

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  • February 28, 2013

    In the West Bank, Palestinian protesters clash with IDF soldiers nr. Huwara checkpoint south of Nablus, causing no injuries. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron, 3 villages each nr. Jenin, and...

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  • February 27, 2013

    A report by the European Union’s consuls general in East Jerusalem and Ramallah is leaked, revealing that the diplomats have urged the EU to implement economic sanctions against Israeli...

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  • February 21, 2013

    In the West Bank, tensions continue over hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners: Near Ramallah, 29 Palestinian protesters are injured by rubber-coated steel bullets in clashes with the IDF. There...

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  • February 16, 2013

    In the West Bank, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and...

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  • February 13, 2013

    A district court nr. Tel Aviv publishes an officially sanctioned text regarding ‘‘Prisoner X,’’ now known to be Australian-Israeli citizen Ben Zygier (see 2/12), saying that the man was imprisoned...

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  • January 31, 2013

    A UNHRC investigation into Israel’s settlements in the West Bank publishes its conclusions, declaring such activity a contravention of the Geneva Convention and thus a potential war crime under...

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In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops arrest 3 Palestinians swimming off the coast of Bayt Lahiya. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Bethlehem and 2 nearby villages, and 2 villages nr. Jenin at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in Nablus and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. (PCHR 8/22)

The IDF fires a surface-to-surface missile at a Syrian army post after 3 shells land inside the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. The Israeli army retaliation destroys the Syrian military position but causes no casualties. (AFP, JP 8/17)

Egypt’s PM Hazem el-Bablawi proposes disbanding the Muslim Brotherhood. Meanwhile, clashes continue in Cairo between supporters of ousted Pres. Mohamed Morsi and security forces. On the border with the Gaza Strip, Egyptian authorities briefly open the Rafah crossing for“humanitarian cases” and stranded “international travellers.”(AFP, REU 8/17)

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton telephones new Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif to congratulate him on his appointment, telling him that the P5+1 group—the 5 permanent mbrs. of the UNSC plus Germany — is ready to “work with the new Iranian negotiating team” as soon as they are appointed. (AFP 8/17, JP 8/18)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Jabaliya to level land alongside the border fence. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon and Tulkarm at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah and injures 2 with rubber-coated metal bullets after opening fire at stonethrowing residents. (PCHR 7/18)

In an article based on leaked documents, Ha’Aretz reports that the EU will publish on 7/30 a set of new guidelines to restrict the eligibility of Israeli entities based or operating in the occupied territories for EU-funded grants, prizes, and financial instruments (see document A3 in JPS 169 for more). With these guidelines, the EU codifies its view of the settlements as illegal under international law. The guidelines are scheduled to go into effect on 1/1/14. The move is welcomed by senior Palestinian officials, with PLO Executive Cmte. member Hanan Ashrawi calling it “a significant development in the way the EU countries deal with Israeli occupation.” (HA, JP 7/16)

Assailants attack an Egyptian military outpost in the Sinai, injuring 6 soldiers and 1 civilian. (AP 7/16) Seven mortar shells fired from inside Syrian territory land in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. (HA 7/16)

In the West Bank, the Israeli military distributes stop work orders in the s. Hebron hills, including for construction on tents and a solar panel provided by the EU for humanitarian reasons. Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers carry out demolitions of Palestinian property in Tammun village nr. Jericho, assaulting 2 shepherds defending their property in the latter incident. IDF troops shoot and injure 4 Palestinians during clashes sparked by an incursion into Qalandia r.c. nr. Ramallah. In another raid, the IDF arrests 2 al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades members. in Nablus, on the grounds that weapons prohibited in an amnesty agreement were found in their possession. IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Jenin, 3 villages nr. Qalqilya, Qalqilya, 1 village nr. Salfit, 1 village nr. Ramallah; patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin in the morning, and at night in 2 villages nr. Jenin, 1 village nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Tulkarm, and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night. (HA, MNA, WAFA 6/27; PCHR 7/4)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry meets with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, but no announcement of progress is made; he then goes to Jerusalem for a meeting with Jordan’s King Abdallah II. (WP 6/27)

The UN Security Council renews UNDOF’s mission in the Golan Heights for 6 mos. and also votes to increase both the forces’ equipment and its numbers, from around 900 to 1,250. (REU 6/27)

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)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Khan Yunis to level land by the border fence. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Jenin at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Salfit in the morning, in 1 village each nr. Hebron, Jenin and Qalqilya in the afternoon, and in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Qalqilya at night. Also, Jewish settlers throw stones at Palestinian-owned vehicles s. of Nablus, causing damage but no injuries. (MNA, WAFA 6/20; PCHR 6/27)

Palestinian PM Rami Hamdallah submits his resignation to Pres. Mahmud Abbas, following a reported dispute over the premier’s jurisdiction and limits of powers. There is no immediate response from Abbas’s office. Hamdallah was sworn in on 6/6, and his cabinet held only 2 official sessions. (MNA, REU 6/20).

A mortar shell lands in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, fired by unknown persons from inside Syrian territory, causing no damage or injuries. (AFP, YA 6/20)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops operating from a watchtower on the border fence nr. Dayr al-Balah open fire on a Palestinian farmer, injuring him. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon; patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah, 1 village nr. Jericho, and 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the morning, in 1 village nr. Jericho and 3 villages and al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night. Israeli soldiers also attack regular demonstrations by Palestinians, Israelis, and international activists against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and the occupation in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, Nabi Salih), 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum) and 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara), causing no serious injuries except in Bil‘in, with 1 injury from a tear gas canister and 1 from a rubber-coated metal bullet. (MNA 6/14; PCHR 6/20)

Israeli DM Moshe Ya’alon declares that U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry’s effort to restart peace talks has failed and that the Arab League proposal is just spin. Ya’alon’s remarks are made in an address to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in Washington, ahead of a meeting with U.S. Defense Secy. Chuck Hagel. His remarks are criticized by Israel’s Science and Technology Minister Jacob Perry as not conducive to resuming negotiations. (HA, JTA 6/14)

Norway’s Dep. DM confirms that UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon has asked Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark to contribute soldiers to the UNDOF in the Golan Heights, following Austria’s withdrawal. Meanwhile, U.S. Amb. to the UN Susan Rice says that the Obama administration has determined that sarin gas was used on 3/19 in an attack by the Syrian army in Aleppo and that unidentified chemical weapons were also used on 5/14 and 5/23. Separately, Hizballah leader Hasan Nasrallah declares in a televised speech that his group will continue to fight alongside Syrian pres. Asad and that the decision to intervene had been a calculated one. (AP, DS, HA, REU 6/14)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops operating from a border fence watchtower nr. Khan Yunis open fire and cause damage to a house. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron in the morning and in 1 village nr. Jenin at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya, 1 village nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Jenin, and 1 village nr. Jericho at night. Jewish settlers throw rocks and Molotov cocktails at Palestinian-owned homes and a car nr. Yitzhar settlement in the n. West Bank. (MNA 6/13; PCHR 6/20)

Israeli officials confirm that plans will proceed to build more than 1,000 new homes in Bruchin and Itamar settlements, drawing criticism from the U.S. administration, with U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Jen Psaki calling the announcement “unhelpful.” Bruchin was granted legal status last year, and its residents will be allowed to construct 550 new houses, while Itamar’s will be permitted to construct 537 new homes, in association with the relevant govt. agencies. (AP, REU 6/13)

An estimated 3,000 protesters march in Beersheba to demonstrate against the proposed Prawer Plan, which will displace tens of thousands of Bedouins in the Negev. Bedouins also conduct a community-wide strike in protest of the Plan. (AFP, YA 6/13)

U.S. Pres. Barack Obama authorizes sending U.S. weapons to Syrian rebels for the 1st time. Meanwhile, a statement from the White House says that between 100 and 150 people have died from chemical weapons attacks in Syria. (AP, REU 6/13)

UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky says that the peacekeeping dept. has asked Austria to delay to the end of 7/2013 its full troop withdrawal from the UNDOF mission in the Golan Heights to enable a smooth transition. Separately, the UN also says that Syrians are being killed at an average rate of 5,000 per month, with the overall death toll nearly 93,000. (AP 6/13)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Dayr al-Balah, levelling land alongside the border fence. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 4 villages nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Ramallah and in Bethlehem at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the morning and in 2 villages nr. Hebron at night. During a patrol in al-Fara‘a r.c. nr. Tubas at night, IDF troops clash with stone-throwing youths and wound 5 with rubber-coated metal bullets. In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities issue expulsion orders for 8 Palestinian families totalling 53 people in Bayt Hanina. (MNA, WAFA 6/11; PCHR 6/13)

PA Dep. PM Mohammad Mustafa tells a news conference in Ramallah that the PA’s debts total $4.2 billion, with those owed money including local banks and the Palestinian Pension Fund. (JP, MNA 6/11)

Austria begins withdrawing its peacekeepers from the Golan Heights-based UNDOF, with an initial group of some 60 to 80 soldiers departing. (AFP, REU 6/11)

The U.S. Treasury imposes an asset freeze under U.S. jurisdiction on 4 individuals based in West Africa it accuses of fundraising for Hizballah. Meanwhile, rockets fired from the Syrian side of the border wound 4 people in the Lebanese town of Hermel. (DS, NYT 6/11)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; patrols in Salfit and 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, in Jenin and 3 nearby villages in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm, 1 village nr. Hebron, and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. Jewish settlers uproot olive trees in Palestinian-owned fields nr. Hebron and in a separate incident attack Palestinian-owned cars with stones nr. Nablus, causing damage but no injuries. (MNA 6/6; PCHR 6/13)

Former president of an-Najah University Rami Hamdallah is sworn in as Palestinian PM at a ceremony with Pres. Mahmud Abbas, with the 24-member cabinet remaining mostly the same except for a few changes (such as the appointment of 2 deputy PMs, Ziad Abu Amr and Mohammed Mustafa, and a new fin. min., Shukri Bishara). Hamdallah replaces Salam Fayyad, who resigned in 4/2013. Abbas says that the new govt. is intended to remain until there can be an agreement with Hamas about when to hold elections. (MNA, REU 6/6)

Syrian opposition fighters briefly take control of a UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF)-operated crossing between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights before it is retaken by the Syrian army. In response, Austria says it will withdraw its 380 members of the 1,000-strong UNDOF force. In a separate incident, a Filipino peacekeeper is injured when a shell lands at another UNDOF base. It is unclear whether the shell was fired by govt. or opposition forces. (AP, REU 6/6)

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 3 mortar shells across the border into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 3 villages, al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Ramallah, and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Bethlehem in the morning, in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. (MNA 6/5; PCHR 6/13)

U.S. Pres. Barack Obama chooses Susan Rice as his new national security adviser and will nominate Samantha Power, a National Security Council staffer, to replace Rice as amb. to the UN. (REU 6/5) 

Unidentified persons fire 2 mortar shells into an open area nr. the border between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights. The IDF investigates on which side of the border the shells fell. (YA 6/5)

Anonymous Jordanian officials tell the media that the U.S. will send anti-missile batteries to Amman in preparation for an annual joint military exercise, some of which will be kept in the country to boost the country’s defense capabilities in light of potential spillover from the Syrian civil war. (AP 6/5)

In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian teenager in al-Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah during a demonstration in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners. An IDF spokesperson says that soldiers targeted a protester holding a Molotov cocktail; Palestinian witnesses say that the 13-year-old was walking with school friends when targeted. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, as well as 1 village each nr. Tubas and Tulkarm at night. Off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolish 4 Palestinian-owned residential buildings. (HA, MNA 5/21; PCHR 5/23)

The Israeli military announces that Palestinian fishermen will now be able to fish up to 6 miles off the coast of the Gaza Strip, extending the previous limit of 3 miles that was set in 3/2013. Meanwhile, an official from Hamas’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that the govt. is willing to close smuggling tunnels once a commercial crossing opens. (HA, MNA 5/21)

The Syrian army and Israeli forces have a brief exchange of fire over the cease-fire line in the Golan Heights. Damascus claims responsibility for firing at Israeli troops, damaging an army jeep but causing no injuries, with the IDF returning fire, reportedly destroying an army post but causing no injuries. IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz warns the Syrian govt. not to conduct any further attacks. (AFP, HA, REU, WP 5/21)

Egyptian forces conduct raids in the n. Sinai as the search continues for the kidnapped security officials. Egyptian authorities also keep Rafah crossing closed for the 5th consecutive day. (MNA 5/21)

Unidentified Palestinians fire a rocket from Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. IDF forces and Palestinians clash across the West Bank and East Jerusalem on Nakba Day, with 25 Palestinians arrested and 6 Israeli security forces injured in and around Jerusalem’s Old City. In al-‘Aqba village nr. Hebron, unidentifed Palestinians throw a Molotov cocktail at an IDF jeep, destroying it and injuring 4 soldiers. In another incident in the nearby village of al-Tabaqa, IDF forces briefly detain more than 45 children. As part of Nakba Dayrelated protests, IDF forces violently disperse Palestinian demonstrators at Qalandia and Bitunia nr. Jerusalem, Ofer nr. Ramallah, Kufor Kaddoum nr. Qalqilya, and open fire on Palestinians in al-Khader nr. Bethlehem (injuring 12). In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in al- ‘Arub r.c. in the morning, and in Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron and in Tubas at night. (AFP, HA, JP, MNA, YA 5/15; PCHR 5/16)

Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas arrives in Cairo for talks with Egyptian pres. Mohamed Morsi about the Arab League’s recent visit (4/29) to Washington and Palestinian national reconciliation moves. (MNA 5/15)

After 2 years of internal discussions, senior Fatah members operating in their own personal capacity issue a document calling for the establishment of one democratic country between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. (HA 5/17)

Mortars fired from inside Syria land in the Mount Hermon area of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. (HA 5/15)

The Fatah Central Committee accepts the Arab League’s latest proposal (4/29) authorizing land swaps with Israel and welcomes U.S. efforts to revive the peace process. Meanwhile, Israeli opposition leader Shelly Yachimovich (Labor) meets with PA Pres. Mahmud Abbas in Ramallah and expresses her support for a two-state solution. (JP, HA 5/12)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Jenin in the morning, 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and 1 village each nr. Jenin and Jericho at night. IDF soldiers conduct house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Jenin, and in Qalqilya. (PCHR 5/16)

Israeli newspaper Ha’Aretz speculates that Israel has opened a new diplomatic mission in the Gulf, based on its examination of Finance Ministry budget allocations for 2014. (HA 5/12)

The Yarmouk Martyrs’ Brigade releases the 4 Filipino UN peacekeepers it captured last week (5/7) on the Syria side of the Golan Heights demarcation line. (REU 5/12)

Dozens of Jewish settlers from Yitzhar settlement enter Burin village nr. Nablus and clash with Palestinians. The IDF intervenes, violently dispersing the Palestinian residents with tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets, but causing no serious injuries. Jewish settlers also enter Urif village nr. Nablus and clash with Palestinian residents, causing no serious injuries. In the West Bank at night, the IDF patrols in Jericho, 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron, 3 villages nr. Jenin, in Nablus, 1 village nr. Nablus, 1 village nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Tulkarm. (AFP 5/11; PCHR 5/16)

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command (PFLP–GC) says that it is forming combat units to recapture the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The announcement comes after Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad and Hizballah indicated that they would support such operations. (REU 5/11)

PLO Secy.-Gen. Fathi Abu al-Ardat says that at least 55,000 Palestinian refugees have fled Syria to Lebanon since the civil unrest in Syria began. (DS 5/11)

In the West Bank, IDF forces demolish 10 commercial properties nr. Jenin. The IDF patrols in 1 village each nr. Jenin and nr. Qalqilya in the morning, in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 4 villages nr. Jenin and 2 villages nr. Ramallah at night. Also at night, IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Qalqilya. (MNA 5/9; PCHR 5/10)

Palestinian amb. to Egypt Barakat al-Farra says that Palestine has called an emergency meeting of Arab League representatives to discuss recent clashes in al-Aqsa Mosque compound (see 3/8). (MNA 5/9) 

Hamas says that PA security forces arrest 9 of its members in Hebron, Nablus, Qalqilya, and Ramallah. (MNA 5/9)

Hizballah leader Hasan Nasrallah says that Syria will supply the organization with ‘‘game-changing’’ weapons, following recent Israeli air strikes, and that Hizballah would help other groups looking to liberate the Syrian Golan Heights from Israeli occupation. Meanwhile, deputy Syrian FM Faisal Miqdad says that his country will ‘‘respond immediately’’ to any further Israeli attack in its territory. (AFP 5/9; DS 5/10)

Israel’s Justice Minister Tzipi Livni meets with U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry in Rome, following a meeting last week in Washington that discussed the possibility of reviving Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. U.S. Pres. Barack Obama speaks with PM Benjamin Netanyahu by phone to discuss the peace process. Meanwhile, Israeli authorities approve construction of 296 new settlement housing units in Beit El settlement nr. Ramallah. (JP 5/8; JP, MNA 5/9)

In Jerusalem, Jewish settlers accompanied by Israeli security forces enter the al-Aqsa Mosque compound for the second consecutive day, preventing Muslim worshippers from freely accessing the site. Meanwhile, Israeli police detain Jerusalem Mufti Mohammed Hussein for a few hours over his role in clashes the previous day.

In the West Bank, IDF forces demolish 3 Palestinian homes in al-Auja village nr. Jericho. IDF undercover units conduct a raid nr. Jenin, arresting PA Preventive Security officer Mohammed Ahmed Zakarna, who received an amnesty a few years ago for his participation in the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the morning, and in 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. IDF troops conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Jenin and in Tulkarm at night. IDF forces make 2 brief incursions into Gaza to level land and clear lines of sight along the border nr. Jabaliya and Bayt Hanun. (AFP, MNA 5/8; PCHR 5/9)

Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem publishes a report that says Israel killed 87 Palestinian civilians in Operation Pillar of Defense in 11/2012, 80% of whom died in the second half of the operation. (JP 5/9)

Egyptian theologian and prominent Islamist cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi enters the Gaza Strip on a high-profile official visit to the Hamas government, welcomed and hosted by PM Ismail Haniyeh (AFP 5/8)

Jordan’s parliament votes in favor of petitioning the government to expel Israeli amb. Daniel Nevo and recalling Jordan’s amb. to Israel to protest recent unrest involving Jewish settlers entering the al-Aqsa Mosque compound (see 5/7) Ultimately, Jordan’s Interior Min. Hussein al-Majali only summons Nevo to convey an official protest. (AFP 5/8)

Professor Stephen Hawking of Cambridge University pulls out of a conference in Israel in 6/2013 hosted by Pres. Shimon Peres, citing the Palestinian boycott call. Israeli FM spokesman Yigal Palmor says that ‘‘never has a scientist of this stature boycotted Israel.’’ (NYT 5/8)

The UN relocates peacekeepers from an observation post in the al-Jamla area of the Golan Heights cease-fire zone, following the most recent abduction of Filipino troops on 5/7. (AFP 5/8)

Two small rockets and later a mortar land in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. While the IDF says the fire is ‘‘accidental spillover’’ from the Syrian civil war, rather than intentional, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command says that Syrian government has given the Damascusbased group permission to attack Israeli targets in the Golan Heights. Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad says that Syria is capable of facing Israel, but does not suggest Damascus will retaliate for the recent Israeli air strikes (e.g., 5/5). Hizballah’s deputy head Naim Qassem says that the Israeli attacks aim to boost the opposition fighters and does not comment on claims that missiles bound for the Lebanese group were the target. Meanwhile, Syrian rebel faction the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade says that it is holding 4 Filipino UN peacekeepers it detained on the Syrian side of the ceasefire line between Syria and the occupied Golan Heights, claiming that fighting had endangered the observers. (AP, JP, REU, WP 5/7)

Israeli officials say that PM Benjamin Netanyahu has promised U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry to ‘‘rein in’’ settlement construction until mid-6/2013 in the context of renewed efforts to resume negotiations. (HA 5/7)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the north Gaza coast, causing no damage or injuries.

In East Jerusalem, some 40 rightwing Israelis enter the al-Aqsa Mosque compound protected by Israeli security forces, sparking clashes with Palestinian worshippers.

In the West Bank, Jewish settlers attack Palestinian vehicles and agricultural land nr. Nablus, causing no injuries. The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron, 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. Also at night, IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in Nablus, 1 village nr. Nablus, 1 village nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Tulkarm. (MNA, WAFA 5/7; PCHR 5/9)

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)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in in al-‘Arub r.c. and 1 village nr. Hebron, and in 1 village nr. Jericho in the afternoon, and in 3 villages nr. Jenin and 1 nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 1 nr. Ramallah at night. IDF soldiers violently disperse Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals taking part in nonviolent demonstrations against both the Israeli occupation as well as in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners. Demonstrations are held in 4 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, al-Nabi Salih, Ni‘lin, Abud), al-Haraiek nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum), 2 villages nr. Bethlehem (al-Khader, al-Ma’sara), and in Hebron. There are no serious injuries, except 2 in Bil‘in (hit by tear gas canisters) and 1 in al-Khader (rubber-coated metal bullet). (PCHR 4/18)

The IDF fires artillery into Syria after shots were fired at Israeli troops in the occupied Golan Heights causing no damage or injuries. According to the Israeli military, the return fire scored a ‘‘direct hit.’’ (REU 4/12)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry meets with Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas in Ramallah, and reportedly offers him incentives for a return to direct negotiations with Israel. Palestinian sources say that offers include ensuring that Israel does not withhold transfer of tax revenues again and possibly expanding the PA’s jurisdiction to parts of West Bank Area C (under Israeli civil and security control). In addition, a Palestinian official claims that Kerry expresses interest in reviving the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002, which offered Israel full normalization for Israel’s complete withdrawal from the o.t. (including the Golan). (AP, MNA, REU 4/7)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 3 rockets from the Gaza Strip, with 1 landing in the Negev causing no damage or injuries and 2 landing inside Gaza. Meanwhile, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the north Gaza coast, causing no injuries or damage. In the West Bank, IDF forces shoot and seriously injure a Palestinian child during a protest in Aida r.c. in Bethlehem; another Palestinian is injured by the IDF during a demonstration in Um Rokba nr. Bethlehem. The IDF also patrols in Tulkarm in the morning, in 1 village nr. Hebron and 2 villages nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in al-‘Arub r.c., and 1 village nr. Hebron, and 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night. In another incident, Jewish settlers vandalize a mosque in in the Palestinian village of Tekoa nr. Bethlehem, leaving price-tag graffiti on the walls. (AFP, HA 4/7; PCHR 4/11)

Palestinian prisoner Maysara Abuhamdieh dies in Israeli jail from complications caused by terminal cancer, prompting clashes between protesters and IDF forces in Hebron. The Palestinian Prisoners’ Committee blames Israel for Abuhamdieh’s death, saying that he did not receive adequate medical treatment. Gaza’s tiny Salafist group, the Mujahidin Shura Council, fires 3 mortars towards Israel, claiming retaliation for Abuhamdieh’s death; 2 of the mortars fall within Gaza. In retaliation, the IDF makes 2 nighttime airstrikes nr. Bayt Lahiya. No injuries are reported in either incident. Meanwhile, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Tulkarmin the morning, and in and around Hebronin the afternoon; conducts house searches and arrest raids in and around Bethlehem and nearby Dahaysha r.c., in and around Hebron, in Jenin, and in 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. (HA 4/2; ToI, YA 4/3; PCHR 4/4)

Hamas’ Shura Council elects Khalid Mishal as politburo head for the fourth time, according to Egyptian officials. The secret election is conducted in a Cairo hotel. (MNA 4/2)

Israeli forces and unidentified armed persons in Syria briefly exchange fire across the demarcation line on the Golan Heights. The IDF reports no injuries or damage on its side, but claim that its return of fire scored a ‘‘direct hit.’’ (AP, REU 4/2)

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat says that a delegation of Arab ministers, including the foreign ministers of Palestine, Qatar, Jordan, and Egypt, will go to Washington to discuss the Arab Peace Initiative with the Obama admin. and offer a joint position on the peace process. (MNA 3/27)

In Hebron, IDF forces shoot and injure a 12-year-old Palestinian boy during clashes. Meanwhile, the IDF arrests 4 Hamas leaders, including Palestinian Council member Mohammaed Natsheh, in Hebron. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Hebron in the morning, and in 1 village nr. Jenin at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Bethlehem and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. (MNA, HA 3/27; PCHR 3/28)

Israeli medics treat 7 wounded Syrians who approached the border with the occupied Golan Heights, one of whom dies in an Israeli hospital. Meanwhile, the UN Security Council warns of violations of the cease-fire line between Israel and Syria (e.g. 2/27, 3/2, 3/6, 3/24), and the risk posed to UN peacekeepers. (HA, REU 3/27)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin in the morning, and conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron and 2 villages nr. Jenin at night. (PCHR 3/7)

Syrian rebels detain 21 UN peacekeepers from the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) that monitors the Israeli-Syrian divide along the Golan Heights from posts inside Syria. The UNSC demands their immediate release. Meanwhile, Arab foreign ministers formally hand over Syria’s seat in the Arab League to the opposition coalition. (AP, NYT, REU 3/6)

Israeli pres. Shimon Peres gives PM Benjamin Netanyahu 2 more weeks to form a new government, after the initial 28-day period passes without a successful coalition agreement being reached. (HA, REU 3/2)

Israel’s Transportation Ministry announces that new Palestinian-only bus lines will soon operate between locations in the West Bank and central Israel. Israel presents the plan as a gesture to ease travel arrangements for Palestinian day laborers, but critics denounce the plan as de facto ‘‘segregation,’’ noting that Jewish settlers have voiced complaints about sharing buses with Palestinian workers. (YA 3/2; HA 3/3)

In the West Bank, Jewish settlers from Havat Maon attack Palestinian farmers nr. Yatta south of Hebron. When Israeli soldiers arrive, they declare the area a closed military zone and arrest 1 Palestinian teenager. The IDF patrols in al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron in the afternoon, provoking clashes that cause no serious injuries. At night, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Tulkarm; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 2 nearby villages and in 1 each village nr. Jenin and. Nablus. (PCHR 3/7)

An Israeli diplomatic source reveals that Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan’s King Abdullah II met in Jordan last week to discuss the peace process. No further details are revealed. (AFP 3/2)

Several mortars fired from inside Syria land in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no injuries or damage. Israel says that it assumes the mortars were misfired, but nonetheless files a complaint with the UN. (HA 3/2)

In the West Bank, Palestinian protesters clash with IDF soldiers nr. Huwara checkpoint south of Nablus, causing no injuries. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron, 3 villages each nr. Jenin, and nr. Tulkarm in the morning, in 1 village nr. Hebron and in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron in the afternoon (clashes in the latter, no injuries). At night, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Bethlehem and in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron. (MNA 2/28; PCHR 3/7)

The Syrian government, still fighting a bitter civil war, sends letters of complaint to the UN Security Council and UN secy.-gen. to protest Israel’s recent decision to go ahead with gas exploration in the occupied Golan Heights. (AP, REU 2/28) 

U.S. Senators introduce a bipartisanbacked resolution endorsing American military support (not further defined) for Israel if it were to attack Iran in selfdefense. (AP 2/28)

A report by the European Union’s consuls general in East Jerusalem and Ramallah is leaked, revealing that the diplomats have urged the EU to implement economic sanctions against Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The recommendations include that the EU ‘‘prevent, discourage and raise awareness’’ of direct investments by European companies in settlements. A previous leaked report (see JPS 163) had warned that Israeli settlement activities were ‘‘closing the window’’ on the 2-state solution, and encouraged the EU to look at ways of stopping ‘‘financial transactions in support of settlement activity.’’ (AP, HA 2/27)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Tulkarm and 1 village nr. Hebron at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. (PCHR 2/28)

The Israeli military reports that an errant mortar fired from inside Syria has landed in the occupied Golan Heights, causing no casualties. (AP, NYT 2/27)

At talks in Kazakhstan, Iran’s top official Saeed Jalili praises an offer of international concessions that would both allow Tehran to keep a limited amount of highly enriched uranium and also lead to the removal of some trade sanctions. Meanwhile, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says Iran should be threatened with intensified sanctions and military measures—while in Washington, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce introduces a bipartisan bill to move the U.S. to work with the European Union in cutting Iran’s access to the euro. (AP, REU 2/27)

In the West Bank, tensions continue over hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners: Near Ramallah, 29 Palestinian protesters are injured by rubber-coated steel bullets in clashes with the IDF. There are also clashes at Huwara checkpoint nr. Nabus, causing no serious injuries. Meanwhile, a Jerusalem court sentences hunger-striker Samer Issawi to 8 months in prison for violating the terms of his 10/2011 amnesty deal. Issawi gets credit for time served and is scheduled for release in 3/2013. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Ramallah in the morning, in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 1 village each nr. Ramallah and Tulkarm at night. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin at night. Jewish settlers vandalize some 70 Palestinian-owned trees nr. Hebron. Palestinian and international activists demonstrate nr. Hebron to call for the opening of a route closed for the past 12 years linking Hebron city with three nearby villages; the IDF violently disperses them, causing no serious injuries. In the Gaza Strip, IDF forces carry out a limited incursion into the border area nr. Khan Yunis to level farmland and clear lines of sight. Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the north Gaza coast, causing no serious injuries, and then again on fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing one moderate injury. (MNA 2/21; PCHR 2/28)

The union of West Bank teachers declares a day’s general strike across the territory in response to recent remarks by the PA finance minister about reductions in due salary increases, as well as ‘‘fragmented’’ monthly wages that have left public sector workers without their full salaries for more than three months. (MNA 2/20)

Israel’s Energy Ministry reveals that it is granting U.S. company Genie Energy a license to explore for oil and gas in the occupied Golan Heights. (FT 2/21)

A report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says that Iran has begun installing advanced centrifuges at its main uranium enrichment plant that could enable Tehran to speed up its accumulation of material needed for a nuclear weapon. The IAEA report also says that since 12/2012, Iran has been converting refined uranium to powder for the production of reactor fuel. (HA, REU 2/21)

In the West Bank, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrests in Hebron in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. (PCHR 2/21)

The Palestinian Central Elections Commission (CEC) announces that 155,000 people in the Gaza Strip (79% of eligible voters) have registered to vote in planned legislative elections, with 2 days remaining until the electoral roll closes. The CEC says that 76% of eligible West Bank voters are on the roll. The voter registration drive is the necessary step towards as yet unscheduled elections, should Fatah and Hamas agree on how to proceed and with several outstanding issues that could cause a delay. (MNA 2/16)

European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton issues a statement calling on Israel to improve conditions for Palestinian prisoners, noting ‘‘with concern’’ the case of 4 particular inmates on long-standing hunger strikes. (REU 2/16)

IDF soldiers provide medical assistance to 7 injured Syrian nationals they discover nr. the border fence in the occupied Golan Heights. The injured men reportedly are rebels fleeing fighting against forces loyal to Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad. (HA 2/16)

Hizballah leader Hasan Nasrallah makes a speech from an undisclosed location stating that his group does not need support from Syria or Iran for any future battle against Israel. The comments are seen as a reference to claims that Israel’s 1/30 attack on Syria targeted a weapons convoy destined for Hizballah. (REU 2/16)

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says that the country does not want to build nuclear arms but that if they did, no country could stop them. Khamenei also promises revenge on Israel for the death of Revolutionary Guards commander Hessam Khoshnevis, also called Hassan Shateri in some news accounts, who was killed in Syria close to the Lebanese border by rebel fighters that Tehran accuses of working to advance U.S. and Israeli interests. (REU 2/16)

A district court nr. Tel Aviv publishes an officially sanctioned text regarding ‘‘Prisoner X,’’ now known to be Australian-Israeli citizen Ben Zygier (see 2/12), saying that the man was imprisoned ‘‘out of security considerations.’’ (REU 2/13)

In the West Bank the IDF patrols in Jenin town and r.c. and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in Bethlehem, nearby Aida r.c., 2 villages nr. Jerusalem, and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. (PCHR 2/21)

Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas says that an agreement has been reached with Hamas to form a unity government headed by Abbas and to hold elections 3 mos. after the Central Elections Commission is ready, but claims that Hamas does not want elections to take place yet. (MNA 2/13)

IDF soldiers in the Golan Heights shoot and wound a man who approached the border fence with Syria. (REU 2/13)

A UNHRC investigation into Israel’s settlements in the West Bank publishes its conclusions, declaring such activity a contravention of the Geneva Convention and thus a potential war crime under the jurisdiction of the ICC. The investigators, led by French judge Christine Chanet, call on Israel to halt settlement expansion and withdraw all settlers. Israel’s Foreign Ministry rejects the report, calling it counterproductive and the result of a ‘‘one-sided and biased approach towards Israel.’’ PLO Executive Comm. member Hanan Ashrawi welcomes the report, saying that the Palestinians are encouraged by its ‘‘candid assessment of Israeli violations.’’ (JP, REU 1/31)

Area council head for the Gush Etzion settlement bloc Davidi Perl says that the Israeli Defense Ministry has moved forward plans to build 346 housing units in Tekoa and Nokdim settlements. (JP 1/31)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in ‘Ayn al-Sultan r.c. nr. Jericho and 1 village each nr. Jericho and Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Bethlehem and 1 village each nr. Hebron and Jenin at night. (PCHR 2/7)

Senior Hamas official Yahya Moussa denies recent reports (see 1/30) that Khalid Mishal told Jordan’s King Abdallah to inform U.S. pres. Barack Obama that Hamas accepts the two-state solution. (MNA 1/31)

Syria and its allies condemn the presumed Israeli attack on a site close to the Lebanese border, which the Syrian military says struck a research center and which Western officials stated was a convoy of anti-aircraft batteries headed toward Lebanon for Hizballah. Israeli officials refuse to comment. Syrian amb. to Lebanon Ali Abdul-Karim Ali says that the country may choose a ‘‘surprise’’ response to Israeli ‘‘aggression,’’ while Syria also summons the head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Golan Heights to formally protest the raid. Russia says that if reports are confirmed, then the Israeli attack is a violation of the UN Charter and is ‘‘unacceptable.’’ The Arab League condemns what it calls Israel’s ‘‘cruel aggression,’’ while Hizballah releases a statement expressing ‘‘solidarity’’ with Syria and calling the strike ‘‘barbaric aggression.’’ (AFP, AP, FT, REU 1/31)

Iran writes a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency to announce its plans to install and operate advanced uranium-enrichment machines. The U.S. says that installation of new Iranian centrifuges would be a ‘‘provocative step.’’ (REU 1/31)

Pres. Barack Obama’s nominee for defense secretary, Republican Chuck Hagel, is questioned at a Senate Armed Services Comm. hearing, and is attacked by Republic lawmakers over his record on Israel and Iran. Hagel repeated his apology for his previous use of the term ‘‘Jewish lobby’’ in a 2006 interview with Aaron David Miller, and says it was wrong to suggest that pro-Israel groups ‘‘intimidate’’ Congress into doing ‘‘dumb things.’’ (AP, JTA, REU 1/31)