188 / 15225 Results
  • July 2, 2013

    In the West Bank, Israeli soldiers shoot and kill a Palestinian man in Dura village nr. Hebron in response to stone-throwing at an IDF patrol. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2...

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  • June 9, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli authorities partially open the Kerem Shalom crossing to allow entry of 220 truckloads of goods for the commercial, agricultural, and aid sectors. Cooking gas is also...

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  • May 22, 2013

    Off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2...

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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 18, 2013

    Nr. Damascus gate in East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces attack Palestinians protesting against Israeli violations at al-Aqsa mosque. There are arrests but no serious injuries. In the West...

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  • May 16, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF troops uproot more than 1,200 olive tree saplings, raze 40 dunams (4 dunams = 1 acre) of land, and demolish a water tank nr. Nablus. The IDF conducts house searches and...

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  • April 17, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF soldiers and Palestinians clash in al-Khader nr. Bethlehem (4 serious injuries), in Bayt Ummar nr. Hebron (6 injuries), and in Ramallah (1 injury). The IDF patrols in al-...

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  • April 11, 2013

    U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry, on his last day in the region, meets with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss reviving negotiations. Afterward, some sources say that Israel has agreed to...

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  • March 21, 2013

    U.S. Pres. Barack Obama meets with Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas in Ramallah, discussions that Palestinian officials later characterize as disappointing in regards to positions on settlements and...

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  • February 17, 2013

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

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  • February 11, 2013

    U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Victoria Nuland says that Secy. of State John Kerry, appointed on 2/1, is working to try to free up almost $700 m. in aid for the PA held up in Congress. Separate...

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  • January 24, 2013

    Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid to have the 1st discussions about forming a coalition. Lapid reportedly sets 2 conditions for joining a governing coalition: (1...

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  • January 20, 2013

    In an effort to reopen the Ramallah– Jerusalem road in al-Amari r.c. nr. Ramallah, Palestinian security forces open fire on Palestinians demonstrating in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in...

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  • January 10, 2013

    The Egyptian government announces that Fatah and Hamas have agreed to start implementing previous reconciliation agreements, following talks between PA pres. Abbas and Hamas leader Mishal in Cairo...

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  • January 4, 2013

    PA pres. Abbas’s legal adviser Hassan al-Ouri says that the PA’s financial crisis may prevent it from joining several international and UN institutions. (MNA 1/4)

    In the West Bank, the IDF...

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  • November 16, 2012

    Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense against Gaza enters its 3d day, leaving another 11 Palestinians dead and bringing the Palestinian death toll since 11/14 to 30, around 1/3 civilians. Intense...

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  • November 14, 2012

    The IDF assassinates Hamas commander Ahmad Jabari and his bodyguard and separately kills 7 other Palestinians in a number of air strikes on military and civilian targets across the Gaza Strip,...

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  • October 17, 2012

    The Guardian reports that the UK government is urging the Palestinian leadership to delay its UN bid for fear of damaging the peace process. Palestinians are confident of winning a majority,...

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  • September 21, 2012

    Three unidentified gunmen enter Israel from the Egyptian Sinai nr. Mount Harif, where Israel’s new border fence is currently under construction. They are killed in an exchange of gunfire with IDF...

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  • September 8, 2012

    An Egyptian army spokesperson confirms that Egypt and Israel are coordinating Cairo’s operation against militants in the Sinai, in which over 30 people have been killed. (REU 9/8)

    ...

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  • August 24, 2012

    An Egyptian military source says that during meetings at the Kerem Shalom crossing, Israel and Egypt are negotiating over an increase of forces in the Sinai. (MNA 8/24)

    In the Gaza Strip,...

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  • August 17, 2012

    Unidentified Palestinians fire a rocket from the Gaza Strip into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF makes a brief incursion into the Gaza Strip nr. Rafah to level land along the border...

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  • August 9, 2012

    Israeli naval vessels fire warning shots at Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. Dozens of Palestinian supporters of the Democratic Front for the...

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  • August 6, 2012

    Egypt suspects that Islamist militants who were persecuted under the Mubarak regime staged the 8/6 attack on the n. Sinai border and vows a swift response and reassertion of government control...

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  • August 5, 2012

    As many as 35 unidentified gunmen attack an Egyptian checkpoint near the Rafah border, fatally shooting 16 Egyptian security officers and wounding 3. Some of the assailants then steal 2 armored...

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  • June 20, 2012

    Kadima head Shaul Mofaz arrives in Washington for his 1st official visit as Israel’s vice PM in charge of overseeing peace process issues. He meets with U.S. secy. of state Hillary Clinton and U.S...

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  • June 15, 2012

    Unidentified assailants fire 2 Grad rockets from the Egyptian Sinai into Israel, striking n. of Elat, causing no damage or injuries. No group takes responsibility. (HA 6/16, 6/17)

    The IDF...

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  • April 5, 2012

    A Grad rocket fired fr. the Egyptian Sinai lands in nr. Elat in s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries, but raising fears ahead of the Passover weekend, when 1,000s of tourists usually visit the...

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  • December 11, 2011

    With the completion of a section of the separation wall bordering Shu’fat r.c. in East Jerusalem, the IDF closes its Shu’fat checkpoint into Jerusalem and redirects traffic to a new modern...

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  • August 21, 2011

    Israel and Hamas (assisted by Egyptian mediators) agree to restore their cease-fire, ending 4 days of cross-border violence. Hamas says it has secured the agreement of the smaller Palestinian...

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In the West Bank, Israeli soldiers shoot and kill a Palestinian man in Dura village nr. Hebron in response to stone-throwing at an IDF patrol. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Jenin, 1 village and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin at night. In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Khan Yunis to level land alongside the border fence. (MNA, REU 7/2; PCHR 7/4)

Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas says he is “optimistic” about U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry’s shuttle diplomacy, in comments he makes to reporters at a Ramallah press conference with Italian PM Enrico Letta. Meanwhile, U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Jen Psaki says in a press conference that no details of the peace talks will be divulged for the time being. In another development, Israel and the PA agree to form a biweekly committee on economic matters, a decision made in a meeting between Palestinian FM Shukri Bishara and Israeli FM Yair Lapid. Issues of concern for the committee will include crossings, fuel, and tax. (JP 7/2; MNA 7/3)

Egyptian pres. Mohamed Morsi rejects the military’s ultimatum to relinquish power, insisting on his democratic legitimacy and warning that any attempt to remove him and his govt. by force will plunge the country into chaos. Both Morsi and the military leadership say they will not back down from a violent confrontation. Violent clashes between supporters and opponents of Morsi in different neighborhoods of Cairo result in an estimated 7–11 deaths. Meanwhile, the Israeli army issues a statement revealing that the Egyptian military has moved several dozen armored vehicles into the border area nr. the Gaza Strip in coordination with Israel, part of efforts to combat security threats in the Sinai. (AP, NYT 7/2)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry meets with Russian FM Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of a security conference in Brunei and tells reporters afterward that a proposed peace conference on Syria will not happen until at least 9/2013. Lavrov also says that Kerry had recognized that “consolidating” the various Syrian opposition forces was the most important task ahead of any possible peace conference. (WP 7/2)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli authorities partially open the Kerem Shalom crossing to allow entry of 220 truckloads of goods for the commercial, agricultural, and aid sectors. Cooking gas is also pumped through the crossing. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts an arrest raid in 1 village nr. Nablus including the participation of undercover forces. (MNA 6/9; PCHR 6/13)

Israeli NGO Peace Now reveals official govt. figures showing that building of West Bank settlement homes hit a 7-year high in the 1st quarter of 2013, with 865 housing starts compared to 313 for the same period in 2012. Meanwhile, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu emphasizes at a cabinet meeting that his govt. is committed to reaching an agreement that would see the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state. (AFP, AP 6/9)

U.S. troops begin military exercises in Jordan, with more than 4,500 U.S. soldiers, some 3,000 Jordanians, and 500 British soldiers participating. The drills also involve the deployment of Patriot missiles and fighter jets, which may be kept by Jordan after the exercises finish. (REU 6/9)

Unidentified assailants shoot and kill an Egyptian counterterrorism officer in al-Arish in the Sinai Peninsula. (AP 6/9)

Off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron and 2 villages nr. Jenin at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the morning and in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm at night. (PCHR 5/23)

Kidnappers release 7 Egyptian security officialsin the Rafah area of the Sinai, following talks mediated by Bedouin tribal leaders. Subsequently, Egyptian authorities reopen the Rafah crossing. (MNA, REU 5/22)

The U.S. House of Representative’s Foreign Affairs Cmte. unanimously approves the “Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013” which both strengthens existing sanctions on Iran and imposes new sanctions. It is expected to pass the full 435-member chamber where it already has over 300 cosponsors. Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports that Tehran is pressing ahead with the construction of a research reactor in Arak. U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Patrick Ventrell responds to that report with the claim that Iran is “advancing its enrichment programme in blatant violation of its international obligations.” (AP, REU 5/22)

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)

Nr. Damascus gate in East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces attack Palestinians protesting against Israeli violations at al-Aqsa mosque. There are arrests but no serious injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in the Old City of Hebron, 1 village nr. Bethlehem and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin, and 1 village each nr. Qalqilya, Ramallah and Tulkarm at night. (MNA 5/18; PCHR 5/23)

Egyptian pres. Mohamed Morsi orders the minister of defense to prepare operations in the Sinai to free kidnapped security officials, held by a group seeking the release of Islamist militants. Meanwhile, Egyptian police continue to keep Rafah crossing closed. (MNA, REU 5/18)

In the West Bank, IDF troops uproot more than 1,200 olive tree saplings, raze 40 dunams (4 dunams = 1 acre) of land, and demolish a water tank nr. Nablus. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Jenin, and 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, in Qalqilya and 1 village each nr. Jenin and Hebron in the afternoon, and in 4 villages nr. Jenin, 2 villages nr. Ramallah, 1 village nr. Bethlehem and in Tulkarm at night. (MNA 5/16; PCHR 5/23)

Palestinian Authority (PA) Pres. Mahmud Abbas holds talks in Cairo with Egyptian pres. Mohamed Morsi about the peace process, and efforts to advance national reconciliation talks between Fatah and Hamas. While in Cairo, Abbas also meets with Palestinian Islamic Jihad head Ramadan Shallah. (JP, MNA 5/16)

Armed men kidnap 7 Egyptian security officers in the Sinai, in between Arish and Rafah. There is no indication of the identity or motives of the kidnappers. (AP, REU 5/16)

In the West Bank, IDF soldiers and Palestinians clash in al-Khader nr. Bethlehem (4 serious injuries), in Bayt Ummar nr. Hebron (6 injuries), and in Ramallah (1 injury). The IDF patrols in al-Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah, Tulkarm, and 1 village nr. Hebron at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Tubas, Jenin, al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. (PCHR 4/18)

The Mujahidin Shura Council, which has previously fired projectiles from the Gaza Strip into Israel (3/21, 4/2), claims responsibility for firing 2 Grad rockets from the Egyptian Sinai that hit the Israeli resort city of Eilat, causing no damage or injuries. The group states that the attack was intended to demonstrate solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. (NYT, REU, YA 4/17)

The U.S. Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee adopts Senate Resolution 65 (S. Res. 65), introduced on 2/28, which stipulates that Washington will support Israel—though no specific are given—in the event that it takes military action against Iran. (YA 4/17)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry, on his last day in the region, meets with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss reviving negotiations. Afterward, some sources say that Israel has agreed to silently adopt construction freeze outside of the major settlement blocs, while other Israeli government sources say that Israel has refused to adopt any confidence building measures at all prenegotiations. One anonymous Israeli official says that Netanyahu opposed Kerry’s proposal to resume talks based on initially discussing border and security issues only. (HA, YA 4/11)

A scheduled meeting between Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas and PM Salam Fayyad to discuss the latter’s 4/10 resignation is postponed under European and American pressure, according to Palestinian officials. An anonymous U.S. State Department official dismisses the idea that Fayyad is really resigning. (AFP, JP 4/11; HA 4/12)

IDF forces make a brief incursion into Gaza nr. Khan Yunis to level land and clear lines of sight. In the West Bank, the IDF shoots and injures a disabled Palestinian man in Hebron during an arrest operation in the city. The IDF shoots and injures 4 Palestinians with rubbercoated metal bullets in al-Khader nr. Bethlehem during clashes. Jewish settlers from Netzah Binyamin outpost nr. Efrat settlement seriously assault a Palestinian man working on his land in Silwad village, sparking clashes between residents and settlers. IDF forces violently disperse the Palestinians, shooting and injuring 1 Palestinian with rubbercoated metal bullets. Jewish settlers cut down or damage around 100 olive trees and grape vines on Palestinian-owned land nr. Hebron. The IDF patrols in 1 village each nr. Jericho and Ramallah in the morning, 2 villages each nr. Jenin, and Ramallah, and 1 village nr. Salfit in the afternoon, and 2 villages nr. Hebron, and 1 village each nr. Jenin and Salfit at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 each nr. Bethlehem and Hebron at night. (HA, MNA, WAFA 4/11; PCHR 4/18)

A delegation of Israeli security and diplomatic officials arrives in Egypt for discussions with their Egyptian counterparts on the situation in Sinai and indirect talks with Hamas. (MNA 4/11)

U.S. Pres. Barack Obama meets with Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas in Ramallah, discussions that Palestinian officials later characterize as disappointing in regards to positions on settlements and prisoners. Obama then delivers a speech to Israeli students in which he says further settlement construction is ‘‘counterproductive’’ to peace efforts, and urges the Arab world to ‘‘take steps toward normalizing relations’’ with Israel (See Documents in JPS 168 for excerpts). In Gaza, Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh dismisses Obama’s visit and says ‘‘American policies perpetuate the Israeli occupation.’’ (JP, MNA, REU 3/21)

Palestinian militants fire rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel, damaging 1 home in Sederot but causing no injuries. A small Islamist group called Mujahidin Shura Council claim responsibility for the launch, having previously claimed a 6/2013 attack on Israel from the Sinai. In response, the Israeli military announces that it is reducing the permitted fishing zone for Palestinians in Gaza to 3 naut. miles, as well as closing Kerem Shalom crossing. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. (JP, MNA, REU 3/21; PCHR 3/28)

A court in Cyprus convicts Hizballah member Hossam Taleb Yaccoub of plotting against Israeli interests on the island. Yaccoub was arrested on 7/13/12 after a tip off by Israeli intelligence. (REU 3/21)

Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a speech at the Shrine of Imam Reza in which he indicates openness to nuclear talks but is not optimistic about success. He also says that international sanctions have failed to isolate Iran. (WP 3/21)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 1 village each nr. Jericho, Ramallah, and Salfit at night; conducts house searches and arrests in 2 villages nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Salfit and 1 village each nr. Hebron, Qalqilya, Tulkarm, and Aida refugee camp (r.c.) in Bethlehem at night. Schools across the West Bank are on strike to protest the failure of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to pay 1/2013 wages, with a second day of industrial action planned for later in the week. (MNA 2/16; PCHR 2/21)

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu tells Likud ministers that he intends to create a broad coalition following January’s elections in order to advance negotiations with the Palestinians from a position of strength. (AP, HA 2/17)

Israeli security officials visit Cairo for the second time in a week to discuss the regional security situation with Egyptian intelligence officials. Items for discussion include the security situation in Sinai and the indirect talks with Hamas. Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya confirms that the organization is indeed conducting indirect talks with Israel over the details of the cease-fire deal that ended Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense in 11/2012, including possibly allowing the entry of Qatari-donated construction materials to Gaza and the export of Gaza’s agricultural products to Israel. (MNA, ToI 2/17)

Hizballah forces controlling 8 Syrian border villages expand into other adjacent villages, prompting the fighting between Hizballah fighters and Free Syrian Army rebels in Syrian territory nr. the Lebanese border. (AP, REU 2/17)

U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Victoria Nuland says that Secy. of State John Kerry, appointed on 2/1, is working to try to free up almost $700 m. in aid for the PA held up in Congress. Separate from that figure is an additional $100 m., which has been released but can only be used on anti-narcotics and law enforcement. (AFP 2/11)

Hamas says that the Egyptian army is flooding tunnels between the Gaza Strip and Sinai used for smuggling, and that there is a reinforced troop presence on the border. Meanwhile, Turkish media reports that Israel has agreed to allow Turkish trucks to bring building materials into Gaza for the construction of a hospital that will be opened by PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (HA 2/11)

Israeli NGO Peace Now says that Israel has given final approval to 90 new homes in Beit El settlement nr. Ramallah. (AFP 2/11)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF destroys 3 structures, including a home, in Bayt Awa village nr. Hebron. The demolitions prompt clashes with residents, and 1 Palestinian is injured from a tear-gas canister to the leg. The IDF patrols in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Tulkarm in the morning; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Bethlehem and nearby Aida r.c., Tulkarm, 2 villages nr. Hebron, and 1 village each nr. Nablus, Qalqilya, and Tulkarm at night. (MNA 2/11; PCHR 2/14)

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and West Bank start registering to vote in preparation for legislative and presidential elections, the dates for which have not been set. Once the process is completed, an election could theoretically be called for 3 mos. later. (REU 2/11)

Two Israeli companies sign an agreement to acquire a 30% stake in exploration rights for gas and oil off Cyprus’s s. shore to be carried out by U.S. company Noble Energy. Cypriot commerce min. Neoclis Sylikiotis says the deal marks a ‘‘new era of Cyprus-Israeli strategic cooperation.’’ (AFP 2/11)

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid to have the 1st discussions about forming a coalition. Lapid reportedly sets 2 conditions for joining a governing coalition: (1) a universal draft bill (see Quarterly Update in JPS 165) and (2) the resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians. Meanwhile, Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman says that domestic issues will be the priority of the next government. (HA, YA, JP 1/24)

Secy.-gen. of the PLO Executive Comm. Yasir ‘Abid Rabbuh says that Pres. Abbas wants to meet and talk with centrist mbrs. of the new Knesset in coming weeks, including newcomers such as Yair Lapid. (YA 1/24)

Nominated U.S. secy. of state John Kerry tells his Senate confirmation hearing that he intends to invest effort in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and hopes that the Israeli election can help restart talks. (JP 1/24)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 4 homes in 2 communities in the n. Jordan Valley; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Salfit at night. The IDF also patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin, 2 each nr. Jericho and Ramallah, and 1 nr. Tulkarm in the morning; in Tulkarm and 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon; and in ‘Ayn al-Sultan r.c. nr. Jericho, 2 villages each nr. Jenin and Qalqilya, and 1 village each nr. Jericho and Ramallah at night. (MNA 1/24; PCHR 1/31)

The International Federation of Journalists condemns a week of arrests of journalists by Hamas security forces in the Gaza Strip, and calls for the release of 6 detained media workers. (MNA 1/24)

Israeli security agency Shin Bet announces that for the 1st year since 1973, there were no Israeli casualties from a Palestinian attack in the West Bank. The report covering 2012 says that there was an uptick in so-called popular terror in the West Bank, referring to stone-throwing and Molotov cocktails. The report notes that 10 Israelis were killed in security-related incidents during 2012, and that more than 2,500 rockets and mortar shells were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel. However, Shin Bet reports that since Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012, no rockets have been fired. The report also records that 8 rockets were fired at Israel from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, and that there were 11 attempts to fire anti-aircraft weaponry at IDF planes, up from just 1 effort in 2011. (HA 1/24)

A number of Fatah leaders who fled the Gaza Strip during the Fatah-Hamas fighting in 2007 return to the territory, including former PA preventive security service head in Khan Yunis, Nasser al-Saqq. (MNA 1/24)

UN special rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism Ben Emmerson announces that the UN is launching an inquiry into the impact on civilians of drone strikes that will focus on 5 locations, including the Palestinian territories. The other 4 are Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. (BBC 1/24)

In an effort to reopen the Ramallah– Jerusalem road in al-Amari r.c. nr. Ramallah, Palestinian security forces open fire on Palestinians demonstrating in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israel. Three Palestinian youths are wounded in the legs by live ammunition. (MNA 1/21)

Egyptian security forces seize 1 ton of explosives in the Sinai Peninsula allegedly bound for the Gaza Strip, the largest single such capture. Local media report that police have seized a total of 5 tons of explosives as well as disassembled rockets and automatic weapons in the last 3 mos.—all apparently headed for Gaza. Egyptian maj. gen. Sameeh Bashadi says that in the past 3 days, 10 Palestinians have been detained after entering Sinai illegally from the Gaza Strip and that a list of Palestinians entering Egypt through the tunnels has been distributed to the Egyptian security forces. (HA, MNA 1/20)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF storms the alKaramah protest tent village nr. Bayt Iksa, issues demolition and evacuation orders, and fires stun grenades and tear gas. The IDF also patrols in Jenin in the morning, in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 3 villages nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Tubas and in 2 villages each nr. Hebron and Jenin at night. (MNA 1/20; PCHR 1/23)

Palestinian pres. Abbas arrives in Saudi Arabia to attend the 3d Arab Economic, Social and Developmental Summit, where he renews his call for urgent financial aid. Meanwhile, Palestinian union chief Bassam Zakarneh announces that PA civil servants will hold protests on 1/21 and strike on 1/23 to protest late payment of salaries. (JP 1/21; MNA 1/20)

Hamas official Ghazi Hammad announces that Tunisian pres. Moncef Marzouki will visit the Gaza Strip on 2/9, without giving further details. Meanwhile, Lebanon-based senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan arrives in the Gaza Strip for the 1st time on a visit of a few days. (AFP 1/20; JP 1/21)

The Egyptian government announces that Fatah and Hamas have agreed to start implementing previous reconciliation agreements, following talks between PA pres. Abbas and Hamas leader Mishal in Cairo. Abbas spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudaineh says the 2 sides agreed on the formation of several joint committees, including ones dealing with presidential and parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the formation of a Palestinian unity government, and the reconstruction of the PLO. (JP 1/10)

Gaza’s Minister of Public Works and Housing Yousef Subhi al-Ghariz says that the United Arab Emirates has donated $50 m. to build a housing project for Palestinians released from Israeli jails. (MNA 1/10)

IDF forces make a brief incursion into n. Gaza nr. Bayt Lahiya to level land 200 m inside the border fence. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, 2 villages nr. Hebron, and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. Jewish settlers from Yitzhar settlement nr. Nablus attack Palestinians from ‘Urif village; the IDF intervenes and opens fire on the Palestinians, wounding 1 in the leg with live ammunition. Jewish settlers from the Esh Kodesh outpost nr. Nablus open fire on Palestinians from Qusra village, wounding 1. Palestinians throw rocks at Jewish settler vehicles in the West Bank, injuring 3 Israelis in 2 separate incidents. (JP, MNA 1/10; PCHR 1/17)

Masked gunmen claiming affiliation to Fatah parade through Balata r.c. in Nablus and hold a press conference urging the PA security forces to stop imprisoning their members. (MNA 1/10)

The IDF closes a section of the highway close to the Egyptian border to civilian traffic, citing security concerns related to unrest in the Sinai Peninsula. Meanwhile, Egyptian security forces arrest 4 men nr. the Libyan border on suspicion of arms smuggling to Sinai— the haul includes anti-aircraft gun rounds, explosives, and RPG launchers. (ToI 1/10)

PA pres. Abbas rejects a conditional Israeli offer to let Palestinian refugees fleeing the civil war in Syria resettle in the West Bank and Gaza, claiming it would compromise the right of return. (AP 1/10)

PA pres. Abbas’s legal adviser Hassan al-Ouri says that the PA’s financial crisis may prevent it from joining several international and UN institutions. (MNA 1/4)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning and in al-‘Arub r.c. and Ithna r.c. (both nr. Hebron), 5 villages nr. Ramallah, 3 villages nr. Hebron, and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Bayt Sahur and Aida r.c. in Bethlehem at night. Israeli soldiers attack weekly nonviolent demonstrations held by Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, al-Nabi Salih), 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara), and 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum). There are no serious injuries, except in Bil‘in, where 2 Palestinians are wounded with live ammunition. Jewish settlers enter al-Manshiya village nr. Bethlehem, vandalize a car, and write ‘‘price-tag’’ graffiti. (PCHR 1/10)

Hundreds of thousands of Fatah supporters rally in Gaza City to mark the 48th anniversary of the founding of the movement, the 1st such show of support for Fatah in Gaza since 2007. Pres. Abbas tells the crowds in a televised address that Palestinian national unity is coming soon. Hamas’s acting PM Ismail Haniyeh calls Abbas to congratulate him on the occasion of the anniversary. Meanwhile, a report in Ha’Aretz says that IDF-PA security coordination is improving again, and the PA is renewing arrests of Hamas and Islamic Jihad suspects. (HA, MNA, REU 1/4)

Christian Science Monitor reports that Palestinian support for military operations against Israel has registered its most significant jump in 10 years (50.9%, up from 29.3% in 1/2011), spurred by Operation Pillar of Defense, ongoing Israeli settlement expansion, and frustration over a peace process that has been essentially deadlocked for more than 4 yrs. (CSM 4/1)

Egyptian security forces seize antitank and anti-aircraft missiles in the Sinai Peninsula, weaponry thought by Egyptian security sources to be bound for the Gaza Strip via the tunnels. (MNA 1/4)

In Syria, fighting between pro- and anti-government groups resumes in Yarmuk r.c. nr. Damascus, ending a short-lived cease-fire (see 12/21) and prompting another wave of Palestinian refugees. (AKH 1/4)

Recently retired Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin says in an interview with Israeli media that PM Netanyahu acted irresponsibly regarding Iran’s nuclear program and tried to convince him and colleagues to approve an ‘‘illegal’’ decision to attack Iran. (AP 1/4)

Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense against Gaza enters its 3d day, leaving another 11 Palestinians dead and bringing the Palestinian death toll since 11/14 to 30, around 1/3 civilians. Intense levels of Israeli air strikes continue, with 40 attacks before dawn and at least 200 overall during the day; reports estimate some 500 targets struck by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) since the operation began. The IDF bombs Gaza’s Ministry of Interior building and the offices of Hamas’s acting PM Ismail Haniyeh. Palestinian armed groups fire a total of 190 rockets into Israel, including a rocket that lands in an open area nr. Gush Etzion settlement bloc s. of Jerusalem, causing no damage or injuries. The Israeli cabinet approves Israeli DM Ehud Barak’s requests to mobilize 75,000 reservists. Israel’s FM Avigdor Lieberman states that the 2 goals of the operation are to restore deterrence and destroy long-range missiles. Meanwhile, in the West Bank, Palestinians hold demonstrations to protest the attack on Gaza, including a rally of hundreds of Hamas activists in Ramallah. IDF forces injure dozens of Palestinians in the solidarity protests, seriously wounding 1 man in Kafr Qaddum village nr. Qalqilya with a tear-gas canister to the head. (AP, HA, Guardian, JP, MNA 11/16)

Internationally, there is a mixture of support for Israel’s actions and caution regarding escalation. The U.S. Senate unanimously passes a resolution expressing support for Israel’s ‘‘right to act in self-defense.’’ UK foreign secretary William Hague warns Israel against staging a ground incursion into Gaza. Egyptian PM Hesham Kandil visits the Gaza Strip, during which time Israel temporarily stops its attacks. Egyptian pres. Mohamed Morsi condemns Israel’s operation and pledges Egyptian support for the Palestinians. Meanwhile, UN high commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay condemns Israel’s aerial bombardment of Gaza as well as Palestinian rocket fire. (HA, Guardian, JP, MNA, REU 11/16)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon, and 1 village nr. Ramallah, 2 villages nr. Salfit, and 1 village nr. Jericho at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Tulkarm in the afternoon, and in Hebron and 1 nearby village, and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. Israeli soldiers violently disperse Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals taking part in weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the Israeli occupation and land confiscations held in 4 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, al-Nabi Salih, Budrus), 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara), and 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum). There are no serious injuries, except in Bil‘in, where 2 Palestinians are wounded by a tear-gas canister and rubber-coated steel bullet respectively, and in Kafr Qaddum, where 1 Palestinian is wounded by a tear-gas canister. (PCHR 11/22)

Egyptian security forces say that unidentified militants fire 3 rockets into Israel from the Sinai Peninsula nr. Rafah. No damage or injuries are reported. (MNA 11/16)

In Amman, Jordanian protests over rising fuel prices continue for a 4th day. Protesters clash with security forces, and a rally of several thousand passes off largely peacefully; chants include demands for the departure of King Abdallah II. (WP 11/16)

The IDF assassinates Hamas commander Ahmad Jabari and his bodyguard and separately kills 7 other Palestinians in a number of air strikes on military and civilian targets across the Gaza Strip, leaving around 90 wounded. The dead include 2 children and an elderly man. Code-named Operation Pillar of Cloud in Hebrew (a Torah reference) and renamed Operation Pillar of Defense for foreign audiences, the Israeli military attacks are described as the ‘‘beginning’’ of an effort to increase deterrence and remove Hamas’s rocketlaunching capabilities. The IQB warns that Israel has ‘‘opened the gates of hell’’ with Jabari’s assassination, and fires dozens of rockets and mortars into Israel. They are joined by the DFLP, Islamic Jihad, PFLP, and PRCs, all of whom claim responsibility for rocket and mortar fire. In total, over 90 projectiles hit Israel from the Gaza Strip, causing 4 injuries. The Iron Dome rocket-defense system intercepts 30 rockets. Overnight, the IDF undertakes air strikes on around 100 sites across the Gaza Strip. U.S. pres. Obama calls Israel PM Netanyahu to express his support for Israel’s military operation and the country’s right to selfdefense. Obama also calls Egyptian pres. Mohamed Morsi to stress the importance of de-escalation and to pledge to stay in close touch. Egypt strongly condemns Israel’s military assault, and UN secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon calls for a cease-fire. The UNSC holds an emergency meeting but takes no action. (Guardian, REU 11/14; JP, MNA 11/15)

Unidentified assailants fire 4 rockets from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula into Israel, landing nr. an agricultural community and causing no injuries. (HA 11/14)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jericho in the morning, in 1 village nr. Salfit in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Jericho and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Balata r.c. and 1 village nr. Hebron at night. Palestinians across the West Bank demonstrate to mark the day before the 24th anniversary of the PLO’s declaration of independence, blocking roads nr. Bethlehem, Jericho, and Ramallah, and clashing with soldiers at checkpoints in Atara (nr. Ramallah) and Bethlehem. (AFP, PCHR 11/14)

Israeli DM Barak says that almost all the villages nr. the border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights are now controlled by the Syrian opposition. (AP 11/14)

On a 2d day of violent protests in Jordan against price hikes and in general opposition to King Abdullah’s regime, unidentified gunmen attack 2 police stations, and ensuing clashes leave 1 protester dead—the 1st fatality in Jordanian demonstrations in 2012. (AP 11/15)

The Guardian reports that the UK government is urging the Palestinian leadership to delay its UN bid for fear of damaging the peace process. Palestinians are confident of winning a majority, citing figures showing the support of at least 115 countries, and as many as 150, out of 193. (Guardian 10/17)

A Hamas delegation visits Cairo to discuss the threat posed by a jihadist group (reportedly called the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis group) operating in the Sinai with alleged connections to the Gaza Strip. (Egypt Independent, REU 10/17)

The new ambassadors of Jordan and Egypt present their credentials to Israeli pres. Shimon Peres, with the latter’s envoy expressing commitment to existing agreements. (JP 10/18)

Israeli Army Radio reports that the Israeli cabinet will adopt (unspecified) recommendations from the Levy report on West Bank settlements, which rejected the idea that Israel’s presence in the territories constitutes occupation and concluded that unauthorized outposts should be legalized. Israeli DM Ehud Barak opposes the move, citing damage to Israel’s diplomatic image abroad. (HA, JP 10/17)

The union of PA public sector workers calls for a strike on 10/17 and 10/18 and again the next week to protest the PA’s failure to pay salaries. (MNA 10/16)

The IDF makes air strikes on a location in the n. Gaza Strip at night, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin and conducts house searches and arrests in 2 villages nr. Hebron at night. (JP 10/18; PCHR 10/24)

Three unidentified gunmen enter Israel from the Egyptian Sinai nr. Mount Harif, where Israel’s new border fence is currently under construction. They are killed in an exchange of gunfire with IDF soldiers that also leaves 1 IDF soldier dead. (HA, MNA, REU 9/21)

Palestinian protesters angered at the EU’s policies toward Israel and Palestine demonstrate under the banner of ‘‘Palestinians for Dignity’’ outside the Ramallah offices of the European mission training Palestinian police. (MNA 9/21)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village in Ramallah in the morning; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Qalqilya and al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron in the morning; patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon; patrols in Hebron, 1 village nr. Jenin, and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron, 2 villages nr. Hebron, and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron. (PCHR 9/27)

Israel’s opposition leader MK Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) says that Israel will not attack Iranian nuclear sites this year and that the U.S. must take the lead in any attack on Iran. (MNA 9/21)

An Egyptian army spokesperson confirms that Egypt and Israel are coordinating Cairo’s operation against militants in the Sinai, in which over 30 people have been killed. (REU 9/8)

Palestinians fire a rocket from the Gaza Strip into Israel, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Hebron in the morning; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the afternoon; patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm, 2 villages nr. Jenin, and 1 village nr. Jericho at night; conducts house searches in 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Jenin at night. Jewish settlers from the Esh Kodesh outpost invade the village of Qusra, provoking clashes with Palestinian residents, 15 of whom are injured. (MNA 9/8, 9/9; PCHR 9/13)

Palestinians demonstrating against rising living costs block streets and burn tires in Ramallah and Tulkarm. (MNA 9/8)

An Egyptian military source says that during meetings at the Kerem Shalom crossing, Israel and Egypt are negotiating over an increase of forces in the Sinai. (MNA 8/24)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF arrests 5 Palestinians attempting to cross the border nr. al-Bureij r.c. to look for work in Israel in the morning; the IDF opens fire on an area nr. Khan Yunis at night, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning and in 1 village nr. Jenin at night. (PCHR 8/30)

Unidentified Palestinians fire a rocket from the Gaza Strip into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF makes a brief incursion into the Gaza Strip nr. Rafah to level land along the border fence in the morning. In the West Bank, the IDF reopens a road linking Jericho and the Jordan Valley with cities in the northern West Bank to Palestinians for the 1st time in a decade. (MNA, ToI 8/17; PCHR 8/30)

In Gaza, Hamas security forces arrest Salafist leader Shaykh Abu Suhaib Rashwan, allegedly linked to the group responsible for the kidnapping and murder of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni in 2011 (see QU in JPS 160). (MNA 8/17)

Egyptian pres. Mohamed Morsi says that Egypt will continue to target ‘‘terrorists’’ in the Sinai Peninsula, working with others, including Palestinians. (ToI 8/17)

Israeli naval vessels fire warning shots at Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. Dozens of Palestinian supporters of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) stage a protest march fr. Ramallah to Israel’s Ofer military prison nearby to denounce the retrial of DFLP Politburo mbr. Ibrahim Abu Hajla, who was released in the 12/2011 prisoner swap that freed IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit but was later redetained. IDF soldiers fire live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the demonstrators, wounding 5 (including 1 child, 1 woman). (PCHR 8/16; OCHA 8/18)

Experts say that a new malware program spreading across Lebanon, named Gauss, is clearly the product of the same developers as the Stuxnet and Flame viruses used to attack Iran (believed by most experts to have been developed jointly by Israel and the U.S.). Gauss steals customer data from banks (including Citibank and the online service PayPal) to track how money flows into and out of accounts; it appears to have been designed only for surveillance, not attack. Analysts say the virus has also popped up in Israel and the occupied territories, and several other countries worldwide. (NYT, WP 8/10)

Israel’s security cabinet approves an Egyptian request to deploy 5 attack helicopters in the Sinai to bolster security, modifying the terms of their peace treaty. (JPI 8/24)

Egypt suspects that Islamist militants who were persecuted under the Mubarak regime staged the 8/6 attack on the n. Sinai border and vows a swift response and reassertion of government control over the Sinai Peninsula. Egyptian pres. Morsi and SCAF head Field Marshal Tantawi make a joint visit to El-Arish in a show of unity. Israeli and Egyptian brigadier generals meet at Kerem Shalom to discuss their investigations of the incident. Israeli PM Netanyahu issues a formal statement of condolences, stating, ‘‘It is clear that Israel and Egypt have a common interest in maintaining a quiet border.’’ (NYT, WP 8/7)

Israel allows 54 Gazans with family members in Israeli jails to visit their relatives. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jericho before dawn; conducts late-night patrols in Jericho, Qalqilya (firing tear gas and stun grenades at stone-throwing youths who confront them, causing no injuries), Salfit and 1 nearby village, and 1 village nr. Ramallah; and conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Kafr Qaddum and Salfit. (PCHR 8/9; OCHA 8/10)

As many as 35 unidentified gunmen attack an Egyptian checkpoint near the Rafah border, fatally shooting 16 Egyptian security officers and wounding 3. Some of the assailants then steal 2 armored personnel carriers, which they pack with explosives and drive toward Kerem Shalom commercial crossing, where the borders of Egypt, Israel, and Gaza meet. The IDF calls in an air strike on the vehicles as they breach the border, killing at least 3 assailants. No group takes responsibility. Egypt seals the Rafah border crossing into Gaza as a precaution. Israel shuts the Israeli-Egypt side of Kerem Shalom and halts fuel shipments to Gaza through the Israel-Gaza side, but otherwise continues to allow limited imports of goods from Israel to Gaza. Hamas authorities in Gaza deny any Palestinian involvement, call the attack ‘‘terrorism,’’ and close smuggling tunnels from their side as well, stating that ‘‘Palestinian resistance factions are committed to fighting only against the Israeli occupation, and they launch their operations only from the Palestinian territories.’’ (MNA, NYT, WP 8/6; NYT 8/7)

An Israeli warplane makes an air strike on Rafah targeting 2 Tawhid and Jihad mbrs. as they ride a motorcycle through Rafah, assassinating Eid Oukal and wounding Ahmad Said Isma‘il; Israel accuses the men of being behind the 6/18 Sinai attack that killed an Israeli Palestinian worker and of plotting other crossborder attacks on Israeli civilians; no mention is made of the Sinai attack earlier in the day. Later, unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF responds by directing artillery fire and shooting from helicopters at the demolished Dahaniyya airport site and open areas e. of Rafah for several hours, causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, and Ramallah. (NYT, PCHR 8/6; PCHR 8/9; OCHA 8/10)

The PA cancels plans to host a meeting in Ramallah of foreign envoys representing the Non-Aligned Movement to express solidarity with the Palestinians, stating that Israel has refused to grant entry permits to the representatives of Algeria, Bangladesh, Cuba, Indonesia, and Malaysia on the grounds that their countries do not recognize the State of Israel. The PA reportedly (NYT 8/6) intended to announce plans to revive its UN statehood effort at the opening of the next UNGA session in 9/2012. The group was also expected to release a ‘‘Ramallah Declaration’’ denouncing Israeli settlement expansion. (NYT, WP 8/6)

Iran airs the confessions of more than a dozen alleged conspirators to the killing of 5 nuclear scientists since 2010, claiming that the suspects were trained in Israel by the Mossad. (WP 8/6)

Kadima head Shaul Mofaz arrives in Washington for his 1st official visit as Israel’s vice PM in charge of overseeing peace process issues. He meets with U.S. secy. of state Hillary Clinton and U.S. security officials and urges the U.S. to support reviving peace talks with the Palestinians, stating that the greatest threat to Israel is not Iran but a Palestinian demographic majority. He presents his own peace plan (1st unveiled in 2009 and not endorsed by Netanyahu), which calls for the creation of an interim Palestinian state with temporary borders on 60% of the West Bank, land swaps making up for the other 40%, and Israel’s permanent control over most settlement areas. (WP 6/20)

Israeli drones and warplanes carry out another 5 air strikes across Gaza, leaving at least 2 armed Palestinians and 1 Palestinian child dead and 10 Palestinians (2 armed, 8 civilian) wounded. The strikes include (1) an air strike on Gaza City targeting 2 members of the Salafist Tawhid and Jihad (TAJ) group whom Israel now alleges were involved in the 6/18 attack on Israel from the Sinai (1 TAJ member is killed, 1 is wounded; a family picnicking nearby is also hit, leaving a 13-yr.-old Palestinian boy dead, and 4 mbrs. of his family, including 3 children, seriously injured); (2) 2 missiles fired at a rocket-launching team in Rafah (1 armed Palestinian killed, 1 wounded); (3) air strikes on 2 IQB training camps in Jabaliya r.c. and Nussayrat r.c. (injuring 5 bystanders in nearby homes). Meanwhile, Palestinians fire more rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, damaging a house but causing no injuries. Since 6/17, Israel has carried out at least 17 air strikes on Gaza, and Palestinians have fired more than 100 rockets and mortars. By late evening, Hamas officials in Gaza say that Gaza’s factions have agreed to an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire with Israel to end 3 days of cross-border violence. In addition, Israeli naval vessels fire on and detain 3 Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza shore, questioning 6 fishermen (all released on 6/21). In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Salfit, and nr. Hebron and Jenin; conducts late-night patrols in Jericho. (YA 6/20; NYT, PCHR, WP 6/21; PCHR 6/28; OCHA 6/29)

Overnight, the YESHA settlers’ council reaches a deal with the Israeli government to peacefully evacuate Ulpana outpost in exchange for a promises that 300 new housing units will be built in neighboring Beit El settlement and that the deal would not be used as a precedent for deciding the fate of other unauthorized settlement outposts. Meanwhile, some 1,000 Israeli police officers undergo special training to prevent violence and injuries during the Ulpana evacuation. (NYT 6/20)

Several U.S. representatives from both parties testifying before the House Armed Services Comm. recommend that the Pentagon begin preparing for military action against Iran, including expediting deployment of bunker-busting munitions that could target Iran’s underground facilities. (WP 6/21)

Unidentified assailants fire 2 Grad rockets from the Egyptian Sinai into Israel, striking n. of Elat, causing no damage or injuries. No group takes responsibility. (HA 6/16, 6/17)

The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 each nr. Jenin and Qalqilya in the morning; in Qalqilya and Tulkarm in the afternoon (stopping to harass PA security officers manning a checkpoint in Qalqilya); and in al-Nabi Salih and 1 village nr. Jenin late at night. Palestinians (accompanied by Israeli and international activists) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil‘in, Kafr Qaddum, al-Nabi Salih, and Ni‘lin. IDF soldiers fire live ammunition (al-Nabi Salih only), rubbercoated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters; 1 Palestinian cameraman is moderately wounded by a rubber-coated steel bullet in al-Nabi Salih, and 3 Palestinians are hit by tear gas canisters in Kafr Qaddum. (PCHR 6/21; OCHA 6/22)

Nr. Tripoli, Lebanon, Palestinian refugees surround and throw stones at Lebanese soldiers who attempt to block a Palestinian from bringing a motorcycle into Nahr al-Barid r.c. The soldiers open fire on the crowd, killing 1 Palestinian and wounding another. (WP 6/16)

A Grad rocket fired fr. the Egyptian Sinai lands in nr. Elat in s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries, but raising fears ahead of the Passover weekend, when 1,000s of tourists usually visit the resort town. No group claims responsibility. (HA, JP, YA 4/5; WP 4/6; YA 4/7)

The IDF makes a day-long incursion into n. Gaza e. of Jabaliya to level land and clear lines of sight; during the operation, troops fire 4 artillery shells and direct gunfire at surrounding agricultural areas to keep Palestinians away. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire into the Erez industrial zone late at night, causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning and afternoon; conducts late-night arrest raids, houses searches in Nabi Salih; conducts late-night patrols in Jenin, 1 nearby village, and 1 village nr. Tulkarm. (PCHR 4/12; OCHA 4/13)

Palestinian sources report that in the previous week, the PASF arrested university prof. and single mother Ismat Abdul-Khaleq and placed her in solitary confinement over a Facebook posting in which she criticized Abbas’s government and called for the PA to be dismantled. She is the 5th prominent Palestinian arrested in the past year for criticizing the PA on Facebook. The others are: Radio Bethlehem 2000 director George Canawait, arrested in 9/2011 for criticizing the PA Health Min.; al-Quds TV employee Mahmdouh Hamara, arrested in fall 2011 for posting an unflattering picture of Abbas; and journalists Rami Samara and Youssef al-Shayeb, arrested in 2/2012 and 3/2013 respectively, for “defaming public officials” by writing news items on PA corruption. Most of the arrests have been carried out under an 1960 Jordanian law, not the PA press and communications law of 1995. Most of those arrested have been released within 2 weeks. (WP 4/6; NYT 5/7)

With the completion of a section of the separation wall bordering Shu’fat r.c. in East Jerusalem, the IDF closes its Shu’fat checkpoint into Jerusalem and redirects traffic to a new modern checkpoint (begun in 2009 to serve as a future international crossing into Jerusalem). The move leaves more than 50,000 Palestinians living in Shu’fat r.c. and several surrounding Jerusalem suburbs (Ras Shihada, Ras Khamis, al-Salam, and part of ‘Anata) who hold Jerusalem IDs completely isolated fr. Jerusalem. In the West Bank, the IDF clashes with mourners taking part in the funeral for Palestinian activist Mustafa Tamimi (see 12/10), causing no serious injuries; conducts daytime patrols in 3 villages nr. Salfit, 2 nr. Qalqilya, and 1 nr. Jenin; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron, in Bethlehem, and in Tulkarm; conducts late-night patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya. (PCHR 12/12, 12/15; OCHA 12/16; JPI 12/23)

The Israeli cabinet unanimously approves $160 m. for the next stage of construction of the security fence along the border with Egypt, expansion of detention centers, and increased policing of companies that hire illegal workers. Since 1/2006, nearly 50,000 illegal workers, mostly fr. Eritrea and Sudan, have entered Israel via the Sinai, raising concerns among Israelis that the mounting influx of illegal African workers could undermine Israel’s Jewish character. (NYT, WP 12/12)

Israel and Hamas (assisted by Egyptian mediators) agree to restore their cease-fire, ending 4 days of cross-border violence. Hamas says it has secured the agreement of the smaller Palestinian factions and will enforce a moratorium on rocket and mortar fire. A PRC spokesman says, however, that the PRCs will not abide by the cease-fire. Before the new cease-fire goes into effect, unidentified Palestinians fire as many as 27 rockets (including 5 Grads) and 2 mortars into Israel, damaging an empty school but causing no injuries. The IDF carries out 6 air strikes and 2 artillery strikes on the rocket launch site, empty Hamas training sites, and a police station, injuring 12 Palestinians (3 militants and 9 bystanders, including 5 children). In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids and house searches in Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem. (JP, PCHR, YA 8/21; NYT, WP, WT, YA 8/22; WP 8/23; PCHR 8/25; OCHA 8/26)

An Israeli military delegation arrives in Egypt to discuss the preliminary findings of its investigation of the deaths of the 3 Egyptian soldiers, securing a new Gaza cease-fire (agreed later in the day), and repairing bilateral relations. U.S. asst. secy. of state for Near Eastern affairs Jeffrey Feltman and UN coordinator for the Middle East peace process Robert Serry are also in Cairo to help mediate. Around this time, Israeli DM Ehud Barak sends the message to Egypt’s transitional military council that they may skirt provisions of the 1979 peace treaty and send as many troops, armored vehicles, and helicopters into the Sinai as necessary to restore order and guarantee border security. In Cairo, 100s of Egyptian protesters keep up a demonstration outside the Israeli emb., calling for the amb. to be expelled and the emb. removed. (NYT 8/22; WP 8/23; NYT 8/27)