1510 / 15269 Results
  • December 22, 2013

    In Israel, an explosive device detonates on a bus in Bat Yam, causing no casualties as the vehicle had been evacuated. Israeli police describe it as a “terrorist attack,” and a Hamas spokesperson...

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  • December 21, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian farmers close to the border fence nr. Khan Yunis, wounding 1. The army says it targeted the group because it was laying an explosive...

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  • December 18, 2013

    During an arrest raid in the Jenin r.c. in the West Bank, IDF troops kill 1 Palestinian and wound 6 others. En route to a suspect’s house in the camp, soldiers meet resistance from residents—...

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  • December 16, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmers close to the border fence nr. Jabaliya r.c., wounding 1. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire on...

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  • December 4, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Jenin and 2 nearby villages, and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; patrols in 1 village and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron and 1...

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  • November 30, 2013

    In Israel, security forces in Petah Tikva shoot and kill a Palestinian worker from a village nr. Nablus, during a police-led search for Palestinians without permits. In the West Bank, IDF troops...

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  • November 22, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinians who were close to the border fence nr. Jabaliya r.c., injuring 2. In the West Bank, IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in 1...

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  • November 19, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces launch air strikes targeting 2 chicken farms, a border fence tunnel, and an Islamic Jihad training site nr. Khan Yunis. There are no injuries reported in any of...

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  • November 16, 2013

    Off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. al-Waha, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya...

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  • November 10, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, wounding 1. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in...

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  • November 8, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure 1 Palestinian in clashes nr. Abu Dis, while separately, Palestinians throw a petrol bomb at a settler car nr. Bethlehem, injuring 2 Israelis. The IDF...

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  • November 3, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Hebron, Jenin, Jerusalem, Nablus, and Ramallah at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. (PCHR 11...

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  • November 1, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, the Popular Resistance Cmte. and PFLP claim responsibility for several rockets and mortar shells fired into s. Israel and at Israeli military positions nr. Khan Yunis. However,...

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  • October 26, 2013

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

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  • October 10, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, an Israeli settler is killed and his wife wounded, when...

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  • October 9, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. IDF troops also open fire on open land nr. Bayt Hanun, causing no damage or...

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  • October 6, 2013

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

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  • October 5, 2013

    In the West Bank, Palestinian gunmen open fire on Psagot settlement nr. al-Bireh, wounding 1 child. Israeli soldiers and settlers attack residents in Burin village nr. Nablus, and in a patrol in...

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  • September 23, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF troops open fire with rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades on stone-throwing Palestinians in Hebron. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr...

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  • September 18, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct an incursion close to the border fence in the n. of the territory, and are met by resistance from Palestinian fighters—1 of whom is injured. Meanwhile,...

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  • September 13, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the morning; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron and 1...

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  • September 8, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, Israeli troops clash with residents in Bayt Umar village nr....

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  • September 7, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian laborers attempting to cross the separation wall nr. Hebron, wounding 2. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in al-‘Arub r.c. and...

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  • September 6, 2013

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

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  • September 4, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. In East Jerusalem, there are clashes in Abu Dis between Palestinians and Israeli forces who conduct a raid and enter the Al-Quds...

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  • September 1, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Juhur al-Dik, where they level land close to the border fence and then withdraw. In the West Bank, the IDF injures 5 Palestinians nr....

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  • August 30, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire from the border and wound a Palestinian farmer working close to the fence nr. Jabaliya r.c. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in...

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  • August 24, 2013

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

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  • August 23, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF opens fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts night patrols in 1 village each nr. Qalqilya and Tulkarm. IDF...

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  • August 21, 2013

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

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In Israel, an explosive device detonates on a bus in Bat Yam, causing no casualties as the vehicle had been evacuated. Israeli police describe it as a “terrorist attack,” and a Hamas spokesperson in Gaza describes the bombing as a “heroic act.” No group, however, claims responsibility. In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 1 rocket into s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Separately, a rocket fired from inside the Gaza Strip lands in Egyptian territorial waters nr. Rafah, causing no injuries. Hamas authorities say that the rocket was fired during a training exercise and reached Egypt by mistake. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Jenin and in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Tulkarm; patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning, in 2 villages and alFawar r.c. nr. Hebron, and in 2 villages nr. Salfit at night. (AFP, AP, HA, MNA, REU, YA 12/22; PCHR 12/26)

Asst. Secy.-Gen. on Palestinian affairs at the Arab League Mohammad Sbeih says that Kerry intends to present Palestinian and Israeli leaders with a framework peace deal by the end of the month. Sbeih also reveals Abbas’ position on the peace agreement, including refusal of any Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley, the entirety of East Jerusalem as the capital, limited land swaps of equal value, and no recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state.” (AP, MNA, ToI 12/22)

Reps. from Iran and the P5+1 suspend their talks in Geneva to resume after Christmas. (REU 12/22)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian farmers close to the border fence nr. Khan Yunis, wounding 1. The army says it targeted the group because it was laying an explosive device. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 2 nearby villages at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah, in Nablus and Balata r.c., and 1 village each nr. Jenin and Jericho at night. (MNA 12/20; PCHR 12/26)

PA Pres. Abbas holds talks in Egypt with foreign ministers from Arab League mbr. states about the current state of the peace process. He also meets with Egyptian interim pres. Mansour to discuss regional developments and the national reconciliation effort with Hamas. (MNA 12/21)

Iran’s Dep. FM Abbas Araghchi says that talks in Geneva with reps. of the P5+1 are continuing for a 4th day and making slow progress. According to Araghchi, the issue of uranium enrichment is still a point of contention. (AP, JP 12/21)

During an arrest raid in the Jenin r.c. in the West Bank, IDF troops kill 1 Palestinian and wound 6 others. En route to a suspect’s house in the camp, soldiers meet resistance from residents—including the use of an improvised explosive device—and respond with live fire. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian farmers close to the border fence nr. Bayt Hanun, causing no injuries. (HA, MNA 12/18, PCHR 12/19)

Palestinian chief negotiator Erakat tells reporters in Bayt Jala that the Palestinians and Israelis will require up to 1 more year to complete a peace deal, provided that a framework agreement can be put in place in the coming weeks. Erakat says that the Palestinians are thus prepared to extend talks beyond the 4/2014 deadline. (AP, REU, YA 12/18)

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Cmte. passes legislation, by a vote of 16–1, that would reform U.S. aid to Egypt, effectively lifting the hold on military aid that was put in place after the 7/2013 military overthrow of Egyptian pres. Morsi. The bill would amend the controversial “coup law” that forbids the transfer of U.S. aid to a country where a democratic govt. has been overthrown by the military; specifically, it would allow the pres. to waive that restriction on the basis of national security, providing that transferred aid supports democratization programs or facilitates new elections. (AP, REU 12/18)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmers close to the border fence nr. Jabaliya r.c., wounding 1. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, 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 Tulkarm in the morning, and in Tubas and in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Salfit at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin and in Qalqilya and 1 nearby village at night. Separately, Israeli forces notify Bedouin families nr. Bethlehem that they must evacuate their homes before military exercises are conducted. (MNA 12/16; PCHR 12/19)

Israel opens Kerem Shalom crossing with Gaza to allow for entry of fuel and goods, and exit for 7 truckloads of strawberries and flowers bound for Europe. Israel also allows cement and gravel for UN projects to enter. (WAFA 12/16)

The EU’s Foreign Affairs Council announces that Israelis and Palestinians will be offered an unprecedented assistance package in the event of a final status peace deal. The incentives, under the bracket of “Special Privileged Partnership,” include political, economic, and security support. The EU also says that it is ready to contribute to post-conflict arrangements as part of ensuring any deal’s long-term viability. (HA 12/13; WAFA 12/16)

Israeli, Lebanese, and UN military officers meet to defuse tension following fatal crossborder gunfire the previous day. A statement from the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) says that the Lebanese soldier who killed an Israeli soldier was acting alone. Israeli DM Ya’alon says that the Lebanese authorities promised to punish the shooter. (AFP, AP, REU 12/16)

UN emergency relief coordinator Valerie Amos issues an appeal at a meeting of donor countries in Geneva for $6.5 billion for Syria and its neighbors, including Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, each of which host significant populations of Syrian refugees. Separately, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres cites Turkish officials’ estimate that the number of Syrian refugees in the country will reach 1.5 m. by the end of 2014. (REU 12/16)

The Muslim Brotherhood-led Anti-Coup Alliance in Egypt announces that it will call for a boycott of the constitutional referendum scheduled for 1/2014. Spokesperson Hamza alFarawy says that the group rejects “any vote under military rule.” (AFP 12/16)

EU foreign ministers release a statement pledging to suspend some sanctions on Iran as soon as the IAEA verifies that Tehran has begun limiting its nuclear activities, in accordance with the 6-mo. interim agreement signed in 11/2013. Meanwhile, Iranian FM Zarif calls U.S. Secy. of State Kerry to protest the expansion of sanctions on 12/12. (AP, REU 12/16)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Jenin and 2 nearby villages, and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; patrols in 1 village and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. In East Jerusalem, Jewish right-wing activists enter Haram al-Sharif, provoking clashes with Palestinian worshippers. (MNA 12/4; PCHR 12/5)

Israeli media reports that the Ministry of Defense is preparing to hand over 20,000 dunams of land in Area C to the PA, to be used for agricultural and commercial projects. (MNA 12/4)

Hizballah commander Hassan al-Laqqis is shot and killed outside his home in Beirut by unknown assailants. Laqqis had fought in Syria’s civil war. A previously unknown group, Ahrar al-Sunna Baalbek Brigade, claimed responsibility for the assassination on Twitter, but the claim could not be verified. In a statement broadcast on al-Manar TV, Hizballah accuses Israel of being behind the killing. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs then issues a denial. (AFP, DS, REU 12/4)

Israeli television reports that construction of the 245-km (152-mi.) border fence between Israel and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula has been completed, 3.5 years after work began. (JP 12/4)

Israel’s Environmental Affairs Minister Amir Peretz flies to Istanbul to attend a 4-day UN-sponsored conference on Mediterranean marine and coastal environment issues. He is the 1st Israeli cabinet minister to visit Turkey since the Mavi Marmara raid in 2010. (REU 12/4)

In Israel, security forces in Petah Tikva shoot and kill a Palestinian worker from a village nr. Nablus, during a police-led search for Palestinians without permits. In the West Bank, IDF troops clash with residents in 1 village nr. Jenin during a raid. In 1 village nr. Ramallah, Jewish settlers attack property and residents who in turn fight back with stone-throwing. As a result, Israeli forces fire tear gas grenades at the Palestinian villagers, causing no serious injuries. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 3 villages nr. Jenin at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village each nr. Qalqilya and Ramallah at night. In Sur al-Bahir, East Jerusalem, a Palestinian family demolishes 3 apartments in an effort to avoid the charges associated with a demolition conducted by the municipality. (MNA 11/30; PCHR 12/5)

Thousands of demonstrators protest against the proposed Prawer Plan in several locations across Israel, including the Negev village Hura, Haifa, nr. Highway 444 in the “Triangle,” Jerusalem, and Jaffa, with a total of 34 arrests nationwide. The largest protest is in Hura, where protesters throw stones and the police retaliate. Israeli FM Lieberman harshly attacks the protesters, and says the govt. is “fighting for the lands of the Jewish people.” Solidarity protests also take place nr. Ramallah, where Palestinians clash with Israeli forces nr. Beit El settlement, and in Gaza City. (HA, JP, MNA, REU, YA 11/30; ToI 12/2)

Egypt’s 50-mbr. constituent assembly votes on 138 articles of the 247-article draft constitution, limiting the scope of Shari‘a law and allowing the army to try civilians in military tribunals. Meanwhile U.S. Defense Secy. Chuck Hagel calls DM Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to express concern about a new law curbing protests, according to a statement by Dept. of Defense spokesperson Carl Woog. Also in Egypt, security forces kill 3 mbrs. of al-Tawhid walJihad, a militant group, in the n. Sinai nr. Shaykh Zuweid. (AP, NYT, MNA 11/30)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinians who were close to the border fence nr. Jabaliya r.c., injuring 2. In the West Bank, IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and at night in 1 village each nr. Hebron, Jericho, and Ramallah. The night raid in Ramallah provokes clashes, leaving 1 Palestinian injured with live ammunition. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at weekly demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements and occupation in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Nabi Salih, and Ni‘lin), 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum), and 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara). There are no serious injuries, except in Bil‘in (1 wounded by a bullet) and Kafr Qaddum (2 struck by tear gas canisters). Meanwhile, around 200 Jewish settlers gather outside Yabad village nr. Jenin and burn tires, blocking a road. In East Jerusalem, IDF troops open fire on Palestinians protesting against the occupation nr. Abu Dis, in Qalandia, and in Issawiyya, injuring dozens with rubber-coated metal bullets and stun grenades. Palestinians respond by throwing stones and burning tires. (MNA 11/22; PCHR 11/28)

Israel’s Labor Party elects former minister Isaac Herzog as its new leader, defeating incumbent Shelly Yachimovich with 58.5% of the vote compared to the latter’s 41.5%. Herzog announces in his victory speech that the Labor Party will not join the governing coalition led by PM Netanyahu. (REU, YA 11/22)

Russian FM Lavrov arrives in Geneva to join diplomats struggling to finalize a deal between Iran and the P5+1 powers, with remaining disputes including Iran’s right to produce nuclear fuel, the fate of the Arak heavy-water reactor project, and the extent of sanctions relief. (AP, REU 11/22)

Six large Islamist opposition groups in Syria declare a new Islamic Front, the biggest alliance of rebel fighters to date. The group is distinct from both the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the al-Qa‘ida-linked factions. (REU 11/22)

Muslim Brotherhood supporters hold protest rallies across Egypt to mark 100 days since the mass killings by security forces in 8/2013 (see the QU in JPS 169). Clashes with Muslim Brotherhood opponents leave 2 dead, 1 in Cairo and 1 in Suez. Meanwhile, Hamas PM Haniyeh says that his organization is not breaking ties with Egypt, despite the recent conflict with Cairo’s military rulers. (AP, MNA 11/22)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces launch air strikes targeting 2 chicken farms, a border fence tunnel, and an Islamic Jihad training site nr. Khan Yunis. There are no injuries reported in any of the attacks. IDF troops also conduct a limited incursion in s. Gaza to level land nr. the border fence. The IDF also shells agricultural land nr. Gaza City, with no damage or casualties. Separately, a Palestinian fighter is killed in an accidental explosion in Gaza City. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 3 nearby villages and al-‘Arub r.c., and 1 village each nr. Bethlehem, Jenin, Nablus, and Ramallah at night. Meanwhile, a Palestinian man shot by Israeli forces in 2006 dies of his wounds. Jewish settlers vandalize 2 cars and leave racist graffiti in a village nr. Nablus. (MNA 11/19; PCHR 11/21)

Following the 11/16 decision by Hamas officials, Ma’an News Agency’s office in Gaza City reopens, following 4 mos. of closure, with the authorities also announcing that Al-Arabiya TV’s offices would also reopen. Hamas closed the 2 news organizations on 7/25 after they reported that Muslim Brotherhood officials who had fled Egypt were being sheltered in the Gaza Strip. (MNA 11/19)

UNRWA Under Secy.-Gen. Jeffrey Feltman tells the UN Security Council (UNSC) that the agency will be unable to pay salaries to roughly 30,000 employees in 12/2013, including teachers and medical personnel, due to a $36 m. deficit. Meanwhile, hundreds of teachers gathered outside the High Court of Justice in Ramallah after the PA appealed to the court with the claim that the limited strike launched on 11/17 was in contravention of labor laws. (AFP, MNA 11/19)

A double suicide bombing kills 23 outside the Iranian embassy in Beirut, including an Iranian diplomat. The attack was claimed by al-Qa‘ida linked group Abdullah Azzam Brigades that, in a statement, said their demands were the withdrawal of Hizballah forces from Syria and the release of Salafist jihadists from Lebanese jails. Following the bombings, Hizballah’s dep. leader Naim Kassem says that the group will not be swayed from its course of support for the Syrian govt. Saudi Arabia condemns the attack as “cowardly.” (AFP 11/19; AP, REU 11/20)

Egyptian security forces storm Tahrir Square in Cairo, clashing with protesters who had gathered to mark the anniversary of deadly 2011 demonstrations. One person is killed in the confrontation. (AFP 11/19)

Off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. al-Waha, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya and al-‘Arub refugee camp (r.c.) nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, and 1 village nr. Jenin at night. Jewish settlers uproot more than 100 olive trees nr. Yatta in the s. West Bank. (MNA 11/17; PCHR 11/21)

Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh meets with leaders of several Palestinian political factions including Islamic Jihad and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), but without representation by Fatah. Haniyeh suggests the formation of a cmte. to oversee the implementation of the 2012 Cairo and Doha agreements on national reconciliation. In the same meeting, the Hamas authorities decide to reopen Ma’an News Agency’s office in Gaza, 4 mos. after it was shut. (MNA 11/16)

A Muslim Brotherhood-led coalition offers negotiations to end the political crisis in Egypt, without specifically demanding the reinstatement of deposed Pres. Mohamed Morsi. The statement also promises further “peaceful opposition.” Meanwhile, gunmen kill an Egyptian police officer in al-Arish in the n. Sinai. (AFP, MNA 11/16)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, wounding 1. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in Bethlehem and 1 nearby village, 1 village each nr. Jenin and Ramallah, and in Nablus and Tulkarm at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning, and in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Jenin in the afternoon. (PCHR 11/14)

Israel’s cabinet approves the destruction of a Bedouin village in the Negev to be replaced by a religious Jewish settlement Hiran. The cabinet also approves the return of Avigdor Lieberman to the position of FM following his acquittal on corruption charges. (HA, ToI 11/10)

U.S. officials led by Undersecy. of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman arrive in Jerusalem to brief the Netanyahu govt. on the latest developments with regard to talks with Iran. Netanyahu tells his cabinet that over the weekend he spoke with Pres. Obama, Russian pres. Putin, French pres. Francois Hollande, German chancellor Angela Merkel, and British PM David Cameron to lobby them on the Israeli position vis-à-vis Iran. (HA, ToI 11/10)

Gunmen kill 2 Egyptian soldiers in an attack on a military facility nr. Ismailia. (JP 11/11)

In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure 1 Palestinian in clashes nr. Abu Dis, while separately, Palestinians throw a petrol bomb at a settler car nr. Bethlehem, injuring 2 Israelis. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Jenin in the morning, in 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon, and in 2 villages and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Bethlehem and in Salfit at night; patrols in Hebron in the afternoon. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at weekly demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and occupation in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Nabi Salih, and Ni‘lin), 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum), and 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara). There are no serious injuries. (JP, MNA 11/8; PCHR 11/14)

The U.S. and Israel both miss a deadline to repay debts to UNESCO, thus triggering an automatic loss of voting rights. Both countries have not paid their dues to the agency since Palestine was admitted as a mbr. in 2011. (AP, REU 11/8)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry departs Israel after a tense meeting with Netanyahu at Ben Gurion Airport where the Israeli PM expresses strong protest at the emerging potential deal with Iran, views he subsequently airs in a press conference. Later, Pres. Obama calls Netanyahu himself to try and assuage his doubts, according to a press release issued by the White House. (HA, REU 11/8)

Supporters of ousted pres. Morsi hold another day of demonstrations across Egypt, with 2 killed in Cairo in fighting between Brotherhood mbrs. and residents, and other protests in cities like Suez and Alexandria. Meanwhile, Egyptian authorities close the Rafah border crossing with Gaza until further notice. (AP, MNA 11/8)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Hebron, Jenin, Jerusalem, Nablus, and Ramallah at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. (PCHR 11/7)

Israel issues tenders for the construction of more than 1,700 homes, shortly ahead of a visit by U.S. Secy. of State Kerry. The tenders are part of 3,500 homes whose planned construction was announced after the latest prisoner release. The tenders are for homes in East Jerusalem settlements Ramat Shlomo and Gilo, as well as West Bank settlements like Elkana, Ma’ale Adumim, and Beitar Ilit. There is also 196 homes planned for Karnei Shomron, a settlement outside the “blocs” Israel expects to keep in any future deal. Separately, Israeli media report that PM Netanyahu intends to build a separation barrier between the West Bank and Jordan, as part of the govt.’s plans to maintain an Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley. Responding to developments, Pres. Abbas spokesperson Abu Rudayna says that the decision to build a fence along the border with Jordan is aimed at undermining Kerry’s upcoming mission, while PLO mbr. Wassel Abu Yousef slams the settlement tenders and says the PLO is considering how to get UN action against these decisions. Kerry, in Egypt, responds to a question at a press conference with FM Nabil Fahmy by saying that settlement construction disturbs “people’s perceptions of whether . . . we’re moving in the right direction.” (AFP, JP, MNA, REU, ToI 11/3)

U.S. Undersecy. of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman assures Israel that Obama has not offered any sanctions relief to Iran and that Israeli security is a priority of the administration. Speaking to Israeli television, Sherman says that the U.S. may offer temporary, limited sanctions relief as part of the diplomatic process while leaving core oil and banking sanctions in place. (HA, JP 11/3)

In Egypt, U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry expresses optimism about a return to democracy, and describes Cairo as a vital partner of Washington. Unnamed senior State Dept. officials say that Kerry did not discuss ousted pres. Morsi’s trial in meetings with Pres. Adly Mansour and Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. (REU 11/3)

In the Gaza Strip, the Popular Resistance Cmte. and PFLP claim responsibility for several rockets and mortar shells fired into s. Israel and at Israeli military positions nr. Khan Yunis. However, the Israeli army says that no rockets landed in Israeli territory. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon and 1 village nr. Hebron at night. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at weekly demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and occupation in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Nabi Salih, and Ni‘lin), 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum), and 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara). There are no serious injuries, except in Bil‘in (3 injured with live ammunition) and Nabi Salih (1 injured with a rubber-coated metal bullet). In East Jerusalem, municipal officials and security forces distribute demolishing orders for dozens of apartments in Ras Khamis and Ras Shahada. At the entrance to Shu‘fat r.c., protests by Palestinians against demolitions are violently dispersed by IDF troops. (MNA 11/1; PCHR 11/7)

The Gaza Strip’s sole power plant shuts its generators due to fuel shortage, meaning that Palestinians could experience 12 hours of daily blackouts. Fuel supplies have diminished following an Egyptian crackdown on smuggling tunnels, and the inability of the authorities in Gaza to pay for PA-delivered fuel with an imposed tax, according to chair of the Gaza Energy Authority, Fathy Asheik-Khalil. The plant produces up to 65 megawatts, while Israel supplies the Gaza Strip with a further 120 and Egypt with 27. (MNA, REU 11/1)

Unnamed Israeli officials cited by Israeli media express anger at the White House for confirming that it was the IAF which attacked a Syrian military base nr. Latakia. The Israeli govt. typically refrains from officially acknowledging responsibility for such attacks. However, M Gilad Erdan tells the media that Israel will not allow advanced weapons to be transferred to Hizballah. (REU, ToI 11/1)

Thousands of pro-Muslim Brotherhood supporters march in the streets in Cairo ahead of the anticipated trial of ousted pres. Morsi. In Alexandria, police break up clashes between pro- and anti-Brotherhood protesters. (AP 11/1)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages each nr. Hebron and Ramallah and 1 village nr. Jenin at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Jenin in the afternoon, and in 4 villages nr. Ramallah, and 1 village each nr. Jenin and Qalqilya at night. Jewish settlers attack Palestinian farmers nr. Ramallah, injuring 1. Separately, Jewish settlers set fire to around 70 olive trees nr. Bethlehem. (PCHR 10/31)

Egyptian security forces detain dozens of suspected Islamist militants in Sinai villages in the al-Arish area, also confiscating weapons, explosives, and other equipment. Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates announces that it is increasing its aid to Egypt’s interim govt. to a total of $4.9 billion in new loans, fuel supplies, and other forms of assistance. (AP, MNA 10/26)

In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, an Israeli settler is killed and his wife wounded, when they are attacked by a Palestinian outside their home in the n. Jordan Valley. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron, and 1 village each nr. Jenin, Ramallah and Tulkarm at night. Jewish settlers torch 3 Palestinian cars in Burqa village nr. Ramallah and leave racist graffiti on the wall of the mosque. In East Jerusalem, Jewish right-wing activists enter the al-Aqsa mosque compound to perform religious rituals. (MNA 10/10; REU, JP 10/11; PCHR 10/24)

Israel’s FM Yair Lapid meets with U.S. VP Joe Biden, Treasury Secy. Jack Lew and White House Middle East Coordinator Phil Gordon at the White House. The meeting focuses on developments regarding Iran, negotiations with the Palestinians, and the need to strengthen economic ties with the latter. (YA 10/11)

Speaking at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry says that the cuts in aid to Egypt will not have much impact in the country, that it is not a “withdrawal” from relations with Cairo, and that the aid could be restored should “credible progress” be made in restoring an inclusive govt. Egyptian military spokesperson Col. Ahmed Mohammed Ali declines to comment, but the Foreign Ministry calls the decision “flawed . . . in terms of content and timing.” Meanwhile, a suicide attack on a military checkpoint nr. al-Arish kills 4 soldiers and wounds 5 others. (AFP, AP, MNA, REU 10/10)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. IDF troops also open fire on open land nr. Bayt Hanun, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF shoots and wounds a student in al-Khadir village nr. Bethlehem with a rubber-coated metal bullet. Jewish settlers set fire to agricultural land nr. Nablus and then attack a school in nearby Qaryut village, causing no injuries. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus and 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night; patrols 1 village nr. Bethlehem in the morning, and in Hebron and 1 nearby village at night. (MNA 10/9; PCHR 10/10)

Jerusalem municipality approves the construction of 58 housing units in Pisgat Ze’ev settlement, an announcement slammed by the PA as a further “obstacle on the road to peace.” (JP, MNA 10/9)

The Obama administration announces a freeze on military assistance to Egypt, with the aid being withheld including Apache helicopters and tank kits, as well as cash assistance to the govt. There is no precise figure given for the value of the cuts, but it is several hundred million dollars. (JP, REU 10/9)

Two IDF soldiers are hurt when 2 mortar shells fired from Syrian territory lands in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. In response, the IDF destroys a Syrian cannon, though also say that the shelling was errant rather than intentional. (ToI, YA 10/9)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village each nr. Bethlehem, Jenin and Salfit at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. Jewish settlers raze agricultural land nr. Salfit. (MNA 10/16; PCHR 10/10)

Clashes across Egypt between supporters and opponents of ousted pres. Morsi end with at least 51 people dead, while the Interior Ministry says that 423 were arrested. (REU 10/6) Inspectors from the OPCW begin their mission to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, overseeing Syrian forces as they destroy equipment and munitions. (REU 10/16)

In the West Bank, Palestinian gunmen open fire on Psagot settlement nr. al-Bireh, wounding 1 child. Israeli soldiers and settlers attack residents in Burin village nr. Nablus, and in a patrol in al-Bireh, IDF troops shoot and injure 1 Palestinian with a rubber-coated metal bullet. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Bethlehem at night; in al- ‘Arub r.c. and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. Jewish settlers damage 120 olive trees nr. Nablus, while in a separate incident, settlers throw stones at Palestinian houses nr. Ramallah. (HA, MNA 10/5; PCHR 10/10)

PA security forces raid Jenin r.c. and arrest a number of residents, including Islamic Jihad activists. (JP 10/5)

Egypt allows Hajj pilgrims from the Gaza Strip to exit through the Rafah border crossing, and around 100 Palestinians are permitted to return to Gaza from the Egyptian side. Meanwhile, Egypt’s Maj.-Gen. Ahmad Ibrahim says that the military has demolished 1,055 smuggling tunnels under the border with Gaza since 1/2011, with 794 of them destroyed in 2013. (MNA 10/5)

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gives his support to Pres. Ruhani’s diplomatic opening to the U.S., but says he does not trust Washington as a negotiating partner. (REU 10/5)

In the West Bank, IDF troops open fire with rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades on stone-throwing Palestinians in Hebron. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Ramallah and Salfit at night; patrols in al-Bireh in the morning, and 1 village nr. Qalqilya and al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron at night. Jewish settlers destroy 20 dunams of land nr. Nablus, while separately, settlers set fire to dozens of olive trees also nr. Nablus. (AFP, MNA, PNN 9/23; PCHR 9/26)

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz says that the killing of 2 Israeli soldiers in the last 3 days does not reflect a general trend, and that the 2 incidents are isolated and unrelated. The Israeli media reports disquiet from security sources about the performance of the PA’s security forces in light of the recent events. (HA 9/24)

An Egyptian court bans the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood as an NGO and orders its funds seized. U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Jen Psaki says that Washington will wait to see how such a decision will be implemented and urges all parties to embrace an inclusive political process. Egypt’s interim govt. subsequently says it is no rush to dismantle the Brotherhood and prefers for a ruling from a higher tribunal. (AP, REU 9/23; AP 9/24)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct an incursion close to the border fence in the n. of the territory, and are met by resistance from Palestinian fighters—1 of whom is injured. Meanwhile, unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket into s. Israel at night, which causes no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and Nablus at night; patrols in 1 village and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night. In East Jerusalem, IDF troops enter the al-Aqsa mosque compound and denied Palestinians access—meanwhile, a group of ultra-Orthodox Jews are allowed entry. (MNA 9/18; PCHR, YA 9/19)

Iranian pres. Hassan Ruhani vows in an interview on U.S. television that Tehran will never develop nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, White House spokesperson Jay Carney reveals that Pres. Obama has exchanged letters with Pres. Ruhani and told him that the U.S. is ready to resolve the dispute but that there is a need to act with urgency. (AP, REU 9/18)

Egypt partially reopens the border crossing at Rafah with the Gaza Strip, after a week’s closure following an attack on the Egyptian military facilities nearby. (REU 9/18)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the morning; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at weekly demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and occupation in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Nabi Salih, and Ni‘lin), and 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum). There are no serious injuries. (PCHR 9/19)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry and Russian FM Sergey Lavrov meet the UN’s Special Envoy on Syria Lakhdar Brahimi in Geneva, to discuss both plans for an international peace conference, as well as the more pressing question of a plan to neutralize Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. Following the meeting, Brahimi says he hopes to have a 2d peace conference sometime in 10/2013. Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition National Coalition (SNC) says it will appoint a provisional PM to boost its international credibility, an announcement made on the 1st day of a meeting of the 115-mbr. group. (AP, REU 9/13)

There are clashes across Egypt between supporters and opponents of ousted pres. Morsi, while the military continues its offensive against Islamist militants in the Sinai Peninsula, where 3 soldiers are wounded in 3 separate villages. There are 2 reported deaths in Alexandria and Beni Suef, with demonstrations also taking place in Cairo among others. (AP, REU 9/13)

Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi announces that the country has reduced its stock of 20 percent-enriched uranium by converting it to reactor fuel, news judged to aimed at easing tensions with the West. (AP 9/13)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, Israeli troops clash with residents in Bayt Umar village nr. Hebron during a patrol, with 2 Palestinians wounded by shrapnel of a sound bomb and a bullet respectively. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Nablus in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Salfit and 1 village each nr. Bethlehem and Ramallah at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin at night. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces fire rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas at Al-Quds university students in Abu Dis after staff prevented soldiers from entering the campus. (MNA 9/8; PCHR 9/12)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry meets with Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas in London, their 1st such talks since direct negotiations recommenced. Earlier, Kerry holds talks with Arab League officials—including the FMs of Egypt, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia—in Paris, after which Kerry affirms the “commitment” of both sides to “continuing the talks.” The Arab League’s Peace Initiative Cmte. also expresses support for U.S. efforts to promote the direct talks. Meanwhile, Israeli officials protest Palestinian media leaks concerning the talks in complaints made to Washington. (AFP, JTA 9/8)

Following discussions in Paris, U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry says that Arab League ministers have agreed on the need for an international response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Asad regime. Kerry says that a number of countries immediately signed the statement produced at the G20 talks, but only names Saudi Arabia. (AFP 9/8)

Egyptian forces continue their Sinai offensive, killing 11 suspected Islamist fighters and arresting 10. (AP 9/8)

In the West Bank, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian laborers attempting to cross the separation wall nr. Hebron, wounding 2. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in al-‘Arub r.c. and 2 villages nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village each nr. Bethlehem and Jenin at night. In al-‘Arub r.c., Israeli forces detain more than 30 Palestinians after a petrol bomb is thrown at a military watchtower nr. the camp. (MNA 9/7; PCHR 9/12)

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton says that the EU will ensure new funding guidelines regarding West Bank settlements will not harm relations with Israel, speaking in Vilnius, Lithuania, after a meeting with U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry. Ashton says the guidelines will be implemented “sensitively.” Kerry urges the EU to postpone altogether the new restrictions. (HA, REU 9/7)

U.S. Pres. Obama uses his weekly radio and internet address to reassure Americans of the necessity and limits of a military strike on Syria. A recent poll showed that only 19% of the U.S. public supports an intervention. An AIPAC source tells the media that the Israel lobby organization plans to send 250 activists to lobby lawmakers in Washington during the coming week, to push for support for a military strike on Syria. Meanwhile, EU FMs meeting in Lithuania blame the Asad regime for the use of chemical weapons but do not endorse military action. (AP, REU 9/7)

The Egyptian military launches a major offensive against Islamist militants in the n. Sinai, deploying helicopter gunships and armored vehicles in an attack that kills 9 fighters and wounds another 20. Fifteen are arrested, and 2 Egyptian soldiers are also killed. Egyptian authorities also close the Rafah crossing with the Gaza Strip, citing “security concerns.” (AP, MNA, REU 9/7)

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

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

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

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

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

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. In East Jerusalem, there are clashes in Abu Dis between Palestinians and Israeli forces who conduct a raid and enter the Al-Quds university campus. Meanwhile, right-wing Jewish extremists enter the al-Aqsa compound, prompting clashes with Palestinians, with Israeli security forces dispersing the crowds and arresting 7 Palestinians. Separately, Shaykh Raed Salah is released on bail, though Salah says he does not intend to respect the order banning him from Jerusalem. (HA, MNA 9/4; PCHR 9/5)

According to an anonymous Palestinian official speaking to the Associated Press, Israel intends to leave numerous settlements and military bases in the West Bank to set up a provisional Palestinian state. Meanwhile, aide to Pres. Abbas, Yasir ‘Abid Rabbuh tells Palestinian media that the talks are proving pointless and making no progress, and will fail to do so, without serious U.S. pressure. (AP, REU 9/4)

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Cmte. narrowly backs, 10–7, a compromise res. authorizing the use of military force in Syria. The full Senate will vote next week, and the House of Representatives must also approve the measure. Meanwhile, Russian pres. Putin says Moscow does not rule out approving a strike against Syria if there is clear evidence of the Asad regime’s culpability for the use of chemical weapons. (AP, REU 9/4)

Pres. Obama’s national security aides have recommended that the U.S. suspend military and economic assistance to Egypt in response to the military coup, according to unnamed U.S. officials speaking to the media. (AP, REU 9/4)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Juhur al-Dik, where they level land close to the border fence and then withdraw. In the West Bank, the IDF injures 5 Palestinians nr. Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah during clashes which result from Palestinians trying to stop Jewish settlers throwing stones at cars nr. the camp. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Bethlehem, Qalqilya and 1 nearby village, Nablus, and Jenin r.c. at night. They patrol in al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in Tulkarm and 1 nearby village, as well as 1 village nr. Jenin at night. (MNA, WAFA 9/1; PCHR 9/5)

U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Jen Psaki confirms that U.S. peace process envoy Martin Indyk participated in 1 of the sets of meetings between Israelis and Palestinians that have taken place since the resumption of talks in 7/2013 (though without specifying which one). Meanwhile, Palestinian PM Rami Hamdallah says that a 2d group of Palestinian prisoners could be freed by Israel by the end of 9/2013. (JP, REU 9/1)

Secy. of State John Kerry tells U.S. television networks that the govt. has proof sarin gas was used in a recent Damascus chemical weapons attack, urging Congress to vote for military action against the Asad regime. Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition coalition issues a statement asking Congress to approve the strike. In France, Interior Minister Mauel Valls says that his govt. would not go it alone in Syria and will wait for the decision by the U.S. Congress. (AFP, AP, REU 9/1)

Egypt’s chief prosecutor orders ousted pres. Morsi and 14 other Muslim Brotherhood leaders to stand trial on charges including inciting violence and murder. The new regime also names a constituent assembly and gives it 60 days to review amendments that would erase articles brought in by the Brotherhood and other Islamic parties last year. (NYT, REU 9/1)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire from the border and wound a Palestinian farmer working close to the fence nr. Jabaliya r.c. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at weekly demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and occupation in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Nabi Salih, and Ni‘lin), 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum), and 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara). There are no serious injuries, except in Bil‘in, where 2 are struck by tear gas canisters. (MNA 8/30; PCHR 9/5)

Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics publishes data showing that the number of settler housing starts in the West Bank rose by 141.5% in the 1st half of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012. (JP 8/30)

The Obama administration intensifies its public case for military action against Syria with the release of what it presents as evidence that the Syrian govt. has used chemical weapons against civilians on a number of occasions, including the attack last week. Pres. Obama and Secy. of State Kerry make separate statements condemning the Asad regime but committing the U.S. to only a limited retaliatory action. Meanwhile, according to an unnamed State Dept. official, Kerry speaks with the FMs of Britain, Egypt, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. (AP, REU 8/30)

Thousands of supporters of ousted pres. Morsi march in Cairo and other cities across Egypt in protest at the military coup. According to a security source, the day’s protests leave 6 dead and more than 50 injured. (REU 8/30)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Jericho at night. (PCHR 8/29)

Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas says that there is “nothing” stopping him from meeting personally with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu “at the right time,” remarks he makes in a press conference in Ramallah with visiting French FM Laurent Fabius. (HA, JP 8/24) 

Egyptian authorities open the border crossing with the Gaza Strip atRafah for 4 hours, with 650 entering the Palestinian enclave, and some 300 exiting to Egypt. (MNA, REU 8/24)

U.S. Defense Secy. Chuck Hagel tells reporters at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur that the Pentagon is ready to carry out a military attack on Syria should the pres. order it. In Damascus, 3 hospitals report 355 deaths after an alleged chemical weapons attack last Wednesday (8/21), according to Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF). (REU 8/24)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF opens fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts night patrols in 1 village each nr. Qalqilya and Tulkarm. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at weekly demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and occupation in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Nabi Salih, and Ni‘lin), 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum), and 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara). There are no serious injuries, except in Bil‘in (3 wounded by live ammunition) and Kafr Qaddum (2 struck by tear gas canisters). (PCHR 8/29)

In the Gaza Strip, hundreds of Palestinians march in protest of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks; the demonstration was organized by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. (AFP 8/23)

The IDF conducts an air strike against a base of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) s. of Beirut, in response to the rocket launch the previous day—despite that attack being claimed by and attributed to another group entirely. A Lebanese security source claims that the site is also used by Islamist militants. The air raid causes no casualties or serious damage. Lebanese pres. Michel Suleiman condemns the Israeli strike and orders his diplomats to file a complaint about the attack with the UNSC. Israeli DM Moshe Ya’alon says that the Israeli govt. holds their Lebanese counterparts responsible for the rocket fire emanating from its territory. Outside of 2 Sunni mosques, twin bombs kill at least 42 people in Tripoli; no one claims responsibility for the attack. (AFP, AP, DS, HA, JP, REU, WP 8/23)

UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon repeats his desire for both Syrian govt. and rebel forces to permit an inspectors team to investigate the site of an alleged chemical weapons attack. Meanwhile, the British govt. adds its voice to those ascribing responsibility for the attack to govt. forces. Moscow publishes a statement calling for an independent investigation and saying that FM Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry had spoken about the situation and that both parties had a “mutual interest” in calling for a UN investigation. In an interview on CNN, U.S. pres. Barack Obama plays down the possibility of a rapid military intervention by the U.S. in Syria, saying how important a legal mandate from the UN and international coalition of support would be. (Guardian, REU 22/8)

Protests take place across Egypt by Muslim Brotherhood supporters and other opponents of the coup, though rallies were small and scattered. One person is killed by security forces in the Nile Delta town of Tanta, with official Health Ministry reports saying 54 people are wounded in Cairo and 2 Delta provinces. Meanwhile, speaking on CNN, U.S. pres. Barack Obama says that cutting off aid to Egypt “may not reverse what the interim govt. does.” (AP, REU 8/23)

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

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

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

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