919 / 14704 Results
  • December 20, 2012

    In the West Bank, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians in 1 village nr. Jenin and arrests 2 wounded civilians. The IDF also patrols in 2 villages nr. Jericho and 3 villages nr. Ramallah in the...

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  • December 1, 2012

    U.S. secy. of state Hillary Clinton criticizes Israel’s 11/30 decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, saying ‘‘these activities set back the...

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  • November 25, 2012

    UK foreign secretary William Hague urges the U.S. to take a ‘‘decisive lead’’ in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts in coming months, adding that ‘‘we’re coming to the final chance, maybe, for a...

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  • November 24, 2012

    Khalil Assaf, the chair of the Palestinian Public Freedoms Comm., established in order to implement the May 2011 Fatah-Hamas reconciliation deal, announces that Egypt will invite all Palestinian...

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  • November 21, 2012

    A Gaza cease-fire comes into effect at 9 P.M. local time, officially bringing an end to Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense after 8 days of attacks, which saw the IDF hit around 1,500 targets and...

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  • November 20, 2012

    As Operation Pillar of Defense continues, the IDF carries out air strikes on 133 targets across Gaza, killing 31 Palestinians, including several children, bringing the Palestinian death toll to...

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  • November 19, 2012

    The IDF strikes another 80 targets, including Gaza’s football stadium and smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border. Gaza’s Ministry of Health says that the Palestinian death toll surpasses 100,...

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  • November 18, 2012

    On the 5th day of Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense, the IDF attacks on the Gaza Strip kill 31 Palestinians, including 10 civilians from the same family (al-Dalou), who die in a single air...

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  • November 8, 2012

    PA pres. Abbas circulates a draft resolution to UN member states, ahead of an expected vote later in the month on upgrading the Palestinian status to that of non-member observer state. The draft...

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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 25, 2012

    Hamas officials reveal that leader Khalid Mishal has decided to step down, a decision he announced at a recent meeting in Cairo of Hamas’s hierarchy. Mishal will remain in his post until a new...

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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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  • July 27, 2012

    Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 rockets or mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (2 synchronized) in the...

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  • July 23, 2012

    Qalqilya from laying water pipes from a well to a nearby plot of agricultural land, confiscating their excavator and a welding machine. The IDF also a patrols in Tulkarm in the morning; conducts...

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  • May 28, 2012

    Hamas’s acting PM in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh authorizes a senior CEC team to begin updating Gaza’s voter rolls, in keeping with agreements reached in Cairo on 5/20/12. The CEC estimates that since the...

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  • May 20, 2012

    In Cairo, Fatah and Hamas sign an agreement laying out a timetable for implementing the 5/2010 national unity accord: (1) the Palestinian Central Election Commission (CEC) is to begin updating...

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  • February 24, 2012

    In the evening, IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of Gaza City fire an artillery shell at a Palestinian home but it does not explode, causing damage but no injuries to the 4 adults and 8 children...

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  • February 23, 2012

    Israeli and Palestinian officials issue opposing statements on the content of Israel’s principles on borders presented in the Jordanian-sponsored exploratory talks last quarter. Israeli officials...

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  • February 22, 2012

    The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon (firing tear gas and percussion grenades at stone-throwing youths who confront them, causing no serious injuries); conducts late-night...

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  • February 21, 2012

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

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  • February 12, 2012

    Abbas asks Arab League FMs meeting in Cairo to support his decision not to resume direct peace talks without an Israeli settlement freeze and firm understandings on the basis of talks (including...

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  • February 11, 2012

    PA Pres. Abbas meets with Quartet special envoy Blair in Jordan before leaving for Cairo to meet with Arab League FMs. Blair urges Abbas to continue low-level talks on borders; says he has urged...

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  • January 25, 2012

    Palestinian and Israeli negotiators hold a 5th round of talks in Amman. Molcho verbally outlines Israel’s guiding principles on borders and security, offering nothing new and putting nothing in...

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  • December 22, 2011

    The IDF makes a brief incursion into n. Gaza in the morning to level lands and clear lines of sight along the border e. of Jabaliya r.c., firing on nearby residential areas to keep Palestinians...

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  • December 12, 2011

    IDF spokesman Maj. Guy Inbar acknowledges that Israel plans to relocate some 2,000 Bedouin fr. 20 encampments in the hills e. of Jerusalem (in area C) to clear the way for the expansion of Ma’ale...

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  • November 24, 2011

    Hamas leader Mishal and PA pres. and Fatah head Abbas meet for 2 hrs. in Cairo to hold the 1st detailed talks since 8/2011 on implementing their 5/2011 national unity deal (see QU in JPS 161)....

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  • October 11, 2011

    Israel announces it has signed a prisoner swap agreement in Cairo with Hamas, which agreed to free IDF soldier Gilad Shalit (captured on the Gaza border in 6/2006). In return, Israel will release...

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  • September 19, 2011

    Netanyahu announces a last-minute decision to lead the Israeli delegation to the UNGA session. He calls on Abbas to restart negotiations with him in New York that would be continued in Jerusalem...

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  • September 12, 2011

    Abbas briefs Arab League FMs in Cairo on the Ross-Hale visit. The FMs say that they strongly prefer that the Palestinians seek observer-state status via the UNGA rather than full memberstate...

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  • September 10, 2011

    IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire toward Abasan village, causing no injuries; later fire on and detain 3 Palestinian children (2 age 17, 1 age 14) who crossed the border fence into Israel e....

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In the West Bank, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians in 1 village nr. Jenin and arrests 2 wounded civilians. The IDF also patrols in 2 villages nr. Jericho and 3 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, Jericho, and 4 villages nr. Hebron, 2 nr. Tulkarm, and 1 nr. Ramallah at night. Jewish settlers from Ma’ale Ephraim settlement nr. Nablus set fire to 2 Palestinian-owned cars. (PCHR 12/27)

Various Palestinian officials close to Pres. Abbas tell the Associated Press that there are plans to encourage the international isolation of Israel should Israeli PM Netanyahu win reelection and the peace process remain stalled. Options being considered include war crimes charges, urging sanctions, and ending security cooperation in the West Bank. Fatah official Nabil Shaath tells Palestinian news agency Ma‘an that the PA will further develop a strategy of boycott and civil disobedience in 2013. In response to these reports, the Israeli Foreign Ministry says that Abbas seeks to ‘‘incite a confrontation with Israel no matter what.’’ (AP, MNA 12/20; YA 12/21)

The EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton releases a statement expressing strong opposition to Israel’s ‘‘unprecedented expansion of settlements around Jerusalem.’’ Meanwhile, South Africa’s governing party, the African National Congress, votes at its annual conference to support the Palestinians’ Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. (EU Press Office 12/20; HA 12/21)

Human Rights Watch says that the IDF’s attacks on the media in the Gaza Strip during Operation Pillar of Defense that killed 2 and injured 10 media personnel violated the laws of war. (AP 12/20)

Israeli newspaper Ha’Aretz reports that the state has informed the High Court of Justice that the IDF will reduce the amount of time Palestinian minors can be held before they are brought before a judge. (HA 12/20)

An anonymous Israeli government official says that Israel and Egypt are continuing discussions behind the scenes in Cairo, intended to further ease restrictions on the Gaza Strip and to prevent a rearming of Hamas. (JP 12/21) I

srael’s UN amb. Ron Prosor submits a letter to the Security Council complaining that Hizballah has rearmed with tens of thousands of missiles, in violation of a UN arms embargo. (REU 12/20)

U.S. secy. of state Hillary Clinton criticizes Israel’s 11/30 decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, saying ‘‘these activities set back the cause of a negotiated peace.’’ The British and French governments also condemn the settlement expansion plan, stating that international confidence in Israel’s desire to make peace is at risk. Meanwhile, PLO Executive Comm. mbr. Hanan Ashrawi refers to the decision as a ‘‘war crime,’’ a hint that the PA may consider taking Israel to the ICC. (JP, REU 12/2)

An independent Palestinian source in Gaza says that Palestinian factions will open reconciliation talks in Cairo in the next few days, under Egyptian auspices. (MNA 12/1)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF opens fire on 3 separate occasions on civilians and farmers in the area nr. the border fence, wounding 1 nr. Bayt Hanun and 2 nr. Jabalya. Israeli naval vessels fire on 3 fishing boats operating between 2.5 and 3 naut. mi. off the coast, in 1 case arresting 5 Palestinian fishermen. Israel’s recent shooting of Palestinians nr. the border fence prompts Hamas to complain about Israeli violations of the cease-fire, with spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri saying that they are discussing the situation with Egyptian officials. Islamic Jihad’s al-Quds Brigades warns that Israeli cease-fire violations (including shootings along the border, firing on Palestinian fishing boats, and continued use of surveillance aircraft over Gaza) may force a response. In the West Bank, the IDF shoots and wounds a Palestinian man in Dura village nr. Hebron, after a military patrol is attacked by stone-throwing youths. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night. (MNA, REU 12/1; MNA 12/2; PCHR 12/6)

Turkish FM Davutoglu calls Israel a ‘‘terrorist state’’ at a meeting of regional leaders at the Turkish-Arab Cooperation Forum in Istanbul, and urges collective action against Israel. (ToI 12/1)

UK foreign secretary William Hague urges the U.S. to take a ‘‘decisive lead’’ in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts in coming months, adding that ‘‘we’re coming to the final chance, maybe, for a two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be successfully resolved.’’ (BBC 11/25)

Fatah Central Comm. mbr. Nabil Shaath announces that the PA will release Hamas-affiliated detainees as a gesture to boost reconciliation efforts. Hamas officials say they will move to release Fatah prisoners in the Gaza Strip. The leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine Saleh Zeidan reports that Pres. Mahmud Abbas will call a meeting of the PLO Reform Comm. in Cairo after returning from the UN to revive talks of expanding the PLO to include Hamas and Islamic Jihad as part of a national reconciliation deal. Meanwhile, Hamas officials in Gaza announce plans for Hamas leader Khalid Mishal to visit the Gaza Strip for the 1st time on 12/5, timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of Hamas’s founding. (MNA, HA 11/25)

Israel successfully tests its David’s Sling missile defense system, designed to shoot down midrange missiles. Development of David’s Sling, like the Iron Dome long-range missile defense system, has been largely funded by the U.S. (AP 11/25)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF opens fire on farmers nr. Bayt Hanun in the morning and again in the afternoon, causing no injuries. The IDF also opens fire on Palestinians nr. Khan Yunis, lightly wounding 1 man. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning and 5 villages nr. Hebron, 2 villages nr. Jenin, and 1 village each nr. Qalqilya and Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus, Tulkarm, 1 village nr. Salfit, 1 village nr. Tubas, and 2 villages nr. Qalqilya at night. Suspected right-wing Jewish extremists vandalize 8 cars in the Palestinian neighborhood of Shu‘fat in occupied East Jerusalem in a ‘‘price-tag’’ attack. (HA, MNA 11/25; PCHR 11/29)

Turkish FM Ahmet Davutog˘lu tells CNN that Turkey will not make any concessions in order to resolve the diplomatic crisis with Israel, following reports (11/23) of an informal meeting in Geneva. (HA 11/25)

Gunfire coming from inside Syria hits an Israeli military vehicle in the occupied Golan Heights, causing no injuries. Israel lodges a complaint with the UN in response. (REU 11/25)

Khalil Assaf, the chair of the Palestinian Public Freedoms Comm., established in order to implement the May 2011 Fatah-Hamas reconciliation deal, announces that Egypt will invite all Palestinian factions to Cairo to resume national unity talks after the upcoming UN session in New York on 11/29, at which it is expected the Palestinian request for upgraded status will be debated. Separately, Amin Maqboul— secy.-gen. of Fatah’s legislative body, the Fatah Revolutionary Council—says he will lead an 11-mbr. Fatah delegation on a visit to the Gaza Strip on 11/23. Meanwhile, senior Hamas official Abu Marzuq says Hamas will not oppose Mahmud Abbas’s UN recognition bid, but believes that it is a waste of time, since ‘‘occupation needs resistance, not negotiations.’’ Meanwhile, Israeli officials continue to threaten unspecified consequences if Abbas moves forward with the UN bid; Ramallah officials in turn reiterate Abbas’s determination to go ahead. (AP, JP, MNA 11/24)

Hamas officials in Gaza say that Egypt has notified PM Haniyeh that Israel has agreed to extend the permitted fishing zone off the Gaza coast from 3 nautical miles (naut. mi.) to 6 naut. mi. and to reduce restrictions on Palestinian farming along the Gaza border (not further specified). However, and though the cease-fire continues to hold, the IDF opens fire on Palestinian farmers nr. Bayt Hanun and Jabaliya in the afternoon, causing no injuries. Meanwhile, groups affiliated with the Fatah-affiliated al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in Gaza claim they fired over 500 projectiles during the recent Israeli operation. (REU 11/24; PCHR 11/29)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon, and 5 villages nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Salfit at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus and 4 villages nr. Hebron at night. (PCHR 11/29)

The UN and UK government express their hope that a conference aimed at banning nuclear weapons in the Middle East would take place soon, despite what the U.S. has called a ‘‘deep conceptual gap’’ relating to participants’ views on Israel’s presumed nuclear arsenal. (REU 11/24)

A Gaza cease-fire comes into effect at 9 P.M. local time, officially bringing an end to Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense after 8 days of attacks, which saw the IDF hit around 1,500 targets and Palestinian armed groups fire around 1,500 projectiles (420 intercepted by Iron Dome). One hundred and fifty-eight Palestinians are dead, an estimated 60% of whom were civilians, while 6 Israelis were killed—4 civilians and 2 soldiers. The cease-fire deal is jointly announced by Egyptian FM Mohamed Kamel Amr and U.S. secy. of state Clinton at a press conference in Cairo. U.S. pres. Barack Obama speaks with Israeli PM Netanyahu to commend him on accepting the deal, stating that the U.S. will use the cease-fire to help Israel tackle issues such as weapons smuggling into Gaza. Obama also personally thanks Egyptian pres. Morsi for his efforts to secure a truce, comments Clinton echoes at the Cairo press conference, saying Morsi showed responsible leadership. Netanyahu tells the Israeli public that he hopes for an extended cease-fire but that tougher action might be necessary in the future. The cease-fire is not a signed agreement between Israel and Hamas, but includes pledges transmitted via Egypt to end Palestinian rocket and mortar fire and other cross-border attacks into Israel, and Israeli incursions into Gaza and assassinations. The sides also agree to further negotiations mediated by Egypt toward easing the Gaza blockade. Hamas chief Khalid Mishal says that Hamas will respect the truce but respond to any Israeli violations, and thanks Egypt for its role in securing the cease-fire. Mishal and Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip mark the cease-fire as a victory for the resistance. The UNSC issues a statement urging both Israel and Hamas to respect the cease-fire, and deploring the loss of civilian lives during the 8-day exchange. (AFP, Guardian, HA, MNA, REU 11/21)

During the day, before the cease-fire is implemented, the IDF attacks numerous targets in the Gaza Strip, killing around 20 Palestinians. A Palestinian-fired rocket wounds 4 Israeli soldiers. Unidentified Palestinians plant a bomb on a Tel Aviv bus, which injures two dozen Israelis, mostly lightly or moderately. Numerous groups claim responsibility for the attack, which is praised by Hamas as a natural response to Israeli aggression. In the hours after the ceasefire comes into force, Palestinians fire around a dozen rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel, causing no injuries. (HA, MNA, REU 11/21)

In the West Bank, the IDF opens fire on Palestinian protesters in numerous locations, as demonstrations in solidarity with Gaza continue. In clashes by Ofer prison nr. Ramallah, the IDF shoots 2 Palestinians in the legs with live ammunition. Serious clashes are reported in Hebron, Nablus, and Ramallah. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus and 2 nearby villages, Balata r.c. in Nablus, Hebron and 3 nearby villages, 2 villages nr. Jenin, and 3 villages nr. Ramallah at night. (REU 11/21; PCHR 11/29)

As Operation Pillar of Defense continues, the IDF carries out air strikes on 133 targets across Gaza, killing 31 Palestinians, including several children, bringing the Palestinian death toll to 146. The IDF says that those killed include 18 Islamic Jihad and Hamas fighters. IDF air strikes kill 3 Palestinian journalists, attacks condemned by Reporters Without Borders. Palestinian armed groups fire 140 rockets into Israel, killing 1 IDF soldier and 1 Israeli Defense Ministry contractor, bringing the Israeli death toll to 5. In addition, 2 Israelis are wounded by a rocket strike on a building in s. Israel. The Iron Dome intercepts 51 rockets. Meanwhile, Hamas’s Izzedin al-Qassam Brigades (IQB) claim responsibility for the killing of 6 alleged Palestinian collaborators with Israel in the streets of Gaza City. (AP, HA, MNA, REU 11/20)

U.S. secy. of state Hillary Clinton meets with Israeli PM Netanyahu in Jerusalem to urge Israel to deescalate the situation in Gaza. At the press conference afterward, she says that the U.S. is pleased with the success of the Iron Dome defense system. In Cairo, Hamas chief Mishal and Islamic Jihad chief Shalah meet with Egyptian intelligence chief Raafat Shehata in an effort to finalize details of a cease-fire agreement with Israel. Egyptian sources hope that a deal will be signed in Cairo on 11/21 and will include not only an immediate cease-fire, but more long-term negotiation of an easing of Israel’s Gaza blockade. The UN Security Council (UNSC) convenes to discuss the situation in Gaza and Israel but does not come to any conclusions. Arab League secy.-gen. Nabil Elaraby visits Rafah with some 10 Arab foreign ministers to show solidarity with the Palestinians. (AP, Guardian, HA 11/20)

In the West Bank, Palestinians clash with IDF forces at the funerals in Hebron and al-Nabi Salih for the 2 Palestinians killed (see 11/19) in demonstrations against Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in Jenin, Tulkarm and 2 nearby villages, Hebron and 2 nearby villages, Bethlehem, 1 nearby village, and Dahayshah r.c. and Aida r.c. (both in Bethlehem) at night. (MNA 11/20; PCHR 11/22)

Jordanian protesters hold rallies across the country and issue a call for a ‘‘popular uprising’’ against the government in light of rising fuel prices and unpopular economic policies. This is the 7th consecutive day of demonstrations. (HA 11/20)

The IDF strikes another 80 targets, including Gaza’s football stadium and smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border. Gaza’s Ministry of Health says that the Palestinian death toll surpasses 100, including over 30 women and children. The IDF puts the death toll at 95, and says 1/3 were civilians. Rescue workers continue to search for 2 missing persons in the rubble of the destroyed al-Dalou family home (see 11/18). Palestinian armed groups fire 42 rockets into Israel, bringing the total to 1,128 rockets since Israel’s operation began on 11/14; over 300 rockets have been intercepted by Iron Dome, and fewer than 40 have landed in populated areas. (AP, MNA, REU 11/19)

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu rebuffs a French-Qatari cease-fire initiative on the grounds that it could interfere with Egyptian mediation efforts (see 11/18). UN secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon arrives in Cairo to discuss the cease-fire talks. Hamas chief Mishal meets with Egyptian intelligence officials in Cairo, with the Egyptian side indicating that a cease-fire is close. Turkish PM Erdogan denounces Israel for conducting ‘‘terrorist attacks’’ in Gaza. A coalition of almost 40 international aid agencies issue an urgent call for a cease-fire; Amnesty International calls additionally for an arms embargo on Israel and Hamas. (Guardian, HA, WSJ 11/19)

In the West Bank, the IDF kills 2 Palestinians in separate incidents, as Palestinians continue to protest the attack on Gaza: 1 Palestinian from alNabi Salih dies of wounds he sustained on 11/17 when the IDF opened live fire on demonstrators, and the 2d Palestinian is shot dead by IDF troops in Hebron, who claimed they felt that their lives were in danger. At night, the IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Qalqilya, Bethlehem, Tubas and 1 nearby village, 1 village nr. Nablus, al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, and 1 village nr. Hebron. A Jewish settler injures a Palestinian man in a deliberate hit-and-run nr. Ofra settlement, after a Palestinian demonstration against Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense. (MNA 11/19; PCHR 11/22; OCHA 11/27)

On the 5th day of Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense, the IDF attacks on the Gaza Strip kill 31 Palestinians, including 10 civilians from the same family (al-Dalou), who die in a single air strike on a 3-story home in Jabalya. The Palestinian death toll now stands at 66. The IDF also targets a building used by media workers, injuring 6 Quds TV employees. Israel claims it was a legitimate strike on Hamas communications infrastructure. Some 80 targets are hit by the IDF overnight, with the Israeli military reporting having struck over 1,000 sites across the Gaza Strip since the operation began. Palestinian rocket fire into Israel continues, with 2 rockets wounding 7 Israelis in separate incidents. Israel reports that Palestinians have fired around 900 rockets and mortars into Israel since the beginning of the operation, with 1/3 intercepted by Iron Dome. (REU, AFP, MNA, HA 11/18)

In Cairo, Hamas officials and an Israeli delegation discuss a possible cease-fire through Egyptian mediation, though with no sign of a breakthrough. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority (PA) calls for an emergency Arab League summit to address Israel’s ‘‘aggression.’’ (HA, MNA 11/18)

French FM Laurent Fabius, speaking alongside Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman at a press conference in Jerusalem, says that his government is talking with Israel, Egypt, and Qatar in effort to deescalate the situation. (HA, MNA 11/18)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning and 1 village nr. Jericho in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Jericho at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in Hebron, 2 villages nr. Nablus, and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night. (PCHR 11/22)

PA pres. Abbas circulates a draft resolution to UN member states, ahead of an expected vote later in the month on upgrading the Palestinian status to that of non-member observer state. The draft text includes the Palestinian commitment to the two-state solution. An anonymous Palestinian official says that Arab League foreign ministers will discuss the draft and the timing of the vote in a meeting in Cairo on 11/12–13. Israeli FM Lieberman warns of ‘‘far-reaching implications’’ to the UN bid, but Palestinian officials respond with their own threats, such as cancelling the 1994 Paris Protocol, should Israel impose sanctions on the PA after the vote. In meetings with Quartet envoy Tony Blair and the U.S. and French consuls, PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erakat says the UN bid does not contradict the two-state solution. (AP, REU 11/8; JP, MNA 11/9)

The IDF makes a brief incursion into the Gaza Strip nr. Khan Yunis, where troops are engaged by armed PRC mbrs.; the IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian boy during the gun battle. In response, IQB mbrs. detonate a bomb near the border fence, damaging an IDF jeep and wounding 1 soldier. In the West Bank, the IDF uproots trees on land belonging to Nahalin village nr. Bethlehem; patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah, 2 villages nr. Qalqilya, and 4 villages nr. Jenin in the morning; patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya, 1 nr. Jenin, and 1 nr. Ramallah (firing rubber bullets and tear gas at stone-throwing Palestinians) at night; conducts late-night house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Ramallah. (MNA, REU, YA 11/8; MNA 11/9; PCHR 11/14)

Three mortar shells fired from inside Syria land inside the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no injuries. (HA 11/8)

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)

Hamas officials reveal that leader Khalid Mishal has decided to step down, a decision he announced at a recent meeting in Cairo of Hamas’s hierarchy. Mishal will remain in his post until a new leader is chosen through the group’s internal election process. (AP 9/25)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron. (PCHR 9/27)

The Syrian army fires mortar shells into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. The Israeli military says that they were misfired and intended to hit positions inside Syria. (MNA 9/25)

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)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 rockets or mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (2 synchronized) in the evening; conducts late-night patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and Jericho; and conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron and Nablus, firing tear gas and stun grenades at stonethrowing youths who confront them in Nablus (causing no serious injuries). 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), rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters; a Palestinian child (al-Nabi Salih) and 1 Swedish activist (Kafr Qaddum) are moderately injured by tear gas canisters, and 1 Palestinian (Kafr Qaddum) is moderately injured by a rubber-coated steel bullet. (YA 7/28; 8/2; OCHA 8/3)

Pres. Obama signs into law the U.S.-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act, which calls for an unprecedented strengthening of military, intelligence, and technology cooperation intended to preserve Israel’s qualitative military edge. Experts describe the act as prescribing a ‘‘laundry list of security enhancements’’ for Israel (see QU in JPS 165 for details). (JTA, White House press release 7/27; WP 7/28, 7/30; Defense News 8/1)

Hamas acting PM in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh meets with Egyptian pres. Morsi in Cairo to discuss Fatah-Hamas reconciliation prospects and ways of further easing the siege of Gaza. (WP 7/28)

Qalqilya from laying water pipes from a well to a nearby plot of agricultural land, confiscating their excavator and a welding machine. The IDF also a patrols in Tulkarm in the morning; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Susia settlement nr. Hebron seize 5 d. of nearby Palestinian land. (PCHR 7/26; OCHA 7/27)

The longest-ever Palestinian hunger striker, Akram Rikhawi, ends his fast after 103 days in exchange for a pledge that Israel will release him 5 mos. early (in 1/2013). (NYT 7/24)

In Brussels for a regular meeting with the EU, Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman requests that, in light of the 7/18 Bulgaria attack, the EU add Hizballah to its terrorist list. The EU says that thus far there is no proof of Hizballah’s involvement in terror. (NYT 8/16)

Egypt eases travel restrictions on Palestinians that will make it easer for Gazans to enter and will allow them to stay for up to 72 hrs. before returning or transiting through. All Palestinians must still have Palestinian national identification, a passport, or proof of residency in a 3d country and obtain a visa. The move comes a week after newly elected Egyptian pres. Mohamed Morsi held separate meetings in Cairo with PA pres. Abbas and Hamas leader Khalid Mishal. (NYT, WT 7/24)

Hamas’s acting PM in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh authorizes a senior CEC team to begin updating Gaza’s voter rolls, in keeping with agreements reached in Cairo on 5/20/12. The CEC estimates that since the rolls were last updated for the 1/2006 elections, the number of eligible but unregistered Gaza voters has grown to as many as 250,000. (NYT 5/29)

In Hamza village, just n. of Jerusalem, Israeli security forces demolish a gas station, car wash, 2 auto body shops, and 2 cafeterias, confiscating several motorcycles, fuel pumps, gasoline, and equipment. Deeper in the West Bank, IDF soldiers nr. Qalqilya fire tear gas, stun grenades at a group of Palestinian laborers attempting to cross into Israel without permits to find work, causing no injuries but starting a small fire that burns a grove of 20 Palestinian olive trees. The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 nr. Jenin in the morning; in 1 village nr. Jericho in the afternoon; and in 2 villages each nr. Ramallah, Salfit, and Tulkarm and 1 nr. Jenin late at night. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Kafr Qaddum and nr. Hebron, Qalqilya, and Salfit. (PCHR 5/31; OCHA 6/1)

A Turkish court indicts 4 fmr. senior IDF commanders (fmr. IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and those who headed the Israeli navy, air force, and military intelligence) who were in authority when Israel killed 9 Turks aboard the Mavi Marmara aid flotilla ship to Gaza in 2012 (see QU in JPS 157). The 4 officials are unlikely to appear for trial but may be tried in absentia. (NYT, WP 5/29; NYT 6/5)

The Washington Post runs (5/28) a special report alleging proof of an elaborate plan orchestrated either by Iranback Hizballah elements or operatives based in Iran to assassinate U.S. embassy officials and their families in Azerbaijan. The U.S., however, refrains at this stage from accusing Iran or Hizballah of direct involvement. (WP 5/28)

In Cairo, Fatah and Hamas sign an agreement laying out a timetable for implementing the 5/2010 national unity accord: (1) the Palestinian Central Election Commission (CEC) is to begin updating voter registrations in Gaza on 5/22 (previously blocked by Hamas); (2) PA pres. and Fatah head Mahmud Abbas and Hamas leader Khalid Mishal are to form an interim government within 10 days; and (3) elections are to be held and a new permanent government installed within 6 mos. (NYT, WP 5/21; HA 5/22)

The New York Times confirms that Hamas is in the midst of its secret politburo elections that are expected to take several months. (NYT 5/21)

IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire on Palestinian agricultural areas in al-Qarara, wounding 1 unarmed civilian more than 600 meters (m) fr. the border (well outside the 300-m IDF-imposed no-go zone). In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Tulkarm and 2 nearby villages, 3 villages nr. Jenin, and 1 nr. Ramallah in the morning; in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya and 1 nr. Tulkarm in the afternoon (firing tear gas at stone-throwing Palestinian youths who confront them, causing no serious injuries); in Jericho and 1 village each nr. Jenin and Ramallah in the evening; and in 1 village each nr. Jericho, Qalqilya, and Ramallah late at night. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’ refugee camp (r.c.) and Hebron. (PCHR 5/23; OCHA 5/25)

Some 30,000 Israeli Jews march through East Jerusalem and the Old City to mark Israel’s 45th Jerusalem ‘‘reunification’’ day, celebrating Israel’s seizure of East Jerusalem in the 1967 war. In commemoration, Israel’s cabinet allocates $91 m. for the creation of ‘‘public spaces’’ (not identified) in Jerusalem over the next 6 yrs. to develop tourism and infrastructure. (JTA 5/20; WT 5/21)

In the evening, IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of Gaza City fire an artillery shell at a Palestinian home but it does not explode, causing damage but no injuries to the 4 adults and 8 children inside. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 4 villages nr. Ramallah, 2 nr. Qalqilya and 1 nr. Tulkarm during the day; conducts late-night patrols in Jenin town and r.c., 4 villages nr Jenin, 2 nr. Qalqilya, 2 nr. Salfit, 1 nr. Tulkarm. Palestinians (sometimes accompanied by Israeli and international activists) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil’in, Nabi Salih, and Ni`lin; demonstrations in Bil’in also call for solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, causing no reported injuries. Palestinians and international activists also hold 3 large nonviolent demonstrations and marches in various parts of Hebron to mark the 18th anniversary of the Tomb of the Patriarchs massacre. IDF soldiers fire foul-smelling skunk spray, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters. In total, 13 Palestinians are moderately injured and hospitalized 27 are lightly injured and treated by medical crews at the scene, and 2 Palestinians and 1 international are arrested. (PCHR 3/1; OCHA 3/2)

Meanwhile, Palestinians responding to rumors (claimed by Israel to be false) that Israeli security forces plan to escort a group of right-wing Jews onto the al-Aqsa Mosque compound march on the IDF’s al-Ram checkpoint into Jerusalem, blocking the access road with burning tires, throwing stones, and setting off fire works, injuring 11 Israeli soldiers and border police. The IDF fires live ammunition, tear gas, and percussion grenades at the protesters, killing 1 Palestinian. (WP 2/27; PCHR 3/1)

Speaking at Friday prayers in Cairo’s al-Azhar Mosque, Hamas’s acting PM in Gaza, Haniyeh, issues the movement’s 1st public call supporting the Syrian opposition, stating: “I salute all people of the Arab Spring . . . and I salute the heroic people of Syria who are striving for freedom, democracy, and reform.” (NYT, WP 2/25; JPI 3/9)

Israeli and Palestinian officials issue opposing statements on the content of Israel’s principles on borders presented in the Jordanian-sponsored exploratory talks last quarter. Israeli officials say the principles “effectively means a withdrawal from 90% of the West Bank,” similar to proposals made by Israel at the 2008 Annapolis conference. Palestinian officials counter that Israel never presented maps or discussed percentages, stating “If they wanted to say 90% they should have said 90%.” (WT 2/24)

Jerusalem Post reports that Naftali Bennett, former head of PM Netanyahu’s office and a former head of the YESHA settlers council who has recently launched a new group called One State Israel, has started circulating his proposed solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict to Israel’s political and military elites, who reportedly give it “high praise.” His “Israel Stability Initiative,” which he describes as “a practical plan for managing the . . . conflict,” calls for: (1) Israel unilaterally extending sovereignty over West Bank area C (60% of the West Bank); (2) granting citizenship to the 50,000 (by his estimate; as of 8/2011, OCHA put the figure at 150,000) Palestinians in Area C; (3) full PA “autonomy” in and freedom of movement among West Bank areas A and B; (4) no right of return for Palestinian refugees and no access for Palestinian refugees to areas under PA control; (5) a “full Israeli security umbrella” covering all of the West Bank; (6) the permanent separation of Gaza from the West Bank; and (7) heavy Israeli investment in economic projects in the West Bank that reinforce separation, such as joint industrial zones and separate road networks. (JP 2/23; YA 2/24; Foreign Policy online 5/1; see also OCHA, “Displacement and Insecurity in Area C of the West Bank,” 8/2011)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In retaliation, Israeli warplanes and IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire on open areas e. of Khan Yunis, causing no reported injuries. Late at night, after unidentified Palestinians fire another 2 Qassam rockets into Israel (causing no damage or injuries), Israeli warplanes make 3 air strikes on a group of armed Palestinians operating nr. Gaza City and on a Hamas training base in n. Gaza, causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops nr. Hebron uproot 690 trees and bulldoze 22 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of agricultural land, a well and water tank, and 800 meters (m) of fence surrounding the fields, located in Surif village; and demolish a mosque, a school, and 19 shelters in Khirbat Janba bedouin community; conducts daytime patrols in Qalqilya, Tulkarm, 4 villages nr. Ramallah, and 1 nr. Jenin (accidentally damaging 1 home and a water network when an IDF vehicle gets stuck); conducts afternoon and evening patrols in Qalqilya and 1 nearby village, Tulkarm and 3 nearby villages, and 1 village nr. Salfit; conducts late night patrols nr. Qalqilya. In Jerusalem, Israeli police arrest 7 Palestinians for jeering a group of Jews touring the Temple Mount/alAqsa Mosque compound. (JP 2/23; JP, WT, YA 2/24; PCHR 3/1; OCHA 3/2)

PA pres. and Fatah head Abbas holds separate meetings in Cairo with Hamas leader Mishal and Hamas’s acting PM in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh (marking their 1st meeting since 2007). Afterward, Fatah officials stated (Jerusalem Post 2/26) that Abbas has agreed to Mishal’s request to suspend talks on implementation of the 5/2011 Fatah-Hamas unity deal until Hamas resolves its internal disputes. (REU 2/23; JP 2/26)

The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon (firing tear gas and percussion grenades at stone-throwing youths who confront them, causing no serious injuries); conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in `Ayn Bayt al-Ma’a r.c. nr. Nablus and Qalqilya, and nr. Tulkarm (arresting 1 Palestinian released in the recent prisoner swap that freed IDF Cpl. Shalit). Israel approves construction of 600 new settlement housing units in Shiloh settlement, deep in the West Bank. (NYT, PCHR 2/2; PCHR 3/1; OCHA 3/2)

Israel’s High Court repeals (6-3) the 2002 Tal Law that exempted ultraOrthodox Jews who attend yeshivas from mandatory military service; the provision was already set to expire in summer 2012 and Netanyahu had indicated he would not renew it. Some (see WT 2/23) fear the decision could spark a coalition crisis. (NYT, WT 2/23)

Hamas’s internal and external leadership hold a 14-hr. meeting in Cairo (2/22) to discuss their differences over the 5/2011 Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement. The Gaza leadership makes new demands that Mishal take numerous stands that run contrary to the 5/2011 deal and that Abbas would certainly reject (including demanding that Hamas be allowed to control the PA Interior Min. in the transitional government, to name Abbas’s deputy to oversee Gaza during the transition, and to maintain its independent security structure in Gaza. (REU 2/23; JP 2/26)

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

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

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

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

Abbas asks Arab League FMs meeting in Cairo to support his decision not to resume direct peace talks without an Israeli settlement freeze and firm understandings on the basis of talks (including 1967 lines as the basis of final borders). He says he will put his demands in a letter to Netanyahu and if the response is not favorable, he will resume statehood efforts at the UN. (JP, NHR, YA 2/12; WP, WT 2/13)

An Israeli naval vessel detains a Palestinian fishing boat off the n. Gaza shore, arresting 2 fishermen and confiscating their boat. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 nr. Ramallah in the morning; in Tulkarm (randomly stopping and questioning people on the street) and 2 villages nr. Qalqilya and Salfit in the afternoon; and in Jericho, neighboring ‘Ayn al-Sultan r.c., 2 villages nr. Qalqilya (detaining 3 Palestinian policemen until the local District Coordination Office intervenes to free them), and 1 each nr. Jenin and Salfit (firing percussion grenades to intimidate residents) late at night. The IDF also raids a carpentry workshop nr. Qalqilya in the morning, interrogating workers but making no arrests; and conducts latenight arrest raids, house searches in Qalqilya and Tulkarm. (PCHR 2/16; OCHA 2/17)

Haniyeh meets with Iran’s Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran. Khamenei urges Hamas to keep up resistance to Israel and says it is the “duty” of Iran and all Muslims to support the Palestinians. (WT 2/13)

PA Pres. Abbas meets with Quartet special envoy Blair in Jordan before leaving for Cairo to meet with Arab League FMs. Blair urges Abbas to continue low-level talks on borders; says he has urged Israel to make goodwill gestures to revive talks, including easing security restrictions in the West Bank and releasing prisoners. (UPI, WAFA 2/11; YA 2/12)

Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In response, Israeli warplanes make 4 late-night air strikes on s. Gaza, targeting an open area nr. al-Shuka and 3 Palestinian homes in Gaza City, al-Qarara, and Rafah (suspected weapons depots and entrances to smuggling tunnels), killing 1 Palestinian civilian, wounding another, and causing heavy damage. The IDF patrols in Tulkarm and 2 villages nr. Jenin in the morning; patrols in another 2 villages nr. Jenin in the afternoon (in 1 instance firing tear gas and stun grenades at stone-throwing youths who confront them); conducts late-night patrols in 1 village each nr. Jenin, Jericho, Qalqilya, Ramallah, and Tulkarm; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya and Ramallah. Palestinian students at Birzeit University hold a nonviolent march to Israel’s Ofer prison nr. Ramallah to show support for hunger-striking Islamic Jihad prisoner Khader Adnan; IDF troops outside the prison fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, stun grenades at the protesters who reply with stones; 4 journalists and several protesters are lightly injured. Jewish settlers fr. Susia settlement in Hebron attack 6 Palestinians planting almond trees on a 20-d. plot nearby (moderately injuring them) and uproot the newly planted seedlings; the IDF observes but does not intervene. (JP 2/11, 2/12; PCHR 2/16; OCHA 2/17)

Palestinian and Israeli negotiators hold a 5th round of talks in Amman. Molcho verbally outlines Israel’s guiding principles on borders and security, offering nothing new and putting nothing in writing. Afterward, Abbas meets with King Abdallah and issues a statement saying the exploratory talks with Israel have ended without progress; the Palestinians will weigh their next steps in consultation with the Arab League at a meeting in Cairo on 2/4 (later moved to 2/12). He says: “If we demarcate the borders, we can return to negotiations, but the Israelis do not want demarcation of borders.” Israel sticks by its position that Israel technically has until 4/3 to produce position papers (since teams began meeting on 1/3) and that if the Palestinians refuse to continue talks until 4/3, it is they who are walking away fr. negotiations. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, already in the region, meets separately with PA Pres. Abbas and Israeli PM Netanyahu to urge them to keep the talks going, especially pressing Israel to make some kind of confidence-building gesture (she recommends transferring more authority to the PA). Late at night, after these meetings, the Israeli team gives the Palestinians a document (not released) that puts the guiding principles in writing (reportedly including Israeli control over Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley, and almost all settlements); no maps are included. UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-Moon says he will make his own visit to the region in the next week to encourage the sides to continue talks. (WAFA 1/25; HA, NYT, WP, WT 1/26; REU, WP 1/27; NYT 1/28; Asia Times 1/31)

The IDF demolishes a Palestinian home adjacent to Carmiel settlement nr. Hebron. A Palestinian is killed when he is accidentally buried by a supply of construction gravel being transported through a smuggling tunnel. (PCHR 1/26; OCHA 2/3)

The IDF makes a brief incursion into n. Gaza in the morning to level lands and clear lines of sight along the border e. of Jabaliya r.c., firing on nearby residential areas to keep Palestinians indoors. In Dura and Ithna villages nr. Hebron, the IDF destroys 1 Palestinian home, part of 2 other homes, 9 agricultural pools and irrigation networks, 4 water tanks, and 5 wells, also confiscating 15 water pumps and other agricultural equipment. The IDF also patrols in 3 villages nr. Qalqilya and 1 nr. Jenin in the evening; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Bethlehem and neighboring Dahaysha r.c. Washington Jewish Week reports that in the previous wk., Israel’s Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court rejected 2 lawsuits demanding the eviction of Palestinian families fr. their Silwan homes; the suits were brought by Eldad, an organization seeking to Judaize Jerusalem in part by settling Jews in the predominantly Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, nr. the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. (WJW 12/22; PCHR 12/29; OCHA 1/5)

At the close of 2 days of talks in Cairo, Fatah’s Abbas and Hamas’s Mishal agree that they will both sit on the comm. that will prepare for the next elections of the PLO’s parliament-in-exile, the Palestinian National Council (PNC), marking a major step toward Hamas joining the PLO. They also agree to form an interim unity government by the end of 1/2012 and to bring elected Hamas-affiliated legislators back into the PA’s parliament, the Palestinian Council (PC), in 2/2012. (NYT, AP, WP, WT 12/23; HA 12/28)

Reports indicate that Hamas is scaling back its presence in Syria because of violence there, but overall feels buoyed by the Arab Spring. Senior Hamas official Mahmud Zahar states that Hamas feels strengthened and validated by the popular support shown for Islamist parties in countries affected by the Arab Spring, suggesting that the new Tunisian model of power-sharing among Islamist and secular nationalist parties could be a model for the Palestinians. (WP 12/22)

IDF spokesman Maj. Guy Inbar acknowledges that Israel plans to relocate some 2,000 Bedouin fr. 20 encampments in the hills e. of Jerusalem (in area C) to clear the way for the expansion of Ma’ale Adumim settlement into the E1 zone to link it with Jerusalem. Officially, the government says the relocation plans are part of its broader initiative to “provide the bedouin across the West Bank with sites where they can build legally with access to water, electricity, and government services.” Construction in the E1 zone and settlers’ preparations for expansion of Ma’ale Adumim into the area have been planned since 2009, but this marks the 1st admission that the government has started logistical planning to remove the Bedouin population fr. the area. Meanwhile, Israeli DM Ehud Barak approves establishment of a new 40-unit settlement neighborhood and farm nr. Efrat settlement to expand the Gush Etzion settlement block s. of Bethlehem; the new settlement, to be called Givat Hadagan, was approved for development in the 1990s, with plans to build 500 housing units. Israel closes the old wooden Mughrabi footbridge (deemed unsafe) used by non-Muslims to reach the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount; the PA and Waqf officials protest, saying Israel plans to build a larger permanent structure to assert its control over the site, which is holy to both Muslims and Jews. Also in East Jerusalem, the IDF demolishes a Palestinian home in Bayt Hanina. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Qalqilya twice in the afternoon; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem and Jenin. Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar settlement nr. Nablus vandalize nearby Palestinian homes and cars twice during the day, including throwing a Molotov cocktail at a home. Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron nr. Qalqilya stone passing Palestinian vehicles, injuring 3 Palestinians. (HA 12/12; NYT, WP 12/13; PCHR 12/15; OCHA 12/16; HA 12/18)

Israel’s new amb. to Egypt, Ya’akov Amitai, arrives in Cairo. Israel withdrew its former ambassador for safety reasons on 9/9/11, when Egyptian protesters ransacked the Israeli embassy (see QU in JPS 162). (WP 12/13)

Hamas leader Mishal and PA pres. and Fatah head Abbas meet for 2 hrs. in Cairo to hold the 1st detailed talks since 8/2011 on implementing their 5/2011 national unity deal (see QU in JPS 161). They approve a 2-page document (leaked to AFP on 11/24, which publishes excerpts, but not released publicly) reiterating their commitment to the main elements of the 5/2011 accord, agreeing to observe a truce in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (including halting political arrests), vowing to increase “popular resistance” to oppose Israel’s settlement expansion and construction of the separation wall, and pledging that the factions would agree on the “style” of popular resistance and form “a framework to direct it.” In an interview with AFP later in the day, Mishal clarifies that Hamas believes in both armed and popular resistance, stating “armed struggle is our right. How we use it, and when we use it, is something different.” Mishal and Abbas fail, however, to resolve key issues regarding composition of an interim unity government and elections. Though both call the meeting positive, sources say (e.g., WP 11/25) that the meeting “raised new questions about whether the rivals are serious about working together or just going through the motions.” (AFP 11/24; NHR, NYT, WP, WT 11/25; WP 12/22)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinian farmers working their fields nr. the no-go zone, forcing them to flee. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them back to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF troops operating in the Hebron area demolish a mosque, 2 Palestinian homes, a rabbit farm, and a generator and block up a cave used as an agricultural storeroom in Yatta village; demolish 1 Palestinian home, 3 wells, and 3 agricultural storehouses in Ithna village; bulldoze a residential tent and an animal pen in Khirbat Susia. The IDF also patrols in 5 villages nr. Jenin (1 village is entered twice; 3 villages are entered simultaneously) and 3 villages nr. Qalqilya (2 villages are entered simultaneously). (PCHR 12/1; OCHA 12/2)

Israel announces it has signed a prisoner swap agreement in Cairo with Hamas, which agreed to free IDF soldier Gilad Shalit (captured on the Gaza border in 6/2006). In return, Israel will release around 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in 2 stages: the 1st 450 Palestinians would be exchanged for Shalit within a wk.; the remaining 550 or so Palestinians would be freed within 2 mos. In Gaza, 1,000s pour into the streets to celebrate. (NYT, WP, WT 10/12; NYT, WP 10/13; NYT 10/17, 11/6)

Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops in Hebron violently beat a group of Palestinian children and teachers who refuse new IDF demands to submit to searches before crossing a permanent checkpoint in al-Shuhada Street to reach the Cordoba Elementary School, moderately injuring 7 children (ages 10–15). The IDF also demolishes a newly constructed mosque in Khirbat Yazra nr. Tubas; demolishes 2 Palestinian homes and an animal pen belonging to a bedouin family outside Qalqilya; conducts synchronized latenight patrols in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya. (YA 10/11; PCHR 10/13; OCHA 10/14)

Netanyahu announces a last-minute decision to lead the Israeli delegation to the UNGA session. He calls on Abbas to restart negotiations with him in New York that would be continued in Jerusalem and Ramallah upon their return, giving no details on the basis for relaunching talks. Senior Palestinian official Hussam Zumlut reiterates that the Palestinian leadership is ready to consider any “serious and credible” proposal to resume talks, meaning it must include a settlement freeze and acceptance of the terms of reference of the previous agreements. (HA, WP 9/20)

Obama begins a 3-day diplomatic push at the UN in NY, meant to “express our support for a negotiated, two-state solution.” (AFP, WP 9/19)

Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore and confiscating several nets left behind. A 14-yr.-old Palestinian child dies of injuries sustained in an 8/19/11 Israeli air strike on Gaza City. In the West Bank, the IDF uproots 500 olive, fig, and almond trees in Dayr Istya village nr. Salfit, saying they were planted on state land (see 9/14); patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 nr. Qalqilya in the morning; conducts late-night patrols in 2 villages nr. Jericho and Salfit; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Nur Shams r.c. nr. Tulkarm. Jewish settlers attempt to set up tents on the evacuated Homesh settlement site, but are removed by the IDF. Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar settlement nr. Nablus burn 10s of dunams of Palestinian agricultural land nr. Asira Qibliyya village. (WT 9/21; PCHR 9/22; OCHA 9/23)

The Israeli emb. in Cairo reopens after a 10-day shutdown, but the amb. has not returned. (NYT 9/20)

Abbas briefs Arab League FMs in Cairo on the Ross-Hale visit. The FMs say that they strongly prefer that the Palestinians seek observer-state status via the UNGA rather than full memberstate status via the UNSC so as to avoid a serious confrontation with the U.S., but that they will support whatever he decides to do. Palestinian chief negotiator Erakat says (9/13) that the Palestinians are waiting to hear new proposals being drafted by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Quartet envoy Blair before deciding. (Forbes, REU 9/12; NYT, WT 9/13; NYT 9/14; NYT 9/17; JPI 9/23)

IDF troops on the c. Gaza border fire on Juhur al-Dik village, causing damage to a house but no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts synchronized daytime patrols in 2 villages e. of Qalqilya; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. Jewish settlers set fire to 2 Palestinian cars and vandalize a Palestinian home in Burqa village nr. Ramallah. Jewish settlers fr. Karme Tzur nr. Hebron uproot 160 grape arbors on nearby Palestinian land. Jewish settlers fr. Gil’ad settlement nr. Qalqilya stone Palestinian cars on the Qalqilya–Nablus road, causing no injuries; the IDF intervenes by closing the road to Palestinian traffic for 5 hrs. (PCHR 9/15; OCHA 9/16)

IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire toward Abasan village, causing no injuries; later fire on and detain 3 Palestinian children (2 age 17, 1 age 14) who crossed the border fence into Israel e. of Khan Yunis in effort to find work, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah during the day and in 2 villages nr. Salfit, 1 nr. Jericho, and 1 nr. Ramallah late at night; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Ramallah in the afternoon and nr. Hebron late at night. (PCHR 9/15; OCHA 9/16)

After more than 13 hrs. of heavy clashes (in which 2 Egyptians are killed, some 1,200 are injured, and 19 are arrested), Egyptian commandos free the 6 employees trapped in the Israeli emb. in Cairo, and Egyptian riot police manage to disperse protesters. Netanyahu praises Egypt’s efforts to defend embassy staff and pledges to return Israel’s amb. to Cairo soon. (IFM, NYT, WP 9/11; Politico [Internet] 9/13)