165 / 15225 Results
  • September 4, 2014

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Nablus and 1 nr. Hebron; patrols in 2 villages each nr. Hebron and Jenin. (HA 9/5; PCHR 9/11)

    The PA...

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  • June 3, 2014

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm in the morning, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron and 2 villages nr. Jenin at night. (PCHR 6/5)

    Israeli PM Netanyahu says he is “...

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  • May 22, 2014

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

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  • February 18, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on agricultural lands nr. Khan Yunis, causing no injuries, while separately also open fire nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries. IDF troops conduct 2...

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  • February 10, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 1 rocket into s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Later, a second rocket is fired, also causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts...

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  • December 10, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli troops open fire on agricultural areas nr. Khan Yunis, causing no casualties. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, in addition to...

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  • November 5, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF troops positioned at the separation wall fire on stone-throwing Palestinian children nr. Qatanna village in East Jerusalem, seriously wounding 1 with a rubber-coated metal...

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  • September 26, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 1 nearby village in the afternoon; patrols in 1 village each nr. Jericho and Ramallah. In Jerusalem, Israeli...

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  • September 25, 2013

    In the West Bank, Israeli troops enter Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah and open fire on Palestinians, injuring 3 with live ammunition. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr....

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  • September 22, 2013

    In the West Bank, a Palestinian sniper shoots and kills an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint in Hebron. Subsequently, IDF troops place the city under lockdown, and raid numerous homes. IDF troops...

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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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  • December 19, 2012

    Fourteen of 15 mbrs. of the UNSC make statements condemning Israel’s settlement construction plans, while the U.S. vows to veto any resolution on the issue. Four separate statements are made by...

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  • November 13, 2012

    An IQB mbr. dies of injuries sustained in an attack earlier on 11/10. His death brings the total number of fatalities in Gaza since 11/10 to 7, including 4 civilians, and around 40 wounded (16...

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  • May 30, 2012

    Israeli naval vessels halt and seize 2 Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, detaining 4 fishermen. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night patrols in al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron and...

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  • May 24, 2012

    The IDF issues a military order confiscating 29 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of Palestinian land in Dayr Istya village nr. Salfit for ‘‘security and military purposes and to combat terrorist attacks...

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  • March 17, 2011

    Israeli warplanes overfly s. Gaza, dropping leaflets warning Palestinians not to enter the 300-m no-go zone along the border fence. Israel seals the West Bank until 3/21 for the Purim holiday....

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  • March 15, 2011

    Uruguay recognizes an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 lines. (XIN 3/16)

    Egypt completes repairs to its natural gas pipeline damaged during the 2/2011 Egyptian unrest (see...

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  • January 25, 2007

    In Gaza, Islamic Jihad mbrs. fire on an IDF observation post on the border e. of Khan Yunis, sparking an exchange of fire that causes no injuries. Egyptian forces blow up 2 smugglers’ tunnels on...

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  • August 4, 2001

    In Ramallah, 2 IDF missiles narrowly miss the car of Fatah tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti in an apparent assassination attempt. Israel claims that a Force 17 mbr. traveling in a 2d...

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  • July 11, 2000

    At Camp David, MD, Arafat, Barak, Clinton open their 3-way summit on final status issues under a media blackout. According to the State Dept., Clinton 1st holds brief 1-on-1 mtgs. with Arafat,...

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  • April 11, 2000

    In Washington, Clinton holds 4 hrs. of talks with Barak on PA-Israeli final status talks, IDF withdrawal fr. s. Lebanon, the Syrian-Israeli negotiations, Israel's planned sale of...

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  • April 6, 2000

    PA, Israeli teams resume FAPS talks at Bolling AFB. (WJW 4/6; WP 4/7)

    In Beirut, Lebanese pres. Lahoud, UN special envoy Terje Larsen discuss Israel's plans to...

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  • April 3, 2000

    After a mtg. with PM Barak in Israel, U.S. Defense Secy. William Cohen says that plans for a U.S.-Israeli defense pact have been put on hold since the deal is contingent upon Israeli...

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  • December 17, 1999

    Russian dep. FM Sredin arrives in Cairo on 2-day visit, discusses with FM Musa reviving multilateral talks. (ITAR-TASS, MENA 12/17, MENA 12/18 in WNC 12/20)

    The UN Security Council (UNSC)...

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  • June 16, 1999

    PA summons Palestinian construction workers to police stations, orders them to quit their jobs in Jewish settlements in Gaza to block the enclaves' expansion. (NYT 6/17; JP 6/25; NYT 7/2)

    ...

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  • April 25, 1999

    Arafat stops in Ghana, Nigeria for consultations on unilateral declaration of Palestinian state issue before concluding his 56 nation consultative tour. (Ghana Broadcasting...

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  • April 14, 1999

    Arafat arrives in China for talks on the Palestinian statehood issue. (Xinhua 4/15 in WNC 4/19)

    Jordan's King Abdallah holds talks with UAE leader Shaykh Zayid on...

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  • January 13, 1999

    PC gives Arafat 2 wks. to press charges or release Palestinian political prisoners being held in PA jails without trial, demands halt to political detention. (LAW 1/13; MEI 1/29)

    Israeli, U...

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  • December 21, 1998

    After unsuccessful last-minute attempt to form unity government with the Labor party, PM Netanyahu removes his opposition to a bill calling for early elections, which passes (81-30), thereby...

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  • November 14, 1998

    Citing Annan's letter, Iraq agrees to resume cooperation with the UN, forcing Pres. Clinton to abort a strike already in motion. At the UNSC, the U.S. rejects Iraq's announcement as "unacceptable...

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In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Nablus and 1 nr. Hebron; patrols in 2 villages each nr. Hebron and Jenin. (HA 9/5; PCHR 9/11)

The PA Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction releases a report with initial estimates for the cost of rebuilding the Gaza Strip. The council, which coordinates the implementation of donor projects, concludes that the project will cost $7.8 b., which includes $4.4 b. of “direct losses” and $3.02 b. set aside for “development needs.” (MNA, REU 9/4)

U.S. and Iranian officials begin bilateral talks in Geneva on Iran’s disputed nuclear program. Meanwhile, EU officials say that reps. of Iran and the P5+1 group (the U.S., UK, China, France, Russia, and Germany) will hold new talks in New York on 9/18, to continue efforts at reaching a comprehensive deal before their 11/24 deadline. (AFP, REU 9/4)

A projectile attributed to “errant fire” by the Israeli military hits the occupied Golan Heights from inside Syrian territory, causing no injuries. In response, the IDF hits an unspecified target in Syria, which opposition sources claim is a Syrian army base. There are no reports of casualties. (REU 9/4)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm in the morning, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron and 2 villages nr. Jenin at night. (PCHR 6/5)

Israeli PM Netanyahu says he is “deeply troubled” by the U.S. decision to maintain ties and aid to the PA unity govt. In response, U.S. State Dept. dep. spokesperson Harf says that the unity govt. is not “backed by Hamas” and contains “no mbrs. of Hamas.” Further endorsement of the new PA govt. comes from Russia, China, India, Turkey, France, and the UK. EU foreign affairs chief Ashton calls the formation of the unity govt. “an important step.” UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon also welcomes the move. Meanwhile, PLO executive comm. mbr. Hanna Amira says that Israel has notified the PA that it is imposing sanctions in response to the unity govt.’s formation. These include the invalidation of VIP cards of PA officials, reduction of tax revenues, which Israel collects and delivers to the PA, and prevention of visits between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. (AP, HA, MNA, REU 6/4)

A presidential election is held in Syria, and Pres. Bashar al-Asad is expected to win a majority of the vote. Opponents of the pres. dismiss the election because al-Asad’s 2 rival candidates, Hassan al-Nouri and Maher Hajjar, were both approved by a parliament dominated by al-Asad’s supporters. State Dept. dep. spokesperson Harf says the U.S. sees the election as “a disgrace” and that Pres. al-Asad “has no more credibility today than he did yesterday.” French FM Laurent Fabius calls it “a tragic farce.” (AP, REU 6/3)

Egypt’s election commission reports its official results, announcing that al-Sisi won 96.91% in the presidential vote, with a turnout of 47% of 54 m. voters nationwide. (AP, REU 6/3)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion to level land close to the border fence nr. Khan Yunis. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Hebron, Qalqilya, and Salfit at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron, and 1 village each nr. Nablus, Ramallah, and Salfit at night. Israeli settlers use bulldozers to level Palestinian-owned land nr. Salfit. (MNA 5/22; PCHR 5/29)

Israeli PM Netanyahu says that “the idea of taking unilateral steps is gaining ground” among Israel’s political class, particularly in light of the collapse of U.S.-led negotiations, in an exclusive interview published by Bloomberg View. Netanyahu’s office subsequently clarifies that this is not a reference to any intention to evacuate settlements. Economy Minister Naftali Bennett welcomes the remarks and urges the adoption of his plan, which would include the annexation of parts of the West Bank. Meanwhile, senior Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official Hanan Ashrawi condemns talk of unilateral steps as a way to bypass talks, while U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Marie Harf responds to Netanyahu’s remarks by emphasising that “no one should take any steps that undermine trust, including unilateral.” (Bloomberg, HA, YA 5/23)

China and Russia veto a UN Security Council (UNSC) res., drafted by France, referring the Syrian crisis to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for an investigation into possible war crimes. The 13 other mbrs. of the UNSC vote in favor. It is the 4th time that China and Russia have blocked Western-drafted resolutions on Syria since spring 2011. Meanwhile, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) says that the last 100 tons of Syria’s declared stockpile of precursors for poison gas and nerve agents are ready for transport, but Syrian authorities say it is too dangerous to move them for the time being. (AFP, AP 5/23)

Gunmen kill Shadi al-Manaei, leader of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, along with 3 other mbrs. of the Egypt-based militant group, in a drive-by shooting in c. Sinai. Egyptian officials say that the attack is likely revenge for the group’s killing of local tribesmen as “collaborators.” (AP 5/22)

Lawmakers allied with Hizballah boycott a session of Lebanon’s parliament, blocking the body from electing a new pres. This is the 5th failed attempt in the past mo. Lebanon’s current pres., Michael Suleiman, is scheduled to leave office on 5/24, the last day of his 6-year term. (AP 5/22)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on agricultural lands nr. Khan Yunis, causing no injuries, while separately also open fire nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries. IDF troops conduct 2 separate limited incursions nr. Khan Yunis to level land. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. Meanwhile, IDF sources say that they discovered a large bomb buried nr. the border fence in the s. Gaza Strip, the 4th such device discovered since the beginning of 2014. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon; patrols in 2 villages nr. Hebron in the afternoon. Jewish settlers uproot 650 olive tree seedlings nr. Ramallah. (HA, MNA 2/18; PCHR 2/20)

Secy.-Gen. of the Fatah Revolutionary Council Amin Maqboul says that the group’s reconciliation delegation head Azzam al-Ahmad will not travel to the Gaza Strip until Hamas agrees to general elections and the formation of a unity govt. (MNA 2/18)

Two rockets fired from inside Syria land inside the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. (AFP 2/18)

Representatives of Iran and the P5+1 countries begin talks in Vienna to try and reach a comprehensive deal on Tehran’s disputed nuclear program. The P5+1 countries include the U.S., UK, France, China, Russia, and Germany. Bilateral talks between senior U.S. and Iranian officials take place on the sidelines. Under Secy. of State Wendy Sherman heads the U.S. delegation, with Iran’s Dep. FM Abbas Araghchi co-leading his side’s team with FM Mohammad Javad Zarif. (AP, REU 2/18)

Jihadist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis issues a statement warning tourists to leave Egypt by 2/20, or face attack by the group’s mbrs. (REU 2/18)

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 1 rocket into s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Later, a second rocket is fired, also causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 1 nearby village, Nablus, Tubas, 1 village and Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah at night; patrols in 2 villages each nr. Hebron and Ramallah, and in 1 village each nr. Jenin, Salfit, and Tulkarm at night. In East Jerusalem, Jewish extremists vandalize 16 cars in Silwan, and leave “price-tag” graffiti. (HA, ToI 2/10; PCHR 2/13)

A second round of UN-sponsored peace talks on Syria gets underway in Switzerland, with no sign of even a modest breakthrough. Meanwhile, Russia and China frustrate efforts to draw up a UNSC res. that would raise the prospect of sanctions against Damascus without unrestricted access for the delivery of humanitarian aid. Reps. from Russia promise to veto the res., saying that it would prepare the way for military strikes against the Syrian govt. Meanwhile, the OPCW says in a statement that Syria has shipped a 3rd batch of chemical weapons material out of its territory via an internationally accompanied Norwegian cargo vessel. (AP, MNA, REU 2/10)

The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, says that Tehran has developed new, more powerful centrifuges, used for enriching uranium. Salehi claims that the development does not violate the 6-mo. interim deal that went into effect on 1/20. Meanwhile, Pres. Ruhani states that the country’s doors are open to IAEA inspectors. (AFP, JP, REU 2/10)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli troops open fire on agricultural areas nr. Khan Yunis, causing no casualties. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, in addition to 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. Israeli forces also demolish Palestinian-owned structures in the n. Jordan Valley. In East Jerusalem, around 100 newly-recruited Israeli soldiers enter Haram alSharif escorted by police officers. (MNA, PCHR 12/10)

In Israel, attackers vandalize a dozen cars and leave racist graffiti in Akbara village nr. Safed. (MNA 12/10)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry tells the House Foreign Affairs Cmte. that the Obama administration is requesting that negotiators be given time to do their jobs in talks with Iran, and for Congress to hold off on passing any new sanctions-related bills. Kerry affirms that it is a “very delicate diplomatic moment.” U.S. Senate Banking Cmte. chmn. Tim Johnson (D-SD) says he will not back new sanctions legislation at this time. Meanwhile in Geneva, Iranian delegation head Hamid Baeedinejad says that talks with the IAEA are going smoothly. The meeting is also attended by officials from the U.S., China, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and the EU. (JP, REU 12/10)

U.S. Defense Secy. Hagel meets with the Qatari emir Shaykh Tamim bin Hamad and DM Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah, and signs a 10-year defense cooperation agreement that will govern interaction between U.S. and Qatari forces. (REU 12/10)

In the West Bank, IDF troops positioned at the separation wall fire on stone-throwing Palestinian children nr. Qatanna village in East Jerusalem, seriously wounding 1 with a rubber-coated metal bullet. The IDF conducts house searches in Hebron and al-‘Arub r.c. nearby, in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; patrols in Tulkarm in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. (PCHR 11/7)

According to unnamed Palestinian officials, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators hold talks that break down in an argument over settlement construction, just hours before U.S. Secy. of State Kerry arrives in Jerusalem. The talks are the sides’ 16th such meeting, and U.S. envoy Martin Indyk also participates. On arrival, Kerry says that while the talks are experiencing difficulties, he still believes it is possible to reach an agreement. Israeli media report that Israeli negotiators have told their Palestinian counterparts that the separation wall will serve as the border of the future Palestinian state. (AFP, HA, MNA, REU 11/6)

UN and Arab League envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi meets Russian dep. FMs Gennady Gatilov and Mikhail Bogdanov and U.S. Undersecy. of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman to discuss preparations for a long-delayed peace conference known as “Geneva 2.” Reps. of China, France, and Britain join the meeting later. However, the talks end without a set date. (AFP 11/6)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 1 nearby village in the afternoon; patrols in 1 village each nr. Jericho and Ramallah. In Jerusalem, Israeli security forces accompany Jewish right-wing activists as they enter the al-Aqsa mosque compound. According to reports, more than 700 ultra-Orthodox Jews have entered the compound to celebrate Sukkot since last Wednesday. (MNA 9/26; PCHR 10/3)

PA pres. Abbas addresses the UNGA and describes the current peace talks as a “last chance.” He urges international pressure to stop settlement construction, and says that the aim is to reach a permanent agreement within 9 mos., rejecting the possibility of a “temporary” arrangement. (AFP, AP, HA 9/26)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry and Iranian FM Zarif hold one-on-one talks at the UN, the highest level direct discussions in a generation. Zarif also discusses the nuclear issue with his counterparts from the UK, China, France, Germany, and Russia, as well as Kerry. The talks are widely described as positive, with Kerry calling the meeting “very constructive” but with many questions remaining. (AP, REU 9/26)

The U.S. and Russia reach agreement on a draft UN res. designed to rid Syria of its chemical weapons. The compromise makes the measure legally binding but avoids automatic recourse to military force by way of enforcement, instead requiring another res. under Chapter 7 to be passed. (AP, REU 9/26)

In the West Bank, Israeli troops enter Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah and open fire on Palestinians, injuring 3 with live ammunition. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Jericho at night.

In Jerusalem, security forces raid the al-Aqsa mosque compound in response to stone-throwing from Palestinians. (MNA, YA 9/25; PCHR 9/26)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry says that Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to intensify the peace talks and increase the U.S. role. Kerry describes 2 tracks: 1 among the 2 sides’ negotiators, and another among Abbas, Netanyahu, Kerry, and Pres. Obama. (HA, REU 9/25)

Unnamed Western diplomats claim that envoys from the U.S., Russia, France, China, and Britain have come to an agreement on the basis of a res. on Syria’s chemical weapons, something denied by Russian sources. Meanwhile, UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky says chemical weapons experts will investigate 3 alleged incidents of chemical weapons use earlier this year in Syria, and seek information on 3 alleged incidents in 8/2013. (AP, REU 9/25)

In the West Bank, a Palestinian sniper shoots and kills an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint in Hebron. Subsequently, IDF troops place the city under lockdown, and raid numerous homes. IDF troops open fire on Palestinians throwing stones in c. Hebron, wounding 1 with a rubber-coated metal bullet. Elsewhere, Jewish settlers nr. Qalqilya move into Palestinian-owned lands and destroy some 30 olive trees and damage equipment. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron in the morning, and in Hebron and 2 nearby villages, 2 villages nr. Ramallah, 1 village nr. Jenin and Qalqilya at night; patrols in 3 villages nr. Tulkarm in the morning, in 3 villages nr. Jenin, 2 villages nr. Tulkarm, 2 villages nr. Qalqilya and Salfit and 1 nearby village in the afternoon, and in Jenin and 1 nearby village, 1 village nr. Tulkarm and Hebron at night. (MNA 9/22; PCHR 9/26)

Israel permits the 1st delivery into the Gaza Strip of cement and steel for use by the private sector since 2007, with 70 trucks entering, according to PA official Raed Fattouh. (MNA 9/22)

Unidentified gunmen open fire on an Israeli army patrol operating close to the border with Syria in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The IDF returns fire to the source. There are no reports of damage or casualties on either side. Meanwhile, Pres. Asad praises the role of China and Russia, in an interview with Chinese television, and says he is not worried about a draft res. submitted by the U.S., UK, and France. Separately, SNC head Ahmad Jarba writes to the UNSC to say his opposition group is prepared to attend a proposed Geneva conference if the aim of the talks is to establish a transitional govt. (REU, ToI 9/22)

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)

Fourteen of 15 mbrs. of the UNSC make statements condemning Israel’s settlement construction plans, while the U.S. vows to veto any resolution on the issue. Four separate statements are made by the 8 council mbrs. from the Non-Aligned Movement, the 4 European mbrs., as well as Russia and China. Meanwhile, the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Comm. approves the creation of a new Jewish settlement, Givat Hamatos, in the s. of East Jerusalem, not far from Har Homa. In addition, Israel’s Defense Ministry advances plans to build 523 homes in Giva’ot settlement in the Gush Etzion bloc, though this plan is long-standing and unrelated to the recent high-profile construction announcements tied to the Palestinian bid at the UN. (REU, HA, JP 12/19)

The IDF announces that it will issue permits to around 500 Christian Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to visit Bethlehem for Christmas. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Jenin, Nur Shams r.c. nr. Tulkarm, 1 village each nr. Hebron and Jenin, and 2 villages nr. Nablus. (JP 12/19; PCHR 12/20)

Palestinian government employees begin a 2-day general strike to protest a delay in the payment of their wages due to Israel’s withholding of around $100 m. customs revenue. Around 50,000 workers take part in the strike. Meanwhile, Palestine Monetary Authority chief Jihad al-Wazir says that Palestinian banks will lend the PA $100 m., set to be repaid when the Arab League delivers its promised financial safety net. (REU 12/19; MNA 12/19)

Israel’s Central Elections Comm. votes to disqualify MK Haneen Zoabi, from Balad party, from running in the forthcoming elections, a decision based largely on her participation in the 2010 Gaza flotilla. (HA 12/19)

Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas offers to take in Palestinian refugees fleeing from fighting in Syria, and UN secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon calls on Israel to facilitate their entry. Meanwhile, the UN launches its biggest aid appeal to date for Syria, estimating that it needs $1.5 b. to cope with a ‘‘dramatically deteriorating humanitarian situation.’’ Meanwhile, the Security Council passes a U.S.-and-Russian-drafted resolution on extending the peacekeeping mission in the demilitarized zone between Syria and Israel. The resolution expresses concern at the presence of both government and rebel forces in the zone. (MNA 12/18; AP, Guardian, UN News Center 12/19)

An IQB mbr. dies of injuries sustained in an attack earlier on 11/10. His death brings the total number of fatalities in Gaza since 11/10 to 7, including 4 civilians, and around 40 wounded (16 Israelis have been injured, including 8 civilians). The 11/12 truce largely holds, though unidentified Palestinians fire 3 rockets during the day, causing no injuries but in 1 case damaging a greenhouse. The IDF strikes targets in the Gaza Strip early in the morning, causing no casualties. Some reports citing Israeli defense officials claim that Israel is considering renewing its assassination of militant leaders. But in a meeting with southern Israeli mayors, Netanyahu says Israel does not expect to embark on significant military action in Gaza or pursue assassinations. (AP, HA, MNA, REU 11/13)

China announces that it will support the Palestinian bid for UN observer status, while an EU spokesperson is quoted as saying that a dozen of the EU mbr. states will vote in favor. (JTA, REU 11/13)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces storm Husan village, w. of Bethlehem, at dawn and demolish an automobile repair shop. The IDF also conducts late-night patrols in 1 village nr. Jericho. (WAFA 11/13; PCHR 11/14)

Israeli naval vessels halt and seize 2 Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, detaining 4 fishermen. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night patrols in al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron and in 1 village nr. Jericho, and late-night house searches nr. Bethlehem, summoning 1 Palestinian for interrogation. (PCHR 5/31, 6/7; OCHA 6/8)

At a conference sponsored by Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), Israeli DM Ehud Barak says Israel should consider imposing final borders on the Palestinians, becoming the senior-most official to propose unilateral actions in light of the stalled peace process. Others (unnamed) reportedly (NYT 5/31)

urged against drastic unilateral steps, recommending that ‘‘unilateral steps could be phased in over many years and be designed ... to give Israel a stronger hand in final status’’—effectively what the Israel has been doing as unstated policy for decades. Speaking at the same conference, Gen. Shlomo Brom (Ret.), who heads INSS’s program on the Palestinian conflict, called the unilateral route ‘‘the only remaining course of action,’’ and former Israeli military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin, also an INSS staff member, told the conference that unilateralism was ‘‘the best of all evils,’’ urging Israel to take action in its own selfinterest, ‘‘without conditioning it on the agreement of the Palestinians.’’ (NYT 5/31)

At the INSS conference in Tel Aviv, Israeli DM Ehud Barak also states that Israel and the U.S. have different assessments of the Iranian nuclear timetable, stating, ‘‘Our clock is ticking faster.’’ He says Israel believes that Iran is rapidly approaching a ‘‘zone of immunity’’—the point at which its nuclear facilities would be so decentralized and well fortified that they would be beyond reach of a military strike. Speaking at the same forum, Israeli PM Netanyahu says that the only safe route is for Iran to stop all enrichment, to send all its uranium abroad, and to dismantle its nuclear facilities at Fordo, all of which must be verified by the IAEA. Meanwhile, former Mossad chief Meir Dagan argues that ‘‘if we bomb ... we will give them the legitimacy to attain nuclear military capability.’’ Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi (Ret.), former IDF chief of staff, recommended that more time be given for diplomacy and sanctions to work. (WP, WT 5/31)

Washington Times runs a special report on how Israel’s expanding relationship with China is raising international concerns. The report states that Israel has recently been expanding trade relations and military ties with China, seeing it as a large, emerging market for its military goods and an influential player who could pressure Iran. (WT 5/30; see QU in JPS 165 for details)

The IDF issues a military order confiscating 29 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of Palestinian land in Dayr Istya village nr. Salfit for ‘‘security and military purposes and to combat terrorist attacks.’’ The IDF patrols in Tulkarm and 2 villages nr. Qalqilya in the morning; stages synchronized patrols in 3 villages nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon; conducts other patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and Salfit in the afternoon; and undertakes late-night patrols in Tulkarm and neighboring Nur Shams r.c. Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar settlement nr. Nablus set fire to a small plot of crop land and attack Palestinians in nearby Madama village. (PCHR 5/31; OCHA 6/1)

Washington Jewish Week reports that in the previous wk., a U.S. court awarded the family of an American teenager killed in a 2006 Islamic Jihad suicide bombing in Tel Aviv (his father was seriously injured in the attack) $332 m. in damages from Iran and Syria. The family’s lawyers argued that Islamic Jihad was sheltered by Syria and funded by Iran. The family is unlikely to collect the money. (WJW 5/24)

After a 2d day of P5+1 talks with Iran, EU foreign policy chief Ashton announces that ‘‘significant differences’’ remain, but enough ‘‘common ground’’ existed to schedule a 3d round of meetings in Moscow on 6/18–19. (NYT, WP, WT 5/25)

The New York Times runs a special report on a congressional race for a House seat representing Queens, NY, that has been dubbed ‘‘Israelapalooza’’ for the way in which the candidates have touted their pro-Israel credentials in effort to win the endorsement of Ed Koch, former Democratic mayor of New York City, and the votes of Jewish constituents who make up 20% of the district’s population. For example, candidate Grace Meng, who built her political career as an advocate for Chinese Americans and yet has never visited China, made a recent trip to Israel that she has highlighted during her campaign. (NYT 5/24)

Israeli warplanes overfly s. Gaza, dropping leaflets warning Palestinians not to enter the 300-m no-go zone along the border fence. Israel seals the West Bank until 3/21 for the Purim holiday. During the day, the IDF patrols in al-Bireh, Ramallah, Tulkarm (randomly stopping and searching vehicles), 4 villages nr. Qalqilya (searching several shops in 1 village but making no arrests), and 3 others nr. Jenin (ordering 4 Palestinians to appear for questioning). Late at night, the IDF patrols in Jericho and conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin. Jewish settlers beat a Palestinian laborer working inside Shilo settlement; a settlement security guard intervenes, calling Israel border police who transport the Palestinian to a Ramallah hospital. Jewish settlers burn the cars of 2 Palestinian laborers working in Keddumim settlement nr. Qalqilya. Later, Keddumim settlers stone Palestinian cars on a nearby road; the IDF intervenes to disperse them. Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron settlement nr. Qalqilya stone passing Palestinian vehicles. In Gaza, Hamas-affiliated police break up 40 protesters rallying in Gaza City calling for national reconciliation, arresting 1 protester and 2 Palestinian cameramen covering the event. (AFP, NYT 3/18; PCHR 3/24; OCHA 4/1)

The UNSC authorizes (10-0, with Brazil, China, Germany, India, and Russia abstaining) “all necessary measures” short of foreign occupation to protect civilians in Libya, including calling for an immediate halt to the heavy fighting ongoing nationwide, imposition of a no-fly zone, and interdiction of ships heading to support Qaddafi’s forces. (NYT, WP, WT 3/18)

Uruguay recognizes an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 lines. (XIN 3/16)

Egypt completes repairs to its natural gas pipeline damaged during the 2/2011 Egyptian unrest (see Quarterly Update in JPS 159) and resumes sending natural gas to Israel. The Israeli navy detains a ship, the German-owned and Liberian flagged Victoria, en route fr. Syria to Egypt, 200 mi. off the Israeli coast that Israel claims was attempting to deliver arms to Gaza fr. Iran, taking it to Ashdod for further inspection; Israeli authorities said the ship carried 4 crates holding some 70,000 rounds of ammunition for Kalashnikov rifles, 1,000s of mortars, 6 Chinese C-704 antiship missiles, and 2 radar systems. Iran denies smuggling arms. The IDF makes a brief incursion into c. Gaza to level lands e. of al-Bureij r.c. to clear lines of sight. On the Rafah border, 2 Palestinians are killed, 4 are injured in an explosion in a smuggling tunnel. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that another 4 Palestinians have been killed in tunnel accidents since 3/2. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night patrols in Jenin and surrounding villages; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron. Jewish settlers attempt to enter Kafr Laqif village nr. Qalqilya but are prevented by the IDF and stone nearby Palestinian homes instead. In separate instances, Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron and Keddumim settlements, both nr. Nablus, stone passing Palestinian vehicles. Across the West Bank and Gaza, 1,000s of Palestinians turn out for candlelight vigils calling for national reconciliation. Hamas security forces violently break up the biggest rally (as many as 100,000) in Gaza City, injuring 5 protesters. In the West Bank, PA security forces (PASF) fire tear gas at some 8,000 protesters in Ramallah, briefly dispersing them and injuring 20; some protesters return, vowing to stay in Ramallah’s Manara Square until the West Bank and Gaza are reunited (they stay until 4/17). Meanwhile, Hamas’s acting PM in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh invites Abbas to Gaza for reconciliation talks; Abbas responds favorably. Inside Israel, 2 cars owned by Israeli Palestinian students at Safad Academic College were torched during a campus event to promote Arab-Jewish dialogue. Anti-Arab graffiti also was sprayed on the wall of the college, saying: “Arabs get out,” “Death to Arabs,” and “Kahane was right.” (General Delegation of the PLO to the United States letter, IFM, National Public Radio 3/15; JAZ, JP, JTA, MNA, NYT, WP, WT 3/16; PCHR 3/17; OCHA 3/18; JPI 4/1)

In Bahrain, protesters ramp up demonstrations in response to Saudi Arabia’s incursion, while the king imposes a 3-mo. state of emergency, deploys the military, and closes schools and govt. offices. (NYT 3/16)

In Gaza, Islamic Jihad mbrs. fire on an IDF observation post on the border e. of Khan Yunis, sparking an exchange of fire that causes no injuries. Egyptian forces blow up 2 smugglers’ tunnels on the Rafah border. PA security forces discover, detonate a sophisticated roadside bomb nr. the border fence e. of al-Maghazi r.c. In the West Bank, the IDF fatally shoots a 17-yr.-old Palestinian during an arrest raid in Tulkarm r.c.; sends an undercover unit into Tulkarm town in a van with Palestinian license plates, fatally shoots a wanted Palestinian who attempts to escape; patrols in Qalandia r.c., firing on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops, wounding 1; conducts arrest raids, house searches in ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’ and nr. Hebron, Nablus. In Gaza, 1 AMB mbr. is shot execution style in n. Gaza by Hamas gunmen who blame the AMB for the death of one of their mbrs.; later 2 ESF mbrs. are killed by a roadside bomb in the same area; shots are fired at FM Zahhar’s home, causing no injuries. Fatah mbrs. kidnap 9 Hamas mbrs. in Gaza; Hamas retaliates by kidnapping 5 Fatah mbrs. In Ramallah, AMB mbrs. angry at Abbas’s Presidential Guard for expelling them fr. the Muqata‘a fire on the diplomatic missions of Canada, China, Germany, causing no injuries. (MM 1/26; NYT 1/26, 1/27; WT 1/28; OCHA 1/31; PCHR 2/1)

In Ramallah, 2 IDF missiles narrowly miss the car of Fatah tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti in an apparent assassination attempt. Israel claims that a Force 17 mbr. traveling in a 2d vehicle, injured in the attack, was the intended target. Arafat appeals to the U.S., China, the EU, Russia to intervene with Israel to prevent violence fr. spinning out of control. The IDF also destroys a Palestinian olive grove nr. Nablus, 20 dunams of agricultural land in Jericho; shells residential areas nr. Bethlehem. Palestinian gunmen exchange fire with IDF forces outside Gilo settlement. 1 Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. (NYT, PMC, WP, WT 8/5; al-Quds 8/5 in WNC 8/6; LAW, PMC 8/6; MEI 8/10)

In Tel Aviv, 1,000s of Israelis take part in a Peace Now march protesting Israeli violence against Palestinians. (Gush Shalom press release 8/5; NYT, WJW 8/9)

At Camp David, MD, Arafat, Barak, Clinton open their 3-way summit on final status issues under a media blackout. According to the State Dept., Clinton 1st holds brief 1-on-1 mtgs. with Arafat, Barak. Then the 3 men meet briefly together. Then the Israeli, PA, U.S. teams hold a short opening session. Later in the evening, Clinton holds 2 mtgs. with Arafat, 1 with Barak. (MM, CSM 7/11; White House press briefing 7/11, 7/12; XIN 7/11, Le Monde, al-Quds 7/12 in WNC 7/13; CSM, JP [Internet], MM, NYT, WP, WT 7/12; MM, WJW 7/13; MEI 7/14)

During their 1-on-1 talks, Barak informs Clinton that Israel has suspended the sale of an AWACS technology to China. (MM, NYT, WJW, WP, WT 7/13; AFP, Zhongguo Tongxun She [Hong Kong] 7/13 in WNC 7/17; Le Monde, SA 7/14 in WNC 7/18; JP 7/21)

In Nablus, and Ramallah, 100s of Palestinian refugees hold a rally to urge Arafat not to back down on the refugees' right of return at the Camp David summit. In Jerusalem, 1,500 Israelis rally to support Barak's decision to go to Camp David. (MM, NYT 7/12)

A U.S. federal judge orders Iran to pay $327 m. to the families of 2 Americans killed in a suicide bombing in Israel on 2/25/96, saying the evidence shows that fmr. Iranian officials aided Hamas in staging the attack. This is the 4th time that a U.S. judge has ordered Iran to pay damages under a 1996 act that allows American victims of terrorist acts abroad legal recourse in U.S. courts. (WP 7/12; WJW 7/13)

In Washington, Clinton holds 4 hrs. of talks with Barak on PA-Israeli final status talks, IDF withdrawal fr. s. Lebanon, the Syrian-Israeli negotiations, Israel's planned sale of AWACS technology to China. (MM 4/11; MM, NYT, WP, WT 4/12; al-Anwar 4/12 in WNC 4/17; WJW 4/13; MM, WP 4/14; WJW 4/20; JP, MEI 4/21)

The U.S. State Dept. confirms receipt of a Syrian response to the proposals presented by Pres. Clinton in Geneva on 3/26. Secy. of State Albright says "there is not much give" in the Syrian position, "but I do think it's important that they responded." (MM 4/11; USIS Washington File 4/12; WP 4/14) (see 4/10)

Jewish settlers in the West Bank, angry over Israel's rejection of 60+n70 requests to authorize new settlement construction, say they will start carry out expansions illegally. They begin bulldozing on Olive Hill nr. Efrat, with a plan to build 230 housing units. (NYT 4/12; AYM 4/12 in WNC 4/13; NYT 4/13; MEI 4/21)

Jordan becomes a mbr. of the World Trade Organization. (NYT 4/12)

PA, Israeli teams resume FAPS talks at Bolling AFB. (WJW 4/6; WP 4/7)

In Beirut, Lebanese pres. Lahoud, UN special envoy Terje Larsen discuss Israel's plans to pull out of s. Lebanon in 7/00. Lahoud gives Larsen a letter outlining Lebanon's concerns regarding a unilateral IDF withdrawal. (MM 4/6; MM, NYT 3/7; MEI 4/21)

Rep. Sonny Callahan (R-AL), chmn. of the House Appropriations Subcomm., vows to block $250 m. in FY 2001 aid to Israel to offset its profit fr. the planned sale of AWACS technology to China, if the sale goes through. (WP 4/7, 4/11; WJW 4/13, 4/20) (see 4/3)

After a 2-mo. investigation, Israel police conclude that Pres. Weizman committed fraud, breach of trust by accepting unreported funds and favors from 2 private businessmen but say he cannot be indicted because the statute of limitations has run out. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 4/7; MM, WT 4/10; WJW 4/13; JP 4/14) (see 1/20)

The IDF evacuates Jewish settlers fr. Havat Maon. (NYT 4/7) (see 4/5)

Jordanian riot police stand by as University of Jordan students stage a peaceful 2-hr. sit-in to protest the university's decision to appoint half of the student council. (JT 4/7 in WNC 4/11) (see 4/4)

After a mtg. with PM Barak in Israel, U.S. Defense Secy. William Cohen says that plans for a U.S.-Israeli defense pact have been put on hold since the deal is contingent upon Israeli withdrawal fr. the Golan, which does not appear likely. Cohen also discusses Israel's planned sale of sophisticated U.S.-developed AWACS technology to China. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 4/4; WP 4/5; WJW 4/6; MM 4/10; WP 4/11)

Israeli Arab students at Haifa University stage a demonstration to protest the death of a woman during Land Day protests in Sakhnin on 3/31. (HA [Internet] 4/5)

To protest against sanctions on Iraq, an Italian plane carrying EU parliament mbr. Vittorio Sgarbi, an Italian journalist, and a French Catholic priest leaves Jordan's Amman airport and flies to Baghdad without UN permission. (MM 4/4, 4/7; JT 4/7 in WNC 4/11)

Turkey sends 1,000 troops into n. Iraq to hunt down Kurdish separatists, makes air strikes on Kurdish bases. Turkey has previously carried out spring campaigns against the separatists. Since 1,000s of troops, supported by mbrs. of Iraq's Kurdistan Democratic Party, began massing on the border with Iraq in 3/00, there have been a few crossborder skirmishes, but this is the 1st large incursion into Iraq. (NYT 4/4; WT 4/5; see also WP 3/27)

Russian dep. FM Sredin arrives in Cairo on 2-day visit, discusses with FM Musa reviving multilateral talks. (ITAR-TASS, MENA 12/17, MENA 12/18 in WNC 12/20)

The UN Security Council (UNSC) votes (Britain, U.S. for; China, France, Russia abstaining) to create a new arms inspection system for Iraq, with the promise to Pres. Saddam Hussein that sanctions could be suspended within a yr., eventually lifted if he complies. If Iraq accepts the deal, the UN would immediately remove the ceiling on Iraqi oil sales under the Oil-for-Food program, ease some controls on imports of medical, agricultural, educational goods. (NYT, WP, WT 12/18; LPA 12/18 in WNC 12/20; MM 12/20; AYM 12/20 in WNC 12/22; MEI 1/14)

PA summons Palestinian construction workers to police stations, orders them to quit their jobs in Jewish settlements in Gaza to block the enclaves' expansion. (NYT 6/17; JP 6/25; NYT 7/2)

DFLP, Fatah, FIDA, PFLP, PPP, PSF issue statement calling on the PA to implement the NGO law that was approved by the PC over a yr. ago, urging Palestinians to recognize the role of NGOs in combatting occupation and bolstering democracy. (AYM 6/17 in WNC 6/21) (see 6/8, 6/14)

In Amman, Jordanian-Tunisian Higher Comm. ends 5 days of talks on bilateral relations, regional issues. Comm. issues final statement calling for a greater Arab free trade zone, urging Israel to resume negotiations on all tracks quickly. (Petra-JNA 6/16 in WNC 6/17)

U.S. supports for the 1st time a British-Dutch proposal for partial suspension of sanctions against Iraq. China, France, Russia remain opposed, preferring removal of sanctions. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/17; WT 6/18)

Arafat stops in Ghana, Nigeria for consultations on unilateral declaration of Palestinian state issue before concluding his 56 nation consultative tour. (Ghana Broadcasting Corporation Radio Network, NTA Television Network [Lagos] 4/25 in WNC 4/27)

In Amman, Israeli PM candidate and fmr. DM Mordechai meets unofficially with King Abdallah. (JT 4/26 in WNC 4/27)

Israeli pres. Weizman, trade delegation arrive in China for 1 wk. visit. (Xinhua 4/25, 4/26 in WNC 4/27; Globes [Internet] 4/28 in WNC 4/29)

Iran, Qatar hold talks on expanding bilateral relations. (IRNA 4/25 in WNC 4/27)

Israeli police shut Palestinian Prisoners Club office in East Jerusalem that Israel alleges was being used by the PA in violation of Oslo. (al-Quds 4/26 in WNC 4/29) (see 4/22)

Israel officially charges Shin Bet undercover agent Avishai Raviv with failure to prevent assassination of PM Yitzhak Rabin, conspiracy, support for a terrorist organization. (NYT, WP, WT 4/26; JP 4/30) (see 11/18/95)

U.S., Britain complain that for several mos., Syrian trucks have been smuggling Iraqi oil out of Iraq in violation of UN sanctions, perhaps in a barter arrangement in exchange for Syrian goods. U.S., Britain have asked the Syrian government to block shipments, but volume appears to be increasing, with 100s of tankers/wk. now entering Syria. The degree of direct Syrian government involvement in the smuggling cannot be confirmed. (NYT 4/26; MM 4/30)

Arafat arrives in China for talks on the Palestinian statehood issue. (Xinhua 4/15 in WNC 4/19)

Jordan's King Abdallah holds talks with UAE leader Shaykh Zayid on bilateral ties. The pair then meets with Egypt's Pres. Mubarak for talks on peace process, regional issues. (MENA, Petra-JNA, RJ 4/14 in WNC 4/15; MEI 4/23)

Israeli Justice Min. announces that the UN comm. handling claims against Iraq for reparations fr. the 1991 Gulf War has authorized $31.5 m. in compensation to 68 Israeli companies, $260,831 to 13 individuals who suffered losses or injures as a result of Iraqi scud attacks. The money will be drawn fr. Iraqi oil revenues. (NYT 4/15; WP 4/16; JP 4/23)

PC gives Arafat 2 wks. to press charges or release Palestinian political prisoners being held in PA jails without trial, demands halt to political detention. (LAW 1/13; MEI 1/29)

Israeli, U.S. sources confirm that the only materials stolen fr. Greenberg Quinlan Research related to Barak's campaign for PM. Files, a laptop computer containing information on Barak, computer backup tapes fr. a safe were taken, suggesting the burglars knew exactly what they wanted. Israeli government spokesman David Bar-Ilan warns that anyone casting blame on Netanyahu, the Likud could be subject to legal action. (NYT, WP, WT 1/14; MM 1/20; JP 1/22) (see 1/12)

At the UN Security Council (UNSC), U.S. VP Al Gore recommends lifting the ceiling on how much oil Iraq can sell, streamlining approval of purchases under Oil-for-Food program, but not removing sanctions altogether, as China, France, Russia wish. France recommends preventive (not intrusive) weapons monitoring that would replace or significantly change UNSCOM; an end to restrictions on Iraqi oil sales; a program of strict economic, financial controls to make sure oil revenues are not used for military purchases. (NYT, WP, WT 1/14; MM 1/15, 1/22)

U.S. planes fire on 5 Iraqi missile batteries in n. Iraq in 3d straight day of confrontations. (NYT 1/14)

Palestinians fr. Kafr Salaf, Azzun block armed settlers with bulldozers fr. levelling their village land (in area C) to expand nearby settlements. The IDF intervenes to remove the settlers. (AFP [Internet] 1/13)

After unsuccessful last-minute attempt to form unity government with the Labor party, PM Netanyahu removes his opposition to a bill calling for early elections, which passes (81-30), thereby avoiding a Knesset no-confidence vote that he was expected to lose. (MM 12/21; MA 12/21 in WNC 12/22; CSM, MM, NYT, WP, WT 12/22; MA, al-Quds al-Arabi 12/22 in WNC 12/23; CSM 12/23; al-Dustur 12/23 in WNC 12/28; WJW 12/24; MEI 12/25; JP 12/28; MEI 1/15)

In light of Operation Desert Fox, China, France, Russia call for 8-yr. oil embargo on Iraq to be lifted, UNSCOM to be disbanded, UNSCOM head Butler to resign. U.S. warns UN Secy. Gen. Kofi Annan against replacing UNSCOM; says U.S. will compromise on sanctions, disarmament monitoring. (MM 12/21; MA 12/21 in WNC 12/22; MM, WP 12/22)

The Lebanese government restores the right to protest, lifting a 5-yr.-old ban on demonstration imposed in 1993 after anti-Oslo protests led to clashes btwn. the army, Hizballah. (NYT 12/22)

Citing Annan's letter, Iraq agrees to resume cooperation with the UN, forcing Pres. Clinton to abort a strike already in motion. At the UNSC, the U.S. rejects Iraq's announcement as "unacceptable"; Britain is skeptical but wants to leave options open; Secy. Gen. Annan, China, France, Russia welcome Iraqi decision but want clarifications. Annan warns that if the crisis resumes, "I doubt that there will be any time left for diplomacy." (NYT, WP, WT 11/15; WT 11/17)

In Nablus, U.S. envoy Ross discusses Wye implementation with Arafat. (WP, WT 11/15)

In an address to 1,000s of Palestinian in Nablus, Arafat says he will declare a state in 5/99. PM Netanyahu accuses Arafat of jeopardizing the Wye agmt. (WT 11/15; NYT 11/17)