76 / 14704 Results
  • January 20, 2016

    For a 2d day in a row, IDF troops stationed along Gaza’s border shoot and injure a Palestinian e. of Gaza City. Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion across the border fence to level land nr...

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  • December 28, 2015

    In Gaza, Hamas reports that 1 of its fighters was killed this morning in a tunnel collapse. In the West Bank, an Israeli settler and several IDF soldiers assault 4 Palestinian youths in c. Hebron...

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  • December 10, 2015

    In the West Bank, 4 Israeli soldiers are injured in a suspected ramming attack outside an Israeli settlement nr. Salfit, and Israeli forces later arrest a Palestinian suspect during a late-night...

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  • September 29, 2015

    In Gaza, Sarayat al-Shaykh Umar Hadid fighters fire a long-range rocket into Israel, announcing on Twitter that the rocket attack was retaliation for the IDF’s killing of a Palestinian on 9/22 in...

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  • July 14, 2015

    Off Gaza’s coast nr. Gaza City, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing damage to 1 boat. IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of al-Bureij r.c. open fire on nearby...

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  • December 28, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops violently disperse 2 separate groups of Palestinian protesters, injuring 3 with live ammunition nr. the Erez border crossing and 4 nr. Shuja‘iya. Separately, Israeli...

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  • October 1, 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 al-‘Arub r.c...

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  • September 7, 2014

    In East Jerusalem, a 16-year-old Palestinian dies of wounds sustained during clashes on 8/31. In the immediate aftermath of his death, the IDF says that his injuries were incurred when he was hit...

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  • January 22, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, an Israeli air strike kills 2 Palestinians in Bayt Hanun, a mbr. of Islamic Jihad and the other a mbr. of the PFLP. Meanwhile, Israeli forces open fire on farmland nr. Dayr al-...

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  • January 21, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 3 shells into s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Separately, Palestinians detonate a small bomb on the border with Israel, causing no injuries. In the...

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  • January 10, 2014

    In the West Bank, Israeli soldiers shoot and injure 4 Palestinians with live ammunition during clashes in Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus and...

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  • December 2, 2013

    Off the n. coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no casualties or damage to the boats. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and...

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  • November 25, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF troops uproot around 60 olive trees in Tuqu‘ village nr. Bethlehem, while separately, Jewish settlers nr. Nablus attack a house in Burin village, throwing stones and a...

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  • November 12, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Khan Yunis, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village and al-Fawar and al- ‘Arub r.c. nr....

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  • September 23, 2013

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

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  • September 2, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. Two explosions target an IDF patrol operating adjacent to the Gaza border nr. Qarni...

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  • June 9, 2013

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

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  • February 12, 2013

    Australian television channel ABC broadcasts claims that dual IsraeliAustralian citizen Ben Zygier committed suicide in a high-security Israeli jail in 2010 after being held for months in great...

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  • February 11, 2013

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

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  • January 23, 2013

    White House spokesperson Jay Carney responds to a question about the consequences of the Israeli election for peace efforts by restating the administration’s call for a resumption of direct...

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  • January 16, 2013

    The Israeli government issues tenders for 198 new settlement homes in Hebron and Efrata (Gush Etzion bloc). Meanwhile, the Jerusalem municipality approves the planned relocation of the National...

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  • January 13, 2013

    Israeli newspaper Yedi’ot Aharonot reports that the EU is preparing a new plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, to be presented following the forthcoming Israeli elections. The plan reportedly...

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  • January 9, 2013

    PA pres. Abbas and Hamas leader Khalid Mishal hold separate meetings with Egyptian pres. Mohamed Morsi in Cairo to discuss ending the split between Fatah and Hamas. The focus of the talks is on...

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  • December 10, 2012

    The EU criticizes Israel’s settlement expansion plans in a statement released at a meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels. Sweden’s FM Carl Bildt says European governments are increasingly...

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  • December 7, 2012

    International NGO Human Rights Watch accuses Israel of violating the laws of war during Operation Pillar of Defense with a strike on 11/18/2012 that killed 12 civilians in the Gaza Strip. (AP 12/7...

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  • October 31, 2012

    PA FM Riyad al-Malki says that 11/15 or 11/29 are possible dates for a UN vote on the Palestinian bid to be recognized as a non-member state, adding that consultations are ongoing for the...

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  • October 29, 2012

    Palestinian officials confirm that PA pres. Abbas will pursue the UN bid despite warnings by the U.S. and Israel. (AP 10/29)

    Israeli polls show that the NetanyahuLieberman alliance would...

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  • October 20, 2012

    Palestinians in the West Bank vote in local elections, the 1st elections in 6 yrs. Out of the 353 municipalities, the poll was held in only 92; 181 municipalities form councils without elections...

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  • January 17, 2012

    In Washington for talks with Pres. Obama, King Abdallah of Jordan tells reporters that he is convinced that Israel and the Palestinians are each making sincere efforts to find a way to jumpstart...

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  • July 20, 2011

    The IDF conducts arrest raids, searches in Hebron during the day and nr. Hebron, Jenin, and Nablus late at night. The Knesset fails to pass (by a vote of 28-57) 2 bills calling for parliamentary...

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For a 2d day in a row, IDF troops stationed along Gaza’s border shoot and injure a Palestinian e. of Gaza City. Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion across the border fence to level land nr. Khan Yunis. In the West Bank, IDF troops arrest a Palestinian at a junction nr. Hebron after he is found to be carrying a knife. IDF troops conduct a raid in a village nr. Nablus late at night, arresting 1 Palestinian and sparking clashes with stonethrowers in which 2 Palestinians are injured. They conduct further late-night raids and house searches in Jalazun r.c. and 5 villages nr. Ramallah, as well as s. of Hebron, arresting 8 Palestinians, including an activist with the leftwing Israeli NGO B’Tselem. Israeli forces demolish a home and a cement wall in a village nr. Hebron. Palestinian workers are barred from entering Israeli settlements for the 2d and final day, pursuant to the IDF’s 1/18 decision. (MNA, MDW, TOI, WAFA 1/20; PCHR 1/21; HA 1/22; PHCR 1/28)

In Gaza, Hamas reports that 1 of its fighters was killed this morning in a tunnel collapse. In the West Bank, an Israeli settler and several IDF soldiers assault 4 Palestinian youths in c. Hebron, causing minor injuries. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinians throwing stones and protesting the recent Israeli crackdown on the oPt in 1 village nr. Qalqilya; 2 Palestinians are injured. Late at night, IDF troops conduct raids in Qalandia r.c. nr. Ramallah, arresting 3 Palestinians and sparking a brief exchange of fire with armed Palestinians; there are no serious injuries. Meanwhile, the IDF raids the Bethlehem offices of a PA-run charity and the Nablus office of a prisoners’ rights group, destroying and confiscating property and ordering the latter to shut down. The IDF conducts further raids and house searches in Jenin and 1 village nearby, arresting 1 Palestinian; patrols in 4 villages nr. Hebron; delivers a stop-work order to a home under construction nr. Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 1 Palestinian in Issawiyya and 3 Palestinians on late-night raids in Kafr ‘Aqab. (MNA, WAFA 12/28; MNA, WAFA 12/ 29; PCHR 12/31)

Israeli NGO Peace Now reports that Israel’s Ministry of Housing has continued working on plans for thousands of housing units in the E1 area e. of Jerusalem, despite the PM Netanyahu’s public cancellation of tenders for similar units in 11/2013. (AFP, HA, MNA, PCN, TOI 12/28)

In the West Bank, 4 Israeli soldiers are injured in a suspected ramming attack outside an Israeli settlement nr. Salfit, and Israeli forces later arrest a Palestinian suspect during a late-night raid nr. Ramallah. IDF troops injure 9 Palestinians in clashes with student protesters at the Palestine Technical University in Tulkarm. The IDF conducts a raid in Ramallah late at night, sparking clashes with stone-throwers wherein 2 Palestinians are injured; conducts further late-night raids and house searches in Tulkarm, Tulkarm r.c. and 1 nearby village, Jenin, and 1 village nr. Ramallah, arresting 12 Palestinians; patrols in 7 villages and al-Fawar r. c. nr. Hebron. Palestinians throw stones at Israeli settlers’ cars on a road to Jerusalem, causing minor damage and light injuries. Off Gaza’s coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing no damage or injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli police disperse 40 right-wing Jewish activists demonstrating outside Haram al-Sharif, arresting 2 who allegedly planned to erect a menorah to commemorate Hanukkah. Israeli forces also assault and arrest 4 Palestinian youths in al-Tur; arrest 2 Palestinians walking in the Old City. (HA, JP, MNA, YA 12/10; HA, MNA 12/11; PCHR 12/17)

Israeli NGO Peace Now reports that the Israeli govt. designated as “state land” a 30-dunam (7.4-acre) swath of Palestinian land nr. Bethlehem in 11/2015. The previous designation of state land came in 8/2014. (PCN 12/10; MNA 12/11)

In Gaza, Sarayat al-Shaykh Umar Hadid fighters fire a long-range rocket into Israel, announcing on Twitter that the rocket attack was retaliation for the IDF’s killing of a Palestinian on 9/22 in Hebron. The rocket is intercepted nr. Ashdod by an Iron Dome missile defense battery. IAF jets launch retaliatory air strikes on 4 Hamas military sites in Gaza City and n. Gaza, causing damage. Meanwhile, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion e. of Khan Yunis to level land. (HA, MNA, WAFA, YA 9/29; PCHR 10/1)

Tensions and violence in East Jerusalem and the West Bank continue to escalate. Israeli forces close Hebron’s al-Ibrahimi Mosque to Muslim worshippers and continue to enforce the restrictions on Palestinian access at Haram al-Sharif that were announced on 9/27, additionally closing all but 3 entrances to the sanctuary. Meanwhile, around 140 right-wing Jewish activists tour Haram al-Sharif. In confrontations outside the sanctuary, Israeli MK Jamal Zahalka (Joint List) verbally confronts several Israeli police officers (the incident is caught on tape and dispersed on social media), and the Israeli police arrest 3 Palestinian women. Elsewhere, Israeli forces arrest 10 Palestinians on raids in al-Tur, Issawiyya, and al-Thawri. An Israeli settler assaults a Palestinian in the Old City, causing minor injuries. Palestinians throw stones at a taxi in al-Tur, injuring 1 international tourist and sparking minor clashes with Israeli police. Israeli forces arrest 2 Palestinian women after they assault an Israeli family in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City. Palestinians throughout the West Bank conduct solidarity actions, halting most commercial and civil activity in Nablus and Jenin and protesting in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron, and Tulkarm. Israeli forces violently disperse the protesters, injuring 1 foreign tourist and 18 Palestinians, including 3 with live ammunition. In Hebron, Palestinians throw rocks at international tourists, injuring 1 Japanese woman. Israeli forces conduct house searches and raids nr. Hebron, Nablus, Ramallah, and Tulkarm, arresting 6 Palestinians; patrol nr. Qalqilya. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 9/29; HA, JP, TOI, YA 9/30; PCHR 10/1)

In response to a petition filed by the Israeli nongovernmental organization Yesh Din, the Israeli govt. informs the High Court of Justice of its intention to authorize settlement outposts in the Shilo region nr. Ramallah, including Adi Ad and 3 other major outposts. Yesh Din’s petition called for the demolition of Adi Ad on the grounds that it was constructed without building permits on privately owned Palestinian land. (HA, TOI 9/30)

Off Gaza’s coast nr. Gaza City, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing damage to 1 boat. IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of al-Bureij r.c. open fire on nearby agricultural land. In the West Bank, IDF troops confiscate and damage property on late-night raids and house searches in a village nr. Ramallah, sparking minor clashes with stone-throwing Palestinian youths; 1 Palestinian is injured. In East Jerusalem, right-wing Jewish activist Glick leads a protest in the Old City against the closure of Haram al-Sharif to non-Muslims during the final 10 days of Ramadan. (MNA, WAFA 7/14; PCHR 7/30)

The Israeli NGO Peace Now reports that Israel’s Civil Admin. recently allocated 300 dunams (around 75 acres) of land for the expansion of a settlement s. of Bethlehem. Meanwhile, 3 Palestinians who work in an Israeli industrial zone nr. Tulkarm file a complaint with the Israeli National Labor Court to recognize their right to share equal working conditions. The court will deny their request on 7/19. Currently Palestinians working in Israeli-controlled areas are subject to 1967 Jordanian law while their Israeli counterparts are subject to different labor laws. (MNA 7/14; JP 7/15)

Israeli PM Netanyahu reportedly says, “We cannot develop the settlements further, but rather need to preserve what we have,” in comments to a settler organization called the West Bank Regional Council (WBRC). The Yesha Council, a settler umbrella group including the WBRC, responds, saying “a govt. that does not build in Judea and Samaria loses its right to exist.” The Likud Party then denies that Netanyahu made any statement of policy regarding a settlement freeze. (TOI, YA 7/14)

In Vienna, the P5+1 and Iran reach a final, comprehensive agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. U.S. pres. Obama calls Netanyahu to discuss the agreement, and he reportedly offers to hold talks on increasing military aid to Israel. Netanyahu refuses “at this juncture.” (AP, HA, JP, JTA, MNA, NYT, REU, TOI 7/14; HA, NYT 7/15)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops violently disperse 2 separate groups of Palestinian protesters, injuring 3 with live ammunition nr. the Erez border crossing and 4 nr. Shuja‘iya. Separately, Israeli soldiers fire live ammunition at Palestinian farmers approaching the border fence nr. Khan Yunis, causing no injuries. Meanwhile, the Gaza power plant shuts down, having exhausted its fuel reserves. Scheduled power outages increase from 12 to 18 hours a day, on average, with all electricity consumed having been purchased from Israel and Egypt. Meanwhile, Hamas prevents 37 children orphaned during OPE from attending a 1-week publicity tour to Israel and the West Bank sponsored by an Israeli nongovernmental organization, saying that the trip’s goal was normalization. In the West Bank, an 8-year-old Palestinian from Nabi Salih is moderately injured when a leftover Israeli sound bomb explodes in his hand. IDF troops raid a school in a village s. of Bethlehem. Later, Israeli forces raze agricultural land in a village s. of Nablus, then set up earth mounds in the area in preparation for military exercises. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids nr. Nablus, Jenin, and Ramallah, as well as Askar r.c. and Jenin r.c.; patrols nr. Tulkarm, Hebron, Jenin, and Jericho. An Israeli settler hits a 7-year-old Palestinian boy with his car, moderately injuring him, before fleeing the area s. of Hebron. PA security forces conduct a late-night raid n. of Ramallah and arrest 1 Palestinian journalist. (MNA, NYT, WAFA 12/28; EI, MNA 12/29; YA 12/30; PCHR 12/31; OCHA 1/2)

Senior Hamas official Abu Marzuq criticizes the Palestinian leadership for amending the proposed UNSC res. without consulting Hamas. Meanwhile, U.S. Secy. of State Kerry calls PA Pres. Abbas and asks him to delay the submission of the amended res. until after the Israeli elections on 3/17/2015. (MNA, TOI 12/28; HA, TOI 12/29; ALM 12/30)

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 al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron. (PCHR 10/2)

Israeli nongovernmental organization Peace Now reports that the Jerusalem municipality is going ahead with the proposed construction of 2,610 new settler homes in Givat Hamatos, a settlement in East Jerusalem. Tenders can now be published for the project, soliciting construction of the units. The U.S. is “deeply concerned” with the news and the announcement overshadows a meeting in the White House between Pres. Obama and Israeli PM Netanyahu. (AFP, WP 10/1)

In East Jerusalem, a 16-year-old Palestinian dies of wounds sustained during clashes on 8/31. In the immediate aftermath of his death, the IDF says that his injuries were incurred when he was hit in the leg with a sponge-tipped bullet and then fell, hitting his head on the ground, while the youth’s family says that he was shot in the head at close range. (A Palestinian autopsy will contradict the IDF and corroborate the family’s story on 9/14.) In response to his death, Palestinians protest in several neighborhoods, including Wadi al-Juz, where Israeli police respond to stone-throwing with rubber-coated metal bullets. In the French Hill settlement, Palestinian demonstrators throw Molotov cocktails at a gas station, causing damage. Off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats in 2 separate incidents, causing no injuries or damage. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 4 villages nr. Ramallah, 2 villages nr. Salfit, and 1 village each nr. Hebron and Jenin. (HA, JP 9/7; PCHR 9/11; JP 9/15)

PA PM Rami Hamdallah says that the “govt. and the banks operating in the Palestinian territories were warned that if they make payments to former Hamas govt. employees in Gaza then the govt. and the people will be boycotted.” Separately, PA Pres. Abbas tells Palestinian media that “we will not accept the situation with Hamas continuing as it is at the moment.” Meanwhile, PA Dep. PM Muhammad Mustafa says that the PA is “looking for a temporary solution” to the problem of salaries for Hamas-appointed civil servants in the Gaza Strip, like sending money “through nongovernmental organizations such as the UN or any other entity.” He adds, “We want to avoid any legal confrontation with the U.S. whose law prohibits channelling money to Hamas because it’s blacklisted as a terrorist organization.” (AFP, MNA, WAFA 9/7)

In the Gaza Strip, an Israeli air strike kills 2 Palestinians in Bayt Hanun, a mbr. of Islamic Jihad and the other a mbr. of the PFLP. Meanwhile, Israeli forces open fire on farmland nr. Dayr al-Balah, causing no injuries, and separately, open fire on lands nr. Khan Yunis, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops fire tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets at Palestinians in Bayt Furik nr. Nablus, wounding 1, as residents try to repel Jewish settlers. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces raid the Abu Dis campus of al-Quds University, firing tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets after students clash with a group of soldiers checking IDs at the entrance. (JP, MNA 1/22; PCHR 1/23)

Israeli NGO Peace Now announces that Israel has approved 261 new housing units in 2 West Bank settlements, Nofei Prat nr. Jericho and Ariel, in the n. It is the 5th such move in the last 2 weeks. (AFP 1/22)

The opposing sides of Syria’s civil war meet in Montreux, Switzerland, as a long-awaited UN peace conference gets underway. The 1st day’s agenda is occupied by formal speeches; Syrian FM Muallem and opposition leader Jarba both issue strident denunciations of their opponents. U.S. Secy. of State Kerry calls the rough start to the talks “a tough and complicated process.” Meanwhile, a shell fired from inside Syria strikes a home in n. Lebanon, wounding 1. (AFP, AP, DS, REU 1/22)

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 3 shells into s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Separately, Palestinians detonate a small bomb on the border with Israel, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF shoots and wounds 1 Palestinian with a rubber-coated metal bullet during clashes in Aida r.c. nr. Bethlehem. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon, and in Nablus and 3 villages nearby and 1 village nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron at night. Jewish settlers vandalize 8 Palestinian vehicles nr. Nablus, and leave “price-tag” graffiti. (MNA, WAFA 1/21; JP 1/22; PCHR 1/23)

Israel announces plans for 381 housing units in West Bank settlement Givat Ze’ev nr. Ramallah. Israeli NGO Peace Now also reports that building plans were advanced by the Jerusalem municipality for a new settler-run visitor center in Silwan. (AFP, JP 1/21)

A car bomb kills 4 people and wounds more than 30 in Beirut, striking in a Hizballah-dominated neighborhood of the city. The attack is claimed by Jabhat al-Nusra in Lebanon, assumed to be connected to the Syriabased al-Qa‘ida-linked group. (AFP, AP 1/21)

In the West Bank, Israeli soldiers shoot and injure 4 Palestinians with live ammunition during clashes in Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus and nearby Balata r.c. in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah, Qalqilya and 1 nearby village, and 1 village nr. Hebron at night; patrols in Hebron and 1 nearby village, and Qalqilya in the afternoon. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at weekly demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements and occupation in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Nabi Salih, and Ni‘lin), 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum), and 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara). There are no serious injuries, except in Bil‘in (3 wounded by bullets, 1 wounded by a tear gas canister), Ni‘lin (1 wounded by a bullet), Nabi Salih (2 wounded by bullets) and Kafr Qaddum (3 struck by tear gas canisters). (AFP, MNA 1/10; PCHR 1/16)

Israel publishes tenders for 1,400 new homes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and also reissues tenders for 582 units in East Jerusalem that had failed to attract bids from contractors. According to NGO Peace Now, today’s announcement means that Israel has announced 5,349 new homes since peace talks restarted in 7/2013. (REU 1/10)

Off the n. coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no casualties or damage to the boats. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages and al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron, and in 1 village each nr. Ramallah and Tulkarm at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Jericho in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Jericho at night. Also, IDF troops bulldoze a dozen houses and agricultural buildings in the s. Jordan Valley n. of Jericho, leaving around 50 Palestinians homeless. (MNA 12/2; PCHR 12/5)

Israeli Defense Ministry figures obtained by NGO Peace Now show that DM Moshe Ya’alon approved construction of 3,000 housing units in West Bank settlements during the 1st 4 mos. of his term (3–7/2013). (HA 12/2)

The General Union of Palestinian Teachers launches an open strike. The union’s demands include a 2.03% increase of the cost-of-living salary, which has been deducted since the beginning of 2013. Abdul-Ghani al-Uweiei, spokesperson for the PA’s atty. gen., says that the minister of education has asked the atty. gen. to proceed with legal measures against the secy.-gen. of the teachers’ union. (MNA 2/12)

The Israeli army fires into Syria after its troops were shot at in the occupied Golan Heights. The original gunfire came from the Syrian side of the border, nr. Qunaytra, but it is unclear if it was intentional. No casualties are reported on either side. Separately, a Syrian mortar shell lands in Majdal Shams in the occupied Golan Heights, causing no casualties. Meanwhile, UN human rights chief Navi Pillay says that evidence collected by UN investigators implicates Pres. Asad in the commission of war crimes. (HA, REU 2/12)

The Lebanese govt. authorizes the army to take charge of security in Tripoli for 6 mos., following frequent violent clashes between supporters and opponents of Syria’s Pres. Asad. The latest round of fighting saw 12 killed and more than 100 wounded. (AP 12/2)

In the West Bank, IDF troops uproot around 60 olive trees in Tuqu‘ village nr. Bethlehem, while separately, Jewish settlers nr. Nablus attack a house in Burin village, throwing stones and a Molotov cocktail, causing no injuries. (MNA 11/25; PCHR 11/28)

The Israeli NGO Peace Now announces that an Israeli military cmte. has approved the construction of 829 new homes in West Bank settlements Givat Ze’ev, Nofei Prat, Shilo, Givat Salit, and Nokdim. The planned construction is condemned by Nabil Abu Rdeineh, aide to PA Pres. Abbas, as a “policy of escalation aimed at putting obstacles in front of the peace process.” (AFP, REU 11/25)

UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon announces that an international peace conference on Syria will take place in Switzerland on 1/22/14, in an attempt to bring about direct talks between the Syrian govt. and opposition forces. The statement describes 1 of the key goals of the peace talks as “the establishment, based on mutual consent, of a transitional governing body with full executive powers, including over military and security entities.” (AP, REU 11/25) 

Pres. Obama, speaking during a visit to San Francisco, defends the deal with Iran, saying that the U.S. “cannot close the door on diplomacy.” In a clear criticism of those who have attacked the agreement, Obama says that “tough talk and bluster may be the easy thing to do politically, but it’s not the right thing to do for our security.” Meanwhile, Israeli PM Netanyahu announces that national security adviser Yossi Cohen will visit Washington to discuss the agreement with U.S. officials. In the UK, Foreign Secy. William Hague urges Israel to refrain “from taking any steps that would undermine this agreement.” (REU 11/25; AP 11/26)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Khan Yunis, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village and al-Fawar and al- ‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces demolish a Palestinian family’s mobile home in Bayt Hanina. (MNA 11/12; PCHR 11/14)

Israel’s Housing Ministry has issued tenders for drawing up construction plans for some 24,000 new settlement homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, it is claimed by NGO Peace Now. The plans include 1,200 housing units for the E-1 area nr. Jerusalem. However, soon after the announcement, PM Netanyahu halts the move and says that Housing Minister Uri Ariel had drawn up the plans without any advance coordination. Netanyahu claims that the preliminary plans damage Israel’s international standing and ability to assert itself with regard to Iran. (AP, REU 11/12)

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

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

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

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. Two explosions target an IDF patrol operating adjacent to the Gaza border nr. Qarni crossing, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops demolish residential and agricultural Palestinian-owned structures in the Jordan Valley, clashing with residents and injuring 5. There are also clashes in Nablus during an IDF arrest raid, leaving 2 Palestinians injured. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Jenin and 2 nearby villages, Hebron and 2 nearby villages at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm and 1 village each nr. Jenin and Hebron at night. (MNA, ToI, WAFA 9/2; PCHR 9/5)

Pres. Obama’s hopes of persuading the U.S. Congress to support military action against Syria are dealt a blow with Democratic lawmakers expressing scepticism following a briefing with Obama’s national security aides, according to Rep. Jim Moran. However, Obama picks up support from Republican sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham. (REU 9/2)

An Egyptian govt.-backed judicial panel recommends the dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood as a legally registered nongovernment organization (NGO). It is a nonbinding decision. (Guardian, REU 9/2)

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

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

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

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

Australian television channel ABC broadcasts claims that dual IsraeliAustralian citizen Ben Zygier committed suicide in a high-security Israeli jail in 2010 after being held for months in great secrecy and known only as ‘‘Prisoner X.’’ ABC says that the man had been recruited by Mossad. The Israeli government refuses to comment and immediately forces Israeli publications to remove reference to the story from online and print editions. However, a number of MKs refer to the story in the Knesset. (HP, REU 2/12)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Jenin in the morning, and in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Tulkarm in the morning, and in 1 village each nr. Bethlehem, Jenin, Jerusalem, Nablus, and Ramallah at night. (PCHR 2/14)

International NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) concludes that at least 18 Israeli air strikes in Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012 were in violation of the laws of war, highlighting specific attacks that killed at least 43 Palestinian civilians, including 12 children. (HRW 2/12)

Palestinian Ministry of Finance spokesperson Rami Mahdawi says that Israel is still withholding Palestinian tax revenue in breach of the 1994 Paris Protocol. (MNA 2/12)

The Senate Armed Services Comm. votes (14–11) along party lines to approve Pres. Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel to be the nation’s defense secretary, allowing his nomination to advance to the full Senate. Hagel’s nomination continues to be fiercely opposed by groups and senators known to have a pro-Israel line. (AP 2/12)

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

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

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

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

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

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

White House spokesperson Jay Carney responds to a question about the consequences of the Israeli election for peace efforts by restating the administration’s call for a resumption of direct negotiations on final-status issues. Meanwhile, the UN’s special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Robert Serry, tells a UNSC meeting that courageous steps by Israeli and Palestinian leaders are required to save the two-state solution. At the meeting, Palestinian FM Riyad al-Maliki sits behind a ‘‘State of Palestine’’ nameplate, drawing criticism from U.S. amb. Susan Rice, who says that the U.S. does not recognize the UNGA vote in 11/2012 (see Quarterly Update in JPS 166). After the meeting, Maliki says that the Palestinians’ decision about whether to go to the ICC over Israel’s settlement construction will depend on what the Israeli government does in the E1 area nr. Jerusalem. (AP, REU, UNNC 1/23)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. The IDF also makes a brief incursion into Gaza to a distance of 200 m from the border fence nr. Bayt Hanun to level land. In the West Bank, IDF soldiers open fire on Palestinians at the entrance to al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, killing 1 woman with a shot to the head. Eyewitnesses say the soldiers were traveling in a civilian car. Also, a Palestinian teenager shot by the IDF during clashes in Aida r.c. on 1/18 dies in the hospital. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Jenin at night. (MNA, PCHR, WAFA 1/23)

Human rights NGO the Palestinian Center for Human Rights publishes a list of media workers in the Gaza Strip arrested by Hamas security services over the previous 48 hours. Meanwhile, dep. head of Hamas politburo Musa Abu Marzuq says that there is no disagreement within Hamas about Mahmud Abbas heading a unity government. (MNA 1/23)

PA fin. min. Nabil Qassis says that the government’s financial crisis is structural, requiring systematic changes in the budget and culture. He reveals that the deficit has now exceeded $1.4 b. (MNA 1/23)

Jordan holds parliamentary elections, which are boycotted by the Muslim Brotherhood–affiliated Islamic Action Front. The boycott is based on claims that the electoral system is biased in favor of rural tribal areas where pro-regime sentiment is highest, in contrast to large, more densely populated urban areas, where pro-Brotherhood views are strong among poor Palestinians. In the election, 1,425 candidates compete for 150 seats, up from 120, in the lower house. King Abdallah has agreed to cede some powers to the new legislature, such as choosing the PM and running day-to-day affairs. There are numerous reports of vote-buying and small-scale clashes in Karak governorate and some districts of Amman. The results see pro-government candidates maintain their dominance of the parliament, though 37 Islamist and other government critics win seats in the legislature. (AKH, AP, NYT, REU 1/23; AP, REU 1/24)

The Lebanese army states that 12 Israeli warplanes violated Lebanese airspace overnight, claiming that the breach of Lebanon’s sovereignty is a violation of UN Res. 1701, which was accepted as the basis for the cease-fire that ended the Israeli-Lebanon war of 2006. (Daily Star 1/23)

The Israeli government issues tenders for 198 new settlement homes in Hebron and Efrata (Gush Etzion bloc). Meanwhile, the Jerusalem municipality approves the planned relocation of the National Defense College to the Mount of Olives. Also, Israeli NGO Peace Now says that approval for settlement plans jumped 300% in 2012, and that under Netanyahu’s premiership, 40% of construction starts in settlements were in settlements located outside of the so-called blocs that Israel intends to keep under a final-status agreement. (AP, JP, YA 1/16)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF fires warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials close to the border fence in the n. Gaza Strip, causing no injuries. In a separate incident, the IDF shells an open area 200 m from the border nr. Bureij, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, The IDF raids Aida r.c. in Bethlehem, opening fire on Palestinians with live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear-gas grenades, seriously wounding 1. The IDF says that Palestinian protesters threw stones and firebombs at the Separation Wall and Israeli forces. Palestinian news agencies report that the raid was in response to the Palestinians opening a hole in the bottom of the wall nr. Rachel’s Tomb. The IDF also demolishes sheep barns and sheds nr. Jericho; patrols in Tulkarm and 1 village each nr. Hebron, Jenin, and Jericho at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Hebron, Jenin, and Salfit at night. Meanwhile, an IDF investigation concludes that Israeli soldiers fired 80 bullets without justification when they mortally wounded a Palestinian man in al-Nabi Salih on 11/17 (he died on 11/19). Jewish settlers raze land nr. 2 separate settlements in the Jordan Valley and nr. Nablus in preparation for expansion. (MNA, WAFA 1/16; PCHR, PNN 1/17)

Israeli security forces dismantle Palestinian protest camp Bab al-Shams in the E1 zone nr. Jerusalem, after the Supreme Court authorizes the government to dismantle the site. Protesters were removed on 1/12, but the tents had remained. Separately, the High Court of Justice orders the state to refrain from evicting Palestinians from 8 villages in the s. Hebron Hills in an area the IDF has designated a firing zone for training. (REU 1/16; AFP, HA 1/17)

Dep. head of Hamas’s political bureau Musa Abu Marzuq says that the movement will not agree to dismantle the IQB as part of a prospective reconciliation deal with Fatah. He makes the comments in response to recent reports in al-Quds al-Arabi that Fatah is demanding Hamas dismantle its armed wing and integrate it into the PA security forces. (ToI 1/16)

The EU grants €100 m. to the PA and to UNRWA to provide essential services in the West Bank. Palestinian pres. Abbas announces that Saudi Arabia will give the struggling PA $100 m. to alleviate the PA’s financial crisis. (IMEMC, REU 1/16)

Israeli newspaper Yedi’ot Aharonot reports that the EU is preparing a new plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, to be presented following the forthcoming Israeli elections. The plan reportedly will be detailed and aim to complete negotiations on core issues during 2013. The initiative is sponsored by the British and French foreign ministries, but could be adopted by the whole EU. The PA subsequently says it is unaware of such a plan. Meanwhile, Jordan’s King Abdallah tells the French media that his country is working with European countries to restart the stalled negotiations. (AFP, JP 1/13; JP 1/14)

Israeli NGO Peace Now says that Israel’s Defense Ministry has published plans for around 200 new housing units in the West Bank settlement of Rotem in the Jordan Valley. Meanwhile, PM Netanyahu tells the cabinet that the government will ‘‘not allow anyone to harm the contiguity between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim,’’ referring to the removal of Palestinian activists from the Bab al-Shams protest camp in the E1 area. (AFP, JP 1/13)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning and in 1 village each nr. Qalqilya and Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Jenin in the afternoon, and in Nablus, Qalqilya, and 1 village each nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin, and Nablus at night. (PCHR 1/17)

Armed Palestinians protest in Jenin r.c., demanding the PA security forces return confiscated weapons to the resistance. The PA vows (1/14) to investigate the demonstration. (MNA 1/14)

Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad meets Arab League mbrs. to discuss the PA’s cash crisis and ways of raising the $100 m. promised by Arab countries but as yet undelivered. Fayyad claims that the situation may push 1.5 m. Palestinians into poverty. The Arab League agrees to form a delegation to press mbr. states to meet their financial obligations to the PA. (AP, MNA 1/13)

Senior IDF officers brief Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu that Syrian armed opposition groups have taken up positions along the border of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. (JP 1/13)

The Pentagon is sending briefings to senators in order to rebut what it calls ‘‘myths’’ about Defense Secretary–designate Chuck Hagel in the face of opposition to his appointment, in particular by pro-Israel groups. (WT 1/13)

PA pres. Abbas and Hamas leader Khalid Mishal hold separate meetings with Egyptian pres. Mohamed Morsi in Cairo to discuss ending the split between Fatah and Hamas. The focus of the talks is on forming a Palestinian unity government and holding overdue presidential and parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Hopes are not high that substantial progress will be made on implementing the national reconciliation deal agreed in Cairo in 2011. The developments are condemned by Israeli PM Netanyahu. (JP, REU 1/9)

PA labor min. Ahmad Majdalani says that the PA hopes that forthcoming regional meetings will result in promised aid transfers from Arab countries. Meanwhile, West Bank public transport workers go on strike following what they view as an unsatisfactory response from the Transportation Ministry to their demands for a reduction in fuel prices. (MNA 1/8; MNA, WAFA 1/9)

Israeli NGO Peace Now says that the government has legalized the status of unauthorized settlement outpost Nofei Nehemia nr. Nablus. (AFP 1/9)

Palestinian human rights group al-Haq says that the death of a Palestinian man in Hamas custody on 12/27 in the Gaza Strip must be thoroughly and transparently investigated. (MNA 1/9)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 4 villages nr. Jenin at night. (PCHR 1/17)

The EU criticizes Israel’s settlement expansion plans in a statement released at a meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels. Sweden’s FM Carl Bildt says European governments are increasingly frustrated by the settlement policy. The ministers also emphasize that the EU’s agreements with Israel only apply to the pre-1967 territory, which a diplomatic source tells the Israeli media could be a sign of future action related to settlement products. (JP, REU 12/10)

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says that construction plans for the E1 area e. of Jerusalem do not prevent the eventual emergence of a Palestinian state, and repeats the offer of direct talks with Mahmud Abbas ‘‘without preconditions.’’ Meanwhile, Palestinian cheif negotiator Saeb Erakat outlines 3 conditions for a return to talks: (1) agreement that the goal of the peace process is a withdrawal to the 1967 borders; (2) restarting negotiations from the point they were halted; and (3) setting a 6-mo. timetable for agreement on all final-status issues. He adds that Israel should halt settlement activity, but does not list it as a condition. (AFP, JP 12/10)

Israel’s Finance Ministry deducts more than $71 m. from VAT taxes Israel collects and holds on the PA’s behalf and transfers it to Israel’s Electric Corporation to cover 37% of the PA’s electricity debt. (YA 12/10)

Independent politician Khalil Assaf says that the PA has officially agreed to allow Hamas to hold a festival in Nablus commemorating the movement’s 25th anniversary. (MNA 12/10)

In the West Bank, the IDF, citing military exercises, compels 6 Palestinian families to leave their homes in a village in the n. Jordan Valley. The IDF also notifies Palestinian farmers nr. Salfit that the road connecting the village to their fields will be demolished in the next 2 weeks. The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm in the afternoon, in 1 village each nr. Jericho and Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Bethlehem in the afternoon, and in Ramallah and nearby Qaddura r.c. at night. The Ramallah raid targets prisoner support NGO Addameer and the Palestinian NGO Network, as well as the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees. In all 3 cases, soldiers ransack the offices and confiscate equipment, including computer hardware. (WAFA 12/10; MNA 12/10; PCHR 12/13; AP 12/11)

Israeli PM Netanyahu says that Iran is getting closer to being able to build a nuclear bomb and that 2013 will be the year to confront the issue. Western diplomats say that Israel is suspected to be behind a series of leaks, intended to increase pressure, about Iranian nuclear weapon experiments. Diplomats say that the P5+1 world powers expect to hold a fresh round of talks with Tehran in early 2013. (JP, Guardian, REU 12/10)

International NGO Human Rights Watch accuses Israel of violating the laws of war during Operation Pillar of Defense with a strike on 11/18/2012 that killed 12 civilians in the Gaza Strip. (AP 12/7)

The UNGA adopts (129–31) a resolution proposed by Israel on tackling poverty through private- and public-sector entrepreneurship. The vote is portrayed by Israel as a diplomatic success coming soon after the Palestinians’ statehood bid. (Globes 12/9)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village each nr. Jericho and Qalqilya in the morning, and in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Jericho n the afternoon; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Qalqilya and Salfit in the afternoon, and in Bethlehem and 1 nearby village at night. Israeli soldiers violently disperse weekly nonviolent demonstrations held by Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, al-Nabi Salih) and 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara); there are no serious injuries. (PCHR 12/13)

PA FM Riyad al-Malki says that 11/15 or 11/29 are possible dates for a UN vote on the Palestinian bid to be recognized as a non-member state, adding that consultations are ongoing for the formation of the draft resolution. (AFP 10/31)

Unidentified armed Palestinians fire 2 rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel, causing no injuries. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border open fire nr. Bayt Hanun, causing no injuries. Israeli naval vessels open fire at fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jericho at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, 2 villages nr. Hebron, and Tulkarm at night. (ToI 10/31; PCHR 11/8)

The Israeli NGO Peace Now reports that Jewish settlers have set up 2 new settlement outposts with utilities infrastructure in the West Bank for the 1st time since 2005, located nr. Ramallah and Qalqilya. (AFP, JP 10/31)

Palestinian officials confirm that PA pres. Abbas will pursue the UN bid despite warnings by the U.S. and Israel. (AP 10/29)

Israeli polls show that the NetanyahuLieberman alliance would not necessarily translate into a gain in votes, though it is likely that a right-wing coalition would emerge with a Knesset majority. (ToI, 972mag 10/29)

The Israeli NGO Peace Now states that the Jerusalem municipality has approved plans for a new neighborhood for retired police and soldiers in the East Jerusalem district of Sur al-Bahir. (AFP 10/29)

The Israeli media report that over the previous few months, the Israeli security agency Shin Bet has arrested around 30 Hamas activists in the West Bank on suspicion of rebuilding the organization’s infrastructure. (NYT, YA 10/29)

IDF troops on the Gaza border fire shells nr. Gaza’s Islamic Martyrs cemetery at night, causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts latenight house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 2 villages and the al-Fawar r.c. nearby; invades 1 village nr. Hebron to demolish a home, arresting a resident and firing tear gas and rubber bullets at stone-throwing Palestinians who confront them. (PCHR 11/8)

Palestinians in the West Bank vote in local elections, the 1st elections in 6 yrs. Out of the 353 municipalities, the poll was held in only 92; 181 municipalities form councils without elections due to a lack of candidates. Hamas boycotts the elections. The Central Elections Commission reports that around 515,000 Palestinians were registered to vote, of which 55% turned out to vote (by comparison, three-quarters cast ballots in the 2006 parliamentary elections and twothirds in the 2004 and 2005 municipal elections). Fatah has mixed results, partly due to the fact that its own mbrs. ran against each other, some as independents (27 Fatah mbrs. were subsequently expelled from the party for running in non-Fatah lists). (AP, BBC, NYT 10/20; AP, MNA 10/21; see also MNA 10/18; AP 10/19)

Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman criticizes European countries for their 10/19 opposition to plans for 100s of new homes in Gilo settlement, and PM Netanyahu vows to continue construction in East Jerusalem. Meanwhile, the Israeli NGO Peace Now reveals government plans to build a military academy on the Mount of Olives in occupied East Jerusalem. (AFP, ToI 10/20; JP 10/21)

The Israeli navy intercepts a boat (Estelle) of pro-Palestinian activists en route to the Gaza Strip. The IDF boards the vessel 30 naut. mi. off the Gaza coast and tows it to Ashdod. Separately, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning, and in 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. (BBC 10/21;  PCHR 10/24)

In Washington for talks with Pres. Obama, King Abdallah of Jordan tells reporters that he is convinced that Israel and the Palestinians are each making sincere efforts to find a way to jumpstart serious peace talks, but cautions there are serious obstacles to overcome and time is running out. Separately, State Dept. spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says that the U.S. knows that the 1/26/12 target date for restarting final status negotiations is “out there, [but] we do not want to see it be a rigid sort of straitjacket that chills the atmosphere.” In Israel, PM Netanyahu tells lawmakers in a closed mtg. that “the Palestinians have no interest in entering peace talks.” (WP 1/17)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Hanun fire warning shots at Palestinians and international activists staging a nonviolent march to the border fence to protest Israel’s imposition of a no-go zone; no injuries are reported. The IDF makes a late-night incursion into al-Shuka village in s. Gaza to arrest a mbr. of the Islamic Jihad’s al-Quds Brigade. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Tulkarm in the morning and afternoon; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Nablus. (WT 1/15; PCHR 1/19; OCHA 1/20).

Hamas officials announce that the movement’s leadership has decided to evacuate their families and most personnel fr. Syria in response to the deteriorating security situation; 3 senior officials (Musa Abu Marzuq, Muhammad Naser, and Izzat Rishiq) will remain in Damascus. Meanwhile, Hamas’s former rep. in London, Mustafa Lidawi, says that Hamas leader Mishal plans to retire as politburo head (a position he has held since 1996) when the organization holds elections in the coming months to allow “a fresh leader to steer Hamas towards a new strategy,” but other Hamas officials deny he has made a final decision. (Guardian, WT, al-Watan 1/18; NYT 1/30)

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) formally apologizes to Israel for allowing a Hamas mbr. to take part in a dialogue in Geneva (ca. 1/14) on Israel’s treatment of Palestinian prisoners as part of a Palestinian delegation and vows that Hamas mbrs. will be barred fr. future IPU events. Israel had threatened (1/16) to withdraw fr. the IPU in protest. The IPU is a nongovernmental organization with permanent observer status at the UN. It was formed in 1889 to arbitrate conflicts but has evolved into an organization that promotes democracy and interparliamentary dialogue. (JPI 1/27; see also AFP 1/16)

Israeli hackers bring down the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency and the Abu Dhabi Securities and Exchange websites, release the email addresses and passwords of 89 Saudi university students, and steal and threaten to release the Facebook login information for 30,000 account holders in Muslim countries in retaliation for the 1/16 denial of service attacks on the TASE and El Al and the 1/6 leak of Israeli credit card information. One of the Israeli hackers, Anonymous 972, issues a statement saying “Usually we do not like to hurt innocent sites, but there is now a cyber war, and every war has victims. . . . Every time an Israeli site get[s] hacked, the same thing will happen to Saudi sites.” The Israeli hacker who claims to have the Facebook information, Hannibal Hacker, also claims that he could publish bank account details of 10 million Arabs and the credit card details of 4 million Arabs if cyberattacks on Israel continue. (ZDNet 1/19; HackRead 1/25; JPI 1/27)

The IDF conducts arrest raids, searches in Hebron during the day and nr. Hebron, Jenin, and Nablus late at night. The Knesset fails to pass (by a vote of 28-57) 2 bills calling for parliamentary inquiries into leftwing NGOs: one bill calls for an investigation of the damage done to the IDF by left-wing NGOs that focus on IDF repression of Palestinians; the other calls for investigating the origins of foreign contributions received by left-wing NGOs. (AFP, HA, JTA 7/20; PCHR 7/21, 7/28; JPI, OCHA 7/29)