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  • May 24, 2022

    In the West Bank, 3 Israeli settlers, including 2 minors, were injured by Palestinians throwing stones at their vehicle near Huwwara. Israeli settlers vandalized 140 olive and almond trees and...

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  • February 1, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces seized equipment worth around $30,000 in a quarry near Beit Fajjar, Israeli forces had earlier in the day sealed off a road leading to the quarry. Israeli forces...

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  • January 20, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces delivered a punitive demolition notice for a house in Silat al-Harithiya belonging to a family in which 2 are charged with the killing of 1 Israeli settler on 12/...

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  • January 5, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted some 50 olive saplings in Kafr ad-Dik. A contractor working for the Israeli military intentionally rammed a 75-year-old Palestinian man, who was said to...

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  • December 9, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers raided Khallet al-Dabe in Masafer Yatta, vandalizing 70 olive trees and releasing Palestinian-owned sheep on the land, destroying crops as they grazed. 24...

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  • May 9, 2019

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort raided an archeological site near Bethlehem to perform prayers. During the raid, Israeli forces sealed off the area, impeding traffic for...

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  • May 15, 2018

    Palestinians across Israel and the oPt observe a general strike in commemoration of the Nakba and in mourning for the 58 Palestinians killed in Gaza on 5/14. Thousands march in their funeral...

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  • May 14, 2018

    Today, Great March of Return demonstrations see tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza gathering along the border fence to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, to protest the opening...

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  • May 10, 2018

    Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops open fire on a Palestinian landfill near Dayr al-Balah and at a group of farmers and shepherds near al-Bureij refugee camp, causing no damage or injuries. They also...

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  • April 19, 2018

    Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops open fire on dozens of Palestinian protesters continuing the Great March of Return near Jabaliya refugee camp and Khan Yunis; 3 Palestinians are injured. In 3...

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  • February 23, 2018

    IDF troops violently disperse Palestinians, Israelis, and international activists at Friday protests against Israel’s separation wall, occupation, and settlements, as well as U.S. president Trump’...

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  • May 15, 2017

    Thousands of Palestinians gather at rallies across the West Bank to commemorate the 69th anniversary of the Nakba. IDF troops violently disperse demonstrators in Bethlehem and 2 areas nr. Ramallah...

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  • May 2, 2017

    Israeli police shoot and kill an Israeli settler after he allegedly attempts to stab 1 of them on the East Jerusalem side of the Hizma checkpoint. They reportedly mistook the settler for a...

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  • May 14, 2016

    Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmers working nr. Khan Yunis, causing no injuries. Elsewhere in the oPt, Israeli forces violently disperse Palestinian youths throwing...

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  • May 13, 2015

    IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of Jabaliya open fire on agricultural areas nr. the border fence, causing no damage or injuries. Off the coast nr. Rafah, Israeli naval forces open fire on...

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  • May 15, 2013

    Unidentified Palestinians fire a rocket from Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. IDF forces and Palestinians clash across the West Bank and East Jerusalem on Nakba Day, with 25...

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  • July 4, 2011

    A Freedom Flotilla II boat tries to deport in Crete but is turned back by the Greek coast guard. A Knesset committee disqualifies (3-5) a bill submitted by Israeli Palestinian MK Ahmad Tibi (...

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  • May 15, 2011

    On the anniversary of the Nakba, 1,000s of Palestinians fr. the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria stage marches (mostly nonviolent, though some stone throwing) toward the Israeli border...

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  • May 14, 2011

    A Palestinian teenager shot in Silwan on 5/13 dies of his wounds. Clashes erupt after the boy’s funeral later in the day, with Israeli police firing rubber-coated steel bullets at angry mourners,...

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  • May 13, 2011

    The White House announces that U.S. special envoy George Mitchell has submitted his resignation, effective 5/20 (the day Obama is to meet with Netanyahu at the White House). Secy. of State Clinton...

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  • May 12, 2011

    Grass-roots Palestinian activists send 10,000s of text messages to cell phones in the West Bank and Gaza, urging Palestinians to march to the borders of Israel on 5/15 for a “March to Palestine...

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  • March 22, 2011

    Israel makes 2 air strikes on Gaza targeting the launch site of 4 mortars fired into Israel minutes earlier (causing no damage or injuries), hitting a nearby residential area, killing 4...

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  • May 15, 2008

    Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories commemorate the Nakba by visiting the sites of Palestinian villages destroyed in 1948, holding somber rallies and moments of silence, and, in...

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  • May 7, 2008

    Israel begins wk.-long celebrations leading up to its 60th anniversary on 5/14, while Palestinians solemnly prepare to mark the Nakba; more than a dozen foreign heads of state, including U.S. Pres...

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  • April 24, 2007

    On the day Israel marks independence day and Palestinians commemorate the Nakba, Hamas’s Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades fires 6 rockets and 8 mortars into Israel, causing no injuries, reiterating...

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  • May 10, 2005

    The IDF seals the West Bank, Gaza through 5/14, while Israelis mark their memorial and independence days, and Palestinians observe the Nakba; seals Sammu‘, al-Rihiyya nr. Hebron for the day;...

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  • May 15, 2003

    The IDF launches a major predawn raid on Bayt Hanun, sending 70 tanks and armored vehicles into the area, firing on residential areas, killing 5 Palestinians (including a 12-yr.-old Palestinian...

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  • January 21, 2002

    In its largest military operation in the West Bank and Gaza since 1967, Israel sends a large number of IDF infantry, tanks, APCs, armored bulldozers into Tulkarm in a predawn operation to totally...

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  • May 15, 2001

    Palestinians mark Nakba commemoration day by observing 3 minutes of silence. Large rallies are held in every major Palestinian city in the West Bank and Gaza, after which a recorded...

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  • May 11, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 1 Palestinian dead. Overnight, Palestinian assailants throw hand grenades at an IDF post nr. Gaza's Dayr al-Balah refugee camp. In...

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In the West Bank, 3 Israeli settlers, including 2 minors, were injured by Palestinians throwing stones at their vehicle near Huwwara. Israeli settlers vandalized 140 olive and almond trees and water tanks in Qaryut. Israeli forces shot and injured 3 Palestinians, including a minor during a raid in Jenin; 1 Palestinian security officer was also arrested during the raid. Israeli forces also demolished 2 agricultural structures in the Masafer Yatta villages of al-Twana and al-Juwaya. Elsewhere, Israeli forces erected a watchtower in Hebron. Israeli forces also demolished 1 mosque under construction in Arab al-Ramadin, leading to a confrontation with Palestinians; 3 were injured with live ammunition and baton rounds, and others suffered tear-gas related injuries. 11 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Abu Dis, Ras Karkar, Harmala, Surif, Dura, and Aqabat Jaber refugee camp. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces arrested 2 Palestinian fishermen and confiscated their boats within 6 nautical miles northwest of Rafah; the 2 were released through the Erez crossing on 5/25. (JP, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/24; AJ, HA, PCHR, TOI 5/25; PCHR 5/26; UNOCHA 6/4)

A CNN investigation confirmed eyewitness reports and other independent investigations that Israeli forces shot and killed Palestinian American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on 5/11 in Jenin refugee camp and that her killing was likely deliberate. CNN’s investigation was based on 11 video clips, forensic findings at the scene of the murder, audio analysis of the gunshots, and 8 eyewitness testimonies. Explosive weapons expert Chris Cobb-Smith found in his analysis that the markings from the shots near the body of Abu Akleh indicated that the murder was deliberate as they did not suggest they were a result of a burst of automatic fire, but intentionally targeted. CNN further confirmed through eyewitness accounts that there was no crossfire in the area where Abu Akleh was killed, as Israel continues to claim. Israel has refused to open a criminal investigation into the killing. (AP, CNN, HA, MDW, TOI 5/24; HA, JP, MEMO, WAFA 5/25)

Israel’s civil administration retroactively legalized the Mitzpe Lachish settlement outpost and approved construction of 158 new settlement units near Dura. (WAFA 5/24; MEMO 5/25)

The U.S. announced sanctions against 1 individual alleged to have raised money for Hamas and on Hamas’s Investment Office, which holds assets in Sudan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and the UAE. (ALM, HA, MEE, MEMO, REU 5/24)

Referencing the U.S. decision to delist Kahane Chai from its list of foreign terrorist organizations on 5/13, the PA called on the U.S. Biden administration to remove the PLO from the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations. (WAFA 5/24; MEMO 5/25)

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) slammed the EU for withholding aid from the PA due to 1 Hungarian Commissioner’s dissatisfaction with PA school textbooks. The NRC said the withholding of aid is jeopardizing the life of more than 500 cancer patients that have been unable to access proper treatment at the Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem and have led to salary cuts and cuts in aid to the most vulnerable Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. The EU is withholding some $230 million in aid. (AJ, WAFA 5/24; MEMO 5/25)

Former Israeli foreign minister and prominent MK of the Likud party Israel Katz boasted that he had threatened Palestinian students in Israel with a 2d Nakba if they continue to wave Palestinian flags at universities. Katz said, “Remember our independence war and your Nakba, don’t stretch the rope too much. [. . .] If you don’t calm down, we’ll teach you a lesson that won’t be forgotten.” (MDW 5/24; HA 5/26)

Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu arrived in Israel for a 2-day visit to Israel, Jerusalem, and the West Bank. Turkey’s and Israel’s normalization efforts were reported as a way for Turkey to strengthen its relations with the UAE and Egypt, for Israel and Turkey to cooperate in Syria to build a gas pipeline between the 2 countries, and for Israel to incentivize Turkey to take a tougher stance on Hamas. During the 1st day of his trip, Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu met with PA foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki in Ramallah, voicing support for a 2-state solution and criticizing Israeli settlements. Çavuşoğlu also met with PA president Mahmoud Abbas. The Turkish and Palestinian officials signed 9 cooperation agreements, including on economics, trade and infrastructure, and for developing an industrial area in Jenin. (AJ, ALM, AP, F24, HA, REU, TOI, TOI, WAFA, WAFA 5/24; HA, HA 5/25)

President Abbas met with president of the EU parliament Roberta Metsola in Ramallah. (WAFA 5/24)

Politico reported that U.S. president Joe Biden, in a 4/24 phone call to Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett, had assured him that the U.S. administration would not take Iran’s Revolutionary Guard off the U.S. list of terrorist organizations. President Biden’s decision was seen as an obstruction in finding common ground between the U.S. and Iran with the U.S.’s reentering the Iran Nuclear Deal. Prime Minister Bennett’s office confirmed the reporting. (HA, JP, POL 5/24; AX, MEMO 5/25; HA 5/26)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces seized equipment worth around $30,000 in a quarry near Beit Fajjar, Israeli forces had earlier in the day sealed off a road leading to the quarry. Israeli forces also set up mobile structures on Palestinian-owned land in Khirbat Humsa. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished 3 Palestinian-owned structures near al-Ramadin; 1 Palestinian journalist working for WAFA was assaulted and another Palestinian was detained during the demolition. Israeli forces also demolished 25 produce stands near al-Jalama checkpoint north of Jenin. 32 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids, including 21 in al-Am‘ari refugee camp, 1 Palestinian was also was bitten by a police dog. PA forces opened fire at a sit-in protest in front of the education directorate headquarters in Tubas, injuring 2 with live ammunition bullet shrapnel. The Palestinian students were peacefully protesting in Tubas, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Tulkarm, and Nablus, demanding that parts of the matriculation exams are removed due to the COVID-19 virus. The Tubas governor said that an investigation into the incident was underway and that it was the action of 1 individual. 11 others were arrested during late-night raids in Qalqilya, Qatanna, Tuqu‘, and Sa‘ir. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces punitively demolished the family home, in Shu‘fat refugee camp, of 1 Palestinian man who was killed after killing 1 Israeli settler and injuring 4 others in the Old City on 11/21/2021. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions and leveled agricultural land east of Khan Yunis and north of Bayt Lahiya. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of the shore; no injuries were reported. (AP, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/1; MEMO 2/2; AJ, MEMO, PCHR 2/3; UNOCHA 2/11)

Israel’s interior ministry said it would start processing family unification requests from Palestinians over the age of 50 who had received residency permits within the last 5 years. The ministry said it would start with that age group because they pose less of a security threat. If a family unification request is approved, the Palestinian will be “upgraded” to “temporary resident” with social benefits. There are 1,680 requests waiting as the Israeli interior ministry has refused to process the requests despite a temporary ban on Palestinian unifications expiring in July 2021. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Hamoked, and Physicians for Human Rights said Israel should start reviewing all applications and not just those for Palestinians over the age of 50. (HA 2/1)

Amnesty International released a 280-page report named “Israel’s Apartheid Against Palestinians: Cruel System of Domination and Crime Against Humanity,” prepared over the last 4 years. Amnesty said in its report that it had found that “Israel has imposed a system of oppression and domination over Palestinians wherever it exercises control over the enjoyment of their rights—across Israel and the OPT and with regard to Palestinian refugees. The segregation is conducted in a systematic and highly institutionalized manner through laws, policies and practices, all intended to prevent Palestinians from claiming and enjoying equal rights to Jewish Israelis within Israel and the OPT, and thus intended to oppress and dominate the Palestinian people.” Amnesty concluded that this institutionalized discrimination perpetrated by Israel is “the international wrong of apartheid, as a human rights violation and a violation of public international law wherever it imposes this system.” Its research was based on “relevant Israeli legislation, regulations, military orders, directives by government institutions and statements by Israeli government and military officials.” Amnesty said that “Israel must grant equal and full human rights to all Palestinians in Israel and the OPT in line with principles of international human rights law and without discrimination, while ensuring respect for protections guaranteed for Palestinians in the OPT under international humanitarian law. It must also recognize the right of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to return to homes where they or their families once lived in Israel or the OPT. In addition, Israel must provide victims of human rights violations, crimes against humanity and serious violations of international humanitarian law—and their families—with full reparations. These should include restitution of and compensation for all properties acquired on a racial basis.” The Israeli foreign ministry called the report anti-Semitic. Amnesty refuted the charged said that Israel is diverting attention away from its violations of Palestinians’ human rights. U.S. state department spokesperson Ned Price said that the U.S. does not agree with Amnesty’s assessment “that Israel’s actions constitute apartheid.” Neither U.S. or Israeli senior officials commented on the evidence presented in the report. The UK and Germany also said they disagreed with the terminology of apartheid used in the report. The PA foreign ministry welcomed the report. (AP, HA, HA, JDF, WAFA 1/31; +972, AI, AJ, AP, CNN, GDN, HA, HA, HA, HILL, IN, JP, MDW, MEE, MEMO, MEMO, MEMO, MEMO, POL, REU, SKY, TOI, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WP 2/1; HA, HA, JP, JP, MDW, PCHR, WAFA, WAFA 2/2; +972, MEE, MEMO 2/3; TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/4; AJ 2/5)

Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett said at a conference in Tel Aviv that Israel will start using lasers to intercept missiles “within a year.” (ALM, AP, HA, JP, MEMO, REU 2/1)

A vice president of the American telecommunications company Mobileum said that he had alerted the FBI to a meeting between the Israeli company NSO Group and Mobileum in 2017, saying that the NSO Group sought to buy access to the SS7 network. Mobileum did not deny the meeting but said that no deal was made with the NSO Group. The former employee who now works for Citizen Lab filed a whistleblower complaint about the meeting and presented evidence to the U.S. justice department, the securities and exchange commission, and the federal communications commission in June 2021. The former VP said that NSO Group senior employees explicitly said during the meeting that they would “drop off bags of cash in [the VP’s] office.” The former VP also said that if the NSO Group had gained access to the SS7 network, it would have “access to the home networks of operators around the world, access to millions and millions of users without bypassing any sort of security controls. That’s a very tantalizing capability for them to have.” (AJ, GDN, HA, MEE, WP 2/1)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces delivered a punitive demolition notice for a house in Silat al-Harithiya belonging to a family in which 2 are charged with the killing of 1 Israeli settler on 12/20/2021 near the Homesh settlement outpost. Israeli forces razed a tract of land in Jalud in preparation for expanding the nearby Ahiya settlement. 11 Palestinians were arrested during house raids in Qabatiya, Qalandia, al-Ram, ‘Azzun, Beit Fajjar, Biddu, and Beit ‘Anan. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of Khuza‘a; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/20; MEMO 1/21; PCHR 1/27)

Palestinian Israeli Bedouins in several Naqab villages said they had been experiencing prolonged electricity blackouts for 2 weeks. The Israeli Electricity Corporation (IEC) blamed the blackouts on cold weather and illegal electricity hookups. In a recording of a conversation between an IEC representative and a resident, the representative is heard saying that the Israeli police is preventing them from conducting work to mend the situation, a claim the Israeli police denies. (HA 1/20)

The UN agencies UNWRA, UNICEF, and OHCHR called on Israel to release 1 Palestinian teenager held on administrative detention who is seriously ill due to an autoimmune disease and has been held without charges for more than 1 year. (MEMO, WAFA 1/20)

16 Palestinian Israeli Bedouins were indicted for alleged crimes committed during protests against a forestation program meant to displace Bedouins in the Naqab last week. A total of 155 protesters were arrested over several days of protesting. The protesters are accused of throwing stones and burning tires. (HA 1/20)

A PA court in Nablus sentenced 1 Palestinian journalist to 3 months in prison for defaming the PA. (MEMO 1/21)

PA foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki criticized the U.S. Biden administration for not working to reverse the Trump administration’s one-sided policies against Palestinians during a meeting at the UN security council. Foreign Minister al-Maliki also called on the U.S. to pressure Israel into reversing its rejection of a 2-state solution. Al-Maliki also said that the EU, UN, and Russia had agreed to a ministerial meeting about the Palestinian-Israeli situation but that the U.S. had not. Israeli ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan accused al-Maliki of ignoring “terror attacks” by Palestinians, holding up a stone that allegedly had been thrown at Israeli forces. (AP, HA, WAFA 1/20)

PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh, during a meeting with UN humanitarian coordinator in Palestine Lynn Hastings, urged the international community to pressure Israel to release tax funds withheld from the PA. (WAFA 1/20)

Former Israeli soldiers acknowledged that there is a mass grave of Palestinians killed during the Nakba in 1948 on a beach in the depopulated village of Tantura, where Israeli forces and militants massacred Palestinian prisoners of war. The Israeli government has denied the existence of the mass grave despite it being published in a thesis in 2000. The mass grave site is now a parking lot for the Dor beach built on the depopulated village. The PA foreign ministry called for an international investigation into the massacre aimed at punishing Israeli officials and institutions covering crimes committed by Israel. (HA 1/20; WAFA 1/21; AJ, JDF, WAFA 1/22)

Israel and Germany signed a deal for Israel to buy 3 submarines from the Germany company ThyssenKrupp. Germany agreed in 2017 to cover $680 million of the price Israel will have to pay. ThyssenKrupp recently raised the price of the submarines from $2 billion to $3.4 billion. (ALM, AP, HA, MEMO, REU 1/20)

Israeli Channel 13 aired a program showing NSO Group employees training Ghanaian officials in using NSO’s Pegasus software. Ghana’s government bought the Pegasus software in 2016 to use against political opponents ahead of the 2017 elections. (HA 1/20)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted some 50 olive saplings in Kafr ad-Dik. A contractor working for the Israeli military intentionally rammed a 75-year-old Palestinian man, who was said to be in critical condition; the man was standing in front of a tow truck to prevent it from seizing cars from his village Umm al-Khair, when the truck driver plowed into him. Israeli soldiers at the scene did not assist the man after he was hit and instead left the area with the cars. Israel said that stones had been thrown at the truck leading up to the incident and that the driver had been hit by 1 of the stones. The man succumbed to his injuries on 1/17. 5 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Burqa, Beita, and Abu Dis. In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities demolished 1 Palestinian-owned home in Silwan, displacing 6. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of Dayr al-Balah and al-Fukhari; no injuries were reported. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of the shore; no injuries were reported. In Israel, a right-wing Israeli protester assaulted 1 Palestinian journalist interviewing him outside of the hospital where a Palestinian prisoner is being treated in relation to his hunger strike. (MEE, MEMO, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/5; HA, MEMO, PCHR 1/6; HA 1/14; HA, MEMO, WAFA 1/17)

A local committee in Israel approved more than 3,500 new settlement units in East Jerusalem. The plans will be discussed further at a municipal committee meeting on 1/17. (AP 1/5; MEMO, MEMO 1/6; MEMO, WAFA 1/7)

The Israeli government postponed discussions of a new settlement in the E-1 area north of Abu Dis and between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim indefinitely. (HA 1/5)

The Knesset passed legislation to connect homes constructed without permits to the electric grid in the Naqab desert. The legislation was put forward by Mansour Abbas of the United Arab List. It passed 61-0 as the Israeli opposition boycotted the vote due to the legislation being fast-tracked. During discussions of the legislation, Walid Taha of the United Arab List gave a speech in Arabic, angering members of the Likud party and leading Abbas to ask Taha to continue in Hebrew. (HA 1/4; HA 1/5; ALM 1/7)

1 Palestinian American man was sentenced by an Israeli military court to 2 life sentences and $820,000 in fines, in addition to having his home demolished, for the killing of 1 Israeli settler and injuring 2 other settlers near Za’tara on 5/2/2021. (HA, MEE 1/5)

1 Jewish Israeli man was sentenced to 1 year in prison for partaking in a mob attack in Bat Yam that in May 2021 caused serious injury to 1 Palestinian man. The Palestinian man was pulled out of his car and beaten by at least a dozen Israelis. The Jewish Israeli man was not charged with incitement to terror and theft with racist motives after entering a plea deal. (AP, HA 1/5)

In Syria, Israeli tanks opened fire at Syria from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Israel said it had fired warning shots at 6 suspicious people in Syria. (MEMO, REU, REU 1/5)

Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz met with Jordanian king Abdullah II in Amman, discussing security issues. (AP, ALM, HA, REU 1/5; ALM 1/6)

Haaretz reported that, due to a technical error, the Israeli state archive had revealed censored material from the Israeli cabinet meeting during the Nakba in the summer of 1948. Amongst the information accidentally released was agricultural minister Aharon Zisling’s statement to other high-level Israeli leaders that he “can forgive instances of rape” by Jewish militants against Palestinian women, which he considered less severe than stealing from Jews. In another instance, Israel’s prime minister David Ben-Gurion told the cabinet that he is against “wholesale demolition of villages . . . but there are places that constituted a great danger and constitute a great danger, and we must wipe them out. But this must be done responsibly, with consideration before the act.” (HA 1/5; MEE, WAFA 1/6)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers raided Khallet al-Dabe in Masafer Yatta, vandalizing 70 olive trees and releasing Palestinian-owned sheep on the land, destroying crops as they grazed. 24 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Bethlehem, Dheisheh refugee camp, al-Arroub refugee camp, Balata refugee camp, Tell, Tulkarm, and Deir al-Ghusun. In East Jerusalem, a group of Israeli settlers attacked 1 Palestinian man in Sheikh Jarrah and vandalized 5 Palestinian-owned vehicles. The settlers sprayed pepper spray at the man and threw stones at vehicles; 2 of the settlers were arrested by Israeli police on 12/10 in relation to the attack. 13 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Ras al-Amud and Isawiya. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Beit Lahiya; no injuries were reported. In Gaza, Israeli forces arrested 2 Palestinians near the Gaza fence east of Khan Yunis. Israeli forces also opened fire at Palestinian farmers east of al-Maghazi; no injuries were reported. (MEMO, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/9; HA, WAFA 12/10; PCHR 12/16)

The Israeli ministry of justice closed a probe into the killing of 1 Palestinian who was lying on the ground after allegedly stabbing 1 Israeli man near the Damascus Gate plaza on 12/4. The ministry accepted the Israeli soldiers’ claim that they were acting in self-defense when they executed the man on the ground, several feet away from the soldiers. (AJ, HA, MEE, WAFA 12/9)

Haaretz reported that complaints of beatings of 10 Palestinian prisoners by Israeli prison guards had been given to Israeli police. The beatings allegedly unfolded in the aftermath of the prisoner escape on 9/6 as Palestinian prisoners subsequently were transferred from Gilboa prison to Shata prison. (HA 12/5; HA 12/9)

The British war monitoring NGO Airwars released a report focused on Israeli air strikes in Gaza and Syria. Airwars found that during the 11-day attack on Gaza in May, Israel killed between 151 and 192 Palestinian civilians in 128 “locally reported civilian harm events.” Airwars also found that between 15 and 20 civilians were killed in Gaza due to Palestinian rocket misfires. In a comparative study between Israeli attacks on Syria and Gaza, Airwars found that Israel killed many times more civilians during its 11-day attack on Gaza then it had done in Syria since 2013. Airwars attributed this discrepancy to willingness to attack densely populated areas of Gaza, while showing hesitancy to do so in Syria. (AA, Airwars 12/9)

Haaretz released an investigative report based on previously classified Israeli ministerial documents about the Nakba. The report revealed that Israeli cabinet ministers were aware of the massacres on Palestinians by the Israeli military. (HA 12/9; HA, MEE 12/10; WAFA 12/12)

Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid met with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo to discuss Iran, normalization deals, and the reconstruction of Gaza. Foreign Minister Lapid presented President al-Sisi with his “economy for security” plan for Gaza. (AJ, ALM, HA, MEMO 12/9; ALM, MEMO 12/10)

Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz met with senior U.S. officials in Washington, including Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Defense Minister Gantz is said to be trying to convince the U.S. officials to expand sanctions on Iran. (AX 12/8; AJ, HA, REU 12/9; ALM, NYT 12/10)

NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware was detected on 4 activists’ phones in Kazakhstan. The 4 activists are critics of the Kazakh government. (HA 12/9)

Sweden pledged $5.7 million to UNRWA and UN’s development program, earmarked to help Palestinians in Gaza rebuild after Israel’s attacks in May. (WAFA 12/9)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort raided an archeological site near Bethlehem to perform prayers. During the raid, Israeli forces sealed off the area, impeding traffic for local Palestinians. In East Jerusalem, some 90 Israeli settlers with military escort stormed the Haram al-Sharif compound. (MNA, MNA, WAFA 5/9)

All Gaza and West Bank crossings into Israel were closed except for medical and other emergencies for the 4th day in a row. Israeli authorities announced the closure on 5/6, citing Israeli celebrations of Memorial Day and Independence Day. Additionally, Israeli forces closed a road between Nabi Salih and Ramallah in the West Bank. (HA 5/6; MNA, WAFA 5/9)

Palestinians in Israel commemorated the Nakba on Israel’s Independence Day by marching to 1 of the villages that was depopulated during the Nakba. Each year, Palestinians in Israel march to 1 of the more than 140 villages that was depopulated during the Nakba. This year, they marched to Khubbayza. (HA 5/9)

At the UN, PA foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki called the U.S. peace plan “conditions for surrender” and not a plan for peace. U.S. special representative for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt was at the UN meeting. Greenblatt has been actively debunking rumors on Twitter about the U.S. peace plan and criticizing the Palestinian leadership for not engaging with the U.S.. Al-Maliki told Mondoweiss at the UN that he urged European nations to start thinking about putting sanctions on Israel, as calls for stopping settlement expansions have proven ineffective. (AJ, HA, MDW, MNA 5/10)

An Egyptian security delegation arrived in Gaza to meet with Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar and other officials from Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Palestine. The officials discussed demonstrations on Nakba Day held on 15 May and efforts to ensure a relative calm. (HA 5/9)

The Lebanese president Michel Aoun said, during a meeting with a delegation from the Middle East Council of Churches, that “Lebanon would never survive if half a million Palestinian refugees and 1.6 million Syrian refugees remained in the country.” (MNA 5/10)

Canada announced that it contributed $2.4 million to the UN World Food Programme for vulnerable Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. New Zealand pledged $2 million for the UNRWA. (MNA, WAFA5/9)

Palestinians across Israel and the oPt observe a general strike in commemoration of the Nakba and in mourning for the 58 Palestinians killed in Gaza on 5/14. Thousands march in their funeral processions, and thousands more gather along the border fence for a 2d consecutive day of Great March of Return protests. Israeli forces violently disperse these demonstrations, as well as smaller protests in East Jerusalem, Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem, and at the Qalandia checkpoint; 2 Palestinians are killed and 12 are injured. Meanwhile, IDF troops arrest 20 Palestinians during late-night raids near Ramallah, Nablus, Jericho, Jenin, Hebron, and Bethlehem; and patrol near Hebron and Salfit. Unidentified assailants cut down 300 Palestinian-owned grapevines outside Bayt ‘Aynun village near Hebron and leave racist graffiti in the area. (EI, HA, JP, TOI, WAFA 5/15; HA, MNA 5/16; PCHR 5/17)

Two Palestinians succumb to injuries sustained during the deadly violence in Gaza on 5/14. The 4 deaths today bring the death toll stemming from Israel’s response to the protests on 5/14 to 60 and the overall death toll stemming from the Great March of Return to 106. (MNA, TOI, WAFA, 5/15)

The Egyptian authorities open the Rafah border crossing in both directions for the 4th consecutive day. (AP 5/18; OCHA 5/24)

The Israeli authorities temporarily reopen the Kerem Shalom border crossing, having kept it closed since 5/12, after Palestinians set fire to a nearby pipeline. There are reports of Palestinian activists turning back 4 truckloads of medical supplies provided by the IDF. The organizers of the Great March of Return later confirm that they rejected medical supplies from “the executors of Monday’s massacre against the innocent.” (AP, TOI 5/15; MNA, JP, TOI 5/16)

PA president Abbas recalls PLO envoy in Washington Husam Zomlot in protest at the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem and the U.S. decision to block the UNSC from making a statement condemning the Israeli violence on 5/14. (WAFA, YA 5/15; HA, WAFA 5/16)

The Turkish Foreign Ministry orders Israeli ambassador Eitan Naeh to leave Turkey in protest of the killings in Gaza on 5/14. In response, Israel’s Foreign Ministry orders the Turkish consul in Jerusalem to return home. Turkey recalled its ambassadors from Israel and the U.S. in the wake of the killings on 5/14. (ANA, HA, JP, TOI 5/16)

Today, Great March of Return demonstrations see tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza gathering along the border fence to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, to protest the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem today, and to call for the Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their homes. IDF troops violently disperse demonstrations near Khan Yunis, Rafah, Gaza City, al-Bureij refugee camp, and Jabaliya refugee camp; 58 Palestinians are killed, including 3 who allegedly attempted to plant an explosive along the border near Rafah, and more than 1,300 are injured. After unidentified assailants open fire on IDF patrols along the border near Jabaliya refugee camp, the IAF conducts air strikes on Hamas posts near Jabaliya refugee camp, al-Bureij refugee camp, and Gaza City, causing moderate damage. The killings today bring the death toll related to the Great March of Return to 102. Elsewhere in the oPt, thousands of Palestinians gather across the West Bank and Jerusalem to protest the official opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem today. They also release 70 black balloons in Ramallah, marking the 70th anniversary of the Nakba. IDF troops violently disperse the protests at Qalandia checkpoint, Bethlehem, and Hebron; at least 2 Palestinians are injured. Meanwhile, IDF troops arrest 19 Palestinians during latenight raids in and around Bethlehem, Jenin, Nablus, and Hebron; and patrol near Jenin and Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 7 Palestinians during late-night raids in Issawiyya and the Old City. (AJ, EI, HA, JP, MEE, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 5/14; PCHR 5/17)

Hours after Israeli troops open fire on peaceful Palestinian protesters along the border fence in Gaza, senior U.S. and Israeli officials gather for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. In a recorded video, U.S. president Trump celebrates the opening and says the U.S. “remains fully committed to facilitating a lasting peace agreement” between Israel and the Palestinians. Outside the ceremony, Israeli police violently disperse approximately 200 protesters, including Joint List MKs Ahmad Tibi, Dov Khenin, Jamal Zahalka, Yousef Jabareen, and Masud Ganaim; 12 Palestinians are arrested. (AJ, BBC, JP, MEE, NYT, TOI 5/14; EI 5/15)

In the evening, the Palestinian leadership convenes in Ramallah to discuss the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem and the violence in Gaza. PA president Abbas calls the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem a “settlement outpost” and reiterates that he has no plans to engage in any U.S.-mediated peace talks “in any way, shape, or form.” The assembled officials decide to file a war crimes complaint against Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague over settlement construction in the West Bank. According to PLO secretary-general Erakat, they also agree to a number of other unspecified responses. (TOI 5/14; AP, YA 5/15)

The South African government recalls its ambassador to Israel and Turkey recalls its ambassadors from Israel and the U.S. in protest of the killings in Gaza today. “The victims were taking part in peaceful protests against the provocative inauguration of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem,” a South African statement reads. Meanwhile, the U.S. blocks the UNSC from adopting a Kuwait-backed statement condemning the deadly violence in Gaza and calling for an “independent and transparent investigation” into Israel’s actions. (ANA, TOI, WAFA 5/14; HA, TOI 5/15)

The Egyptian authorities open the Rafah border crossing in both directions for the 3d consecutive day. (AHR 5/14; OCHA 5/24)

Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops open fire on a Palestinian landfill near Dayr al-Balah and at a group of farmers and shepherds near al-Bureij refugee camp, causing no damage or injuries. They also violently disperse Great March of Return protesters near Rafah; 1 Palestinian is injured. In the West Bank, IDF troops violently disperse Palestinians marching through Bethlehem to commemorate the Nakba and protest the U.S. embassy’s impending opening in Jerusalem; there are no serious injuries. They also arrest 3 Palestinians and issue 1 arrest summons during late-night raids near Qalqilya and Hebron, and patrol near Jenin, Tulkarm, and Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 2 Palestinians during a raid in Silwan. (WAFA 5/10; PCHR 5/17)

Breaking with Israeli policy not to take responsibility for any strikes in Syria, Israeli officials acknowledge the extensive attacks on Iranian infrastructure on 5/9. “If Iran hits us with rain—we will hit them with a deluge,” says Israeli DM Lieberman. He also says that the IAF destroyed “nearly all” of Iran’s military infrastructure in Syria. (JP, NYT, TOI 5/10)

The U.S. Treasury announces new sanctions on 9 Iranian individuals and entities deemed complicit in an “extensive currency exchange network” that funneled millions of U.S. dollars to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. (AFP, TOI 5/10)

Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops open fire on dozens of Palestinian protesters continuing the Great March of Return near Jabaliya refugee camp and Khan Yunis; 3 Palestinians are injured. In 3 separate incidents off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Jabaliya refugee camp and Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops arrest 1 Palestinian and issue 1 arrest summons during raids near Bethlehem and in Qalqilya, and patrol near Hebron. Israeli settlers throw stones at Palestinian vehicles near Bethlehem, causing minor damage. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 2 Palestinians during raids in Silwan. In northern Israel, approximately 20,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel march through Atlit to commemorate the Nakba and call for refugees’ right to return to their homes. (HA, MNA 4/19; WAFA 4/20)

The organizers of the Great March of Return move the main protest tent camp near Khan Yunis, approximately 50 meters closer to the border fence “as a message of persistence from our people to the world that we are moving forwards towards our rightful goals,” according to a statement from their committee. (AP, MNA 4/19)

IDF troops violently disperse Palestinians, Israelis, and international activists at Friday protests against Israel’s separation wall, occupation, and settlements, as well as U.S. president Trump’s 12/6/17 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in Hebron, Jericho, Kafr Qaddum near Qalqilya, 2 areas near Nablus (Beita village and the Huwwara checkpoint), 5 villages near Ramallah (al-Janiya, al-Bireh, Nabi Salih, Ni‘lin, and Bil‘in), and along Gaza’s border near Gaza City, Khan Yunis, al-Bureij refugee camp, and Jabaliya refugee camp. At least 31 Palestinian are injured and 2 are arrested. In the West Bank, Israeli soldiers shoot and injure 3 Palestinian minors during clashes sparked by an IDF raid near Nablus. IDF troops also arrest 3 Palestinians and assault 1 during late-night raids near Hebron and Bethlehem, and patrol near Hebron and Tulkarm. Israeli settlers throw stones at, and open fire on, Palestinian homes in Burin village near Nablus, causing no major damage or injuries. The attack sparks minor clashes; there are no serious injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian during late-night raids in Issawiyya. In 4 separate incidents off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Bayt Lahiya and Jabaliya refugee camp, causing no damage or injuries. (HA, NYT, WAFA, YA 2/23; PCHR 3/1)

The U.S. State Department announces that the new U.S. embassy in Israel will open in Jerusalem in 5/2018, implementing President Trump’s 12/6/17 pledge to move the embassy from Tel Aviv. The embassy is set to open with ambassador David Friedman and a skeleton staff working out of an existing U.S. facility in the Arnona neighborhood. “This decision will turn the 70th anniversary of Israeli independence into an even bigger celebration,” says Israeli PM Netanyahu. “Thank you, President Trump, for your leadership and your friendship.” Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) secretarygeneral Saeb Erakat says, “The U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and now to move its embassy on the eve of marking 70 years since the Nakba [. . .] shows the determination of the U.S. administration to violate international law, destroy the 2-state solution, and provoke the feelings of the Palestinian people, as well as of all Arabs, Muslims, and Christians around the globe.” (AP, HA, JP, TOI, WAFA 2/23)

Thousands of Palestinians gather at rallies across the West Bank to commemorate the 69th anniversary of the Nakba. IDF troops violently disperse demonstrators in Bethlehem and 2 areas nr. Ramallah (the Beit El checkpoint and Nabi Salih); at least 15 Palestinians are injured. The IDF also shuts down the Beit El checkpoint later in the day. For a 2d day in a row, Palestinian activists block several roads nr. Ramallah in solidarity with the more than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike. Meanwhile, Israeli forces begin leveling land nr. Hebron in preparation for the construction of a new IDF watchtower. IDF troops conduct raids in Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem late at night, arresting 3 Palestinians and sparking clashes; 2 Palestinians are injured. They also arrest 16 Palestinians and issue 2 arrest summons during further raids nr. Jericho, Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Qalqilya, and Nablus; and patrol nr. Hebron and Qalqilya during the day. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces assault and arrest a Palestinian nr. Hizma and arrest 1 Palestinian during a latenight raid in Silwan. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats nr. Jabaliya r.c. on 2 separate occasions, seriously injuring 1 fisherman (he succumbs to his injuries later in the day). They confiscate 2 boats and arrest 6 fishermen. (JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA 5/15; PCHR 5/18)

Israeli police shoot and kill an Israeli settler after he allegedly attempts to stab 1 of them on the East Jerusalem side of the Hizma checkpoint. They reportedly mistook the settler for a Palestinian. Israeli forces later find the settler’s suicide note, showing that he intentionally attacked them with the goal of being killed. Elsewhere in East Jerusalem, approx. 90 right-wing Jewish activists tour Haram al-Sharif in the morning, marking Israel’s Independence Day. Israeli forces arrest 13 Palestinians during late-night raids in Sur al-Bahir, Silwan, and al-Tur. In the West Bank, Israeli settlers destroy a Palestinian well in al-Khadir nr. Bethlehem. Israeli forces level Palestinian land nr. Salfit to clear the area for settlers from nearby Ariel. IDF troops establish a checkpoint nr. Nablus, sparking minor clashes with stone-throwing Palestinians; there are no serious injuries. They also arrest 3 Palestinians during a raid nr. Bethlehem and patrol nr. Qalqilya. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats nr. Bayt Lahiya on 2 separate occasions, causing no damage or injuries. Along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian farmers and shepherds working nr. al-Bureij r.c., causing no injuries; and conduct a limited incursion to level land nr. Khan Yunis late at night. In Israel, thousands of Palestinians participate in the “March of Return” at the site of the depopulated al-Kabri village in the Galilee to highlight the rights of Palestinian refugees and commemorate the Nakba. (HA, WAFA 5/2; MNA 5/3; PCHR 5/4)

A former Palestinian prisoner dies of kidney failure at a hospital nr. Ramallah. He developed kidney issues as a result of medical negligence while he was in Israeli prison, according to the head of the PA’s prisoners’ affairs comm., Issa Qaraqe. (MNA, TOI, WAFA 5/2)

Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmers working nr. Khan Yunis, causing no injuries. Elsewhere in the oPt, Israeli forces violently disperse Palestinian youths throwing stones in al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron and in a village nr. Qalqilya, causing no serious injuries and leading to the destruction of 3 olive trees. IDF troops also arrest 2 Palestinians during raids nr. Hebron and in East Jerusalem; patrol nr. Hebron. Israeli settlers break into a Palestinian home in Hebron and assault a resident, causing moderate injuries. In Israel, hundreds of PCI march through Haifa to the site of a Palestinian village destroyed in 1948 in commemoration of the Nakba. (MNA, WAFA 5/14; PCHR 5/19)

IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of Jabaliya open fire on agricultural areas nr. the border fence, causing no damage or injuries. Off the coast nr. Rafah, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing no damage. In the West Bank, Israeli authorities order the demolition of an electricity grid nr. Nablus. Israeli forces deliver demolition orders to a Palestinian agricultural structure and 3 homes nr. Bethlehem; block off all entrances to a nearby village. IDF troops confront a group of 4 Palestinians nr. Nablus, assaulting them and arresting 1. The IDF conducts late-night raids and house searches in Tulkarm, Hebron, 1 village each nr. Nablus and Tubas, and 2 nr. Bethlehem, arresting 10 Palestinians and issuing an arrest summons to 1; patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 each nr. Qalqilya and Ramallah. Meanwhile, thousands of Palestinians march through the streets of Ramallah commemorating the 67th anniversary of the Nakba. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces conduct house searches and raids in al-Ram, arresting 1 Palestinian. (MNA, WAFA 5/13; PCHR 5/14; PCHR 5/21)

ICC prosecutor Bensouda says that she has not been provided any official information from either the Palestinians or Israel relating to Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip in 7–8/2014, and that, unless that changes, her decision to launch a full investigation will be based on publicly available materials. (AP, JP 5/13)

Israeli PM Netanyahu’s new govt. presents a document to the Knesset outlining the basic principles binding its ruling coalition. In language similar to that used for the 2009 and 2013 govts., it says that the govt. will work toward a peace agreement with the Palestinians, but it does not specify a 2-state solution. It also notes that “if an agreement of this kind is reached [with the Palestinians], it will be brought for the approval of the cabinet and Knesset, and if necessary, a national referendum as well.” (AFP, HA 5/13)

In an interview published today, U.S. Pres. Obama says that the U.S. is “taking a hard look” at its positions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that the Palestinians “deserve an end to the occupation and the daily indignities that come with it.” Obama is hosting several leaders of the GCC countries at a summit in Washington today to discuss regional issues. (AWS, HA, REU 5/13)

The head of the Palestinian Power and Natural Resources Authority Omar Kittanah announces that the PA cabinet has approved an initiative to connect the electricity grid in the West Bank to Jordan. The PA will begin looking for funding for the project, which is estimated to cost $100 m. It is part of a regional, 3-year initiative to connect the grids of Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, and the oPt. (MNA 5/13)

The Vatican announces that it has concluded a treaty that will recognize the state of Palestine. (AP, NYT 5/13)

Unidentified Palestinians fire a rocket from Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. IDF forces and Palestinians clash across the West Bank and East Jerusalem on Nakba Day, with 25 Palestinians arrested and 6 Israeli security forces injured in and around Jerusalem’s Old City. In al-‘Aqba village nr. Hebron, unidentifed Palestinians throw a Molotov cocktail at an IDF jeep, destroying it and injuring 4 soldiers. In another incident in the nearby village of al-Tabaqa, IDF forces briefly detain more than 45 children. As part of Nakba Dayrelated protests, IDF forces violently disperse Palestinian demonstrators at Qalandia and Bitunia nr. Jerusalem, Ofer nr. Ramallah, Kufor Kaddoum nr. Qalqilya, and open fire on Palestinians in al-Khader nr. Bethlehem (injuring 12). In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in al- ‘Arub r.c. in the morning, and in Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron and in Tubas at night. (AFP, HA, JP, MNA, YA 5/15; PCHR 5/16)

Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas arrives in Cairo for talks with Egyptian pres. Mohamed Morsi about the Arab League’s recent visit (4/29) to Washington and Palestinian national reconciliation moves. (MNA 5/15)

After 2 years of internal discussions, senior Fatah members operating in their own personal capacity issue a document calling for the establishment of one democratic country between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. (HA 5/17)

Mortars fired from inside Syria land in the Mount Hermon area of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. (HA 5/15)

A Freedom Flotilla II boat tries to deport in Crete but is turned back by the Greek coast guard. A Knesset committee disqualifies (3-5) a bill submitted by Israeli Palestinian MK Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List) that would amend the 3/2011 “Nakba Law” (see Quarterly Update in JPS 160) to bar state funding to any organizations or authorities that deny the Nakba, arguing that it “rejects Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.” (JP 7/4; WP 7/5)

For the 3d time since unrest in Egypt began in 1/2011, unknown assailants blow up the natural gas pipeline from Egypt to Israel and Jordan, cutting supplies. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF stages separate synchronized morning patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 3 nr. Jenin; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Tulkarm in the afternoon; patrols in 3 villages nr. Salfit and 1 each nr. Jenin, Ramallah, and Tulkarm (firing tear gas at stone-throwing Palestinians who confront them nr. Jenin, causing no serious injuries). (JTA, WP 7/5; PCHR 7/7; OCHA 7/8)

On the anniversary of the Nakba, 1,000s of Palestinians fr. the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria stage marches (mostly nonviolent, though some stone throwing) toward the Israeli border. In Lebanon, though troops, riot police, and UNIFIL soldiers deploy to prevent marchers fr. reaching the border, a large group succeeds in reaching the border fence nr. Hizballah-controlled Maroun al-Ras village, where they throw stones at IDF troops. IDF troops open fire into Lebanon, leaving 10 Palestinians dead and at least 112 wounded. Palestinians refugees marching fr. Syria knock down the border fence into the Golan Heights, enter the Druze village of Majdal Shams, and rally in the village square, erecting Palestinian flags. IDF troops open fire to drive them back across the border, killing 4 Palestinians and wounding around 200. On the border with Jordan, Jordanian troops fired tear gas and scuffle with some 800 Palestinians, preventing them fr. reaching the border, leaving 14 demonstrators and 3 police officers lightly injured. In Egypt, govt. forces reinforce their border, preventing some 250 Palestinians fr. marching to the Rafah crossing. In Cairo, riot police fire tear gas, disperse protesters converging on the Israeli embassy, injuring around 120. On the Gaza border, IDF troops fire live ammunition and artillery at Gazans marching toward the border, wounding at least 125. In the West Bank, IDF troops fire tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets to disperse around 1,000 stone-throwing Palestinians marching toward the Qalandia crossing (injuring 10s) and violently beat scores of Palestinians marching fr. Palestinian-controlled area A toward Israeli security-controlled area B in Hebron (injuring 10s). A large peaceful rally commemorating the Nakba is held in Ramallah. Numerous smaller and protests clashes are also reported in the West Bank and East Jerusalem; rights groups say some 185 Palestinians have been injured in these clashes over the past 3 days, 153 of them in Jerusalem. Netanyahu accuses the demonstrators of “incitement” and challenging “the very existence of Israel.” Other Israeli officials accuse Iran and Syria of instigating the Palestinians, noting that Syrian security did nothing to prevent Palestinians fr. approaching the border. (DS, IFM, IsRN, JAZ, JP, MA, YA 5/15; Christian Science Monitor, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 5/16)

Unrelated to the “March to Palestine,” IDF troops fired across the border into Gaza, killing a Palestinian who allegedly was planting an explosive device. Inside Israel, an Israeli Palestinian drives his truck into several cars, a bus, and pedestrians in Tel Aviv, killing 1 Israeli and injuring 17 in what Israeli police say was a deliberate terrorist attack; the driver, who is arrested, strongly denies deliberately harming anyone, saying he lost control of his vehicle when a tire blew. The IDF also patrols in 2 village nr. Qalqilya (arresting 1 Palestinian teenager for throwing stones) and 2 nr. Tulkarm; sends undercover units into Nur al-Shams r.c. nr. Tulkarm late at night, surrounding and raiding a house and arresting 1 Palestinian; conducts other late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around al-‘Arub r.c. and Hebron, and nr. Salfit. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba settlement in Hebron throw 4 Molotov cocktails at a nearby Palestinian home, causing minor damage. Israel resumes transferring VAT taxes to the PA (see 5/1), having received PA assurances that none of the money would be accessible to Hamas under the new Fatah-Hamas unity deal, but warning that it would reconsider suspending transfers if Hamas was allowed to join a PA govt. (NYT 5/16; PCHR 5/19; OCHA 5/20)

At quarter’s end, fierce fighting is ongoing in Libya and NATO intervention continues. Rebel-held areas increasingly report shortages of food and medical supplies. No reliable figures on casualties are available since independent media access and communications are extremely difficult. Deaths are thought to be well into the 1,000s and perhaps as high as 10,000. (WP 5/16; REU 6/9)

A Palestinian teenager shot in Silwan on 5/13 dies of his wounds. Clashes erupt after the boy’s funeral later in the day, with Israeli police firing rubber-coated steel bullets at angry mourners, injuring 2. For a 2d day, numerous clashes are reported, particularly around East Jerusalem, as Palestinians demonstrate in commemoration of the Nakba, but no serious injuries are reported. Jewish settlers fr. Gilad settlement nr. Qalqilya beat and stone 3 Palestinian farmers working their land nearby. (WP 5/15; PCHR 5/19; OCHA 5/20)

In Syria, troops raid Tal Kalakh village nr. the border with Lebanon before dawn, sending 100s of Syrians fleeing into Lebanon for safety. Clashes continue through 5/15. Lebanese officials estimate that some 5,000 Syrian families have sought refuge in Lebanon since the clashes began. As the quarter comes to a close, Syrian forces continue to violently suppress protests scattered nationwide. Human rights groups say as many as 900 protesters have been killed since the beginning of the uprising, while the govt. says that 98 soldiers and 22 police officers have been killed; around 9,000 Syrians are still in custody or unaccounted for. (NYT, WP 5/15; WP 5/16, 5/19)

A GCC envoy arrives in Yemen to try to resurrect a deal with Saleh to step down, but no agreement is immediately reached. Rights groups estimate that more than 154 Yemenis have been killed since protests began. (NYT, WP 5/15)

The White House announces that U.S. special envoy George Mitchell has submitted his resignation, effective 5/20 (the day Obama is to meet with Netanyahu at the White House). Secy. of State Clinton appoints Mitchell aide David Hale as interim special envoy. (NYT, WP 5/14)

In Jerusalem, Israeli police and settlement security guards outside Beit Yonatan in Silwan fire on stone-throwing Palestinian youths, seriously wounding a Palestinian teenager walking some distance away. Numerous clashes are also reported, particularly around East Jerusalem, as Palestinians demonstrate in commemoration of the Nakba. In the Jordan Valley, a Palestinian boy is injured when he accidentally triggers IDF UXO. Palestinians (sometimes accompanied by Israeli and international activists) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, and Nabi Salih. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, injuring 2 Palestinians (including 1 child) and 1 international activist; 2 Palestinians and 2 Israeli activists are arrested. (WP 5/15; PCHR 5/19; OCHA 5/20)

Heeding calls fr. Palestinian organizers on Facebook, 100s of Jordanians in Amman and 1,000s of Egyptians in Cairo rally after Friday prayers in support of Palestinian rights. (AP, DPA, Huffington Post 5/13)

Grass-roots Palestinian activists send 10,000s of text messages to cell phones in the West Bank and Gaza, urging Palestinians to march to the borders of Israel on 5/15 for a “March to Palestine Day” marking the anniversary of the Nakba. The IDF conducts daytime patrols in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya. A Palestinian teenager is fatally electrocuted in a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border, marking the 2d tunnel accident in 2 days. (al-Ahram, al-Masri alYoum 5/13; PCHR 5/19; OCHA 5/20)

Israel makes 2 air strikes on Gaza targeting the launch site of 4 mortars fired into Israel minutes earlier (causing no damage or injuries), hitting a nearby residential area, killing 4 Palestinian civilians (including 3 children) and wounding 11 (4 critically); Netanyahu expresses regret for accidentally harming civilians but accuses Palestinian militants of using civilians as human shields to carry out rocket and mortar attacks (even while there was no rocket fire at the time of the strikes). In the evening, Palestinians fire a manufactured Grad rocket and several mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Later, the IDF carries out a 3d air strike, killing 4 Islamic Jihad mbrs. preparing to launch a rocket into Israel. The IDF also makes a brief incursion into Gaza northeast of Gaza City to level lands and clear lines of sight. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishermen off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF makes a predawn raid on Awarta, imposing a curfew and arresting 9 Palestinians, possibly in connection to the 3/11 Itamar murders; patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and Salfit. (IRM 3/22; NYT, REU, WP, WT 3/23; NYT, PCHR 3/24; OCHA 4/1)

The Knesset passes (37-25, with 58 abstaining or not voting) the “Nakba Law,” which allows state funding to be reduced to communities or groups that commemorate the Nakba, deny Israel is a Jewish state, question whether Israel is a democracy, or harm Israeli national symbols. It also passes (35-20, with 65 abstaining or not voting) the “Admissions Committee Law” allowing Negev and Galilee Jewish communities with fewer than 400 families to reject potential residents (i.e., Palestinians) who are “socially unacceptable.” (IsRN 3/23; JTA 3/24)

The IDF detains 2 Lebanese shepherds who accidentally crossed the Blue Line into Israeli territory and turns them over to the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). (DS 3/23)

Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories commemorate the Nakba by visiting the sites of Palestinian villages destroyed in 1948, holding somber rallies and moments of silence, and, in Qalandia r.c., releasing 1,000s of black balloons (1 for each day since the State of Israel was declared). In Gaza, the IDF begins digging a trench (around 300 ft. long, 10 ft. wide, 15 ft. deep) fr. an IDF post e. of Abasan to Khuza, firing on nearby residential areas, causing no reported injuries. IDF troops at the Erez crossing fire bullets, tear gas at 100s of Palestinians staging a nonviolent protest against the Israeli siege. IDF troops on the c. Gaza border e. of Juhur al-Dik fire on 3 Palestinian girls who stray nr. the border fence, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Taqou’ nr. Bethlehem; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Nablus. A Palestinian civilian wounded during the 5/4 IDF incursion into Khuza dies. (CNN 5/15; PCHR 5/22)

Under a deal brokered by the Arab League, the Hizballah-led opposition and Lebanon’s ruling coalition agree to open talks in Qatar on 5/16 to negotiate an agmt. on a cabinet and new electoral law, to be followed by election of consensus pres. candidate Gen. Michel Suleiman. Hizballah removes roadblocks leading to Beirut airport, allowing some flights to resume in the evening. (BBC 5/15; NYT, WP, WT 5/16; WP 5/18)

Israel begins wk.-long celebrations leading up to its 60th anniversary on 5/14, while Palestinians solemnly prepare to mark the Nakba; more than a dozen foreign heads of state, including U.S. Pres. George W. Bush, plan to make official visits to Israel in the next wk. Overnight, in Gaza, IDF tanks and troops raid Abasan under cover of air support, cutting electricity to the area, exchanging heavy fire with Palestinian gunmen, making numerous air strikes and firing tank shells in the densely populated residential area, killing 1 armed Palestinian and 1 Palestinian civilian (a woman killed when soldiers detonate explosives outside her door and storm her home, detaining her children, ages 2–12, in a room for 6 hrs. before releasing them), wounding 19 armed men and 4 civilians (including 1 woman, 2 children), arresting 60 Palestinians (55 are released on 5/8), demolishing 2 Palestinian homes, and bulldozing large areas of agricultural land before withdrawing late in the evening. The IDF also makes an air strike on a group of armed Palestinians in Jabaliya r.c., killing 1 Palestinian resistance mbr., seriously wounding a 2d. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. (PCHR, WP 5/8; PCHR 5/15)

Hizballah mbrs. and their supporters in Amal and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) set up roadblocks leading to Beirut International Airport, other major roads in an effort to press the government to reverse its 5/6 decisions. They clash with gunmen affiliated with Saad Hariri’s Future Movement, leaving 5 civilians, 2 soldiers wounded. (NYT, WP 5/8)

On the day Israel marks independence day and Palestinians commemorate the Nakba, Hamas’s Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades fires 6 rockets and 8 mortars into Israel, causing no injuries, reiterating that it will no longer abide by the 11/26/06 cease-fire; the IDF responds with helicopter air strikes on n. Gaza and fires on an open area e. of Rafah; no damage or injuries are reported on either side. (Also in Gaza, a Palestinian is injured in Jabaliya r.c. while trying to dismantle an unexploded IDF shell.) Meanwhile, moderates in Hamas’s political wing say they are working to preserve the cease-fire. In the West Bank, the IDF occupies a Palestinian home in Saffa nr. Ramallah as an observation post; patrols, fires on residential areas of Nablus; conducts latenight arrest raids, house searches in Hebron. Nr. Jenin, 2 Palestinian children (ages 4, 7) are injured when they accidentally trigger unexploded IDF ordnance. Thousands of Jewish settlers march to the evacuated Homesh settlement site to protest the 2005 disengagement despite the IDF’s declaration of the area as a closed military zone; 2 IDF soldiers are injured trying to keep settlers from the site. Jewish settlers escorted by IDF troops bar Palestinians fr. using a road s. of Jenin for several hrs. (BBC, MM 4/24; IFM, MM, NYT, OCHA, WP 4/25; PCHR 4/26)

The IDF seals the West Bank, Gaza through 5/14, while Israelis mark their memorial and independence days, and Palestinians observe the Nakba; seals Sammu‘, al-Rihiyya nr. Hebron for the day; imposes a curfew on Hawara nr. Nablus; tightens restrictions on Palestinian movement on the Ramallah–Nablus road; removes earthen barriers blocking the main road fr. Nablus to the Jordan Valley; raids, searches 2 CEC offices in Jerusalem, confiscates documents, arrests 2 employees. Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim bar Palestinian farmers fr. reaching their land in Kafr Qadim; the IDF says the farmers will henceforth require permits to access the land. (HA, IMEMC, MM 5/10; JTA, OCHA 5/11; PCHR 5/12)

The IDF launches a major predawn raid on Bayt Hanun, sending 70 tanks and armored vehicles into the area, firing on residential areas, killing 5 Palestinians (including a 12-yr.-old Palestinian boy who is allowed to bleed to death over 3 hrs., as the IDF bars access to medical workers), wounding 20, demolishing at least 4 Palestinian homes, bulldozing 100s of orange trees, conducting house-to-house searches; says troops plan to stay in the town for several days. The IDF also surrounds the adjacent town of Bayt Lahia, Jabaliya r.c. A Palestinian gunman opens fire at the Qarni crossing, killing 2 Israeli civilians before being shot dead by the IDF. Another Palestinian gunman fires on a vehicle nr. Neve Tzuf settlement, lightly injuring 1 Jewish settler. Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket nr. Jabaliya, which lands in the Negev desert. Palestinians across the West Bank, Gaza hold rallies, marches to mark the 55th anniversary of the Nakba. (AFP, AP, HA, JP, WT 5/15; MENA 5/15 in WNC 5/16; HA, MM, NYT, WP 5/16)

In its largest military operation in the West Bank and Gaza since 1967, Israel sends a large number of IDF infantry, tanks, APCs, armored bulldozers into Tulkarm in a predawn operation to totally reoccupy the city, taking control of the city center, occupying buildings (including a college, the mayor's home) and apartments as observer posts, hoisting Israeli flags, imposing a 24-hr. curfew, conducting house-to-house searches, detaining at least 30 Palestinians. The IDF reportedly responds to "scattered resistance," leaving 2 Palestinians dead, 15 wounded. IDF soldiers also fire on 2 ambulances coming to the aid of the wounded, seriously injuring 1 ambulance driver. Israel says the operation will last "only a few days." The IDF also sends tanks deep into PA-controlled Nablus; directs heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Ramallah; conducts an arrest raid in Nahalin. Senior IDF officials suggest that Israel is preparing to make more deep incursions into PA areas "to destroy more infrastructure and to kill more terrorists." The IDF also bulldozes Palestinian land along bypass road 60 outside Hebron. Some 40 Palestinians attempt to block the bulldozers but are confronted by armed Jewish settlers who fire in the air and beat the Palestinians, seriously injuring 1 Palestinian. The PA releases NISP head Salih (arrested 1/5). (MM, WP 1/21, 1/22; al-Quds 1/23 in WNC 1/30; MEI 1/25; PCHR 1/26; JP 2/1)

The Israeli-Arab legal center Adalah formally asks Israeli atty. gen. Elyakim Rubenstein to reconsider his recent decision not to compel the Custodian for Absentees' Property to comply with Israeli 1998 freedom of information act by releasing data on the moveable property of Palestinian refugees seized by Israel in 1948. Rubenstein rejected the request on the ground that it would damage Israel's foreign relations, require excessive time and resources to comply. Adalah 1st submitted its request in 1999. The atty. gen.'s office ignored 15 follow-up requests for a decision btwn. 1999 and 2002. (Adalah press release 1/28)

Palestinians mark Nakba commemoration day by observing 3 minutes of silence. Large rallies are held in every major Palestinian city in the West Bank and Gaza, after which a recorded message by Arafat is read over loudspeakers. Israeli Arabs hold marches to the sites of their destroyed villages. Marches, rallies are also held in Amman (where 1,000s demonstrate), Cairo, Tehran, Washington. (MM 5/15; IRNA, MENA 5/15 in WNC 5/16; SA 5/15, HJ, JT, al-Quds 5/16 in WNC 5/17; NYT, WP, WT 5/16; WJW 5/17; HA, WP 5/18)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes escalate due to the Nakba anniversary, leaving 5 Palestinians, 1 Israeli settler dead, some 250 Palestinians wounded. In an apparent assassination in Gaza, the IDF fires a tank shell at the car driven by `Abd al-Hakim al-Manama, bodyguard of Hamas spiritual leader Shaykh Yasin, killing him and a passenger. In Ramallah, an IDF soldier shoots French TV reporter Bertrand Aguirre, who captures his targeted shooting on video; Aguirre escapes fatal injury because he is wearing a bulletproof vest. A Palestinian woman gives birth at an IDF checkpoint when soldiers refuse to let her pass to reach a hospital. The IDF directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Rafah, Tulkarm. (AP, LAW 5/15; HP, NYT, WP, WT 5/16; PCHR 5/17; CSM 5/18; JP 5/25)

The Higher Follow-Up Comm. for the Arab Community (HFCAC), composed of Israeli Arab political and community leaders, reports that Israel is restricting the freedoms of Israel Arabs in light of the al-Aqsa intifada. Israeli Arab journalists, poets have been detained for questioning, warned against "incitement" for writing on the intifada; community activists have received threatening telephone calls fr. police, intelligence officials; Israel police have opened investigations against 4 Israeli Arab MKs; 1 Israeli Arab has been placed under administrative detention; several Israeli Arabs have had their passports confiscated for taking part in a trip to Syria. (HFCAC press release 5/15)

In Washington, PA senior negotiator Abbas holds talks with Secy. of State Powell, National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice on halting violence, Arafat visiting the U.S. (WP, WT 5/16; MENA 5/16 in WNC 5/17; NYT 5/17, 5/21)

Israel, the PA submit their official responses to the Mitchell Comm. report, generally welcoming the report as a basis for a cease-fire. (MM 5/15; NYT 5/16; AYM 5/16 in WNC 5/18; NYT 5/17)

Israel reinforces troops in Shaba` Farms, directs machine gun fire across the border into Lebanon, flies helicopters along the border area. (RL 5/15 in WNC 5/16)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 1 Palestinian dead. Overnight, Palestinian assailants throw hand grenades at an IDF post nr. Gaza's Dayr al-Balah refugee camp. In retaliation, the IDF sends tanks and bulldozers into the camp at dawn, firing 15 shells, demolishing 5 Palestinian homes and a PSF post; the 700 yd. incursion, the deepest into PA-controlled territory since IDF field cmdrs. were given (5/6) free rein to carry them out, leaves 27 Palestinians homeless. Later, the IDF fires machine guns toward journalists, Palestinians digging through the rubble in search of their possessions. The IDF also directs shells, heavy machine gun fire on residential areas of Bethlehem, Jabaliya, Jericho, Khan Yunis; opens a new settler bypass road linking the Jewish settlements of Mevo Dotan, Homesh, Shaked. A pipe bomb explodes in the Old City of Jerusalem, wounding 2 people. For the 2d day, Jewish settlers in Hebron attack, seriously injure 3 Palestinians (ages 6, 14, 16). (HP, PMC, WP 5/12; PCHR 5/17)

In Amman, Jordanian security forces violently disperse 100s of Jordanians taking part in 2 Palestinian solidarity rallies sponsored by the Muslim Brotherhood to mark the 53d anniversary of the Nakba. (HP 5/12; al-Ra'i 5/12, JT 5/13 in WNC 5/14; QA 5/14 in WNC 5/15; MM 5/15; JT 5/16 in WNC 5/17; MEI 5/18)