15 / 14643 Results
  • June 20, 2017

    IDF troops shoot and kill a Palestinian at al-Jaba‘ checkpoint nr. Ramallah after he allegedly attempts to stab 1 of them. After the incident, the IDF raids the alleged attacker’s home in al-‘...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • January 17, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces open fire on a group of some 300 Palestinians demonstrating in solidarity with farmers denied access to the “no go” zone by the border fence, wounding 2....

    Read more
  • January 22, 2013

    srael holds parliamentary elections, dealing a significant setback to current PM Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu joint ticket. The next Knesset will be almost evenly split...

    Read more
  • September 25, 2010

    Secy. of State Clinton races to broker a deal with Israeli officials to extend the settlement freeze 1 day before it is scheduled to expire, while Mitchell meets with Abbas in New York to urge him...

    Read more
  • September 20, 2010

    Israeli DM Ehud Barak comes to the U.S. with a backchannel proposal for Israel to extend its temporary settlement freeze (set to expire on 9/26) for a short period in exchange for rewards and...

    Read more
  • March 23, 2008

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts daytime arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin and late-night raids, searches in and around Tubas, in ‘Aqbat Jabir r.c. and ‘Ayn al-Sultan r.c. nr. Jericho. For...

    Read more
  • September 11, 2007

    Islamic Jihad and the PRCs in n. Gaza take joint responsibility for a predawn rocket strike on the IDF’s Zikim base nr. the Gaza border that hits a tent full of sleeping soldiers, critically...

    Read more
  • June 14, 2007

    Hamas presses its offensive in Gaza, taking over all PA ministry offices in Gaza City, securing control of Rafah, forcing PSF officers to surrender their Gaza City headquarters (after destroying...

    Read more
  • January 5, 2007

    Egyptian security forces blow up a smuggler’s tunnel on the Rafah border. Islamic Jihad fires 3 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers fr....

    Read more
  • July 5, 2006

    Before dawn, the IDF responds to Hamas’s 7/3 rocket fire on Ashqelon by carrying out air strikes on the PA Interior Min. in Gaza City (destroying it and wounding at least 7 Palestinians in homes...

    Read more
  • August 14, 2005

    As of midnight local time, the IDF seals the Gaza Strip in preparation for disengagement implementation beginning on 8/17, making it illegal for Israelis to enter Gaza. During the day, some 7,500...

    Read more
  • August 1, 2005

    Israel lifts the seal on Gaza imposed after the 7/12 bombing (the seal on the West Bank remains in place), but cancels 7,000 work permits for Gazans, renewing permits of only 2,000 workers and 200...

    Read more
  • April 4, 2005

    The IDF demolishes 6 Palestinian homes in Bayt Hanina, East Jerusalem; severely beats a Palestinian shepherd herding his flock nr. the separation wall outside Hebron; conducts arrest raids, house...

    Read more
  • March 21, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 1 Palestinian dead. The IDF shells a Force 17 post nr. Netzarim settlement, killing 1 Force 17 mbr., wounding 3. Claiming retaliation,...

    Read more

IDF troops shoot and kill a Palestinian at al-Jaba‘ checkpoint nr. Ramallah after he allegedly attempts to stab 1 of them. After the incident, the IDF raids the alleged attacker’s home in al-‘Izzariya and arrests his father. Elsewhere in the West Bank, Israeli forces begin leveling land nr. Nablus to expand settlement infrastructure in the area. IDF troops arrest 2 Palestinians during late-night raids nr. Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces briefly detain an Islamic Waqf guard at Haram al-Sharif and summon 3 other guards for interrogation. (HA, MNA 6/20; EI, MNA 6/21; PCHR 6/22)

A day after the Israeli authorities began cutting the electricity supply to Gaza, a Hamas-affiliated source says that the Egyptian govt. has agreed to ship diesel fuel into the region via the Rafah border crossing to allow Gaza’s sole power plant to resume operations for a limited time. It’s unclear if the shipments are linked to a rumored agreement between Egypt and Hamas earlier this mo. (HA, TOI 6/20)

Israeli forces begin construction on Amichai, a new settlement to house residents of the illegal Amona outpost, which was demolished in early 2/2017 (see JPS 46 [3, 4]). Amichai is reportedly the 1st settlement built officially by the Israeli govt. in 25 years. (HA, MNA, TOI 6/20)

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)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces open fire on a group of some 300 Palestinians demonstrating in solidarity with farmers denied access to the “no go” zone by the border fence, wounding 2. Meanwhile, Israeli forces open fire on Palestinians throwing stones at soldiers at the border fence on 2 separate occasions nr. Jabaliya r.c. and Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, Palestinians and Israeli forces clash in Bethlehem, a spillover from weeks-long confrontations in Aida r.c. Stone-throwers are confronted by tear gas, but no serious injuries occur. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon, and in Hebron and 3 nearby villages, and in Bethlehem at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon, and in al-‘Arub r.c. at night. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at weekly demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements and occupation in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Nabi Salih, and Ni‘lin), 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum), and 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara). There are no serious injuries, except in Bil‘in (5 wounded by bullets, including 1 international), Nabi Salih (2 wounded by bullets) and Kafr Qaddum (1 struck by tear gas canister). In East Jerusalem, the IDF shoots and wounds 2 Palestinians in clashes with protesters in al-‘Izzariya that begin when local youth try to break a hole in the separation wall. Clashes also spread to Abu Dis. (AFP, MNA 1/17; PCHR 1/23)

Around 20 rockets launched from inside Syria land in the Lebanese border town of Arsal, killing 7 and wounding 15. (REU 1/17)

srael holds parliamentary elections, dealing a significant setback to current PM Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu joint ticket. The next Knesset will be almost evenly split between the right-wing/religious bloc and centrist/center-left blocs, with the headlines dominated by the rise of centrist party Yesh Atid (‘‘There Is a Future’’) and its leader Yair Lapid. The final tally gives 31 seats to Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu, 19 to Yesh Atid, 15 to a resurgent Labor party, 12 to Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home, 11 to Shas, 7 to United Torah Judaism, 6 each to Meretz and Tzipi Livni’s party Hatnuah, 4 each to United Arab List and Hadash, 3 to Balad, and 2 to Kadima. Voter turnout overall is high, with the estimated turnout for Palestinian citizens of Israel at 56%, according to figures cited by Army Radio. At the end of the night, Netanyahu says that he sees ‘‘many partners’’ for his ‘‘goals’’ and will seek to assemble ‘‘the broadest’’ coalition possible. (REU, AP 1/22; JP 1/23; JP 1/24)

British foreign secretary William Hague warns that it is almost the last chance to bring about a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and condemns Israeli settlement construction. (REU 1/22)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers begin work to expand Halamish settlement nr. Ramallah. The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in al-Bireh at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 1 village each nr. East Jerusalem and Ramallah at night. (MNA, WAFA 1/22; PCHR 1/23)

Malaysia’s PM Najib Razak visits the Gaza Strip via the Rafah crossing. Pres. Abbas criticizes the visit as enhancing the Fatah-Hamas division. (MNA, NYT 1/22) 

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate and the PLO’s Information and Culture Department condemn today’s arrest of journalists in the Gaza Strip by Hamas authorities. Most of those detained are affiliated with Fatah. (JP 1/22)

Secy. of State Clinton races to broker a deal with Israeli officials to extend the settlement freeze 1 day before it is scheduled to expire, while Mitchell meets with Abbas in New York to urge him not to walk away from peace talks immediately if Netanyahu allows the freeze to expire. On the ground Jewish settlers begin positioning construction equipment in some settlements. In addition, Jewish settlers in Revava settlement nr. Salfit seize 30 d. of Palestinian agricultural land, raze crops, and install 2 mobile homes as a “new quarter” of the settlement. Jewish settlers fr. Nokdim settlement nr. Bethlehem place 3 mobile homes on nearby Palestinian land. Jewish settlers fr. Barqan settlement nr. Salfit raze adjacent Palestinian land to expand the settlement’s industrial zone. Jewish settlers fr. Givat Ze’ev settlement enter Beitunia town nr. Ramallah and make preparations to celebrate the Sukkoth holiday; the IDF removes them. (NYT, WP 9/26)

Meanwhile, Israeli-Palestinian clashes in Issawiyya, which began on 9/22, taper off by the end of the day, leaving a total of 99 Palestinians (including 17 children) and 9 Israelis injured (7 lightly, 2 moderately), and 70 Palestinians under arrest; during the rioting, Palestinians set fire to or damage 8 Israeli cars and vandalize an Israeli tourist information center. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Iraq Burin village nr. Nablus in the afternoon, firing tear gas and stun grenades at stone-throwing Palestinian youths who confront them, causing no serious injuries; fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists conducting a nonviolent march from Bayt Umar village to Karme Tzur settlement outside Hebron to protest land confiscations and settlement expansion; 10s suffer tear gas inhalation and 2 Palestinians and 3 Americans are injured. An Egyptian hospital reports that an armed Palestinian transported to Egypt for treatment has died of injures sustained in the 9/14 IDF shelling nr. Gaza Valley village. (NYT, WP 9/26; PCHR 9/30; OCHA 10/1)

Delegations headed by Hamas Political Bureau chief Khalid Mishal and senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad meet for 3 hours in Damascus, afterward issuing a statement confirming a restart of national unity talks. (AP 9/24; AP, REU 9/25; JP 9/27; MNA 11/1) 

Israeli DM Ehud Barak comes to the U.S. with a backchannel proposal for Israel to extend its temporary settlement freeze (set to expire on 9/26) for a short period in exchange for rewards and guarantees from the U.S. He shuttles between New York and Washington discussing the proposal with various senior U.S. officials. Separately, Israel’s chief negotiator Yitzhak Molcho, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat arrive in the U.S. for their own meetings with U.S. officials regarding the upcoming expiration of the settlement freeze and the consequences for peace talks. (NYT 9/21; WT 9/22; JPI 10/1)

Israel for the 1st time since 6/07 allows 20 used cars to be imported to Gaza. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them back to shore. Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts morning patrols in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya, randomly checking Palestinian IDs, but making no arrests; late-night patrols in a village nr. Tulkarm, making no arrests. Jewish settlers fr. Ramat Gilad settlement nr. Qalqilya begin working a Palestinian olive grove near the settlement, telling local Palestinians who challenge them that they purchased the land; they leave when the Palestinian owner arrives. In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities stage a predawn raid on several houses in Silwan village, arresting 4 Palestinians. In addition, Jewish settlers seize a Palestinian house in the suburb of Bayt Safafa (home to 20 people), sparking fights between settlers and the Palestinian owners. Israeli police and municipal officials intervene, arresting 2 Palestinians, and issuing an order to demolish the house (not immediately implemented). (JP 9/20; NYT 9/21; PCHR 9/23; OCHA 9/24)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts daytime arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin and late-night raids, searches in and around Tubas, in ‘Aqbat Jabir r.c. and ‘Ayn al-Sultan r.c. nr. Jericho. For a 3d day, Jewish settlers in Hebron vandalize Palestinian property and attack local Palestinians; the IDF observes but does not intervene; 3 Palestinians have been injured since 3/21. Jewish settlers fr. Eli nr. Nablus kidnap 2 Palestinian boys herding sheep nr. the settlement, release them hrs. later after PA security forces request IDF intervention. Jewish settlers in Efrat nr. Bethlehem begin construction of 3 apartment buildings (54 units). In Khan Yunis, Hamas officials dismiss the Fatah-affiliated admin. officer at the College of Science and Technology and name a pro-Hamas officer to replace him, sparking a fight with local Fatah supporters; police intervene to disperse the crowd, with no injuries reported; classes are suspended until the issue can be resolved btwn. Hamas and Fatah. Islamic Jihad mbr. Nidal Shaqqura, wounded in an IDF assassination attempt on 3/18, dies of his injuries. (OCHA 3/26; PCHR 3/27)

Islamic Jihad and the PRCs in n. Gaza take joint responsibility for a predawn rocket strike on the IDF’s Zikim base nr. the Gaza border that hits a tent full of sleeping soldiers, critically wounding 1, seriously wounding 2, moderately wounding 7, marking the highest casualty toll in a rocket strike to date; another 60 soldiers are lightly injured or treated for shock. The IDF responds with air strikes, shelling on suspected rocketlaunching sites in n. Gaza, hitting a home in Bayt Hanun, wounding 4 Palestinian children and an adult. Palestinians retaliate by firing 7 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The Israeli DMin. begins drafting an assessment for DM Ehud Barak of the impact of cutting water, electricity, fuel services to Gaza. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 21 agricultural structures in Anata nr. Jerusalem for being too close to the separation wall and a settler bypass road; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron and Nablus, nr. Jenin and Tulkarm; issues military orders shutting the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs to Muslims for 5 days during Ramadan so that Jewish settlers may celebrate concurrent Jewish holidays. Jewish settlers fr. Avraham Avino, escorted by IDF troops, occupy the roof of al-Aqtab Mosque (seized by the IDF in 1994 after the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs shooting), begin construction on it to expand their outpost. In Jabaliya r.c., Hamas mbrs. occupy the home of the Fatah-affiliated PA prisoners’ affairs minister, who fled to Ramallah. (IFM, NYT, WP, WT 9/11; NYT, OCHA, WP, WT 9/12; PCHR 9/13; OCHA 10/19)

Hamas presses its offensive in Gaza, taking over all PA ministry offices in Gaza City, securing control of Rafah, forcing PSF officers to surrender their Gaza City headquarters (after destroying all equipment, computers, archives; eye-witness reports say Hamas mbrs. summarily execute at least 7 PSF mbrs.) and other main security compounds; capturing and executing Fatah’s n. Gaza cmdr. Samih al-Madhun. At least 27 Palestinians are killed (14 of them in the fight for the PSF headquarters), 70 wounded in fighting during the day. Nearly 100 senior Fatah security and admin. officials flee Gaza for Egypt by boat (Egypt has already returned the 40 PA presidential guards who fled on 6/13). At the same time, the IDF occupies hills outside Bayt Lahiya to prevent rocket fire into Israel. With Gaza under almost complete Hamas control, Abbas declares a state of emergency, fires Haniyeh, and dissolves the national unity government. He also for the first time orders PA/Fatah forces to take offensive action against Hamas. Late in the evening, Hamas gains control of Abbas’s Gaza City offices, the only remaining Gaza institution still in the hands of Fatah/the PA. In the West Bank, PA forces under Abbas’s control begin rounding up 10s of Hamas mbrs. In and around Nablus and in Jenin, Tulkarm, masked AMB mbrs. raid offices affiliated with Hamas, Change and Reform, looting and sometimes setting fire to them, exchanging fire with Hamas mbrs., leaving at least 13 Palestinians injured. The AMB also abducts 5 Hamas mbrs. in Jenin. Meanwhile, Abbas’s national security adviser Muhammad Dahlan (the U.S. and Israel’s hope for restoring order to Gaza) returns from an extended stay in Egypt, where he underwent minor surgery, going to Ramallah instead of Gaza to confer with Abbas. Meanwhile, the IDF sends an undercover unit into Saida nr. Tulkarm, driving a car with Palestinian license plates, assassinating wanted AMB mbr. Muhammad Twair in a driveby shooting, also wounding 2 bystanders; sends patrols in Ithna nr. Hebron, Kafr Dan and Kafr Ra’i nr. Jenin, firing on residential areas and on stone-throwing youths who confront them, seriously wounding 1 Palestinian. Jewish settlers burn 10s of olive trees nr. Tulkarm; the IDF bars firefighters fr. reaching the scene. In Gaza, 5 Palestinian children (ages 10–15) are killed and 4 (ages 9–16) are wounded by IDF UXO nr. Shuka while collecting scrap metal; the 8 children are from 3 families: 2 Mansour boys are killed, 2 Hessi boys are killed, and 1 Barbakh boy is killed and 4 are wounded. (AFP, Jerusalem Post, MENA, MNA 6/14 in WNC 6/15; AP, BBC, NYT, WP, WT 6/15; WP 6/18; PCHR 6/21)

Egyptian security forces blow up a smuggler’s tunnel on the Rafah border. Islamic Jihad fires 3 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers fr. Suissa nr. Hebron, begin work on a new settlers-only bypass road that will confiscate or isolate up to 150 d. of Palestinian land. In Gaza City, unidentified gunmen fatally shoot a prominent local imam ‘Adil Nassar, known to be highly critical of Hamas; no group claims responsibility. Separately, suspected Fatah mbrs. throw a grenade, open fire on 2 Hamas mbrs., seriously wounding them. Two Palestinians wounded in the attack on PSF Col. Gharib’s home on 1/4 die. In Jenin, unidentified assailants set fire to an Islamic club, the Teachers’ Comm. building. (MM 1/5; NYT, WP 1/6; OCHA 1/10; PCHR 1/11; AIC 2/13)

Before dawn, the IDF responds to Hamas’s 7/3 rocket fire on Ashqelon by carrying out air strikes on the PA Interior Min. in Gaza City (destroying it and wounding at least 7 Palestinians in homes nearby, including 4 children), a Hamas-run school in Gaza City, a Hamas training camp in s. Gaza. Later, Hamas fires a 2d 2-engine Qassam rocket that lands outside Ashqelon, causing no damage or injuries, the Israeli security cabinet authorizes the IDF to step up operations in Gaza and the West Bank aimed at halting rocket fire and “striking at institutions and infrastructures that serve terrorism,” particularly targeting Hamas. During the day, the IDF moves more tanks, troops into n. Gaza and begins to push south toward Bayt Hanun and Jabaliya r.c., reoccupying fmr. settlement sites, occupying a 7th Palestinian home as an operational base, exchanging fire with Palestinian gunmen and shelling (fr. land and sea) areas where militants are allegedly burying explosives, killing 1 Hamas mbr., 1 PA naval officer, wounding at least 17 Palestinians (10 PA naval officers at a barracks nr. where the Hamas mbr. was killed, 7 children). In Gaza City, 2 Islamic Jihad mbrs. are killed when explosives they are handling detonate prematurely. In the West Bank, the IDF sends troops into ‘Ayn al-Sultan r.c. nr. Jericho, surrounds a building, orders wanted AMB cmdr. Mahmud Haymur to surrender, ordering him to undress when he emerges and then executing him by shooting him in the head at point blank range; surrounds, fires on a PA police station in Halhul nr. Hebron, demanding custody of an Israeli Palestinian believed to be held there (police allow soldiers to search the station to confirm he is not there); raids 3 Islamic charities nr. Hebron, Jenin, and Nablus, confiscating computers, vandalizing offices; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin and Nablus, nr. Tulkarm and Qalqilya, and in Bethlehem. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba, under IDF escort, begin work on a new settler bypass road linking the settlement to the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs. In Gaza City, unidentified gunmen assassinate senior Hamas mbr. Husayn Abu Ajwa, who is considered a leading promoter of religious and political reform within the movement. (IFM, NYT, PCHR, REU, WP, WT 7/5; HA, NYT, OCHA, PCHR, WP, WT 7/6; HA 7/8; PCHR 7/13; OCHA 7/18)

As of midnight local time, the IDF seals the Gaza Strip in preparation for disengagement implementation beginning on 8/17, making it illegal for Israelis to enter Gaza. During the day, some 7,500 PA security forces, overseen byEgyptian security officers, begin deploying nr. Gaza settlements to prevent Palestinians fr. approaching them. Before dawn, Palestinian gunmen fire on Kefar Darom, causing no damage or injuries; an IDF tank returns fire, accidentally targeting an IDF personnel carrier, wounding 5 IDF soldiers. In the West Bank, the IDF sends troops into Tulkarm, closes the main street, interrogates residents; conducts arrest raids, house searches in villages around Tulkarm; occupies a house nr. Nablus as an observation post. Nr. Qalqilya, a Palestinian dies of heat stroke after being handcuffed by IDF troops, left in the sun for hrs. In light of threats by Jewish extremists to storm the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount and destroy the al-Aqsa mosque, 100s of Israeli police, troops deploy in and around the Old City of Jerusalem to prevent possible Israeli-Palestinian clashes; 1,000s of Muslims fr. Jerusalem and Israel attempt to converge to defend the site, but West Bank Palestinians are barred fr. entering Jerusalem, Israeli Palestinians under age 45 are banned fr. accessing the mosque compound. Jewish settlers gather outside Homesh settlement to protest the disengagement, throw stones at passing Palestinian vehicles. In Gaza, Jewish settlers block Palestinian access to roads btwn. Kefar Yam and Shirat Hayam. A French sound technician covering the disengagement in Gaza is kidnapped by unknown Palestinians; Hamas accuses the PA of not doing enough to protect internationals working in Gaza, says targeting foreigners should be a red line. In light of recent kidnappings, the UN moves all nonessential foreign staff in Gaza to Jerusalem until further notice. (AFP, XIN 8/14; IMEMC, WT 8/15; PR 8/17; PCHR, REU 8/18; IMEMC 8/19)

Israel lifts the seal on Gaza imposed after the 7/12 bombing (the seal on the West Bank remains in place), but cancels 7,000 work permits for Gazans, renewing permits of only 2,000 workers and 200 merchants. The IDF reinforces troops in Gaza, sending tanks and armored vehicles, expanding construction of roads in central Gaza in preparation for disengagement; announces that it will replace its rubber-coated steel bullets that have killed scores of Palestinians with compressed sand bullets originally developed for close-quarter hostage rescues; says sand bullets have already been used against Palestinians protesting the separation wall. Gaza settler leaders begin collecting settlers’ weapons ahead of disengagement; some settlers say they will not give up their arms. The IDF demolishes a Palestinian home in East Jerusalem; conducts arrest raids in al-Bireh (targeting Islamic Jihad), Halhul nr. Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Ma’on attack, beat 3 Palestinian farmers working their land nearby; the IDF intervenes, declares the area a closed military zone, orders farmers to leave, arresting 1 farmer and 1 international peace activist. Late in the evening, AMB n. Gaza cmdr. Ahmad Abu Zayid is fatally shot by an unidentified gunman; initial reports indicate his death is a result of intra-Palestinian fighting, but the AMB later accuses Israel of assassinating him, saying that earlier in the evening, Israeli security personnel (suspected Shin Bet) questioned his family regarding the car he drives, whether he has a bodyguard, whether he travels armed. A grenade explodes outside the Gaza City home of PA Atty. Gen. Hussein Abu Assi causing serious damage but no injuries; no group takes responsibility (see 6/28). In Gaza City, unidentified gunmen driving in a car open fire on 2 PA military intelligence officers, injuring them. Nr. Khan Yunis, 2 Palestinians are killed when explosives they are handling detonate. (IMEMC, WAFA, YA 8/1; AP, Deutsche Presse Agentur, PCHR, YA 8/2; JP, PR, WT 8/3; PCHR 8/4; FT 8/8)

The IDF demolishes 6 Palestinian homes in Bayt Hanina, East Jerusalem; severely beats a Palestinian shepherd herding his flock nr. the separation wall outside Hebron; conducts arrest raids, house searches in ‘Azun, Husan, Marda nr. Nablus, Nabi Elias nr. Qalqilya, al-Ras (drawing maps of several homes), al-Til; patrols inside Tubas. Israel posts an Israeli border police company nr. Yitzhar settlement to prevent settler violence against Palestinians. A Jewish settler fr. Kiryat Arba shoots, wounds a Palestinian farmer working his field nr. the settlement. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba, escorted by the IDF, begin leveling Palestinian land for construction of a bypass road. Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim bar 10s of Palestinian farmers fr. neighboring Kafr Qadim fr. reaching their agricultural land. (YA 4/4; OCHA 4/6; PCHR 4/7)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 1 Palestinian dead. The IDF shells a Force 17 post nr. Netzarim settlement, killing 1 Force 17 mbr., wounding 3. Claiming retaliation, Hamas's Izzeddine al-Qassam Brigades fires mortars at Jewish settlements in Gaza today, causing no injuries. The IDF also bulldozes 3 dunams of Palestinian land nr. Kissufim settlement in Dayr al-Balah; begin work on a new settler bypass road to Talamon settlement nr. Ramallah, bulldozing Waqf land. Jewish settlers bulldoze an olive grove in Nazla. (WT 3/23; LAW 3/24)

In New York, Sharon warns UN Secy.-Gen Kofi Annan that sending a UN observer force to the West Bank, Gaza could escalate violence. Annan urges Israel to ease restrictions on Palestinians, halt settlement expansion. (MM 3/21; MM, WT 3/22; MM 3/27)

Bush ends the CIA's role as security mediator btwn. Israel and the PA, saying the sides should cooperate directly. (NYT, WP 3/22; HA 3/23; WJW 3/29) (see Peace Monitor)

The Mitchell Comm. begins a 5-day visit to Israel, the West Bank, Gaza to meet with Palestinian community representatives, Israeli intelligence analysts, doctors, peace negotiators, politicians, statisticians. (NYT, WJW, WT 3/22; WT 3/23; NYT 3/26; ATL 3/26 in WNC 3/27; MM 3/27)