147 / 15112 Results
  • October 20, 2023

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers opened fire at Palestinians harvesting olives in Yasuf, forcing the Palestinians to flee; no injuries were reported. Israeli settlers also set fire to a home and...

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  • October 17, 2023

    In Gaza, an Israeli airstrike killed 471 Palestinians in al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City. The hospital, which was filled with patients and Palestinians seeking shelter from Israeli bombardment...

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  • September 27, 2023

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers raided Umm Safa, throwing stones at Palestinian farmers working their land. Israeli settlers also blocked Route 60 between Jerusalem and Ramallah, burning tires...

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  • November 3, 2022

    In the West Bank, a 14-year-old Israeli settler was shot in the head by a stray bullet in the Kiryat Arba settlement. It was reported that the bullet was assumed to have been fired during a...

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  • October 8, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and killed 2 Palestinians, including 1 minor, and injured 11 others during a raid in Jenin refugee camp. The PA called the Israeli raid “an all-out war.”...

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  • May 29, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians in Burin, throwing Molotov cocktails at several homes. Israeli settlers also assaulted 1 Palestinian man working his land near Ya‘bad,...

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  • June 19, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers opened fire at Palestinian-owned shops near Dayr Sharaf; no injuries were reported. Israeli settlers also raided al-Twana, injuring 1 Palestinian by throwing...

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  • November 23, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers used clubs to vandalize Palestinian-owned cars traveling near the Yitzhar settlement on the Nablus-Qalqilya road. Israeli forces demolished 1 house under...

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  • June 7, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers demolished 1 Palestinian-owned stone wall around agricultural lands in Bayt ‘Aynun. Israeli forces demolished several commercial barracks and street-vending...

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  • December 12, 2019

    In the West Bank, 14 Palestinians were arrested, including 11 during late-night raids in and around Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Jericho; 3 were arrested at flying checkpoints near Qalqilya....

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  • June 21, 2017

    In the West Bank, IDF troops conduct raids in Dayr Abu Mash‘al nr. Ramallah for the 4th time this week, confiscating about 20 vehicles and arresting 2 relatives of the 3 Palestinians killed in a...

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  • January 19, 2015

    In the Gaza Strip, civil employees continue their strike for a 2d day, protesting the fact that they haven’t been paid a full salary since 6/2. Separately, almost 200 Palestinians gather nr. the...

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  • February 20, 2013

    PA senior negotiation officials Saeb Erekat and Mohammed Eshtaya arrive in Washington D.C. to update the Obama admin. about the PA’s current position on talks with Israel. They are expected to...

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  • February 14, 2013

    The Jerusalem District Court convicts Hamas-affliated PC mbrs. Khalid Abu Arafa and Muhammad Toutah of membership in a terrorist organization and illegally residing in Israel, following their...

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  • January 29, 2013

    Israel boycotts a periodic review at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), becoming the 1st country to do so. Israel cut its ties with the UNHRC in 3/2012 after the council approved a fact-finding...

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  • January 23, 2012

    In the morning, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border w. of the Erez crossing direct gunfire and 1 artillery shell at open areas around the former Nisanit settlement site, causing no reported injuries...

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  • June 14, 2011

    In Gaza, 1 Palestinian is injured in a smuggling tunnel accident on the Rafah border. In the West Bank, the IDF bulldozes the bedouin village of Fasayil al-Wusta in the Jordan Valley, saying it...

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  • January 13, 2011

    After receiving a warning fr. Egypt that Israel is serious about preventing further rocket and mortar fire fr. Gaza, Hamas authorities hold a 2d mtg. (see 1/11) with smaller factions to urge them...

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  • December 27, 2010

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Tulkarm and in 5 villages nr. Qalqilya, 2 each nr. Jenin and Salfit, and 1 each nr. Jericho, Nablus, Ramallah, and Tulkarm; conducts a late-night raid on the...

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  • November 3, 2010

    In the morning, Israeli drones make an air strike on a car driving w. of Gaza City, assassinating Army of Islam (AOI) senior mbr. Muhammad al-Nemnem, wounding 2 bystanders; Israel later accuses...

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  • November 19, 2009

    In the West Bank, the IDF stages synchronized late-night raids on the homes of 5 PA intelligence officers in villages nr. Nablus and Salfit, detaining the men (including the PA’s Salfit regional...

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  • January 29, 2009

    An IDF drone fires a rocket at Muhammad al-Sumairi (affiliation unknown) riding a motorcycle in Khan Yunis, seriously inuring him in an apparent assassination attempt, and wounding 17 bystanders,...

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  • January 4, 2009

    IDF ground forces backed by naval and air support continue to enter Gaza overnight, with troops taking up positions across n. Gaza (from which most Palestinian rockets have been fired),...

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  • January 3, 2009

    Israel begins phase 2 of OCL, a massive ground advance into Gaza, in the evening. The IDF states that “the objective . . . is to destroy the terrorist infrastructure of the Hamas in the precise...

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  • January 2, 2009

    Israel’s security cabinet authorizes the IDF to open phase 2 of OCL at its discretion by sending ground troops into Gaza “to destroy the terrorist infrastructure of the Hamas in the area of...

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  • December 16, 2008

    Overnight, Islamic Jihad mbrs. in Gaza fire more than a dozen rockets into Israel in retaliation for the IDF’s 12/15 assassination of Nawahda, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF makes 2 air...

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  • March 18, 2008

    The IDF makes an air strike on Bayt Lahiya in a failed attempt to assassinate Islamic Jihad mbrs. Ihab Abu Jarad, Nidal Shaqqura, and Muhammad alZa’nin as they walk in a crowded residential area,...

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  • March 12, 2008

    Hamas’s Haniyeh publicly offersIsrael a comprehensive cease-fire deal covering the West Bank and Gaza in exchange for a lifting of the siege of Gaza and a halt to all Israeli “assassinations,...

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  • November 25, 2007

    IDF troops encamped in the Erez industrial zone since 11/23 fire on local Palestinians who stray nr. the zone, wounding 1. Palestinians fire 4 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or...

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  • August 20, 2007

    The IDF shells a car driving nr. al-Bureij r.c., assassinating 2 ESF officers (Muhammad Abu ‘Arab, Ali Baroud) and 4 Hamas mbrs. (Ismail Abu Abda, ‘Abid Abu Hilu, Ahmad al-Qrainawi, Muhammad al-...

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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers opened fire at Palestinians harvesting olives in Yasuf, forcing the Palestinians to flee; no injuries were reported. Israeli settlers also set fire to a home and vandalized water pipes in al-‘Awja. Israeli forces shot and killed 2 minors during raids in Huwwara and Beitunia. Israeli forces shot and injured 21 Palestinians with live ammunition during raids in al-Azza refugee camp, ‘Urif, Idhna, Beit Furik, al-Bireh, Bethlehem, al-Khader, Tura, and Beitunia. Elsewhere, Israeli forces punitively demolished a home with explosives in ‘Urif. 55 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Hebron, Bethlehem, Nablus, Ramallah, and Jalazone refugee camp. In Gaza, Israeli airstrikes killed around 350 Palestinians, including Hamas member Muhammad Tzviach. Israeli airstrikes destroyed the Grand al-Omari Mosque in Jabalia. Rockets were fired at Israel; no fatalities were reported. At the Lebanese border, an Israeli soldier was killed and 3 others injured in anti-tank fire near Margaliot. Israeli forces also attacked Hezbollah camps with combat helicopters. (AJ, AP, HA 10/19; AJ, AP, AP, HA, NYT, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/20; AP, HA, REU 10/21)

The Gaza Ministry of Health said as of 5 p.m. at least 4,137 Palestinians had been killed, including at least 1,524 children, and 13,162 had been injured in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza since 10/7, including 47 entire families consisting of 500 people. The UN said that about 70% of Palestinians killed in Gaza are children and women. It is estimated that hundreds are still trapped in rubble. In addition, Israeli media reported that 1,500 Palestinian militants have been killed near Gaza. 83 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 25 children. More than 1,434 have been injured, including at least 350 with live ammunition. Israeli officials recorded no new fatalities, leaving the Israeli death toll at around 1,400 Israelis and foreign nationals; 4,629 have been injured since 10/7. The UN reported that over 1.4 million Palestinians, more than half the population in Gaza, have been displaced since 10/7 and that since 11 p.m. on 10/12 there has been a complete electricity blackout due to the Israeli blockade. At least 21,900 housing units have been destroyed and 121,000 have been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7, constituting around 30% of all homes in Gaza. The Palestinian Red Crescent said Israel has told al-Quds Hospital to evacuate its 500 patients and the 12,000 people sheltering at the hospital. UNRWA said 16 of its staff members have been killed and 10 wounded in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7. The Committee to Protect Journalists said that 22 journalists have been killed since 10/7, including 18 Palestinians, 3 Israelis, and 1 Lebanese. (AJ 10/19; AJ, HA, NYT, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/20; WAFA 10/21)

Amnesty International said it has documented Israeli actions that should be investigated as war crimes, including indiscriminate attacks leading to mass civilian casualties. (AI 10/20)

Hamas released 2 American captives, a mother and her daughter, “on humanitarian grounds” after negotiations with Qatar. It was unclear if Hamas received anything in return. A Hamas statement also said the group had released the captives “to prove to the American people and the world that the claims made by Biden and his fascist administration are false and baseless.” (AJ 10/19; AJ, HA, HA 10/20; HA 10/22)

Forensic Architecture released a preliminary analysis of the al-Ahli Arab Hospital bombing saying the “[f]ragmentation patterns may indicate the projectile came from the northeast – the direction of the Israeli-controlled side of the Gaza perimeter – and not from the west [as Israel has claimed].” UK Channel 4 and Al Jazeera have also concluded that Israeli claims that the explosion at the hospital was caused by an errant rocket are dubious. (AJ 10/19; AJ, AJ 10/20) 

PA president Mahmoud Abbas traveled to Cairo for a summit on the Hamas-Israel war and humanitarian aid to Gaza. Representatives from Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UN, the UK, and the UAE will attend. In Cairo, Abbas met with UK prime minister Rishi Sunak. Abbas also spoke with French president Emmanuel Macron, Chilean president Gabriel Boric, and Pakistani caretaker prime minister Anwar al-Haq. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/20)

The Israeli prime minister’s office said, “[t]he prime minister has defined the objective – to obliterate Hamas, any talk of decisions to relinquish Gaza to the Palestinian Authority or any other authority is a lie.” (HA, HA 10/20)

The White House made a formal request to Congress for $10.6 billion in military aid to Israel, $3.7 billion in State Department financing to cover foreign military financing and embassy support, and $9.15 billion in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, Israel, Gaza. U.S. president Joe Biden has publicly said $100 million will be allocated for Gaza. (AJ 10/16; HA 10/20)

The U.S. and EU issued a joint statement after the EU leadership met with President Biden in Washington D.C., expressing concern at the “deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Gaza.” More than 800 EU officials wrote a letter to European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, criticizing her “uncontrolled” support of Israel and calling the EU’s response to the massacres in Gaza “indifference.” (AJ 10/19; AJ, AJ 10/20)

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Israeli attacks on Gaza amounted to genocide and had to be stopped. (AJ 10/19; HA 10/20)

The New York Times reported that the President Biden urged the Israeli war cabinet not to attack Hezbollah in a “preemptive strike,” fearing that the U.S. and Iran would get directly involved. (HA 10/21)

McDonald’s franchises in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, the UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, and Turkey pledged $3 million in support for Palestinians in Gaza after McDonald’s in Israel said its franchises there would give free meals to Israeli soldiers. (AJ 10/19; AJ 10/20)

Meta apologized for inserting the word “terrorist” in the biographies of many Palestinian users on Instagram. (AJ 10/19)

In Gaza, an Israeli airstrike killed 471 Palestinians in al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City. The hospital, which was filled with patients and Palestinians seeking shelter from Israeli bombardment, had received evacuation warnings from Israel on 10/14, 10/15, and 10/16. Israel claimed it was an errant rocket fired by Hamas that caused the mass casualties, however all evidence presented by Israel was debunked in subsequent investigations. Other Israeli airstrikes killed around 200 Palestinians, mostly in Rafah and Khan Yunis. Israel also assassinated the head of Hamas’ Shura Council Osama Mazini, who led negotiations on the prisoner exchange that saw Gilad Shalit transferred to Israel in exchange for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in 2011, and Hamas commanders Muhammad Alwadia, Ayman Nofal, and Akram Hijaz. Israeli airstrikes also reportedly killed 3 members of Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh’s family. 6 were killed in an airstrike on an UNRWA school sheltering Palestinians in al-Maghazi. Rockets were fired at Israel, causing damage. In the West Bank, there were large demonstrations against the PA and the Israeli bombing of the al-Ahli Arab Hospital throughout the West Bank, with PA forces violently dispersing Palestinian protesters, killing a 12-year-old girl in Jenin with live ammunition, and injuring many others with tear gas. Israeli forces shot and killed 2 Palestinians, including a minor, during raids in Halhul and Nabi Salih. An elderly Palestinian succumbed to injuries sustained from Israeli forces on 10/13 in Nablus. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinians, injuring 8 with live ammunition in Nablus. Elsewhere, Israeli forces assaulted an ambulance driver near al-Arroub refugee camp, causing a fractured arm and bruises. Israeli forces arrested Palestinian Legislative Council speaker Aziz Dweik during a raid. 115 others were arrested during raids in and around Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Nablus, including 50 Palestinians from Gaza who were employed in Israel before being expelled to the West Bank. The Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners’ Affairs Authority said Israel has arrested 680 Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Lebanon, Israeli forces attacked targets north of the Blue Line. Hezbollah said it fired an anti-tank missile at a vehicle in Metula; 3 were reportedly injured. Israel said it killed 4 people who had entered Israel from Lebanon. 4 were also killed in an Israeli airstrike west of Yarine. In Jordan, protesters attempted to storm the Israeli embassy in Amman. (AP 10/7; AJ, AP, HA, REU 10/16; AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, AP, AP, AP, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, NYT, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/17; AJ, AJ, AP, AP, AP, HA, HA, NYT, REU, REU, WAFA 10/18)

The Gaza Ministry of Health said at least 3,500 Palestinians have been killed and 12,500 have been injured in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza since 10/7, including 47 entire families consisting of 500 people. In addition, Israeli media reported that 1,500 Palestinian militants have been killed near Gaza. 61 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 13 children. More than 1,230 had been injured, including at least 300 with live ammunition. Israeli officials recorded no new fatalities, leaving the Israeli death toll at around 1,300 Israelis and foreign nationals; 4,229 have been injured since 10/7. The UN reported that over 1 million Palestinians have been displaced since 10/7 and that since 11 p.m. on 10/12 there has been a complete electricity blackout due to the Israeli blockade. At least 11,887 housing units have been destroyed in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7. The number is likely much higher as the latest data is from 10/14. The Palestinian civil defense team said that more than 1,000 Palestinians were under the rubble of buildings in Gaza. The Committee to Protect Journalists said 13 Palestinian, 3 Israeli, and 1 Lebanese journalist have been killed in attacks relating to the Israel-Hamas war since 10/7. (AJ 10/16; AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, HA, HA, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA 10/17; HA 10/18)

UNRWA said parts of southern Gaza, containing about 14% of the population, received water for 3 hours. The remaining seawater desalination plant in Gaza shut down due to a lack of fuel. (AJ 10/16; HA 10/17)

Hundreds of trucks carrying aid to Gaza were stuck near the Rafah crossing as Israel continued to prevent safe passage into Gaza. Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry said the crossing was not officially closed but was not functioning due to being targeted 4 times by Israel. (AJ 10/16; HA, REU, REU 10/17)

UN human rights office spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said Israel’s siege and order to evacuate northern Gaza could breach international law. (AJ, REU 10/17)

Israel attempted to deny that it killed hundreds of Palestinian civilians in an airstrike on al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, presenting a range of questionable evidence to put the blame on Islamic Jihad. Israeli government social media accounts published what it claimed to be evidence that it was a rocket misfire not an airstrike, but later deleted the videos when a New York Times journalist questioned the timing of the videos. Military spokesperson Daniel Hagari said “[a]ccording to our intelligence, Hamas checked reports and understood it was a Palestinian Islamic Jihad misfire, then launched a global media campaign to inflate numbers of casualties.” Israel has previously employed misinformation campaigns to deflect blame for atrocities, on occasion then taking responsibility long after the event, as in the case of the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh. A UK Channel 4 investigation said evidence presented by Israel was both likely fabricated and contradictory, but did not reach a conclusion regarding the origin of the blast. Israeli president Isaac Herzog called reports that Israel conducted the airstrike “21st century blood libel.” Many Western leaders called for an investigation or referred to the loss of life without condemning the perpetrators. Leaders in the Middle East were unequivocal in their condemnation of the Israeli airstrike. King Abdullah II of Jordan, PA president Mahmoud Abbas, and Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi canceled meetings with U.S. president Joe Biden scheduled for 10/18 in Amman. The UAE and Russia called a meeting of the UN Security Council on 10/18 on the attack on the hospital. U.S. Defense Department spokesperson Sabrina Singh said in response to questions about the incident that Hamas puts “their command and control units inside hospitals,” adding the U.S. does not know who the perpetrator was. Biden said he spoke to Prime Minister Netanyahu and that his national security team will gather information about the incident. Large demonstrations were held in Washington D.C., Turkey, Jordan, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, and Morocco. (AJ, AP 10/16; AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, NYT, REU, REU, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/17; AJ, AJ, AP, C4, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, NYT, REU, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/18)

The PA foreign ministry accused Israel of ethnic cleansing and genocide aimed at removing all Palestinians from Gaza. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics said Israel has killed at least 3,057 Palestinians since the beginning of 2023, including 2,793 in Gaza and 264 in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. (WAFA, WAFA 10/17)

Fatah’s military wing, al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, called on President Abbas to step down as the head of Fatah’s Martyrs and Prisoners Commission. (AJ 10/18)

Military spokesperson Hagari ruled out a ceasefire, saying Israel continues to “prepare for the next stages of war.” Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said the Israeli campaign would take several months. The Israeli military also said that it could not confirm that white phosphorus was used in attacks on Gaza but maintained that it would not be “unlawful” in certain situations. Israeli police commissioner Kobi Shabtai said, “[w]hoever wants to become an Israeli citizen, welcome. Anyone who wants to identify with Gaza is welcome. I will put him on the buses heading there now.” Shabtai also said he had outlawed demonstrations in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. (HA 10/17; AJ, HA, WAFA 10/18; AJ 10/19)

After the Israeli airstrike on al-Ahli Arab Hospital, President Abbas traveled back from Amman to Ramallah to hold an emergency meeting. In a speech Abbas called the airstrike a heinous crime and declared 3 days of mourning. Earlier in the day Abbas met with U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken in Amman. Blinken later called Abbas to offer condolences on the massacre at al-Ahli Arab Hospital. PA envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour called on the UN Security Council to intervene by demanding a ceasefire. (AJ 10/16; AJ, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/17; AJ, HA, WAFA, WAFA 10/18)

Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh spoke with South African foreign minister Nalendi Pandor, who conveyed support for Palestine and expressed sadness for the loss of innocent life in Gaza and Israel. (AJ 10/16; REU 10/18)

The Knesset National Security Committee approved legislation allowing Israeli prisons to admit new inmates above their legal capacity, which would worsen conditions for Palestinian prisoners. Since 10/7, family visits have been suspended, public phones have been blocked, and all electrical devices have been cut off from power. The Hadassah University Hospital refused to treat a Palestinian militant captured by Israel, saying it would “offend national feelings.” (HA, HA 10/17)

The U.S. announced that President Biden will visit Israel on 10/18. The New York Times reported that Biden’s visit will postpone Israel’s planned ground operation in Gaza by at least 24 hours. The Times also reported that Israel has asked the U.S. for $10 billion in emergency aid. Secretary of State Blinken said the announcement was made after Prime Minister Netanyahu committed to allowing aid to enter Gaza and to establishing safe zones at an 8-hour long meeting of the Israeli war cabinet that Blinken attended. New York governor Kathy Hochul said she will visit Israel. Biden also said he will visit Jordan. Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said he would push through an emergency aid package to Israel “as quickly as possible.” 6 Republican senators introduced legislation to end all U.S. funding for UNRWA. All senators except Rand Paul (I-KY) sponsored a resolution in support of Israel’s war against Hamas. (AJ, HA 10/16; AJ, HA, HA, REU, REU 10/17; HA 10/18)

King Abdullah II said Jordan and Egypt would not take in Palestinian refugees from Gaza, calling it a red line. Abdullah II also met with German chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin. Scholz warned Hezbollah and Iran to stay out of the Hamas-Israel war. Scholz later traveled to Israel where he met with Prime Minister Netanyahu, invoking the German genocide of the Jewish people as a reason for Germany to “ensure Israel’s existence and security.” Lebanese foreign minister Abdallah Bou Habib said Israel was “pouring oil on fire” at the Lebanese border. Turkish foreign minister Hakan Fidan said Egypt will host a summit on the situation in Gaza on 10/21. (AJ 10/16; HA, REU, REU, REU 10/17; AP, HA 10/18)

Iranian sources told Al Jazeera that the U.S. had sent the Iranian UN representative a message warning Iran of war if it enters the conflict. (HA 10/17)

U.S. Central Command commander Michael Kurilla arrived in Israel for meetings with Israeli military leaders. The U.S. also sent 2,000 Marines to the Middle East. (AJ, HA, HA, HA 10/16; HA, REU 10/17; AP 10/18)

Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping discussed the Palestinian-Israeli conflict during a meeting in Beijing. (AJ, AJ, HA 10/17)

159 U.S. citizens were evacuated from Israel headed for Cyprus on a cruise ship. Nearly 1,000 U.S. citizens have left Israel on State Department-charted planes to Europe since 10/13. (AJ, HA, HA 10/16; HA 10/17)

Japanese foreign minister Yoko Kamikawa said Japan will donate $10 million in emergency aid to Gaza. Spain said it would donate $1 million in humanitarian aid to Gaza. The Netherlands pledged $10 million in humanitarian aid to Gaza. (AJ 10/16; HA, REU, REU, REU 10/17)

The EU held a video conference for the leaders of its 27 members to discuss the situation in Gaza and find a unified stance after EU member states had expressed dissatisfaction with the EU leadership’s pro-Israel statements, including European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen’s failure to call on Israel to abide by international law during her visit on 10/17. Irish president Michael D Higgins called von der Leyen’s comments about Israel’s attacks “thoughtless and even reckless,” questioning where she gets the authority to speak on behalf of the EU on the issue. After the meeting, the EU leadership agreed to condemn Hamas’ operation in Israel on 10/7, expressed solidarity with the people of Israel, said Israel has a right to defend itself in line with humanitarian and international law, and called on Hamas to release all captives. (AJ 10/15; AJ 10/16; AJ, EU, HA, REU 10/17)

Germany’s Mainz 05 soccer club suspended Dutch Egyptian player Anwar El Ghazi for a pro-Palestinian social media post. (AJ 10/17)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers raided Umm Safa, throwing stones at Palestinian farmers working their land. Israeli settlers also blocked Route 60 between Jerusalem and Ramallah, burning tires in protest over an Israeli demolition of a settlement outpost nearby. Israeli forces issued 12 stop work notices for 1 soccer field and 11 shacks in Masha and demolished an irrigation system under construction in Artas. Israeli forces also razed some 50 dunams (12.35 acres) of Palestinian land near Bruqin to expand the Brukhin settlement. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians celebrating Mawlid, the birthday of the Prophet Mohammad, assaulting people gathered at the Damascus Gate Plaza. In Gaza, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters near the Gaza fence, injuring 1 with live ammunition and others with tear gas east of Khuza’a. Israel claimed that Palestinians launched incendiary balloons at Israel. (QDS, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 9/27; HA 9/28; PCHR 10/5)

PA prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh met with Saudi non-resident ambassador to Palestine and consul general in Jerusalem Nayef al-Sudairi in Ramallah. It was al-Sudairi’s third day of meetings with Palestinian officials in the West Bank. Al-Sudairi also canceled a visit to the Haram al-Sharif compound on the occasion of Mawlid, reportedly after social media calls to prevent the visit in protest over the Saudi-Israeli normalization plans and due to the visit not being coordinated with the Jordanian-run Waqf, making the security a matter for the Israeli police. (HA, HA, MEE, NYT, QDS, WAFA 9/27)

UN envoy for the Middle East peace process Tor Wennesland said after visiting Gaza that the situation was dire and that all parties must avoid another conflict, saying that “the people of Gaza have suffered enough.” Wennesland also briefed the UN Security Council, saying that Israel has advanced more than 10,000 settlement housing units in the last 3 months, calling on Israel to cease settlement activity immediately and calling on member states to up funding for UNRWA and the World Food Programme, which both need funding for food assistance in Gaza and the West Bank. (REU, UN, WAFA 9/27; HA, HA 9/28)

The U.S. admitted Israel into its Visa Waiver Program, allowing Israelis to enter the U.S. for 90 days without obtaining a visa. Democratic senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jeff Merkey (D-OR), and Peter Welch (D-VT) criticized the move, saying Israel has failed to meet the reciprocity requirements as not all U.S. citizens are treated equally by Israel, referring to Palestinian Americans who do not enjoy the same freedom of movement in Israel and Israeli-controlled crossings in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as other Americans do. Palestinian American member of the House Rashida Tlaib also criticized the decision, saying “it explicitly condones and enables the Israeli government’s discriminatory practices towards Americans requesting entry, including hours of detainment and interrogation.” U.S. embassy to Israel chargé d’affaires ad interim Stephanie Hallett said the embassy had established a working group to solve the issue of Palestinian Americans not being able to drive from the West Bank to Israel. (AX 9/26; AJ, ALM, AP, AX, CNN, HA, HA, HA, MEE, NYT, REU 9/27; AJ, AJ, HA 9/28; WAFA 9/29)

The Lebanese army said it had exchanged smoke grenades with Israeli forces while working to remove “infringements” placed by Israeli forces on the Lebanese side of the Blue Line. A similar incident occurred on 9/23. (HA 9/27)

In the West Bank, a 14-year-old Israeli settler was shot in the head by a stray bullet in the Kiryat Arba settlement. It was reported that the bullet was assumed to have been fired during a wedding celebration. Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles traveling near Sa‘ir, causing damage. Israeli settlers also vandalized 23 Palestinian-owned vehicles in Beit Iksa, slashing tires and writing racist graffiti. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers attacked 1 Palestinian family harvesting olives near al-Shuyukh with clubs, pipes, and stones, hospitalizing 5 members of the family. Israeli settlers also raided Burin, throwing stones at Palestinian homes, causing damage. Israeli forces shot and killed 2 Palestinians, including a 14-year-old, and injured 4 others during a raid in Jenin refugee camp. Israeli forces also shot and killed 1 Palestinian man during a raid in Beit Duqqu. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished 1 residential structure and sealed 2 water wells in Arab al-Feihat and demolished 2 residential structures in Bruqin. 20 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Beit Sira, Bayt Rima, al-Mughayyir, Aida refugee camp, Fawwar refugee camp, Nablus, Jenin, Kufeirit, and Ya‘bad. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian after he allegedly stabbed 1 Israeli police officer in the Old City; 2 Israeli police officers were lightly injured by shots fired by other police officers. After the incident Israel closed the Haram al-Sharif compound to Palestinians, only allowing Jewish visitors. In Gaza, 4 rockets were fired by Palestinian militants toward Israel, 3 landing inside of Gaza and a 4th being intercepted; causing no injuries or damage. Israel subsequently conducted air strikes on Gaza hitting sites in Maghazi refugee camp, causing damage. It was later reported that Hamas authorities had arrested 2 Palestinians suspected of having fired the 4 rockets. (AJ, HA, HA, HA, HA, MEE, MEMO, MEMO, MEMO, PCHR, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 11/3; AA, AJ, AP, MDW, MEE, MEMO, MEMO, PCHR, TOI, WAFA 11/4; HA, MEE, TOI 11/6; PCHR 11/10; ALM, UNOCHA 11/13; HA 11/18)

Israel said it had lifted all restrictions on movement in and out of Nablus after a 3-week siege of the city. Subsequently, PA prime minister Muhammad Shtayyeh toured the city with 30 representatives from foreign countries. Prime Minister Shtayyeh called the siege imposed on Nablus collective punishment. (HA, WAFA 11/3; ALM 11/4; MEMO 11/5)

Outgoing Israeli prime minister Yair Lapid spoke with U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken in a phone call. The U.S. State Department said Blinken “underscored the need for all parties to urgently de-escalate the situation” in the West Bank. (HA 11/5)

128 scholars signed a statement urging the UN not to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism, calling it “divisive and polarizing. The IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism has been criticized for conflating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. The statement suggested the UN instead use the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism. (JDF, JP 11/1; AJ 11/3)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and killed 2 Palestinians, including 1 minor, and injured 11 others during a raid in Jenin refugee camp. The PA called the Israeli raid “an all-out war.” Israeli forces also prevented Palestinian farmers from harvesting olives in Awarta. 7 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Bethlehem and Mazra’a al-Qibliya. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian gunman shot and killed 1 Israeli soldier at a checkpoint near Shu‘fat and injured 3 others. The gunman fled the scene and Israel closed the checkpoint and several others at Shu‘fat and ‘Anata, restricting movement and goods in and out of the cities until 10/13. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians marching to celebrate the birth of the Prophet Mohammed; 5 were injured and 6 were arrested. 1 Palestinian family demolished their own home in Wadi al-Juz. (AJ, AP, CNN, HA, HA, HA, MEE, MEMO, PCHR, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/8; AJ, AP, MDW, MDW, MEE, NYT, TOI, TOI, WAFA 10/9; ALM, HA, MEE, WAFA 10/10; HA, MEMO 10/11; PCHR 10/12; PCHR 10/13; UNOCHA 10/16)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians in Burin, throwing Molotov cocktails at several homes. Israeli settlers also assaulted 1 Palestinian man working his land near Ya‘bad, causing bruises. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Bazariya, leading to tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Burin, injuring 2 with baton rounds and 7 with tear gas. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Dayr Sharaf, injuring 1 with a baton round and 23 with tear gas. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters near Tulkarm, causing tear-gas related injuries. Meanwhile, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in al-Bireh, injuring 2 with baton rounds and others with tear gas. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters at the Jalama checkpoint, causing tear-gas related injuries. Separately, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Atuf, causing tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also raided Dheisheh refugee camp, injuring 3 Palestinians with live ammunition. In East Jerusalem, some 70,000 Israeli settlers and racist right-wing Israeli activists marched through the Old City, chanting racist and Islamophobic slogans like “Death to Arabs,” insulting the Prophet Muhammad, and mocking the death of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during the annual flag march; Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting the march; 81 were injured by baton rounds and pepper spray, 23 of whom were treated at hospitals. More than 60 were arrested, only 2 of which were Israeli settlers. Israeli settlers also attacked several Palestinians and their property in the Old City, including with assault and pepper spray. More than 2,500 Israeli settlers led by MK Itamar Ben-Gvir also toured the Haram al-Sharif compound, raising Israeli flags. Elsewhere, after the flag march, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians and their property, including several vehicles in Sheikh Jarrah, assaulting 1 Palestinian journalist covering the events for the Israeli public broadcaster Kan. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinians east of al-Qarara and Gaza City; no injuries were reported. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen west of Gaza; no injuries were reported. (REU, WAFA 5/26; ALM, HA, MEE, REU 5/27; ALM, HA, MDW 5/28; AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, HA, HA, MDW, MEE, MEE, NPR, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WSJ 5/29; AJ, AJ, ALM, ALM, AP, CNN, HA, HA, HA, IN, LAT, MEE 5/30; MEMO 5/31; AP, HA, HA 6/2; UNOCHA 6/4)

While speaking at Elon Moreh during an event celebrating the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, the commander of the Samaria brigade Roi Zweig said that “the [Israeli] army and the settlement enterprise are one and the same.” (HA 5/30; MDW 6/3)

The Israeli government told the high court of justice that it is enforcing a ban on Israeli settlers accessing the Homesh settlement outpost. Haaretz reporting said that the Israeli military is not enforcing the ban and allows Israeli settlers to access the outpost regularly. (HA 6/2)

The Times of Israel reported that the U.S. Biden administration had shelved plans to reopen the U.S. consulate to Palestinians in Jerusalem and instead is promoting the deputy assistant secretary of state for Israeli and Palestinian affairs Hady Amr to special envoy to Palestinians. The Palestinian Affairs Unit at the U.S. embassy to Israel will, according to the TOI reporting, begin to report to Hady Amr rather than to the U.S. ambassador to Israel. PA officials have voiced frustration with the U.S. administration for failing to fulfill its promises to Palestine and using the Israeli government coalition’s instability as an excuse. (TOI 5/29; AA 5/30; MEMO 5/31; HA 6/2)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers opened fire at Palestinian-owned shops near Dayr Sharaf; no injuries were reported. Israeli settlers also raided al-Twana, injuring 1 Palestinian by throwing stones. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers spray-painted insults at the Muslim Prophet Muhammad on a road between Jericho and the Dead Sea. Israeli forces raided Jaba‘, leading to confrontations with Palestinians; tear-gas related injuries were reported. Elsewhere, Israeli forces continued blocking the main road to ‘Azun for the 4th day in a row. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians at the Damascus Gate plaza, injuring 2 and arresting 3. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinians in Shaykh Jarrah and Silwan, causing tear-gas related injuries. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinians gathered near the Gaza fence east of Khuza‘a; no injuries were reported. In Israel, Israeli forces raided a wedding celebration in Dayr al-Asad after a celebratory gunshot was fired in the air; during the raid, clashes broke out, and 1 Palestinian Israeli was critically injured and 2 Israeli officers were moderately and lightly injured; 2 police cars were set on fire and 11 were arrested. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/19; HA, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA 6/20; WAFA 6/21; PCHR 6/24)

In Iran, Ebrahim Raisi won the presidential elections after the lowest voter turnout in Iran’s history. President-elect Raisi is subject to U.S. sanctions for alleged human rights abuses of overseeing the executions of political prisoners in the 1980s. Raisi is said to be much more conservative than the current outgoing president Hassan Rouhani. (AJ, AJ, AJ, ALM, HA 6/19; AJ, AP, HA, MEE, REU, REU 6/20; REU 6/21)

EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said, during a trip to Beirut, that EU aid to Lebanon is conditioned on political reforms in the country. (MEMO 6/20)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers used clubs to vandalize Palestinian-owned cars traveling near the Yitzhar settlement on the Nablus-Qalqilya road. Israeli forces demolished 1 house under construction in Halhul. 4 Palestinians were arrested during a raid near Ramallah; during the raid, Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians, leading to 1 injury and 1 Palestinian-owned vehicle was seized by the Israeli forces. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces harassed several Palestinians in al-Tur, leading to clashes; tear-gas related injuries were reported and 2 Palestinians were arrested. 4 Palestinians were also arrested during raids in Issawiyya and the Old City. (WAFA 11/23; PCHR 11/26)

The PA announced new lockdown measures against the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including a lockdown from 6 p.m.-7 a.m. every day and a general all-day lockdown on Fridays and Saturdays. The lockdown will be in effect for 2 weeks. The West Bank had 5 new deaths and 869 new cases on 11/23. (WAFA, WAFA 11/23)

The Jerusalem District Court rejected the appeal of a Palestinian family against their eviction from their home in Silwan. The court said the family of 26 had to leave the house they have occupied since 1967 to allow Israeli settlers to move in. (PCN 11/24; HA 11/26)

PA prime minister Muhammad Shtayyeh said that the PA will start repaying its dues to public servants and retirees who have not been receiving full payments since February, when the PA starts receiving the money owed to it by Israel later this week. Prime Minister Shtayyeh said payment of dues for salaries remained the priority but recognized that the PA also will pay back all of its other unpaid bills to various sectors and contractors. (WAFA 11/23)

According to the deputy leader of Fatah Mahmoud Alalul, the PA and president-elect Joe Biden’s team have made several understandings on how to proceed with the U.S.-PA relations after President-elect Biden is sworn in come January. Among the issues are definition of settlement products and the U.S. recognition of people born in East Jerusalem as Israelis. (HA 11/24)

An Israeli court forced the Israeli ministry of interior to publish guidelines for a scheme that would allow some 20,000 Palestinians from East Jerusalem to obtain Israeli citizenship faster than the normal process, which is extremely strenuous for Palestinians. (HA 11/24)

Without formally conceding the election, U.S. president Donald Trump said in a tweet that he had allowed the General Services Administration to prepare for President-elect Biden’s transition to the presidency. President Trump continues to maintain that he really won the election because Biden’s victory was based on voter fraud, an assertion he has not backed with any evidence. (HA 11/23)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers demolished 1 Palestinian-owned stone wall around agricultural lands in Bayt ‘Aynun. Israeli forces demolished several commercial barracks and street-vending stalls in al-Ram and delivered demolition notifications for 2 Palestinian-owned homes east of Yatta. Elsewhere, Israeli forces set up mobile homes and tents near Bayt Furik. 5 Palestinians were arrested, including 2 during late-night raids in Bayt Fajjar and 3 at checkpoints near Ramallah, Nablus, and Qalqilya. In East Jerusalem, 6 Palestinians were arrested during house raids in Issawiyya and the Old City. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian agricultural lands east of al-Maghazi and Dayr al-Balah; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/7; PCHR 6/11)

The PA ministry of awqaf and religious affairs said in a report that Israeli authorities prevented the call for prayers at the Ibrahimi Mosque 54 times in May. (WAFA 6/7)

A 2d plane from the UAE carrying COVID-19-related aid materials landed in Tel Aviv. When the 1st flight landed on 5/19, the PA refused the aid as the UAE had not coordinated with the PA beforehand; the aid instead went solely to Gaza. PA prime minister Muhammad Shtayyeh said that the PA again had not been informed about the aid shipment. (HA, REU 6/9)

More than 1 week after Israeli police killed 1 unarmed Palestinian man with autism on a street in East Jerusalem, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented on the killing for the 1st time, calling it “a tragedy.” Prime Minister Netanyahu told his cabinet that he expects “complete examinations into this matter.” (HA, REU 6/7)

In the West Bank, 14 Palestinians were arrested, including 11 during late-night raids in and around Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Jericho; 3 were arrested at flying checkpoints near Qalqilya. During a raid in Ramallah, 1 Palestinian paramedic was injured by gunfire as Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. In Israel, a Palestinian village was raided by Israeli extremists, slashing the tires of some 20 Palestinian-owned vehicles and writing racist graffiti like “Muhammad is a pig” on buildings, including a mosque. (AJ, HA, WAFA, WAFA 12/12; PCHR 12/19)

A spokesperson for Israel’s military liaison said that none of the around 1,000 Palestinian Christians in Gaza would be allowed entry to the West Bank to celebrate Christmas or visit family. (REU 12/12; WAFA 12/13; HA 12/14)

In the West Bank, IDF troops conduct raids in Dayr Abu Mash‘al nr. Ramallah for the 4th time this week, confiscating about 20 vehicles and arresting 2 relatives of the 3 Palestinians killed in a confrontation with Israeli forces on 6/16. They also arrest 2 Palestinians during latenight raids nr. Hebron and Nablus, and patrol during the day nr. Hebron. Israeli forces level land nr. Nablus for a 2d day in a row. In East Jerusalem, around 300,000 Muslims pray at Haram al-Sharif late at night, marking Laylat al-Qadr, the night Muslims observe to mark the revelation of the Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad. (MNA, WAFA 6/21; HA, PCHR, WAFA 6/22; PCHR 7/6)

Son-in-law and senior advisor to U.S. pres. Jared Kushner arrives in Israel and meets with Israeli PM Netanyahu to discuss U.S. efforts to restart Palestinian-Israeli peace talks. According to the White House, the 2 sides reaffirmed their desire to make peace and acknowledged the need for “economic opportunities for Palestinians and major investment in the Palestinian economy.” Kushner and U.S. rep. Greenblatt then travel to Ramallah to meet with PA pres. Abbas. No further details are made available. (HA, TOI, WHPO, YA 6/21; WAFA 6/22)

Netanyahu meets with several top defense and security officials to approve a new “security strategy” for Damascus Gate, the main entrance to Jerusalem’s Muslim Quarter, following the 6/16 attack in East Jerusalem. The new strategy reportedly includes new “surveillance points,” increased numbers of cameras, and other measures. (They will announce it on 6/22.) (MNA 6/22; TOI 6/23)

In the Gaza Strip, civil employees continue their strike for a 2d day, protesting the fact that they haven’t been paid a full salary since 6/2. Separately, almost 200 Palestinians gather nr. the French Cultural Center in Gaza City to protest the recent publication of cartoons featuring the Prophet Muhammad by Parisbased satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Gaza’s police arrest 7 of the protesters. Late at night after the protests, unknown assailants set off a homemade bomb under the car of an administrative official with Hamas’s military police, which was parked outside his home in Shaykh Radwan. Off the coast nr. al-Sudaniyya, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing no injuries. Additionally, Israeli naval forces capture a boat sailing from the Sinai to Gaza with materials for building rockets and detain the 3 Palestinians aboard, according to the IDF. (The incident will not be reported until 2/11, due to an IDF gag order.) In the West Bank, IDF troops expel 2 Palestinian women from their home in c. Hebron, then seal the property. In nearby villages, Israeli forces close 2 Palestinian-owned stores; destroy a well and an animal barn. They also deliver a stopwork order to a site nr. Jenin where Palestinians are building a new park. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids nr. Hebron, Ramallah, Qalqilya, Jenin, and at Nur Shams r.c. nr. Tulkarm. In East Jerusalem neighborhoods, Israeli forces demolish 2 homes and a residential building. As a result, 1 Palestinian woman is injured with a rubber-coated metal bullet during clashes with IDF troops in Issawiyya. Nearby, Israeli forces arrest 9 Palestinians, including 1 pregnant Palestinian journalist and 4 other women at Haram al-Sharif. Across Israel, 100s of Palestinians gather to protest the killing of 2 Palestinian bedouins in Rahat on 1/14 and 1/18. After a funeral for the man killed on 1/18, clashes break out between residents of Rahat and Israeli police, but police refrain from using crowddispersal measures on orders from a district cmdr. Meanwhile, residents of Rahat continue their strike. (MNA, WAFA 1/19; JP, MNA, WAFA 1/20; HA, MEE 1/21; PCHR 1/22; OCHA 1/23; YA 2/11)

In Brussels, EU FMs agree to appeal the Gen. Court of the EU’s 12/17 decision to remove Hamas from the body’s list of foreign terrorist organizations. (AFP, JP 1/19)

PA senior negotiation officials Saeb Erekat and Mohammed Eshtaya arrive in Washington D.C. to update the Obama admin. about the PA’s current position on talks with Israel. They are expected to discuss conditions for a resumption of talks—settlement construction freeze and prisoner release— with U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry. The PA officials will also ask Pres. Obama to present his own initiative to restart negotiations. (ToI 2/17; REU 2/19)

Palestinian journalists hold a sit-in protest outside the Ofer detention center as an Israeli military court hears the cases of detained Palestinian journalist Amir Abu Arafah and cartoonist Muhammad Sabanah. Israeli forces violently disperse the protesters, causing no serious injuries. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers from Esh Kodesh settlement outpost vandalize cars in Qusra village nr. Nablus. In a separate incident in the same village, the IDF demolishes an electricity grid in Qusra village nr. Nablus, provoking clashes with local residents. The IDF opens fire and wounds 2. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and in 1 village each nr. Bethelehem, Hebron, and Jenin. (MNA 2/20; MNA, PCHR 2/21)

Hamas Minister of Economy Alaa Rafati says that Egypt’s crackdown on cross-border tunnels will fail if no alternative methods for importing produce are presented. Rafati says that the authorities in Gaza have told Cairo a number of times that an official commercial route should be opened along the border. (MNA 2/20)

The Jerusalem District Court convicts Hamas-affliated PC mbrs. Khalid Abu Arafa and Muhammad Toutah of membership in a terrorist organization and illegally residing in Israel, following their arrest in 1/2012 after they had stayed 569 days at the Red Cross office in Shaykh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem (see Quarterly Update in JPS 163). (JP 2/14)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians close to the border fence nr. Bayt Hanun, injuring 2. IDF soldiers also make a brief incursion into the Gaza Strip nr. Bayt Lahiya to level land, opening fire on surrounding areas as they do so. In the West Bank, IDF soldiers open fire and wound a Palestinian when his car passes over a checkpoint nr. Qalqilya. The IDF also patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon and in Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron in the morning, and 1 village each nr. Jenin, Ramallah, and Salfit at night. (MNA 2/14; PCHR 2/21)

Republicans vote against the nomination of Chuck Hagel as defense secretary in a 58–40 vote in the Senate, delaying his approval and provoking Democrats’ anger at what they claim is an unprecedented filibuster. Sixty votes are required to pass a motion to stop debate and move the process on to a vote by the full senate. Another vote is expected later in the month and Obama says he expects the nomination to be approved. (REU 2/14)

Israel boycotts a periodic review at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), becoming the 1st country to do so. Israel cut its ties with the UNHRC in 3/2012 after the council approved a fact-finding mission to investigate Israeli settlements in the West Bank. (JP, REU 1/29)

Palestinian representative to the Arab League Muhammad Sbeih says that an Arab League delegation will soon visit the U.S. to submit a proposal for new ideas to move the Israeli-Palestinian peace process forward. (MNA 1/29)

A source in the Israeli PM’s Office says that Israel will renew the transfer of tax revenues to the PA, in light of the PA’s financial crisis. (HA 1/29)

A Palestinian man stabs and wounds an Israeli teenager at Tapuach Junction in the West Bank, and is subsequently arrested by Israeli security forces. Also in the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, firing tear gas and stun grenades at stonethrowing Palestinians; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Bethlehem, Jenin, and 1 village each nr. Bethlehem and Jenin at night. In the case of alMughayyir village nr. Jenin, around 400 IDF soldiers participate in the raid, conducting house searches in 50 residences, and asking people to stand outside their homes to be photographed holding their ID numbers. In East Jerusalem, IDF soldiers deliver demolition notices to Palestinian families in a neighborhood of Anata village, affecting around 200 people; Israel plans to remove the neighborhood because of its proximity to Anatot military base. In the Gaza Strip, the IDF shoots and wounds a Palestinian collecting scrap metal close to the border fence nr. Bayt Hanun. The IDF also opens fire on Palestinians in another incident nr. Bayt Hanun, causing no injuries. (MNA 1/29; JP, MNA 1/30; PCHR 1/31)

The Lebanese military reports that Israeli Air Force jets flew over Lebanon’s airspace for several hours overnight. (HA 1/30)

In the morning, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border w. of the Erez crossing direct gunfire and 1 artillery shell at open areas around the former Nisanit settlement site, causing no reported injuries. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Lahiya launch 4 artillery shells at open areas near the border, causing no reported injuries. Late at night, Israeli warplanes make a total of 7 air strikes on greenhouses and open areas nr. the Bayt Lahiya border in the north, a suspected weapons factory in c. Gaza, and a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border, causing no injuries. A Palestinian civilian dies of injuries sustained in a 11/14/01 IDF air strike on a UNRWA school in Khan Yunis. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 9 Palestinian stores in al-Oja village in the Jordan Valley, n. of Jericho; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Ramallah (where they target the home of Hamas-affiliated Reform and Change PC mbr. ‘Abd al-Jabir Fuqaha, arresting him, summoning his son for interrogation, and confiscating his computer, phone, and files), in Nablus, and nr. Hebron; conducts late-night patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya (summoning 3 Palestinians for interrogation). In East Jerusalem’s Shaykh Jarrah neighborhood, Israeli security forces raid the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) office and a protest tent outside, detaining Hamas-affiliated PC mbrs. Muhammad Toutah and Khalid Abu Arafa, who had been living at the ICRC offices since 6/2010 to protest Israel’s 9/2009 decision to revoke their Jerusalem IDs on the grounds that they are affiliated with a “terrorist organization” (i.e., Hamas); Israeli authorities expel them to the West Bank. Hamasaffiliated PC mbr. Ismail Ashkar comments, “Every time we move toward reconciliation and reactivating the Palestinian parliament, we see Israel targeting our lawmakers.” (AFP, JP, NYT, YA 1/24; WP, WT 1/25; PCHR 1/26; OCHA 1/27)

Israeli embassies and mission in the Hague, Brussels, London, New York, Boston, and Houston receive envelopes containing a suspicious white powder that turns out to be flour, raising fears of an anthrax attack. No one takes responsibility. (DS 1/24; JPI 2/3)

In Gaza, 1 Palestinian is injured in a smuggling tunnel accident on the Rafah border. In the West Bank, the IDF bulldozes the bedouin village of Fasayil al-Wusta in the Jordan Valley, saying it was erected on state land nr. a settler-only bypass road, displacing 103 bedouin (including 63 children); demolishes 2 wells nr. Hebron; patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin and 1 nr. Tulkarm in the morning; arrests Qalqilya Fatah official Muhammad Walawil and his brother during the day, without giving cause; raids Tulkarm late at night to arrest 3 Palestinians who had ignored orders to appear before an Israeli military court on 6/13/11 to testify against a Palestinian prisoner. The IDF also escorts 8 Israeli MKs on a rare daytime visit to Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, where they publicly call on the government to declare sovereignty over the site. Jewish settlers in Hebron vandalize nearby Palestinian homes. (WT 6/15; JPI 6/24)

After receiving a warning fr. Egypt that Israel is serious about preventing further rocket and mortar fire fr. Gaza, Hamas authorities hold a 2d mtg. (see 1/11) with smaller factions to urge them to adhere to a cease-fire, then deploys IQB mbrs. along the border and at makeshift checkpoints on roads leading toward the border to deter groups fr. firing into Israel. In the West Bank, the IDF steps up patrols dramatically, operating in 8 villages nr. Qalqilya, 3 nr. Jenin, 1 nr. Ramallah, and 1 nr. Tulkarm between late morning and late afternoon, arresting 1 stone-throwing teenager nr. Tulkarm and summoning several residents of Bayt Qad nr. Qalqilya for questioning; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin and Qalqilya. Jewish settlers fr. a settlement outpost nr. Nablus attack a Palestinian farmer working his field nearby; when nearby villagers come to the farmers aid, IDF troops intervene, firing rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas at the Palestinians, seriously injuring 2 and moderately injuring 1. (NYT, WP 1/14; PCHR 1/20; OCHA 1/21)

In Tunisia, opposition forces call for massive antigovernment demonstrations after Friday prayers on 1/14 to demand Pres. Ben Ali’s immediate resignation. In the days since 12/29/2010, protests have increasingly come to reflect deep-seated frustration with overall government corruption and lack of political freedom, rather than just economic angst. The major riots that first roiled the countryside have become increasingly violent and spread nationwide, reaching the capital on 1/12 and the key resort city of Hammamet (where Ben Ali and his extended family have residences) on 1/13, leaving at least 30 dead. In effort to quell protests, Ben Ali has simultaneously moved to appease and clamp down on critics, pledging to investigate government corruption and recent “excesses” by the security forces and firing his interior minister (directly responsible for orchestrating the crackdown on demonstrators), but also deploying army units and riot police around Tunis and imposing a nighttime curfew, blaming “foreign terrorists and Islamic radicals capitalizing on the frustrations of the unemployed.” Rumors suggest that close relatives of Ben Ali, including billionaire businessman Muhammad Sakher El Materi (his son-in-law and heir apparent), have already fled the country. Today, Ben Ali gives a hastily prepared television address. Appearing unsettled, he orders security forces to hold their fire and release jailed protesters, agrees to make other minor reforms, and pledges to give up the presidency when he turns 75 (in 2014) in keeping with the constitution, but rejects demands to step down immediately and end his 23-yr. authoritarian rule. In a threatening move, however, he withdraws the army fr. Tunis, replacing them with special police and other security forces more loyal to his ruling party. Credible rumors say the shift has come about because Tunisia’s army chief Gen. Rachid Ammar has refused Ben-Ali’s orders to shoot demonstrators. By this date, small protests inspired by Tunisian demonstrators have been held in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, and Morocco denouncing unemployment and corruption among the ruling elites, but are not perceived as destabilizing. (NYT, WP 1/13; NYT 1/14, 1/17, 2/24; see also WP 1/10, NYT 1/12)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Tulkarm and in 5 villages nr. Qalqilya, 2 each nr. Jenin and Salfit, and 1 each nr. Jericho, Nablus, Ramallah, and Tulkarm; conducts a late-night raid on the Hebron home of Hamas-affiliated PC mbr. Muhammad al-Tal, arresting him. Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists march to the IDF’s Beit El checkpoint outside Ramallah and demand its removal; IDF soldiers fire tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, and stun grenades at the protesters, seriously injuring 1 Palestinian. Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar settlement nr. Nablus burn and uproot at least 20 Palestinian olive trees nr. Madama village. (PCHR 12/30; OCHA 12/31)

In the morning, Israeli drones make an air strike on a car driving w. of Gaza City, assassinating Army of Islam (AOI) senior mbr. Muhammad al-Nemnem, wounding 2 bystanders; Israel later accuses Nemnem of involvement in “attacks against Israeli and U.S. targets in the Sinai Peninsula.” The IDF makes a brief incursion into c. Gaza e. of al-Bureij r.c. to level land and clear lines of sight; an Israeli tank fires a shell at the surrounding area, but no damage or injuries are reported. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols without incident in al-Yamun village in the afternoon; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron and in Nabi Salih. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces conduct early morning arrest raids, house searches in Silwan, detaining 5 Palestinians (including 4 children ages 13–16). Of note: Israel prevents fmr. PA PM and negotiations adviser Ahmed Qurai‘ from crossing into Jordan via the Allenby crossing, citing a previously unannounced decision by the government that from now on only Pres. Abbas and PM Fayyad would receive special treatment; Israeli security officials say the decision had to do with Qurai‘’s recent statements denouncing Israel’s settlement policy. The PASF for the 1st time arrests a Palestinian for selling goods made in a Jewish settlement, enforcing the PA’s 4/2010 law prohibiting the sale of settlement-produced products (see Quarterly Updates in JPS 156–57); the defendant is jailed in Bethlehem pending trial. (MNA, YA 11/3; NYT, PCHR, UNSCO 11/4; OCHA 11/5; OCHA, PCHR 11/11)

In the West Bank, the IDF stages synchronized late-night raids on the homes of 5 PA intelligence officers in villages nr. Nablus and Salfit, detaining the men (including the PA’s Salfit regional intelligence cmdr. Lt. Col. Muhammad ‘Abd al-Hamid Bani Fadil), marking Israel’s first arrest of senior PA security officials in 3 yrs.; the IDF also relays to the PA a request to turn over a 6th intelligence officer, but the PA does not comply; the Israeli DMin. confirms the arrests but refuses to comment, with Palestinian security sources speculating (YA 11/20) that Israel was pressuring the PA to back off investigation of a suspected collaborator; all 5 are released on 11/20 after talks between Israel and the PA. The IDF also stages synchronized late-night house searches in 3 villages w. of Jenin, making no arrests. IDF undercover units traveling in a car with Palestinian license plates enter Bil‘in village, arrest a Palestinian on an Israeli wanted list. (YA 11/20; OCHA, PCHR 11/25)

An IDF drone fires a rocket at Muhammad al-Sumairi (affiliation unknown) riding a motorcycle in Khan Yunis, seriously inuring him in an apparent assassination attempt, and wounding 17 bystanders, including 11 children, a pregnant woman. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire on Palestinians and international activists repairing homes on the outskirts of Bayt Hanun, forcing them to leave the area but causing no injuries. Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel (the 2d in 12 hrs.; see 1/28), causing no damage or injuries but raising concerns over the durability of the cease-fire. Israel allows 145 truckloads of goods (much of it seed and fodder) and 130 tons of medicine and medical equipment into Gaza. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Qabatya, nr. Qalqilya. (UNIS 1/29; HA, MM, NYT, WP 1/30)

IDF ground forces backed by naval and air support continue to enter Gaza overnight, with troops taking up positions across n. Gaza (from which most Palestinian rockets have been fired), surrounding Gaza City, retaking the former Netzarim settlement site nr. the Gaza coast south of Gaza City, and bifurcating the Strip into e. and w. (cutting a swath roughly from the Qarni and Nahal Oz crossings to Netzarim on the coast, driving 1,000s of residents from Juhur al-Dik, al-Mughraqa, and al-Zahra’ with heavy artillery and tank fire), but not entering dense urban areas.

Combat notes: IDF-Palestinian ground fighting is described as “fierce,” characterized by heavy IDF artillery fire and heavy Palestinian sniping and mortar fire. Because the IDF stays out of built-up areas, there are few reports of close-quarter combat or heavy exchanges of gunfire. While ground troops concentrate in the north, Israeli air strikes and naval bombardment focus equally on the north and south, hitting more tunnels on the Rafah border and targeting Hamas leaders for assassination. (The IDF claims to assassinate Hamas rocket cmdr. Hussam Hamdan and IQB and long-range rocket cmdr. Muhammad Hilu in Khan Yunis, senior IQB mbr. Muhammad Shalbush in Jabaliya, but there is no independent confirmation.)

The IDF reports hitting 45 sites and carrying out 40 air strikes during the day, striking a produce market in Gaza City, several mosques, a medical building and 3 mobile clinics in Shati’ r.c. run by a Danish charity, homes of at least 4 Hamas mbrs. (most of whom have gone into hiding), and suspected weapons depots across Gaza. Target areas include Abasan, Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (al-Daraj, Tal al-Hawa, al-Tuffah, al-Yarmuk, al-Zaytun), Jabaliya, Juhur al-Dik, Khan Yunis, al-Mughraqa, al-Nasser (n. of Rafah), Rafah, Shati’ r.c., al-Shuka, al-Zahra’. After dark, IDF troops conduct door-to-door searches on the outskirts of Gaza City.

Palestinians fire 29 rockets (including at least 12 Grads) and 5 mortars into Israel, hitting Ashdod, Ashqelon, Netivot, Ofakim, and Sederot; 1 house in Sederot is damaged and 1 Israeli woman lightly injured. 

At least 47 Palestinians (including 4 paramedics) are killed and 400 wounded (including 3 paramedics) during the day; 1 IDF soldier is killed, 1 is seriously wounded in a heavy exchange of gunfire nr. Jabaliya; 15 IDF soldiers are wounded (3 seriously) by Palestinian mortar fire inside Gaza. The UN and Palestinian medical workers estimate the Palestinian toll to have reached at least 507 dead, 2,400 injured. The Israeli toll stands at 5–6 killed, more than 40 injured.

Humanitarian notes: The Israeli FMin. announced a new joint office of the FMin. and Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, called the Humanitarian Affairs Coordination Center (HACC), to coordinate humanitarian organizations operating on aid transfers to the Strip. The UN reports that shortages of fuel, electricity, and water are worsening. Gazan hospitals report drastic shortages of anesthesia, surgical equipment, heaters, spare parts. (AP, BBC, IDF, JAZ, National Public Radio, OCHA, REU, WT 1/4; IDF, IFM, NYT, RFM, UNOSAT, WP, WT 1/5; BBC 1/6; IFM, PCHR 1/8; WP 1/27)

In the West Bank, the IDF fatally shoots 1 Palestinian demonstrator who attempts to climb the separation wall nr. Qalqilya; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in al-Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, nr. Jenin. Israel’s High Court rules that the IDF may seal 2 floors of the home of the East Jerusalem Palestinian who killed 8 students at the Mercaz HaRava yeshiva in Jerusalem in 3/6/08, even though the gunman was killed during the attack and sealing the home would serve only to punish his extended family; another floor of the home will not be sealed because it is being rented to an unrelated family. (PCHR 1/8)

Israel begins phase 2 of OCL, a massive ground advance into Gaza, in the evening. The IDF states that “the objective . . . is to destroy the terrorist infrastructure of the Hamas in the precise area of operation, while taking control of some of [sic] rocket launching areas used by Hamas in order to greatly reduce the quantity of rockets fired at Israel and Israeli civilians.” Israeli FM Livni acknowledges that Israel has broader aims, stating that toppling Hamas is “a strategic Israeli objective,” but that it might take more than one large-scale military operation such as OCL to do the job.

Israeli actions: Before phase 2 begins in the evening, the IDF launches artillery strikes on some 40 targets concentrated in open areas around Bayt Hanun, east of Rafah, and along Gaza’s main north–south artery in an apparent effort to clear the areas of mines and tunnels, to move Palestinians away from those areas in preparation for the insertion of ground forces.

The IDF also continues air strikes and naval bombardments across Gaza. Target areas include Bayt Lahiya, Gaza City (al-Nasser, al-Rimal, al-Shuja‘iyya, al-Tuffah, al-Zaytun), Jabaliya, Juhur al-Dik, Khan Yunis, Khuza, al-Mughraqa, Nussayrat, Rafah, al-Shuka (e. of Rafah). Targets include 2 mosques in Bayt Lahiya and Jabaliya, killing at least 13 worshipers and injuring 30 during evening prayers; a car in Khan Yunis, assassinating senior Hamas military cmdr. Muhammad Ma‘aruf; 2 PA security compounds in Gaza City; the al-Aqsa Radio and the al-Risala newspaper offices in Gaza City; tunnels on the Rafah border; suspected rocket-launching sites and weapons depots. By evening, the Palestinian toll reaches at least 460 dead and more than 2,000 wounded.

At dusk, the IDF drops leaflets on n. Gaza warning residents that troops will soon operate in this area and that they should evacuate for their safety. Around 8:00 P.M. local time, the IDF cuts power to the Strip and begins sending ground forces into n. Gaza, taking up positions on the outskirts of Bayt Hanun and Bayt Lahiya (occupying homes as operational bases); securing areas e. of Gaza City nr. the Qarni crossing, but notably keeping a distance from Jabaliya (considered a Hamas stronghold), and just inside the s. Gaza border e. of Rafah (with tanks firing flechette shells at houses and agricultural areas, killing 1 Palestinian and wounding 7 inside their homes). Heavy gun battles are reported, with Hamas issuing a statement that it is firing mortars at IDF ground forces. After ground operations begin, the IDF announces a naval blockade of Gaza out to 20 nautical miles.

Palestinian actions: During the day, Palestinians fire 28 rockets and 7 mortars into Israel, hitting as far as Ashdod and Ashqelon to the n., and Netivot to the e., lightly damaging 3 homes and an apartment building, lightly injuring 2 Israelis.

Of note: Embedded with some IDF ground units are the first Israeli journalists and 2 foreign reporters (BBC and Reuters) allowed into Gaza since late 10/08. These journalists have been given “trusted” status by the government for their “long history of relations with the IDF” and are under the strict rules of the IDF censor; the general ban on foreign journalists is still in place, despite a 12/31 High Court ruling ordering the government to allow journalists access. (AFP, AP, BBC, IDF, IFM, ITV, Organization of the Islamic Conference [OIC] press release, REU, YA 1/3; HA, IFM, JAZ, JP, NYT, OCHA, WP, WT 1/4; NYT, UNOSAT, WP, WT 1/5; IFM, PCHR 1/8; HA 1/11; JP 1/22; JPI 2/6; Harpers 3/09)

Israel’s security cabinet authorizes the IDF to open phase 2 of OCL at its discretion by sending ground troops into Gaza “to destroy the terrorist infrastructure of the Hamas in the area of operation, while taking control of some of [sic] rocket launching area used by the Hamas”; authorizes the call-up of 10,000s of additional reservists. The IDF does not immediately take action.

Israeli action: The IDF continues air strikes and naval bombardment of Gaza, carrying out 65 air strikes and hitting 65 individual sites. Target areas include al-Atatra, Bayt Lahiya, Dahaniyya, Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (Shaykh Ridwan, al-Shuja‘iyya, Tal al-Hawa, al-Yarmuk), Jabaliya, Khan Yunis, Nussayrat, Rafah, Tal al-Za‘atar. Primary targets include the homes of more than 12 senior Hamas officials (including senior IQB official Imad Akel, who reportedly is killed along with 3 children nearby; and Haniyeh’s chief of staff Muhammad Madhun and fmr. PA Refugee Affairs M Atif Udwan, who are believed to be in hiding); a car carrying Hamas’s Gaza City military cmdr. Muhammad (Abu Zakariya) al-Jamal, assassinating him; the Rafah airport site (already heavily damaged by yrs. of IDF attacks); the American International School in al-Atatra in n. Gaza; a public works dept. building southwest of Gaza City; tunnels on the Rafah border; and suspected weapons depots across Gaza. The estimated Palestinian toll reaches 431 killed, more than 2,200 injured.

Palestinian actions: Palestinians fire 26 rockets and 5 mortars into Israel, including 10 rockets that strike nr. Ashqelon, 1 of which causes damage and lightly injures 2 Israelis.

Humanitarian notes: The IDF escorts 226 foreigners who opt to leave Gaza to the Allenby Bridge crossing into Jordan; allows 64 truckloads of humanitarian goods into the Strip.

Of note: By this date, nearly all of Gaza’s police stations and government buildings have been destroyed. One senior Israeli security official states that “All of the offices and databases are gone. When all this is over, no civil servant will have an office to sit in.” (HA, IDF, IFM, ITV 1/2; AFP, AP, HA, IDF, Nation, NYT, REU, WP, WT, YA 1/3; Adalah 1/4; IFM, JP, PCHR 1/8; WT 1/22; JPI 1/23)

In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists taking part in weekly nonviolent protests against the separation wall in Bil‘in (injuring 5 Palestinians), Ni‘lin (wounding 1 Israeli, 3 Palestinians), and Jayyus (injuring 3 Palestinians; 1 is hit with live ammunition). In Jerusalem, 100s of Palestinians clash with Israeli police after Friday prayers. Small demonstrations against OCL are reported in East Jerusalem and across the West Bank (including Bani Na‘im nr. Hebron, Bethlehem, Hebron, Issawiyya, Ramallah, Shu‘fat r.c.). IDF troops shoot at protesters in Bani Na‘im, wounding 5. The PASF breaks up large rallies against OCL in Hebron and Ramallah, firing tear gas at demonstrators, ripping up pro-Hamas placards and flags, beating and arresting suspected Hamas supporters, injuring at least 10 Palestinians. (HA, NYT, REU, WP, WT, YA 1/3; PCHR 1/8)

Overnight, Islamic Jihad mbrs. in Gaza fire more than a dozen rockets into Israel in retaliation for the IDF’s 12/15 assassination of Nawahda, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF makes 2 air strikes on Islamic Jihad mbrs. preparing to launch rockets nr. Bayt Hanun, injuring 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs., 1 bystander. OCHA reports that in recent days, Israel allowed 78 tons of chlorine and purification chemicals to be transferred to Gaza’s water authority, enough to treat Gaza’s water supply for 1 mo.; Gaza also received its 2d shipment (14 truckloads) of pharmaceutical supplies fr. the PA central pharmacy in Ramallah. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces bulldoze a tent and level land, displacing a Palestinian family whose home on the site they had bulldozed in 11/08. Inside Israel, some 200 Israeli police make an overnight raid on the Bedouin encampment of Abdallah al-Atrash in the Negev, which has existed for over 20 yrs., expelling 20 families and demolishing all structures. A Gaza court sentences Palestinian Muhammad Saidam, arrested in 2/08, to death for “treason, espionage, and collaborating” with Israel to assassinate mbrs. of the Palestinian resistance; PA pres. Abbas must approve the sentence before it can be carried out. (MM, OCHA 12/17; NYT, PCHR 12/18)

The IDF makes an air strike on Bayt Lahiya in a failed attempt to assassinate Islamic Jihad mbrs. Ihab Abu Jarad, Nidal Shaqqura, and Muhammad alZa’nin as they walk in a crowded residential area, wounding the 3, as well as 6 bystanders, including 2 children and a mentally disabled person; bulldozes land on the Palestinian side of the Qarni industrial zone (for a 2d day), nr. the border fence e. of Dayr al-Balah. Late at night, the IDF sends troops into Bayt Hanun, raiding a home and arresting 7 mbrs. of a Palestinian family. An IDF special forces unit attempts an incursion into al-Bureij r.c. but is forced to retreat by Palestinian gunmen firing machine guns and mortars; no injuries are reported. Egyptian border police find separate caches of 40 landmines, 500 kg of explosives nr. the Rafah border. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, in Bethlehem and Jenin town and r.c., and nr. Hebron, Tubas, Tulkarm. (OCHA, PCHR 3/19; PCHR 3/27)

Hamas’s Haniyeh publicly offersIsrael a comprehensive cease-fire deal covering the West Bank and Gaza in exchange for a lifting of the siege of Gaza and a halt to all Israeli “assassinations, killings, and raids.” The Israeli government does not officially reply, but hrs. later in the West Bank, IDF undercover units in Bethlehem ambush, assassinate Islamic Jihad’s Bethlehem cmdr. Muhammad Shihada, senior AMB mbr. Ahmad Balbul), and 2 Islamic Jihad mbrs. driving with them. The IDF also sends troops into Sa‘ida village nr. Tulkarm in search of Islamic Jihad’s Tulkarm cmdr. Salih Karouir, wounding him in an exchange of fire and then shooting him in the head execution style. In an “initial response,” Islamic Jihad mbrs. in Gaza resume rocket fire into Israel, damaging 1 building. The IDF also conducts house searches nr. Hebron, firing on stone-throwing Palestinian youths who confront them, wounding 2; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron, Nablus, Tulkarm, as well as in Qabatya, Qalqilya, and nr. Bethlehem, Jenin. In Gaza, 1 Palestinian is killed, 5 are injured when a smuggling tunnel they are renovating collapses; 1 Palestinian is killed when explosives he is handling detonate prematurely. (BBC, IFM 3/12; NYT, PCHR, WT 3/13; OCHA, PCHR 3/19)

IDF troops encamped in the Erez industrial zone since 11/23 fire on local Palestinians who stray nr. the zone, wounding 1. Palestinians fire 4 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF responds with tank fire, wounding 4 armed Palestinians, 2 bystanders. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Tulkarm r.c. to ambush a car carrying wanted AMB mbrs. Muhammad Qawzah and Mushir Mansouri, mortally wounding Qawzah (he subsequently bleeds to death over an hr.), wounding Mansouri; conducts arrest raids in and around Nablus, nr. Ramallah (ambushing and detaining Birzeit University student council pres. Fadi Hamad). Jewish settlers fr. Beit Hadasah in Hebron vandalize a nearby Palestinian school, breaking windows, breaking down walls, attempting to set fire to the building, uprooting trees outside; settlers have previously tried to occupy the school to establish a new outpost. (NYT 11/26; OCHA 11/28; PCHR 11/29)

The IDF shells a car driving nr. al-Bureij r.c., assassinating 2 ESF officers (Muhammad Abu ‘Arab, Ali Baroud) and 4 Hamas mbrs. (Ismail Abu Abda, ‘Abid Abu Hilu, Ahmad al-Qrainawi, Muhammad al-Qrainawi), wounding 1 bystander; sends troops into Abasan nr. Khan Yunis, bulldozing land, firing on residential areas, wounding 1 Palestinian. An Islamic Jihad mbr. is injured when explosives he is handling detonate prematurely. Gaza’s sole power plant, which produces 25% of Gaza’s electricity, shuts down after depleting its fuel reserves (see 8/19; 70% of Gaza’s electricity is provided by Israel, 5% by Egypt). In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus and nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin, Ramallah, Tulkarm; fires on stone-throwing Palestinian youths outside ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’a r.c., wounding 2; later patrols in ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’a, exchanging fire with local gunmen, killing 1 armed Palestinian. (HA, NYT 8/21; OCHA, WP 8/22; PCHR 8/23)