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  • May 1, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and injured 5 Palestinians during a raid in Jalazun refugee camp, including 1 with live ammunition and 4 using baton rounds; others suffered tear-gas related...

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  • January 25, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with dogs attacked Palestinian herders and their sheep near Kisan, injuring 1 Palestinian and several sheep. Israeli settlers also uprooted olive saplings near...

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  • June 25, 2017

    PASF troops violently disperse dozens of former Palestinian prisoners outside a govt. building in Ramallah; there are no serious injuries. The former prisoners were protesting the fact that the PA...

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  • August 26, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion close to the border fence nr. Bayt Hanun, and level land before withdrawing. In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and kill 3 Palestinian...

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  • December 11, 2006

    In the West Bank, the IDF sends an undercover unit into Tulkarm in a vehicle with Palestinian license plates to arrest 3 wanted Palestinians; demolishes a Palestinian home in Issawiyya nr....

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  • September 18, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF sends troops, bulldozers into Abasan nr. Khan Yunis, firing on residential areas, leveling land, withdrawing in the evening; makes an air strike destroying a house in al-Shuka...

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  • January 2, 2006

    The IDF fires missiles at a car in Jabaliya r.c., assassinating Islamic Jihad cmdr. Said Abu Jidayn, as well asIslamic Jihad mbrs. Akram Qaddas, Omar Obayid, wounding 3 bystanders; fires missiles...

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  • August 23, 2005

    The IDF completes the settler disengagement in the West Bank with the evacuation of Homesh (est. 1980, pop. 228, hrs. to evac. 7) and Sanur (est. 1982, pop. 105, hrs. to evac. 8), permitting the...

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  • August 22, 2005

    The IDF completes the evacuation of settlers fr. Gaza, with residents of the last inhabited settlement, Netzarim (est. 1972, pop. 496, size 1,760 d., hrs. to evac. 7), and 300 disengagement...

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  • August 21, 2005

    The IDF resumes disengagement in Gaza, completing the evacuation of Aley Sinai (est. 1983, pop. 407, size 488 d., hrs. to evac. 8), Atzmona (est. 1982, pop. 646, size 882 d., hrs. to evac. 8),...

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  • August 19, 2005

    The IDF completes the evacuation of Gadid (est. 1982, pop. 350, size 1,600 d., hrs. to evac. 3); halts operations at sundown for the Sabbath, planning to resume on 8/21; starts demolishing homes...

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  • August 18, 2005

    In the morning, the IDF says that 70% of Gaza settlers have been evacuated, most Gaza residents have not resisted the evacuation, most protests and resistance are by West Bank settler youth (and...

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  • August 17, 2005

    Before dawn the IDF moves troops into Gaza en masse to begin the forcible evacuation of Jewish settlers and disengagement protesters who have not yet left, begins demolishing settler homes in n....

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  • August 15, 2005

    The IDF tightens restrictions on Palestinian movement inside Gaza, declares the n. West Bank a closed military zone in preparation for disengagement; begins going door to door in the Gaza...

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  • June 14, 2005

    The IDF patrols in Dura, fires on residential areas, then fires on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront the troops. 12 Jewish settler families fr. other West Bank settlements move into Sanur (...

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  • May 18, 2004

    In the pre-dawn hours, the IDF imposes a 24-hr. curfew, begins house-to-house searches in the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood of Rafah bordering the Philadelphi Route, occupies some buildings as...

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  • November 25, 2002

    Under pressure fr. the U.S. to end its op-erations in the city quickly, the IDF pulls out of main areas of Bethlehem before dawn. The IDF also opens fire on 100s of Palestinian schoolchildren who...

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  • August 16, 2001

    U.S. Pres. George W. Bush phones Israeli PM Ariel Sharon to offer his condolences for recent Israeli casualties, to stress the importance of avoiding further escalations. Sharon says he is trying...

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In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and injured 5 Palestinians during a raid in Jalazun refugee camp, including 1 with live ammunition and 4 using baton rounds; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. 3 were arrested. Elsewhere, Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian during a raid in Meithalun. 4 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Sanur and Jaba‘. (MEMO, WAFA, WAFA 5/1; PCHR 5/12; UNOCHA 5/13)

Israel announced that it will close all crossings between Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel from 3pm on 5/3 to midnight on 5/5 for the Israeli celebrations of Memorial Day and Independence Day. (HA 5/1)

Israeli president Isaac Herzog spoke with PA president Mahmoud Abbas, wishing him a happy Eid. (HA 5/1)

Israeli military judge Dov Gilboa attended a conference of the Kahanist party Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power). At the conference, Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben-Gvir celebrated Gilboa for a 2018 opinion imposing the death penalty on a Palestinian man. (HA 5/4)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with dogs attacked Palestinian herders and their sheep near Kisan, injuring 1 Palestinian and several sheep. Israeli settlers also uprooted olive saplings near Hebron. Israeli forces demolished parts of a house under construction in Luban al-Sharqiyya, 1 house in al-Walaja, and 1 house in Anabta; during the demolition in al-Walaja, clashes broke out between Israeli forces and Palestinians, leading to tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also delivered a demolition order for 14 structures, including a health clinic in Zanouta near Hebron and 1 apartment building and 2 houses near Nablus. Elsewhere, Israeli forces raided Iraq Burin and Sanur, leading to clashes; tear-gas related injuries were reported. 10 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Beitunia, Birzeit, Kafr Ni‘ma, Bayt Rima, Dheisheh refugee camp, Hebron, and Dura. In East Jerusalem, 3 Palestinians were arrested in al-Tur and Shu‘fat refugee camp. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen 3-6 nautical miles west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported. In Gaza, Israeli forces arrested 1 Palestinian who was accompanying his wife to East Jerusalem for her brain surgery through the Erez crossing; she was forced to wait 12 hours before being allowed to travel to East Jerusalem with her mother instead of her husband. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/25; PCHR, WAFA 1/26; PCHR 1/28)

The Biden administration froze a ban on transactions involving the Houthi rebel group in Yemen after the Trump administration designated the group a foreign terrorist organization, stoking fears that the already dire humanitarian situation in Yemen would worsen. The freeze is in effect until 1/26. The Biden administration later said it is reviewing the designation of the Houthi group as a foreign terrorist organization. (AJ, AP, REU, REU 1/25; REU 1/26; REU 1/27)

PASF troops violently disperse dozens of former Palestinian prisoners outside a govt. building in Ramallah; there are no serious injuries. The former prisoners were protesting the fact that the PA suspended payments to 277 former prisoners at the beginning of the mo. They vow to maintain pressure on the PA, insisting that Pres. Abbas not relent to Israeli and U.S. pressure to end the payments. The PA does not make any official statements on the protests or the payments. (MNA 6/26; EI 6/27; PCHR 7/6)

An Israeli settler stabs and injures a Palestinian youth at an IDF checkpoint nr. Bethlehem. Witnesses say they were having a personal dispute. Elsewhere in the West Bank, settlers shout anti-Arab insults at residents of Sanur village nr. Jenin and cut down 30 Palestinian olive trees nr. Nablus. Israeli human rights workers discover 45 Palestinian-owned olive trees destroyed outside Burin village nr. Nablus, as well as the Hebrew word for “revenge” scrawled in spray paint on a nearby stone. Hours later, Israeli settlers attack Israeli forces dismantling an illegally built structure nr. Nablus, sparking minor clashes; 3 settlers are arrested. IDF troops arrest 1 Palestinian during a late-night raid nr. Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 5 Palestinians during late-night raids in Silwan. (MNA, TOI 6/25; MNA 6/26)

For a 2d day in a row, errant projectiles fired from Syria land inside the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF fires missiles at a Syrian army truck and 2 artillery guns in the Golan Heights in response. “The IDF is not a side to the internal fight in Syria and isn’t involved in it,” an IDF statement on the incident reads. “However, it views with severity any attempt to harm the sovereignty of Israel and the safety of its citizens and considers the Syrian regime responsible for what transpires in its territory.” (AP, HA, MNA, TOI, YA 6/25)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion close to the border fence nr. Bayt Hanun, and level land before withdrawing. In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and kill 3 Palestinian civilians and wound 18 others including 5 children during an arrest raid in Qalandia r.c. nr. Jerusalem. One of those killed was an UNRWA employee, the agency reveals. The IDF claims that its forces were met by a rioting crowd of some 1,500 camp residents throwing stones and petrol bombs. In Aida r.c. nr. Bethlehem, IDF troops shoot and wound 2 Palestinians with rubber-coated metal bullets during protests against the deaths in Qalandia. Meanwhile, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night, patrols in Tulkarm in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Jericho in the afternoon, and in Jenin at night. In a raid on Sanur village nr. Jenin, IDF troops clash with residents, shooting and wounding 2 Palestinians with rubber-coated metal bullets. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolish 2 homes in al-Tur. (AFP, HA, MNA, REU 8/26; PCHR 8/29)

In response to the killings in Qalandia, an unnamed Palestinian official tells news agencies that talks scheduled for today are canceled. However, U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Marie Harf categorically denies that any meeting was canceled. Israeli television subsequently reports that Israeli and Palestinian officials had met in the morning before the news broke of the Qalandia raid. An unnamed Palestinian official also subsequently confirms to Xinhua News Agency that the 2 teams met in Saeb Erakat’s house in Jericho. Meanwhile, Egyptian FM Nabil Fahmi holds talks with Pres. Abbas in Ramallah, and relays a message from interim Egyptian pres. Adly Mansour, thanking Abbas for supporting the military coup that ousted Morsi. (HA, JP, REU 8/26; MNA 8/28)

An Israeli delegation headed by outgoing National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror arrives in Washington for high-level talks with U.S. officials. Discussions are expected to focus on Syria, the Iranian nuclear program and future talks with Tehran, and the role of Hizballah in the Syrian civil war. U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice is coordinating talks on the U.S. side. (HA 8/26)

UN chemical weapons inspectors visit 1 of the sites in Syria allegedly targeted last week by chemical weapons. The convoy came under sniper fire on the initial attempt, but the team successfully visited the Damascus suburb Ghouta. The UN team’s work includes collecting samples of munitions fragments and debris and taking testimonies. Meanwhile, U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry says that Pres. Obama believes there must be “accountability” for those using “the world’s most heinous weapons,” and that the pres. is consulting with allies about how best to act. (AP, REU, WP 8/26)

In the West Bank, the IDF sends an undercover unit into Tulkarm in a vehicle with Palestinian license plates to arrest 3 wanted Palestinians; demolishes a Palestinian home in Issawiyya nr. Jerusalem, partially demolishes a 2d home in nearby Ras al-Amud; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron and in ‘Askar r.c., Nablus, Qalqilya (firing percussion grenades into a Palestinian home causing a 56-yr.-old Palestinian woman to have a fatal heart attack). A Palestinian fires at an IDF checkpoint btwn. Sanur and Qabatya nr. Jenin, injuring 1 soldier. In Gaza City, suspected Hamas gunmen open fire on the car of PA General Intelligence col. and Fatah mbr. Baha Balusha on its way to drop off Balusha’s children at school, killing all 3 children (ages 6–9), the driver, wounding a bodyguard, 2 children outside the school in a failed assassination attempt; the gunmen are dispersed by ESF mbrs. who return fire; Hamas denounces the shooting as a “gruesome crime”; no group claims responsibility. (MM 12/11; NYT, WP, WT 12/12; OCHA 12/13; PCHR 12/14; MM 1/10)

In Gaza, the IDF sends troops, bulldozers into Abasan nr. Khan Yunis, firing on residential areas, leveling land, withdrawing in the evening; makes an air strike destroying a house in al-Shuka after warning the residents to leave. In the West Bank, the IDF raids Sanur nr. Jenin, surrounds and evacuates a Palestinian home, fatally shoots wanted AMB mbr. Nabil Hanani in an apparent assassination; patrols in al-Fara‘a r.c. nr. Jenin, firing on stone-throwing youths who confront them, wounding 4; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, nr. Bethlehem; issues military orders for the construction of a new 4,500-m section of the separation wall s. of Qalqilya that will isolate 2,000 d. of Palestinian agricultural land btwn. the wall and the Green Line. An Israeli military court extends the remand of 21 Hamas-affiliated PA legislators detained on 6/28–29. In Gaza City, striking PA civil servants mob the PC building, prevent Haniyeh fr. attending a cabinet mtg. there, prompting his bodyguards to fire in the air to ensure his safety; Haniyeh cancels the PC session, set to talk about economic problems, after Fatah PC mbrs. leave the building to join the strikers. Later in the day, Hamas supporters hold a large counterdemonstration in Gaza City in support of Haniyeh’s government. (AP, REU, WP 9/18; NYT 9/19; HA, PCHR 9/21)

The IDF fires missiles at a car in Jabaliya r.c., assassinating Islamic Jihad cmdr. Said Abu Jidayn, as well asIslamic Jihad mbrs. Akram Qaddas, Omar Obayid, wounding 3 bystanders; fires missiles fr. F-16s at an educational center in Khan Yunis (causing serious damage but no injuries), 7 access roads to the n. Gaza no-go zone; conducts mock air raids, breaking the sound barrier over Gaza City; extends closure on the Tulkarm and Jenin areas (in place in Tulkarm since 12/15, in Jenin since shortly thereafter) to Nablus, effectively prohibiting any Palestinian travel southward towards Ramallah and sealing 800,000 Palestinians in the northern canton; detains 23 Palestinian election officials on their way to a training session in Ramallah at a checkpoint nr. Tulkarm for 6 hrs.; arrests a Palestinian candidate for the 1/25 elections campaigning in Jerusalem; patrols in Bethlehem, Ramallah; conducts arrest raids, house searches in al-Arub r.c. (arresting the campaign coordinator for the Alternative list in the 1/25 elections), Balata r.c., Jenin town and r.c. and nr. Bethlehem, Hebron; uproots 400 Palestinian olive trees southwest of Hebron for construction of the separation wall. Dozens of armed Jewish settlers attempt to reoccupy the vacated West Bank settlement of Sanur; the IDF removes them. Some 200 PA policemen rampage through PA offices, courthouses, an election office, and a municipal building in Rafah, firing in the air to protest the PA’s failure to fight lawlessness in Gaza after the death of a PA policeman in clashes on 12/29. AMB mbrs., PA police clash in Gaza; no injuries are reported. In Brazil r.c., 2 Japanese aid workers escape a kidnapping attempt by unknown Palestinians. (HA, IMEMC, JAZ, XIN 1/2; NYT, PCHR, WP 1/3; NYT, PCHR 1/5; HA 1/13)

The IDF completes the settler disengagement in the West Bank with the evacuation of Homesh (est. 1980, pop. 228, hrs. to evac. 7) and Sanur (est. 1982, pop. 105, hrs. to evac. 8), permitting the IDF to withdraw fr. its military positions in the 4 West Bank settlements and in Gaza over the next 2–5 wks. Most residents of the 2 settlements left before disengagement began; those who had remained generally go willingly, but some 2,000 disengagement protesters at the two sites put up mild resistance against some 12,000 soldiers, with 1 female protester in Homesh stabbing, lightly injuring a female soldier. IDF dismantlement of settler homes is underway in 13 of the 25 evacuated settlements; some protesters manage to infiltrate cleared settlements, but the IDF removes them again. Elsewhere in the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches, interrogations in Hebron (occupying a school as an observation post) and around Jenin; fires on residential areas nr. Jenin; bulldozes several tents, animal pens set up by bedouin in an IDF “training zone” nr. Bethlehem. Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim severely beat a Palestinian nr. Qalqilya. (BBC, HA, IMEMC 8/23; NYT, WP, WT 8/24; PCHR, PR 8/25; MEI 9/2)

The IDF completes the evacuation of settlers fr. Gaza, with residents of the last inhabited settlement, Netzarim (est. 1972, pop. 496, size 1,760 d., hrs. to evac. 7), and 300 disengagement protesters leaving willingly after holding final prayer service, with only minor scuffles with soldiers; Netzarim residents say they have applied to the Israeli government to move to the West Bank settlement of Ariel. The IDF also raids, searches houses in al-Mawasi. Overnight, 10s of armed Jewish settlers protesting disengagement march through at least 8 West Bank Palestinian villages nr. Homesh and Sanur, firing in the air, occupying the rooftops of Palestinian homes, vandalizing property; the IDF intervenes to remove them. During the day, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, occupying 2 houses as observation posts; conducts house searches, interrogations nr. Jenin, occupying 2 Palestinian homes as observation posts. Jewish settlers fr. Eli stone, lightly injure 2 Palestinians. Jewish settlers fr. Einav attack Palestinians, damage Palestinian crops and homes in Ramin village nr. Nablus. A French sound technician kidnapped in Gaza on 8/14 turns up at a PA police station in Gaza City; no group claims responsibility, though there are rumors that he was kidnapped by a prominent clan and was released only after Abbas freed 6 family mbrs. fr. jail. (HA, IMEMC, XIN 8/22; HA, NYT, WP, WT 8/23; PCHR, PR 8/25; NYT 8/28)

The IDF resumes disengagement in Gaza, completing the evacuation of Aley Sinai (est. 1983, pop. 407, size 488 d., hrs. to evac. 8), Atzmona (est. 1982, pop. 646, size 882 d., hrs. to evac. 8), Katif (est. 1985, pop. 404, size 2,000 d., hrs. to evac. 6) during the day; disengagement protesters who had moved back into Dugit in recent days are also removed. Atzmona settlers leave willingly when troops arrive. Katif settlers set up burning barricades at the entrance to their settlement but leave willingly after holding a final prayer service. In Aley Sinai, 30 remaining settler families leave willingly, but 200 disengagement protesters resist, forcing soldiers to remove them. The IDF also begins dismantling settler homes in Dugit, Nisanit, Pe’at Sadeh. A Palestinian gunman shoots, wounds an IDF soldier nr. Neve Dekalim. The Israeli cabinet approves (16–4) the next phase of disengagement for withdrawal fr. 4 West Bank settlements; the last residents of 2 of these, Ganim (est. 1983, pop. 172) and Qadim (est. 1983, pop. 169), evacuated voluntarily by 8/15. Sanur settlers complete handover of their weapons to the IDF. Outside Sanur, 100s of masked settlers scuffle with IDF soldiers, puncture tires of IDF vehicles; around 50 of them attempt to set fire to several nearby Palestinian homes. A Jewish settler fr. Alfe Menashe shoots, wounds a Palestinian outside his home, nr. a bypass road nr. Qalqilya. Meanwhile, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin. In Gaza City, at least 200 armed al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) mbrs. surround the PC headquarters, demanding jobs, accusing PA officials of corruption; they disperse when PA security forces intervene. (HA, IMEMC 8/21; IMEMC, NYT, WT, XIN, YA 8/22; PCHR 8/25)

The IDF completes the evacuation of Gadid (est. 1982, pop. 350, size 1,600 d., hrs. to evac. 3); halts operations at sundown for the Sabbath, planning to resume on 8/21; starts demolishing homes in Kerem Atzmona; begins digging 8-ft. trench around Gush Katif settlements to prevent Palestinians fr. entering before evacuation is complete. During the day in Gadid, where almost all residents left on 8/17, some 200 disengagement protesters set fires, erect roadblocks to block troops. Palestinian gunmen fire on Gadid, causing no damage or injuries. Also in Gaza, 2 Hamas mbrs. are injured when a roadside bomb they are planting explodes prematurely. In the West Bank, disengagement protesters set fire to a gas station outside Sanur. Jewish settlers take over 2 Palestinian homes nr. Homesh as lookout posts to help nonresident settlers infiltrate the IDF closed military zone to protest the disengagement; the IDF ousts them later in the day. A pig’s head, presumably left by disengagement protesters, is found in the Hassan Bek mosque nr. Jaffa. Meanwhile, the IDF occupies a 3-story building under construction nr. Kiryat Arba in Hebron, closes 21 stores attached to the building; conducts patrols in Nablus. Jewish settlers fr. Ramat Yishai in Hebron, throw stones, bottles at Palestinian homes, injuring an 8-yr.-old Palestinian boy. Jewish settlers fr. Sha’ar Hatikva nr. Qalqilya throw stones at nearby Palestinian cars, set fire to agricultural land and several greenhouses. Unidentified gunman fire on the car of West Bank Hamas political leader Shaykh Hasan Yusuf; Yusuf was not in the car, his bodyguards were but are not hurt. (BBC, HA, IDF Radio, ITV, JP 8/19; NYT, WP, WT 8/20; PCHR, PR 8/25)

In the morning, the IDF says that 70% of Gaza settlers have been evacuated, most Gaza residents have not resisted the evacuation, most protests and resistance are by West Bank settler youth (and some American Jewish youth) who have come to Gaza in recent wks. to block the withdrawal. During the day, the evacuations of Gan Or (est. 1983, pop. 350, size 1,692 d., hrs. to evac. 5), Kefar Darom (est. 1989, pop. 490, size 276 d., hrs. to evac. 12), Kefar Yam (est. 1983, pop. 15, hrs. to evac. 3), Netzer Hazani (est. 1973, pop. 460, size 250 d., hrs. to evac. 5), Neve Dekalim (est. 1983, pop. 2,700, size 1,443 d., hrs. to evac. 35), Shirat Hayam (est. 2001, pop. 40, hrs. to evac. 5) settlements are completed. An increasing number of settlers set fire to their homes and to greenhouses as they leave to prevent them fr. being turned over to Palestinians. For the 1st time, 1 armed resident in Kefar Yam, 4 armed disengagement protesters in Shirat Hayam threaten to shoot IDF soldiers if they follow orders to remove settlers, but only if soldiers fire first; the incidents defuse without violence. Some Shirat Hayam residents also throw rocks at Palestinians in Mawasi as they evacuate. In Kefar Darom, 65 resident families agree to leave, but as many as 2,000 outside protesters refuse, many of them barricading themselves inside and on the roof of a synagogue; for the 1st time during the disengagement, the IDF uses water cannons against protesters and 2 IDF soldiers refuse to obey their orders, are removed by fellow soldiers; 58 Israelis are injured in clearing the synagogue, including at least 3 IDF soldiers, 27 border police (1 seriously when he falls accidentally); protesters throw paint thinner at IDF Southern Command chief Maj. Gen. Dan Harel, several soldiers. In Neve Dekalim, some 1,500 disengagement protesters hole up in 2 synagogues, refusing to leave even after residents have voluntarily evacuated, but are eventually extracted. Jewish settlers in s. Gaza spread nails along the coastal road in alMawasi to prevent movement of Palestinian vehicles. Meanwhile, Palestinians fire a rocket at Netzarim (still inhabited), lightly injuring an IDF soldier; 2 mortars at Gadid settlement (still inhabited), 3 mortars at Morag (evacuated) causing no damage or injuries. Palestinian gunmen fire on IDF troops nr. Kefar Darom, lightly injuring 1. The IDF conducts arrest raids in al-Mawasi; fires on residential areas of Bayt Lahiya, seriously injuring 1 Palestinian. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers fr. Homesh and Sanur attempt to break into a Palestinian home in nearby Asa’sa village; the IDF intervenes to stop them. Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim throw stones at Palestinian shops, cars nr. Qalqilya. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house searches in Dura, nr. Tulkarm; confiscates 500 d. of agricultural land nr. Eli settlement nr. Nablus. In Israel, disengagement protesters block roads nationwide. (AP, BBC, HA, Israeli Radio, ITV 8/18; NYT, WP, WT 8/19; PCHR 8/25)

Before dawn the IDF moves troops into Gaza en masse to begin the forcible evacuation of Jewish settlers and disengagement protesters who have not yet left, begins demolishing settler homes in n. Gaza. By the end of the day, evacuations of Bedolah (est. 1986, pop. 220, size 1,456 d., hrs. to evac. 6), Ganei Tal (est. 1979, pop. 350, size 2,050 d., hrs. to evac. 11), Kerem Atzmona (est. 2001, pop. 24, hrs. to evac. 6), Morag (est. 1972, pop. 220, size 1,300 d., hrs. to evac. 7), Tal Katifa (est. 1992, pop. 60, size 183 d., hrs. to evac. 5) are completed; most residents of Gadid leave voluntarily. Settlers in Atzmona agree to evacuate voluntarily by 8/21, those in Netzarim by 8/22. Settlers who have not arranged their evacuation with the government will be housed temporarily in hotels, mobile homes: e.g., more than half of Morag’s settlers take up temporary residence in the West Bank settlement of Ofra; Israel’s Jerusalem municipality temporarily houses 1,000 Neve Dekalim settlers who have left voluntarily in a Jerusalem hotel. Generally there is little strong resistance; the IDF optimistically says it hopes that the evacuations could be completed within days instead of wks., as earlier estimated. During the day, some scuffles btwn. soldiers, settlers are reported; in some areas settlers set fire to tires and in garbage bins to prevent soldiers fr. entering settlements; at least 2 settlers set fire to their homes before leaving. In Morag, a female IDF soldier is stabbed with a syringe, lightly injured by a disengagement protester. (In total, 13 Israeli soldiers and police are lightly injured during the day.) Gaza settlers and protesters also attack Palestinians: some 200 Kefar Darom settlers rampage through nearby Palestinian areas, set fire to a Palestinian house; 20 Neve Dekalim settlers march through al-Mawasi, spread nails on roads to damage Palestinian cars, try to provoke Palestinian residents (the IDF intervenes, removes the settlers); other Jewish settlers fire on Palestinian homes, vandalize Palestinian greenhouses in the same area. The IDF also demolishes a Palestinian home, conducts arrest raids in al-Mawasi. Meanwhile, Palestinians in Khan Yunis begin returning to their homes on the edge of town facing the settlements, which they had fled since the start of the intifada in 9/00 because of IDF gunfire. Islamic Jihad mbrs. in some 50 boats, carrying banners and weapons, hold a seaborne victory parade off Gaza to celebrate disengagement. Some disengagement protests in Israel turn violent: a disengagement protester tosses a grenade at an IDF checkpoint in s. Israel, wounding 5 IDF soldiers; a female settler fr. Keddumim in the West Bank sets fire to herself during a demonstration in Netivot, is seriously injured. In the West Bank, a Jewish settler fr. Shvut Rachel steals a gun fr. an Israeli security guard at the industrial area of Shilo settlement, fires on Palestinian workers, killing 4 Palestinians, wounding 1. Sharon denounces the attack as “Jewish terror”; Palestinian Authority (PA) PM Mahmud Abbas calls on Palestinian factions to maintain calm, refrain fr. retaliation. At Sanur (to be evacuated under disengagement), 600 Jewish settlers hold an antidisengagement rally. The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron and in Nur al-Shams refugee camp (r.c.), Tulkarm. Also in Hebron, 4 bedouin children herding goats are injured when they accidentally trigger an unexploded IDF phosphorus shell; the IDF says it uses the shells only in training. A 9-yr.-old Palestinian dies of injuries received when she accidentally triggered unexploded IDF ordnance nr. Karmil. (Arutz 7, BBC, HA, IMEMC, NYT, REU, USA Today, WP, WT, YA 8/17; Voice of Israel, VOP 8/17 in WNC 8/18; BBC, HA, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 8/18; MENA 8/18 in WNC 8/19; NYT 8/20; PCHR, PR 8/25; IMEMC 9/22; HA 11/10) 

The IDF tightens restrictions on Palestinian movement inside Gaza, declares the n. West Bank a closed military zone in preparation for disengagement; begins going door to door in the Gaza settlements, asking residents to leave within 48 hrs. In Aley Sinai, 56 of 59 families who had agreed to leave rescind their decision, vowing to resist evacuation until the Israeli government finds permanent living solutions for the community as a whole; the government had promised them space together in an Ashkelon hotel, but only today learned that not enough space was available. During the day, some 1,000 right-wing settlers in various locations in s. Gaza simultaneously begin marching toward Gush Katif to block troops, but are prevented fr. reaching the settlement bloc by IDF troops and border police. Other settler youths slash the tires of several army jeeps, spray liquid soap on windshields to limit visibility, spread nails on roads to delay convoys of movers. Jewish settlers fr. Neve Dekalim vandalize, attempt to set fire to several Palestinian homes in al-Mawasi. In Gan Or, local settlers who want the IDF’s help to evacuate scuffle with settler youths blocking soldiers fr. entering the settlement. In the West Bank, the last residents of Ganim (est. 1983, pop. 172) and Qadim (est. 1983, pop. 169) evacuate voluntarily by evening, while settlers in the other 2 West Bank settlement slated for removal, the hard-line enclaves of Homesh (est. 1980, pop. 228) and Sanur (est. 1982, pop. 105), refuse to accept their notices. The major Palestinian factions, including Hamas, agree to oversee jointly how the PA uses land evacuated by settlers and the IDF; the PA expects 5% of the land to revert to individual Palestinian owners, with the rest being state land that will fall under PA jurisdiction. In a signal to reassure Palestinians about how it will handle land use, the PA security forces demolish a house, cabana, pool built illegally on Gaza public land by 2 senior PA security officials; when a neighbor of one of the officials tells journalists that the demolitions were good because his neighbors “were criminals . . . a gang,” several PA security officers beat him, threaten to shoot him, before he retreats into his house. (BBC, HA, NYT 8/15; HA, NYT, WP, WT 8/16; PR 8/17; PCHR 8/18)

Meanwhile, the IDF continues arrest raids, house searches in villages around Tulkarm; launches arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem and in Birzeit, alMawasi; searches homes in Kafr Qadim; occupies 5 Palestinian houses (2 nr. Gaza’s Dugit settlement, 1 in Mughraqa, 1 nr. Tulkarm, 1 in Wadi al-Silqa) as observation posts; fires on residential areas of Rafah. Jewish settlers vandalize Palestinian homes in Hebron. The ICRC resumes field activities in Gaza, which were suspended on 8/7 after shots were fired at its Khan Yunis offices. (IMEMC 8/15; NYT 8/16)

The IDF patrols in Dura, fires on residential areas, then fires on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront the troops. 12 Jewish settler families fr. other West Bank settlements move into Sanur (previous pop. 31 families, 105 individuals), which is slated to be evacuated under disengagement. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba poison a horse belonging to Palestinians living nearby; the same settlers poisoned another horse a wk. earlier. (AFP, IMEMC 6/14; PCHR 6/16)

In the pre-dawn hours, the IDF imposes a 24-hr. curfew, begins house-to-house searches in the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood of Rafah bordering the Philadelphi Route, occupies some buildings as observation posts; begins digging a trench to separate a section of Rafah r.c. fr. the rest of the camp, demolishing at least 3 Palestinian homes, cutting water and electricity supplies. Around daybreak, the IDF begins bulldozing operations, launches 3 missile strikes inside Rafah: the 1st killing 3 Hamas mbrs., wounding 5 gunmen and bystanders; the 2d killing 1 Hamas mbr. laying a roadside bomb nr. a mosque where Palestinians are leaving dawn prayers, also killing 5 bystanders, wounding several others, starting a fire that severely damages the mosque; the 3d hitting a residential area, killing 7 Palestinians (many in their homes), wounding at least 16. The IDF reports killing at least 3 more Palestinians, demolishing at least another 9 Palestinian homes during the day. A 20th Palestinian reportedly dies when explosives he is handling detonate. At least 2 ambulances are deliberately targeted by IDF snipers. The IDF also fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis. In the West Bank, the IDF ambushes, assassinates wanted al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) mbr. Muhammad Obeid as he drives nr. Sanur nr. Jenin, also wounding his passenger; raids Jenin r.c., fatally shoots wanted AMB mbr. Ahmad Judah in an apparent assassination, wounding a 2d Palestinian; fatally shoots an AMB mbr., a Palestinian gunman in separate incidents in Nablus; conducts arrest raids targeting Hamas in Tulkarm; orders the confiscation of 380 dunams of Palestinian land nr. Bethlehem for construction of the separation wall. A Palestinian dies of injuries received in 4/04. (BBC, HA, MM, NYT, PCHR, PRCS, PM, WP 5/18; ITAR-TASS, ITV, MENA, PSCT, VOI, VOP, XIN 5/18 in WNC 5/20; HA, NYT, PR, WP, WT 5/19; PCHR 5/20; NYT 5/21; PR 5/26)

Under pressure fr. the U.S. to end its op-erations in the city quickly, the IDF pulls out of main areas of Bethlehem before dawn. The IDF also opens fire on 100s of Palestinian schoolchildren who defy the curfew in Nablus to go to classes, throw stones at troops, killing an 8-yr.-old Palestinian boy, wounding 13; fires on stone-throwing Palestinian youths in Tulkarm, injuring 4; sur-rounds the PA Supply Min. in Ramallah, orders the surrender of PSF officers, who are then arrested; raids the Muslim Society offices, school in Hebron, confiscating files; halts an ambulance in Qalqilya, arrests the patient; conducts arrest raids in Hebron, Sanur. (NYT 11/25; NYT, WP 11/26; LAW, PCHR 11/27; PRCS press release 12/2)

Israel asks the U.S. for $4 b. in new military aid to “defray the costs of fighting terrorism” plus $10 b. in loan guarantees to support its struggling economy. (HA, WP 11/26; MM, NYT 11/27; MEI 12/6; BBC 12/11)

 

U.S. Pres. George W. Bush phones Israeli PM Ariel Sharon to offer his condolences for recent Israeli casualties, to stress the importance of avoiding further escalations. Sharon says he is trying to ease the economic blockade on the Palestinians (see 8/14, 8/15), but adds that Israel will continue to protect its citizens, including via assassinations, which he terms "preventive actions." Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) tightens the closures on Nablus, Qalqilya, Ramallah; bulldozes Palestinian agricultural land around Itamar settlement. Jewish settlers stone a Palestinian taxi passing Shilo settlement nr. Nablus, causing the car to crash, killing the driver, injuring 6 passengers. Elsewhere, settlers take over small West Bank settlement of Sanur, abandoned by residents when the al-Aqsa intifada began, converts an old mosque into a synagogue; fire on Palestinian farmers nr Itamar, injuring 5. In an apparent assassination attempt, Palestinian Ibrahim al-Habisha is critically injured when his cell phone explodes, 5 bystanders are lightly injured. Palestinians fire 2 mortars at Morag settlement in Gaza, causing no damage. The IDF directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Hebron. (HA 8/16; MA 8/16 in WNC 8/17; HP, NYT, WP, WT 8/17; PMC 8/18)