181 / 14643 Results
  • September 6, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces raided Zeita, leading to the evacuation of students from an elementary school. Israeli forces also summoned the father and brother of 1 of the Palestinian...

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  • September 28, 2020

    In the West Bank, al-Ibrahimi Mosque was closed for Muslim worshippers by Israeli authorities, citing the Jewish Yom Kippur holiday, for most of the day, ending on 10 p.m. Palestinians rallied on...

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  • July 8, 2019

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces arrested 33 Palestinians during daytime and late-night raids in and around Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Qalqilya, Jenin, and Nablus. Israeli forces also stopped...

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  • July 21, 2017

    Tensions stemming from new Israeli security measures at Haram al-Sharif boil over, with mass protests and clashes erupting across the oPt throughout the day; 3 Palestinians are killed (all in East...

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  • October 24, 2015

    The Israeli crackdown on the oPt amid the ongoing wave of violence continues. IDF troops clash with stone-throwing Palestinians outside a settlement nr. Ramallah and along Gaza’s border e. of Khan...

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  • October 8, 2015

    For the 2d day in a row, stabbing incidents continue in Israel and the oPt. First, a Palestinian stabs and injures an Israeli in Shaykh Jarrah, East Jerusalem. In response, Israeli forces raid the...

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  • June 15, 2015

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces uproot olive trees and demolish a car wash on about 20 dunams (around 5 acres) of Palestinian land nr. Bethlehem; confiscate grocery stalls along bypass road Route...

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  • July 21, 2014

    The IDF continues its attacks on the Gaza Strip from land, sea and air, killing 78 Palestinians, including 25 people from a single family nr. the border with Egypt and 10 who die in Khan Yunis...

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  • June 19, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 2 rockets into s. Israel. The 1st lands without causing damage or injuries, and the 2d is intercepted by an Iron Dome missile defense battery. Later in the day...

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  • September 27, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 1 rocket into s. Israel which causes no damage or injuries. In addition, Israeli troops fire upon a demonstration that approaches the border fence, as part of...

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  • September 3, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries or damage to the vessels. IDF troops also conduct a limited incursion in land close to the...

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  • May 26, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, the IDF conducts 2 brief incursions nr. Khan Yunis, in both cases levelling land before withdrawing. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1...

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  • February 23, 2013

    Palestinian prisoner Arafat Jaradat dies in Israel’s Megido prison, following a reported heart attack. Palestinian officials immediately call for an international investigation into the...

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  • January 7, 2013

    IDF general and head of Central Command Nitzan Alon approves 2 settlement outposts nr. Nablus by combining them into 1 settlement named Rechalim. (PCHR 1/10)

    In the West Bank, IDF troops...

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  • January 5, 2013

    Undercover Israeli police officers arrest 6 Palestinian youths in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem on suspicion of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at a Jewish settler-owned house....

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  • December 27, 2012

    Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen 6 naut. mi. from the Gaza shore nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah in the...

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  • November 1, 2012

    PA res. Abbas gives an interview to Israeli television in which he says there will be no 3d intifada and that he will not seek a return to inside Israel’s pre-1967 borders. His comments are...

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  • October 1, 2012

    PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erakat reveals that the PA is in consultations with Arab countries and others over the text of a draft resolution requesting the UNGA accept Palestine as a non-member...

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  • September 19, 2012

    The IDF makes an air strike on a car traveling in Rafah, assassinating 2 mbrs. of the al-Aqsa Guards Group, which is closely affiliated with Hamas, and wounding a 3d. Israel alleges that the men...

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  • June 27, 2012

    The IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron and late-night patrols in 1 village nr. Jericho. A settler security guard at Ma’ale Adumim settlement in Hebron shoots and...

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  • June 18, 2012

    Three unidentified assailants cross into Israel from Egypt and plant a roadside bomb that they detonate when 2 vehicles pass carrying laborers who are working to build Israel’s new border fence;...

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  • April 19, 2010

    No Israeli-Palestinian violence is reported, marking the first 2-day stretch without violence since the outbreak of the al-Aqsa intifada in 9/00. (OCHA, PCHR 4/22)

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  • October 5, 2009

    In response to escalating tensions in East Jerusalem, 1,000s of Palestinians attend a rally in Gaza organized by Hamas calling for another intifada. (WT 10/6)

    In the West Bank, the IDF...

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  • September 10, 2009

    In the West Bank, the IDF seals Attara nr. Ramallah for 3 hrs. after troops discover a suspicious object during vehicle checks at the entrance to the village. The IDF conducts late-night raids,...

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  • June 23, 2009

    Israel releases elected Hamas-affiliated speaker of the Palestinian parliament ‘Aziz Dwayk, jailed nearly 3 yrs. before as part of an IDF arrest sweep targeting Hamas leaders in the wake of IDF...

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  • September 25, 2008

    For perhaps the 1st day since the start of the al-Aqsa intifada in 9/00, no incidents of Israeli-Palestinian violence are reported in the occupied territories. (OCHA 10/1; PCHR 10/9)

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  • March 1, 2008

    The IDF intensifies Operation Hot Winter overnight, sending large numbers of ground troops into the Jabaliya area, Bayt Hanun, Gaza City, marking Israel’s largest ground incursion into n. Gaza...

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  • February 1, 2008

    In Gaza, 2,000 Palestinians hold a peaceful demonstration at a sealed breach in the Rafah border to urge Egypt to keep the border open. Outside Rafah, 2 Palestinian teenagers are injured when they...

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  • February 1, 2007

    IDF troops on the Gaza border fires on a group of Palestinians in the fmr. Nisanit settlement area nr. the border fence nr. Bayt Lahiya, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF sends an undercover...

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  • May 18, 2006

    The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem, Jenin, Nablus, and Tulkarm, firing on residential areas. Palestinians fire 6 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage...

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In the West Bank, Israeli forces raided Zeita, leading to the evacuation of students from an elementary school. Israeli forces also summoned the father and brother of 1 of the Palestinian prisoners who escaped from an Israeli prison (see below). 10 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around al-Am‘ari refugee camp, Surda, Ramallah, Jalazun refugee camp, Fahma, and Jaba‘. (WAFA 9/6; MEMO 9/7; PCHR 9/9)

6 Palestinian prisoners, including the former al-Aqsa Martyr Brigade leader Zakaria Zubeidi, escaped Gilboa prison in Northern Israel near the West Bank, using a tunnel dug over a period of at least 10 months. All other prisoners in the Gilboa Prison were relocated to other prisons as Israeli authorities investigated the flaws in the prison structure that facilitated the escape. The Israeli prison service also restricted yard exercise time from 4 hours to 1 hour a day as a collective punishment. (AJ, AP, AX, FOX, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, JP, LAT, MEE, MEE, MEE, MEE, MEMO, MEMO, NYT, TOI, TOI, WAFA 9/6; AJ, HA, MEMO, MEMO, MEMO, WAFA 9/7; AX, MEMO, MEMO 9/8; ALM, AP, HA, HA, HA, HA, MEMO 9/9; HA 9/10; HA, HA 9/12; HA 9/14)

All crossings between the West Bank and Gaza to Israel were closed for the Israeli Rosh Hashanah holiday from 4 P.M. 9/6 to midnight between 9/8 and 9/9. Israel also prevented Palestinians from praying at al-Ibrahimi Mosque during the period. (HA 9/5; WAFA 9/7)

The Popular Resistance Committees in Gaza said in a press statement that it had suspended the Gaza fence protests until the middle of September to allow Egyptian and Qatari mediators to facilitate an end to the Israeli siege of Gaza. (ALM 9/10)

Qatar’s ambassador to Gaza Mohammed al-Emadi said Qatar, the UN, the PA, and Israel had agreed to a deal that would allow Qatari aid to enter Gaza. Israel did not comment on the announcement and it was unclear when the deal would be implemented. (AJ, HA, MEMO, REU 9/6)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas spoke to Israel’s president Isaac Herzog and defense minister Benny Gantz, congratulating them on the Jewish new year. (WAFA 9/6; JP, MEMO 9/7)

In the West Bank, al-Ibrahimi Mosque was closed for Muslim worshippers by Israeli authorities, citing the Jewish Yom Kippur holiday, for most of the day, ending on 10 p.m. Palestinians rallied on the 20th anniversary of the 2d Intifada in Ramallah. 5 Palestinians were arrested, including 1 during a late-night raid in Husan and 4 were arrested in Bayt Furik during clashes that ensued during a raid. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire and used water hoses on Palestinian fishermen west of al-Sudaniyya within the allocated fishing zone, sinking 3 fishing boats; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA 9/28; PCHR 10/1)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces arrested 33 Palestinians during daytime and late-night raids in and around Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Qalqilya, Jenin, and Nablus. Israeli forces also stopped work on a water tank in Kardala in the Jordan Valley. Israeli forces demolished a house in Bayt Umar In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces detained 2 Palestinian children and separately arrested 5 in Issawiyya. Elsewhere in East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers took over a Palestinian-owned building with 4 separate apartments in al-Suwana. The settlers were escorted by Israeli police. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 7/8; WAFA 7/9)

The Israeli military claimed to have found a tunnel from Gaza to Israel during construction of a barrier that is said to prevent more tunnels from being dug. The Israeli military also claimed to have shot down a drone near the Gaza fence; it did not report whether the drone was privately-owned, Israeli, or Palestinian, nor the type of drone. (HA, HA 7/8)

A court in Jerusalem found that the PA was liable for damages for 17 incidents where Palestinians killed Israelis during the 2d Intifada in the early 2000s. Several incidents were not committed by PA personnel, nor did the PA have knowledge that they would be carried out. The judge ruled that the PA was retroactively responsible for the incidents because they explicitly or implicitly endorsed them after they happened. The judge ordered the PLO, PA, and Yasir Arafat’s estate to pay $1.6 million for the cost of the trial. A different judge will determine how much the 3 entities must pay in damages. (HA 7/9)

Tensions stemming from new Israeli security measures at Haram al-Sharif boil over, with mass protests and clashes erupting across the oPt throughout the day; 3 Palestinians are killed (all in East Jerusalem), 235 are injured, and 27 are arrested (at least 2 Israelis are injured as well). The Islamic Waqf calls on all imams in Jerusalem to conduct their sermons outside Haram al-Sharif, and thousands of Muslim worshippers gather at the sanctuary. The Israeli police deploy heavily across Jerusalem and bar Palestinian men under the age of 50 from the Old City. In the evening, they cut off electricity to a large swathe of East Jerusalem and close the sanctuary to all visitors (it will remain closed through 7/23). (EI, MNA, NYT, WAFA 7/21; HA, MNA 7/22; WAFA 7/23; HA 7/24; PCHR 7/27)

In light of the crisis at Haram al-Sharif, PA pres. Abbas suspends all PA contacts with Israel, including security coordination. He also calls on Hamas to dismantle its new administrative comm. in Gaza and to turn the collective Palestinian struggle toward Israel. Abbas also phones senior U.S. advisor Kushner urging the U.S. to intercede and push Israel to remove the new security measures at the sanctuary. (MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 7/21; HA 7/22)

In the evening, a Palestinian enters the Halamish settlement nr. Bethlehem and stabs 4 Israeli settlers, killing 3 and seriously injuring the 4th. An off-duty IDF soldier hears the attack, then shoots and moderately injures the Palestinian assailant. Hours before the attack, the alleged assailant had posted to Facebook, “I’m going to die for al-Aqsa.” Late at night, the IDF raids the alleged attacker’s hometown, Kobar nr. Ramallah, detaining and interrogating his family and imposing a lockdown on the village. Elsewhere in the West Bank, IDF troops arrest 3 Palestinians during raids in Jenin and nr. Bethlehem, and patrol in and around Hebron. (EI, MNA 7/21; HA 7/22; PCHR 7/27)

The Israeli crackdown on the oPt amid the ongoing wave of violence continues. IDF troops clash with stone-throwing Palestinians outside a settlement nr. Ramallah and along Gaza’s border e. of Khan Yunis, injuring 4. Meanwhile, the IDF patrols in 1 village each nr. Jerusalem and Jenin, sparking clashes with stone-throwers (2 Palestinians are injured with live ammunition); conducts raids around Jenin and patrols across the West Bank. Masked assailants assault Palestinian Legislative Council mbr. Mustafa Barghouti in Ramallah, shouting “let the intifada protect you” and causing minor injuries before fleeing the area. The PA then launches an investigation into the attack. Israeli settlers continue assaults on Palestinians and their property, damaging a Palestinian greenhouse nr. Jenin; setting fire to a car in East Jerusalem and leaving price-tag graffiti nr. the scene. A Palestinian family demolishes its own home in Bayt Hanina, responding to the Israeli police’s 4/2015 order giving them until today to destroy the building or accept a fine of NIS 60,000 (around $15,430). Israeli forces arrest 8 Palestinians on raids in the Old City, al-Tur, al-Suwana, Silwan, Shu‘fat, and Issawiyya. In Israel, an Israeli rabbi succumbs to injuries sustained on 11/18/2014 when 2 Palestinians attacked a synagogue in West Jerusalem, bringing the number of Israelis killed in the attack to 6. (HA, JP, MNA, WAFA 10/24; HA, JP, MNA, WAFA, YA 10/25; PCHR 10/29)

After meeting with PA pres. Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah in Amman, U.S. secy. of state Kerry announces that they and Israeli PM Netanyahu have reached a series of understandings, including an Israeli-Jordanian agreement to install cameras at Haram al-Sharif to broadcast live 24 hours a day. (HA, JP, MNA, NYT, TOI, YA 10/24; HA, JP 10/25)

For the 2d day in a row, stabbing incidents continue in Israel and the oPt. First, a Palestinian stabs and injures an Israeli in Shaykh Jarrah, East Jerusalem. In response, Israeli forces raid the suspected attacker’s home in Shu‘fat r.c., sparking clashes with stone-throwers; 1 Palestinian is killed and 42 are injured. Then, as a “preventative measure,” Israeli forces install metal detectors at checkpoints around the Old City. In Tel Aviv, Israeli police shoot and kill a Palestinian after he stabs and lightly injures 4 Israelis, including 1 soldier, and Israeli forces then arrest the suspected attacker’s father and uncle in their home in East Jerusalem. Later, a Palestinian stabs an Israeli soldier and a civilian in Afula (Israeli civilians assault the Palestinian and he is arrested), and another Palestinian stabs and seriously injures an Israeli settler outside the Kiryat Arba settlement nr. Hebron; Israeli forces kill the alleged suspect. In response to the recent attacks, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat calls on Jewish citizens with gun permits to carry their weapons when in public, saying that it is “like doing reserve duty” due to Israel’s compulsory military service. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 10/8; PCHR 10/15)

Meanwhile, hundreds of right-wing Israelis gather in Jerusalem to protest the Israeli govt.’s alleged inaction, and minor clashes ensue when Israeli police block them from entering Silwan (4 are arrested). In Nazareth, Israeli police violently disperse dozens of Palestinian youths protesting Israeli restrictions on access at Haram al-Sharif, injuring several Palestinians and arresting 16. Meanwhile, dozens of Jewish Israelis attack 3 Palestinian citizens in Netanya, injuring 1 (5 of the assailants will be arrested on 10/10). Clashes erupt between IDF troops and Palestinian protesters across the West Bank, injuring at least 50 Palestinians, including 2 photojournalists (1 Palestinian will succumb to his injuries on 10/10). The IDF patrols across the region, arresting 27 Palestinians and issuing arrest summons to 3. Israeli settlers continue assaulting Palestinians and their property, smashing the car windows of the PA minister of telecommunications nr. Nablus and injuring at least 2 Palestinians throughout the day. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 10/8; MNA, YA 10/9; MNA, PIC, TOI 10/10; PCHR 10/14)

In Gaza, a 30-year-old Palestinian succumbs to injuries sustained in Khan Yunis on 11/8/ 2000, during the 2d intifada, when IDF troops shot him in the back, paralyzing him. (HA, MNA, WAFA 10/8)

The Israeli PM’s office clarifies that the recent ban on politicians’ visits to Haram al-Sharif applies to both Jewish and Palestinian MKs, after the media reported that the ban only applied to Jewish politicians. (HA, JP, NYT, TOI, YA 10/8)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces uproot olive trees and demolish a car wash on about 20 dunams (around 5 acres) of Palestinian land nr. Bethlehem; confiscate grocery stalls along bypass road Route 60. IDF troops conduct raids and house searches in Jenin, Qalqilya, and 1 village nearby, and 1 village each nr. Ramallah and Bethlehem, arresting 8 Palestinians and assaulting 1; patrols in 2 villages nr. Jericho and 1 nr. Hebron. In n. Israel, Israeli forces demolish a Palestinian home in Kafr Kanna claiming that it was built without a permit. Palestinians in the village recently rebuilt the home after Israeli forces demolished it in 4/2015. (HA, MNA, REU, WAFA 6/15; PCHR 6/18)

Hebron mayor Dawud al-Zaatari announces that Israel’s Coordinator for Govt. Activities in the Territories (COGAT) office has approved the reopening of around 70 Palestinian shops in c. Hebron on 6/19. The IDF closed over 500 Palestinian shops in Hebron at the beginning of the 2d intifada in 2000. Meanwhile, the Knesset votes to extend for another year a law that allows the govt. to withhold citizenship or residency from Palestinians from the oPt who are married to Palestinian citizens of Israel (PCI). Originally passed in 2003, its authority has been extended every year since. (AFP 6/15; HA 6/17)

UNRWA comm.-gen. Pierre Krähenbühl reiterates that the agency is operating with a $101 m. deficit for core programs, and says that it might be forced to suspend all activities by 9/2015 unless donors give more money. UNRWA’s operating costs run at around $35 m. per mo. (MNA, UNRWA 6/15)

Cypriot pres. Nicos Anastasiades and Israeli PM Netanyahu meet in Israel and discuss the possibility of Netanyahu addressing the EU at an upcoming meeting in Brussels. The news of Anastasiades’s proposal to invite Netanyahu to Brussels will break on 6/29. (HA 6/19)

An Israeli delegation headed by National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen arrives in Washington, for talks with U.S. officials on the P5+1’s ongoing negotiations with Iran ahead of the 6/30 final agreement deadline. According to the Israeli official who announced the trip on 6/11, it is part of the effort to improve U.S.-Israeli communication surrounding the deal. (HA 6/11; JP 6/16)

The IDF continues its attacks on the Gaza Strip from land, sea and air, killing 78 Palestinians, including 25 people from a single family nr. the border with Egypt and 10 who die in Khan Yunis after shells hit their home repeatedly as they try to flee. An air strike on a tower in c. Gaza City kills 11, including 5 children. IDF troops shell al-Aqsa Hospital in c. Gaza, killing 4 and wounding 70. Palestinian fighters kill 9 Israeli soldiers during the fighting on the ground. Al-Qassam Brigades target Haifa, Tel Aviv, and Ashdod with rocket fire, with over 50 rockets fired into Israel, causing no injuries. In an al-Qassam Brigades operation, 12 Palestinian fighters enter Israel by a tunnel nr. Bayt Hanun and attack an IDF site, killing 4 and destroying a jeep with an RPG shell. Ten of the Palestinian fighters are killed in the operation and the other 2 return through the tunnel. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron, 1 nearby village and al-Fawar r.c., and 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Jericho and 1 village each nr. Hebron and Ramallah during the day. (AFP, AP, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/21; PCHR 7/22)

Speaking in a televised address, former Hamas PM Haniyeh says that “Gaza has decided to end the blockade by its blood and its heroism,” adding, “We cannot go back to the silent death” of the siege. Israeli DM Ya’alon tells a parliamentary comm. that the operation will continue “as long as necessary until the completion of the task.” However, Ya’alon mentions that the Israeli govt. would welcome the PA unity govt. exercising authority in Gaza, in an apparent reversal of policy. In Doha, Hamas leader Mish‘al meets with Pres. Abbas for the 1st time since the war began. PA spokesperson Abu Rudayna reiterates the PA leadership’s call for an immediate cease-fire as a way of realizing “the national goals of the Palestinian people.” In Cairo, UN Secy.-Gen. Ban holds talks with Egyptian FM Shoukri aimed at pressing for an immediate truce. Secy. of State Kerry also arrives in Cairo to facilitate the cease-fire talks. Kerry announces that the U.S. will send $47 m. in humanitarian aid to Gaza. Meanwhile, the IDF requests access to the U.S. War Reserves Stockpile based in Israel to resupply its munitions. (AFP, AP, HA, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/21)

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 2 rockets into s. Israel. The 1st lands without causing damage or injuries, and the 2d is intercepted by an Iron Dome missile defense battery. Later in the day, IDF troops target 5 Islamic Jihad and Hamas sites across the Gaza Strip, injuring 6. Off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing no injuries or damage, and arrest 2 fishermen. Meanwhile, 5 mbrs. of Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades and 1 firefighter die in an explosion in a tunnel nr. Gaza City. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Jenin and 1 nearby village, Qalandia r.c. nr. Jerusalem, Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem, Qalqilya, Hebron and 3 nearby villages, 2 villages nr. Nablus, 1 village nr. Ramallah, Tulkarm and Nur Shams r.c. and 1 village nearby and Salfit at night. (HA, JP, MNA, ToI 6/19; PCHR 6/26)

Israeli PM Netanyahu says that he expects the Palestinian unity govt. to dissolve, and that authorities are moving closer to finding the missing Israeli settler teenagers. Hamas senior official Salah Bardawil says, at a solidarity rally in Gaza, that Hamas is “capable of igniting a 3d intifada,” while Hamas spokesperson Abu Zuhri condemns continued security coordination between the PA and Israel. Meanwhile, PA Pres. Abbas issues a statement denouncing Israel’s West Bank operation as “the most severe punitive reprisals.” (JP, MNA, ToI, WAFA 6/19)

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 1 rocket into s. Israel which causes no damage or injuries. In addition, Israeli troops fire upon a demonstration that approaches the border fence, as part of protests in solidarity with Palestinians facing restricted access to al-Aqsa mosque, injuring 5. In the West Bank, hundreds of Palestinians clash with Israeli troops as part of demonstrations marking the 13th anniversary of the 2d intifada. In al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron, the IDF opens fire with rubber-coated metal bullets, hitting a child and blinding her in 1 eye. In c. Hebron, more than 200 Palestinians throw stones at Israeli soldiers, who injure 23 Palestinians with live ammunition and rubber-coated metal bullets. There is also a protest outside Ofer prison nr. Ramallah, and in the Nablus area at Hawara checkpoint (where 1 person is injured with a rubber-coated metal bullet to the head). The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin and Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah at night. Jewish settlers set fire to 2 Palestinian vehicles nr. Beit El settlement n. of Ramallah. In East Jerusalem, Palestinian youths smash a hole in the separation wall in Abu Dis before Israeli forces arrive and violently disperse them. Outside the Old City nr. Damascus Gate, Palestinians throw stones at police officers. (JP, MNA, NYT 9/28; PCHR 10/3)

Diplomats from the Quartet meet on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York and issue a statement calling on both sides to take “every possible step” to make the current negotiations a success. Envoy Tony Blair says that the meeting heard of initiatives accompanying peace talks to boost the Palestinian economy. The Quartet reps. were also joined by Tzipi Livni and Saeb Erakat in their capacities as lead negotiators for their respective sides. (AP, JP 9/28)

The UNSC votes unanimously for a res. that will see Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile secured and destroyed. Kerry says that the res. shows diplomacy is able to “peacefully defuse the worst weapons of war,” adding that destruction of the arsenal will begin in 11/2013 and run through to mid-2014. The council also backs a road map for political transition in Syria, and calls for an international conference to be convened “as soon as possible.” (AP, ToI, REU 9/27)

U.S. Pres. Obama and Iranian pres. Ruhani speak on the telephone, the highest-level contact between the 2 countries since 1979. Obama, in comments at the White House, and Ruhani, via a Twitter account, said that both are committed to solving the nuclear issue. (REU 9/27)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries or damage to the vessels. IDF troops also conduct a limited incursion in land close to the border fence nr. Khan Yunis before withdrawing. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon and in 1 village nr. Hebron at night, and patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon and in al-‘Arub r.c., 1 village nr. Hebron, and in 2 villages nr. Jenin at night. In East Jerusalem, IDF troops clash with residents in Abu Dis after protests against the arrest of a cancer patient. Separately, Israeli police ban 10 Palestinians from attending prayers at al-Aqsa mosque when Jewish extremists plan to visit the compound. Police also arrest Shaykh Raed Salah, leader of the n. Islamic Movement in Israel, on suspicion of incitement. Salah refuses bail conditions that would keep him 30 km away from al-Aqsa for 30 days and remains in jail. (JP, MNA, WAFA 9/3; PCHR 9/5)

Palestinian and Israeli negotiators meet for a 5th round of peace talks in Jerusalem. PA FM Riyad al-Maliki tells the media that Abbas is seeking to arrange a meeting with U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry to express doubts about the nature of the talks and dissatisfaction at U.S. envoy Martin Indyk’s limited participation thus far. Meanwhile, Arab League Secy.-Gen. spokesperson Nassif Hetti tells reporters that an Arab ministerial delegation will meet Kerry in Rome on Sunday to discuss the peace process. (AFP, JP, MNA 9/3)

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Cmte. reaches an agreement on a draft authorization for the use of military force against the Syrian govt., with conditions narrower than those requested by Pres. Obama. The draft sets a 60-day time limit on any U.S. action with a conditional single 30-day extension possible. There is also a provision banning the use of ground forces. Speaking to the cmte., Defense Secy. Chuck Hagel says that the pres.’s national security team is now convinced that taking military action against the Asad regime targets would be the right course of action. Hagel also reveals that Obama approved plans in 1/2013 to give lethal aid to Syrian rebels, the 1st time such a decision has been made public. Meanwhile, pro-Israel Jewish community groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Cmte. (AIPAC) and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations back the administration’s call for a strike on Syria, following a conference call with Obama’s security advisers. In another development, UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon affirms that the use of force is only legal as self-defense or with UNSC authorization. (AP, Guardian, JTA, REU, WP 9/3)

An Egyptian military court in Suez hands down sentences ranging from 5 years to life to around 50 Muslim Brotherhood mbrs. convicted of violence against the army, in relation to the events of 8/14 (when security forces massacred anti-coup protesters in Cairo). Meanwhile, Egyptian helicopter gunships kill 8 suspected militants and wound 15 others in air strikes in the Sinai Peninsula nr. the Rafah border with the Gaza Strip. (AFP, AP, REU, NYT 9/3)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF conducts 2 brief incursions nr. Khan Yunis, in both cases levelling land before withdrawing. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron, one village each nr. Salfit, Qalqilya, and Jerusalem and in Tulkarm and Jenin at night; patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin in the morning, 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and 2 villages nr. Jericho at night. (PCHR 5/30)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry reveals a $4 billion plan to boost the Palestinian economy, speaking at the World Economic Forum at the Dead Sea in Jordan (see document D1 in JPS 169 for more). Kerry also urges Israelis and Palestinians to reach a political agreement, saying that a failure to do so would mean living with “a permanent intifada.” Israeli pres. Shimon Peres and PA Pres. Mahmoud Abbas both address the gathering, with Abbas using his speech to refuse any solution involving “temporary borders.” (HA, JP, REU 5/26)

There are reports of rockets fired from s. Lebanon into n. Israel, yet this is subsequently denied by the IDF, whose soldiers also fail to find any impact site or evidence of a projectile landing in Israeli territory. Meanwhile, 2 rockets are fired into a Shi‘i district of Beirut, in an apparent response to Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah’s promise to keep fighting in Syria alongside Asad. Arab League chief Nabil al-‘Arabi urges Hizballah to withdraw from its role in Syria, saying that to continue would threaten Lebanon’s internal unity. (AP, HA, REU 5/26; ToI 5/27; JP 5/28)

Palestinian prisoner Arafat Jaradat dies in Israel’s Megido prison, following a reported heart attack. Palestinian officials immediately call for an international investigation into the circumstances of his death. (MNA, REU 2/23)

PA Pres. Mahmud Abbas says in an interview with al-Arabiya TV that he and Hamas leader Khalid Mishal are in agreement about the need for a peaceful intifada. Pres. Abbas says that PA security forces in the West Bank are arresting Palestinians who smuggle weapons from Israel. Meanwhile, in an example of such a raid, Hamas says that PA security forces arrested 8 members of their organization in the West Bank. (JP, MNA 2/23)

Jewish settlers shoot 2 Palestinians in Kusra village in the northern West Bank, leaving one in serious condition. Clashes began when settlers entered village land. Meanwhile, Jewish settlers from Susiya nr. Hebron attack Palestinian farmers. When Israeli soldiers arrive, they declare the area a closed military zone and arrest 2 Palestinians. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin, and 1 village each nr. Jericho, and Qalqilya. At night, the IDF patrols 1 village nr. Ramallah and conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Qalqilya. West of Yatta nr. Hebron, Israeli soldiers violently disperse Palestinian and international activists protesting settlement expansion, causing no serious injuries. Off the north coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no injuries or damage. (AP 2/23; PCHR 2/28)

IDF general and head of Central Command Nitzan Alon approves 2 settlement outposts nr. Nablus by combining them into 1 settlement named Rechalim. (PCHR 1/10)

In the West Bank, IDF troops patrol in Bayt Umar village nr. Hebron, then fire rubber-coated steel bullets at stonethrowing Palestinians who confront them, wounding 1 child. The IDF also patrols in ‘Aqabat Jabir r.c. nr. Jericho at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in and around Bethlehem and in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. (PCHR 1/10)

Israel’s Shin Bet security service reports that 12/2012 saw a 400% increase in what the organization classifies as ‘‘terrorist attacks’’ in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israeli media promote the statistics as reinforcing recent remarks by IDF col. Yaniv Alaluf that a 3d intifada is already underway. Shin Bet also says that Palestinians fired 1 mortar from the Gaza Strip during the whole of 12/2012. (ToI 1/7)

U.S. pres. Barack Obama nominates Republican Chuck Hagel as his next defense secretary and counterterrorism adviser and John Brennan as head of the CIA. Hagel is expected to meet opposition over his record on Israel and Iran, while Brennan has faced criticism by human rights groups over his views on mistreatment of prisoners during interrogations. (REU 1/7)

The Lebanese army says that the U.S. has given 200 armored vehicles to Lebanon in order to support the armed forces’ ability to respond to crises. (REU 1/7)

Israel’s fin. min. Yuval Steinitz visits Washington, D.C., to press U.S. officials to tighten sanctions on Iran further and give Tehran a clear ultimatum, backed with a credible military threat, to halt its nuclear program. (AP 1/7; JP 1/8)

Undercover Israeli police officers arrest 6 Palestinian youths in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem on suspicion of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at a Jewish settler-owned house. In the Gaza Strip, the IDF opens fire on a garbage truck close to the border fence nr. Bayt Hanun, wounding 1 Palestinian. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers from the unauthorized outpost Esh Kodesh nr. Nablus attack the Palestinian village of Qusra, provoking clashes with residents. In response, the IDF deploys troops in the area and fires tear gas and stun grenades at villagers. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning, in 1 village nr. Jericho in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah, 1 village each nr. al-Bireh and Jericho at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in the Old City of Hebron, 1 nearby village, and 1 village nr. Jenin at night. The IDF attacks a nonviolent demonstration against the occupation and settlement expansion held by Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals in Bayt Umar village nr. Hebron, causing no serious injuries. (MNA 1/5, 1/6; PCHR 1/10)

PA security forces arrest the Hebronbased members of the National Unity Brigades, which announced its formation and called for a 3d intifada in a video released on 12/14. (JP 1/5)

Sources tell Palestinian Ma‘an news agency that PLO leaders, the Free Syria Army, and Syrian government forces are working toward a deal to end the fighting in and blockade of Yarmuk r.c. in Damascus, including the withdrawal of rebel fighters and the end to army shelling. (MNA 1/6)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen 6 naut. mi. from the Gaza shore nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning, in 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Jericho, 2 villages nr. Hebron, and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night. Jewish settlers uproot 40 olive trees in Qusra village nr. Nablus. (MNA 12/27; PCHR 1/3)

PA pres. Abbas tells Israeli newspaper Ha’Aretz that if both settlement construction and the diplomatic stalemate continue after the forthcoming Israeli elections, he will dismantle the PA. He also says that Israel has reduced security cooperation with the PA since the UN vote in 11/2012. Abbas says he does not intend to bring charges against Israel at the ICC in The Hague, at least ‘‘as long as there are diplomatic negotiations.’’ Meanwhile, UK min. for the Middle East Alistair Burt condemns Israel’s plans to expand settlements in East Jerusalem and its official recognition of Ariel University Center as a university in unusually strong terms that refer to the Geneva Conventions. (HA, ToI 12/27)

Kadima chair Shaul Mofaz warns that Israel might be on the brink of a 3d intifada. Israeli media report an increasing number of small-scale clashes between Palestinians and the IDF in different locations throughout the West Bank since the end of Operation Pillar of Defense, including stone-throwing Palestinians attacking Israeli vehicles and IDF troops. (ToI 12/27)

Hamas issues an order banning Palestinian journalists in the Gaza Strip from working with or giving interviews to the Israeli media, and instructs government officials similarly. Meanwhile, Fatah cancels its anniversary celebrations in Gaza, citing Hamas’s refusal to agree to their proposed locations for the event. (Guardian, MNA 12/27)

In Syria, 4 Palestinians are killed when Syrian government forces shell Yarmuk r.c. nr. Damascus, the 1st attack of its kind since the rocketing of the camp on 12/16 that killed at least 25 people. (NYT 12/27; MNA 12/28)

PA res. Abbas gives an interview to Israeli television in which he says there will be no 3d intifada and that he will not seek a return to inside Israel’s pre-1967 borders. His comments are welcomed by Israeli pres. Shimon Peres but criticized by both Israeli PM Netanyahu (who states that Abbas’s words do not match his actions) and by Gaza Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who calls the remarks ‘‘dangerous.’’ Abbas later clarifies through an adviser that he was not giving up the Palestinian refugees’ right of return, but was being ‘‘realistic.’’ (HA 11/1; AP 11/2; HA, WAFA 11/3)

PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erakat warns that the U.S. and Israel may impose economic restrictions on the PA after a successful upgrade at the UNGA in 11/2012. (JP 11/1)

In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 2 structures in a settler outpost nr. Yitzhar settlement and claims that that Jewish settlers attacked them with stones. The IDF also patrols in 7 villages nr. Jenin in the morning, in Tulkarm in the afternoon, and in 1 village each nr. Jenin, Jericho, and Ramallah at night; conducts late-night house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron and 1 nr. Qalqilya. (PCHR 11/8; JP 11/1)

PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erakat reveals that the PA is in consultations with Arab countries and others over the text of a draft resolution requesting the UNGA accept Palestine as a non-member state. Erakat reiterates that the UN bid is intended to complement rather than harm the peace process. Reports indicate that the U.S. government is lobbying European countries to oppose the Palestinian initiative on the basis that it would be counterproductive and lead to negative consequences, such as sanctions, for the PA. (Guardian, MNA 10/1)

Unidentified Palestinians fire a rocket from the Gaza Strip into s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In East Jerusalem, the IDF conducts house searches in Ras al-Amud neighborhood after clashes with local Palestinian youths; troops fire tear gas during the searches, moderately injuring a Palestinian woman. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and Hebron in the morning, 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and 2 villages nr. Qalqilya at night. (AFP, IMEMC 10/1; PCHR 10/4; OCHA 10/5)

Palestinian citizens of Israel hold protests across Israel, including a 2,000- strong march in Sakhnin, to mark the 12th anniversary of the killing of 13 Arabs by Israeli police during demonstrations in solidarity with the 2d intifada then underway. (AFP 10/1)

Freedom Theater director and former AMB commander Zakaria Zubeidi is freed from PA prison after having been charged in connection to a 1/5/12 attack that resulted in the death of former Jenin governor Qaddura Musa from a heart attack (see QU in JPS 164). (MNA 1/10)

Syrian state television attacks Hamas leader Khalid Mishal, accusing him of ‘‘selling out’’’ and being ungrateful for Syria’s years of patronage. Hamas closed its headquarters in Damascus earlier in 2012 after refusing to support the regime’s attacks on Syrian protesters and the opposition. (NYT 10/2)

The IDF makes an air strike on a car traveling in Rafah, assassinating 2 mbrs. of the al-Aqsa Guards Group, which is closely affiliated with Hamas, and wounding a 3d. Israel alleges that the men were responsible for smuggling explosives into Gaza through the Rafah tunnels and plotting attacks on Israel. In the West Bank, the IDF confiscates 60 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of land in Wadi Fukin village nr. Bethlehem; patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm, 1 village nr. Hebron, and ‘Aqabat Jabir r.c. nr. Jericho at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. (MNA 9/19; MNA, PCHR, REU 9/20; PCHR 9/27)

Hamas and a Palestinian rights groups say that the PA security forces have detained dozens of Hamas mbrs. across the West Bank, including 5 Hamas mbrs. in Nablus. (MNA 9/19)

The IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron and late-night patrols in 1 village nr. Jericho. A settler security guard at Ma’ale Adumim settlement in Hebron shoots and seriously wounds a Palestinian who allegedly attempted to take his gun. An Israeli court convicts senior Hamas official Ibrahim Hamed as a principle planner of multiple Palestinian suicide attacks that killed 46 people and wounded more than 400 during the al-Aqsa intifada that began in 9/2000. (NYT, PCHR 6/28; PCHR 7/5; OCHA 7/13)

Three unidentified assailants cross into Israel from Egypt and plant a roadside bomb that they detonate when 2 vehicles pass carrying laborers who are working to build Israel’s new border fence; they then open fire on the vehicles with automatic weapons and rocketpropelled grenades; 1 Israeli Palestinian worker is killed. Israeli border police respond to the scene and exchanges fire with the infiltrators, leaving 2 assailants dead and 4 policemen injured. The 3d assailant escapes back into Egypt; Israeli units do not pursue him. (NYT, WP 6/19; NYT 6/20; JPI 6/29)

In actions Israel says are unrelated to the attack from Egypt, the IDF carries out 2 air strikes on n. Gaza: 1 targets a Palestinian sniper team that fired across the Gaza border into Israel (causing no damage or injuries), killing 2 Islamic Jihad mbrs.; the other targets Palestinians who attempted but failed to fire a rocket into Israel, killing 1 IQB mbr. and 1 al-Aqsa Guards Group mbr. Late at night, IDF troops on the c. Gaza border fatally shoot 2 Palestinians (1 a teenager) attempting to sneak into Israel to find work. Meanwhile, IDF troops make a brief incursion into n. Gaza nr. Bayt Hanun to level land and clear lines of sight. Israeli naval vessels fire warning shots at Palestinian fishing boats off the n. and c. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 nr. Jericho in the morning; and in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the evening. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron and Tulkarm, and nr. Jenin. (JP 6/18; NYT, WP 6/19; NYT 6/20; PCHR 6/21; OCHA 6/22; JPI 6/29)

The Israel Project, a Washingtonbased pro-Israel group, hosts a debate between foreign policy advisers to Pres. Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, covering numerous issues including Iran, Syria, military aid, and Obama’s commitment to Israel. Romney advisers accuse Obama of failing to support Israel and of being more concerned with preventing Israel from attacking Iran than halting Iran’s nuclear program. Obama adviser Robert Wexler calls Obama’s ‘‘degree of military and strategic support [to Israel] unparalleled,’’ emphasizing that the Obama admin. worked strenuously behind the scenes to ensure there has not been a UN vote on Palestinian statehood since the Palestinians launched their UN statehood bid in 9/2011. (WJW 6/21)

In Lebanon, clashes erupt at the funeral for a Palestinian refugee slain by Lebanese troops outside Nahr al-Barid r.c. on 6/15, leaving 1 Palestinian dead and 7 Palestinians and 3 Lebanese soldiers injured. The clashes spread to ‘Ayn al-Hilwa r.c. in Sidon, where at least 1 Palestinian is killed and 3 Palestinians and 3 Lebanese soldiers are injured. Demonstrations (but no clashes or injuries) are reported in Biddawi r.c. nr. Tripoli and Shatila r.c. in Beirut. (JAZ 6/18)

No Israeli-Palestinian violence is reported, marking the first 2-day stretch without violence since the outbreak of the al-Aqsa intifada in 9/00. (OCHA, PCHR 4/22)

In response to escalating tensions in East Jerusalem, 1,000s of Palestinians attend a rally in Gaza organized by Hamas calling for another intifada. (WT 10/6)

In the West Bank, the IDF arrests a Palestinian by the separation wall nr. Azun Atma; conducts late-night raids, house searches in and around Nablus and nr. Jenin, arresting 2 Palestinians. (PCHR 10/8)

Israeli-Palestinian tensions in Jerusalem remain high following the 10/4 clashes. Although Israel deploys 1,000s of additional police in and around the Old City and IDF helicopters and drones monitor fr. above, some significant clashes are reported in and around the city. At a checkpoint at the entrance of Shu‘fat r.c., Israeli security forces arrest a Palestinian who stabbed an Israeli soldier in the neck; IDF troops then enter Shu‘fat r.c., fire sound bombs and tear gas, and arrest 8 more Palestinians (all under the age of 18, 2 under the age of 13). At Qalandia checkpoint, Israeli security forces fire rubbercoated steel bullets, tear gas, sound bombs at 10s of Palestinian protesters. In Ras alAmud neighborhood, Israeli security forces arrest 13 Palestinians for stone-throwing. Israeli authorities also seal off 2 Arab neighborhoods adjacent to the Old City and bar men under the age of 50 fr. entering alAqsa Mosque. At least 7 Palestinians are wounded in clashes during the day. Israel releases 2 Palestinians detained at crossings into Jerusalem on 10/4 but bars them fr. entering Jerusalem for 90 days. (WT 10/6, PCHR 10/8)

A complaint filed by Israeli human rights organization Yesh Din results in the arrest of an IDF soldier on charges of beating the Bil‘in Coordinator of the Public Committee against the Wall and Settlement during a late-night raid on 9/15. (OCHA Humanitarian Monitor 10/09)

In the West Bank, the IDF seals Attara nr. Ramallah for 3 hrs. after troops discover a suspicious object during vehicle checks at the entrance to the village. The IDF conducts late-night raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya and Salfit and in Jenin town and r.c., but makes no arrests; a Palestinian whose house is raided reports money missing. The IDF also patrols and opens fire in Qabatya but makes no arrests and causes no injuries. Jewish settlers fr. Susia, escorted by the IDF, erect tents and set up electricity generators on an unauthorized settlement outpost site nr. Hebron that was dismantled by the IDF on 9/9. The Israeli High Court, ruling on a petition filed in 2003, orders the IDF to dismantle sections of the separation wall in Khirbat Jibara and Jayyus n. of Qalqilya, reinstating Palestinian access to 2,488 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of land. (OCHA 9/11; OCHA, PCHR 9/17; OCHA Humanitarian Monitor 9/09)

In Silwan in East Jerusalem, a Jewish settler shoots, wounds 1 Palestinian, also hitting 1 Palestinian teenager with shrapnel; the settler is arrested by Israeli police. The al-Aqsa Association reports that the Israeli authorities are digging a new tunnel under Silwan. (NYT 9/12; OCHA , PCHR 9/17; OCHA Humanitarian Monitor 9/09)

Israel releases elected Hamas-affiliated speaker of the Palestinian parliament ‘Aziz Dwayk, jailed nearly 3 yrs. before as part of an IDF arrest sweep targeting Hamas leaders in the wake of IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit’s capture; some 40 other Hamas legislators remain in custody. The release raises speculation that a Hamas-Israeli prisoner exchange deal to free Shalit is imminent. A wk. after making public comments about Arabs that were denounced as racist, Israeli internal security M Yitzhak Aharonovitch (Yisrael Beitainu) makes a highly controversial 90-min. visit to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, including entering the mosque, to “review police deployments” at the site. He says his visit was coordinated with Muslim authorities, which they deny. A similar visit to the compound by Ariel Sharon in 2000 sparked the al-Aqsa intifada. In the West Bank, the IDF levels 500 d. of Palestinian land in Issawiyya on the outskirts of Jerusalem to “preserve the natural beauty of the city [i.e., Jerusalem]”; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Tulkarm. Jewish settlers fr. Avnei Hefetz settlement nr. Tulkarm erect a tent in nearby Kafr Labad village, previously bulldozed by the IDF, with the aim of expanding the settlement. (NYT, WP, WT 6/24; OCHA, PCHR 6/25)

For perhaps the 1st day since the start of the al-Aqsa intifada in 9/00, no incidents of Israeli-Palestinian violence are reported in the occupied territories. (OCHA 10/1; PCHR 10/9)

The IDF intensifies Operation Hot Winter overnight, sending large numbers of ground troops into the Jabaliya area, Bayt Hanun, Gaza City, marking Israel’s largest ground incursion into n. Gaza since 2005. As Palestinians across the Strip hunker down in their homes, IDF troops accompanied by tanks, helicopters, warplanes conduct house-tohouse searches for weapons in the Jabaliya area, clashing with local gunmen, occupying homes as staging areas, directing tank fire at residential and commercial buildings, rounding up 10s of Palestinians for questioning, bulldozing electricity and telephone cables. The IDF also continues intensive air strikes across Gaza, destroying a mosque frequented by Hamas security forces and the Gaza City home of an Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades cmdr. (he survives, but 6 family mbrs. are killed), as well as alleged weapons stores and several police stations. At least 62 Palestinians (29 civilians, including at least 15 children, 7 women; 25 militants; 8 Hamas-affiliated police officers) are killed and at least 175 wounded (including 44 children, 6 women, 1 paramedic) during the day, marking the Palestinians’ highest 1-day toll since the outbreak of the al-Aqsa intifada in 2000; 2 IDF soldiers are also killed and 7 injured in the heavy fighting, some of them by roadside bombs planted by the Palestinian factions in anticipation of an incursion. Palestinians fire around 24 rockets into Israel (the IDF claims 7 are Grad rockets fired by Hamas), lightly wounding 6 Israelis (including a woman, 2 children) nr. Ashqelon. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Bayt Jala nr. Bethlehem, firing tear gas at the local PA police headquarters for no apparent reason; fires on Palestinians nr. Hebron demonstrating against Operation Hot Winter, wounding 1 with live ammunition; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. Also nr. Hebron, a Palestinian teenager is injured when an explosive device he attempts to throw at an IDF observation tower explodes prematurely. (NYT, WP, WT 3/2; PCHR 3/6)

In Gaza, 2,000 Palestinians hold a peaceful demonstration at a sealed breach in the Rafah border to urge Egypt to keep the border open. Outside Rafah, 2 Palestinian teenagers are injured when they accidentally trigger unexploded IDF ordnance. In the West Bank, the IDF sets up a checkpoint outside a Bayt Umar cemetery to check the IDs of mourners attending the funeral of the 2d Kefar Etzion attacker (see 1/24); later fires percussion grenades, rubber-coated steel bullets at mourners, wounding 6; fires on residential areas of al-Khadir nr. Bethlehem, causing no injuries; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Jenin, northwest of Jerusalem; fires rubber-coated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, international activists taking part in nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall in Bil‘in (injuring 2). Palestinian children throw stones at Jewish settler vehicles traveling on Route 55 nr. Azun and Route 60 nr. Hawara, damaging 2 but causing no injuries. Inside Israel, 20,000 Israeli Palestinians march in Sakhnin to protest a 1/27 government decision not to try police officers who fatally shot 13 Israeli Palestinians during 10/00 antigovernment demonstrations in Um al-Fahm in solidarity with the intifada. In Gaza City, Hamas-affiliated police release Fayyad adviser Ghul, arrested on 12/14. (AFP 2/1; NYT, WP 2/2; OCHA 2/6; PCHR 2/7)

IDF troops on the Gaza border fires on a group of Palestinians in the fmr. Nisanit settlement area nr. the border fence nr. Bayt Lahiya, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF sends an undercover unit in a car with Palestinian license plates into Tulkarm r.c., fires on a group of Palestinians wounding 4 (an AMB mbr., an Islamic Jihad mbr., 2 bystanders ages 10 and 16), then fires 5 shots at 1 of the wounded, AMB mbr. Jasr Zughayb, assassinating him; fatally shoots 2 AMB mbrs. in an exchange of fire in Nablus, also demolishing the home in which they were staying; fatally shoots a 17-yr.-old Palestinian who attempts to cut through the separation fence nr. Ramallah; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Abu Dis; raids the Modern College building in Beitunia nr. Ramallah, firing on PSF officers dispatched to the scene responding to reports of suspicious activity, killing 2 PSF officers. In Gaza, a combined group of Hamas, ESF mbrs. acting on rumors of Fatah of smuggling weapons halt, demand to inspect a 4-truck convoy escorted by Abbas’s presidential guard that entered Gaza fr. Israel through the Kerem Shalom crossing, sparking an exchange of gunfire that leaves at least 5 Palestinians dead (including 4 presidential guardsmen, 1 female bystander), 34 wounded (including 14 bystanders); the shipment of supplies (widely believed to be arms and ammunition though in separate statements, Fatah says it is food and medical supplies, equipment and tents, generators and spare parts) fr. the UAE reportedly was organized by Gaza strongman Dahlan, with the knowledge of the U.S. and Israel, and was intended for guard units loyal to him; the contents of the trucks cannot be confirmed, as they are seized during the clash (it is unclear by whom). The convoy incident precipitates Fatah-Hamas gunfights across the Strip that kill at least 3 Palestinians, wound at least another 50, and end a 3-day truce. In the most serious incidents: PA Presidential Guard units storm the Islamic University campus, clash with ESF mbrs. guarding the campus (leaving 22 wounded), claim to seize a large weapons cache and to detain 7 Iranian “explosives experts”; Hamas denies the presence of any Iranians in Gaza, Fatah does not give any proof of the arrests, Israel and the U.S. say they cannot corroborate the story; suspected Fatah gunmen fire on Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum nr. Gaza City, causing no injuries. Other Fatah-Hamas clashes are reported in Bayt Hanun, Bureij r.c., Gaza City, Jabaliya r.c., Khan Yunis, Rafah. In Gaza City, 5,000 Palestinians attend a rally organized by the National and Islamic Higher Comm. for the Follow-up of the Intifada (NIHC) calling for a cessation to intra-Palestinian violence. Abbas issues a presidential decree taking over 18 acres of Palestinian land nr. the Qarni crossing for construction of a presidential guard training base, to be funded by Western donors; the UN will provide training; a 16-acre presidential guard base and intelligence services training college is also being built in Jericho. (MM 2/1; NYT, WP, WT 2/2; WP 2/3; Middle East Newsline 2/5; MM 2/6; OCHA 2/7; PCHR 2/8; NYT 2/23; JTA 3/4)

The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem, Jenin, Nablus, and Tulkarm, firing on residential areas. Palestinians fire 6 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Unidentified Palestinians fire on a Jewish settler vehicle nr. Tapuach settlement, injuring 2 Jewish settlers. In Tulkarm, Fatah gunmen surround a building where PA Dep. PM Nasir al-Sha‘ir (Change and Reform) is meeting with the Tulkarm governor, forcing the mtg. to end, and Sha’ir to leave under police escort. Some 2,000 Fatah mbrs. parade through Gaza City in a show of force in reaction to the deployment of the Interior Min.’s predominantly Hamas ESF. The National and Islamic Higher Comm. for the Follow-up of the Intifada (NIHC) sponsors a rally in Gaza calling for the immediate dissolution of the new ESF, activation of the PA security forces to prevent lawlessness, and holding of national unity talks. Late in the evening, Hamas, Fatah gunmen exchange fire outside the Palestinian Council (PC) building in Gaza City, leaving 2 Fatah mbrs., 1 Hamas mbr. wounded. (HA, MM, XIN 5/18; MM 5/19; HJ 5/20 in WNC 5/21; PCHR 5/25)