64 / 14643 Results
  • August 28, 2017

    The Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine (PIJ) announces that 1 of its fighters died “accidentally” during a mission in Gaza today. No further details are made available. (MNA 8/29)

    Along...

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  • November 5, 2016

    In the West Bank, IDF troops conduct raids in Bayt Umar nr. Hebron, sparking clashes with stone-throwing youths; there are no serious injuries. They also raid the Ramallah-area home of the...

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  • June 3, 2014

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm in the morning, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron and 2 villages nr. Jenin at night. (PCHR 6/5)

    Israeli PM Netanyahu says he is “...

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  • January 29, 2014

    In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and kill a Palestinian outside ‘Ayn Yabrud village nr. Ramallah. The military says that the man opened fire on their troops, a claim contradicted by eyewitnesses...

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  • November 27, 2013

    Off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. Rafah, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no injuries, but arresting 2. Demonstrations take place across the West Bank in protest...

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  • November 14, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Khan Yunis, to level land close to the border fence. In response, Palestinians fire several mortar shells at the soldiers with 2...

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  • October 23, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin and Qalqilya; patrols in Tulkarm in the morning, and in Jericho and 1 village and...

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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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  • September 1, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Juhur al-Dik, where they level land close to the border fence and then withdraw. In the West Bank, the IDF injures 5 Palestinians nr....

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  • August 31, 2013

    In the West Bank, a Palestinian dies in the hospital of wounds sustained by IDF fire in Jenin r.c. during a raid on the camp on 8/20. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village...

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  • August 29, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Nablus at night, and patrols in Tulkarm and 1 nearby village at night. In East...

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  • August 27, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF troops conducted a number of incursions in Hebron and villages in the surrounding area, provoking clashes in a number of locations. The IDF fires rubbercoated metal bullets...

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  • August 21, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF forces shoot and injure 1 Palestinian in clashes provoked by an IDF arrest raid in Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nur...

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  • June 22, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night. Jewish settlers from Brakha nr. Nablus attack...

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  • June 18, 2013

    Off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Dayr al-Balah, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and...

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  • June 14, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops operating from a watchtower on the border fence nr. Dayr al-Balah open fire on a Palestinian farmer, injuring him. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches...

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  • May 30, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians who threw stones at a routine patrol in al-Khadir village nr. Bethlehem, wounding an 11-year-old with a rubber-coated metal bullet. The IDF...

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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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  • May 25, 2013

    Off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2...

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  • May 14, 2013

    Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu arrives in Russia for talks with Pres. Vladimir Putin about the peace process and regional developments, including Syria. Netanyahu asks Putin not to supply S-300...

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  • May 11, 2013

    Dozens of Jewish settlers from Yitzhar settlement enter Burin village nr. Nablus and clash with Palestinians. The IDF intervenes, violently dispersing the Palestinian residents with tear gas and...

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  • May 7, 2013

    Two small rockets and later a mortar land in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. While the IDF says the fire is ‘‘accidental spillover’’ from the Syrian civil war,...

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  • May 5, 2013

    The Israeli air force strikes a site nr. Damascus, in a new air strike on what unnamed Western intelligence sources say was a shipment of advanced, Iranianmade missiles heading to Hizballah in...

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  • March 23, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages each nr. Hebron and Tulkarm, and in 1 village each nr. Jenin, Ramallah...

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  • February 16, 2013

    In the West Bank, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and...

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  • January 3, 2013

    In a meeting chaired by Pres. Abbas, the PLO Executive Comm. affirms the need for a UNSC resolution against Israeli settlement construction. Abbas also signs a decree changing the name of the PA...

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  • December 17, 2012

    Israel approves 1,500 new housing units in the Ramat Shlomo settlement in East Jerusalem. The government is expected to approve a total of 6,500 settlement housing units over the next week,...

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  • December 15, 2012

    Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen working 6 naut. mi. off the coast nr. al-Waha resort in the n. Gaza Strip, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF issues a...

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  • December 6, 2012

    PLO Executive Comm. mbr. Hanan Ashrawi urges the EU to go beyond verbal condemnation of Israeli violations and to take action—such as a full ban on the import of settlement products and...

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  • October 12, 2012

    Israeli newspaper Yedi’ot Ahronot reports that in 2010 Israeli PM Netanyahu engaged in mos. of secret, U.S.-brokered discussions with Syria about a negotiated peace treaty including Israeli...

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The Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine (PIJ) announces that 1 of its fighters died “accidentally” during a mission in Gaza today. No further details are made available. (MNA 8/29)

Along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion to level land near Khan Yunis. In the West Bank, IDF troops arrest 6 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Jenin and Bethlehem, and patrol near Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 4 Palestinians during raids in al-Tur. (MNA, WAFA 8/28; MNA 8/29; PCHR 9/1)

For a 2d day in a row, the Egyptian authorities partially open the Rafah border crossing. They allow 882 humanitarian cases, including students and infirm individuals, to exit Gaza, while 166 Palestinians return to Gaza from Egypt. (MNA 8/29; OCHA 9/14)

Hamas’s leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar announces that the group has restored relations with Iran. “The relationship today is developing and returning to what it was in the old days,” Sinwar says, referring to the 2011 breakdown in relations over Hamas’s refusal to support Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad in the Syrian civil war. (REU, TOI 8/28; REU 8/29)

In the West Bank, IDF troops conduct raids in Bayt Umar nr. Hebron, sparking clashes with stone-throwing youths; there are no serious injuries. They also raid the Ramallah-area home of the Palestinian killed during an alleged stabbing attack on 11/3, and interrogate and detain his family. The IDF arrests 7 Palestinians and confiscates personal property during late-night raids nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin, and Ramallah; and patrol nr. Hebron and Salfit during the day. Around 20 Israeli settlers throw stones at Palestinians picking olives nr. Ramallah, injuring 3 (1 critically). In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 4 Palestinians during raids in Hizma and nr. the Old City. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. (MNA 11/5; HA 11/6; PCHR 11/10)

Amid the ongoing conflict in Syria, Hamas closes its office in Damascus in a symbolic effort to distance the group from Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad. (PIC 11/6)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm in the morning, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron and 2 villages nr. Jenin at night. (PCHR 6/5)

Israeli PM Netanyahu says he is “deeply troubled” by the U.S. decision to maintain ties and aid to the PA unity govt. In response, U.S. State Dept. dep. spokesperson Harf says that the unity govt. is not “backed by Hamas” and contains “no mbrs. of Hamas.” Further endorsement of the new PA govt. comes from Russia, China, India, Turkey, France, and the UK. EU foreign affairs chief Ashton calls the formation of the unity govt. “an important step.” UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon also welcomes the move. Meanwhile, PLO executive comm. mbr. Hanna Amira says that Israel has notified the PA that it is imposing sanctions in response to the unity govt.’s formation. These include the invalidation of VIP cards of PA officials, reduction of tax revenues, which Israel collects and delivers to the PA, and prevention of visits between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. (AP, HA, MNA, REU 6/4)

A presidential election is held in Syria, and Pres. Bashar al-Asad is expected to win a majority of the vote. Opponents of the pres. dismiss the election because al-Asad’s 2 rival candidates, Hassan al-Nouri and Maher Hajjar, were both approved by a parliament dominated by al-Asad’s supporters. State Dept. dep. spokesperson Harf says the U.S. sees the election as “a disgrace” and that Pres. al-Asad “has no more credibility today than he did yesterday.” French FM Laurent Fabius calls it “a tragic farce.” (AP, REU 6/3)

Egypt’s election commission reports its official results, announcing that al-Sisi won 96.91% in the presidential vote, with a turnout of 47% of 54 m. voters nationwide. (AP, REU 6/3)

In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and kill a Palestinian outside ‘Ayn Yabrud village nr. Ramallah. The military says that the man opened fire on their troops, a claim contradicted by eyewitnesses. Following his funeral, Palestinians clash with Israeli forces outside Jalazun r.c., home to the deceased. (MNA 1/29; PCHR 1/30)

UN-Arab League joint special envoy Brahimi says peace talks will end as planned on 1/31. Meanwhile, Syrian pres. Asad’s adviser Bouthaina Shaaban tells the media that the govt. rejects the opposition’s call for a transitional governing body. (AP 1/29)

Off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. Rafah, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no injuries, but arresting 2. Demonstrations take place across the West Bank in protest of the killing of 3 Palestinians in Yatta the previous day. Demonstrations in Hebron and outside Ofer detention center nr Ramallah lead to clashes with IDF troops. Outside Ofer, Israeli forces fire live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters, while demonstrators throw stones and set fire to tires. No serious injuries are reported. In Hebron, stone-throwing Palestinians are met with tear gas from Israeli soldiers. Also in the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Jenin at night; patrols in Tulkarm in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron at night. (MNA, WAFA, YA 11/27; PCHR 11/28)

Palestinian chief negotiator Erakat says that Israeli policies, including continued settlement construction and arrest raids have led him to believe that there is no room for progress, hence his resignation on 11/13. Erakat says that the most recent meeting of the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams took place on 11/5. Erakat also says that he believes the Russians would become more involved, pointing to Pres. Abbas’ scheduled visit to Moscow next month. (HA 11/27)

The Syrian govt. announces that it will attend the UN-sponsored negotiations in 1/2014 (announced 11/25), according to a report by state news agency SANA, but will also resist demands for Pres. Bashar al-Asad to step down. Meanwhile, the Syrian National Coalition pres. Ahmad Jarba, declares that the group will participate in the conference; he hopes it will facilitate the emergence of a transitional govt. (AP, NYT, REU 11/27)

Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif says that construction on building projects at the Arak nuclear facility is allowed as part of the nuclear agreement. U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Jen Psaki says in response that, while road or building work might be permissible, any kind of nuclear fuel production or reactor work is not allowed. Meanwhile, U.S. Pres. Obama briefs Saudi Arabia’s King Abdallah on the recent deal with Iran, with the White House saying that the 2 leaders agreed to consult regularly on the efforts of the P5+1 countries to secure a long-term agreement. Separately, Israeli strategic affairs minister Yuval Steinitz meets with British officials in Jerusalem to discuss recent developments and Israel’s concerns with a potential deal between Iran and the P5+1. (AP 11/27)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Khan Yunis, to level land close to the border fence. In response, Palestinians fire several mortar shells at the soldiers with 2 landing inside Israel, causing no damage or injuries, an attack claimed by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In response, the IAF conducts an air strike against 2 sites in open land, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Qalqilya in the afternoon, and in Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron and in Qalqilya in the afternoon, and in 2 villages and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night. Israeli forces also cut down 100 olive trees in Ya‘bad nr. Jenin. (AFP, JP, MNA 11/14; PCHR 11/21)

White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice attributes in part “increased tensions on the ground” in Israel and the oPt to “recent settlement announcements,” in remarks to the Middle East Institute think tank in Washington. Rice affirms that the U.S. “does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity.” (ToI 11/15)

Russian pres. Vladimir Putin and Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad discuss plans for the proposed “Geneva 2” peace conference during a telephone call. No significant details are divulged. (REU 11/14)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin and Qalqilya; patrols in Tulkarm in the morning, and in Jericho and 1 village and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night. Jewish settlers attack a Palestinian family home in Burin village nr. Nablus, causing no serious damage or injuries. (MNA 10/23; PCHR 10/24)

Palestinian pres. Abbas meets with European Council pres. Herman van Rompuy in Brussels and demands that European companies end all business with settlements. Meanwhile, speaking to a German newspaper, Abbas says that the lack of progress in negotiations is in part due to Netanyahu’s insistence on starting from scratch. Meanwhile, Arab League spokesperson Nasif Hata emerges from a meeting in Paris with U.S. Secy. of State Kerry to say that the body is not optimistic about the renewed peace talks. (AFP, AP, JP 10/23)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry holds extensive talks with Israeli PM Netanyahu in Rome, with discussions focusing on the peace process, Iran, and Syria. Kerry is particularly keen to seek answers from Netanyahu on Israel’s positions vis-à -vis a final settlement with the Palestinians, during 7 hours of talks. Since negotiations began on 7/29, 13 Israeli-Palestinian meetings have taken place, 3 of them in the previous 5 days. (HA, REU 10/23)

In Lebanon, 3 days of fighting in Tripoli between supporters and opponents of Syrian pres. Asad have killed 2 and wounded 33. (AFP 10/23)

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, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Juhur al-Dik, where they level land close to the border fence and then withdraw. In the West Bank, the IDF injures 5 Palestinians nr. Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah during clashes which result from Palestinians trying to stop Jewish settlers throwing stones at cars nr. the camp. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Bethlehem, Qalqilya and 1 nearby village, Nablus, and Jenin r.c. at night. They patrol in al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in Tulkarm and 1 nearby village, as well as 1 village nr. Jenin at night. (MNA, WAFA 9/1; PCHR 9/5)

U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Jen Psaki confirms that U.S. peace process envoy Martin Indyk participated in 1 of the sets of meetings between Israelis and Palestinians that have taken place since the resumption of talks in 7/2013 (though without specifying which one). Meanwhile, Palestinian PM Rami Hamdallah says that a 2d group of Palestinian prisoners could be freed by Israel by the end of 9/2013. (JP, REU 9/1)

Secy. of State John Kerry tells U.S. television networks that the govt. has proof sarin gas was used in a recent Damascus chemical weapons attack, urging Congress to vote for military action against the Asad regime. Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition coalition issues a statement asking Congress to approve the strike. In France, Interior Minister Mauel Valls says that his govt. would not go it alone in Syria and will wait for the decision by the U.S. Congress. (AFP, AP, REU 9/1)

Egypt’s chief prosecutor orders ousted pres. Morsi and 14 other Muslim Brotherhood leaders to stand trial on charges including inciting violence and murder. The new regime also names a constituent assembly and gives it 60 days to review amendments that would erase articles brought in by the Brotherhood and other Islamic parties last year. (NYT, REU 9/1)

In the West Bank, a Palestinian dies in the hospital of wounds sustained by IDF fire in Jenin r.c. during a raid on the camp on 8/20. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron at night, and patrols in al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron, Qalqilya and 1 nearby village at night. (PCHR 9/5)

U.S. Pres. Obama decides to seek the backing of Congress for any attack on Syria, a significant development which he announces in the White House Rose Garden. Such a step delays a potentially imminent strike and has potential to prevent it altogether. Secy. of State John Kerry assures leaders of the Syrian opposition and Saudi Arabia FM Prince Saud al-Faisal that Pres. Obama remains determined to hold the Asad regime to account. Meanwhile, UN chemical weapons experts leave Syria for Lebanon and then fly back to Rotterdam. The team conducted 4 days of inspections and return to the Netherlands with samples for testing. (AP, NYT, REU, WSJ 31/8)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Nablus at night, and patrols in Tulkarm and 1 nearby village at night. In East Jerusalem, around 70 Jewish extremists accompanied by 40 mbrs. of the security forces enter the al-Aqsa compound, including the Dome of the Rock and the old mosque of al-Aqsa. (MNA 8/29; PCHR 9/5)

U.S. pres. Obama’s push for military action against Syria suffers a significant blow as the British Parliament votes against participation with a 285-272 vote that saw many Conservative MPs voting with the Labor opposition. Following the defeat, PM David Cameron acknowledges that Britain will now not take part in any attack on Syria. Meanwhile, Syria’s Pres. Asad vows that his country “will defend itself” against any military strikes, and Iran’s army chief of staff Gen. Hassa Firouzabadi tells the media that any attack on Syria “will drive the Zionists to the edge of fire.” (AFP, AP, Guardian, REU 8/29)

The Egyptian army kills 2 and detains 16 nr. al-Arish in what security sources describe as a targeted attack on “terrorist” outposts. (MNA 8/29)

The IAEA reports that Iran has prepared more than 1,000 advanced uranium enriching machines for start-up, but also says that Tehran has pushed back the time frame for a new reactor to come online. (AP 8/29)

In the West Bank, IDF troops conducted a number of incursions in Hebron and villages in the surrounding area, provoking clashes in a number of locations. The IDF fires rubbercoated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at stone-throwing Palestinians in al-Fawar r.c., the center of Hebron, al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, an area e. of al-‘Arub r.c., and the Hawara area. In the Hawara area nr. Hebron, live ammunition is used, and IDF troops shoot and wound a Palestinian youth. Separately, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron at night and patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. In East Jerusalem, Jewish extremists vandalize 10 cars in Bayt Safafa, also leaving “price-tag” graffiti on walls nearby. (HA 8/27; PCHR 8/29)

A Palestinian is killed in disputed circumstances in ‘Askar r.c. nr. Nablus, as Palestinian security forces conduct a raid to apprehend a different, wanted man. Local residents insist that Amjad Odeh was shot in the head by a gunshot from a Preventive Security Force mbr., but Nablus governor Jibrin al-Bakri suggests that the victim may have been shot by the wanted gunmen in an example of accidental crossfire. Following Odeh’s death, many Palestinians attack security forces, and residents of al-Fara‘a r.c. shut the main Nablus-Tubas road with burning tires. In Nablus itself, youth target PA vehicles and property. (MNA 8/2)

The U.S. and French governments say they are in a position for a strike on Syria, while the Arab League adds its support for punitive action and blames the Asad regime for the recent chemical weapons attack. However, the Arab League does not back a retaliatory military strike. With a divided UNSC, the U.S. and its allies face the prospect of going it alone with regard to military action. (AP, NYT 27/8)

Clashes in the s. Egyptian city of Beni Suef between supporters of ousted pres. Morsi, supporters of the military, and security forces result in the death of 2 Muslim Brotherhood mbrs. by live ammunition. (REU 8/27)

In the West Bank, IDF forces shoot and injure 1 Palestinian in clashes provoked by an IDF arrest raid in Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nur Shams r.c. nr Tulkarm at night; patrols in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, Jenin, and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. Inside Israel, suspected Jewish extremists vandalize a monastery nr. Beit Shemesh and leave “price-tag” graffiti. (WAFA 8/21; PCHR 8/22)

Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi says that the Palestinians may turn to UN bodies in response to Israeli settlement construction even before the current peace negotiations have come to a conclusion. In remarks made during a tour of East Jerusalem settlements, Ashrawi tells journalists “if Israel does not stop, then we have to move.” Meanwhile, Israel’s High Court of Justice rules that 30 structures in the Amana outpost in the West Bank should be demolished, but gives no evacuation date and leaves room for an appeal. (AP, JP 8/21)

A suspected chemical weapons attack takes place in Ghouta, a rebel-held suburb of Damascus, with wildly differing claims of fatalities (from a few hundred to over 1,000). Opposition forces blame the Bashar al-Asad regime, a claim denied by the govt. The UNSC holds an emergency meeting in response and calls for clarity, welcoming Ban Ki-moon’s call for a prompt investigation by UN inspectors. The U.S.-France-UK-drafted res. was changed to accommodate objections from Russia and China. (AFP, REU 8/21)

EU FMs meet for an emergency session in response to events in Egypt and agree to suspend the sale of security equipment and arms. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton says that “recent actions of the military have been disproportionate.” (NYT 8/19; AFP 8/21)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night. Jewish settlers from Brakha nr. Nablus attack Palestinian shepherds nr. Burin village, sparking clashes that are dispersed by the Israeli army, with no serious injuries reported. (MNA 6/22; PCHR 6/27)

Hamas announces the execution of 2 Palestinians found guilty of spying for Israel, the 1st to be killed since an amnesty offer expired in 4/2013. A total of 16 Palestinians have been executed for spying in the Gaza Strip by Hamas authorities since 6/2007. (REU 6/22)

A meeting of the Friends of Syria group in Doha, attended by U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry, produces an agreement to give urgent military support to opposition forces confronting both an Asad regime counteroffensive and jihadist fighters. (REU 6/22)

Off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Dayr al-Balah, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 3 villages nr. Jenin and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm, 1 village nr. Jenin, and 1 village and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, at night. In Abu Ghosh village west of Jerusalem, dozens of cars are vandalized with racist graffiti. (HA 6/18; PCHR 6/20)

The G8 ends a 2-day summit in Northern Ireland with a declaration that backs peace talks in Geneva, which it says should aim to create a transitional coalition govt. for Syria. However, the G8 does not agree on a clear statement regarding the future of Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad. (AP, REU 6/18)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops operating from a watchtower on the border fence nr. Dayr al-Balah open fire on a Palestinian farmer, injuring him. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon; patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah, 1 village nr. Jericho, and 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the morning, in 1 village nr. Jericho and 3 villages and al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night. Israeli soldiers also attack regular demonstrations by Palestinians, Israelis, and international activists against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and the occupation in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, Nabi Salih), 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum) and 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara), causing no serious injuries except in Bil‘in, with 1 injury from a tear gas canister and 1 from a rubber-coated metal bullet. (MNA 6/14; PCHR 6/20)

Israeli DM Moshe Ya’alon declares that U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry’s effort to restart peace talks has failed and that the Arab League proposal is just spin. Ya’alon’s remarks are made in an address to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in Washington, ahead of a meeting with U.S. Defense Secy. Chuck Hagel. His remarks are criticized by Israel’s Science and Technology Minister Jacob Perry as not conducive to resuming negotiations. (HA, JTA 6/14)

Norway’s Dep. DM confirms that UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon has asked Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark to contribute soldiers to the UNDOF in the Golan Heights, following Austria’s withdrawal. Meanwhile, U.S. Amb. to the UN Susan Rice says that the Obama administration has determined that sarin gas was used on 3/19 in an attack by the Syrian army in Aleppo and that unidentified chemical weapons were also used on 5/14 and 5/23. Separately, Hizballah leader Hasan Nasrallah declares in a televised speech that his group will continue to fight alongside Syrian pres. Asad and that the decision to intervene had been a calculated one. (AP, DS, HA, REU 6/14)

In the West Bank, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians who threw stones at a routine patrol in al-Khadir village nr. Bethlehem, wounding an 11-year-old with a rubber-coated metal bullet. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village each nr. Jenin, Qalqilya and Tulkarm in the morning, in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya, 2 villages nr. Tulkarm, and in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Hebron, and Tulkarm and 1 village nearby at night. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces clash with Palestinians in the Abu Dis and Eizariya neighborhoods while conducting arrest raids, detaining 29. Meanwhile, in Israel, security forces demolish 11 structures and tents in Attir and 3 homes in Beer al-Mashash, 2 Bedouin villages in the Negev. In the latter case, Israeli police officers fire rubber-coated plastic bullets and tear gas at residents, injuring 5. (MNA 5/30; PCHR 6/5)

Israel’s Housing Ministry releases a tender for the construction of 300 new homes in Ramot, a settlement in East Jerusalem, and also confirms a decision to sell 797 housing units in Moradot Gilo, another East Jerusalem settlement. A U.S. State Dept. spokesperson describes the move as “counterproductive,” while Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat says that the announcement sabotages U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry’s efforts to restart peace talks. Israeli officials stress that the announcement is not new construction but a republication of a tender previously issued. (AP, HA 5/30)

Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad says during an interview with Al-Manar TV that Russia is still committed to supplying his country with S-300 air defense missiles. Meanwhile, the UN Security Council agrees to add Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qa‘ida-linked rebel group operating in Syria, to a UN sanctions blacklist that imposes an assets freeze, travel ban, and arms embargo on the associated individuals and entities. (AP, REU 5/30)

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)

Off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Hebron; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Salfit and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. Also in the West Bank, Jewish settlers from Yitzhar settlement destroy around 100 olive trees nr. Nablus. (MNA 5/25; PCHR 5/30)

Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court rules against elements of an election law passed by the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated legislature, sending the bill back to the Upper House for review. Meanwhile, U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry meets Pres. Mohamed Morsi on the sidelines of an African Union summit and urges the Egyptian govt. to implement economic reforms necessary to secure a $4.8 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan. (AP, REU 5/25)

Four more people die in clashes between residents of the Sunni Bab el-Tebbaneh district and Alawite area Jabal Mohsen, bringing the death toll over 6 days of fighting in Tripoli to 28, with over 200 wounded. Meanwhile, Hizballah head Hassan Nasrallah broadcasts a televised speech saying that the fall of the Bashar al-Asad govt. in Syria would be a disaster for the “resistance” and for Palestine and a victory for U.S. and Israeli interests. (AFP, HA 5/25)

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu arrives in Russia for talks with Pres. Vladimir Putin about the peace process and regional developments, including Syria. Netanyahu asks Putin not to supply S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Bashar al-Asad’s regime. (HA 5/14)

The International Criminal Court’s prosecutor Fatou Bensouda says she will open a preliminary examination into Israel’s 2010 attack on the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara aid flotilla, following a referral from Comoros, to which one of the vessels raided was registered. (REU 5/14)

Thousands of Palestinians hold Nakba Day rallies in cities across the West Bank; the IDF violently disperses protesters in al-Khader, causing no serious injuries. The IDF also patrols in al- ‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, injuring 1 Palestinian in clashes. Jewish settlers uproot around 150 trees south of Nablus and also set fire to Palestinian agricultural lands in Bayt Furik village nr. Nablus. There is also a ‘‘price tag’’ attack in in Umm al-Qutuf village in Wadi Ara, a Palestinian village inside the Green Line, in which suspected Jewish extremists vandalize a mosque and 3 vehicles. (JTA, MNA, WAFA 5/14; PCHR 5/16)

Fatah and Hamas representatives hold reconciliation talks in Cairo. Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouq says the sides have pledged to complete formation of a long-anticipated unity government within 3 months (see QU 168 for details). (JP, MNA 5/14)

Egypt’s upper house holds a special session to discuss recent clashes (5/7) in al-Aqsa Mosque and demands the immediate expulsion of Israeli ambassador Ya’akov Amitai in protest, but the government takes no immediate action. (ToI 5/14)

Dozens of Jewish settlers from Yitzhar settlement enter Burin village nr. Nablus and clash with Palestinians. The IDF intervenes, violently dispersing the Palestinian residents with tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets, but causing no serious injuries. Jewish settlers also enter Urif village nr. Nablus and clash with Palestinian residents, causing no serious injuries. In the West Bank at night, the IDF patrols in Jericho, 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron, 3 villages nr. Jenin, in Nablus, 1 village nr. Nablus, 1 village nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Tulkarm. (AFP 5/11; PCHR 5/16)

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command (PFLP–GC) says that it is forming combat units to recapture the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The announcement comes after Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad and Hizballah indicated that they would support such operations. (REU 5/11)

PLO Secy.-Gen. Fathi Abu al-Ardat says that at least 55,000 Palestinian refugees have fled Syria to Lebanon since the civil unrest in Syria began. (DS 5/11)

Two small rockets and later a mortar land in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. While the IDF says the fire is ‘‘accidental spillover’’ from the Syrian civil war, rather than intentional, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command says that Syrian government has given the Damascusbased group permission to attack Israeli targets in the Golan Heights. Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad says that Syria is capable of facing Israel, but does not suggest Damascus will retaliate for the recent Israeli air strikes (e.g., 5/5). Hizballah’s deputy head Naim Qassem says that the Israeli attacks aim to boost the opposition fighters and does not comment on claims that missiles bound for the Lebanese group were the target. Meanwhile, Syrian rebel faction the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade says that it is holding 4 Filipino UN peacekeepers it detained on the Syrian side of the ceasefire line between Syria and the occupied Golan Heights, claiming that fighting had endangered the observers. (AP, JP, REU, WP 5/7)

Israeli officials say that PM Benjamin Netanyahu has promised U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry to ‘‘rein in’’ settlement construction until mid-6/2013 in the context of renewed efforts to resume negotiations. (HA 5/7)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the north Gaza coast, causing no damage or injuries. In East Jerusalem, some 40 rightwing Israelis enter the al-Aqsa Mosque compound protected by Israeli security forces, sparking clashes with Palestinian worshippers. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers attack Palestinian vehicles and agricultural land nr. Nablus, causing no injuries. The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron, 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. Also at night, IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in Nablus, 1 village nr. Nablus, 1 village nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Tulkarm. (MNA, WAFA 5/7; PCHR 5/9)

The Israeli air force strikes a site nr. Damascus, in a new air strike on what unnamed Western intelligence sources say was a shipment of advanced, Iranianmade missiles heading to Hizballah in Lebanon. Israeli officials later stress that the airstrikes are aimed at Hizballah rather than destabilizing or undermining Pres. Bashar al-Asad’s regime. The Syrian government accuses Israel of ‘‘gross aggression’’ and says that the strike ‘‘opens a door to all options.’’ The opposition Syrian National Coalition also condemns the strike, saying that Israel is ‘‘taking advantage’’ of the conflict. A U.S. intelligence official says that Washington was not given any forewarning of the air raid. Iran’s Foreign Min. states that countries in the region should oppose the ‘‘assault,’’ while the Iran’s army ground forces commander Ahmad Reza Pourdastan says Tehran is ready to support its ally. Egypt condemns the airstrikes, as does the Lebanese pres. Michel Suleiman. The Arab League demands that the UN Security Council act to end Israeli attacks on Syria, though without suggesting any specific measures. (Guardian, HA, JP, MNA, REU, YA 5/5; AP, REU 5/6)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF forces open fire on Palestinian gravel and metal collectors close to the border fence nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm in the morning, 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Salfit in the afternoon, and in al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron and 2 villages nr. Hebron at night. Also at night, IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Bethlehem, 1 village nr. Hebron, and 2 villages nr. Jenin. (PCHR 5/9)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages each nr. Hebron and Tulkarm, and in 1 village each nr. Jenin, Ramallah, and Salfit at night. Off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, enforcing the new 3 naut. mile fishing limit imposed by Israel. (MNA 3/23; PCHR 3/28)

U.S. Pres. Barack Obama flies back to Washington, leaving Secy. of State John Kerry in the region for further talks aimed at reviving peace talks with PA Pres. Mahmud Abbas in Amman and also PM Benjamin Netanyahu. (MNA 3/23; HA, YA 3/24)

Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that stronger relations with Israel will aid the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and help speed the fall of Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad. PM Benjamin Netanyahu also cites the Syrian crisis as a reason for his decision to improve relations with Ankara. (HA 3/23)

In the West Bank, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrests in Hebron in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. (PCHR 2/21)

The Palestinian Central Elections Commission (CEC) announces that 155,000 people in the Gaza Strip (79% of eligible voters) have registered to vote in planned legislative elections, with 2 days remaining until the electoral roll closes. The CEC says that 76% of eligible West Bank voters are on the roll. The voter registration drive is the necessary step towards as yet unscheduled elections, should Fatah and Hamas agree on how to proceed and with several outstanding issues that could cause a delay. (MNA 2/16)

European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton issues a statement calling on Israel to improve conditions for Palestinian prisoners, noting ‘‘with concern’’ the case of 4 particular inmates on long-standing hunger strikes. (REU 2/16)

IDF soldiers provide medical assistance to 7 injured Syrian nationals they discover nr. the border fence in the occupied Golan Heights. The injured men reportedly are rebels fleeing fighting against forces loyal to Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad. (HA 2/16)

Hizballah leader Hasan Nasrallah makes a speech from an undisclosed location stating that his group does not need support from Syria or Iran for any future battle against Israel. The comments are seen as a reference to claims that Israel’s 1/30 attack on Syria targeted a weapons convoy destined for Hizballah. (REU 2/16)

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says that the country does not want to build nuclear arms but that if they did, no country could stop them. Khamenei also promises revenge on Israel for the death of Revolutionary Guards commander Hessam Khoshnevis, also called Hassan Shateri in some news accounts, who was killed in Syria close to the Lebanese border by rebel fighters that Tehran accuses of working to advance U.S. and Israeli interests. (REU 2/16)

In a meeting chaired by Pres. Abbas, the PLO Executive Comm. affirms the need for a UNSC resolution against Israeli settlement construction. Abbas also signs a decree changing the name of the PA to the ‘‘State of Palestine,’’ with all stamps, signs, and official letterheads set to carry the new name. (MNA 1/3; ToI 1/4)

IDF soldiers make a brief incursion into c. Gaza, e. of Juhur al-Dik, to level land 100 m inside the border fence. In the West Bank, Israeli undercover forces launch an arrest raid into Jenin, sparking a clash with a large crowd of stone-throwing Palestinians; troops open fire on the crowd, wounding 1 man in the leg. The IDF also patrols in 1 village each nr. Jericho, Ramallah, and Salfit in the morning, in 2 villages nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Salfit and 1 village each nr. Jenin, Jericho, and Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning and in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Salfit at night. (MNA 1/3; PCHR 1/10)

An anonymous Israeli security source says that the IDF is planning to escalate arrest raids targeting Hamas mbrs. in the West Bank due to a ‘‘certain awakening’’ or simmering unrest. (YA 1/3)

Around 30,000 people participate in a festival in Nablus to mark Fatah’s 48th anniversary. Meanwhile, the movement’s supporters in the Gaza Strip begin to gather in preparation for their rally on 1/4. (MNA 1/3)

The Israeli organization Ir Amin reports that in 2012, publication of tenders for settlement apartments in East Jerusalem showed a three-fold increase compared to 2011 (rising to 2,386 units), and units approved for future construction a four-fold increase (to 6,932 units). (HA 1/3)

Head of Operations, Logistics, and Property at Israel’s Defense Ministry, Bezalel Treiber, says that in light of the war in Syria, the government is looking to improve the border fence with Syria and may do the same with Jordan, funds permitting. (NYT, ToI 1/3)

Speaking at an annual conference for Israel’s ambassadors abroad, PM Netanyahu says that Iran has not yet crossed the ‘‘red line’’ set by Israel on its nuclear program. The same gathering receives a Foreign Ministry paper predicting that the Syrian civil war has weakened the ability of Asad and Hizballah to respond in the event of an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. (JP, ToI 1/3)

Israel approves 1,500 new housing units in the Ramat Shlomo settlement in East Jerusalem. The government is expected to approve a total of 6,500 settlement housing units over the next week, including almost 4,000 in Givat Hamatos–a new settlement nr. Bayt Safafa–and 1,000 units in Gilo South. Palestinian envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour urges permanent members of the UNSC to take action to stop Israel’s settlement plans in East Jerusalem. (JP, REU, MNA 12/17)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen working 7 naut. mi. off the Gaza coast nr. Wadi Gaza (wounding 1) and nr. al-Waha (causing no injuries). In the West Bank, the IDF shoots and injures a Palestinian man in a village nr. Nablus, after Jewish settlers entered the village and clashed with residents. Israeli forces also raid Jaba village in the n. West Bank, ransacking several homes and taking photographs of a number of buildings. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning, and in 1 village nr. Jenin, and Tulkarm and 1 nearby village in the afternoon; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon, and in Salfit, Hebron and 3 nearby villages at night. (MNA 12/17; PCHR 12/20)

Teachers in the West Bank go on strike to protest the delay in the payment of their salaries. The PA has not set a target date for paying back salaries. Meanwhile, the PA civil servants union accuses Israel of collective punishment for withholding Palestinian tax revenues and calls a strike from 12/18 to the end of the week. (MNA 12/17)

Hamas’s Interior Ministry in Gaza says that Fatah will be allowed to celebrate its 48th anniversary in Gaza, in order ‘‘to promote the atmosphere of unity.’’ (MNA 12/17)

Syrian rebels take control of Yarmuk r.c. nr. Damascus after a fierce battle pitting rebels and anti-Asad Palestinians against the pro-Asad PFLP–GC. PLO official in Syria Anwar Abdul-Hadi says that over half the Palestinian population of Yarmuk r.c. has fled; Palestinian amb. to Syria puts the figure at 95%. (MNA, REU 12/17)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen working 6 naut. mi. off the coast nr. al-Waha resort in the n. Gaza Strip, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF issues a demolition order for a home in Yatta nr. Hebron. The IDF patrols in 4 villages nr. Jenin in the morning. (MNA 12/15; PCHR 12/20)

Palestinian undersecretary of the Ministry of National Economy Nasser Tahboub says that the PA may go to the sponsors of the Paris Protocol to pressure Israel to stop holding back tax revenues collected on the Palestinians’ behalf. (MNA 12/15)

Palestine’s Central Elections Commission announces that the 2d stage of local elections in the West Bank will take place on 12/22/12, after 78 districts failed to register any candidate in the 1st round (10/20/12, see QU in JPS 166). (MNA 12/16)

In Syria, the head of the pro-Asad PFLP–GC, Ahmed Jibril, leaves the Yarmuk r.c. after 12 days of clashes with Syrian rebel forces supported by Palestinian fighters known as Liwa al-Asifah (Storm Brigade), who have gained ground in the camp. (MNA 12/15)

PLO Executive Comm. mbr. Hanan Ashrawi urges the EU to go beyond verbal condemnation of Israeli violations and to take action—such as a full ban on the import of settlement products and reconsidering the EU-Israel Association Agreement—in light of Israel’s persistent human rights abuses. (WAFA 12/6)

Canadian FM John Baird says that PM Stephen Harper has relayed to Israeli PM Netanyahu Canada’s opposition to the recent settlement expansion plans. Netanyahu dismisses international anger and says that Israel will keep the area in question under any future peace deal. (AP 12/5; Globe and Mail 12/6)

Jordan’s King Abdallah II visits Ramallah for talks with Pres. Mahmud Abbas and other senior officials, in a high-profile show of support following the successful UN statehood bid (11/29). (AFP 12/6)

In the West Bank, Jewish settlers attack a Palestinian man during an olive harvest s. of Nablus, while IDF forces invade Barqa village nr. Nablus and ransack 36 homes. In c. Hebron, Israeli soldiers injure 20 Palestinians in clashes provoked when soldiers tried to arrest a Palestinian police officer, who resisted (it is unclear why he is wanted). The IDF patrols in Salfit and 1 village each nr. Jenin and Ramallah in the morning; 1 village each nr. Hebron, Qalqilya, and Salfit in the afternoon; 2 villages nr. Jericho and 1 village each nr. Jenin, Ramallah, and Salfit at night. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night. (MNA 12/6; PCHR 12/13)

Speaking after a visit to Damascus, Filippo Grandi, head of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), says that parties in Syria’s civil war must respect the neutrality of Palestinian refugees. He expresses particular concern over the role of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command (PFLP–GC), a pro-Asad faction that is strong in the Yarmuk r.c. nr. Damascus. (AP 12/6; AFP 12/7)

Israeli newspaper Yedi’ot Ahronot reports that in 2010 Israeli PM Netanyahu engaged in mos. of secret, U.S.-brokered discussions with Syria about a negotiated peace treaty including Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Golan Heights. The U.S. State Dept. confirms that Netanyahu relayed a message to Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad, but Netanyahu denies the accuracy of the story. (HA, NYT, REU, YA 10/12)

Unidentified Palestinians fire a Grad rocket from the Gaza Strip into Israel, causing no injuries. IDF troops on the Gaza border fire a missile at an olive grove nr. al-Bureij r.c. at night, injuring 1 Palestinian child inside a nearby home, and fire 1 missile at an open area nr. Nussayrat r.c. at night, causing no injuries. Israeli naval vessels fire at Palestinian fishermen in the morning, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in 1 village nr. Ramallah and 2 villages nr. Jenin at night. The IDF also uses tear gas against Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals taking part in a nonviolent protest in Bil‘in village nr. Ramallah against the separation wall and settlements. (JP 10/12; IMEMC 10/13; PCHR 10/18)