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  • October 25, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinians and Israeli activists working an olive grove near Turmus ‘Ayya and set fire to 2 Palestinian-owned vehicles. Israeli settlers also...

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  • July 18, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized 69 olive and almond trees near Salfit. Israeli forces delivered stop-work orders for 4 structures east of Yatta and agricultural structures east of...

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  • June 24, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized 1 mosque in Kisan and placed an Israeli flag on top of the mosque. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian minor near Silwad, claiming he had...

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  • June 6, 2022

    In the West Bank, PA forces arrested 9 Palestinian protesters during a general strike in Hebron over rising food prices. Food prices have been rising throughout the world due to Russia’s blockade...

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  • February 2, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort raided Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, leading to a confrontation with Palestinians protesting the incursion; no injuries were reported. Israeli...

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  • February 1, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces seized equipment worth around $30,000 in a quarry near Beit Fajjar, Israeli forces had earlier in the day sealed off a road leading to the quarry. Israeli forces...

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  • January 26, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles at a checkpoint near Burqa; 1 Israeli settler was arrested by the Israeli forces, but Israeli police released him shortly...

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  • November 8, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinians driving near Silat ad-Dhahr. Israeli forces delivered stop-work notices for 9 houses in al-Ramadin and Arab Abu Farda near Qalqilya...

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  • October 22, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters near Kafr Qaddum, injuring 2 with live ammunition. Israeli forces also violently dispersed a protest in Biddu, injuring...

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  • July 18, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces closed off large parts of Hebron to Palestinians, including forcing Palestinians to close their shops in the Bab al-Zawyeh area to allow Israeli settlers to tour...

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  • July 15, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set up mobile homes outside of the Shvut Rachel settlement near Jalud to expand the settlement. Israeli forces demolished several structures in Khirbet Humsa...

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  • June 9, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers started construction of a settlement outpost between al-Khadir and Nahalin. Israeli forces razed an agricultural road near Yatta. Israeli forces also sealed off...

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  • May 17, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked 2 Palestinians in al-Zubeidat. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian minor using live ammunition during a confrontation in al-‘Arub refugee camp...

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  • January 10, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted and stole 190 olive saplings in Qusra belonging to 4 Palestinian families. Israeli settlers also threw stones at Palestinian-owned vehicles near Nablus...

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  • January 6, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers stole 150 olive saplings in Jalud. Israeli forces raided Bayt Umar, leading to clashes; tear-gas related injuries were reported. Israeli forces also razed...

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  • October 21, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces delivered stop-work orders for 1 house in Taqqua. Israeli forces also demolished 1 house in al-Khadir and seized construction material. Elsewhere, Israeli forces...

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  • October 26, 2019

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers chop down 25 Palestinian-owned olive trees in Nahalin. Israeli forces violently dispersed an anti-settlement protest in al-Humma, causing 5 tear-gas related...

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  • September 5, 2017

    In the West Bank, IDF troops conduct earlymorning raids in Ramallah, order a print shop to shut down, and spark minor clashes with stone-throwing youths. They arrest 6 Palestinians, assault 2, and...

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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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  • February 21, 2013

    In the West Bank, tensions continue over hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners: Near Ramallah, 29 Palestinian protesters are injured by rubber-coated steel bullets in clashes with the IDF. There...

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  • November 19, 2012

    The IDF strikes another 80 targets, including Gaza’s football stadium and smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border. Gaza’s Ministry of Health says that the Palestinian death toll surpasses 100,...

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  • March 2, 2011

    An anonymous Israeli official says that Israel has been discussing with the U.S. a unilateral “phased approach to reaching a final status accord” in absence of negotiations with the Palestinians....

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  • January 14, 2009

    Egypt announces that Gaza- and Damascus-based Hamas officials have agreed on a cease-fire offer to be present to Israel (see Quarterly Update). Israel agrees to send an envoy to Cairo on 1/15 to...

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  • January 11, 2009

    The IDF launches its deepest ground incursions into Gaza City since OCL began, conducting a 2-front assault from the north and the south; troops pull back to the outskirts of Gaza City by...

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  • December 29, 2008

    As Israel continues widespread air and naval bombardment of Gaza for a 3d day, Israeli DM Barak declares “all-out war” on Hamas. The IDF declares a 2-mi. buffer zone around the Strip a closed...

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  • December 1, 2008

    The Israeli navy turns back a Libyan freighter carrying 3,000 tons of humanitarian aid attempting to breach Israel’s blockade of Gaza. In the West Bank, the IDF sends an undercover unit into...

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  • October 17, 2007

    Overnight in Gaza, the IDF sends tanks and bulldozers supported by aircraft into Abasan, raiding and searching homes, occupying several houses as observation posts, bulldozing 23 d. of olive trees...

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  • June 15, 2007

    Firmly in control of Gaza, Hamas declares amnesty for Fatah leaders, except National Security Advisor (NSA) Dahlan, with the aim of quelling violence, releasing several of the 10 senior Fatah...

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  • October 14, 2003

    The IDF sends troops back into Rafah in what is officially called Operation Root Canal 2, demolishing 10 more Palestinian homes, wounding 4 Palestinians, including a Palestinian photographer shot...

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  • July 19, 2002

    The IDF blows up the family homes of senior al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades member Ali Ajuri (allegedly behind the 7/17 Tel Aviv bombing) in Askar refugee camp, Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades member Nasser...

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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinians and Israeli activists working an olive grove near Turmus ‘Ayya and set fire to 2 Palestinian-owned vehicles. Israeli settlers also threw stones at Palestinian homes in ‘Ayn Bus. Israeli forces shot and killed 5 Palestinians and injured 21 others during a late-night raid in Nablus. Israel claimed it was raiding Nablus to destroy an explosives lab belonging to the Lion’s Den group; at least 1 anti-tank missile was fired by Israeli forces during the raid. The PA called the raid a war crime and said it had reached out to the U.S. to pressure Israel to end its deadly raids. Tens of thousands attended the funeral procession for the 5 victims and a general strike was issued in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza. Israeli forces also shot and killed 1 Palestinian during a raid in Nabi Salih. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting in Hebron against the raid in Nablus, injuring 3 with live ammunition and others with baton rounds and tear gas. Israeli forces also seized 2 residential tents in al-Juwaya in the Masafer Yatta area, and assaulted Palestinians resisting the seizure. Meanwhile, Israeli forces demolished 1 Palestinian home in Bani Na‘im. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in al-Bireh, injuring 1 with live ammunition. Separately, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Aida refugee camp, injuring 1 with live ammunition. (NYT 10/24; AJ, AJ, ALM, AP, AX, BB, BBC, CNN, DW, GDN, HA, HA, INT, JP, LT, MDW, MEE, PCHR, REU, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WSJ 10/25; AJ 10/26; ALM, PCHR 10/27; UNOCHA 11/1; UNOCHA 11/13)

The Israeli military suspended the security coordinator of the Har Bracha settlement after a video from 10/21 showed that he aided Israeli settlers in attacking Palestinians while in military uniform near Burin. The security coordinator was seen providing a settler with a gas grenade while he was watching the settlers attack Palestinians. The security coordinator was reinstated on 10/30. (HA 10/26; HA 10/31)

PLO secretary general Hussein al-Sheikh met with the ambassadors of Jordan, Egypt, France, and Germany, known as the Munich Group, to continue talks about developing a political horizon for ending the occupation. (WAFA 10/25)

Leader of the Hamas political bureau Ismail Haniyeh met with a delegation from the Taliban-led Afghan government in Istanbul. (MEMO 10/26; MEE 10/28)

Israeli president Isaac Herzog met with U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken in Washington. Secretary Blinken said that the 2 discussed the need to deescalate the situation in the West Bank. (HA 10/26)

Amnesty International urged the ICC to “investigate unlawful attacks committed during Israel’s August 2022 assault on the Gaza Strip as war crimes.” Amnesty said it had investigated 3 deadly incidents during the assault, 2 of which it with certainty ascribed to Israel and 1 which “likely” was caused by an unguided rocket fired by Palestinian militants. The 2 Israeli attacks Amnesty investigated killed 6 Palestinian civilians, including “a four-year-old boy, a teenager visiting his mother’s grave, and a 22-year-old student at home with her family.” Amnesty said that of the 49 Palestinians killed, 33 were killed by Israel and 7 were killed by rockets fired by Palestinian militants; it was unclear who had caused the deaths of the remaining 8. (AI, AJ, MEE 10/25)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized 69 olive and almond trees near Salfit. Israeli forces delivered stop-work orders for 4 structures east of Yatta and agricultural structures east of Tubas. Israeli forces also arrested 1 Palestinian working his land east of Khirbat Einoun and confiscated 1 vehicle. Elsewhere, Israeli forces placed dirt mounds on 4 roads linking Huwwara to ‘Ayn Bus, ‘Urif, and Jamaeen. 13 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Hebron, Dura, al-Doha, Jalazun refugee camp, and Beita. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian was arrested during a late-night raid in Silwan. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 7/18; PCHR 7/21; UNOCHA 7/22)

Israel said it had downed 1 drone entering Israel from Lebanon, claiming it belonged to Hezbollah. (HA 7/18; AP, HA 7/19; ALM 7/20)

The PA called on Israel to address a situation at the Allenby Bridge where thousands of Palestinians reportedly have been waiting for days to cross from Jordan to the West Bank. (WAFA 7/19; MEE 7/20)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas landed in Romania for the 1st day of 3-day trip to Romania and France where he will meet with Romanian president Klaus Iohannis and French president Emmanuel Macron. (WAFA, WAFA 7/18)

The Israeli defense ministry sent a letter to the lawyers representing 6 Palestinian rights organizations placed on the Israeli terrorism list, telling them they would need to get official permission to represent the organizations or face up to 7 years in prison. The letter was sent 2 days ahead of a hearing on the legality of the terrorism designations. (+972, HA 7/18)

Chief of staff of the Israeli armed forces Aviv Kochavi visited Morocco for meetings with Moroccan defense officials. During his visit, Chief of Staff Kochavi will meet his Moroccan counterpart Belkhir El-Farouk and Moroccan defense minister Abdellatif Loudiyi. (MEE 7/17; HA, REU 7/18; ALM, HA 7/19; TOI 7/21)

21 Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives led by Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) wrote a letter to secretary of state Antony Blinken and director of national intelligence Avril Haines, expressing concern over Israel’s decision to label 6 Palestinian rights organizations terrorist organizations without producing any credible evidence to support the claim. Earlier this month, 9 EU countries dismissed Israel’s allegations from 10/2021 due to the lack of evidence against the rights organizations. (AJ 7/18; MDW 7/19; AA, WAFA, WAFA 7/20)

EU foreign ministers agreed to restart the EU-Israel Association Council set up in 1995 but suspended in 2012 due to Israel’s settlement policy. EU high representative for foreign affairs Josep Borrell said that the situation in Palestine was deteriorating and that the annual meetings of the Association council “would be a good occasion to engage with Israel on these issues.” (HA 7/18; ALM 7/19; HA 7/26)

Amnesty International and Citizen Lab published a report saying that at least 30 cell phones belonging to Thai pro-democracy activists, academics, lawyers, and NGO workers were implanted with NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware in 2020 and 2021. (AI, HA 7/18)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized 1 mosque in Kisan and placed an Israeli flag on top of the mosque. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian minor near Silwad, claiming he had thrown stones at vehicles traveling on Route 60. The PA called the killing an execution. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 9 with baton rounds and others with tear gas. Elsewhere, Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian with live ammunition and injured others with tear gas during a late-night raid in Jenin. Israeli forces also delivered a demolition notice for 1 house under construction in al-Farra in the Masafer Yatta area. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 6 nautical miles west of the shore; no injuries were reported. (AP, JP, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/24; AJ, HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/25; PCHR 6/26; PCHR 6/30; UNOCHA 7/2)

The UN human rights office said it had found that the bullet that killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on 5/11 was fired by Israeli forces and not during crossfire with Palestinian militants as Israel has claimed. A representative of the UN human rights office said that “[i]t is deeply disturbing that Israeli authorities have not conducted a criminal investigation” into the killing of Abu Akleh. The UN representative called the bullets fired by the Israeli forces “well-aimed” at journalists wearing flak jackets with “PRESS” markings. (AJ, AP, AX, GDN, HA, MEE, NBC, NPR, OHCHR, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WSJ 6/24; IN 6/25)

Amnesty International criticized the PA for its response to the killing of PA critic Nizar Banat in June 2021. The regional director for the Middle East of North Africa Heba Morayef said that “[t]he flawed military trial of 14 low-ranking security officers will not bring about justice” in the case. The family of Banat is no longer partaking in the PA trial, as it does not believe it will bring justice; it is preparing a civil lawsuit instead. (MEE 6/23; AP 6/24)

In the West Bank, PA forces arrested 9 Palestinian protesters during a general strike in Hebron over rising food prices. Food prices have been rising throughout the world due to Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian wheat and global supply chain issues. In Palestine, prices on flour, sugar, and cooking oil have risen up to 30% in the last quarter. 1 Israeli settler opened fire at Palestinians, claiming they had thrown stones at him; no injuries were reported. Israeli forces delivered a demolition notice for part of a Palestinian home in al-Rakiz in the Masafer Yatta area. Israeli forces also raided Nabi Salih, firing tear gas at Palestinians protesting the incursion; no injuries were reported. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed a Palestinian protest in Tubas, causing tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also delivered notices to Palestinians in Tarqumiyah informing them that 600 dunams (148 acres) of agricultural land will be seized by Israel to expand the settlements of Telem and Adora. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces raided Silwan, firing tear gas at Palestinians and causing injuries. In Jerusalem, Israeli right-wing activists raided the Greek Garden and the Church of Holy Trinity on Mount Zion, damaging property of the Greek Orthodox church. The Greek foreign ministry called on Israel to take “appropriate action” against the perpetrators. (AN, HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/6; WAFA 6/7; HA, MDW, PCHR 6/9; UNOCHA 6/17)

The Israeli Knesset failed to pass the 1st vote on extending the Emergency Regulations – Judea and Samaria, Jurisdiction and Legal Aid, extending Israeli law to Israeli settlers living in the West Bank. 58 voted against and 52 voted for, as the Israeli right-wing opposition voted against the measure to trigger the dissolution of the coalition government. The emergency regulation expires at the end of June. 2 party members in the Israeli coalition, Mazen Ghanaim from the United Arab List and Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi from Meretz, voted against the bill, as did the members of the Joint Arab List. (AJ, AJ, AP, GDN, NYT, POL, TOI 6/6; ALM, HA, HA, JP, MDW, TOI 6/7; AP 6/8; AP, TOI 6/10)

The Palestinian Prisoner Society reported that 1 Palestinian prisoner who has been hunger-striking for 96 days in protest over his administrative detention was in critical condition. (WAFA 6/6)

Amnesty International (AI) called on Israel to “immediately release” Salah Hammouri, a Palestinian-French human rights lawyer who works for Addameer and who has been held in administrative detention since 3/7. AI also demanded that Israel ensure that Hammouri’s East Jerusalem residency status will not be revoked. (AI 6/6)

A survey conducted by the Israeli Democracy Institute found that 60% of Israeli Jews favored segregation from the country’s Palestinian community, up from 45% in last year’s survey. In comparison, about 20% of Palestinian citizens of Israel favored segregation. (HA 6/6)

In Syria, Syrian media reported that the Syrian military had intercepted Israeli missiles targeting Damascus. (HA, REU 6/6; JP, TOI 6/7)

U.S. senators Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Jon Ossoff (D-GA) sent a letter to U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken, urging the Biden administration to ensure a “full and transparent investigation” into the killing of Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on 5/11 in Jenin refugee camp. The 2 senators gave the Biden administration 30 days to report on progress related to the investigation. (AJ, HA, MDW, MEE, TOI, WP 6/7)

Haaretz reported on recently released documents at the Israeli State Archive, which details conversations between Israeli and U.S. officials during the 1st Israeli Invasion of Lebanon. In the trove of released documents are conversations between then Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and U.S. president Ronald Reagan, where President Reagan suggests that Palestinian refugees in Lebanon become Lebanese citizens. Prime Minister Begin responds by suggesting that Palestinians in Lebanon be deported to Libya, Iraq, Syria, or Saudi Arabia. (HA 6/6)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort raided Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, leading to a confrontation with Palestinians protesting the incursion; no injuries were reported. Israeli settlers also attacked Palestinian farmers with pepper spray east of Hebron. Israeli forces delivered stop-work orders for 1 mosque, 3 houses, and 1 commercial structure in Marda. Israeli forces also forced Palestinian business owners to close their shops in Huwwara, claiming that stones had been thrown at Israeli settlers near the shops. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished 4 water wells in Khallet al-Dabe. Israeli forces also demolished 1 commercial structure in ‘Anata. Israeli military said that shots were fired from a car at Israeli soldiers near Nablus; no injuries were reported. 13 Palestinians were arrested, including 10 during late-night raids in Dahariya, Za‘atra, Silwad, and Zeita; 3 were arrested at checkpoints near Bethlehem and Nablus. (TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/2; MEMO, MEMO, PCHR 2/3)

Haaretz reported that Israeli attorney general Avichai Mendelblit authorized establishing an Israeli settlement on the evacuated Evyatar settlement outpost near Beita. Attorney General Mendelblit is leaving office this week. Palestinians have held weekly protests at the site since the outpost was erected in May 2021. The outpost was evacuated in June 2021, but the houses erected remained as the settlers struck a deal with the Israeli government that they could move back if Israel deemed that the land is state-owned. Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz will have to declare the area state-owned, after which there will be a 45-day period to file objections. Several Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the past year while protesting the outpost. In a letter from Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid to Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett, Lapid warned that if the Israeli government legalized the Evyatar settlement outpost, it “could have serious diplomatic consequences and damage foreign relations, first and foremost from the United States,” saying that the U.S. has already made this clear to him. Labor and Meretz publicly opposed legalizing the settlement outpost. (AP, HA, IN 2/2; HA, JP, MEE, TOI, TOI, TOI 2/3; HA, HA, HA 2/4; UNOCHA 2/11)

The Shin Bet admitted to having threatened random Palestinians in Israel that it would “settle the score” if they had participated in protests related to the May 2021 uprising in Israel that coincided with Israeli attacks on Gaza and eviction threats against Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah. (HA, MEE 2/3)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas met with Amnesty International’s secretary-general Agnès Callamard in Ramallah, discussing the report Amnesty released on 2/1 that charged Israel with the crime of apartheid. (WAFA 2/2)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said, at a conference in Tel Aviv, that the Israeli military on 4 occasions had offered assistance to Lebanon. According to Gantz, the offers were made to strengthen the Lebanese army in facing “the strengthening of Hezbollah under Iran’s support.” Israeli military sources later denied that Israel had made such offers and that Israel had only offered humanitarian aid following the explosion in the Beirut port. (HA 2/2; MEMO 2/3)

Israel, Oman, and Saudi Arabia all took part in the International Maritime Exercise 2022, led by the U.S. and with the participation of nearly 60 countries. It was the 1st time that Saudi Arabia and Oman partook in a naval exercise with Israel, which they have no formal relations with. (AJ, ALM 2/2)

The FBI confirmed reporting from the New York Times published on 1/28 that the agency had bought the NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware, but claimed to never have used it. The FBI further stated that it had bought the spyware for “product testing and evaluation.” (ALM, AP, HA, REU 2/2; MEMO 2/3)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces seized equipment worth around $30,000 in a quarry near Beit Fajjar, Israeli forces had earlier in the day sealed off a road leading to the quarry. Israeli forces also set up mobile structures on Palestinian-owned land in Khirbat Humsa. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished 3 Palestinian-owned structures near al-Ramadin; 1 Palestinian journalist working for WAFA was assaulted and another Palestinian was detained during the demolition. Israeli forces also demolished 25 produce stands near al-Jalama checkpoint north of Jenin. 32 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids, including 21 in al-Am‘ari refugee camp, 1 Palestinian was also was bitten by a police dog. PA forces opened fire at a sit-in protest in front of the education directorate headquarters in Tubas, injuring 2 with live ammunition bullet shrapnel. The Palestinian students were peacefully protesting in Tubas, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Tulkarm, and Nablus, demanding that parts of the matriculation exams are removed due to the COVID-19 virus. The Tubas governor said that an investigation into the incident was underway and that it was the action of 1 individual. 11 others were arrested during late-night raids in Qalqilya, Qatanna, Tuqu‘, and Sa‘ir. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces punitively demolished the family home, in Shu‘fat refugee camp, of 1 Palestinian man who was killed after killing 1 Israeli settler and injuring 4 others in the Old City on 11/21/2021. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions and leveled agricultural land east of Khan Yunis and north of Bayt Lahiya. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of the shore; no injuries were reported. (AP, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/1; MEMO 2/2; AJ, MEMO, PCHR 2/3; UNOCHA 2/11)

Israel’s interior ministry said it would start processing family unification requests from Palestinians over the age of 50 who had received residency permits within the last 5 years. The ministry said it would start with that age group because they pose less of a security threat. If a family unification request is approved, the Palestinian will be “upgraded” to “temporary resident” with social benefits. There are 1,680 requests waiting as the Israeli interior ministry has refused to process the requests despite a temporary ban on Palestinian unifications expiring in July 2021. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Hamoked, and Physicians for Human Rights said Israel should start reviewing all applications and not just those for Palestinians over the age of 50. (HA 2/1)

Amnesty International released a 280-page report named “Israel’s Apartheid Against Palestinians: Cruel System of Domination and Crime Against Humanity,” prepared over the last 4 years. Amnesty said in its report that it had found that “Israel has imposed a system of oppression and domination over Palestinians wherever it exercises control over the enjoyment of their rights—across Israel and the OPT and with regard to Palestinian refugees. The segregation is conducted in a systematic and highly institutionalized manner through laws, policies and practices, all intended to prevent Palestinians from claiming and enjoying equal rights to Jewish Israelis within Israel and the OPT, and thus intended to oppress and dominate the Palestinian people.” Amnesty concluded that this institutionalized discrimination perpetrated by Israel is “the international wrong of apartheid, as a human rights violation and a violation of public international law wherever it imposes this system.” Its research was based on “relevant Israeli legislation, regulations, military orders, directives by government institutions and statements by Israeli government and military officials.” Amnesty said that “Israel must grant equal and full human rights to all Palestinians in Israel and the OPT in line with principles of international human rights law and without discrimination, while ensuring respect for protections guaranteed for Palestinians in the OPT under international humanitarian law. It must also recognize the right of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to return to homes where they or their families once lived in Israel or the OPT. In addition, Israel must provide victims of human rights violations, crimes against humanity and serious violations of international humanitarian law—and their families—with full reparations. These should include restitution of and compensation for all properties acquired on a racial basis.” The Israeli foreign ministry called the report anti-Semitic. Amnesty refuted the charged said that Israel is diverting attention away from its violations of Palestinians’ human rights. U.S. state department spokesperson Ned Price said that the U.S. does not agree with Amnesty’s assessment “that Israel’s actions constitute apartheid.” Neither U.S. or Israeli senior officials commented on the evidence presented in the report. The UK and Germany also said they disagreed with the terminology of apartheid used in the report. The PA foreign ministry welcomed the report. (AP, HA, HA, JDF, WAFA 1/31; +972, AI, AJ, AP, CNN, GDN, HA, HA, HA, HILL, IN, JP, MDW, MEE, MEMO, MEMO, MEMO, MEMO, POL, REU, SKY, TOI, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WP 2/1; HA, HA, JP, JP, MDW, PCHR, WAFA, WAFA 2/2; +972, MEE, MEMO 2/3; TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/4; AJ 2/5)

Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett said at a conference in Tel Aviv that Israel will start using lasers to intercept missiles “within a year.” (ALM, AP, HA, JP, MEMO, REU 2/1)

A vice president of the American telecommunications company Mobileum said that he had alerted the FBI to a meeting between the Israeli company NSO Group and Mobileum in 2017, saying that the NSO Group sought to buy access to the SS7 network. Mobileum did not deny the meeting but said that no deal was made with the NSO Group. The former employee who now works for Citizen Lab filed a whistleblower complaint about the meeting and presented evidence to the U.S. justice department, the securities and exchange commission, and the federal communications commission in June 2021. The former VP said that NSO Group senior employees explicitly said during the meeting that they would “drop off bags of cash in [the VP’s] office.” The former VP also said that if the NSO Group had gained access to the SS7 network, it would have “access to the home networks of operators around the world, access to millions and millions of users without bypassing any sort of security controls. That’s a very tantalizing capability for them to have.” (AJ, GDN, HA, MEE, WP 2/1)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles at a checkpoint near Burqa; 1 Israeli settler was arrested by the Israeli forces, but Israeli police released him shortly after he was handed to them. Israeli settlers also threw stones at 2 Palestinian sisters herding sheep in Kisan. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers raided Sabastia, using pepper spray on Palestinians. Israeli forces demolished parts of 1 Palestinian home and razed 7 dunams (1.7 acres) of land in al-Ramadin. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians, throwing stones and snowballs at Israeli forces in al-Tur; 22 Palestinians were arrested. Israeli forces also shot 1 Palestinian minor with a rubber-coated bullet and arrested him after he allegedly threw a stone at a police car. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of Deir al-Balah; no injuries were reported. (TOI, WAFA, WAFA 1/26; HA, PCHR, TOI 1/27)

1 64-year-old Palestinian prisoner suffering from schizophrenia was found dead in his cell at Nitzan prison. (PCHR 1/27)

1 million doses of Russian-made Sputnik COVID-19 vaccines entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing. The 1 million doses of the Sputnik vaccine were donated by the UAE. The PA health ministry said that about 30% of Gaza’s population is vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. Almost 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered to Gaza since the start of the pandemic in early 2020. (HA 1/27)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas extended the COVID-19-related state of emergency by 30 days. The state of emergency was 1st declared in March 2020. (WAFA 1/26; MEMO 1/27)

The autopsy performed after the death of an 80-year-old Palestinian American man in Jiljilyya on 1/12 found that the man died of a heart attack caused by “external violence.” The man had been detained by Israeli forces who gagged, blindfolded, and cuffed him. The Israeli soldiers uncuffed him before leaving him in a cold room, where he was found dead later in the night. (ALM, MEE, NYT 1/26; AP, HA 1/27)

Director of the Crisis and Conflict division of Human Rights Watch (HRW) Lama Fakih said that Amnesty International’s security lab had verified that her phone was infected with the NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware 5 times between April and August 2021. Director Fakih was 1st alerted to the spyware infection by the company Apple on 23 and 24 November. NSO Group told HRW that it is “not aware of any active customer using [its] technology against Human Rights Watch staff member.” Fakih’s work includes monitoring human rights abuses in Syria, Myanmar, Israel, Palestine, Afghanistan, and the U.S. (AJ, ALM, AP, HA, HRW, MEE, MEMO 1/26; WP 1/27)

Axios reported that a cable sent from the Israeli foreign ministry to Israeli embassies told its employees that it was a top priority to delegitimize the UN human rights council’s inquiry into human rights violations in Israel, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, set up after the Israeli attacks on Gaza in May 2021. (AX 1/26; JP, MDW, TOI 1/27; MEMO 1/28; HA 2/2)

Lebanon signed a deal to purchase electricity from Jordan via Syria. The deal is expected to give Lebanon 2 hours of additional electricity a day within 2 months. It is expected that the World Bank will finance the deal. (AP, MEMO, REU 1/26)

UK secretary of education Nadhim Zahawi said that protesters chanting “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” could face prosecution in the UK, as he views the chant as related to Hamas. Secretary Zahawi’s comment was made during a conference on anti-Semitism hosted by his ministry. (MEE 1/27)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinians driving near Silat ad-Dhahr. Israeli forces delivered stop-work notices for 9 houses in al-Ramadin and Arab Abu Farda near Qalqilya and demolished 2 agricultural structures in Tarqumiyah. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Hebron, causing tear-gas related injuries. 9 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Jalazun refugee camp, Beitunia, Silwad, Rantis, Tulkarm, Jannatah, and Beit ‘Anan; Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting the raid in Beit ‘Anan with live ammunition and tear gas and no injuries were reported. In Gaza, Israel said it had downed a drone belonging to Hamas, which crashed into the sea. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen 2 and 6 nautical miles from the coast; no injuries were reported. (HA, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 11/8; PCHR 11/11)

Islamic Jihad charged the PA with creating division among Palestinians by arresting its members in the West Bank. It was unclear when and how many members of Islamic Jihad the PA had arrested. (MEMO 11/9)

PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh met with a bi-partisan group of senators led by Chris Coons (D-DE) in Ramallah. The group discussed reopening the consulate to Palestinians in Jerusalem and U.S. aid to Palestinians. (WAFA 11/8; TOI 11/10)

In Syria, Israeli forces conducted air strikes in Homs and Tartus, injuring 2 Syrian soldiers and causing damage. (HA 11/8)

Haaretz reported that the Israeli military did not know that AP and Al Jazeera had offices in al-Jalaa high-rise in Gaza before deciding to level it on 5/15. Top officials in the Israeli military, including chief of staff Aviv Kochavi, were alerted to the fact after the decision was made to target the building, but before the strike was carried out, and nevertheless decided to go ahead with the strike. Israel never publicly released any evidence to back its claim that Hamas operated out of al-Jalaa building. (HA, MEMO 11/8)

The Washington Post reported that Israel has a secret program called Blue Wolf that includes a large database of pictures of Palestinians taken by Israeli soldiers incentivized with prizes. The pictures are then used to enhance Israel’s facial recognition technology, allowing the occupation to monitor the movements of Palestinians in the West Bank. The sources told The Post that Israeli soldiers have an app on their phone called Wolf Pack, which contains pictures, family history, education, and a security rating for “virtually every Palestinian in the West Bank.” As part of the surveillance program, Israel has installed face-scanning cameras in Hebron. 1 former Israeli soldier told the Post that in some cases, Israel can see into Palestinian private homes. (HA, MEMO, WP 11/8; MEE 11/9)

Front Line Defenders published an investigation showing that the Israeli NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware had been used to spy on 6 Palestinian human rights activists, including 1 field researcher working for Al-Haq, the executive director of Bisan Center for Research and Development—a U.S. citizen—1 Palestinian lawyer who works for Addameer and had his permanent residency in East Jerusalem revoked on 10/18, and 3 unidentified Palestinians. Front Line Defenders investigated 75 iPhones and found 6 were infected with Pegasus spyware, later confirmed by Citizen Lab and Amnesty International. The 3 named victims work for organizations deemed to be terrorist groups by Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz on 10/22 for alleged connections with the PFLP. NSO Group was blacklisted by the U.S. on 11/3 for facilitating attacks on human rights activists and journalists. AJ, ALM, AP, Front Line Defenders, GDN, HA, HA, IT, MEMO, REU 11/8; HA 11/9; MEMO 11/11)

6 progressive-leaning members of U.S. congress, including Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Mondaire Jones (D-NY), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Barbara Lee (D-CT), Melanie Stansbury (D-NM), and Mark Pocan (D-MN) met with Israel’s foreign minister Yair Lapid during a J Street-sponsored trip to Israel and Palestine. (HA 11/8)

A U.S. court rejected NSO Group’s claim of immunity in a lawsuit brought by Facebook, also known as Meta Platforms Inc., about the hacking of its WhatsApp servers. (HA 11/8; MEMO 11/9)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters near Kafr Qaddum, injuring 2 with live ammunition. Israeli forces also violently dispersed a protest in Biddu, injuring 1 Palestinian when a tear gas canister hit his back. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Sheikh Jarrah, physically assaulting 2. Israeli forces assaulted several Palestinians during a house raid in Jabal Mukaber; 4 were arrested. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli navel forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Gaza; no injuries were reported. (PCHR 10/28)

Islamic Jihad said its members had ended a mass hunger strike against Israeli collective punitive measures put in place in the wake of 6 Palestinians fleeing Gilboa prison on 9/6. An Islamic Jihad official said Israel had lifted the measures against the Islamic Jihad prisoners that first prompted the prisoners to start the hunger strike on 10/12. An Israeli security official told the Times of Israel that the Israel Prison service had not made any concessions to the hunger-striking prisoners. (ALM 10/22)

Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz signed an order declaring 6 Palestinian rights groups terrorist organizations: Addameer, al-Haq, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, the Bisan Centre for Research and Development, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, and Defense for Children International – Palestine. Defense Minister Gantz alleged that the 6 groups are “part of a network of organizations operating under cover in the international arena” on behalf of the political party the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which Israel considers a terrorist organization. Israel’s evidence for the allegations was classified and Israel did not state any plans to prosecute individual members. The general director of al-Haq Shawan Jabarin called the accusations “nonsense” and said Israel’s “occupation has no limits to its injustice and insanity.” The PA called the designation “a strategic assault on Palestinian civil society.” The U.S. did not officially criticize the move but said it was not informed of it prior to the announcement and said it would like to review the evidence. Israel claimed that the U.S. had been informed. Several U.S. congresspeople condemned the Israeli government for its attack on the Palestinian organizations, including Betty McCollum (D-MN), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Mark Pocan (D-WI). Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch released a joint statement calling the designation “appalling and unjust” and said that the international community must respond. Later, on 10/24, Israeli officials said members of the Shin Bet and the Israeli military would travel to Washington to present evidence of the 6 organizations’ links to the PFLP. (AJ, AP, CNN, HA, HA, HRW, MDW, MEE, MEE, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/22; AJ, AP, HA, MEE, NPR, PCHR, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/23; AJ, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, JP, TOI, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/24; AHQ, ALM, MEE, MEMO, WAFA 10/25; AP 10/26; WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/27; AJ 10/28; AHQ 11/1)

Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett met with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia. The 2 were said to talk about Iran, Syria, and economic relations. (AJ, ALM, AP, HA, MEMO 10/22; HA, HA 10/24)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces closed off large parts of Hebron to Palestinians, including forcing Palestinians to close their shops in the Bab al-Zawyeh area to allow Israeli settlers to tour it. Israeli forces also seized an excavator in Burin. 7 Palestinians were arrested, including 5 during late-night raids in and around Bethlehem, Burqin, and Deir Ghasana, 1 was arrested at a checkpoint near al-Khader, and 1 was arrested at the entrance to Zabbuba. In East Jerusalem, nearly 1,700 Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound on the Jewish holiday Tisha B’Av, drawing criticism from the Israeli governing party the United Arab List, the PA, Hamas, the EU, and Jordan. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters on and around the Haram al-Sharif compound who were expressing anger over the settler incursion, causing injuries and 5 arrests. (AJ, AP, HA, HA, MEMO, MEMO, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 7/18; MEMO, MEMO 7/19; PCHR 7/29)

The Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt was open for 1 day. (MEMO, WAFA 7/19)

In a statement after the Israeli settlers had toured the Haram al-Sharif compound, Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett said the Israeli security forces had preserved “freedom of worship for Jews on the Mound [the Haram al-Sharif compound],” a significant departure from the status quo of the Holy Sites and a 1st from an Israeli prime minister. Under the status quo agreement, only Muslims have the right to worship on the Haram al-Sharif compound. 1 day later, Prime Minister Bennett clarified that the wording was a mistake and that he meant “visit” rather than “worship.” (HA, MEMO 7/18; AP, HA, JP, WAFA 7/19)

The Israeli high court of justice rejected a petition from Peace Now to stop the transfer of Israeli public funds to the Amana movement, which funds and builds unauthorized constructions in Israeli settlements and settlement outposts. (HA 7/19)

Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid said that the Israeli government would examine the diplomatic ramifications of the demolition and eviction of the bedouin community Khan al-Ahmar. (HA 7/18; MEMO 7/19)

The PFLP-GC said it had elected a new leader, Talal Naji, to replace Ahmed Jibril who died on 7/7 after months of sickness. (AP, HA 7/18)

17 news outlets published a Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International investigation based on a leak of more than 50,000 records of phone numbers, which had been targeted for surveillance with Pegasus spyware from the Israeli spyware company NSO Group’s clients. The investigation found that at least 180 journalists from 21 countries had been targeted by 12 NSO Group clients, including the governments of Bahrain, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, India, the UAE, Mexico, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Togo, and Rwanda. The investigation also found that heads of governments, including Pakistan’s prime minister Imran Khan, France’s president Emmanuel Macron, and Morocco’s king Mohammed VI, were among possible victims. Furthermore, the investigation showed that Pegasus spyware was installed on Saudi dissent journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée’s phone and that his son had been listed for targeting before Khashoggi was murdered by special forces in Saudi’s embassy in Istanbul on 10/2/2018. Charges against NSO Group that its spyware was used against Khashoggi have been denied by the company. The Israeli government approves all sales of spyware from NSO Group to potential clients. Amazon subsequently said it had shut down its servers used by NSO Group. The investigation comes as a different investigation into another Israeli spyware company Candiru was released on 7/15. Later, after the Forbidden Stories investigation was published and with international criticism mounting, the Knesset’s foreign affairs and defense committee chairman Ram Ben Barak on 7/22 said that his committee would review the process of granting licenses to export spyware to other countries. France and Luxembourg said they would start investigations into the Israeli-made spyware. (NYT 7/17; AI, AJ, F24, GDN, HA, HA, HA, HA, MEE, NYT 7/18; AJ, ALM, AP, GDN, MEE, MEE, MEMO, MEMO, NPR, REU, REU 7/19; AJ, ALM, AP, AP, HA, HA, HA, MEE, REU 7/20; AJ, AP, HA, HA, MEE, MEE, MEE, MEMO, MEMO, MEMO, REU, REU, REU 7/21; AJ, ALM, BBC, HA, HA, HA, HA, MEE, MEE 7/22; HA, MEE, MEE 7/23; CNN, HILL 7/25)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set up mobile homes outside of the Shvut Rachel settlement near Jalud to expand the settlement. Israeli forces demolished several structures in Khirbet Humsa after demolishing more than 30 structures on 7/7. Israeli forces also demolished 1 large Canaanite-era cemetery near al-Khader to expand a settlement road; the cemetery was dated around 2300 to 1550 B.C.E. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished a large water tank in Bayt Dajan. Palestinian students from Birzeit University held a sit-in protest at the university for the mass arrest of 33 students on 7/14 by Israeli forces in Turmus ‘Ayya, were the students were visiting the family who were victims of a punitive demolition on 7/8. All of the 33 students were released the same day. 10 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around ‘Asira al-Qibliya, Marah Rabah, Deir Qaddis, Abu Dis, and ‘Anin. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian was arrested during a house raid in al-Tur. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian agricultural lands east of Khuza‘a; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 7/15; PCHR 7/29)

The Intercept and Local Call reported that Israeli settlers and soldiers had cooperated in the deliberately killing at least 4 Palestinians on 5/14, a day where Israeli soldiers and settlers ultimately killed 11 Palestinians across the West Bank. In videos obtained by B’Tselem, it is evident that Israeli settlers stand side by side with Israeli soldiers firing automatic rifles at Palestinians trying to protect themselves from a settler raid in ‘Urif. Similar joint attacks by settlers and soldiers led to killings of Palestinians in Iskaka, ‘Asira al-Qibliya, and al-Reihiya. (+972, INT 7/15; HA 7/16)

Haaretz said that documents they had examined revealed that the Israeli defense ministry had worked with a Jewish National Fund subsidiary, Himanuta, to purchase Palestinian-owned land in the West Bank and to prevent Palestinians from accessing the land in question. The deals between Himanuta and the defense ministry were made in 2018 and 2019. Among the purchases were a 1,000-dunam (250 acres) plot of land near the Hamra settlement, which Israel closed off to its Palestinian owners more than 50 years ago; a plot of land near Ramallah; the home of the Bakri family in Hebron; and a 218-dunam (54 acres) plot of land near the Argaman settlement. (HA 7/15)

Israel and Morocco signed a cybersecurity agreement in Rabat, further bolstering the 2 countries’ normalization deal. (MEMO 7/15)

The New York Times reported that Israel is refusing to extricate a Mexican former federal prosecutor, Tomas Zeron De Lucio, who is wanted for falsifying evidence, torture, and misuse of the NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware. According to NYT sources, Israel is refusing the extradition because of the country’s perception of Mexico as supportive of Palestine. Zeron De Lucio is said to have sought political asylum in Israel. (HA, MEMO, NYT 7/15; GDN, TOI 7/22; TOI 7/23)

The Canadian cybersecurity research group Citizen Lab said that spyware from the Israeli company Candiru was used to spy on more than 100 activists from several countries including Saudi Arabia, Israel, Hungary, Indonesia, the UK, Palestine, Iran, Lebanon, Yemen, Spain, Turkey, Armenia, and Singapore. Spyware was installed on the users’ computers using the Microsoft operating system Windows. Microsoft said it had updated its software to close the hole in its security. 1 of the ways the spyware infected users’ devices was when a user clicked on a URL set up by the attacker. Citizen Lab found that activists had been hacked through domain names from fake websites with domain names such as “amnesty reports,” “refugee international,” woman studies,” “euro news,” and “CNN 24-7.” (AJ, AP, GDN, MEE, REU 7/15; ALM 7/16; NYT 7/17)

Lebanese prime minister-designate Saad Hariri resigned 9 months after being picked to try to form a government. Hariri’s resignation followed a meeting with President Michel Aoun on 7/14, where he proposed a 24-minister cabinet. (AJ, HA, REU, REU 7/14; AJ, AP, AX, HA, MEMO, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU 7/15; AP 7/16)

Facebook suspended the account of a Palestinian user who uploaded a letter from the Palestinian political prisoner in Israeli jail Khalida Jarrar to her recently deceased daughter. The account was initially suspended for 60 days but was unblocked by Facebook on 7/20. (HA 7/20; HA 7/21)

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said at a conference hosted by the Geneva Institute that China plans to increase its involvement in resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. At the virtual conference were also a member of the Knesset from the Meretz (Vigor) party and Ahmad Majdalani, the PA social development minister. (HA 7/15)

A football exhibition match between Beitar Jerusalem and the Spanish F.C. Barcelona was canceled after Barcelona demanded the game should not be held in Jerusalem, which the owner of Beitar Jerusalem refused. Barcelona’s demand came after weeks of pressure from Palestinians, including chairman of the Palestinian Football Association Jibril Rajoub and Joint List member of Knesset Sami Abu Shehadeh. (ALM 7/13; AJ, AP, HA, MEE, MEMO 7/15; ALM 7/16; WAFA 7/17; MEMO 7/18)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers started construction of a settlement outpost between al-Khadir and Nahalin. Israeli forces razed an agricultural road near Yatta. Israeli forces also sealed off a main entrance to Qarawat Bani Hassan. Elsewhere, Israeli forces raided the headquarters of the Union of Heath Work Committees (UHWC) in al-Bireh, seizing documents and computers and posting a notice closing the building for 6 months; Amnesty International warned that closing UHWC will have “catastrophic consequences” for sick Palestinians. 16 Palestinians were arrested during raid in and around Umm Safa, Beitunia, Tuqu‘, al ‘Arub refugee camp, Tubas, Hizma, and Salem; during the raid in Tubas, Israeli forces shot and injured 3 Palestinians using live ammunition. In East Jerusalem, Israel banned Fatah member Awad al-Salaimeh from entering Shaykh Jarrah and Batn al-Hawa for 15 days. 2 were arrested in Batn al-Hawa. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of Khuza‘a; no injuries were reported. (PCHR, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/9; AJ, ALM, PCHR, WAFA 6/10)

Israel put 1 Palestinian citizen of Israel in administrative detention. He is the 2d Palestinian citizen of Israel to be put in administrative detention since 5/17. 12 Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem have also recently been put in administrative detention. (HA 6/9; HA 6/24)

Israeli police commissioner Kobi Shabtai banned 2 members of the Knesset from the Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party, Itamar Ben-Gvir and May Golan, from partaking in the planned Israeli Flag March in East Jerusalem on 6/10. The march had been postponed by the Israeli security cabinet on 6/8, but the lawmakers said they would march despite the postponement and encouraged others to join them. Police Commissioner Shabtai also wanted to ban Ben-Gvir from entering the Haram al-Sharif compound on 6/9 and 6/10, but that decision required Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approval. Shabtai said his decisions were made in order to prevent incitement to violence. (HA 6/9)

UK Labor leader Keir Starmer called on UK prime minister Boris Johnson to press for recognition of the state of Palestine at the upcoming G7 meeting in Cornwall. Starmer referred to the Israeli attacks on Gaza as a reason why the recognition was urgent. (MEE 6/9; MEMO, WAFA 6/10)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked 2 Palestinians in al-Zubeidat. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian minor using live ammunition during a confrontation in al-‘Arub refugee camp. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Husan, leading to tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Hebron, leading to tear-gas related injuries. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting in Jenin, leading to tear-gas related injuries. Palestinian protests were also held in Qabatiya and Rumana. 8 Palestinians were arrested, including 7 during late-night raids in Dayr Abu Mash‘al, Jenin, Jericho, and Bayt Rima; 1 was arrested while in a park in Jenin. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers raided the Bab al-Rahma cemetery at the Haram al-Sharif compound. 3 Palestinians were arrested during raids in al-Tur, the Old City, and Silwan. In Gaza, 13 Palestinians were killed, including 2 children, and dozens were injured, raising the comprehensive death toll since 5/10 from 203 to 216, including 62 children and 2 pregnant women. The casualties included: 1 in an air strike on a house in Jabaliya; 1 while driving a car near Gaza City; 4 by an Israeli air strike near a seaside café west of Gaza City; 2, including 1 child, in an air strike on an apartment building in Gaza City; 1 child, and 1 child was wounded during an air strike at a house in Dayr al-Balah; 1, and 1 injured in an air strike in Abasan; 2, and 2 injured in a drone strike in Bayt Lahiya; 1 succumbed to wounds sustained on 5/13 during an air strike on the American Hospital west of Bayt Lahiya; 1 Palestinian was found in rubble from a massive air strike that killed 43 in Gaza City on 5/16, raising the death toll from that strike to 44. Israel also conducted large-scale air attacks on al-Bureij, Nuseirat refugee camp, Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City, and Khan Yunis, causing extensive damage and injuries; among the buildings damaged was the Gaza COVID-19 vaccination center and a large bookstore. It was reported that several power lines had been destroyed, making the electricity supply to Gaza even worse. In Israel, 1 Jewish-Israeli man was killed by Palestinian-Israeli stone-throwers in Lydda. Israel said 6 rockets were fired from Lebanon toward Israel, but landed in Lebanese territory; Israel subsequently attacked areas of Lebanon. (AP, HA 5/16; AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, AP, HA, MEE, MEE, PCHR, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/17; PCHR 5/18; HA, MEE 5/19; PCHR 5/20; MEE 5/21; NYT 5/26)

The Fatah central committee called for a general strike to protest evictions of Palestinians from East Jerusalem and the Israeli attacks on Gaza on 5/18. A similar call was made by the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel on 5/16. (MEE, WAFA 5/17)

PA civil affairs minister Hussein al-Sheikh, general intelligence chief Majid Faraj, and advisor for the president on diplomatic affairs Majdi Khaldi met with U.S. deputy assistant secretary for Israel and Palestinian affairs Hady Amr in Ramallah. The trio urged the U.S. to pressure Israel to stop its attack on Gaza and evictions of Palestinians in East Jerusalem. Deputy Assistant Secretary Amr also met with PA president Mahmoud Abbas and PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh. (AJ, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/17)

U.S. president Joe Biden called for a ceasefire during a phone call with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (AJ, AX, NPR, REU 5/17; AJ, AP, HA 5/18; AP 5/19)

Amnesty International said Israel’s attacks on Gaza must be investigated as war crimes, given their targeting of residential homes. (AI 5/17; WAFA 5/19)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted and stole 190 olive saplings in Qusra belonging to 4 Palestinian families. Israeli settlers also threw stones at Palestinian-owned vehicles near Nablus, damaging 1. Israeli forces confiscated 1 Palestinian-owned cargo truck in Atuf. Israeli forces also delivered a demolition order for a house under construction in Khirbet Ras al-Ahmar. 5 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Hebron, Yatta, Jenin, and Atuf. In East Jerusalem, 6 Palestinians were arrested, including 5 protesting the razing of land in Silwan and 1 in Issawiyya. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of Abasan, Dayr al-Balah, al-Bureij refugee camp, Khuza‘a, and north of al-Sifa; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA 1/10; WAFA 1/11; PCHR 1/14)

The PA said it will receive its 1st doses of COVID-19 vaccines in March from the company Astro-Zeneca. The PA foreign ministry also said in a statement that Israel is “ignoring its duties as an occupation power and committing racial discrimination against the Palestinian people, depriving them of their right to health care . . . The search by the Palestinian leadership to secure the vaccines from various sources doesn't exempt Israel from its responsibilities towards the Palestinian people in providing the vaccines.” Many human rights organizations, Amnesty International amongst them, have maintained that it is Israel’s responsibility to provide vaccines to the Palestinian people it occupies, a responsibility Israel denies, citing the Oslo Accords. Israel has been vaccinating Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem along with Israeli settlers in the West Bank. (AI 1/6; ALM 1/8; AJ, HA, JP, REU, WAFA, WAFA 1/10; AJ 1/11)

In Lebanon, residents of Beirut complained about low-flying Israeli jets, which is said to become more frequent. On 1/8, an Israeli fighter jet flew over Lebanese air space for 6 hours. UNIFIL has said the Israeli violation of Lebanese air space is a near daily occurrence. (AA, BB, HA 1/10)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers stole 150 olive saplings in Jalud. Israeli forces raided Bayt Umar, leading to clashes; tear-gas related injuries were reported. Israeli forces also razed several hundred olive saplings and trees in Dayr Balut. 5 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Dayr Nitham, Nablus, and Hebron. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions and leveled land east of Khan Yunis. In Israel, Israeli police violently dispersed Palestinian citizens of Israel in Kafr Qara protesting the lack of Israeli police’s willingness to investigate intra-communal violence of Palestinian communities in Israel; 1 Palestinian citizen of Israel was killed on 1/5. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/6; PCHR 1/7)

An Israeli military court convicted the prominent Palestinian activist Issa Amro of 6 of 18 charges against him, including obstructing Israeli forces’ activities and assaulting 1 Israeli settler. Amnesty International has called the charges politically motivated and Amro denies the charges against him. He will be sentenced on 2/8. Amro also has a court hearing at a PA court on 1/20 for accusations of “insulting higher authorities” over Facebook. Amnesty has also called the PA charges “disgraceful.” (AI 1/5; HA, MEE, REU 1/6)

Sudan announced that it had signed on the normalization deal between Israel, Bahrain, and the UAE after Sudan was formally removed from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism in December. The agreement was formalized by the Sudanese justice minister Nasredeen Abdulbari and U.S. treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin. The U.S. has also agreed to settle Sudan’s debt to the World Bank and granted Sudan immunity from prosecution related to the 2 U.S. embassy bombings in east Africa during the 1990s. (AJ, HA, REU 1/6)

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 15 people were killed or injured in Israeli attacks on southern Damascus. (REU 1/6; MEE 1/7; HA 1/9)

In Washington D.C., thousands of anti-democracy Donald Trump supporters protested at the U.S. Capitol building after attending a Trump rally by the White House on the day that the U.S. congress was to confirm the electoral college vote win for president-elect Joe Biden. Hundreds of protesters stormed the Capitol building while the legislators were debating the electoral college votes, taking over the senate chamber while legislators were evacuated. 1 protester was killed in the Capitol building and 4 others died due to “medical emergencies” during the violent protest, including a police officer. At least a dozen U.S. police officers were injured and several dozen protesters were arrested. After the Capitol building was secured, U.S. members of congress certified President-Elect Biden’s win. In the aftermath, Trump was temporarily banned from Twitter and Facebook after accusations of using the platforms to incite the rioters. Trump subsequently promised an “orderly transition of power” despite not acknowledging his defeat in the presidential election, making unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. 2 of the Trump administration cabinet members and a dozen high-ranking officials resigned in the aftermath of violence encouraged by the president; speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi was among many bipartisan voices calling for Trump’s removal from office. Also, 2 Democrats were declared winners of the run-off elections in Georgia, providing the Democrats a majority in the Senate as well as the House. (AJ, GDN, HA, HA, HA, REU, REU 1/6; AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, AP, AX, BBC, CNN, CNN, HA, HA, HA, IN, MEE, NPR, NYT, NYT, REU, WP 1/7; AJ, CBS, CNN, CNN, CNN, WAFA, WP 1/8; HA 1/9)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces delivered stop-work orders for 1 house in Taqqua. Israeli forces also demolished 1 house in al-Khadir and seized construction material. Elsewhere, Israeli forces punitively sealed off the room of an alleged attacker in his family house. 10 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Qalandia refugee camp, Bethlehem, Hebron, Kafr Qaddum, and Qalqilya. In East Jerusalem, 4 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Issawiyya. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of Khuza‘a and east of al-Qarara; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/21; PCHR 10/22)

The Israeli public radio channel Kan reported that an Israeli delegation was in Sudan to talk about a normalization deal between the 2 countries. (REU 10/21; AJ 10/22)

U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo said, when asked if he had any comment about the Palestinian prisoner on administrative detention who has been hunger striking for 87 days, that he would not comment on 1 particular case, and that “Israel has the right to defend itself.” (IMEU – Twitter 10/21)

According to reporting by Politico, the Trump administration is mulling over declaring human rights organizations and other NGOs such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Oxfam anti-Semitic. According to the reporting, Secretary of State Pompeo is seeking to get through the declaration to gain favor among evangelical voters for a future run for president. The reporting cites allegations of support for the BDS movement as the justification for labeling the organizations anti-Semitic. (MRJ, POL 10/21; GDN, HA, JTA, TOI 10/22)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers chop down 25 Palestinian-owned olive trees in Nahalin. Israeli forces violently dispersed an anti-settlement protest in al-Humma, causing 5 tear-gas related injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed a protest in support of hunger-striking prisoners in Israeli jails, causing tear-gas related injuries and arresting 2 of the protesters. In Gaza, 1 Palestinian was injured by Israeli forces while driving a sanitation vehicle east of Khan Yunis. Separately, Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian farmers; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/26; PCHR 10/31)

A Palestinian working for Amnesty International was briefly detained at the Allenby Bridge and told he was not allowed to leave the West Bank. The Secretary-General of Amnesty International, Kumi Naidoo, called it “a sinister move imposed as punishment for work defending human rights of Palestinians.” (Amnesty 10/31; HA 11/1; AJ 11/2)

In the West Bank, IDF troops conduct earlymorning raids in Ramallah, order a print shop to shut down, and spark minor clashes with stone-throwing youths. They arrest 6 Palestinians, assault 2, and confiscate 1 car during late-night raids in and around Hebron, Ramallah, Jenin, and Nablus, and patrol near Salfit, Jenin, and Nablus. An Israeli settler driver strikes a Palestinian youth near Bethlehem, causing critical injuries. In East Jerusalem, the Israeli authorities evict a Palestinian family from their Sheikh Jarrah home of 53 years, allowing Israeli settlers to move into the property. When the family protests, Israeli police assault and arrest 2 of the men, moderately injuring 1 (they will be released on 9/6). The settlers claim to be descendants of the home’s pre-1948 owners. Along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion to level land near Gaza City. (HA, MNA, TOI, WAFA 9/5; EI, MNA 9/6; PCHR 9/14; EI 9/15)

Several international human rights groups, including Amnesty International, condemn PA pres. Abbas for arresting Youth Against Settlements founder Amro on 9/4. Meanwhile, Amro goes on hunger strike to protest his “arbitrary arrest,” according to his brother Ahmad. Amro is also facing charges in Israel related to his alleged incitement to violence against the IDF. (EI, GDN 9/5; AP, TOI 9/6)

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)

In the West Bank, tensions continue over hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners: Near Ramallah, 29 Palestinian protesters are injured by rubber-coated steel bullets in clashes with the IDF. There are also clashes at Huwara checkpoint nr. Nabus, causing no serious injuries. Meanwhile, a Jerusalem court sentences hunger-striker Samer Issawi to 8 months in prison for violating the terms of his 10/2011 amnesty deal. Issawi gets credit for time served and is scheduled for release in 3/2013. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Ramallah in the morning, in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 1 village each nr. Ramallah and Tulkarm at night. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin at night. Jewish settlers vandalize some 70 Palestinian-owned trees nr. Hebron. Palestinian and international activists demonstrate nr. Hebron to call for the opening of a route closed for the past 12 years linking Hebron city with three nearby villages; the IDF violently disperses them, causing no serious injuries. In the Gaza Strip, IDF forces carry out a limited incursion into the border area nr. Khan Yunis to level farmland and clear lines of sight. Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the north Gaza coast, causing no serious injuries, and then again on fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing one moderate injury. (MNA 2/21; PCHR 2/28)

The union of West Bank teachers declares a day’s general strike across the territory in response to recent remarks by the PA finance minister about reductions in due salary increases, as well as ‘‘fragmented’’ monthly wages that have left public sector workers without their full salaries for more than three months. (MNA 2/20)

Israel’s Energy Ministry reveals that it is granting U.S. company Genie Energy a license to explore for oil and gas in the occupied Golan Heights. (FT 2/21)

A report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says that Iran has begun installing advanced centrifuges at its main uranium enrichment plant that could enable Tehran to speed up its accumulation of material needed for a nuclear weapon. The IAEA report also says that since 12/2012, Iran has been converting refined uranium to powder for the production of reactor fuel. (HA, REU 2/21)

The IDF strikes another 80 targets, including Gaza’s football stadium and smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border. Gaza’s Ministry of Health says that the Palestinian death toll surpasses 100, including over 30 women and children. The IDF puts the death toll at 95, and says 1/3 were civilians. Rescue workers continue to search for 2 missing persons in the rubble of the destroyed al-Dalou family home (see 11/18). Palestinian armed groups fire 42 rockets into Israel, bringing the total to 1,128 rockets since Israel’s operation began on 11/14; over 300 rockets have been intercepted by Iron Dome, and fewer than 40 have landed in populated areas. (AP, MNA, REU 11/19)

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu rebuffs a French-Qatari cease-fire initiative on the grounds that it could interfere with Egyptian mediation efforts (see 11/18). UN secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon arrives in Cairo to discuss the cease-fire talks. Hamas chief Mishal meets with Egyptian intelligence officials in Cairo, with the Egyptian side indicating that a cease-fire is close. Turkish PM Erdogan denounces Israel for conducting ‘‘terrorist attacks’’ in Gaza. A coalition of almost 40 international aid agencies issue an urgent call for a cease-fire; Amnesty International calls additionally for an arms embargo on Israel and Hamas. (Guardian, HA, WSJ 11/19)

In the West Bank, the IDF kills 2 Palestinians in separate incidents, as Palestinians continue to protest the attack on Gaza: 1 Palestinian from alNabi Salih dies of wounds he sustained on 11/17 when the IDF opened live fire on demonstrators, and the 2d Palestinian is shot dead by IDF troops in Hebron, who claimed they felt that their lives were in danger. At night, the IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Qalqilya, Bethlehem, Tubas and 1 nearby village, 1 village nr. Nablus, al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, and 1 village nr. Hebron. A Jewish settler injures a Palestinian man in a deliberate hit-and-run nr. Ofra settlement, after a Palestinian demonstration against Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense. (MNA 11/19; PCHR 11/22; OCHA 11/27)

An anonymous Israeli official says that Israel has been discussing with the U.S. a unilateral “phased approach to reaching a final status accord” in absence of negotiations with the Palestinians. PLOEC mbr. Saleh Rafaat warns that the PLO will refuse any interim or partial solution and any call for creating a Palestinian state with temporary or undefined borders. (REU 3/2; NYT 3/3)

Israel’s Jerusalem municipal authority approves construction of 14 Jewish settlement housing units in Ras al-Amud in East Jerusalem. In Gaza, Israel permanently closes the Qarni crossing, shifting all import and export of goods to Kerem Shalom. It also allows Gazans to export tomatoes for the 1st time since 6/2007. Meanwhile, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border twice fire on Palestinian farmers who stray nr. the border fence, forcing them to leave. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 20 structures in Khirbat Tana, marking the 6th major demolition of the village; patrols and sets up checkpoints in Tulkarm town and r.c. in the morning; bulldozes a well nr. a settleronly bypass road outside Hebron; conducts late-night patrols in al-Til village nr. Tulkarm and late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron. (AFP, AP, MNA 3/2; NYT, PCHR, WP 3/3; JP 3/9; PCHR 3/10; OCHA 3/18)

In Yemen, antigovernment protests have steadily picked up since 2/16, particularly in Sana’a and Taiz. Some scuffles between protesters and govt. supporters (thought to be plain-clothed security forces) have been reported, but protests are still largely nonviolent. (Amnesty International reports at least 27 protesters killed to date.) By this time, 10 MPs fr. Pres. Ali Abdullah Saleh’s ruling party have resigned in solidarity with protesters, and medical unions, entire tribes and villages, and lawyers’ and labor groups have joined demonstrations. Today, opposition figures, tribal leaders, and influential clerics present Saleh with a plan for his peaceful transition fr. power and meet with him late into the night to discuss it, but there is no immediate deal. Meanwhile, protests grow in size to 10,000s of participants. (NYT, WP 3/3; see also NYT, WP, WT 2/23–24 NYT 2/28; WP 3/1; NYT, WP, WT, 3/2)

Egypt announces that Gaza- and Damascus-based Hamas officials have agreed on a cease-fire offer to be present to Israel (see Quarterly Update). Israel agrees to send an envoy to Cairo on 1/15 to be briefed on the plan. Meanwhile, Israel’s intense air, naval, and ground assaults on Gaza continue.

Combat notes: Under cover of air strikes and heavy shelling, IDF troops take up new positions in s. Gaza’s al-Fukhari area nr. the Sufa crossing (occupying several homes and expelling the residents) and al-Shuka village; Israeli fire is so intense that rescuers cannot reach the wounded or retrieve the dead. The IDF reports carrying out approximately 120 air strikes today (70 of them after nightfall) that kill 10s of Palestinians. Targets include at least 24 groups of armed Palestinians, 16 smuggling tunnels, at least 10 suspected weapons depots (including a Rafah mosque), and 24 rocket launching sites (killing senior IQB cmdrs. Walid Za‘abud and Muhammad Dash nr. al-Zaytun). Air strike target areas include Bani Suhayla, Bayt Lahiya, Gaza City (areas northwest of the city and al-Nasser, al-Sabra, al-Sha‘af, Shaykh Ridwan, al-Shuja‘iyya, Tal al-Hawa, al-Yarmuk, al-Zaytun), Khan Yunis, Khuza, al-Mughraqa, Nussayrat r.c., al-Qarara, Rafah, al-Shabura r.c., Twam, Yibna r.c. Heavy artillery and tank fire are reported in and around Bayt Lahiya (white phosphorous suspected), al-Bureij r.c., Gaza City (al-Sabra, al-Tuffah), Jabaliya town and r.c. Naval bombardment centers on Rafah’s Tal al-Sultan neighborhood.

Palestinians fire 14 rockets and 2 mortars, including 4 Grads (2 each in Ashdod and Beersheba), into Israel, causing no injuries. Gaza medical workers put the estimated Palestinian toll at 1,018 dead (including an estimated 300 children), 4,700 injured. The IDF reports 27 soldiers wounded (1 severely, 2 moderately, 24 lightly), mostly in ground fighting with Palestinians n. Gaza, including 7 soldiers wounded (1 severely, 1 moderately, 5 lightly) by a Palestinian antitank missile. The Israeli toll stands at 13–14 dead, more than 150 wounded.

Humanitarian notes: The IDF allows at least 108 truckloads of humanitarian aid into Gaza during the lull. A group of Israeli human rights groups (including Amnesty International–Israel, B’Tselem Gisha, Physicians for Human Rights–Israel) characterize Israel’s restrictions on aid and access to Gaza by relief groups and medial workers as a “blatant violation of the laws of warfare and raises the suspicion, which we ask be investigated, of the commission of war crimes.” (AP, BBC, CBS News, HA, IDF, IFM, JAZ, MM, QA, REU, RFM, XIN 1/14; AYM, HA, IDF, IFM, IHY, JAZ, MA, MM, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT, YA 1/15; ITIC 1/19; PCHR 1/22, 1/29)

The IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron and Jenin, in Bayt Sahur, and nr. Nablus. (PCHR 1/22)

Unidentified assailants fire 3 rockets fr. s. Lebanon into n. Israel. (Up to a dozen rockets total may have been fired, with others landing inside Lebanon). The IDF returns fire. No damage or injuries are reported. (MM, MNR 1/14; WP 1/15)

The IDF launches its deepest ground incursions into Gaza City since OCL began, conducting a 2-front assault from the north and the south; troops pull back to the outskirts of Gaza City by nightfall. To accommodate expanded operations, the IDF commits its first significant influx of reservists into Gaza, numbering in the 1,000s, using them to hold IDF positions, freeing up regular combat troops to thrust deeper into Gaza City.

Combat notes: The intensified IDF assault on Gaza City begins before dawn, with tanks and troops based in the fmr. Netzarim settlement advancing fr. the southwest, supported by helicopter gunships and F16s, resulting in some of the heaviest fighting since OCL began, especially in Shaykh Ajlin. Simultaneously, the IDF steps up attacks on the northern outskirts of the city. The IDF reports (IDF 1/11) finding 10s of booby-trapped houses, buildings, and tunnels, accusing Hamas of booby-trapping 30 homes in one neighborhood (location not given). Ground forces also move into Khuza in s. Gaza under heavy artillery fire, bulldozing several homes and razing tracts of agricultural land before withdrawing late in the evening.

The IDF reports hitting nearly 70 targets across Gaza today and making more than 40 air strikes. Targets hit include 23 smuggling tunnels (including 2 located under the homes of Hamas mbrs.), at least 15 “armed cells,” 11 suspected weapons depots, several rocket-launching sites. Air strike target areas include Bani Suhayla, Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, Gaza City (Shaykh Ridwan), Khan Yunis, al-Maghazi, al-Mughraqa, Nussayrat, Rafah, al-Shabura r.c., Yibna r.c., al-Zawayda (c. Gaza). Heavy tank and artillery fire is reported in Bayt Hanun (white phosphorus use confirmed by Amnesty International), Gaza City (al-Shuja‘iyya, Tal al-Hawa, al-Zaytun), Jabaliya, Khuza, Khan Yunis (possibly involving white phosphorous).

Palestinians fire 20 rockets and 8 mortars into Israel, including at least 1 Grad that hits an empty kindergarten in Ashdod (damage but no injuries) and 2 rockets that hit Beersheba (some light injuries). The IDF reports sustaining no casualties but killing around 45 armed Palestinians, bringing the estimated Palestinian toll to at least 876 dead, 3,600 wounded.

Humanitarian notes: The IDF observes the daily 3-hr. humanitarian lull but does not release figures on the number of trucks permitted entry.

Of note: Today’s IDF air strikes on tunnels along the Rafah border damage 10 homes in Egyptian Rafah, seriously wound 2 Egyptian border policemen and lightly wound 1 border policeman, 2 Egyptian children (ages 2 and 5). Egyptian security officials say that the Israeli drones and planes have violated Egyptian air space daily since OCL began and that previous Israeli air strikes during OCL have damaged buildings and 1 mosque, shattered windows, and caused power shortages inside Egypt. (AFP, HA, IDF, WP 1/11; IDF, MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/12; WT 1/13; PCHR 1/15; ITIC 1/19; MM, QA 1/22)

The IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Bayt Umar and Sa’ir, both nr. Hebron. (PCHR 1/15)

As Israel continues widespread air and naval bombardment of Gaza for a 3d day, Israeli DM Barak declares “all-out war” on Hamas. The IDF declares a 2-mi. buffer zone around the Strip a closed military zone and continues amassing tanks and troops there, indicating further preparations for a ground invasion. Israeli military officials speaking anonymously say they have expanded the IDF’s target list to include Hamas’s support network and symbols of Hamas power, stating that “there are many aspects of Hamas, and we are trying to hit the whole spectrum, because everything is connected and everything supports terrorists against Israel” and that “anything affiliated with Hamas is a legitimate target.”

Israeli actions: The IDF reports hitting 100 sites today, including more Islamic University buildings (including the engineering dept., library); homes and offices of Hamas leaders; PA government buildings (including the Interior Min., Finance Min., Foreign Min., Labor Min., Construction and Housing Min., and a PA presidential guest house); Bani Suhayla’s municipal building; the alZawiyya Mosque in Jabaliya r.c. and Omar Bin al-Khattab Mosque in al-Bureij r.c.; more civil and naval police stations; more tunnels along the Rafah border; the headquarters of Hamas’s al-Aqsa TV; Gaza’s port (for a 2d day); and 1 Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades training site. Target areas include Abasan, Bani Suhayla, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (city center, al-Rimal, al-Sabra, Shaykh Ajlin, Tal al-Hawa), Jabaliya town and r.c., Khan Yunis, Nussayrat r.c., al-Qarara, Rafah, Shati’ r.c., Tal al-Za‘atar. Just before strikes on Rafah, Israeli Military Intelligence makes 10,000 automated calls to Rafah residents warning of pending air strikes, breaks into Palestinian radio broadcasts to urge residents across Gaza to move to city centers. Palestinian medical officials report at least 364 Palestinians dead, 1,500 wounded since 12/27.

Palestinian actions: Palestinians fire 66 rockets, 14 mortars into Israel (twice as many as in the previous 24 hrs.), killing 3 Israeli civilians (1 each in Nahal Oz, Ashdod, Ashqelon; 1 of them an Israeli Palestinian) and wounding 5 (3 of them Israeli Palestinians), with 2 rockets hitting 23 mi. north in Gan Yavne/Ashdod. A Palestinian mortar hits an IDF base in Netivot, s. and e. of the Nahal Oz crossing, killing 1 IDF soldier (a Druze), seriously wounding 1, lightly injuring 4. The Israeli toll stands at 4–5 dead, about 20 injured. Reports circulate (e.g., NYT 12/30) of Hamas gunmen executing at least 5 accused collaborators with Israel inside hospitals; the 5 had been jailed for collaboration and transferred to hospitals after being wounded in IDF air strikes on jails.

Humanitarian notes: Israel allows 40 truckloads of humanitarian aid into Gaza; Egypt allows 23 truckloads of emergency goods in, some wounded out through Rafah. International aid groups (including Amnesty International, the UN) say aid transfers are insufficient, warn that the death toll is rising in part because of lack of medicines and medical supplies, food, and fuel.

Of note: One Israeli air strike heavily damages the UN Special Coordinator’s Office (UNSCO) headquarters in Gaza City, prompting the UN to issue a formal complaint. Egyptian TV reports that captured IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit has been wounded in an Israeli air strike in recent days; Hamas does not comment. (BBC, CNN, HA, Houston Chronicle, IFM, REU, White House press briefing, YA 12/29; BBC, IDF, Independent, NYT, WP, WT 12/30; IDF, UNOSAT 12/31; JP, PCHR, WJW 1/1; ITV 1/2; IDF 1/3; NYT, WP 1/4; WT, UNOSAT 1/5; IFM 1/8; Committee to Protect Journalists 1/9)

In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubbercoated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinians demonstrating against OCL in Issawiyya, Shu‘fat r.c., al-Tur neighborhood in East Jerusalem, causing no serious injuries; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in East Tura village nr. Jenin, Hebron. (PCHR 1/1)

The Israeli navy turns back a Libyan freighter carrying 3,000 tons of humanitarian aid attempting to breach Israel’s blockade of Gaza. In the West Bank, the IDF sends an undercover unit into Nablus to ambush and assassinate al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) mbr. Muhammad Abu Thira’ while he is in PA security force (PASF) custody in a PASF vehicle being transported fr. his home to a PASF facility where he would stay overnight, as part of the process to be granted amnesty by Israel. IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin town and r.c., nr. Bethlehem; conducts separate, synchronized late-night house searches in 4 villages nr. Jenin, without making any arrests. The IDF guards buses bringing 100s of Jewish settlers to Hebron to “defend” Beit Shalom. After dark, settlers rampage through Palestinian neighborhoods, attempt to seize a Palestinian home, heavily damage others. Jewish settlers fr. Shilo nr. Ramallah protesting the government order to evacuate Beit Shalom rampage through the villages of Turmusayya and Sinjil, slashing tires, vandalizing homes and a mosque, spraying graffitti saying “Death to Arabs” and “Muhammad is a Pig.” (NYT, WT 12/2; WJW, PCHR 12/4)

Overnight in Gaza, the IDF sends tanks and bulldozers supported by aircraft into Abasan, raiding and searching homes, occupying several houses as observation posts, bulldozing 23 d. of olive trees, demolishing 1 Palestinian home, clashing with local gunmen (including firing tank shells and making air strikes), leaving 1 IDF soldier, 1 Hamas mbr. dead, wounding 6 armed Palestinians and 1 bystander. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus and Tulkarm (arresting at least 1 AMB mbr. who was among the AMB mbrs. granted amnesty by Israel in 7/06; see 9/23), in Qabatya, and nr. Hebron, Ramallah. Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron steal a harvest of olives fr. a Palestinian farmer nr. Qalqilya. In Gaza City, 4 mbrs. of a Palestinian clan are killed in clashes with ESF when the ESF attempts to arrest 1 family mbr. for firing on an ESF patrol earlier in the day; the ESF arrests 25 family mbrs. In Gaza City, 100 Palestinians demonstrate outside the UN Special Coordinator’s Office (UNSCO) against the continued closure of the Rafah border. (NYT, PCHR 10/18; OCHA 10/24; PCHR 10/25)

Firmly in control of Gaza, Hamas declares amnesty for Fatah leaders, except National Security Advisor (NSA) Dahlan, with the aim of quelling violence, releasing several of the 10 senior Fatah political security officials captured earlier in the day; orders all mbrs. of the PA security forces in Gaza to continue to report for duty to provide law and order, albeit under Hamas cmdrs. Hamas also calls for the immediate release of kidnapped BBC correspondent Johnston. With fighting suspended, Palestinian crowds loot abandoned Fatah buildings, targeting in particular Dahlan’s home and Abbas’s presidential compound; Hamas mbrs. surround and prevent looting at Abbas’s Gaza residence. Some violence persists, with a Fatah mbr. thrown to his death from a high building by the family of a man he killed earlier; a Fatah security official commits suicide after learning that he was on a Hamas wanted list. Meanwhile, Egypt reinforces its forces on the border with Gaza with riot police, APCs, and water cannons, fearing that Palestinians will attempt to flee Gaza for Egypt en masse at the first opportunity. Israel temporarily opens the Erez crossing to allow Fatah officials to escape Gaza for Ramallah. In the West Bank, Abbas names Finance M Salam al-Fayyad as his new PM, charging him with forming a government; issues a presidential decree suspending articles of the Basic Law (the interim Palestinian constitution) requiring the new government to receive a vote of confidence from the PC (currently controlled by the Hamas-affiliated Change and Reform party). Fatah-Hamas tensions remain high in the West Bank, where heavily armed Fatah mbrs. patrol in Ramallah in a show of force; Fatah mbrs. ransack Change and Reform offices, Hamas-run charity organizations in several cities; kidnap at least 9 Hamas mbrs. AMB mbrs. fatally shoot a Hamas mbr. in Nablus. Inside Israel, the Israel Prisons Service separates Fatah, Hamas detainees to prevent rioting. Meanwhile, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches, patrols in villages around Jenin, firing on residential areas, causing no injuries. In Gaza, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Dayr al-Balah; fires rubber-coated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, international activists attending weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall in Bil‘in, injuring 2. (AP, HA, WP, QA 6/15; NYT, WP, WT 6/16; Interfax 6/16 in WNC 6/17; PCHR 6/21; NYT 7/9)

The IDF sends troops back into Rafah in what is officially called Operation Root Canal 2, demolishing 10 more Palestinian homes, wounding 4 Palestinians, including a Palestinian photographer shot in the face. International aid organizations note that since 10/10 the IDF has cleared 2 full blocks of homes in some neighborhoods to create an empty zone along the Egyptian border. Amnesty International says the Israeli destruction “constitutes a war crime.” The IDF also sends troops into Tulkarm town and r.c., imposing a curfew, fatally shooting a Palestinian who fails to obey orders to halt, firing on residential areas, arresting 4 ISM volunteers; conducts arrest raids, fires on residential areas in Nablus; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Hebron. Israel announces plans to expel to Gaza 15 West Bank Palestinian administrative detainees, mbrs. of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. (AP, BBC, MM, PRCS, WP 10/14; MENA, PSCT, VOI, VOP 10/14 in WNC 10/16; NYT, PR, PRCS, WP, WT 10/15; PCHR 10/16)

The IDF blows up the family homes of senior al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades member Ali Ajuri (allegedly behind the 7/17 Tel Aviv bombing) in Askar refugee camp, Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades member Nasser Assida (allegedly behind the 7/16 Emmanuel bus ambush) in Tal, also damaging 6 other homes; arrests their 21 male relatives, whom Israel threatens to expel to Gaza as a deterrent to other militants; neither suspect is captured. The IDF also shoots, seriously injures a Palestinian farmer working in his field nr. Qalqilya; fires stun grenades and teargas at Palestinians leaving Friday services at the Bani Na`im Mosque; ransacks the offices of a Bani Na`im charity, confiscating computers; demolishes the science lab of an elementary school in Hebron. Residents of Arak Burin nr. Nablus say they have been without water for 34 days, since the IDF began barring water trucks fr. entering the village. (Amnesty International, GS, al-Haq, LAW, MM 7/19; NYT, WP 7/20; MENA, QA 7/20, AN, JT 7/21 in WNC 7/22; AYM 7/21 in WNC 7/24; LAW, PCHR 7/24)