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  • May 19, 2003

    A female suicide bomber, Hiba Daraghma, detonates a device in an Afula mall, killing 2 Israeli Jews, 1 Israeli Arab, wounding 48; the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) and Islamic Jihad each claim...

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  • May 16, 2003

    The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) continues operations in Bayt Hanun (see 5/15), where a roadside bomb explodes nr. an IDF tank, lightly injuring 1 soldier; fatally shoots a mentally disabled...

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  • May 15, 2003

    The IDF launches a major predawn raid on Bayt Hanun, sending 70 tanks and armored vehicles into the area, firing on residential areas, killing 5 Palestinians (including a 12-yr.-old Palestinian...

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  • May 14, 2003

    IDF undercover units raid Nablus, sparking numerous demonstrations and exchanges of gunfire, in which wanted AMB mbr. Taysir Shihab is fatally shot, 20 Palestinians (mostly stone-throwing youths)...

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  • May 13, 2003

    IDF undercover units arrest 2 senior Hamas mbrs. in a raid on Ramallah. The IDF also demolishes a Palestinian home in Qalqilya; occupies a Palestinian home in Dayr al-Balah; blows up a carpentry...

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  • May 9, 2003

    The IDF demolishes 10 Palestinian homes, bulldozes 4 dunams of land and large trees in Dayr al-Balah, nr. the Kefar Darom site of the 5/8 suicide attack on an IDF tank; bulldozes 49 dunams of land...

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  • April 23, 2003

    The IDF fires on, seriously wounds Islamic Jihad mbr. Anas Sharita in an attempt to arrest him in Nablus; conducts arrest raids in Jenin (targeting Islamic Jihad, including 2 mbrs. arrested in a...

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  • April 21, 2003

    The IDF undercover units conduct arrest raids in Jenin, shooting and wounding 5 Palestinians, detaining 4; conduct additional arrest raids in Aida r.c., Balata r.c., Bayt Jalah, Nahalin, Ramallah...

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  • April 9, 2003

    Hamas mbrs. fire 2 Qassam rockets toward Sederot (1 lands near the town, the other inside Gaza), causing no damage or injuries. The IDF then sends tanks into Bayt Hanun, sparking stone-throwing...

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  • March 27, 2003

    After a wk.-long lull in violence accompanying the start of war on Iraq, Israeli-Palestinian violence picks up. The IDF raids Bayt Hanun, fires missiles at a PSF post, killing 2 PSF officers,...

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  • March 20, 2003

    The IDF fatally shoots 1 Palestinian nr. Morag settlement; demolishes 1 Palestinian home in Bethlehem, 1 in al-Zawayda; raids al-Quds Open University in Ramallah, detaining 300 students for ID...

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  • March 17, 2003

    The IDF sends 30 tanks, troops into Nussayrat r.c. to capture wanted Islamic Jihad mbr. Muhammad SaaŽn, fatally shooting 7 Palestinians, including Saafin and a 4-yr.-old girl, and demolishing...

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  • March 9, 2003

    Israel vows to step up attacks on Hamas, saying “no terrorist chief, with the emphasis on Hamas, will be immune.” Hamas fires another 4 Qassam rockets at Sederot, causing no damage or injuries. A...

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  • March 8, 2003

    The IDF assassinates senior Hamas political official Ibrahim Maqadama, the most senior Palestinian to be killed by Israel since the start of the intifada, firing missiles at his car as he drives...

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  • March 6, 2003

    The IDF continues operations in Jabaliya r.c., demolishing 8 Palestinian homes, shelling an apartment building and attached store; as firemen fight the blaze and Palestinians gather at the scene,...

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  • March 3, 2003

    The IDF makes predawn raids on Bureij r.c., Nussayrat r.c., killing 8 Palestinians (mostly in Bureij), leaving at least 40 wounded, barring medical access, blowing up 3 Palestinian homes (causing...

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  • February 23, 2003

    Overnight, the IDF launches a raid on Bayt Hanun that it expects to last for several days, demolishing 5 Palestinian homes, bulldozing 6 dunams of land, clashing with local Palestinians, killing 7...

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  • February 20, 2003

    The IDF tightens restrictions on Palestinian movement in Gaza, shuts main roads, dividing the Strip into 3 sections; fatally shoots a wanted tanz im mbr. in Tulkarm in what may be an assassination...

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  • February 19, 2003

    The IDF makes a predawn raid on Nablus, killing 2 Palestinians (ages 16 and 60), occupying 2 schools and several buildings. In response to the IDF’s overnight attack on Gaza, Hamas fires 4 Qassam...

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  • February 4, 2003

    The IDF arrests 17 Islamic Jihad mbrs. in Hebron; claims they planned, carried out anti-Israeli attacks on orders fr. their “headquarters” in Syria; says it is still searching for the cell leader...

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  • January 31, 2003

    IDF undercover units raid a fire station in Jenin, assassinate wanted Hamas mbr. Iyad Musa, also killing a Palestinian firefighter. IDF tanks fire 3 flechette shells at a group of Palestinian...

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  • January 26, 2003

    IDF operations in Gaza City continue until early morning, destroying much of the central market, 13 workshops, and 6 Palestinian homes, injuring 10s of Palestinians. Soon after troops pull out,...

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  • January 24, 2003

    IDF helicopters fire 11 missiles a metal workshop in Gaza City, destroying it; 2 of the missiles are duds that go astray hitting, damaging an Anglican church, a hospital. The IDF also demolishes 1...

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  • January 14, 2003

    The IDF conducts arrest raids in Qalqilya, Tulkarm town and r.c., Tubas (capturing senior Hamas mbr. Salman Daraghma, who previously escaped an IDF assassination attempt); fatally shoots a...

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  • January 12, 2003

    The IDF makes a failed assassination attempt on wanted Hamas mbrs. Muhammad Abu Shammala, Ra’id al-Attar, firing missiles fr. a helicopter at their car as they drive past a hospital in Khan Yunis...

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  • November 17, 2002

    Israeli PM Ariel Sharon visits Hebron, calls for the expanding of Jewish settlements in and around Hebron to create “settlement contiguity” btwn. 4 Jewish enclaves in He-...

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  • September 25, 2002

    The IDF demolishes 3 Palestinian homes in Dura; bulldozes 3 homes and farm land nr. Netzarim settlement in Gaza; fires on stone-throwing Palestinian youths nr. Bayt Hanun and Kefar Darom, wounding...

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  • September 13, 2002

    Before dawn, the IDF raids Brazil r.c. and Rafah, conducting house-to-house searches, raiding and destroying equipment in local Fatah offices, bulldozing 8 Palestinian homes, 6 suspected weapons...

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  • September 5, 2002

    Israeli border police manning a West Bank crossing intercept a car carrying a 1,300 lbs. fertilizer-gasoline bomb, with a cell phone rigged as a detonator; 2 Palestinians escape. No...

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  • July 26, 2002

    AMB gunmen fire on 2 Jewish settler vehicles s. of Hebron, killing 4 Jewish settlers, wounding 3. Palestinians fire an antitank missile at a settler bus nr. Gaza City, causing damage but no...

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A female suicide bomber, Hiba Daraghma, detonates a device in an Afula mall, killing 2 Israeli Jews, 1 Israeli Arab, wounding 48; the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) and Islamic Jihad each claim responsibility, indicating they may have jointly planned the operation. In Gaza, a 2d Palestinian suicide bomber on a bicycle detonates a device as he passes an IDF jeep outside Kefar Darom, lightly injuring 3 IDF soldiers. The IDF fatally shoots a 13-yr.-old Palestinian boy in Jabaliya r.c.; continues bulldozing land in Bayt Hanun (nearly 800 dunams have been razed since 5/15); demolishes 1 Palestinian home in Hebron, 1 in central Gaza; fires on a high school in Bayt Furik, wounding 1 student; conducts arrest raids in Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus, Ramallah. Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets (1 at Sederot, 1 at a Jewish settlement in Gaza), causing no damage or injuries. Israeli police arrest 8 East Jerusalem Palestinians for membership in Hamas and plotting to hijack a bus, kidnap an IDF soldier. (HA, MM 5/19; Interfax, MENA, VOI 5/19 in WNC 5/20; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/20; HP 5/21; QA 5/21 in WNC 5/22; LAW, PCHR 5/22; MEI, NYT 5/30)

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) continues operations in Bayt Hanun (see 5/15), where a roadside bomb explodes nr. an IDF tank, lightly injuring 1 soldier; fatally shoots a mentally disabled Palestinian nr. Nablus who refuses orders to halt; demolishes 1 Palestinian home in Nablus, 1 in Rafah. Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets at Sederot, inside Israel, causing damage but no injuries. In Umm al-Fahm, 100s of Israeli Arabs attend a rally organized by the Islamic Movement to protest the 5/13 arrest of 15 senior mbrs. Israel also banishes a West Bank Palestinian to Gaza for 1 yr., accusing him of having aided his brother in committing “terrorist attacks”. (HA 5/16; PMC, WT 5/17; HA 5/19; LAW, PCHR 5/22)

The IDF launches a major predawn raid on Bayt Hanun, sending 70 tanks and armored vehicles into the area, firing on residential areas, killing 5 Palestinians (including a 12-yr.-old Palestinian boy who is allowed to bleed to death over 3 hrs., as the IDF bars access to medical workers), wounding 20, demolishing at least 4 Palestinian homes, bulldozing 100s of orange trees, conducting house-to-house searches; says troops plan to stay in the town for several days. The IDF also surrounds the adjacent town of Bayt Lahia, Jabaliya r.c. A Palestinian gunman opens fire at the Qarni crossing, killing 2 Israeli civilians before being shot dead by the IDF. Another Palestinian gunman fires on a vehicle nr. Neve Tzuf settlement, lightly injuring 1 Jewish settler. Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket nr. Jabaliya, which lands in the Negev desert. Palestinians across the West Bank, Gaza hold rallies, marches to mark the 55th anniversary of the Nakba. (AFP, AP, HA, JP, WT 5/15; MENA 5/15 in WNC 5/16; HA, MM, NYT, WP 5/16)

IDF undercover units raid Nablus, sparking numerous demonstrations and exchanges of gunfire, in which wanted AMB mbr. Taysir Shihab is fatally shot, 20 Palestinians (mostly stone-throwing youths) are injured. The IDF also bars Norwegian special envoy to the Middle East Jakken Bioern Lian entry to Gaza for a scheduled mtg. with PA officials (see 5/11); issues an order expelling a Palestinian fr. the al-Mawasi area, where he resides, for 6 mos.; shells a PSF post nr. Netzarim settlement, killing 3 PSF officers, wounding 2; makes arrest raids in Jenin, sparking clashes that leave a 12-yr.-old Palestinian dead; conducts additional arrest raids in Qalqilya, Tulkarm; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis; bulldozes more than 86 dunams e. of Bayt Hanun. Jewish settlers evacuate 7 mobile homes fr. an unauthorized outpost nr. Shilo. Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets at Sederot and 5 mortars at Gush Katif settlement, causing no damage or injuries. (AFP, HA, PCHR, REU 5/14; HA, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 5/15)

Israel allows Islamic Movement northern branch head Shaykh Ra’ed Salah, 1 of the 15 arrested on 5/13, out of custody for several hrs. to attend the funeral of his father in Umm al-Fahm, which turns into a massive Israeli Arab rally against Israeli government discrimination. (HA 5/15)

IDF undercover units arrest 2 senior Hamas mbrs. in a raid on Ramallah. The IDF also demolishes a Palestinian home in Qalqilya; occupies a Palestinian home in Dayr al-Balah; blows up a carpentry shop in Nablus; conducts arrest raids in Qalqilya. Palestinians fire 3 Qassam rockets at Sederot; 1 falls on a factory outside the city, lightly injuring 3 Israelis. Palestinians also fire 2 mortars at an IDF base nr. Gush Katif settlement, lightly injuring 9 soldiers, moderately injuring 1; in retaliation, the IDF sends more than 100 tanks and armored vehicles, supported by helicopters, into Khan Yunis, shelling residential areas, wounding at least 20 Palestinians, demolishing 26 Palestinian homes (leaving 247 Palestinians homeless), damaging another 30. The body of the missing 4/29 British bomber washes up on shore nr. Tel Aviv; he apparently drowned. (AFP, BBC, HA, JP, MM 5/13; AFP, HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/14; NYT, PCHR 5/15; MM 5/16; HA 5/18, 5/19)

In a predawn raid on Umm al-Fahm, Israeli police arrest 15 Israeli Arabs, all leading mbrs. of the Islamic Movement (which has 2 seats in the Knesset) on charges of laundering millions of dollars for Hamas in the guise of raising money for charitable orgs.; police say they do not have proof that the Islamic Movement funded acts of terrorism. (HA, JP, MM 5/13; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/14)

The IDF demolishes 10 Palestinian homes, bulldozes 4 dunams of land and large trees in Dayr al-Balah, nr. the Kefar Darom site of the 5/8 suicide attack on an IDF tank; bulldozes 49 dunams of land e. of Bayt Hanun, 15 dunams s. of Khan Yunis; conducts arrest raids in Bethlehem, Hebron, Yanun. The IDF also raids the ISM offices in Bayt Sahur, surrounding the building with 22 vehicles, detaining 3 ISM mbrs. (2 foreign, 1 Palestinian), confiscating computers and other equipment. Israel says that information that 2 British suicide bombers attended a memorial service for ISM mbr. Corrie before staging their 4/29 attack raises concerns that “terrorists” could enter Israel posing as ISM volunteers. Israel announces that henceforth all foreign nationals entering Gaza must sign a waiver exempting Israel from any responsibility should they be killed or injured, promising that they will not disrupt military activities. Hamas fires 6 Qassam rockets at Sederot, lightly injuring 2 Israelis. Palestinians also fire 2 mortars at Gush Katif settlement, causing no damage or injuries. (AFP, HA 5/9; VOI 5/9 in WNC 5/12; HA, NYT, WT 5/10; PCHR 5/15) (see 5/3)

The IDF fires on, seriously wounds Islamic Jihad mbr. Anas Sharita in an attempt to arrest him in Nablus; conducts arrest raids in Jenin (targeting Islamic Jihad, including 2 mbrs. arrested in a hospital, where 1 was receiving treatment for gunshot wounds), Qalqilya (targeting the PFLP); fires on Palestinians at Surda checkpoint nr. Ramallah for no apparent reason, wounding 5; demolishes 5 Palestinian homes in al-Mughraqa, 1 in Bayt Hanun (also bulldozing 37 dunams of land). Late in the evening, Hamas mbr. Shibli Tamasi is killed, 3 Palestinians are wounded in a mysterious explosion in Idna. Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket at Sederot, causing no damage or injuries. (HA 4/23; HA, LAW, PCHR 4/24; PR 4/30; LAW, PCHR 5/1)

The IDF undercover units conduct arrest raids in Jenin, shooting and wounding 5 Palestinians, detaining 4; conduct additional arrest raids in Aida r.c., Balata r.c., Bayt Jalah, Nahalin, Ramallah. The IDF also fires rubber bullets at several Palestinian children (ages 9–14) allegedly violating a curfew in Hebron, wounding 1; fires live ammunition at a checkpoint nr. Gaza City for no apparent reason, injuring 1 Palestinian child, damaging several vehicles; shells residential areas of Khan Yunis; demolishes 2 Palestinian homes in Bayt Furik, threatens to demolish a 3d house if the son of the family does not turn himself in for questioning; bulldozes 10s of dunams of olive groves in East Jerusalem to make way for a settler bypass road. A roadside bomb explodes nr. an IDF vehicle in Hebron, causing no damage or injuries. Hamas fires 2 Qassam rockets at Sederot, lightly injuring 1 Israeli. (HA 4/21; HA 4/23; LAW, PCHR 4/24)

U.S. dir. of the reconstruction of Iraq U.S. Lt. Gen. Jay Garner (ret.) arrives in Baghdad to begin work. Garner visited Israel in 1998 at the expense of the pro-Israel lobbying group the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), has signed a statement blaming the Palestinians for Israeli-Palestinian violence, has said that the U.S. needs Israel to project U.S. force in the Middle East. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 4/22)

Hamas mbrs. fire 2 Qassam rockets toward Sederot (1 lands near the town, the other inside Gaza), causing no damage or injuries. The IDF then sends tanks into Bayt Hanun, sparking stone-throwing protests by Palestinians; the IDF fires on demonstrators, killing 5 Palestinians, wounding at least 10. The IDF also raids Nur al-Shams r.c.; detains all men, arresting 16, busing others outside the camp; conducts house-to-house searches, breaking through walls; demolishes 1 Palestinian home. The IDF also demolishes 1 Palestinian home in Silwan, 1 in Ramallah; detains, beats 2 Palestinian cameramen working for AFP and Reuters for filming troops in Hebron forcing Palestinians to close their stores; conducts arrest raids in Abud. In Jaba‘, a bomb explodes in a Palestinian high school, wounding 19 students; although the Jewish militant group Revenge of the Innocent Babes, which has staged at least 1 (3/5/02, possibly 9/17/02) similar bombing, claims responsibility for the attack, the IDF says it is “confident” that a Palestinian brought the bomb to school. A 12-yr.-old Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. (AFP, HA 4/9; HA, LAW, NYT, PCHR, PM 4/10; QA 4/10 in WNC 4/11; al-Quds 4/11 in WNC 4/14; PR 4/16; LAW, PCHR 4/17)

Coalition forces secure control of most of Baghdad. By evening, the U.S. declares that Hussein’s government has “collapsed,” but warns that the military struggle may continue for some time, as troops continue to meet significant resistance in some areas. Looting is pervasive in Basra and Baghdad, mostly targeting government buildings, state-owned companies, hotels. (BBC, MM 4/9; NYT, WP, WT 4/10; XIN 4/10 in WNC 4/11; MA 4/11, XIN 4/13 in WNC 4/14; MM 4/14; MEI 4/18; MM 4/22; NYT 4/24)

After a wk.-long lull in violence accompanying the start of war on Iraq, Israeli-Palestinian violence picks up. The IDF raids Bayt Hanun, fires missiles at a PSF post, killing 2 PSF officers, wounding 3 bystanders; fires on, wounds a Palestinian woman tending a garden in Wadi al-Silqa; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis; demolishes a Palestinian home outside Khan Yunis; conducts arrest raids in Jenin r.c. (targeting Islamic Jihad). Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets at Sederot, causing no damage or injuries. (AFP, HA 3/27; XIN 3/27 in WNC 3/28; LAW, MM, NYT 3/28; AYM 3/28 in WNC 3/31; PR 4/2; PCHR 4/3)

The IDF fatally shoots 1 Palestinian nr. Morag settlement; demolishes 1 Palestinian home in Bethlehem, 1 in al-Zawayda; raids al-Quds Open University in Ramallah, detaining 300 students for ID checks, holding a number for questioning; conducts arrest raids in Nablus, Qalqilya (targeting Hamas). The PA Preventive Security Forces (PSF) raid a Hamas training exercise nr. Jabaliya r.c., killing 1 Hamas mbr. Hamas later fires a Qassam rocket at a Gaza settlement, causing no damage or injuries. (HA 3/20; NYT 3/23; PCHR 3/27; LAW 3/28)

After dark, U.S.-led coalition forces launch missile, helicopter strikes on Basra, Baghdad in the 1st sustained aerial assaults on Iraq. Coalition troops are also reportedly operating in w. Iraq to prevent Scud missile strikes on Israel. (AP, HA, MM, REU 3/20)

The IDF sends 30 tanks, troops into Nussayrat r.c. to capture wanted Islamic Jihad mbr. Muhammad SaaŽn, fatally shooting 7 Palestinians, including Saafin and a 4-yr.-old girl, and demolishing Saafin’s home. The IDF also fires on a funeral procession in Khan Yunis, killing 1 Palestinian, injuring 10s; fires on, seriously damages 2 ambulances in Jabaliya r.c.; raids Balata r.c. (arresting Fatah Palestinian Council mbr. Hussam Khadir on charges of “involvement in terrorism,” confiscating his computer), Bayt Lahia (ordering all men btwn. 15 and 40 to turn themselves in, detaining 100s, fatally shooting 4 Palestinians, including 2 naval police officers); conducts house-to-house searches in Jenin town. In Tulkarm, 2 Fatah mbrs. are killed, 3 injured in a mysterious explosion. Hamas fires 5 Qassam rockets at Sederot, causing no damage or injuries. (HA, MM 3/17; NYT, WP 3/18; MM 3/19; PCHR 3/20)

After wks. of negotiations with other UNSC mbrs, the U.S., Britain abandon efforts to pass a new UN res. on Iraq, determining it would certainly fail. In the evening, Bush makes an address stating that “Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military confiict commencing at a time of our choosing,” and urging all foreign nationals, including inspectors and journalists, to leave Iraq immediately for their own safety. (AP 3/17; MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/18; IDF Radio, ITV 3/18 in WNC 3/19)

Israel vows to step up attacks on Hamas, saying “no terrorist chief, with the emphasis on Hamas, will be immune.” Hamas fires another 4 Qassam rockets at Sederot, causing no damage or injuries. A Palestinian sniper fires on an IDF post outside Gush Katif settlement, wounding 1 IDF solider; the IDF demolishes 8 Palestinian buildings that could have provided the sniper cover. The IDF also fires on, shells residential areas of Dayr al-Balah, Khan Yunis, Rafah; bulldozes 2.5 dunams of land, 1 Palestinian home in Khan Yunis. A Palestinian shepherd dies when he triggers an explosive device in a field nr. Tulkarm. (HA, WT 3/10; LAW, PCHR 3/13)

The IDF assassinates senior Hamas political official Ibrahim Maqadama, the most senior Palestinian to be killed by Israel since the start of the intifada, firing missiles at his car as he drives in Gaza City, also killing his 3 bodyguards, injuring a 4th bodyguard and 2 bystanders. Hamas fires 4 Qassam rockets at Sederot, despite the IDF reoccupation of the n. Gaza border area, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF also fatally shoots a Palestinian demonstrator in Bayt Lahia; shells residential areas of Jaba, killing 1 Palestinian; conducts arrest raids in Hebron, Nablus; demolishes 3 Palestinian homes in Hebron, 1 in Dayr al-Balah, 1 nr. Kefar Darom, 1 in Qabatiyya. An Israeli dies of injuries received in the 3/5 Haifa bombing. A Palestinian dies of injuries received in Jabaliya on 3/6. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba forcibly evict a Palestinian family fr. their home in Dayr al-Mahawir, outside Hebron, and occupy the building. (VOI 3/8 in WNC 3/10; HA, NYT, WP, WT 3/9; PM, WT 3/10; PR 3/12; LAW, PCHR 3/13; MEI 3/21)

The Bush admin. announces that the U.S. will not release the road map until after the Iraq crisis is resolved. (NYT 3/9; PR 3/12; al-Quds 3/13 in WNC 3/14)

The IDF continues operations in Jabaliya r.c., demolishing 8 Palestinian homes, shelling an apartment building and attached store; as firemen fight the blaze and Palestinians gather at the scene, an IDF tank fires a shell, possibly containing flechettes, at the crowd, killing 8 Palestinians (including 1 firefighter, 3 children), wounding more than 60 (including 2 Reuters journalists; another 60 Palestinians are wounded in Jabaliya during the day); the IDF pulls out of the camp later in the morning. The IDF also fatally shoots a Palestinian demonstrator in Nablus; fatally shoots a Palestinian during an arrest raid in Bethlehem; returns gunfire directed at an IDF patrol outside Hebron, killing a Palestinian shepherd tending her flock nearby; demolishes a Palestinian home outside Jenin; fires on residential areas of Nablus, al-Qarara. A 13th Palestinian dies of injuries received on 2/5/03. Late in the evening, the IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian allegedly attempting to infiltrate Hamra settlement; arrests Islamic Jihad Jenin head Muhammad Abu Rub. Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets at Sederot, causing no damage or injuries. (AP, HA, MM, REU 3/6; MENA 3/6 in WNC 3/7; MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/7; al-Quds 3/7 in WNC 3/10; PR 3/12; LAW, PCHR 3/13; MEI 3/21)

Arafat nominates Abbas as his candidate for PM. Abbas says he would accept only if it is not merely a symbolic post. The PM’s duties have yet to be defined. (HA, MM, NYT 3/7; AYM, al-Quds 3/8 in WNC 3/10; PR 3/12; WJW 3/13)

In a rare speech to the nation, Bush prepares the public for imminent war with Iraq, claiming that Iraq has trained and financed “al-Qa‘ida and al-Qa‘ida-type organizations” and is building new missiles and weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) rather than destroying them. (NYT, WP, WT 3/7)

The IDF makes predawn raids on Bureij r.c., Nussayrat r.c., killing 8 Palestinians (mostly in Bureij), leaving at least 40 wounded, barring medical access, blowing up 3 Palestinian homes (causing a 4th to collapse, killing 1 pregnant woman inside, and seriously damaging a mosque), arresting Hamas Nussayrat head Muhammad Taha; 2 IDF soldiers are also wounded. The IDF also sends troops into the Old City of Nablus, occupying several houses and schools, forcibly evacuating students, conducting arrest raids, firing on stone throwers, fatally shooting 1 Palestinian (who may have been handcuffed); fires on stone throwers in Tulkarm; demolishes 4 Palestinian homes in Dayr al-Balah. Palestinians fire 5 Qassam rockets in Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. (NYT, PM, WP, WT 3/3; MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/4; PR 3/5; PCHR 3/6; MEI 3/7; LAW 3/13)

Overnight, the IDF launches a raid on Bayt Hanun that it expects to last for several days, demolishing 5 Palestinian homes, bulldozing 6 dunams of land, clashing with local Palestinians, killing 7 Palestinians (1 crushed in his home when it is demolished), wounding 28, detaining a Palestinian Reuters cameraman for involvement in “terrorist activity”; during the day, troops commandeer houses as outposts, fortify their positions, patrol streets, destroy bridges and roads, dig trenches, erect barricades. The IDF also fatally shoots 3 Palestinians elsewhere— an armed Palestinian attempting to infiltrate Netzarim settlement, a 15-yr.-old Palestinian on a playground in Khan Yunis, a Palestinian who fails to heed orders to halt; arrests DFLP Ramallah head Ibrahim Abu Hijla; bulldozes 24 dunams of land, 2 Palestinian homes in Rafah; shells residential areas of Khan Yunis; conducts arrest raids in Jenin, Khan Yunis. An 11th Palestinian dies of injuries received in Nablus on 2/22. A PFLP sniper fatally shoots 1 IDF soldier in Khan Yunis. Palestinians fire 3 Qassam rockets at Sederot, causing no damage. (AP, HA, LAW 2/23; HA, NYT, WP, WT 2/24; NYT, PMC 2/25; PR 2/26; LAW, PCHR 2/27)

The IDF tightens restrictions on Palestinian movement in Gaza, shuts main roads, dividing the Strip into 3 sections; fatally shoots a wanted tanz im mbr. in Tulkarm in what may be an assassination; demolishes 1 Palestinian home in Hebron, 1 in Jamayn, 1 in Rafah; conducts arrest raids in Ramallah, Tamun; fires on residential areas of Rafah. As IDF operations in Nablus continue, a Palestinian sniper shoots, wounds an IDF soldier. Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket at Netzarim settlement, 2 across the Gaza border into Sederot, causing no damage or injuries. Israel issues tenders for construction of 126 new housing units in Efrat settlement. (HA, REU 2/20; HA 2/21; al-Quds 2/21 in WNC 2/24; LAW 2/23; LAW, PCHR 2/27)

After 10 yrs. of federal investigations trying to link him to terrorism, U.S. authorities arrest Palestinian-born U.S. permanent resident Sami al-Arian, a fmr. University of South Florida professor, on charges of fundraising for Islamic Jihad, and “conspiracy to commit murder via suicide attacks.” Another 7 individuals are also charged, several of whom are abroad, including Damascus-based Islamic Jihad head Ramadan Shallah. Arian has been an active fundraiser for 2 Muslim organization that do social work in the territories; the U.S. alleges that he in fact has laundered and funneled money to Islamic Jihad military activities as the organization’s chief financial officer since 1984. (The State Dept. listed Islamic Jihad as a terrorist organization in 1995.) U.S. Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft says that provisions of new antiterrorism legislation made the arrest possible. (HA, NYT, WP 2/21; WT 2/22; MM 2/26; MEI 3/7)

The IDF makes a predawn raid on Nablus, killing 2 Palestinians (ages 16 and 60), occupying 2 schools and several buildings. In response to the IDF’s overnight attack on Gaza, Hamas fires 4 Qassam rockets at the Israeli border town of Sederot, seriously injuring 1 Israeli, damaging a factory. In Jenin, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) mbr. Shahar Zakarna is killed, 3 passengers are injured when an explosive device in his car detonates in what is believed to be an assassination. A Palestinian held in Israel’s Nafha prison in the Negev dies of “medical complications.” The IDF fires on residential areas of Abasan; demolishes 1 Palestinian home in Dayr al-Balah, 1 in Khan Yunis. Israeli police report the arrest of 2 Druze soldiers, 1 Druze civilian for stealing 3 machine guns fr. an army depot, selling them to Palestinian militants. (HA, LAW 2/19; LAW, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 2/20; LAW 2/23; MM 2/24; PR 2/26; LAW, PCHR 2/27)

The IDF arrests 17 Islamic Jihad mbrs. in Hebron; claims they planned, carried out anti-Israeli attacks on orders fr. their “headquarters” in Syria; says it is still searching for the cell leader Diab Suwayki, whom it has tried to assassinate twice. The IDF also demolishes 5 Palestinian homes in, fires on residential areas of Rafah; demolishes a Palestinian home in Bayt Furik; raids 2 buildings in Ramallah containing medical and law offices, destroying furniture, files; fires on stone-throwing Palestinians in Tulkarm, seriously injuring a 13-yr.-old Palestinian; shells residential areas of Khan Yunis r.c.; confiscates 76 Palestinian taxis operating on the Ramallah+nJerusalem road (see 1/20); conducts arrest raids in Balata r.c., Jenin, Nablus. A Hamas gunman ambushes, lightly wounds a Jewish settler nr. Dayr al-Balah; in response, the IDF demolishes 4 Palestinian homes, bulldozes 31 dunams of land nr. Kefar Darom. The IDF says it has noticed increased efforts by the PA to halt the firing of Qassam missiles and planting of bombs in Gaza; says the PA stepped up efforts before elections, but has continued them after elections as well. An Israeli court orders Arafat, the PA to pay more than $10 m. in damages to Israel's Egged bus company for losses caused by Palestinian suicide bombings. (AP, HA, PM, REU 2/4; LAW, PCHR, PR, WP, WT 2/5; TJT, WJW 2/6)

IDF undercover units raid a fire station in Jenin, assassinate wanted Hamas mbr. Iyad Musa, also killing a Palestinian firefighter. IDF tanks fire 3 flechette shells at a group of Palestinian children playing soccer in a field btwn. Jabaliya and Bayt Hanun, seriously injuring 3, lightly injuring 5 children, 4 adults in nearby homes; the IDF says the children setting up goal posts were mistaken for militants preparing to launch Qassam missiles. The IDF also demolishes 2 Palestinian homes in Hebron, 2 in Rafah; conducts arrest raids in Dayr al-Balah, Hebron, Tulkarm. (HA, PM, REU 1/31; HA, NYT, WT 2/1; HA 2/2, 2/3; REU 2/4; LAW, PCHR 2/5; MEI 2/7)

IDF operations in Gaza City continue until early morning, destroying much of the central market, 13 workshops, and 6 Palestinian homes, injuring 10s of Palestinians. Soon after troops pull out, Hamas fires 6 Qassam rockets into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Israel DM Mofaz says that the government is considering a full military reoccupation of Gaza. Nr. The IDF also shells “suspicious figures” nr. the Egypt-Gaza border, killing a 50-yr. old. Palestinian outside his home, a 7-yr.-old Palestinian playing in an open field, seriously wounding his 5-yr.-old brother; demolishes a Palestinian home nr. Hebron. This evening the IDF places a “total closure” on the West Bank and Gaza, confining Palestinians to their towns, villages under curfew until the morning of 1/29, after the 1/28 Israeli elections. The Shomron military court sentences an Islamic Jihad mbr. to 17 consecutive life sentences for participation in a 6/02 bombing at Megiddo Junction. (HA, LAW, WP 1/26; HA, MM, NYT, WP 1/27; LAW, PCHR, PR 1/29; MEI 2/7)

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Powell says that Israel must do more to ease the Palestinian humanitarian situation, offer the Palestinians more than a "phony state diced into a thousand different pieces"; that a Palesitnian state must be a “real state.” (HA 1/26; al-Quds 1/27 in WNC 1/29; MM 1/28)

IDF helicopters fire 11 missiles a metal workshop in Gaza City, destroying it; 2 of the missiles are duds that go astray hitting, damaging an Anglican church, a hospital. The IDF also demolishes 1 Palestinian home in the city. In response, Hamas fires 3 Qassam rockets fr. n. Gaza into the Israeli border town of Sederot, lightly injuring 1 Israeli. Late in the evening, the IDF begins demolish 4 bridges on the main roads linking Bayt Hanun to Gaza City; says the demolitions will facilitate its “control over main transportation axes,” ability to prevent Palestinians fr. firing rockets, mortars into Israel; the IDF clashes with local Palestinians protesting the demolitions, killing 1 Palestinian, wounding 14. The IDF fires on a group of Palestinians traveling close to a settler bypass road nr. Bayt Iba checkpoint nr. Nablus, killing 2 Palestinians; fires on residential areas of Beitunia, Ithna, Jenin; demolishes at least 14 Palestinian homes in Rafah. The IDF also fatally shoots 2 AMB mbrs. involved in the fatal shooting of 3 IDF soldiers nr. Hebron on 1/23, wounds and captures a 3d, while the 4th escapes. A Haifa district court convict senior Islamic Jihad mbr. Tabith Mardawi of responsibility for the deaths of 21 Israelis in several attacks. (AP, HA, MM 1/24; AFP 1/24 in WNC 1/25; AP, HA, NYT, WT 1/25; LAW, NYT, WT 1/26; LAW, PCHR 1/29)

The IDF conducts arrest raids in Qalqilya, Tulkarm town and r.c., Tubas (capturing senior Hamas mbr. Salman Daraghma, who previously escaped an IDF assassination attempt); fatally shoots a Palestinian stone thrower in Tulkarm r.c.; fatally shoots a mentally handicapped Palestinian during an arrest raid in Qabatiyya when he fails orders to halt, bars medical workers fr. reaching him, allowing him to bleed to death; demolishes 1 Palestinian home each in Jenin, Khan Yunis, Silwan; seals 3 Palestinian homes in Silwan; shells residential areas of Jenin, damaging 4 homes, destroying 11 stores; bulldozes 20 artesian wells in Qalqilya; conducts arrest raids in Amari r.c., Nablus, Qalqilya, Tulkarm, Urta. Hamas issues a statement in Beirut claiming to have received a large number of RPGs (source not identified; see 12/28), made more Qassam rockets. (HA 1/14; MENA 1/14 in WNC 1/15; LAW, PCHR 1/15)

Britain convenes a mtg. on PA reform in London. Reps. of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Quartet attend in person; PA officials in Gaza, Ramallah attend via video link. The PA briefs participants on reform efforts; Egypt briefs them on Palestinian national unity talks ongoing in Cairo. (HA, WP 1/14; AYM, Interfax, JT, MENA, al-Quds 1/14 in WNC 1/15; MM, NYT, PR, WT 1/15; MENA, SA 1/15 in WNC 1/16; QA 1/15, ITAR-TASS 1/16 in WNC 1/17; AYM 1/15, ITAR-TASS, MENA 1/17 in WNC 1/21; PR 1/22; MEI 1/24)

The IDF makes a failed assassination attempt on wanted Hamas mbrs. Muhammad Abu Shammala, Ra’id al-Attar, firing missiles fr. a helicopter at their car as they drive past a hospital in Khan Yunis, killing 2 Palestinian bystanders, wounding 1; the wanted men escape unharmed. 2 Palestinian gunmen infiltrate Moshav Gadish nr. Afula, inside Israel, killing 1 Israeli civilian, wounding 1 civilian, 3 border police, before being killed by police. Nr. the s. Negev town of Nitzana, 3 gunmen infiltrate the Israeli border, fatally shooting 1 Israeli, wounding 3, before 2 gunmen are shot dead by IDF troops and 1 escapes; the IDF says the gunmen may have come fr. Egypt. A senior Islamic Jihad mbr. is killed, a 2d Islamic Jihad mbr. is wounded in a mysterious explosion in a home in Nussayrat r.c.; the IDF claims they were building a bomb. A 12-yr.-old Palestinian dies of injuries received on 12/24/02. The IDF also bulldozes 10 dunams of land n. of Rafah; occupies an empty house nr. Dayr al-Balah, demolishes a nearby poultry farm. Jewish settler guards escorting an oil tanker nr. Hebron fatally shoot 1 Palestinian. Palestinian children playing in Askar r.c. accidentally trigger unexploded IDF ordnance, leaving 4 of them injured. In response to raids on Bayt Hanun, Khan Yunis on 1/11, Hamas fires 3 mortars (possibly Qassam rockets) at the Negev town of Sederot, injuring 2 Israelis “very lightly.” Palestinians in Gaza note that there has been a sharp increase in the cost of fuel (up 9%) and basic foodstuffs (flour up 53%, cooking oil up 24%, bread up 17%) since 1/1/03; urge the PA to subsidize prices. Hamas spiritual leader Shaykh Ahmad Yasin says Hamas will consider kidnapping Israelis to hold them in exchange for the release of Hamas mbrs. in Israeli custody. (HA, PCHR 1/12; LAW, MM, NYT, PCHR, WP 1/13; HA 1/14; LAW, MM, PCHR 1/15)

Israeli PM Ariel Sharon visits Hebron, calls for the expanding of Jewish settlements in and around Hebron to create “settlement contiguity” btwn. 4 Jewish enclaves in He-bron, the outlying Kiryat Arba settlement, the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs site. In response, Jewish settlers declare a new settlement on the site of the olive grove bulldozed by the IDF on 11/16 and move in 3 shipping containers, tents, cisterns; the IDF constructs a 7-ft. concrete wall around the site. IDF undercover units attempt to assassinate Riad ‘Abd al-Ghani in Tulkarm, missing him, killing his brother, wounding a 2d brother. The IDF fires rockets, tank shells at the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Preventive Security Force (PSF) headquarters complex in Gaza, sends troops in to set fire to 2 buildings, injuring 2 PSF officers, 1 Palestinian journalist. The IDF also fires on Palestinians in Gaza City, Nur al-Shams refugee camp (r.c.); bulldozes 8 dunams of Pal-estinian land in Bayt Lahia; blows up 2 Palestinian homes in Balata r.c.; detains for 2 hrs. a PRCS ambulance carrying Palestinians seriously injured in a car accident; fires on 2 ambulances outside a hospital in Gaza, nr. Shati‘ r.c.; detains, searches 6 ambulances, including 1 transporting a patient, for up to 70 mins. at checkpoints. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/18; MENA 11/18 in WNC 11/19; AFP 11/19 in WNC 11/21; PCHR 11/20; WJW 11/21; MEI 11/22; PRCS press release 11/23)

Israeli Arab passenger carrying only a pen knife that he does not wield attempts to hijack an El Al plane bound for Istanbul fr. Tel Aviv. He is quickly captured and detained, without injury to any other passen-gers; says that he intended to hijack the plane to protest Israeli actions against Palestinians, that he is not affiliated with any group. He is described by peers as frail, nervous, eccentric young man with a heart condition, who craves popularity and attention. (MM, NYT 11/18; ATL 11/18 in WNC 11/19; CSM, NYT, WP 11/19; NYT, WJW 11/21; NYT 11/26, 11/27; JPI 11/29

The IDF demolishes 3 Palestinian homes in Dura; bulldozes 3 homes and farm land nr. Netzarim settlement in Gaza; fires on stone-throwing Palestinian youths nr. Bayt Hanun and Kefar Darom, wounding 13; fatally shoots 1 Palestinian in his Jenin home; raids a UNRWA hospital in Qalqilya, assaulting several staff mbrs. Palestinians fire 3 Qassam rockets into the Negev, lightly injuring 4 Israelis, damaging 1 house; fire on a settler vehicle nr. Ramallah, injuring 2 Jewish settlers. Jewish settlers announce the completion of 14 permanent housing units in Rehalim nr. Nablus. The PA says it has arrested 11 Palestinian collaborators who aided Israel in various assassinations. (HA, LAW, PCHR 9/25; al-Quds 9/25 in WNC 9/26; CNN, HA, LAW, NYT 9/26; UN press release 10/1; LAW, PCHR 10/2)

Before dawn, the IDF raids Brazil r.c. and Rafah, conducting house-to-house searches, raiding and destroying equipment in local Fatah offices, bulldozing 8 Palestinian homes, 6 suspected weapons factories, damaging 17 houses and 3 factories, sparking an exchange of gunfire with Palestinians, killing 1 AMB mbr., wounding 6 Palestinians. The IDF also conducts arrest raids in Tubas. A mysterious explosion destroys a house in Gaza, killing 3 Palestinians (including wanted Fatah mbr. Iyad Sharif), injuring 4; the IDF claims a bomb Sharif was preparing exploded prematurely. Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket (possibly a Qassam-3) at an IDF convoy escorting a settler bus nr. Netzarim, causing no damage. (AP, HA, PM, WP, WT 9/13; NYT, WP, WT 9/14; PCHR 9/17, 9/18)

Israeli border police manning a West Bank crossing intercept a car carrying a 1,300 lbs. fertilizer-gasoline bomb, with a cell phone rigged as a detonator; 2 Palestinians escape. No group claims responsibility, but the IDF suspects Islamic Jihad. The IDF conducts arrest raids in Balata r.c., Nablus, Surif; raids a clinic in Bayt Lahia, halts an ambulance, detains and beats 1 paramedic; fires on residential areas of Rafah, on Palestinians waiting to cross a Dayr al-Balah + n. Khan Yunis checkpoint. Late in the evening, Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket in Gaza, luring a Merkava tank to the scene, then detonating a large roadside bomb under the tank, killing 2 IDF soldiers, wounding 2 (marking the 2d fatal roadside bombing of a tank; see 3/14/02); the popular resistance comms. (PRCs) take responsibility. Nr. Bayt Lahia, a Palestinian gunman ambushes an IDF patrol, killing 1 IDF soldier, wounding 1 before being shot dead. The IDF issues evacuation orders to 4 Palestinian families in Ras al-Amud, Silwan. (AP, MM 9/5; NYT, WP, WT 9/6; NYT 9/7; LAW, PCHR 9/11)

In response to the 2 Gaza attacks, Ben-Eliezer formally calls off implementation of Gaza First agmt. (WP 9/6)

AMB gunmen fire on 2 Jewish settler vehicles s. of Hebron, killing 4 Jewish settlers, wounding 3. Palestinians fire an antitank missile at a settler bus nr. Gaza City, causing damage but no injuries. 2 Palestinians die of injuries received on 7/22, bringing the toll of the Shihada assassination to 17. The IDF conducts house-to-house searches in Qalqilya, firing on residential areas, killing 1 Palestinian-American standing nr. a window in his kitchen; bulldozes 3 auto repair shops in Gaza City suspected of manufacturing Qassam rockets, injuring 5 Palestinians; shells residential areas of Khan Yunis. Jewish settlers take over a Palestinian home in Hebron, set a room on fire, destroy water tanks. (NYT, WP, WT 7/27; XIN 7/29 in WNC 7/30; LAW, PCHR 7/31)