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  • November 26, 2011

    Late at night, unidentified Palestinians fire a homemade Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In response, the IDF carries out an air strike on a training camp w. of...

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  • October 11, 2011

    Israel announces it has signed a prisoner swap agreement in Cairo with Hamas, which agreed to free IDF soldier Gilad Shalit (captured on the Gaza border in 6/2006). In return, Israel will release...

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  • September 6, 2011

    Obama Middle East adviser Dennis Ross and acting U.S. special envoy to the Middle East peace process David Hale arrive in the region for 2 days of mtgs. with Israeli and Palestinian officials...

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  • August 31, 2011

    Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin. (YA 8/31; PCHR 9/8; OCHA 9/9)

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  • August 29, 2011

    A 21-yr.-old Palestinian fr. Nablus enters Israel, steals a taxi in Tel Aviv, and drives it into a police checkpoint outside a popular nightclub, then stabs several bystanders before being subdued...

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  • August 27, 2011

    Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries; Israel does not respond. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and Tulkarm...

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  • August 26, 2011

    Hamas officials say that all main Gaza factions have agreed to reimpose their cease-fire immediately, while Egyptian mediators work to secure the compliance of smaller factions. Islamic Jihad says...

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  • August 25, 2011

    Overnight and during the day, the IDF carries out multiple air strikes on Gaza in retaliation for the 8/24 rocket fire, hitting smuggling tunnels, a suspected weapons depot, and a rocketfiring...

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  • August 24, 2011

    El Salvador recognizes Palestine as an independent state. (REU 8/25)

    Israel carries out 3 air strikes (drone and warplanes) targeting Palestinian rocket-launching teams and smuggling...

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  • August 23, 2011

    In Doha, PA pres. Mahmud Abbas meets with Arab League FMs and Arab League secy.-gen. Nabil Elaraby to discuss plans to seek recognition of Palestinian statehood at the UN in 9/2011. Abbas meets on...

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  • August 22, 2011

    The Gaza cease-fire generally holds, though unidentified Palestinians fire 4 rockets into Israel during the day, causing damage in 1 instance but no injuries. The PRCs now say (see 8/21) that they...

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  • August 20, 2011

    Cross-border violence in Gaza enters its 3d day. Israel conducts 3 drone air strikes and 7 artillery strikes on Gaza, injuring 6 Palestinians (3 militants and 3 bystanders, including a woman and ...

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  • August 18, 2011

    Unidentified assailants armed with heavy weapons and explosives enter s. Israel fr. the Egyptian Sinai and stage coordinated attacks on a bus, several cars, and an IDF patrol, killing 7 Israelis (...

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  • August 7, 2011

    Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket and 3 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel during the day, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm and 1...

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  • August 4, 2011

    The Obama admin. invites Palestinian officials to Washington to discuss conditions under which they might drop their UN statehood bid. The PA says chief negotiator Saeb Erakat and Abbas spokesman...

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  • August 1, 2011

    Ramadan begins. Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, lightly injuring 1 bedouin woman. Late at night, the IDF retaliates with air strikes on a smuggling tunnel on...

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  • July 31, 2011

    Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. During the day, the IDF raids Jayyus village nr. Qalqilya, firing tear gas and stun grenades at...

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  • July 28, 2011

    Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF drops troops from helicopters into an open area nr. Jenin, searching...

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  • July 16, 2011

    Unidentified Palestinians fire 4 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel during the day (1 early in the morning and 3 late at night), causing no damage or injuries. Israeli naval vessels fire on...

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  • July 14, 2011

    Unidentified Palestinians fire a total of 6 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel in 3 barrages in the morning, afternoon, and evening, causing no damage or injuries. In retaliation, the IDF makes...

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  • July 13, 2011

    Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel causing no damage or injuries. In response, the IDF carries out air strikes on 2 smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border and 1 on...

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  • July 12, 2011

    Israel’s Interior Min. issues building permits for construction of the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance on the site of the ancient Mamilla cemetery in Jerusalem, saying work can begin...

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  • July 9, 2011

    Israel says it has now detained 118 foreign activists who attempted to enter through Ben-Gurion Airport as part of the Welcome to Palestine air flotilla; some activists have made it through...

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  • June 22, 2011

    Obama’s Middle East adviser Ross and acting U.S. special envoy Hale make their 2d visit to Israel in a wk. (see 6/16) to meet with Netanyahu, Abbas, and their advisers to push for renewal of peace...

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  • June 16, 2011

    Obama’s senior Middle East adviser Dennis Ross and acting U.S. special envoy to the peace process David Hale make an unannounced visit to the region in effort “to find a formula for talks that...

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  • June 15, 2011

    IDF troops make a day-long incursion into c. Gaza to level land along the border fence e. of al-Bureij r.c. to clear lines of sight, firing on nearby residential areas to keep Palestinians indoors...

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  • May 28, 2011

    Egypt reopens the Rafah crossing as planned, permitting most Palestinians to cross freely for the first time in 4 yrs. (men ages 18–40 are the only group required to secure visas to enter Egypt)....

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  • April 18, 2011

    Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers fr. Yatta in Hebron raid a nearby Palestinian farm and let the cattle loose...

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  • April 8, 2011

    The IDF continues heavy air strikes (including 1 missile dropped fr. a war plane and 13 missiles fired fr. helicopters and drones) and artillery attacks (more than a dozen) hitting at least 19...

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  • April 5, 2011

    In the morning, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fatally shoot 1 Palestinian who approaches the border fence for unclear reasons; there are no reports he was armed and no faction claims him as a...

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Late at night, unidentified Palestinians fire a homemade Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In response, the IDF carries out an air strike on a training camp w. of Nussayrat refugee camp (r.c.) in central Gaza and 3 air strikes on a greenhouse in Khan Yunis in s. Gaza; no injuries are reported. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes a room and water tank of a home nr. Qalqilya for construction of the separation wall; conducts late-night patrols in Tulkarm. Jewish settlers block a road nr. Qalqilya and stone passing Palestinian vehicles. (HA 11/27; PCHR 12/1; OCHA 12/2)

Israel announces it has signed a prisoner swap agreement in Cairo with Hamas, which agreed to free IDF soldier Gilad Shalit (captured on the Gaza border in 6/2006). In return, Israel will release around 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in 2 stages: the 1st 450 Palestinians would be exchanged for Shalit within a wk.; the remaining 550 or so Palestinians would be freed within 2 mos. In Gaza, 1,000s pour into the streets to celebrate. (NYT, WP, WT 10/12; NYT, WP 10/13; NYT 10/17, 11/6)

Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops in Hebron violently beat a group of Palestinian children and teachers who refuse new IDF demands to submit to searches before crossing a permanent checkpoint in al-Shuhada Street to reach the Cordoba Elementary School, moderately injuring 7 children (ages 10–15). The IDF also demolishes a newly constructed mosque in Khirbat Yazra nr. Tubas; demolishes 2 Palestinian homes and an animal pen belonging to a bedouin family outside Qalqilya; conducts synchronized latenight patrols in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya. (YA 10/11; PCHR 10/13; OCHA 10/14)

Obama Middle East adviser Dennis Ross and acting U.S. special envoy to the Middle East peace process David Hale arrive in the region for 2 days of mtgs. with Israeli and Palestinian officials regarding the Palestinian statehood bid and a possible Quartet plan to revive negotiations. As they meet first with Israeli pres. Benjamin Netanyahu and DM Barak, U.S. secy. of state Hillary Clinton phones Abbas, urging him to “work hard with us to avoid a negative scenario in New York at the end of the month.” (AFP, Bloomberg, NYT 9/6; WP 9/7)

\Overnight, unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In retaliation, the IDF carries out an air strike on a suspected weapons depot in Gaza, causing no reported injuries. Later in the day, the IDF makes a brief incursion into s. Gaza nr. Khan Yunis, exchanging fire with PRC mbrs., causing no initial injuries; when the PRCs. fire mortars toward soldiers, the IDF replies with gunfire fr. a helicopter, killing 1 PRC mbr. and wounding 3 bystanders. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Tulkarm. (IFM 9/6; NYT 9/7; PCHR 9/8; OCHA 9/9)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin. (YA 8/31; PCHR 9/8; OCHA 9/9)

A 21-yr.-old Palestinian fr. Nablus enters Israel, steals a taxi in Tel Aviv, and drives it into a police checkpoint outside a popular nightclub, then stabs several bystanders before being subdued by police; the PA condemns the attack. Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In Gaza, a 13-yr.-old Palestinian boy dies of injuries sustained in an IDF drone strike on 8/21. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jericho, 1 each nr. Ramallah and Tulkarm. (YA 8/29; NYT 8/30; PCHR 9/8; OCHA 9/9)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries; Israel does not respond. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and Tulkarm late at night, randomly stopping residents and checking their IDs. Jewish settlers fr. Ramat Yishai in Hebron beat a Palestinian passerby. (JP 8/28; PCHR 9/8; OCHA 9/9)

Hamas officials say that all main Gaza factions have agreed to reimpose their cease-fire immediately, while Egyptian mediators work to secure the compliance of smaller factions. Islamic Jihad says it will observe the moratorium as long as Israel also ceases fire. Israel does not comment. Before the new cease-fire goes into effect, the PFLP and other unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Grad and 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Israel does not respond. Israeli DM Barak authorizes construction of a kindergarten in Hebron’s Beit Romano settlement, home to some of the most extremist Jewish settlers. Meanwhile, Jewish settlers uproot olive trees in Qasra village nr. Nablus; when local Palestinians try to drive them away, IDF troops intervene, firing tear gas and live ammunition at the Palestinians, seriously injuring 1. The IDF also patrols in Kafr al-Dik village nr. Salfit. Palestinians (sometimes accompanied by Israeli and international activists) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil‘in, al-Ma‘sara, and Ni‘lin, as well as at the Qalandia crossing into Jerusalem. IDF soldiers beat and fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, causing no serious injuries, and arrest 2 Palestinians. (AP, MNA, YA 8/26; MNA, WP 8/27; PCHR 9/8; OCHA 9/9)

In Egypt, 100s of protesters rally outside the Israeli emb. after Friday prayers demanding the expulsion of the amb. (WP 8/28)

Overnight and during the day, the IDF carries out multiple air strikes on Gaza in retaliation for the 8/24 rocket fire, hitting smuggling tunnels, a suspected weapons depot, and a rocketfiring team, killing 9 Palestinians (including at least 4 militants) and wounding 29. Unidentified Palestinians fire at least 15 rockets (including at least 1 Grad and 9 Qassams) and mortars into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Jenin and surrounding villages throughout the evening. Jewish settlers fr. Migron outpost nr. Ramallah set fire to nearby Palestinian olive groves, burning 100 trees. (AP, IDFS, MNA 8/25; JP, NYT, WAFA, YA 8/26; PCHR 9/8; OCHA 9/9)

El Salvador recognizes Palestine as an independent state. (REU 8/25)

Israel carries out 3 air strikes (drone and warplanes) targeting Palestinian rocket-launching teams and smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border, killing 1 armed Palestinian and 1 tunnel worker and wounding 6 Palestinians (including 1 child). Islamic Jihad mbrs. fire at least 20 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, injuring an Israeli child. (PCHR, UPI, YA 8/25; PCHR 9/8; OCHA 9/9)

In Doha, PA pres. Mahmud Abbas meets with Arab League FMs and Arab League secy.-gen. Nabil Elaraby to discuss plans to seek recognition of Palestinian statehood at the UN in 9/2011. Abbas meets on the sidelines with U.S. asst. secy. of state Jeremy Feltman. (WAFA 8/23)

The IDF carries out a late-night drone missile strike on a car nr. Rafah, assassinating the head of Islamic Jihad’s military wing Isma’il Asmar, injuring a girl nearby. Islamic Jihad responds by firing 4 Qassam rockets and several mortars into Israel, lightly wounding an Israeli infant. (Egyptian officials say that a Palestinian rocket fired fr. Rafah landed on the Egyptian side of the border, in Egyptian Rafah, injuring 1 woman.) Israel responds with 2 drone missile strikes on a suspected rocket-launching team nr. Dayr al-Balah, wounding 2 armed Palestinians. In the West Bank, IDF soldiers enter Tulkarm, randomly stopping Palestinians and checking their IDs; conduct late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Bet Ayn nr. Hebron uproot 10s of olive and plum trees on nearby Palestinian land. The Israeli High Court rejects an appeal by residents of al-Walaja who challenged the separation wall route on the grounds that it would cut off the village from Bethlehem, holding that the residents did not prove that the planned route would severely harm the village. (JP, JTA, WAFA, WP, WT 8/24; PCHR, WP 8/25; OCHA 8/26; PCHR 10/27)

The Gaza cease-fire generally holds, though unidentified Palestinians fire 4 rockets into Israel during the day, causing damage in 1 instance but no injuries. The PRCs now say (see 8/21) that they will abide by the cease-fire because it “serves the interests of the Palestinian people.” In the West Bank, the IDF raids and searches 15 houses in Hebron, arresting 1 Palestinian; patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin, 1 each near Qalqilya and Tulkarm. (JTA, YA 8/22; WP 8/23; PCHR 8/25; OCHA 8/26)

Cross-border violence in Gaza enters its 3d day. Israel conducts 3 drone air strikes and 7 artillery strikes on Gaza, injuring 6 Palestinians (3 militants and 3 bystanders, including a woman and child). The PRCs, Islamic Jihad, and Hamas fire as many as 64 rockets (including at least 7 Grads) and 18 mortars, killing 1 Israeli and wounding 6 in Beersheba, lightly injuring 3 Israelis in Ofakim when a rocket hits a house, and injuring 3 Palestinian laborers in Ashdod (2 seriously). Israeli naval vessels fire 3 times on Palestinian fishing boats off the Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. IDF soldiers on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Hanun fire warning shots at Palestinian fishermen on the beach nr. the no-go zone, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF carries out a major late-night raid on Hebron, sending 100 military vehicles into the area fr. 3 directions and rounding up some 120 Palestinians, mostly Hamas members and supporters, marking the largest West Bank arrest operation since 2003; those arrested include Hamas-affiliated Palestinian Council (PC) mbr. Muhammad Abu Jheisha and leading figures of several Hamas-affiliated charities. Jewish settlers fr. Migron outpost nr. Ramallah beat a 12-yr.-old Palestinian boy tending sheep nearby. (JP, YA 8/20; JAZ, JP, NYT, WP 8/21; MNA 8/22; IFM, PCHR 8/25; OCHA 8/26)

In Cairo, crowds outside the Israeli emb. grow steadily into the 1,000s overnight and throughout the day. Israel issues a formal expression of regret for the deaths of the Egyptian soldiers, but Egyptian leaders say it is inadequate. Egypt briefly threatens to recall its amb. fr. Israel, but backs down following international intervention to calm tensions. Israel shelves discussions of a major military strike on Gaza given the crisis with Egypt. (WP 8/20; NYT, WP 8/21; NYT 8/27; WP 8/28)

Unidentified assailants armed with heavy weapons and explosives enter s. Israel fr. the Egyptian Sinai and stage coordinated attacks on a bus, several cars, and an IDF patrol, killing 7 Israelis (1 IDF soldier, 6 civilians) and wounding up to 40, marking the deadliest attack on Israel since 3/2008. The attacks begin at midday with gunfire on a bus nr. Elat carrying mostly soldiers fr. a nearby army base; when an IDF unit arrives on the scene, it is quickly ambushed and hit with explosive devices. Within the hour, at least 3 reports of mortar fire fr. Egypt and attacks on civilian vehicles with antitank weapons are reported in the Elat area. Israeli security forces engage in firefights with the infiltrators over the next several hours, killing at least 7 attackers, noting that 3 of the bodies were booby trapped. At one point, IDF troops pursue the attackers into Egypt and clash with Egyptian border guards, killing an Egyptian military officer and 2 Egyptian border police and injuring 2 others. Israel accuses Hamas of sending terrorists fr. Gaza through the Rafah smuggling tunnels into Egypt and then on to Israel, and criticizes Egypt’s inability to secure its borders. The IDF quickly launches 12 air strikes on s. Gaza in retaliation, primarily targeting the Popular Resistance Committees (PRCs)—an umbrella group comprising mbrs. of all Gaza factions, including Fatah and Hamas. In total, 7 Palestinians (including 2 children) are killed and at least 23 Palestinians (including 7 children, 6 women) are wounded. Among the dead are 5 senior PRC members who were targeted for assassination, including PRC leader Kamal Abu Abed al-Nairab, PRC chief military cmdr. Imad Hamad, and a PRC rocket expert. Later in the evening, gunfire erupts again in Elat, killing 1 Israeli border policeman and critically injuring another. The PRCs fire 4 rockets (including at least 1 manufactured Grad rocket) fr. Gaza into Israel, where at least 3 are intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system; no damage or injuries are reported. By late evening, the Israeli DMin. reports no further fire, but says assailants may still be on the loose. Hamas and the PRCs deny any part in the attacks. Egyptian and American analysts (e.g., NYT, WT 8/19) say that “it is not a remote possibility for [Egypt’s radical militant elements] to cross the border and launch attacks against Israeli targets. It makes a lot of sense” given Egypt’s recent crackdown on al-Qa‘ida-inspired Islamist militants in the n. Sinai (see 8/13). (AHR, AP, HA, IFM, JP, JTA, MNA, REU, WAFA, YA 8/18; NYT, OCHA, WP, WT 8/19; al-Masri al-Yawm 8/20; JAZ 8/21; PCHR 8/25; OCHA 8/26)

Meanwhile, in the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Bayt Liqya nr. Ramallah during the day and in Jenin, Jericho, and 2 villages nr. Ramallah and Salfit. Jewish settlers fr. Beit El nr. Ramallah enter nearby Dawar al-Qare’ village and set fire to 2 cars. (PCHR 8/25)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket and 3 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel during the day, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm and 1 nr. Ramallah in the morning, in Jericho in the afternoon, and in al-Bireh and Birzeit late at night. (JP 8/7; HA, JTA 8/8; PCHR 8/11; OCHA 8/12)

The Obama admin. invites Palestinian officials to Washington to discuss conditions under which they might drop their UN statehood bid. The PA says chief negotiator Saeb Erakat and Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina will head to Washington soon. (JP 8/4)

As a gesture to the PA to mark the start of Ramadan, Israel releases 200 Palestinian prisoners who were set to complete their sentences soon, including senior Hamas official Shaykh Hassan Yousef (arrested in 2006 and set for release in 9/2011). At the same time, however, Israel’s Interior Min. gives final approval for the construction of 930 new settlement housing units in East Jerusalem’s Har Homa/Jabal Abu Ghunaym. Meanwhile, the PA orders its security forces to prevent violence after the UN vote in 9/2011 and informs Israel of its intention to keep the peace and avoid confrontation. In Gaza, unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF retaliates late at night with 2 artillery shells and 7 air strikes on 5 Hamas sites in c. and s. Gaza, injuring 2 Hamas mbrs. and killing 500 chicks at a poultry farm. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm, 2 nr. Ramallah, and 1 nr. Jericho; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Tulkarm. (AFP, HA, JTA, MNA, WAFA, YA 8/4; PCHR 8/11; OCHA 8/12)

Ramadan begins. Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, lightly injuring 1 bedouin woman. Late at night, the IDF retaliates with air strikes on a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border and a “terrorist center” in n. Gaza, causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF searches a home in Issawiyya in the morning; conducts synchronized raids into 3 villages e. of Qalqilya, searching several homes and summoning 4 Palestinians for interrogation; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Bayt Umar. (AFP 8/1; AFP, JP, REU, YA 8/2; PCHR 8/4; OCHA 8/5)

Israeli and Lebanese troops briefly exchange fire across their common border, causing no injuries. Lebanese troops fired first, believing the IDF patrol strayed into Lebanese territory, though the IDF denies this. (DS 8/1; NYT, WP 8/2; WJW 8/5; JPI 8/12)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. During the day, the IDF raids Jayyus village nr. Qalqilya, firing tear gas and stun grenades at stone-throwing youths who confront them, causing no injuries, and raids and searches several homes in ‘Azun, making no arrests. In the evening, the IDF conducts synchronized raids into 3 villages nr. Salfit, searching homes but making no arrests. Late at night, the IDF enters Qalandia r.c., opening fire with live ammunition on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront them, killing 2 Palestinians and wounding 1. The IDF also conducts late-night house searches nr. Bethlehem. (AFP 7/31; NYT, WP 8/2; PCHR 8/4; OCHA 8/5)

Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF drops troops from helicopters into an open area nr. Jenin, searching the area for some time before withdrawing; patrols in 4 villages nr. Jericho, Ramallah, and Tulkarm; enters a village nr. Hebron to arrest 2 Palestinian children for hurting cattle on a nearby Jewish settlement; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Tubas, detaining Hamas-affiliated PC mbr. Khalid Abu Tous. A day after a PA court rejected an appeal challenging Fatah’s 6/12 decision to expel Dahlan from the party, PA security forces raid Dahlan’s Ramallah home, arresting 23 guards and assistants and confiscating 16 guns, a computer, and 2 cars; Dahlan is currently in Jordan. (AFP, MNA, WAFA, YA 7/28; WP 7/29; PCHR 8/4; OCHA 8/5; see also AFP 7/27)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 4 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel during the day (1 early in the morning and 3 late at night), causing no damage or injuries. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. A Palestinian is fatally electrocuted in a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border. In the West Bank, the IDF fires tear gas and stun grenades to disperse Palestinians staging a nonviolent march in Iraq Burin to protest confiscation of their lands for the expansion of local Jewish settlements, causing no serious injuries; conducts daytime patrols in Jericho and 1 village nr. Qalqilya; conducts latenight patrols in Bayt Liqya; and conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. (YA 7/16; AFP, JP, JTA, YA 7/17; PCHR 7/20; OCHA 7/22)

Unidentified Palestinians fire a total of 6 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel in 3 barrages in the morning, afternoon, and evening, causing no damage or injuries. In retaliation, the IDF makes air strikes on 4 Hamas training facilities in Gaza City and Khan Yunis and on 2 smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border, causing no reported injuries. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the c. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah and 3 nr. Salfit in the morning and in Jericho late at night. (YA 7/14; JP 7/15; PCHR 7/20; OCHA 7/22)

Inspired by the Arab Spring, 10s of young Israelis set up a tent camp on Rothschild Boulevard, Tel Aviv’s high-end shopping district, to protest high housing costs (up 20% compared to summer 2010). (Guardian, HA 7/16)

Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel causing no damage or injuries. In response, the IDF carries out air strikes on 2 smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border and 1 on the n. Gaza border with Israel, killing 1 Palestinian and wounding 5. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night patrols in 2 villages nr. Nablus and late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Nablus. (JP, YA 7/13; PCHR 7/14, 7/20; OCHA 7/22)

Israel’s Interior Min. issues building permits for construction of the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance on the site of the ancient Mamilla cemetery in Jerusalem, saying work can begin immediately; Palestinians denounce approval of the plans to desecrate a Muslim historic site. Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, lightly damaging 1 home but causing no injuries. The IDF responds with air strikes on 2 suspected weapons factories in n. Gaza, causing no reported injuries. Israeli naval vessels twice fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF makes a dawn incursion into al-Fara‘a r.c. nr. Tubas, fatally shooting a Palestinian who flees when he sees approaching troops; patrols in Jericho and 2 villages nr. Ramallah. (YA 7/12; AFP, HA, JTA, YA 7/13; PCHR 7/14; OCHA 7/15; JPI 7/22)

Israel says it has now detained 118 foreign activists who attempted to enter through Ben-Gurion Airport as part of the Welcome to Palestine air flotilla; some activists have made it through airport security and today join separation wall protests n. of Jerusalem. Suspected Tawhid and Jihad mbrs. fire 3 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza toward Israel; 2 land harmlessly inside Israel, 1 lands harmlessly in Gaza. In retaliation, the IDF carries out an air strike on a smuggling tunnel on the n. Gaza border and on a brick factory e. of Gaza City, causing no reported injuries. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Lahiya fire warning shots at a mentally handicapped Palestinian woman who approaches the border fence, wounding her. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya and Ramallah in the afternoon; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya and Salfit. Palestinians accompanied by Israeli and international activists stage nonviolent demonstrations in Nabi Salih and Qalandia r.c. nr. Jerusalem to protest the separation wall and settlement activities. IDF troops fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, injuring a 14-yr.-old Palestinian. (JP, WP, YA 7/10; PCHR 7/14; OCHA 7/15)

Obama’s Middle East adviser Ross and acting U.S. special envoy Hale make their 2d visit to Israel in a wk. (see 6/16) to meet with Netanyahu, Abbas, and their advisers to push for renewal of peace talks. (HA, JTA, MA 6/22)

Overnight, unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket and a mortar fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Early in the morning, the IDF carries out an air strike on a smuggling tunnel on the c. Gaza border in retaliation, hitting a poultry farm and killing 3,500 chicks, but causing no other injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF enters Bayt Sahur nr. Bethlehem in the morning, surrounding the al-Quds Open University campus, randomly stopping and searching students, detaining 1 student and 1 journalist for 2 hrs. before withdrawing; conducts late-night patrols in Burham village nr. Ramallah; and makes late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Jerusalem and Nablus. (AP, HA, NYT, WP, WT, YA 6/22; PCHR 6/23, 6/30; OCHA 7/1)

Obama’s senior Middle East adviser Dennis Ross and acting U.S. special envoy to the peace process David Hale make an unannounced visit to the region in effort “to find a formula for talks that would entice the Palestinians to drop their bid for unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state” at the UN in 9/2011. (NYT 6/17)

Overnight, the IDF carries out an air strike on a smuggling tunnel on the c. Gaza border with Israel in retaliation for the 6/15 rocket fire, causing no reported injuries. During the day, unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket toward Israel, but it lands inside Gaza, hitting a Palestinian home nr. al-Maghazi r.c., injuring 1 Palestinian. In the West Bank, the IDF raids the Hebron home of Hamas-affiliated PC mbr. Samir al-Qadi and arrests him. The IDF also patrols in 5 villages nr. Qalqilya, Ramallah, and Tulkarm during the day and in Jericho, 3 villages nr. Salfit, and 1 nr. Ramallah late at night; raids an auto repair shop in Nabi Elias nr. Qalqilya during the day, questioning but not arresting 2 Palestinians; and conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. The IDF also escorts Jewish settlers into Kafr Haris to pray at a religious site. (NYT, WP 6/17; PCHR 6/23; OCHA 6/24)

IDF troops make a day-long incursion into c. Gaza to level land along the border fence e. of al-Bureij r.c. to clear lines of sight, firing on nearby residential areas to keep Palestinians indoors; no injuries are reported. Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF uses live fire, tear gas, and stun grenades to disperse Palestinians and Israeli activists staging a nonviolent march in Dayr Qaddis nr. Ramallah to protest local settlement expansion and construction of the separation wall; 2 Palestinians are wounded with live ammunition, and 1 Israeli activist is arrested. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem. Jewish settlers fr. Matityahu settlement nr. Ramallah set fire to 10s of Palestinian olive trees in Bil‘in; the IDF prevents Palestinian firefighters fr. reaching the site quickly and directs live fire, tear gas, and stun grenades at stone-throwing youths who challenge them (no serious injuries are reported). Israel’s Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court rules that a Palestinian family (the Farhans) cannot be evicted from their home in Shaykh Jarrah, East Jerusalem, where they have lived since 1948. (HA 6/15; JTA, PCHR, YA 6/16; PCHR 6/23; OCHA 6/24)

Egypt reopens the Rafah crossing as planned, permitting most Palestinians to cross freely for the first time in 4 yrs. (men ages 18–40 are the only group required to secure visas to enter Egypt). Unidentified Palestinians fire a homemade Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel for the 1st time since 4/18, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF bars Palestinian farmers fr. working their land nr. Bet Ayn settlement nr. Hebron; conducts late-night patrols in Bil‘in, sounding sirens and firing stun and flash grenades to intimidate residents; conducts late-night patrols without incident in Qalqilya; makes late-night arrest raids, house searches in ‘Aqabat Jabir r.c. nr. Jericho and Nur Shams r.c. nr. Tulkarm. The IDF also fires tear gas, stun grenades at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists staging a nonviolent march through Iraq Burin village nr. Nablus to nearby Brakha settlement to protest the settlers’ seizure of village lands to expand the settlement; 3 internationals are arrested. (AFP 5/28; MNA, NYT, WP 5/29; PCHR 6/2; OCHA 6/3)

In Qatar, Abbas briefs Arab League FMs on the recent speeches by Obama and Netanyahu. The FMs agree to support the Palestinians’ UN statehood bid in absence of a viable alterative. Abbas then goes to Cairo to brief Egypt’s acting government. (REU, WAFA 5/28; MENA 5/30)

Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers fr. Yatta in Hebron raid a nearby Palestinian farm and let the cattle loose into the crop fields; the IDF observes but does not intervene. (IsRN 4/18; PCHR 4/21; OCHA 4/29)

The IDF continues heavy air strikes (including 1 missile dropped fr. a war plane and 13 missiles fired fr. helicopters and drones) and artillery attacks (more than a dozen) hitting at least 19 targets across Gaza, killing another 11 Palestinians (5 civilians and 6 militants), wounding 20 (19 civilians and 1 militant), and damaging a commercial building and several homes. Israeli DM Barak stresses that the assaults are in response to the bus attack on 4/7 and not the start of a major offensive. Palestinians fire another 24 mortars and 6 rockets, causing damage in 2 incidents but no injuries. Various factions claim responsibility for firing, including the AMB, DFLP, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and the PRCs. Israel’s new Iron Dome system intercepts 3 of the rockets. In addition, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fired warning shots at Palestinian farmers nr. the border fence, forcing them to flee. Israeli naval vessels fired toward the Gaza City beach and at Palestinian fishermen off the coast w. of Nussayrat r.c., causing no injuries. With the past 24 hrs. marking the worst flare-up in crossborder violence since OCL, UN Secy.-Gen. Ban calls on both sides to observe a ceasefire immediately. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Jericho and 2 villages nr. Ramallah (firing rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at stone-throwing youths who confront them, causing no serious injuries); conducts morning arrest raids, house searches nr. Jericho. Palestinians (sometimes accompanied by Israeli and international activists) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, and Nabi Salih/Dayr Nizam. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, causing no serious injuries; 5 Palestinians are arrested. (IsRN, JP, MNA 4/8; JP, MNA, NYT, WP 4/9; IFM 4/10; PCHR 4/14; OCHA 4/15)

In the morning, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fatally shoot 1 Palestinian who approaches the border fence for unclear reasons; there are no reports he was armed and no faction claims him as a mbr. During the day, Hamas convenes Gaza factions to urge them to reimpose a ceasefire. Late in the evening, unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF responds with air strikes on 2 “infiltration tunnels” on the n. Gaza border, lightly to moderately injuring 4 Palestinian bystanders and damaging a recycling center, a construction company, and 11 homes. In the West Bank, the IDF enters Jenin in the afternoon to search the theater run by Mer-Khamis (killed on 4/4) and question locals about his murder. The IDF also patrols in 4 villages nr. Jenin, 3 villages nr. Qalqilya, 1 nr. Ramallah (firing tear gas at stone-throwing youths who confront them), and 1 nr. Tulkarm. The PASF says it has arrested a fmr. al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (AMB) mbr. for suspected involvement in the Mer-Khamis killing. (AFP, JP, XIN 4/5; IsRN 4/6; PCHR 4/7; OCHA 4/15)