430 / 15199 Results
  • October 6, 2010

    In a bid to secure the backing of rightwing coalition partners for a package of U.S. guarantees for a short extension of the settlement freeze, Netanyahu proposes legislation that would require...

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  • September 24, 2010

    On the evening of the settlement freeze expiration on 9/26, Clinton meets with Abbas in Washington to brief him for the first time on the Israeli-U.S. negotiations over a U.S. incentives package (...

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  • September 21, 2010

    Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza toward Israel, but it lands inside the Strip, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids,...

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  • September 20, 2010

    Israeli DM Ehud Barak comes to the U.S. with a backchannel proposal for Israel to extend its temporary settlement freeze (set to expire on 9/26) for a short period in exchange for rewards and...

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  • September 15, 2010

    Abbas, Netanyahu, Clinton, and Mitchell continue direct talks at Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem, meeting for 2 hrs. They allow a joint photo opportunity but do not address the press. (WP 9/15...

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  • September 12, 2010

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire 5 tank shells at Palestinian shepherds tending a flock 600 m. fr. the border fence, killing 3 Palestinian civilians (a 91-yr.-old man, his teenage grandson,...

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  • September 10, 2010

    Overnight, the IDF carries out 7 air strikes on Gaza (3 on Rafah tunnels and 4 on Hamas targets: 2 in Gaza City, 1 each on Bayt Hanun and Dayr al-Balah) and fires 6 tank shells across the border...

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  • September 9, 2010

    Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. (JP 9/9; PCHR 9/16; OCHA 9/17)

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  • September 7, 2010

    Overnight, unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. (JTA 9/7; PCHR, YA 9/8, 9/16; OCHA 9/17)

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  • September 4, 2010

    Unidentified Palestinians fire a homemade Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In response to this attack and the 8/31–9/2 Hamas shootings in the West Bank, the IDF...

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  • August 16, 2010

    As the quarter opens, Israel has eased (as of 6/2010) its blockade on Gaza, replacing the blanket ban on imports with two lists of prohibited and regulated items, allowing in more (and more varied...

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  • July 31, 2010

    In continued retaliation for the 7/30 Grad strike, the IDF carries out a predawn air strike on c. Gaza assassinating senior Hamas military cmdr. and rocket maker Issa Batran, marking the 1st...

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  • July 24, 2010

    Unidentified Palestinians fire 5 rockets (possibly including 1 manufactured rocket), 2 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Salfit and...

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  • June 30, 2010

    Overnight, unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, heavily damaging a factory in Sederot, but causing no injuries; the IDF retaliates with air strikes on at least 1...

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  • June 24, 2010

    During the day, IDF troops make brief incursion 400 m into Gaza n. of Bayt Hanun and 300 m into s. Gaza nr. Abasan to level land to clear lines of sight. Between midday and evening, unidentified...

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  • June 14, 2010

    In the West Bank, Palestinian gunmen open fire on an IDF border police vehicle nr. Hebron, killing 1 Israeli border police officer and wounding 3 in the first fatal shooting attack against...

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  • June 13, 2010

    IDF troops on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the industrial zone, wounding 1 Palestinian. Late in the evening,...

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  • June 7, 2010

    Overnight, the Israeli navy acting on “prior intelligence” fatally shoots 5 al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (AMB) mbrs. diving off the Gaza coast and the Palestinian fisherman manning their boat,...

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  • June 3, 2010

    Unidentified Palestinians fire 4 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, a Jewish settler opens fire on Palestinian school children picnicking outside...

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  • June 1, 2010

    The U.S. summons Israeli amb. Michael Oren and national security advisor Uzi Arad to a 4-hr. mtg. at the White House to discuss how to “contain fallout” fr. the flotilla raid and to find ways for...

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  • May 28, 2010

    Late at night, unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing damage but no injuries. The IDF retaliates with 5 air strikes on the Dahaniyya airport site (hitting...

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  • May 26, 2010

    Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket, 2 mortars fr. Gaza toward Israel, causing no damage or injuries; the mortars land inside Gaza. The IDF responds with air strikes on the abandoned...

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  • May 19, 2010

    Ansar al-Sunna, a Salafist militant group opposed to Hamas, fires a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF responds with air strikes on 2 open areas along the s...

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  • May 8, 2010

    After 5 days of talks with U.S. envoy Mitchell, Israel and the PLO Exec. Comm. formally agree to launch 4 mos. of proximity talks, marking the first peace talks since 12/08. (WT 5/3)

    ...

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  • April 15, 2010

    Israel allows 3 truckloads of aluminum, 3 of wood into Gaza for the 1st time since 6/07 and 10/08, respectively. Late at night, unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel...

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  • April 12, 2010

    IDF troops on the s. Gaza border e. of Khan Yunis fire warning shots at Palestinians conducting a nonviolent march to the border fence to protest Israel’s imposition of a no-go zone, causing no...

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  • April 4, 2010

    Israel allows the 1st commercial import of clothing and shoes (10 truckloads) into Gaza since 6/07 (previously Israel has allowed some of these items in as humanitarian aid shipments). Late in the...

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  • March 29, 2010

    Israel imposes a general closure on the West Bank through 4/6 for Passover. The IDF makes a brief incursion into s. Gaza e. of al-Qarara to level land along the border fence to clear lines of...

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  • March 27, 2010

    Overnight, the IDF bulldozes 31 d. of agricultural and 1 Palestinian home e. of Khan Yunis in the area where clashes occurred on 3/26; by midday, the IDF withdraws tanks and armored bulldozers...

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  • March 23, 2010

    In the morning, Netanyahu tours Capitol Hill, where he is greeted warmly. He then meets for 2 hrs. at the White House with Pres. Obama, who reportedly makes tough demands of Israel to put the...

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In a bid to secure the backing of rightwing coalition partners for a package of U.S. guarantees for a short extension of the settlement freeze, Netanyahu proposes legislation that would require those becoming Israeli citizens to pledge a loyalty oath to “the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state,” as opposed to simply “the State of Israel” as it is now worded. (NYT 10/7, 10/8; WP 10/11)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF retaliates with a late-night air strike on an IQB training site in the Shaykh Ridwan area of Gaza City, destroying a building, damaging 30 surrounding buildings and 3 cars, and injuring 6 Palestinian civilians. In the West Bank, the IDF makes a brief incursion into Tulkarm early in the morning to photograph the entrances of a police station, the local PASF and PA General Intelligence headquarters, and a PASF medical services building, withdrawing without incident; blocks Palestinians from joining a solidarity rally with Jewish settlers outside Bayt Fajjar village (site of a mosque arson on 10/4), sparking clashes between stonethrowing Palestinian youths and soldiers (no serious injuries reported); patrols late at night, without incident in 2 villages n. of Jenin; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’a r.c. and Zawata village, both nr. Nablus. The Israeli daily Ha’Aretz reports that nearly 350 housing units are currently under construction in West Bank settlements, including 56 in Keddumim nr. Qalqilya, 54 in Ariel n. of Salfit, 56 in Karme Tzur; 24 within Ma’ate Binyamin regional council area (nr. Jerusalem and Ramallah), 34 in Kiryat Arba, and 1 each in Barqan, Dolev, Kefar Adumim, Kochav HaShachar, Oranit, Revava, Sha’are Tikva, Tekoa, and Yakir. (HA, JP 10/6; NYT, PCHR, REU, YA 10/7; PCHR 10/14; OCHA 10/15)

On the evening of the settlement freeze expiration on 9/26, Clinton meets with Abbas in Washington to brief him for the first time on the Israeli-U.S. negotiations over a U.S. incentives package (see 9/20) and urges him not to walk away from direct talks immediately if Netanyahu allows the freeze to expire before a deal can be reached. (NYT 9/26) (see Quarterly Update for details) Clashes in and around Issawiyya between Israeli security forces and stonethrowing Palestinian youths continue for a 3d day. Off Gaza’s n. coast, Israeli naval vessels fire on a Palestinian fishing boat, killing 1 Palestinian fisherman. Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. n. Gaza toward Israel but it lands inside the Strip, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in ‘Anin village nr. Jenin in the afternoon without incident. Palestinians (accompanied by Israeli and international activists in some locations) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, Nabi Salih/Dayr Nizam. IDF soldiers fire rubbercoated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters; 10s suffer tear gas inhalation and 4 Palestinians are moderately injured (including 1 hit in the leg by live ammunition). (YA 9/21; JP 9/24; WP 9/25; PCHR 9/30; OCHA 10/1)

Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza toward Israel, but it lands inside the Strip, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem, in al‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron (detaining 1 Palestinian teenager on charges of throwing stones, releasing him later in the day after his family pays a $400 fine), and nr. Jenin. OCHA reports that 13 Palestinians have been injured in tunnel collapses along the Gaza border since 9/15, not including those injured in Israeli air strikes on 9/15. (YA 9/21; PCHR 9/23; OCHA 9/24)

Israeli DM Ehud Barak comes to the U.S. with a backchannel proposal for Israel to extend its temporary settlement freeze (set to expire on 9/26) for a short period in exchange for rewards and guarantees from the U.S. He shuttles between New York and Washington discussing the proposal with various senior U.S. officials. Separately, Israel’s chief negotiator Yitzhak Molcho, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat arrive in the U.S. for their own meetings with U.S. officials regarding the upcoming expiration of the settlement freeze and the consequences for peace talks. (NYT 9/21; WT 9/22; JPI 10/1)

Israel for the 1st time since 6/07 allows 20 used cars to be imported to Gaza. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them back to shore. Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts morning patrols in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya, randomly checking Palestinian IDs, but making no arrests; late-night patrols in a village nr. Tulkarm, making no arrests. Jewish settlers fr. Ramat Gilad settlement nr. Qalqilya begin working a Palestinian olive grove near the settlement, telling local Palestinians who challenge them that they purchased the land; they leave when the Palestinian owner arrives. In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities stage a predawn raid on several houses in Silwan village, arresting 4 Palestinians. In addition, Jewish settlers seize a Palestinian house in the suburb of Bayt Safafa (home to 20 people), sparking fights between settlers and the Palestinian owners. Israeli police and municipal officials intervene, arresting 2 Palestinians, and issuing an order to demolish the house (not immediately implemented). (JP 9/20; NYT 9/21; PCHR 9/23; OCHA 9/24)

Abbas, Netanyahu, Clinton, and Mitchell continue direct talks at Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem, meeting for 2 hrs. They allow a joint photo opportunity but do not address the press. (WP 9/15; NYT, WP, WT 9/16; PCHR 9/23; OCHA 9/24)

Just as the Jerusalem talks begin, Gaza’s PRCs fire 1 rocket and 9 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel (the highest 1-day total since 3/09), causing no damage or injuries. Israeli police claim 2 of the mortars contained white phosphorous and that the rocket, which landed in Ashkelon, appeared to be a manufactured Grad type, rather than a homemade Qassam; the IDF, however, calls the rocket a Qassam. (Ashkelon is in range of both Qassams and Grads.) The Israeli daily Yedi’ot Aharonot (9/16) cites an unidentified mbr. of an unnamed Gaza militant group as confirming that 2 mortars contained white phosphorous taken from unexploded IDF ordnance (UXO) from Operation Cast Lead, saying the Gaza factions are experimenting with modifying Israeli UXO for use against Israel. The IDF retaliates with air strikes on a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border (killing 1 Palestinian civilian, wounding 3), a factory n. of Khan Yunis (destroying it and damaging several surrounding homes, greenhouses, and businesses, but causing no reported injuries), and a vacant home southwest of Khan Yunis (destroying it). IDF troops also make a brief morning incursion 400 m. into s. Gaza e. of Khan Yunis to level land to clear lines of sight. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts separate synchronized late-night patrols in 2 villages e. of Qalqilya and 2 villages nr. Ramallah, making no arrests; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron, nr. Jenin. (HA, JP, YA 9/15; CNN, JP, PCHR, WT, YA 9/16)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire 5 tank shells at Palestinian shepherds tending a flock 600 m. fr. the border fence, killing 3 Palestinian civilians (a 91-yr.-old man, his teenage grandson, and another teenager) and their 30 sheep. In response, the PRCs fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Marda nr. Salfit late at night, without incident; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Bethlehem and nr. Qalqilya. (YA 9/12; AFP, WP, YA 9/13; PCHR 9/16; OCHA 9/17; JPI 9/24)

Overnight, the IDF carries out 7 air strikes on Gaza (3 on Rafah tunnels and 4 on Hamas targets: 2 in Gaza City, 1 each on Bayt Hanun and Dayr al-Balah) and fires 6 tank shells across the border at Bayt Hanun in retaliation for recent Palestinian rocket and mortar fire, injuring 2 Hamas mbrs. In response, unidentified Palestinians fire another Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night patrols in villages nr. Qalqilya, Salfit, and Tulkarm, checking Palestinian IDs but making no arrests. Palestinians (accompanied by Israeli and international activists in some locations) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil‘in and Ni‘lin. IDF soldiers fire rubbercoated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters; 10s suffer tear gas inhalation, 1 Palestinian is moderately injured. (JP, YA 9/10; AFP 9/12; PCHR 9/16; OCHA 9/17)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. (JP 9/9; PCHR 9/16; OCHA 9/17)

Overnight, unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. (JTA 9/7; PCHR, YA 9/8, 9/16; OCHA 9/17)

Unidentified Palestinians fire a homemade Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In response to this attack and the 8/31–9/2 Hamas shootings in the West Bank, the IDF carries out 2 air strikes on Rafah tunnels (killing 2 Palestinians, injuring 2) and 1 on a tunnel on the Gaza-Israel border e. of Abassan in s. Gaza (causing no reported injuries). In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Tulkarm in the morning, making no arrests; occupies a Palestinian home in Hebron as an observation post; conducts evening and late-night patrols in villages nr. Nablus, Qalqilya, and Tulkarm, making no arrests. For a second day, Jewish settlers gather at the evacuated Homesh settlement site nr. Nablus and stone passing Palestinian vehicles. (CNN, JP 9/5; PCHR 9/8; OCHA 9/17)

As the quarter opens, Israel has eased (as of 6/2010) its blockade on Gaza, replacing the blanket ban on imports with two lists of prohibited and regulated items, allowing in more (and more varied) food items, construction materials, and commercial goods, but keeping imports only slightly above subsistence and continuing to bar exports. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) enforces a 300-meter-deep no-go zone inside the full length of the Gaza border and limits the Palestinian fishing zone off Gaza to 500–1,000 m off the immediate Bayt Lahiya (northern) and Rafah (southern) coasts, and 3 nautical miles elsewhere—placing 17% of Gaza’s total landmass, including 35% of its viable agricultural areas, and 85% of the maritime areas allocated under the Oslo accords off-limits to Palestinians. In the West Bank, Israel’s easing of restrictions on Palestinian movement between major population centers (which began in summer 2009) continues, and IDF operations are relatively few. Today, IDF troops on the s. Gaza border e. of Khan Yunis fire on a group of Islamic Jihad mbrs. burying explosive devices nr. the border fence, killing 1 Islamic Jihad mbr.; the Palestinians return fire, lightly wounding 1 IDF soldier. Hrs. later, unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in al-‘Arub refugee camp (r.c.) and 2 villages nr. Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Shvut Rachel nr. Nablus uproot 100 nearby Palestinian olive trees. Israel’s Housing Min. approves construction of a new settler-only bypass road to link Ma’ale Adumim settlement e. of Jerusalem with the new E1 settlement area in East Jerusalem; explaining the decision, the Housing Min. states that “the decision to freeze construction in [West Bank settlements] does not include services for existing structures.” (JP, YA 8/16; NYT 8/17; PCHR 8/19; OCHA 8/20)

In continued retaliation for the 7/30 Grad strike, the IDF carries out a predawn air strike on c. Gaza assassinating senior Hamas military cmdr. and rocket maker Issa Batran, marking the 1st Israeli assassination in Gaza since Operation Cast Lead (OCL) ended in 1/09. (Israel attempted to assassinate Batran during OCL, making an air strike on his home, killing his wife and 5 of his children.) Later in the day, unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, damaging a vacant daycare facility. The IDF responds with 2 additional air strikes on a smuggling tunnel and an open area in s. Gaza. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the fmr. Jewish settlement sites and in the Erez industrial zone, wounding 3 Palestinians. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night house searches in and around Hebron, summoning several Palestinians for interrogation; fires tear gas and stun grenades at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists taking part in weekly nonviolent demonstrations against land confiscation and settlement expansion nr. Karme Tzur settlement nr. Hebron. (HA, IDF, YA 7/31; MEZ, NYT, WP 8/1; PCHR 8/5; OCHA 8/13)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 5 rockets (possibly including 1 manufactured rocket), 2 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Salfit and 2 villages n. of Tulkarm during the day, making no arrests; conducts synchronized late-night patrols in 6 villages nr. Hebron, withdrawing without incident. Palestinians and international activists take part in weekly nonviolent demonstrations against land confiscation and settlement expansion nr. Karme Tzur settlement nr. Hebron and outside Beit Romano settlement in Hebron; the IDF fires tear gas and stun grenades at the protesters, leaving 2 Palestinians (including a Reuters cameraman) and 2 international activists injured, and 1 Palestinian under arrest. (YA 7/24; PCHR 7/29; OCHA 7/30)

Overnight, unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, heavily damaging a factory in Sederot, but causing no injuries; the IDF retaliates with air strikes on at least 1 smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border, 1 suspected weapons factory in al-Zaytun, causing no reported injuries. During the day, IDF troops reenter (see 6/29) the fmr. n. Gaza settlement sites n. of Bayt Lahiya, firing warning shots at Palestinians scavenging construction materials and forcing them to flee, causing no injuries. IDF troops on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials inside the industrial zone, causing no injuries. IDF senior officers take U.S. special envoy Mitchell to Kerem Shalom crossing to witness Israel’s easing of restrictions on imports to Gaza (up 30% since 6/20), including the transfer of the 1st load of goods fr. the FGM-IHH flotilla. Gaza’s electricity plant receives a shipment of industrial fuel allowing it to resume operations after a 4-day halt (the longest complete stoppage of the facility since the beginning of 2010). In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Qalqilya and nr. Hebron. In Jerusalem, Israeli police arrest PC mbr. Abu Tir for being in the city illegally; he was ordered (see 5/21) to leave voluntarily or face expulsion to Gaza. Israeli sources reveal that Israel’s Jerusalem Planning Committee recently approved construction of 1,400 new hotel rooms in Jabal Mukabir in East Jerusalem. Israel begins barring all West Bank Palestinian-made products fr. entering East Jerusalem as of 7/1 on the grounds that they did not meet Israeli standards, though the move is widely seen as retaliation for the PA’s boycott on settlement-made good enacted in 4/2010. (IFM, JP, NYT, PCHR, WP, YA 7/1; PCHR 7/7; OCHA 7/9)

During the day, IDF troops make brief incursion 400 m into Gaza n. of Bayt Hanun and 300 m into s. Gaza nr. Abasan to level land to clear lines of sight. Between midday and evening, unidentified Palestinians fire 13 mortars and 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza toward Israel in 4 barrages (6 mortars land inside Gaza), causing no damage or injuries. Late at night, the IDF retaliates with air strikes on 2 tunnels on the Rafah border and a suspected weapons depot in n. Gaza, killing 2 Palestinians (both in the tunnels). In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Surda village n. of Ramallah in the evening without incident; conducts synchronized late-night arrest raids, house searches in villages s. of Nablus; makes similar late-night arrest raids, house searches in Tulkarm, nr. Nablus. (YA 6/24; JP 6/25; WP, WT 6/26; PCHR 7/1; OCHA 7/2)

In the West Bank, Palestinian gunmen open fire on an IDF border police vehicle nr. Hebron, killing 1 Israeli border police officer and wounding 3 in the first fatal shooting attack against Israelis in the West Bank in over 1 yr.; a claim of responsibility and threat of more attacks are issued by a group calling itself the Freedom Flotilla Martyrs. Also in the West Bank, the IDF conducts 3 separate synchronized late-night arrest raids, house searches in Bethlehem and neighboring Dahaysha r.c., al-Far‘a r.c. and Tammun village nr. Tubas, Jenin town and r.c. and 2 nearby villages; additional late-night arrest raids, house searches are carried out nr. Salfit, Tubas. In Gaza, unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket fr. the s. Gaza border area into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF fires 5 artillery shells at the launch site, causing no damage or injuries. Separately, the IDF makes a brief incursion into s. Gaza to level land to clear lines of sight. IDF troops on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing fire on Palestinian scavenging for construction materials in the industrial zone, wounding 1 Palestinian. IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians staging a nonviolent march to the border fence e. of Khan Yunis to protest Israel’s no-go zone; no injuries are reported. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. (NYT, YA 6/15; PCHR, WJW 6/17; OCHA 6/18)

IDF troops on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the industrial zone, wounding 1 Palestinian. Late in the evening, unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. A Palestinian teenager is fatally electrocuted in a smuggling tunnel under the Rafah border. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. (WP 6/15; PCHR, WJW 6/17; OCHA 6/18)

In addition to the IDF internal investigation announced on 6/8, Israel names a government-appointed “independent public commission” with foreign participation to examine a narrow set of circumstances surrounding the Gaza flotilla incident. (IFM 6/13; JTA, NYT 6/14; NYT, WP 6/15)

Overnight, the Israeli navy acting on “prior intelligence” fatally shoots 5 al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (AMB) mbrs. diving off the Gaza coast and the Palestinian fisherman manning their boat, wounding and capturing 2 other AMB divers. The AMB claims the men were unarmed and on a training mission; Israel claims they were en route to Israel to stage an attack. Later in the day, the IDF carries out an air strike on the n. Gaza border area, seriously wounding 1 Hamas mbr. preparing to launch a Qassam rocket. IDF troops on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging construction materials in the industrial zone, wounding 1 Palestinian. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron, nr. Bethlehem and Jenin. (NYT, WP, WT 6/8; PCHR 6/10; OCHA 6/11; JPI 6/18)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 4 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, a Jewish settler opens fire on Palestinian school children picnicking outside the entrance to al-‘Arub r.c., wounding 2. Israeli security forces raid and search without warrant the Bayt Hanina Club in East Jerusalem; Israeli authorities have repeatedly tried to close the club, claiming it hosts official PA meetings. (Israel prohibits the PA and PLO fr. conducting political activities in East Jerusalem.) (YA 6/3; PCHR 6/10; OCHA 6/11)

The U.S. summons Israeli amb. Michael Oren and national security advisor Uzi Arad to a 4-hr. mtg. at the White House to discuss how to “contain fallout” fr. the flotilla raid and to find ways for Israel to ease the siege of Gaza without harming Israeli security. Separately, U.S. Secy. of State Hillary Clinton phones Israeli DM Ehud Barak to urge Israel to be very careful about what it says and does in the coming days to defuse the situation as quickly as possible. (WP 5/27; IFM 6/1; NYT, WJW, WP 7/2)

In light of the 5/31 flotilla incident, Egypt says it will open its border with Gaza indefinitely as of 6/2 for unlimited travel for humanitarian purposes, though import of goods will remain restricted per Israeli demands. Overnight, unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing damage but no injuries. In response, the IDF carries out 2 air strikes and fires 7 tank shells on the launch site nr. Abasan in s. Gaza, killing 2 armed Palestinians; then sends troops 400 m into Gaza to clear lines of sight in the area. Later in the day, Islamic Jihad mbrs. fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. n. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries; the IDF shells the launch site, killing 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs. Meanwhile, IDF troops on the s. Gaza border for unknown reasons fire into al-Shuka neighborhood in Rafah, wounding a 71 yr.-old-Palestinian woman inside her home. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging construction materials inside the Erez industrial zone, causing no reported injuries. The UN reports that in the previous wk., Hamas authorities in Gaza for unstated reasons shut down 6 Palestinian NGOs and confiscated some of their property; UN special coordinator for Middle East peace Robert Serry expresses concern over the impact on Palestinian civil society. The UN also reports that in the previous wk., 6 Palestinians were killed, 12 injured when a gas canister being smuggled through a tunnel on the Rafah border exploded; 1 Palestinian was killed and 2 were injured in a separate tunnel collapse. (JP 6/1; NYT 6/2; PCHR 6/3; OCHA 6/4)

Late at night, unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing damage but no injuries. The IDF retaliates with 5 air strikes on the Dahaniyya airport site (hitting previously destroyed buildings, causing no injuries) and on a suspected weapons factory in the al-Zaytun neighborhood of Gaza City (destroying it but causing no injuries). In the West Bank, the IDF partly opens Route 443 between Jerusalem and Ramallah to Palestinian traffic for the 1st time in 8 yrs., but Palestinians will still have to go through several checkpoints and will not be allowed to take the road all the way into Ramallah (see Quarterly Update in JPS 155 for background). Palestinians (sometimes accompanied by Israeli and international activists) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall and land confiscations in Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, and Dayr Nizam/al-Nabi Salih. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, leaving scores suffering tear gas inhalation, injuring at least 2 Palestinians, and arresting 4 Israelis. Jewish settlers fr. the unauthorized outpost of Beit Yonatan nr. Silwan retaliating for the 5/25 Jerusalem District Court decision harass a group of Palestinian women, sparking a stone throwing clash between the settlers and local Palestinians; the IDF intervenes, firing tear gas and beating back the Palestinians, including a pregnant Palestinian woman who miscarries as a result. Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron nr. Qalqilya stone Palestinian vehicles on the Qalqilya–Nablus road, breaking the windows of 1 car, injuring 4 Palestinians. (YA 5/28; NYT, WP 5/29; JP 5/30; PCHR 6/3; OCHA 6/4)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket, 2 mortars fr. Gaza toward Israel, causing no damage or injuries; the mortars land inside Gaza. The IDF responds with air strikes on the abandoned Dahaniyya airport site and a target in Bayt Hanun in the n. (seriously injuring 2 Palestinians). The Israeli navy fires on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging construction materials in former settlement sites nr. the border (wounding 1) and in the former Erez industrial zone (wounding 2). In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Bayt Jala, nr. Hebron. (OCHA, PCHR 5/27; NYT, WP 5/30; PCHR 6/3; OCHA 6/4)

Ansar al-Sunna, a Salafist militant group opposed to Hamas, fires a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF responds with air strikes on 2 open areas along the s. Gaza border and on a Hamas training site in central Bayt Hanun in n. Gaza; no casualties are reported, but significant damage to surrounding civilian buildings is noted in Bayt Hanun. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around East Jerusalem and nr. Bethlehem, Ramallah. (JP 5/19; PCHR 5/20; AFP, JP 5/21; OCHA, PCHR 5/27)

U.S. special envoy George Mitchell arrives in the region for 2 days of indirect Israeli-Palestinian talks, marking the first full round of “proximity talks” since their launch on 5/9. The sides continue to differ on the agenda for talks and which issues should be negotiated first. (CSM, IFM, WP 5/20; WSJ 5/21) 

After 5 days of talks with U.S. envoy Mitchell, Israel and the PLO Exec. Comm. formally agree to launch 4 mos. of proximity talks, marking the first peace talks since 12/08. (WT 5/3)

Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas at Palestinian, international activists taking part in a nonviolent march to confiscated Palestinian land outside Brakha settlement to protest Israeli settlement activity around Nablus, injuring 1 Palestinian; conducts synchronized late-night patrols in 2 villages n. of Ramallah, making no arrests; conducts other late-night house searches nr. Tubas, making no arrests. In Hebron, Jewish settlers spray wastewater at Palestinians holding a nonviolent demonstration calling for the reopening of al-Shuhada Street to Palestinian civilians; the IDF observes but does not intervene. (YA 5/8; IDF 5/10; OCHA, PCHR 5/13)

Israel allows 3 truckloads of aluminum, 3 of wood into Gaza for the 1st time since 6/07 and 10/08, respectively. Late at night, unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF seizes 7 d. of Palestinian land nr. Ramat Yishai settlement in Hebron claiming security reasons; makes a late-night incursion into al-Ma‘sara, raiding and searching the home of a local organizer of weekly protests against the separation wall, threatening to arrest him if he continues to organize demonstrations. Hamas authorities in Gaza execute 2 Palestinians convicted in a Hamas military court of collaborating with Israel in the assassination of several resistance fighters, marking the 1st executions since Hamas took control of Gaza in 6/07. (JP 4/15; NYT, WT 4/16; OCHA, PCHR 4/22)

IDF troops on the s. Gaza border e. of Khan Yunis fire warning shots at Palestinians conducting a nonviolent march to the border fence to protest Israel’s imposition of a no-go zone, causing no casualties. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire stun grenades across the border into Umm Nasir village, causing no damage or injuries. Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops surround an elementary school in Azun village nr. Qalqilya and request permission of the headmaster to search classrooms for children wanted for throwing stones at their vehicles: the headmaster refuses, and the soldiers do not press the issue. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Ramallah; escorts bus-loads of Jewish settlers to Joseph’s Tomb nr. Nablus to pray, fires on stone-throwing Palestinian youths who confront them, causing no injuries. (JP 4/12; OCHA, PCHR 4/15)

Israel allows the 1st commercial import of clothing and shoes (10 truckloads) into Gaza since 6/07 (previously Israel has allowed some of these items in as humanitarian aid shipments). Late in the evening, unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces raid a Palestinian butcher shop without giving cause, damaging equipment, beating and arresting 6 family members and a 14-yr.-old family friend (all released by 4/6), spraying tear gas inside, and sealing the store. The IDF also patrols in al-Bireh in the evening, making no arrests. (YA 4/4; WT 4/5; PCHR 4/8; OCHA 4/15)

Israel imposes a general closure on the West Bank through 4/6 for Passover. The IDF makes a brief incursion into s. Gaza e. of al-Qarara to level land along the border fence to clear lines of sight. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night house searches in ‘Aqabat Jabir r.c., summoning 2 Palestinians for interrogation. Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries; the IDF does not immediately respond. (YA 3/29; OCHA, PCHR 4/1)

Overnight, the IDF bulldozes 31 d. of agricultural and 1 Palestinian home e. of Khan Yunis in the area where clashes occurred on 3/26; by midday, the IDF withdraws tanks and armored bulldozers sent into s. Gaza on 3/26. In the morning, unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets toward Israel; 1 lands inside Gaza and the other in an open area inside Israel, neither causing injuries; Israel does not immediately respond. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Nablus. (JP, YA 3/27; OCHA, PCHR 4/1)

In the morning, Netanyahu tours Capitol Hill, where he is greeted warmly. He then meets for 2 hrs. at the White House with Pres. Obama, who reportedly makes tough demands of Israel to put the peace process back on track. After a 90-min. sidebar with his advisors, Netanyahu makes a counterproposal that is rejected by Obama. (NYT, WP, WT 3/24; NYT, WP 3/25; JPI, NYT 3/26)

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 nr. Jabaliya r.c., damaging a nearby home but causing no injuries. The IDF makes a brief incursion into the Erez industrial zone to level land and clear lines of sight. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. several settlements beat Palestinian farmers working their land in Sinjil village n. of Ramallah; the IDF intervenes, declaring the area a closed military zone and forcing settlers and Palestinians to leave. (JP, YA 3/23; JP 3/24; OCHA, PCHR 3/25)