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  • November 1, 2007

    In Gaza, the IDF withdraws fr. al-Shuka, ending a 3-day arrest and bulldozing operation, having wounded 2 Palestinians, demolished 2 Palestinian homes; fires a tank shell at Palestinians...

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  • October 7, 2007

    IDF troops on the Israeli side of the Qarni crossing shoot, wound 2 Palestinian children (ages 11, 14) who stray nr. the border fence. Islamic Jihad fires a Grad rocket (more accurate, longer...

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  • September 26, 2007

    The IDF imposes a general closure on the West Bank and Gaza until 10/2 for the Sukkoth holidays. During the day in Gaza, the IDF makes an air strike on a car nr. Gaza City, assassinating 5 Army of...

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  • July 22, 2007

    Overnight, the IDF makes a ground incursion into n. Gaza, killing 2 Islamic Jihad mbrs. in Bayt Hanun, conducting arrest raids, house searches in Bayt Lahiya. During the day, the IDF makes an air...

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  • June 27, 2007

    Overnight, the IDF sends tanks and troops, backed by air support, into Gaza City and Khan Yunis in a major day-long ground offensive targeting primarily Hamas and Islamic Jihad, but also including...

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  • June 11, 2007

    Despite 6/10 cease-fire appeals, serious Fatah-Hamas fighting continues across Gaza, leaving at least 15 Palestinians dead (all believed to be mbrs. of the 2 factions). After Egyptian mediators...

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  • February 28, 2007

    In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Jenin to ambush, assassinate 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs. (West Bank military cmdr. Ashraf Saadi, senior Saraya al-Quds mbr. Mahmud Abu Naa’sa, lower...

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  • February 27, 2007

    The IDF withdraws fr. Nablus, officially suspending (but not ending) Operation Hot Winter, which has left 1 Palestinian dead, 5 wanted men (and 10s of other Palestinians) arrested. The IDF also...

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  • February 6, 2007

    The IDF allows departures through Rafah crossing for the 1st time since 1/8, causing a near riot among the 10,000–12,000 Palestinians gathered in the exit area, forcing the EU monitors to close...

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  • December 22, 2006

    Palestinians fire at least 5 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries; 1 rocket lands inside Gaza, injuring a 2-yr.-old Palestinian boy; Hamas says that it has not fired any of...

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  • December 20, 2006

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Lahiya fire on a group of Palestinian farmers who stray too nr. the border fence, wounding 1. The Israeli navy fire machine guns at Palestinian fishing...

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  • December 12, 2006

    DF troops on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Hanun open fire on Palestinian farmers who stray too nr. the border fence, seriously injuring 1. Palestinians fire 3 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing...

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  • December 3, 2006

    Israel says it will not expand the Gaza cease-fire to the West Bank, noting that Palestinians have fired 15 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel since the unilateral truce went into effect on 11/26. IDF...

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  • November 23, 2006

    A 64-yr.-old Palestinian woman detonates a suicide bomb nr. IDF soldiers in Bayt Lahiya, lightly wounding 3; the attack is claimed by Hamas, marking its 1st suicide bombing in 2 yrs., in...

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  • November 22, 2006

    The IDF sends additional tanks, troops into n. Gaza, bringing the total number of troops in n. Gaza to around 1,000, placing snipers on the rooftops of Palestinian homes, occupying the home of...

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  • November 16, 2006

    In Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) pulls out of al-Shuka nr. Rafah, ending a 3-day incursion, during which 7 Palestinian homes were destroyed, roads and water networks were damaged; makes an...

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  • November 2, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF continues major operations in Bayt Hanun, rounding up Palestinian men ages 16–45 and driving them outside of town for questioning (detaining 15, releasing the others), clashing...

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  • July 23, 2006

    The IDF conducts air strikes on the home of a Hamas mbr. in Gaza City, causing severe damage; the IDF phoned the target’s cell phone and local PA police before the strike to warn them to evacuate...

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  • July 5, 2006

    Before dawn, the IDF responds to Hamas’s 7/3 rocket fire on Ashqelon by carrying out air strikes on the PA Interior Min. in Gaza City (destroying it and wounding at least 7 Palestinians in homes...

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  • July 4, 2006

    Overnight, the IDF sends another 15–20 tanks and armored personnel carriers (APCs) into Bayt Hanun and into the Erez industrial zone, leveling land to clear lines of sight, searching for roadside...

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  • June 29, 2006

    Overnight, the IDF stages scores of arrest raids across the West Bank detaining 64 senior Hamas political officials, including 8 PA cabinet mbrs. and 26 PC mbrs., plus 23 senior Izzeddin al-Qassam...

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  • June 23, 2006

    The IDF makes its 1st arrest raid into Gaza since the 9/05 disengagement, temporarily closing the Rafah crossing and sending troops 1,000 m into Rafah to detain 2 wanted Palestinians, allegedly...

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  • June 19, 2006

    The IDF announces that it will begin implementing a new policy of attacking Hamas targets for each Palestinian rocket strike, regardless of what group is responsible for the fire; makes a...

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  • June 14, 2006

    The IDF patrols in Kafr Haris, Tubas (firing on residential areas); conducts arrest raids, house searches in ‘Askar r.c. nr. Nablus, al-Til nr. Tulkarm and nr. Bethlehem, Hebron. Islamic Jihad...

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  • May 25, 2006

    The IDF continues bulldozing operations begun on 5/24, just inside the Gaza border nr. Bureij r.c.; sends troops into Tulkarm to raid the Social Sport Club, confiscating computers, files, photos...

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  • May 18, 2006

    The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem, Jenin, Nablus, and Tulkarm, firing on residential areas. Palestinians fire 6 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage...

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  • May 7, 2006

    In the 2d such incident in 2 days, the IDF shells n. Gaza, killing a 57-yr-old Palestinian farmer working his field nr. Bayt Lahiya, wounding a 59-yr.-old Palestinian woman outside her Bayt Hanun...

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  • May 4, 2006

    The IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian taxi driver who stops to wait for a passenger nr. a sand barrier set up by the IDF nr. a checkpoint outside Nablus; sends undercover units in cars with...

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  • April 2, 2006

    The IDF shells Gaza’s Jabaliya r.c., seriously wounding a 7-yr.-old Palestinian boy and his father harvesting vegetables in their field; sends undercover units in a car with Palestinian license...

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  • March 28, 2006

    Israel closes all Gaza crossing into Israel, reimposing the full seal on the territories (set on 3/11) for parliamentary elections; sends troops into al-Fawwar r.c. to conduct arrest raids and...

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In Gaza, the IDF withdraws fr. al-Shuka, ending a 3-day arrest and bulldozing operation, having wounded 2 Palestinians, demolished 2 Palestinian homes; fires a tank shell at Palestinians collecting scrap metal nr. the n. Gaza border, wounding 6; makes 2 air strikes on suspected rocket-launching sites nr. Bayt Hanun, damaging an UNRWA school; sends bulldozers and tanks to uproot trees and level land to clear lines of sight nr. the Erez crossing, firing on residential areas of nearby Bayt Hanun, causing no reported injuries; conducts similar bulldozing operations along the border e. of Jabaliya r.c. and Rafah; demolishes 7 smuggling tunnels on the Gaza-Egypt border. Palestinians fire 9 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing light damage but no injuries; the IDF responds with air strikes, heavy machine gun, tank, surface-to-surface missile fire on launch sites across Gaza, wounding 10 Palestinians. In the West Bank, the IDF makes an overnight incursion into ‘Azun nr. Qalqilya, imposing a curfew, firing on residential areas, wounding 2 Palestinian children (ages 13, 14) before withdrawing late in the morning; raids, searches, occupies 3 Palestinian homes in Hebron, citing the need to protect local settlers; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus. In Hebron, unidentified assailants set fire to a PA security forces vehicle. (NYT 11/2; OCHA 11/7; PCHR 11/8)

IDF troops on the Israeli side of the Qarni crossing shoot, wound 2 Palestinian children (ages 11, 14) who stray nr. the border fence. Islamic Jihad fires a Grad rocket (more accurate, longer range [7.5–12.5 mi.] than homemade Qassam rockets [5–7.5 mi.]), 8 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, striking 7 mi. fr. the border in Netivot, causing light damage and marking the 4th time a Grad has been fired; the IDF suspects that Islamic Jihad has about a dozen Grads, but the Israeli FMin. says Hamas is ultimately responsible. Palestinians also fire a rocket fr. Gaza toward Israel, but it lands nr. Bayt Hanun, injuring a Palestinian teenager. The ESF demolishes a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus (an IDF soldier is wounded in an exchange of gunfire in Balata r.c.), in alBireh and Ramallah, nr. Bethlehem and Jenin (targeting Islamic Jihad). A prominent Gaza Christian, Protestant Holy Bible Society dir. Rami Ayyad, is abducted and murdered, raising concerns among Gaza’s Christians; no group takes responsibility. Ayyad had previously received anonymous death threats accusing him of proselytizing; Hamas vows to bring the murderers to justice.Islamic Jihad mbr. ‘Ali Abu Rmila, wounded in an IDF assassination attempt on 8/25 that killed 2 other Islamic Jihad mbrs., dies of his injuries. (IFM, NYT, WP 10//8; OCHA 10/10; PCHR 10/11)

The IDF imposes a general closure on the West Bank and Gaza until 10/2 for the Sukkoth holidays. During the day in Gaza, the IDF makes an air strike on a car nr. Gaza City, assassinating 5 Army of Islam mbrs. (Hussein Ahil, Fawzi al-Ashram, Ayman Dalul, Osama al-Rifi, Sami al-Za‘im), wounding at least 1; makes 2 air strikes on suspected rocket-launching sites in n. Gaza and 3 on similar sites nr. Jabaliya r.c., causing no injuries; launches a major incursion into Bayt Hanun, with 50 tanks and bulldozers, cutting electricity to n. Gaza and firing a tank shell at a PRC gunman who fires on the troops (killing the gunman and hitting a home, killing 3 Palestinians inside), wounding 30 Palestinians in armed exchanges. Late in the evening, the IDF makes an air strike on a rocket-launching site nr. Bayt Hanun, killing 2 Hamas mbrs., wounding 3 Palestinians. Islamic Jihad fires some 10 rockets, 20 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the PA security forces, demonstrating their security cooperation with Israel, report turning over to the IDF 2 Qassam rockets they discovered in Bethlehem, giving no information on from whom they were seized; the IDF acknowledges receiving 2 pipelike “objects” that possibly could be used as rocket launchers. The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, in al-Bireh. Meanwhile, PA security forces raid 3 Islamic charities in Tubas, confiscating computers, files. In Gaza’s Dayr al-Balah, unidentified gunmen fire on an ESF post; ESF officers return fire; no injuries are reported. (NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 9/27; OCHA 10/3; PCHR 10/4)

Overnight, the IDF makes a ground incursion into n. Gaza, killing 2 Islamic Jihad mbrs. in Bayt Hanun, conducting arrest raids, house searches in Bayt Lahiya. During the day, the IDF makes an air strike on a car carrying suspected Islamic Jihad mbrs. in Gaza City, missing the target, causing damage but no injuries; bulldozes Palestinian land along the border n. of Bayt Lahiya. Later Islamic Jihad fires 3 rockets on Sederot, lightly injuring 1 Israeli, otherwise causing no damage; the IDF fires surface-to-surface missiles at the n. Gaza launch site, killing 2 Islamic Jihad mbrs. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem, Hebron. Jewish settlers marching to the abandoned Homesh settlement site vandalize a Palestinian home, set fire to 5 d. of Palestinian crops nr. Nablus. In a separate incident, Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar set fire to 100 Palestinian olive trees nr. Nablus. In Gaza City, suspected Fatah gunmen fire on an ESF patrol, wounding 1 ESF officer. A PA presidential guardsman dies of injuries received during Gaza’s 6/07 internal clashes. (NYT, WP 7/23; OCHA 7/25; PCHR 7/26)

Overnight, the IDF sends tanks and troops, backed by air support, into Gaza City and Khan Yunis in a major day-long ground offensive targeting primarily Hamas and Islamic Jihad, but also including the AMB, arresting 10s of Palestinians, bulldozing 1 Palestinian home and 70 dunams of land, and leaving at least 13 Palestinians (including at least 4 gunmen and 6 civilians, including a 10-yr.-old boy) dead, more than 50 Palestinians and at least 2 IDF soldiers wounded; Fatah and Hamas gunmen fight side-by-side against the IDF, using small arms and antitank weapons. The IDF also makes an air strike on a car in Gaza City, assassinating Islamic Jihad senior cmdr. Raed Fanuna; bulldozes Palestinian land on the Gaza side of the Qarni crossing and industrial zone, along the border southeast of Khuza’a in s. Gaza. For a 2d day, the Israeli navy fires on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza City coast, forcing them back to shore. Islamic Jihad fires 4 rockets, 5 mortars fr. Gaza toward the Erez crossing; 2 mortars land on the Gaza side, injuring a Palestinian child; those landing on the Israeli side cause no damage or injuries. In Khan Yunis, a Palestinian is killed when explosives he is handling detonate prematurely. In the West Bank, the IDF launches a major arrest campaign in the Old City of Nablus, imposing a curfew, searching homes (occupying at least 7 as sniper posts), taking over local radio stations, searching hospitals; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem, nr. Jenin. In Ramallah, unidentified gunmen fire on the home of senior Fatah official Hani al-Hassan, causing no injuries. In Hebron, unidentified gunmen fire on the home of the local PA General Intelligence head, causing no injuries. Islamic Jihad mbr. Zakariyya al-Tartar dies of injuries received in a 6/24 IDF air strike on his vehicle in Gaza City. (PCHR, WP, WT 6/28; OCHA 7/4; PCHR 7/5)

Despite 6/10 cease-fire appeals, serious Fatah-Hamas fighting continues across Gaza, leaving at least 15 Palestinians dead (all believed to be mbrs. of the 2 factions). After Egyptian mediators broker another cease-fire during the day that collapses within hrs., Abbas, Haniyeh issue separate calls for a halt to the fighting. Among the most serious incidents: In Shati‘ r.c., suspected Fatah mbrs. fire an RPG at the home of PM Haniyeh in a predawn attack, causing damage but no injuries (Haniyeh is not home at the time, though his family is). Later in the day, suspected Hamas mbrs. fire a mortar at Pres. Abbas’s Gaza City residence, causing no injuries. In the afternoon, Hamas’s IQB makes a series of major coordinated attacks on Fatah installations across Gaza, dealing Fatah a significant blow in what is seen (see Guardian 6/13) as its 1st attempt to seize power in Gaza. Fatah security forces complain that they have not received orders from cmdrs. on how to respond. Other incidents include a separate attack on Haniyeh’s Gaza City office and the local PC headquarters while the PC is in session, forcing PC mbrs. to flee but causing no injuries; a major ESF raid on the home of senior AMB cmdr. Jamal Abu al-Jidayn, killing him, 4 bodyguards; an ESF raid on Fatah’s main office in Bayt Hanun, confiscating equipment and documents; gun battles in and around Bayt Hanun hospital that leave 4 Fatah mbrs., 1 ESF mbr. dead; a driveby shooting of the Youth and Sports Min. offices in Gaza City. Fatah-Hamas fighting also spreads to the West Bank, where AMB gunmen attack a Change and Reform office in Ramallah, causing no injures; unidentified assailants fire on the Nablus municipal building while a municipal council mtg. is in session (causing no injuries), set fire to the Nablus mayor’s car parked outside his home. On the Israeli-Palestinian front, Palestinians fire 7 rockets fr. Gaza toward Israel, 4 of which land inside Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF demolishes 2 Palestinian homes outside East Jerusalem; conducts arrest raids, house searches in ‘Aqabat Jabir r.c., Hebron, Nablus, Tulkarm. (WP 6/11; BBC, NYT, WP, WT 6/12; Guardian, OCHA 6/13; PCHR 6/14)

As fighting in Nahr al-Barid r.c. continues, a FI mortar hits a Lebanese Red Cross vehicle, killing 2 Red Cross workers, seriously wounding 1. (WP, WT 6/12)

In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Jenin to ambush, assassinate 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs. (West Bank military cmdr. Ashraf Saadi, senior Saraya al-Quds mbr. Mahmud Abu Naa’sa, lower ranking mbr. Ala’ Baryaki). The IDF also sends troops back into Nablus, reviving Operation Hot Winter, reimposing a curfew, reoccupying TV and radio stations, announcing the names of 7 wanted Palestinians being sought; 1 IDF soldier is wounded by a bomb; the IDF reportedly uses an 11-yr.- old Palestinian girl and a 15-yr.-old Palestinian boy as human shields when searching Palestinian homes. The IDF demolishes 2 apartment buildings under construction in al-Tur nr. Jerusalem; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Tulkarm r.c., nr. Jenin and Salfit; uproots some 500 Palestinian olive, almond trees nr. Bethlehem for construction of the separation wall, replanting some nearby. In response to the Jenin assassinations, Islamic Jihad fires 5 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Separately, Palestinians fire 2 rockets fr. Gaza toward Israel, but both fall inside Gaza nr. Bayt Hanun. Jewish settlers nr. Shema nr. Hebron stone a 70-yr.-old Palestinian farmer grazing his flock nr. the settlement. In Gaza, Fatah mbrs. manning a flying checkpoint nr. Shati’ r.c. bar an ESF vehicle from passing, sparking an exchange of fire that leaves 1 Fatah mbr. wounded. In Gaza City, a bomb explodes outside the offices of the Fatah-affiliated al-Fursan al-Arab Association, causing no injuries; no group takes responsibility. (HA, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 3/1; OCHA 3/7; PCHR 3/8; WT 3/10)

The IDF withdraws fr. Nablus, officially suspending (but not ending) Operation Hot Winter, which has left 1 Palestinian dead, 5 wanted men (and 10s of other Palestinians) arrested. The IDF also detains an Italian film crew in Hebron making a documentary on Palestinian children in the city; conducts arrest raids in and around Hebron, in Jenin, and nr. Bethlehem, Nablus, Qalqilya, Tulkarm. IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of Rafah fire on farmers who stray nr. the border fence, causing no injuries. The Israeli navy fires on Palestinian fishing boats off the Gaza coast nr. Rafah, forcing them to return to shore, causing no damage or injuries. Islamic Jihad mbrs. fire 6 rockets fr. al-Qarara nr. Khan Yunis toward the IDF post at the Kissufim crossing; 2 rockets land inside Gaza, damaging 2 Palestinian homes, killing some sheep; no damage is reported at Kissufim. (NYT, OCHA, WP 2/28; HA, PCHR 3/1)

The IDF allows departures through Rafah crossing for the 1st time since 1/8, causing a near riot among the 10,000–12,000 Palestinians gathered in the exit area, forcing the EU monitors to close the crossing late in the morning. Palestinians later fire on Rafah crossing in an attempt to force it to reopen, wounding 1 Palestinian bystander. Palestinians also fire 2 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in ‘Azun, clashing with stone-throwing Palestinians who confront the troops; conduct arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, nr. Qalqilya, and in Hebron, Tulkarm town and r.c. Israeli authorities begin excavation work 50 yds. fr. the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount with the stated purpose of replacing a centuries-old walkway damaged in a snowstorm in 2004, denies archeological digging is underway though it admits that, by law, any artifacts must be salvaged before work can begin; Waqf officials protest the work; Hamas organizes peaceful demonstrations in Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City, Jabaliya r.c., Khan Yunis, Nussayrat r.c., Rafah against the construction. In Gaza City, Dahlan’s bodyguards kill 1 ESF mbr., wound 3 in a drive-by shooting. In Khan Yunis, ESF mbrs. release Dahlan’s nephew, kidnapped on 2/3, after severely beating him. ESF, Fatah mbrs. exchange fire in Khan Yunis, wounding 1 bystander. ESF mbrs. break into a Force 17 base in Bayt Hanun, temporarily detain 4 Force 17 mbrs. In Gaza City, 2,000 PA employees rally to call for a halt to intraPalestinian violence. (IFM, MM, NYT, OCHA 2/7; MM, PCHR 2/8; PLONAD 2/9)

Palestinians fire at least 5 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries; 1 rocket lands inside Gaza, injuring a 2-yr.-old Palestinian boy; Hamas says that it has not fired any of the nearly 50 rockets fired since the 11/26 Gaza truce was declared; Islamic Jihad has taken responsibility for many. Jewish settlers fr. Tal Rumayda stone a Palestinian girl, vandalize her family’s home in Hebron. Abbas blocks a number of government appointments made by Hamas-led PA offices. In Gaza City, a Fatah-linked clan kidnaps a Hamas mbr., sparking heaving exchanges of fire btwn. Fatah-Hamas supporters that leaves 1 Hamas mbr. dead. In Nablus, PA security forces loyal to Abbas fire on a group of 1,000 Hamas supporters celebrating the anniversary of the movement’s founding, wounding 9; Fatah-Hamas tensions have been high in Nablus, where Fatah protests the Hamas-led PA’s efforts to form an ESF branch under Siyam’s control. (MM 12/22; NYT, WP, WT 12/23; OCHA 12/27; PCHR 12/28; AIC 1/17)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Lahiya fire on a group of Palestinian farmers who stray too nr. the border fence, wounding 1. The Israeli navy fire machine guns at Palestinian fishing boats off the Rafah coast, damaging several but causing no injuries. Palestinians fire 9 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF makes an overnight arrest raid on Silat al-Harithiyya, exchanging fire with and fatally shooting 2 wanted Islamic Jihad mbrs.; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bayt Sahur (raiding the offices of the Islamic Association), Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem. The Fatah-Hamas ceasefire in Gaza generally holds, though just after it is announced, PA Preventive Security Force (PSF) mbrs. controlled by Abbas fire on a group of Hamas mbrs. in Gaza City, sparking an exchange that leaves 2 PSF mbrs. dead. During a funeral process for the men in Gaza City later in the day, Fatah mbrs. fire in the air, set cars on fire, but cause no injuries. (IFM, NYT, PCHR 12/21; OCHA 12/27; PCHR 12/28)

DF troops on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Hanun open fire on Palestinian farmers who stray too nr. the border fence, seriously injuring 1. Palestinians fire 3 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries, bringing to 21 the number of rockets fired since the Gaza cease-fire went into effect on 11/26. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes a Palestinian home in al-Walaja nr. Bethlehem; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Abu Dis, Jenin town and r.c., and nr. Bethlehem, Tulkarm; bars a Palestinian heart attack victim fr. crossing a checkpoint to reach a hospital in Nablus, allowing him to die. Following the 12/11 attack on Balusha’s car in Gaza City, Abbas deploys extra security forces under his command across the Strip, sparking an exchange of gunfire btwn. Fatah, Hamas mbrs. during a Fatah demonstration in Khan Yunis against the killings, leaving 4 Fatah mbrs. injured. Inside Israel, Israeli police demolish 4 homes in the unrecognized village of Um Mitnan in the Negev. (IMEMC, MM 12/12; OCHA, WP 12/13; PCHR 12/14)

Israel says it will not expand the Gaza cease-fire to the West Bank, noting that Palestinians have fired 15 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel since the unilateral truce went into effect on 11/26. IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of Gaza City fire on Palestinian farmers who stray too close to the border fence, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF fires on stone-throwing youths in ‘Askar r.c. nr. Nablus, killing a 15-yr.-old Palestinian; patrols in Hebron’s al-Rajabi neighborhood, firing percussion grenades, severely beating a 16-yr.-old Palestinian boy who throws stones at troops; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Ramallah and in Hebron, Nur al-Shams r.c. nr. Tulkarm, al-Sammu‘. A Jewish settler injures 3 Palestinians in a deliberate hit-and-run at Hawara checkpoint outside Nablus. Jewish settlers fr. Haggai nr. Hebron fire on a Palestinian home in nearby Khirbat Qalqas, seriously wounding a 6-yr.-old Palestinian boy. Under IDF protection, Jewish settler women fr. Kiryat Arba hold a gathering on a plot of Palestinian land, which they have planned to confiscate for some time, adjacent to the settlement. (MM, NYT, WP 12/4; OCHA 12/6; PCHR 12/7; AIC 1/17)

A 64-yr.-old Palestinian woman detonates a suicide bomb nr. IDF soldiers in Bayt Lahiya, lightly wounding 3; the attack is claimed by Hamas, marking its 1st suicide bombing in 2 yrs., in retaliation for the 11/8 shelling of Bayt Hanun that killed 19 Palestinians; the woman’s family says that she was motivated to stage the attack because her son had been killed, a grandson severely injured, and her mother’s house demolished by the IDF. (Separately, Israel reportedly is considering paying compensation to the families of those killed on 11/19; Israel has previously refused to pay compensation for such artillery errors.) Also in n. Gaza, the IDF makes an air strike on a car, assassinating PRC cmdr. Fa’iq Abu alQumsan, whom Israel claims have been responsible for rocket fire into Israel, his dep. Mahmud al-Basyuni, and Ahmad Abu al-Qumsan, also a PRC mbr.; kills 4 Palestinians (at least 2 of them armed, 1 a bystander), wounds at least 18 (at least 17 of them bystanders) in clashes, shelling related to ongoing operations in which 4 IDF soldiers are lightly wounded by an antitank rocket. The IDF also fires on Palestinian fishermen on the Gaza shore, causing no damage or injuries. Palestinians fire at least 5 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes a Palestinian home, an animal farm in Qarawat Bani Hassan nr. Salfit; fires on stonethrowing Palestinian children nr. Hebron, seriously wounding 1; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Jenin town and r.c. PA security forces demonstrate in Gaza City against the Hamas-led government’s failure to pay back salaries. (MM, NYT, WT 11/24; OCHA 11/29; PCHR 11/30)

The IDF sends additional tanks, troops into n. Gaza, bringing the total number of troops in n. Gaza to around 1,000, placing snipers on the rooftops of Palestinian homes, occupying the home of Reform and Change PC mbr. Jamila Shanti, fatally shooting 2 Hamas mbrs., a Palestinian woman, a 17-yr.-old Palestinian boy and wounding at least 1 gunman, 14 bystanders in Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, Jabaliya r.c. An IDF soldier is wounded by an antitank missile in Bayt Hanun. The IDF also fires on Palestinian fishermen off the Rafah coast, wounding 1. In Gaza City, the IDF makes an air strike destroying a money exchange, damaging several nearby homes. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the PRCs claim responsibility for firing 8 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel today, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF assassinates al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) mbr. Fadi Armur in Jenin r.c., wounding a 2d target, Islamic Jihad mbr. Ashraf al-Sa‘di; bulldozes 2 Palestinian homes, 2 animal pens nr. Qalqilya; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Qabatya and in and around Hebron, Nablus. A Jewish settler injures a 14-yr.-old Palestinian boy in a deliberate hitand-run nr. Bethlehem. (MM 11/22; MM, NYT, PCHR, WP 11/23; NYT 11/24; OCHA 11/29; PCHR 11/30)

In Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) pulls out of al-Shuka nr. Rafah, ending a 3-day incursion, during which 7 Palestinian homes were destroyed, roads and water networks were damaged; makes an air strike on the homes of a mbr. of the Popular Resistance Comms. (PRCs) in Jabaliya refugee camp (r.c.), a mbr. of the Hamas-dominated Executive Support Force (ESF) in Rafah (also destroying 3 neighboring houses) after warning the residents to leave; makes air strikes destroying another home in Rafah, 1 in Bayt Lahiya, a workshop in Khan Yunis also giving advanced warning; bulldozes 3 homes nr. the Sufa crossing in Rafah; sends bulldozers into Abasan nr. Khan Yunis to level land. Palestinians fire 3 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin and in Bethlehem, Balata r.c. and Dayr Ishtiyya nr. Nablus (searching a mosque), Tulkarm. (NYT 11/17; OCHA 11/22; PCHR 11/23)

In Gaza, the IDF continues major operations in Bayt Hanun, rounding up Palestinian men ages 16–45 and driving them outside of town for questioning (detaining 15, releasing the others), clashing with militants, killing 2 Palestinian gunmen, 2 civilians, wounding another 20 Palestinians; 2 IDF soldiers are lightly injured; a 4-yr.- old Palestinian dies of injuries received on 11/1; some 60 Palestinian gunmen take refuge in the 850-yr.-old al-Nasir Mosque, which is quickly surrounded by the IDF. Late in the evening, the IDF conducts air strikes in n. Gaza on Palestinians allegedly preparing to fire rockets, killing 2 Palestinians. Palestinians fire several rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, hitting an Israeli home, lightly wounding 2 Israelis. In the West Bank, the IDF raids an elementary school in Hebron while classes are in session, firing tear gas, percussion grenades, injuring 15 children; sends undercover units into Tulkarm in a car with Palestinian license plates to arrest 3 wanted Palestinians; conducts other arrest raids in al-Saf nr. Bethlehem (demolishing the home of a wanted Islamic Jihad mbr., firing on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront the troops, killing 1 Palestinian, wounding 5) in Nablus (fatally shooting 1 Palestinian civilian), Ramallah, Tulkarm. (NYT, WT 11/3; PCHR 11/9)

The IDF conducts air strikes on the home of a Hamas mbr. in Gaza City, causing severe damage; the IDF phoned the target’s cell phone and local PA police before the strike to warn them to evacuate the house. The IDF also sends troops, bulldozers into the Erez industrial zone, firing on residential areas inside Gaza, wounding at least 1 Palestinian civilian. Palestinians fire around 12 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries; also fire on an IDF post at Erez crossing, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin. Just after dawn, 3 armed Jewish settlers break into a Palestinian home in Haris nr. Salfit, threaten residents; the IDF intervenes, stating that the Palestinians had “threatened the security of settlers.” The PA makes payments of $330 to each of 165,000 civil servants who have not received salaries since 3/06. (NYT, WP, WT 7/24; OCHA, PCHR 7/27)

The IDF continues air strikes across Lebanon, hitting Hizballah leadership posts in Beirut, targets in Sidon and the eastern Biqa‘ Valley, road traffic in s. Lebanon (including convoys of civilians heading north); ground troops in Maroun al-Ras move 2 mi deeper into Lebanon, engaging Hizballah mbrs. in Bint Jubayl. At least 8 Lebanese (including a press photographer) are killed and 45 wounded during the day. Hizballah fires nearly 100 rockets on n. Israel, hitting Haifa (killing 1 Israeli, 1 Israeli Palestinian; wounding 18). Israel says it has fired more than 20,000 artillery shells into Lebanon since 7/12. (NYT 7/23; NYT, WP, WT 7/24)

Before dawn, the IDF responds to Hamas’s 7/3 rocket fire on Ashqelon by carrying out air strikes on the PA Interior Min. in Gaza City (destroying it and wounding at least 7 Palestinians in homes nearby, including 4 children), a Hamas-run school in Gaza City, a Hamas training camp in s. Gaza. Later, Hamas fires a 2d 2-engine Qassam rocket that lands outside Ashqelon, causing no damage or injuries, the Israeli security cabinet authorizes the IDF to step up operations in Gaza and the West Bank aimed at halting rocket fire and “striking at institutions and infrastructures that serve terrorism,” particularly targeting Hamas. During the day, the IDF moves more tanks, troops into n. Gaza and begins to push south toward Bayt Hanun and Jabaliya r.c., reoccupying fmr. settlement sites, occupying a 7th Palestinian home as an operational base, exchanging fire with Palestinian gunmen and shelling (fr. land and sea) areas where militants are allegedly burying explosives, killing 1 Hamas mbr., 1 PA naval officer, wounding at least 17 Palestinians (10 PA naval officers at a barracks nr. where the Hamas mbr. was killed, 7 children). In Gaza City, 2 Islamic Jihad mbrs. are killed when explosives they are handling detonate prematurely. In the West Bank, the IDF sends troops into ‘Ayn al-Sultan r.c. nr. Jericho, surrounds a building, orders wanted AMB cmdr. Mahmud Haymur to surrender, ordering him to undress when he emerges and then executing him by shooting him in the head at point blank range; surrounds, fires on a PA police station in Halhul nr. Hebron, demanding custody of an Israeli Palestinian believed to be held there (police allow soldiers to search the station to confirm he is not there); raids 3 Islamic charities nr. Hebron, Jenin, and Nablus, confiscating computers, vandalizing offices; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin and Nablus, nr. Tulkarm and Qalqilya, and in Bethlehem. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba, under IDF escort, begin work on a new settler bypass road linking the settlement to the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs. In Gaza City, unidentified gunmen assassinate senior Hamas mbr. Husayn Abu Ajwa, who is considered a leading promoter of religious and political reform within the movement. (IFM, NYT, PCHR, REU, WP, WT 7/5; HA, NYT, OCHA, PCHR, WP, WT 7/6; HA 7/8; PCHR 7/13; OCHA 7/18)

Overnight, the IDF sends another 15–20 tanks and armored personnel carriers (APCs) into Bayt Hanun and into the Erez industrial zone, leveling land to clear lines of sight, searching for roadside bombs and tunnels that could obstruct a large-scale military incursion into Gaza (as PA security forces pull out of their border positions at Erez, Palestinians stream into the industrial zone to scavenge fr. closed businesses there); continues to break the sound barrier over Gaza and to make air and artillery strikes on n. Gaza, killing 1 PA security officer, wounding several Palestinians, and destroying an empty building on Islamic University campus. During the day, the IDF continues the n. Gaza build-up, reoccupying the fmr. Nisanit settlement site, occupying 2 more Palestinian homes as operational bases, bulldozing a PA security force base in Bayt Hanun; fires on residential areas around Erez (wounding a Palestinian child) and on a Palestinian Energy Authority repair crew attempting to fix a transformer in the area. The IDF also allows Qarni crossing to reopen for several hrs. to import humanitarian supplies from the World Food Program (WFP) and UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East); WFP reports that there are only 2 days left of sugar and 8 days left of animal feed in Gaza and that milk and dairy products are only available in small quantities. Meanwhile, the Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades fire a 2-engine Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, hitting an empty school nr. Ashqelon, 7.5 mi inside Israel (the longest-range rocket to date). In the West Bank, the IDF raids Jenin, ambushes and fires on a car, assassinating wanted AMB Jenin cmdr. Fida’i Qandil, wounding a passenger; raids a PA police station in Ramallah, detaining 3 Palestinians captured by the PA in connection with the murder of a Jewish settler on 6/29; arrests Hamas spokesman Farhat Asad nr. Ramallah; patrols in, fires on residential areas of al-Fara‘a r.c. nr. Jenin, wounding 2 Palestinians; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Ramallah, in Nablus and Qalqilya, and nr. Bethlehem, Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Mehola nr. Tubas attack Palestinian farmers working their fields nearby. (HA, IMEMC, MM, NYT, OCHA, PCHR, WT, YA 7/4; NYT, WP, WT 7/5; OCHA, PCHR 7/6)

Overnight, the IDF stages scores of arrest raids across the West Bank detaining 64 senior Hamas political officials, including 8 PA cabinet mbrs. and 26 PC mbrs., plus 23 senior Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades mbrs. Haniyeh, Siyam, PA FM Mahmud Zahhar remain free. (100s of Palestinians in Jenin, Ramallah, Tulkarm hold marches, sit-ins to protest the Israeli arrest of PA legislators.) Israel says the arrest campaign has been planned for wks., with the government securing Atty. Gen. Menachem Mazuz’s authorization and arrest warrants far in advance of the Kerem Shalom attack on 6/25. In Gaza, the IDF shells 2 electricity transformers and open areas of n. Gaza, cutting all electricity to n. Gaza and wounding 1 Palestinian civilian; makes air strikes on 2 electrical shops in Khan Yunis, a Hamas training camp outside Khan Yunis, a car carrying 4 Islamic Jihad mbrs. in Gaza City, wounding 3 bystanders in the Gaza City incident; fires at least 30 shells at areas around Khan Yunis, wounding 1 Palestinian farmer; conducts house searches in al-Shuka nr. Rafah; intermittently breaks the sound barrier to harass the Gaza population. In response to Israel’s military escalation, the PRC mbrs. overnight kill a Jewish settler teenager they reported they kidnapped on 6/27; the IDF finds his body buried nr. Ramallah. During the day, the IDF makes an air strikes on targets in s. Gaza and on a car driving in Gaza City in an attempt to assassinate an Islamic Jihad mbr., who escapes lightly wounded; shells n. and s. Gaza, lightly wounding at least 3 Palestinians. AMB, Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Islamic Jihad, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) mbrs. also fire at least 6 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing light damage to a farm. Palestinian militants (thought to be Hamas) blow a hole in the Gaza-Egypt border fence; cordons of PA security forces,Egyptian border guards prevent most Palestinians fr. crossing through, though the militants who set the bomb reportedly escape into Egypt. In the evening, Olmert, Peretz order the IDF to suspend plans to send the Givati Brigade into n. Gaza overnight as planned in light of requests fr. Egypt to allow its envoys in Gaza more time to secure Shalit’s release. Meanwhile in the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches (unrelated to the arrest of PA officials) in Hebron, and in and around Ramallah, Salfit; raids 6 Islamic charities and schools nr. Hebron, Jenin and in Bethlehem, Tulkarm, confiscating computers, files; issues military orders confiscating 25 d. of Palestinian land nr. Hebron for construction of the separation wall. (HA, IFM, IMEMC, JAZ, MM, NYT, WP, WT, YA 6/29; AFP, MENA, OSC, PSCT, VOI, VOP 6/29 in WNC 6/30; CSM, HA, MM, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 6/30; OSC, PSCT, YA 6/30 in WNC 7/1; al-Ayyam 7/1 in WNC 7/2; HA, PCHR 7/6; PCHR 7/27) 

The IDF makes its 1st arrest raid into Gaza since the 9/05 disengagement, temporarily closing the Rafah crossing and sending troops 1,000 m into Rafah to detain 2 wanted Palestinians, allegedly mbrs. of Hamas; Hamas denies the men belong to the group. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, in Tulkarm r.c. (firing on residential areas), and nr. Hebron, Jenin, Qalqilya. Islamic Jihad fires 3 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Jewish settlers fr. Suissa s. of Hebron beat a Palestinian grazing animals nearby. Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar set fire to 3 Palestinian cars, a tractor outside Nablus. Jewish settlers fr. Tal Rumayda in Hebron attack 4 international peace activists escorting Palestinian children to school; IDF soldiers observe but do not intervene. Mbrs. of the Hamas-dominated ESF fire on the home of a PSF mbr. in Khan Yunis, wounding 1 bystander. (MM 6/23; HA 6/24; WP, WT 6/25; OCHA, World Council of Churches press release 6/28; PCHR 6/29)

The IDF announces that it will begin implementing a new policy of attacking Hamas targets for each Palestinian rocket strike, regardless of what group is responsible for the fire; makes a helicopter air strike on a foundry in Gaza City allegedly used to build rockets, causing no injuries; demolishes a Palestinian home nr. Ramallah; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Dura, nr. Jenin and Tulkarm, and in and around Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus, Ramallah. Palestinians fire 2 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. An unidentified Palestinian gunman fires on a Jewish settler bus nr. Ofra settlement n. of Jerusalem, lightly wounding 1 woman. Jewish settlers fr. Beit Hadasah in Hebron vandalizes several Palestinian homes, beat a 60-yr.-old Palestinian. Hamas mbrs. retaliating for the attempted assassination of 1 of their mbrs. on 6/18 fire grenades, rifles at a PSF office in Khan Yunis, causing no injuries. Meanwhile, Fatah, Hamas mbrs. sign a “national honor document” in Ramallah, pledging to avoid clashes and to resolve their disputes through negotiation. (HA, XIN 6/19; MA 6/19, 6/22 in WNC 6/23; WP 6/20; PCHR 6/22)

The IDF patrols in Kafr Haris, Tubas (firing on residential areas); conducts arrest raids, house searches in ‘Askar r.c. nr. Nablus, al-Til nr. Tulkarm and nr. Bethlehem, Hebron. Islamic Jihad fires 2 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In Ramallah, 10s of PA employees aligned with Fatah temporarily take over the PC building, demanding salaries. After Hamas mbrs. shoot, wound a PSF officer in Khan Yunis, Fatah mbrs. assassinate a senior Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades mbr. (MM 6/14; MM, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 6/15; PCHR 6/22)

The IDF continues bulldozing operations begun on 5/24, just inside the Gaza border nr. Bureij r.c.; sends troops into Tulkarm to raid the Social Sport Club, confiscating computers, files, photos and sealing the venue; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus and nr. Hebron, Tulkarm. In response to the IDF killing of 4 Palestinians in Ramallah on 4/24, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) mbrs. fire 2 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Fatah and PA security forces exchange fire with Hamas mbrs. following the funeral for Hudud in Gaza City, leaving 1 PA security officer dead, several wounded. (XIN 5/25; WP 5/26; OCHA, PCHR 6/1)

The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem, Jenin, Nablus, and Tulkarm, firing on residential areas. Palestinians fire 6 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Unidentified Palestinians fire on a Jewish settler vehicle nr. Tapuach settlement, injuring 2 Jewish settlers. In Tulkarm, Fatah gunmen surround a building where PA Dep. PM Nasir al-Sha‘ir (Change and Reform) is meeting with the Tulkarm governor, forcing the mtg. to end, and Sha’ir to leave under police escort. Some 2,000 Fatah mbrs. parade through Gaza City in a show of force in reaction to the deployment of the Interior Min.’s predominantly Hamas ESF. The National and Islamic Higher Comm. for the Follow-up of the Intifada (NIHC) sponsors a rally in Gaza calling for the immediate dissolution of the new ESF, activation of the PA security forces to prevent lawlessness, and holding of national unity talks. Late in the evening, Hamas, Fatah gunmen exchange fire outside the Palestinian Council (PC) building in Gaza City, leaving 2 Fatah mbrs., 1 Hamas mbr. wounded. (HA, MM, XIN 5/18; MM 5/19; HJ 5/20 in WNC 5/21; PCHR 5/25)

In the 2d such incident in 2 days, the IDF shells n. Gaza, killing a 57-yr-old Palestinian farmer working his field nr. Bayt Lahiya, wounding a 59-yr.-old Palestinian woman outside her Bayt Hanun home. The IDF also shuts all crossings into Gaza, citing unspecified security threats; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus (exchanging fire with armed Palestinians in Balata r.c., causing no injuries) and nr. Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Qalqilya, Ramallah, Tulkarm. Palestinians fire 4 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In Hebron, 700 Israeli police supported by 1,000 IDF troops evacuate some 3 Jewish settler families who occupied a Palestinian home on 4/7 and 40–50 settler youths supporting them, sparking scuffles btwn. troops and settlers that leave 19 officers, 7 settlers injured; an Israeli court ruled the families’ alleged purchase of the property fraudulent on 5/5 and ordered them to leave immediately. (HA, IMEMC, WT, XIN 5/7; MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/8; PCHR 5/11; see also HA 4/30)

The IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian taxi driver who stops to wait for a passenger nr. a sand barrier set up by the IDF nr. a checkpoint outside Nablus; sends undercover units in cars with Palestinian license plates into Azun and Hebron to arrest wanted Palestinians; also conducts arrest raids in Balata r.c. (exchanging fire with Palestinian gunmen, leaving 3 wounded), Bayt Jala, Nablus, Yatta. Palestinians fire 6 rockets fr. s. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. A Jewish settler fr. Kiryat Arba injures a 3- yr.old Palestinian in a deliberate hit and run in Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Ramat Yishai throw bottles, stones at Palestinian children (ages 7–12) playing nearby. (WP 5/6; PCHR 5/11)

The Knesset approves, swears in PM Ehud Olmert’s new cabinet, including Vice PM and FM Tzipi Livni (Kadima), DM Amir Peretz (Labor). The new coalition controls 67 of 120 parliamentary seats, with Kadima holding 29 seats, Labor 19, the ultra-Orthodox Shas 12, the Pensioners Party 7. (MM 5/4; MM, WP, WT 5/5)

The IDF shells Gaza’s Jabaliya r.c., seriously wounding a 7-yr.-old Palestinian boy and his father harvesting vegetables in their field; sends undercover units in a car with Palestinian license plates into Qalqilya to arrest a wanted Palestinian; later sends troops into Qalqilya to arrest another Palestinian, firing on stone-throwing youths who confront them, wounding 6; conducts other arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, in Qalqilya (also firing on residential areas), nr. Hebron and Jenin; seriously beats a Palestinian in Hebron for no apparent reason. In retaliation for the 3/31 Abu Quka assassination, the PRCs fire 3 rockets fr. Gaza towards an IDF post at Kissufim crossing causing no damage or injuries. The IDF responds by shelling n. Gaza, targeting and hitting a truck hauling vegetables in Bayt Lahiya (apparently thinking it belonged to militants who fired the rockets), injuring 2 farmers. A Palestinian dies, a 2d is injured when heavy rain run-off obstructed by the separation wall, which effectively creates a dam nr. Bil‘in, causes flash flooding that washes the men into the razor wire cordoning off the wall, trapping them. (IMEMC, JAZ, PRC communique, XIN 4/2; VOP 4/2 in WNC 4/3; PCHR 4/6)

Israel closes all Gaza crossing into Israel, reimposing the full seal on the territories (set on 3/11) for parliamentary elections; sends troops into al-Fawwar r.c. to conduct arrest raids and house searches, fires on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops, wounding 6; also conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron and in Bethlehem, Nablus, Tubas. Israeli security contractors guarding the separation wall nr. Jerusalem shoot, wound a Palestinian who strays too close to the wall. Islamic Jihad fires a Grad missile (an Eastern European rocket with a range greater than a Qassam but less than a Katyusha) fr. Gaza towards Ashkelon, which lands unexploded causing no damage or injuries. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba attack Palestinians, vandalize property in Hebron. Separately, Jewish settlers fr. Hebron attack Palestinian children on their way to school by a Palestinian road that passes near a settleronly bypass road. Inside Israel, 2 bedouin are killed in the Negev when they accidentally detonate an unexploded Palestinian rocket. (IMEMC, YA 3/28; VOP 3/28 in WNC 3/29; HA, MM, NYT, OCHA 3/29; PCHR 3/30; MM 4/7, 4/13, 4/21)

Israel holds parliamentary elections, with voter turnout at a relatively low 63%. The Kadima party, founded by Ariel Sharon and led by Ehud Olmert, wins 29 of the 120 Knesset seats (less than expected) compared to Labor with 19 seats, Likud (the biggest loser compared with its 38 seats last election) with 12, Shas with 12, Yisrael Beiteinu with 11, National Union–National Religious Party with 9, Pensioners’ Party with 7, United Torah Judaism with 6, Meretz with 5, and 3 Arab parties with a total of 10. (MM 3/28; HA, JP, MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/29; NYT, WT 3/30; WP 3/31; XIN, YA 4/3)

The PC approves (71–36, with 2 abstentions) the Hamas-led cabinet. (NYT 3/29; XIN 3/28 in WNC 3/29)