131 / 14704 Results
  • December 27, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers fenced off a Palestinian pasture near Khirbet al-Farisiyya. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters at the Qalandia checkpoint, injuring 1 with...

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  • December 4, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers raided Huwwara, leading to a confrontation between Palestinians and Israeli forces; tear-gas related injuries were reported. Israeli forces violently dispersed...

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  • October 23, 2022

    In the West Bank, 1 member of the Lion’s Den, Tamer al-Kilani, was killed when an explosive device planted in a motorcycle exploded in Nablus. The Lion’s Den said al-Kilani was the victim of an...

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  • October 4, 2022

    In the West Bank, 4 settlers—2 women and 2 children—were apprehended by members of Lion’s Den organization after entering Nablus; the 4 were then transferred to PA security forces who escorted...

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  • September 28, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian homes in Madama with stones, leading to a confrontation between Israeli forces and Palestinians in the village; 8 Palestinians were injured...

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  • December 7, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces demolished 1 house—displacing 13—and a water well in Hebron, razed 100 dunams (25 acres) of agricultural lands in Masafer Yatta, and demolished 3 agricultural...

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  • August 11, 2021

    In the West Bank, 1 Palestinian succumbed to injuries inflicted by Israeli forces on 8/3 in Jenin. Israeli forces demolished 1 poultry farm in al-Walaja, 1 rainwater collection well in Khallet al-...

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  • August 8, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked 2 Palestinian vehicles traveling near a checkpoint in Tayasir, causing damage to both. Israeli settlers also assaulted 1 Palestinian man near Bayt Dajan...

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  • January 7, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked 3 Palestinian farmers in Kafr Malik, who were then taken to a hospital for treatment. Israeli forces shot and injured 1 differently abled Palestinian...

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  • September 17, 2019

    In the West Bank, students from Birzeit University protested Israel’s rejection of visa renewals for 7 Birzeit University professors. 1 professor at Birzeit University was released from Israeli...

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  • January 14, 2019

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces deliver stop-work orders to a Palestinian house, water well, and barn under construction in Yatta village near Hebron. IDF troops assault and lightly injure a...

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  • January 4, 2019

    Approximately 10,000 Palestinians gather along Gaza’s border to continue the Great March of Return. IDF troops violently disperse the demonstrations near Gaza City, Rafah, Khan Yunis, al-Bureij...

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  • January 3, 2019

    Hundreds of right-wing Jewish activists visit Joseph’s Tomb near Nablus overnight, sparking clashes between their IDF escort and Palestinian residents of the area; 1 Palestinian journalist and 1...

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  • December 30, 2018

    In the West Bank, IDF troops arrest 22 Palestinians and issue 1 arrest summons during late-night raids in and around Ramallah, Hebron, Jenin, and Bethlehem; and patrol near Hebron, Bethlehem,...

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  • October 5, 2017

    In the West Bank, IDF troops close down a road near Bethlehem, blocking Palestinian farmers in the area from working their fields. They also arrest 1 Palestinian during late-night raids near Jenin...

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  • July 5, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 11 projectiles into s. Israel, causing no damage and lightly injuring 1 soldier with mortar shell shrapnel. Iron Dome batteries intercept 4 of the rockets. In...

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  • June 15, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 4 rockets toward Ashqelon: 2 are intercepted by Iron Dome missile defense batteries and 2 hit open areas causing no damage or injuries. In response, the IDF...

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  • September 23, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF troops open fire with rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades on stone-throwing Palestinians in Hebron. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr...

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  • May 21, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian teenager in al-Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah during a demonstration in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners. An IDF spokesperson says that...

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  • April 21, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin in the morning, in 3 villages nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron, 1 village each nr. Ramallah and nr. Tulkarm at...

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  • May 30, 2012

    Israeli naval vessels halt and seize 2 Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, detaining 4 fishermen. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night patrols in al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron and...

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  • May 28, 2012

    Hamas’s acting PM in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh authorizes a senior CEC team to begin updating Gaza’s voter rolls, in keeping with agreements reached in Cairo on 5/20/12. The CEC estimates that since the...

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  • March 27, 2012

    No Israeli-Palestinian violence is reported. OCHA reports, however, that in the previous week, 2 Palestinian children were injured when they accidentally triggered unexploded IDF ordnance while...

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  • March 20, 2012

    Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Nr. al-Maghazi r.c., 2 Palestinians are injured when they accidentally trigger unexploded IDF...

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  • January 10, 2012

    The IDF makes a brief incursion into n. Gaza to level land and clear lines of sight along the border e. of Jabaliya town. In the West Bank, the IDF bulldozes Palestinian land in Azariyya (just...

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  • December 18, 2011

    The last U.S. combat troops pull out of Iraq 2 wks. ahead of Obama’s 12/31/11 target date; 1,000s of U.S. diplomats and contractors remain in the country, as well as 150 U.S. soldiers tasked to...

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  • November 15, 2011

    During a regular security briefing to the Knesset, IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz says that Israel may need to strike Gaza if rocket fire continues, stating that Israel would initiate an...

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  • February 14, 2011

    To demonstrate some accountability in light of the Palestine Papers and to give Abbas the chance to strengthen his base in advance of elections, his cabinet resigns. Abbas immediately reappoints...

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  • January 30, 2011

    In light of domestic security concerns, Egypt seals its border with Gaza, causing almost all trade through the smuggling tunnels along the Rafah border to cease, sparking hoarding by Gazans. Hamas...

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  • December 21, 2010

    AOI mbrs. fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel that lands nr. an empty school nr. Ashqelon, causing light damage and injuring 1 Israeli. In the afternoon, an IDF drone makes a missile strike...

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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers fenced off a Palestinian pasture near Khirbet al-Farisiyya. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters at the Qalandia checkpoint, injuring 1 with a baton round, 2 with a tear-gas canister, and others with tear gas. Israeli forces also shot and injured 1 Palestinian with a baton round during a raid in al-Arroub refugee camp. Elsewhere, Israeli forces fired tear gas near a school in Hebron, causing tear-gas related injuries to students. Israeli forces also demolished 1 agricultural structure and uprooted 15 olive trees near Dura and seized agricultural machinery in Khirbet Umm al-Jamal near Tubas. 24 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Silwad, Beitin, Nablus, Bayt Ibia, Jaba‘, and Dahariya. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers and police seized and fenced off 5 dunams (1.2 acres) of land in Silwan, owned by the Greek Orthodox church and leased to Palestinians. 3 Palestinians were arrested in Silwan. (MEE, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/27; MEMO, WAFA 12/28; PCHR 12/29; WAFA 12/30; WAFA 12/31; UNOCHA 1/16)

Israel said it had arrested 1 Palestinian man on 11/29 who the Shin Bet suspect carried out the 2 bombing attacks in Jerusalem on 11/23, which killed 1 man. The Palestinian man is said to be a supporter of Islamic State and to have acted alone. (AJ 12/27)

The Hamas-affiliated media outlet Shehab News Agency leaked a 3-minute audio clip of PLO secretary-general Hussein al-Sheikh criticizing PA president Mahmoud Abbas and other leaders in the PA. In the clip Secretary-General al-Sheikh says that President Abbas “is a partner in the chaos and has an interest for it to remain.” Al-Sheikh told Al-Araby al-Jadeed that the recording was fabricated. (AP 12/27; MEMO 12/28; MEMO 12/29)

The Knesset approved amendments to the Basic Law on the Government to allow 2 ministers at the defense ministry. The amendment, which was part of the Religious Zionism Party’s coalition deal with the Likud Party, allows 2 ministers to serve in 1 government office and paves the way for Religious Zionism leader Bezalel Smotrich to appoint a minister at the defense ministry in charge of the administration of the West Bank. The IDF chief of staff Aviv Kochavi expressed his concern about the changes to the defense ministry to prime minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu. Another amendment to the Basic Law allows Shas leader Arye Dery to serve as a minister in the government, despite being convicted of tax offenses. (HA, HA 12/26; AJ, HA, MDW, MEE, REU 12/27; MEMO 12/28; HA, HA 12/29)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers raided Huwwara, leading to a confrontation between Palestinians and Israeli forces; tear-gas related injuries were reported. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians seeking to enter Israel through the separation wall near ‘Anin, causing tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinians in Tulkarm, causing tear-gas related injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Israel, Israeli forces shot and arrested 1 Palestinian man who had entered a checkpoint at Ben Gurion International Airport. Israeli police said that the man had taken a wrong turn from the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway and did not intend to carry out an attack. Palestinian citizens of Israel protested Israeli inaction in addressing gun violence in Taybeh. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/4; WAFA, WAFA 12/5; PCHR 12/8; UNOCHA 12/16)

Israel started dismantling the Karni crossing east of Gaza City to extend the Gaza Fence. The Karni crossing, for movement of commercial goods, was closed by Israel in 2007. (MEMO 12/5; AP 12/6)

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party and the Religious Zionism Party agreed to change the procedure for how the coordinator of the activities in the territories and the head of the Civil Administration are appointed. The 2 positions will in the next government be filled by Israeli politicians rather than by the military chief of staff and defense ministry. Outgoing Israeli prime minister Yair Lapid condemned the agreement. (HA 12/4; HA 12/5)

Speaking at the J Street conference in Washington D.C., U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken said that the U.S. expects to work with the next Israeli government in the same manner it has with previous governments, but warned about potential threats to the 2-state solution, including settlement expansion, annexation, and changes to the status quo of the holy sites in Jerusalem. Secretary Blinken also noted that Israelis and Palestinians “do not enjoy equal measures of freedom,” which he said they are entitled to. (AJ, AP, F24, HA, REU, WAFA 12/4)

In the West Bank, 1 member of the Lion’s Den, Tamer al-Kilani, was killed when an explosive device planted in a motorcycle exploded in Nablus. The Lion’s Den said al-Kilani was the victim of an Israeli assassination. Israeli settlers sprayed pepper spray at 2 Palestinians in Huwwara. Israeli forces fired tear gas near a school in Kharbatha Bani Harith, causing tear-gas related injuries among students and staff. Israeli forces also shot and injured 1 Palestinian at a checkpoint near Tarqumiyya. 5 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Ramin, Deir Nidham, and Dheisheh refugee camp. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian family demolished their own home in Jabel Mukaber, displacing 7. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen west of al-Waha; no injuries were reported. (AJ, AP, HA, MEE, NA, REU, TOI, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/23; HA, MDW, MEMO 10/24; PCHR 10/27; UNOCHA 11/1)

Commenting on Israeli settler attacks against Israeli soldiers in recent weeks, prime minister Yair Lapid said he would not allow “criminal militias in the State of Israel” during a cabinet meeting. Defense minister Benny Gantz also said that Israel will not accept the attacks. The cabinet approved the appointment of Herzl Halevi as new IDF chief of staff during the meeting. Halevi, who lives in the Israeli settlement Kfar HaOranim, will replace Aviv Kochavi in January 2023. (HA, HA 10/23; AJ, AP 10/24)

Saudi Arabia donated $23 million to UNRWA. (WAFA 10/23)

In the West Bank, 4 settlers—2 women and 2 children—were apprehended by members of Lion’s Den organization after entering Nablus; the 4 were then transferred to PA security forces who escorted them to the Israeli military. Lion’s Den released a statement saying, “[o]ur message to the occupation forces is that we don’t kill women and children, but we are warning the settlers that attack Palestinians that they will be treated accordingly.” 1 Israeli soldier was shot and injured near the Ofra settlement; it was unclear who shot the soldier as the incident happened as Israeli forces tried to stop a Palestinian car allegedly evading an order to stop. Israeli settlers blocked an entrance to Nablus, calling on the Israeli government to take harsher measures against Palestinians. Israeli settlers also blocked an entrance to Nablus on 10/2. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles near Ramallah. Israeli settlers also attacked a secondary school in Huwwara, assaulting staff and students and damaging vehicles and school property. In East Jerusalem, nearly 500 settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Israel, a group of Israelis overturned a Palestinian-owned vehicle in Bat Yam after the vehicle was stopped and the driver was asked to adhere to the Jewish customs of Yom Kippur. Israelis also attacked 3 Palestinians in separate incidents in Tel Aviv, including 1 who was stabbed. (HA, HA, MEE, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/4; HA, MEMO 10/5; PCHR 10/6; UNOCHA 10/16; AJ 10/19)

All crossings from Israel to the West Bank and Gaza were closed due to the Israeli Yom Kippur holiday. (PCHR 10/6)

Secretary of the PLO executive committee Hussein al-Sheikh met with senior U.S. officials Jake Sullivan, Wendy Sherman, Barbara Leaf, Yael Lambert, and Hady Amr during meetings in Washington D.C. (HA 9/29; MEMO 10/5)

The Balad party appealed the Israeli central elections committee’s decision to disqualify the party from running in the upcoming election to the Israeli supreme court. The supreme court will meet to hear the appeal on 10/6. The committee banned Balad, saying that the party “rejects Israel’s existence as a Jewish and democratic state.” (HA, MEMO 10/5)

Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz said that Israeli military chief of staff Aviv Kochavi does not have the authority to approve assassinations or new measures. Chief of Staff Kochavi told reporters on 9/28 that he had approved using drones to carry out assassinations in the West Bank. (HA 10/4)

Lebanese officials said that the Lebanese government had submitted a list of changes to the U.S. proposal to demarcate the maritime border between Israel and Lebanon. Lebanese media reported that among the issues that Lebanon was seeking to amend was the inclusion of a security zone. (HA, HA, REU 10/4)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian homes in Madama with stones, leading to a confrontation between Israeli forces and Palestinians in the village; 8 Palestinians were injured by Israeli settlers and 13 by tear gas fired by Israeli forces. Israeli settlers also threw stones at Palestinian vehicles traveling near Bizarya, causing damage. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers raided Burqa, leading to a confrontation between Palestinians and Israeli forces; no injuries were reported. Israeli forces shot and killed 4 Palestinians and injured 44 others during a raid in Jenin refugee camp, where Israeli forces also fired 4 missiles in residential areas. Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades said 3 of the casualties were members of their organizations while Islamic Jihad said the 4th was an Islamic Jihad member. The PA and OIC condemned the killings and Fatah called for a Day of Rage. Several Palestinian cities held general strikes over the killings. Later, on 10/10, 1 12-year-old Palestinian boy died of wounds sustained during the raid. The boy was shot in the stomach by Israeli forces using live ammunition. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters at the Beit El checkpoint, injuring 3, including 1 critically. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Huwwara, injuring 1 with a baton round and 33 with tear gas. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Qalqilya, injuring 14 with tear gas. Meanwhile, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in al-Bireh, leading to tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Hebron, injuring 2 with baton rounds. (ABC, AJ, AP, CNN, HA, JDF, MEE, MEMO, NYT, PCHR, REU, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 9/28; HA, IN, MDW, MEE, MEMO, MEMO, MEMO, MEMO, PCHR 9/29; WAFA, WAFA 9/29; HA, MEMO, UNOCHA 9/30; HA 10/10; UNOCHA 10/16)

An Israeli court extended the administrative detention of Khalil Awadeh to 10/9, despite an Israeli promise to release him on 9/2 after he challenged his detention with 172-day-long hunger strike. (AJ, MEMO 9/29)

Israel announced that it will start a pilot program to open the Allenby Bridge crossing between the West Bank and Jordan 24 hours a day, beginning on 10/24. The 24/7 opening of the Allenby crossing was 1 of the announcements U.S. president Joe Biden made when he visited the West Bank in June. (HA, MEE 9/28; MEMO 9/29)

Israeli media reported, after a meeting with Israeli defense officials, that Israeli military chief of staff Aviv Kochavi has approved carrying out “targeted assassinations” in the West Bank and the use of drones for the purpose. (JP, MEMO 9/29; ALM, HA 9/30)

Haaretz reported that Shin Bet director Ronen Bar ignored his predecessor’s advice to demote or fire a Shin Bet operative and decided to promote him instead. The operative is accused of rape and demanding the examination of Palestinian women’s genitals. The investigation against the operative was closed in 2021 due to alleged insufficient evidence. (HA 9/28)

UN envoy for the Middle East peace process Tor Wennesland told the UN security council that Israel continues to defy the 2016 security council resolution calling for an immediate halt to Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank. (AP 9/28; MEMO 9/29)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces demolished 1 house—displacing 13—and a water well in Hebron, razed 100 dunams (25 acres) of agricultural lands in Masafer Yatta, and demolished 3 agricultural structures in Nahalin. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers led by Jerusalem deputy mayor Aryeh King delivered an eviction notice to the Salem family in Sheikh Jarrah, ordering the family to leave their home of 70 years before 12/21. The Israeli municipality razed agricultural lands and demolished retaining walls in Jabel Mukaber. (WAFA, WAFA 12/7; MEMO 12/8; PCHR 12/16)

A delegation of Jordanian ministers, including for trade, agriculture, transportation, communication, and energy met with their PA counterparts in Ramallah to discuss enhancing trade and cooperation. (WAFA 12/7)

In Syria, Israeli fighter jets fired missiles at the port of Latakia, causing damage but no injuries. (AJ, HA, HA, MEMO 12/7; MEMO, MEMO 12/8)

An appeals court in the Netherlands ruled that Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz cannot be tried in Dutch courts for the 2014 air strike in Gaza that killed 6 relatives of a Dutch citizen. The Dutch citizen who was born in Gaza filled a lawsuit against Benny Gantz, chief of staff of the Israeli army at the time of the attacks. (HA, MEMO, REU 12/7; MDW 12/8)

Defense Minister Gantz announced that Israel had completed an underground barrier around Gaza, started in 2016. The barrier project also includes above-ground walls, a naval barrier, and a radar system. (AJ, MEE, MEMO, REU 12/7; MEMO 12/8; MEE 12/11)

A freedom of information request filed by Israeli human rights organization Bimkom revealed that 797 demolition orders were delivered in Area C during 2020, the highest in 5 years. In the same period, 24 construction permits were granted out of 2,550 requests. (HA 12/7)

In the West Bank, 1 Palestinian succumbed to injuries inflicted by Israeli forces on 8/3 in Jenin. Israeli forces demolished 1 poultry farm in al-Walaja, 1 rainwater collection well in Khallet al-Dabe’, 1 car wash in al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya, and 1 agricultural structure in al-Fakhit. Israeli forces also handed an evacuation order to Palestinians near Tuqu’ for their livestock, forcing them to remove their livestock and dismantle their agricultural structures within 14 days. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting Israeli construction at al-Ibrahimi Mosque, leading to tear-gas related injuries; 3 were arrested. 9 other Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Jaba‘, Huwwara, and Yatta. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces summoned 2 Palestinian activists for questioning after they protested the arrest of a local activist in Sheikh Jarrah on 8/10. In Israel, Israeli authorities said they shot down a drone entering the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights from Lebanon, claiming the drone was operated by Hezbollah. Israel also said it had shot down a drone flying from Gaza into Israel, claiming it was operated by Hamas. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 8/11; HA, PCHR, REU 8/12; HA, MEMO 8/13)

The Israeli government gave its initial approval for the construction of more than 2,000 new settlement units in the West Bank and 863 housing units for Palestinian villages in Area C, including 150 units in Ma‘asara, 270 in Bir al-Basha, 223 in al-Masqufa, 160 in Khirbet ‘Aaba, and 50 in Khirbet Zakariya. Of the advanced settlement expansion plans, 908 are expected to get final approval next week, including 58 in Beit El, 285 in Har Brakha, and 105 in Alon Shvut. An Israeli official told Haaretz that the move was a “calculated risk” made by the government vis-à-vis the U.S. Biden administration. The Meretz party wrote a letter to Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz, calling the decision to expand Israeli settlements “a dangerous move.” The U.S. later criticized Israel’s decision to expand Israeli settlements, on 8/13, saying that settlement activity is an obstacle to a 2-state solution. (AA, AX, HA, REU 8/11; MEMO, WAFA, WAFA 8/12; HA, MEMO 8/13; JP 8/16)

IDF chief of staff Aviv Kochavi said the Israeli army will take harsher measures against Israeli soldiers who do not follow regulations, in response to the killing of 40 Palestinians by Israeli forces in the West Bank since May. The statement came after Chief of Staff Kochavi met with senior staff of the Israeli central command on 8/8 and urged them to take steps to reduce lethal shootings. Kochavi said the military will back soldiers who make mistakes in their judgements in relation to lethal shootings, but not if the soldiers act reckless. (HA 8/12)

Israel’s police commissioner Kobi Shabtai inaugurated a new police department focused on combatting crime in Palestinian Israeli communities, which seeks to increase the number of Palestinian Israeli police officers by 300%. 69 Palestinian citizens of Israel have been killed in Israel since 2021 and only 23% of the cases have been solved, whereas 71% of the cases involving Jewish Israelis have been solved by Israeli police. (HA 8/12)

Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid visited Morocco to meet with his Moroccan counterpart and open the new Israeli mission to Morocco as part of the 2 countries’ normalization deal. The 2 foreign ministers signed cooperation agreements related to air travel, culture, sports, and youth. Foreign Minister Lapid said the 2 countries would open mutual embassies within 2 months. The leader of the PJD party in Morocco condemned the decision to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel. Part of the 2 countries’ normalization deal was for the U.S. to recognize Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara during the Trump administration, a controversial recognition that the Biden administration has not reversed. (MEMO 8/10; AJ, AJ, AX, HA, MEMO, REU 8/11; AJ, ALM, AX, HA, HA, MEMO, REU 8/12; ALM 8/13; MEE 8/16)

U.S. CIA director William J. Burns met with Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennet and other Israeli officials during a trip to Israel. Director Burns is expected to meet with PA president Mahmoud Abbas and other senior PA officials on 8/12. Axios reported that Director Burns voiced concern to Prime Minister Bennett about Chinese investment in Israel. (AX 8/9; HA, MEMO 8/10; ALM, HA, MEMO, MEMO, REU 8/11; AX, HA, HA 8/12; AX 8/18; MEE, MEMO, TOI 8/19)

The private equity firm KKR announced that it will be funding a server farm in Israel to be completed in the 2d quarter of 2023. The server farm will be located underground in Petah Tikva. (HA 8/11)

Palestinian Israeli NGO Combatants for Peace asked the ICC to open an investigation into potential war crimes committed by Israel in demolishing the bedouin village Khirbet Humsa on 7/7. (HA 8/11; MEMO 8/13)

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said its investigation into the events of the Israeli assault on Gaza in May, dubbed Operation Guardians of the Wall, had showed that Hamas’s rockets fired at Israel “violated the laws of war and amount to war crimes.” HRW also said that Hamas’s rockets had killed 12 civilians in Israel and a misfired rocket had killed 7 Palestinians in Gaza. HRW released its investigation into Israeli actions during the assault on 7/27, finding that Israel had also committed war crimes. (HA, HRW 8/12; ALM 8/23)

France donated $575,000 to the UN World Food Programme for its programming in Gaza. (WAFA 8/11)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked 2 Palestinian vehicles traveling near a checkpoint in Tayasir, causing damage to both. Israeli settlers also assaulted 1 Palestinian man near Bayt Dajan, causing the man to be hospitalized. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Beita, injuring 1 with a rubber-coated bullet, 4 with tear gas canisters, and 50 with tear gas. 4 Palestinians were arrested, including 2 during late-night raids in Bayt Jala and Yatta, and 2 in the vicinity of Beit Fajjar. In Israel, Israeli prison forces raided a section of the Ktzi’ot prison, assaulting Palestinian prisoners. (WAFA, WAFA 8/8; MEE, WAFA, WAFA 8/9; PCHR 8/12)

Peace Now reported that the Israeli government is moving ahead with a plan to create a new settlement with 9,000 housing units at the Atarot airport between Jerusalem and Ramallah. The plans are set to be discussed on 12/6/2021. Peace Now called on the government to shelve the plans for the new settlement immediately. (TOI 8/2; PCN 8/8; AJ 8/17)

Israeli national security officials met with Egyptian security officials in Cairo to discuss the details for a long-term ceasefire with Hamas. (MEMO 8/9)

According to Haaretz, IDF chief of staff Aviv Kochavi met with IDF central command officials, asking them to take steps to reduce lethal shootings of Palestinians in the West Bank as the death toll of Palestinians in the West Bank since May had risen to 40 on 8/6. Haaretz called on Chief of Staff Kochavi in an editorial to dismiss head of IDF central command Tomer Yadai in response to the many killings. (HA, HA 8/10)

Bahrain’s undersecretary for political affairs Shaykh Abdullah bin Ahmed al-Khalifa met with Israel’s president Isaac Herzog and foreign minister Yair Lapid in Jerusalem, where he announced plans to start direct flights between the 2 countries. Foreign Minister Lapid also said he would be visiting Bahrain soon. The 2 countries formalized a normalization deal in September 2020. (HA 8/8; ALM 8/10)

A Saudi Arabian court handed sentences of up to 22 to years in prison to a large number of Palestinian and Jordanian residents of the country who were charged with being linked to unnamed terrorist organizations. A total of 69 Palestinians and Jordanians received either prison sentences or were acquitted. It was unclear how many of the 69 were acquitted; all were detained in March 2018. Among the Palestinians to receive prison sentences was Hamas representative to Saudi Arabia Mohammed al-Khodari, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Hamas condemned the rulings, calling the sentences “harsh and undeserved.” (AJ, MEMO, MEMO 8/9; ALM, MEMO 8/12)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked 3 Palestinian farmers in Kafr Malik, who were then taken to a hospital for treatment. Israeli forces shot and injured 1 differently abled Palestinian using live ammunition at a checkpoint near Jericho. Israeli forces also sealed the entrances to al-Mughayyir. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished 8 residential structures near Bayt Iksa and confiscated a generator, 25 olive seedlings, 2 doors, and 4 windows in Farasin. 9 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Dheisheh refugee camp, Qabatiya, Qalqilya, Yatta, and Sa‘ir; 2 Palestinians were shot by live ammunition during the raids in Dheisheh refugee camp and Qabatiya. In East Jerusalem, a number of Palestinians burned 1 vehicle belonging to a settler in al-Tur; Israeli forces intervened, leading to tear-gas related injuries and 2 arrests. 1 other Palestinian was arrested during a raid in Issawiyya. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen within 3-6 nautical miles west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of Dayr al-Balah; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/7; PCHR 1/14)

Axios reported that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was seeking to consolidate his power over Israel’s Iran policy before the Joe Biden presidency. In a letter to Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz, foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi, ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer, and the Mossad director and IDF chief of staff, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that, “the Israeli government position regarding the Iran nuclear deal will be finalized exclusively by the Prime Minister on the basis of analysis done by the national security council in the Prime Minister’s office.” Axios wrote that Netanyahu wants a more hawkish stance on President-Elect Biden’s wish to re-enter the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action than the rest of the relevant cabinet members and officials. (AX 1/7)

An Iraqi court issued an arrest warrant for U.S. president Donald Trump in connection with the assassination of Iranian general Qassim Soleimani and commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Committee Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who were killed in 1/3/2020 at the Baghdad airport by U.S. forces. Iran put out a “red notice” request through Interpol for the arrest of President Trump on 1/5. (AJ, HA 1/7)

In the West Bank, students from Birzeit University protested Israel’s rejection of visa renewals for 7 Birzeit University professors. 1 professor at Birzeit University was released from Israeli custody after being detained for 16 days. Israeli forces critically injured 1 Palestinian child in al-Mazra‘a near Ramallah. In Abu Dis, 1 Palestinian was shot in the leg and admitted to a hospital in Ramallah. In Tubas, several Palestinians suffered from tear gas inhalation after clashes with Israeli forces. In ‘Ayn Bus near Nablus, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian-owned homes and tried to set vehicles on fire; Israeli forces subsequently injured 2 Palestinians using rubber-coated bullets as they attempted to fend off the Israeli settlers. 1 Palestinian was arrested at a flying checkpoint near Nablus. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 9/17; MEMO 9/18; PCHR 9/19)

The EU issued a statement condemning the Israeli government’s approval of a new settlement in the Jordan Valley, reiterating that it considers all settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank illegal under international law. (EU 9/17; WAFA 9/18)

In the Netherlands, a court in The Hague held a hearing to consider the admissibility of a lawsuit filed by a Dutch-Palestinian against former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz and former Israeli Air Force commander Amir Eichel for their responsibility in the death of 6 of his family members during the 2014 Gaza bombings. (WAFA 9/17)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces deliver stop-work orders to a Palestinian house, water well, and barn under construction in Yatta village near Hebron. IDF troops assault and lightly injure a Palestinian at a checkpoint north of Ramallah. They ultimately let him pass through when they fail to find weapons in his vehicle. IDF troops also arrest 23 Palestinians and issue 5 arrest summons during late night-raids near Hebron, Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin, and Bethlehem; and patrol near Jenin, Hebron, and Ramallah. In East Jerusalem, Muslim worshippers block an Israeli police officer wearing a yarmulke from entering the Dome of the Rock at Haram al-Sharif. The worshippers then barricade themselves inside the building, sparking a minor confrontation; 1 Islamic Waqf official lightly injured and 4 Waqf guards are arrested. Later in the day, Israeli forces temporarily block Muslim worshippers from entering the sanctuary. Meanwhile, Israeli forces arrest 2 Palestinians during raids in Silwan. (AP, HA, JP, MNA, MNA, WAFA, WAFA, YA 1/14; PCHR 1/17)

A Palestinian minor succumbs to injuries sustained when IDF troops violently dispersed Palestinian protesters gathering along Gaza’s border near Jabaliya refugee camp on 1/11. This brings the death toll stemming from the Great March of Return to 198. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA 1/14)

Outgoing IDF chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot tells Israel’s Army Radio that he “can say with confidence that we found all Hezbollah tunnels infiltrating into Israel.” Eisenkot’s comments come one day after the IDF announced the end of Operation Northern Shield and 2 days after the discovery of a 6th Hezbollah tunnel in the context of that operation. (JP 1/14)

Approximately 10,000 Palestinians gather along Gaza’s border to continue the Great March of Return. IDF troops violently disperse the demonstrations near Gaza City, Rafah, Khan Yunis, al-Bureij refugee camp, and Jabaliya refugee camp; at least 15 Palestinians are injured. Also along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion to level land near Rafah. Five unidentified assailants raid the Gaza City office of the PA-run Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation and destroy much of the technical equipment on site. The assailants flee before the police arrive on the scene. Later, a PA official says, “We hold the Hamas authorities fully responsible for this crime.” In the West Bank, IDF troops arrest 3 Palestinians during a raid near Ramallah; and patrol near Nablus, Jenin, Hebron, Salfit, and Qalqilya. They also violently disperse Palestinians, Israelis, and international activists at Friday protests against the Israeli occupation in al-Mughayyir near Ramallah; 2 Palestinians are injured. Israeli settlers throw stones at a Palestinian school in Urif village near Nablus, sparking minor clashes between their IDF escort and Palestinians in the area; 1 Palestinians is injured and another is arrested (AFP, MNA, TOI, TOI, WAFA 1/4; MNA 1/5; PCHR 1/10)

Following a complaint from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the IDF formally censures Colonel Avi Bluth for failing to pass along the Netanyahu’s order to postpone the evacuation and dismantlement of 2 makeshift residential structures at the site of the former illegal settlement outpost Amona on 1/3. In the context of a disciplinary hearing, IDF Chief of Staff Eisenkot reportedly “made it clear to Colonel Bluth that he had erred in handling the incident and that it would have been expected that he would have conducted himself more professionally.” (HA, JP, TOI, YA 1/4)

Hundreds of right-wing Jewish activists visit Joseph’s Tomb near Nablus overnight, sparking clashes between their IDF escort and Palestinian residents of the area; 1 Palestinian journalist and 1 paramedic are injured. Elsewhere in the West Bank, IDF troops fire tear gas at Palestinian students leaving a high school in Tell village near Nablus, causing no serious injuries. They also patrol during the day near Nablus, Hebron, and Bethlehem. Israeli forces uproot or otherwise damage 50 olive trees in a Palestinian grove near Salfit. Israeli settlers throw stones at Palestinian vehicles driving near Ramallah, causing minor damage to 1 windshield. Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmland near Rafah and shepherds near Dayr al-Balah, causing no damage or injuries. (MNA, MNA, WAFA, WAFA, YA 1/3; MNA 1/4; PCHR 1/10)

Israeli forces surround and prepare to dismantle 2 makeshift residential structures that Israeli settlers established at the site of the former illegal settlement outpost Amona on 12/14/18. When approximately 300 settler-activists barricade themselves inside the structures and throw stones at the demolition crews, IDF troops use riot dispersal tactics to take control of the area and proceed with the evacuation and dismantlement (4 settlers and 23 Israeli troops are injured and 7 settlers are arrested in the ensuing clashes). Hours later, the Israeli press reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is claiming that he ordered the indefinite postponement of the evacuation this morning, but that his order was not carried out. Netanyahu later calls on IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot to hold a disciplinary hearing for the officer reportedly responsible for failing to relay his order quickly enough, Colonel Avi Bluth. (JP, HA, HA, JP, TOI, YA, YA 1/3)

Hours after Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu departs Brasilia, where he attended Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro’s inauguration yesterday, Bolsonaro confirms that he intends to uphold his campaign promise to move the Brazilian embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. “The decision is taken,” Bolsonaro says. “It’s only a matter of when it will be implemented.” (JP, REU 1/3; TOI 1/4)

In the West Bank, IDF troops arrest 22 Palestinians and issue 1 arrest summons during late-night raids in and around Ramallah, Hebron, Jenin, and Bethlehem; and patrol near Hebron, Bethlehem, Tulkarm, and Qalqilya. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 11 Palestinians during raids in Jabal Mukabir, Issawiyya, al-Tur, Shu‘fat refugee camp, and the Old City. (WAFA 12/30; PCHR 1/3)

After PA Agriculture Minister Sufian Sultan sends a message to Israel’s Agriculture Ministry informing them of his intention to reverse the PA’s 12/2 ban on imports of lamb from Israel, Israel’s Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel lifts his 12/17 ban on imports of Palestinian produce. “In light of the Palestinian agriculture minister’s notification that he is allowing the free entry of Israeli-bred lamb [into Palestinian markets], I cancel my order to block the transfer of produce from the PA to Israel,” Ariel says in a statement. Shortly after Ariel’s statement, the PA Agriculture Ministry cancels the ban on imports of Israeli produce that the PA cabinet approved on 12/27. (TOI, WAFA 12/31)

One day after Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked announce the formation of their new political party, Israeli polls project that their Hayamin Hehadash will win between 6 and 14 seats in the Knesset in the upcoming election on 4/9. Hosen L’Yisrael, the new party led by former IDF Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz, is projected to win between 13 and 15 seats, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud is projected to win between 27 and 31. (HA 12/30)

In the West Bank, IDF troops close down a road near Bethlehem, blocking Palestinian farmers in the area from working their fields. They also arrest 1 Palestinian during late-night raids near Jenin and patrol near Hebron. Late at night,Israeli settlers throw stones at Palestinian cars near Ramallah, causing minor damage and seriously injuring 1 child. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. (WAFA 10/5; MNA, WAFA 10/6; PCHR 10/12)

Israeli DM Lieberman and IDF chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot decide to permit the entrance into Israel of West Bank Palestinians “employed in required sectors of the economy.” Lieberman previously ordered, on 10/1, an 11-day closure of the West Bank and Gaza for the holiday (10/4–15). (HA, TOI 10/6)

PA PM Hamdallah returns to Ramallah from Gaza, where he spent 4 days meeting with various local officials and working to bring PA administration to the region. Further details of the ongoing reconciliation process are expected to be disclosed on 10/10, when Hamas and Fatah officials meet in Cairo for more talks. Meanwhile, Hamas announces that the PA has officially taken over as the administrative authority in Gaza. A spokesperson says that Hamas has been “supporting the consensus government.” (TOI, WAFA, YA 10/5)

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 11 projectiles into s. Israel, causing no damage and lightly injuring 1 soldier with mortar shell shrapnel. Iron Dome batteries intercept 4 of the rockets. In the West Bank, IDF troops use rubber-coated metal bullets against Palestinian protesters nr. Qalandia, injuring 1. Meanwhile, IDF troops injure 6 Palestinians with tear gas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets at the entrance of al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Jericho and 1 village each nr. Ramallah and Salfit at night. Jewish settlers assault a Palestinian in Hebron, causing moderate injuries, while separately, settlers set fire to tires and agricultural land at a road junction nr. Jenin. In Israel, Palestinian citizens demonstrate in the c. and n. of the country as protests previously concentrated in East Jerusalem spread. Clashes with Israeli police break out in Qalansuwa, Taibe, and Jaljulia, as well as Nazareth, where hundreds block roads and throw stones at police officers. Dozens of demonstrators are arrested. (AFP, HA, JP, MNA, ToI, WAFA 7/5; PCHR 7/10)

IDF Chief of Staff Gantz says that Hamas bears responsibility for ongoing rocket fire from Gaza and that the army will “know how to respond with much force if quiet isn’t returned to the area.” Meanwhile, the PRC in Gaza rejects any cease-fire that does not include an end to the siege of Gaza and “bring back life” to the West Bank and Jerusalem.” (JP, MNA 7/5)

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 4 rockets toward Ashqelon: 2 are intercepted by Iron Dome missile defense batteries and 2 hit open areas causing no damage or injuries. In response, the IDF launches air strikes on 5 military targets in the n. and s. Gaza Strip, wounding 3. The IDF says Islamic Jihad is responsible for the rocket fire. In the West Bank, gunmen open fire on an Israeli military post nr. Bethlehem, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and Dayr al-‘Arund r.c. and 3 nearby villages, Nablus and 1 nearby village, Jenin and 1 village nearby, 2 villages nr. Qalqilya, Tulkarm, and 1 nearby village, 1 village nr. Salfit; patrols in 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village each nr. Ramallah and Salfit in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Jericho. Israeli settlers throw stones at Palestinian vehicles nr. Salfit, causing no injuries. Separately, settlers throw stones at cars nr. Nablus, causing damage and 1 injury. (HA, JP, MNA 6/15; PCHR 6/19)

Israeli PM Netanyahu reiterates the accusation that Hamas was behind the suspected kidnapping and that the PA is responsible for the fate of the teenagers. U.S. Secy. of State Kerry condemns what he calls a “despicable terrorist act” and says “many indications point to Hamas’s involvement.” The IDF detains dozens more in the West Bank, including parliament speaker ‘Aziz Dwayk, with an estimated 150 Palestinians arrested so far during OBK. Israel’s Coordinator of Govt. Activities in the Territories Yoav Mordechai tells the media that the IDF is not coordinating with PA security forces in the search, and believes Hamas is behind the kidnapping. IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz tells senior officers that “we’re heading towards an extensive operation.” He says the objective is to “find the 3 teens, bring them home, hit Hamas as hard as possible and move forward.” The Executive Comm. of the PLO meets in Ramallah and issues a statement condemning the campaign in the West Bank, while PA spokesperson Ehab Bseiso says that the PA condemns Israel’s “collective punishment of the Palestinian people.” (AFP, HA, JP, MNA, WAFA, YA 6/15)

In the West Bank, IDF troops open fire with rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades on stone-throwing Palestinians in Hebron. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Ramallah and Salfit at night; patrols in al-Bireh in the morning, and 1 village nr. Qalqilya and al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron at night. Jewish settlers destroy 20 dunams of land nr. Nablus, while separately, settlers set fire to dozens of olive trees also nr. Nablus. (AFP, MNA, PNN 9/23; PCHR 9/26)

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz says that the killing of 2 Israeli soldiers in the last 3 days does not reflect a general trend, and that the 2 incidents are isolated and unrelated. The Israeli media reports disquiet from security sources about the performance of the PA’s security forces in light of the recent events. (HA 9/24)

An Egyptian court bans the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood as an NGO and orders its funds seized. U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Jen Psaki says that Washington will wait to see how such a decision will be implemented and urges all parties to embrace an inclusive political process. Egypt’s interim govt. subsequently says it is no rush to dismantle the Brotherhood and prefers for a ruling from a higher tribunal. (AP, REU 9/23; AP 9/24)

In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian teenager in al-Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah during a demonstration in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners. An IDF spokesperson says that soldiers targeted a protester holding a Molotov cocktail; Palestinian witnesses say that the 13-year-old was walking with school friends when targeted. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, as well as 1 village each nr. Tubas and Tulkarm at night. Off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolish 4 Palestinian-owned residential buildings. (HA, MNA 5/21; PCHR 5/23)

The Israeli military announces that Palestinian fishermen will now be able to fish up to 6 miles off the coast of the Gaza Strip, extending the previous limit of 3 miles that was set in 3/2013. Meanwhile, an official from Hamas’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that the govt. is willing to close smuggling tunnels once a commercial crossing opens. (HA, MNA 5/21)

The Syrian army and Israeli forces have a brief exchange of fire over the cease-fire line in the Golan Heights. Damascus claims responsibility for firing at Israeli troops, damaging an army jeep but causing no injuries, with the IDF returning fire, reportedly destroying an army post but causing no injuries. IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz warns the Syrian govt. not to conduct any further attacks. (AFP, HA, REU, WP 5/21)

Egyptian forces conduct raids in the n. Sinai as the search continues for the kidnapped security officials. Egyptian authorities also keep Rafah crossing closed for the 5th consecutive day. (MNA 5/21)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin in the morning, in 3 villages nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron, 1 village each nr. Ramallah and nr. Tulkarm at night. At night, IDF soldiers conduct house searches and arrest raids in al-Azza r.c. in Bethlehem, Aida r.c. in Bethlehem, 1 village nr. Bethlehem, 2 villages nr. Hebron, and 2 villages nr. Jenin. (PCHR 4/25)

U.S. Defense Secy. Chuck Hagel begins a Middle East tour in Israel, where he is expected to have meetings with Pres. Shimon Peres, PM Benjamin Netanyahu, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz and DM Moshe Ya’alon. Hagel will discuss Iran, Syria, and also the sale of U.S. military equipment to Israel. Hagel’s weeklong tour of the region will also include Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. (HA, NYT 4/20; WP 4/21)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry meets Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas in Istanbul to continue discussions about restarting negotiations, particularly a proposal to focus on boosting the Palestinian economy. Palestinian amb. to Turkey Nabil Maarouf says that the meeting fails to make any substantial progress with regards to Palestinian conditions for resuming negotiations. Secy. Kerry says that restored ties between Turkey and Israel can allow both countries to work with Washington on Iran and Syria. Kerry asks Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan to delay his planned trip to the Gaza Strip in order not to disrupt efforts to improve Turkish-Israeli relations. Secy. Kerry also attends a major meeting between the Syrian opposition and its main 11 foreign supporters. After the meeting, Secy. Kerry says that Washington will double its nonlethal aid to the Syrian opposition to $250 million, support that will be funnelled through the rebels’ Supreme Military Council. (AFP 4/20; MNA, NYT, REU 4/21; JP 4/22)

Israeli naval vessels halt and seize 2 Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, detaining 4 fishermen. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night patrols in al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron and in 1 village nr. Jericho, and late-night house searches nr. Bethlehem, summoning 1 Palestinian for interrogation. (PCHR 5/31, 6/7; OCHA 6/8)

At a conference sponsored by Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), Israeli DM Ehud Barak says Israel should consider imposing final borders on the Palestinians, becoming the senior-most official to propose unilateral actions in light of the stalled peace process. Others (unnamed) reportedly (NYT 5/31)

urged against drastic unilateral steps, recommending that ‘‘unilateral steps could be phased in over many years and be designed ... to give Israel a stronger hand in final status’’—effectively what the Israel has been doing as unstated policy for decades. Speaking at the same conference, Gen. Shlomo Brom (Ret.), who heads INSS’s program on the Palestinian conflict, called the unilateral route ‘‘the only remaining course of action,’’ and former Israeli military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin, also an INSS staff member, told the conference that unilateralism was ‘‘the best of all evils,’’ urging Israel to take action in its own selfinterest, ‘‘without conditioning it on the agreement of the Palestinians.’’ (NYT 5/31)

At the INSS conference in Tel Aviv, Israeli DM Ehud Barak also states that Israel and the U.S. have different assessments of the Iranian nuclear timetable, stating, ‘‘Our clock is ticking faster.’’ He says Israel believes that Iran is rapidly approaching a ‘‘zone of immunity’’—the point at which its nuclear facilities would be so decentralized and well fortified that they would be beyond reach of a military strike. Speaking at the same forum, Israeli PM Netanyahu says that the only safe route is for Iran to stop all enrichment, to send all its uranium abroad, and to dismantle its nuclear facilities at Fordo, all of which must be verified by the IAEA. Meanwhile, former Mossad chief Meir Dagan argues that ‘‘if we bomb ... we will give them the legitimacy to attain nuclear military capability.’’ Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi (Ret.), former IDF chief of staff, recommended that more time be given for diplomacy and sanctions to work. (WP, WT 5/31)

Washington Times runs a special report on how Israel’s expanding relationship with China is raising international concerns. The report states that Israel has recently been expanding trade relations and military ties with China, seeing it as a large, emerging market for its military goods and an influential player who could pressure Iran. (WT 5/30; see QU in JPS 165 for details)

Hamas’s acting PM in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh authorizes a senior CEC team to begin updating Gaza’s voter rolls, in keeping with agreements reached in Cairo on 5/20/12. The CEC estimates that since the rolls were last updated for the 1/2006 elections, the number of eligible but unregistered Gaza voters has grown to as many as 250,000. (NYT 5/29)

In Hamza village, just n. of Jerusalem, Israeli security forces demolish a gas station, car wash, 2 auto body shops, and 2 cafeterias, confiscating several motorcycles, fuel pumps, gasoline, and equipment. Deeper in the West Bank, IDF soldiers nr. Qalqilya fire tear gas, stun grenades at a group of Palestinian laborers attempting to cross into Israel without permits to find work, causing no injuries but starting a small fire that burns a grove of 20 Palestinian olive trees. The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 nr. Jenin in the morning; in 1 village nr. Jericho in the afternoon; and in 2 villages each nr. Ramallah, Salfit, and Tulkarm and 1 nr. Jenin late at night. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Kafr Qaddum and nr. Hebron, Qalqilya, and Salfit. (PCHR 5/31; OCHA 6/1)

A Turkish court indicts 4 fmr. senior IDF commanders (fmr. IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and those who headed the Israeli navy, air force, and military intelligence) who were in authority when Israel killed 9 Turks aboard the Mavi Marmara aid flotilla ship to Gaza in 2012 (see QU in JPS 157). The 4 officials are unlikely to appear for trial but may be tried in absentia. (NYT, WP 5/29; NYT 6/5)

The Washington Post runs (5/28) a special report alleging proof of an elaborate plan orchestrated either by Iranback Hizballah elements or operatives based in Iran to assassinate U.S. embassy officials and their families in Azerbaijan. The U.S., however, refrains at this stage from accusing Iran or Hizballah of direct involvement. (WP 5/28)

No Israeli-Palestinian violence is reported. OCHA reports, however, that in the previous week, 2 Palestinian children were injured when they accidentally triggered unexploded IDF ordnance while playing nr. Gaza City (different from those injured on 3/20). (PCHR 3/29; OCHA 3/30)

Israel’s centrist Kadima party replaces Tzipi Livni as leader, giving the post to fmr. IDF chief of staff Shaul Mofaz. (NYT 3/28)

Some 700 mbrs. of the critically pro-Israel lobbying group J Street spend the day lobbying Capitol Hill against a military strike on Iran. The advocacy day is part of J Street’s annual conference, which this yr. drew 2,500 participants. The conference itself, in addition to focusing on lobbying against a strike on Iran, stressed the importance of supporting a 2-state solution and settlement expansion as undermining peace. (NYT 3/28; WJW 3/29)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Nr. al-Maghazi r.c., 2 Palestinians are injured when they accidentally trigger unexploded IDF ordnance while scavenging for scrap metal. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 4 villages nr. Tulkarm (2 simultaneously) and 2 in Ramallah in the morning; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Nabi Salih and nr. Jenin. Hunger-striking administrative detainee Hana Shalabi is “in grave danger of dying” according to Physicians for Human Rights–Israel, which provides her with a doctor. OCHA reports that since 3/14, 4 Palestinians have been injured in smuggling tunnel accidents on the Gaza border. (JP 3/20; WT 3/21; PCHR 3/22; OCHA 3/23)

JSC head Gen. Dempsey receives IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz in Washington for talks on Iran and Syria as part of the regular U.S.-Israel strategic dialogue. Gantz also meets with White House and Defense Dept. officials, but no details are released. (JPI 3/30)

Speaking at a conference on Palestinian refugees in Brussels, EU foreign policy adviser Catherine Ashton expresses condolences for the 3/19/12 Jewish deaths in Toulouse and regrets over recent tragedies worldwide that have resulted in child casualties, citing among them Israel’s recent air strikes on Gaza (3/9–12) that injured 14 Palestinian children. Israeli PM Netanyahu denounces her for making “the comparison between a deliberate massacre of children and defensive, surgical actions.” Ashton’s spokesman issues a statement saying that her words were “grossly distorted.” (NYT 3/21)

The IDF makes a brief incursion into n. Gaza to level land and clear lines of sight along the border e. of Jabaliya town. In the West Bank, the IDF bulldozes Palestinian land in Azariyya (just outside Jerusalem) for construction of a “biblical garden”; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin, firing tear gas and percussion grenades at stone-throwing youths who confront them; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron. Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists hold a nonviolent march fr. Jericho toward Ramallah to highlight freedom of movement issues; the IDF blocks the march just outside Jericho and arrests 5 Palestinians. (PCHR 1/12; OCHA 1/13)

Briefing the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Comm., IDF chief of staff Gantz says the IDF is preparing for a massive influx of refugees into the Golan Heights if Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad falls, which in the IDF’s assessment is “inevitable.” He says Israel would try to keep the refugees in a strategic buffer zone between the Golan and Syria, and would likely move Alawite refugees to the divided Alawite city of Ghajar straddling the Lebanon-Israel border to prevent any conflict between Alawis and the Druze population of the Golan. (NYT, WT 1/11)

Meanwhile, the Knesset passes an amendment to an existing law to discourage infiltrators that makes it legal to detain illegal migrants and their children for up to 3 yrs. without trial. Though directed at African migrant workers attempting to enter Israel fr. Egypt, Israeli rights groups fear the measure could be used to detain refugees fleeing violence in Syria. (NYT 1/11)

The last U.S. combat troops pull out of Iraq 2 wks. ahead of Obama’s 12/31/11 target date; 1,000s of U.S. diplomats and contractors remain in the country, as well as 150 U.S. soldiers tasked to train Iraqi security forces. (National Public Radio, REU 12/18; NYT 12/19)

Israel frees 550 Palestinian prisoners in the 2d stage of the swap that freed IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit in 10/2011; 41 are released to Gaza, more than 500 to the West Bank, a few to East Jerusalem and Jordan. Under the terms of the deal, Israel picked which prisoners to free and picked mostly Fatahaffiliated West Bankers as a gesture to Abbas; none are mbrs. of Hamas or Islamic Jihad or were involved in killing or wounding anyone; Palestinians complain that “many of those being released were due to get out within months anyway. . . . If Israel had wanted to make a real good-will gesture, the list would have been totally different.” (NYT, WP 12/19)

Stone-throwing Palestinian youths clash with IDF at the Beitunia checkpoint where some of the Palestinian prisoners freed by Israel are released, leaving 10s of Palestinians and 1 IDF soldier injured. Elsewhere in the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Jenin in the morning and in 3 villages nr. Jenin, Qalqilya, and Salfit in the evening (firing tear gas at stone-throwing youths in Jenin); makes a brief incursion into Qalqilya where they set up 2 checkpoints, detain 2 PA security forces officers for several hours, and summon 1 Palestinian for questioning. Jewish settlers block a Palestinian road nr. Moshe Zouhar settlement outpost nr. Qalqilya. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the Gaza City shore, detaining 1 boat and questioning 4 Palestinians (3 are released, 1 is sent to Israel for an unrelated medical issue). Gaza’s Interior Min. drops requirements for Gazans to register in advance of leaving Gaza through the Rafah crossing. The Israeli Housing Min. published tenders for construction of 1,028 Jewish settlement units in East Jerusalem (500 in Har Homa, 348 in Beitar Ilit, and 180 in Givat Ze’ev). The Gaza Central Drug Store receives an urgent shipment of medicine and supplies fr. the West Bank, enough to replenish its stores for several weeks (see 12/6/12). (HA 12/18; NYT, WP 12/19; PCHR 12/22; OCHA 12/23)

IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz announces that in light of the dramatically increasing number of covert foreign operations Israel has undertaken in the past year, the Israeli DMin. has formed a new operational branch called the Depth Corps specifically to handle special operations “deep in enemy territory.” The new branch (separate fr. the existing Northern, Southern, and Central Commands) will be headed by former special operations commander Maj. Gen. Shai Avital and will pull and coordinate resources fr. the military’s various elite commando units on an ad hoc basis, depending on the mission. While Israel does not confirm or deny covert operations abroad, media reports over the past year have indicated that Israel has carried out operations in Sudan (targeting arms traffic to Hizballah and Hamas), Iran, Lebanon, and Syria. According to HA, since most recent covert ops have targeted Iran, IDF insiders often refer to the Depth Corps as “Iran Command.” (AFP, IHY 12/16; HA 12/18; JPI 2/10)

During a regular security briefing to the Knesset, IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz says that Israel may need to strike Gaza if rocket fire continues, stating that Israel would initiate an operation before it would allow itself to be “dragged into” one. Later in the day, unidentified Palestinians fire 2 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, damaging an empty kindergarten but causing no injuries. Late at night, the IDF carries out 2 air strikes (warplane and drone) targeting a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border and a group of armed Palestinians nr. Jabaliya, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 4 Palestinian homes n. of Jericho; patrols in al-Bireh and 3 villages nr. Ramallah during the day; conducts late-night house searches nr. Nablus, confiscating computers but making no arrests. Taking inspiration from the U.S. civil rights movement of the 1960s, 6 Palestinian peace activists, dubbed the Freedom Riders, board an Israeli commuter bus linking the West Bank Jewish settlements with Jerusalem and are arrested at an IDF checkpoint outside the city. The Israeli Housing Min. launches a major advertising campaign selling 277 subsidized apartments in Ariel settlement nr. Salfit, 743 in Ramot and 130 in Har Homa settlement in Jerusalem, and 164 in Mod’in nr. Ramallah, as well as leasing 213 plots of land zoned for construction in Efrat settlement nr. Bethlehem, 207 in Mod’in, 168 in Har Homa, and 18 in Pisgat Ze’ev in Jerusalem. (JP, WP 11/16; PCHR 11/17; OCHA 11/18)

To demonstrate some accountability in light of the Palestine Papers and to give Abbas the chance to strengthen his base in advance of elections, his cabinet resigns. Abbas immediately reappoints Fayyad as PM to form a new government. (NYT, WP 2/15)

Israel’s Jerusalem municipal authority approves 120 new housing units in Ramot settlement in East Jerusalem. Israeli authorities also bulldoze 1 d. of Palestinian fruit trees in Shaykh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Timed with the swearing-in ceremony of Israel’s new IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz, unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel; coming after several days of relative calm on the Gaza border, Israel says it interprets the strike as a message fr. the Gaza factions that they will not “make life easy” for Gantz in his new position. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the fmr. settlement sites, wounding 1. OCHA reports that Gaza hospitals have received 2 shipments of medical supplies fr. the PA Health Min. in Ramallah in recent days (see 1/18), reducing the number of supplies at zero stock fr. 183 to 150 (out of 480 essential items tracked). In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm, 2 nr. Ramallah, and 1 nr. Jericho, firing rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and percussion grenades at stone-throwing youths who confront them in 1 incident, causing no serious injuries; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, and Jenin. Jewish settlers fr. Halamish settlement nr. Ramallah uproot 12 olive seedlings in neighboring Nabi Salih. (JP, YA 2/14; PCHR, WJW 2/17; OCHA 2/18)

In light of domestic security concerns, Egypt seals its border with Gaza, causing almost all trade through the smuggling tunnels along the Rafah border to cease, sparking hoarding by Gazans. Hamas authorities assure the public that it has enough fuel and food stockpiled to last several days, warning merchants against hiking prices. OCHA however—noting that Israel continues to cut off all industrial fuel imports to Gaza for a 3d week making Gaza all the more reliant on smuggled fuel—expresses concern that fuel shortages will quickly become a problem, affecting the ability of municipal authorities to provide electricity, water, and sewage treatment. Meanwhile, Hamas officials in Gaza report that at least 8 Hamas mbrs. jailed in Egypt are among those freed during prisons breaks and rioting across Egypt in recent days; at least 2 have already returned to Gaza through smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in a village nr. Tulkarm during the day; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron and nr. Jenin and Qalqilya (warning the mayor of Jayyus that his house would be turned into an IDF post if stone-throwing at troops fr. the village continued). (AFP, MNA 1/30; PCHR 2/3; OCHA 2/4)

With major protests (10,000s) in Egypt continuing unabated and a “march of millions” called for 2/1, the Obama admin. calls on Mubarak to facilitate an “orderly transition” to a more representative government but does not explicitly call on him to resign, with Secy. Clinton stressing “we are not advocating any specific outcome,” but “it needs to be done immediately.” France and Germany issue similar statements. Joint Chiefs of Staff head Adm. Mike Mullen phones Egyptian military chief of staff Gen. Sami Anan to express “his appreciation for the continued professionalism of the Egyptian military” in refusing to engage protesters. Amid signs that Mubarak’s regime might really topple, Egypt’s organized opposition parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood, huddle for most of the day to discuss whether they could project a united front to provide direction and leadership to the popular protests, choosing opposition figure and fmr. IAEA head Muhammad El-Baradei (as a nonthreatening figure to the West) to represent the opposition in negotiations with the government over a transition and naming 10 persons they would delegate to an interim unity government. But when El-Baradei speaks in Tahrir Square in the evening, demonstrators reject him, saying the opposition parties do not represent them. Fearing that outside forces could begin smuggling weapons into the country to back an overthrow, Egypt seals the Gaza border indefinitely and, with Israel’s permission, moves 2 battalions (800 soldiers) into the Sinai for the 1st time since the 1979 peace treaty was reached, requiring the area to be a demilitarized zone. Israeli officials hold nearly around-the-clock strategy meetings to discuss the implications for Israel if Mubarak’s government falls, fearing that Mubarak’s overthrow could strengthen Hamas in Gaza and destabilize Jordan, but seeing Mubarak’s appointment of Suleiman, who has overseen Israeli-Hamas prisoner release talks, as a hopeful sign. Netanyahu orders officials to stay publicly silent as events play out. (MNA, NYT, WP 1/30; NYT, WP, WT 1/31)

AOI mbrs. fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel that lands nr. an empty school nr. Ashqelon, causing light damage and injuring 1 Israeli. In the afternoon, an IDF drone makes a missile strike on a Hamas building in Rafah, injuring 2 IQB mbrs.; an hr. later, Israeli war planes make 3 air strikes on the same site, destroying it but causing no further injuries. IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi warns that the tension along the Gaza border is “fragile and explosive,” adding that while small Palestinian groups seem to be behind the recent rocket fire, Israel will hold Hamas responsible. Meanwhile, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the fmr. settlement sites, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes a Palestinian home in al-Nu‘man village nr. East Jerusalem’s Har Homa settlement (Jabal Abu Ghunaym), firing tear gas and beating Palestinians who attempt to stop the demolition, moderately injuring 1; the family had already been fined more than $13,500 for building without a permit. IDF troops also patrol in Silat al-Harithiyya nr. Jenin in the afternoon, firing tear gas at stone-throwing Palestinians who confront them and then raiding several Palestinian homes, summoning 1 Palestinian for questioning. The IDF also conducts latenight arrest raids, house searches in Nur Shams r.c. nr. Tulkarm and nr. Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities force a Palestinian to demolish his own home in Ras al-Amud or pay the government nearly $5,500 for doing the job. Israeli authorities demolish a 2d Palestinian home in Sur Bahir, southeast of Jerusalem; the family had already paid nearly $1,750 for building without a permit. (JP, REU, UPI, YA 12/21; NYT 12/22; OCHA, PCHR 12/23)