In the West Bank, Israeli settlers assaulted Israeli activists helping Palestinians in Kisan with olive harvesting. Israeli settlers also assaulted Palestinians harvesting olives with sticks and...
October 19, 2022Read more
January 23, 2022
In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized 7 Palestinian-owned vehicles in Qira, puncturing tires and spray-painting the Star of David. Israeli forces seized 1 garbage truck near Salfit....Read more
August 16, 2021
In the West Bank, Israeli settlers from the Yitzhar settlement raided ‘Asira al-Qibliya but were repelled by locals before causing any damages. Israeli forces shot and killed 4 Palestinians during...Read more
February 6, 2020
In the West Bank, 1 PA police officer was killed and 6 others wounded when Israeli forces conducted night raids in Jenin, according to Israeli officials. The PA police officer did not pose a...Read more
January 26, 2019
One Palestinian is shot and killed and at least 9 others are injured during clashes with Israeli settlers and IDF troops in al-Mughayyir village near Ramallah (1 settler is lightly injured as well...Read more
November 6, 2018
In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian at a gas station near Jerusalem after she allegedly attempts to stab an Israeli border police officer with scissors. They also arrest 7...Read more
April 13, 2018
More than 10,000 Palestinians gather along Gaza’s border to continue the Great March of Return for the 3d consecutive Friday. A number of protesters throw explosives and Molotov cocktails toward...Read more
January 17, 2018
IDF troops surround the Jenin refugee camp home of a Palestinian allegedly involved in the killing of an Israeli settler on 1/9, sparking a firefight; the suspect’s cousin is killed and 2 Israeli...Read more
December 4, 2017
In the West Bank, Israeli settlers gather outside Qusra village near Nablus where a Palestinian farmer was shot dead by a settler on 11/30. Palestinians throw stones and roll burning tires toward...Read more
November 1, 2017
IDF troops violently disperse Palestinians marching through Bethlehem to mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. There are no serious injuries in the ensuing clashes. Elsewhere in...Read more
May 7, 2013
Two small rockets and later a mortar land in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. While the IDF says the fire is ‘‘accidental spillover’’ from the Syrian civil war,...Read more
May 5, 2013
The Israeli air force strikes a site nr. Damascus, in a new air strike on what unnamed Western intelligence sources say was a shipment of advanced, Iranianmade missiles heading to Hizballah in...Read more
April 29, 2013
In Washington, U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry and VP Joe Biden meet with senior Arab officials including the Bahraini, Egyptian, Jordanian and Qatari FMs, and representatives from the PA, Arab...Read more
January 30, 2013
The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah release a statement expressing deep concern over the number of Palestinians killed recently in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and also the ongoing...Read more
January 5, 2013
Undercover Israeli police officers arrest 6 Palestinian youths in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem on suspicion of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at a Jewish settler-owned house....Read more
December 27, 2012
Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen 6 naut. mi. from the Gaza shore nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah in the...Read more
December 3, 2012
Britain, Denmark, France, Spain, and Sweden summon the Israeli ambassadors to their countries to protest Israel’s settlement construction plans. An anonymous senior European diplomat tells the...Read more
October 19, 2012
President of the UNGA Vuk Jeremic says that the Palestinian bid for non-member state is likely to succeed, and that it would likely occur in the second half of 11/2012. (REU 10/19)
The EU...Read more
September 20, 2012
In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya, 1 village nr. Jenin, and 2 villages nr. Tulkarm (firing tear gas in 1 of them at...Read more
March 14, 2012
Retaliating for Palestinian rocket fire on 3/13, Israeli warplanes carry out 3 air strikes on open areas north and southeast of Gaza City and on a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border, in 1...Read more
October 5, 2003
Israeli aircraft strike an alleged Islamic Jihad training camp deep inside Syria, just 10 mi. northwest of Damascus in ‘Ayn Sahib, injuring at least 1 security guard. Israel says the attack is in...Read more
June 10, 2000
Syrian pres. Hafiz al-Asad dies of heart failure. The Syrian government quickly initiates a transfer of power to his son, Bashar al-Asad VP 'Abd al-Halim Khadd, the acting pres., assembles...Read more
October 2, 1996
Arafat, Netanyahu end 2-day summit in Washington without resolving their differences, agree to begin nonstop intensive negotiations at Erez 10/6 on disputed issues. (MM 10/2; al-Dustur [...Read more
December 24, 1990
Pentagon reportedly tells Pres. Bush that the dominant view held by American military officials is that U.S. troops will not be ready for offensive action against Iraq on 1/15, and that any attack...Read more
March 6, 1984
Occupied Palestine/Israel: 21 women inmates begin new hunger strike to protest rights violations at Neve Terza prison.
Arab World: Gemayel announces plan...Read more
June 21, 1982
Israeli warships, armored units bombard Palestinian camps and civilian neighborhoods in Beirut hours before Begin meets Reagan in Washington, hit USSR embassy, fashionable...Read more
In the West Bank, Israeli settlers assaulted Israeli activists helping Palestinians in Kisan with olive harvesting. Israeli settlers also assaulted Palestinians harvesting olives with sticks and pepper spray in Jamma‘in. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian after he allegedly shot and injured a settlement guard at the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement. The Palestinian is also accused of having shot and killed an Israeli soldier on 10/8. Israeli forces also delivered demolition notices against 1 agricultural structure in Azzun ‘Atma and 1 in Nabi Ilyas. Elsewhere, Israeli forces prevented Palestinians from harvesting olives near Dayr al-Ghusun by denying them access to their land. (AP, HA, HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/19; MDW, MEE, MEMO, PCHR, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/20; HA 10/21; UNOCHA 11/1)
Acting UN humanitarian coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territories Lucia Elmi said 2022 had been the deadliest year on average for Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 2006. Coordinator Elmi said at least 105 Palestinians, including 26 children, had been killed, up by 57% compared to the monthly average in 2021. (WAFA 10/19)
A group of Hamas officials, including Khalil al-Hayya, met with Syrian president Bashir al-Asad in Damascus. Hamas cut relations with the Syrian government in 2012 after the outbreak of the Syrian civil war. (REU 10/18; AP, HA, MEE, REU 10/19)
Hamas said that Saudi Arabia had released 83-year-old Hamas official Mohammad Al-Khudary from prison after 3 years; he was said to be traveling to Jordan. (AJ, MEE, REU 10/19)
Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz issued a statement saying that Israel will not supply air defense systems to Ukraine. Media reported that while Israel is under pressure to support Ukraine in their effort to repel Russian forces, the Israeli government is afraid that Russia will retaliate by supplying S-400 air defense systems to Syria and Iran. (AX, HA, HA, MEE 10/19; HA, MEMO 10/20)
PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said Arab and Islamic countries had donated $39.5 million for developmental projects in Palestine through the Islamic Development Bank. (MEMO 10/20)
The PA also signed a $6.3 million economic support agreement with Norway and the UN development program for school projects in East Jerusalem. (WAFA 10/19)
In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized 7 Palestinian-owned vehicles in Qira, puncturing tires and spray-painting the Star of David. Israeli forces seized 1 garbage truck near Salfit. Israeli forces also started razing 50 dunams (12.5 acres) of agricultural lands near Dura for settlement expansion. 6 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in ‘Azzun and Tulkarm. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/23; PCHR 1/27)
An Israeli district court rejected a petition by the Salhiya family to have their house rebuilt after it was demolished by Israeli forces on 1/19. The family’s lawyer said they would appeal the case to the High Court of Justice. (WAFA 1/23)
A leaked summary of an investigation by the Israeli military into the death of an 80-year-old Palestinian man who died after being detained by Israeli forces on 1/12 found that his gag, which was left on for more than 1 hour during the detention, could have impeded his breathing, and the exposure to cold weather where he was left could have caused hypothermia, leading to his death. Israeli soldiers testified that they left him after removing his cuffs without providing medical attention or checking on his health. The man was pronounced dead at a Ramallah hospital after being found by Palestinian residents of Jiljilyya. (HA, TOI, WP 1/23; JP 1/24)
PA civil affairs minister Hussein al-Sheikh met with Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid to discuss the Palestinian economy. (HA, JP, TOI 1/23; AN 1/24)
Hamas distanced itself from an Islamic Jihad arranged demonstration in solidarity with the people in Yemen on 1/22, where criticism of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries were on display. Hamas said, “[t]he shouts against Arab and Gulf states from our Palestinian arena do not represent our position and policy.” The statement from Hamas coincided with Dubai’s deputy police chief, tweeting that Mahmoud Zahar of Hamas was on the UAE most wanted list after he voiced support of Houthi attacks on the UAE. (JP 1/22; AP, HA, TOI 1/23; MEMO, MEMO 1/24)
Data released by Action Group for Palestinians in Syria reported that 653 Palestinians have been tortured to death by the Syrian government since the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in 2011. (MEMO 1/23)
+972 Magazine reported that he Israeli cabinet had approved $30 million to revive its “Solomon’s Sling” program to fund propaganda efforts in the U.S. and Europe. The program, which sees money funneled by the Israeli government to pro-Israel activists and organizations through a public benefit corporation, was originally steered by the ministry of strategic affairs. The ministry was folded into the foreign ministry by the current Israeli government and the program will continue under the foreign ministry. (+972 1/25)
In the West Bank, Israeli settlers from the Yitzhar settlement raided ‘Asira al-Qibliya but were repelled by locals before causing any damages. Israeli forces shot and killed 4 Palestinians during a late-night house raid in Jenin refugee camp; 3 others were injured by live ammunition. PA presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh condemned the killings and called on the international community to intervene. Israeli forces also shot and injured 3 Palestinians using live ammunition during a raid in Tammun. Elsewhere, Israeli forces also seized solar panels in Baziq and Yarzeh, demolished 1 room in Deir Balut, razed 1 road in Atuf, and uprooted olive trees in Bardala. Israeli forces also delivered stop-work orders for 2 houses and 1 agricultural structure in Masafer Yatta and a warehouse in Haris. Israel said it had arrested 1 armed Palestinian man dressed as an Israeli soldier near Qaryut. 7 others were arrested during late-night raids in and around Qusra, Kafr Qallil, Abu Nujaym, Aida refugee camp, and Hebron. In Gaza, 1 rocket was launched at Israel before being intercepted by the Iron Dome. Hamas denied responsibility. (AJ, AJ, ALM, AP, GDN, HA, HA, HA, JP, MDW, MEE, MEMO, REU, REU, TOI, TOI, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 8/16; AA, HA, HQ 8/17; PCHR 8/19)
Israel confiscated 23 tons of chocolate bars headed for Gaza, claiming the chocolate would benefit Hamas economically. The confiscation order was signed by Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz. (JP 8/16; AA, MEE, MEMO 8/17; ALM 8/24)
Hamas’s political leader Ismail Haniyeh congratulated the Taliban on taking over most of Afghanistan as the organization entered Kabul after the U.S. removed most of its forces. Chaotic scenes were filmed in the Kabul airport as foreigners and many Afghan people desperately sought to flee the country. (MEMO 8/17; ALM 8/19)
The UNRWA warned that 30,000 Palestinian refugees were at risk in southern Syria after fighting between the Syrian government and local militias intensified in Daraa in late July. (MEMO 8/4; WAFA 8/16; AA, MEMO 8/17)
In the West Bank, 1 PA police officer was killed and 6 others wounded when Israeli forces conducted night raids in Jenin, according to Israeli officials. The PA police officer did not pose a threat to Israeli soldiers. Another Palestinian from Jenin was killed and 7 others injured by Israeli forces during protests against a punitive demolition of the family home of an alleged attacker. Separately, Israeli forces delivered a stop-work order for a school in Susiya and demolished part of an agricultural structure south of Hebron. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinians protesting the U.S. administration’s peace plan in ‘Azun and Qalqilya, leading to tear-gas related injuries. 4 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces using rubber-coated bullets during clashes erupting after Israeli forces raided Bayt Jala; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. 1 Israeli soldier was injured by an unidentified sniper near Dolev settlement. 7 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Bethlehem, Hebron, al-Ram, Ramallah, and Jenin. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian citizen of Israel from Haifa opened fire on Israeli police officers in the Old City, lightly wounding 1 before being shot to death. Israeli forces delivered demolition notices for 3 structures in Jabal Mukabir. 2 Palestinians were arrested in the Old City. In Gaza, 2 mortar shells were fired at Israel and Israel struck targets in Gaza; no injuries were reported. Israeli forces also opened fire on Palestinian farmland east of Khan Yunis on 2 separate occasions; no injuries were reported. In Israel, 12 Israeli soldiers were injured in a suspected car-ramming in West Jerusalem. The car was later found in Bayt Jala near Bethlehem and a Palestinian man was arrested. Israel also demolished the bedouin village al-Araqib for the 174th time since 2010. (AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, BBC, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, PCHR, REU, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/6; PCHR 2/13)
The PA announced that its decision to ban some Israeli goods from the Palestinian market went into effect. (WAFA 2/6)
Israel reportedly killed 23 people during air strikes in several places in Syria. Israel struck targets near Damascus, Quneitra, Daraa, and Reef. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 15 of those killed were Iranian-backed fighters, 3 of them Iranian, and 8 were Syrian government forces. (AJ, BBC 2/6; HA 2/7)
One Palestinian is shot and killed and at least 9 others are injured during clashes with Israeli settlers and IDF troops in al-Mughayyir village near Ramallah (1 settler is lightly injured as well). The clashes reportedly stemmed from a dispute at a Palestinian olive grove outside the village. The nature of the dispute is unclear. Later in the day, there are conflicting reports about the perpetrator of the killing. All agree that the settlers used live ammunition. Some witnesses say that the IDF did too, despite the IDF’s claim to have only used “riot dispersal” methods. Elsewhere in the West Bank, IDF troops arrest 8 Palestinians during late-night raids near Ramallah and Bethlehem; and patrol near Jenin and Nablus. An Israeli settler attacks 2 Palestinians with an axe near Salfit, causing them both light injuries. Settlers chase Palestinian children from an olive grove near Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces shoot and kill a West Bank Palestinian during a high-speed chase outside the Old City. The Israeli police later say that the man was suspected of driving a stolen vehicle. Separately, a Palestinian demolishes 2 rooms of his home in Silwan to avoid paying Israeli demolition fees. Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops fire tear gas at a group of Palestinian minors setting tires on fire and rolling them toward the border fence near al-Bureij refugee camp; 1 Palestinian is injured. Separately, IDF troops arrest a Palestinian attempting to cross the border fence armed with a knife and wire cutters. In 3 separate incidents off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Rafah and Jabaliya refugee camp, causing no damage or injuries. (HA, HA, MNA, MNA, REU, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/26; AFP, EI, HA, MNA, MNA 1/27; PCHR 1/31)
After several delays over the past 2 weeks, vehicles bearing $9.4 million in Qatari funds enter Gaza. Half the money is distributed to families in urgent need today. The other half is set to be distributed on 1/27. (AFP, HA, TOI, YA 1/26)
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah says that Hezbollah, Iran, and the Syrian government are considering ending their policy of not retaliating against Israel for its sorties in Syrian territory. “At any moment the Syrian leadership and the axis of resistance can take a decision to deal with the Israeli aggression in a different manner,” he says. Nasrallah also says that despite the Israeli campaign to uncover and destroy Hezbollah’s tunnels leading into northern Israel, the group is still prepared for an invasion. “The uncovering of the tunnels does not affect by 10 percent our plans to take over the Galilee,” he adds. “If we decide to do it—even if they’ve destroyed the tunnels—can’t we rebuild them?” (TOI, TOI 1/26)
In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian at a gas station near Jerusalem after she allegedly attempts to stab an Israeli border police officer with scissors. They also arrest 7 Palestinians during late-night raids near Jenin, Tulkarm, and Ramallah; and patrol near Jenin, Nablus, and Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolish a Palestinian residential building in Silwan and 2 Palestinian homes in Bayt Hanina. (JP, MNA, MNA, TOI, WAFA, WAFA 11/6; PCHR 11/8)
PLO Executive Committee member Azzam al-Ahmad denies the 11/4 report that the Fatah leadership has agreed to support the recent Egyptian proposal of a “calm” between Israel and Hamas. He also denies that PA president Abbas discussed the issue with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in their meeting on 11/3. (WAFA 11/6)
Qatar’s Gaza Reconstruction Committee announces that it plans to provide temporary support 50,000 Gazans families. Each family is set to receive approximately $100 in the “next few days,” according to a statement from the committee. Separately, Hamas announces a series of large infrastructure projects in Gaza, including 1 set to create 10,000 jobs for university graduates. The official announcing the projects offers no details about who is funding them, what type of work they will require, and how long they may last. (AFP, TOI, YA 11/7)
The Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee approves a plan to expand East Jerusalem’s Ramat Shlomo settlement with 640 new housing units, some of which are set to be built on Palestinian-owned land. “It’s very disappointing that the district committee relied on formalistic reasons to approve a step that violates the property rights of Palestinian landowners through and through,” says a researcher with the anti-settlement group Ir Amim. “This decision is additional proof that Israeli control in East Jerusalem means a regime based on serious discrimination.” (HA 11/7)
Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad says that the Syrian government has a plan for the “return” of Palestinian refugees to the Yarmouk refugee camp now that government forces have retaken control of the area. Yarmouk was home to approximately 160,000 Palestinian refugees prior to the Syrian civil war in 2011. Very few are still living there today. (AFP, TOI 11/7; EI 11/10)
More than 10,000 Palestinians gather along Gaza’s border to continue the Great March of Return for the 3d consecutive Friday. A number of protesters throw explosives and Molotov cocktails toward the border fence. IDF troops violently disperse the demonstrations near Gaza City, Khan Yunis, Rafah, Bayt Hanun, and Jabaliya refugee camp; 1 Palestinian is killed and at least 200 are injured. The protester killed today brings the death toll stemming from the Great March of Return to 30. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Jabaliya refugee camp and late at night near Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops violently disperse Friday protests near Ramallah, Nablus, al-Bireh, Qalqilya, and Hebron; at least 12 Palestinians are injured. They also issue an arrest summons during a raid near Bethlehem, and patrol near Qalqilya and Hebron. Israeli settlers break into a mosque near Nablus overnight and set fire to the interior, causing moderate damage. A separate group of settlers damages 7 Palestinian olive trees near Nablus. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 7 Palestinians during a raid in the Old City. (EI, HA, JP, MNA, NYT, PNN, WAFA, YA 4/13; MNA 4/ 14; PCHR 4/19)
The Egyptian authorities open the Rafah border crossing in both directions for the 2d of 3 planned days. (OCHA 4/27)
Israeli DM Lieberman says that the decreasing attendance at the Friday protests along Gaza’s border over the past 2 weeks show that Israel’s “determination” has had an effect. “Each week there are fewer rioters on our border with Gaza. Our determination is well understood on the other side,” he says. (TOI 4/13)
U.S., UK, and French forces conduct air strikes on Syrian government research, storage, and military targets near Homs and in Damascus, fulfilling U.S. president Trump’s pledge to retaliate for an alleged chemical weapons attack in Damascus on 4/7. (AP, BBC, NYT 4/13)
IDF troops surround the Jenin refugee camp home of a Palestinian allegedly involved in the killing of an Israeli settler on 1/9, sparking a firefight; the suspect’s cousin is killed and 2 Israeli soldiers are injured (after initial reports that the suspect was killed during the firefight, his family later says that he escaped unharmed). Two other Palestinians suspected of participating in the 1/9 killing are arrested. The incident sparks broader clashes in Jenin refugee camp; 4 Palestinians are injured. Elsewhere in the West Bank, IDF troops arrest 10 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Hebron, Qalqilya, and Ramallah; and patrol near Hebron. Along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion to level land near Khan Yunis. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolish a Palestinian home in Bayt Hanina. A number of Israeli settlers tour Haram al-Sharif. (MNA, WAFA 1/17; HA, JP, MNA, PCHR, TOI, WAFA 1/18; PCHR 1/25)
UNRWA announces an international funding campaign to raise enough money to make up for the shortfall created when the U.S. announced on 1/16 that it was withholding $65 million in aid indefinitely. (AFP, TOI, WAFA 1/17; AP 1/18; EI 1/19)
Early in the morning, the IAF conducts air strikes on a military airport near Damascus, allegedly targeting a Hezbollah arms depot, according to local reports. Neither the Syrian government nor the IDF comment on the attack. (HA, TOI 1/17)
In the West Bank, Israeli settlers gather outside Qusra village near Nablus where a Palestinian farmer was shot dead by a settler on 11/30. Palestinians throw stones and roll burning tires toward the settlers; IDF troops violently disperse them, critically injuring 1. Elsewhere, IDF troops conduct raids in Kafr Dan near Jenin, sparking clashes with stonethrowing Palestinians; there are no serious injuries. They also arrest 8 Palestinians during late-night raids near Nablus, Jenin, and Hebron; and patrol near Qalqilya. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 4 Islamic Waqf guards at Haram al-Sharif and 4 more Palestinians during raids in Biddu and Ras al-Amud. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Bayt Lahiya and Jabaliya refugee camp, causing no damage or injuries. (HA, IMEMC, MNA, TOI, WAFA 12/4; PCHR 12/7)
The Trump administration announces that it has not yet reached a decision about relocating the U.S. embassy in Israel, despite the fact that today is the deadline for Trump to sign the presidential waiver delaying the move for 6 months. “We will share a decision on the waiver in the coming days,” a spokesperson says. Because Trump did not sign the waiver in time, U.S. law allows Congress to demand that he move the embassy and cut funding to the State Dept. It’s unlikely lawmakers will pursue either option. (HA, NYT, TOI, WAFA 12/4; HA, REU 12/5)
The IAF conducts air strikes on a Syrian government military research center near Damascus late at night, causing a disputed amount of damage. (HA, TOI 12/5)
IDF troops violently disperse Palestinians marching through Bethlehem to mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. There are no serious injuries in the ensuing clashes. Elsewhere in the West Bank, Israeli settlers steal the olives harvested from 280 trees in Palestinian orchards near Nablus. IDF troops arrest 5 Palestinians during raids in Dahaysha refugee camp near Bethlehem overnight, sparking minor clashes; 1 Palestinian is injured. They arrest 11 more Palestinians during latenight raids in and around Tubas, Hebron, and Bethlehem, and patrol near Nablus, Qalqilya, and Hebron. (MNA, WAFA 11/1; PCHR 11/2; PCHR 11/9)
At a ceremony at the Rafah border crossing, Hamas formally hands over control of Gaza’s border crossings to the PA, implementing a key provision of their 10/12 reconciliation agreement. A senior PA official calls the moment an “important step on the path toward reconciliation.” The PA is set to take full control of Gaza on 12/1. (MNA, NYT, REU, TOI, WAFA 11/1)
Haaretz reports that the Israeli police have formed a special unit to oversee security and public order at Haram al-Sharif, following the upsurge in tensions at the site in 7/2017 (see JPS 47 ). The unit is expected to comprise about 200 officers when it begins operations in 2018. (HA 11/1)
PA pres. Abbas writes an op-ed for The Guardian lamenting the Balfour Declaration on its 100-year anniversary. “This British policy, to support Jewish immigration into Palestine while negating the Arab-Palestinian right to self-determination, created severe tensions between European Jewish immigrants and the native Palestinian population,” he writes. Meanwhile, Israeli PM Netanyahu flies to the UK to participate in the 100th anniversary celebrations. (GDN, TOI 11/1)
The IDF orders some 300 Palestinian Bedouins to leave their homes in the northern Jordan Valley ahead of the planned demolition of their village. Similar orders have been issued for Bedouin villages near Jerusalem in the past, but none have been enforced yet. (HA 11/17)
Israeli jets launch air strikes on an alleged Syrian government weapons depot in an industrial zone near Homs along the Lebanon-Syria border. The site reportedly hosted joint Iranian-Syrian activities. (HA 11/1; YA 11/2)
Two small rockets and later a mortar land in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. While the IDF says the fire is ‘‘accidental spillover’’ from the Syrian civil war, rather than intentional, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command says that Syrian government has given the Damascusbased group permission to attack Israeli targets in the Golan Heights. Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad says that Syria is capable of facing Israel, but does not suggest Damascus will retaliate for the recent Israeli air strikes (e.g., 5/5). Hizballah’s deputy head Naim Qassem says that the Israeli attacks aim to boost the opposition fighters and does not comment on claims that missiles bound for the Lebanese group were the target. Meanwhile, Syrian rebel faction the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade says that it is holding 4 Filipino UN peacekeepers it detained on the Syrian side of the ceasefire line between Syria and the occupied Golan Heights, claiming that fighting had endangered the observers. (AP, JP, REU, WP 5/7)
Israeli officials say that PM Benjamin Netanyahu has promised U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry to ‘‘rein in’’ settlement construction until mid-6/2013 in the context of renewed efforts to resume negotiations. (HA 5/7)
Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the north Gaza coast, causing no damage or injuries. In East Jerusalem, some 40 rightwing Israelis enter the al-Aqsa Mosque compound protected by Israeli security forces, sparking clashes with Palestinian worshippers. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers attack Palestinian vehicles and agricultural land nr. Nablus, causing no injuries. The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron, 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. Also at night, IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in Nablus, 1 village nr. Nablus, 1 village nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Tulkarm. (MNA, WAFA 5/7; PCHR 5/9)
The Israeli air force strikes a site nr. Damascus, in a new air strike on what unnamed Western intelligence sources say was a shipment of advanced, Iranianmade missiles heading to Hizballah in Lebanon. Israeli officials later stress that the airstrikes are aimed at Hizballah rather than destabilizing or undermining Pres. Bashar al-Asad’s regime. The Syrian government accuses Israel of ‘‘gross aggression’’ and says that the strike ‘‘opens a door to all options.’’ The opposition Syrian National Coalition also condemns the strike, saying that Israel is ‘‘taking advantage’’ of the conflict. A U.S. intelligence official says that Washington was not given any forewarning of the air raid. Iran’s Foreign Min. states that countries in the region should oppose the ‘‘assault,’’ while the Iran’s army ground forces commander Ahmad Reza Pourdastan says Tehran is ready to support its ally. Egypt condemns the airstrikes, as does the Lebanese pres. Michel Suleiman. The Arab League demands that the UN Security Council act to end Israeli attacks on Syria, though without suggesting any specific measures. (Guardian, HA, JP, MNA, REU, YA 5/5; AP, REU 5/6)
In the Gaza Strip, IDF forces open fire on Palestinian gravel and metal collectors close to the border fence nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm in the morning, 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Salfit in the afternoon, and in al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron and 2 villages nr. Hebron at night. Also at night, IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Bethlehem, 1 village nr. Hebron, and 2 villages nr. Jenin. (PCHR 5/9)
In Washington, U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry and VP Joe Biden meet with senior Arab officials including the Bahraini, Egyptian, Jordanian and Qatari FMs, and representatives from the PA, Arab League, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia for talks on the peace process. Qatari PM Shaykh Hamad Bin Jassem al-Thani, speaking on behalf of the Arab League delegation, cites the possibility of a border agreement that includes mutually agree and minor land swaps between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Kerry affirms the importance of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative that promised full normalization for Israel’s complete withdrawal from the occupied territories (including the Golan). (AP, REU 29/4)
Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 rocket from Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In response to recent rocket fire (see also 4/27), Israel closes the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing, further restricts movement through the Erez crossing to ‘‘humanitarian cases,’’ though it cancels visits for Gazan families of Palestinians jailed in Israel (VIPs were the only others allowed to cross Gaza). Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishermen off the south Gaza coast east of Rafah, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF soldiers evict several hundred Bedouin from Wadi al-Malih village in the Jordan Valley after declaring the area a live fire training zone (see 4/24). Meanwhile, Israel demolishes 4 Palestinian apartments in the al-Tur neighborhood of East Jerusalem, as well as a water well and utility room in the al-Fawar r.c. in Hebron. The IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Tulkarm in the morning, in 2 villages nr. Jenin in the afternoon. At night, IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in Dahaysha r.c. in Bethlehem, in Hebron, in 5 villages nr. Hebron, in Nablus, and in 1 village nr. Ramallah. Jewish settlers attack Palestinians in Bayt Furik village nr. Nablus, injuring 2. (AFP, MNA REU 4/29; PCHR 5/2)
UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon urges the Syrian government to allow experts into the country to investigate reports of alleged use of chemical weapons. Damascus wants any investigation limited to a 3/2013 incident nr. Aleppo while Ban wants to also include a 12/2012 incident in Homs. (see 4/24) (AP 4/29)
The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah release a statement expressing deep concern over the number of Palestinians killed recently in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and also the ongoing incursions by the IDF into West Bank Area A (under full PA control). UN humanitarian coordinator in the occupied Palestinian territories James W. Rawley says he is ‘‘seriously concerned’’ about Palestinian civilian casualties resulting from live fire by IDF soldiers. (EU Press Office, UNNC 1/30)
In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning and in Bethlehem at night. (PCHR 1/31)
Saudi newspaper al-Sharq reports that in discussions with King Abdallah of Jordan, Hamas chief Khalid Mishal accepted the idea of a two-state solution, which would mark a significant change in official Hamas policy if reiterated publicly (claims subsequently denied (1/31) by Hamas officials. Previously, Hamas had expressed willingness to observe longterm truce with Israel, but not to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. (HA 1/30)
Anonymous U.S. officials say that Israeli warplanes conducted an air strike inside Syria targeting a convoy believed to be transporting anti-aircraft weaponry to Hizballah in Lebanon. The Syrian government claims that the planes struck a military research center. The Lebanese military say that Israeli warplanes have increased their activity over s. Lebanon in the past week, including at least 12 sorties in the previous 24 hours. (AP, NYT, REU 1/30)
Undercover Israeli police officers arrest 6 Palestinian youths in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem on suspicion of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at a Jewish settler-owned house. In the Gaza Strip, the IDF opens fire on a garbage truck close to the border fence nr. Bayt Hanun, wounding 1 Palestinian. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers from the unauthorized outpost Esh Kodesh nr. Nablus attack the Palestinian village of Qusra, provoking clashes with residents. In response, the IDF deploys troops in the area and fires tear gas and stun grenades at villagers. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning, in 1 village nr. Jericho in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah, 1 village each nr. al-Bireh and Jericho at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in the Old City of Hebron, 1 nearby village, and 1 village nr. Jenin at night. The IDF attacks a nonviolent demonstration against the occupation and settlement expansion held by Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals in Bayt Umar village nr. Hebron, causing no serious injuries. (MNA 1/5, 1/6; PCHR 1/10)
PA security forces arrest the Hebronbased members of the National Unity Brigades, which announced its formation and called for a 3d intifada in a video released on 12/14. (JP 1/5)
Sources tell Palestinian Ma‘an news agency that PLO leaders, the Free Syria Army, and Syrian government forces are working toward a deal to end the fighting in and blockade of Yarmuk r.c. in Damascus, including the withdrawal of rebel fighters and the end to army shelling. (MNA 1/6)
Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen 6 naut. mi. from the Gaza shore nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning, in 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Jericho, 2 villages nr. Hebron, and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night. Jewish settlers uproot 40 olive trees in Qusra village nr. Nablus. (MNA 12/27; PCHR 1/3)
PA pres. Abbas tells Israeli newspaper Ha’Aretz that if both settlement construction and the diplomatic stalemate continue after the forthcoming Israeli elections, he will dismantle the PA. He also says that Israel has reduced security cooperation with the PA since the UN vote in 11/2012. Abbas says he does not intend to bring charges against Israel at the ICC in The Hague, at least ‘‘as long as there are diplomatic negotiations.’’ Meanwhile, UK min. for the Middle East Alistair Burt condemns Israel’s plans to expand settlements in East Jerusalem and its official recognition of Ariel University Center as a university in unusually strong terms that refer to the Geneva Conventions. (HA, ToI 12/27)
Kadima chair Shaul Mofaz warns that Israel might be on the brink of a 3d intifada. Israeli media report an increasing number of small-scale clashes between Palestinians and the IDF in different locations throughout the West Bank since the end of Operation Pillar of Defense, including stone-throwing Palestinians attacking Israeli vehicles and IDF troops. (ToI 12/27)
Hamas issues an order banning Palestinian journalists in the Gaza Strip from working with or giving interviews to the Israeli media, and instructs government officials similarly. Meanwhile, Fatah cancels its anniversary celebrations in Gaza, citing Hamas’s refusal to agree to their proposed locations for the event. (Guardian, MNA 12/27)
In Syria, 4 Palestinians are killed when Syrian government forces shell Yarmuk r.c. nr. Damascus, the 1st attack of its kind since the rocketing of the camp on 12/16 that killed at least 25 people. (NYT 12/27; MNA 12/28)
Britain, Denmark, France, Spain, and Sweden summon the Israeli ambassadors to their countries to protest Israel’s settlement construction plans. An anonymous senior European diplomat tells the Israeli newspaper Ha’Aretz that Britain and France see E1 development as a ‘‘red line’’ and feel Israel is acting ungratefully after the support it received during Operation Pillar of Defense. Former U.S. amb. to Israel Dan Kurtzer tells Ha’Aretz that the Obama admin. is angry over an Israeli official’s suggestion in a recent briefing that Israel generated the E1 plan in anticipation that Obama would refuse to reaffirm Bush’s 2004 letter to Sharon (which Israel views as U.S. approval of Israeli settlement expansion in areas it intends to keep under final status; see the Quarterly Update in JPS 132), when he entered office in 1/2009, as indeed occurred. Meanwhile, a source in the Israeli PM’s Office says there will be no retraction of the E1 construction plan. (HA, NYT, YA 12/3)
The dep. mayor of Jerusalem reveals that the municipality is expected to give final approval to a new settlement in occupied East Jerusalem called Givat Hamatos, the 1st of its kind since Har Homa in 1997. Located between Talpiot and Bayt Safafa, the new settlement will be on the agenda of the planning comm. on 12/19. In addition, Jewish settlers occupy a 5-story building in the Har Homa/Jabal Mukabir neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem that had previously been sold to a settler organization. (HA, JP 12/3)
Twelve Fatah mbrs. return to the Gaza Strip after fleeing in the 2007 conflict with Hamas. Returning Fatah mbr. Mahmoud Musleh says that around 450 Fatah mbrs. who fled to countries across the region, as well as to the West Bank, will return once procedures are complete. (MNA 12/3)
PM Ismail Haniyeh appeals to Arab states to help pay for reconstruction of the Gaza Strip following damage inflicted during Operation Pillar of Defense, estimated at $250–545 m. (REU 12/3)
In the Gaza Strip, the IDF shoots a Palestinian child nr. al-Bureij r.c. close to the border fence, causing minor injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF kills a Palestinian civilian when a military jeep hits a car traveling on the Nablus– Ramallah road. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in Jericho and 1 nearby village, 3 villages nr. Ramallah, and 2 villages nr. Jenin later in the day; conducts night-time house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Tulkarm, and in Nablus and Balata r.c. (MNA 12/3; PCHR 12/6)
UN secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon accuses the Syrian government of serious violations of the 1974 agreement separating Israeli and Syrian forces in the Golan Heights. In a UNSC report, Ban expresses concern about recent incidents across the cease-fire line, and recommends a 6-mo. extension of the UN peacekeeping force in the Golan Heights. (AP 12/3)
President of the UNGA Vuk Jeremic says that the Palestinian bid for non-member state is likely to succeed, and that it would likely occur in the second half of 11/2012. (REU 10/19)
The EU issues an expression of regret over Israel’s decision (see 10/18) to approve 800 new houses in Gilo settlement, East Jerusalem. (MNA 10/19)
Armed Palestinians in the Gaza Strip detonate an improvised explosive device nr. the border fence with Israel, damaging an IDF jeep but causing no injuries. IDF troops on the Gaza border open fire on volunteers working on farmland nr. al-Bureij r.c., causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning. (YA 10/19; PCHR 10/24)
A bomb blast in Beirut kills Wissam al-Hassan, head of Lebanese domestic intelligence, as well as another 9 people and injuring more than 100. In the aftermath, opposition politicians, including Saad Hariri, blame the Syrian government, and there are demonstrations across the country by Sunni Muslims. Lebanese PM Najib Mikati says he suspects the killing was linked to al-Hassan’s role in uncovering Syrian involvement in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafiq Hariri. Iran condemns the blast the next day and hints that Israel is responsible. (Guardian, NYT, REU 10/19; BBC, REU 10/20)
In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya, 1 village nr. Jenin, and 2 villages nr. Tulkarm (firing tear gas in 1 of them at stonethrowing Palestinians). (MNA 9/20; PCHR 9/27)
Freedom Theater director Zakaria Zubeidi suspends a hunger strike after the PA agrees to release him within days. (MNA 9/20)
PLO officials in Yarmuk r.c., an unofficial Palestinian r.c. outside Damascus, report that Syrian government forces have killed at least 18 Palestinians in recent fighting in the area. (MNA 9/20)
Retaliating for Palestinian rocket fire on 3/13, Israeli warplanes carry out 3 air strikes on open areas north and southeast of Gaza City and on a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border, in 1 instance causing a brush fire that heavily damages several business and 1 home, but causing no injuries. Later, unidentified Palestinians fire 2 rockets (1 Qassam, 1 Grad) fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF demolishes a car wash facility in Husan village (nr. Bethlehem) that is 200 meters fr. a settler-only bypass road. (JP, PCHR, YA 3/15; PCHR 3/22; OCHA 3/23)
As fighting between Syrian government and opposition forces intensifies, Hizballah endorses a Hamas’s plan to reach out to Syrian opposition contacts inside Syria and offer to mediate a cease-fire with the regime, but does not offer to participate itself. Hamas and Hizballah made a similar joint offer in 4/2011 to mediate a cease-fire but it was rebuffed by the Syrian government. (NYT 4/6)
Israeli aircraft strike an alleged Islamic Jihad training camp deep inside Syria, just 10 mi. northwest of Damascus in ‘Ayn Sahib, injuring at least 1 security guard. Israel says the attack is in response to the 10/4 suicide bombing, in which it claims Syria played a “detailed role in orchestrating.” Syria denies this, denounces the strike as a “grave escalation,” says its response will be diplomatic. (The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command [PFLP-GC] says ‘Ayn Sahib is its fmr. training base, which is no longer active; says the site was patrolled by 1 civilian guard, who was injured.) The U.S. says that “we have repeatedly told the government of Syria that it is on the wrong side in the war on terror and that it must stop harboring terrorists.” Bush phones Sharon after the attack on Syria, expresses condolences on the 10/4 bombing, agrees with Sharon on “the need to continue fighting terrorism,” does not criticize Israel’s strike. (AFP, IDF Radio, MENA, VOI, XIN 10/5 in WNC 10/7; XIN 10/5, AN, ATL, DS, DUS, IRNA, JT, MENA, QA, al-Ra’i, THWR, TSHR, VIRI, XIN 10/6 in WNC 10/8; SATN 10/5 in WNC 11/8; MM, NYT, WP, WT 10/6; NHR 10/6, AN, IRNA, ITAR-TASS, SA, SFR, THWR, TSHR 10/7 in WNC 10/9; SFR 10/6, THWR, TSHR 10/8 in WNC 10/11; SANA, SARR, SATN 10/6, SANA, SATN 10/7 in WNC 11/11; MM 10/7; AFP, AYM, DUS, HA, ITARTASS, JT, MA, MENA, NHR, al-Quds, al-Ra’i, SFR, YA 10/7 in WNC 10/10; MM, PR 10/8; MM, WJW 10/9; MEI 10/10; PR 10/15; JPI 10/17; NHR 10/17 in NC 10/23)
Arafat declares a 30-day state of emergency in the occupied territories, issues a presidential decree appointing a 9-mbr. emergency cabinet, with Qurai‘, negotiating a regular cabinet since 9/10, as PM. The emergency cabinet is to serve for 1 mo. (VOP 10/5 in WNC 10/7; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 10/6; VOP 10/6 in WNC 10/8; WP 10/7; VOI, VOP 10/7 in WNC 10/9; AYM 10/7 in WNC 10/10; PR 10/8; PSCT 10/9 in WNC 10/11; MEI 10/10)
In the occupied territories, the IDF fires on Palestinians attempting to bypass a new checkpoint separating Rafah and Khan Yunis (imposed after the 10/4 bombing), killing 1 Palestinian, wounding 3; begins bulldozing Palestinian land nr. Morag settlement, 100 dunams nr. Hebron; demolishes 19 Palestinian homes in Rafah, 2 in Jenin (including the home of the 10/4 bomber’s family). (HA, NYT, WP 10/6; PCHR 10/7, 10/9)
Syrian pres. Hafiz al-Asad dies of heart failure. The Syrian government quickly initiates a transfer of power to his son, Bashar al-Asad VP 'Abd al-Halim Khadd, the acting pres., assembles parliament to vote to reduce the minimum age to be pres. fr. 40 to 34. (ATL, Interfax, ITAR-TASS, LPA, MENA 6/10, ATL, CNA, DUS, Interfax, IRNA, ITARTASS, LPA, MENA, RIA [Moscow], XIN 6/11 in WNC 6/12; NYT, WP, WT 6/11; AYM 6/11, ATL, CTK [Prague], Hatzofe, IRNA, Interfax, ITAR-TASS, Tanjug [Belgrade], Turan [Baku], XIN 6/12 in WNC 6/13; CSM, MM, WP 6/12; al-Quds 6/12 in WNC 6/14; MM, WJW 6/15; JP, MEI 6/16; MEI 6/30; Le Monde Diplomatique 7/00)
Arafat, Netanyahu end 2-day summit in Washington without resolving their differences, agree to begin nonstop intensive negotiations at Erez 10/6 on disputed issues. (MM 10/2; al-Dustur [Amman], ITV, JTV 10/2, MA, RE 10/3 in WNC 10/4; CSM, MM, NYT, WJW, WP, WT 10/3; RE 10/3 in WNC 10/4; ITV, QPAR, al-Quds, al-Quds al-Arabi, VOA 10/3, al-Ra'i 10/4 in WNC 10/7; MM, WP 10/4; ITV 10/8 in WNC 10/11; PR 10/11; MEI 10/25)
Israeli, PA officers meet to discuss reopening Qarni crossing export of Palestinian goods into Israel. Israel demands that Palestinians at the checkpoint be unarmed. PA refuses. No agmt. is reached. (ITV 10/2 in WNC 10/4)
Anticipating possible failure of Washington talks, IDF moves more troops and heavy weapons, incl. tanks, helicopters, sniper squads, to the outskirts of zone A areas. (YA 10/2 in WNC 10/3; ITV 10/2 in WNC 10/4; WP, WT 10/3; MA 10/4 in WNC 10/7)
In Hebron, IDF fires on Palestinian protesters, killing 1 boy, wounding 2 men. 4 other Palestinians are wounded during protest nr. Halhul. (ITV 10/2 in WNC 10/4; CSM, NYT, WP, WT 10/3)
In Jerusalem, 50,000 Israelis march in support of Netanyahu. (WT 10/3)
Turkey's PM Necmettin Erbakan arrives in Cairo on 1st leg of 6-day regional tour. Meanwhile in Tripoli, Turkish, Libyan delegations begin talks on strengthening bilateral cooperation, with emphasis on economic, industrial issues. (WT 10/2; JANA [Tripoli] 10/3 in WNC 10/4)
Turkey announces plans to increase its electricity purchases from Iran to 3 b. kw/h. (IRNA 10/2 in WNC 10/4)
Lebanon's Council of Ministers grants al-Manar Television, al-Nur Radio temporary exclusion fr. the new media law (see 9/17), allowing them to continue broadcasting news of the resistance. They will both still be banned fr. broadcasting other political news, programs as of 11/30. (RL 10/2 in WNC 10/4)
In s. Lebanon, 2 IDF officers are wounded in clash with Hizballah. (ITV 10/2 in WNC 10/4)
Pentagon reportedly tells Pres. Bush that the dominant view held by American military officials is that U.S. troops will not be ready for offensive action against Iraq on 1/15, and that any attack should be deferred until February at earliest (cf. 12/26) [NYT, WP 12/25].
Iraq recalls its ambassadors from major European capitals, Washington, and Tokyo for consultations over deadlock in Gulf crisis [NYT, LAT, WP 12/25].
Saddam Hussein reportedly says Tel Aviv will be his 1st target in the event war breaks out; Israel promises swift and terrible retribution if attacked [LAT, WT, WP 12/25].
The Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie's statement from hidden location affirms his Muslim faith, says he will not publish paperback version of book (cf. 12/26) [LAT, WT 12/25].
Israel in 1990 received highest number of immigrants in one year since 1949; about 187,000 people, mostly Soviet Jews, have arrived to date, and authorities expect 200,000 by year's end [LAT, WT, WP 12/25].
Housing Minister Ariel Sharon announces gov't.'s plan to locate 2,500 more houses for Jewish settlers in o.t., almost certainly including new Soviet immigrants, despite past assurances new immigrants would not be settled in o.t. [WP 12/26; FJ 12/31].
W. Bank and Gaza observe general strike called for by UNLU; signs of Christmas are noticeably absent in Bethlehem [NYT, WT, WP 12/25].
Newly-appointed Lebanese P.M. Omar Karami forms 30-man pro-Syrian cabinet, half-Christian and half-Muslim. Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea refuses post because of cabinet's pro-Syrian tilt [BVL, BDS 12/24, AFP 12/25 in FBIS 12/26; AFP 12/24, BVL 12/26 in FBIS 12/27; NYT, WP 12/25].
Occupied Palestine/Israel: 21 women inmates begin new hunger strike to protest rights violations at Neve Terza prison.
Arab World: Gemayel announces plan to meet opposition representatives at Lausanne. Syrian cabinet resigns at Pres. Assad's request.
Other Countries: From Brussels, Spain's PM Felipe Gonzalez Marquez expresses interest in diplomatic relations with Israel, and hope it might contribute to peaceful solution in Middle East; reveals that, on recent visit to Riyadh, Saudi gov't. applied no pressure not to recognize Israel. US Federal Communications Commission rejects petition by "Americans for a Safe Israel" to deny license renewal of 7 NBC stations in New England for "distorting" news of Israeli invasion of Lebanon.
Occupied Palestine/Israel: Bullet-filled petrol bomb thrown at Israeli patrol near Ramallah; no injuries. Petrol bomb thrown at home of Kalandiya village mukhtar. 1 passenger slightly wounded on Egged bus stoned near Eizariya near Jerusalem.
Arab World: Lebanese man shot dead by IDF invaders, forcing way into Qana, S. Lebanon [HQ of Fijian UNIFIL battalion] amidst villager's protests. Israeli DM Arens inspects Sidon harbor area. IDF convoy carrying MK Sharon ambushed near Sidon; Sharon narrowly escapes injury as remote control device explodes.
Israeli warships, armored units bombard Palestinian camps and civilian neighborhoods in Beirut hours before Begin meets Reagan in Washington, hit USSR embassy, fashionable shopping area, hospital, near Commodore Hotel; Israeli and Syrian troops trade fire along highway, Israelis claim to de-stroy 4 Syrian tanks; artillery duels continue all day; WAFA says IDF attempting to push down hillsides toward 3 Palestinian camps, provoking response; massive IDF buildup continues as 70 Israeli tanks move toward Khalde; Israeli patrol ambushed outside Beirut.
Two Palestinian hospitals hit, killing 8, wounding 22; scores of casualties from Sabra and Burj al-Barajneh camps; mass graves in Sidon; 50,000 flee Beirut southward to escape expected fighting; high civilian casualties in Bekaa (possibly 1,200 dead) and Baalbek schools house 25,000 refugees; telephone lines in Bekaa cut by Israelis and many civilians attacked along highway by Israeli jets; at Aley, hotels are burned out, hospital hit by 4 Israeli bombs; many suffering from effects of cluster bombs; refugees begin returning to Ain el-Hilweh.
Israel says voluntary agencies can resume work in Lebanon; Israel withholding aid from civilian Palestinians; Eitan says prison camp to be set up in Lebanon for PLO members; ICRC asks to visit after being allowed to see 18 Syrian prisoners; Israel says Lebanese economy will take 6 months to one year to recover, says refinery, which supplies 40 percent of Lebanese oil needs, will be operational in 60 days.
Israel/ Occupied Territories: Sharon reportedly lobbying Israeli Cabinet for permission to storm Beirut; one of several MKs, visiting IDF in Beirut, says attack on PLO headquarters in Beirut "almost inevitable"; Begin tells US audiences the war in Lebanon is almost over, as Sharon says the IDF has not achieved all its objectives; 13 Israeli Cabinet ministers tour parts of Lebanon (Beaufort Castle; near Lake Karoun; Tyre; Sidon; outskirts of Beirut airport); El Al reports 15 percent slump in bookings as a result of the invasion; Begin encounters sharp criticism from US Congress, claims Israeli approach endorsed by Reagan.
Palestinians/ Lebanese: Habib meets with Sarkis, Wazzan with Arafat; Arafat attacks US role in backing Israeli "slaughter"; PLO seeks to retain political presence in Lebanon; Salam calls on Reagan to keep IDF from attacking, and to give time for Arafat to persuade PLO militants to disarm; Lebanon says 1 1 Arab countries agree to attend summit on Lebanon; Danny Chamoun, son of Camille Chamoun, in New York says invasion "overdue," meets with administration figures.
Arab Governments: Syrian Cabinet meets on crisis; Arab and non-aligned countries consider convening emergency session of UN General Assembly, reach no decision.
US and Other Countries: Weinberger makes veiled criticism of Haig policies; State Department says UN resolution 509, demanding immediate Israeli withdrawal, no longer relevant; National Security Council reportedly disagrees with Haig's conciliatory attitude toward IDF invasion; Reagan reportedly supports Israeli demands for Syrian troop withdrawal and creation of demilitarized zone, does not take position on US troop involvement in peacekeeping force.