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  • December 28, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces uprooted 50 olive trees in Wadi Fukin. Israeli forces also demolished 9 residential and 14 agricultural structures in Ibziq. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished a...

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  • February 10, 2018

    In the West Bank, IDF troops arrest 7 Palestinians and issue 4 arrest summons during late-night raids near Tulkarm, Hebron, Bethlehem, and in Nablus; and patrol near Qalqilya and Hebron. They also...

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  • July 24, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus and Jenin at night. (PCHR 7/25)

    In Damascus, Syrian govt. forces fire a rocket into Yarmuk r.c., reportedly...

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  • January 11, 2009

    The IDF launches its deepest ground incursions into Gaza City since OCL began, conducting a 2-front assault from the north and the south; troops pull back to the outskirts of Gaza City by...

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  • November 9, 2006

    Israel says that the death of 19 Palestinians in Bayt Hanun on 11/8 was caused by a faulty artillery radar system. Palestinians fire 6 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, lightly injuring 2 Israelis. In...

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  • October 24, 2006

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Jenin, Nablus. Jewish settlers fr. Hebron attack Palestinians harvesting their olive grove outside Hebron; the IDF...

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  • March 31, 2006

    Senior PRC cmdr. Abu Yusuf Abu Quka (allied with Hamas) is killed in a car bombing in Gaza City; the PRCs blame PA security forces linked to Fatah (specifically to Gaza strongman and PC mbr....

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  • March 30, 2006

    A Palestinian hitchhiker dressed as an observant Jew detonates a bomb inside an Israeli car that picks him up outside Keddumim settlement, killing 4 Jewish settlers and himself; AMB–Nablus faction...

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  • March 25, 2006

    The IDF fatally shoots an unarmed Palestinian attempting to sneak across the central Gaza border into Israel to find work; fires a missile fr. an F-16 at a road nr. Nussayrat r.c. in central Gaza...

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  • March 3, 2006

    The IDF fires a missile fr. an F-16 at a car carrying Islamic Jihad mbrs. in Bayt Lahiya, missing them in an apparent failed assassination attempt; conducts 2 more air strikes on the n. Gaza no-go...

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  • December 3, 2005

    After Palestinians fire 2 rockets into Israel, causing no damage or injuries, an IDF helicopter fires missiles at an Islamic Jihad charity in Gaza City, damaging the building, lightly wounding 1...

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  • October 28, 2005

    Overnight, the IDF deploys an artillery battery outside the s. Gaza Strip (since Operation First Rain, artillery has been positioned in Nahal Oz, outside the n. Gaza); begins massing troops in the...

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  • October 27, 2005

    By morning, the IDF imposes a general curfew across the West Bank, sealing all Palestinian-controlled areas (including the northern villages of Alar, Qabatya, Sa‘ida, al-Til, Yabad, which are...

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  • September 27, 2005

    Overnight, the IDF conducts more arrest raids across the West Bank; fires missiles fr. F-16s at the Gaza Strip, destroying a bridge in Bayt Hanun allegedly used by Palestinians firing rockets, a...

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  • September 25, 2005

    Overnight, the IDF conducts air strikes on the home of PRC mbr. ‘Amr Qarmut in Jabaliya r.c. in what may be an assassination attempt (causing damage but no injuries), a Hamas-run school in Gaza...

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  • June 17, 2003

    The IDF fires on stone-throwing Palestinians in Askar r.c., Balata r.c.; demolishes 2 Palestinian homes in Rafah, 1 in Issawiyya; bulldozes 26 dunams of land in Rafah; conducts arrest raids in...

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  • July 22, 2002

    The IDF exchanges gunfire with 2 Islamic Jihad mbrs. nr. Gush Katif settlement, leaving the 2 Palestinians dead, 2 soldiers wounded; fires on residential areas of, conducts arrest raids in Tulkarm...

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  • July 17, 2002

    2 Islamic Jihad suicide bombers stage a double bombing outside a cafe in Tel Aviv, killing 1 Israeli, 2 foreign workers, injuring 3. An 8th victim of the Emmanuel bus ambush on 7/16, a baby born...

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  • July 14, 2002

    In Khan Yunis, a Palestinian on trial for collaborating with Israel is killed by Palestinian militants when the trial is disrupted by an IDF air strike nearby, leaving him unguarded. The IDF F-16s...

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  • March 9, 2002

    Israel shells, sends troops into Dahaysha; conduct air raids (including F-16s) against targets across Gaza and in Hebron, Nablus, Ramallah. The IDF continues operations in Bethlehem, coming within...

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  • March 7, 2002

    Israel's air, land, and sea assaults continue, leaving at least 16 Palestinians dead, more than 70 injured. The IDF enters Tulkarm r.c. and Nur al-Shams r.c., meeting fierce resistance. In Tulkarm...

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  • March 6, 2002

    Retaliating for the firing of Qassam-2s on 3/5, the IDF launches air, land, sea strikes on PA targets across the West Bank and Gaza, striking and partially demolishing Arafat's residence in Gaza...

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  • March 5, 2002

    Israeli-Palestinian violence continues to escalate, leaving 1 Israeli civilian, 1 Jewish settler, at least 6 Palestinians dead. A package bomb planted by a Jewish vigilante group called Revenge of...

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  • March 3, 2002

    A AMB sniper using a decades-old carbine rifle fatally shoots 7 IDF soldiers, 3 Jewish settlers, wounding 6 others at a checkpoint nr. Ofra settlement before escaping, leaving his gun behind. In...

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  • February 21, 2002

    In a massive predawn operation, the IDF sends tanks, troops into Gaza City fr. 3 directions, firing heavy machine guns, demolishing the Palestine Broadcasting Center, taking Palestinian TV and...

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  • February 19, 2002

    An AMB gunman attacks an IDF outpost n. of Jerusalem, killing 6 IDF soldiers, critically wounding 1, and escaping. IDF F-16s shell 2 PSF buildings in Rafah, Ramallah; naval vessels fire a missile...

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  • February 17, 2002

    For the 1st time, the IDF erects portable housing for soldiers in PA-controlled areas of the West Bank nr. Jenin. Israeli police halt a vehicle outside an IDF training base nr. Hadera, Israel. 1...

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  • February 15, 2002

    In response to the Salahadin Brigades attack on 2/14, IDF F-16s twice bomb the PSF headquarters in Jabaliya, killing 1 PSF officer, wounding 30 Palestinians. IDF commandos raid Saida, killing 1...

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  • February 13, 2002

    Overnight, Hamas fires 2 Qassam-2 rockets at a Jewish settlement in the West Bank, missing the settlement completely, causing no damage or injuries. In response, the IDF temporarily seizes the...

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  • February 11, 2002

    The IDF sends 20 tanks into Nablus, declares a curfew, and retakes Joseph's Tomb, a Jewish shrine abandoned by Israel during the 1st mo. of the al-Aqsa intifada. At midday, as schools are letting...

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In the West Bank, Israeli forces uprooted 50 olive trees in Wadi Fukin. Israeli forces also demolished 9 residential and 14 agricultural structures in Ibziq. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished a house under construction in Qalqas. Israeli force shot and injured 6 Palestinians using live ammunition during a late-night raid in Tubas. 13 Palestinians were arrested during raids in al-Am‘ari refugee camp, Beit Umar, Halhul, Yatta, Jenin, Ya‘bad, and Kaft Laqif; 1 Palestinian was injured by Israeli live ammunition during a protest against the raid in al-Am‘ari refugee camp. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces physically assaulted 2 Palestinians in Isawiya and Jabel Mukaber. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian farmers east of Dayr al-Balah; no injuries were reported. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Gaza City; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/28; MEE, WAFA 12/29; PCHR 12/30)

The Jordanian Detainees Committee in Saudi Arabia said that a Saudi court had reduced the sentence of former Hamas official Mohammad al-Khodari from 15 years to 3 years in prison. Al-Khodari was 1 of some 60 Jordanian and Palestinian nationals to receive sentences by Saudi Arabia earlier this year for an affiliation with Hamas or other resistance groups. (MEMO 12/29)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas met with Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz at Gantz’s residence in Rosh Ha’ayin. The 2.5-hour-long meeting was attended by Israel’s coordinator of government activities in the territories Rassan Aliyan, PA civil affairs minister Hussein al-Sheikh, and head of PA security service Majed Faraj. Civil Affairs Minister al-Sheikh said the 2 sides spoke of a political horizon while Defense Minister Gantz tweeted that the meeting was about economic and civic measures and security coordination. An Israeli statement said Israel had agreed to register 6,000 Palestinians living in the West Bank and 3,500 living in Gaza, give the PA a $32-million advance on its tax income, and grant more business permits and VIP passes for the PA. Israeli and Palestinian officials said that President Abbas demanded more action against settler violence and the revocation of terror designations for 6 Palestinian rights organizations. It was President Abbas’s 1st meeting with an Israeli official in Israel since 2010. A Hamas spokesperson condemned Abbas’s visit, saying he was accommodating the occupation and “deepening Palestinian political divisions.” Islamic Jihad and the PFLP also condemned the meeting. (AP, HA, JP, TOI 12/28; ABC, AJ, ALM, AP, AX, F24, HILL, MEE, MEMO, MEMO, REU, TOI, WAFA, WAFA 12/29; ALM, HA, MEE, MEMO, MEMO 12/30; ALM, MEMO 12/31; TOI 1/1; TOI 1/2)

Israeli justice minister Gideon Sa‘ar said he wanted the Homesh settlement outpost legalized in response to the killing of 1 Israeli settler on 12/16. (HA 12/28)

In Syria, Israel conducted air strikes in Latakia, causing damage at the city’s port. Israeli sources claimed that Israeli missiles had hit Iranian munitions stored in containers. A Russian official said 4 missiles were fired from 2 Israeli F-16s, causing minor material damage. The Russian official also said that the Syrian air defense system was deactivated because a Russian plane was landing nearby. (AJ, AP, AP, GDN, HA, HA, NWK, REU 12/28; MEMO 12/29; AP, HA 12/30)

In the West Bank, IDF troops arrest 7 Palestinians and issue 4 arrest summons during late-night raids near Tulkarm, Hebron, Bethlehem, and in Nablus; and patrol near Qalqilya and Hebron. They also arrest 2 Palestinian laborers and issue stop-work orders for a building under construction in Hebron. Israeli settlers assault Palestinian construction crews repairing a home on Shuhada Street in central Hebron, causing no major injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces assault a number of Palestinian children and eventually arrest 2 in the Old City. They arrest 5 more Palestinians during a raid in Silwan and Abu Dis. (WAFA 2/10; PCHR 2/15)

Weeks after receiving Israeli PM Netanyahu in India, Indian PM Narendra Modi arrives in Ramallah for a visit to the oPt. His arrival marks the first time a sitting Indian PM has visited the oPt. PA pres. Abbas asks Modi to help mediate Palestinian-Israeli peace talks. (TOI, WAFA 2/10)

An IDF helicopter destroys an Iranian drone flying from Syria into the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, according to an IDF spokesperson (Syrian and Iranian officials deny sending a drone into Israel). The IAF then conducts a number of air strikes on a Syrian airbase near Palmyra, where the drone allegedly took off. During the Israeli sortie, Syrian aerial defense systems shoot down an Israeli F-16, injuring 1 pilot seriously (this marks the first time they have downed an Israeli aircraft since the IDF started flying missions into Syria). The IAF then conducts the “biggest and most significant attack . . . against Syrian air defenses” since the 1982 war in Lebanon, according to a senior IAF official. Israeli jets strike 12 Syrian and Iranian targets in southern Syria, killing 6 people. (AJ, HA, MNA, NYT, REU, TOI, WAFA, YA 2/10; HA, WAFA 2/11)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus and Jenin at night. (PCHR 7/25)

In Damascus, Syrian govt. forces fire a rocket into Yarmuk r.c., reportedly killing 15 Palestinian civilians. (REU 27/4)

Assailants throw a bomb at security headquarters in Mansoura, Egypt, killing 1 and wounding more than a dozen. Meanwhile, Gen. al-Sisi calls for demonstrations in support of the ruling military and against “terrorism.” Separately, U.S. Pres. Barack Obama halts the scheduled delivery of 4 F-16 fighter planes to the Egyptian Air Force, with the Pentagon’s Press Secy. George Little saying that the decision was due to it not being seen as “appropriate” to complete the delivery at this time. (AFP, AP, NYT 7/24)

The IDF launches its deepest ground incursions into Gaza City since OCL began, conducting a 2-front assault from the north and the south; troops pull back to the outskirts of Gaza City by nightfall. To accommodate expanded operations, the IDF commits its first significant influx of reservists into Gaza, numbering in the 1,000s, using them to hold IDF positions, freeing up regular combat troops to thrust deeper into Gaza City.

Combat notes: The intensified IDF assault on Gaza City begins before dawn, with tanks and troops based in the fmr. Netzarim settlement advancing fr. the southwest, supported by helicopter gunships and F16s, resulting in some of the heaviest fighting since OCL began, especially in Shaykh Ajlin. Simultaneously, the IDF steps up attacks on the northern outskirts of the city. The IDF reports (IDF 1/11) finding 10s of booby-trapped houses, buildings, and tunnels, accusing Hamas of booby-trapping 30 homes in one neighborhood (location not given). Ground forces also move into Khuza in s. Gaza under heavy artillery fire, bulldozing several homes and razing tracts of agricultural land before withdrawing late in the evening.

The IDF reports hitting nearly 70 targets across Gaza today and making more than 40 air strikes. Targets hit include 23 smuggling tunnels (including 2 located under the homes of Hamas mbrs.), at least 15 “armed cells,” 11 suspected weapons depots, several rocket-launching sites. Air strike target areas include Bani Suhayla, Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, Gaza City (Shaykh Ridwan), Khan Yunis, al-Maghazi, al-Mughraqa, Nussayrat, Rafah, al-Shabura r.c., Yibna r.c., al-Zawayda (c. Gaza). Heavy tank and artillery fire is reported in Bayt Hanun (white phosphorus use confirmed by Amnesty International), Gaza City (al-Shuja‘iyya, Tal al-Hawa, al-Zaytun), Jabaliya, Khuza, Khan Yunis (possibly involving white phosphorous).

Palestinians fire 20 rockets and 8 mortars into Israel, including at least 1 Grad that hits an empty kindergarten in Ashdod (damage but no injuries) and 2 rockets that hit Beersheba (some light injuries). The IDF reports sustaining no casualties but killing around 45 armed Palestinians, bringing the estimated Palestinian toll to at least 876 dead, 3,600 wounded.

Humanitarian notes: The IDF observes the daily 3-hr. humanitarian lull but does not release figures on the number of trucks permitted entry.

Of note: Today’s IDF air strikes on tunnels along the Rafah border damage 10 homes in Egyptian Rafah, seriously wound 2 Egyptian border policemen and lightly wound 1 border policeman, 2 Egyptian children (ages 2 and 5). Egyptian security officials say that the Israeli drones and planes have violated Egyptian air space daily since OCL began and that previous Israeli air strikes during OCL have damaged buildings and 1 mosque, shattered windows, and caused power shortages inside Egypt. (AFP, HA, IDF, WP 1/11; IDF, MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/12; WT 1/13; PCHR 1/15; ITIC 1/19; MM, QA 1/22)

The IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Bayt Umar and Sa’ir, both nr. Hebron. (PCHR 1/15)

Israel says that the death of 19 Palestinians in Bayt Hanun on 11/8 was caused by a faulty artillery radar system. Palestinians fire 6 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, lightly injuring 2 Israelis. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Abu Dis and Hebron, nr. Bethlehem and Qalqilya. In Jabaliya, a roadside bomb explodes outside the home of a PFLP cmdr., injuring his bodyguard; internal Palestinian rivalries are suspected to be the cause. (NYT, WP, WT 11/10; OCHA 11/15; PCHR 11/16)

French DM Michele Alliot-Marie ` says that French forces in s. Lebanon came within seconds of firing on IDF F-16s that repeatedly dived on their positions a wk. ago. The IDF says the incident is under investigation. UNIFIL reported 14 Israeli violations of the cease-fire last wk., including near daily overflights of Lebanon, including 3 mock air raids over the French troops’ headquarters in the south. (WP 11/10)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Jenin, Nablus. Jewish settlers fr. Hebron attack Palestinians harvesting their olive grove outside Hebron; the IDF arrests the Palestinian family for threatening the settlers, releases them but bars them fr. accessing their land. In Gaza City, unidentified Palestinian gunmen kidnap Spanish Associated Press photographer Emilio Morenatti, release him quickly after Abbas’s intervention; no details of the terms of release are given. A Palestinian wounded by the IDF in Bayt Hanun on 10/23 dies. (NYT 10/25; PCHR 11/2)

The German Defense Min. reports an incident btwn. its naval vessels off the Lebanese coast and the IDF in which 2 Israeli F-16s fired twice and released antimissile flares over a German ship. Israel denies the report, saying that jets were dispatched when a helicopter took off fr. a German boat without identifying itself, but as soon as Israel realized the mistake, the jets broke off. (NYT 10/26)

Senior PRC cmdr. Abu Yusuf Abu Quka (allied with Hamas) is killed in a car bombing in Gaza City; the PRCs blame PA security forces linked to Fatah (specifically to Gaza strongman and PC mbr. Muhammad Dahlan) in collaboration with Israel; the IDF denies involvement. Clashes erupt btwn. PRC mbrs., PA security forces allied with Dahlan at Abu Quka’s funeral later in the day, leaving 3 Palestinians dead, 35 wounded. In light of the 3/30 bombing, the IDF tightens restrictions on Palestinian movement in the n. West Bank, barring Palestinians ages 15–32 fr. crossing checkpoints in the Nablus area; carries out early morning air strikes, fires 10s of shells fr. naval vessels at the n. Gaza no-go zone, a soccer stadium in Gaza City, causing damage to a number of homes but no injuries; makes late-night F-16 air strikes on a hotel under construction nr. Bayt Lahiya, partially destroying it; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Hebron (violently beating a 78-yr.-old Palestinian woman), nr. Nablus. Some 40 Jewish settlers fr. Elon Moreh nr. Nablus (including 2 off-duty IDF soldiers) beat, fire on Palestinian farmers working their fields nr. Salim. (AFP, REU 3/31; HA, JAZ, NYT, WP, WT 4/1; XIN 4/2 in WNC 4/3; MM 4/5; MM, PCHR 4/6; HA 4/16)

A Palestinian hitchhiker dressed as an observant Jew detonates a bomb inside an Israeli car that picks him up outside Keddumim settlement, killing 4 Jewish settlers and himself; AMB–Nablus faction claims responsibility. PA FM Mahmud Zahhar (Change and Reform) defends the bombing as legitimate resistance, whereas Abbas denounces it; Israel accuses the PA of encouraging terror. Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF responds by shelling n. Gaza fr. land and sea, causing no damage or injuries; makes 6 F-16 air strikes outside Bayt Hanun and Bayt Lahiya, damaging an electricity network, several roads; warns the PA that it will increase pressure on Palestinians firing rockets fr. Gaza, will fire on any place fr. which fire is directed at Israel, even if PA security forces are operating in the area. The IDF also closes the only checkpoints allowing Palestinian access to the n. Jordan Valley (at least through 4/5); closes all but 1 road leading into Tulkarm; erects a permanent observation post and tower on the Bethlehem– Hebron road into Hebron; issues military orders seizing part of a Palestinian home in Hebron nr. the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs, 200 sq. m. of Palestinian land in al-Arub r.c. nr. Hebron to expand an IDF outpost; searches the offices of the Cultural Forum in Sur al-Bahir outside Jerusalem, confiscating files, damaging furniture; breaks up a Land Day rally in East Jerusalem, arresting 4 Palestinians, including 2 journalists; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Nablus, Tulkarm. Jewish settlers, escorted by IDF troops, attack Palestinian farmers, international peace activists planting trees on Palestinian land in Hebron. (IMEMC 3/30; MM, NYT, WP 3/31; NYT 4/1; PCHR 4/6)

The IDF fatally shoots an unarmed Palestinian attempting to sneak across the central Gaza border into Israel to find work; fires a missile fr. an F-16 at a road nr. Nussayrat r.c. in central Gaza; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron, Qalqilya. In Tubas, 2 Palestinians are injured when they accidentally trigger unexploded IDF ordnance. Around 10 masked Jewish settlers fr. Suissa attack 3 Palestinians tending their olive trees nearby. In a separate incident in Hebron, some 20 Jewish settlers attack, seriously beat an American peace activist assisting Palestinians; he escapes his attackers and runs to a nearby IDF post, which refuses to assist him. Also in Hebron, Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba attack a Palestinian home, injuring 2 children. (IMEMC 3/25; VOP 3/26 in WNC 3/26; AFP 3/26; HA 3/27; MM 3/28; PCHR 3/30)

The IDF fires a missile fr. an F-16 at a car carrying Islamic Jihad mbrs. in Bayt Lahiya, missing them in an apparent failed assassination attempt; conducts 2 more air strikes on the n. Gaza no-go zone, damaging a road; fatally shoots a 15-yr.-old Palestinian during a raid on ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’ r.c.; patrols in, fires on residential areas of Tubas nr. Jenin; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Tulkarm (targeting the AMB, Islamic Jihad). Palestinians fire 4 rockets into Israel, and the IDF responds with artillery fire on the n. Gaza no-go zone, causing no damage or injuries in either case. Jewish settlers severely beat 2 Palestinians nr. Tubas. (AFP, IMEMC 3/3; NYT 3/4; PCHR 3/9)

In Nazareth, 3 Israeli Jews (a father, mother, and daughter), distraught after social workers took custody of their other children, set off firecrackers and small gas canisters inside the Church of the Annunciation during mass, sparking panic inside the church but no injuries. Worshipers restrain and beat the Israelis, take them outside, where other residents hearing of the incident converge and riot, leaving 13 injured, before police finally are able to intervene and control the situation. (HA 3/3; HA, NYT, WP, YA 3/4; HA 3/5)

After Palestinians fire 2 rockets into Israel, causing no damage or injuries, an IDF helicopter fires missiles at an Islamic Jihad charity in Gaza City, damaging the building, lightly wounding 1 bystander. In response, Palestinians fire 3 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In retaliation, the IDF carries out artillery and F-16 air strikes on open areas in Gaza, firing at least 30 shells and 3 missiles, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF fires on, sinks a Palestinian fishing boat in Palestinian waters off Gaza, killing 1 Palestinian, leaving 1 missing; the IDF says that it attempted to halt the boat after the Palestinian sailor headed toward Egyptian waters alone and returned with a passenger, but the boat ignored warning shots and fired back at the naval vessel, causing no damage or injuries. (The IDF says that videotape that routinely records the naval unit’s activity ran out about three minutes before the incident.) The IDF also begins work on a new segment of the separation wall northwest of Jerusalem in al-Jib, Dahiyat al-Barid; conducts arrest raids, house searches in al-Khadir, Qabatya nr. Jenin. A Jewish settler injures a Palestinian child in a deliberate hit-and-run nr. Qalqilya. A PA policeman, 4 Palestinians are shot dead in Bayt Hanun during a clash btwn. rival Palestinian clans that erupts at the funeral for the mbr. of 1 family who was killed on 12/1. (AP, HA, IMEMC 12/3; AFP, HA 12/4; PCHR, WT 12/5; PCHR 12/8; IMEMC 12/10)

Overnight, the IDF deploys an artillery battery outside the s. Gaza Strip (since Operation First Rain, artillery has been positioned in Nahal Oz, outside the n. Gaza); begins massing troops in the Gaza border in case the Israeli cabinet calls for ground operations; conducts arrest raids, house searches in the n. West Bank targeting mostly Islamic Jihad mbrs. During the day, the IDF begins erecting a massive new checkpoint (the Zaatara checkpoint) s. of Nablus at Tapuach Junction that will sever the Nablus and Jenin districts from the rest of the West Bank, creating a northern West Bank canton; the crossing, which is similar to the Qalandia checkpoint that Israel has said will be treated as an international crossing, was approved by the IDF Central Command 9 mos. ago and should begin operation in 2 mos. An IDF drone fires on a car in n. Gaza that launched rockets toward Sederot (causing no damage), killing AMB mbr. Majid Nattat. Soon after, Palestinians fire another 2 rockets and a mortar toward Sederot, and the IDF carries out 2 air strikes on 2 roads leading to Bayt Lahiya; no injuries are reported in the exchange. Later, the IDF carries out another 3 air strikes on n. Gaza, causing no reported injuries; fires stun grenades to disperse Palestinians hoping to cross the al-Ram checkpoint into Jerusalem to mark the final Friday of Ramadan at al-Aqsa mosque. Late in the evening, the IDF launches F-16 air strikes on uninhabited areas of n. Gaza; patrols, shoots out street lights in Nablus; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Hebron. Palestinians then fire an antitank rocket at the Erez crossing, causing no damage or injuries. Meanwhile, 10,000s of Palestinians attend the Gaza funerals of the 7 Palestinians killed in the 10/28 Muhanna assassination; AMB, Hamas, Islamic Jihad hold massive armed marches, firing automatic weapons in the air in violation of their agmt. with the PA not to carry or use weapons in public. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba, escorted by IDF soldiers, severely beat 2 Palestinians in Hebron. Separately, Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba vandalize several Palestinian homes in Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Ramat Yishai violently beat 2 Palestinian teenagers in Hebron; the IDF intervenes and detains 1 Palestinian. Mofaz orders the eviction of 15 Jewish settler families living in the unauthorized enclave of Amona in Hebron. (AP, CSM, HA, IDF Radio, IMEMC, REU, YA 10/28; NYT, WP, WT 10/29; HA, IMEMC 10/30; OCHA 10/31; PCHR 11/10)

By morning, the IDF imposes a general curfew across the West Bank, sealing all Palestinian-controlled areas (including the northern villages of Alar, Qabatya, Sa‘ida, al-Til, Yabad, which are considered Islamic Jihad strongholds), cutting off the n. West Bank from the rest of the West Bank, barring all Palestinian private vehicles in the n. West Bank; recommends that Palestinians leave the n. Gaza border area nr. Bayt Hanun; reshuts the Erez, Qarni crossings (opened 10/26). Overnight IDF air strikes on suspected rocket launching sites in n. Gaza damage a bridge but cause no injuries. During the day, the IDF continues mock air raids, sonic booms over Gaza; sends 35 jeeps, Apache helicopters into Jenin to arrest local Islamic Jihad leader ‘Abd al-Halim Izzeddin (a leading moderate in the group), 3 other Islamic Jihad mbrs.; also arrests the father of the 10/26 bomber, 13 suspected Islamic Jihad mbrs. in raids across the n. West Bank in connection with the Hadera bombing; 3 Hamas mbrs. are also arrested. In addition, the IDF clashes with more than 150 radical settler youths while evacuating 5 unauthorized settlement outposts nr. Efrat, Elon Moreh, Keddumim, Kiryat Arba, Worshippers Way in Hebron, leaving 1 IDF soldier hospitalized. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba harass Palestinians in Hebron. In the evening, the IDF assassinates Islamic Jihad n. Gaza cmdr. Shadi Muhanna, Muhanna deputy Muhammad Qandil, 5 others (including at least 3 bystanders), wounding 19 in an air strike on Muhanna’s car as he drives in Jabaliya r.c. just as evening prayers let out; also conducts several F-16 air strikes on open areas in n. Gaza (in 1 instance possibly targeting Abu Rish Brigades and Hamas positions in the area, but causing no injuries); conducts patrols, arrest raids, house searches in Dura, Jenin town and r.c., and nearby Kefar Rai. (AP, HA, YA 10/27; CSM, HA, JT, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 10/28; NYT 10/29; PCHR 11/10)

Overnight, the IDF conducts more arrest raids across the West Bank; fires missiles fr. F-16s at the Gaza Strip, destroying a bridge in Bayt Hanun allegedly used by Palestinians firing rockets, a money changer’s office linked to Hamas, and an office building used by Fatah in Khan Yunis, causing no injuries. During the day, Palestinians fire several rockets or mortars toward Sederot, 1 of which lands inside the city, causing no damage or injuries; soon after, an IDF F-16 fires a missile nr. a housing project in Bayt Hanun, causing no damage or injuries; IDF artillery shells an open area in Bayt Hanun, causing no injuries. Mofaz warns that Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyya, Mahmud Zahhar could be targeted for assassination if there are further rocket strikes fr. Gaza; says Israel will continue striking Gaza until there is “a new reality there.” Islamic Jihad vows retaliation for the 9/25 assassination of its military cmdr. Khalil, but later, along with Hamas and the rest of the factions represented in the NIHC, reaffirms commitment to the unilateral truce agreed to by the Palestinian factions in 2/05. PA Interior M Nasr Yusuf gives orders for the PA security forces to “arrest any armed Palestinian not in uniform.” (HA, NYT, REU, WT 9/27; BBC, IMEMC, NYT, PCHR, WP 9/28; PCHR 9/29; MEI 10/12)

Overnight, the IDF conducts air strikes on the home of PRC mbr. ‘Amr Qarmut in Jabaliya r.c. in what may be an assassination attempt (causing damage but no injuries), a Hamas-run school in Gaza City (injuring 23 Palestinians), and a cultural center in Bayt Hanun run by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), causing damage but no injuries; arrests 207 Palestinians (mostly Hamas and Islamic Jihad mbrs., including Hamas political leaders Shaykh Hasan Yusuf and Muhammad Ghazzal) in the largest raids across the West Bank since 2/05. During the day, Sharon says that he has given the IDF “free rein” to act against Palestinians firing rockets. The IDF continues to mass troops on the n. Gaza border, breaks the sound barrier over Gaza roughly every 2 hrs., fires artillery shells fr. Nahal Oz into open areas nr. Bayt Hanun as a warning to Palestinians (marking Israel’s 1st shelling of Gaza since 1967); fires missiles fr. F-16s at a car s. of Gaza City, assassinating senior Islamic Jihad leader Muhammad Shaykh Khalil, Islamic Jihad mbr. Nassir Barhum, wounding 4 bystanders. In the evening, Hamas agrees to stop rocket attacks immediately. Later, an IDF helicopter gunship strikes 3 targets in Khan Yunis, including the homes of senior AMB mbrs. Ziyad Abu Hayya and Mahir al-Farra in what may be assassination attempts, causing heavy damage, injuring 17 Palestinians; the IDF says it is targeting AMB arms storage facilities. A 12-yr.-old Palestinian wounded in the 9/23 Jabaliya explosion dies, bringing that toll to at least 16. (AFP, AP, HA, IMEMC, JAZ, WP, WT, XIN, YA 9/25; CSM, HA, IMEMC, JP, NYT, WP, WT 9/26; HA 9/27; AFP, DS, MEI, PCHR 9/29)

Today’s Independent (9/25) reports that a new book by 2 prominent Israeli journalists, Ofer Shelah and Raviv Druker, states that “at a conference of officers as early as May 2001, Shaul Mofaz, now defense minister and then chief of staff, asked for the tape to be switched off before telling them that he wanted a ‘price’ exacted from the Palestinians of 10 killed a day on each of the army’s seven fronts.” The book also reports that after 6 IDF soldiers were killed in an ambush in 3/02, “Mofaz personally ordered a revenge operation in which for the first time [sic—see “Overview of Israeli Military Operations,” Resource File Doc. A, JPS 134] Palestinian police officers would be shot, whether they posed a threat or not.” (Independent 9/25)

The IDF fires on stone-throwing Palestinians in Askar r.c., Balata r.c.; demolishes 2 Palestinian homes in Rafah, 1 in Issawiyya; bulldozes 26 dunams of land in Rafah; conducts arrest raids in Dahaysha r.c., Nablus, Qabatiyya, Qalqilya, Tulkarm; searches homes in Dayr al-Balah, occupying 1 as an IDF post; conducts arrest raids in Hebron, Ramallah. Palestinians reportedly fire an antitank missile at an IDF post in Gaza, injuring 1 soldier, a civilian worker; fire 3 mortars at Gush Katif, causing no damage or injuries. IDF F-16s break the sound barrier over the Gaza Strip throughout the day. Late in the evening, at least 1 Palestinian gunman fires on an Israeli vehicle just inside the Israeli border nr. Qalqilya, killing a 7-yr.-old Israeli girl, wounding 3; the AMB, PFLP-GC each claim responsibility. Israeli police detain Mufti of Jerusalem Ikrima Sabri for questioning as part of the investigation into whether the Islamic Movement laundered money for Hamas. The IDF says it has drawn up a list of another 19 unauthorized outposts to be dismantled; of the original list, 10 uninhabited outposts have been removed, while 5 inhabited ones are slated for removal in the next few days. (AFP, AP, HA, HP 6/17; VOI, YA 6/17 in WNC 6/19; HA, MM, NYT, PR, WP, WT 6/18; HA, LAW, NYT, PCHR 6/19; JPI 6/27)

The IDF exchanges gunfire with 2 Islamic Jihad mbrs. nr. Gush Katif settlement, leaving the 2 Palestinians dead, 2 soldiers wounded; fires on residential areas of, conducts arrest raids in Tulkarm; reopens PLO Jerusalem affairs rep. Nusseibeh's offices at al-Quds University. Late in the evening, the IDF assassinates Izzeddine al-Qassam Brigades founder and head Shaykh Salah Shihada, no. 1 on Israel's most wanted list, sending an F-16 to fire a 1-ton guided missile at a building where he is staying in Gaza City, collapsing 3 buildings, heavily damaging 20 others, killing 14 Palestinian bystanders (including 9 children, 4 women), injuring 140. Palestinians across Gaza take to the streets to demonstrate against the assassination, which comes hrs. after the AMB, tanzim, Hamas, Islamic Jihad agreed to declare a unilateral cease-fire after wks. of intra-Palestinian talks. (HA, JP, MM, REU 7/22; AFP 7/22 in WNC 7/23; AP, B'Tselem press release, HA, MEZ, MM, NYT, PCHR, UN press release, WP, WT 7/23; ATL 7/23 in WNC 7/24; HA, LAW, MM, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT, YA 7/24; ITAR-TASS, MENA al-Quds 7/24 in WNC 7/25; Gulf Times 7/24, AFP, JT, MA, al-Quds, SA, XIN 7/25 in WNC 7/26; HA, MM NYT, WJW, WP, WT 7/25; MEI 7/26; JT, al-Nahar 7/26 in WNC 7/29; MM 7/29, 7/30; JPI, MM 8/2; MA, SA 8/2 in WNC 8/5; MEI 8/16) (see 5/14/00)

2 Islamic Jihad suicide bombers stage a double bombing outside a cafe in Tel Aviv, killing 1 Israeli, 2 foreign workers, injuring 3. An 8th victim of the Emmanuel bus ambush on 7/16, a baby born prematurely to a Jewish settler injured in the attack, dies. The IDF tracks, engages in a 3 hr. gun battle with the 3 Palestinian gunmen involved in the ambush, leaving 2 Palestinians and 1 IDF officer dead, 3 IDF officers injured; 1 of the Palestinians escape again. The IDF also conducts arrest raids in Silat al-Dahir, leaving 2 suspected AMB mbrs. dead; fatally shoots a Palestinian allegedly attempting to sneak into Israel nr. Qalqilya; arrests senior Izzeddine al-Qassam Brigades mbr. Muhammad Nashteh in Ramallah. In Amari r.c., 2 Palestinian children are killed, 11 are wounded when they trigger an unexploded IDF shell. In Ramallah, a mysterious explosion kills 2 Palestinians. The IDF F-16s bomb, destroy a foundry in Gaza that the IDF claims was a Hamas bomb-making facility. In Ramallah, PalNet Internet service, raided on 7/15, is restored. The IDF orders the confiscation of 60 dunams of Palestinian land btwn. Gaza City and Netzarim settlement for construction of a settlement bypass road. (LAW, PCHR 7/17; MM, NYT, WP, WT 7/18; WP 7/19; PCHR 7/21; MEI 7/26; XIN 7/28 in WNC 7/29)

In Khan Yunis, a Palestinian on trial for collaborating with Israel is killed by Palestinian militants when the trial is disrupted by an IDF air strike nearby, leaving him unguarded. The IDF F-16s hit the home of senior Izzeddine al-Qassam Brigades mbr. Ahmad Yusif `Abd al-Wahhab, who escapes; at least 5 Palestinian bystanders are wounded. The IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian farmer working in his field nr. Dugit settlement; claims it was responding to mortar fire fr. the area directed at the settlement. At checkpoint nr. Balata r.c., an Israeli border policeman fatally shoots a Palestinian who allegedly tried to knife him. The IDF bulldozes Palestinian agricultural land nr. Khan Yunis. (NYT, WP, WT 7/15; LAW, PCHR 7/17)

The ZOA gives Christian Broadcasting Network founder Pat Robertson the State of Israel Friendship Award for being "a major Christian leader who strongly supports Israel and its religious, historical, and legal right to the holy land." (ZOA press release 7/9, JTA 7/12) (see 7/10)

Israel shells, sends troops into Dahaysha; conduct air raids (including F-16s) against targets across Gaza and in Hebron, Nablus, Ramallah. The IDF continues operations in Bethlehem, coming within a mile of the Church of the Nativity; raids a village nr. Rafah, ordering Palestinian men age 15+n45 to surrender; makes incursions into Birzeit, Jifna. The IDF attempts to assassinate senior AMB mbr. Samir Awais, firing missiles a his car, killing his brother, the car's only occupant, by mistake. Late this evening, 2 AMB gunman open fire and throw grenades in the Israeli coastal city of Netanya, killing 2 Israelis, 1 Israeli Arab, wounding 24 before being shot dead. Hrs. later, a Hamas suicide bomber detonates a device in a Jerusalem cafe, killing 11 Israelis, wounding 50. The IDF reportedly has detained some 600 Palestinian men, teenage boys in Tulkarm r.c. since 3/8. (BDL, HP 3/9; NYT, WP, WT 3/10; JP [Internet], MM 3/11; LAW 3/13)

Israel's air, land, and sea assaults continue, leaving at least 16 Palestinians dead, more than 70 injured. The IDF enters Tulkarm r.c. and Nur al-Shams r.c., meeting fierce resistance. In Tulkarm r.c., IDF fire kills 2 Palestinian ambulance workers, wounds 4 others, plus 10s of Palestinians. IDF soldiers halt an ambulance in Salem, abduct a wounded Palestinian. After a Hamas gunman sneaks into a Atzmona settlement in Gaza and opens fire, killing 5 Jewish settlers and wounding 23 before being shot dead, the IDF sends 10s of tanks and armored personnel carriers (APCs) into Aida, Bethlehem, Dahaysha, 2 neighboring villages, meeting little resistance; soldiers cut electricity, conduct house-to-house searches, occupy numerous homes and schools as observation and staging posts. F-16s bomb PA security offices in Bethlehem, destroying the Force 17 headquarters, a clinic. A PFLP suicide bomber detonates a device in Ariel settlement, lightly injuring 5 settlers; another Palestinian with a large bomb in a backpack is captured, disarmed in a Jerusalem cafe. A Palestinian gunman seriously wounds a Jewish settler nr. Nablus. IDF gunboats shell PA government buildings, political offices, intelligence headquarters, and a PSF compound in Gaza City, injuring 13 PSF officers and leaving only 2 of 25 buildings in the compound standing. The IDF also sends tanks into Jenin; shells PSF offices in Halhul, Hebron, Yatta; shells, destroys the PFLP headquarters in Bayt Hanun; invades the Jerusalem Chamber of Commerce, confiscating files related to Palestinian land, property ownership; demolish 2 Palestinian homes in Tayasir, Jenin; fire on a Palestinian school in Hawara. Some 150 Israeli intelligence officers, border police, troops seal off the Jabal Mukabir section of East Jerusalem, where they surround the home of human rights activist Khader Shkirat, briefly take him into custody, search his home. (AP, CNN, HP, LAW, NYT, WP 3/7; AFP 3/7 in WNC 3/8, 3/11; LAW, MM, NYT, WP 3/8; MA 3/8 in WNC 3/11; LAW 3/13, 3/20; MEI 3/22)

U.S. Pres. George W. Bush orders U.S. special envoy Anthony Zinni back to the region to attempt to secure an Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire. (AP 3/7; NYT, WP, WT 3/8; MM 3/11; AYM 3/12 in WNC 3/14; MEI 3/22)

Retaliating for the firing of Qassam-2s on 3/5, the IDF launches air, land, sea strikes on PA targets across the West Bank and Gaza, striking and partially demolishing Arafat's residence in Gaza City and a UNRWA school for the blind, among other sites. The IDF also shells the PA compound in Ramallah while Arafat is meeting with EU special envoy Miguel Moratinos; they are not injured. Sharon vows to continue the strikes "without letup" until the Palestinians stop attacking Israeli soldiers, civilians. During the day, at least 13 Palestinians are killed, including senior Hamas mbr. `Abd al-Nassar Ghazal in a possible assassination in Gaza, 4 PA naval police killed by IDF shelling in Gaza, 1 Palestinian shot dead nr. Nablus, 1 killed in a questionable explosion nr. Qalqilya, 4 who die of injuries received earlier. 2 IDF soldiers are killed in clashes in Khan Yunis and Rafah. F-16s bomb a Gaza police headquarters where PSF officers had been scheduled to meet, leading the PA to believe the attack was a failed assassination attempt against PSF chief Brig. Gen. `Abd al-Raziq Majayda. The IDF also makes arrest raids and demolishes at least 2 Palestinian houses in Gaza; fires on a Palestinian school in Silat al-Dahir, injuring 4 students; bulldozes Palestinian land in al-Khadir; maintains closure on Balata, Jenin. Over 20 Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar fire on a neighboring Palestinian village; attack IDF soldiers who intervene, beating them, puncturing tires on their jeeps. Jewish settlers also cut down 300 Palestinian-owned olive trees nr. Hebron; IDF troops reportedly fire warning shots at Palestinians who attempt to intervene. (AP, HP, MM 3/6; AFP, al-Quds 3/6 in WNC 3/7; JP [Internet], LAW, MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/7; MENA, RNE 3/7 in WNC 3/8; JP 3/15)

Israeli-Palestinian violence continues to escalate, leaving 1 Israeli civilian, 1 Jewish settler, at least 6 Palestinians dead. A package bomb planted by a Jewish vigilante group called Revenge of the Innocent Babes (in reference to the 3/2 Beit Israel attack) explodes on a playground at a Palestinian school in East Jerusalem, injuring 2 teachers, 24 children. In response to the 3/4 AMB attack in Tel Aviv, IDF F-16s rocket Palestinian targets across Gaza and in Bethlehem, Nablus, Ramallah, Tulkarm; helicopters fire a missile at a car in Ramallah, killing 3 Palestinians, including 2 wanted AMB members, Muhannad Abu Halawa and Fawzi Murrar. The IDF also makes incursions into Palestinian areas nr. Bayt Lahia, Jabaliya, Khan Yunis, Tamun; direct shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Bethlehem, al-Khadir, Qalqilya; demolishes greenhouses in Issawiyya. Nr. Gush Etzion settlement, Palestinian gunmen fire on a Jewish settler vehicle, killing 1 settler. A Palestinian suicide bomber detonates a devices on a bus in Afula, Israel, killing 1 Israeli. Palestinians also launch 2 Qassam-2s fr. Gaza into Israel, for the 1st time hitting an apartment building in Sederot, injuring 2 children. Jewish settlers attack a PSF post in Qalqilya, stone a Palestinian car nr. Ramallah. (HP, MM 3/5; XIN 3/5 in WNC 3/6; LAW, MM, NYT, PCHR, PMC, WP, WT 3/6; MA 3/6 in WNC 3/7; AYM 3/7 in WNC 3/8; MEI 3/8; JP 3/15)

     Sharon convenes his inner cabinet, then his full cabinet to discuss how to respond to the 3/4 Tel Aviv attack. Participants reportedly debate launching massive "mopping-up" operations in refugee camps, incursions into a list of villages in areas A and B, escalating attacks on Ramallah (including removing Arafat). The cabinet gives the IDF "free rein to further intensify military pressure on the PA, especially in Ramallah," bars all Palestinian vehicular traffic in the West Bank. (MM 3/5; NYT, PMC, WP, WT 3/6) quote in PMC 3/6

A AMB sniper using a decades-old carbine rifle fatally shoots 7 IDF soldiers, 3 Jewish settlers, wounding 6 others at a checkpoint nr. Ofra settlement before escaping, leaving his gun behind. In response, IDF tanks, helicopters, F-16s strike PSF targets in Bethlehem, killing 4 PSF officers, wounding 20. In retaliation for the Beit Israeli suicide bombing on 3/2, IDF helicopters rocket the PA headquarters, a small factory in Bethlehem. The IDF also shells the PA military intelligence office in Salfit, killing 1 PA intelligence officer, wounding 5; shells a building within Arafat's compound in Ramallah; briefly invades Qalqilya. In Gaza, an AMB gunman fatally shoots an IDF soldier. Sharon convenes his inner cabinet to chart an intensified policy of "sustained military pressure" against the PA, militant Palestinian groups. Jewish settlers rally outside the PM's residence in Jerusalem, demanding harsher attacks on the Palestinians. 100s of Hamas supporters rally in Jabaliya. Arafat condemns the Beit Israeli attack, but says nothing about today's AMB strikes. (HA, NYT, WP, WT 3/3; AFP, XIN 3/3 in WNC 3/4; JP [Internet], MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/4; MM 3/5; AKH 3/6 in WNC 3/7; WJW 3/7; MEI 3/8; JP 3/15)

In a massive predawn operation, the IDF sends tanks, troops into Gaza City fr. 3 directions, firing heavy machine guns, demolishing the Palestine Broadcasting Center, taking Palestinian TV and radio off the air. IDF helicopters strike the PA military intelligence, military police, Force 17 buildings in the city. The IDF also sends bulldozers into enter Brazil r.c., killing 6 Palestinians; dispatches F-16s to bomb a PA security building in Khan Yunis, helicopters shell a Force 17 building in al-Bireh, naval vessels shell a PA naval police station in Bayt Lahia. Nr. Jerusalem, a Palestinian fires on an IDF post, injuring 2 IDF soldiers before being shot dead. A 8th Palestinian is fatally shot at an IDF checkpoint for "acting suspiciously"; an Israeli Arab is killed in an incident elsewhere. The PSF arrests 3 senior PFLP mbrs. suspected of involvement in the 10/01 assassination of Israel's Tourism M Rehavam Ze'evi. Israel, which had made the arrests a condition of easing Arafat's confinement, says the PA must also arrest anyone behind the Karine A arms shipment, Arafat must achieve complete quiet before Israel will allow him to leave his Ramallah compound. (AP, MM, NYT, PCHR, REU, WP, WT 2/21; AFP 2/21 in WNC 2/22; AFP, NYT, WP, WT 2/22; PCHR 2/27; WP 4/19)

The CIA convenes a trilateral security comm. mtg. at Erez crossing to discuss security issues. As a result of the mtg., Israel agrees not to initiate military operations for 1 wk., except to prevent imminent terrorist attacks. (NYT 2/22, 2/23; NYT, WT 2/24; WP 2/25)

In a TV address, Sharon urges Israelis to stiffen their resolve but does not offer a vision for how to achieve a cease-fire or durable peace; announces plans to create buffer zones to impose "security separation" between Israeli and Palestinian territory; demands the "complete demilitarization" of the PA areas as a "prelude" to a final settlement; denounces "expressions of disobedience" such as the IDF conscientious objection petition, which he says "encourage terrorist organizations." (MM 5/21; AFP, HP, MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/22; QA 2/22 in WNC 2/25; WP, WT 2/23; Guardian 2/23; Le Monde 2/24 in WNC 2/26; HA 3/1; MEI 3/8)

At a UN Security Council (UNSC) emergency session in New York, UN Secy-Gen. Kofi Annan warns that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is "sliding toward a full-fledged war"; says that the Mitchell and Tenet plans have clearly not succeeded, that an active international effort and "new thinking" are necessary. The Israeli, U.S. reps. strongly reject anything other than U.S. mediation. (NYT 2/22)

An AMB gunman attacks an IDF outpost n. of Jerusalem, killing 6 IDF soldiers, critically wounding 1, and escaping. IDF F-16s shell 2 PSF buildings in Rafah, Ramallah; naval vessels fire a missile at PA head Yasir Arafat's compound in Gaza, killing 4 Force 17 mbrs. The IDF also rockets a Hamas office in Jabaliya, killing 2 Hamas mbrs. in an apparent assassination; among the 11 injured are 9 children. 2 Palestinians are killed in IDF strikes on Nablus. A Palestinian suicide bomber detonates a device in the West Bank, killing only himself, causing no injuries. The IDF bulldozes a Palestinian home in Dayr al-Balah, 2 Palestinian homes in Umm Tuba nr. Jabal Abu Ghunaym settlement, 1 dunam of Palestinian agricultural land nr. Yatta; bans all Palestinian vehicular traffic except ambulances in the n. West Bank. Late this evening, the IDF fires 18 shells at Arafat's compound in Gaza, killing 5 PSF officers; 1 missile into his compound in Ramallah, where he has been held under virtual house arrest since 12/01. In Hebron, Jewish settlers fire on Palestinian areas, causing no injuries. (AP, Mezan, MM, NYT, WT 2/19; AP, HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/20; AFP, MA 2/20 in WNC 2/21; MM, PCHR, WP 2/21)

For the 1st time, the IDF erects portable housing for soldiers in PA-controlled areas of the West Bank nr. Jenin. Israeli police halt a vehicle outside an IDF training base nr. Hadera, Israel. 1 Palestinian flees, is fatally shot by police; the 2d Palestinian detonates an explosive device, killing himself, injuring 3 policemen, 3 bystanders; al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) takes responsibility. Israeli PM Ariel Sharon meets with his cabinet to discuss how to respond; no decision is announced. IDF F-16s shell PA targets in Nablus (hitting a government building, PSF office, apartment building), Ramallah (hitting a PSF office); repeatedly break the sound barrier over Jenin. The IDF also conducts arrest raids in Umm al-Sharayit; demolishes a water network, digs a trench along a main road in Nablus; sets up observation towers with heavy machine gun emplacements, reinforces positions on the western border of Khan Yunis refugee camp (r.c.); tightens closures on Jenin, Nablus, Qalqilya, Ramallah. Jewish settlers attack Palestinian farmers in al-Tuwani, burn at least 200 dunams of wheat. A 3d Palestinian dies of injuries received on 2/16. (HA, HP, JP [Internet], al-Quds [Internet] 2/17; MA 2/18 in WNC 2/19; NYT, WP, WT 2/18)

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdallah announces that he has drafted an initiative to be presented to the Arab League offering full Arab normalization with Israel in exchange for Israel's full withdrawal fr. all the occupied territories captured in 1967. (HA, NYT 2/17; MM 2/18; MENA, QA 2/18 in WNC 2/19; MM, WP, WT 2/19; MM 5/20; AYM 2/20 in WNC 2/25; MM 5/22, 5/25; WP 3/2; MEI 3/8)

In response to the Salahadin Brigades attack on 2/14, IDF F-16s twice bomb the PSF headquarters in Jabaliya, killing 1 PSF officer, wounding 30 Palestinians. IDF commandos raid Saida, killing 1 Islamic Jihad mbr., arresting 4 others, razing Palestinian agricultural land, bulldozing 1 Palestinian home; during the demolition, a wall of the home collapses on a senior IDF undercover officer, killing him. Nr. Ramallah, AMB mbrs. fire on an IDF post, killing 1 soldier. In Ramallah, 100s of DFLP, PFLP supporters rally outside Arafat's Ramallah compound, calling for the release of a Palestinians held by the PA without charge. (BBC 2/15; AFP 2/15 in WNC 2/19; NYT, WP, WT 2/16; WP 2/17; PCHR 2/21)

Overnight, Hamas fires 2 Qassam-2 rockets at a Jewish settlement in the West Bank, missing the settlement completely, causing no damage or injuries. In response, the IDF temporarily seizes the Palestinian towns of Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahia, and Dayr al-Balah as well as Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza; conducts searches, detaining at least 12 Palestinians; exchanges gunfire with Palestinians, leaving 5 PSF officers dead; bars international agencies fr. sending officials to observe the operation. The IDF also sends tanks into Jenin briefly; flies F-16s over Nablus all day; conducts arrest raids around Jenin; bulldozes 15 dunams of Palestinian land nr. al-Maghazi. A 6th Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. (AFP, HP, LAW, MM, NYT, PCHR, WP 2/13; MM, WP, WT 2/14; MM 2/15; MEI 2/22)

The IDF sends 20 tanks into Nablus, declares a curfew, and retakes Joseph's Tomb, a Jewish shrine abandoned by Israel during the 1st mo. of the al-Aqsa intifada. At midday, as schools are letting out, the IDF F-16s, helicopters strike a PSF compound in Gaza city, injuring at least 40 Palestinians. After the bombing, 100s of Palestinians race to the jail inside the PSF compound, demanding the release of prisoners, fearing the jail would be hit next. PSF officers fire in the air to disperse the crowd and quickly begin transferring prisoners to detention elsewhere, but several prisoners escape or are freed in the melee. Later, some 300 Palestinians storm the PSF jail in Hebron, freeing 16 Hamas, Islamic Jihad mbrs. Israel says the Gaza strikes are part of a "rolling response" to the "new level of threat" presented by Hamas's use of 1 or 2 Qassam-2 rockets on 2/10. 1 Palestinian dies of injuries received on 2/3. (MM, WT 2/11; AP, MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/12; JT 2/12 in WNC 2/13; QA 2/12 in WNC 2/14; LAW, PCHR 2/13)

During a mtg. with his top aides, Arafat, furious over the storming of the PSF jail in Hebron today, demands to know why PSF West Bank head Jibril Rajub's men had permitted the prisoners' release. According to reports confirmed by unnamed PA officials, Arafat then drew a gun on Rajub, accused him of trying to replace him. Aides separated the pair, defusing the situation. (QA, al-Quds 2/13 in WNC 2/14; MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/14; MENA 2/14 in WNC 2/15; MM 2/15)