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  • August 24, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized 3 Palestinian-owned vehicles and sprayed “Jews wake up, Arabs leave” and the Star of David on a wall near the vehicles in Marda. Israeli forces...

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  • August 11, 2021

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

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  • May 10, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized 1 solar panel and 15 olive seedlings near ‘Urif. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Dura and Bayt Umar, leading to tear-gas...

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  • October 9, 2019

    In the West Bank, 2 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Hebron. Israeli forces closed al-Ibrahimi Mosque for Palestinians, allowing settlers access throughout the day...

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  • December 4, 2018

    IDF troops shoot and kill a Palestinian amid clashes sparked by an overnight arrest raid in Tulkarm (a video of the incident will circulate later in the week showing that Israeli soldiers shot the...

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  • December 3, 2018

    Hundreds of Palestinians gather along Gaza’s north coast to continue the Great March of Return and to cheer on approximately 30 Palestinian boats sailing in a symbolic challenge to the Israeli...

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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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  • November 14, 2012

    The IDF assassinates Hamas commander Ahmad Jabari and his bodyguard and separately kills 7 other Palestinians in a number of air strikes on military and civilian targets across the Gaza Strip,...

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  • January 30, 2012

    In East Jerusalem, the IDF demolishes a Palestinian home in Bayt Hanina and an addition to a Palestinian home in Shu’fat. In the West Bank, the IDF rearrests Hamas mbr. Ayman Salama, 1 of the...

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  • August 16, 2011

    As the quarter opens, Israel maintains a tight siege on Hamas-controlled Gaza, imposing a 300-meter no-go zone inside the full length of the Gaza border and limiting the Palestinian fishing zone...

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  • January 3, 2009

    Israel begins phase 2 of OCL, a massive ground advance into Gaza, in the evening. The IDF states that “the objective . . . is to destroy the terrorist infrastructure of the Hamas in the precise...

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  • December 22, 2008

    Hamas’s Gaza leadership calls on factions to halt their fire for 24 hrs. in an effort to restore the truce. Senior Hamas official Mahmud Zahhar appears on Israeli TV to state that Hamas seeks a...

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  • June 24, 2007

    After Islamic Jihad fires several rockets fr. Gaza into Israel (causing no reported injuries), the IDF makes an air strike on a car in Gaza City assassinating Islamic Jihad mbr. Hussam Harb,...

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  • November 25, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF makes an air strike on a car driving nr. Gaza City, killing 1 Hamas mbr., wounding a bystander; fatally shoots a Palestinian nr. Bayt Lahiya attempting to fire a rocket into...

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  • September 6, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF continues operations in Khuza‘a, wounding 8 Palestinians (including at least 4 civilians), bulldozing areas of agricultural land. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units...

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  • August 29, 2006

    The IDF continues operations in Gaza City, shelling, firing on, and using drones to fire missiles at any group of Palestinians in the eastern part of the city, killing at least 4 Palestinian...

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  • August 4, 2006

    The IDF continues operations al-Shuka, making air and artillery strikes on buildings allegedly housing Hamas and Islamic Jihad weapons caches, exchanging fire with Palestinian gunmen, conducting...

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  • July 22, 2006

    The IDF continues to shell n. Gaza, wounding at least 1 Palestinian civilian. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem. A Palestinian militant wounded during...

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  • June 27, 2006

    As the IDF continues to prepare for a ground invasion of Gaza, moving into place 2 infantry regiments, bringing the total buildup along the border to 5,000 troops, Palestinian militants in Gaza...

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  • May 16, 2006

    As the quarter opens, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) continue Operation Southern Arrow, with heavy shelling and air strikes on Gaza in response to Palestinian rocket fire (at a rate of 10 Israeli...

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  • April 18, 2006

    Israel says that the Hamas-led PA is responsible for the 4/17 suicide bombing but that it will not launch a large-scale military operation in retaliation so as to “avoid escalation”; instead it...

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  • September 24, 2005

    Before dawn, Islamic Jihad and Hamas fire more than 30 rockets fr. Gaza at Sederot and the Negev, 3 of which lightly wound 3 Israeli security guards, 2 civilians. Early in the morning, the IDF...

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  • July 16, 2005

    IDF tanks and infantry begin massing on Gaza’s northern border in apparent preparation for a major incursion. The IDF continues operations in and around Tulkarm; conducts predawn missile strikes...

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  • September 29, 2004

    The IDF continues operations in Bayt Hanun and Jabaliya r.c. launched on 9/28, expands into Bayt Lahiya; occupies buildings as sniper posts; shells, fires on residential areas, killing 1 stone-...

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  • August 21, 2003

    The IDF assassinates senior Hamas political leader and spokesman Ismail Abu Shanab, firing 5 missiles at his car as he drives through Gaza City, also killing 2 bodyguards, wounding at least 19...

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  • March 21, 2003

    After Friday prayers in Jerusalem, some Palestinians demonstrate against the U.S.-led attack on Iraq; Israeli police use stun grenades, tear gas to disperse the crowd, causing only light injuries...

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  • June 5, 2002

    An Islamic Jihad suicide bomber marking the 35th anniversary of the 1967 war detonates a large car bomb nr. a bus in Meggido, killing 14 IDF soldiers, 3 Israeli civilians, wounding 38...

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  • March 10, 2002

    In response to the 2 suicide attacks on 3/9, the IDF destroys Arafat's Gaza City headquarters, firing 30 missiles at the compound fr. the air, sea. IDF sends 50 tanks, APCs into Qalqilya;...

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  • January 21, 2002

    In its largest military operation in the West Bank and Gaza since 1967, Israel sends a large number of IDF infantry, tanks, APCs, armored bulldozers into Tulkarm in a predawn operation to totally...

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  • October 5, 2001

    In its largest military operation since the start of the al-Aqsa intifada (in terms of area, size of the force involved), Israel sends IDF infantry, tanks, armored bulldozers, and helicopters to...

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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized 3 Palestinian-owned vehicles and sprayed “Jews wake up, Arabs leave” and the Star of David on a wall near the vehicles in Marda. Israeli forces violently dispersed a funeral procession in Abu Dis for a Palestinian woman who was killed in June 2021 and whose body was handed to her family on 8/23; 1 was injured by a baton round to his head. Israeli forces demolished 1 agricultural structure and 1 carwash in Huwwara and residential and agricultural structures belonging to 8 families near Fasayil. 14 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in al-Bireh, Jalazun refugee camp, Beit Rima, Silwad, Qatanna, al-Azza refugee camp, Husan, Beit Sahour, Nablus, and Jenin. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian family demolished their own home in Silwan, displacing 10. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian agricultural lands east of al-Qarara; no injuries were reported. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 8/24; PCHR 8/25; UNOCHA 9/2)

1 6-year-old Palestinian boy died in Gaza after being denied exit permits for medical treatment at the Hadassah medical center in Jerusalem. The boy was unable to attend 2 appointments for medical treatment on 1/12 and 8/10, as the request for his exit permit remained “under review.” (HA 9/1)

The Israeli army suspended 4 soldiers of the Ultra-Orthodox Netzah Yehuda Battalion after a video surfaced of them beating 2 Palestinians near Ramallah. The 4 soldiers had detained the 2 Palestinians after stopping their car. A statement from the Israeli military said that the soldiers used “unnecessary force.” (AP, HA, MEMO 8/24)

Islamic Jihad leader Ziyad al-Nakhala met with Hezbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon, discussing Israel’s latest offensive against Islamic Jihad in Gaza. (ALM 8/24)

Axios reported that the U.S. is pressuring Israel to keep its promise to open the Allenby Bridge crossing to Jordan 24/7, rather than the current limited hours of operations. (AX 8/24)

In response to U.S. air strikes in Syria on 8/23, groups said to be affiliated with Iran attacked the U.S. Mission Support Site Conoco in Syria, lightly injuring 1 U.S. soldier. The U.S. responded by attacking militants with helicopters, killing at least 2 people. (REU, REU 8/24; AJ, HA, MEE 8/25)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized 1 solar panel and 15 olive seedlings near ‘Urif. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Dura and Bayt Umar, leading to tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Hebron, injuring 13, including 5 with live ammunition and 8 with rubber-coated bullets; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Elsewhere, Israeli forces seized a caravan in Sabastiyya. 5 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Tarqumiyya and Jenin refugee camp; Israeli forces also seized a vehicle during a house raid in Aqraba. In East Jerusalem, 1 Israeli settler rammed Palestinians with his vehicle near the Old City, causing injuries; Palestinians were throwing stones at the vehicle but it was unclear what transpired before the ramming, which appeared in a video. Israeli settlers also attacked Palestinians in Shaykh Jarrah during a tour of the neighborhood by 2 Israeli lawmakers, Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich. Israeli forces attacked Palestinian worshipers with tear gas, sound bombs, and rubber-coated bullets at the Haram al-Sharif compound, injuring more than 305 people, including inside of al-Aqsa Mosque where a sound bomb caught a carpet on fire. Israeli forces prevented the Palestinian Red Crescent from entering the compound. Israel also reversed its decision from 5/9 to allow Jewish worshipers to enter the Haram al-Sharif compound for the Israeli celebration of Jerusalem Day. The Jerusalem Day march was later canceled by its organizers as Israeli police decided to prevent the settler march to go through the Damascus Gate plaza. Israeli forces also confiscated the keys to the al-Aqsa Mosque from the Islamic Waqf. Also at the Haram al-Sharif compound, Israeli police were filmed beating up an Israeli-accredited Palestinian journalist covering the events for Anadolu Agency. The Palestinian Red Crescent said that 612 Palestinians were injured throughout Jerusalem, including 333 who were hospitalized. In Gaza, Israeli started a military operation later dubbed “Guardian of the Wall” after Hamas fired rockets at Israel, giving Israel hours to leave the Haram al-Sharif compound. Hamas had earlier in the day warned Israel that it would fire rockets at 6 p.m. if Israel did not remove its forces from the holy places. 20 Palestinians were killed, including 9 children, and dozens were injured. The casualties included: 2, including 1 child, in 1 drone strike at Jabaliya; 10, including 6 children in 2 drone strikes at Bayt Hanun, with 32 others wounded, including 12 children; and 1, with 2 injured, in an Israeli air strike in Khan Yunis. 7 were also killed, including 1 child, and 34 were injured in Jabaliya in an explosion that was not conclusively attributed to an Israeli air strike. Additionally, damage was sustained in al-Bureij refugee camp, al-Qarara, and Rafah. In Israel, 1 Palestinian citizen of Israel was shot dead and 1 other injured by 1 Jewish-Israeli in Lydda; 3 Jewish-Israelis were arrested. Israeli forces later violently dispersed Palestinian-Israeli protesters at the Lydda city hall. In Ramla, Jewish-Israelis threw stones at Palestinian-Israelis and their property and set fire to trash cans. Israeli police dispersed Palestinian-Israeli protesters in Nazareth, Kafr Kana, Kafr Manda, Shefa-Amr, Majdal Krum, Dayr Khana, Umm al-Fahm, Baka al-Garbiyeh, Taiba, Jaffa, Haifa, and Jaljulya; 46 were arrested. The Knesset was evacuated after a rocket from Gaza landed in the vicinity of Jerusalem. (HA 5/9; AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, AX, FOX, GDN, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, MEE, MEE, MEE, MEE, MEMO, NYT, PCHR, REU, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/10; ALM, HA, HA, MEE, PCHR, PCHR 5/11; ALM, HA, WAFA 5/12; WAFA 5/19; MEE 5/21; NYT 5/26)

Israel closed all crossings to Gaza and the sea for fishing as collective punishment for rockets fired at Israel. (PCHR 5/10)

The PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh and the PA presidency condemned Israel’s attack on the Haram al-Sharif compound and called on the international community to take action. The PA civil affairs minister Hussein al-Sheikh said the Palestinian leadership is “examining all options to respond to this heinous aggression against the holy sites and the citizens.” PA president Mahmoud Abbas also discussed the situation with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/10)

Leader of the Ra’am (United Arab List) Mansour Abbas said that he had broken off contacts with Israeli opposition leaders Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett just before he was to have a joint meeting with them, citing the violence in Jerusalem and Gaza. Mansour Abbas met with Naftali Bennett on 5/9. (ALM, HA 5/10; ALM, HA, MEMO, NBC 5/11)

Israel attacked Syria in the Quneitra region with a helicopter, injuring 1. (HA 5/10)

Iran confirmed that it is in direct talks with Saudi Arabia to resolve the issues between the 2 countries. A Saudi official confirmed the talks on 5/7. (AJ, HA, REU 5/10)

The U.S. said 1 of its Coast Guard ships had fired 30 warning shots at 13 Iranian vessels that came too close to the ship and 6 other U.S. navy vessels. Iran said that it was the U.S. that had acted recklessly in the encounter. (AJ, HA, REU 5/10; AP, MEMO 5/11)

UN security council members met at an emergency session to discuss the situation in Palestine-Israel. No statement was issued after the meeting. U.S. state department spokesperson Ned Price said that the U.S. administration wanted to make sure that a statement would “not escalate tensions.” Spokesperson Price also refused to say if the U.S. condemned the Israeli air strike that killed 9 Palestinian children, and suggested that Palestinians, contrary to Israelis, do not have the right to defend themselves, saying that only states recognized by the U.S. have that right. (HA, MEE 5/11)

In the West Bank, 2 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Hebron. Israeli forces closed al-Ibrahimi Mosque for Palestinians, allowing settlers access throughout the day. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian farmland; no injuries were reported. (PCHR 10/10)

Turkey and its Syrian rebel allies launched a military operation in northeast Syria attacking Kurdish forces. (HA 10/9; AJ, 10/10)

IDF troops shoot and kill a Palestinian amid clashes sparked by an overnight arrest raid in Tulkarm (a video of the incident will circulate later in the week showing that Israeli soldiers shot the man in the back). Elsewhere in the West Bank, Israeli forces demolish 5 Palestinian commercial buildings in Haris village near Salfit. IDF troops arrest 10 Palestinians and issue 1 arrest summons during late-night raids near Bethlehem, Salfit, Ramallah, Tulkarm, Jerusalem, and Tubas; and patrol near Bethlehem and Hebron. Israeli forces demolish 4 Palestinian makeshift commercial structures outside Haris village near Salfit. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolish a Palestinian home under construction in Jabal Mukabir, another in Sur Bahir, and 2 small commercial facilities in Bayt Hanina. A Palestinian demolishes his own small parking garage in Silwan to avoid paying Israeli demolition fees. Along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion to level land near Bayt Hanun. They also open fire on a Hamas border security post near Dayr al-Balah, causing no damage or injuries. (HA, JP, MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/4; PCHR 12/6)

Hours after the IDF announces that it yesterday launched Operation Northern Shield to uncover and demolish “attack” tunnels built by Hezbollah and leading into northern Israel, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says there has already been “operational successes” in the operation. “Whoever tries to harm the State of Israel will pay a heavy price,” he says. “We will continue with further actions—public and clandestine—in order to safeguard the security of Israel.” IDF officers predict it will likely take several weeks to locate and demolish all of the tunnels. Meanwhile, Lebanese president Michel Aoun calls on the Lebanese army to “closely monitor” the IDF activity along the border. (MEMO, HA, HA, HA, JP, JP, TOI 12/4; HA, MNA, MNA 12/5)

Hundreds of Palestinians gather along Gaza’s north coast to continue the Great March of Return and to cheer on approximately 30 Palestinian boats sailing in a symbolic challenge to the Israeli blockade. IDF troops and Israeli naval forces violently disperse the demonstrations; at least 30 Palestinians are injured. Meanwhile, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion across Gaza’s border fence to level land near Dayr al-Balah and open fire on a Palestinian bird-hunter approaching the border fence near Bayt Hanun. In East Jerusalem, Israeli MK Yehuda Glick leads a group of 40 right-wing Jewish activists on a tour of Haram al-Sharif. A Palestinian demolishes his storehouse, parking area, and staircase in Silwan to avoid paying Israeli demolition fees. In the West Bank, Israeli forces demolish 2 Palestinian homes and a sheep barn in Fasayil village near Jericho. IDF troops shut down the main street in Bayt Umar while they conduct raids in the village, sparking clashes with stone-throwing Palestinians; there are no reported injuries. They also arrest 20 Palestinians and issue 1 arrest summons during late-night raids near Ramallah, Bethlehem, Tubas, Hebron, Nablus; and patrol in and around Nablus, Jenin, and Hebron. (MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/3; MNA 12/4; PCHR 12/6)

The IDF launches a major military operation, dubbed Operation Northern Shield, aimed at exposing and demolishing tunnels stretching from southern Lebanon into northern Israel. Hezbollah has reportedly built a network of such tunnels since 2006. Kicking off the operation, Israeli forces uncover a tunnel stretching 40 meters into Israel and booby-trap it to prevent anyone from entering from the Lebanese side. (HA, JP, JP, TOI, YA 12/4)

Hours before the launch of Operation Northern Shield, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo in Brussels to discuss recent developments in the Middle East, including Iran’s nuclear program. Netanyahu reportedly tells Pompeo about Operation Northern Shield and asks him to tell the Lebanese government that they need to stop Hezbollah from acquiring precision-guided missiles. (HA, JP, TOI, TOI 12/3)

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)

The IDF assassinates Hamas commander Ahmad Jabari and his bodyguard and separately kills 7 other Palestinians in a number of air strikes on military and civilian targets across the Gaza Strip, leaving around 90 wounded. The dead include 2 children and an elderly man. Code-named Operation Pillar of Cloud in Hebrew (a Torah reference) and renamed Operation Pillar of Defense for foreign audiences, the Israeli military attacks are described as the ‘‘beginning’’ of an effort to increase deterrence and remove Hamas’s rocketlaunching capabilities. The IQB warns that Israel has ‘‘opened the gates of hell’’ with Jabari’s assassination, and fires dozens of rockets and mortars into Israel. They are joined by the DFLP, Islamic Jihad, PFLP, and PRCs, all of whom claim responsibility for rocket and mortar fire. In total, over 90 projectiles hit Israel from the Gaza Strip, causing 4 injuries. The Iron Dome rocket-defense system intercepts 30 rockets. Overnight, the IDF undertakes air strikes on around 100 sites across the Gaza Strip. U.S. pres. Obama calls Israel PM Netanyahu to express his support for Israel’s military operation and the country’s right to selfdefense. Obama also calls Egyptian pres. Mohamed Morsi to stress the importance of de-escalation and to pledge to stay in close touch. Egypt strongly condemns Israel’s military assault, and UN secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon calls for a cease-fire. The UNSC holds an emergency meeting but takes no action. (Guardian, REU 11/14; JP, MNA 11/15)

Unidentified assailants fire 4 rockets from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula into Israel, landing nr. an agricultural community and causing no injuries. (HA 11/14)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jericho in the morning, in 1 village nr. Salfit in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Jericho and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Balata r.c. and 1 village nr. Hebron at night. Palestinians across the West Bank demonstrate to mark the day before the 24th anniversary of the PLO’s declaration of independence, blocking roads nr. Bethlehem, Jericho, and Ramallah, and clashing with soldiers at checkpoints in Atara (nr. Ramallah) and Bethlehem. (AFP, PCHR 11/14)

Israeli DM Barak says that almost all the villages nr. the border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights are now controlled by the Syrian opposition. (AP 11/14)

On a 2d day of violent protests in Jordan against price hikes and in general opposition to King Abdullah’s regime, unidentified gunmen attack 2 police stations, and ensuing clashes leave 1 protester dead—the 1st fatality in Jordanian demonstrations in 2012. (AP 11/15)

In East Jerusalem, the IDF demolishes a Palestinian home in Bayt Hanina and an addition to a Palestinian home in Shu’fat. In the West Bank, the IDF rearrests Hamas mbr. Ayman Salama, 1 of the Palestinians released in the 1st stage of 10/2011 prisoner swap that freed IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit; patrols in Qalqilya (briefly detaining a 13-yr.- old Palestinian who allegedly had a knife; Palestinian officials at the District Liaison Office intervene, securing his release), 1 nearby village, and 3 villages nr. Ramallah during the day; conducts synchronized late-night arrest raids, house searches in Nablus and 2 nearby villages; conducts separate late-night arrest raids, house searches in Kafr Qaddum. (PCHR 2/2; OCHA 2/3)

A day before Likud party primaries, Israeli PM Netanyahu approves new financial incentives for Jews to move to 70 West Bank settlements deemed “national priority areas” and appoints a committee to “study the status” of unauthorized settlement outposts, which some see as a move to legalize those (the vast majority) that are not built on private Palestinian land. Both steps are widely seen as aimed at appeasing party hardliners. (WP, WT 2/1; WP 2/2)

Hamas’s Haniyeh begins a 2d regional tour that will include Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Iran. The trip is aimed primarily at raising funds to rebuild Gaza. (MNR 1/30; DS 1/31)

An Israeli drone crashes during a test flight. Some suspect that the modified long-range Heron TP (Eitan) was being refitted for a possible military strike on Iran. The Heron TP is typically fitted with jamming and intelligence equipment; has a 1-ton payload capacity (enough to carry a bunker busting bomb); and can stay aloft for 40 hrs., travel 4,600 mi., and perform in-flight refueling missions. (WP 1/31)

As the quarter opens, Israel maintains a tight siege on Hamas-controlled Gaza, imposing a 300-meter no-go zone inside the full length of the Gaza border and limiting the Palestinian fishing zone off Gaza to 500–1,000 m. off Bayt Lahiya and Rafah and 3 naut. mi. elsewhere. In the West Bank, governed by the Fatahled Palestinian Authority (PA), Israeli military operations are relatively low. Israeli troops on the Gaza border fatally shoot a mentally handicapped Palestinian teenager who approaches the border fence e. of Dayr al-Balah in c. Gaza. In the West Bank, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) patrols 6 villages nr. Jericho, Qalqilya, Ramallah, and Tulkarm during the day and 2 villages nr. Jenin and Ramallah late at night. An Israeli military court says it is holding Samer Allawi, a senior Palestinian journalist who serves as al-Jazeera satellite network’s Kabul bureau chief, on suspicion of being a Hamas mbr. but has not yet indicted him; the IDF confirms that it detained him on 8/9/11 at a border crossing to Jordan when he attempted leave the West Bank, where he had visited family in Nablus; Allawi denies any Hamas connection. (AFP 8/16; JTA, WP, WT 8/17; PCHR 8/18; OCHA 8/19)

Israel begins phase 2 of OCL, a massive ground advance into Gaza, in the evening. The IDF states that “the objective . . . is to destroy the terrorist infrastructure of the Hamas in the precise area of operation, while taking control of some of [sic] rocket launching areas used by Hamas in order to greatly reduce the quantity of rockets fired at Israel and Israeli civilians.” Israeli FM Livni acknowledges that Israel has broader aims, stating that toppling Hamas is “a strategic Israeli objective,” but that it might take more than one large-scale military operation such as OCL to do the job.

Israeli actions: Before phase 2 begins in the evening, the IDF launches artillery strikes on some 40 targets concentrated in open areas around Bayt Hanun, east of Rafah, and along Gaza’s main north–south artery in an apparent effort to clear the areas of mines and tunnels, to move Palestinians away from those areas in preparation for the insertion of ground forces.

The IDF also continues air strikes and naval bombardments across Gaza. Target areas include Bayt Lahiya, Gaza City (al-Nasser, al-Rimal, al-Shuja‘iyya, al-Tuffah, al-Zaytun), Jabaliya, Juhur al-Dik, Khan Yunis, Khuza, al-Mughraqa, Nussayrat, Rafah, al-Shuka (e. of Rafah). Targets include 2 mosques in Bayt Lahiya and Jabaliya, killing at least 13 worshipers and injuring 30 during evening prayers; a car in Khan Yunis, assassinating senior Hamas military cmdr. Muhammad Ma‘aruf; 2 PA security compounds in Gaza City; the al-Aqsa Radio and the al-Risala newspaper offices in Gaza City; tunnels on the Rafah border; suspected rocket-launching sites and weapons depots. By evening, the Palestinian toll reaches at least 460 dead and more than 2,000 wounded.

At dusk, the IDF drops leaflets on n. Gaza warning residents that troops will soon operate in this area and that they should evacuate for their safety. Around 8:00 P.M. local time, the IDF cuts power to the Strip and begins sending ground forces into n. Gaza, taking up positions on the outskirts of Bayt Hanun and Bayt Lahiya (occupying homes as operational bases); securing areas e. of Gaza City nr. the Qarni crossing, but notably keeping a distance from Jabaliya (considered a Hamas stronghold), and just inside the s. Gaza border e. of Rafah (with tanks firing flechette shells at houses and agricultural areas, killing 1 Palestinian and wounding 7 inside their homes). Heavy gun battles are reported, with Hamas issuing a statement that it is firing mortars at IDF ground forces. After ground operations begin, the IDF announces a naval blockade of Gaza out to 20 nautical miles.

Palestinian actions: During the day, Palestinians fire 28 rockets and 7 mortars into Israel, hitting as far as Ashdod and Ashqelon to the n., and Netivot to the e., lightly damaging 3 homes and an apartment building, lightly injuring 2 Israelis.

Of note: Embedded with some IDF ground units are the first Israeli journalists and 2 foreign reporters (BBC and Reuters) allowed into Gaza since late 10/08. These journalists have been given “trusted” status by the government for their “long history of relations with the IDF” and are under the strict rules of the IDF censor; the general ban on foreign journalists is still in place, despite a 12/31 High Court ruling ordering the government to allow journalists access. (AFP, AP, BBC, IDF, IFM, ITV, Organization of the Islamic Conference [OIC] press release, REU, YA 1/3; HA, IFM, JAZ, JP, NYT, OCHA, WP, WT 1/4; NYT, UNOSAT, WP, WT 1/5; IFM, PCHR 1/8; HA 1/11; JP 1/22; JPI 2/6; Harpers 3/09)

Hamas’s Gaza leadership calls on factions to halt their fire for 24 hrs. in an effort to restore the truce. Senior Hamas official Mahmud Zahhar appears on Israeli TV to state that Hamas seeks a new cease-fire in exchange for regular food and electricity in Gaza and a halt to IDF operations in the West Bank. On the ground, Palestinians (suspected to be Islamic Jihad, which says it had not agreed to suspend attacks) fire 3 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. An unnamed senior Israeli security official states (YA 12/23) that “all of the IDF’s preparations for a military operation are continuing as planned. As far as we are concerned the clock is ticking down on a military operation.” Israel, which maintains a full seal on Gaza, dispatches diplomats to lobby for international support and sympathy for Israel in the face of rocket attacks. Egyptian pres. Husni Mubarak asks Israeli FM Livni to come to Cairo on 12/25 for talks on renewing the truce. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Jenin, Nablus. (IFM 12/22; HA, JP, MA, MM, WP, YA 12/23; PCHR 12/24)

After Islamic Jihad fires several rockets fr. Gaza into Israel (causing no reported injuries), the IDF makes an air strike on a car in Gaza City assassinating Islamic Jihad mbr. Hussam Harb, wounding a 2d Islamic Jihad mbr., 3 bystanders. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Ramallah; patrols in, fires on residential areas of Nablus for a night, causing no injuries. Inside Israel, Israeli security forces demolish several bedouin homes in Um al-Hiram in the Negev. A Palestinian dies of injuries received in interfactional violence in Gaza City on 6/13. (WP 6/25; OCHA 6/27; PCHR 6/28)

Outside Metula in s. Lebanon, unidentified assailants detonate a car bomb as a UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) convoy passes, killing 6 UNIFIL soldiers (3 Columbians, 3 Spaniards), wounding 2 in the 1st targeted attack on the international mission since the 2006 Lebanon war. Amal, Hizballah denounce the attack, deny involvement. (NYT, WP, WT 6/25; NYT 7/7)

In Gaza, the IDF makes an air strike on a car driving nr. Gaza City, killing 1 Hamas mbr., wounding a bystander; fatally shoots a Palestinian nr. Bayt Lahiya attempting to fire a rocket into Israel, also wounding 8 bystanders; shells a group of armed Hamas mbrs. nr. the Qarni crossing, killing 1 Hamas mbr., a PA Preventive Security Forces (PSF) officer at a post nearby; fires into al-Qarara, wounding 1 Palestinian farmer; shells the PA Education Min. offices nr. Bayt Lahiya; directs shells, air strikes on Bayt Hanun and Jabaliya, severely damaging 1 Palestinian home, an UNRWA clinic, a PA school; warns residents of a pending air strike on another Palestinian home nr. Jabaliya, but 10s of neighbors gather in the home, forcing the IDF to call off the operation. Palestinians fire 1 rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. PA Pres. Mahmud Abbas phones Israeli PM Ehud Olmert to offer a total cease-fire in Gaza (including halts to rocket fire, digging of tunnels) in exchange for a halt to IDF operations in the Strip. Olmert agrees that if Palestinians halt actions first at 6:00 A.M. local time on 11/26, the IDF would halt operations, quickly withdraw troops fr. Gaza if the truce holds. Some Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades factions say they will not adhere to the truce until Israel halts actions first. Meanwhile, in the West Bank, IDF troops patrolling in Abu Dis chase a group of Palestinian children who throw stones at their vehicles, firing into the air and firing percussion grenades, detaining 4 children ages 11–13 for questioning; demolishes 4 shops nr. Salfit. PA security forces demonstrate in Gaza City against the Hamas-led government’s failure to pay back salaries. (IFM, NYT, WP, WT 11/26; OCHA 11/29; PCHR 11/30)

In Gaza, the IDF continues operations in Khuza‘a, wounding 8 Palestinians (including at least 4 civilians), bulldozing areas of agricultural land. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units in a car with Palestinian license plates into Jenin to assassinate Islamic Jihad cmdr. Mujahid alSabi‘, also firing on stone-throwing youths who confront them, wounding 1; raids Kafr Dan, firing on residential areas, wounding 1 Palestinian; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Askar r.c. and nr. Bethlehem, Jenin, Tulkarm. (PCHR, WP 9/7; PCHR 9/14)

Israel announces that, in a deal brokered by the UN, it will remove its air and naval blockade on Lebanon as of 6:00 P.M. local time on 9/7 as British, French, German, Greek, Italian forces take over naval patrols and assist the Lebanese army in border patrol, but says it will reserve the right to attack any smugglers it detects crossing the Syrian border. (IFM 9/6; NYT, WP, WT 9/7)

The IDF continues operations in Gaza City, shelling, firing on, and using drones to fire missiles at any group of Palestinians in the eastern part of the city, killing at least 4 Palestinian civilians, wounding at least 12. Also in Gaza, the IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian who approaches the n. Gaza border fence. In the West Bank, the IDF raids Balata r.c. nr. Nablus, fatally shoots 2 AMB mbrs. in what may be an assassination; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, and nr. Bethlehem, Jenin, Qalqilya. Of note: The Israeli prison authority transfers jailed Fatah tanzim leader and elected PC mbr. Marwan Barghouti fr. Haradim penitentiary nr. Tel Aviv to Nafha prison in the Negev; Palestinians alleged he was moved to isolate him fr. other Palestinian prisoners. The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem reports a “substantial increase” in the past 2 mos. of IDF soldiers beating, mistreating, humiliating Palestinians during encounters in the West Bank. Some 300 unemployed Palestinians demonstrate, scuffle with police in Gaza City, demanding welfare payments fr. the PA (see 8/28). (NYT, WP, WT 8/30; PCHR 8/31)

The IDF continues operations al-Shuka, making air and artillery strikes on buildings allegedly housing Hamas and Islamic Jihad weapons caches, exchanging fire with Palestinian gunmen, conducting house-tohouse searches, prompting residents to flee, leaving 2 Palestinian civilians, 1 Palestinian militant dead, at least 1 Palestinian wounded. Late in the evening, the IDF expands operations deeper into Rafah, making air strikes on militant targets in heavily residential areas, killing 1 Islamic Jihad mbr., 2 other armed Palestinians, a Palestinian woman and her 2 children, wounding at least 3 Palestinians; also destroys the remaining parts of a PA security barracks. Also in Gaza, the IDF makes an air strike destroying a home in Shatti r.c. nr. Gaza City after warning residents to evacuate. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids in Tulkarm town; patrols in Tulkarm r.c.; conducts random ID checks in Hebron. The IDF also bars Palestinians under age 45 fr. attending Friday prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque. (NYT 8/4; WP 8/5; PCHR 8/10)

The IDF calls up more reservists (no details reported), moves additional artillery to the border with Lebanon; escalates air strikes on s. Beirut (killing at least 1 Lebanese soldier, wounding 2 soldiers, 4 civilians), hitting bridges and roads in Christian areas n. of the capital along the coast for the 1st time (killing a least 5 Lebanese civilians, wounding 19; hitting an 8-truck UN convoy, preventing the movement of other aid convoys south); also strikes targets in s. Lebanon (flattening 2 houses, leaving 50 Lebanese missing) as well as in Baalbek, Hermel, Qana (killing at least 28 farm workers, mostly Syrian Kurds) in the Biqa‘ Valley. Ground operations in s. Lebanon continue, with especially intense fighting in Aita al-Sha‘b, Markaba (where at least 3 IDF soldiers are killed and 1 tank is destroyed), Taybeh. Hizballah fires 195 rockets into n. Israel, hitting Buaineh, Carmiel, Hadera (50 mi. fr. the border, the deepest strike to date), Kiryat Shimona (hit by 60 missiles), Ma’alot, Migdal Hamek, Nahariya, Qunaytra, Safad, Shar Yishuv; killing 4 Israelis (including 3 Druze; 1 in Maghir, 2 in Majd al-Krum) wounding 8. (AP, NYT 8/4; NYT, WP, WT 8/5)

The IDF continues to shell n. Gaza, wounding at least 1 Palestinian civilian. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem. A Palestinian militant wounded during the 7/19–20 IDF raid on al-Maghazi r.c. dies of his injuries. (PCHR 7/27)

The IDF continues its troop build-up on the n. Israel border, artillery strikes and heavy air raids across Lebanon, incursions by small special forces units into the south. In its 1st major ground operation, the IDF sends some 2,000 soldiers, a tank brigade, armor into Maroun al-Ras (a Hizballah stronghold, reportedly largely depopulated since fighting began) on the central s. Lebanese border, stating later that after heavy, close combat, it has taken control of the town and several surrounding villages; at least 3 Hizballah mbrs., as many as 7 IDF soldiers may have been killed, several tanks disabled. Meanwhile, the IDF continues to warn s. Lebanon residents to move northward; Sidon reports some 35,000 displaced Lebanese arriving in the city today; Tyre, the largest s. Lebanese town, reports that only around 5,000 of its 175,000 residents remain. Among the targets hit in IDF air strikes are TV and cell phone transmission towers n. of Beirut (killing at least 1 Lebanese); 2 ICRC ambulances nr. Qana, killing 1 patient and injuring 6 medics, 2 patients; Hizballah targets in Baalbek, s. Beirut, Hermel, Sidon, Tyre. At least 8 Lebanese are killed during the day. Hizballah fires some 130 rockets into n. Israel, wounding 10–20 Israelis (3 seriously); targets include Carmiel, Haifa, Kiryat Shimona, Nahariya, Safad. Israel allows some ships bearing humanitarian aid to enter Lebanese ports. (AFP 7/22; NYT, WP, WT 7/23; NYT 7/24; WP 7/25)

As the IDF continues to prepare for a ground invasion of Gaza, moving into place 2 infantry regiments, bringing the total buildup along the border to 5,000 troops, Palestinian militants in Gaza begin building sand berms, setting explosive devices along major routes an invading force might take; the U.S. urges Israel to give diplomacy time to work before launching a military operation. The IDF also reopens Gaza’s Erez crossing to reps. of international agencies and PA officials with VIP status (though they must cross on foot); conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya; sends troops into al-Fara‘a r.c., firing on stone-throwing youths who confront them, wounding 3; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Qabatya, nr. Tulkarm; begins work on a new segment of the separation wall in Bayt Jala nr. Bethlehem, uprooting 200 Palestinian olive trees. The PRCs announced that they have kidnapped an 18-yr.-old Jewish settler fr. Itamar, who was last seen hitchhiking nr. French Hill settlement in East Jerusalem on 6/25. A car bomb explodes in Gaza City, killing Hamas military cmdr. Hamza Abu Mukharrib, wounding several bystanders; the IDF denies responsibility, no other group claims it. PSF mbrs. shoot, wound a Hamas mbr. in Khan Yunis in what may be a continuation of 6/23–24 clashes. (HA, MM, REU, PCHR 6/27; JP, MENA, OSC, PSCT, VOI, VOP 6/27 in WNC 6/28; HA, NYT, OCHA, WP, WT 6/28; PCHR 6/29)

As the quarter opens, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) continue Operation Southern Arrow, with heavy shelling and air strikes on Gaza in response to Palestinian rocket fire (at a rate of 10 Israeli strikes per 1 Palestinian rocket attack) and tight restrictions on Gaza’s crossings (see Quarterly Update for details). The IDF also continues to separate the n. and s. West Bank by closing (since 4/21) the Zatara checkpoint s. of Nablus and to restrict movement into and out of the n. Jordan Valley. Meanwhile, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza continue to suffer severe economic shortages due to the U.S.- and Israeli-led economic sanctions on the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority (PA) that have prevented the PA from paying government workers’ salaries for 2 mos. Today, the IDF patrols in ‘Araba nr. Jenin, firing on residential areas; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Nablus. Islamic Jihad fires its 2d Grad rocket fr. Gaza toward Ashqelon, damaging a poultry farm but causing no injuries (see 3/28, 4/21). A Hamas mbr. is killed in a driveby shooting in Gaza City; no group claims responsibility. (MM 5/16; NYT, PCHR 5/18)

Israel says that the Hamas-led PA is responsible for the 4/17 suicide bombing but that it will not launch a large-scale military operation in retaliation so as to “avoid escalation”; instead it will increase “diplomatic pressure” on the government, including revoking the Israeli residency rights of 3 Change and Reform PC mbrs. (including Jerusalem Affairs M Abu ‘Arafa) from East Jerusalem, meaning they would have to leave the city. The AMB, ARB, PRCs issue a joint statement demanding that Abbas “apologize to the entire Palestinian people for the offense he committed” by condemning the 4/17 suicide bombing. Meanwhile, the IDF steps up Operation Southern Arrow, shelling areas of n. Gaza, hitting a sewage treatment facility, seriously injuring 3 Palestinian children, and wounding a farmer working his field, a shepherd grazing his sheep, a Palestinian outside his home in Bayt Lahiya, a Palestinian walking in a residential area of Bayt Hanun, a truck driver nr. the customs bureau in Jabaliya; detains, severely beats a 16-yr.-old Palestinian boy at a Bethlehem checkpoint for allegedly carrying a knife; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin, in Nablus (confiscating the camera of an AP journalist covering the raid). Israeli police detain PA Jerusalem Affairs M Abu ‘Arafa at a checkpoint on the outskirts of East Jerusalem as he is en route to a PA cabinet mtg., delaying him 2 hrs. (AFP, AP, IMEMC, JP, NYT, PNN, REU, WP 4/18; MM, NYT, WP, WT 4/19; MM, PCHR 4/20; HA 4/24)

Before dawn, Islamic Jihad and Hamas fire more than 30 rockets fr. Gaza at Sederot and the Negev, 3 of which lightly wound 3 Israeli security guards, 2 civilians. Early in the morning, the IDF fires missiles fr. helicopters at warehouses and an alleged weapons factory in Gaza City and Jabaliya r.c., marking Israel’s 1st military operations against Gaza since disengagement; orders the Rafah crossing shut, saying it will allow humanitarian aid only into Gaza through the Sufa crossing; fires missiles fr. naval vessels at Palestinian fishermen who attempt to go out to sea; drops leaflets on Gaza warning of harsh retaliation against further rocket fire; warns the PA that it is responsible for preventing attacks fr. Gaza. Abbas meets with Hamas officials in Gaza, secures their pledge to halt all armed demonstrations. Hrs. later, IDF aircraft fire 5 missiles at 2 cars in n. Gaza, assassinating 2 Hamas mbrs. (Nafiz Abu Hassanian, Rawad Farhat); 2 other Hamas mbrs. may have been targeted but escape. During the day, IDF fighter jets bomb open areas along the n. Gaza border used by Palestinians to launch rockets, while tanks, artillery, infantry gather along the n. Gaza border in preparation for a major operation. Meanwhile, the IDF seals the West Bank, fires on Palestinians waiting to cross a checkpoint outside Nablus, wounding 3 (1 seriously); conducts patrols in Jama‘in village nr. Nablus; raids 20 houses in Hebron, interrogating and photographing residents. In the evening, Sharon convenes his security cabinet, which approves an “all-out continuous offensive” called Operation First Rain, using artillery, air strikes, assassinations in Gaza, saying that if Palestinian violence continues after several days, the full cabinet will convene to consider sending infantry back into the Strip. (JP, REU, WP, YA 9/24; AP, HA, IMEMC, JAZ, NYT, WP, WT, XIN, YA 9/25; MEI, PCHR 9/29; IDF press release 10/9)

IDF tanks and infantry begin massing on Gaza’s northern border in apparent preparation for a major incursion. The IDF continues operations in and around Tulkarm; conducts predawn missile strikes on 3 auto repair garages, machine shops in Gaza City, Khan Yunis thought to be weapons factories, injuring 3 Palestinians; conducts arrest raids targeting Hamas and Islamic Jihad mbrs. in Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus, and Tulkarm, arresting 26 Hamas, 4 Islamic Jihad mbrs.; also raids, searches homes in Mughraqa; fires on a group of Palestinians trying to cross the closed Abu Huli crossing into Gaza, wounding 4; conducts patrols nr. Ramallah, Tulkarm and in Dahaysha r.c., Nablus (firing on residential areas), Qalqilya, Tubas nr. Jenin. Hamas fires 10 mortars, 8 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza at Sederot and Nisanit settlement (lightly injuring 7 settlers). In Gaza City, some 10,000 Hamas supporters attend the funeral of 4 Hamas mbrs. assassinated on 7/15. In Bayt Lahiya, Hamas gunmen shoot, wound a PA security officer. In Khan Yunis, Palestinian gunmen associated with a Fatah splinter group set fire to the newly opened offices of Fatah head Faruq Qaddumi, then fire on PA security forces posts in the area. In Ramallah, AMB mbrs. fire in the air, order stores to close to protest Palestinian deaths in recent days; PA security forces deploy in response, ordering stores to reopen. (HA, IMEMC, JAZ, REU, YA 7/16; VOI, VOP 7/16 in WNC 7/17; HA, JAZ, JP, NYT, WP, XIN 7/17; VOP 7/17 in WNC 7/18; OCHA, PR 7/20; PCHR 7/21)

Israel releases the leader of the Islamic movement in Israel Shaykh Ra’id Salah, arrested in 5/03, after serving a sentence for directing funds to West Bank and Gaza charities that allegedly support “terrorism”; his sentence was reduced by more than a yr. for good behavior. (REU 7/17; VOI 7/17 in WNC 7/18; JP 7/18 in WNC 7/19; PR 7/20)

The IDF continues operations in Bayt Hanun and Jabaliya r.c. launched on 9/28, expands into Bayt Lahiya; occupies buildings as sniper posts; shells, fires on residential areas, killing 1 stone-throwing Palestinian youth, 4 armed Palestinian (including 1 Hamas mbr., wanted PRC mbr. Mosad Baradi), and 1 Palestinian bystander, wounding around 60. Palestinians target military vehicles with roadside bombs, antitank rockets, causing no injuries. Despite the maneuvers, Hamas fires a Qassam rocket at Sederot, killing 2 Israeli children, wounding 5; Sharon says that operations in n. Gaza will be expanded as a result. Late in the evening, the IDF carries out 2 missile strikes at Jabaliya r.c., killing 3 Palestinians and destroying an Islamic charitable organization. The IDF also continues operations begun 9/28 in Shaykh Ajlin, bulldozing 8 Palestinian homes, 8 d.; fires on stone-throwing youths outside Gaza City, killing 1 Palestinian; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, seriously injuring a 4-yr.-old Palestinian inside her home. In the West Bank, the IDF sends troops into Jenin town and r.c., fires on a taxi wrongly thought to be carrying wanted Palestinians, killing the Palestinian driver, a Palestinian man, wounding his wife. In Hebron, 5 Jewish settlers armed with heavy metal chains, rocks, sticks severely beat, rob 2 American women working with Christian Peacemaker Teams escorting Palestinian children to their school; 1 woman suffers a punctured lung, the other a broken arm and knee. Jewish settlers set fire to 400 d. of olive trees nr. Bayt Furik, damaging 100s of trees. (HA, MM 9/29; VOI, VOP, YA 9/29 in WNC 10/1; HA, MM, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 9/30; AFP 9/30 in WNC 10/2; PCHR, PR 10/6, 10/13; JPI 10/15)

The IDF assassinates senior Hamas political leader and spokesman Ismail Abu Shanab, firing 5 missiles at his car as he drives through Gaza City, also killing 2 bodyguards, wounding at least 19 bystanders. Hamas, Islamic Jihad declare the cease-fire officially over. The IDF also imposes curfews on all Palestinian cities; continues operations in Nablus, where tanks and troops have entered the heart of the city, demolishing 1 Palestinian apartment, raiding and evacuating the staff of a medical clinic for 6 hrs.; sends 5 bulldozers, 100 special forces units into Nazlat Issa, nr. the Green Line, to demolish at least 7 Palestinian homes, 115 shops, 2 factories, several warehouses; demolishes 3 Palestinian homes in Jenin, 2 in Hebron (including the home of the 8/19 bomber); shells residential areas of Khan Yunis; conducts arrest raids in Qabatiyya. Palestinians fire 12 mortars at Gush Katif, 5 Qassam rockets at s. Israel, damaging 2 buildings but causing no injuries. The IDF arrests a Hebron settler for alleged membership in a Jewish militant group. (BBC, HA, MM, PCHR, PM 8/21; MA, MENA, al-Quds, VOI, XIN, YA 8/21 in WNC 8/23; XIN 8/21, AYM, JP, QA, al-Quds, al-Ra’i, SA 8/22, JT, al-Quds 8/24 in WNC 8/26; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 8/22; WT 8/23; PR 8/27; PCHR 8/28; MEI 9/12)

After Friday prayers in Jerusalem, some Palestinians demonstrate against the U.S.-led attack on Iraq; Israeli police use stun grenades, tear gas to disperse the crowd, causing only light injuries. The IDF fires on Palestinians in Qalqilya who defy the 24-hr. curfew to attend Friday prayers, injuring 4; demolishes a Palestinian home in Bethlehem; bulldozes 64 dunams of land nr. Dayr al-Balah. (AFP, HA 3/21; al-Quds 3/22 in WNC 3/24; PCHR 3/27; LAW 3/28)

U.S.-led coalition forces launch the “shock and awe” air campaign across Iraq, intended to precede a major ground offensive toward Baghdad. Ground troops launch operations to capture Umm Qasr, Basra ports and the Rumayla oil field in the south, meeting significant resistance. (CNN 3/21; NYT, WP, WT 3/22)

An Islamic Jihad suicide bomber marking the 35th anniversary of the 1967 war detonates a large car bomb nr. a bus in Meggido, killing 14 IDF soldiers, 3 Israeli civilians, wounding 38. In response, the IDF sends tanks, helicopters into Jenin, declaring the area a closed military zone, imposing a curfew, conducting house-to-house searches; makes raids on Hebron, Qalqilya, Tulkarm; continues operations in Nablus. Late in the evening, the IDF sends tanks, troops into Ramallah, imposes a curfew, declares the area a closed military zone, shells Arafat's offices in what remains of the PA compound; bulldozers pile debris in front of the headquarters' exits; Arafat, who is inside, is not harmed. (AP, CNN, LAW, MM 6/5; AFP, Interfax, XIN 6/5 in WNC 6/6; MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/6; GS 6/7; QA 6/7 in WNC 6/10; MEI 6/14)

American PR firms representing Israel urge the Israeli government not to respond to the Meggido bombing for 24 hrs. so that the U.S. newspapers, TV news programs would open with pictures of the bombing, victims' funerals rather than IDF retaliatory attacks. (MM 6/7)

Mubarak arrives in Washington, reportedly carrying a proposal for Bush to support recognition of a Palestinian state in early 2003, with permanent status talks to be completed within 3 yrs. thereafter. (MM, WP 6/5; MM 6/6, MM 6/7) (see Quarterly Update)

In light of the economic downturn since the intifada began, the Knesset passes (74-28) an amendment to the National Insurance Law (1995) applying a 4% cut to all child allowance payments, an additional 20% cut in amounts paid to parents of children without a relative serving in the IDF (i.e., mostly Israeli Arabs). (Adalah press release 6/6)

Polls show that Reps. Earl Hilliard (D-AL) and Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), both 5-term incumbents, are struggling to win renomination this yr., largely because of their statements critical of the U.S.'s pro-Israel policy. Their challengers are highlighting their own strong support of Israel, tapping large Jewish donors. The races are creating Black-Jewish tensions in Congress, as Hilliard and McKinney are African American, most of the Jewish money donated to the rival campaigns is fr. outside the candidates' home states. (WP 6/6; AP 6/26; WJW 6/27; WT 7/2)

In response to the 2 suicide attacks on 3/9, the IDF destroys Arafat's Gaza City headquarters, firing 30 missiles at the compound fr. the air, sea. IDF sends 50 tanks, APCs into Qalqilya; continues operations in Dahaysha (demolishing at least 4 Palestinian houses); directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Beitunia, Hebron, Jabaliya, Jalazone, Khan Yunis, Tal al-Sultan; blows up the house of senior AMB mbr. Yahya Dahamsa in Artas, demolishes 2 other homes in Dayr al-Balah; bulldozes agricultural land in Bayt Hanun; masses troops around refugee camps nr. Ramallah. In Ashdod, a Palestinian opens fire, wounding 1 Israeli before being captured. Another Palestinian gunman fatally shoots an IDF soldier outside Netzarim settlement, is shot dead by a settlement guard. At least 6 Palestinians are killed during the day: The brother of a senior Fatah leader is killed when IDF helicopters fire a missile at his car in what is thought to be a botched assassination attempt. The IDF fires on a car nr. Sur al-Bahir, killing 2 Palestinians allegedly en route to stage a bombing in Jerusalem; fatally shoots an 11-yr.-old Palestinian boy at an IDF checkpoint nr. Ramallah, 2 Palestinians nr. Nablus. Late this evening, the IDF shells Bethlehem, Dahaysha. (HP, LAW, NYT, PMC, REU, WP 3/10; AFP 3/10 in WNC 3/11; NYT, WP, WT 3/11; LAW 3/13)

In its largest military operation in the West Bank and Gaza since 1967, Israel sends a large number of IDF infantry, tanks, APCs, armored bulldozers into Tulkarm in a predawn operation to totally reoccupy the city, taking control of the city center, occupying buildings (including a college, the mayor's home) and apartments as observer posts, hoisting Israeli flags, imposing a 24-hr. curfew, conducting house-to-house searches, detaining at least 30 Palestinians. The IDF reportedly responds to "scattered resistance," leaving 2 Palestinians dead, 15 wounded. IDF soldiers also fire on 2 ambulances coming to the aid of the wounded, seriously injuring 1 ambulance driver. Israel says the operation will last "only a few days." The IDF also sends tanks deep into PA-controlled Nablus; directs heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Ramallah; conducts an arrest raid in Nahalin. Senior IDF officials suggest that Israel is preparing to make more deep incursions into PA areas "to destroy more infrastructure and to kill more terrorists." The IDF also bulldozes Palestinian land along bypass road 60 outside Hebron. Some 40 Palestinians attempt to block the bulldozers but are confronted by armed Jewish settlers who fire in the air and beat the Palestinians, seriously injuring 1 Palestinian. The PA releases NISP head Salih (arrested 1/5). (MM, WP 1/21, 1/22; al-Quds 1/23 in WNC 1/30; MEI 1/25; PCHR 1/26; JP 2/1)

The Israeli-Arab legal center Adalah formally asks Israeli atty. gen. Elyakim Rubenstein to reconsider his recent decision not to compel the Custodian for Absentees' Property to comply with Israeli 1998 freedom of information act by releasing data on the moveable property of Palestinian refugees seized by Israel in 1948. Rubenstein rejected the request on the ground that it would damage Israel's foreign relations, require excessive time and resources to comply. Adalah 1st submitted its request in 1999. The atty. gen.'s office ignored 15 follow-up requests for a decision btwn. 1999 and 2002. (Adalah press release 1/28)

In its largest military operation since the start of the al-Aqsa intifada (in terms of area, size of the force involved), Israel sends IDF infantry, tanks, armored bulldozers, and helicopters to occupy the PA-controlled sector of Hebron, leaving 6 Palestinians dead, wounding at least 40, demolishing 3 homes, occupying 15 houses and 1 school. The IDF also send tanks into areas A outside Netzarim to demolish 2 Palestinian homes; occupies 2 Palestinian houses in Kafr Dik, al-Khadir as military posts; bulldozes a PSF post nr. al-Sudaniyya; directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Bayt Hanun (destroying 8 Palestinian homes), Khan Yunis, Rafah; conducts arrest raids in Azun, Dayr al-Ghasun, Kafr Dik; bar farmers nr. Bethlehem fr. harvesting their lands. Jewish settlers attack Palestinians harvesting olives outside Nablus, vandalize nearby Palestinian homes. A Palestinian sniper fatally shoots a Jewish settler nr. the Green Line nr. Tulkarm. The PC calls an emergency mtg., reiterates the call on Palestinians to adhere to the cease-fire. (AFP, AP, HP, LAW, MM 10/5; AFP 10/5 in WNC 10/9; HP, NYT, WP, WT 10/6; al-Quds 10/6 in WNC 10/9; MEI 10/12; LAW 10/13)

The White House rebukes Sharon for his harsh statements of 10/4 saying they are "unacceptable"; urges Israel to resume peace talks and to refrain fr. invading PA-controlled areas, demolishing houses, conducting assassinations. (AP, MM 10/5; NYT, WP, WT 10/6; MM 10/8)