39 / 14704 Results
  • April 4, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian using live ammunition during a raid in Faqqua. Israeli forces also delivered a stop-work order for 1 residential structure, 1...

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  • September 23, 2016

    IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian youth outside the Kiryat Arba settlement nr. Hebron after he allegedly attempts to stab an Israeli soldier. Meanwhile, IDF troops violently disperse...

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  • September 30, 2015

    Tensions in East Jerusalem and the West Bank remain high as Israeli forces continue to enforce the restrictions on Palestinian access to Haram al-Sharif and Hebron’s al-Ibrahimi Mosque that were...

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  • May 19, 2015

    Off Gaza’s coast nr. Jabaliya and later nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, damaging 1 in the earlier incident. IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of...

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  • March 20, 2015

    IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of Khan Yunis fire warning shots at 3 Palestinians approaching the border fence, moderately injuring each of them; e. of Jabaliya fire warning shots at Palestinian...

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  • January 6, 2015

    The Gaza power plant resumes operations of a 2d turbine (of 4 total), following the recent receipt of fuel shipments. The plant was shut down completely between 12/28 and 1/4. (WAFA 1/6; MEMO, MNA...

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  • August 23, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, the IDF continues its assault with attacks on 41 targets, killing 11 Palestinians and injuring dozens. Israeli fighter jets and drones strike targets in n. Gaza, as well as nr....

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  • June 3, 2014

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm in the morning, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron and 2 villages nr. Jenin at night. (PCHR 6/5)

    Israeli PM Netanyahu says he is “...

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  • May 13, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian farmers and metal-collectors close to the border fence nr. Jabaliya, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house...

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  • February 1, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces open fire on open areas close to the n. border fence, causing no injuries. Separately, off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire at...

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  • January 20, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 3 rockets into s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, arresting 2...

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  • January 19, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces kill a senior Islamic Jihad operative in an air strike on Jabaliya r.c., wounding 2 (including a child). The Israeli military claims the targeted operative was...

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  • November 26, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF troops kill 3 Palestinians in a raid on Yatta village nr. Hebron. The Israeli military claims that the dead men were suspected of planning an attack in the coming days and...

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  • November 25, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF troops uproot around 60 olive trees in Tuqu‘ village nr. Bethlehem, while separately, Jewish settlers nr. Nablus attack a house in Burin village, throwing stones and a...

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  • October 30, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Bayt Hanun to level land close to the border fence. In the West Bank, Israeli troops shoot and kill a Palestinian in Qabatya village...

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  • September 19, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in Hebron and 2 nearby villages and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. In Hebron, IDF soldiers clash with students,...

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  • September 3, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries or damage to the vessels. IDF troops also conduct a limited incursion in land close to the...

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  • August 23, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF opens fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts night patrols in 1 village each nr. Qalqilya and Tulkarm. IDF...

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  • August 21, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF forces shoot and injure 1 Palestinian in clashes provoked by an IDF arrest raid in Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nur...

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  • August 19, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian with live ammunition during clashes prompted by soldiers raiding the village of Jaba‘ nr Jenin. There are also clashes but no injuries...

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  • August 5, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 5 villages nr. Nablus, Hebron, and nearby al-‘Arub r.c. and 2 villages nr. Bethlehem at night. (PCHR 8/15)

    U.S. Sens....

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  • July 19, 2013

    U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry announces at a press conference in Amman that direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations will begin as early as the following week in Washington. Kerry says details are...

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  • June 14, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops operating from a watchtower on the border fence nr. Dayr al-Balah open fire on a Palestinian farmer, injuring him. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches...

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  • April 29, 2013

    In Washington, U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry and VP Joe Biden meet with senior Arab officials including the Bahraini, Egyptian, Jordanian and Qatari FMs, and representatives from the PA, Arab...

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  • February 19, 2013

    Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu signs a coalition agreement with Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua party, under which Livni will become Justice Minister as well as heading the government’s negotiations team with...

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  • January 14, 2013

    Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi says that a ‘‘new approach’’ to the IsraeliPalestinian conflict is needed, following talks with the pres. of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy. Arabi says...

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  • December 19, 2012

    Fourteen of 15 mbrs. of the UNSC make statements condemning Israel’s settlement construction plans, while the U.S. vows to veto any resolution on the issue. Four separate statements are made by...

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  • December 3, 2012

    Britain, Denmark, France, Spain, and Sweden summon the Israeli ambassadors to their countries to protest Israel’s settlement construction plans. An anonymous senior European diplomat tells the...

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  • December 2, 2012

    The Israeli governmentt announces it will confiscate the VAT tax revenues it has collected for the PA during 11/2012, and use the NIS 460 m. of funds to offset the PA’s debt to Israel’s Electric...

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  • November 19, 2012

    The IDF strikes another 80 targets, including Gaza’s football stadium and smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border. Gaza’s Ministry of Health says that the Palestinian death toll surpasses 100,...

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In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian using live ammunition during a raid in Faqqua. Israeli forces also delivered a stop-work order for 1 residential structure, 1 agricultural structure, and 1 water well near Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians at the Damascus Gate plaza, for the 3d day in a row, arresting and assaulting 9 Palestinians. (AP 4/4; PCHR 4/5; PCHR 4/7; UNOCHA 4/10)

The PA, Jordan, Egypt, and the OIC criticized Israel for violently dispersing Palestinians in East Jerusalem and restricting Palestinians’ access to the Haram al-Sharif compound during the 1st weekend of the month of Ramadan. (HA, WAFA 4/4)

Israel renewed a ban on 28 Palestinian civil society organizations operating in East Jerusalem, including the Orient House and the Prisoners’ Club. (MEE 4/5; PCHR 4/7)

The PA health ministry released a report on Israeli forces’ attacks on Palestinians in 2021. The report said that 355 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces and more than 16,500 were injured. 265 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, mainly in May 2021, and 90 in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. 87 of the Palestinians killed by Israel in 2021 were children. (WAFA 4/4)

Japan’s Social Development Fund announced a $2.4 million grant to help improve the Palestinian Heritage Trail in the West Bank. The project is aimed at improving the Palestinian economy through tourism opportunities. (WAFA 4/4; ALM 4/5)

IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian youth outside the Kiryat Arba settlement nr. Hebron after he allegedly attempts to stab an Israeli soldier. Meanwhile, IDF troops violently disperse Palestinians, Israelis, and international activists at Friday demonstrations against Israel’s occupation, settlements, and separation wall in 4 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, Silwad, and Nabi Salih), Kafr Qaddum nr. Qalqilya, and multiple locations along Gaza’s border; 3 Palestinians are injured. They also arrest 8 Palestinians and issue 5 arrest summons during raids and house searches nr. Hebron and Salfit, as well as in and around Bethlehem; and patrol nr. Hebron throughout the day. (EI, HA, MNA 9/23; PCHR 9/29)

For the 3d and final day in a row, the Egyptian authorities open the Rafah border crossing to allow Palestinian pilgrims to return from their trip to Saudi Arabia. (MNA 9/23; MNA 9/24)

Leaders of the Middle East Quartet, including U.S. secy. of state John Kerry, Russian FM Sergey Lavrov, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, and UN secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon, reiterate the group’s call for the creation of “conditions for the resumption of meaningful negotiations that will end the occupation that began in 1967 and resolve all final status issues,” and reaffirm conclusions from the report they released in 7/2016 (see JPS 46 [2]). Afterward, Kerry meets with Israeli PM Netanyahu to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (YA 9/23; MNA 9/24; HA 9/25)

Tensions in East Jerusalem and the West Bank remain high as Israeli forces continue to enforce the restrictions on Palestinian access to Haram al-Sharif and Hebron’s al-Ibrahimi Mosque that were announced on 9/27 and 9/28, respectively. More than 150,000 Jews attend a ceremony at the Western Wall outside Haram al-Sharif for the Jewish holiday Sukkoth. Meanwhile, Israeli police assault several Palestinians outside 1 of 3 closed entrances to the sanctuary and arrest 3 others nearby. (AFP, MNA, WAFA 9/30; PCHR 10/1)

In Gaza, the Egyptian authorities open the Rafah border crossing in 1 direction to allow Muslims to return to Gaza from Hajj. In the West Bank, IDF troops assault a Palestinian nr. Nablus; conduct raids nr. Hebron, arresting 2 Palestinians and sparking clashes with stonethrowing Palestinian youths (4 Palestinians are injured); patrol outside Hebron and Jenin during the day. Palestinians throw rocks at IDF troops outside Hebron, injuring 2. (MNA, TOI, WAFA 9/30; MNA, PCHR, TOI 10/1; PCHR 10/8)

In a speech to the UNGA in New York, PA pres. Abbas says that because the Israeli govt. continues to violate the Oslo Accords and other previous agreements on a daily basis, the Palestinians “cannot continue to be bound by [the] agreements” and that Israel “must assume all of its responsibilities as an occupying power”. At a ceremony outside the UN headquarters after the speech, Abbas and UN secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon oversee the ceremonial raising of the Vatican and Palestinian flags. (AJA, HA, MNA, NYT, YA 9/30; AFP 10/1)

Also in New York, Middle East Quartet reps. meet with the Jordanian, Saudi, and Egyptian FMs, and they issue a statement calling on all parties to “exercise restraint” and maintain the status quo at Jerusalem’s holy sites. They also agree to send Quartet envoys to Israel and the oPt in 10/2015 to facilitate the resumption of peace negotiations (the visit will be canceled on 10/12). (JP, TOI 10/1; HA 10/11)

Off Gaza’s coast nr. Jabaliya and later nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, damaging 1 in the earlier incident. IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of Jabaliya open fire on Palestinian farmers on multiple occasions, causing no damage or injuries. Israeli forces level land in a late-night incursion across the border fence e. of al-Maghazi r.c. In the West Bank, an Israeli settler assaults a Palestinian boy in c. Hebron, lightly injuring him. The IDF conducts house searches and raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron, 1 nr. Bethlehem, and 2 nr. Ramallah, arresting 11 Palestinians and confiscating property. In East Jerusalem, Palestinian security guards at Haram al-Sharif intervene when a group of right-wing Jewish activists provokes a group of Palestinians nr. the sanctuary’s gates. The Jewish activists then assault the guards, causing no serious injuries. Israeli forces conduct house searches and raids in al-Tur and Bayt Safafa, arresting 6 Palestinians after assaulting 3 of them. (JP, MNA, WAFA 5/19; PCHR 5/21)

Jordanian newspaper ad-Dustour reports that Hamas and Israel have been involved in secret talks in Israel and in Europe in recent mos. over outstanding issues from the 8/26/2014 cease-fire that ended Operation Protective Edge (OPE), quoting unnamed “Western diplomatic sources”. Neither Hamas nor Israel confirm the reports. (HA, JP, MNA 5/19)

Israel’s Civil Admin. initiates a 3-mo. pilot project of new regulations on Palestinian travel in the West Bank, requiring Palestinian workers to return to the West Bank through the same checkpoint they entered Israel and banning them from Israeli bus lines. Several human rights organizations plan to appeal the new regulations. (HA 5/20)

UN special coordinator Nickolay Mladenov briefs the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt). He urges Israel to freeze settlement construction, saying “there should be no illusions about the impact of these unilateral actions.” He also says that he and Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon will engage with the new Israeli govt. to explore “realistic options” for a return to peace negotiations with the Palestinians “within a reasonable timeframe.” (MNA, REU 5/20)

IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of Khan Yunis fire warning shots at 3 Palestinians approaching the border fence, moderately injuring each of them; e. of Jabaliya fire warning shots at Palestinian farmers nr. the border fence, causing no injuries. Off the coast nr. Rafah, Egyptian naval forces detain 9 Palestinian fishermen. In the West Bank, IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at weekly demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and occupation in 6 areas nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, Nabi Salih, Silwad, Jalazun r.c., and outside Ofer Prison), and Kafr Qaddum nr. Qalqilya; 7 are injured. The IDF conducts house searches and raids in Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah, arresting 1 Palestinian and issuing summons to another; patrols in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, in and around Qalqilya, 2 villages nr. Tulkarm, and 1 nr. Jenin. The PASF clashes with stonethrowing Palestinians in Balata r.c. nr. Nablus; 2 young boys are injured in the crossfire. (MNA 3/20, 3/21; PCHR 3/26; MEE 5/6)

UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon calls Israeli PM Netanyahu and urges him to renew his commitment to the 2-state solution. Meanwhile, the UN Commission on the Status of Women approves a res. condemning Israel for the grave situation of Palestinian women under occupation. (MNA, YA 3/20; AP, MNA, TOI 3/21)

The Palestinian Football Association (PFA) submits a formal res. to FIFA, the body governing international soccer, calling for the Israel Football Association (IFA) to be suspended until Palestinian players and coaches are allowed to move freely, facilities can be developed without obstruction, Israeli settler soccer clubs are banned from playing in IFA competitions, and the IFA takes “firm action” to eliminate racism in its leagues. The res. is scheduled for a vote at the annual FIFA conference on 5/29. (REU 3/31)

On the 5th day of bilateral nuclear negotiations between reps. of the U.S. and Iran in Lausanne, Switzerland, Iran’s delegation is forced to return to Tehran 2 days early after Pres. Hassan Rouhani’s mother dies. The negotiations will resume on 3/26. Meanwhile, an IAEA report on Iran’s compliance with the JPOA is leaked to the press. It concludes that Iran is upholding its commitments, including capping uranium enrichment at 5% and holding any “further advances” at its enrichment facilities and the Arak heavy water reactor. Separately, 367 mbrs. of the U.S. House of Representatives send a letter to Pres. Obama calling for congressional oversight on any agreement between the P5+1 and Iran to review the proposed sanctions relief. The letter will be released on 3/23. (AP, GDN, REU, TOI 3/20; YA 3/23)

The Gaza power plant resumes operations of a 2d turbine (of 4 total), following the recent receipt of fuel shipments. The plant was shut down completely between 12/28 and 1/4. (WAFA 1/6; MEMO, MNA 1/7; OCHA 1/15)

UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon confirms that the State of Palestine will become a mbr. of the ICC on 4/1, hours after the ICC acknowledges that Palestinian authorities have formally recognized the court’s jurisdiction over the oPt starting retroactively on 6/13, a key legal declaration. (MNA, WAFA 1/6; JP, RT, WAFA 1/7)

Hamas accuses the PA unity govt. of reallocating funds meant for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, the PA cabinet condemns the 1/4 Israeli settlement announcement. (MNA, WAFA 1/6)

A Hamas delegation arrives in Iran to participate in the 28th International Conference on Islamic Unity. (AP, CNN, HA, JP, REU 1/6; IRNA 1/9; AP 1/12)

The French govt. denounces the Palestinian resubmission of their UNSC draft res., with FM Fabius saying, “We are against this spiraling out of control.” (REU 1/6)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF continues its assault with attacks on 41 targets, killing 11 Palestinians and injuring dozens. Israeli fighter jets and drones strike targets in n. Gaza, as well as nr. Gaza City, Khan Yunis, and Rafah, while IDF troops fire smoke bombs and live ammunition across the Israel-Gaza border in 1 location and Israeli artillery shelling hits 2 others. The armed Palestinian groups fire over 100 projectiles into Israel; of which, 3 land in urban areas, 73 land in open areas, and 17 are intercepted by Iron Dome batteries. Meanwhile, Hamas executes 4 alleged collaborators with Israel in the courtyard of a mosque in Jabaliya r.c. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts patrols in Hebron and 2 nearby villages, as well as 1 village nr. Ramallah. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces clash with a group of Palestinian youth outside a checkpoint nr. Shu‘fat, and 1 Palestinian is wounded when the soldiers open fire with tear gas and rubbercoated metal bullets. (AFP, AP, HA, MNA 8/23; PCHR 8/28)

Following talks between Hamas leader Mishal and PA Pres. Abbas in Doha on 8/21 and 8/22, Hamas publicly agrees to support Abbas’s application to join the ICC. According to PLO chief negotiator Erakat, only Islamic Jihad has not yet approved the document Abbas is asking all Palestinian factions to sign before he moves forward. (AFP, AP, MNA 8/23)

On the diplomatic front, Abbas travels to Cairo for talks with Egyptian pres. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. After their meeting, Abbas says “my main goal is for the truce talks to resume in Egypt as soon as possible.” In an interview on Egyptian television, Abbas says that he is planning a major diplomatic initiative and that he will present the plan to U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry, who is scheduled to visit the region in the coming days. The plan reportedly includes asking the UN to set a timetable for the Israeli occupation and signing the Rome Statue on behalf of the PA, which would give the ICC jurisdiction over cases relating to the occupation. For its part, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry releases a statement after the Abbas/al-Sisi meeting inviting the Israelis and Palestinians to return to Cairo for further cease-fire negotiations. (AJ, HA, WSJ 8/23)

Israeli PM Netanyahu holds talks with UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon. Netanyahu compares Hamas to ISIS, in reference to the group’s 8/22 execution of collaborators, and blames the group for the latest escalation in violence. (AJ, HA, REU 8/23)

In the evening, 2 rockets are fired from Lebanon into n. Israel. No group claims responsibility for the attack, though Lebanese military officials suspect a small, local Palestinian group. Late at night, 5 rockets are fired from Syria into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Israeli military officials say that a Palestinian group, not Syrian govt. forces, is responsible. Between the 2 sets of rocket attacks, 8 Israelis are lightly injured. (DS, JP, REU 8/23; AFP, HA, YA 8/24)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm in the morning, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron and 2 villages nr. Jenin at night. (PCHR 6/5)

Israeli PM Netanyahu says he is “deeply troubled” by the U.S. decision to maintain ties and aid to the PA unity govt. In response, U.S. State Dept. dep. spokesperson Harf says that the unity govt. is not “backed by Hamas” and contains “no mbrs. of Hamas.” Further endorsement of the new PA govt. comes from Russia, China, India, Turkey, France, and the UK. EU foreign affairs chief Ashton calls the formation of the unity govt. “an important step.” UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon also welcomes the move. Meanwhile, PLO executive comm. mbr. Hanna Amira says that Israel has notified the PA that it is imposing sanctions in response to the unity govt.’s formation. These include the invalidation of VIP cards of PA officials, reduction of tax revenues, which Israel collects and delivers to the PA, and prevention of visits between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. (AP, HA, MNA, REU 6/4)

A presidential election is held in Syria, and Pres. Bashar al-Asad is expected to win a majority of the vote. Opponents of the pres. dismiss the election because al-Asad’s 2 rival candidates, Hassan al-Nouri and Maher Hajjar, were both approved by a parliament dominated by al-Asad’s supporters. State Dept. dep. spokesperson Harf says the U.S. sees the election as “a disgrace” and that Pres. al-Asad “has no more credibility today than he did yesterday.” French FM Laurent Fabius calls it “a tragic farce.” (AP, REU 6/3)

Egypt’s election commission reports its official results, announcing that al-Sisi won 96.91% in the presidential vote, with a turnout of 47% of 54 m. voters nationwide. (AP, REU 6/3)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian farmers and metal-collectors close to the border fence nr. Jabaliya, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus in the afternoon, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Hebron in the morning, in 3 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. Jewish settlers assault and injure a Palestinian shepherd nr. Ramallah. Separately, settlers vandalize 50 olive trees nr. Bethlehem and leave racist “price tag” graffiti. (PCHR 5/15)

Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad arrives in the Gaza Strip for talks with Hamas leaders. They focus on selecting technocrats to lead the unity govt. (MNA, REU 5/13)

Former Israeli PM Olmert is sentenced to 6 years in jail for taking bribes in a real estate deal during his time as mayor of Jerusalem. (Olmert was convicted on 3/31.) The sentence is widely perceived to end his prospects for a political comeback. (REU 5/13)

Lakhdar Brahimi resigns as the UN and Arab League peace envoy for Syria, saying that “because of divisions we have not been able to make any progress in the course of 3 years.” UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon accepts the resignation “with great regret.” (AFP 5/13)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces open fire on open areas close to the n. border fence, causing no injuries. Separately, off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire at Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and in al-‘Arub r.c. and 2 villages nearby at night; patrols in Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Jenin at night. (PCHR 2/6)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry tells the Munich Security Conference that any alternatives to a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian agreement are unacceptable. Kerry also says that failure is risky for Israel, and observes that “people are talking about boycott.” In response, Israeli economy and trade minister Naftali Bennett says that Israel would never submit to economic threats. Meanwhile, on the sidelines of the conference, officials from the Quartet of the UN, U.S., Russia and the EU meet to discuss Kerry’s efforts. The meeting is chaired by EU foreign affairs chief Ashton, and attendees include Tony Blair and UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon. (INN, REU, YA 1/2)

A suicide car bomber kills 4 people at a petrol station in Hermel, a Hizballah stronghold on the n. Lebanese border with Syria. (AFP, REU 1/2)

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 3 rockets into s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, arresting 2 and confiscating a boat. In the West Bank, the IDF shoots and wounds a Palestinian nr. Hebron who the military says charged them. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Jenin, Tulkarm and 1 nearby village, and in 1 village and Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the morning, and in 1 village and alFawar r.c. nr. Hebron at night. Jewish settlers and Palestinians clash nr. Bayt Furik and Itamar settlement, after settlers enter the village’s olive grove. (JP 1/20; PCHR 1/23)

A rocket fired from inside Egypt strikes the outskirts of Israeli resort Eilat, causing no damage or injuries. It is later claimed by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. (AFP 1/20; INN 1/21)

UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon withdraws the invitation to Iran to join the Syria peace talks, after the SNC threatened to cancel its own participation should reps. from Iran attend. The UN Secy.-Gen.’s spokesperson Martin Nesirky says that Ban is dismayed at Iran’s refusal to endorse the 6/30/12 Geneva Communiqué, as demanded. Ban later says that he thought he had reached an “oral understanding” with Iranian FM Zarif, before extending the invitation. Iranian spokesperson Marzieh Afkham says that Ban’s change of mind shows he faced “some pressure.” (AP, REU 1/20; AP 1/21)

The 6-mo. interim deal reached by reps. from Iran and the P5+1 on 11/24/13 goes into effect. Iran unplugs banks of centrifuges and the EU and U.S. partially lift sanctions, and focus turns to a new phase of negotiations aimed at securing a permanent agreement. EU foreign affairs chief Ashton says she hopes a new round of talks with Tehran could start within a few weeks. The IAEA reports that Iran has begun diluting its stockpile of enriched uranium and that enrichment at the Natanz plant is suspended. (AP, REU 1/20)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces kill a senior Islamic Jihad operative in an air strike on Jabaliya r.c., wounding 2 (including a child). The Israeli military claims the targeted operative was responsible for rocket fire. Two other Israeli air strikes cause some damage but no injuries. Islamic Jihad say that strikes on Gaza may lead to the end of the cease-fire broadly observed since 11/2012. Separately, Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian farmers close to the border fence nr. Bayt Hanun, causing no injuries. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages each nr. Hebron and Ramallah, Jenin and 1 nearby village, and in Nablus at night; patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin in the morning, and in Hebron and 2 villages and al-‘Arub r.c. nearby, and in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Tulkarm at night. (MNA, REU 1/19; PCHR 1/23)

Israel’s Justice Minister Livni and Special Envoy Yitzhak Molcho depart for Washington to meet with U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry, to discuss details of his draft framework for a peace agreement. Other attendees of their meeting include Israeli amb. to the U.S. Ron Dermer and U.S. mediator Martin Indyk. Meanwhile, Israeli radio reports that Netanyahu has told Kerry that he intends to annex a 4th bloc of settlements, adding Beit El-Ofra-Psagot to the Etzion, Ma’ale Adumim and Ariel blocs. (AFP, HA, JP 1/19)

UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon says that he invited Iran to the Syria peace talks in Switzerland and held discussions with Iranian FM Zarif about the constructive role the country could play. In response, the U.S. says the invitation should be withdrawn unless Tehran states its support for the 2012 agreement establishing a Syrian transition govt. (i.e., the 6/30/12 Geneva Communiqué). Meanwhile, the Islamic Front opposition alliance rejects participation in the talks. (AP, HA, REU 1/19)

In the West Bank, IDF troops kill 3 Palestinians in a raid on Yatta village nr. Hebron. The Israeli military claims that the dead men were suspected of planning an attack in the coming days and belonged to a Salafist terror cell. Palestinian factions in Hebron declare a day of mourning. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 1 nearby village at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in 5 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. Also in the West Bank, Jewish settlers attack a Palestinian home with Molotov cocktails in Burin village nr. Nablus, causing property damage but no injuries. In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops shoot and wound 1 Palestinian man nr. the border fence. (JP, MNA 11/26; PCHR 11/28)

Senior Palestinian official Nabil Shaath says that the Palestinian leadership is preparing to join international bodies and ratify agreements such as the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, due to the lack of progress in the peace talks. Shaath also confirms that Saeb Erakat’s resignation (11/13) was not accepted by Pres. Abbas, and thus Erakat continues in a caretaker role. (MNA 11/26)

Israel and the EU finalize an agreement to allow Israel’s participation in the Horizon 2020 scientific research project. Following lengthy talks between Israeli justice minister Tzipi Livni and EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, a compromise formula is reached. This includes the publication of an appendix stating the applicability of the EU’s funding guidelines approved in 7/2013, which renders ineligible entities based in West Bank settlements, accompanied by an Israeli appendix stating the govt.’s opposition to those guidelines. (HA, REU, ToI 11/26)

Gen. Salim Idriss, leader of the FSA, tells Al Jazeera that his group plans to shun the peace conference that UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon announced on 11/25, claiming that “conditions are not suitable” for the talks. Meanwhile, the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) issues a statement saying it wants to see progress on the ground through the establishment of humanitarian corridors and a release of political prisoners, before it decides whether to attend the talks. (AP, REU 11/26)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry addresses Congress in a video message, and places the onus on Iran to prove that their nuclear program is peaceful. In an effort to reassure lawmakers who criticized the 6-mo. interim deal as being too soft on the Iranian govt., Kerry affirms that, should the agreement fall apart, Tehran would face “even tougher sanctions.” Meanwhile, marking his 1st 100 days in office, Pres. Ruhani says in a TV interview that Iran’s enemies were now “isolated” following the deal. (AP 11/26; JP 11/27)

Egyptian armed forces kill Mohammed Hussein Muhareb, the leader of a militant group in the Sinai Peninsula, nr. Shaykh Zuweid. Muhareb was wanted for various attacks on state security forces. (AP 11/26)

In the West Bank, IDF troops uproot around 60 olive trees in Tuqu‘ village nr. Bethlehem, while separately, Jewish settlers nr. Nablus attack a house in Burin village, throwing stones and a Molotov cocktail, causing no injuries. (MNA 11/25; PCHR 11/28)

The Israeli NGO Peace Now announces that an Israeli military cmte. has approved the construction of 829 new homes in West Bank settlements Givat Ze’ev, Nofei Prat, Shilo, Givat Salit, and Nokdim. The planned construction is condemned by Nabil Abu Rdeineh, aide to PA Pres. Abbas, as a “policy of escalation aimed at putting obstacles in front of the peace process.” (AFP, REU 11/25)

UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon announces that an international peace conference on Syria will take place in Switzerland on 1/22/14, in an attempt to bring about direct talks between the Syrian govt. and opposition forces. The statement describes 1 of the key goals of the peace talks as “the establishment, based on mutual consent, of a transitional governing body with full executive powers, including over military and security entities.” (AP, REU 11/25) 

Pres. Obama, speaking during a visit to San Francisco, defends the deal with Iran, saying that the U.S. “cannot close the door on diplomacy.” In a clear criticism of those who have attacked the agreement, Obama says that “tough talk and bluster may be the easy thing to do politically, but it’s not the right thing to do for our security.” Meanwhile, Israeli PM Netanyahu announces that national security adviser Yossi Cohen will visit Washington to discuss the agreement with U.S. officials. In the UK, Foreign Secy. William Hague urges Israel to refrain “from taking any steps that would undermine this agreement.” (REU 11/25; AP 11/26)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Bayt Hanun to level land close to the border fence. In the West Bank, Israeli troops shoot and kill a Palestinian in Qabatya village nr. Jenin, during clashes sparked by an arrest raid. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Bethlehem and nearby Dahaysha r.c., in al-Bireh, and 1 village each nr. Jenin and Ramallah at night. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces demolish a 3-story building containing shops and residential apartments, home to 8 family mbrs. It is the 2d such demolition in Bayt Hanina in consecutive days. (MNA, PCHR 10/30)

Israel announces the construction of 1,500 new homes in the East Jerusalem settlement of Ramat Shlomo, following shortly after the Palestinian prisoners release. The govt. also advances plans for a national park on the slopes of Mount Scopus and the establishment of a visitor’s center in the settler-run “City of David” national park in Silwan. Israeli officials brief that both the U.S. and Palestinians knew in advance that such announcements of construction would accompany prisoner releases. Likud dep. minister Ophir Akunis also claims that there was approval for plans for 2,000 further units in settlements outside the blocs. UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon calls the news “an obstacle to peace,” while U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Jen Psaki responds by saying that the administration views “continued settlement activity” do not serve to “create a positive environment for the negotiations.” PA Pres. Abbas spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudayna says that the move “destroys the peace process.” (AFP, JP, YA 10/30)

Unnamed Western and Arab diplomats are reported as saying that it is unlikely the “Geneva 2” conference about the future of Syria will take place in 11/2013, as previously mooted. One of the main complications is the question of representation of the opposition, with opinions divided about whether the SNC should be the umbrella under which the opposition enters the negotiations. (REU 10/30)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in Hebron and 2 nearby villages and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. In Hebron, IDF soldiers clash with students, firing rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas. (WAFA 9/19; PCHR 9/26)

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat writes to U.S. Secy. of State Kerry, Russian FM Lavrov, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon to warn them that Israel’s actions in East Jerusalem are undermining peace talks. (WAFA 9/19)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry calls on the UNSC not to waste any more time in moving to approve the plan for removing Syria’s chemical weapons. Earlier, Russian pres. Putin says that his country has “every reason” to believe that the chemical weapons attack in Damascus was carried out by the rebels as a “provocation.” (AP 9/19)

Gunmen shoot dead an Egyptian police maj.-gen. and wound 9 other policemen and soldiers in clashes on the outskirts of Cairo, after state forces try to arrest suspects involved in the killing of police officers. (AP, REU 9/19)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries or damage to the vessels. IDF troops also conduct a limited incursion in land close to the border fence nr. Khan Yunis before withdrawing. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon and in 1 village nr. Hebron at night, and patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon and in al-‘Arub r.c., 1 village nr. Hebron, and in 2 villages nr. Jenin at night. In East Jerusalem, IDF troops clash with residents in Abu Dis after protests against the arrest of a cancer patient. Separately, Israeli police ban 10 Palestinians from attending prayers at al-Aqsa mosque when Jewish extremists plan to visit the compound. Police also arrest Shaykh Raed Salah, leader of the n. Islamic Movement in Israel, on suspicion of incitement. Salah refuses bail conditions that would keep him 30 km away from al-Aqsa for 30 days and remains in jail. (JP, MNA, WAFA 9/3; PCHR 9/5)

Palestinian and Israeli negotiators meet for a 5th round of peace talks in Jerusalem. PA FM Riyad al-Maliki tells the media that Abbas is seeking to arrange a meeting with U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry to express doubts about the nature of the talks and dissatisfaction at U.S. envoy Martin Indyk’s limited participation thus far. Meanwhile, Arab League Secy.-Gen. spokesperson Nassif Hetti tells reporters that an Arab ministerial delegation will meet Kerry in Rome on Sunday to discuss the peace process. (AFP, JP, MNA 9/3)

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Cmte. reaches an agreement on a draft authorization for the use of military force against the Syrian govt., with conditions narrower than those requested by Pres. Obama. The draft sets a 60-day time limit on any U.S. action with a conditional single 30-day extension possible. There is also a provision banning the use of ground forces. Speaking to the cmte., Defense Secy. Chuck Hagel says that the pres.’s national security team is now convinced that taking military action against the Asad regime targets would be the right course of action. Hagel also reveals that Obama approved plans in 1/2013 to give lethal aid to Syrian rebels, the 1st time such a decision has been made public. Meanwhile, pro-Israel Jewish community groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Cmte. (AIPAC) and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations back the administration’s call for a strike on Syria, following a conference call with Obama’s security advisers. In another development, UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon affirms that the use of force is only legal as self-defense or with UNSC authorization. (AP, Guardian, JTA, REU, WP 9/3)

An Egyptian military court in Suez hands down sentences ranging from 5 years to life to around 50 Muslim Brotherhood mbrs. convicted of violence against the army, in relation to the events of 8/14 (when security forces massacred anti-coup protesters in Cairo). Meanwhile, Egyptian helicopter gunships kill 8 suspected militants and wound 15 others in air strikes in the Sinai Peninsula nr. the Rafah border with the Gaza Strip. (AFP, AP, REU, NYT 9/3)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF opens fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts night patrols in 1 village each nr. Qalqilya and Tulkarm. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at weekly demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and occupation in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Nabi Salih, and Ni‘lin), 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum), and 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara). There are no serious injuries, except in Bil‘in (3 wounded by live ammunition) and Kafr Qaddum (2 struck by tear gas canisters). (PCHR 8/29)

In the Gaza Strip, hundreds of Palestinians march in protest of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks; the demonstration was organized by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. (AFP 8/23)

The IDF conducts an air strike against a base of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) s. of Beirut, in response to the rocket launch the previous day—despite that attack being claimed by and attributed to another group entirely. A Lebanese security source claims that the site is also used by Islamist militants. The air raid causes no casualties or serious damage. Lebanese pres. Michel Suleiman condemns the Israeli strike and orders his diplomats to file a complaint about the attack with the UNSC. Israeli DM Moshe Ya’alon says that the Israeli govt. holds their Lebanese counterparts responsible for the rocket fire emanating from its territory. Outside of 2 Sunni mosques, twin bombs kill at least 42 people in Tripoli; no one claims responsibility for the attack. (AFP, AP, DS, HA, JP, REU, WP 8/23)

UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon repeats his desire for both Syrian govt. and rebel forces to permit an inspectors team to investigate the site of an alleged chemical weapons attack. Meanwhile, the British govt. adds its voice to those ascribing responsibility for the attack to govt. forces. Moscow publishes a statement calling for an independent investigation and saying that FM Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry had spoken about the situation and that both parties had a “mutual interest” in calling for a UN investigation. In an interview on CNN, U.S. pres. Barack Obama plays down the possibility of a rapid military intervention by the U.S. in Syria, saying how important a legal mandate from the UN and international coalition of support would be. (Guardian, REU 22/8)

Protests take place across Egypt by Muslim Brotherhood supporters and other opponents of the coup, though rallies were small and scattered. One person is killed by security forces in the Nile Delta town of Tanta, with official Health Ministry reports saying 54 people are wounded in Cairo and 2 Delta provinces. Meanwhile, speaking on CNN, U.S. pres. Barack Obama says that cutting off aid to Egypt “may not reverse what the interim govt. does.” (AP, REU 8/23)

In the West Bank, IDF forces shoot and injure 1 Palestinian in clashes provoked by an IDF arrest raid in Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nur Shams r.c. nr Tulkarm at night; patrols in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, Jenin, and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. Inside Israel, suspected Jewish extremists vandalize a monastery nr. Beit Shemesh and leave “price-tag” graffiti. (WAFA 8/21; PCHR 8/22)

Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi says that the Palestinians may turn to UN bodies in response to Israeli settlement construction even before the current peace negotiations have come to a conclusion. In remarks made during a tour of East Jerusalem settlements, Ashrawi tells journalists “if Israel does not stop, then we have to move.” Meanwhile, Israel’s High Court of Justice rules that 30 structures in the Amana outpost in the West Bank should be demolished, but gives no evacuation date and leaves room for an appeal. (AP, JP 8/21)

A suspected chemical weapons attack takes place in Ghouta, a rebel-held suburb of Damascus, with wildly differing claims of fatalities (from a few hundred to over 1,000). Opposition forces blame the Bashar al-Asad regime, a claim denied by the govt. The UNSC holds an emergency meeting in response and calls for clarity, welcoming Ban Ki-moon’s call for a prompt investigation by UN inspectors. The U.S.-France-UK-drafted res. was changed to accommodate objections from Russia and China. (AFP, REU 8/21)

EU FMs meet for an emergency session in response to events in Egypt and agree to suspend the sale of security equipment and arms. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton says that “recent actions of the military have been disproportionate.” (NYT 8/19; AFP 8/21)

In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian with live ammunition during clashes prompted by soldiers raiding the village of Jaba‘ nr Jenin. There are also clashes but no injuries during an IDF raid of Jenin r.c. The IDF conducts additional house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 1 nearby village, Qalqilya and Jenin in the afternoon, and in Nablus at night, patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon, and in 1 village each nr. Qalqilya and Tulkarm at night. The IDF also demolishes 11 residential tents home to more than 50 Bedouin Palestinians in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Bayt Hanina. (MNA, WAFA 8/19; PCHR 8/22)

Pres. Mahmud Abbas meets with U.S. peace process envoy Martin Indyk in Ramallah to discuss the latest developments. (WAFA 8/19)

An Egyptian court orders the release of former pres. Husni Mubarak after he was cleared by a prosecutor in a corruption case. However, there is an outstanding retrial on charges of complicity in the murder of protesters during the 2011 revolution that deposed him. Meanwhile, Egyptian security forces arrest Muslim Brotherhood head Mohamed Badie, who was charged in 7/2013 with inciting the murder of protesters. UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon calls for the release of Pres. Morsi and says that“the political space for the Muslim Brotherhood should be expanded.” (NYT, REU 8/19)

Unnamed diplomats accredited to the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) say that Iran seems to be continuing to convert quantities of uranium gas into reactor fuel, thus holding back growth of the stockpile deemed most sensitive by the international community. (REU 9/18)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 5 villages nr. Nablus, Hebron, and nearby al-‘Arub r.c. and 2 villages nr. Bethlehem at night. (PCHR 8/15)

U.S. Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham visit Cairo in an effort to defuse the political crisis. Accompanied by the foreign ministers of Qatar and the UAE, U.S. Dep. Secy. of State William Burns visits jailed Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat al-Shater. Meanwhile, gunmen shoot and injure 3 Egyptian army officers in al-Arish, Sinai. (AP, HA, MNA, REU 5/8)

Samantha Power presents her credentials as U.S. amb. to the UN to Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon, following her endorsement by the Senate on 8/1 in an 87–10 vote. (AP 8/5)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry announces at a press conference in Amman that direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations will begin as early as the following week in Washington. Kerry says details are still being finalized, but that Israeli justice minister Tzipi Livni and Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat will travel to the U.S. to hold preliminary talks. Kerry made no mention of any conditions or framework for the talks. UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon welcomes the news and commends Kerry for his efforts, as does EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton. (HA, JP, MNA, REU 7/19)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 2 nearby villages, and 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin and al-‘Arub r.c. at night. Israeli soldiers clash with protesters at regular demonstrations by Palestinians, Israelis and international activists against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and the occupation in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, Nabi Salih), and 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum), causing no serious injuries, except in Nabi Saleh, where 1 person is shot and wounded by a rubbercoated metal bullet. (MNA 7/19; PCHR 7/25)

Pro-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators take to the streets across Egypt, and 3 people die in clashes between supporters and opponents of ousted pres. Morsi. Meanwhile in the Sinai, gunmen launch attacks on Egyptian army posts and police stations, killing 3 civilians when a rocket-propelled grenade struck their home. (AFP, MNA, REU 7/19)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops operating from a watchtower on the border fence nr. Dayr al-Balah open fire on a Palestinian farmer, injuring him. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon; patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah, 1 village nr. Jericho, and 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the morning, in 1 village nr. Jericho and 3 villages and al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night. Israeli soldiers also attack regular demonstrations by Palestinians, Israelis, and international activists against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and the occupation in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, Nabi Salih), 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum) and 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara), causing no serious injuries except in Bil‘in, with 1 injury from a tear gas canister and 1 from a rubber-coated metal bullet. (MNA 6/14; PCHR 6/20)

Israeli DM Moshe Ya’alon declares that U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry’s effort to restart peace talks has failed and that the Arab League proposal is just spin. Ya’alon’s remarks are made in an address to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in Washington, ahead of a meeting with U.S. Defense Secy. Chuck Hagel. His remarks are criticized by Israel’s Science and Technology Minister Jacob Perry as not conducive to resuming negotiations. (HA, JTA 6/14)

Norway’s Dep. DM confirms that UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon has asked Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark to contribute soldiers to the UNDOF in the Golan Heights, following Austria’s withdrawal. Meanwhile, U.S. Amb. to the UN Susan Rice says that the Obama administration has determined that sarin gas was used on 3/19 in an attack by the Syrian army in Aleppo and that unidentified chemical weapons were also used on 5/14 and 5/23. Separately, Hizballah leader Hasan Nasrallah declares in a televised speech that his group will continue to fight alongside Syrian pres. Asad and that the decision to intervene had been a calculated one. (AP, DS, HA, REU 6/14)

In Washington, U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry and VP Joe Biden meet with senior Arab officials including the Bahraini, Egyptian, Jordanian and Qatari FMs, and representatives from the PA, Arab League, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia for talks on the peace process. Qatari PM Shaykh Hamad Bin Jassem al-Thani, speaking on behalf of the Arab League delegation, cites the possibility of a border agreement that includes mutually agree and minor land swaps between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Kerry affirms the importance of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative that promised full normalization for Israel’s complete withdrawal from the occupied territories (including the Golan). (AP, REU 29/4)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 rocket from Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In response to recent rocket fire (see also 4/27), Israel closes the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing, further restricts movement through the Erez crossing to ‘‘humanitarian cases,’’ though it cancels visits for Gazan families of Palestinians jailed in Israel (VIPs were the only others allowed to cross Gaza). Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishermen off the south Gaza coast east of Rafah, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF soldiers evict several hundred Bedouin from Wadi al-Malih village in the Jordan Valley after declaring the area a live fire training zone (see 4/24). Meanwhile, Israel demolishes 4 Palestinian apartments in the al-Tur neighborhood of East Jerusalem, as well as a water well and utility room in the al-Fawar r.c. in Hebron. The IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Tulkarm in the morning, in 2 villages nr. Jenin in the afternoon. At night, IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in Dahaysha r.c. in Bethlehem, in Hebron, in 5 villages nr. Hebron, in Nablus, and in 1 village nr. Ramallah. Jewish settlers attack Palestinians in Bayt Furik village nr. Nablus, injuring 2. (AFP, MNA REU 4/29; PCHR 5/2)

UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon urges the Syrian government to allow experts into the country to investigate reports of alleged use of chemical weapons. Damascus wants any investigation limited to a 3/2013 incident nr. Aleppo while Ban wants to also include a 12/2012 incident in Homs. (see 4/24) (AP 4/29)

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu signs a coalition agreement with Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua party, under which Livni will become Justice Minister as well as heading the government’s negotiations team with the Palestinians. (HA, ToI 2/20)

Palestinians hold demonstrations in the West Bank, as an estimated 800 Palestinian prisoners declare a one-day fast in solidarity with long-term hunger striking prisoners being held as administrative detainees. Some 200 protesters clash with Israeli soldiers in the northern West Bank city, Hawara, causing no serious injuries. Meanwhile, UN Secy.- Gen. Ban Ki-moon expresses concern at the ongoing Palestinian hunger strike, saying that ‘‘those detained should be charged and face trial with judicial guarantees in accordance with international standards, or be promptly released. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village each nr. Jenin and nr. Tulkarm in the morning, and in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Tulkarm, al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Hebron, Aida r.c. and al-Dheisha r.c. in Bethlehem at night. The Israeli navy arrests 2 Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip, nr. Bayt Lahiya. The IDF also conducts 2 incursions into the Gaza Strip, nr. Jabaliya and nr. Khan Yunis, levelling land in both cases. (AP, MNA, REU 2/19; PCHR 2/21)

Head of the PA’s borders and crossing department Nathmi Muhanna announces that the European Union will fund expansion of the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza in order to increase its capacity to 500 truckloads per day (up from its current 300). Muhanna also says that Israel has informed his department of their intention to allow entry of new empty domestic gas cylinders into the Gaza Strip, as well as new fuel trucks, and the installation of a new phone and Internet line from Israel to the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, Yousef Rizka, adviser to Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh, says that the Egyptian authorities are flooding smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border with sewage water. (MNA 2/19)

Israeli security officials visit Cairo for the second time in a week to discuss the Gaza cease-fire with their Egyptian counterparts. An unnamed Hamas official says that the talks are focused on ‘‘humanitarian issues,’’ not politics. (MNA 2/19)

Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi says that a ‘‘new approach’’ to the IsraeliPalestinian conflict is needed, following talks with the pres. of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy. Arabi says that the focus should be ending Israel’s occupation, ‘‘not signing temporary agreements.’’ Meanwhile, Jordan’s King Abdallah tells an AIPAC delegation that the failure to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians is adding to regional tensions. UN secy.- gen. Ban Ki-moon also renews his criticism of Israel’s plans for settlement construction in the E1 area nr. Jerusalem and calls for the proposed construction to be rescinded. (AFP, AP 1/14)

The Israeli government announces that it is advancing plans to invest in socalled national heritage sites, including 9 located in the West Bank. (AP 1/14)

Egyptian authorities resume the shipment of Qatari fuel into the Gaza Strip via an Israeli-controlled crossing after 2 mos. of disruption due to the political unrest. (MNA 1/14)

In Gaza, the IDF shoots a Palestinian farmer in the head nr. Bayt Lahiya, killing him; the Israeli army denies involvement. The IDF makes a brief incursion into Gaza e. of Khan Yunis in what the IDF described as ‘‘routine activity.’’ The IDF later reports finding a tunnel leading from the Gaza Strip into Israel. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes a number of structures in 3 locations s. of Hebron, including a family home and shacks used for agricultural work. The IDF also patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and Qalqilya at night. (MNA, REU, WAFA 1/14; MNA 1/15; PCHR 1/17)

Fourteen of 15 mbrs. of the UNSC make statements condemning Israel’s settlement construction plans, while the U.S. vows to veto any resolution on the issue. Four separate statements are made by the 8 council mbrs. from the Non-Aligned Movement, the 4 European mbrs., as well as Russia and China. Meanwhile, the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Comm. approves the creation of a new Jewish settlement, Givat Hamatos, in the s. of East Jerusalem, not far from Har Homa. In addition, Israel’s Defense Ministry advances plans to build 523 homes in Giva’ot settlement in the Gush Etzion bloc, though this plan is long-standing and unrelated to the recent high-profile construction announcements tied to the Palestinian bid at the UN. (REU, HA, JP 12/19)

The IDF announces that it will issue permits to around 500 Christian Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to visit Bethlehem for Christmas. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Jenin, Nur Shams r.c. nr. Tulkarm, 1 village each nr. Hebron and Jenin, and 2 villages nr. Nablus. (JP 12/19; PCHR 12/20)

Palestinian government employees begin a 2-day general strike to protest a delay in the payment of their wages due to Israel’s withholding of around $100 m. customs revenue. Around 50,000 workers take part in the strike. Meanwhile, Palestine Monetary Authority chief Jihad al-Wazir says that Palestinian banks will lend the PA $100 m., set to be repaid when the Arab League delivers its promised financial safety net. (REU 12/19; MNA 12/19)

Israel’s Central Elections Comm. votes to disqualify MK Haneen Zoabi, from Balad party, from running in the forthcoming elections, a decision based largely on her participation in the 2010 Gaza flotilla. (HA 12/19)

Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas offers to take in Palestinian refugees fleeing from fighting in Syria, and UN secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon calls on Israel to facilitate their entry. Meanwhile, the UN launches its biggest aid appeal to date for Syria, estimating that it needs $1.5 b. to cope with a ‘‘dramatically deteriorating humanitarian situation.’’ Meanwhile, the Security Council passes a U.S.-and-Russian-drafted resolution on extending the peacekeeping mission in the demilitarized zone between Syria and Israel. The resolution expresses concern at the presence of both government and rebel forces in the zone. (MNA 12/18; AP, Guardian, UN News Center 12/19)

Britain, Denmark, France, Spain, and Sweden summon the Israeli ambassadors to their countries to protest Israel’s settlement construction plans. An anonymous senior European diplomat tells the Israeli newspaper Ha’Aretz that Britain and France see E1 development as a ‘‘red line’’ and feel Israel is acting ungratefully after the support it received during Operation Pillar of Defense. Former U.S. amb. to Israel Dan Kurtzer tells Ha’Aretz that the Obama admin. is angry over an Israeli official’s suggestion in a recent briefing that Israel generated the E1 plan in anticipation that Obama would refuse to reaffirm Bush’s 2004 letter to Sharon (which Israel views as U.S. approval of Israeli settlement expansion in areas it intends to keep under final status; see the Quarterly Update in JPS 132), when he entered office in 1/2009, as indeed occurred. Meanwhile, a source in the Israeli PM’s Office says there will be no retraction of the E1 construction plan. (HA, NYT, YA 12/3)

The dep. mayor of Jerusalem reveals that the municipality is expected to give final approval to a new settlement in occupied East Jerusalem called Givat Hamatos, the 1st of its kind since Har Homa in 1997. Located between Talpiot and Bayt Safafa, the new settlement will be on the agenda of the planning comm. on 12/19. In addition, Jewish settlers occupy a 5-story building in the Har Homa/Jabal Mukabir neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem that had previously been sold to a settler organization. (HA, JP 12/3)

Twelve Fatah mbrs. return to the Gaza Strip after fleeing in the 2007 conflict with Hamas. Returning Fatah mbr. Mahmoud Musleh says that around 450 Fatah mbrs. who fled to countries across the region, as well as to the West Bank, will return once procedures are complete. (MNA 12/3)

PM Ismail Haniyeh appeals to Arab states to help pay for reconstruction of the Gaza Strip following damage inflicted during Operation Pillar of Defense, estimated at $250–545 m. (REU 12/3)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF shoots a Palestinian child nr. al-Bureij r.c. close to the border fence, causing minor injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF kills a Palestinian civilian when a military jeep hits a car traveling on the Nablus– Ramallah road. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in Jericho and 1 nearby village, 3 villages nr. Ramallah, and 2 villages nr. Jenin later in the day; conducts night-time house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Tulkarm, and in Nablus and Balata r.c. (MNA 12/3; PCHR 12/6)

UN secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon accuses the Syrian government of serious violations of the 1974 agreement separating Israeli and Syrian forces in the Golan Heights. In a UNSC report, Ban expresses concern about recent incidents across the cease-fire line, and recommends a 6-mo. extension of the UN peacekeeping force in the Golan Heights. (AP 12/3)

The Israeli governmentt announces it will confiscate the VAT tax revenues it has collected for the PA during 11/2012, and use the NIS 460 m. of funds to offset the PA’s debt to Israel’s Electric Corporation. On 11/11, Israel’s fin. min. Yuval Steinitz had warned of such a measure in response to the UN bid. (HA 12/2)

The Israeli newspaper Ha’Aretz reports that 5 senior European ambassadors—from Britain, France, the EU, Germany, and Holland—have communicated strong opposition to Israel’s 11/30 plan to expand settlements and develop the E1 area outside of East Jerusalem. An anonymous British diplomat tells the paper that ‘‘London is furious with the decision over the E1 corridor.’’ UN secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon describes Israel’s plan as an ‘‘almost fatal blow’’ to prospects for peace. Israeli PM Netanyahu dismisses the international criticism at the weekly cabinet meeting, saying that Israel ‘‘will carry on building in Jerusalem and in all the places that are on the map of Israel’s strategic interests.’’ (AFP, HA, REU 12/2)

Addressing 1,000s of Palestinians in Ramallah on his return from the UN, Palestinian pres. Abbas says he will resume national reconciliation efforts soon. Jamal Ubeid, a mbr. of Fatah’s High Comm. in Gaza, announces that Hamas will allow 20 senior Fatah mbrs. who fled the Gaza Strip in 2007, when Hamas took over, to return. (AFP, MNA 12/2)

In the West Bank, Jewish settlers s. of Hebron set fire to a Palestinianowned car and vandalize a Palestinian house. The IDF patrols in Jenin, 2 villages nr. Qalqilya, and 1 village each nr. Jericho and Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Tulkarm in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Salfit at night. (PCHR 12/6)

Syrian rebels open fire on a Lebanese border patrol approaching the border, the 1st such clash between the 2 parties. There were no casualties. (REU 12/2)

The IDF strikes another 80 targets, including Gaza’s football stadium and smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border. Gaza’s Ministry of Health says that the Palestinian death toll surpasses 100, including over 30 women and children. The IDF puts the death toll at 95, and says 1/3 were civilians. Rescue workers continue to search for 2 missing persons in the rubble of the destroyed al-Dalou family home (see 11/18). Palestinian armed groups fire 42 rockets into Israel, bringing the total to 1,128 rockets since Israel’s operation began on 11/14; over 300 rockets have been intercepted by Iron Dome, and fewer than 40 have landed in populated areas. (AP, MNA, REU 11/19)

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu rebuffs a French-Qatari cease-fire initiative on the grounds that it could interfere with Egyptian mediation efforts (see 11/18). UN secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon arrives in Cairo to discuss the cease-fire talks. Hamas chief Mishal meets with Egyptian intelligence officials in Cairo, with the Egyptian side indicating that a cease-fire is close. Turkish PM Erdogan denounces Israel for conducting ‘‘terrorist attacks’’ in Gaza. A coalition of almost 40 international aid agencies issue an urgent call for a cease-fire; Amnesty International calls additionally for an arms embargo on Israel and Hamas. (Guardian, HA, WSJ 11/19)

In the West Bank, the IDF kills 2 Palestinians in separate incidents, as Palestinians continue to protest the attack on Gaza: 1 Palestinian from alNabi Salih dies of wounds he sustained on 11/17 when the IDF opened live fire on demonstrators, and the 2d Palestinian is shot dead by IDF troops in Hebron, who claimed they felt that their lives were in danger. At night, the IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Qalqilya, Bethlehem, Tubas and 1 nearby village, 1 village nr. Nablus, al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, and 1 village nr. Hebron. A Jewish settler injures a Palestinian man in a deliberate hit-and-run nr. Ofra settlement, after a Palestinian demonstration against Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense. (MNA 11/19; PCHR 11/22; OCHA 11/27)