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  • September 30, 2016

    Israeli soldiers shoot and kill a Palestinian at the Qalandia checkpoint n. of Jerusalem after he allegedly stabs an Israeli border guard, causing moderate injuries. The IDF then violently...

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  • September 29, 2016

    One Palestinian is killed and 3 others are injured in a tunnel collapse nr. Bayt Hanun in Gaza. Also along Gaza’s border, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmers working nr. Dayr al-Balah,...

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  • September 28, 2016

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces raze a swath of Palestinian land nr. Bethlehem, demolishing several olive trees. IDF troops conduct latenight raids nr. Ramallah, Hebron, and Tulkarm, arresting 5...

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  • March 8, 2016

    In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces shoot and kill a Palestinian in the Old City after she allegedly draws a knife with the intent to stab 1 of them. Israeli police shoot and kill a 2d Palestinian...

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  • July 24, 2014

    The IDF continues its assault on the Gaza Strip by land, air, and sea, attacking over 90 targets and killing 104 Palestinians. One IDF strike on a UN-run school in Bayt Hanun kills at least 15,...

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  • June 10, 2014

    The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus and Balata r.c. at night; patrols in Hebron and 3 villages and al-‘Arub r.c. nearby, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah at night. In East...

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  • June 8, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian fisherman shot by Israeli naval forces off the coast on 5/26 dies of his wounds. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Tulkarm and...

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  • May 7, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on armed Palestinians close to the border fence nr. Dayr al-Balah, injuring 1. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2...

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  • June 28, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and kill a Palestinian in Qalandia r.c. nr. Ramallah, during clashes sparked by an IDF arrest raid in the camp. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids...

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  • May 26, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, the IDF conducts 2 brief incursions nr. Khan Yunis, in both cases levelling land before withdrawing. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1...

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  • May 23, 2013

    U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry holds separate talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, on his 4th visit to the region in 4 mos. Kerry meets with Israeli PM Netanyahu, Justice Minister Tzipi...

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  • May 8, 2013

    Israel’s Justice Minister Tzipi Livni meets with U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry in Rome, following a meeting last week in Washington that discussed the possibility of reviving Israeli-Palestinian...

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  • April 21, 2013

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

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  • April 8, 2013

    U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry meets with Israeli pres. Shimon Peres to discuss efforts to restart the peace process. Meanwhile, Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas arrives in Doha for a meeting...

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  • March 2, 2013

    Israeli pres. Shimon Peres gives PM Benjamin Netanyahu 2 more weeks to form a new government, after the initial 28-day period passes without a successful coalition agreement being reached. (HA,...

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  • February 2, 2013

    Israeli pres. Shimon Peres formally tasks PM Netanyahu with forming the next government with a deadline of 28 days. Peres says that it is essential for the next government to tackle the budget...

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  • January 25, 2013

    Israeli pres. Shimon Peres meets with Jordanian King Abdallah II at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to discuss restarting peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. (JP 1/25...

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  • December 30, 2012

    Israeli security forces evacuate the unauthorized settler outpost of Oz Zion in between Ramallah and Jerusalem, removing right-wing activists who were still on site. (ToI 12/30)

    At a...

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  • November 1, 2012

    PA res. Abbas gives an interview to Israeli television in which he says there will be no 3d intifada and that he will not seek a return to inside Israel’s pre-1967 borders. His comments are...

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  • October 17, 2012

    The Guardian reports that the UK government is urging the Palestinian leadership to delay its UN bid for fear of damaging the peace process. Palestinians are confident of winning a majority,...

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  • August 16, 2012

    Jewish settlers destroy 30 olive trees in a Palestinian grove in the south Hebron hills. Suspected Jewish extremists firebomb a Palestinian taxi traveling nr. Kefar Etzion settlement s. of...

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  • July 29, 2012

    On the 2d day of his trip to Israel, Republican presidential candidate Romney prays at the Western Wall and gives a public address to 300 select supporters in Jerusalem (calling Jerusalem the...

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  • July 16, 2012

    U.S. secy. of state Clinton meets with Israeli leaders (including PM Netanyahu, Pres. Peres, DM Barak, FM Avigdor Lieberman) and Quartet special envoy Tony Blair in Jerusalem and with PA PM Salam...

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  • June 19, 2012

    Israeli pres. Shimon Peres says he has met with Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas and other Palestinian officials several times in recent months to discuss resuming peace talks. The Palestinians do...

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  • June 13, 2012

    Israeli troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the demolished Erez industrial zone, forcing them to flee. A Palestinian is killed...

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  • April 10, 2012

    IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire on open areas nr. the border fence e. of Khuza’ and Khan Yunis, damaging 2 houses but causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night...

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  • January 19, 2012

    Thailand officially recognizes Palestine as an independent state, becoming the 131st country to do so. (NYT 1/21)

    Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel,...

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  • November 28, 2011

    Israeli PM Netanyahu says that since the 11/24 Abbas-Mishal meeting seemed more symbolic than substantive and the PLO/PA has not made moves since the 11/1/11 UNESCO vote to gain membership in...

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  • September 5, 2011

    Abbas tells a group of 20 left-leaning Israeli intellectuals that the Palestinians want above all to resume negotiations, stating that “no matter what happens at the [UN], we have to return to...

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  • April 4, 2011

    Israeli pres. Shimon Peres arrives in Washington for a 3-day visit. He meets today with Secy. of State Clinton; no details are released. (WJW 4/7)

    Israel’s Jerusalem planning comm. gives...

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Israeli soldiers shoot and kill a Palestinian at the Qalandia checkpoint n. of Jerusalem after he allegedly stabs an Israeli border guard, causing moderate injuries. The IDF then violently disperses around 200 Palestinians gathering to throw stones in protest of the killing. Meanwhile, IDF troops violently disperse Palestinians, Israelis, and international activists at Friday demonstrations against Israel’s occupation, settlements, and separation wall in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, and Nabi Salih), Kafr Qaddum nr. Qalqilya, and along Gaza’s border nr. al-Bureij r.c. and Shuja‘iya; at least 6 Palestinians are injured and 2 are arrested. They also patrol during the day nr. Qalqilya, Salfit, and Hebron. (HA, MNA, TOI, YA 9/30; MNA 10/1; PCHR 10/6)

PA pres. Abbas attends the funeral of former Israeli pres. Peres and shakes hands with Israeli PM Netanyahu. Responding to criticism from Hamas and many other Palestinians, a senior Hamas official says that Abbas’s attendance disproves Israeli claims of Palestinian dedication to violence and that it sent a “strong message of Palestinian peace” to the world. MK and Joint List chair Ayman Odeh refuses to attend, along with the rest of the Joint List, citing Peres’s treatment of the Palestinians. The Joint List and PA reportedly agree to refrain from publicly criticizing one another over their different views on this matter. (HA, JP, MNA, NYT, YA 9/30; HA 10/1)

One Palestinian is killed and 3 others are injured in a tunnel collapse nr. Bayt Hanun in Gaza. Also along Gaza’s border, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmers working nr. Dayr al-Balah, causing no injuries or damage. In the West Bank, the IDF temporarily forces 19 Palestinians from their homes in the n. Jordan Valley to make space for military drills in the area, and patrols nr. Nablus and Hebron during the day. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces fire sound bombs during a raid in al-Tur, striking 1 Palestinian in the back of the head and causing serious injuries. (JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA 9/29; PCHR 10/6)

The Israeli authorities cancel elderly Gazans’ weekly trip to Haram al-Sharif for Friday prayers due to the planned funeral for former Israeli pres. Peres, set for 9/30. Meanwhile, PA pres. Abbas asks to attend Peres’s funeral, drawing criticism from across the Palestinian political spectrum. (HA, JP, MNA, YA 9/29)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces raze a swath of Palestinian land nr. Bethlehem, demolishing several olive trees. IDF troops conduct latenight raids nr. Ramallah, Hebron, and Tulkarm, arresting 5 Palestinians and confiscating 1 car; and patrol nr. Hebron during the day. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces continue targeting Shu‘fat r.c., raiding the camp for the 6th day this week and arresting at least 13 residents. They arrest 2 more Palestinians during raids in Qalandia r.c. and al-‘Izzariya. Two Palestinian families demolish their own homes in Bayt Hanina to avoid paying Israeli demolition fees. (MNA, WAFA 9/28; PCHR 10/6)

Former Israeli pres. Shimon Peres dies at the age of 93. (HA, JP, NYT 9/28)

In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces shoot and kill a Palestinian in the Old City after she allegedly draws a knife with the intent to stab 1 of them. Israeli police shoot and kill a 2d Palestinian nr. the Old City after he opens fire on them with an automatic weapon, injuring 2 (1 seriously). Israeli forces then raid the alleged attacker’s home in Issawiyya, issue arrest summons to his father and uncle, take measurements in preparation for possible punitive demolition, and spark minor clashes with stone-throwing youths. In Israel, Israeli police shoot and kill a 3d Palestinian nr. Petah Tikva after he allegedly stabs and moderately injures an Israeli; shoot and kill a 4th Palestinian in Jaffa after he stabs several people, killing 1 U.S. citizen and injuring at least 10 Israelis (5 seriously). Later, a video of the incident in Jaffa circulates on social media, apparently showing an Israeli police officer shooting the Palestinian attacker execution-style. After the attacks in Petah Tikva and Jaffa, the IDF seals the Qalqilya and Salfit-area villages of the alleged attackers, blocking residents from entering or exiting. (HA, INT, JP, MNA, NYT 3/8; PCHR 3/10)

Elsewhere, Israeli forces confiscate a tractor from a village nr. Nablus and level farmland outside a bedouin village in the Negev. They also conduct raids nr. Hebron, Qalqilya, Bethlehem, Jericho, Tulkarm, and Jenin, as well as in 1 neighborhood in East Jerusalem, arresting 16 Palestinians and demolishing some property; patrol in 4 villages nr. Hebron. Israeli settlers raze a large area of land nr. Bethlehem. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 3/8; PCHR 3/10)

U.S. VP Joe Biden arrives in Israel, meets with former Israeli pres. Shimon Peres in Jaffa, and pledges “total, unvarnished commitment” to Israel. Meanwhile, a White House official denies a 3/7 Wall Street Journal report that the Obama admin. plans to change policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: “There has been no change to our policy or strategy with regard to this issue.” (HA, JTA, TOI 3/8; JP 3/9)

The IDF continues its assault on the Gaza Strip by land, air, and sea, attacking over 90 targets and killing 104 Palestinians. One IDF strike on a UN-run school in Bayt Hanun kills at least 15, and wounds 200, mostly women and children seeking shelter. The Israeli army says it is investigating the incident and that “terrorists” opened fire at IDF personnel from the area of the school. Palestinians fire around 60 rockets into Israel, 15 of which are intercepted by Iron Dome, causing no damage or injuries (including 5 over Tel Aviv). On the ground in Gaza, al-Quds Brigades and al-Qassam Brigades claim to have killed 4 and 8 Israeli soldiers, respectively. In the West Bank, a reported 10,000 Palestinians gather in protest of the assault on Gaza and march from c. Ramallah to Qalandia checkpoint, where clashes with IDF troops break out. IDF troops kill 2 and injure more than 200 protesters, including 60 with live ammunition. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus in the morning. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces set up checkpoints to restrict access to Haram al-Sharif, leading to clashes and the arrest of 12 Palestinian youth. (AFP, AP, HA, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/24; PCHR 7/25)

Secy. of State Kerry meets with UN Secy.- Gen. Ban in Cairo once more. Meanwhile, in Amman, PA Pres. Abbas meets with Jordan’s King Abdallah and says “there is hope for a cease-fire” along the lines of “the Egyptian initiative” before fuller negotiations about wider demands. Kerry reaches out to Turkish and Qatari diplomats in an effort to garner support from Hamas’s regional allies for his cease-fire initiative. (AFP, AP, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/24)

Rivlin is sworn in as the new pres. of Israel, succeeding Peres. (HA 7/24)

The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus and Balata r.c. at night; patrols in Hebron and 3 villages and al-‘Arub r.c. nearby, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah at night. In East Jerusalem, Palestinians demonstrate at Haram al-Sharif against Israeli restrictions on worshippers’ access. (MNA 6/10; PCHR 6/12)

Reuven Rivlin is elected pres. of Israel by a vote in the Knesset of 63–53, defeating Meir Sheetrit. The 74-year-old mbr. of Likud replaces Peres. (REU 6/10)

Iranian pres. Rouhani says that Tehran will “do its best” to secure a deal over its disputed nuclear program. After further U.S.-Iranian discussions in Geneva on 6/9, Iran’s chief negotiator and dep. FM Araghchi says that the talks were “fruitful” but that “divergences remain and the consultations are going to continue.” (AFP, REU 6/10)

In the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian fisherman shot by Israeli naval forces off the coast on 5/26 dies of his wounds. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Tulkarm and 1 nearby village, and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Ramallah in the morning, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron, 2 villages nr. Jericho, and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. (MNA 6/8; PCHR 6/12)

Pope Francis holds a peace prayer in the Vatican with Israel’s Pres. Shimon Peres and PA Pres. Abbas, a symbolic gesture proposed by the pontiff during his recent trip to the region on 5/24–26. (AFP 6/8)

Al-Sisi is sworn into office after his victory in Egypt’s presidential elections. During his speech at the inauguration ceremony, the head of the Egyptian military says that “there will be reconciliation between the sons of our nation except those who had committed crimes against them or adopted violence.” Abbas attends the ceremony and holds separate meetings with Secy.-Gen. of the Arab League Nabil al-‘Arabi, Egyptian FM Nabil Fahmi, and Moroccan FM Salaheddine Mezouar. (AP, WAFA 8/6)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on armed Palestinians close to the border fence nr. Dayr al-Balah, injuring 1. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages each nr. Hebron and Nablus at night; patrols in al-‘Arub and 1 village nr. Hebron at night. Meanwhile, shots are fired toward a house in West Bank settlement Psagot, causing no injuries. In Israel, Jewish extremists leave “price tag” graffiti on a Druze-owned dentistry office in Yokneam. In East Jerusalem, a separate “price tag” attack targets Vaticanowned offices with graffiti. (AFP, HA, JP, MNA 5/7; PCHR 5/8)

U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice arrives in Jerusalem and holds a meeting with Israeli PM Netanyahu to discuss the Iranian nuclear issue. She also meets Pres. Shimon Peres, and Israel’s National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen. Rice travels with a team that includes U.S. Under Secy. of State Wendy Sherman. Her trip is unrelated to the breakdown in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. (HA 5/7)

Iranian technical experts and representatives of the P5+1 countries hold talks in New York City. An anonymous EU official describes them as “useful,” ahead of talks beginning 5/13 aimed at reaching a more comprehensive agreement. (AP, REU 5/7)

In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and kill a Palestinian in Qalandia r.c. nr. Ramallah, during clashes sparked by an IDF arrest raid in the camp. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 4 villages nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning, and in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Salfit 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 (1 injury from tear gas canister) and Kafr Qaddum (2 injuries from rubber-coated metal bullets). (MNA 6/28; PCHR 7/4)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry conducts further shuttle diplomacy, holding talks in Amman with Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas followed by discussions in Jerusalem with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, which are also attended by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, National Security Adviser Ya’akov Amidror, and Special Envoy Yitzhak Molcho. Kerry meets separately with Israeli pres. Shimon Peres. Meanwhile, director of the Palestinians’ High Coordination Cmte. for Prisoners’ Release Amin Shuman says that Israelis and Palestinians have held secret talks about freeing prisoners detained before 1993. (AFP, HA, MNA, REU 6/28)

Three people are killed and hundreds injured as violent clashes take place between supporters and opponents of Egyptian pres. Mohamed Morsi, with the Muslim Brotherhood office ransacked in Alexandria. (NYT 6/28)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF conducts 2 brief incursions nr. Khan Yunis, in both cases levelling land before withdrawing. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron, one village each nr. Salfit, Qalqilya, and Jerusalem and in Tulkarm and Jenin at night; patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin in the morning, 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and 2 villages nr. Jericho at night. (PCHR 5/30)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry reveals a $4 billion plan to boost the Palestinian economy, speaking at the World Economic Forum at the Dead Sea in Jordan (see document D1 in JPS 169 for more). Kerry also urges Israelis and Palestinians to reach a political agreement, saying that a failure to do so would mean living with “a permanent intifada.” Israeli pres. Shimon Peres and PA Pres. Mahmoud Abbas both address the gathering, with Abbas using his speech to refuse any solution involving “temporary borders.” (HA, JP, REU 5/26)

There are reports of rockets fired from s. Lebanon into n. Israel, yet this is subsequently denied by the IDF, whose soldiers also fail to find any impact site or evidence of a projectile landing in Israeli territory. Meanwhile, 2 rockets are fired into a Shi‘i district of Beirut, in an apparent response to Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah’s promise to keep fighting in Syria alongside Asad. Arab League chief Nabil al-‘Arabi urges Hizballah to withdraw from its role in Syria, saying that to continue would threaten Lebanon’s internal unity. (AP, HA, REU 5/26; ToI 5/27; JP 5/28)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry holds separate talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, on his 4th visit to the region in 4 mos. Kerry meets with Israeli PM Netanyahu, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, and separately with Pres. Shimon Peres in Jerusalem, and then with Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas in Ramallah. Kerry praises Netanyahu for his “seriousness” in looking for ways to return to direct negotiations and expresses optimism but no concrete strategy for moving things forward. Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secy. Chuck Hagel appoints retired Gen. John Allen as special envoy on security issues in talks between Israel and the PA. Allen’s final post before retirement from the military was as commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. (AP, HA, JP, REU 5/23)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF conducts an incursion nr. Khan Yunis, moving 300 meters past the border fence and raising land with bulldozers, a common occurrence justified by the military on security grounds. Israeli naval vessels also open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Salfit in the morning, 1 village nr. Salfit in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Jenin, 1 village nr. Jericho and 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night. In East Jerusalem, 5 cars are vandalized with “price-tag” graffiti. (YA 5/23; PCHR 5/30)

Five are killed and more than 50 wounded in clashes in Tripoli between Lebanese gunmen from Sunni and Alawite communities. The death toll since the latest bout of fighting in the city began on 5/19 is now at least 18, with more than 170 wounded. The violence is linked to a Syrian govt. offensive that is being supported by Hizballah fighters. (AP, REU 5/23)

Israel’s Justice Minister Tzipi Livni meets with U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry in Rome, following a meeting last week in Washington that discussed the possibility of reviving Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. U.S. Pres. Barack Obama speaks with PM Benjamin Netanyahu by phone to discuss the peace process. Meanwhile, Israeli authorities approve construction of 296 new settlement housing units in Beit El settlement nr. Ramallah. (JP 5/8; JP, MNA 5/9)

In Jerusalem, Jewish settlers accompanied by Israeli security forces enter the al-Aqsa Mosque compound for the second consecutive day, preventing Muslim worshippers from freely accessing the site. Meanwhile, Israeli police detain Jerusalem Mufti Mohammed Hussein for a few hours over his role in clashes the previous day. In the West Bank, IDF forces demolish 3 Palestinian homes in al-Auja village nr. Jericho. IDF undercover units conduct a raid nr. Jenin, arresting PA Preventive Security officer Mohammed Ahmed Zakarna, who received an amnesty a few years ago for his participation in the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the morning, and in 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. IDF troops conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Jenin and in Tulkarm at night. IDF forces make 2 brief incursions into Gaza to level land and clear lines of sight along the border nr. Jabaliya and Bayt Hanun. (AFP, MNA 5/8; PCHR 5/9)

Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem publishes a report that says Israel killed 87 Palestinian civilians in Operation Pillar of Defense in 11/2012, 80% of whom died in the second half of the operation. (JP 5/9)

Egyptian theologian and prominent Islamist cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi enters the Gaza Strip on a high-profile official visit to the Hamas government, welcomed and hosted by PM Ismail Haniyeh (AFP 5/8)

Jordan’s parliament votes in favor of petitioning the government to expel Israeli amb. Daniel Nevo and recalling Jordan’s amb. to Israel to protest recent unrest involving Jewish settlers entering the al-Aqsa Mosque compound (see 5/7) Ultimately, Jordan’s Interior Min. Hussein al-Majali only summons Nevo to convey an official protest. (AFP 5/8)

Professor Stephen Hawking of Cambridge University pulls out of a conference in Israel in 6/2013 hosted by Pres. Shimon Peres, citing the Palestinian boycott call. Israeli FM spokesman Yigal Palmor says that ‘‘never has a scientist of this stature boycotted Israel.’’ (NYT 5/8)

The UN relocates peacekeepers from an observation post in the al-Jamla area of the Golan Heights cease-fire zone, following the most recent abduction of Filipino troops on 5/7. (AFP 5/8)

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

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

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

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry meets with Israeli pres. Shimon Peres to discuss efforts to restart the peace process. Meanwhile, Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas arrives in Doha for a meeting organized by the Arab League and chaired by senior Qatari officials to plan a delegation to the UN in New York to revive negotiations. (HA, MNA 4/8)

Israel closes the Kerem Shalom goods crossing into Gaza in response to the 4/7 rocket fire. Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF forces shoot and seriously injure a Palestinian photographer during clashes in Aida r.c. in Bethlehem, and also shoot and injure a Palestinian construction worker in Madama village nr. Nablus. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning, in Qalqilya and 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon, and in Qalqilya and 1 nearby village, and 2 villages each nr. Hebron and Jenin at night. IDF forces also conduct house searches and arrest raids in and around Jenin and Tulkarm, nr. Hebron, in Dahaysha r.c. in Bethlehem, and nr. Qalqilya and Salfit. (JP, MNA 4/8; PCHR 4/11)

UNRWA announces that it is reopening its Gaza Strip-based food distribution centers after last week’s suspension (4/4). (REU 4/8)

Israeli pres. Shimon Peres gives PM Benjamin Netanyahu 2 more weeks to form a new government, after the initial 28-day period passes without a successful coalition agreement being reached. (HA, REU 3/2)

Israel’s Transportation Ministry announces that new Palestinian-only bus lines will soon operate between locations in the West Bank and central Israel. Israel presents the plan as a gesture to ease travel arrangements for Palestinian day laborers, but critics denounce the plan as de facto ‘‘segregation,’’ noting that Jewish settlers have voiced complaints about sharing buses with Palestinian workers. (YA 3/2; HA 3/3)

In the West Bank, Jewish settlers from Havat Maon attack Palestinian farmers nr. Yatta south of Hebron. When Israeli soldiers arrive, they declare the area a closed military zone and arrest 1 Palestinian teenager. The IDF patrols in al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron in the afternoon, provoking clashes that cause no serious injuries. At night, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Tulkarm; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 2 nearby villages and in 1 each village nr. Jenin and. Nablus. (PCHR 3/7)

An Israeli diplomatic source reveals that Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan’s King Abdullah II met in Jordan last week to discuss the peace process. No further details are revealed. (AFP 3/2)

Several mortars fired from inside Syria land in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no injuries or damage. Israel says that it assumes the mortars were misfired, but nonetheless files a complaint with the UN. (HA 3/2)

Israeli pres. Shimon Peres formally tasks PM Netanyahu with forming the next government with a deadline of 28 days. Peres says that it is essential for the next government to tackle the budget deficit, social justice, universal military conscription, and renewed negotiations with the Palestinians. Netanyahu emphasizes the need to form as broad a coalition as possible to deal with domestic and international challenges. (HA, JP 2/2)

IDF soldiers attack and evacuate around 200 Palestinian activists who had set up a protest camp called alManatir in Burin village nr. Nablus, injuring around 20. During the clashes, Jewish settlers attack Burin with Molotov cocktails and rocks, and set fire to olive trees. Earlier, Jewish settlers shoot a Palestinian teenager in the leg in Burin. Elsewhere in the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Ramallah and 3 villages nr. Jericho at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night. (MNA 2/2; PCHR 2/7)

Israeli pres. Shimon Peres meets with Jordanian King Abdallah II at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to discuss restarting peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. (JP 1/25)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians close to the border fence in 3 separate incidents nr. Jabalya (twice) and nr. Bayt Lahiya, wounding a total of 5. Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, Palestinian activists occupy the site of demolished protest village al-Karamah nr. Jerusalem to perform weekly prayers, re-erect tents, and plant olive trees. Activists also stage a demonstration in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails at the entrance to Elazar settlement nr. Bethlehem and are removed by IDF soldiers. The IDF also patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Hebron at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Qalqilya in the afternoon, and in Bethlehem and 1 village nr. Hebron at night. Israeli soldiers attack weekly nonviolent demonstrations held by Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals in 4 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, al-Nabi Salih, Budrus), 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara), and 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum). In total, 5 Palestinians are hit and injured by tear-gas canisters (4 in Bil‘in and 1 hit in the head in al-Nabi Salih). (MNA 1/25; PCHR 1/31)

Israeli security forces evacuate the unauthorized settler outpost of Oz Zion in between Ramallah and Jerusalem, removing right-wing activists who were still on site. (ToI 12/30)

At a meeting of Israeli ambassadors, Israeli pres. Shimon Peres praises PA pres. Abbas as a leader with whom Israel could make an agreement, describing him as ‘‘one of the only leaders in the Arab world to publicly and boldly say that he supports peace and a demilitarized state, and opposes terrorism.’’ (ToI 12/30)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin, 1 village nr. Qalqilya, and 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning; in 1 village each nr. Bethlehem, Qalqilya, and Ramallah and in 2 villages nr. Jenin in the afternoon; and in ‘Aqaba r.c. nr. Jericho, Tulkarm and 3 nearby villages, 5 villages nr. Jenin, and 2 villages each nr. Hebron and Ramallah at night. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Nablus at night. (PCHR 1/3)

A team from the Gaza Strip-based Ministry of Justice visits Cairo for discussions with Egyptian officials on the terms of the truce agreement with Israel and other matters. Meanwhile, the 1st shipment of gravel for private construction since 2007 enters Gaza (see 12/26). (MNA 12/30; REU 12/30)

Israel’s Supreme Court overturns the ban the Central Elections Comm. imposed (see 12/19) on MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) participating in the next elections. (Guardian 12/30)

PA res. Abbas gives an interview to Israeli television in which he says there will be no 3d intifada and that he will not seek a return to inside Israel’s pre-1967 borders. His comments are welcomed by Israeli pres. Shimon Peres but criticized by both Israeli PM Netanyahu (who states that Abbas’s words do not match his actions) and by Gaza Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who calls the remarks ‘‘dangerous.’’ Abbas later clarifies through an adviser that he was not giving up the Palestinian refugees’ right of return, but was being ‘‘realistic.’’ (HA 11/1; AP 11/2; HA, WAFA 11/3)

PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erakat warns that the U.S. and Israel may impose economic restrictions on the PA after a successful upgrade at the UNGA in 11/2012. (JP 11/1)

In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 2 structures in a settler outpost nr. Yitzhar settlement and claims that that Jewish settlers attacked them with stones. The IDF also patrols in 7 villages nr. Jenin in the morning, in Tulkarm in the afternoon, and in 1 village each nr. Jenin, Jericho, and Ramallah at night; conducts late-night house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron and 1 nr. Qalqilya. (PCHR 11/8; JP 11/1)

The Guardian reports that the UK government is urging the Palestinian leadership to delay its UN bid for fear of damaging the peace process. Palestinians are confident of winning a majority, citing figures showing the support of at least 115 countries, and as many as 150, out of 193. (Guardian 10/17)

A Hamas delegation visits Cairo to discuss the threat posed by a jihadist group (reportedly called the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis group) operating in the Sinai with alleged connections to the Gaza Strip. (Egypt Independent, REU 10/17)

The new ambassadors of Jordan and Egypt present their credentials to Israeli pres. Shimon Peres, with the latter’s envoy expressing commitment to existing agreements. (JP 10/18)

Israeli Army Radio reports that the Israeli cabinet will adopt (unspecified) recommendations from the Levy report on West Bank settlements, which rejected the idea that Israel’s presence in the territories constitutes occupation and concluded that unauthorized outposts should be legalized. Israeli DM Ehud Barak opposes the move, citing damage to Israel’s diplomatic image abroad. (HA, JP 10/17)

The union of PA public sector workers calls for a strike on 10/17 and 10/18 and again the next week to protest the PA’s failure to pay salaries. (MNA 10/16)

The IDF makes air strikes on a location in the n. Gaza Strip at night, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin and conducts house searches and arrests in 2 villages nr. Hebron at night. (JP 10/18; PCHR 10/24)

Jewish settlers destroy 30 olive trees in a Palestinian grove in the south Hebron hills. Suspected Jewish extremists firebomb a Palestinian taxi traveling nr. Kefar Etzion settlement s. of Bethlehem, injuring the 6 passengers. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu subsequently writes to Palestinian Authority (PA) pres. Mahmud Abbas to pledge that the perpetrators will be brought to justice. (ToI 8/16; MNA, ToI 8/17)

Israeli pres. Shimon Peres warns against a unilateral Israeli military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. (NYT 8/16; Guardian 8/17)

On the 2d day of his trip to Israel, Republican presidential candidate Romney prays at the Western Wall and gives a public address to 300 select supporters in Jerusalem (calling Jerusalem the capital of Israel). He vows to support Israel’s right to defend itself and calls for Israel and the U.S. to use ‘‘any and all means’’ to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. He does not repeat the comment his foreign policy aide, Dan Senor, made en route to Israel that Romney would ‘‘respect’’ an Israeli decision to strike Iran unilaterally, nor does he mention the Palestinians or the peace process. Romney meets with his former business colleague PM Netanyahu, who makes kind remarks but is seen (e.g., WP 7/30) as being careful not to take sides in the election. He also meets with Israeli pres. Peres and PA PM Salam Fayyad; the Romney camp cancels at the last minute a planned meeting with Labor party officials. In an interview with CNN later in the day, Romney says that the U.S., in consultation with Israel, should move its embassy to Jerusalem. In response, White House spokesman Josh Earnest says: ‘‘The view of this administration is the capital should be determined in final status negotiations between the parties. That’s the position held by the previous administrations, both Democratic and Republican.’’ (NYT, WP, WT 7/30; WP 7/31; WJW 8/2)

Timed with Romney’s visit to Israel, the Obama admin. leaks a story to the Israeli daily Ha’Aretz that NSA Donilon briefed an Israeli official (some say PM Netanyahu, though Israel explicitly denies this) over dinner in Israel earlier in 7/2012 on ‘‘U.S. contingency plans for any attack on Iran,’’ emphasizing that the U.S. is making serious preparations for a military strike if such action is deemed necessary. A Netanyahu spokesman says Donilon did not share any operational plans. Donilon’s office says it does not comment on private meetings. (WT 7/30)

In Tunis en route to Israel, U.S. defense secy. Leon Panetta says Israel and the U.S. are united in support of strong sanctions against Iran. (NYT, WP 7/30)

Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 nr. Jenin in the morning; patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and Ramallah in the evening. Jewish settlers block roads and stone Palestinian cars nr. the evacuated settlement of Homesh nr. Jenin. (PCHR 8/2; OCHA 8/3)

U.S. secy. of state Clinton meets with Israeli leaders (including PM Netanyahu, Pres. Peres, DM Barak, FM Avigdor Lieberman) and Quartet special envoy Tony Blair in Jerusalem and with PA PM Salam Fayyad in Ramallah. Though the main purpose of her visit is to discuss Iran, Syria, and other regional changes brought by the Arab Spring, she tells the Israeli and Palestinian sides that they must resume peace talks soon and avoid all unilateral actions. She emphasizes that while the international community is ready to offer ample support for a return to negotiations, the hard work must be done by the parties themselves. (WP 7/17)

Israel allows 40 Palestinian prisoners held in its Ramon prison to receive visits from family members from Gaza, marking the 1st time Israel has allowed family visits for Gazan prisoners since Hamas seized control of the Strip in 6/2007. Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts evening arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin; and conducts late-night patrols in al-Nabi Salih. (TOI 7/16; WP 7/17; PCHR 7/19; OCHA 7/20)

Christians United for Israel (CUFI) opens its 7th annual conference in Washington. At least 5,600 participants attend. Organizers note that CUFI now has 1.1 m. members, 754,000 Facebook fans, and 96 college chapters. The conference theme is ‘‘Defend America; Vote Israel.’’ CUFI founder James Hagee focuses on the importance of Christian Zionism and supporting Israel as part of ‘‘living out God’s mandate.’’ Other speakers include Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), fmr. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations head Malcolm Hoenlein, and Zionist Organization of America pres. Morton Klein. The speakers focus on Iran, U.S.-Israel security cooperation, and halting Palestinian incitement. (WJW 7/19)

Israeli pres. Shimon Peres says he has met with Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas and other Palestinian officials several times in recent months to discuss resuming peace talks. The Palestinians do not comment. (WT 6/20) A previously unknown group calling itself the Mujahiddin Shura Council of Jerusalem (which claims ties to alQa‘ida) releases a video claiming responsibility for the 6/18 cross-border attack on Israel from Egypt. The video shows the 2 assailants killed by the IDF, identifying them as an Egyptian and a Saudi. (WP 6/20; NYT 6/21)

Responding to recent Israeli air strikes and cross-border shootings in Gaza that killed 6 Palestinians, Hamas’s IQB for the 1st time in more than a year fires a barrage of at least 45 rockets (including at least 10 Grads) fr. Gaza into Israel; 1 rocket damages an Israeli police barracks and injures 2 police officers, but the others land in open areas. The IQB says it is aiming predominantly at open areas to minimize the severity of its rocket fire and to ‘‘send a message’’ to Israel. Expecting retaliation, Hamas security officials vacate their bases. Israel initially issues a stern warning and carries out 1 air strike on a Palestinian rocketlaunching team nr. Dayr al-Balah, wounding 1 armed Palestinian. Late at night, however, Israeli warplanes and drones carry out 7 air strikes on Hamas targets across Gaza, seriously wounding 1 IQB mbr. The targets include a garage and a group of armed Palestinians in Gaza City, a vacant house in al-Bureij r.c., and 2 IQB training camps nr. Bayt Lahiya and Rafah. (HA 6/19; NYT, YA 6/20; PCHR 6/21; OCHA 6/22)

In the West Bank, Jewish settlers set fire to a mosque in the village of Jaba nr. Bethlehem and spray graffiti on its walls warning the Israeli government against evacuating the unauthorized settlement outpost of Ulpana (5 buildings, 30 families). This is the 12th mosque vandalized by Jewish settlers since 1/2011. Jewish settlers also vandalize the car of the settler leader negotiating the terms of Ulpana’s evacuation with the Israeli government. OCHA reports that in the previous week, the IDF carried out several significant demolitions in Israelicontrolled Area C: 14 residential structures and 11 animal pens in the al-Hirma bedouin community near Bethlehem (64 displaced, including 37 children); 6 seasonal residential structures in the Jordan Valley (20 displaced); 1 residential structure nr. Qalqilya; and 2 animal pens nr. East Jerusalem. (NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 6/20; OCHA 6/22)

The P5+1 and Iran close 2 days of ‘‘intense and tough’’ nuclear talks in Moscow. Both sides say that the talks were so detailed and so heated that they need a break to digest all that has been discussed and to confer with their governments. Iran reportedly offers to halt enrichment of uranium to 20% purity if the international community acknowledges Iran’s right to enrich uranium and immediately rolls back sanctions. The P5+1 refuses to delay or waive sanctions until Iran meets specific benchmarks of compliance. Ashton announces that the sides plan to send technical experts to Istanbul on 7/3 ‘‘to make sure all clearly understood the nature of both sides’ proposals’’ and to gauge the prospects for narrowing gaps and holding more negotiations. Meanwhile, the next round of EU and U.S. sanctions are scheduled to go into effect as scheduled on 7/1. (NYT 6/19; NYT, WP 6/20; NYT 7/2; WT 7/4; NYT 7/5)

Unidentified U.S. and Western officials confirm to the Washington Post (6/20) that the U.S. and Israel jointly developed the Flame virus to map and monitor Iran’s computer networks in preparation for a major cyberwarfare campaign. They said, however, that Israel deployed the virus unilaterally, without consulting the U.S., leading to its premature detection by Iran and to development of critical Iranian countermeasures. U.S. intelligence officials had hoped that Flame would reside undetected on Iran’s networks for years sending back valuable information. Computer experts said (WP 6/20) that Flame contained ‘‘DNA-like evidence’’ linking it to the Stuxnet virus (see QU in JPS 158). This would make the Stuxnet and Flame attacks the first recorded sustained cyber-sabotage campaign against a state. (WP 6/20)

Lebanon releases 9 Islamists (7 Lebanese, 1 Palestinian, 1 Saudi) tied to Fatah al-Islam who were among the approximate 180 people detained during the 2007 clashes between Fatah al-Islam and the Lebanese army in Nahr al-Barid r.c. in n. Lebanon (see QU in JPS 145–46). (WT 6/20)

Israeli troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the demolished Erez industrial zone, forcing them to flee. A Palestinian is killed and another is injured when they are crushed by construction materials being moved through a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night patrols in Jericho. (PCHR 6/14, 6/21; OCHA 6/22)

Israel’s state comptroller Micah Lindenstrauss issues a long-awaited report faulting PM Netanyahu for ‘‘poor decision-making’’ in the lead-up to the 2010 Gaza aid flotilla incident that left 9 Turkish activists dead aboard the Mavi Marmara, concluding that Netanyahu did not listen to IDF warnings that the boarding of the flotilla could lead to violence and had not consulted adequately. (WP 6/14)

U.S. pres. Obama presents Israeli pres. Shimon Peres with the Congressional Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the U.S. During their one-on-one meeting at the White House, Peres gives Obama a petition signed by 75,000 Israelis seeking the release of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard. (NYT, WP, WT 6/14; WP 6/17; JPI 6/22)

Casino magnate and major proIsrael political donor Sheldon Adelson gives $10 m. to a pro-Romney political action committee (PAC). This election marks the first time that unlimited corporate donations have been allowed under super PACs, which were deemed legal by a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. (WP 6/14)

IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire on open areas nr. the border fence e. of Khuza’ and Khan Yunis, damaging 2 houses but causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night patrols in Tulkarm. OCHA reports that since 4/7, 3 Palestinian children have been injured when they accidentally triggered unexploded IDF ordnance nr. Rafah and Jabaliya r.c. (PCHR 4/12; OCHA 4/13)

Israel says it plans to prevent the entry of 100s of pro-Palestinian activists expected to fly into Israel’s Ben-Gurion airport over the next few days as part of a nonviolent protests called by Palestinian activists. This is the 2d “flytilla” that Palestinians have organize (the 1st was in 7/2011; see QU in JPS 161). (WP, WT 4/11)

Iran announces that it has arrested an Israeli-backed “terrorist team” of 15 people (Iranians and foreigners) that planned attacks inside Iran, stating that “heavy bombs, machine guns, handguns, silencers, military and telecommunications equipment, and other terrorist tools” were found on the team. Israel declines to comment. (WP 4/11; NYT 5/16)

Israeli pres. Shimon Peres sends a letter to U.S. Pres. Obama requesting clemency for convicted spy for Israel Jonathan Pollard, citing his declining health. Today, Peres also forwards 2 petitions he has received urging him to seek Pollard’s release: 1 signed by 35,000 Israeli citizens (including fmr. captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit) and 1 from 80 Israeli MKs. (WJW 4/12)

Thailand officially recognizes Palestine as an independent state, becoming the 131st country to do so. (NYT 1/21)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF detains Hamas-affiliated PC speaker ‘Aziz Dweik at Jaba’ checkpoint nr. Jerusalem, placing him in administrative detention; makes a late-night raid on Hamas-affiliated Change and Reform PC mbr. Khalid Thwaib’s home in Za’atara village nr. Bethlehem, arresting him and confiscating his computers, phone, and files. The IDF also conducts synchronized morning patrols in 2 villages n. of Jericho; conducts other daytime patrols in 3 villages nr Ramallah, 1 nr. Jenin, 1 nr. Jericho; conducts evening patrols in 1 village nr. Jericho; conducts late-night patrols in al-Bireh. (JP 1/19; WT 1/25; PCHR 1/26; OCHA 1/27)

The U.S.’s new Joint Chiefs of Staff head Gen. Martin Dempsey begins a 3-day visit to Israel for talks on Iran, regional security, and military-tomilitary strategic coordination. He will meet with PM Netanyahu, Pres. Shimon Peres, DM Barak, and senior IDF commanders. (NYT, WT 1/20; NYT, WP 1/21)

Pro-Israel groups (including the Anti-Defamation League [ADL] and American Jewish Committee [AJC]) publicly accuse the Center for American Progress (CAP; a Washington-based think tank seen as close to the Obama admin.) of “anti-Semitism,” citing several Twitter posts by CAP staffers to their private Twitter accounts referring to “Israel-firsters” (i.e., Americans who put Israel’s national interests before America’s) and accusing AIPAC of pushing the U.S. toward war with Iran. The ADL and AJC allege that the private Tweets are part of a “very troubling” pattern of “anti-Semitism and borderline anti-Semitism” at CAP. Former AIPAC spokesman Josh Block says that the pro-Israel groups went public with their complaints only after CAP officials ignored a compilation of CAP staffer’s writings and public statements that he quietly presented to them in 12/2011 that he said amounted to “outrageous vilification of pro-Israel Americans.” CAP says it is “baffled and appalled” by the charges. Some on the left of the pro-Israel spectrum, such as J Street, say the issue is overblown and they suspect that it is being brought forward now “to shut down needed policy debates,” cautioning groups such as the ADL and AJC to “tread lightly” with accusations of anti-Semitism or “people won’t take you seriously.”(WP 1/20)

Israeli PM Netanyahu says that since the 11/24 Abbas-Mishal meeting seemed more symbolic than substantive and the PLO/PA has not made moves since the 11/1/11 UNESCO vote to gain membership in other UN organizations, he is considering releasing VAT taxes. (NYT 11/29) (see 11/23/11)

King Abdallah of Jordan hosts Israeli pres. Shimon Peres in Amman to discuss reviving Israeli-Palestinian talks. (NYT 11/29; JPI 12/9)

Israeli naval vessels fire warning shots at Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, detaining and confiscating the boat, arresting 1 fisherman, and returning another fisherman to Gaza through the Erez crossing. Late at night, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border responding to 2 loud explosions inside Gaza in an open area n. of Bayt Lahiya fire into Gaza for 20 mins., causing no reported damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages each nr. Qalqilya and Ramallah and 1 nr. Salfit during the day; conducts late-night patrols in Jericho. An Israeli military court convicts a 2d Palestinian teenager fr. Awarta in the murder of 5 Jewish settlers in Itamar on 3/11/11; another Palestinian teen was convicted on 9/13/11. (PCHR 12/1; OCHA 12/2; JPI 12/9)

In the 1st Lebanese-Israeli crossborder attack since 10/2009, unidentified assailants fire 3 rockets fr. s. Lebanon into n. Israel, damaging 2 buildings in the western Galilee, but causing no injuries. Israel responds with artillery fire, causing no reported damage or injuries. UNIFIL calls for “maximum restraint.” (DS, NYT 11/29; NYT, WP, WT 11/30)

Abbas tells a group of 20 left-leaning Israeli intellectuals that the Palestinians want above all to resume negotiations, stating that “no matter what happens at the [UN], we have to return to negotiations,” but also that even if there is a last-minute deal to resume talks, the UN bid will proceed. He confirms that in recent months he met 3 times secretly with Israeli pres. Shimon Peres in Amman, London, and Rome to discuss reviving talks. He also reveals that he met secretly on 8/27/11 with Israeli DM Ehud Barak, who asked him to drop the statehood bid. (NYT 9/6; WJW 9/8; OCHA 9/9)

The IDF carries out an air strike on a house in Nussayrat r.c. in c. Gaza, seriously injuring 1 Palestinian woman. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts morning house searches in Sirris village nr. Jenin, summoning several Palestinians for interrogation; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya and Ramallah (arresting Hamas-affiliate PC mbr. Muhammad Abu Tair). The IDF razes 3 buildings in Migron outpost, ordered removed by Israel’s High Court; settlers scuffle with the IDF, which arrests 6. Soon after, Jewish settlers set fire to a mosque in a nearby Palestinian village and spray graffiti saying “Migron.” In other apparent reprisals, Jewish settlers fr. Beitar Ilit nr. Bethlehem pump wastewater on agricultural lands in nearby Husan and Nahalin villages, damaging 100s of trees and crops; Jewish settlers vandalize a Palestinian home in Hebron; Jewish settlers fr. Shilo settlement set up a roadblock on the Nablus–Ramallah road and stone passing vehicles, seriously damaging 1 car and injuring 1 Palestinian; Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim settlement stone Palestinian vehicles on the Qalqilya– Nablus road, causing light damage but no injuries. In addition, Jewish settlers accompanied by IDF soldiers and border police uproot 88 trees on confiscated Palestinian land in al-Walaja nr. Bethlehem. (NYT, WP 9/6; PCHR 9/8)

Israeli pres. Shimon Peres arrives in Washington for a 3-day visit. He meets today with Secy. of State Clinton; no details are released. (WJW 4/7)

Israel’s Jerusalem planning comm. gives preliminary approval for 942 new settlement housing units in Gilo and the Israeli DMin. announces that it has finished new zoning plans for several West Bank Jewish settlements, retroactively legalizing construction already underway. The State Dept. expresses “deep concern,” stating that the “Israeli settlements [are] illegitimate” and “Israel’s actions run counter to efforts to resume direct negotiations.” Israel charges Gazan engineer Abu Sisi (see 3/10) with developing rockets for Hamas and establishing a “military academy” in Gaza to train Hamas commanders. Hamas and Abu Sisi deny the charges. In Jenin r.c., unidentified assailants fatally shoot Israeli actor Juliano Mer-Khamis (half Jewish and half Palestinian) who runs a theater troop for Palestinian children in the camp (see Quarterly Update for details). Meanwhile, the IDF patrols in ‘Ayn al-Sultan r.c. nr. Jericho in the morning and in 4 villages nr. Jenin and Qalqilya in the afternoon; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Awarta (possibly in connection with the 3/11 Itamar murders). Jewish settlers fr. Taffuh settlement attempt to fence off a nearby plot of Palestinian land; the PA district liaison intervenes with the IDF, which removes the settlers but leaves the fencing marking off the land in place. (AFP, HA, MNA, YA 4/4; NYT, WP, WT 4/5; WP 4/6; NYT, PCHR 4/7; OCHA 4/15)