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  • February 14, 2024

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers bring their cattle to graze on Palestinian farmland in Khirbet al-Farisiyya, destroying crops. Armed Israeli settlers force 4 Palestinian families to leave their...

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  • January 9, 2024

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers open fire at Palestinian farmers in as-Samu; no injuries are reported. Israeli settlers also set up a mobile home in al-Rakiz in the Masafer Yatta area. Israeli...

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  • October 8, 2023

    In the West Bank, armed Israeli settlers vandalized Palestinian vehicles south of Jericho. Israeli settlers also opened fire at Palestinian homes in Jalbun; no injuries were reported. Israeli...

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  • April 10, 2016

     In Gaza, at least 2 Palestinians die in a smuggling tunnel collapse nr. Rafah, according to Palestinian sources. Along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion to level land nr....

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  • December 10, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli troops open fire on agricultural areas nr. Khan Yunis, causing no casualties. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, in addition to...

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  • March 15, 2011

    Uruguay recognizes an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 lines. (XIN 3/16)

    Egypt completes repairs to its natural gas pipeline damaged during the 2/2011 Egyptian unrest (see...

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  • August 12, 2006

    In Gaza, IDF troops occupy the Dahaniyya airport, seal the Rafah crossing (reopened on 8/10), raze large areas of agricultural land, destroy several greenhouses and sites used by the PA security...

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  • August 11, 2006

    IDF gunboats off the Gaza coast shell the fmr. settlement areas of Ganei Tal, Netzer Hazani in s. Gaza, causing no damage or injuries In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house...

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  • August 10, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF opens Rafah crossing for departures only, opens Qarni crossing for imports only; makes late-night air strikes destroying a store, house in Jabaliya r.c. (warning the residents in...

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  • August 9, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF closes the Nahal Oz pipeline, Qarni crossing for the day; makes an air strike on a group of PRC mbrs. n. of Gaza City, killing 2 PRC mbrs., a 3- yr.-old girl in a house nearby,...

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  • August 8, 2006

    The IDF closes the Qarni crossing, Nahal Oz pipeline for the day; fires across the Israeli border at a group of children in a bedouin village nr. Bayt Lahiya, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF...

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  • August 7, 2006

    In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Azun in a car with Palestinian license plates, surrounds a home, arrests 1 PSF mbr. who surrenders; conducts random ID checks in, fires on...

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  • August 5, 2006

    The IDF continues operations in Rafah and al-Shuka, firing on and shelling residential areas, conducting house-to-house searches, forcing some 400 Palestinian families to flee their homes, killing...

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  • August 4, 2006

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

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  • July 28, 2006

    The IDF withdraws troops fr. the outskirts of Gaza City, where residents find the bodies of another Hamas mbr. and a 13-yr.-old Palestinian killed during recent clashes, 9 Palestinian homes...

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  • July 27, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF closes the Nahal Oz pipeline; shells areas nr. Gaza City, killing at least 1 Palestinian militant, 1 Palestinian farmer working in her field; shells areas nr. Bayt Hanun (killing...

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  • July 26, 2006

    The IDF expands Operation Summer Rains overnight, sending 50 tanks, troops back into n. Gaza in and around Gaza City, engaging in intense clashes with and conducting air strikes on Palestinian...

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  • July 25, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF shells areas nr. Khan Yunis, wounding 2 Palestinians and damaging an ambulance coming to their rescue; fires on a Palestinian family tending their fields nr. the border fence with...

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  • July 22, 2006

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

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  • July 21, 2006

    Overnight, the IDF withdraws fr. alMaghazi r.c., leaving a total of 207 d. of land, 4 Palestinian homes demolished, 9 other homes partially demolished. Also in Gaza, the IDF fires a tank shell at...

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  • July 20, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF continues operations in al-Maghazi r.c., engaging in heavy clashes with local gunmen, killing 4 armed Palestinians and 1 bystander, wounding at least 32 (in addition, 1...

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  • July 18, 2006

    The IDF withdraws troops fr. n. Gaza, leaving 60–130 Palestinian homes and a UNRWA clinic completely destroyed or uninhabitable; sends troops into al-Shuka village nr. Rafah, cutting electricity,...

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  • July 14, 2006

    Overnight in Gaza, the IDF conducts air strikes heavily damaging the offices of Change and Reform PC mbrs. in Bayt Lahiya (causing no injuries), destroying a bridge linking Nussayrat r.c. with...

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  • July 13, 2006

    Overnight, the IDF makes air strikes destroying the PA FMin. building in Gaza City, wounding 13 bystanders (including 6 children); makes an air strike on Khan Yunis, killing 1 Islamic Jihad mbr.,...

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  • October 29, 1984

    Social/Economic/Political

    Occupied Palestine/Israel: Kafr Qasim residents commemorate 28th anniversary of massacre there, when Israeli troops murdered 48. IDF armored corps unveils new...

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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers bring their cattle to graze on Palestinian farmland in Khirbet al-Farisiyya, destroying crops. Armed Israeli settlers force 4 Palestinian families to leave their homes in Kisan. Israeli forces shoot 5 Palestinians with live ammunition, killing 1 child and wounding 5, and shoot 8 others with baton rounds during a raid in Beit Umar. Israeli forces also seize building equipment and arrest 4 Palestinians during a raid in Deir Balut. Meanwhile, Israeli forces arrest 18 Palestinians during raids in Jericho, Hebron, Qalqilya, Nablus, and Ramallah. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers tour the Haram al-Sharif compound. Israeli forces demolish the home belonging to the prominent Palestinian activist Fakhri Abu Diab in Silwan, displacing 10 people. The U.S. and EU condemn the demolition. In Gaza, Israeli forces bomb Nuseirat refugee camp, Dayr al-Balah, Khan Yunis, and Gaza City, killing at least 103 people, including Al Jazeera guest analyst Ayman Rafati and his family in an airstrike on Gaza City. Rockets are fired at Zikim and Ashkelon; no damage is reported. In Lebanon, Israeli forces attack Nabatieh and as-Sawana, killing 11 civilians, including 6 children. Israeli forces also kill a Hezbollah member in Adashit. A Hezbollah strike on a military base in Safed kills 1 Israeli soldier and injures 8 others. (AJ, AJ, HA, HA, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/14; AJ, AJ, AP, HA, HA, NYT, UNOCHA, WAFA 2/15)

More than 28,576 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 11,500 children and 7,200 women, and around 68,291 have been injured since 10/7/2023. At least 8,000 people are missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 389 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7/2023, including 100 children. More than 4,475 people have been injured. Israel reports that 1,139 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed and 5,400 have been injured in Israel since 10/7/2023, including Israeli soldiers. In addition, 230 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 1,352 injured in Gaza since the ground invasion began on 10/27/2023. Over 1.93 million Palestinians, nearly 85% of the population of Gaza, have been displaced since 10/7/2023. There has been a complete electricity blackout in Gaza since 10/12/2023 due to the Israeli blockade. At least 70,000 housing units have been destroyed and 290,000 have been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7/2023, constituting over 60% of all housing units. 130 trucks carrying aid enter Gaza. The WHO says Israel has prevented the organization from entering the Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis since 1/29. (AJ, UNOCHA, UNOCHA 2/14; UNOCHA 2/15)

Israeli national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir says Palestinian political leader Marwan Barghouti has been moved to solitary confinement, claiming he was encouraging the outbreak of a third intifada. Hamas has demanded that Barghouti be released as part of a ceasefire deal. (AJ 2/14; AJ 2/15)

Peace Now reports that the Israeli housing ministry has issued tenders for 523 housing units in 10 different settlements in the West Bank since the beginning of 2024. (PCN 2/14)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas issues a statement calling on Hamas to quickly finalize a ceasefire deal to avoid an Israeli invasion of Rafah. The PA requests an extraordinary meeting at the Arab League. (AJ, HA, HA, WAFA, WAFA 2/14; HA 2/15)

CIA director Bill Burns meets with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Mossad director David Barnea, discussing ceasefire negotiations. Netanyahu orders the Israeli negotiation team not to return to Cairo for further talks. Netanyahu says Israel will “fight until complete victory and this includes a powerful action also in Rafah after we allow the civilian population to leave the battle zones.” Netanyahu speaks with French president Emmanuel Macron, who warns him against invading Rafah. Foreign Minister Israel Katz tells his German counterpart Anna Baerbock that UNRWA cannot be part of humanitarian assistance efforts in Gaza. Finance Minister Bezalel Smtorich and Aliyah and Integration Minister Ofir Sofer announce a plan to provide cash payments of $550 a month for 2 years to new immigrants who settle in the West Bank and in border regions in the north and south. Communications Minister Shlomo Karni approves the UAE field hospital in Gaza’s use of SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service. (AJ, AX, AX, HA, NYT, REU 2/14; AJ, AX, HA, HA 2/15; AJ, HA 2/16)

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi meet in Cairo, calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. (AJ, AP, HA 2/14; HA 2/15)

U.S. president Joe Biden signs an executive order preventing Palestinians from being deported from the U.S. for a period of 18 months. The order also compels the Department of Homeland Security to issue work permits to Palestinians in the U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan confirms that Israel is blocking flour from entering Gaza. The State Department condemns the demolition of Fakhri Abu Diab’s home in East Jerusalem. (AJ, AP, AX, HA, NYT, REU 2/14)

The U.S. House of Representatives passes a resolution 418-0 condemning Hamas over accusations that Hamas used sexual violence during 10/7/2023. (HA 2/14)

Spain and Ireland call on the European Commission to investigate whether Israel is complying with international law. (AJ, AJ, HA, REU, WAFA 2/14)

The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. State Department is investigating Israeli usage of white phosphorus in Gaza and Lebanon. (AJ, WAFA 2/15)

The Washington Post reports that the U.S. and several Arab countries will present a long-term plan for establishing a Palestinian state, including Israeli withdrawal from many West Bank settlements, a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem, the rebuilding of Gaza, and international oversight over the Palestinian governance. (NYT, WP 2/14; HA, HA 2/15; HA 2/16)

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology bans the pro-Palestinian student group Coalition Against Apartheid. (AP, HA 2/14)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers open fire at Palestinian farmers in as-Samu; no injuries are reported. Israeli settlers also set up a mobile home in al-Rakiz in the Masafer Yatta area. Israeli forces bomb a house with a drone strike in Tulkarm refugee camp, injuring 9, demolish a memorial for Palestinians killed by Israeli forces, and cause vast damage using bulldozers. Israeli forces also shoot and injure 14 Palestinians and demolish a home, displacing 12 people, during a raid in Askar refugee camp. Elsewhere, Israeli forces fatally shoot a Palestinian at the Ein Siniya checkpoint, claiming he had attempted to stab a soldier. Israeli forces also shoot and injure a Palestinian man working his land in al-Jalama. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers tour the Haram al-Sharif compound. Israeli forces punitively demolish the family home of 2 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in November in Sur Baher. In Gaza, Israeli forces bomb Khan Yunis, Rafah, Nuseirat refugee camp, Jabalia refugee camp, and Gaza City, killing at least 126 people. An Israeli soldier is killed in combat. In Lebanon, Israel says it has assassinated Hezbollah commander Ali Hussein Burji. Hezbollah denies the claim. 3 Hezbollah members are reportedly killed in a drone strike in Ghanduriyah. Hezbollah attacks an Israeli military base in Safed with a suicide drone; no damage or injuries are caused. In the Red Sea, the U.S. says it has shot down 18 suicide drones, 2 anti-ship cruise missiles, and an anti-ship ballistic missile launched from Yemen. (AJ, AP, HA, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/9; AJ, AJ, AP, HA, HA, NYT 1/10; UNOCHA 1/11)

More than 23,210 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 8,800 children and 6,300 women, and around 59,167 have been injured since 10/7. At least 7,000 people are missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 334 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 84 children. More than 4,042 people have been injured. Israel reports that 1,139 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed and 5,400 have been injured in Israel since 10/7, including Israeli soldiers. In addition, 183 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 1,065 injured in Gaza since the ground invasion began on 10/27. Over 1.93 million Palestinians, nearly 85% of the population of Gaza, have been displaced since 10/7. There has been a complete electricity blackout in Gaza since 10/12 due to the Israeli blockade. At least 69,000 housing units have been destroyed and 290,000 have been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7, constituting over 60% of all housing units. 131 trucks carrying aid enter Gaza via the Rafah and Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossings. (UNOCHA, UNOCHA 1/9)

Israel approves the expansion of the Givat Shaked settlement in East Jerusalem with 695 housing units. Israeli forces evacuate an Israeli settlement outpost south of Jerusalem. National Security Advisor Itamar Ben-Gvir criticizes Defense Minister Yoav Gallant over the evacuation. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu subsequently instructs the Israeli military not to evacuate more outposts until the end of Israel’s war on Gaza. (AJ, HA 1/9)

Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh calls on Muslim countries to supply arms to Palestinian militants. (AJ 1/9)

The PA Ministry of Labor approves a $2.4 million package to support Palestinian workers from Gaza who are stuck in the West Bank after being expelled from Israel. (AJ, WAFA 1/10)

United Arab List chairperson Mansour Abbas calls on Israel to end its war on Gaza, saying the transfer of the population from Gaza is unacceptable and calling for a broad coalition to take control of Israel. (HA 1/9)

The UN General Assembly convenes to discuss the U.S. veto of a ceasefire resolution at the UN Security Council in December. During the session, the Maldives, Namibia, and Pakistan express support for South Africa’s case against Israel at the ICJ and PA ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour says the Israeli attacks must stop. (AJ, AJ 1/9; AP, WAFA 1/10)

Egyptian sources tell Reuters that Egypt has rejected Israel’s proposal to have Israeli forces control the Philadelphi Corridor between Gaza and Egypt. (REU 1/9)

U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken meets with Israeli president Isaac Herzog, Foreign Minister Israel Katz, and Prime Minister Netanyahu. Blinken says Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan, Qatar, and Turkey have promised to help rebuild Gaza when Israel is done destroying it, calling on Netanyahu to avoid “further civilian harm” and adding normalization with Saudi Arabia is still on the table. Blinken also calls South Africa’s case against Israel at the ICJ “meritless” and announces that Israel has agreed to allow a UN “assessment mission” into northern Gaza. U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby says the U.S. does not support a ceasefire but supports humanitarian pauses. (AJ, AP, AP, HA, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, REU 1/9; AJ 1/10)

Belgian deputy prime minister Petra De Sutter tweets that she will propose to the Belgian government that it supports South Africa’s efforts at the ICJ, saying “[w]e must act against the threat of genocide.” (AJ 1/9)

German foreign minister Anna Baerbock says at press conference in Egypt with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry that “a reformed” PA should play a crucial role in Gaza after Israel’s war. (AJ, REU 1/9)

In the West Bank, armed Israeli settlers vandalized Palestinian vehicles south of Jericho. Israeli settlers also opened fire at Palestinian homes in Jalbun; no injuries were reported. Israeli forces shot and killed 5 Palestinian protesters in Hebron, Ramallah, Jericho, and Beita. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Aqraba, al-Bireh, Ramallah, Tuqu’, Huwwara, Qalqilya, al-Ram, and al-Arroub refugee camp, injuring 9 with live ammunition and others with tear gas. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters at the Qalandia checkpoint, killing 4 and injuring 9. In Gaza, Israeli forces continued bombing civilian targets, in some instances without warning, killing at least 200 people. Palestinian militants fired rockets at Israel and attacked Israelis on the ground near the Gaza fence, resulting in hundreds of casualties and causing damage. Near Gaza, Israeli forces shot and killed an Israeli citizen and shot and injured 4 Israeli soldiers and an Israeli citizen, mistaking them for Palestinians. Israeli forces also killed dozens of Palestinian militants trying to enter Israel by sea. Hamas said it had fighters in the Israeli towns of Ofakim, Sderot, Yad Modechai, Kfar Aza, Kibbutz Be’eri, Yeted, and Kissufim. In Safed, Israeli forces assaulted and arrested 11 Palestinian workers from Gaza before dropping them off in the West Bank at the Jalamah checkpoint. In Lebanon, Israeli forces opened fire at what Israel described as a Hezbollah tent and fired artillery shells after mortar shells were fired at Israel. (AJ, AP, HA, HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/8; AJ, HA, WAFA 10/9)

The Gaza Ministry of Health reported that as of 8 p.m. at least 413 Palestinians had been killed and 2,300 injured in Gaza while 15 Palestinians had been killed and 191 injured in the West Bank since 10/7. Israeli sources reported more than 677 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed and 2,000 injured. The UN reported that more than 123,538 Palestinians were displaced, including 73,538 sheltering in UNRWA facilities. 159 housing units were destroyed and 1,210 were damaged since 10/7. Israel cut off water supplies, affecting 610,000 Palestinians. An Naseer Hospital, Al Quds Hospital, and 2 Palestinian Red Crescent Society facilities were targeted by Israeli airstrikes overnight. 3 UNRWA schools sheltering displaced Palestinians were damaged in Israeli airstrikes, raising the number of UNRWA schools targeted to 4. Egypt allowed 100 truckloads of food, 30 truckloads of fuel, and 70 truckloads of construction material to enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing.  (AJ, HA, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/8; UNOCHA 10/9)

In Egypt, an Egyptian police officer shot and killed 2 Israelis and an Egyptian at a tourist site in Alexandria. (AJ, AP, HA 10/8)

Israel claimed that 260 Israelis were killed by Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants at a music festival near Gaza on 10/7. (AJ, HA 10/8; REU 10/10)

Israel ordered the evacuation of Israeli towns near Gaza, reportedly in preparation for a ground invasion of Gaza. (AJ 10/8; HA 10/10)

A Hamas official said the group was holding more than 100 Israelis captive in Gaza. Islamic Jihad said it was holding 30 Israelis captive in Gaza and that they would not be released unless they were exchanged for Palestinian prisoners. The Wall Street Journal reported that Israel had reached out to Egypt to help facilitate hostage negotiations. (HA, HA, WSJ 10/8)

PA envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour said messages from the international community asserting Israel’s “right to defend itself will be interpreted by Israel as a license to kill.” The PA requested an emergency meeting of the Arab League. (HA 10/8; WAFA 10/9)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas spoke with the leaders of Qatar, Egypt, and Jordan. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/8)

The Israeli security cabinet decided to halt all electricity, fuel, and goods from entering Gaza and to destroy Hamas’ military and governmental capabilities. (HA 10/7; AJ 10/8)

The U.S. State Department said that at least 4 U.S. citizens were killed in the Hamas operation against Israel on 10/7. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to his counterparts in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the UAE for the second day in a row. Blinken said he spoke with Saudi foreign minister Faisal bin Farhan about not allowing the war to disrupt Saudi-Israeli normalization efforts. The U.S. also directed the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group to the eastern Mediterranean to provide Israel with U.S. support. U.S. president Joe Biden spoke with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the second time in 2 days. (AJ, ALM, AP, HA, HA, HA 10/8; AP, HA, REU 10/9; ALM,  AP 10/10)

The UAE called on both sides to protect civilians and called the Hamas abduction of civilians “appalling.” (AJ, HA, REU, UAE 10/8)

Iran denied Wall Street Journal reporting, saying that it was not involved in the Hamas and Islamic Jihad operation in Israel but said “[w]e emphatically stand in unflinching support of Palestine.” (HA 10/8; AJ 10/8)

 In Gaza, at least 2 Palestinians die in a smuggling tunnel collapse nr. Rafah, according to Palestinian sources. Along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion to level land nr. Gaza City. In the West Bank, IDF troops conduct raids in Aida r.c. and al-Azza r.c. nr. Bethlehem late at night, sparking clashes with armed and stone-throwing Palestinian youths in both; there are no serious injuries. They conduct further raids in Salfit and nr. Hebron, Nablus, Ramallah, and Tulkarm, arresting 13 Palestinians and issuing arrest summons to 3; patrol nr. Hebron, Tulkarm, and Jenin. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces confiscate property and arrest 1 Palestinian during raids in the Old City. In Israel, right-wing Jewish activists spray paint racist graffiti on the walls of a synagogue in Safed. (JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA 4/10; MNA 4/11; TOI 4/12; PCHR 4/14)

Israeli PM Netanyahu says that there has been a “significant decline” in the number of serious Palestinian crimes against Israelis. He also reaffirms his ban on MKs and other elected officials visiting Haram al-Sharif ahead of the Jewish holiday Passover. (TOI 4/10)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli troops open fire on agricultural areas nr. Khan Yunis, causing no casualties. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, in addition to 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. Israeli forces also demolish Palestinian-owned structures in the n. Jordan Valley. In East Jerusalem, around 100 newly-recruited Israeli soldiers enter Haram alSharif escorted by police officers. (MNA, PCHR 12/10)

In Israel, attackers vandalize a dozen cars and leave racist graffiti in Akbara village nr. Safed. (MNA 12/10)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry tells the House Foreign Affairs Cmte. that the Obama administration is requesting that negotiators be given time to do their jobs in talks with Iran, and for Congress to hold off on passing any new sanctions-related bills. Kerry affirms that it is a “very delicate diplomatic moment.” U.S. Senate Banking Cmte. chmn. Tim Johnson (D-SD) says he will not back new sanctions legislation at this time. Meanwhile in Geneva, Iranian delegation head Hamid Baeedinejad says that talks with the IAEA are going smoothly. The meeting is also attended by officials from the U.S., China, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and the EU. (JP, REU 12/10)

U.S. Defense Secy. Hagel meets with the Qatari emir Shaykh Tamim bin Hamad and DM Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah, and signs a 10-year defense cooperation agreement that will govern interaction between U.S. and Qatari forces. (REU 12/10)

Uruguay recognizes an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 lines. (XIN 3/16)

Egypt completes repairs to its natural gas pipeline damaged during the 2/2011 Egyptian unrest (see Quarterly Update in JPS 159) and resumes sending natural gas to Israel. The Israeli navy detains a ship, the German-owned and Liberian flagged Victoria, en route fr. Syria to Egypt, 200 mi. off the Israeli coast that Israel claims was attempting to deliver arms to Gaza fr. Iran, taking it to Ashdod for further inspection; Israeli authorities said the ship carried 4 crates holding some 70,000 rounds of ammunition for Kalashnikov rifles, 1,000s of mortars, 6 Chinese C-704 antiship missiles, and 2 radar systems. Iran denies smuggling arms. The IDF makes a brief incursion into c. Gaza to level lands e. of al-Bureij r.c. to clear lines of sight. On the Rafah border, 2 Palestinians are killed, 4 are injured in an explosion in a smuggling tunnel. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that another 4 Palestinians have been killed in tunnel accidents since 3/2. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night patrols in Jenin and surrounding villages; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron. Jewish settlers attempt to enter Kafr Laqif village nr. Qalqilya but are prevented by the IDF and stone nearby Palestinian homes instead. In separate instances, Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron and Keddumim settlements, both nr. Nablus, stone passing Palestinian vehicles. Across the West Bank and Gaza, 1,000s of Palestinians turn out for candlelight vigils calling for national reconciliation. Hamas security forces violently break up the biggest rally (as many as 100,000) in Gaza City, injuring 5 protesters. In the West Bank, PA security forces (PASF) fire tear gas at some 8,000 protesters in Ramallah, briefly dispersing them and injuring 20; some protesters return, vowing to stay in Ramallah’s Manara Square until the West Bank and Gaza are reunited (they stay until 4/17). Meanwhile, Hamas’s acting PM in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh invites Abbas to Gaza for reconciliation talks; Abbas responds favorably. Inside Israel, 2 cars owned by Israeli Palestinian students at Safad Academic College were torched during a campus event to promote Arab-Jewish dialogue. Anti-Arab graffiti also was sprayed on the wall of the college, saying: “Arabs get out,” “Death to Arabs,” and “Kahane was right.” (General Delegation of the PLO to the United States letter, IFM, National Public Radio 3/15; JAZ, JP, JTA, MNA, NYT, WP, WT 3/16; PCHR 3/17; OCHA 3/18; JPI 4/1)

In Bahrain, protesters ramp up demonstrations in response to Saudi Arabia’s incursion, while the king imposes a 3-mo. state of emergency, deploys the military, and closes schools and govt. offices. (NYT 3/16)

In Gaza, IDF troops occupy the Dahaniyya airport, seal the Rafah crossing (reopened on 8/10), raze large areas of agricultural land, destroy several greenhouses and sites used by the PA security forces, blow up what it says is a smuggler’s tunnel. In the West Bank, the IDF raids 2 hospitals in Hebron, conducts random ID checks on the streets in search of wanted Palestinians, but makes no arrests; patrols in, fires on residential areas of Azun, Jenin; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Balata r.c., nr. Bethlehem. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba attack Palestinian homes in Hebron. Unidentified gunmen shoot, wound a PA General Intelligence officer in Gaza City. (OCHA 8/16; PCHR 8/17)

Hizballah, the Lebanese government endorse UN Res. 1701, Hizballah says it will maintain its “natural right to resist” in keeping with international law as long as IDF troops “are practicing an occupation and acts of aggression” inside Lebanon. Meanwhile, the IDF continues heavy air and artillery strikes across Lebanon, mostly targeting infrastructure and roads, including destroying electricity plants nr. Sidon, a Lebanese army base in the Biqa‘ Valley, 2 homes nr. Bint Jubayl (killing at least 15 Lebanese civilians); air strikes are concentrated around Sidon and Tyre (cutting electricity to Tyre), in the north btwn. Akkar and Arida, and in central s. Lebanon nr. Bint Jubayl. The IDF also rapidly expands ground offensives in the south, sending in additional troops and artillery, with heavy clashes reported in the Bint Jubayl area, in Ghanduriyya and Dayr Sirin s. and w. of Marja’uyun, and s. of Tyre. Hizballah continues to fire rockets into n. Israel (hitting targets in Kiryat Shimona, Ma’alot, Safad and nearby Amirim) and downs an IDF helicopter, killing 5 IDF soldiers (including Israel’s 1st female combat fatality). The casualty toll during the day includes 24 IDF soldiers dead (2 when an IDF tank rolls over them) and 70 wounded, and at least 26 Lebanese civilians, 1 Lebanese soldier killed; the IDF claims to have killed 50 Hizballah mbrs. in the previous 24 hrs. (al-Manar TV 8/12; NYT, WP, WT 8/13)

IDF gunboats off the Gaza coast shell the fmr. settlement areas of Ganei Tal, Netzer Hazani in s. Gaza, causing no damage or injuries In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem and in Abu Dis, Hebron. The IDF also bars Palestinians under age 40 fr. Friday prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque. (OCHA 8/16; PCHR 8/17)

In the afternoon, after seeing a draft UN res. on halting violence that he says he cannot accept, Olmert authorizes the IDF to expand ground operations in s. Lebanon. The IDF quickly begins moving additional troops, armor into s. Lebanon, while troops already in Lebanon prepare to move toward the Litani. During the day, the IDF continues air and artillery strikes, hitting targets in s. Beirut, areas of n. Lebanon (including Abu Diya, Akkar), s. of Sidon, and in the Biqa‘ Valley (including strafing some 1,300 cars evacuating some 3,000 residents of Marja’uyun, occupied by the IDF on 8/10, who chose to follow a convoy of 350 UNIFIL and Lebanese army troops evacuating the area in coordination with the IDF; 6 Lebanese civilians, 1 Lebanese soldier are killed and 36 are wounded). Ground operations continue in Labuna in the east, Aita al-Sha‘b in central s. Lebanon, and Khiyam, Markaba, Qantara, Qlei‘a further to the northeast. Hizballah fires 124 rockets into n. Israel, injuring 5 Israelis and targeting sites in Acre, Carmiel, Ma’alot, Nahariya, Safad, Shlomi. (AP, WP 8/11; NYT, WP, WT 8/12; NYT, WP 8/13; WP 8/24)

Late in the evening, the UN Security Council unanimously passes Res. 1701, calling for Israel and Hizballah to halt violence in place as of 8:00 A.M. on 8/14 local time (1:00 A.M. ET), demanding that Hizballah cease all attacks and that Israel stop offensive operations (allowing “defensive” responses if they perceive a threat). (IFM, NYT, WP, WT 8/12; NYT 8/14; NYT 8/15) 

In Gaza, the IDF opens Rafah crossing for departures only, opens Qarni crossing for imports only; makes late-night air strikes destroying a store, house in Jabaliya r.c. (warning the residents in advance to leave), damaging 3 nearby homes. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Tulkarm in a car with Palestinian license plates, surrounds the home of a wanted Hamas mbr., fires on the home, arrests the wanted man when he surrenders; sends troops into Ramallah, occupying offices in the PA Public Works Min. as an observation post, surrounding an apartment building, ordering residents to evacuate, arresting 3 Palestinians, firing on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront the troops, wounding 1; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Aqabat Jabir r.c. nr. Jericho; issues military orders confiscating 8 d. of Palestinian land nr. Qalqilya for the separation wall. (OCHA 8/16; PCHR 8/17)

The IDF drops leaflets on Beirut warning residents of the capital to expect escalated bombing whose “painful and severe results will not be limited” to Hizballah targets, urging residents of 3 neighborhoods (Burj al-Barajneh, Hay Sullum, al-Shiyah) to evacuate immediately (the areas are vacant by the end of the day, with the government bussing residents without transportation to Juniyah); drops leaflets on n. Lebanon, warning truck drivers to stay off roads to Syria. Meanwhile, Israel asks the U.S. to speed delivery of M-26 artillery shells (short-range antipersonnel rockets armed with cluster munitions) along with other unspecified weapons for use against Hizballah. The IDF continues air and artillery strikes across Lebanon, including firing missiles at an unused radio tower in downtown Beirut; targeting traffic on roads nr. Tyre, destroying roads in the Biqa‘ Valley, killing at least 2 Lebanese. Ground operations continue in s. Lebanon, reportedly focusing on areas stretching fr. Marja’uyun to al-Khiyam (with the IDF claiming to have taken control of Marja’uyun) and fr. Aita alSha‘b to Bint Jubayl, leaving at least 1 IDF soldier dead, 2 wounded nr. Qlei‘a. Hizballah fires at least 140 rockets into n. Israel, hitting Acre, Carmiel, Dayr al-Assad (killing an Israeli Palestinian woman, her son and wounding 11), Haifa, Kiryat Shimona, Ma’alot, Nahariya, Safad. (WP 8/10; NYT, WP, WT 8/11; WP 8/13)

In Gaza, the IDF closes the Nahal Oz pipeline, Qarni crossing for the day; makes an air strike on a group of PRC mbrs. n. of Gaza City, killing 2 PRC mbrs., a 3- yr.-old girl in a house nearby, wounding 2 PRC mbrs.; makes air strikes destroying the home of an Islamic Jihad mbr. in Bayt Hanun, a 2d home elsewhere in Gaza (warning residents to leave beforehand). A Palestinian is killed in Jabaliya r.c. when he accidentally detonates unexploded IDF ordnance. In the West Bank, the IDF also makes air strikes on a house in Jenin r.c., assassinating Islamic Jihad mbrs. Amjad al-‘Ajami, Muhammad Atik, wounding 12 bystanders (including 7 children); conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron and Jenin, in Nablus, nr. Tulkarm (targeting PA security force mbrs.). (BBC, REU 8/9; PCHR 8/10; OCHA 8/16; PCHR 8/17)

The Israeli security cabinet approves plans to expand ground operations in s. Lebanon, speed IDF deployment to the Litani River. The IDF immediately begins reinforcing troops on the n. Israel border (anticipating a build-up of as many as 5,000 troops) and moves an additional 1,000 troops into s. Lebanon. The IDF continues air, naval, and artillery strikes across Lebanon, shelling ‘Ayn al-Hilwa r.c. (allegedly targeting the home of a Hizballah mbr., killing at least 2 persons, wounding 5), making an air strike on an apartment in Mashghara in the Biqa‘ Valley just n. of the Litani (killing a Hizballah official, 8 family mbrs.), hitting targets in s. Beirut. Ground operations also continue in s. Lebanon, with heavy clashes reported in Aita al-Sha‘b (4 IDF soldiers killed), Bint Jubayl, Dibil (9 IDF soldiers killed), Labuna, Jibbayn, al-Khiyam, Marja’uyun (1 IDF solider killed), Qantara, Taybeh, resulting in Israel’s highest daily toll to date, with 15 IDF soldiers dead and 38 wounded; the IDF claims to have killed 40 Hizballah mbrs. Hizballah fires some 170 rockets into n. Israel, hitting targets in Acre, Kiryat Shimona, Ma’alot, Safad. (BBC, HA, IFM, NYT, WP 8/9; NYT, WP, WT 8/10)

The IDF closes the Qarni crossing, Nahal Oz pipeline for the day; fires across the Israeli border at a group of children in a bedouin village nr. Bayt Lahiya, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Balata r.c., Hebron, Jenin (firing on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops, wounding 5); patrols in Tubas, firing on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront them, wounding 3. (PCHR 8/10)

Israel announces that it will evacuate to s. Israel within 24 hrs. some 15,000 Israelis from the north who cannot afford to leave on their own, suggesting that the IDF intends a major escalation against Lebanon. In Lebanon, the IDF continues air and artillery strikes, hitting targets in s. Beirut, s. Lebanon (including killing 13 Lebanese in Ghaziyya s. of Sidon), the Biqa‘ Valley. Ground offensives also continue in s. Lebanon, with heavy clashes reported in Aytrun, Bint Jubayl (where the IDF claims to have killed 30 Hizballah mbrs.), Dibil (where 1 IDF soldier is killed), Labuna (where 2 IDF soldiers are killed); another 2 IDF soldiers are killed elsewhere and 23 wounded. Hizballah fires 160 rockets into n. Israel, hitting Acre, Fazouta, Ma’alot, Nahariya, Safad, Tiberias. The WHO warns that if within 5 days Israel does not provide safety guarantees for oil tankers bringing fuel shipments to Lebanon (see 8/1), 60% of hospitals in Lebanon will “simply cease to function.” (BBC, Marketplace 8/8; BBC, HA, NYT, WP, WT 8/9)

In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Azun in a car with Palestinian license plates, surrounds a home, arrests 1 PSF mbr. who surrenders; conducts random ID checks in, fires on residential areas of Kafr Dan nr. Jenin; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin and Nablus, in Dahaysha r.c., nr. Bethlehem, Hebron; burns 70 d. of agricultural land btwn. the separation wall and the Green Line nr. Tulkarm (see 8/5). In Ramallah, 7 Palestinians working in the PC building are taken to the hospital with breathing difficulties after opening a suspicious letter addressed to PM Haniyeh; the building is evacuated. The PA head of military intelligence for n. Gaza dies of injuries received in an ambush in Jabaliya r.c. on 8/6; no group claims responsibility. (AP 8/7; WP 8/8; OCHA 8/9; PCHR 8/10)

Overnight, the IDF destroys the last remaining bridge over the Litani River linking n. and s. Lebanon; this cuts off access to Tyre. The IDF announces a 10:00 P.M. curfew on Tyre, saying that any movement there after dark and any vehicular traffic s. of the Litani River at any time will henceforth be considered Hizballah activity and a legitimate target. As UN mbrs. narrow differences on a cease-fire res., Olmert’s security cabinet discusses speeding up the IDF’s advance to the Litani River, escalating attacks on Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure. During the day, the IDF continues heavy air, artillery strikes on some 150 targets across Lebanon, hitting s. Beirut (including 47 killed, 70 wounded in the Christian-Shi‘i suburb of al-Shiyah, where Shi‘a are pro-Amal), the Biqa‘ Valley (including Baalbek, Masnaa), in and around Nabatiyya (including 7 civilians killed in air strikes on cars traveling in Qasmiyya; 15 killed, 20 wounded in an air strike on an apartment building in Ghaziyya), and across s. Lebanon (including demolishing a 4-building apartment complex in Tyre), killing at least 69 Lebanese civilians; continues ground operations across s. Lebanon that leave 3 IDF soldiers dead, 7 wounded in Bint Jubayl and include heavy fighting in Hula (the IDF claims to kill at least 15 Hizballah mbrs.); downs an unmanned Hizballah drone off the s. Lebanon coast. Hizballah fires 130 rockets into n. Israel, injuring 10 Israelis, hitting targets in Acre, Carmiel, Kiryat Shimona (70 rockets), Ma’alot, Nahariya, Safad. The ICRC says that the IDF has barred humanitarian aid missions to the south for 3 days. (BBC, NYT, WP 8/7; BBC, NYT, WP, WT 8/8; WP, WT 8/9; WP 8/10)

The IDF continues operations in Rafah and al-Shuka, firing on and shelling residential areas, conducting house-to-house searches, forcing some 400 Palestinian families to flee their homes, killing 1 Palestinian civilian, wounding at least 13 civilians. The IDF also shells areas around Bayt Hanun, wounding at least 2 Palestinians; fires across the border fr. Israel at Palestinian farmers working their land nr. al-Maghazi r.c., wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF arrests PA parliament speaker ‘Aziz Dwayk (Change and Reform) in his Ramallah home on charges of being a mbr. of a terrorist organization (Hamas); conducts random ID checks in Dahaysha r.c. (firing on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront them, wounding 2), Tubas; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bethlehem, Jenin town and r.c., Nablus; burns 30 d. of agricultural land btwn. the separation wall and the Green Line nr. Tulkarm, barring fire engines fr. reaching the scene. A Palestinian dies of injuries received in the 7/16 IDF air strike on the PA FMin. offices in Gaza City. (NYT, PCHR 8/5; NYT, WP, WT 8/6; NYT 8/7; PCHR 8/10)

Overnight, the IDF makes air strikes outside a Palestinian r.c. s. of Tyre, wounding 1 person, lands 2 naval commando units (reportedly wearing Lebanese army uniforms) nearby, raids an apartment building housing Hizballah mbrs. allegedly involved in long-range rocket attacks on Israel, clashing with Hizballah mbrs. for 3 hrs., killing 4 suspected Hizballah mbrs., 1 Lebanese soldier at a nearby checkpoint, 2 bystanders before withdrawing. During the day, the IDF continues air strikes, hitting 170 targets in s. Beirut, and n. of Hermel; drops leaflets over Sidon, warning residents to leave prior to imminent strikes there; continues ground operations in some 20 villages in s. Lebanon, leaving 2 IDF soldiers dead, at least 9 wounded in clashes in Aita al-Sha‘b, Taybeh. Hizballah fires 160 rockets into n. Israel (140 of them in a 90 min. period in the evening), killing 3 Israeli Palestinians in Arab al-Aramshe, also hitting targets in Haifa, Kiryat Shimona, Ma’alot, Nahariya, Safad, Shlomi, Tiberias, wounding a total of 54 Israelis. (NYT 8/5; NYT, WP, WT 8/6)

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

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

The IDF withdraws troops fr. the outskirts of Gaza City, where residents find the bodies of another Hamas mbr. and a 13-yr.-old Palestinian killed during recent clashes, 9 Palestinian homes completely demolished, 16 partially destroyed, at least 80 d. of agricultural land razed; conducts an air strike destroying a shed nr. the Rafah border allegedly hiding a smugglers tunnel. Palestinians fire rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, lightly wounding 2 Israelis. In the West Bank, the IDF sends troops into Azun nr. Qalqilya, fires on stone-throwing youths who confront them, wounding 1; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem. (NYT, WT 7/29; PCHR 8/3)

The IDF continues air and artillery strikes across Lebanon, including making about 70 air strikes on Baruk in the central Biqa‘ valley, hitting a convoy of civilian vehicles evacuating Rmaysh in s. Lebanon, wounding a journalist. Ground fighting continues in Bint Jubayl, where the IDF claims at least 26 Hizballah mbrs. are killed; 6 IDF soldiers wounded. Hizballah for the 1st time fires 2 Khaybar-1 rockets (range up to 50 mi, payload up to 200 lb), striking Afula, 30 mi inside Israel, just n. of the West Bank; fires more than 100 rockets into n. Israel during the day, wounding 14 Israelis and hitting targets in Carmiel, Ma’a lot, Nahariya, Safad, Tiberias. (AP, ICRC press release 7/28; NYT, WP, WT 7/29)

In Gaza, the IDF closes the Nahal Oz pipeline; shells areas nr. Gaza City, killing at least 1 Palestinian militant, 1 Palestinian farmer working in her field; shells areas nr. Bayt Hanun (killing 1 Palestinian child outside his home, wounding 5 Palestinians), in al-Shuka; makes air strikes destroying 3 houses nr. Bayt Lahiya (killing 1 Palestinian bystander), in Bayt Hanun, Khan Yunis (also destroying 2 adjacent homes). In Jerusalem, a Palestinian gunman fires on Israeli police, wounding 2 before being shot dead. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Jenin r.c. in cars with Palestinian license plates, surrounds a home, opens fire (wounding a Palestinian bystander in an apartment building nearby), occupying several surrounding houses as sniper positions, evacuates and checks IDs of residents, arrests 1 Palestinian, fires on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront the troops, wounding 8 Palestinians (including 2 journalists covering the incident for al-Jazeera, Reuters); patrols in al-Bireh; begins construction of a new segment of the separation wall in Bayt Jala that will cut Palestinians off fr. 5,000 d. of agricultural land and cut off the access of Battir and Husan Nahalin villages to Bethlehem. The body of a Jewish settler fr. Yakir missing since early in the morning is found in a burnt-out vehicle nr. a West Bank Palestinian village; the AMB takes responsibility for kidnapping, killing him. In Israel, Israeli police free dual Israeli-Canadian citizen Falah after a Haifa District Court orders the police and/or Shin Bet to file formal charges against him or let him go (see 7/26). A Palestinian wounded during the 7/26 IDF raid on Kafr Qadim dies. A 2d Palestinian dies of injuries received during IDF operations in Nablus on 7/19. (OCHA 7/27; NYT 7/28; NYT 7/29; PCHR 8/3)

Israel’s security cabinet approves call-ups for up to 3 divisions of reservists (15,000–30,000 reserves) for the war on Lebanon. The IDF makes some 180 air and artillery strikes on targets across Lebanon, including hitting radio and TV relays in Amshit n. of Beirut, 3 trucks in the Biqa‘ Valley carrying emergency food supplies to Beirut. Ground clashes continue in Bint Jubayl, 2 residential apartment buildings nr. an Amal headquarters in Tyre; a Lebanese army base in n. Lebanon; roads, buildings in s. Lebanon and the Biqa‘ Valley, including al-Khiyam, Kafr, Nabatiyya, Sidon, Tuffah, Riyaq, Zahleh. The IDF broadcasts radio warnings to s. Lebanon residents that their villages would be “totally destroyed” if rockets are fired fr. them. Hizballah fires some 110 rockets into n. Israel, wounding 7 Israelis and hitting an empty factory in Haifa, also hitting sites in Carmiel, Nahariya Safad, Tiberias. (IFM 7/27; NYT, WP, WT 7/28)

The IDF expands Operation Summer Rains overnight, sending 50 tanks, troops back into n. Gaza in and around Gaza City, engaging in intense clashes with and conducting air strikes on Palestinian gunmen, leaving at least 7 Hamas mbrs., 5 Islamic Jihad mbrs., 9 civilians dead, at least 57 Palestinians wounded, bulldozing wide tracts of land. In at least 3 incidents in Jabaliya r.c., the IDF phones Hamas mbrs. warning them to evacuate their houses, then conducts air strikes destroying the homes. The IDF also closes the Qarni crossing. Palestinians fire 13 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, lightly injuring 1 Israeli in Sederot. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units in a car with Palestinian license plates into Kafr Qadim nr. Qalqilya, surrounds a home, evacuates and checks residents, demolishes the home, arrests 1 Palestinian, injures 1; bars a Palestinian heart attack victim fr. crossing a checkpoint to reach a Qalqilya hospital, allowing him to die; patrols, searches cars in Yatta nr. Hebron; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron, and in al-Fara‘a r.c. nr. Jenin, Nablus. In Rafah, a Palestinian is killed in an exchange of fire btwn. PA security forces, armed Palestinians. Israeli security sources reveal that Israeli-Canadian citizen Falah, arrested on 7/8 and held without access to a lawyer, was detained for photographing a military antenna nr. Ras al-Naqura, alleging that he was sent “to photograph and report where rockets have landed in Israel,” noting that he visited Beirut, Tehran within the last 2 yrs.; Falah, who was arrested before Hizballah’s 7/12 cross-border raid and the firing of rockets into Israel, said the photos were for academic purposes, he did not know the antenna was military, and his trips to Lebanon, Iran were public knowledge. (REU, NYT, WP 7/26; NYT, WP, WT 7/26; PCHR 7/27; OCHA 8/2; PCHR 8/3)

The IDF faces intense fighting in s. Lebanon, where some 100 Hizballah mbrs. ambush an elite IDF Golani Brigade unit in Bint Jubayl, pinning them down for 1 hr. under a heavy barrage of mortars, antitank rounds, RPGs, and small-arms fire before they could return fire, killing 8 IDF soldiers, wounding at least 22; the IDF estimates that it killed around 20 Hizballah mbrs. A 9th IDF soldier is killed, 5 are wounded by antitank fire in clashes nr. Maroun al-Ras. Meanwhile, the IDF continues air strikes nr. Beirut and in s. Lebanon, including hitting an Amal command center and the Hizballah headquarters in Tyre. In Anjar nr. the Syrian border, a truck carrying emergency food, medical supplies donated by the UAE (see 7/18) is hit, killing the Syrian driver. Hizballah fires around 150 rockets into Israel, striking Carmiel, Haifa, Jish, Safad, Tiberias. Israel allows 2 Jordanian military transports carrying humanitarian aid to land at Beirut airport, though it still will not provide safety guarantees for trucks transporting the supplies southward on the coastal highway or across the border fr. Syria, where relief goods for 20,000 people have been stockpiled. The UN moves 5 convoys of supplies (containing wheat, soap, diapers, water purification tablets, medical kits) to the south on 5 routes approved for one-time use by the IDF. (NYT, WP, WT 7/27)

In Gaza, the IDF shells areas nr. Khan Yunis, wounding 2 Palestinians and damaging an ambulance coming to their rescue; fires on a Palestinian family tending their fields nr. the border fence with Israel e. of al-Qarara, killing a Palestinian teenager; bulldozes 7 d. of agricultural land nr. al-Maghazi r.c. Palestinians fire several rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the Israeli forces send undercover units into al-Bireh for a day-long operation, imposes a curfew, surrounds 2 apartment buildings, occupies neighboring homes as sniper and observation posts, orders all residents out for ID checks, then raids the building arresting a wanted Palestinian; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron (firing on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront the troops, wounding 1), Nablus; bulldozes 10s of d. of agricultural land nr. Bethlehem for construction of the separation wall. To protest U.S. Secy. of State Condoleezza Rice’s mtg. with Abbas today, Palestinians in Ramallah observe a general strike, 100s conduct a protest march (some waving Lebanese flags). A Jewish settler fr. Beitar Ilit nr. Bethlehem fires on a 47- yr.-old Palestinian walking nearby, wounding him with a live bullet in the jaw. A Jewish settler fr. Tene Oranim in Hebron throws a grenade at Palestinian shepherds tending a flock nearby, wounding 1 Palestinian, killing 3 sheep. A Palestinian civilian injured during Israeli operations in al-Maghazi r.c. on 7/19 dies. (NYT, WP, WT 7/26; PCHR 7/27)

Israeli Forces conduct air and artillery strikes on a UN Observer Group Lebanon post near al-Khiyam, hitting the area 21 times (at least 11 of them air strikes), killing 4 unarmed UN Truce Supervision Organization mbrs., continuing the aerial assault while rescue efforts are underway; continues air strikes in s. Beirut and across s. Lebanon, especially in Nabatiyya (where at least 6 Lebanese civilians are killed when 2 homes are hit by missiles), Tyre. Ground battles involving Israeli tank and Hizballah antitank fire, fierce house-to-house combat supported by Israeli artillery and helicopter fire continue in Bint Jubayl and Maroun al-Ras and are reported in Yaron to the west; by nightfall, Israel claims to have secured control of Bint Jubayl, killed senior Hizballah cmdr. Abu Jaafir and 20–30 Hizballah mbrs., though there is no independent confirmation; at least 3 Israeli soldiers are wounded. Hizballah fires more than 90 rockets into n. Israel, killing an Israeli Druze in Maghir, injuring 30 Israelis (mostly suffering fr. shock); other targets include Haifa, Ma’alot, Nahariya, Safad, Tiberias. (NYT, WP, WT 7/26; NYT 7/27)

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

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

Overnight, the IDF withdraws fr. alMaghazi r.c., leaving a total of 207 d. of land, 4 Palestinian homes demolished, 9 other homes partially demolished. Also in Gaza, the IDF fires a tank shell at a home in Gaza City, alleging that a Hamas mbr. on the roof was preparing to fire an RPG, killing a handicapped Palestinian on the roof, 3 relatives inside, wounding 2; shells areas nr. Khan Yunis and the Sufa crossing in the south and in n. Gaza, wounding at least 6 Palestinian civilians. In the West Bank, the IDF withdraws troops fr. Nablus, ending a 3-day operation; before leaving, troops blow up the main government offices (killing a Palestinian bystander), fire on stone-throwing Palestinians youths, wounding 21. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya. (WP 7/21; NYT, PCHR 7/22; PCHR 7/27; B’Tselem 8/3)

The IDF calls up 3 battalions (several 1,000) additional reserves, positions troops and armor on the n. Israel border in preparation for “limited” ground operations to “mop up” Hizballah strongholds and weapons sites, continues pinpoint special forces operations inside s. Lebanon, urges residents to evacuate n. of the Litani River immediately (see 7/20; local officials estimate that 70% of the southern population has left). The U.S. approves Israel’s request to expedite delivery of precision-guided missiles (including at least 25, possibly 100, 5,000-lb GBU-28 bunker busters) to maintain the intensity of IDF air strikes. IDF artillery hits a UN observation post in Zarit, s. Lebanon, causing extensive damage but no injuries; makes air strikes on the Beirut–Damascus highway and several bridges, targeting empty passenger busses returning fr. Syria after evacuating foreigners; continues air strikes on Baalbek (killing at least 5 Lebanese civilians, wounding 20) and on s. Lebanon. At least 12 Lebanese are killed during the day. Hizballah fires 35–50 rockets into n. Israel, 10 of them hitting Haifa (injuring 3 Israelis) and others hitting Carmiel, Kiryat Shimona, Nahariya, Safad, Tiberias, and several n. Israeli villages. Hizballah acknowledges that 6 Hizballah mbrs. have been killed since 7/12, whereas Israel claims that around 100 have been killed. UN humanitarian relief coordinator Jan Egeland estimates that 500,000 Lebanese are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, but says that the UN cannot provide it without Israel, Lebanon guaranteeing safe corridors for movement of civilians and aid. Today, Israel allows 1 Greek ship carrying 22 tons of humanitarian goods to enter Beirut. (AP 7/21; NYT, WP, WT 7/22; NYT 8/11)

In Gaza, the IDF continues operations in al-Maghazi r.c., engaging in heavy clashes with local gunmen, killing 4 armed Palestinians and 1 bystander, wounding at least 32 (in addition, 1 Palestinian child wounded in al-Maghazi on 7/19 dies of her injuries); drops leaflets across Gaza warning that “anyone who has . . . an arsenal, ammunition, or weapons in their house must destroy them or will face dangerous consequences.” The IDF also continues to shell n. and s. Gaza to prevent rocket fire; makes air strikes on 2 groups of Palestinians allegedly laying roadside bombs (no injuries are reported); fires warning shots fr. gunboats to keep Palestinian fishermen fr. going out to sea. Palestinians fire at least 1 rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, lightly wounding 1 Israeli. In the West Bank, the IDF continues major operations in Nablus, surrounding the local PA headquarters where a number of wanted Palestinians have taken refuge since fighting began on 7/19; 15 give themselves up during the day, but 10 remain inside, as IDF tanks shell the building and bulldozers begin to demolish the structure, troops fire on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront them (wounding 5). Also in Nablus, some 4,000 Palestinians demonstrate in support of Hizballah. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron; clears Palestinian trees nr. Har Homa settlement. (NYT, WP 7/21; IFM 7/22; PCHR 7/27)

Israel warns Lebanese s. of the Litani River that they have 24 hrs. to evacuate to the north. The IDF increases pinpoint ground operations in s. Lebanon, engaging in fierce clashes with Hizballah, leaving at least 2 IDF soldiers, 2 Hizballah mbrs. dead and 6 IDF soldiers injured; sends tanks, bulldozers across the n. border to destroy tunnels, bunkers, posts used by Hizballah (Hizballah claims to destroy 2 tanks; the IDF does not comment); continues air and artillery strikes on 150 targets across Lebanon, including Baalbek, Hermel, and al-Khiyam (destroying the infamous jail there, formerly run by Israel’s proxy, the South Lebanon Army). Late in the evening, 2 IDF helicopters collide over n. Israel nr. the Lebanese border, killing at least 4 IDF soldiers. Hizballah fires some 40 rockets at n. Israel, hitting Carmiel, Kiryat Shimona, Safad, Tiberias; there are no reported injuries. Syria reports that more than 140,000 people have crossed over fr. Lebanon since the violence began. Some 10,000 foreigners are evacuated by sea fr. Beirut and Tyre (including some 2,250 Americans and many Southeast Asian laborers evacuated by the Indian navy); UNIFIL evacuates its post at Naqura. Lebanese report that the cost of basic goods has risen 500% in some areas. (BBC, UNIS, WP 7/20; AP, NYT, WP, WT 7/21; WP 7/22)

The IDF withdraws troops fr. n. Gaza, leaving 60–130 Palestinian homes and a UNRWA clinic completely destroyed or uninhabitable; sends troops into al-Shuka village nr. Rafah, cutting electricity, bulldozing large areas of agricultural land, forcing 97 families (703 Palestinians) to flee their homes (UNRWA sets up 3 tent shelters in Jabaliya r.c. to house them); fires across the border into residential areas of Nussayrat r.c., wounding 1 Palestinian; shells and fires missiles fr. helicopters at areas in and around Abasan and nr. Khan Yunis; allows EU monitors to reopen the Rafah crossing for entry to Gaza; resumes shelling of n. Gaza late in the evening. Palestinians fire 2 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Bethlehem, raiding an apartment building, checking residents’ IDs, detaining 1 Palestinian; raids, vandalizes an UNRWA office and a youth center in Aida r.c.; raids the Ramallah Governate offices and the nearby office of the Palestine News Agency (WAFA), vandalizing them, detaining 5 Palestinians, including 2 PA police officers; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Jenin. Unidentified gunmen fire on the home of a senior PSF official, killing 1 bodyguard, wounding 2. (OCHA 7/18; NYT 7/19; PCHR 7/20; OCHA 7/27)

The IDF strikes at least 110 targets across Lebanon, hitting a Lebanese army base (killing 11 soldiers, wounding 35), a home in s. Lebanon (killing 9 Lebanese civilians), targets in Baalbek; targets trucks in what is seen as a new campaign aimed at preventing Hizballah from relocating rockets, though most trucks hit are civilian ones bearing essential goods to Lebanese towns, including destroying a convoy in the Biqa‘ Valley carrying medical supplies fr. the UAE; continuing to destroy roads and bridges. At least 20 Lebanese are killed during the day. The IDF confirms that small special forces teams have been conducting “pinpoint operations” in s. Lebanon, searching for arms caches and tunnels, withdrawing quickly; today some teams clash with Hizballah mbrs. reportedly leaving 2 IDF soldiers dead, 3 injured. Hizballah fires up to 130 rockets at some 10 cities in n. Israel, killing 1 Israeli, wounding around 20 in Nahariya, also hitting Haifa, Kiryat Shimona, Safad, Tiberias. The UN estimates that 500,000 Lebanese (out of a population of 4 million) have fled their homes to escape the violence. Lebanese begin to report shortages and rising costs of essential items, such as food and gas; begin withdrawing cash from banks and converting money into dollars in preparation for long-term deflation and economic hardship. (AP 7/18; AP, REU 7/19; NYT, WP, WT 7/19)

Overnight in Gaza, the IDF conducts air strikes heavily damaging the offices of Change and Reform PC mbrs. in Bayt Lahiya (causing no injuries), destroying a bridge linking Nussayrat r.c. with alMughraqa; directs tank fire on a Palestinian truck approaching its position but refusing orders to halt, killing 1 Palestinian, wounding a 2d. During the day, the IDF continues to shell n. Gaza, targeting 2 PA security offices and damaging 4 Palestinian homes; bulldozes 83 d. of Palestinian land nr. Dayr al-Balah, more than 100 d. of land outside al-Qarara; fires on residential areas of Khuza’ nr. the border, wounding a Palestinian woman inside her home. Some 50 Palestinian militants temporarily take over the Rafah crossing, allowing as many as half of the 4,000 Palestinian stranded on the Egyptian side to enter Gaza; Egyptian border police block Palestinians who try to cross fr. Gaza into Egypt. Palestinians fire at least 7 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing damage in 1 incident but no injuries. The IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron, in Tulkarm; prevents Palestinians under age 45 fr. attending Friday prayers at al-Aqsa mosque. (HA, JP 7/14; NYT, WP 7/15; OCHA 7/19; PCHR 7/20)

Overnight, after Olmert’s security cabinet approves a list of “more significant” Hizballah targets, the IDF makes air strikes on Hizballah sites in s. Beirut and targets the Beirut–Damascus highway (in an attempt to complete an air, sea, and land blockade on Lebanon). During the day, the IDF extends the naval blockade northwards to Tripoli; shells numerous bridges, roads, other civilian infrastructure, especially in s. Beirut; makes air strikes on the building serving as Hizballah’s headquarters and Nasrallah’s residence (destroying it), its al-Nur radio station (missing and hitting an apartment building), and the Beirut airport, a major power plant and a bridge s. of the capital, a PFLP base nr. the Syrian border. At least 8 Lebanese civilians are reported killed (3 in Beirut, 5 in the south), 55 injured during the day, raising the estimated death toll since the start of operations to 66 Lebanese (overwhelmingly civilians), more than 200 wounded. Hizballah continues to fire Katyushas at n. Israel, killing an Israeli woman,her 5-yr.-old grandson in Moshav Meron and injuring as many as 50 Israelis across the Galilee, including in Acre, Carmiel, Kiryat Shimona, Nahariya, Safad. Hizballah also hits an Israeli naval ship 10-mi off the coast nr. Beirut, disabling it, killing 1 Israeli sailor, leaving 3 other sailors missing, raising the comprehensive death toll to 13 Israelis killed (the majority soldiers), around 150 injured (mostly suffering shock). (HA, NYT, WT 7/14; NYT, WP, WT 7/15; NYT, WP 7/16; NYT 7/17, 7/19)

Overnight, the IDF makes air strikes destroying the PA FMin. building in Gaza City, wounding 13 bystanders (including 6 children); makes an air strike on Khan Yunis, killing 1 Islamic Jihad mbr., wounding a 2d; sends troops into al-Qarara, firing on residential and agricultural areas. During the day in Gaza, the IDF continues to shell n. Gaza, wounding at least 2 Palestinians; fires on residential areas nr. Sufa crossing, wounding a Palestinian child outside his home. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Salfit; uproots 50 Palestinian trees nr. the separation wall in Bayt Jala for “security reasons.” A Palestinian teenager wounded in a 7/10 IDF air strike on Bayt Hanun dies. (NYT, WP 7/13; PCHR 7/20)

Officially launching Operation Just Reward (ca. 7/18 renamed Operation Change of Direction), the IDF makes predawn air strikes on s. Lebanon that kill at least 44 Lebanese civilians, wound around 100. Hizballah responds by firing some 60 Katyusha rockets on n. Israel, hitting a home in Nahariya (killing 1 Israeli woman, wounding 29), wounding 11 in Safad, and hitting the northern towns of Carmiel, Majdal Qrum, Zarit. During the day, the IDF intensifies its attacks on Lebanon to cut Hizballah supply lines and prevent internal transportation of weapons and fighters, imposing a naval blockade on Lebanese ports north to Beirut and making air strikes on Beirut International Airport, the Lebanese army’s main Rayak air base nr. the Syrian border, a small military airport in Qulayat in n. Lebanon, Hizballah’s al-Manar TV station outside Beirut (wounding 6) and a relay tower in Baalbek (killing 1 Lebanese, wounding 4), a major oil depot in Jiyeh, numerous roads and bridges. AfterIsrael warns Lebanese to evacuate Hizballah-dominated areas of s. Beirut, Hizballah threatens to strike Haifa if Beirut is targeted. When the IDF conducts overflights of Beirut shortly afterward, Hizballah fires 2 Katyushas at Haifa, damaging a hotel but causing no injuries. Israeli-Hizballah exchanges continue late into the evening, with Hizballah firing around 90 rockets and mortars into Israel, hitting some 20 northern towns and killing a 2d Israeli, whileIsrael attacks 100s of targets across Lebanon (mostly in the south, but including hitting Beirut airport a 2d time, with artillery reportedly fired at a rate of 1 shell per minute throughout the day), killing at least another 10 Lebanese. Total casualties for the day are estimated at 54 Lebanese (overwhelmingly civilians) killed and 103 wounded, and 2 Israelis killed and 90 injured (1 seriously, two-thirds being treated for shock). Israel also warns UNIFIL that the IDF will target anyone moving nr. the Blue Line, including UNIFIL observers, prompting UNIFIL to confine its 2,500 troops (who are either unarmed or lightly armed for personal defense only) to barracks. (AP, HA, MSNBC, National Public Radio, REU 7/13; NYT, UNIS, WP, WT 7/14)

Social/Economic/Political

Occupied Palestine/Israel: Kafr Qasim residents commemorate 28th anniversary of massacre there, when Israeli troops murdered 48. IDF armored corps unveils new Merkava IItank. Safad hospital stops accepting S. Lebanese war victims.

Arab World: Lebanese Druze leader Junblatt summoned to Damascus as Beirut fighting flares. Lebanese civilian Ahmed Salem, detained at Mar Elias, tells press conf. of Israeli torture there.