72 / 15225 Results
  • February 20, 2014

    Off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. Rafah, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, while separately, Israeli forces fire 2 missiles that land close to the Egypt border fence,...

    Read more
  • February 10, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 1 rocket into s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Later, a second rocket is fired, also causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts...

    Read more
  • February 8, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 1 rocket into s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no...

    Read more
  • January 20, 2014

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

    Read more
  • January 18, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 1 rocket into s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire at Palestinian fishermen, causing no...

    Read more
  • December 16, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmers close to the border fence nr. Jabaliya r.c., wounding 1. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire on...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • December 7, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and kill a Palestinian child outside Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah, in response to a group of Palestinian youth throwing stones at Beit El settlement. The 14-year-...

    Read more
  • November 29, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmers working close to the border fence nr. Khan Yunis r.c., causing no injuries. Separately, IDF troops open fire on stone-throwing...

    Read more
  • November 28, 2013

    In the West Bank, a Palestinian teenager dies on her way to hospital after being delayed by a closed Israeli checkpoint en route to Bethlehem. Separately, Palestinians and Israeli soldiers clash...

    Read more
  • November 11, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubbercoated metal bullets and tear gas at Palestinians during routine patrols in Hebron and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, after residents throw stones at soldiers. In...

    Read more
  • October 29, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian in Tuqu‘ village nr. Bethlehem with live ammunition. The troops entered the village firing gunshots after a petrol bomb was thrown at a...

    Read more
  • September 20, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinians walking close to the border fence nr. Bayt Lahiya, wounding 2. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1...

    Read more
  • September 12, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion along the border fence nr. Khan Yunis to level land, before withdrawing. In the West Bank, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians protesting...

    Read more
  • September 11, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Jenin and al-Fawar and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night; patrols in...

    Read more
  • September 5, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, a mbr. of Hamas’s military wing Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades dies in circumstances that were not disclosed, but suggest an accident during training or preparation for a mission....

    Read more
  • August 29, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Nablus at night, and patrols in Tulkarm and 1 nearby village at night. In East...

    Read more
  • August 28, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and wound a Palestinian nr. Hebron as he was trying to cross the separation wall to reach work inside the Green Line. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest...

    Read more
  • August 19, 2013

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

    Read more
  • June 3, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and in 1 village each nr. Jenin, Bethlehem, Ramallah, and Tulkarm at night; patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin and in...

    Read more
  • May 22, 2013

    Off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2...

    Read more
  • April 18, 2013

    Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF violently disperse dozens of Palestinian protesters in alKhader...

    Read more
  • February 21, 2013

    In the West Bank, tensions continue over hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners: Near Ramallah, 29 Palestinian protesters are injured by rubber-coated steel bullets in clashes with the IDF. There...

    Read more
  • January 31, 2013

    A UNHRC investigation into Israel’s settlements in the West Bank publishes its conclusions, declaring such activity a contravention of the Geneva Convention and thus a potential war crime under...

    Read more
  • May 30, 2012

    Israeli naval vessels halt and seize 2 Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, detaining 4 fishermen. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night patrols in al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron and...

    Read more
  • May 22, 2012

    Israeli naval vessels fire warning shots at Palestinian fishing boats off the c. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Tulkarm and 2 villages in...

    Read more
  • January 30, 2011

    In light of domestic security concerns, Egypt seals its border with Gaza, causing almost all trade through the smuggling tunnels along the Rafah border to cease, sparking hoarding by Gazans. Hamas...

    Read more
  • January 27, 2003

    The IDF fatally shoots 2 Palestinians nr. Atzmona settlement; conducts arrest raids (targeting Hamas, Islamic Jihad, PFLP) in Bethlehem, al-Fahs, Hebron, Jenin, Nablus, al-Qarara, Ramallah, Tufah...

    Read more
  • January 8, 1999

    In Damascus, Egyptian pres. Mubarak, Syrian pres. Hafiz al-Asad discuss peace process, U.S.-led attack on Iraq, need for Arab solidarity; call for Arab summit to discuss Iraq's future ties with...

    Read more
  • April 1, 1998

    In Sharm al-Shaykh, Arafat, Mubarak hold brief mtg. to discuss U.S. special envoy Ross's visit, possible Arab summit. (al-Ittihad [Abu Dhabi], MENA, RE 4/1 in WNC 4/3; MENA 4/2...

    Read more

Off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. Rafah, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, while separately, Israeli forces fire 2 missiles that land close to the Egypt border fence, causing no injuries. Separately, off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers attack a school in Burim village nr. Nablus. The settlers, along with IDF troops, subsequently clash with Palestinians, leaving 6 villagers injured. Separately, a Molotov cocktail is thrown at a settler’s car in the same area. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Dahaysha r.c. in Bethlehem and Al-‘Ubaydiyya village nr. Bethlehem at night; patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron at night. (MNA 2/20; PCHR 2/27)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry and PA Pres. Abbas meet for a 2d day in Paris. An unnamed State Dept. official characterizes the talks as “constructive.” PA spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudayna tells Palestinian media that there can be no agreement, whether framework or final, that does not include Arab positions based on international resolutions, in a reference to the 2002 Arab League peace initiative. Meanwhile, senior Palestinian official Nabil Shaath says that he held separate, and secret, meetings with diplomats from Italy, Norway, Austria, and the UK, to discuss the ongoing negotiations. (AFP, AP, MNA, REU 2/20)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports that amounts of enriched uranium in Iran’s stockpile have decreased significantly for the 1st time in 4 years, and also confirms that Iran is meeting its commitments under the 6-mo. interim agreement signed in 11/2013. Meanwhile, representatives of Iran and the P5+1 countries end talks with a framework for future negotiations and an agreement to hold their next meeting in Vienna on 3/17. However, little progress is made in this most recent meeting on the question of identifying Iranian concessions to be exchanged for a reduction in sanctions. Separately, the UK and Iran resume diplomatic relations, which were severed in 11/2011 when students ransacked the British embassy in Tehran. Bilateral relations will now be conducted directly “through non-resident charge d’affaires and officials,” according to a UK Foreign Office spokesperson. (AFP, AP, REU 2/20)

Egyptian military forces kill 10 suspected militants in a raid on Shaykh Zuwayd in n. Sinai, a death toll that officials claim includes senior mbrs. of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. (AP 2/20)

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 1 rocket into s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Later, a second rocket is fired, also causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 1 nearby village, Nablus, Tubas, 1 village and Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah at night; patrols in 2 villages each nr. Hebron and Ramallah, and in 1 village each nr. Jenin, Salfit, and Tulkarm at night. In East Jerusalem, Jewish extremists vandalize 16 cars in Silwan, and leave “price-tag” graffiti. (HA, ToI 2/10; PCHR 2/13)

A second round of UN-sponsored peace talks on Syria gets underway in Switzerland, with no sign of even a modest breakthrough. Meanwhile, Russia and China frustrate efforts to draw up a UNSC res. that would raise the prospect of sanctions against Damascus without unrestricted access for the delivery of humanitarian aid. Reps. from Russia promise to veto the res., saying that it would prepare the way for military strikes against the Syrian govt. Meanwhile, the OPCW says in a statement that Syria has shipped a 3rd batch of chemical weapons material out of its territory via an internationally accompanied Norwegian cargo vessel. (AP, MNA, REU 2/10)

The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, says that Tehran has developed new, more powerful centrifuges, used for enriching uranium. Salehi claims that the development does not violate the 6-mo. interim deal that went into effect on 1/20. Meanwhile, Pres. Ruhani states that the country’s doors are open to IAEA inspectors. (AFP, JP, REU 2/10)

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 1 rocket into s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Jenin and in Hebron at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm and in 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon, and in 2 villages and al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron, and 1 village each nr. Jenin and Salfit at night. Also, a Molotov cocktail is thrown at a settler’s vehicle nr. Nablus, causing no injuries. Separately, settlers uproot around 450 seedlings nr. Ramallah. (HA, MNA 2/8; PCHR 2/13)

The Egyptian military demolishes 7 smuggling tunnels under the Gaza Strip border, and also, in a separate development, authorities close the Rafah crossing after keeping it open for 3 days. During this time, 1,922 people left Gaza for Egypt, with 1,120 crossing in the other direction. Also, the Egyptian military kills 16 suspected militants in air strikes in the Sinai Peninsula. (AFP, MNA 2/8; PCHR 2/13) 

The IAEA and Iranian officials hold a meeting to continue talks that build on the deal agreed in 11/2013. Iranian Atomic Energy Organization spokesperson Behrouz Kamalvandi says the talks went well and the discussions have been extended an additional day. (AFP 2/8)

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

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

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

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

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 1 rocket into s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire at Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, a Palestinian opens fire on the entrance of Migdal Oz settlement nr. Bethlehem, causing no injuries. Israeli forces disperse a protest march nr. Jiftlik in the Jordan Valley, after demonstrators temporarily blocked Highway 90. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Qalqilya in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Bethlehem and in Nablus at night; patrols in 5 villages and al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces shoot and seriously wound a Palestinian during clashes in Anata r.c. (MNA, YA 1/18; PCHR 1/23)

Israeli energy minister Silvan Shalom attends a meeting of the International Renewable Energy Agency in the UAE, the 1st time Israel has sent a minister to such a meeting since the organization began in 2009. (AFP, HA 1/18)

Syrian FM Walid Muallem, in Moscow for talks with Russia’s FM Lavrov, offers a prisoner exchange ahead of proposed peace talks in Switzerland. Meanwhile, the SNC agrees to attend the talks, and also says that 3 armed factions—the Soldiers of the Levant, the Syrian Revolutionaries Front, and the Mujahiddin Army—wish to be represented at the conference. (AFP, REU 1/18)

Egyptian authorities confirm that 98% of the voters who participated in the 1/14 referendum supported the approval of the new constitution, with under 40% of the electorate participating. (AP, REU 1/18)

IAEA inspectors arrive in Tehran in anticipation of the implementation of the 6-mo. interim agreement on 1/20. The team is responsible for monitoring compliance and inspecting the Natanz and Fordow nuclear facilities. (AP, REU 1/18)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmers close to the border fence nr. Jabaliya r.c., wounding 1. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Tulkarm in the morning, and in Tubas and in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Salfit at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin and in Qalqilya and 1 nearby village at night. Separately, Israeli forces notify Bedouin families nr. Bethlehem that they must evacuate their homes before military exercises are conducted. (MNA 12/16; PCHR 12/19)

Israel opens Kerem Shalom crossing with Gaza to allow for entry of fuel and goods, and exit for 7 truckloads of strawberries and flowers bound for Europe. Israel also allows cement and gravel for UN projects to enter. (WAFA 12/16)

The EU’s Foreign Affairs Council announces that Israelis and Palestinians will be offered an unprecedented assistance package in the event of a final status peace deal. The incentives, under the bracket of “Special Privileged Partnership,” include political, economic, and security support. The EU also says that it is ready to contribute to post-conflict arrangements as part of ensuring any deal’s long-term viability. (HA 12/13; WAFA 12/16)

Israeli, Lebanese, and UN military officers meet to defuse tension following fatal crossborder gunfire the previous day. A statement from the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) says that the Lebanese soldier who killed an Israeli soldier was acting alone. Israeli DM Ya’alon says that the Lebanese authorities promised to punish the shooter. (AFP, AP, REU 12/16)

UN emergency relief coordinator Valerie Amos issues an appeal at a meeting of donor countries in Geneva for $6.5 billion for Syria and its neighbors, including Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, each of which host significant populations of Syrian refugees. Separately, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres cites Turkish officials’ estimate that the number of Syrian refugees in the country will reach 1.5 m. by the end of 2014. (REU 12/16)

The Muslim Brotherhood-led Anti-Coup Alliance in Egypt announces that it will call for a boycott of the constitutional referendum scheduled for 1/2014. Spokesperson Hamza alFarawy says that the group rejects “any vote under military rule.” (AFP 12/16)

EU foreign ministers release a statement pledging to suspend some sanctions on Iran as soon as the IAEA verifies that Tehran has begun limiting its nuclear activities, in accordance with the 6-mo. interim agreement signed in 11/2013. Meanwhile, Iranian FM Zarif calls U.S. Secy. of State Kerry to protest the expansion of sanctions on 12/12. (AP, REU 12/16)

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)

In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and kill a Palestinian child outside Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah, in response to a group of Palestinian youth throwing stones at Beit El settlement. The 14-year-old was shot in the back, and witnesses say that he was not participating in the stone throwing. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Hebron, Qalqilya and Ramallah, and in Jenin, and Jenin r.c. at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Salfit in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron, 1 village each nr. Qalqilya and Ramallah, and in Tulkarm at night. Also in the West Bank, Jewish settlers attack a Palestinian house and its residents in c. Hebron, causing some damage before Israeli forces intervene. Meanwhile, Palestinians, Israelis, and international activists participate in a demonstration in Nabi Salih to mark the 2nd anniversary of the killing of Mustafa al-Tamimi, a local resident. Israeli forces violently disperse the demonstrators, injuring 1 Palestinian with a live bullet to the jaw. In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops fire shells at Palestinian farmers nr. Bayt Hanun, causing no injuries. Meanwhile, media reports say that 3 rockets fired from inside Gaza land inside the territory, causing no casualties. (AFP, MNA 12/7; PCHR 12/12)

U.S. Pres. Obama says that the chances of reaching a comprehensive deal with Iran over its disputed nuclear program are 50-50 or worse, in comments made at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. (See document D1 in JPS 171 for extended excerpts of Obama’s remarks.) Meanwhile, IAEA spokesperson Behrouz Kamalvandi says that Tehran is proceeding with testing more efficient uranium enrichment technology, in remarks quoted by state news agency IRNA. (AP, IRNA, REU 12/7)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmers working close to the border fence nr. Khan Yunis r.c., causing no injuries. Separately, IDF troops open fire on stone-throwing Palestinians nr. Jabaliya r.c., wounding 1. In the West Bank, a Palestinian man dies from wounds inflicted when Israeli soldiers shot him in the head on 3/1 with a rubber-coated metal bullet during clashes at the entrance to Qalandia r.c. nr. Ramallah. Following his funeral, there are clashes at Qalandia checkpoint between stone-throwing Palestinian youth and Israeli soldiers who fire live ammunition and tear gas, with 1 Palestinian injured from a bullet to the leg. Separately, in al-‘Izzariya and Abu Dis neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, IDF troops shoot and injure 2 Palestinians with live ammunition during protests against the death of a Palestinian delayed at a checkpoint en route to hospital the previous day. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, in Dura and surrounding area nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in Hebron and al-‘Arub and 5 nearby villages, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah at night. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at weekly demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and occupation in 2 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Nabi Salih), 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum) and 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara). There are no serious injuries except in Bil‘in, with 2 injured by rubber-coated metal bullets, and in Kafr Qaddum with 2 injured by gas canisters. (MNA 11/29; PCHR 12/5)

A senior but unnamed official within Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs tells the media that Israel has been invited to join the UNHRC’s Western European and Others Group. The development was made possible by Israel ending its boycott of the UNHRC in 10/2013, as well as agreeing to participation in its Universal Periodic Human Rights Review process. On 11/6, ambassadors of the U.K., Australia, Canada, Germany, France, and the U.S. sent a letter to the UN institutions in Geneva to urge the inclusion of Israel in the regional group. (HA, ToI 11/29)

In a White House statement, the Obama administration confirms it is keeping oilrelated sanctions targeting Iran in place despite the recently-signed deal. Meanwhile, Tehran’s envoy to the IAEA tells the agency’s board in Geneva that the implementation of the deal will start by early 1/2014. Separately, Iranian pres. Ruhani says that his country will not decommission its nuclear plants. (AP, FT, REU 11/29)

The executive council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague rejects a request from Syria to convert facilities used to produce chemical weapons to other activities. (NYT 11/29)

Egyptian security forces violently disperse demonstrations in various parts of Cairo with tear gas and water cannons, as supporters of ousted pres. Morsi express their opposition to a new law restricting protests. There are also similar clashes in Giza, Alexandria, and Suez. According to Interior Ministry figures, 10 are wounded and 183 arrested. (AP 11/29)

In the West Bank, a Palestinian teenager dies on her way to hospital after being delayed by a closed Israeli checkpoint en route to Bethlehem. Separately, Palestinians and Israeli soldiers clash at the entrance to Aida r.c. in Bethlehem, with 3 Palestinians injured, including 1 by live ammunition. An Israeli toddleris injured when unknown attackers stone the car she was traveling in, nr. Sur al-Bahir. Meanwhile, around 150 Jewish settlers throw stones at Palestinian vehicles nr. Bethlehem, causing damage but no injuries. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Ramallah at night; patrols in Hebron and nearby al-‘Arub r.c. and 2 villages (clashes in all of the above), and 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 1 village each nr. Hebron, Jenin and Tulkarm at night. (HA, MNA 11/28; PCHR 12/5)

Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics publishes data revealing that the number of West Bank settler housing starts grew by 132% in the 1st 9 mos. of 2013, compared with the same time period in 2012. (JP 11/28)

Yukiya Amano, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), says that Iran has invited the agency to inspect the Arak heavy-water production plan on 12/8, as part of the new 6-mo. interim deal. Amano also says that the IAEA will need more money to verify the implementation of the deal. (AP, REU 11/28)

In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubbercoated metal bullets and tear gas at Palestinians during routine patrols in Hebron and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, after residents throw stones at soldiers. In Hebron, 1 child is injured by a tear gas canister to the head. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Bethlehem, 1 village each nr. Qalqilya and Ramallah and in Nablus at night; patrols in 1 village each nr. Salfit and Hebron, and in Qalqilya in the afternoon, and in Hebron and 2 nearby villages and al-Fawar r.c. at night. (PCHR 11/14)

Avigdor Lieberman is officially sworn in as FM at the Knesset, days after his acquittal in a Jerusalem court on charges of corruption, following a 62–17 vote in favor of his reinstatement. (JP 11/11)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry says in a news conference during a visit to the United Arab Emirates that he hopes an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program will be signed within mos. Separately, Iran and the IAEA sign a deal to allow nuclear inspectors “managed access” to 2 sites within 3 mos., following talks by the agency’s chief Yukiya Amano in Tehran. Meanwhile, Britain announces the appointment of a nonresident chargé d’affaires to Iran, 2 years after the embassy in Tehran was ransacked by protesters. (AP, REU 11/11)

The Egyptian military kills 2 and arrests 5 in fighting in Sinai. (JP 11/11)

In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian in Tuqu‘ village nr. Bethlehem with live ammunition. The troops entered the village firing gunshots after a petrol bomb was thrown at a settler bus traveling on the main road in the village (causing no injuries). The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin in the morning, in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon, and in Tulkarm and 1 nearby village, and in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Jenin at night. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces demolish a four-storey building home to 20 people in Bayt Hanina. (MNA 10/29; PCHR 10/31)

Israel frees 26 Palestinian prisoners, who are welcomed by Pres. Abbas in Ramallah, PM Hamdallah, and other cabinet mbrs. Five of the 26 are released to the Gaza Strip, where thousands greet the freed men at the Erez crossing. (HA, REU 10/29)

Israel appears before the UN Human Rights Council to face claims of discriminatory polices and breaches of international law. Israel’s dep. atty. gen. accuses the council of subjecting Israel to disproportional and politically motivated scrutiny. (AFP 10/29)

Negotiators from Iran and the IAEA both release positive statements following talks, with a new meeting set for 11/11 in Tehran. No details are provided, but the IAEA spoke of a “very productive meeting” while Iranian negotiator Reza Najafi spoke of a “new chapter of cooperation.” (AP 10/29)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinians walking close to the border fence nr. Bayt Lahiya, wounding 2. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Jericho and Jenin at night. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at weekly demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and occupation in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Nabi Salih, and Ni‘lin), and 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum). There are no serious injuries, except in Kafr Qaddum, where 5 are injured (4 struck by tear gas canisters, including 1 international, and 1 hit by a live bullet). (MNA 9/20; PCHR 9/26)

An Arab-introduced res. at the IAEA’s annual conference in Vienna to censure Israel’s refusal to allow international oversight of its nuclear weapons is voted down 43–54–32 (and another 30 countries were absent during the vote). (AP 9/20)

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) says that Syria has given details of some of its arsenal but still needs to fill in the gaps by next week to satisfy the timetable proposed by the Russian-U.S. plan. (REU 9/20)

White House dep. spokesperson Josh Earnest says that the Obama administration is ready to engage in talks with Iran “on the basis of mutual respect” about the country’s nuclear program. (REU 9/20)

Egyptian police arrest some 87 wanted men in a village nr. Cairo, while separately, gunmen target 3 military vehicles in Rafah, injuring 3 soldiers. Security forces say they also arrested 15 Salafist militants in villages in the n. Sinai. (AFP, AP, MNA 9/20)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion along the border fence nr. Khan Yunis to level land, before withdrawing. In the West Bank, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians protesting the arrival of 1,400 Jewish worshippers at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, injuring 7. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the afternoon; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning, and in 1 village nr. Jenin at night. The IDF also demolishes 4 Palestinian-owned commercial structures in Barta‘a village nr. Jenin. (HA, MNA 9/12; PCHR 9/19)

PA Pres. Mahmud Abbas meets with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Paris, as well as French pres. Francois Hollande, discussing with both the peace process. (WAFA 9/12)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry meets Russian FM Sergey Lavrov in Geneva to discuss Moscow’s proposal of securing and destroying Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile, talks that were described by Kerry afterward as “constructive.” Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz expresses cautious support for the plan, speaking to Israeli media. Meanwhile, 3 stray mortar shells land in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. (AFP, AP, JP, REU 9/12)

Egyptian interim pres. Adly Mansour extends a nationwide state of emergency for a further 2 mos. On the Rafah border, 2 Egyptian army tanks cross the initial border fence on the Egyptian side for the 1st time. Meanwhile, Egyptian authorities close the Rafah crossing for the 2d day due to unrest in the Sinai. (AFP, AP, MNA 9/12)

Iranian Amb. to the IAEA Reza Najafi says that Tehran will cooperate with the agency to “overcome existing issues once and for all,” speaking at his 1st board meeting. Distinct from the P5+1 (permanent mbrs. of the UNSC plus Germany) talks, the IAEA has held 10 rounds of talks since early 2012 to resume inspections into suspected weapon research. (REU 9/12)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Jenin and al-Fawar and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night; patrols in Nablus, 3 villages nr. Tulkarm and 1 village nr. Hebron at night. In Bayt Umar village nr. Hebron, the IDF attacks a funeral procession, sparking clashes where 2 Palestinians are injured by rubber-coated metal bullets. In East Jerusalem, Israeli troops demolish residential and agricultural structures in al-Za’ayem village, displacing around 35 people. In addition, Israel’s Housing Minister Uri Ariel visits the al-Aqsa mosque compound under police protection, heading a tour group of around 100 rightist Jewish activists. (MNA, WAFA 9/11; PCHR 9/12)

The 5 permanent mbrs. of the UNSC meet at Russia’s UN mission to discuss the contents of a new res. on the securing and dismantling of Syria’s chemical weapons. Meanwhile, U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry and Russian FM Sergey Lavrov speak by phone the day before heading to Geneva for talks with experts about the practicalities of the Russian proposal. France, for its part, aligns itself with the U.S. position of insisting that a military option remains on the table but that the diplomatic process will be prioritized. (AFP, AP, REU 9/11)

Three attacks including 2 car bombs kill 11 people and injure more than 15 in the Sinai, as the army continues its offensive against Islamist militants, including Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. The dead include 9 Egyptian officers targeted at the intelligence headquarters in Rafah. Meanwhile, Israeli officials arrive in Cairo on a private jet for discussions with Egyptians security officials expected to focus on events in the Sinai. (MNA, REU 9/11)

U.S. Amb. Joseph Macmanus tells a meeting of the IAEA that there are “troubling developments” in Iran’s nuclear program amid concerns that Tehran is stalling on achieving any progress in negotiations with the international community. Iran’s FM Mohammad Javad Zarif says that Iran’s nuclear work could take place under international safeguards but would not just go away. (REU 9/11)

In the Gaza Strip, a mbr. of Hamas’s military wing Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades dies in circumstances that were not disclosed, but suggest an accident during training or preparation for a mission. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron at night, and patrols in 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Salfit in the afternoon. (MNA 5/9; PCHR 9/12)

Fatah Central Cmte. mbr. Nabil Shaath tells Palestinian media that the leadership will not accept proposed temporary solutions in the West Bank, and claims Israel has yet to put any offers on the table in negotiations. Shaath says the 2 sides have spent almost 6 weeks presenting issues like borders and security, and that Israel insists on maintaining control of the Jordan River. Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office refuses to comment on leaks in the press, including suggestions that Israel suggested the establishment of a temporary Palestinian state in 60% of the West Bank. (HA, MNA 9/5)

U.S. Pres. Obama meets Russian pres. Putin at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, where they are due to discuss pressing issues such as Syria and the global economy. (REU 9/5)

Iran’s Pres. Hassan Ruhani says that the Foreign Ministry will take over the running of talks with the international community over the nuclear program, but without specifying a chief negotiator. Meanwhile, State Dept. spokesperson Jen Psaki says that Washington hopes Tehran will “engage substantively” with global powers to find a solution to the crisis and issues with IAEA inspections. (AFP, REU 9/5)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Nablus at night, and patrols in Tulkarm and 1 nearby village at night. In East Jerusalem, around 70 Jewish extremists accompanied by 40 mbrs. of the security forces enter the al-Aqsa compound, including the Dome of the Rock and the old mosque of al-Aqsa. (MNA 8/29; PCHR 9/5)

U.S. pres. Obama’s push for military action against Syria suffers a significant blow as the British Parliament votes against participation with a 285-272 vote that saw many Conservative MPs voting with the Labor opposition. Following the defeat, PM David Cameron acknowledges that Britain will now not take part in any attack on Syria. Meanwhile, Syria’s Pres. Asad vows that his country “will defend itself” against any military strikes, and Iran’s army chief of staff Gen. Hassa Firouzabadi tells the media that any attack on Syria “will drive the Zionists to the edge of fire.” (AFP, AP, Guardian, REU 8/29)

The Egyptian army kills 2 and detains 16 nr. al-Arish in what security sources describe as a targeted attack on “terrorist” outposts. (MNA 8/29)

The IAEA reports that Iran has prepared more than 1,000 advanced uranium enriching machines for start-up, but also says that Tehran has pushed back the time frame for a new reactor to come online. (AP 8/29)

In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and wound a Palestinian nr. Hebron as he was trying to cross the separation wall to reach work inside the Green Line. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Bethlehem and 1 nearby village at night, and patrols in 2 villages and al-‘Arub r.c. nr Hebron also at night. (MNA 8/28; PCHR 8/29)

U.S. State Dept. dep. spokesperson Marie Harf says that a res. condemning the Syrian govt.’s alleged use of poison gas has stalled in the UNSC due to Russian opposition. Meanwhile, Israel orders a small-scale mobilization of reservists and deploys a missile shield in the n. by way of precautions ahead of a possible U.S.-led strike against Syria. Despite these measures, an unnamed senior IDF official tells the media that the actual likelihood of a Syrian retaliatory strike on Israel remains low. (AFP, REU, YA 8/28)

Unnamed diplomats tell the Associated Press that Iran and the IAEA have agreed to restart talks on 9/27, with the focus on the agency’s efforts to gain satisfactory access at the Parchin military site. (AP 8/28)

Egyptian authorities detain more than 60 Muslim Brotherhood supporters and activists in a single day, according to relatives of the group’s leaders. (AP 8/28)

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

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

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

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

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and in 1 village each nr. Jenin, Bethlehem, Ramallah, and Tulkarm at night; patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin and in Hebron in the morning, in Jenin in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Jenin, 2 villages nr. Tulkarm, 1 village nr. Bethlehem, and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. Jewish settlers set fire to over 50 acres of Palestinian-owned fields nr. Madama and Burin in the n. West Bank. In East Jerusalem, Israeli officials deliver a demolition order to a building in the Abu Dis neighborhood, sparking clashes with residents. (MNA 6/3; PCHR 6/5)

The Obama administration approves further sanctions targeting Tehran, this time in respect to financial institutions involved in significant transactions in the Iranian rial, as well as the Iranian auto industry. The sanctions will go into effect on 7/1. Meanwhile, IAEA head Yukiya Amano tells the agency’s 35-nation board that talks with Iran “have been going around in circles.” (AP, REU 6/3)

Five people die and at least 19 are wounded in clashes between gunmen of rival neighborhoods Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsein in Tripoli. (DS, REU 6/3)

Off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron and 2 villages nr. Jenin at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the morning and in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm at night. (PCHR 5/23)

Kidnappers release 7 Egyptian security officialsin the Rafah area of the Sinai, following talks mediated by Bedouin tribal leaders. Subsequently, Egyptian authorities reopen the Rafah crossing. (MNA, REU 5/22)

The U.S. House of Representative’s Foreign Affairs Cmte. unanimously approves the “Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013” which both strengthens existing sanctions on Iran and imposes new sanctions. It is expected to pass the full 435-member chamber where it already has over 300 cosponsors. Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports that Tehran is pressing ahead with the construction of a research reactor in Arak. U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Patrick Ventrell responds to that report with the claim that Iran is “advancing its enrichment programme in blatant violation of its international obligations.” (AP, REU 5/22)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF violently disperse dozens of Palestinian protesters in alKhader nr. Bethlehem, causing no serious injuries. The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in al-Bireh, al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, 2 villages nr. Jenin, and 2 villages nr. Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Bethlehem, 1 village nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Jenin, and 1 village nr. Salfit at night. (REU, YA, MNA 4/18; PCHR 4/25)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry tells the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee that the ‘‘window for a two-state solution is shutting’’ and that the chance to create a Palestinian state alongside Israel will be lost in 1–2 years. (Guardian 4/18)

Officials from a dozen Palestinian factions including the PFLP, DFLP and Islamic Jihad—but excluding Hamas and Fatah—meet in Gaza City to discuss the resignation of Salam Fayyad. In a subsequent news conference, the factions say Pres. Mahmud Abbas should immediately start forming a Palestinian unity government of technocrats to be sworn in within three weeks. The government should then set a date for presidential, parliamentarian, and Palestinian National Council elections. (MNA 4/18)

Anonymous diplomats say that Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency have agreed to discussions in mid-5/2013. Meanwhile, U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry tells the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he was disappointed by the failure of talks in Kazakhstan but that a diplomatic solution to the dispute with Iran is still the best option. (AP 4/18)

In the West Bank, tensions continue over hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners: Near Ramallah, 29 Palestinian protesters are injured by rubber-coated steel bullets in clashes with the IDF. There are also clashes at Huwara checkpoint nr. Nabus, causing no serious injuries. Meanwhile, a Jerusalem court sentences hunger-striker Samer Issawi to 8 months in prison for violating the terms of his 10/2011 amnesty deal. Issawi gets credit for time served and is scheduled for release in 3/2013. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Ramallah in the morning, in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 1 village each nr. Ramallah and Tulkarm at night. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin at night. Jewish settlers vandalize some 70 Palestinian-owned trees nr. Hebron. Palestinian and international activists demonstrate nr. Hebron to call for the opening of a route closed for the past 12 years linking Hebron city with three nearby villages; the IDF violently disperses them, causing no serious injuries. In the Gaza Strip, IDF forces carry out a limited incursion into the border area nr. Khan Yunis to level farmland and clear lines of sight. Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the north Gaza coast, causing no serious injuries, and then again on fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing one moderate injury. (MNA 2/21; PCHR 2/28)

The union of West Bank teachers declares a day’s general strike across the territory in response to recent remarks by the PA finance minister about reductions in due salary increases, as well as ‘‘fragmented’’ monthly wages that have left public sector workers without their full salaries for more than three months. (MNA 2/20)

Israel’s Energy Ministry reveals that it is granting U.S. company Genie Energy a license to explore for oil and gas in the occupied Golan Heights. (FT 2/21)

A report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says that Iran has begun installing advanced centrifuges at its main uranium enrichment plant that could enable Tehran to speed up its accumulation of material needed for a nuclear weapon. The IAEA report also says that since 12/2012, Iran has been converting refined uranium to powder for the production of reactor fuel. (HA, REU 2/21)

A UNHRC investigation into Israel’s settlements in the West Bank publishes its conclusions, declaring such activity a contravention of the Geneva Convention and thus a potential war crime under the jurisdiction of the ICC. The investigators, led by French judge Christine Chanet, call on Israel to halt settlement expansion and withdraw all settlers. Israel’s Foreign Ministry rejects the report, calling it counterproductive and the result of a ‘‘one-sided and biased approach towards Israel.’’ PLO Executive Comm. member Hanan Ashrawi welcomes the report, saying that the Palestinians are encouraged by its ‘‘candid assessment of Israeli violations.’’ (JP, REU 1/31)

Area council head for the Gush Etzion settlement bloc Davidi Perl says that the Israeli Defense Ministry has moved forward plans to build 346 housing units in Tekoa and Nokdim settlements. (JP 1/31)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in ‘Ayn al-Sultan r.c. nr. Jericho and 1 village each nr. Jericho and Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Bethlehem and 1 village each nr. Hebron and Jenin at night. (PCHR 2/7)

Senior Hamas official Yahya Moussa denies recent reports (see 1/30) that Khalid Mishal told Jordan’s King Abdallah to inform U.S. pres. Barack Obama that Hamas accepts the two-state solution. (MNA 1/31)

Syria and its allies condemn the presumed Israeli attack on a site close to the Lebanese border, which the Syrian military says struck a research center and which Western officials stated was a convoy of anti-aircraft batteries headed toward Lebanon for Hizballah. Israeli officials refuse to comment. Syrian amb. to Lebanon Ali Abdul-Karim Ali says that the country may choose a ‘‘surprise’’ response to Israeli ‘‘aggression,’’ while Syria also summons the head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Golan Heights to formally protest the raid. Russia says that if reports are confirmed, then the Israeli attack is a violation of the UN Charter and is ‘‘unacceptable.’’ The Arab League condemns what it calls Israel’s ‘‘cruel aggression,’’ while Hizballah releases a statement expressing ‘‘solidarity’’ with Syria and calling the strike ‘‘barbaric aggression.’’ (AFP, AP, FT, REU 1/31)

Iran writes a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency to announce its plans to install and operate advanced uranium-enrichment machines. The U.S. says that installation of new Iranian centrifuges would be a ‘‘provocative step.’’ (REU 1/31)

Pres. Barack Obama’s nominee for defense secretary, Republican Chuck Hagel, is questioned at a Senate Armed Services Comm. hearing, and is attacked by Republic lawmakers over his record on Israel and Iran. Hagel repeated his apology for his previous use of the term ‘‘Jewish lobby’’ in a 2006 interview with Aaron David Miller, and says it was wrong to suggest that pro-Israel groups ‘‘intimidate’’ Congress into doing ‘‘dumb things.’’ (AP, JTA, REU 1/31)

Israeli naval vessels halt and seize 2 Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, detaining 4 fishermen. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night patrols in al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron and in 1 village nr. Jericho, and late-night house searches nr. Bethlehem, summoning 1 Palestinian for interrogation. (PCHR 5/31, 6/7; OCHA 6/8)

At a conference sponsored by Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), Israeli DM Ehud Barak says Israel should consider imposing final borders on the Palestinians, becoming the senior-most official to propose unilateral actions in light of the stalled peace process. Others (unnamed) reportedly (NYT 5/31)

urged against drastic unilateral steps, recommending that ‘‘unilateral steps could be phased in over many years and be designed ... to give Israel a stronger hand in final status’’—effectively what the Israel has been doing as unstated policy for decades. Speaking at the same conference, Gen. Shlomo Brom (Ret.), who heads INSS’s program on the Palestinian conflict, called the unilateral route ‘‘the only remaining course of action,’’ and former Israeli military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin, also an INSS staff member, told the conference that unilateralism was ‘‘the best of all evils,’’ urging Israel to take action in its own selfinterest, ‘‘without conditioning it on the agreement of the Palestinians.’’ (NYT 5/31)

At the INSS conference in Tel Aviv, Israeli DM Ehud Barak also states that Israel and the U.S. have different assessments of the Iranian nuclear timetable, stating, ‘‘Our clock is ticking faster.’’ He says Israel believes that Iran is rapidly approaching a ‘‘zone of immunity’’—the point at which its nuclear facilities would be so decentralized and well fortified that they would be beyond reach of a military strike. Speaking at the same forum, Israeli PM Netanyahu says that the only safe route is for Iran to stop all enrichment, to send all its uranium abroad, and to dismantle its nuclear facilities at Fordo, all of which must be verified by the IAEA. Meanwhile, former Mossad chief Meir Dagan argues that ‘‘if we bomb ... we will give them the legitimacy to attain nuclear military capability.’’ Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi (Ret.), former IDF chief of staff, recommended that more time be given for diplomacy and sanctions to work. (WP, WT 5/31)

Washington Times runs a special report on how Israel’s expanding relationship with China is raising international concerns. The report states that Israel has recently been expanding trade relations and military ties with China, seeing it as a large, emerging market for its military goods and an influential player who could pressure Iran. (WT 5/30; see QU in JPS 165 for details)

Israeli naval vessels fire warning shots at Palestinian fishing boats off the c. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Tulkarm and 2 villages in Ramallah in the morning; in 1 village each nr. Jericho and Ramallah in the afternoon; and in Jericho and 1 village nr. Jenin late at night. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Jenin, Nablus, Salfit, Tulkarm, and 1 village each nr. Hebron and Qalqilya. Jewish settlers fr. Tekoa settlement nr. Bethlehem vandalize Palestinian homes in nearby Taqqua’ village; IDF troops observe but do not intervene. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that in the previous week: (1) Israeli authorities demolished a Palestinian home in East Jerusalem’s al-Tur neighborhood (marking the 1st residence demolished in East Jerusalem for 2 mos.) and ordered a Palestinian family to demolish an addition to their home; (2) the IDF removed a major roadblock on the main north–south road to Hebron, significantly reducing travel times between Hebron and 4 villages to the east; and (3) 2 Palestinians died and 4 (including a teenager) were injured in 4 smuggling tunnel accidents on the Rafah border. (PCHR 5/23; OCHA 5/25)

At the close of 2 days of talks in Tehran with Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, IAEA head Yukiya Amano announces that Iran has agreed in principle to provide the IAEA with access to Iran’s nuclear scientists and facilities, but it has not yet signed a formal statement to this effect. P5+1 nations (the 5 permanent UNSC members plus Germany) call the deal ‘‘a step in the right direction,’’ but say they will judge Iran by its actions. Israeli DM Ehud Barak comments: ‘‘It looks like the Iranians are trying to reach a technical agreement that will create a deception of progress in talks in order to reduce the pressure ahead of talks tomorrow in Baghdad and postpone harshening of sanctions.’’ (WP 5/23)

In light of domestic security concerns, Egypt seals its border with Gaza, causing almost all trade through the smuggling tunnels along the Rafah border to cease, sparking hoarding by Gazans. Hamas authorities assure the public that it has enough fuel and food stockpiled to last several days, warning merchants against hiking prices. OCHA however—noting that Israel continues to cut off all industrial fuel imports to Gaza for a 3d week making Gaza all the more reliant on smuggled fuel—expresses concern that fuel shortages will quickly become a problem, affecting the ability of municipal authorities to provide electricity, water, and sewage treatment. Meanwhile, Hamas officials in Gaza report that at least 8 Hamas mbrs. jailed in Egypt are among those freed during prisons breaks and rioting across Egypt in recent days; at least 2 have already returned to Gaza through smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in a village nr. Tulkarm during the day; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron and nr. Jenin and Qalqilya (warning the mayor of Jayyus that his house would be turned into an IDF post if stone-throwing at troops fr. the village continued). (AFP, MNA 1/30; PCHR 2/3; OCHA 2/4)

With major protests (10,000s) in Egypt continuing unabated and a “march of millions” called for 2/1, the Obama admin. calls on Mubarak to facilitate an “orderly transition” to a more representative government but does not explicitly call on him to resign, with Secy. Clinton stressing “we are not advocating any specific outcome,” but “it needs to be done immediately.” France and Germany issue similar statements. Joint Chiefs of Staff head Adm. Mike Mullen phones Egyptian military chief of staff Gen. Sami Anan to express “his appreciation for the continued professionalism of the Egyptian military” in refusing to engage protesters. Amid signs that Mubarak’s regime might really topple, Egypt’s organized opposition parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood, huddle for most of the day to discuss whether they could project a united front to provide direction and leadership to the popular protests, choosing opposition figure and fmr. IAEA head Muhammad El-Baradei (as a nonthreatening figure to the West) to represent the opposition in negotiations with the government over a transition and naming 10 persons they would delegate to an interim unity government. But when El-Baradei speaks in Tahrir Square in the evening, demonstrators reject him, saying the opposition parties do not represent them. Fearing that outside forces could begin smuggling weapons into the country to back an overthrow, Egypt seals the Gaza border indefinitely and, with Israel’s permission, moves 2 battalions (800 soldiers) into the Sinai for the 1st time since the 1979 peace treaty was reached, requiring the area to be a demilitarized zone. Israeli officials hold nearly around-the-clock strategy meetings to discuss the implications for Israel if Mubarak’s government falls, fearing that Mubarak’s overthrow could strengthen Hamas in Gaza and destabilize Jordan, but seeing Mubarak’s appointment of Suleiman, who has overseen Israeli-Hamas prisoner release talks, as a hopeful sign. Netanyahu orders officials to stay publicly silent as events play out. (MNA, NYT, WP 1/30; NYT, WP, WT 1/31)

The IDF fatally shoots 2 Palestinians nr. Atzmona settlement; conducts arrest raids (targeting Hamas, Islamic Jihad, PFLP) in Bethlehem, al-Fahs, Hebron, Jenin, Nablus, al-Qarara, Ramallah, Tufah; demolishes a Palestinian home in Ras al-Amud, 1 in `Aqbat Tafuh. Late in the evening, IDF helicopters fire missiles at the Gaza City home of senior Hamas mbr. Muhammad Atil, killing his 2 teenage children, wounding 11. The IDF reports that it has removed fr. his post an intelligence officer who “disrupted” a planned air strike in retaliation to the 1/5 Tel Aviv bombing in order to “prevent harm to innocent Palestinians”; the officer was in possession of, refused to share intelligence information critical to the mission. The IDF begins work on a 45 km stretch of the separation fence btwn. Kafr Salim and Beit She’an, nr. Jenin. (HA, REU 1/27; HA, NYT, WT 1/28; MA 1/28 in WNC 1/29; LAW, PCHR, PR 1/29; PR 2/5)

Palestinian factions close 4-days of talks in Egypt without reaching an agmt. on a cease-fire and national unity platform. (HA, MM 1/27; MENA 1/27 in WNC 1/28; MENA, SA, XIN 1/28 in WNC 1/29; PCHR, PR 1/29; MM 1/30; MEI 2/21)

International Atomic Energy Agency, UN inspectors report that Iraq has generally cooperated with inspections but has not been proactive; they have found no evidence of biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons but say some questions remain. (MM 1/27; MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/28; MM 1/31)

In Damascus, Egyptian pres. Mubarak, Syrian pres. Hafiz al-Asad discuss peace process, U.S.-led attack on Iraq, need for Arab solidarity; call for Arab summit to discuss Iraq's future ties with Arab countries. (MENA, SATN 1/8 in WNC 1/12; WP 1/9)

Jordan's Crown Prince Hassan meets with King Hussein at the royal residence in London, does not designate a regent when he departs Jordan as is customary. (JTV 1/8 in WNC 1/12)

In Turkey's 1st nuclear incident, workers in Istanbul mishandle cement blocks containing discarded cobalt 60 capsules used for cancer treatment, releasing radiation; fail to report it. The incident is gauged a 3 on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) 7-point scale, making it 1 of only 20 incidents to reach that level among 500 accidents on record. (AFP 2/2 in WNC 2/4)

In response to 1/7 incidents, Hizballah fires mortars at n. Israel, causing no damage, injuries. (RL 1/8 in WNC 1/11)

In Sharm al-Shaykh, Arafat, Mubarak hold brief mtg. to discuss U.S. special envoy Ross's visit, possible Arab summit. (al-Ittihad [Abu Dhabi], MENA, RE 4/1 in WNC 4/3; MENA 4/2 in WNC 4/4) (see 3/30)

Israeli inner cabinet formally accepts UN Res. 425 of 1978. (MM 4/1; ITV 4/1 in WNC 4/4; MM, NYT, WP, WT 4/2; JP 4/11)

Lebanese pres. Hrawi arrives in Abu Dhabi for 2-day visit. (RL 4/3 in WNC 4/6, al-Ittihad 4/4 in WNC 4/7)

Fmr. Israeli PM Shimon Peres, on a private trip to Moscow, discusses peace process with Russia's FM Primakov. (Interfax 4/2 in WNC 4/4)

Jordan's Energy Min. says it is planning to build a small nuclear reactor for educational, research purposes. The project would be jointly financed by the International Atomic Energy Agency. (JT 4/1 in WNC 4/3)