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  • December 15, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers assaulted 1 Palestinian farmer tending his land near Artas. Israeli settlers also threw stones at a school in ‘Urif, damaging solar panels. Elsewhere, Israeli...

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  • January 21, 2015

    In the Gaza Strip, Egyptian authorities keep the Rafah border crossing open for a 2d day. Off the n. coast, Israeli naval forces open fire with live ammunition on Palestinian fishing boats,...

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  • August 20, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, the IDF continues its assault, launching air strikes on approximately 65 targets, killing at least 30 Palestinians and injuring over 100. The armed Palestinian groups fire more...

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  • December 18, 2011

    The last U.S. combat troops pull out of Iraq 2 wks. ahead of Obama’s 12/31/11 target date; 1,000s of U.S. diplomats and contractors remain in the country, as well as 150 U.S. soldiers tasked 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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  • June 1, 2009

    In the West Bank, the IDF removes several tiny settlement enclaves nr. Nablus, including Nahalat Yosef. In response, around 100 Jewish settlers fr. nearby Gilad, Keddumim, and Yitzhar rampage...

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  • January 4, 2009

    IDF ground forces backed by naval and air support continue to enter Gaza overnight, with troops taking up positions across n. Gaza (from which most Palestinian rockets have been fired),...

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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 9, 1995

    In Gaza, Hamas, PA representatives discuss reconciliation agmt. (QY 10/11 in FBIS 10/11) (see 10/7)

    At funeral of Abu Shaqra in Ramallah, IDF clashes with 2,000 mourners, arrests 5...

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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers assaulted 1 Palestinian farmer tending his land near Artas. Israeli settlers also threw stones at a school in ‘Urif, damaging solar panels. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian homes near Huwwara, causing damage. Israeli forces demolished 1 house under construction and 1 water well in Farsh al-Hawa. Israeli forces also issued stop-work orders for 6 homes under construction in Kafr ad-Dik. Elsewhere, Israeli forces sealed 1 water pipeline serving al-‘Awja. 24 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Beit Umar, Hebron, Beitunia, Askar refugee camp, al-Mudawwar, Ya‘bad, and Huwwara. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/15; PCHR, UNOCHA 12/22)

Members of Nizar Banat’s family called on the ICC to investigate the killing of Banat by PA security forces in June 2021. Banat was killed while being arrested by PA security officers. 14 security officers were later arrested but none of them have been convicted in relation to the killing. (AP, BBC, HA, MEE 12/15; ALM 12/20)

In an interview with NPR, Israeli prime-minister elect Benjamin Netanyahu said that he will not agree to a Palestinian state with full sovereignty. “[M]y formula is very simple . . . . The only peace that will hold is one that we can defend. And the one that we can defend is one in which the Palestinians have all the powers to govern themselves, but none of the powers to threaten our life, which means that security, in whatever political arrangements we'll have realistically will have to remain in Israel's hands.” The PA called Netanyahu’s remarks unacceptable. (NPR 12/15; MEMO, WAFA 12/17 MEMO 12/18)

Unilever said the legal dispute between it and its subsidiary Ben & Jerry’s over the sale of the license to manufacture and sell the ice cream company’s products in Israel had been resolved but did not offer any details. Ben & Jerry’s recently updated its website, removing Israel as one of the countries where consumers can buy its ice cream. (GDN 12/15; EI, MEE, MEMO 12/16)

The UN General Assembly passed the resolution, “The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,” with 167 votes in favor, 6 against, and 9 abstentions. (UN 12/15; WAFA 12/16)

In the Gaza Strip, Egyptian authorities keep the Rafah border crossing open for a 2d day. Off the n. coast, Israeli naval forces open fire with live ammunition on Palestinian fishing boats, moderately injuring 1 fisherman. Also, the Gaza power plant shuts down 1 of its 3 currently operating turbines due to lack of fuel imports, increasing the planned power outages from 12 to 18 hours per day. In the West Bank, the municipal govt. of the Kiryat Arba settlement delivers a notice of unpaid property taxes to a Palestinian on whose lands the settlement was built, which will reportedly force him and his family to leave their land. Separately, Israeli forces demolish 2 homes and 2 animal shelters in a village in the s. Hebron hills. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids nr. Nablus, Hebron, Jenin, as well as Tulkarm r.c.; patrols nr. Hebron and Tulkarm. They also arrest 1 Palestinian at a military checkpoint nr. Bethlehem. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolish a home in Jabal Mukabir and a building in Shu‘fat; conduct house searches and arrest raids in Silwan. Meanwhile, security guards deny a group of right-wing Jewish activists entry to Haram al-Sharif. In Israel, a Palestinian man from Tulkarm attacks Jewish Israelis on a bus in Tel Aviv, injuring 13 with a knife, before police shoot him in the leg and detain him. (AFP, HA, MDW, MNA, NPR, WAFA 1/21; MNA, PCHR 1/22; MNA 1/23; PCHR 1/29; OCHA 1/30)

The PLO Exec. Comm. meets in Ramallah to discuss the submission of a new draft res. to the UNSC. It would call for 1 year of negotiations sponsored by the UNSC’s permanent mbrs., and a 2-year timetable for the end of the Israeli occupation. (MNA 1/20)

U.S. Speaker of the House of Reps. John Boehner (R-OH) announces that Israeli PM Netanyahu has accepted his invitation to come to Washington and address a special meeting of Congress on Iran. The Obama admin. criticizes Boehner and Netanyahu for not informing the White House before today. Netanyahu will address Congress on 3/3. (HA, POL, REU, TOI 1/21; MDW 1/22)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF continues its assault, launching air strikes on approximately 65 targets, killing at least 30 Palestinians and injuring over 100. The armed Palestinian groups fire more than 150 rockets and mortars into Israel, primarily toward Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and areas in the s. One rocket lands in the Israeli settlement Mod’in Ilit in the West Bank, causing damage but no injuries, and 23 are intercepted by Iron Dome batteries. In the West Bank, IDF troops, accompanied by bulldozers, enter areas nr. Nablus, the Jordan Valley, and Ramallah to demolish 3 homes and confiscate 6 tents, leaving 63 Palestinians homeless. Late at night, the IDF conducts house searches and raids in Ramallah, Hebron, 2 villages nr. Hebron, and 1 village nr. Jenin, arresting 7. (AA, AFP, HA, REU, YA 8/20; PCHR 8/21)

In the evening, Israeli PM Netanyahu says in a press conference that the assault on Gaza will continue, but alludes to a new, regional “diplomatic horizon.” He calls on PA Pres. Abbas to play a “significant part” in his longterm plans. Earlier in the day, a Hamas spokesperson says that the Palestinian delegation has not been instructed to return to talks in Cairo and that “the Egyptian offer was a stillborn, and it was buried today.” (AFP, AP, HA, NPR, REU 8/20)

The last U.S. combat troops pull out of Iraq 2 wks. ahead of Obama’s 12/31/11 target date; 1,000s of U.S. diplomats and contractors remain in the country, as well as 150 U.S. soldiers tasked to train Iraqi security forces. (National Public Radio, REU 12/18; NYT 12/19)

Israel frees 550 Palestinian prisoners in the 2d stage of the swap that freed IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit in 10/2011; 41 are released to Gaza, more than 500 to the West Bank, a few to East Jerusalem and Jordan. Under the terms of the deal, Israel picked which prisoners to free and picked mostly Fatahaffiliated West Bankers as a gesture to Abbas; none are mbrs. of Hamas or Islamic Jihad or were involved in killing or wounding anyone; Palestinians complain that “many of those being released were due to get out within months anyway. . . . If Israel had wanted to make a real good-will gesture, the list would have been totally different.” (NYT, WP 12/19)

Stone-throwing Palestinian youths clash with IDF at the Beitunia checkpoint where some of the Palestinian prisoners freed by Israel are released, leaving 10s of Palestinians and 1 IDF soldier injured. Elsewhere in the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Jenin in the morning and in 3 villages nr. Jenin, Qalqilya, and Salfit in the evening (firing tear gas at stone-throwing youths in Jenin); makes a brief incursion into Qalqilya where they set up 2 checkpoints, detain 2 PA security forces officers for several hours, and summon 1 Palestinian for questioning. Jewish settlers block a Palestinian road nr. Moshe Zouhar settlement outpost nr. Qalqilya. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the Gaza City shore, detaining 1 boat and questioning 4 Palestinians (3 are released, 1 is sent to Israel for an unrelated medical issue). Gaza’s Interior Min. drops requirements for Gazans to register in advance of leaving Gaza through the Rafah crossing. The Israeli Housing Min. published tenders for construction of 1,028 Jewish settlement units in East Jerusalem (500 in Har Homa, 348 in Beitar Ilit, and 180 in Givat Ze’ev). The Gaza Central Drug Store receives an urgent shipment of medicine and supplies fr. the West Bank, enough to replenish its stores for several weeks (see 12/6/12). (HA 12/18; NYT, WP 12/19; PCHR 12/22; OCHA 12/23)

IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz announces that in light of the dramatically increasing number of covert foreign operations Israel has undertaken in the past year, the Israeli DMin. has formed a new operational branch called the Depth Corps specifically to handle special operations “deep in enemy territory.” The new branch (separate fr. the existing Northern, Southern, and Central Commands) will be headed by former special operations commander Maj. Gen. Shai Avital and will pull and coordinate resources fr. the military’s various elite commando units on an ad hoc basis, depending on the mission. While Israel does not confirm or deny covert operations abroad, media reports over the past year have indicated that Israel has carried out operations in Sudan (targeting arms traffic to Hizballah and Hamas), Iran, Lebanon, and Syria. According to HA, since most recent covert ops have targeted Iran, IDF insiders often refer to the Depth Corps as “Iran Command.” (AFP, IHY 12/16; HA 12/18; JPI 2/10)

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 the West Bank, the IDF removes several tiny settlement enclaves nr. Nablus, including Nahalat Yosef. In response, around 100 Jewish settlers fr. nearby Gilad, Keddumim, and Yitzhar rampage through Palestinian areas, burning large plots of Palestinian olive trees and crops, blocking roads, and ambushing a minivan of 15 Palestinian workers (beating and seriously injuring 6). The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Ni‘lin, nr. Jenin. (NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 6/2; OCHA, PCHR, WJW 6/4)

Israeli DM Barak arrives in Washington for meetings with U.S. officials aimed at defusing the settlement freeze dispute. (National Public Radio 6/1; NYT, WP, WT 6/2; WJW 6/4; WJW 6/11)

IDF ground forces backed by naval and air support continue to enter Gaza overnight, with troops taking up positions across n. Gaza (from which most Palestinian rockets have been fired), surrounding Gaza City, retaking the former Netzarim settlement site nr. the Gaza coast south of Gaza City, and bifurcating the Strip into e. and w. (cutting a swath roughly from the Qarni and Nahal Oz crossings to Netzarim on the coast, driving 1,000s of residents from Juhur al-Dik, al-Mughraqa, and al-Zahra’ with heavy artillery and tank fire), but not entering dense urban areas.

Combat notes: IDF-Palestinian ground fighting is described as “fierce,” characterized by heavy IDF artillery fire and heavy Palestinian sniping and mortar fire. Because the IDF stays out of built-up areas, there are few reports of close-quarter combat or heavy exchanges of gunfire. While ground troops concentrate in the north, Israeli air strikes and naval bombardment focus equally on the north and south, hitting more tunnels on the Rafah border and targeting Hamas leaders for assassination. (The IDF claims to assassinate Hamas rocket cmdr. Hussam Hamdan and IQB and long-range rocket cmdr. Muhammad Hilu in Khan Yunis, senior IQB mbr. Muhammad Shalbush in Jabaliya, but there is no independent confirmation.)

The IDF reports hitting 45 sites and carrying out 40 air strikes during the day, striking a produce market in Gaza City, several mosques, a medical building and 3 mobile clinics in Shati’ r.c. run by a Danish charity, homes of at least 4 Hamas mbrs. (most of whom have gone into hiding), and suspected weapons depots across Gaza. Target areas include Abasan, Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (al-Daraj, Tal al-Hawa, al-Tuffah, al-Yarmuk, al-Zaytun), Jabaliya, Juhur al-Dik, Khan Yunis, al-Mughraqa, al-Nasser (n. of Rafah), Rafah, Shati’ r.c., al-Shuka, al-Zahra’. After dark, IDF troops conduct door-to-door searches on the outskirts of Gaza City.

Palestinians fire 29 rockets (including at least 12 Grads) and 5 mortars into Israel, hitting Ashdod, Ashqelon, Netivot, Ofakim, and Sederot; 1 house in Sederot is damaged and 1 Israeli woman lightly injured. 

At least 47 Palestinians (including 4 paramedics) are killed and 400 wounded (including 3 paramedics) during the day; 1 IDF soldier is killed, 1 is seriously wounded in a heavy exchange of gunfire nr. Jabaliya; 15 IDF soldiers are wounded (3 seriously) by Palestinian mortar fire inside Gaza. The UN and Palestinian medical workers estimate the Palestinian toll to have reached at least 507 dead, 2,400 injured. The Israeli toll stands at 5–6 killed, more than 40 injured.

Humanitarian notes: The Israeli FMin. announced a new joint office of the FMin. and Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, called the Humanitarian Affairs Coordination Center (HACC), to coordinate humanitarian organizations operating on aid transfers to the Strip. The UN reports that shortages of fuel, electricity, and water are worsening. Gazan hospitals report drastic shortages of anesthesia, surgical equipment, heaters, spare parts. (AP, BBC, IDF, JAZ, National Public Radio, OCHA, REU, WT 1/4; IDF, IFM, NYT, RFM, UNOSAT, WP, WT 1/5; BBC 1/6; IFM, PCHR 1/8; WP 1/27)

In the West Bank, the IDF fatally shoots 1 Palestinian demonstrator who attempts to climb the separation wall nr. Qalqilya; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in al-Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, nr. Jenin. Israel’s High Court rules that the IDF may seal 2 floors of the home of the East Jerusalem Palestinian who killed 8 students at the Mercaz HaRava yeshiva in Jerusalem in 3/6/08, even though the gunman was killed during the attack and sealing the home would serve only to punish his extended family; another floor of the home will not be sealed because it is being rented to an unrelated family. (PCHR 1/8)

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)

In Gaza, Hamas, PA representatives discuss reconciliation agmt. (QY 10/11 in FBIS 10/11) (see 10/7)

At funeral of Abu Shaqra in Ramallah, IDF clashes with 2,000 mourners, arrests 5 Palestinians. (AFP 10/9 in FBIS 10/10) (see 10/7)

SLA allows delegation fr. the International Comm. of the Red Cross to visit al-Khiyam prison in s. Lebanon for 1st time since it was build in 1984. (VOL 10/8, AFP, RL 10/9 in FBIS 10/10)

In s. Lebanon, Hizballah attacks IDF convoy, killing 3 IDF troops. (RL 10/9 in FBIS 10/10)

Based on complaints of conflict of interest presented by the pro-Israeli activist group CAMERA (Comm. for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America), National Public Radio fires its Middle East correspondent Maureen Meehan because she is married to PA official Jiryis Atrash. CAMERA says it will now try to have Meehan removed from her second job as a stringer for Newsday. (WJW 10/12; JP 11/4)