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  • December 27, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers fenced off a Palestinian pasture near Khirbet al-Farisiyya. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters at the Qalandia checkpoint, injuring 1 with...

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  • January 2, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian herders near Khirbat Samra, forcing the Palestinian herders to leave the area. Israeli settlers also threw stones at Palestinian homes in...

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  • June 7, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces demolished 10 structures in a Bedouin community north of Jericho. 10 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Ramallah, Birzeit, Jalazun refugee camp...

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  • February 12, 2015

    In the Gaza Strip, dozens of Palestinian students gather in Gaza City to protest the killing of 3 U.S. Muslims in North Carolina on 2/11. In the West Bank, Palestinian and international activists...

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  • March 11, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces kill 3 Palestinians from the Saraya al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad) in an air strike nr. Khan Yunis, shortly after they had fired a mortar...

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  • January 22, 2013

    srael holds parliamentary elections, dealing a significant setback to current PM Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu joint ticket. The next Knesset will be almost evenly split...

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  • March 9, 2010

    Biden spends the 1st full day of his visit in Israel meeting with Israeli pres. Shimon Peres, visiting Yad Vashem (the Holocaust memorial museum) and Mount Herzl national cemetery, and giving...

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  • May 4, 2006

    The IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian taxi driver who stops to wait for a passenger nr. a sand barrier set up by the IDF nr. a checkpoint outside Nablus; sends undercover units in cars with...

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  • March 28, 2006

    Israel closes all Gaza crossing into Israel, reimposing the full seal on the territories (set on 3/11) for parliamentary elections; sends troops into al-Fawwar r.c. to conduct arrest raids and...

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  • April 17, 2005

    Israel announces that it has arrested 3 PFLP mbrs. for allegedly plotting to assassinate Shas party leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. The IDF orders 27 bedouin to evacuate 3 sites nr. Tubas. Israel also...

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  • February 26, 2003

    A Palestinian wounded by the IDF 2 wks. ago deteriorates rapidly, dies after an Israeli hospital insisted on transferring him to a Palestinian hospital on 2/25 despite the extreme weather. The IDF...

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  • January 28, 2003

    The IDF sends tanks into Jenin, clashes with residents, killing 4 Palestinians, wounding 1 Palestinian journalist; 2 IDF soldiers are also wounded. The IDF demolishes 7 Palestinian homes in Rafah...

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  • August 30, 2002

    In Jenin r.c., 3 IDF soldiers, 5 Palestinians are wounded in an exchange of gunfire. The IDF directs heavy machine gun fire, shells at residential areas of Jenin r.c. (wounding with...

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  • March 7, 2001

    After the Knesset approves his 7-party coalition, Sharon is sworn in as PM of Israel. The Knesset also passes a preliminary budget for 2001, a measure switching back to the 1-ballot...

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  • November 28, 2000

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue to abate, though 2 Palestinians are killed and a 3d Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. To mark Ramadan, Israel partially reopens Rafah...

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  • November 20, 2000

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes intensify when Palestinians detonate a large roadside bomb nr. Gaza's Kefar Darom settlement as an armored school bus escorted by IDF troops passes. 2...

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  • November 13, 2000

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 2 Palestinians dead. A 3d Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. In Gaza, Palestinian snipers open fire on a convoy of Jewish settlers under...

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  • November 6, 2000

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 2 Palestinians dead; a 3d Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. The IDF searches homes in villages around Bethlehem, arrests 3 Palestinians;...

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  • October 30, 2000

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes intensify after funerals for Palestinians killed on 10/29, the discovery in East Jerusalem of the body of a Jewish settler, and the fatal shooting of 2 guards outside...

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  • October 29, 2000

    With Israeli-Palestinian clashes showing no sign of abating, IDF chief of staff Gen. Shaul Mofaz announces that the army will begin initiating attacks on Palestinian targets, especially Fatah...

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  • July 31, 2000

    U.S. Asst. Secy. of State Walker arrives in Egypt for a mtg. with Pres. Mubarak. This is Walker's 1st stop a 15-day trip to Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar,...

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  • July 12, 2000

    PA-Israeli final status talks continue at Camp David. Pres. Clinton holds more 1-on-1 mtgs. with Arafat, Barak. Secy. of State Albright, special envoy Ross meet with Israeli, PA teams. PA, Israeli...

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  • July 9, 2000

    PM Barak delays his departure for Camp David after 3 coalition parties--National Religious party, Shas, Yisrael Ba'Aliya--quit the government. In addition, FM Levy announces he will not attend...

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  • July 3, 2000

    In Gaza, the PLOCC empowers the PLOEC to declare a Palestinian state and "realize its sovereignty over" the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 at "the conclusion of the interim period next 13...

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  • June 21, 2000

    After Shas agrees to stay in the coalition if Meretz cabinet mbrs. leave, Trade M Ran Cohen, Agriculture M Haim Oron, Education M Sarid resign their posts. Meretz, which holds 10 Knesset seats,...

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  • June 20, 2000

    4 Shas cabinet mbrs. submit their resignations, which do not take effect for 48 hrs., giving PM Barak a last chance to strike a deal with the party to keep it in the coalition. Meretz cabinet mbrs...

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  • June 18, 2000

    After 6more hrs. of debate, the UNSC endorses Annan's certification of Israel's withdrawal fr. Lebanon, but notes "serious concern" regarding Lebanon's protests. (XMN 6/18 in WNC 6/21; NYT, WP, WT...

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  • June 13, 2000

    Israeli, PA teams open 2 sets of talks nr. Washington: final status issues at Andrews air force base (AFB) and interim issues at Bolling AFB. (MM, WT 6/13; NYT, WP, WT 6/14; WP 6/15)

    ...

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  • May 15, 2000

    In a scathing 4-page letter, `Abid Rabbuh publicly announces his resignation as PA chief negotiator for the final status, revealing the secret Stockholm talks. (MENL 5/15; MENA 5/15...

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  • December 28, 1999

    Arafat arrives in Cairo for 2 days of talks with Pres. Mubarak, FM Musa on the peace process. (MENA 12/28 in WNC 12/29; MENA 12/28, 12/29 in WNC 12/30)

    Qatar recalls its envoy to the...

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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers fenced off a Palestinian pasture near Khirbet al-Farisiyya. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters at the Qalandia checkpoint, injuring 1 with a baton round, 2 with a tear-gas canister, and others with tear gas. Israeli forces also shot and injured 1 Palestinian with a baton round during a raid in al-Arroub refugee camp. Elsewhere, Israeli forces fired tear gas near a school in Hebron, causing tear-gas related injuries to students. Israeli forces also demolished 1 agricultural structure and uprooted 15 olive trees near Dura and seized agricultural machinery in Khirbet Umm al-Jamal near Tubas. 24 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Silwad, Beitin, Nablus, Bayt Ibia, Jaba‘, and Dahariya. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers and police seized and fenced off 5 dunams (1.2 acres) of land in Silwan, owned by the Greek Orthodox church and leased to Palestinians. 3 Palestinians were arrested in Silwan. (MEE, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/27; MEMO, WAFA 12/28; PCHR 12/29; WAFA 12/30; WAFA 12/31; UNOCHA 1/16)

Israel said it had arrested 1 Palestinian man on 11/29 who the Shin Bet suspect carried out the 2 bombing attacks in Jerusalem on 11/23, which killed 1 man. The Palestinian man is said to be a supporter of Islamic State and to have acted alone. (AJ 12/27)

The Hamas-affiliated media outlet Shehab News Agency leaked a 3-minute audio clip of PLO secretary-general Hussein al-Sheikh criticizing PA president Mahmoud Abbas and other leaders in the PA. In the clip Secretary-General al-Sheikh says that President Abbas “is a partner in the chaos and has an interest for it to remain.” Al-Sheikh told Al-Araby al-Jadeed that the recording was fabricated. (AP 12/27; MEMO 12/28; MEMO 12/29)

The Knesset approved amendments to the Basic Law on the Government to allow 2 ministers at the defense ministry. The amendment, which was part of the Religious Zionism Party’s coalition deal with the Likud Party, allows 2 ministers to serve in 1 government office and paves the way for Religious Zionism leader Bezalel Smotrich to appoint a minister at the defense ministry in charge of the administration of the West Bank. The IDF chief of staff Aviv Kochavi expressed his concern about the changes to the defense ministry to prime minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu. Another amendment to the Basic Law allows Shas leader Arye Dery to serve as a minister in the government, despite being convicted of tax offenses. (HA, HA 12/26; AJ, HA, MDW, MEE, REU 12/27; MEMO 12/28; HA, HA 12/29)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian herders near Khirbat Samra, forcing the Palestinian herders to leave the area. Israeli settlers also threw stones at Palestinian homes in Hebron, causing damage. 3 Palestinians were arrested, including 1 at a checkpoint near the Beit El settlement and 2 during a late-night raid in Anabta. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Gaza, Israel carried out air strikes, hitting 2 sites near Khan Yunis and other sites near Beit Hanun and Beit Lahiya, causing damage. It was reported in Palestinian media that Palestinian militants had fired anti-aircraft missiles at Israeli helicopters conducting the missile strikes, but they had missed their target. In Israel, Israeli police violently dispersed Palestinians demonstrating in Umm al-Fahm against the administrative detention of a Palestinian who has been on hunger strike for 139 days; several Palestinians were assaulted and 4 were arrested. (HA 1/1; AJ, HA, HA, MEMO, MEMO, REU, TOI, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WP 1/2; PCHR 1/6)

Egyptian mediators called on Hamas and Israel to show restraint after 2 rockets were launched from Gaza, landing in the sea on 1/1, and Israel conducted air strikes in Gaza, causing damage shortly after. (AP, HA, IN, TOI 1/2)

A delegation of right-wing members of Knesset from Likud, Shas, and the Religious Zionist party visited the Homesh settlement outpost, calling for it to be legalized. (TOI 1/2)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces demolished 10 structures in a Bedouin community north of Jericho. 10 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Ramallah, Birzeit, Jalazun refugee camp, al-Khadir, Bayt Fajjar, and al-‘Arub refugee camp; during the raid in al-Khadir, 2 minors who were arrested were injured by rubber-coated bullets. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian family started demolishing their own house in Jabal Mukabir, displacing 5. 7 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in the Old City and Shu‘fat. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/7; PCHR 6/10)

A settler leader moved his office to the Evyatar settlement outpost near Beita after Israel told the settlers they would have to leave the outpost within 8 days. 42 Israeli settler families have moved to the outpost since 5/3. 1 member of the Knesset from Shas, Moshe Arbel, also brought construction materials to the settlement outpost. (HA, HA 6/7)

Israel’s attorney general Avichai Mendelblit said he would not intervene in the eviction case against Palestinian families in Shaykh Jarrah. PeaceNow called Attorney General Mendelblit’s decision “a cynical attempt to evade responsibility,” and said the evictions are based on “laws that [discriminate] between Israelis and Palestinians.” (AJ, HA 6/7)

PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh met with the emir of Qatar Shaykh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in Doha. (WAFA 6/7)

The Knesset passed a bill that would allow the Shin Bet to place citizens of Israel in West Bank prisons, in the 1st of 3 votes. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel criticized the bill for being unconstitutional and for the Knesset to pass legislation about the West Bank. Joint List lawmakers warned that the bill only would apply to Palestinian citizens of Israel. (HA 6/10)

Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. and UN, Gilad Erdan, visited the Associated Press headquarters in New York, meeting with AP’s president and CEO Gary Pruitt “to restore the relations between Israel and the Associated Press” in the wake of Israel’s air strike demolishing AP’s offices in Gaza on 5/15. Ambassador Erdan justified the air strike that demolished the high-rise by alleging that Hamas was using an office in the 14-story building to jam the Iron Dome missile defense system. AP said it had not been shown any evidence to back Israel’s claim. Hamas denied the Israeli claim, saying, “Israel is trying to whitewash its black image.” (ALM, AP, HA, REU 6/8; MEMO 6/10)

Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) asked secretary of state Antony Blinken, during a house foreign affairs committee hearing, where victims of Israeli crimes should seek justice, if the U.S. opposes investigations by the ICC. Secretary Blinken said in his response that Israel does provide the mechanism of accountability without further elaborating. (AJ, AP, HA 6/10)

In the Gaza Strip, dozens of Palestinian students gather in Gaza City to protest the killing of 3 U.S. Muslims in North Carolina on 2/11. In the West Bank, Palestinian and international activists rebuild the “Gate of Jerusalem” tent camp in Abu Dis after the IDF demolished and evacuated it for the 5th time on 2/10. Another group of Palestinian activists tears down an iron gate at the entrance of a village nr. Bethlehem that was installed by the IDF in 2001. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nur Shams r.c.; patrols nr. Qalqilya and Hebron. IDF troops disperse Palestinian activists holding a sit-in protest at a checkpoint nr. Ramallah, detaining dozens. Israeli forces level land outside a village nr. Qalqilya, clearing the area for settlement expansion. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces conduct vehicle searches in Silwan, sparking clashes with youth in the area; 3 Palestinians are assaulted and arrested. (MNA, WAFA 2/12; PCHR 2/19)

After a meeting between PA PM Hamdallah and Nablus gov. Akram al-Rajub about the recent PA security crackdown in Balata r.c., 7 wanted Palestinians from the camp turn themselves in to PA custody. (MNA 2/12)

Israel’s CEC votes 27–6 to disqualify MK Zoabi (Balad) from the upcoming election on 3/17, responding to a petition alleging that Zoabi supports armed conflict against Israel. The petition was delivered to the CEC by the Yisrael Beytenu party on 1/29 with the support of the Likud, Shas, and Jewish Home parties. Prior to the vote, the joint list led by MKs Herzog (Labor) and Livni (Hatnua) ultimately decides to support the petition. (HA, JP, TOI 2/12; AFP 2/13)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces kill 3 Palestinians from the Saraya al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad) in an air strike nr. Khan Yunis, shortly after they had fired a mortar shell toward IDF troops. Later in the day, Palestinians fire 1 rocket into s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. IDF troops conduct 2 separate limited incursions nr. Khan Yunis and nr. Rafah alongside the border fence to level land. Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen working off the coast nr. Gaza City, and arrest 2, before releasing them later. In the West Bank, IDF troops wound an unspecified number of Palestinian youth during clashes nr. al-Azza r.c. in Bethlehem, at a rally organized to protest Israel’s recent killing of Palestinians. Separately, IDF troops wound 2 Palestinians with rubber-coated metal bullets in clashes in Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah, after locals throw stones at soldiers conducting a raid. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus and 2 villages and ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’ r.c. nearby, and 1 village each nr. Hebron and Salfit at night; patrols in 1 village each nr. Ramallah and Tulkarm in the morning, in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm and 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages and al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron and in Tulkarm at night. (MNA 3/11; PCHR 3/13)

The Knesset passes a new law that raises the threshold for entering the parliament from 2% to 3.25% of the vote in a general election. (The bill was previously approved by the cmte. on 3/3.) The bill passes with 67 yeas, though the vote is boycotted by all the opposition parties, including Labor, Shas, and United Arab List Ta’al. (HA 3/11)

A small homemade bomb explodes in front of the Israeli embassy in Cairo, causing no damage or injuries. (REU, ToI 3/11)

srael holds parliamentary elections, dealing a significant setback to current PM Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu joint ticket. The next Knesset will be almost evenly split between the right-wing/religious bloc and centrist/center-left blocs, with the headlines dominated by the rise of centrist party Yesh Atid (‘‘There Is a Future’’) and its leader Yair Lapid. The final tally gives 31 seats to Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu, 19 to Yesh Atid, 15 to a resurgent Labor party, 12 to Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home, 11 to Shas, 7 to United Torah Judaism, 6 each to Meretz and Tzipi Livni’s party Hatnuah, 4 each to United Arab List and Hadash, 3 to Balad, and 2 to Kadima. Voter turnout overall is high, with the estimated turnout for Palestinian citizens of Israel at 56%, according to figures cited by Army Radio. At the end of the night, Netanyahu says that he sees ‘‘many partners’’ for his ‘‘goals’’ and will seek to assemble ‘‘the broadest’’ coalition possible. (REU, AP 1/22; JP 1/23; JP 1/24)

British foreign secretary William Hague warns that it is almost the last chance to bring about a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and condemns Israeli settlement construction. (REU 1/22)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers begin work to expand Halamish settlement nr. Ramallah. The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in al-Bireh at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 1 village each nr. East Jerusalem and Ramallah at night. (MNA, WAFA 1/22; PCHR 1/23)

Malaysia’s PM Najib Razak visits the Gaza Strip via the Rafah crossing. Pres. Abbas criticizes the visit as enhancing the Fatah-Hamas division. (MNA, NYT 1/22) 

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate and the PLO’s Information and Culture Department condemn today’s arrest of journalists in the Gaza Strip by Hamas authorities. Most of those detained are affiliated with Fatah. (JP 1/22)

Biden spends the 1st full day of his visit in Israel meeting with Israeli pres. Shimon Peres, visiting Yad Vashem (the Holocaust memorial museum) and Mount Herzl national cemetery, and giving addresses highlighting the U.S.’s “absolute, total, unvarnished commitment to Israel’s security” and admiration of the Israeli people. Late in the afternoon, Israel’s interior M Eliyahu Yishai (Shas) announces approval of 1,600 new settlement housing units in Ramat Shlomo in East Jerusalem, in a move that threatens to scuttle the new peace initiative announced on 3/8. Initially unsure of how to react, Biden ultimately issues a statement “condemning” Israel’s move for undermining the peace process. (IFM, JTA 3/9; NYT, WP, WT 3/10; IFM 3/11; JPI 3/19)

No Israeli-Palestinian violence is reported. The UN reports that since 3/3, 2 Palestinians have been killed in tunnel incidents (1 collapse, 1 electrocution). (OCHA, PCHR 3/11)

The IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian taxi driver who stops to wait for a passenger nr. a sand barrier set up by the IDF nr. a checkpoint outside Nablus; sends undercover units in cars with Palestinian license plates into Azun and Hebron to arrest wanted Palestinians; also conducts arrest raids in Balata r.c. (exchanging fire with Palestinian gunmen, leaving 3 wounded), Bayt Jala, Nablus, Yatta. Palestinians fire 6 rockets fr. s. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. A Jewish settler fr. Kiryat Arba injures a 3- yr.old Palestinian in a deliberate hit and run in Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Ramat Yishai throw bottles, stones at Palestinian children (ages 7–12) playing nearby. (WP 5/6; PCHR 5/11)

The Knesset approves, swears in PM Ehud Olmert’s new cabinet, including Vice PM and FM Tzipi Livni (Kadima), DM Amir Peretz (Labor). The new coalition controls 67 of 120 parliamentary seats, with Kadima holding 29 seats, Labor 19, the ultra-Orthodox Shas 12, the Pensioners Party 7. (MM 5/4; MM, WP, WT 5/5)

Israel closes all Gaza crossing into Israel, reimposing the full seal on the territories (set on 3/11) for parliamentary elections; sends troops into al-Fawwar r.c. to conduct arrest raids and house searches, fires on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops, wounding 6; also conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron and in Bethlehem, Nablus, Tubas. Israeli security contractors guarding the separation wall nr. Jerusalem shoot, wound a Palestinian who strays too close to the wall. Islamic Jihad fires a Grad missile (an Eastern European rocket with a range greater than a Qassam but less than a Katyusha) fr. Gaza towards Ashkelon, which lands unexploded causing no damage or injuries. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba attack Palestinians, vandalize property in Hebron. Separately, Jewish settlers fr. Hebron attack Palestinian children on their way to school by a Palestinian road that passes near a settleronly bypass road. Inside Israel, 2 bedouin are killed in the Negev when they accidentally detonate an unexploded Palestinian rocket. (IMEMC, YA 3/28; VOP 3/28 in WNC 3/29; HA, MM, NYT, OCHA 3/29; PCHR 3/30; MM 4/7, 4/13, 4/21)

Israel holds parliamentary elections, with voter turnout at a relatively low 63%. The Kadima party, founded by Ariel Sharon and led by Ehud Olmert, wins 29 of the 120 Knesset seats (less than expected) compared to Labor with 19 seats, Likud (the biggest loser compared with its 38 seats last election) with 12, Shas with 12, Yisrael Beiteinu with 11, National Union–National Religious Party with 9, Pensioners’ Party with 7, United Torah Judaism with 6, Meretz with 5, and 3 Arab parties with a total of 10. (MM 3/28; HA, JP, MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/29; NYT, WT 3/30; WP 3/31; XIN, YA 4/3)

The PC approves (71–36, with 2 abstentions) the Hamas-led cabinet. (NYT 3/29; XIN 3/28 in WNC 3/29)

Israel announces that it has arrested 3 PFLP mbrs. for allegedly plotting to assassinate Shas party leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. The IDF orders 27 bedouin to evacuate 3 sites nr. Tubas. Israel also opens bidding on 50 plots of land in Elkana settlement nr. Nablus for construction of new homes. The IDF issues military orders for the demolition of 3 Palestinian homes, 10 wells, 6 sewage systems outside Yatta for expansion of Carmiel settlement; resumes construction on a segment of the separation wall n. of Jerusalem; starts construction of a settler bypass road linking Neve Yaqub settlement to others around Jerusalem; raids Dayr al-Balah for a 2d day, arrests 3 Palestinians who allegedly attempted to sneak into Israel to find work; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Askar r.c. nr. Nablus, Silwad nr. Ramallah. Jewish settlers set up 2 new unauthorized outposts nr. Elon Moreh settlement nr. Nablus, nr. Hebron. A Jewish settler injures a 12-yr.-old Palestinian child in a hit-and-run nr. Bethlehem. Palestinians fire on IDF soldiers outside Neve Dekalim settlement, lightly wounding 1. In Jenin, 10s of AMB mbrs. take over a main intersection, close down a government building, demanding that the PA provide jobs to unemployed militants, fmr. prisoners, relatives of Palestinians killed by the IDF. Palestinian teachers open a 2-day strike to protest PC inactivity in amending the civil service law to increase teacher salaries (see 4/6). (NYT 4/18; MM 4/19; OCHA, PR 4/20; PCHR 4/21)

A Palestinian wounded by the IDF 2 wks. ago deteriorates rapidly, dies after an Israeli hospital insisted on transferring him to a Palestinian hospital on 2/25 despite the extreme weather. The IDF arrests an Islamic Jihad mbr. in the West Bank, blows up a car it says he was rigging as a bomb; blows up 9 Palestinian homes in Rafah, 1 in Balata r.c. (also destroying 2 nearby homes). An IDF military court accuses a Nablus-based PFLP cell of plotting to assassinate Shas leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the Israeli amb. to Jordan. A Tel Aviv court sentences an Israeli Arab to 4 yrs. for transferring arms to the tanzim. (HA 2/26; HA, LAW, PCHR, PM 2/27; LAW 3/13)

Bush outlines his vision for the Middle East in a post-Saddam Hussein environment, arguing that the overthrow of the Iraqi pres. and his regime will serve as a catalyst for peace in the region, explicitly linking resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and creation of a “truly democratic Palestinian state” to removing Hussein (HA, NYT, WP, WT 2/27; MENA 2/27 in WNC 2/28; JP, WP 2/28; al-Quds 3/2 in WNC 3/5; MM 3/5; WJW 3/6; MEI 3/7)

The IDF sends tanks into Jenin, clashes with residents, killing 4 Palestinians, wounding 1 Palestinian journalist; 2 IDF soldiers are also wounded. The IDF demolishes 7 Palestinian homes in Rafah, 2 in Balata r.c.; bulldozes Palestinian land nr. Jabaliya r.c.; fires on stone-throwing Palestinians protesting the curfew in Nablus, killing 1 Palestinian; fires on residential areas of Tal al-Sultan. (AP, HA, PM 1/28; LAW, PCHR 1/29)

Sharon and his Likud party win a landslide election victory largely at the Labor party’s expense. Likud gets 38 seats (up fr. 19 in the 2/01 elections; higher even that top projections, which figured Likud would take 32 seats), Labor gets 19 seats (down fr. 25), Shinui comes in 3d with 15 seats (up fr. 6), and the ultra-Orthodox Shas party gets 11 seats (down fr. 17); Meretz, 1 of Israel’s clear-cut peace parties, gets 6 seats (down fr. 10); the far-right National Union party, not represented in the last Knesset, gets 7 seats. Yisra’el Ba’Aliya party head Natan Sharansky quits the Knesset, Meretz head Yossi Sarid resign fr. as party chmn. in light of their parties’ poor showing. During the day, Israeli police detain 4 Israeli Arabs for leading a 15-car caravan around the Galilee, calling for an election boycott. Voter turnout was 68.5%-- lowest in Israel’s history. Sharon has 42 days to form a majority coalition. The new Knesset will have 40 freshmen MKs. (HA, MM, WP 1/28; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/29; AYM, al-Quds 1/29 in WNC 1/30; JP, MM, WJW, WP 1/30; JPI 1/31; PR 2/5; MEI 2/7; MM 2/18)

Bush gives State of the Union address, focusing on Iraq; says Saddam Hussein has missed his “final chance” by showing “utter contempt” for the UN inspectors; claims Iraq is hiding and amassing weapons of mass destruction (WMDs; including an active nuclear weapons program), deceiving inspectors, aiding al-Qa`ida; says the U.S. seeks to work with an international coalition to remove Hussein but will go it alone if necessary, adding that “The liberty we prize is not America’s gift to the world; it is God’s gift to humanity.” Regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict, he says only that the U.S. will continue to work for a “secure Israel and a democratic Palestine.” (NYT, WP, WT 1/29; MM 1/30; MA 1/30 in WNC 1/31; MEI 2/7)

In Jenin r.c., 3 IDF soldiers, 5 Palestinians are wounded in an exchange of gunfire. The IDF directs heavy machine gun fire, shells at residential areas of Jenin r.c. (wounding with live ammunition 3 Palestinian children who broke curfew), Khan Yunis; fires rubber-coated steel bullets stone throwers in Amari r.c., wounding 2. In Tulkarm, the AMB fatally shoots a Palestinian woman who allegedly collaborated with Israel in the 1/14/02 assassination of AMB leader Ra'id Karmi; the woman is the niece of the woman killed by the AMB on 8/24. (HA, JTA 8/30; NYT, WT 8/31; WP 9/1; NYT 9/2; LAW, PCHR 9/4)

Israeli Labor and Social Welfare M Shlomo Benizri (Shas) convenes the Israel Council for Demography, which has been inactive for 5 yrs., to draw up "guidelines on how to formulate a policy that will preserve Israel's Jewish character." The main topics discussed are the "need to encourage [Jewish] families to have more children," the "problem of foreign workers in Israel." The council has 37 mbrs. including public figures, lawyers, scientists, physicians. (HA 8/30; HA, MM 9/9)

After the Knesset approves his 7-party coalition, Sharon is sworn in as PM of Israel. The Knesset also passes a preliminary budget for 2001, a measure switching back to the 1-ballot voting system. The 7 parties in the unity government are Labor, Likud, One Nation, Shas, National Union Party, Yisrael Ba'Aliya, Yisrael Beitainu. Sharon's cabinet is the largest in Israeli history. (HA, JP [Internet], MM 3/7; MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/8; MM 3/9; MA, SA 3/9 in WNC 3/13; WT 3/10; WP 4/1)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue. Israel seals the West Bank, Gaza. Hrs. after Sharon's swearing in, the IDF digs a trench, erects an earthen barrier on the Birzeit-Ramallah road, completely encircling Ramallah. Electricity, water lines to Birzeit University are cut. The IDF also tightens the closures on Bayt Lid, Bethlehem, al-Kifriyat, Nablus, Ramin, Safarin, Shufa, Tulkarm, Zayta; directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Rafah, Shaykh Ajlin; conducts arrest sweeps in Burqa. Jewish settlers establish a new settlement enclave on confiscated Palestinian land nr. Nablus. (HA, HP, LAW 3/7; HA 3/8; WP, al-Quds 3/12; JT 3/13 in WNC 3/14; HA 3/15; al-Quds 3/16 in WNC 3/20; MEI 3/23; Middle East Report 3/28; HJ 4/10 in WNC 4/18)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue to abate, though 2 Palestinians are killed and a 3d Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. To mark Ramadan, Israel partially reopens Rafah crossing, says it will transfer some of the money owed the PA. In Gaza, 2 roadside bombs explode nr. IDF patrols, causing no injuries; after 1 explosion, IDF soldiers open fire on nearby Palestinians, injuring 15. The IDF shells residential areas of Aida, Bayt Jala, Hebron, Khan Yunis, and Rafah, injuring 30 Palestinians; bulldozes around 150 dunams of Palestinian agricultural land nr. Gush Katif settlement, Khan Yunis, Kissufim crossing, and Qarni crossing in Gaza, leveling a total of 8 homes, an irrigation network. Jewish settlers set fire to Palestinian crop land nr. Jinin, fire on a PSF post nr. the bypass road to Keddumim settlement. (HA, LAW, MM 11/28; MENA 11/28 in WNC 11/29; JP [Internet], PCHR, WP 11/29; HJ, al-Quds 11/29 in WNC 12/1; WJW 11/30)

The Knesset convenes to vote on 5 no-confidence motions. Expecting to lose the votes given the expiration of Shas's safety net, Barak opens by announcing his willingness to hold new elections as early as spring 2001. MKs overwhelmingly approve the 1st readings of the motions. (AFP [Internet], MM 11/28; MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/29; WJW 11/30; JT 11/30 in WNC 12/1; AYM , al-Quds 11/30 in WNC 12/7; WJW 12/7; MEI 12/8) (see 11/20)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes intensify when Palestinians detonate a large roadside bomb nr. Gaza's Kefar Darom settlement as an armored school bus escorted by IDF troops passes. 2 Jewish settlers, both adults, are killed and 9 are wounded, including children. Although the Arafat denounces the bombing, Barak blames Arafat and Fatah directly, convenes his security cabinet, and orders IDF helicopter gunships, naval vessels to shell at least 12 buildings in Gaza City (including Arafat's Fatah and PA headquarters, PA Preventive Security Force offices, Force 17 offices, Voice of Palestine Radio, a Palestinian TV station), killing 2 Palestinians, injuring 125, hitting 4 private homes, and cutting power to areas of the city. Other helicopter gunships target areas nr. Rafah. Nr. Kefar Darom and in Ramallah, the IDF razes 10s of dunams of Palestinian orchards along the roads so Palestinians will have "no place to hide." A 3d Palestinian is shot dead by the IDF in the West Bank. Jewish settlers fire on Palestinians harvesting an olive grove nr. Salfit, injuring several Palestinians; uproot an olive grove nr. Qalqilya; fire on Palestinian cars nr. Jinin, injuring 1. (ADM, HA, LAW, MEZ, MM 11/20; RMC 11/20 in WNC 11/21; HA, MEZ, NYT, WP, WT 11/21; Interfax, MA, XIN 11/21 in WNC 11/22; HJ 11/21, AYM 11/22 in WNC 11/24; NYT, WP 11/22; MEI, MM 11/24; AYM 11/24 in WNC 11/29; MENL 11/29)

The State Dept. for the 1st time since 9/28 states that "Israelis also need to understand that the excessive use of force is not the right way to go." Special envoy Ross postpones a visit to the region set to begin today. (NYT, WP, WT 11/21; MM 11/22)

Following the Kefar Darom attack, Shas declares it will not renew Barak's "safety net," which it agreed to provide until the end of 11/00. With Shas's support, Barak has survived no-confidence motions since the Knesset reconvened on 10/30. (AFP [Internet] 11/20) (see 11/13)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 2 Palestinians dead. A 3d Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. In Gaza, Palestinian snipers open fire on a convoy of Jewish settlers under IDF escort, killing 2 IDF soldiers, wounding 6 settlers. A Jewish settler driving in the West Bank, an Israeli truck driver carry goods to a Jewish settlement in Gaza are also shot dead by Palestinian snipers, marking the highest 1-day toll for Israeli Jews since clashes began. The IDF seals areas A, halts all traffic on and leading to the main north+nsouth road in Gaza. IDF shelling is reported Aqabat Jabir camp, Bayt Jala, Bethlehem, Jericho, Nablus, al-Qarara. In Gaza, the IDF levels another 112 dunams of Palestinian agricultural land, 1 Palestinian home, a livestock pen, and an irrigation system. (AP, LAW, MM, PCHR 11/13; LAW, MEZ, MM, NYT, WP 11/14; NYT 11/15; WJW 11/16, 11/23)

Barak, attending a fund-raiser in Chicago for the United Jewish Communities General Assembly (UJCGA), lists 5 requirements of any final status agmt. with the PA. More than 1,000 Americans rally outside the UJCGA venue to protest Israeli violence against the Palestinians. Similar rallies are held in New York, where Likud MK Sharon is addressing a New York Post seminar, and in Philadelphia. (WP 11/14; WJW 11/16)

With Shas support, Barak survives another no-confidence vote in the Knesset. (AFP [Internet] 11/13) (see 11/6)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 2 Palestinians dead; a 3d Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. The IDF searches homes in villages around Bethlehem, arrests 3 Palestinians; directs tank, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Aqabat Jabir camp, Jericho, Salfit. Jewish settlers assault Palestinians, damage property in Hebron, nr. Jinin. (LAW 11/6; ADM, IDF Radio [Internet], NYT, WP 11/7)

Israel leaks reports that the U.S. has raised the idea of posting international observers as a buffer in the West Bank, Gaza. Barak denounces the proposal. Clinton states the U.S. will not endorse it if Israelis are opposed. Ben-Ami says he has already met with Albright, Holbrooke to coordinate steps to block the proposal in the UN. (MM 11/6; NYT, WP, WT 11/7; AYM 11/7 in WNC 11/8; NYT, WP 11/8; MEI 11/10)

IDF troops capture a man armed with knives sneeking into the Israeli occupied Golan Heights fr. Syria. (NYT 11/7)

In Tehran, 1,000 Iranian students attend a rally in solidarity with the Palestinian people. A much smaller rally is held in Baltimore. (IRNA 11/6 in WNC 11/7)

With Shas support, Barak survives 5 no-confidence motions in the Knesset. (AFP [Internet] 11/6)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes intensify after funerals for Palestinians killed on 10/29, the discovery in East Jerusalem of the body of a Jewish settler, and the fatal shooting of 2 guards outside an Israeli government building in East Jerusalem. In retaliation, Barak orders missile strikes on Fatah offices and Force 17 buildings in al-Bireh, Khan Yunis, and Nablus, destroying them, damaging an adjacent Samaritan synagogue and at least 1 home. Israel warns it will send commandos to hunt down Palestinians firing on troops fr. behind crowds of stone throwers. During the day, at least 2 Palestinians are killed, 40 are injured; a 3d dies of injuries received earlier; a 4th, seriously ill, dies when IDF detains his ambulance at a checkpoint. The main hot spots are around Jericho, Nablus, Ramallah (where the IDF reportedly uses grenade launchers), Tulkarm. Nr. Rafah, the IDF clears 100 dunams of Palestinian land, digs a trench across the main road to Gaza City. Armed Jewish settlers fire on Palestinian homes, schools in Hebron and nr. Bethlehem, Tulkarm. Settlers also throw stones at Palestinian cars on the Ramallah-Nablus road, nr. Hebron; uproot Palestinian groves nr. Itzhar settlement, shooting and wounding a Palestinian who tries to stop them. (ADM, LAW, MEZ, MM 10/30; International Herald Tribune, LAW, MM, NYT, WP, WT 10/31; HA [Internet], NYT, WP 11/1; AIC 11/2; JT 11/3 in WNC 11/6; MEI 11/10)

The Knesset reconvenes after a 3-mo. recess. The session is calmer than expected due to the agmt. Barak reached with Shas on 10/29. (MM, NYT 10/30; MM, NYT, WP, WT 10/31; AYM 10/31 in WNC 11/1)

With Israeli-Palestinian clashes showing no sign of abating, IDF chief of staff Gen. Shaul Mofaz announces that the army will begin initiating attacks on Palestinian targets, especially Fatah leaders, and using more force against demonstrators. During the day, 5 Palestinians are killed, over 100 injured; a 6th Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. Nr. Qarni crossing in Gaza, IDF tanks fire on Palestinian demonstrators, killing 2, wounding 25. Also in Gaza, Palestinian gunmen fire on and detonate a small bomb nr. a bus carrying Jewish settlers under IDF escort, causing no injuries. In drive-by shooting in East Jerusalem, Jewish settlers wound a Palestinian security guard outside Agusta Victoria hospital. Armed settlers also open fire on Palestinians in Haris, wounding 3. Other hot spots are nr. Jinin, Nablus, Ramallah. Nr. Ariel settlement, the IDF bulldozes Palestinian olive groves. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 10/30; AYM 10/30 in WNC 11/1; NYT, WP 10/31; AIC 11/2; al-Quds 11/9 in WNC 11/13)

A day before the Knesset reconvenes, Barak and Sharon are still unable to reach an agmt. on forming a unity government despite 7 days of talks. The Shas party, which pulled out of Barak's coalition in 7/00, before the Camp David talks, says it will give Barak a 1-mo. safety net against no-confidence votes. In return, Barak suspends plans for secular social reforms (see 8/20). (MM, NYT, WT, YA 10/30; MM, WT 10/31; MM 11/1; WJW 11/2; MEI 11/10)

U.S. Asst. Secy. of State Walker arrives in Egypt for a mtg. with Pres. Mubarak. This is Walker's 1st stop a 15-day trip to Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen, and the UAE to urge Arab leaders to put pressure on Arafat to accept compromises on Jerusalem. (MM 7/31; MENA 7/31 in WNC 8/1; MM 8/1; WT 8/2; WJW 8/3; DUS 8/6 in WNC 8/7)

PM Barak survives Knesset votes (50-50, with 8 abstentions, 12 MKs absent; 53-48) on 2 no-confidence motions. (MM 7/31; NYT, WT 8/1)

The Knesset elects (63-57) the relatively obscure Iranian-born Likud MK Moshe Katsav over One Israel MK Shimon Peres, a 3-time PM and Nobel laureate, to replace Weizman as pres. Israeli public opinion polls prior to the vote showed Peres as the popular choice over Katsav by 63% to 20%, with 17% undecided. Katsav captured the votes of Sephardic and Russian MKs (with Shas voting as a bloc for him) because of his Sephardic background and of ultra-Orthodox MKs, who voted for him as a protest to Barak, who openly favored Peres. (MM 7/31; ATL 7/31 in WNC 8/1; CSM, MM, NYT, WP, WT 8/1; ATL 8/1, SA 8/2 in WNC 8/3; WJW 8/3; JP, WP 8/11)

Acting on a tip, Israeli police arrest a Jewish resident of Jerusalem found with 3 rifles and a great deal of ammunition in his car. Police suspect he was en route to the West Bank to sell the arms, ammunition to settlers planning an attack on Palestinian targets. (MA 8/1 in WNC 8/2)

PA-Israeli final status talks continue at Camp David. Pres. Clinton holds more 1-on-1 mtgs. with Arafat, Barak. Secy. of State Albright, special envoy Ross meet with Israeli, PA teams. PA, Israeli teams hold formal, informal sessions discussing "what the parties need to agree on in order to reach an overall agmt." (White House press briefing 7/12; MM, NYT, WT 7/13; DUS 7/13 in WNC 7/17; AYM 7/13 in WNC 7/18)

In Bethlehem, 100s of Palestinians hold a rally calling on the PA to protect refugee rights at the Camp David talks. (BDL, Reuters [Internet] 7/12)

The Israeli High Court upholds the conviction of Shas leader Arye Deri on bribery, corruption charges. Deri is to begin serving his 3-yr. sentence on 8/13. (MM 7/12; MM, NYT, WP 7/13; MA 7/13 in WNC 7/17; JP 7/21) (see 3/17/99)

A Tel Aviv court issues a 3-mo. continuance in the case of IDF detainees Obeid and Dirani, saying they should remain jailed until their case is decided. (NYT 7/13; WJW 7/20) (see 5/29)

PM Barak delays his departure for Camp David after 3 coalition parties--National Religious party, Shas, Yisrael Ba'Aliya--quit the government. In addition, FM Levy announces he will not attend summit because Barak has failed to consult with him on planned concessions. The opposition schedules 2 no-confidence votes for 7/10. Yet, public opinion polls show that 61% of Jewish Israelis support the talks with the PA. The U.S. says the summit must go ahead or Palestinian-Israeli tensions will rise further. (CSM, MM, NYT, WP, WT 7/10; AYM 7/11, Le Monde 7/12 in WNC 7/13; JP, MEI 7/14) (see 7/5)

In Washington, Secy. of State Albright holds mtgs. with the Israeli, PA peace teams sent in advance of Barak, Arafat to prepare for the Camp David summit, which is scheduled to begin on 7/11. The PA vows to hold a popular referendum of Palestinians inside and outside the territories on any agmt. that emerges fr. the talks. (JP [Internet], Reuters [Internet] 7/9; XIN 7/9 in WNC 7/11; WP 7/10)

In Cairo, Arafat meets with Pres. Mubarak on his way to the Camp David summit. Arafat then heads to London for a similar mtg. with PM Blair. (MENA 7/9 in WNC 7/10; Associated Press [Internet] 7/10; MENA 7/10 in WNC 7/11; MENA 7/11 in WNC 7/13)

Although the U.S. plans to have a media blackout surrounding the Camp David talks, PM Barak dispatches a media information team that will operate fr. New York, Washington during the summit. MKs Rabbi Michel Melchoir, Yuli Tamir will head the team. (Prime Minister's Office press release 7/9; MA 7/10 in WNC 7/11; SA 7/14 in WNC 7/18; MA 7/24 in WNC 7/25)

Jordanian PM Abu al-Raghib says Jordan has informed Israel, the PA, the U.S. of Jordan's "firm refusal" to absorb any additional Palestinian refugees "under any pretext," including a final status agmt. (JT [Internet], MM 7/10; JT 7/14 in WNC 7/18)

IDF soldiers open fire on a Palestinian car nr. Kafr Darom settlement in Gaza, killing a woman, wounding 5 others. The IDF says the shooting was an accident. (NYT 7/10; WJW 7/13; MEI 7/14)

In Gaza, the PLOCC empowers the PLOEC to declare a Palestinian state and "realize its sovereignty over" the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 at "the conclusion of the interim period next 13 September," whether or not a final status agmt. has been reached. Israel has warned that it might respond to a unilateral declaration of statehood by annexing large areas of the West Bank. (MM, NYT, WT 7/4; CSM, MM, NYT 7/5; SA 7/5 in WNC 7/6; AYM 7/5 in WNC 7/11; DUS 7/12 in WNC 7/17; MEI 7/14)

Pres. Clinton phones Arafat, Barak to discuss a possible 3-way summit mtg. on final status issues. (MM, WP 7/4)

Overnight, the PSF raids Amari refugee camp nr. Ramallah, arrests a Palestinian man and several accomplices in connection with the fatal shooting of a woman on 7/1. The PA immediately convenes a security court, which sentences the man to death by hanging. Angry residents of Amari march to Ramallah, clash with the PSF. An exchange of gunfire leaves 15 wounded. (LAW 7/3; NYT 7/4; AYM 7/4 in WNC 7/6; HA [Internet], PR [Internet] 7/5; MEI 7/14)

The Knesset passes (52-43, with 7 abstentions) the 1st reading of a bill that would reduce the amount of time ultra-Orthodox students must attend yeshiva to be exempted fr. military service. PM Barak only backed the legislation after Shas threatened to quit the coalition if the bill was not sent to the Knesset for vote. (MM 7/3; MM, NYT, WP, WT 7/4; MA 7/4 in WNC 7/5; WJW 7/6; MEI 7/14) (see 6/21)

After Shas agrees to stay in the coalition if Meretz cabinet mbrs. leave, Trade M Ran Cohen, Agriculture M Haim Oron, Education M Sarid resign their posts. Meretz, which holds 10 Knesset seats, vows to continue to support Barak's peace policy. (MM, WJW, WT 6/22; CSM, JP, MM, WP, WT 6/23; MA 6/23, IRNA 6/24 in WNC 6/27; MA 6/23, al-Quds 6/24, MA 6/25 in WNC 6/29; MM 6/27; JP 6/30)

In Ramallah, the PSF arrests Ghlem, Arafat's adviser for refugee affairs, for criticizing the PA's handling of the refugee issue. (MENL 6/25; LAW 6/26; MEI 6/30; LAW 7/4, 8/1) (see 6/20)

4 Shas cabinet mbrs. submit their resignations, which do not take effect for 48 hrs., giving PM Barak a last chance to strike a deal with the party to keep it in the coalition. Meretz cabinet mbrs., including Education M Yossi Sarid, tell Barak they are willing to resign if it will help him reach an agmt. with Shas that would preserve the coalition. (MM 6/20; MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/21; AYM 6/21 in WNC 6/22; CSM, WJW 6/22; MEI 6/30) (see 6/13)

The PA says that per a request by U.S. Pres. Clinton, it will not push Israel to carry out the 3d FRD by the 6/23 deadline in light of Barak's coalition troubles. (State Dept. press briefing 6/20; AYM 6/20, 6/23 in WNC 6/27; NYT 6/21; MEI 6/30) (see 6/15)

Arafat convenes the PLO Exec. Comm. (PLOEC) to brief mbrs. on the Stockholm talks, to discuss status of the peace process, to set 7/2-3 as the date for a PLO Central Council (PLOCC) session to debate a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state. (SA 6/29 in WNC 6/30; AYM 7/3 in WNC 7/5)

Agents fr. Force 17, Arafat's "presidential" guard, raid the Gaza office of 'Abd al-Fattah Ghanem, 1 of Arafat's advisers on refugee affairs, confiscating files, documents. (LAW 6/26) PA General Intelligence Service arrests without charge al-Sharq al-Awsat correspondent Abdallah Isa. The arrest comes 1 wk. after Isa was released fr. 2 mos. of detention without charge or trial. (SA 6/22 in WNC 6/27)

Nr. Qarni crossing in Gaza, a Jewish setter is lightly injured when a roadside bomb explodes nr. a convoy of settler cars escorted by the IDF. (IsRN 6/21; JP 6/30)

After 6more hrs. of debate, the UNSC endorses Annan's certification of Israel's withdrawal fr. Lebanon, but notes "serious concern" regarding Lebanon's protests. (XMN 6/18 in WNC 6/21; NYT, WP, WT 6/19; MM 6/20; JP 6/23)

PM Barak cancels a planned cabinet mtg. to avoid Shas mbrs. submitting their resignations. Instead, he convenes his security cabinet to brief them for the 1st time on the secret Stockholm talks. (HA [Internet], YA [Internet] 6/18; MM 6/19, 6/20) (see 6/13)

King Abdaliah of Jordan dismisses conservative PM 'Abd al-Rauf Rawabda, replaces him with Ali Abu Raghib, a liberal leaning politician with strong business credentials. The main reason behind Rawabda's dismissal reportedly is his refusal to endorse the king's pet project to turn Aqaba into a special economic zone to attract foreign investment; Abu Raghib has been heading the task force overseeing the project. (MM, WP, WT 6/19; DUS 6/20 in WNC 6/21; WT 6/21; JT 6/22 in WNC 6/27; MEI 6/30; see also MM 6/15, 6/16) (see 4/21)

Israeli, PA teams open 2 sets of talks nr. Washington: final status issues at Andrews air force base (AFB) and interim issues at Bolling AFB. (MM, WT 6/13; NYT, WP, WT 6/14; WP 6/15)

Funeral ceremonies for Syrian pres. Hafiz al-Asad are held in Damascus, Latakia, and Asad's childhood home of Qardaha, where he is laid to rest in the family mausoleum. Attending are the heads of state of Egypt, France, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Turkey, and Yemen; the heads of the PA and Hizballah; plus senior reps. from Iraq, Russia, the U.S. Secy. of State Albright meets alone with Bashar al-Asad for 15 mins., says he is ready to continue discussions on talks with Israel. (MM, WT 6/13; ATL, DUS, HINA [Zagreb], Interfax, IRNA, ITAR-TASS, MENA, al-Quds, Rompres [Bucharest] 6/13 in WNC 6/14; CSM, NYT, WP, WT 6/14; MA, al-Quds 6/14 in WNC 6/15; JP, MEI, MM 6/16; Sabah [Istanbul] 6/15 in WNC 6/21; MIL 6/19 in WNC 6/27; MM 6/20; MEI 6/30)

After a wk. of coalition bargaining to keep his government together following the 6/7 Knesset vote, PM Barak's main partner, Shas (17 Knesset seats), announces it will quit the coalition at the next cabinet mtg. unless Barak agrees to bail out its financially strapped schools, to remove its schools fr. Education Min. oversight, and to legalize its pirate radio stations. Shas's departure would leave Barak with a minority government. (MM 6/13; MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/14; MM 6/15; MA 6/16 in WNC 6/19; WP 6/20; WJW 6/22)

The IDF bulldozes a Palestinian home in East Jerusalem to make way for a road. This is the 13th house demolition in East Jerusalem this yr. (WT 6/14)

In a scathing 4-page letter, `Abid Rabbuh publicly announces his resignation as PA chief negotiator for the final status, revealing the secret Stockholm talks. (MENL 5/15; MENA 5/15 in WNC 5/16; MM, NYT, WT 5/16; AYM 5/16 in WNC 5/18)

U.S. special envoy Ross arrives in Israel fr. Stockholm, along with the new PA, Israeli final status teams. All parties refuse to comment on the success or failure of the Stockholm talks. The State Dept. does not even confirm or deny that Ross was in Sweden, says only that the PA and Israel "are talking to each other in different ways at different levels." (State Dept. daily press briefing 5/15; MM, NYT, WT 5/16; State Dept. daily press briefing, WT 5/17; al-Quds 5/17 in WNC 5/18)

Across the West Bank and Gaza, 1,000s of Palestinians commemorating the Nakba and protesting the stalled peace process and Israel continued detention of Palestinian prisoners clash with IDF troops and border police in the worst fighting since 9/96. 2 PA policemen and 1 Palestinian civilian are killed and 100s are injured by rubber bullets, live ammunition, and tear gas; 14 Israeli soldiers and police officers are also injured. Some exchanges of gunfire are btwn. PA police, Israeli security forces. Arafat, Barak are in contact via their advisers throughout the day, speak by phone in the evening. (LAW, MM 5/15; BDL, LAW, NYT, WP, WT 5/16; ITAR-TASS 5/15, MENA 5/16 in WNC 5/17; AYM, al-Quds 5/16 in WNC 5/18; WJW 5/18; MEI 5/19)

Despite clashes, the Israeli cabinet votes (15-6) to transfer 3 Palestinian villages outside Jerusalem (Abu Dis, Azariyya, Sawahara al-Sharqiyya) fr. area B to area A. Later in the day, the Knesset approves (56-48, with 1 abstention) the cabinet decision. Barak, however, says he will not turn over the villages until he receives an explanation fr. the PA for today's clashes in the territories. (MM 5/15; MENA 5/15 in WNC 5/16; MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/16; MM 5/17; WJW 5/18; MEI 5/19)

10,000s of Jewish settlers rally in Jerusalem's Zion Square to protest further territorial concessions to the Palestinians. The rally was planned by Shas last wk., before today's Knesset vote was announced. (MM 5/15; MM, NYT, WP 5/16; WJW 5/18)

In s. Lebanon, the IDF turns over its Taybiyya post to the SLA, marking the 1st step in a withdrawal fr. Lebanon. (MM, WT 5/17; NYT 5/18)

Arafat arrives in Cairo for 2 days of talks with Pres. Mubarak, FM Musa on the peace process. (MENA 12/28 in WNC 12/29; MENA 12/28, 12/29 in WNC 12/30)

Qatar recalls its envoy to the occupied territories to protest the PA's handling of the Abu Issa embezzlement dispute. (WT 12/29; JP 1/7; MEI 1/28) (see 12/24)

In another gesture before resuming talks with Syria, Israel hands over to Lebanon the bodies of 2 Hizballah mbrs. killed 12/9 in fighting in s. Lebanon. (NYT 12/29; JP 1/7) (see 12/27)

Shas agrees not to quit the governing coalition after Barak budgets $13 m. for its religious schools. (CSM, NYT, WP 12/29; JP 1/7) (see 12/27)