84 / 15237 Results
  • February 16, 2009

    As the quarter opens, Israel’s near total blockade of Gaza enters its 21st month, since Hamas’s takeover of Gaza in 6/07. Israel continues to bar exports fr. Gaza, strictly limit imports, and ban...

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  • January 19, 2009

    The Gaza cease-fire holds, with no Israeli or Palestinian violence reported. Israeli officials say the IDF has accelerated its withdrawal fr. Gaza in hopes that it will be completed by the time U....

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  • October 20, 2008

    By this date, Palestinian factions have agreed to an Egyptian proposal to resume their national unity dialogue in Cairo on 11/9. Hamas and Fatah are considering a draft memorandum of understanding...

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  • October 19, 2008

    In the first such cross-border incident in Gaza since 9/16, the IDF sends bulldozers and armored vehicles into areas n. of Bayt Hanun to level land along the border. In the West Bank, the IDF...

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  • October 13, 2008

    Inside Israel, riots in Acre taper off after Israeli police arrest the Israeli Palestinian whose driving on 10/8 touched off the clashes, charging him with speeding, reckless endangerment, and...

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  • October 11, 2008

    Inside Israel, Israeli Jews and Palestinians in Acre engage in their 4th straight night of rioting and sectarian violence; 2 Palestinian apartment buildings set on fire; some 12 people are...

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  • October 10, 2008

    In Acre, clashes between Israeli Palestinians and Jews continue; residents report at least 3 Arab homes destroyed by fire and several others heavily damaged since 10/8. Overnight, in the West Bank...

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  • October 9, 2008

    In Acre, inside Israel, Israeli Palestinians and Jews clash again when Jews angry over the 10/8 incidents pour into the streets after the lifting of the Yom Kippur fast at sundown and attack and...

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  • October 8, 2008

    Israel imposes a general closure on the West Bank, seals Gaza’s crossings through 10/9 for Yom Kippur. Inside Israel, riots erupt between Israeli Palestinians and Jews in the mixed city of Acre....

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  • August 24, 2008

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts predawn patrols in Tulkarm town and r.c.; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Ramallah, nr. Bethlehem and Jenin; conducts late-night...

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  • May 16, 2008

    Israel’s siege of Gaza, imposed after Hamas’s takeover of the Strip in 6/07, remains tight. In Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conduct late-night arrest raids, house searches in Shuka nr....

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  • March 3, 2008

    Overnight, the IDF makes several air strikes on Gaza, killing 5 Hamas mbrs. before withdrawing ground troops fr. Gaza in the morning, stating that it is suspending Operation Hot Winter during U.S...

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  • December 11, 2007

    UN officials report that Israel has now reduced daily fuel imports to Gaza by 20% and that, as a result, some 400,000 Gazans have lost (or have only limited access to) safe drinking water because...

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  • August 23, 2007

    Overnight, the IDF makes an incursion into Khuza’a nr. Khan Yunis, storming houses, occupying homes and a school as observation posts, clashing with and calling in air strikes on armed...

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  • May 20, 2007

    During the day in Gaza, the IDF fires on Jabaliya r.c., seriously wounding a Palestinian woman inside her home. In the evening, Olmert convenes his security cabinet, which authorized the IDF to...

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  • February 24, 2007

    The Israeli navy fires on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. Dayr alBalah, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF confiscates 199 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of...

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  • November 21, 2006

    Overnight, the IDF sends troops back into Gaza City, surrounding the home of senior Hamas military cmdr. Ayman Dayif Allah Hassanian, ordering him to surrender, fatally shooting him and 2...

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  • August 17, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF fatally shoots a deaf Palestinian working a field nr. the Gaza border e. of al-Bureij r.c.; shells residential areas of Bayt Hanun; conducts air strikes on a workshop in Gaza City...

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  • August 11, 2006

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

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  • August 10, 2006

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

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  • August 9, 2006

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

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  • August 8, 2006

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

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  • August 7, 2006

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

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  • August 3, 2006

    Overnight, the IDF launches ground operations in al-Shuka, using helicopters, drones, and some 50 tanks, armored vehicles, bulldozers; seals off Dahaniyya airport, the eastern entrance to Rafah,...

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  • July 14, 2006

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

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  • May 21, 2006

    The IDF opens Gaza’s Sufa commercial crossing (closed since 5/17); shells Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, injuring a 12-yr.-old Palestinian; sends troops into Hebron to surround the Polytechnic...

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  • March 2, 2006

    Mofaz orders Qarni crossing to remain closed despite warnings by international agencies (see 3/1) that some food supplies are dwindling in Gaza. The IDF conducts 4 air strikes on the n. Gaza no-go...

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  • November 17, 2005

    IDF plainclothesmen fatally shoot wanted al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (AMB) mbrs. Ahmad Abahra and Muhammad Zayid as their car crosses a checkpoint in Jenin in an apparent assassination. The IDF also...

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  • May 16, 2005

    With implementation of Israeli PM Ariel Sharon’s disengagement plan to evacuate troops and settlers fr. Gaza and 4 West Bank settlements slated to begin in mid-8/05, some 1,500 right-wing Israeli...

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  • February 24, 2005

    The IDF fires on a group of Palestinians who attempt to sneak into Israel nr. Gaza’s Sufa crossing to find work, killing 1 Palestinian, detaining 2; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Nablus...

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As the quarter opens, Israel’s near total blockade of Gaza enters its 21st month, since Hamas’s takeover of Gaza in 6/07. Israel continues to bar exports fr. Gaza, strictly limit imports, and ban all but VIPs and emergency medical cases fr. transiting the border. Imports include limited commodities and enough staple goods and fuel for electricity, emergency services, and cooking to preclude a humanitarian crisis, but are insufficient to meet daily needs, adequately maintain basic services, or repair the heavy damage fr. Israel’s 23-day assault on Gaza, Operation Cast Lead (OCL), which ended on 1/18/09. Today, Palestinians fire 2 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) respond with 2 air strikes on tunnels on the Rafah border, causing no injuries. In Bayt Lahiya, 1 Palestinian scavenging scrap metal is killed, 4 are injured when they accidentally trigger unexploded IDF ordnance (UXO). In the West Bank, the IDF bulldozes 20 olive trees on a plot of Palestinian land on the s. border of Ni‘lin, declaring it a closed military zone; conducts synchronized late-night arrest raids, house searches into Tulkarm, neighboring Nur Shams refugee camp (r.c.), and 5 nearby villages; conducts similar late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron; closes a gate in the separation wall nr. Dahiyat al-Barid (located btwn. the separation wall and the Green Line nr. Jerusalem), forcing villagers to travel 1–2 hrs. through the Qalandia crossing to access the rest of the West Bank. The Israeli government authorizes the confiscation of 1,700 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of Palestinian land in the villages of al-Ma‘sara, Umm Salamuna, and Wadi al-Nas nr. Bethlehem for expansion of Efrat and Gush Etzion settlements (2,500 new housing units, increasing the settler population there fr. 9,000 to 30,000). (Mideast Mirror 2/16; NYT, WP 2/17; OCHA 2/18; PCHR 2/19; OCHA 2/24)

The Gaza cease-fire holds, with no Israeli or Palestinian violence reported. Israeli officials say the IDF has accelerated its withdrawal fr. Gaza in hopes that it will be completed by the time U.S. pres.-elect Barack Obama is sworn in on 1/20. Across Gaza, some stores reopen, and traffic along the main north–south route (occupied by the IDF during the war) resumes, though observers say (WP 1/20) that “much of the main highway was nearly impassable from the dirt and debris plowed up by Israel’s military”; Hamas-led police provide traffic control in damaged areas and generally try to assert a presence. Israel allows a small group of foreign reporters into Gaza and permits them to interview Palestinians, but requires them to team report as a pool and runs their coverage through IDF censors, given the continued presence of Israeli soldiers in the field. Israel for the first time since 12/27 allows a few truckloads of commercial goods into Gaza in addition to humanitarian aid; in total, 208 truckloads are allowed entry. Rescue workers continue searching for survivors and uncovering bodies (at least 14 today), particularly in al-Zaytun. (AY, DUS, MM, YA 1/19; NYT, WP, WT 1/20; DUS, al-Hayat, JP, MM, QA 1/21; NYT, PCHR, UNICEF press release, WT 1/22; PCHR 1/29; AP 1/30; WT 2/4; WP 2/8; Electronic Intifada 2/24)

The IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Jenin, Nablus; issues military orders confiscating 3,000 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of land in Yatta s. of Hebron and 13 d. nr. Bethlehem for settlement expansion, and 500 d. of land in Abu Dis for construction of the separation wall around Jerusalem. A Jewish settler driving nr. Ramallah is shot, seriously wounded fr. a passing car. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces evict a family (18 mbrs.) and seal their home in Jabal al-Mukabir, where Israelis are expanding a Jewish settlement. (HA, NYT 1/20; MM 1/21; PCHR 1/22)

By this date, Palestinian factions have agreed to an Egyptian proposal to resume their national unity dialogue in Cairo on 11/9. Hamas and Fatah are considering a draft memorandum of understanding on national reconciliation proposed by Egypt that would be issued at the close of the Cairo summit (see Quarterly Update). (Electronic Intifada [online] 10/28; MNA 11/2; MNR 11/7; AFP 11/8; NYT, WT 11/9)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols, searches houses in al-Khadir, beats 3 Palestinians (ages 28, 37, and 63), claiming that Palestinians in the area had thrown stones at Israeli vehicles on a nearby settlersonly bypass road; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, nr. Hebron. More than 100 Jewish settlers block roads and throw stones at Palestinian cars nr. Qalqilya to prevent Palestinians, accompanied by international and Israeli peace activists, fr. reaching their groves to harvest olives. Inside Israel, Israeli police arrest 6 Israeli Jews fr. Tel Aviv for taking part in recent arson attacks against Israeli Palestinian property in Acre. (BBC 10/20; OCHA, WT 10/22; PCHR, WJW 10/23)

In the first such cross-border incident in Gaza since 9/16, the IDF sends bulldozers and armored vehicles into areas n. of Bayt Hanun to level land along the border. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Bayt Furik nr. Nablus. Jewish settlers fr. Ramat Yishai beat a Palestinian family harvesting olives in Hebron, steal their olives. Jewish settlers fr. Elon Moreh attack Palestinains harvesting olives nr. Nablus. Under pressure to prevent further clashes like those that recently occurred in Acre, Israeli police arrest 3 Israeli Jews for assaulting Palestinians in Jerusalem and stoning Palestinian cars. Also in Israel, right-wing Jewish extremists vandalize buildings in Tel Aviv with graffiti threatening Peace Now secy. gen. Yariv Oppenheimer (cf. 9/24). (OCHA, WT 10/22; PCHR, WJW 10/23; AIC 11/9)

Inside Israel, riots in Acre taper off after Israeli police arrest the Israeli Palestinian whose driving on 10/8 touched off the clashes, charging him with speeding, reckless endangerment, and offending religious sensibilities; the man denies the charges, saying he only drove through a Jewish neighborhood to pick up his daughter from a class. Meanwhile, Israel imposes a general closure on the West Bank, seals Gaza’s crossings for Sukkoth. Overnight, Jewish settlers fr. Adei Ad outpost nr. Ramallah steal olives and destroy olive trees in nearby al-Mughayyir village, sparking fights with Palestinian farmers who arrive in the morning to harvest the groves; no serious injuries are reported. The new synagogue build on East Jerusalem Waqf land, inaugurated on 10/12, opens to Jewish worshipers; Israeli security forces set up checkpoints around the area to prevent Palestinians fr. reaching the site, sparking clashes between the security forces and Palestinians; no serious injuries or arrests are reported. In Hebron, PA security forces claim to find a tunnel under a home, arrest 2 Palestinians allegedly affiliated with Hamas, linking them to the 11 arrested on 10/10 for plotting against the PA. (OCHA 10/15; PCHR 10/16)

Inside Israel, Israeli Jews and Palestinians in Acre engage in their 4th straight night of rioting and sectarian violence; 2 Palestinian apartment buildings set on fire; some 12 people are arrested. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts latenight arrest raids, house searches in Tubas and nr. Bethlehem, Jenin, Nablus. Jewish settlers fr. Susia nr. Hebron raid nearby a Palestinian home, beat 3 Palestinians. Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar and Brakha attack local Palestinians harvesting olives. (WP 10/12; NYT 10/13; OCHA 10/15; PCHR 10/16)

In Acre, clashes between Israeli Palestinians and Jews continue; residents report at least 3 Arab homes destroyed by fire and several others heavily damaged since 10/8. Overnight, in the West Bank, the IDF makes an incursion into Bayt Umar nr. Hebron, raiding, searching, and occupying 2 homes; in the morning, troops fire rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians and international peace activists who gather for a nonviolent protest, injuring 3 Palestinians and 1 international activist, arresting 9 Palestinians (including 3 children), releasing most and withdrawing by evening. The IDF also fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, percussion grenades at Palestinian, Israeli, international peace activists taking part in a nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Bil‘in (injuring 5); fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, international peace activists taking part in a similar nonviolent demonstration in Ni‘lin (injuring 6); conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar attack a Palestinian family harvesting olives nearby, damage 15 trees. Jewish settlers fr. Abracha settlement nr. Nablus attack Palestinians harvesting olives nearby; 6 Palestinians require hospitalization. In Hebron, PA security forces raid a home in Hebron, confiscating weapons and explosives, arresting 11 Hamas-affiliated Palestinians, accusing them of planning to use the arms against the PA. (NYT 10/13; OCHA 10/15; PCHR 10/16)

In Acre, inside Israel, Israeli Palestinians and Jews clash again when Jews angry over the 10/8 incidents pour into the streets after the lifting of the Yom Kippur fast at sundown and attack and vandalize Palestinian homes and shops in Arab neighborhoods, sparking fistfights and stone-throwing exchanges; Israeli police fire tear gas, percussion grenades, water cannon to disperse the crowds, also arresting several people; no serious injuries are reported. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces escort 100s of Israeli Jews into the al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard to pray. (WP 10/10; OCHA 10/15; PCHR 10/16)

Israel imposes a general closure on the West Bank, seals Gaza’s crossings through 10/9 for Yom Kippur. Inside Israel, riots erupt between Israeli Palestinians and Jews in the mixed city of Acre. Clashes are sparked when Jews observing Yom Kippur (when all traffic in Israel’s Jewish population centers halts) attack an Israeli Palestinian family driving through a predominantly Jewish neighborhood, believing that they are deliberately breaking the sanctity of the holy day. Though the family is only lightly injured, rumors quickly spread through Arab areas of Acre that 1 was killed. Seeking revenge, 100s of angry Palestinian youths rampage through Jewish areas, vandalizing cars and breaking shop windows. In Gaza, the UN reports that 1 rocket was fired toward Israel between 10/1 and 10/7 but landed inside Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF soldiers nr. Tulkarm bar local Palestinians fr. harvesting their olive groves, citing the Yom Kippur holiday; conduct late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. (OCHA 10/8 PCHR 10/9; WP 10/10; NYT 10/13; OCHA 10/15; PCHR 10/16)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts predawn patrols in Tulkarm town and r.c.; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Ramallah, nr. Bethlehem and Jenin; conducts late-night patrols in al-Fara‘a r.c. and Tammun village nr. Tubas. Jewish settlers fr. Brakha settlement nr. Nablus burn 7 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of Palestinian agricultural land. Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim nr. Qalqilya stone Palestinian vehicles passing by the settlement, causing no injuries; the IDF removes them. In Hebron, a group of Jewish settlers beats 2 Palestinians. As the Palestinian school yr. begins, the Ramallah-based, Fatah-run Palestinian Teachers’ Union calls on Gaza’s 10,000 teachers and school administrators to strike to protest Hamas’s de facto rule, acknowledging that the strike is, in part, intended to disrupt life in Gaza and weaken the Hamas government; the PA pledges to continue to pay the teachers’ salaries as long as they observe the strike, which lasts through the end of the quarter; Hamas authorities quickly begin contracting 1,000s of substitute teachers to keep schools running. (OCHA 8/27; PCHR 8/28; WT 10/15)

Israel’s siege of Gaza, imposed after Hamas’s takeover of the Strip in 6/07, remains tight. In Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conduct late-night arrest raids, house searches in Shuka nr. Rafah, arresting 3 Palestinians, wounding 1 with live ammunition, bulldozing 8 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of greenhouses and a poultry farm (killing 50,000 chickens). In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Qaryut nr. Nablus, detaining 4 Palestinians (including 3 teenagers) for questioning; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin and Hebron (partially bulldozing a Palestinian home in Bayt Umar); fires rubber-coated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, international activists taking part in the weekly nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Bil‘in n. of Jerusalem nr. Ramallah (10s suffer tear gas inhalation); and beats demonstrators at a similar protest al-Ma‘sara nr. Bethlehem (lightly injuring 3). Nr. Nablus, 10s of armed Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar vandalize Palestinian homes in nearby Asira al-Qibliyya. In Gaza City, unknown assailants detonate a bomb outside a Catholic school in Gaza City, causing damage but no injuries. (OCHA 5/21; PCHR 5/22)

U.S. pres. George W. Bush ends a 4-day visit to Israel to mark Israel’s 60th anniversary (see Quarterly Update in JPS 148). (NYT, WP, WT 5/17; NYT 5/19)

Overnight, the IDF makes several air strikes on Gaza, killing 5 Hamas mbrs. before withdrawing ground troops fr. Gaza in the morning, stating that it is suspending Operation Hot Winter during U.S. Secy. of State Condoleezza Rice’s upcoming 3/4–5 visit. The toll for the 5-day operation is at least 110 Palestinians (half of them civilians, including at least 24 children; Hamas says it lost 37 mbrs.; Islamic Jihad and the PRCs say they lost 15) and 3 Israelis dead (1 civilian inside Israel, 2 IDF soldiers in Gaza), and nearly 400 Palestinians injured (most of them civilians). In addition, 21 Palestinian homes were destroyed (leaving 147 Gazans homeless) and 88 heavily damaged (affecting 616 Gazans), 90 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of agricultural land was bulldozed, and 80 Palestinians were detained for questioning (at least 5 were remanded to Israel). Palestinians fired more than 200 rockets (allegedly including 21 Grads). The IDF, however, makes more air strikes during the day, killing another 3 Palestinians (at least 2 of them civilians, including a child), destroying the Palestinian Council (PC) headquarters in Gaza City. Palestinians fire 18 rockets (allegedly including 1 Grad) into Israel, causing damage but no injuries; 1 rocket lands inside Gaza, hitting a home, wounding 2 Palestinians. In the West Bank, 1,000s of Palestinians demonstrate against Operation Hot Winter; a Jewish settler fr. Talmon B settlement nr. Ramallah fires on demonstrators in nearby al-Mazra‘a, killing a Palestinian teenager; IDF soldiers fire on another protest nr. Hebron, wounding 2 Palestinians. The IDF also exchanges fire with Palestinian gunmen nr. Bethlehem, wounding 3; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem, and nr. Hebron, Jenin, Nablus. (BBC, NYT, PCHR, REU, WP 3/3; MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/4; PCHR 3/6; OCHA 4/18)

UN officials report that Israel has now reduced daily fuel imports to Gaza by 20% and that, as a result, some 400,000 Gazans have lost (or have only limited access to) safe drinking water because of lack of fuel to run pumps, water treatment facilities, and generators; vaccinations and medicines have spoiled at some hospitals because of inconsistent power to run refrigerators. Overnight, the IDF sends some 30 tanks and APCs supported by helicopters and warplanes into s. Gaza border areas, allegedly to look for rocket-launching sites, clashing with Palestinian gunmen, killing 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs. and 3 PRC mbrs., wounding 13 Palestinians (including 5 civilians), rounding up all males age 15–50 for questioning, detaining 10s, demolishing 1 Palestinian home, bulldozing 133 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of land before withdrawing late in the evening. The IDF also makes 2 air strikes on rocket-launching sites in n. Gaza, killing 2 Palestinians. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes a Palestinian home in Jerusalem’s Old City; raids the offices of several media outlets in Nablus (including Afaq TV, al-Nahar, al-Quds) accused of “supporting terrorism,” confiscating computers and documents, and clashing with local gunmen, wounding 3. Separately in Nablus, 1 AMB is killed when explosives he is handling detonate prematurely. (WT 12/11; OCHA, WP 12/12; PCHR 12/13; WP 12/15)

Overnight, the IDF makes an incursion into Khuza’a nr. Khan Yunis, storming houses, occupying homes and a school as observation posts, clashing with and calling in air strikes on armed Palestinians who confront them (wounding at least 6 Palestinians, including 2 civilians), bulldozing 6 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of Palestinian land, detaining 5 Palestinians (4 of whom are released later in the day). During the day, IDF troops on the Gaza border fire a surface-tosurface missile into Gaza at a group of Hamas mbrs., killing 1 Hamas mbr., wounding 1. Islamic Jihad mbrs. fire an RPG at an IDF patrol on the Gaza border nr. Dayr al-Balah, causing no damage or injuries. Nr. Gaza City, 1 Hamas mbr. is killed, another wounded when a roadside bomb they are planting explodes prematurely. In 2 separate incidents in Hebron, Jewish settlers attack, vandalize Palestinian homes. In Wadi al-Juz in East Jerusalem, the IDF raids a home where some 25 Israeli Palestinian religious figures, including Islamic Movement head Shaykh Raed Salah, are having a dinner, ordering the group to disband because they are holding an “illegal meeting”; when the group refuses, the IDF fires percussion grenades into the home, injuring 4. (REU 8/23; OCHA 8/29; PCHR 8/30)

During the day in Gaza, the IDF fires on Jabaliya r.c., seriously wounding a Palestinian woman inside her home. In the evening, Olmert convenes his security cabinet, which authorized the IDF to step up attacks on Hamas, Islamic Jihad. Soon after, the IDF makes an air strike targeting IQB cmdr. Samih Farwanah in Gaza City, who is at the home of Hamas-affiliated Change and Reform Palestinian Council (PC) mbr. Khalil al-Haya, assassinating Farwanah, killing 7 of Haya’s relatives, wounding more than 12; fires a missile at Hamas mbr. Nasser Hammuda, biking through Gaza City, wounding him in an apparent assassination attempt; makes an air strike on an alleged Hamas weapons factory in Gaza City, killing 1 Palestinian security guard, wounding 3 bystanders; makes an air strike on the home of an Islamic Jihad mbr., destroying it and a neighboring meeting hall, causing no injuries; shells residential areas of Bayt Lahiya, heavily damaging 2 homes, wounding 6 Palestinians. Palestinians fire at least 12 rockets, 2 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, damaging 2 trucks on the Israeli side of the Qarni crossing but causing no injuries. In Rafah, an al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) mbr. is injured when explosives he is handling detonate prematurely. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in al-Arub r.c nr. Hebron and in and around Bethlehem, Jenin town and r.c.; raids 4 TV and radio stations in Nablus seizing computers and broadcasting equipment; begins bulldozing 130 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of apricot and date orchards nr. Artas nr. Bethlehem to make way for the separation wall. Under IDF escort, Jewish settlers fr. Efrat nr. Bethlehem uproot Palestinian trees nr. the settlement. Jewish settlers fr. Karme Tzur nr. Hebron unleash an attack dog on a Palestinian farmer working his land nr. the settlement, injuring him. Meanwhile, Hamas, Fatah observe a ceasefire during the day; stores begin to reopen and residents venture out for the 1st time in a wk. (HA, IFM, NYT, PCHR, WP 5/20; HA, NYT, OCHA, PCHR, WP, WT 5/21; OCHA 5/23; PCHR 5/24)

Overnight, Lebanese police and soldiers raid several homes in Tripoli in an attempt to capture a group connected to the tiny militant group, Fatah al-Islam (FI), that was suspected of carrying out a bank robbery on 5/19. The raids spark gun battles that quickly spread throughout the city and to the outskirts of Nahr al-Barid r.c. (pop. 40,000), where FI is based. When FI forces leave the camp to ambush and capture nearby army positions, the Lebanese army fires tank shells, mortars into the camp, quickly precipitating massive clashes (including RPG, heavy weapons fire by FI) that continue throughout the day. In total, at least 27 Lebanese soldiers, 20 FI mbrs., and 9 Palestinian civilians inside the camp are killed and scores are wounded during the day. By nightfall, the army regains control of areas surrounding the camp, seals the camp to prevent militants fr. escaping; cuts water and electricity to the camp to urge a surrender. Syria closes several border crossings n. and w. of Tripoli in reaction. Separately, a car bomb explodes nr. a shopping mall in the Christian neighborhood of Achrifiyya in Beirut, killing 1 Lebanese woman, wounding 12; no group claims responsibility. (AP, NYT, REU, WP, WT 5/21; WT 5/24; NYT 6/20, 7/7)

The Israeli navy fires on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. Dayr alBalah, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF confiscates 199 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of Palestinian land w. of Jenin nr. Yabad to expand Road 585; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Jenin town and r.c., Nablus, Qabatya, Qalqilya and nr. Hebron, Jenin. In Gaza, unidentified assailants detonate an explosive device outside the apartment of senior PA security officer Col. Sulayman Khadir, wounding 4 bystanders, causing extensive damage. (OCHA 2/28; PCHR 3/1)

Overnight, the IDF sends troops back into Gaza City, surrounding the home of senior Hamas military cmdr. Ayman Dayif Allah Hassanian, ordering him to surrender, fatally shooting him and 2 bystanders (including a 70-yr.-old woman) in an exchange of gunfire, also bulldozing 20 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of olive, citrus groves. Palestinians fire 5 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, hitting a factory, killing an Israeli. Early in the morning, the IDF sends troops back into n. Gaza, clashing with Palestinians in Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, Jabaliya and also shelling the area, killing 1 Palestinian gunman, wounding at least 17 Palestinians; also leaving 2 IDF soldiers injured. The IDF also fires on Palestinian fisherman off the s. Gaza coast, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin (firing on stone-throwing Palestinians, wounding 2) and Nablus, in al-Bireh, Jericho, Tulkarm r.c. In Gaza City, an unidentified gunman shoots, wounds fmr. Palestinian Council (PC) mbr. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Shahin (Fatah) as he leaves a radio studio after giving an interview criticizing Hamas. In Khan Yunis, unidentified gunman kidnap, hold for several hrs. 2 Italian Red Cross employees, releasing them unharmed without comment. (MM 11/21; MM, NYT, OCHA, WP 11/22; PCHR 11/23)

In Gaza, the IDF fatally shoots a deaf Palestinian working a field nr. the Gaza border e. of al-Bureij r.c.; shells residential areas of Bayt Hanun; conducts air strikes on a workshop in Gaza City, destroying it, damaging 2 nearby homes, wounding 2 bystanders. In the West Bank, the IDF issues military orders confiscating 10s of dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of Palestinian land s. of Tulkarm. Late in the evening in the West Bank, the IDF closes all crossings to Jerusalem; raids al-Ubidiyya nr. Bethlehem, fatally shoots wanted Islamic Jihad mbrs. ‘Uqla Shanayta,Khalid Shanayta in an apparent assassination; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Askar r.c., neighboring Nablus, Yatta nr. Hebron. (PCHR 8/24)

Early in the morning, the IDF begins withdrawing fr. areas of s. Lebanon, giving UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) control. (The IDF does not confirm how many troops are in Lebanon, though at the peak, observers estimated there were as many as 30,000.) Soon after, the Lebanese army begins deploying troops s. of the Litani. In Naqura, 2 Lebanese children are killed when they accidentally detonate unexploded bomblets fr. an Israeli cluster bomb; UN deminers say they have identified 10 locations in s. Lebanon where the IDF used cluster bombs and may pose similar hazards for civilians, saying the 10 sites could be the “tip of the iceberg.” Beirut airport received its 1st commercial flight since it was bombed on 7/13; hopes to be able to resume normal service within a wk. (NYT, WP, WT 8/17; NYT, WP, WT 8/18)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overnight, the IDF launches ground operations in al-Shuka, using helicopters, drones, and some 50 tanks, armored vehicles, bulldozers; seals off Dahaniyya airport, the eastern entrance to Rafah, the main north–south Gaza highway; makes heavy air and artillery strikes on residential areas throughout the day, with Palestinian militants retaliating with antitank and light weapons fire, leaving 2 Hamas mbrs., 2 Islamic Jihad mbrs., 1 PA security officer, 5 bystanders dead and more than 30 Palestinians wounded (including at least 8 militants, 18 civilians). Palestinians fire 4 rockets toward Israel, but all land inside Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya and in ‘Ayn alSultan r.c. nr Jericho, Balata r.c., Hebron, Nablus. (NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 8/3; NYT, WP 8/4; PCHR 8/10)

The IDF operates in 20 villages in s. Lebanon, most of them less than 2 mi. inside the border, engaging in intense clashes with Hizballah (particularly in Bint Jubayl, Maroun al-Ras, Marwahin, Rajmin), with Hizballah killing 4 IDF soldiers, wounding 4, destroying at least 4 APCs in Aita al-Sha‘b and Taybeh. The IDF also continues air strikes across Lebanon, including in s. Beirut (hitting houses of senior Hizballah and Hamas mbrs.), Blat, Nabatiyya, Rashaya, Taybeh, in the Biqa‘ Valley, and in the far n. nr. the border with Syria. Hizballah fires around 180 rockets into n. Israel, killing 5 Israeli civilians in Acre and 3 bedouin in Tarshiha nr. Ma’alot (all 8 killed during a 1- hr. barrage of 40 rockets), also hitting Kiryat Shimona (in another barrage of 30 rockets). (BBC, JAZ, NYT 8/3; AP, NYT, WP, WT 8/4)

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

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

The IDF opens Gaza’s Sufa commercial crossing (closed since 5/17); shells Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, injuring a 12-yr.-old Palestinian; sends troops into Hebron to surround the Polytechnic University campus, firing percussion grenades, tear gas and arresting 7 students; sends undercover units into Tamun nr. Jenin in a car with Palestinian license plates to arrest 3 Palestinians; sends troops into Tubas nr. Jenin, firing on stonethrowing youths who confront them; patrols in, fires on residential areas of Nablus; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Tulkarm and nr. Hebron, Jenin, Nablus. Israeli DM Amir Peretz authorizes the expansion of the “jurisdictional area” of 4 West Bank Jewish settlements, often the prelude to construction of new settlement neighborhoods: Givat Ze’ev nr. Jerusalem (to be expanded by 60 dunum [d.; 4 d. = 1 acre].); Beitar Ilit nr. Bethlehem (to be expanded by 400 d.); Oranit, just over the Green Line nr. Kefar Saba; Maskiyot, in the Jordan Valley, where Israel plans to relocate the 40 settlers evacuated fr. Shirat Hayam settlement in Gaza. Jewish settlers fr. Ma’on nr. Hebron attack Palestinian school children being escorted to school by the IDF, injuring 2. PA security forces find, dismantle a 150-lb roadside bomb planted along the motorcade route of Internal Security Service dir. gen. Rashid Abu Shibak, who was appointed by Abbas to the new position on 4/6 in a bid to wrest control of the security forces away fr. Interior M Siyam; no group takes responsibility, but Fatah officials hint that Hamas is to blame, note that the PRCs have previously fired on his home. In reaction, 100s of Fatah mbrs. rally in Gaza City in support of the PA security forces, offering to volunteer their services to counterbalance Siyam’s new volunteer force. Overnight, a previously unknown group calling itself the al-Qa‘ida Organization of the State of Palestine claims responsibility for the 5/20 attack on Abu Rajab in a statement on the Internet. (MM, NYT 5/22; OCHA 5/24; see also MA 5/20 in WNC 5/21; PCHR, PNN 5/25)

Mofaz orders Qarni crossing to remain closed despite warnings by international agencies (see 3/1) that some food supplies are dwindling in Gaza. The IDF conducts 4 air strikes on the n. Gaza no-go zone, damaging several roads, cutting electricity to parts of Bayt Hanun; begins construction of a new 20-mi segment of the separation wall s. of Hebron that will isolate 3,000 Palestinians and 80,000 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of Palestinian land; tightens restrictions on Palestinian travel around Tulkarm; demolishes a Palestinian home nr. East Jerusalem; conducts arrest raids, house searches in ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’ r.c., Balata r.c., Tulkarm (firing on residential areas). In retaliation for the 3/1 assassination of Islamic Jihad mbr. Dadu, the AMB, PRCs fire 10 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Palestinian gunmen occupy the PC building in Gaza, fire weapons, demand to speak to the newly elected Hamas leadership to demand the reinstatement of some PA employees who were laid off 2 wks. ago. A Palestinian stabs, wounds an Israeli truck driver at the Atarot industrial zone in n. Jerusalem. (AFP, HA, IMEMC 3/2; NYT 3/3; NYT 3/4; PCHR 3/9)

The PA says it will be 2 wks. late in paying civil servants their 2/06 salaries because of Israel’s decision to cut off VAT transfers and the time it will take to secure additional funds. (REU 3/2)

IDF plainclothesmen fatally shoot wanted al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (AMB) mbrs. Ahmad Abahra and Muhammad Zayid as their car crosses a checkpoint in Jenin in an apparent assassination. The IDF also erects a new observation tower nr. Kiryat Arba settlement in Hebron; sends troops into Silwad nr. Ramallah, fires on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops, wounding and arresting 2; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Hebron, nr. Tulkarm; begins work on a new segment of the separation wall northwest of Ramallah that is expected to seize at least 5,330 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of land in Abud village; bulldozes 26 d. of land outside Bethlehem for construction of a permanent IDF post. Palestinians in Bethlehem report that for the past few days, the IDF has imposed new arrangements at the entrances to the city, requiring tourists entering and exiting to leave their busses, enter a transit hall for passport and baggage checks and customs processing that last up to 2 hrs. The Israel Lands Admin. issues tenders for construction of 13 new housing units in Ma’ale Adumim settlement nr. Jerusalem; the Israeli Housing Min. issues tenders for construction of infrastructure projects in Adam, Ariel, Ma’ale Adumim settlements. Jewish settlers beat a Palestinian harvesting his olive trees in Awarta. In Gaza, 100s of AMB mbrs. fire rifles in the air, defying the ban on carrying weapons in public, calling for reform within Fatah, demanding jobs and an international investigation into the 11/04 death of Yasir Arafat based on rumors (thus far unsubstantiated) that he was poisoned. In Nablus, AMB mbrs. protesting a recent PA crackdown on illegal weapons and criminal activity fire on PA police, leaving 1 PA policeman wounded. (Arab Hotel Association press release, PCHR, REU, XIN, YA 11/17; HA, NYT, WP, WT 11/18; PCHR 11/24)

Likud PM Ariel Sharon agrees to the demand of his coalition partner, newly elected Labor leader Amir Peretz, to hold early elections in 2/06 or 3/06. (BBC, WT 11/17; NYT, WP 11/18)

With implementation of Israeli PM Ariel Sharon’s disengagement plan to evacuate troops and settlers fr. Gaza and 4 West Bank settlements slated to begin in mid-8/05, some 1,500 right-wing Israeli disengagement protesters, mostly young Jewish settlers, try to block around 100 intersections across Israel in one of the largest demonstrations to date. Israeli police deploy 1,000s of officers to keep roads open, demonstrations peaceful; arrest around 400 protesters. In the occupied territories, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) fatally shoots a Palestinian who allegedly attempts to stab a solider at a checkpoint outside Tulkarm (Palestinian observers dispute this, saying the man was angry, but merely approached the soldiers to question delays at the checkpoint); conducts arrest raids, house searches in Askar refugee camp (r.c.; targeting wanted al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade [AMB] mbrs), al-Mughayyir n. of Ramallah, Sawahara e. of Jerusalem. Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim bulldoze 30 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of olive trees nr. Qalqilya. A Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. (IMEMC, MM, PRCS 5/16; JTA, MM 5/17; OCHA, PR, WP 5/18; PCHR 5/19)

The IDF fires on a group of Palestinians who attempt to sneak into Israel nr. Gaza’s Sufa crossing to find work, killing 1 Palestinian, detaining 2; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Nablus. A Jewish settler seriously injures a 12-yr.-old Palestinian, a 13-yr.-old Palestinian in a hit-and-run nr. Qalqilya; an Israeli ambulance refuses to evacuate the children to an Israeli hospital, taking them to Nablus instead. Jewish settlers fr. Karme Tzur nr. Hebron seize 25 d. of neighboring Palestinian land to expand their settlement. Some 20 Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba seize 15 dunams (d.; 4 dunams = 1 acre) of Palestinian land to build a settler-only road linking the settlement to the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs, scuffle with Palestinian residents, injuring 3. A Palestinian bystander dies of injuries received during the IDF’s 1/26 assassination of a Hamas mbr. in Qalqilya. (VOP 2/25; PCHR 3/3)

After the Palestinian Council (PC) gives its approval (54–12, with 4 abstentions, 14 not attending), PA Pres. Mahmud Abbas swears in PM Ahmad Qurai‘’s new cabinet. Abbas says that the cabinet’s first main goals will be providing security, reform, holding legislative elections. (AFP, AP, JAZ, MM, PSCT, REU, VOI, VOP 2/24; MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/25; HA, HJ, VOP 2/28; PR 3/2; MEI 3/4)