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  • August 6, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian-owned vehicles in the Old City of Hebron, causing damage. 20 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Beit Sira, Hebron...

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  • January 2, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces raided a Palestinian-owned house in Kaubar and took measures to punitively demolish it; 2 of the house’s occupants are detained by Israel. Israeli forces also...

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  • April 1, 2018

    Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian protesters participating in the Great March of Return near Jabaliya refugee camp, Gaza City, Khan Yunis, and Rafah for a 3d day in a...

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  • June 7, 2015

    In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure 2 Palestinian men after they throw a pipe bomb at an IDF site nr. Bethlehem, and the IDF consequently conducts raids in the area and temporarily...

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  • August 21, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, the IDF continues its assault, launching air strikes on approximately 47 targets, killing 38 Palestinians and injuring dozens. Among the 38 are 3 high-ranking commanders in al-...

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  • April 27, 2014

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night; patrols in Tulkarm and 1 village nr. Salfit in the morning, in 1...

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  • September 19, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in Hebron and 2 nearby villages and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. In Hebron, IDF soldiers clash with students,...

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  • March 10, 2013

    The head of IDF Central Command Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon orders that fences nr. Ofra and Adam settlements will be removed, 3 months after a deadline the IDF had committed to at Israel’s High Court of...

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  • January 20, 2013

    In an effort to reopen the Ramallah– Jerusalem road in al-Amari r.c. nr. Ramallah, Palestinian security forces open fire on Palestinians demonstrating in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in...

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  • December 18, 2011

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

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  • March 18, 2011

    Palestinians in Gaza fire an antitank missile at an IDF patrol inside Israel, causing no damage or injuries. During the day, Palestinians also fire 10 mortars toward Israel in 2 barrages, causing...

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  • July 12, 2010

    IDF troops on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials inside the industrial zone, wounding 1 Palestinian. The IDF sends...

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  • December 27, 2008

    After early morning consultations with senior cabinet mbrs., the IDF launches its major offensive on Gaza, Operation Cast Lead (OCL), at 11:25 A.M. local time (4:25 A.M. EST). Israeli DM Barak...

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  • October 14, 2008

    Egyptian border police blow up 10 smuggling tunnels along the Rafah border, causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian teenager nr. Beit El settlement nr...

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  • July 9, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF makes air strikes on a carload of Hamas mbrs. in Rafah (killing 1 Palestinian bystander, wounding 6 bystanders, 2 Hamas mbrs.), a carload of Palestinian gunmen in Gaza City (...

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  • June 30, 2006

    Overnight in Gaza, the IDF makes air strikes on at least 20 targets, including PA Interior Min. offices (saying they were used to plan terrorist attacks), buildings used by the AMB and Hamas, an...

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  • May 14, 2006

    The IDF raids Qabatya, surrounds the home of senior Islamic Jihad military leader Elias al-Ashkar, killing Ashkar and 4 Islamic Jihad mbrs. in an exchange of fire, sparking massive protests in...

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  • April 14, 2006

    The IDF continues to shell n. Gaza (wounding a Palestinian in Jabaliya r.c.), sends armored bulldozers several dozen yards inside Gaza for a 2d day to search for buried explosives, as IDF Dep....

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  • April 13, 2006

    The IDF sends armored bulldozers several dozen yards into Gaza to look for buried explosives; shells the n. Gaza no-go zone and the border area nr. Khan Yunis, causing no injuries; closes the...

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  • August 18, 2005

    In the morning, the IDF says that 70% of Gaza settlers have been evacuated, most Gaza residents have not resisted the evacuation, most protests and resistance are by West Bank settler youth (and...

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  • July 24, 2003

    The IDF conducts arrest raids in Hebron (targeting the AMB), Jenin (targeting Islamic Jihad), Ramallah (targeting the AMB). Israeli border police fatally shoot a bedouin driving in the Negev when ...

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  • October 3, 2002

    The IDF fires on Palestinians in Jenin, killing 1 Palestinian vendor in the central market; conducts arrest raids in Satar al-Gharbiyya. Palestinians fire on workers building Israeli...

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  • March 8, 2002

    Israel intensifies its offensive across the West Bank and Gaza, leaving more than 40 Palestinian dead (including 3 paramedics), 200 injured--the highest single-day toll since the al-Aqsa intifada...

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  • June 28, 1998

    Arafat visits Qatar, Bahrain; secures backing for Arab summit to be held "as soon as possible." (MEI 7/3)

    Outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Matan Vilnai says that the current Israeli...

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  • May 10, 1998

    In 3d mtg. with U.S. envoy Ross, PM Netanyahu presents proposal for an "escrow" arrangement for FRD (see Peace Monitor). After presenting the idea to PA officials, who reject it, Ross...

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  • March 11, 1998

    In Dura nr. Hebron, Palestinians demonstrate following the funeral for 3 Palestinian laborers killed by the IDF 3/10; 32 Palestinians, 1 Israeli border policeman are injured....

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  • July 23, 1997

    Unidentified assailants fire 4 tracer bullets at IDF Maj. Gen. Matan Vilna'i's helicopter as it overflies the Palestinian village of Salfit in the West Bank. IDF has no leads. (ITV 7/24 in WNC 7/...

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  • December 27, 1996

    PA, Israeli negotiators continue talks, say they hope to finalize a Hebron deal by 1/1, complete redeployment by 1/5. Debates continue on security control of Tomb of the Patriarchs/al-Ibrahimi...

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  • October 27, 1996

    Israeli chief negotiator for civilian affairs Maj. Gen. Oren Shahor presents Hebron settler leaders with IDF's new redeployment plan in preparation for Netanyahu mtgs. with settler leaders next wk...

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  • March 24, 1996

    IDF eases closure to permit Palestinians to return to their jobs in West Bank Jewish settlements; allows ambulances to transport medial emergencies fr. West Bank, Gaza into Israel, but they must...

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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian-owned vehicles in the Old City of Hebron, causing damage. 20 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Beit Sira, Hebron, Jenin, Tubas, Tulkarm, and Qalandia refugee camp. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting Israeli air strikes on Gaza at the Damascus Gate plaza, assaulting several and arresting 1. In Gaza, Israel continued its assault on Gaza for the 2d day in a row, assassinating Islamic Jihad commander in southern Gaza Khaled Mansour, using fighter jets to fire 6 missiles on a 3-story building in Rafah refugee camp; 2 other members of Islamic Jihad were killed in the assassination, as were 4 others, including 1 child. 35 were injured, including 18 children. Israel further killed 7 other Palestinians in air strikes: 2 on a street in Beit Hanun; 2 riding a motorcycle in Khan Yunis; 2 near a market in Khan Yunis; and 1 while firing a mortar shell east of Jabaliya. Additionally, 7 Palestinians were killed in an explosion in Jabaliya refugee camp, including 4 children; it was unclear whether the explosion was caused by an Israeli missile or misfire of an Islamic Jihad rocket. This raises the death toll from Israel’s Operation Breaking Dawn to 31 since 8/5, including 10 children. 265, including 95 children, have been injured. The Gaza power plant stopped operations in the middle of the day due to a lack of fuel. 2 Israeli soldiers were reportedly lightly injured by a mortar shell. (AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, ALM, ALM, AP, AX, GDN, HA, HA, MDW, MDW, MEE, MEMO, MEMO, NYT, PCHR, PCHR, PCHR, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 8/6; AJ, AJ, AP, CNN, F24, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, JP, NYT, REU, TOI, WAFA 8/7; HA, UNOCHA 8/8; AHQ 8/9; PCHR, REU 8/11; HA 8/13 HA 8/16; UNOCHA 8/19; MDW 9/1)

The UNRWA closed all of its facilities, except for health services, in Gaza due to the Israeli attacks. (WAFA 8/6)

Islamic Jihad leader Ziad al-Nakhala met with head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Hossein Salami in Tehran. Major-General Salami told al-Nakhala that Palestinians are not alone in their struggle against Israel. (AJ 8/6)

U.S. national security council spokesperson John Kirby said that the U.S. is working with Israeli and Palestinian partners to achieve calm in Gaza but “remain[s] unwavering in our commitment to Israel’s security.” Spokesperson Kirby also said that the U.S. “absolutely fully supports Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorist groups.” Secretary of defense Lloyd Austin “expressed concern regarding reports of civilian deaths and called for a timely and thorough investigation into any civilian casualties,” according to a readout of Austin’s conversation with Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz. (AJ, HA, WAFA 8/6; MDW 8/10)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces raided a Palestinian-owned house in Kaubar and took measures to punitively demolish it; 2 of the house’s occupants are detained by Israel. Israeli forces also arrested 11 Palestinians, including 4 during late-night raids in and around Tulkarm, Jenin, and Ramallah; 1 on a street near Nablus; and 7 during daytime raids in and around Ramallah, Nablus, ‘Ayn al-Hilwa, and Hebron. During a daytime raid in Nablus, Israeli forces confiscated a tractor, and separately during a different raid in Nablus, Israeli forces seized carpentry equipment. 1 Palestinian was shot by Israeli forces after he allegedly attempted to carry out a stabbing by the Gush Etzion junction. Israeli forces also seized and impounded a PA health ministry vehicle providing medical services to 1,500 Palestinians in rural areas south of Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces fired tear gas and arrested 3 Palestinians at Bab al-Rahma in the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire east of Khan Yunis; no injuries were reported. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/2; WAFA 1/3; HA 1/7; PCHR 1/9)

9 Palestinians from Issawiyya in East Jerusalem were placed under nighttime curfew between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. 6 of the men were told that they were facing a nighttime curfew on 12/29, but the curfew did not take effect until 1/2. The Israeli military cited a 1945 Mandate-era regulation to justify placing the 9 under nighttime curfew. (HA 1/2)

The U.S. assassinated Iranian major general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and commander of the IRGC’s special forces Quds Force Qasem Soleimani and the deputy chairman of the Iraqi government-sanctioned militia Popular Mobilisation Forces, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, along with several other Iranian and Iraqi officials at Baghdad International airport. The assassinations were carried out by an American MQ-9 drone that fired missiles at the officials’ convoy as it was leaving the airport. The Pentagon released a statement saying that the strike was directed on behest of U.S. president Donald Trump and was aimed at “deterring future Iranian attack plans.” Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a statement that Iran would have 3 days of mourning followed by a retaliation. The speaker of the Iraqi parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi condemned the assassination, calling it “a flagrant breach of sovereignty and violation of international agreements.” (DOD, NYT, REU 1/2; AJ, AJ, AP, CNN, HA, WP 1/3; HA 1/4)

Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian protesters participating in the Great March of Return near Jabaliya refugee camp, Gaza City, Khan Yunis, and Rafah for a 3d day in a row; 8 Palestinians are injured (1 critically). IDF troops also shoot and injure a Palestinian minor along the border fence near Gaza City and arrest 4 unarmed Palestinians attempting to cross into Israel near Rafah. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops arrest 6 Palestinians during raids in and around Tulkarm, Nablus, Jenin, Bethlehem, and Qalqilya; and patrol in and around Hebron and Bethlehem. Israeli settlers flood a Palestinian orchard near Hebron with sewage, damaging some crops. Palestinians throw rocks at an Israeli settler bus near Ramallah, lightly injuring the driver. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces patrol in Abu Dis, sparking clashes with stone-throwing Palestinian students; 6 Palestinians are injured. The IDF arrests 9 Palestinians during late-night raids in Issawiyya. (TOI, WAFA 4/1; MNA 4/2; PCHR 4/5)

IDF Maj. Gen. Mordechai confirms international press reports that the Israeli authorities are withholding the corpses of 2 Palestinians killed along Gaza’s border fence on 3/30. He says that they have no intention of returning the corpses until Hamas returns the remains of the 2 IDF soldiers and the 2 Israeli civilians allegedly being held in Gaza. (JP, TOI, YA 4/1)

Israeli DM Avigdor Lieberman rejects calls from the UN and EU for an independent and transparent investigation into in the Israeli killings of peaceful protesters in Gaza on 3/30. Instead, he says that “our troops deserve a commendation.” (JP, MNA 4/1; HA 4/2)

In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure 2 Palestinian men after they throw a pipe bomb at an IDF site nr. Bethlehem, and the IDF consequently conducts raids in the area and temporarily closes a nearby road. Separately, IDF troops patrol in a village nr. Qalqilya, sparking minor clashes with stone-throwing Palestinian youths; 1 Palestinian is arrested and there are no serious injuries. IDF troops on a late-night arrest raid in Ramallah disperse stone-throwing Palestinian youths. The IDF conducts further raids and house searches in Tulkarm, 3 villages nr. Hebron, and 1 village each nr. Nablus and Bethlehem, arresting 6 Palestinians; patrols in al-Fawar r.c. and 1 village nr. Hebron, 2 villages nr. Jenin, and 1 village each nr. Jericho and Ramallah. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 3 Palestinians exiting Haram al-Sharif. (MNA, WAFA 6/7; MNA 6/8; PCHR 6/11)

IDF maj.-gen. Sami Turgeman, cmdr. of the IDF’s s. operations, says that the recent rockets fired from Gaza “are isolated incidents” and that the IDF will not launch “an operation in the Strip because of them.” He reaffirms that Israel holds Hamas responsible for all rockets from Gaza, but notes that it is making efforts to stop the small Salafist groups from launching the attacks. (HA, JP, TOI 6/7)

According to a senior Israeli official, China recently informed Israel that it will not allow any of its citizens to work on Israel’s West Bank settlements. The restriction comes in the context of bilateral trade negotiations, which Israeli finance min. Moshe Kahlon initiated to facilitate his broader push to expedite construction of housing across Israel. Kahlon is hoping to have thousands of foreign workers come, replacing the current system of private construction firms hiring foreign workers as needed, which has resulted in a series of labor law violations and international criticism. Since 2011, Israel has signed similar agreements with Thailand, Sri Lanka, Bulgaria, Moldova, and Romania, bringing more than 12,000 foreign workers to Israel. (HA, TOI 6/7; AFP 6/8)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF continues its assault, launching air strikes on approximately 47 targets, killing 38 Palestinians and injuring dozens. Among the 38 are 3 high-ranking commanders in al-Qassam Brigades, who are killed overnight by Israeli fighter jets in Rafah. Five Palestinian civilians are also killed in the strike and at least 40 are injured. The armed Palestinian groups fire 109 rockets and mortars into Israel, with 7 landing in built-up areas and 13 intercepted by Iron Dome batteries. One Israeli man is injured with mortar shrapnel nr. Eshkol. Meanwhile, Hamas executes 3 alleged collaborators with Israel, and arrests 7 others. In the West Bank, IDF troops level land nr. Salfit to clear space for an Israeli settlement to expand. Also, the IDF conducts house searches and raids in 4 villages nr. Hebron, Dayr Istya, ‘Askar r.c., al-Bireh, and Bayt Liqya, arresting 9 and issuing summons to 2. Clashes break out with Palestinians in Bayt Liqya, and the Israeli soldiers open fire with live ammunition, tear gas canisters, and sound bombs. Separately, the IDF conducts 4 separate incursions into Hebron and 3 villages n. of Jericho. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces and municipal officials enter Silwan to hand demolition notices to the owners of 2 apartment buildings where 19 Palestinians live. (MNA 8/21; HA 8/22; PCHR 8/28)

There is no major diplomatic progress as disagreements that led to the breakdown of talks on 8/19 remain between the Palestinian factions and the Israeli negotiators. Mishal says in an interview with Turkish Anadolu News Agency that Hamas will keep fighting until Israel meets its terms for a permanent truce, while Israel’s Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai says that Israel will not hold cease-fire negotiations as long as rocket fire from Gaza continues. PA Pres. Abbas travels again to Doha where he will meet with Qatari emir Bin Hamad al-Thani and Hamas leader Mishal to discuss the continued Israeli assault and possible future cease-fire negotiations. Also present are head of the Palestinian delegation in Cairo Azzam al-Ahmad, PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erakat, and PA intelligence chief Majid Faraj. (AA, HA 8/21; MEMO, MNA 8/22)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night; patrols in Tulkarm and 1 village nr. Salfit in the morning, in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 4 villages nr. Hebron, Nablus and 1 village and Balata r.c. nearby, 2 villages nr. Qalqilya and Tulkarm at night. Jewish settlers from Yitzhar chop down an estimated 60 olive trees nr. Nablus. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently disperse Palestinian demonstrators in al-‘Izzariya, a protest in support of defending al-Aqsa mosque from Jewish extremists. There are no serious injuries. (MNA 4/27; PCHR 4/30)

The PLO Central Council in Ramallah adopts a plan to pursue efforts to join 63 UN bodies and international treaties, according to a public statement issued on the final day of a 2-day meeting. Separately, PA Pres. Abbas issues a statement to mark Holocaust Day, denouncing the Nazi genocide. Israeli PM Netanyahu dismisses the comments during an interview with U.S. television network CBS, and says that Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian govt. backed by Hamas. Meanwhile, IDF Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai tells a meeting of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Subcmte. on Judea and Samaria that construction plans for 19 Palestinian villages in Area C of the West Bank have been frozen in response to the reconciliation deal. In addition, U.S. Dep. National Security Adviser Tony Blinken tells CNN that the U.S. is ready to suspend aid to the PA if a unity govt. backed by Hamas fails to recognize Israel. U.S. Special Envoy Indyk leaves Israel for consultations in Washington. EU foreign affairs chief Ashton releases a statement expressing concern over the latest developments in the peace process, and reiterates EU support for the U.S.-led peace talks. She also welcomes the Palestinian unity govt., affirming that it must abide by the principles of nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and commitment to previous agreements. (AFP, JP, REU, WAFA, YA 4/27; HA 4/28)

Remarks made by U.S. Secy. of State Kerry on 4/25 at a private meeting in Washington are published by the Daily Beast, in which he says that without a 2-state solution soon, Israel risks becoming an “apartheid state.” In response, pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC says it is “deeply troubled” by the comments. (HA, NYT 4/28)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in Hebron and 2 nearby villages and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. In Hebron, IDF soldiers clash with students, firing rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas. (WAFA 9/19; PCHR 9/26)

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat writes to U.S. Secy. of State Kerry, Russian FM Lavrov, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon to warn them that Israel’s actions in East Jerusalem are undermining peace talks. (WAFA 9/19)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry calls on the UNSC not to waste any more time in moving to approve the plan for removing Syria’s chemical weapons. Earlier, Russian pres. Putin says that his country has “every reason” to believe that the chemical weapons attack in Damascus was carried out by the rebels as a “provocation.” (AP 9/19)

Gunmen shoot dead an Egyptian police maj.-gen. and wound 9 other policemen and soldiers in clashes on the outskirts of Cairo, after state forces try to arrest suspects involved in the killing of police officers. (AP, REU 9/19)

The head of IDF Central Command Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon orders that fences nr. Ofra and Adam settlements will be removed, 3 months after a deadline the IDF had committed to at Israel’s High Court of Justice. The unauthorized sections of fence are blocking Palestinian farmers from their land. The IDF will defend the settlements with patrols instead. (HA 3/10)

In the West Bank the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Bethlehem, in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, in 3 villages nr. Hebron, in 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 in village nr. Tulkarm at night. (PCHR 3/14)

Yasser al-Wadia, the general coordinator for independent Palestinian political figures, says that Palestinian faction officials, including representatives of Hamas and Fatah, will meet in 4/2013 for renewed national unity talks with Egyptian mediation. (MNA 3/10)

In an effort to reopen the Ramallah– Jerusalem road in al-Amari r.c. nr. Ramallah, Palestinian security forces open fire on Palestinians demonstrating in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israel. Three Palestinian youths are wounded in the legs by live ammunition. (MNA 1/21)

Egyptian security forces seize 1 ton of explosives in the Sinai Peninsula allegedly bound for the Gaza Strip, the largest single such capture. Local media report that police have seized a total of 5 tons of explosives as well as disassembled rockets and automatic weapons in the last 3 mos.—all apparently headed for Gaza. Egyptian maj. gen. Sameeh Bashadi says that in the past 3 days, 10 Palestinians have been detained after entering Sinai illegally from the Gaza Strip and that a list of Palestinians entering Egypt through the tunnels has been distributed to the Egyptian security forces. (HA, MNA 1/20)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF storms the alKaramah protest tent village nr. Bayt Iksa, issues demolition and evacuation orders, and fires stun grenades and tear gas. The IDF also patrols in Jenin in the morning, in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 3 villages nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Tubas and in 2 villages each nr. Hebron and Jenin at night. (MNA 1/20; PCHR 1/23)

Palestinian pres. Abbas arrives in Saudi Arabia to attend the 3d Arab Economic, Social and Developmental Summit, where he renews his call for urgent financial aid. Meanwhile, Palestinian union chief Bassam Zakarneh announces that PA civil servants will hold protests on 1/21 and strike on 1/23 to protest late payment of salaries. (JP 1/21; MNA 1/20)

Hamas official Ghazi Hammad announces that Tunisian pres. Moncef Marzouki will visit the Gaza Strip on 2/9, without giving further details. Meanwhile, Lebanon-based senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan arrives in the Gaza Strip for the 1st time on a visit of a few days. (AFP 1/20; JP 1/21)

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

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

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

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

Palestinians in Gaza fire an antitank missile at an IDF patrol inside Israel, causing no damage or injuries. During the day, Palestinians also fire 10 mortars toward Israel in 2 barrages, causing no damage or injuries; some of the mortars land inside Gaza. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts synchronized morning patrols in Tulkarm and several nearby villages; patrols in alBireh and neighboring al-Am‘ari r.c., and in 3 villages nr. Jericho and Ramallah. Palestinians (sometimes accompanied by Israeli and international activists) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, and Nabi Salih/Dayr Nizam. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, injuring 4 Palestinians, including 2 children. A Jewish settler deliberately attempts to run down a Palestinian nr. the Hawara checkpoint nr. Nablus, moderately injuring him; the IDF does not intervene. Jewish settlers fr. Taffuh settlement attempt to seize a plot of nearby Palestinian agricultural land but are sent away by the IDF. Jewish settlers close Jit intersection nr. Qalqilya with burning tires, blocking the main Qalqilya-Nablus road. In separate incidents, Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim and Karnei Shomron settlements stone Palestinian vehicles nr. Qalqilya. In East Jerusalem, Palestinians clash with Israeli border police in Silwan, leaving at least 1 Israeli officer injured. (IsRN, JP 3/18; WP 3/19; PCHR 3/24; OCHA 4/1)

After 2 days of clashes with protesters, arrest raids targeting opposition figures, and imposition of a nighttime curfew in Manama, Bahrain’s troops demolish the giant pearl monument in Pearl Square in a symbolic crushing of antigovernment protesters. No further demonstrations are reported this quarter. By 3/20 observers describe daily life returning to normal (schools and stores reopen, traffic moving) but note “a sense of political paralysis.” Saudi, UAE, and Kuwaiti forces remain in the country through the end of the quarter. (WP 3/19; NYT 3/21)

In Syria, govt. forces violently disperse protests (ranging in size fr. the 100s to the 1,000s) held after Friday prayers in Baniyas, Dara‘a, Damascus, and Homs, fatally shooting 6 protesters and wounding 10s. Though protests are small, the govt. response is harsh and tensions are high. (NYT, WP 3/19)

In Yemen, govt. troops and supporters open fire for more than 20 minutes on protesters demonstrating after Friday prayers in Sana’a, leaving at least 47 dead and 100s injured but failing to disperse the crowd. Afterward, the govt. declares a state of emergency, allowing authorities to curtail civil rights and monitor communications. Over the next 5 days, Yemen’s ambassador to the UN, several other ambassadors, the country’s most influential military commander Maj. Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar (a relative and very close ally of Pres. Saleh), and 4 other generals resigned in protest, and Saleh’s own tribe and another key tribal leader called on him to step down. Saleh also fires his cabinet in an apparent attempt to preempt a mass resignation to protest recent deadly clashes. Popular protests also continued. (NYT, WP 3/19; NYT, WP 3/20–21; NYT, WP, WT 3/22–23; NYT, WP 3/24)

IDF troops on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials inside the industrial zone, wounding 1 Palestinian. The IDF sends troops into the former settlement sites inside the n. Gaza border to patrol the area to keep scavengers away; troops fire on the area but no injuries are reported. IDF troops make a brief incursion into s. Gaza to level land along the border e. of al-Qarara to clear lines of sight, shooting and wounding a farmer working his land 700 m fr. the border. In the West Bank, the IDF sends troops into Bidya village nr. Salfit at midday to search several stores, making no arrests; makes an incursion in Hijja village nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon, patrolling streets and photographing homes before withdrawing without incident; patrols in Shaqba village nr. Ramallah in the evening, making no arrests; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Qalqilya and nr. Ramallah, Salfit, Tulkarm. Jewish settlers escorted by IDF troops enter Awarta village nr. Nablus to hold religious ceremonies. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba nr. Hebron severely beat a 65-yr.-old Palestinian man. (PCHR 7/15; OCHA 7/16)

IDF Maj. Gen. (ret.) Giora Eiland, who headed the Israeli military’s internal inquiry into the 5/31 Gaza flotilla incident, releases brief excerpts of his classified 100-page final report to the IDF chief of staff concluding that overall the “the entire operation is estimable,” praising soldiers for their “professionalism, bravery, and resourcefulness.” While the report faults planning for the operation as inadequate (relying “excessively on a single course of action . . . while no alternative courses of action were prepared”), it deems the use of live fire on the passengers “justified.” (IFM 7/12; NYT, WP 7/13; JPI 7/23)

After early morning consultations with senior cabinet mbrs., the IDF launches its major offensive on Gaza, Operation Cast Lead (OCL), at 11:25 A.M. local time (4:25 A.M. EST). Israeli DM Barak acknowledges (WP 12/28) that OCL has been planned for several months, stating that the aim is “to strike Hamas severely so as to change the situation from its base,” cautioning that “it won’t be short.”

Israeli actions: After an initial “shock and awe campaign” lasting 3 min. and 40 sec., with 64 warplanes hitting more than 50 targets across the Strip, the IDF conducts periodic air strikes throughout the day, recording a total of 170 sorties against 150 targets, killing at least 228 Palestinians, wounding more than 700 (140 seriously), marking the highest single-day death toll and Israel’s largest offensive in the territories since 1967. The midday timing of the initial onslaught, just as schools let out for lunch, increases the number of civilian casualties, including an estimated 25 women and children. Israeli Military Intelligence sends automated calls to 20,000 Palestinians across the Strip warning of further air strikes targeting anyone with weapons or guns.

Targets struck are primarily civil police stations, military training bases, Hamas-related command-and-control centers, suspected weapons depots, and sites believed to manufacture rockets. Target areas include Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (the city center and al-Daraj, al-Shuja‘iyya, Tal al-Hawa, alTuffah, al-Zaytun neighborhoods), Jabaliya r.c., Khan Yunis, al-Mughraqa (s. of Gaza City), Rafah, Shati’ r.c., and al-Zahra’ (c. Gaza nr. Jabaliya).

Palestinian actions: Palestinians fire 59 rockets (including some that reach the farthest north to date), 19 mortars into Israel during the day, killing 1 Israeli civilian in Netivot, wounding 4. (The fatality may have occurred before the official launch of OCL.)

Humanitarian notes: Gaza’s hospitals report (BBC 12/27) overflowing wards and not enough surgeons or supplies to cope. Egypt temporarily opens the Rafah crossing to allow transportation of some wounded to Egyptian hospitals.

Of note: During the initial “shock and awe,” the IDF hits a police academy graduation ceremony in Gaza City, killing at least 60 new civil police recruits and the chief of Palestinian police Maj. Gen. Tawfiq Jabber. Other targets include Gaza City’s main jail (the Saraya, holding Hamas opponents, hitting only the gates), the PA Preventive Security headquarters in Gaza City, the PA security compound in Rafah (southern headquarters of the PASF, PA Internal Security Service, and PA civil police), PA naval police facilities in n. Gaza and Khan Yunis, Palestinian Telecommunication Company offices in n. Gaza, a Gaza City mosque identified by the IDF as “a base for terrorist activities,” Hamas’s al-Aqsa TV station, the agriculture control dept. in Khan Yunis, numerous police stations and training sites, at least 9 homes, several workshops (considered rocket-manufacturing sites), and Hamas’s Asda’ media center outside Khan Yunis. One IDF airstrike on a PA ministry building kills 8 Palestinian students at an adjacent UNRWA training center, wounding 19 others (8 seriously). Hamas and Palestinian human rights groups in Gaza estimate that the dead include around 165 civil police officers (including those at the graduation ceremony) and Hamas’s central district governor, Abu Ahmad Ashur. Some targets are hit with U.S.-supplied GBU-39 bunkerbusting munitions received as recently as 9/08 (see Quarterly Update in JPS 150 and the “Israeli Arsenal” document in this issue’s Special Focus section). (al-Arabiyya TV, BBC, HA, IDF, JAZ, Middle East News Agency [Cairo], Palestine News Agency, YA 12/27; AFP, AP, BBC, HA, IFM, JAZ, NYT, Radikal, REU, WP, WT, XIN 12/28; JP, NYT, Zaman [Ankara] 12/29; PCHR 1/1; BBC 12/30; UNOSAT 12/31; JP, WJW 1/1; WP 1/4; Eurasia Daily Monitor [online], NYT, UNOSAT 1/5; IFM, JPI 1/8; NYT 1/11)

In other Israeli-Palestinian violence, the IDF fires tear gas, percussion grenades, rubber-coated steel bullets to disperse Palestinians demonstrating against OCL in the East Jerusalem suburbs of Anata, Issawiyya, Shu‘fat r.c. An E. Jerusalem Palestinian, reportedly angry over events in Gaza, injures an Israeli border police officer in a deliberate hit and run in the city. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Jenin. (HA 12/28; PCHR, WJW 1/1)

Egyptian border police blow up 10 smuggling tunnels along the Rafah border, causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian teenager nr. Beit El settlement nr. Ramallah, claiming that he was preparing to throw a Molotov cocktail; bulldozes the Palestinian home in Hebron where PA security forces claimed to find a tunnel on 10/13. Jewish settlers fr. Ma’on nr. Hebron assault a group of Palestinian children near the settlement. (OCHA, WT 10/15; PCHR 10/16; see also ICG 9/11)

Maj. Gen. Gadi Shamni, head of the IDF Central Command, warns the Israeli cabinet that Jewish settler violence is in danger of spinning out of control, stating, “an extreme incident could happen at any time. These people are conspiring against the Palestinians and against the [Israeli] security forces.” Shamni reports that in the past few wks. settlers have set a dog on an IDF reserve cmdr., broken the arm of a dep. battalion cmdr., slashed tires on IDF vehicles. In Hebron, he says settlers attacked an IDF officer who tried to stop settler children fr. throwing stones at Palestinians. (WP 10/15)

In Gaza, the IDF makes air strikes on a carload of Hamas mbrs. in Rafah (killing 1 Palestinian bystander, wounding 6 bystanders, 2 Hamas mbrs.), a carload of Palestinian gunmen in Gaza City (missing, wounding 5 bystanders), armed Palestinians nr. Qarni crossing (wounding 3 PA security officers nearby), an alleged Islamic Jihad weapons factory in Gaza City, a bridge and electricity transformer in Bayt Hanun, an Abu Rish Brigades training base in Khan Yunis; continues to shell areas of Gaza City, wounding 12 Palestinians; fires on residential areas of Rafah; allows the Nahal Oz pipeline to open for several hrs./day for the import of fuel. Meanwhile, the Gaza municipality runs out of fuel for its trucks requiring the halt to trash collection in Gaza City (still in effect as of 7/12), raising World Health Organization (WHO) concern regarding the spread of communicable diseases. Palestinians fire several rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, hitting 1 home and lightly wounding 1 Israeli. Haniyeh calls for a mutual cease-fire, but Olmert rejects it, saying that Operation Summer Rains is not over and that “we will operate, enter, and pull out [of Gaza] as needed.” Cmdr. of Israel’s southern region Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant says Israel is “prepared to continue the operation a month, two months, and, if need be, even more.” In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem, Nablus; patrols in, fires on residential areas of Qalqilya. (NYT 7/10; MEZ 7/11; PCHR 7/13)

Overnight in Gaza, the IDF makes air strikes on at least 20 targets, including PA Interior Min. offices (saying they were used to plan terrorist attacks), buildings used by the AMB and Hamas, an ESF training camp, a PA intelligence office, several roads, and open areas; continues to shell n. Gaza, to break the sound barrier over the Strip; conducts arrest raids in Rafah. The only reported casualties are 1 Islamic Jihad mbr. killed in an air strike on a rocket launching site in Rafah, 3 Palestinian gunmen (AMB or Islamic Jihad) wounded nr. Jabaliya r.c., and 7 Palestinian bystanders (including 5-yr.- old Palestinian girl) wounded in shelling of n. Gaza. Israel also revokes the residency rights of Hamas-affiliated PA Jerusalem Affairs M Khalid Abu ‘Arafa and Change and Reform PC mbrs. Muhammad Abu Tir, Ahmad Attoun, Muhammad Totah (detained on 6/28–29), giving them 30 days to appeal or renounce their positions within the PA. The PRCs fire at least 3 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF sends an undercover unit into Nablus, surrounding a cemetery, fatally shooting 1 Palestinian teenager, wounding and arresting a 2d Palestinian, arresting 2 others, firing on stonethrowing youths who confront the troops, wounding 31; also raids an Islamic charity in Nablus, confiscating a computer, files; conducts additional arrest raids in and around Nablus, in Jenin. IDF Central Command head Maj. Gen. Ya’ir Naveh says that the main crossing between Jerusalem and Bethlehem is now closed to Palestinians who hold Israeli IDs (including 237,000 East Jerusalem residents), enforcement (which reportedly is irregular at present) may be expanded to other crossings into the West Bank soon. (HA, IMEMC, MM, PCHR, WP, YA 6/30; OSC, XIN 6/30 in WNC 7/1; IMEMC, NYT, WP 7/1; VOP 7/1 in WNC 7/2; PCHR 7/6)

The IDF raids Qabatya, surrounds the home of senior Islamic Jihad military leader Elias al-Ashkar, killing Ashkar and 4 Islamic Jihad mbrs. in an exchange of fire, sparking massive protests in Qabatya in which soldiers kill a 6th Palestinian, wound 16 (including a journalist); sends undercover units into Jenin in car with Palestinian license plates, willfully shooting and killing a PA General Intelligence Service (GIS) officer guarding the GIS headquarters in Jenin, besieging a house nearby, arresting 1 wanted Palestinian; shoots, wounds senior Islamic Jihad political leader Shaykh Mahmud al-Sadi outside Jenin in an apparent assassination attempt; conducts additional arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, in Tulkarm, nr. Hebron; raids Aida r.c., chasing and firing on Palestinian children who allegedly threw stones at IDF soldiers, wounding an 11- and a 12-yr.-old with live ammunition; confiscates goods from, demolishes 13 shops in a farmers market in the Jordan Valley; captures a Palestinian boat smuggling explosives fr. Egypt to Gaza. A small bomb explodes at a hitchhiking post outside Shiloh settlement nr. Ramallah, lightly wounding 1 Jewish settler; no group takes responsibility. Unidentified gunmen shoot, wound a bodyguard outside the home of PA GIS Gaza chief Maj. Gen. Tariq Abu Rajab; no group claims responsibility. An American wounded in the 4/17 Tel Aviv bombing dies of his injuries, bringing that toll to 11. (AFP, REU, XIN, YA 5/14; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/15; PCHR 5/18)

The Israeli High Court upholds (6–5) a 2002 law that sharply restricts family reunification for West Bank and Gaza Palestinians married to Israeli Palestinians living in Israel to women over age 25 and men over age 35. (AP, B’Tselem press release, HA 5/14; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/15)

The IDF continues to shell n. Gaza (wounding a Palestinian in Jabaliya r.c.), sends armored bulldozers several dozen yards inside Gaza for a 2d day to search for buried explosives, as IDF Dep. Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Moshe Kaplinsky warns that the IDF could launch ground operations into Gaza if rocket fire fr. Gaza into Israel keeps up. The IDF also opens the Kerem Shalom (closed 4/13) to allow in basic foodstuffs and gas (most trucks entering are for the UN); raids a girls elementary school in Far‘un in the West Bank; patrols in, fire on residential areas of Aida r.c.; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, nr. Hebron. In Jabaliya r.c., 1,000s of Palestinians rally to denounce the cut off in some international aid, continued Israeli shelling and overflights of Gaza. (HA, NYT, WT 4/15; PCHR 4/20)

The IDF sends armored bulldozers several dozen yards into Gaza to look for buried explosives; shells the n. Gaza no-go zone and the border area nr. Khan Yunis, causing no injuries; closes the Kerem Shalom crossing for the day, the Sufa crossing indefinitely; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin, Ramallah, Tulkarm. Some 20 AMB gunmen temporarily shut down the PA Transportation Min., seize the PA parliament building in Ramallah, protesting the refusal of the new government to meet their demands to give them taxi licenses as perks (worth thousands of dollars), promotions for mbrs. in the PA security services. (AP, HA, MM 4/13; WP, WT 4/14; NYT 4/15; PCHR 4/20)

In interviews with the Israeli dailies Ma’ariv and Yedi’ot Aharonot, Israeli Military Intelligence cmdr. Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin says that Israelis “should not frighten ourselves” about Hamas, “Gaza is not acquiring the kind of terror capabilities that should keep us awake at night,” adding, “[W]e certainly must not regard them as an existential threat or the end of the world. One must look at Hamas through a complex lens and not one-dimensionally. . . . Hamas is an organization with a realistic and pragmatic outlook, which requires it to compromise, at least in the short run, to achieve its long-term goals. The fact that Hamas can reach a cease-fire or very practical arrangements in the short run is based on the Qur’an, which says that those who have patience will have Allah on their side.” (MA, MM, YA 4/13)

In the morning, the IDF says that 70% of Gaza settlers have been evacuated, most Gaza residents have not resisted the evacuation, most protests and resistance are by West Bank settler youth (and some American Jewish youth) who have come to Gaza in recent wks. to block the withdrawal. During the day, the evacuations of Gan Or (est. 1983, pop. 350, size 1,692 d., hrs. to evac. 5), Kefar Darom (est. 1989, pop. 490, size 276 d., hrs. to evac. 12), Kefar Yam (est. 1983, pop. 15, hrs. to evac. 3), Netzer Hazani (est. 1973, pop. 460, size 250 d., hrs. to evac. 5), Neve Dekalim (est. 1983, pop. 2,700, size 1,443 d., hrs. to evac. 35), Shirat Hayam (est. 2001, pop. 40, hrs. to evac. 5) settlements are completed. An increasing number of settlers set fire to their homes and to greenhouses as they leave to prevent them fr. being turned over to Palestinians. For the 1st time, 1 armed resident in Kefar Yam, 4 armed disengagement protesters in Shirat Hayam threaten to shoot IDF soldiers if they follow orders to remove settlers, but only if soldiers fire first; the incidents defuse without violence. Some Shirat Hayam residents also throw rocks at Palestinians in Mawasi as they evacuate. In Kefar Darom, 65 resident families agree to leave, but as many as 2,000 outside protesters refuse, many of them barricading themselves inside and on the roof of a synagogue; for the 1st time during the disengagement, the IDF uses water cannons against protesters and 2 IDF soldiers refuse to obey their orders, are removed by fellow soldiers; 58 Israelis are injured in clearing the synagogue, including at least 3 IDF soldiers, 27 border police (1 seriously when he falls accidentally); protesters throw paint thinner at IDF Southern Command chief Maj. Gen. Dan Harel, several soldiers. In Neve Dekalim, some 1,500 disengagement protesters hole up in 2 synagogues, refusing to leave even after residents have voluntarily evacuated, but are eventually extracted. Jewish settlers in s. Gaza spread nails along the coastal road in alMawasi to prevent movement of Palestinian vehicles. Meanwhile, Palestinians fire a rocket at Netzarim (still inhabited), lightly injuring an IDF soldier; 2 mortars at Gadid settlement (still inhabited), 3 mortars at Morag (evacuated) causing no damage or injuries. Palestinian gunmen fire on IDF troops nr. Kefar Darom, lightly injuring 1. The IDF conducts arrest raids in al-Mawasi; fires on residential areas of Bayt Lahiya, seriously injuring 1 Palestinian. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers fr. Homesh and Sanur attempt to break into a Palestinian home in nearby Asa’sa village; the IDF intervenes to stop them. Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim throw stones at Palestinian shops, cars nr. Qalqilya. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house searches in Dura, nr. Tulkarm; confiscates 500 d. of agricultural land nr. Eli settlement nr. Nablus. In Israel, disengagement protesters block roads nationwide. (AP, BBC, HA, Israeli Radio, ITV 8/18; NYT, WP, WT 8/19; PCHR 8/25)

The IDF conducts arrest raids in Hebron (targeting the AMB), Jenin (targeting Islamic Jihad), Ramallah (targeting the AMB). Israeli border police fatally shoot a bedouin driving in the Negev when he refuses orders to stop; the Israelis suspected him of transporting illegal workers fr. the occupied territories; 10s of angry local residents demonstrate, damage police cars, throw stones at police officers. Unidentified assailants attempt to assassinate PA military intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Musa Arafat, firing a rocket-propelled grenade at his office; the grenade misses, hits a prison, injuring 13 inmates. Israel announces that the Jewish settler population has increased by 5,415 during the 1st half of 2003. (HA, MM 7/24; AFP, WP 7/25; JP 7/27 in WNC 7/30; PR 7/30; PCHR 8/7)

The IDF fires on Palestinians in Jenin, killing 1 Palestinian vendor in the central market; conducts arrest raids in Satar al-Gharbiyya. Palestinians fire on workers building Israeli security fence nr. Baqa` al-Gharbiyya, killing 1 Israeli Arab laborer. Nr. Hebron, Jewish peace activists, local Palestinians attempt to harvest Palestinian olive groves, keep Jewish settlers away (see 10/2); when settlers become increasingly hostile, the IDF intervenes, ordering peace activists, Palestinians to leave, then leaving the area themselves, allowing settlers to move in. Jewish settlers also confiscate a Palestinian home in Hebron's old city. (HA, JTA, NYT, PM 10/3; MA 10/3 in WNC 10/4; AP 10/4; PCHR, PR 10/9)

An Israeli security delegation (comprising DMin. dir. gen. Amos Yaron, IDF policy planning head Maj. Gen. Giora Eiland) arrives in Washington to consulted with U.S. officials (including Dep. Defense Secy. Paul Wolfowitz, Dep. Secy. of State Richard Armitage) ahead of a possible attack on Iraq. (HA 10/3; MM 10/4; HA 10/8)

Israel intensifies its offensive across the West Bank and Gaza, leaving more than 40 Palestinian dead (including 3 paramedics), 200 injured--the highest single-day toll since the al-Aqsa intifada began. 1 IDF soldier is also killed. Early this morning, the IDF sends troops into Khuza' village nr. Khan Yunis, killing 16 Palestinians, including PSF regional cmdr. Maj. Gen. Ahmad Mifraj. In Bayt Hanina, the IDF are photographed executing an AMB mbr. hand-cuffed, in custody. The IDF continues house-to-house searches in Aida and Dahaysha, leaving 6 Palestinians dead. Another 6 Palestinians are killed in IDF raids in the Tulkarm area, 5 in a helicopter attack on a PSF office in Gaza City, 1 in Jenin r.c. A pregnant Palestinian woman, her baby die when the IDF bars their transportation to a Tulkarm hospital. In Tulkarm r.c., the IDF calls on all men age 15-45 to surrender for questioning. The IDF shells at least 1 building on Bethlehem University campus. In Jerusalem, Israeli police fatally shoot 1 Palestinian allegedly preparing to detonate a suicide bomb. 10s of armed Jewish settlers, accompanied by several IDF jeeps, raid Hawara village, nr. where a settler was wounded on 3/7, damaging homes, firing in the air The PSF arrests PFLP mbr. Majid Rimawi, the 4th Palestinian wanted by Israel in connection with the Ze'evi assassination. (BDL, LAW, MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/8; MENA 3/8, al-Quds 3/9, SA 3/10 in WNC 3/11; BDL, GS, LAW, NYT, WP, WT 3/9; PMC, WP 3/10; Le Monde 3/10 in WNC 3/13; LAW 3/13)

Arafat visits Qatar, Bahrain; secures backing for Arab summit to be held "as soon as possible." (MEI 7/3)

Outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Matan Vilnai says that the current Israeli defense doctrine is obsolete, incapable of meeting contemporary threats. (MM 6/29; IDF Radio 6/29 in WNC 6/30; GIU 6/30; MM 7/3)

In Abu Dhabi, Iran, Oman hold talks on expanding bilateral relations. (IRNA 6/28 in WNC 6/30)

In 3d mtg. with U.S. envoy Ross, PM Netanyahu presents proposal for an "escrow" arrangement for FRD (see Peace Monitor). After presenting the idea to PA officials, who reject it, Ross returns home, having made no progress. (IDF Radio, ITV 5/10, IDF Radio, Les Echos [Paris] 5/11 in WNC 5/12; WP, WT 5/11; CSM, NYT 5/12)

PM Netanyahu does not raise U.S. FRD proposal, Washington invitation for discussion in weekly cabinet mtg. (WP, WT 5/11) (see 5/6)

DM Mordechai appoints Maj. Gen Shaul Mofaz over Maj. Gen. Matan Vilnai to replace Lt. Gen. Amnon Shahak as IDF chief of staff. Netanyahu openly preferred Vilnai but would not overrule Mordechai's choice. Previous chiefs of staff have all served for 4 yrs., but Shahak informed Mordechai in 7/97 that he did not want to return after his 3d yr. ended in 1/98 because he does not like working with Netanyahu. (MM 5/11)

Jordan's General Intelligence Dept. announces arrest of 7 Jordanians, 1 "Arab national" on charges of carrying out 5 bombing in Jordan over the past 2 mos. (MM 5/11; al-Hadath [Amman] 5/11 in WNC 5/12; JT, al-Ra'i 5/11 in WNC 5/13)

Nr. Tyre in s. Lebanon, physical fight breaks out btwn. Hizballah, Amal mbrs., leaving 5 injured. After mtg. on recent clashes (see 5/8), the 2 groups issue a joint statement saying that the incidents were isolated, nonpolitical; they will turn brawlers over to Lebanese authorities, abide by judicial ruling. (RL 5/10 in WNC 5/12)

In Dura nr. Hebron, Palestinians demonstrate following the funeral for 3 Palestinian laborers killed by the IDF 3/10; 32 Palestinians, 1 Israeli border policeman are injured. Palestinians also protest in Bethlehem and Ramallah, where IDF injures 9 Palestinians. Also nr. Ramallah, a Jewish settler whose car is hit by a stone opens fire with live ammunition, wounding 1 Palestinian. PA, Israeli security forces hold emergency mtgs. on containing the violence. (MM 3/11; CSM, NYT, WP, WT 3/12; WT 3/13)

PM Netanyahu appoints Reserve Maj. Gen. Meir Dagan as his adviser on intelligence affairs. The new position, recommended in the Ciechanover report (see 2/16), was created to enhance coordination btwn. the PM, the intelligence bodies. (YA 3/11 in WNC 3/12)

Based on legislation passed by Congress in 1996, U.S. district judge orders Iran to pay the family of Alisa Flatow, killed in an Islamic Jihad suicide bombing in Israel 4/95, $247.5 m. in damages. The court heard no evidence that Iran planned, carried out the attack, but lawyers presented testimony fr. fmr. FBI, Israeli intelligence officials that Iran has funded Islamic Jihad. Administration officials say "this case is not what we needed at this time" when the U.S. is trying to renew relations with Iran. (WT 3/12; MM 3/24) (see 2/26/97)

American Friends of Lubavitch (AFL) hosts its 5th annual Purim party for Capitol Hill staffers. AFL also hosts an annual Hanukkah party; plans to start bimonthly discussion groups, a mentoring program where senior Jewish staffers can help younger staffers just starting their careers. All projects are meant to "make politically minded Jews more politically involved." (WJW 3/26)

Unidentified assailants fire 4 tracer bullets at IDF Maj. Gen. Matan Vilna'i's helicopter as it overflies the Palestinian village of Salfit in the West Bank. IDF has no leads. (ITV 7/24 in WNC 7/28)

Jordanian administration meets with Muslim Brotherhood officials to try to avoid an election boycott; issues royal decree stating that elections will be held on schedule. (MM 7/23, 7/24; JT 7/24 in WNC 7/25; Star 7/24 in WNC 7/28; MM 7/25) (see 7/19)

Israel revokes Gaza police chief Brig. Gen. Jabali's VIP card. (ITV 7/23 in WNC 7/24) (see 7/20)

In keeping with the 9/17/96 press law, Lebanon's Council of Ministers issues new licenses for television, radio companies; orders authorities to shut down 5 television stations, 20 radio networks whose licenses are not renewed. (RL 7/24 in WNC 7/25; al-Nahar, RL 7/26 in WNC 7/29; SA 8/1 in WNC 8/4; RL 8/7, 8/8 in WNC 8/11)

4 SLA mbrs. are wounded in clash with Hizballah in s. Lebanon. (RL 7/24 in WNC 7/25)

PA, Israeli negotiators continue talks, say they hope to finalize a Hebron deal by 1/1, complete redeployment by 1/5. Debates continue on security control of Tomb of the Patriarchs/al-Ibrahimi Mosque; al-Shuhada street; type of weapons to be used by PA police; the buffer zone btwn. H1, H2 areas; restrictions on Jewish construction. (IDF Radio, ITV 12/27 in WNC 12/30; WT 12/28, 12/29)

Two mos. after being suspended fr. the negotiations with the PA, Israeli Coordinator of Activities in the Occupied Territories Maj. Gen. Oren Shahor submits his resignation fr. the IDF. (IDF Radio, QY 12/27 in WNC 12/30; JP 1/4)

Israeli chief negotiator for civilian affairs Maj. Gen. Oren Shahor presents Hebron settler leaders with IDF's new redeployment plan in preparation for Netanyahu mtgs. with settler leaders next wk. (YA 10/27 in WNC 10/29)

In Sharm al-Shaykh, Egyptian Pres. Mubarak, fmr. Israeli PM Peres discuss peace process. (IDF Radio 10/27 in WNC 10/29)

Israel announces that Netanyahu has lifted the Labor block on the sale of 3,000 empty housing units in settlements across the West Bank. (WP 10/28; PR 11/1)

IDF eases closure to permit Palestinians to return to their jobs in West Bank Jewish settlements; allows ambulances to transport medial emergencies fr. West Bank, Gaza into Israel, but they must undergo inspections at crossing points. (QY 3/24 in FBIS 3/25; MEI 3/29)

Israeli Dep. FM Eli Dayan says the U.S. has pledged to urge Morocco's King Hassan to visit Israel shortly, denies such a visit aims to bolster Labor before the election. (JP 3/25 in FBIS 3/25)

PM Peres officially announces that Maj. Gen. Yatom has been appointed as the new Mossad head. (QY 3/24 in FBIS 3/25) (see 3/19)

IDF builds up forces, tightens security checkpoints in s. Lebanon. (RL 3/24 in FBIS 3/25)

Iraq holds its first parliamentary elections since the Gulf War. (CSM 3/25)