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  • June 15, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces delivered demolition notices for 6 houses and 2 commercial structures in Ar-Rafaiya in the Masafer Yatta area and stop-work orders for 7 houses under construction...

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  • June 12, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces razed farmland in al-Khader, uprooting 95 olive trees. Israeli forces also seized 4 tents and delivered a stop-work order for a house near Yatta. Elsewhere, 1...

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  • June 11, 2022

    In the West Bank, 1 Palestinian man who was shot and injured by Israeli forces in Ya‘bad on 6/1 succumbed to his injuries, raising the death toll from the raid to 2. Israeli settlers assaulted 1...

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  • November 29, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and injured 3 Palestinians, including 1 minor by live ammunition as they were protesting the Psagot settlement east of al-Bireh; others suffered tear-gas...

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  • November 25, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort stormed Sabastiyya, closing off parts of the town to Palestinians. Israeli forces arrested 2 Israeli settlers from the Kumi Ori settlement...

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  • March 9, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces uprooted some 400 olive tree saplings west of Bethlehem and seized a residential tent, a generator, and an animal barn in al-Mughayyir. Israeli forces also...

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  • June 23, 2018

    A Palestinian driver allegedly rams his vehicle into a group of Israeli soldiers near Bethlehem, lightly injuring 4. Elsewhere in the West Bank, IDF troops throw a stun grenade at a Palestinian...

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  • March 15, 2018

    Along Gaza’s border, unidentified persons detonate 2 IEDs targeting an IDF patrol near Jabaliya refugee camp, causing no damage or injuries. Soon thereafter, the IAF bombs Hamas sites near Gaza...

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  • March 10, 2015

    In the West Bank, a Palestinian man from al-Fara‘a r.c. nr. Tubas succumbs to injuries sustained during an IDF raid of his home in 2008. Israeli forces demolish 5 residences and a sheep barn in a...

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  • November 27, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) declares a state of emergency after heavy rains and flooding exacerbate the already...

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  • May 8, 2014

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

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  • July 4, 2006

    Overnight, the IDF sends another 15–20 tanks and armored personnel carriers (APCs) into Bayt Hanun and into the Erez industrial zone, leveling land to clear lines of sight, searching for roadside...

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  • May 21, 2003

    The IDF sends troops, bulldozers back into Bayt Hanun, digging trenches across several main roads; opens fire on stone-throwing youths in Qarawat Bani Zaid, killing 2 Palestinians; imposes a...

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  • November 19, 2001

    In Louisville, U.S. Secy. of State Colin Powell gives the 1st major policy speech on the Middle East by the George W. Bush admin., announcing plans to send 2 envoys (retired Gen. Anthony Zinni,...

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  • September 14, 2001

    The U.S. identifies 19 hijackers (fr. Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the UAE), including 7 trained pilots, who participated in the 9/11 attacks; 16 held valid U.S. visas, 12 had lived in Florida (...

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  • May 27, 2001

    Another car bomb explodes in West Jerusalem during the morning rush hour, lightly injuring 2 Israelis. The IDF directs heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Tubas; bulldozes Palestinian...

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  • May 21, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 2 Palestinians dead. Under police surveillance, Israelis, Jewish settlers march through Jerusalem to celebrate Jerusalem Day, marking Israel's capture...

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  • June 23, 1998

    Pres. Clinton vetoes the IMPSA; says bill is inflexible, will not stop missile proliferation, will needlessly harm relations with Russia. IMPSA passed by 392-22 in the House on 11/12/97, 90-4 in...

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  • June 9, 1998

    PC gives Arafat until 6/15 to reshuffle the Executive Authority (EA; the PA's cabinet) or face no-confidence vote (he has not faced a no-confidence vote since the 1996 elections). (WP 6/12; MEI 7/...

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  • May 19, 1998

    PA Planning M Nabil Shaath arrives in Amman on 4-day visit, holds talks with Jordanian FM Anani on economic cooperation, creation of free trade zone. (RJ 5/19 in WNC 5/23; RJ 5/22 in WNC 5/27)...

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  • March 3, 1998

    Pres. Clinton meets with VP Gore, Secy. Albright, NSA Berger, special envoy Dennis Ross, Asst. Secy. of State for Near East Affairs Martin Indyk to discuss "new thinking" to revive...

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  • October 9, 1997

    U.S. Defense Secy. William Cohen receives official Israeli delegation. (NYT 10/10)

    In Damascus, Iran, Syria hold talks on agricultural, research cooperation. (IRNA 10/9 in WNC 10/14)

    ...
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  • July 8, 1997

    PM Netanyahu finishes cabinet reshuffle, promising coalition mbrs. $1.4 b. (which he does not have available in the budget) for projects; denying Infrastructures M Sharon positions as finance M,...

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  • June 11, 1997

    In Washington, Pres. Clinton urges Qatar's emir Shaykh Hamad to move ahead with plans to host the Middle East-North Africa economic summit in 11/97. The emir criticizes the 6/10 House decision,...

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  • June 23, 1995

    Senate votes for 45-day extension of U.S. assistance to the PLO, scheduled to expire 6/30, based on the MEPFA; reinstates original MEPFA, overturning Sen. D'Amato's proposed amendments. (Near...

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  • June 20, 1995

    In Cairo, PA, Israel open 3 days of talks on transfer of authority, focus on electricity, communications, water, public works. PA says it will accept phased Israeli withdrawal fr. West Bank within...

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  • June 8, 1995

    Secy. of State Christopher arrives in Jerusalem on 1st leg of Middle East tour focused on advancing the Syrian-Israeli track, setting agenda for upcoming Washington talks; meets with PM Rabin. (WP...

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  • March 16, 1995

    Fatah Central Council meets in Tunis to assess peace process, discuss PA administration, economic problems, Fatah's role inside and outside o.t.; say there can be no progress without Israeli...

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  • January 27, 1995

    Arafat arrives in Cairo to discuss with Pres. Mubarak; his mtgs. with King Hussein, peace process, relations with Egypt. (JTV, MENA 1/27 in FBIS 1/27)

    PA disarms 60 Palestinian policemen...

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  • January 21, 1995

    Egypt's Pres. Mubarak, Jordan's King Hussein meet for 1st time in 4 yrs. in Aqaba; agree to renew relations frozen since 1990 Gulf crisis, try to find "unified Arab understanding of all Arab and...

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In the West Bank, Israeli forces delivered demolition notices for 6 houses and 2 commercial structures in Ar-Rafaiya in the Masafer Yatta area and stop-work orders for 7 houses under construction in Marda. 6 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Kharbatha al-Misbah, Nablus, Aida refugee camp, and Yatta. In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities demolished 3 Palestinian homes: 2 in Sur Baher and 1 in Bayt Hanina. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian farmers east of Beit Hanun; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/15; MEMO, PCHR 6/16; UNOCHA 7/2)

Haaretz reported that settler violence against Palestinians has been raising in 2022, with more than 400 recorded incidents in the 1st half of the year, compared to 650 recorded incidents in all of 2021. A source in the Israeli military told Haaretz that the military is aware of the situation and is seeing an increase in radicalized Israeli settlers. The Israeli military recorded 360 incidents of Israeli settler violence in the West Bank against Palestinians in 2019; in 2020 the number increased to 500, before in increasing to 650 last year. (HA 6/15)

An Israeli police investigation into the attacks on the funeral procession for Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on 5/13 found that Israeli police had acted with misconduct, but no commanders were disciplined. According to the Haaretz source, the decision not to discipline any of the commanders responsible was made before the investigation started. The report was also not released to the public. (TOI 6/15; AJ, F24, HA, JP, MEE 6/16)

An Israeli court found former Gaza director of the charity World Vision, Mohammad El Halabi, guilty of membership of a terrorist organization, providing information to a terror group, taking part in forbidden military exercises, and carrying a weapon. The purported evidence against El Halabi is kept secret and the guilty verdict was in part based on a confession given under duress to an informant. World Vision, independent audits, and the Australian government have all said they have found no evidence of wrongdoing by El Halabi since he was 1st arrested in 2016. El Halabi has declined multiple plea deals that would have seen him released before the upcoming sentencing, refusing to enter a plea for a crime he says he is innocent of. (WAFA 6/14; AP, HA, NYT, REU 6/15; WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/16; WAFA 6/19)

Palestinian officials said that the U.S. had refused Palestinian calls for peace negotiations, claiming that the Israeli political situation is too sensitive. The request was made during the weekend, when top Palestinian officials met with U.S. secretary of state for Near East affairs Barbara Leaf and her deputy Hady Amr in Ramallah ahead of president Joe Biden’s visit to Palestine, Israel, and Saudi Arabia on 7/13-7/16. Israeli sources told Haaretz that Secretary Leaf had asked Israeli politicians to refrain from sending Israeli soldiers into Area A and not to carry out punitive demolitions ahead of President Biden’s visit. Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid said that Israel is seeking peace with Saudi Arabia and elaborated, “I won't say whether we have under-the-radar talks with the Saudis . . . We have a joint interest in the subject of Iran, that it won't become a nuclear threshold state.” (AJ, AP, AX, AX, HA, HA, HA 6/15)

Russia summoned the Israeli ambassador to express “grave concern” over an Israeli air strike that damaged the Damascus International Airport on 6/10. The Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov called Israel’s reasoning for attacking the airport “unconvincing.” (HA, JP, REU 6/15)

Israel, Egypt, and the EU signed a deal to increase the sale of liquified natural gas from Israel to the EU via Egypt, in a stated effort to reduce EU countries’ dependency on Russian gas. The EU also said it would provide Egypt $105 million in aid to help the country cope with the rise in wheat prices. (ALM, AP, REU 6/14; ALM, AP, HA, MEE, MEMO, REU, TOI, WSJ 6/15)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces razed farmland in al-Khader, uprooting 95 olive trees. Israeli forces also seized 4 tents and delivered a stop-work order for a house near Yatta. Elsewhere, 1 Israeli military SUV rammed 1 Palestinian, causing severe injuries. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 6 nautical miles west of Gaza City. In Israel, Israeli authorities demolished 1 Palestinian-owned home in Tira, saying it was built without a permit. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/12; PCHR 6/16; UNOCHA 6/17)

The Washington Post released an investigation into the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh on 5/11, concluding that the shot that killed Abu Akleh was likely fired by Israeli soldiers. The investigation also rejected the Israeli narrative that crossfire between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants was happening at the time of the killing. (MDW, TOI, WP 6/12; WAFA 6/13)

PLO secretary general Hussein al-Sheikh and PA director of general intelligence Majid Faraj met with U.S. secretary of state for Near East affairs Barbara Leaf and her deputy Hady Amr in Ramallah. During the meeting, Secretary General al-Sheikh called on the U.S. to reopen its consulate to Palestinians in Jerusalem and to remove the PLO from the U.S. list of terrorist organizations. (WAFA 6/13)

The Israeli cabinet authorized a compensation program for cultural institutions in Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights, that are excluded from EU Creative Europe funding. Israel had agreed to exclude Israeli settlements from funding from EU’s Creative Europe program when it signed the funding agreement. (HA, JP 6/12)

U.S. president Joe Biden told reporters that his upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia, scheduled for the middle of July, relates to national security issues for Saudi Arabia and Israel. (AX, HA, REU 6/12)

In the West Bank, 1 Palestinian man who was shot and injured by Israeli forces in Ya‘bad on 6/1 succumbed to his injuries, raising the death toll from the raid to 2. Israeli settlers assaulted 1 Palestinian herding sheep in the Masafer Yatta area. Israeli settlers also raided Burin, attacking Palestinian property and setting fire to agricultural lands. Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian minor during a raid in al-Arroub refugee camp. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces raided Bayt Hanina, injuring Palestinians with tear gas and batons. In Gaza, Israeli forces fired tear gas at Palestinians working their land east of Gaza City. (MEE, MEMO, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/11; PCHR 6/16; UNOCHA 6/17)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas met with the newly appointed assistant U.S. secretary of state for Near East affairs, Barbara Leaf, in Ramallah. (WAFA 6/11; TOI 6/12)

Norway announced that it will adopt the EU court of justice’s 2019 ruling calling for EU countries to label food products made in Israeli settlements by their correct origin and not as products of Israel. Norway is not part of the EU. Israel said that Norway’s decision would “adversely affect bilateral relations between Israel and Norway.” (HA, TOI 6/11; AN, JP, MEE, WAFA, WAFA 6/12)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and injured 3 Palestinians, including 1 minor by live ammunition as they were protesting the Psagot settlement east of al-Bireh; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. In East Jerusalem, the Israeli municipality demolished a staircase leading to the Lion’s Gate at the Haram al-Sharif compound. Israeli forces arrested 5 Palestinians as they were headed to the funeral of 1 Palestinian killed by Israeli forces on 11/25 at a checkpoint in the West Bank, near East Jerusalem. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported. (WAFA 11/29; WAFA, WAFA 11/30; PCHR 12/3)

The WHO delivered 15 ventilators to Gaza hospitals as the COVID-19 virus continues to challenge the Gazan health system. The ventilators were paid for by Kuwait. (REU 11/29; HA 11/30)

An Israeli court rejected a petition filed by Palestinians to reclaim their land that had been seized by Israel and used by settlers to build settlement outposts south of Jerusalem in the West Bank. The ruling paves the way for Israel to legalize the settlement outposts. (HA 11/30)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas met with the King Abdallah II of Jordan in the Jordanian city of Aqaba. In a statement released by Jordan after the meeting, Jordan reaffirmed its commitment to a Palestinian state. President Abbas later traveled to Egypt, meeting with secretary-general of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit and the Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry. Abbas is scheduled to meet with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on 11/30. This marked the 1st time Abbas left the West Bank in 2020. (WAFA 11/28; HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA 11/29; WAFA, WAFA 11/30)

The Israeli security cabinet approved the transfer of $756 million to the PA in tax funds but continues to withhold $181.5 million that the PA pays to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons and their families. (HA 11/29)

According to Iraqi officials, 1 Iranian senior commander of the Revolutionary Guard, Muslim Shahdan, had been killed in an air strike along with 3 others as they entered Syria from Iraq in a car. There were no reports of who carried out the air strike, but Israel has frequently been carrying out air strikes in Syria and Iraq and is believed to have assassinated an Iranian nuclear scientist on 11/27. (HA, TOI 12/1)

UN secretary-general António Guterres said in a statement commemorating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People that “the question of Palestine remains distressingly unresolved,” and criticized Israel for continuing to make a 2-state solution less viable. (WAFA 11/29)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort stormed Sabastiyya, closing off parts of the town to Palestinians. Israeli forces arrested 2 Israeli settlers from the Kumi Ori settlement outpost who attacked Israeli forces. Israeli forces also shot and killed 1 Palestinian man at a checkpoint near East Jerusalem, claiming he had tried to flee when having his papers inspected at the checkpoint; Israel handed his body to his family on 11/29, indicating that Israel did not suspect he wanted to attack the soldiers. B’Tselem said that 1 Israeli officer shot the Palestinian after the situation had unfolded and despite being ordered to hold fire. Israeli forces also demolished 2 houses and several other structures in Fasayil, 1 house under construction in Hebron, and 2 houses east of Yatta. 8 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Hebron, Nablus, and Kaubar. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian agricultural lands east of Dayr al-Balah; no injuries were reported. (HA, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 11/25; AJ, PCHR, WAFA 11/26; TOI, WAFA 11/29; B’Tselem, HA, TOI 11/30)

The Rafah crossing was open in both directions. (WAFA 11/21)

Israeli forces bombed targets in Quneitra and Damascus. 8 people were reportedly killed according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. (AJ, HA 11/25)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces uprooted some 400 olive tree saplings west of Bethlehem and seized a residential tent, a generator, and an animal barn in al-Mughayyir. Israeli forces also arrested 15 Palestinians during raids in and around al-‘Arub refugee camp, Ramallah, Baytin, Tulkarm, Jenin, and Nablus. In Gaza, the death toll from the fire in a bakery on 3/5 rose to 13 after 2 more people succumbed to their injuries. Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian shepherds east of al-Maghazi; no injuries were reported. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen 2 miles west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/9; PCHR 3/18)

Israeli defense minister Naftali Bennett announced that the Israeli government had approved to build a separate road for Palestinians to connect the northern and southern parts of the West Bank as Israel is moving forward with building 3,500 settler units in E-1 near East Jerusalem. Defense Minister Bennett said that Israel is “applying sovereignty [over the West Bank] in deed, not words.” The PA foreign Ministry said in a statement that, with the move, Israel is seeking to close the door for a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. (HA, JP, WAFA 3/9; AJ 3/10)

Qatar donated $10 million worth of medical equipment to help the PA combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the West Bank. There are 25 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the West Bank. (WAFA, WAFA 3/9)

A Palestinian driver allegedly rams his vehicle into a group of Israeli soldiers near Bethlehem, lightly injuring 4. Elsewhere in the West Bank, IDF troops throw a stun grenade at a Palestinian minor in Hebron; he loses 3 fingers when the grenade detonates. It’s unclear what prompted the attack. Israeli soldiers also shoot and injure a Palestinian at a checkpoint near Bethlehem. The IDF arrests 12 Palestinians and issues 1 arrest summons during raids near Ramallah, Bethlehem, Tulkarm, and Hebron; and patrols near Tulkarm. Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinians gather in Ramallah to protest the PA’s punitive restrictions on Gaza, chanting “scrap the sanctions” and calling for national reconciliation. In contrast with their response on 6/13, PA security forces do not violently disperse the demonstration. Along Gaza’s border fence, 7 fires break out in Israeli farmland near the fence. Later, an Israeli drone bombs a site allegedly used as a staging area for the incendiary kite and balloon attacks that sparked the fires. Separately, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian shepherds working along the border fence near Jabaliya refugee camp, causing 1 minor injury. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Bayt Lahiya, causing minor damage (3 fishermen are arrested). (HA, JP, TOI, WAFA, YA 6/23; AFP 6/24; PCHR 6/28)

PLO secretary-general Saeb Erakat says that U.S. president Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Kushner and Special Representative Greenblatt have been pushing to “liquidate” the Palestinian refugee issue during their trip to the Middle East this week. “They want to terminate the role of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) by proposing direct aid to the countries hosting the Palestinian refugees and sideline the UN agency,” he says. “On top of this, they are planning financial aid to the Gaza Strip worth $1 billion for projects, also separate from UNRWA and under the title of solving a humanitarian crisis.” (HA, TOI, WAFA, YA 6/23)

Along Gaza’s border, unidentified persons detonate 2 IEDs targeting an IDF patrol near Jabaliya refugee camp, causing no damage or injuries. Soon thereafter, the IAF bombs Hamas sites near Gaza City and Jabaliya refugee camp, injuring 1 Palestinian and causing moderate damage. An IDF spokesperson later alleges that the 2 devices were planted amid a recent border protest. (HA, JP, WAFA, YA 3/15; PCHR 3/22)

In the West Bank, IDF troops arrest 4 Palestinians and issue 1 arrest summons during late-night raids near Ramallah, Hebron, and Jenin; and patrol near Tulkarm and Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces clash with Palestinians in al-‘Izzariya; 9 Palestinians are injured. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Bayt Lahiya and Jabaliya refugee camp, causing no damage or injuries. (WAFA 3/15; PCHR 3/22)

At a fundraising conference in Rome, officials from 90 different countries collectively pledge $100 m. for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to address the budget shortfall caused by U.S. president Trump’s decision to cut U.S. aid to the agency in 1/2018 (see JPS 47 [3]). (JP, TOI, WAFA 3/15)

In the West Bank, a Palestinian man from al-Fara‘a r.c. nr. Tubas succumbs to injuries sustained during an IDF raid of his home in 2008. Israeli forces demolish 5 residences and a sheep barn in a village nr. Hebron; continue leveling land in a village nr. Bethlehem to eventually expand a nearby Israeli industrial zone. IDF troops clash with residents of a village n. of Jerusalem and 1 nr. Ramallah, injuring 9 with rubber-coated metal bullets and arresting 4; violently disperse Palestinian students demonstrating outside Ofer Prison in Ramallah, injuring 7 with rubber-coated metal bullets and arresting 1; 2 Israeli soldiers are lightly injured in the ensuing clashes. The IDF also conducts house searches and raids in 1 village each nr. Jenin, Hebron, and Qalqilya, as well as in Nablus, arresting 4 Palestinians and issuing arrest summons to 1; patrols in and around Tulkarm, and 1 village nr. Jenin; arrests 2 Palestinians while they are working in an Israeli settlement nr. Bethlehem. Israeli settlers erect 8 mobile homes on Palestinian land s. of Nablus, establishing a settlement outpost; throw stones at a Palestinian’s car nr. Nablus, causing minor damage. Nr. Nablus, armed Palestinians set fire to tires e. of Balata r.c. in protest of the recent PASF crackdown in the area. IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of Khan Yunis fire warning shots at Palestinian farmers working nr. the border fence, causing no injuries. Israeli forces also conduct a limited incursion e. of Dayr al-Balah to level land. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces level land in a closed military zone nr. Qalandia, sparking clashes with residents; 9 Palestinians are injured with live ammunition and dozens are lightly injured with rubber-coated metal bullets. Israeli forces also level land on the e. outskirts of Issawiyya, clearing the area for construction of an Israeli national park; demolish temporary bedouin shelters that were funded by the EU. (MNA 3/9; AFP, HA, MNA, WAFA 3/10; AFP, MNA, WAFA 3/11; PCHR 3/12)

A group of Palestinians in Israeli prisons cancels its plans, announced on 3/9, to begin a series of demonstrations on 3/10 in protest of the poor conditions. According to Al Jazeera, the move comes after the group makes a preliminary deal with the Israel Prison Service (IPS), allowing for more frequent family visits, but an IPS official will refute the report on 3/11. (AJ 3/10; JP 3/11; PNN 3/12)

In the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, an IDF officeris lightly injured from gunfire emanating from Syria nr. Qunaytra. Meanwhile, senior United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) official Pierre Krähenbühl accompanies a convoy of aid into Yarmouk r.c. in Syria, the 1st shipment of assistance to the camp’s 18,000 occupants in 3 mos. (HA, JP, TOI, YA 3/10; MNA 3/11)

In Gaza, the chair of Qatar’s Comm. to Rebuild Gaza, Mohammed al-Emadi announces a series of new projects to build 1,000 housing units in Gaza, and that the 1st shipment of materials—4 truckloads of cement—arrived from Israel today. They will be funded through disbursals of the $1 b. Qatar pledged at the 10/12/2014 Gaza reconstruction conference in Cairo. (AFP, NYT 3/10; MEMO, REU 3/11; IMEMC 3/12; YA 3/13)

In the Gaza Strip, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) declares a state of emergency after heavy rains and flooding exacerbate the already dire humanitarian situation. Egyptian authorities open the Rafah crossing for the 2d day in a row, but at limited capacity. Separately, unknown assailants fire shots in the direction of Israeli forces positioned along the border with e. Gaza, and IDF troops respond by firing a tank shell, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the Judea Military Court finds a Palestinian man guilty of planning to assassinate Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman during OPE. Nr. Qalqilya, Israeli settlers attempt to kidnap a Palestinian youth, but his family intervenes. Nearby, Israeli settlers attack a Palestinian-owned car shop and injure the owner. IDF troops violently disperse a protest in Dayr ‘Ammar nr. Ramallah and injure 1 Palestinian with rubber-coated metal bullets. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids nr. Tulkarm, Hebron, and Nablus; patrols nr. Hebron, Ramallah, and Tulkarm. In East Jerusalem, Israeli soldiers beat and arrest a Palestinian youth nr. the Old City. (AKH, IMEMC, MNA, YA 11/27; HA, MNA 11/28; PCHR 12/4; OCHA 12/5)

Israel’s High Court of Justice decides to freeze the 11/20 demolition orders on the homes of the 2 Palestinian men who attacked a West Jerusalem synagogue on 11/18. (MNA 11/27)

Following Hamas official Abu Marzuq’s comments about the UN’s Gaza reconstruction plan on 11/26, another senior Hamas official says that the UN has amended its plan based on consultations with Hamas. (MNA 11/27)

Off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. Khan Yunis, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron and 2 villages nr. Ramallah at night. (PCHR 5/15)

U.S. Special Envoy Martin Indyk blames both Israelis and Palestinians for not being ready to make “gut-wrenching compromises necessary to achieve peace,” in remarks made at the Washington Institute for Near East Peace, a D.C.-based think tank. Indyk also says that U.S. Secy. of State Kerry believes defining borders of a Palestinian state and establishing security arrangements for Israel are “essential” for resuming peace talks. (AFP, HA, REU 5/8)

U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice meets with PA Pres. Abbas in Ramallah and tells him that any unity govt. must recognize Israel, renounce violence, and adhere to previous agreements. Meanwhile, Pres. Abbas says in a televised interview that the Palestinians are ready to resume negotiations under the condition that Israel releases the 4th batch of Palestinian prisoners and halts settlement construction for 3 mos. (JP, MNA 5/8)

Overnight, the IDF sends another 15–20 tanks and armored personnel carriers (APCs) into Bayt Hanun and into the Erez industrial zone, leveling land to clear lines of sight, searching for roadside bombs and tunnels that could obstruct a large-scale military incursion into Gaza (as PA security forces pull out of their border positions at Erez, Palestinians stream into the industrial zone to scavenge fr. closed businesses there); continues to break the sound barrier over Gaza and to make air and artillery strikes on n. Gaza, killing 1 PA security officer, wounding several Palestinians, and destroying an empty building on Islamic University campus. During the day, the IDF continues the n. Gaza build-up, reoccupying the fmr. Nisanit settlement site, occupying 2 more Palestinian homes as operational bases, bulldozing a PA security force base in Bayt Hanun; fires on residential areas around Erez (wounding a Palestinian child) and on a Palestinian Energy Authority repair crew attempting to fix a transformer in the area. The IDF also allows Qarni crossing to reopen for several hrs. to import humanitarian supplies from the World Food Program (WFP) and UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East); WFP reports that there are only 2 days left of sugar and 8 days left of animal feed in Gaza and that milk and dairy products are only available in small quantities. Meanwhile, the Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades fire a 2-engine Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, hitting an empty school nr. Ashqelon, 7.5 mi inside Israel (the longest-range rocket to date). In the West Bank, the IDF raids Jenin, ambushes and fires on a car, assassinating wanted AMB Jenin cmdr. Fida’i Qandil, wounding a passenger; raids a PA police station in Ramallah, detaining 3 Palestinians captured by the PA in connection with the murder of a Jewish settler on 6/29; arrests Hamas spokesman Farhat Asad nr. Ramallah; patrols in, fires on residential areas of al-Fara‘a r.c. nr. Jenin, wounding 2 Palestinians; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Ramallah, in Nablus and Qalqilya, and nr. Bethlehem, Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Mehola nr. Tubas attack Palestinian farmers working their fields nearby. (HA, IMEMC, MM, NYT, OCHA, PCHR, WT, YA 7/4; NYT, WP, WT 7/5; OCHA, PCHR 7/6)

The IDF sends troops, bulldozers back into Bayt Hanun, digging trenches across several main roads; opens fire on stone-throwing youths in Qarawat Bani Zaid, killing 2 Palestinians; imposes a curfew on Bayt Furik, raids a mosque, confiscating computers; demolishes 1 Palestinian home in Dayr al-Balah, 1 in Nablus; conducts arrest raids in Askar r.c., Hebron, Jenin, Tubas. Israel also demolishes 2 bedouin homes in the unrecognized village of Wadi al-Na‘im. (HA, HP 5/21; HA, LAW, NYT, PCHR, WT 5/22; MEI 5/30)

In Washington, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Asst. Secy. of State for Near East Affairs William Burns hold separate mtgs. with Sharon chief of staff Dov Weisglass, PA Finance M Salam al-Fayyad to try to reach an agmt. on actions to reduce tensions and start talks. (HA, NYT 5/22; al-Quds 5/23 in WNC 5/27; HA 5/24)

In Louisville, U.S. Secy. of State Colin Powell gives the 1st major policy speech on the Middle East by the George W. Bush admin., announcing plans to send 2 envoys (retired Gen. Anthony Zinni, Asst. Secy. of State for Near East Affairs William Burns) to the region to help broker an Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire based on the 6/11/01 Tenet cease-fire plan and the 5/20/01 Mitchell Comm. recommendations, which calls for a halt to violence, confidence building measures, a return to negotiations. (HA, MM 11/19; XIN 11/19 in WNC 11/20; AFP, MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/20; AYM, DUS, MENA, al-Quds, al-Ra'i, SA 11/20 in WNC 11/21; AYM 11/20, IRNA, QA 11/21, ATL, SA 11/22 in WNC 11/23; AYM 11/22 in WNC 11/28; MEI, MM 11/23; WP 11/25) (see Doc. D3 in JPS 122)

The IDF kills 2 Palestinians planting a roadside bomb in the West Bank; sends tanks into Rafah refugee camp to bulldoze 4 Palestinian homes, injuring 1 Palestinian; sends tanks, bulldozers into Bayt Hanun for several hrs. Palestinian gunmen fire on a vehicle nr. Shavei Shomron settlement, injuring 3 Jewish settlers. (NYT, WT 11/20; LAW 11/26)

The U.S. identifies 19 hijackers (fr. Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the UAE), including 7 trained pilots, who participated in the 9/11 attacks; 16 held valid U.S. visas, 12 had lived in Florida (some for yrs.), 2 were the sons of a high-ranking Saudi diplomat once posted to Washington, at least 3 had studied at the same college in Germany. (NYT, WP, WT 9/15; WP 9/18; CNN 9/21)

Asst. Secy. of State for Near East Affairs William Burns official meets with 15 Arab envoys, including the PLO rep., and tell them they must either declare their nations "mbrs. of an international coalition against terrorism or risk being isolated." Later, Arab envoys meet at the home of Saudi Arabian amb. Prince Bandar Bin Sultan to discuss U.S. plans. Egyptian amb. Nabil Fahmy warns the admin. to focus on finding and punishing those responsible for the 9/11 attacks and not to broaden the effort to include other geopolitical goals. (NYT 9/15; MM, WP 9/17; SA 9/17 in WNC 9/19)

Sharon rejects direct appeals by Bush, Powell to hold peace talks with the PA, which would facilitate U.S. efforts to form a coalition to strike at Bin Laden. Instead, he cancels tentative plans to hold an Arafat-Peres mtg. on 9/16, saying it would be "inappropriate" in light of the 9/11 U.S. attacks; tells Bush that Israel opposes the U.S. bringing the PA, Syria into its antiterrorism coalition. (AFP 9/14; AP, HP, NYT, WP 9/15; JP [Internet], WT 9/16; XIN 9/16 in WNC 9/17; WJW 9/27; JP, MEI 9/28)

Meanwhile, 3 Palestinians are killed by IDF fire in Gaza. Israeli authorities detain Mufti of Jerusalem Shaykh Ikrima Sabri following Friday prayers for several hrs. of questioning regarding his recent visit to Beirut. In Gaza's Nussayrat refugee camp, 100s of Palestinians protest against the U.S.'s threat to attack Afghanistan, fearing the U.S.'s "international campaign against terrorism" will be campaign against Muslims; undercover PSF officers confiscate reporters' film. Some 40,000 Israeli Arabs in Umm al-Fahm Israel hold a similar rally, denouncing the killing of American civilians but also condemning U.S. support for Israel. (HP, WP, WT 9/15; WP 9/16; WT 9/17; al-Quds 9/18 in WNC 9/19; WJW 9/20; LAW 9/29)

 

Another car bomb explodes in West Jerusalem during the morning rush hour, lightly injuring 2 Israelis. The IDF directs heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Tubas; bulldozes Palestinian land nr. Khan Yunis. (NYT, WP, WT 5/28; MM 5/29; MEI 6/1; PCHR 6/4)

U.S. special assistant Burns (confirmed as asst. secy. of state for Near East affairs on 5/25) holds separate mtgs. with Sharon, Arafat on implementing the Mitchell Comm. recommendations; urges them to resume security talks. Sharon spokesman Raanan Gissin warns that Israel's suspension of assassinations, "delay" in responding to recent bombings will not last indefinitely, stating, "Our patience is running out." (IGPO, WP, WT 5/27; AYM 5/27 in WNC 5/29; NYT, WP, WT 5/28; al-Quds 5/28 in WNC 5/30; CNN, MM 5/29; MEI 6/1; NYT 6/2)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 2 Palestinians dead. Under police surveillance, Israelis, Jewish settlers march through Jerusalem to celebrate Jerusalem Day, marking Israel's capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 war. IDF helicopter gunships shell PSF post, a factory in Gaza where Israel claims mortars have been made. The IDF also sends tanks into al-Qarara to fire on several Palestinian homes; bulldozes Palestinian agricultural land nr. Netzarim settlement; fires heavy machine guns at residential areas of Bayt Jala, al-Bireh, Hebron, Gaza City, al-Tira. (NYT, WT 5/21; London Press Association 5/21 in WNC 5/22; HP 5/22; NYT 5/23; PCHR 5/24; LAW 5/25; MEI 6/1)

Powell urges Israel, the PA to implement the Mitchell Comm. recommendations by declaring an unconditional cease-fire but does not endorse the comm.'s call for a settlement freeze (saying Israel should "restrain" settlement expansion as a confidence building measure after violence halts). Powell says he will not meet with Arafat or Sharon as discussed on 5/16; instead charges U.S. Amb. to Jordan William Burns, who has been nominated as asst. secy. of state for Near East affairs, with exploring what confidence building measures could be employed once violence ceases. (MENA 5/21 in WNC 5/22; ITAR-TASS 5/21, AYM, HJ, MENA 5/22 in WNC 5/23; MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/22; MM, WP 5/23; AYM, HA, JT, MA, MENA, QA, al-Ra'i 5/23 in WNC 5/24; WJW 5/24; QA 5/25 in WNC 5/29; MEI 6/1; NYT 6/2)

Pres. Clinton vetoes the IMPSA; says bill is inflexible, will not stop missile proliferation, will needlessly harm relations with Russia. IMPSA passed by 392-22 in the House on 11/12/97, 90-4 in Senate on 5/22/98, meaning chances that veto will be overridden are high. (YA 6/26 in WNC 6/29; Near East Report 6/29)

Pres. Clinton sends letter of response to CPMAJO's 5/14 letter, saying that the U.S. will not pressure Israel to take decisions, will not make decisions on Israel's behalf on matters which concern Israeli security. (PR 7/3)

Egyptian FM Musa arrives in Saudi Arabia for talks on bilateral relations, possible Arab summit. (MENA 6/23 in WNC 6/25)

PA, Turkey signed education cooperation agmt. for 1998 to 2000. (Anatolia 6/23 in WNC 6/25)

IDF demolishes 5 Palestinian homes nr. Hebron, evicts 30 bedouin families. (LAW 6/25; PR 6/26)

New U.S. amb. to Syria, Ryan Crocker, presents his credential to FM Shara`. Crocker has also served as amb. to Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Qatar. (MM, WP 6/24)

Saudi Arabia, Yemen say that they have agreed on demarcation of 66% of their common border. Border fr. Jabal al-Thar to Ras al-Mawaj, 3 Red Sea islands remain in dispute. The 2 countries clashed over the boundary placement in 1994, 1995. (WT 6/24) (see 5/26)

PC gives Arafat until 6/15 to reshuffle the Executive Authority (EA; the PA's cabinet) or face no-confidence vote (he has not faced a no-confidence vote since the 1996 elections). (WP 6/12; MEI 7/3)

In Cairo, U.S. Asst. Secy. of State for Near East Affairs Martin Indyk briefs Pres. Mubarak on U.S. efforts to persuade Israel to accept the U.S. FRD proposal. (MENA, RE 6/9 in WNC 6/10; ITV, MENA 6/9 in WNC 6/11; MENA 6/9 in WNC 6/17)

In Vienna, Jordan's Crown Prince Hassan discusses peace process with Chancellor Viktor Klima, who assumes the presidency of the EU on 7/1. (RJ 6/9 in WNC 6/10, 6/11; Der Standard 6/12 in WNC 6/15)

In Tel Aviv, Jordan, Israel discuss import of Jordanian agricultural goods, farm products to Israel, PA self-rule areas. (JT 6/11 in WNC 6/12)

Iran, Turkey convene economic summit in Tehran. (IRIB Television 6/9 in WNC 6/11; IRNA 6/10 in WNC 6/12)

In keeping with UN Res. ES-10/5 of 3/17, Switzerland opens in Geneva a 3-day experts-level mtg. btwn. Israel, the PLO, with the International Comm. of the Red Cross, to examine measures that would contribute to the effective application of the Fourth Geneva Conventions in the occupied territories. (Palestine and the UN 6/98)

Israeli Interior Min. approves construction of 58 housing units for Jewish settlers nr. the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem. (Palestine and the UN 6/98)

U.S. government arrests without charge Muhammad Salah, a naturalized U.S. citizen once arrested in Israel for being a mbr. of Hamas; seizes his home, bank accounts worth $1.4 m.; hopes its investigation will lead to an indictment on charges of funding Hamas "terrorism." (NYT 6/14; JP 6/20; Shihan 7/11 in WNC 7/14)

PA Planning M Nabil Shaath arrives in Amman on 4-day visit, holds talks with Jordanian FM Anani on economic cooperation, creation of free trade zone. (RJ 5/19 in WNC 5/23; RJ 5/22 in WNC 5/27)

PA Elections Appeals Court cancels the Gaza by-election set for 5/29 to fill Haidar `Abd al-Shafi's seat on the Palestinian Council (PC). (PCHR 5/21; PR 5/29)

Israeli DM Yitzhak Mordechai discusses with Russian special envoy Viktor Posuvalyuk Israel's conditional withdrawal proposal for s. Lebanon, Russian military assistance to Iran. Posuvalyuk then heads to Amman for talks with Jordan's Crown Prince Hassan. (IDF Radio, QY, RJ 5/19 in WNC 5/21; JTV 5/19 in WNC 5/27)

The American Israel Public Affairs Comm. (AIPAC) holds rally on Capitol Hill to commemorate Israel's 50th anniversary. Speakers addressing the rally include Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS), Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA), House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-MO). (MM 5/20; Near East Report 6/1)

Kuwait releases last 3 of 13 Jordanian detainees pardoned 4/26. (JTV 5/19 in WNC 5/21) (see 5/13)

Jordanian court pardons opposition leader Laith Shubailat, sentenced 5/12 to 9 mos. in prison for inciting anti-U.S. riots in Ma'an in 2/98, pending withdrawal of his appeal. Shubailat is already free on appeal. (RJ 5/19, JT 5/20 in WNC 5/21)

Roadside bomb explodes in s. Lebanon, killing 2 civilians. SLA, Hizballah blame each other. (RL 5/19 in WNC 5/21)

Pres. Clinton meets with VP Gore, Secy. Albright, NSA Berger, special envoy Dennis Ross, Asst. Secy. of State for Near East Affairs Martin Indyk to discuss "new thinking" to revive peace process now that Iraq crisis has passed. (MM 3/4)

World Likud Chmn. Zalman Shoval, fmr. Israeli amb. to Washington, says that PM Netanyahu has enlisted him to start a "information campaign" targeting U.S. public opinion to lobby U.S. not to press Israel to make an FRD. (MM 3/3; WT 3/4) (see 3/2)

Hamas spiritual leader Shaykh Yasin arrives in Saudi Arabia. (MM 3/31; MM 4/9; WT 5/4)

In s. Lebanon, 1 Lebanese civilian is injured during IDF air strike on Hizballah target. (WT 3/4)

U.S. Defense Secy. William Cohen receives official Israeli delegation. (NYT 10/10)

In Damascus, Iran, Syria hold talks on agricultural, research cooperation. (IRNA 10/9 in WNC 10/14)

In Halhul, IDF arrests 10s of Palestinians after clash, which began when IDF troops demolished 10s of "illegal" vegetable stands along the main roads. (PR 10/17)

 U.S. Amb. to Tel Aviv Martin Indyk is confirmed as asst. secy. of state for Near Eastern affairs. He will be replaced by Amb. to Cairo Edward Walker Jr., who will be replaced by Daniel Kurtzer. (Near East Report 10/20)

Results of the vote by American Jews for U.S. delegates to the World Zionist Congress are released: Reform and Conservative slate pulls 72.7%, Orthodox 10.8%, Labor 3.4%, Likud 1.9%. (NYT 10/10)

PM Netanyahu finishes cabinet reshuffle, promising coalition mbrs. $1.4 b. (which he does not have available in the budget) for projects; denying Infrastructures M Sharon positions as finance M, in the policy-making inner cabinet; appointing MK Michael Eytan science M for 1 yr., after which the job will rotate to Likud's Silvan Shalom. (MM 7/8, 7/9; WP 7/10)

The House passes (377-33) the Prohibition of Financial Transactions with Countries Supporting Terrorism Act of 1997, closing a loophole in 1996 antiterrorism legislation that permitted transactions with Syria, Sudan. This bill is separate fr. the House res. passed by the Senate 6/17. (Near East Report 7/14; RMC 7/21 in WNC 7/22; WJW 7/24; MEI, MM 7/25)

Israeli court sentences Hamas mbr. Hassan Salameh to 46 consecutive life terms for engineering 3 suicide bombings that killed 46 persons. (WT 7/9; AFP 7/9 in WNC 7/10; WJW 7/10; JP 7/19) (see 6/18)

Iran, Saudi Arabia sign 4 memoranda of understanding on agricultural cooperation, transport and communications, joint investment, and transit trade to Central Asia. (MM 7/9)

In Washington, Pres. Clinton urges Qatar's emir Shaykh Hamad to move ahead with plans to host the Middle East-North Africa economic summit in 11/97. The emir criticizes the 6/10 House decision, calls on the U.S. to review its dual containment policy. (MM 6/11; al-Rayah [Doha] 6/17 in WNC 6/19; al-Ahram 6/18 in WNC 6/24; Intelligence Newsletter 6/26)

House passes Res. 1757, a version of the State Dept. Authorization Bill that earmarks $100 m. for the transfer of the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (Near East Report 6/12)

At the close of a 2-day mtg., donor, host governments pledge $4.1 m. to the UNRWA general fund for 1997. (UNRWA press release 6/12, 6/19) (see 5/26)

Jordan, Saudi Arabia open new border post at Aqaba+nal-Dirri+nHaql area. (RJ 6/10 in WNC 6/11)

At the Western Wall, Orthodox Jews, angered by men and women praying together, attack Conservative Jews, then attack Palestinians nr. the Old City, spray tear gas at Israeli police who try to stop them. (NYT 6/13; WT 6/16; JP 6/21)

Senate votes for 45-day extension of U.S. assistance to the PLO, scheduled to expire 6/30, based on the MEPFA; reinstates original MEPFA, overturning Sen. D'Amato's proposed amendments. (Near East Report 7/3) (see 6/12)

Hizballah fires 10 rockets into n. Israel, hitting Club Med resort, wounding 9 tourists, killing 1 French chef. (MM 6/23; HA, QY 6/23 in FBIS 6/23; WP 6/24; MM 6/26; JP 7/1)

In Cairo, PA, Israel open 3 days of talks on transfer of authority, focus on electricity, communications, water, public works. PA says it will accept phased Israeli withdrawal fr. West Bank within framework of agmt. that includes specific timetable. (MENA 6/20 in FBIS 6/21)

Multilateral Working Group on Water meets in Amman, then  convenes joint mtg. with working group on environment. Syrian, Lebanese representatives reportedly meet with Israeli delegate behind scenes. (IGPO 6/19; QY 6/30 in FBIS 7/5; MBC 7/15 in FBIS 7/17)

Under terms of 10/26 Jordan-Israel treaty, water pipeline fr. Lake Tiberias to Israel begins operating. (RJ 6/20 in FBIS 6/28; NYT 6/21)

PM Rabin, FM Peres, Environment M Sarid, IDF officers tour West Bank n. of Jerusalem to view plans for redeployment of IDF troops outside Palestinian towns. (QY 6/20 in FBIS 6/21)

Israeli FMin. deems PA's 1st "active" year "reasonably successful," Arafat "a dominant and indispensable figure" who successfully handled his opposition. (MA 6/20 in FBIS 6/20)

East Jerusalem Municipal Council, formally reactivated by Arafat 6/12, holds 1st mgt. (HA 6/26 in FBIS 6/27) (see 5/30)

House approves antiterrorism bill similar to that passed in the Senate 6/7 by vote of 23-12. Differences between the two must be worked out in committee. (WT 6/21) (see 8/4)

256 mbrs. of Congress send letter to Secy. of State Christopher in support of moving U.S. embassy fr. Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Letter is a companion to the one sent by 93 senators 3/95. Christopher sends letter to Dole dissuading him fr. voting for bill. (Near East Report 7/3)

Secy. of State Christopher arrives in Jerusalem on 1st leg of Middle East tour focused on advancing the Syrian-Israeli track, setting agenda for upcoming Washington talks; meets with PM Rabin. (WP 6/7; MM, WT 6/8; QY 6/8 in FBIS 6/9; MEI 7/21)

Arafat meets with U.S. special envoy Ross in Jericho to discuss peace process, industrial zones, Christopher visit. (MM 6/8; VOP 6/8 in FBIS 6/8)

Jordanian parliament opens extraordinary session to address lifting Israeli boycott. (WP 7/14)

Frmr. PLO negotiator Haidar `Abd al-Shafi announces establishment of new Movement for Democratic Construction. Group calls for democratic elections that "produce legitimate representatives of the Palestinians people."(al-Manar 6/12 in FBIS 6/15; JP 6/17; PR 6/25)

House approves foreign affairs bill (222-192) that would cut aid by $1 b. next yr. and $500 m. in 1997; preserve $3 b. for Israel, $2.1 b. for Egypt; bring USAID, USIA, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency under State Dept. The House Appropriations Subcomm. sets allocations for 1996 (incl., $3 b. for Israel, $80 m. for refugee resettlement in Israel). (WP 6/8; WT 6/9; Near East Report 6/19)

Fatah Central Council meets in Tunis to assess peace process, discuss PA administration, economic problems, Fatah's role inside and outside o.t.; say there can be no progress without Israeli withdrawal from o.t. (VOP 3/16 in FBIS 3/16; AN 3/17; AFP, VOL 3/17 in FBIS 3/17; VOP 3/19 in FBIS 3/20)

Senate votes to limit Jordan's debt forgiveness to $50 m. for 1995 but promises remaining $225 m. for 1996, declining to overturn House decision (3/3) despite Pres. Clinton's wishes. Differing bills mean House, Senate must negotiate final version. Jordan welcomes decision. (JT, RJ 3/18 in FBIS 3/20; WP 3/22, Near East Report 3/27; WT 3/30; MEI 3/31)

Israeli Tourism M approves construction of youth hostel, restaurant in Golan Heights. (QY 3/16 in FBIS 3/17)

Arafat arrives in Cairo to discuss with Pres. Mubarak; his mtgs. with King Hussein, peace process, relations with Egypt. (JTV, MENA 1/27 in FBIS 1/27)

PA disarms 60 Palestinian policemen belonging to Hamas, Islamic Jihad, gives them administrative duties. (QY 1/27 in FBIS 1/27)

1,000 IDF soldiers raid College of Science and Technology at Abu Dis, West Bank, arrest 30 Palestinians for suspected membership in Hamas, Islamic Jihad. Damage estimated at $33,000. (QY 1/27 in FBIS 1/27; WP, WT 1/28; MEI 2/3; JP 2/11)

Shin Bet requests greater leeway in fighting terrorism, incl. right to enter any West Bank area without permission, control of electricity and water, reestablishing network of informers, rejection of joint patrols with PA. (JP 1/27 in FBIS 1/30) 

U.S. State Dept. Historian releases documents on Middle East, incl. memo on 1/1961 closed-door mtg. of Near East subcommittee mbrs., discussing Israel's Dimona plant, atomic projects. Memo shows senators agreed that "it would be unfair to publicly brand Israel as a villain," doing so would encourage Arab states to take actions against Israel. (WT 1/28)

Egypt's Pres. Mubarak, Jordan's King Hussein meet for 1st time in 4 yrs. in Aqaba; agree to renew relations frozen since 1990 Gulf crisis, try to find "unified Arab understanding of all Arab and regional issues." (JT, MENA, RJ 1/21, RE 1/22 in FBIS 1/23; NYT, WP, WT 1/22; MENA 1/23; JP 1/28)

U.S. Asst. Secy of State for Near East Affairs Robert Pelletreau arrives in Egypt to take part in multilateral steering comm. mtg.; holds talks with Egyptian FM Musa, Israeli Dep. FM Beilin aimed at reconciling Israel, Egypt. (MENA 1/21, 1/23 in FBIS 1/23; MENA, al-Ra`y 1/24 in FBIS 1/25)

Poll conducted by Palestinian Center for Public Opinion shows 57% of Palestinians polled approve of 1/22 bombings, would like to see more such actions such inside Israel; 32% do not approve--almost exact opposite of results received 5 mos. ago. (WP 1/31)