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  • November 11, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized 4 Palestinian-owned vehicles in Hebron. Israeli settlers also assaulted Palestinians harvesting olives near Hebron, causing injuries. Israeli forces...

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  • October 19, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers assaulted Israeli activists helping Palestinians in Kisan with olive harvesting. Israeli settlers also assaulted Palestinians harvesting olives with sticks and...

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  • September 21, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and injured 2 Palestinian minors during a raid in Rumana; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinians...

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  • June 6, 2022

    In the West Bank, PA forces arrested 9 Palestinian protesters during a general strike in Hebron over rising food prices. Food prices have been rising throughout the world due to Russia’s blockade...

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  • May 23, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers used pepper spray on a Palestinian family at a checkpoint near Burqa, injuring 3, including 1 infant; the infant was rushed to a hospital. Israeli forces shot...

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  • April 1, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort raided Qaryut, leading to a confrontation with Palestinians; 2 were injured by baton rounds. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian...

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  • March 13, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set up structures in the settlement outpost Shadmot Mehola and near Khirbat al-Farisiyah. 1 Israeli settler also opened fire on a school in Tuqu‘ after a bus...

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  • March 12, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers used pepper spray to assault 3 Palestinian women picking gundelia flowers near Kisan. Israeli settlers also threw stones at Palestinian vehicles near the Homesh...

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  • March 9, 2022

    In the West Bank, 1 Palestinian who was shot by Israeli forces during a protest in Burqa on 3/1 succumbed to his wounds. Israeli settlers uprooted and stole grape saplings and damaged a stone wall...

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  • March 7, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set up tents and a mobile home on Palestinian-owned land in Battir. Israeli forces assaulted and arrested 1 Palestinian in Hebron. Israeli forces also shot and...

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  • March 6, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli MK Itamar Ben-Gvir drew a gun at Palestinians, claiming they were throwing stones at settler vehicles near al-Arroub refugee camp; no injuries or damage were reported....

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  • March 5, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces raided al-Quds University campus in Abu Dis, firing stun grenades and tear gas; no injuries were reported. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian...

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  • March 2, 2022

    In the West Bank, 1 Israeli settler was injured in a stabbing incident in Hizma; Israel claimed the man was stabbed by a Palestinian; 1 Palestinian man was arrested on 3/3 for the stabbing and for...

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  • February 27, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles and attempted to break into a house in Sinjil. Israeli settlers also blocked a main road in the Masafer Yatta area. Israeli...

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  • February 24, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers from the Migdalim settlement dumped sewage waste on Palestinian agricultural lands in Qusra, damaging crops. Israeli settlers with military escort, for the 4th...

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  • February 19, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 5 with rubber-coated bullets and others with tear gas. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian family...

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  • December 16, 2021

    In the West Bank, 1 Israeli settler was shot and killed and 2 others wounded when 10 shots were fired at their car at the Homesh settlement outpost near Nablus. Israel’s public security minister...

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  • August 19, 2019

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces sealed off ‘Azun east of Qalqilya. Israeli forces also demolished and confiscated a barrack and confiscated a welding machine and other tools in Dura near Hebron....

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  • May 14, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion close to the border fence nr. Gaza City to level land. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in al-Fawar r.c...

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  • March 10, 2011

    The family of a Palestinian engineer fr. Gaza, Dirar Abu Sisi, who disappeared on 2/19/2011 in the Ukraine claim that Mossad agents kidnapped him and brought him back to Israel where he is being...

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  • January 1, 2009

    As OCL enters day 6, Israel announces that it will allow 443 foreign passportholders living in Gaza (mostly the spouses and children of Gazan Palestinians, including U.S., Russian, Moldovan,...

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  • July 17, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF expands ground operations in Bayt Hanun under artillery fire, occupying the town, firing on residential areas (killing 2 Palestinians), bulldozing land and homes, occupying houses...

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  • January 7, 2000

    At Shepherdstown, Pres. Clinton presents to Barak, Shara` with a U.S. draft for an Israeli-Syrian core agmt. The State Dept. describes the 7-page document, which is not released, as "a summary of...

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  • April 6, 1999

    In Moscow, Arafat meets with Russian pres. Boris Yeltsin, who calls for extension of the Oslo interim period. Arafat then leaves for the Ukraine for talks on the declaration of state...

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  • March 21, 1999

    In Vienna, Arafat meets Austrian chancellor Victor Klima. (Oesterreich Eins Radio Network 3/21 in WNC 3/22)

    First lady Hillary Clinton, daughter Chelsea arrive in...

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  • March 6, 1998

    Acting in his capacity as head of the EU troika, British FM Cook outlines the 6 steps that the EU believes Israel, the PA must take to restore confidence, trust, sense of progress in...

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  • November 24, 1992

    The Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM), a 17-mbr. Western trade group established to monitor high-tech sales to communist countries, meets in Paris. Meeting is...

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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized 4 Palestinian-owned vehicles in Hebron. Israeli settlers also assaulted Palestinians harvesting olives near Hebron, causing injuries. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Bethlehem, injuring 1 minor with shrapnel from live ammunition and others with tear gas. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in al-Bireh, injuring 1 minor with live ammunition and others with tear gas. Elsewhere, Israeli forces assaulted 1 Palestinian man after forcing him out of his car in Hebron. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 3 Palestinians and 1 international activist with a baton round and others with tear gas. Meanwhile, Israeli forces confiscated 2 tractors and 1 car in Hamsa in the Jordan Valley. 2 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Jenin refugee camp and Tayasir. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 11/11; PCHR 11/17; UNOCHA 11/25)

The UN special political and decolonization committee approved draft resolution A/C.4/77/L.12/REV.1 requesting the International Court of Justice give its opinion on the legal status of the Israeli occupation of Palestine since 1967. The resolution will go to the UNGA for a vote. The draft resolution passed 98-17 with 52 countries abstaining. Notably, Ukraine voted for the draft resolution and the UK abstained. The U.S., Israel, Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Italy were among the countries to vote against. According to Israel’s ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan, Israel lobbied “dozens of countries that we have persuaded not to support” the draft resolution. Israeli president Isaac Herzog also called PA president Mahmoud Abbas in an effort to pressure Abbas into retracting the proposal. (HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA 11/11; HA, HA, MEE, MEMO 11/12; HA, HA, HA, WAFA 11/13; HA, HA, REU 11/15; HA 11/16)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers assaulted Israeli activists helping Palestinians in Kisan with olive harvesting. Israeli settlers also assaulted Palestinians harvesting olives with sticks and pepper spray in Jamma‘in. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian after he allegedly shot and injured a settlement guard at the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement. The Palestinian is also accused of having shot and killed an Israeli soldier on 10/8. Israeli forces also delivered demolition notices against 1 agricultural structure in Azzun ‘Atma and 1 in Nabi Ilyas. Elsewhere, Israeli forces prevented Palestinians from harvesting olives near Dayr al-Ghusun by denying them access to their land. (AP, HA, HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/19; MDW, MEE, MEMO, PCHR, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/20; HA 10/21; UNOCHA 11/1)

Acting UN humanitarian coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territories Lucia Elmi said 2022 had been the deadliest year on average for Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 2006. Coordinator Elmi said at least 105 Palestinians, including 26 children, had been killed, up by 57% compared to the monthly average in 2021. (WAFA 10/19)

A group of Hamas officials, including Khalil al-Hayya, met with Syrian president Bashir al-Asad in Damascus. Hamas cut relations with the Syrian government in 2012 after the outbreak of the Syrian civil war. (REU 10/18; AP, HA, MEE, REU 10/19)

Hamas said that Saudi Arabia had released 83-year-old Hamas official Mohammad Al-Khudary from prison after 3 years; he was said to be traveling to Jordan. (AJ, MEE, REU 10/19)

Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz issued a statement saying that Israel will not supply air defense systems to Ukraine. Media reported that while Israel is under pressure to support Ukraine in their effort to repel Russian forces, the Israeli government is afraid that Russia will retaliate by supplying S-400 air defense systems to Syria and Iran. (AX, HA, HA, MEE 10/19; HA, MEMO 10/20)

PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said Arab and Islamic countries had donated $39.5 million for developmental projects in Palestine through the Islamic Development Bank. (MEMO 10/20)

The PA also signed a $6.3 million economic support agreement with Norway and the UN development program for school projects in East Jerusalem. (WAFA 10/19)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and injured 2 Palestinian minors during a raid in Rumana; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinians during a raid in al-Arroub refugee camp, causing tear-gas related injuries. Elsewhere, Israeli forces razed farmland and olive trees in al-Zawiya to make room for water pipes connecting 2 Israeli settlements. Israeli forces also seized 1 bulldozer and construction equipment in Artas, seized 1 mobile home in Duma, and demolished 2 residential structures near Kafr Malik, displacing 17. 12 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Dura, Hebron, Dheisheh refugee camp, Kafr Ni‘ma, and Tulkarm. In the Naqab, Israeli authorities demolished 1 Palestinian-owned home in al-Buqei‘a Bedouin community, displacing 14. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 9/21; PCHR 9/22; UNOCHA 9/30)

The PA security forces and local militant factions in Nablus reached an agreement to end tensions in the city. The PA security forces reportedly promised not to arrest Palestinians in Nablus on behalf of Israel and that the PA would release many of those arrested on 9/20 during the unrest that followed the arrest of Hamas member Musab Ashtaya. (HA 9/22)

30 Palestinians held on administrative detention announced that they would start an open-ended hunger strike, demanding their freedom. The mass hunger strike is scheduled to begin on 9/25. (AJ 9/25)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas held meetings with leaders of the UK, Libya, Malta, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Norway at the sidelines of the annual UNGA meeting. President Abbas also met with president of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari at the UN building. (WAFA 9/21; WAFA 9/22)

UK prime minister Liz Truss told Israeli prime minister Yair Lapid, during a meeting on the sidelines of the UNGA, that she is considering moving the UK embassy of Israel to Jerusalem. A spokesperson for Prime Minister Truss told reporters that Truss’s government is reviewing the current location of the embassy. The PA condemned the news, saying that “opening an embassy in Jerusalem amounts to complicity in Israel’s illegal annexation of the city.” Prime Minister Lapid also met with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and UN secretary-general António Guterres. (ALM, NAT 9/21; AJ, DM, GDN, HA, IN, JP, MEE, MEMO, MEMO, REU, TOI, WAFA, WAFA 9/22; MEE 9/23; MEMO 9/24)

Saudi foreign minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and EU high representative for foreign affairs Josep Borell convened a meeting with representatives from 25 countries, including the U.S. and the PA, to find ways to revamp the Arab Peace Initiative. (AX 9/21; WAFA 9/22)

The foreign ministers of Egypt, France, Jordan, and Germany held a meeting on the sidelines of the UNGA, focused on revamping the Middle East peace process. The 4 countries released a statement calling on resuming direct negotiations. (WAFA 9/22; WAFA 9/23)

In an interview with French media, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that he was “in shock” over Israel’s refusal to supply air defense systems to Ukraine to help the country in its fight against the occupying Russian forces. (TOI 9/23; JP, MEE, REU 9/24; AJ 9/25)

In the West Bank, PA forces arrested 9 Palestinian protesters during a general strike in Hebron over rising food prices. Food prices have been rising throughout the world due to Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian wheat and global supply chain issues. In Palestine, prices on flour, sugar, and cooking oil have risen up to 30% in the last quarter. 1 Israeli settler opened fire at Palestinians, claiming they had thrown stones at him; no injuries were reported. Israeli forces delivered a demolition notice for part of a Palestinian home in al-Rakiz in the Masafer Yatta area. Israeli forces also raided Nabi Salih, firing tear gas at Palestinians protesting the incursion; no injuries were reported. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed a Palestinian protest in Tubas, causing tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also delivered notices to Palestinians in Tarqumiyah informing them that 600 dunams (148 acres) of agricultural land will be seized by Israel to expand the settlements of Telem and Adora. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces raided Silwan, firing tear gas at Palestinians and causing injuries. In Jerusalem, Israeli right-wing activists raided the Greek Garden and the Church of Holy Trinity on Mount Zion, damaging property of the Greek Orthodox church. The Greek foreign ministry called on Israel to take “appropriate action” against the perpetrators. (AN, HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/6; WAFA 6/7; HA, MDW, PCHR 6/9; UNOCHA 6/17)

The Israeli Knesset failed to pass the 1st vote on extending the Emergency Regulations – Judea and Samaria, Jurisdiction and Legal Aid, extending Israeli law to Israeli settlers living in the West Bank. 58 voted against and 52 voted for, as the Israeli right-wing opposition voted against the measure to trigger the dissolution of the coalition government. The emergency regulation expires at the end of June. 2 party members in the Israeli coalition, Mazen Ghanaim from the United Arab List and Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi from Meretz, voted against the bill, as did the members of the Joint Arab List. (AJ, AJ, AP, GDN, NYT, POL, TOI 6/6; ALM, HA, HA, JP, MDW, TOI 6/7; AP 6/8; AP, TOI 6/10)

The Palestinian Prisoner Society reported that 1 Palestinian prisoner who has been hunger-striking for 96 days in protest over his administrative detention was in critical condition. (WAFA 6/6)

Amnesty International (AI) called on Israel to “immediately release” Salah Hammouri, a Palestinian-French human rights lawyer who works for Addameer and who has been held in administrative detention since 3/7. AI also demanded that Israel ensure that Hammouri’s East Jerusalem residency status will not be revoked. (AI 6/6)

A survey conducted by the Israeli Democracy Institute found that 60% of Israeli Jews favored segregation from the country’s Palestinian community, up from 45% in last year’s survey. In comparison, about 20% of Palestinian citizens of Israel favored segregation. (HA 6/6)

In Syria, Syrian media reported that the Syrian military had intercepted Israeli missiles targeting Damascus. (HA, REU 6/6; JP, TOI 6/7)

U.S. senators Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Jon Ossoff (D-GA) sent a letter to U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken, urging the Biden administration to ensure a “full and transparent investigation” into the killing of Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on 5/11 in Jenin refugee camp. The 2 senators gave the Biden administration 30 days to report on progress related to the investigation. (AJ, HA, MDW, MEE, TOI, WP 6/7)

Haaretz reported on recently released documents at the Israeli State Archive, which details conversations between Israeli and U.S. officials during the 1st Israeli Invasion of Lebanon. In the trove of released documents are conversations between then Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and U.S. president Ronald Reagan, where President Reagan suggests that Palestinian refugees in Lebanon become Lebanese citizens. Prime Minister Begin responds by suggesting that Palestinians in Lebanon be deported to Libya, Iraq, Syria, or Saudi Arabia. (HA 6/6)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers used pepper spray on a Palestinian family at a checkpoint near Burqa, injuring 3, including 1 infant; the infant was rushed to a hospital. Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian minor at a checkpoint near Ras Kaskar. Israeli forces also demolished 3 agricultural structures in Kafr ad-Dik, 2 residential structures near Jericho, and delivered demolition notices for 3 residential structures in al-Juwaya in the Masafer Yatta area. 10 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Ni‘lin, Kafr Ni‘ma, Karbatha al-Misbah, Birzeit, Harmala, Tuqu‘, Hebron, Balata refugee camp, Jenin, and Rumana. In East Jerusalem, 2 Israelis were detained at the Haram al-Sharif compound after engaging in Jewish prayers. (TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/23; HA, WAFA, WAFA 5/24; PCHR 5/26; UNOCHA 6/4)

2 Palestinians said that they were tortured for a month by the Shin Bet before confessing to throwing stones at Israeli forces, leading to 8-month sentences. The alleged torture included stress positions, solitary confinement, sleep and food deprivation, and denial of bathroom access. (HA 5/23; HA 5/24)

Haaretz reported that an Israeli probe into the death of a Palestinian man who was attacked by Israeli police in April at the Haram al-Sharif compound but died on 5/14 stated that the man had not been hit by an Israeli baton round; instead, the 21-year-old man had a heart attack that led to head trauma. (HA, TOI 5/23)

The PA foreign ministry said it had submitted a file to the ICC prosecutor documenting Israeli violations of international law, including the killing of Palestinian American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. The general secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative Mustafa Barghouti also called out the international community’s double standard in sending 42 ICC investigations to Ukraine to document violations of international law there while not starting an investigation into violations by Israel in Palestine. (AJ, MEE, WAFA 5/23)

Axios reported that the U.S. Biden administration is leading negotiations between Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt over Tiran and Sanafir Island in the Red Sea, which have been subject to dispute between Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Axios said that the negotiations are part of the U.S. and Israeli efforts to normalize ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Faisal bin Farhan said later, on 5/24, that Saudi normalization with Israel is dependent on an end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Haaretz later reported that Saudi Arabia directly approached Israel in 2017 about the status of the 2 islands because a transfer of the 2 required Israeli approval due to the Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement of 1979. (AX 5/23; MEE, MEMO, TOI 5/24; HA, MEMO 5/25; INT 5/27; HA, HA, HA 5/29; MEE, REU 5/30)

Israel Hayom reported that Israel and Morocco had signed 13 memorandums of understanding on issues pertaining to technology, agriculture, and climate at a conference in Casablanca dubbed Connect to Innovate. (ALM 5/26)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort raided Qaryut, leading to a confrontation with Palestinians; 2 were injured by baton rounds. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian man during a raid in Hebron; Israeli forces claimed that the man had thrown a Molotov cocktail at the forces before they shot him in the head. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinians commemorating Land Day in Bil‘in, injuring 1 with live ammunition and others with tear gas. Elsewhere, Israeli forces shot and injured 2 Palestinians using live ammunition during a raid in Bani Zeid. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 9, including 3 minors, using baton rounds; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. 14 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in al-Yamun, Bayt Rima, Beita, Salfit, Bethlehem, and Hebron. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian woman was arrested at the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Gaza, 1 19-month-old Palestinian girl died after waiting 5 months for a permit to go to Israel to get surgery for a hole in her heart. Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian farmers east of Dayr al-Balah; no injuries were reported. (AJ, GDN, HA, MEE, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/1; PCHR 4/7; UNOCHA 4/10)

The UAE and Israel concluded negotiations on entering a free trade agreement, which will make 95% of trade products between the 2 countries custom free. The free trade agreement negotiations were part of the 2 countries’ normalization deal. (AJ, ALM, HA 4/1)

At the UN human rights council, 38 countries voted in favor of a resolution confirming the illegality of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories and the Golan Heights. Ukraine, Lithuania, Brazil, Cameroon, and Honduras abstained and the U.S., the UK, the Marshall Islands, and Malawi voted against. 41 countries voted for a resolution confirming the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination. Lithuania, Cameroon, and Honduras abstained, while the U.S., the UK, and the Marshall Islands voted against. (PCHR, WAFA 4/1; JP 4/3; AA 4/4)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set up structures in the settlement outpost Shadmot Mehola and near Khirbat al-Farisiyah. 1 Israeli settler also opened fire on a school in Tuqu‘ after a bus full of settlers stopped near the school; no injuries were reported. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire and fired tear gas on Palestinian bird hunters east of Dayr al-Balah, Khan Yunis, and al-Qarara; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/13; MEMO 3/14; PCHR 3/17; UNOCHA 3/25)

The PA said that all Palestinian nationals seeking to leave Ukraine due to the Russian invasion had been evacuated. (WAFA 3/13)

Iran said it had temporarily suspended its talks with Saudi Arabia to mend the 2 countries’ ties. The announcement came 1 day after Saudi Arabia executed 81 people on the same day, including 3 dozen Shia Muslims. Iranian and Saudi Arabian officials were scheduled to meet on 3/16. (AJ, AP, HA, MEMO, REU 3/13; MEMO 3/15)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers used pepper spray to assault 3 Palestinian women picking gundelia flowers near Kisan. Israeli settlers also threw stones at Palestinian vehicles near the Homesh settlement outpost. Later, when Israeli forces tried to intervene, the Israeli settlers threw stones at the Israeli forces. (WAFA 3/12; HA 3/16; PCHR 3/17; UNOCHA 3/25)

The Israeli Jerusalem municipality’s planning and building committee approved a plan to build 730 new Israeli settlement units in the Pisgat Ze’ev settlement in East Jerusalem. The PA and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation condemned the plan approval. (WAFA, WAFA 3/12; WAFA 3/13)

In response to an Israeli attack in Syria that killed 2 members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard on 3/7, Iran fired 12 missiles at Irbil in Iraq targeting Israeli “strategic centers,” according to Iranian state media. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard released a statement saying it would continue to respond to Israeli attacks on Iranians in the future. Lebanese media reported that 4 Israeli officers were killed in the attack, while Iraqi and American sources said that there were no casualties. U.S. national security advisor Jake Sullivan condemned the Iranian attack and said that the U.S. is working with Iraq to help it gain missile defense capabilities. The New York Times later reported that the Iranian attack was also a response to a secret Israeli attack on an Iranian drone facility in Kermanshah on 2/12, which allegedly was carried out from Iraq with the use of 6 suicide quadcopter drones. (AJ, HA, HA, HA, MEMO, MEMO, REU, REU, REU 3/13; AJ, AP, AP, MEE, MEMO, MEMO 3/14; ALM, HA, MEMO 3/15; HA, HA, NYT 3/16; HA, MEMO 3/17)

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy told reporters in Kyiv that he would like to have a top-level meeting with Russia in Jerusalem to end the war, pointing out that early Israeli leaders were from Ukraine. Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett has presented himself as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine, but he has been criticized by some Ukrainian officials for trying to persuade Ukraine into give up territory to Russia to end the war. Others have criticized Prime Minister Bennett for avoiding to take a hard stance against Russia and supporting Ukraine by trying to mediate. (ALM, AX, HA 3/11; HA, HA, MEMO, REU, REU 3/12; HA 3/13; ALM 3/15; HA 3/17)

In the West Bank, 1 Palestinian who was shot by Israeli forces during a protest in Burqa on 3/1 succumbed to his wounds. Israeli settlers uprooted and stole grape saplings and damaged a stone wall and barbed wire fence in Kafr ad-Dik. Israeli settlers also razed a plot of land near Battir. Israeli forces violently dispersed a memorial service held for a Palestinian killed by Israeli forces on 3/1 at the Khadouri Technical University campus north of Hebron, injuring 3 with rubber-coated bullets and others with tear gas. Israeli forces also confiscated 2 water pumps and electric cables in Birin. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished 1 Palestinian-owned home in Khallet al-Eideh near Hebron and assaulted 2 Palestinians resisting the demolition. Israeli forces also delivered a demolition order for a residential structure in the Abu al-Nuwwar Bedouin community east of Jerusalem. 20 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Jalazun refugee camp, al-Ram, Deir Abu Mash‘al, Tuqu‘, Hebron, Yatta, al-Zawiya, Jenin, and Fahma. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolished 1 Palestinian house under construction in Shu‘fat refugee camp. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen west of Beit Lahiya; no injuries were reported. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian famers east of Beit Hanun and Khan Yunis; no injuries were reported. In Israel, anti-Palestinian graffiti was sprayed on 1 Palestinian vehicle and the tires of 30 vehicles were slashed in Jaljulia. (HA, HA, MEMO, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/9; MEMO, PCHR 3/10; UNOCHA 3/11; UNOCHA 3/25)

Israel’s police commissioner Kobi Shabtai instructed the Israeli police to halt Palestinian home evictions and demolitions in East Jerusalem and the Naqab during the month of Ramadan. (HA 3/9)

The Israeli civil administration said, after having to respond to a freedom of information petition from HaMoked, that during 2021 it had banned 10,594 Palestinians from the West Bank from traveling abroad. According to a source in the civil administration, travel bans can be applied to Palestinians by Israel automatically, for example, in cases where the person is a relative of someone deemed by Israel to be involved with terrorism. (HA, MEE 3/9; MEMO 3/10)

PA civil affairs minister Hussein al-Sheikh met with Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid. Civil Affairs Minister al-Sheikh said he stressed to Lapid the need for a political horizon and an end to Israeli settlement expansion. (WAFA 3/9)

The Jewish Agency said that “[i]f all goes well, we will bring tens of thousands [of Ukrainians] to Israel in the coming year,” referring to the refugee crisis in Ukraine as Russia has declared war on the country. (HA 3/9)

Israeli president Isaac Herzog met with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara. President Erdoğan told reporters after the meeting that he believes the 2 countries are entering an era of mutual ties. (AJ, ALM, AP, AX, HA, NYT, REU 3/9; HA, TOI 3/10)

Former U.S. vice president Mike Pence toured Hebron, including al-Ibrahimi Mosque, with Israeli settler activists MK Itamar Ben-Gvir and Baruch Marzel, who were both leaders of the Kach movement. Vice President Pence also received an honorary degree from the settler university in Ariel and met with former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, current prime minister Naftali Bennett, president Isaac Herzog, and foreign minister Yair Lapid. (AX 3/9; AP, HA, WAFA, WP 3/10; MEMO 3/11)

Belgium signed a cooperation agreement with the PA worth $77 million over 5 years. The funding is earmarked for education, vocational training, job creation, and climate issues in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza. (WAFA 3/9; MEMO 3/10)

China donated 200,000 doses of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines to UNRWA to help inoculate Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. (WAFA 3/9)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set up tents and a mobile home on Palestinian-owned land in Battir. Israeli forces assaulted and arrested 1 Palestinian in Hebron. Israeli forces also shot and injured 1 Palestinian with a rubber-coated bullet and others suffered tear-gas related injuries during a raid in Abu Dis; 7 were arrested. 25 other Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids ‘Azzun, Silat al-Harithiya, Nur Shams refugee camp, Nablus, Beitunia, al-Bireh, Dayr Abu Mash‘al, al-Khader, Hebron, and Dura. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian man who allegedly had stabbed 2 Israeli soldiers in the Old City; the man was shot by Israeli forces while he was lying on the ground. Israeli police removed 10 checkpoints in Sheikh Jarrah after Adalah petitioned the Israeli supreme court to have the checkpoints removed. The checkpoints were erected to help protect Israeli settlers that have been harassing Palestinians threatened by eviction in the neighborhood. 1 Palestinian family demolished their own home in Bayt Hanina, displacing 5. 1 other Palestinian was arrested in Kafr ‘Aqab. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire east of Khuza‘a and Maghazi, damaging a vehicle; no injuries were reported. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/7; AJ, AP 3/8; PCHR 3/9 MEE, PCHR 3/10; UNOCHA 3/11; PCN 3/14)

Israel charged 4 Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah with throwing a Molotov cocktail at the home of 1 Israeli settler family’s residence in the neighborhood, causing a fire that destroyed the house and a vehicle in January. (HA 3/7)

In Syria, Israeli fighter jets, flying from Lebanese air space, fired missiles at the Damascus area, killing 2 and causing damage. Iran later said that the 2 killed were members of the Revolutionary Guard Corps. (AJ, HA, JP, MEMO, TOI 3/7; HA 3/8; AP, MEMO, REU 3/9; MEMO 3/10)

Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid met with U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken in Latvia, briefing him on Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett’s efforts to mediate between Russia and Ukraine. (HA 3/7)

In the West Bank, Israeli MK Itamar Ben-Gvir drew a gun at Palestinians, claiming they were throwing stones at settler vehicles near al-Arroub refugee camp; no injuries or damage were reported. Later in the day, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting Ben-Gvir’s actions, injuring 1 with live ammunition. Israeli settlers also stole around 200 olive trees and saplings in Kafr ad-Dik and vandalized an agricultural structure. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian minor in Abu Dis, claiming he had thrown a Molotov cocktail at Israeli soldiers while they were raiding the village. 7 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Hebron, Aida refugee camp, and Nablus. In East Jerusalem, 2 Israeli settlers were arrested for allegedly damaging church property in the Old City. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian, saying he had stabbed 2 Israeli police officers in the Old City; Israeli forces later arrested his brother during a house raid in al-Tur where Israeli forces took measurements for a punitive demolition. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen northwest of Khan Yunis; no injuries were reported. (ABC, AJ, AP, HA, HA, HA, JP, MEE, MEMO, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/6; JP, MEMO, PCHR, TOI, WAFA 3/7; PCHR 3/10; UNOCHA 3/11)

The Israeli military spokesperson claimed that Israel had intercepted 2 Iranian drones in March of 2021, which Israel claimed to believe were transporting weapons to Gaza. (HA, MEMO 3/7)

Israel’s interior minister Ayelet Shaked said at the Knesset that too many Ukrainian refugees that are not Jewish have entered Israel since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 2/24. Interior Minister Shaked said she was working on an approach to bring in more Jewish Ukrainian refugees. (HA 3/6; HA, JDF 3/7)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces raided al-Quds University campus in Abu Dis, firing stun grenades and tear gas; no injuries were reported. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 2 minors with rubber-coated bullets. (WAFA 3/5; PCHR 3/10; UNOCHA 3/11)

In an apparent effort to mediate between Russia and Ukraine, Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett met with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Moscow, followed by phone calls with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, German chancellor Olaf Scholz, and French president Emmanuel Macron. (HA, HA, REU 3/5; AP, HA, HA, REU, REU 3/6; HA 3/7)

In the West Bank, 1 Israeli settler was injured in a stabbing incident in Hizma; Israel claimed the man was stabbed by a Palestinian; 1 Palestinian man was arrested on 3/3 for the stabbing and for a different stabbing of an Israeli settler on 3/3. Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians and Israeli soldiers near the Homesh settlement outpost, throwing stones at Palestinian cars and assaulting Israeli soldiers; 8 Israeli settlers were arrested. Israeli settlers also attacked Palestinian farmers near Kisan, threatening Palestinians picking gundelia plants in Khirbat Makhul and forcing them to leave. Israeli forces violently dispersed the funeral procession for 1 Palestinian killed by Israeli forces on 3/1 in al-Arroub refugee camp, causing tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also fired a tear gas canister into a schoolyard in Tell, causing tear-gas related injuries. Elsewhere, Israeli forces delivered stop-work orders for 3 houses in al-Juwaya. Israeli forces also demolished 10 commercial structures in Hizma, affecting 13 Palestinian families. 37 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Silat al-Harithiya, Beita, Tell, Qalqilya, Husan, Dura, and Fawwar refugee camp. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces closed off Sheikh Jarrah to Palestinian visitors to facilitate a settler rally. Israeli forces also demolished 1 commercial structure in Bayt Hanina. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/2; HA, MEMO, PCHR 3/3; UNOCHA 3/11)

The PA closed the Christian organization Beit Al Liqa in Bethlehem for a week while it probed an event at the organization where prominent Israeli settler and former MK Yehuda Glick was present. Beit Al Liqa claimed that it was not aware of who Yehuda Glick was when he participated in the event and that he did not introduce himself to the organizers. (MEMO 3/3)

German chancellor Olaf Scholz met with Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett in Jerusalem, discussing the Iran nuclear deal and Russia’s war in Ukraine. Prime Minister Bennett said that the 2 had agreed to a new strategic partnership, which Bennett called a “big upgrade” in the 2 countries’ relations. Chancellor Scholz was also scheduled to meet with PA and Jordanian representatives in the West Bank and Jordan, but cut his visit to the region short. (AP, HA, HA, REU 3/2)

The Jewish Agency said that that up to 10,000 Ukrainian immigrants could arrive in Israel to seek Israeli citizenship based on their Jewish heritage. The Jewish Agency said that 5,000 Ukrainians had contacted the agency since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 2/24. 30,000 Ukrainian Jews immigrated to Israel between 2014 and 2018 after Russia annexed Crimea and fomented insurgencies in eastern Ukraine. The World Zionist Organization said on 2/27 that it wants to erect 1,000 portable structures for Ukrainian immigrants in the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and Israel. (HA 2/27; HA 3/2; AJ, MEMO 3/4; +972 3/22; HA 3/27)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles and attempted to break into a house in Sinjil. Israeli settlers also blocked a main road in the Masafer Yatta area. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting against settler violence in al-Lubban al-Sharqiya, assaulting 4 protesters and causing tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also delivered demolition orders for 3 homes, an agricultural structure, and a retaining wall in al-Walaja. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces delivered demolition orders for 3 commercial structures in Jabel Mukaber. 1 Palestinian family started demolishing their own home in Bayt Hanina, displacing 7. 4 Palestinians were arrested, including 2 at the Damascus Gate plaza and 2 at the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Israel, Israeli prison forces assaulted Palestinian prisoners in their cells in 2 sections of Rimon Prison. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at a landfill east of Dayr al-Balah; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/27; MEMO, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA 2/28; PCHR 3/3; UNOCHA 3/11)

The World Zionist Organization said it plans to make 1,000 portable structures available for Ukrainian immigrants in the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and Israel. Israel is expecting a large wave of immigration of Ukrainians with Jewish heritage as Russia attacked Ukraine on 2/24. The Israeli government will have to approve the placement of the portable structures for the Ukrainian immigrants. (AJ 3/4)

Israeli officials told Axios that U.S. president Joe Biden was disappointed that Israel refused to co-sponsor a UN security council resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 2/27. Israel, however, did vote in favor of a resolution at the UN general assembly condemning Russia’s invasion on 3/2. Israel is said to have asked the U.S. to understand its vague position regarding Russia’s invasion, given Israel’s cooperation with Russia on matters relating to Syria. The PA expressed “concern” about the situation but did not condemn Russia’s invasion. (HA 2/24; ALM 2/25; HA 2/26; AX, HA, NYT, TOI 2/27; HA 2/28; HA 3/1; HA, HA, HA 3/2; HA 3/3)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers from the Migdalim settlement dumped sewage waste on Palestinian agricultural lands in Qusra, damaging crops. Israeli settlers with military escort, for the 4th day in a row, tried to prevent Palestinian students from reaching their school in al-Lubban al-Sharqiya; Israeli forces assaulted 2 students and caused tear-gas related injuries to others. Israeli forces demolished 1 Palestinian home in ‘Anata. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers led by MK Itamar Ben-Gvir set up a tent and Israeli flags near the eviction-threatened Salem family home in Sheikh Jarrah, leading to a confrontation between Palestinians and Israeli forces; no injuries were reported. Israeli authorities handed a demolition order against 1 Palestinian in Jabel Mukaber. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/24; PCHR 3/3; UNOCHA 3/11)

2 Palestinian prisoners, who earlier in the year suspended their more than 100-day-long hunger strikes in protest over their administrative detention after striking a deal with Israel, were released. (WAFA 2/24; MEMO 2/25)

PA finance minister Shukri Bishara warned that the PA will have to institute reforms in wages and health care in order to offset its large budget deficit. The 2021 fiscal year budget deficit was $757 million. (WAFA 2/24)

In Syria, Israeli forces fired missiles at Syrian targets near Damascus, killing 3 soldiers and causing damage. (AP, HA 2/24)

French interior minister Gérald Darmanin said on Twitter that he, at the request of President Emmanuel Macron, will ban 2 pro-Palestinian activist groups: Palestine Vaincra (Palestine Will Win) and Comité Palestine Action (Palestine Action Committee). Interior Minister Darmanin alleged that they promote anti-Israel hatred and that Palestine Vanicra is linked to the PFLP. (EI 2/24; MEMO 2/25)

After recognizing 2 separatist areas of Ukraine as independent, Russia declared war on Ukraine, sending in ground troops and conducting air strikes throughout Ukraine. (NYT, WAPO 2/23; AJ, CNN, HA, WAFA 2/24)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 5 with rubber-coated bullets and others with tear gas. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian family demolished their own home in Isawiya, displacing 10, including 6 children. (WAFA 2/19; PCHR 2/24; UNOCHA 2/28)

It was reported that a draft of a PA presidential decree indicated that the PA was working to turn the PLO into an organ of the PA. The PA said that it was merely a recommendation by a legal advisor and not an official decision. (ALM 2/25)

Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz met with U.S. vice president Kamala Harris at the Munich Security Conference. Defense Minister Gantz said that the 2 spoke about Israel’s normalization deals, “the importance of confidence-building measures with the Palestinians,” and the situation in Ukraine, where the U.S. believes Russia will launch an attack to capture Kyiv. The foreign ministers of Germany, France, Egypt, and Jordan issued a joint statement after a meeting at the conference, voicing support for Palestinians threatened by eviction in East Jerusalem and for a 2-state solution. (HA, TOI, WAFA 2/19)

In the West Bank, 1 Israeli settler was shot and killed and 2 others wounded when 10 shots were fired at their car at the Homesh settlement outpost near Nablus. Israel’s public security minister Omer Bar-Lev called it “Palestinian terror,” despite not having identified a perpetrator. Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian-owned vehicles traveling near Jenin, causing damage. Israeli settlers also made roadblocks and threw stones at Palestinian vehicles in the Hebron area. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles traveling near Huwwara and Nablus. Israeli forces physically assaulted 4 Palestinians, including 1 minor, in Hebron. Israeli forces also demolished 2 houses under construction in Jericho. Elsewhere, Israeli forces confiscated 1 tractor and 1 digger in Masafer Yatta. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters during a raid in al-Arroub refugee camp, injuring 2 minors with rubber-coated bullets and others with tear gas. 6 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Silat al-Harithiya, Madama, Jericho, Beit Fajjar, and Hebron. (AP, HA, MEE, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/16; AJ, HA, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA 12/17; PCHR 12/23)

The PA health ministry said that it had identified 3 cases of the highly infectious strain of the COVID-19 virus, the Omicron variant. The 3 were said to have returned to the West Bank from abroad before testing positive. 1 of 3 Palestinians in the West Bank are fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, and less than 140,000 have received a booster shot. (AP, HA, REU, WAFA 12/16)

Israel indicted a Palestinian taxi driver for having driven a Palestinian man from Qalqilya to the Damascus Gate plaza, before the man allegedly stabbed an Israeli and was subsequently executed by Israeli forces. The taxi driver is charged with negligence for not realizing that the man would commit an act of violence. (HA 12/16)

2 Palestinian men—1 a resident of Jaffa and 1 from Gaza—were charged with spying on behalf of Hamas by gathering information about the Iron Dome system and taking photos of Israeli soldiers in Ashkelon. (HA, MEMO 12/16)

In Syria, the Syrian military said Israeli missiles fired from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights had killed 1 Syrian soldier and caused damage in the south of the country. The Syrian military said its air defense system had intercepted most of the Israeli missiles. (AP 12/15; REU 12/16)

Israel’s environmental protection ministry said it had blocked a plan to allow oil tankers unloading crude oil from the UAE in the port of Eilat, which had been negotiated as part of the 2 countries’ normalization agreement. The plan would have seen the crude oil transferred from Eilat to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea. (REU 12/16)

The Times of Israel reported that the U.S. had shelved its plans to reopen a consulate to Palestinians in Jerusalem. ToI also said the Palestinian affairs unit at the U.S. embassy to Israel had begun reporting directly to the U.S. state department, rather than reporting to the U.S. ambassador to Israel, as had been the case since the Trump administration merged the consulate in Jerusalem with the U.S. embassy as part of its move from Tel Aviv. (TOI 12/15; MEMO 12/16; ALM 12/20)

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee announced it is launching 2 political action committees, which will allow the lobby organization to spend unlimited funds on political campaigns in the U.S. without having to report its spending to the U.S. government. (HA 12/17)

Meta Platforms Inc., the owner of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, announced that it had suspended some 1,500 fake accounts used to spy on people. The accounts are linked to 6 companies, including the Israeli companies Black Cube, Cognyte, Cobwebs Technologies, and Bluehawk CI. The 6 companies were said to have been targeting some 50,000 people. (HA 12/16; AJ 12/17; HA 12/21)

AP reported that the state of Oregon was exploring ways to divest $233 million of its employee retirement fund from Novalpina Capital, which owns a majority share in the Israeli spyware company NSO Group. NSO Group was blacklisted by the U.S. government in November for assisting in human rights abuses. The Oregon decision follows criticism from Oregon senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), who has been vocal about U.S. sanctions on NSO Group for abuses related to its Pegasus spyware. (AP 12/15; AP 12/17)

Ukrainian ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk said that Ukraine recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel during a speech at an event marking 30 years of relations between the 2 countries. Ambassador Korniychuk also said that he is seeking to open a branch of the Ukrainian embassy to Israel in Jerusalem. Israeli media speculated that Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky will open the embassy branch during a scheduled visit to Israel in 2022. (ALM, HA 12/17)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces sealed off ‘Azun east of Qalqilya. Israeli forces also demolished and confiscated a barrack and confiscated a welding machine and other tools in Dura near Hebron. Israeli forces arrested 21 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Hebron, Nablus, Ramallah, and Bethlehem. Israeli settlers with military escort performed religious rituals and prayers at Joseph’s Tomb near Nablus, leading to confrontations with local residents suffering tear gas inhalation. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces handed demolition orders for several structures to Palestinians in Issawiyya. Israeli forces also arrested 2 Palestinians, 1 during a late-night raid in the Old City and 1 during a raid at Haram al-Sharif. (WAFA, WAFA 8/19; WAFA 8/20; PCHR 8/22)

An Israeli official said that Israel had been in contact with countries in the Middle East to facilitate Palestinians in Gaza emigrating. The official also said that Israel would pay for the flights of Palestinians wanting to leave Gaza; however according to the official, no country had been willing to allow Palestinians from Gaza to immigrate to their country via the Israeli proposal. (HA 8/20)

At a press conference with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Ukraine’s newly inaugurated president Volodymyr Zelensky announced that his administration would open an investment center in Jerusalem. According to Haaretz, Israeli had hoped that Ukraine would have moved its embassy to Jerusalem. (HA 8/19)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion close to the border fence nr. Gaza City to level land. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in al-Fawar r.c., al-‘Arub r.c. and 2 villages nr. Hebron, in Balata r.c. and 1 village nr. Nablus, and in Jalazun r.c. and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in al-’Arub r.c. and 1 village nr. Hebron at night. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolish 3 Palestinian-owned structures in Bayt Hanina, Shu‘fat, and Ras al-Amud. (AFP, MNA 5/14; PCHR 5/15)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry meets with PA Pres. Abbas in London, where Kerry is attending talks with international partners on Syria and Ukraine. State Dept. spokesperson Psaki subsequently says Kerry made it clear that “while the door remains open to peace, it is up to the parties to determine whether they are willing to take the steps necessary to resume negotiations.” (AP 14/5)

Hamas and Fatah officials meet in Gaza to discuss the makeup of a unity govt., with Hamas chief negotiator Musa Abu Marzuq saying that talks would be finalized the following week. PM Ismail Haniyeh states that Hamas authorities will “clean the road to reconciliation from all obstacles and landmines” and calls on PA authorities in the West Bank “to take the same path and to maintain freedoms.” (HA, MNA 5/14)

Representatives of Iran and the P5+1 countries open negotiations in Vienna, with the goal of reaching a final agreement by 7/20. Substantial gaps remain, including on the future of uranium enrichment in Iran. As an initial step, EU foreign affairs chief Ashton and Iranian FM Zarif meet to put into writing what has already been agreed, as embodied by the 11/2013 interim deal. (HA 5/14)

The family of a Palestinian engineer fr. Gaza, Dirar Abu Sisi, who disappeared on 2/19/2011 in the Ukraine claim that Mossad agents kidnapped him and brought him back to Israel where he is being detained. Israel confirms only that Abu Sisi has been jailed in Ashkelon since 2/19. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in al-Bireh, Birzeit, and Jericho, and in 4 villages nr. Qalqilya and Ramallah; raids and searches a construction company nr. Qalqilya, arresting 2 teenagers for stone throwing. (NYT 3/11; WP 3/12; PCHR 3/17; OCHA 3/18)

As OCL enters day 6, Israel announces that it will allow 443 foreign passportholders living in Gaza (mostly the spouses and children of Gazan Palestinians, including U.S., Russian, Moldovan, Ukrainian, Turkish, and Norwegian passport-holders) to leave on 1/2, raising concerns that a major ground incursion into Gaza is imminent.

Israeli actions: The IDF continues air strikes and naval bombardment of Gaza, hitting at least 70 targets and carrying out at least 40 air strikes. Primary targets include the PA parliament building, Justice Min., Education Min., the headquarters of the PA presidency in Gaza City, homes of several other Hamas and PRC cmdrs., tunnels on the Rafah border, suspected weapons depots, 2 mosques in Jabaliya r.c., a fishing harbor w. of Khan Yunis, a water reservoir in Bayt Hanun. Target areas include Abasan, Bani Suhayla, Bayt Hanun, al-Bureij r.c., Gaza City, Jabaliya, Khan Yunis, al-Maghazi r.c., Nussayrat, al-Qarara, Rafah, Tal al-Za‘atar. By day’s end, the Palestinian toll is at least 412 dead.

Palestinian actions: Palestinians fire 59 rockets (at least 10 of them fired by Islamic Jihad) and 1 mortar into Israel, with 1 longrange rocket hitting an apartment building in Ashdod (causing heavy damage but no major injuries) and 3 in open areas outside Beersheba (causing no damage or injuries). Beersheba municipal official Shimon Krief says that city emergency workers received only 18 calls from concerned citizens during incoming rocket warnings today, stating “People are relaxed.” Beersheba hospital reports that since the city first came under rocket fire on 12/30, it has treated 10 Israelis for moderate physical injuries and 154 for stress, adding that “with each attack, we’ve gotten significantly fewer patients.”

Humanitarian notes: Israel allows 60 trucks of humanitarian aid into Gaza. The International Comm. of the Red Cross (ICRC) warns that humanitarian needs are growing sharply despite the limited entry of aid, noting severe shortages of water, cooking gas, electricity. Israeli human rights groups issue an appeal to DM Barak to restore fuel shipments to Gaza to allow proper functioning of hospitals, water services, and so on.

Of note: Air strikes today include an attack on the home of Hamas’s Nizar Rayyan, a cleric and chief liaison btwn. Hamas’s political and military wings, in a densely populated residential area inside Jabaliya r.c., assassinating him and killing his 4 wives and 11 of his 12 children, causing heavy damage to surrounding buildings; Rayyan is the most senior Hamas official to be killed since Israel assassinated Abd al-‘Aziz Rantisi in 2004 and one of the only Hamas figures who has not gone into hiding since OCL began. (AFP, AP, BBC, HA, IDF, REU 1/1; Bloomberg, HA, ITV, NYT, REU, WP, WT 1/2; IDF 1/3; NYT, WP 1/4; MM, QA 1/6; IFM, PCHR 1/8)

The IDF seals the West Bank through 1/3, citing unspecified security concerns. IDF troops at Ni‘lin checkpoint fire rubbercoated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at mbrs. of a funeral procession that refuses to lower a Palestinian flag while going through the crossing, injuring 2 Palestinians; 1 tear gas canister lands inside a nearby Palestinian home, sparking a fire that guts the 1st floor. (IDF 1/2; PCHR 1/8)

In Gaza, the IDF expands ground operations in Bayt Hanun under artillery fire, occupying the town, firing on residential areas (killing 2 Palestinians), bulldozing land and homes, occupying houses as military bases, forcing some residents to flee; fires 2 artillery shells at a group of Palestinian children playing soccer in al-Bureij r.c., wounding a 14-yr.-old; fires on residential areas of Abasan, wounding 1 Palestinian. Palestinians fire at least 7 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, lightly injuring 2 Israelis. In the West Bank, the IDF makes a raid on Nablus, where Palestinian militants throw an explosive device at troops, killing 1 IDF soldier, wounding 6; sends undercover units into Bethlehem to detain a wanted AMB mbr.; conducts late-night arrest raids nr. Nablus, Qalqilya. For a 2d day (see 7/16), the IDF detains al-Jazeera satellite TV’s Jerusalem bureau chief for questioning regarding violating Israeli military censorship rules. (AP 7/17; WP 7/18; PCHR 7/20)

The IDF intensifies attacks on e. and n. Lebanon, hitting Lebanese army barracks in Tripoli and army bases in Baalbek (killing 9 Lebanese soldiers), homes of Hizballah officials in the east; conducting heavy bombing of s. Beirut to destroy underground bunkers where Nasrallah and Hizballah’s senior leadership may be hiding; hitting fuel depots at the Beirut airport for a 2d time. In total, at least 38 Lebanese (mostly civilians) are killed during the day, including 12 civilians killed when the IDF targets a minibus in s. Lebanon. Hizballah responds by firing at least 30 rockets on n. Israel, including hitting Haifa with 3 rockets, shearing the front of an apartment building, wounding 6 Israelis. Britain, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Ukraine, the U.S. begin evacuating their nationals. (NYT, WP 7/17; NYT, WP, WT 7/18) 

At Shepherdstown, Pres. Clinton presents to Barak, Shara` with a U.S. draft for an Israeli-Syrian core agmt. The State Dept. describes the 7-page document, which is not released, as "a summary of the issues to be decided and the differences between the parties to focus the substantive discussions and to help bridge the differences that now exist." Syria welcomes the document; Israel does not comment. The U.S. says discussion of the draft should supersede the technical comm. mtgs. The teams agree to meet again on 1/9. (XIN 1/7 in WNC 1/10; NYT, WP, WT 1/8; WT 1/9; MM 1/10; MEI 1/14)

In Bethlehem, Arafat hosts fmr. Russian pres. Yeltsin and the leaders of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine for Eastern Orthodox Christmas services. (MM 1/7; NYT 1/8; ITAR-TASS 1/8 in WNC 1/10)

In Moscow, Arafat meets with Russian pres. Boris Yeltsin, who calls for extension of the Oslo interim period. Arafat then leaves for the Ukraine for talks on the declaration of state issue. (ITAR-TASS 4/6 in WNC 4/7)

In Beirut, the Higher Palestinian-Lebanese Joint Comm. opens several days of talks ways of improving conditions Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. (al-Hayat al-Jadida 4/8 in WNC 4/14; al-Hayat al-Jadida 4/17 in WNC 4/21)

PM Netanyahu speaks in support of NATO airstrikes on Yugoslavia, while Israeli FM Sharon separately warns that an independent Kosovo could become a base for Islamist terrorism. (MM 4/6; NYT 4/7; MM, NYT 4/8; WP 4/9; YA 4/9 in WNC 4/15; JP 4/16)

IDF expels 25 civilians, including women, children, elderly, fr. Shab`a in s. Lebanon. (RL 4/6 in WNC 4/7; RL 4/7 in WNC 4/8; RL 4/15 in WNC 4/19)

In Vienna, Arafat meets Austrian chancellor Victor Klima. (Oesterreich Eins Radio Network 3/21 in WNC 3/22)

First lady Hillary Clinton, daughter Chelsea arrive in Egypt for 5 day visit on 1st leg of N. African tour. (MENA 3/21 in WNC 3/22)

PM Netanyahu arrives in Kiev for brief talks with Ukrainian pres. Leonid Kuchma on bilateral economic relations, preventing flow of nuclear know-how to Iran. He then heads to Moscow for 2 days of similar talks with Russian officials. (ITAR-TASS 3/21 in WNC 3/22; MM 3/22, 3/25; MEI 3/26; Zerkalo Nedeli [Kiev] 3/27 in WNC 4/7)

Israel's High Court rules that the more than 600 bedouin who entered Israel fr. Egypt and requested asylum face no danger fr. the Egyptian government, clearing the way for their deportation. (WP 3/22; CSM, NYT 3/23; PR 3/26) (see 3/15)

King Abdallah of Jordan issues royal decree naming his wife, Rania, queen. Queen Nur, wife of the late King Hussein, will be known as "queen mother." (NYT, WP 3/22)

Israeli judge quashes atty. gen.'s request to review the High Court's decision not to extradite Sheinbein to the U.S., allowing Sheinbein to be formally indicted on murder charges on 3/22. Even if convicted in Israel, Sheinbein would face prosecution if he returned to the U.S. (WP 3/22, 3/23; WJW 3/25; WP 3/28; JP 4/2)

Saudi Arabia acknowledges that it refuses to allow U.S. planes based in the kingdom to take part in raids on Iraq, that it objects to loosened rules of engagement. (NYT 3/22)

Acting in his capacity as head of the EU troika, British FM Cook outlines the 6 steps that the EU believes Israel, the PA must take to restore confidence, trust, sense of progress in the peace process. (JTV 3/16 in WNC 3/19)

Russia announces plans to sell several nuclear reactors to Iran. In Kiev, U.S., Ukraine sign pact under which Ukraine would withdraw fr. the Russian program to build a reactor at Bushire, Iran. (NYT 3/7)

PM Netanyahu authorizes an Israeli embassy official in Washington to visit convicted spy for Israel Jonathan Pollard every month, assist him with anything he needs. (MA 3/8, YA 3/9 in WNC 3/10) (see 2/13)

The Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM), a 17-mbr. Western trade group established to monitor high-tech sales to communist countries, meets in Paris. Meeting is attended by new ex-Soviet nations - Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Armenia among others - to bolster intl. resolve to counter sensitive sales to "destabilizing" countries-Iran, Iraq, Syria, and others. (NYT 11/25)

General strike is widely observed in o.t. (Qol Yisra'el 11/24 in FBIS 11/25)

Commander of undercover IF unit that shot Palestinian boy dead 11/23 is relieved of his post. (WT 11/25)