64 / 15167 Results
  • November 20, 2023

    In the West Bank, a Palestinian succumbed to injuries sustained from Israeli forces on 11/9 in Jenin refugee camp. Israeli settlers assaulted Palestinian herders and stole some of their sheep in...

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  • December 9, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, the Union of Civil Servants announces that all govt. employees will go on strike on 12/11, and that school workers will strike on 12/14, in protest of the PA unity govt.’s...

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  • November 21, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip,IDF troopsshoot and injure a Palestinian as he approaches the border fence e. of Jabaliya. Later, IDF troops along the border fence arrest 2 Palestinians attempting to enter...

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  • August 19, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip around midday, an armed Palestinian group launches 3 rockets into Israel that land in an open area nr. Beersheba, breaking the 24-hour extension to the previous 5-day cease-fire...

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  • July 22, 2014

    The IDF continues its assault on the Gaza Strip, killing 61 Palestinians. Local officials say targets struck include 5 mosques and a soccer stadium, in addition to other Palestinian infrastructure...

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  • May 30, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmers close to the border fence nr. Khan Yunis, causing no injuries. Off the coast nr. al-Sudaniyya, Israeli naval vessels open fire on...

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  • February 19, 2010

    Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades, tear gas...

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  • August 16, 2007

    In the West Bank, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers conduct arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron; patrol in and around Jenin. In Gaza, where Israel has completely sealed borders to...

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  • July 26, 2007

    Overnight, the IDF makes a major incursion into areas e. of Khan Yunis, conducting arrest raids and house searches, occupying several homes as observation posts, bulldozing 153 d. of olive and...

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  • April 21, 2007

    The IDF makes an air strike on a rocketlaunching site in n. Gaza, killing 1 Palestinian. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Jenin, where they ambush, fatally shoot AMB mbrs....

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  • July 12, 2006

    Overnight, the IDF drops 2 quarter-ton bombs on a 3-story building in Gaza City in an attempt to assassinate chief Hamas bomb-maker Muhammad Dayif, 4 times previously the target of Israeli...

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  • April 26, 2006

    The IDF closes the Qarni crossing; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus and nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin (fatally shooting a Palestinian gunman), Ramallah (searching the home...

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  • February 15, 2006

    The IDF reinforces troops in Hebron; fatally shoots a mentally handicapped Palestinian teenager during an arrest raid in Qalqilya when he emerges fr. a group of stone-throwing youths carrying a...

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  • February 5, 2006

    The IDF reopens the Qarni crossing (closed on 1/14); conducts an air strike on 2 cars driving in Gaza City, assassinating Islamic Jihad mbrs. Adnan Bustan, Jihad al-Sawafiri; patrols in and around...

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  • January 19, 2006

    An Islamic Jihad suicide bomber fr. Nablus detonates a device in a Tel Aviv restaurant, killing only himself, wounding 24 Israelis (1 critically). The PA accuses Islamic Jihad of trying to derail...

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  • December 22, 2005

    Islamic Jihad mbrs. fire 2 rockets fr. n. Gaza towards an IDF base nr. Ashkelon, injuring 5 IDF soldiers; the IDF retaliates with artillery fire on the launch site, killing 1 Palestinian bystander...

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  • November 17, 2005

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

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  • December 6, 2004

    The IDF holds PA presidential candidate Mustafa Barghouthi at gunpoint at a Hebron checkpoint, denies him passage to a campaign stop in nearby Tal al-Armida village; imposes a daylong curfew on al...

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  • October 5, 2004

    The IDF assassinates Islamic Jihad’s military leader Bashir al-Dabash, his bodyguard Ahmad al-Arayir, firing 2 missiles at their car as they drive in Gaza City, also wounding 3 bystanders. In n....

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  • August 22, 2004

    The IDF reimposes a curfew (lifted on 8/19) on Nablus, then sends jeeps to the central market square to fire on surrounding areas to force dealers to close stalls and Palestinians to return home,...

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  • June 23, 2004

    The IDF raids Nablus, fatally shoots local Islamic Jihad military cmdr. Shadi Salim in an apparent assassination, severely beats a 2d Palestinian. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house...

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  • May 20, 2004

    The IDF continues Operation Rainbow, moving deeper into Rafah, killing 8 Palestinians (including Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades local cmdr. Khalid Abu Azna, who is assassinated in a helicopter air...

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  • April 17, 2004

    The IDF assassinates Hamas leader Rantisi, firing 2 missiles at his car as he drives through Gaza City, also killing his bodyguards Akram Nassar and Ahmad Ghurra, wounding 4 bystanders. 10,000s of...

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  • April 15, 2004

    The IDF continues its major raid on Rafah, firing a missile at a building allegedly hiding Palestinian gunmen (killing a Palestinian bystander who attempts to flee the area, wounding 24),...

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  • April 4, 2004

    Israel DM Mofaz says the comprehensive closure on the West Bank, Gaza that has been in place since the 3/22 Yasin assassination will be in place until early 5/04. The IDF closes the only entrance...

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  • March 26, 2004

    The IDF fires on stone-throwing youths in Dahaysha r.c., killing 1 Palestinian; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, Rafah (wounding a Palestinian playing soccer), conducts arrest raids in...

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  • March 25, 2004

    The IDF fatally shoots 2 armed Hamas mbrs. attempting to infiltrate Gaza’s Tal Katifa settlement fr. the sea; demolishes 3 Palestinian homes in Khan Yunis completely, 10 partially; conducts arrest...

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  • March 23, 2004

    The IDF discovers, disarms a bomb underneath a truck with Israeli license plates at a checkpoint outside Nablus; fatally shoots 2 armed Palestinians attempting to infiltrate Morag settlement;...

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  • September 7, 2003

    The IDF seals the West Bank and Gaza and tightens restrictions on Palestinian movements (including reimposing all Gaza checkpoints removed after the Palestinian ceasefire declaration on 6/29),...

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  • August 24, 2003

    The IDF continues operations in Nablus for the 4th day, blowing up a building in the Old City suspected of being a Qassam missile factory, the 1st found in the West Bank, and clashing with...

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In the West Bank, a Palestinian succumbed to injuries sustained from Israeli forces on 11/9 in Jenin refugee camp. Israeli settlers assaulted Palestinian herders and stole some of their sheep in Tuqu’. Israeli settlers also raided Kisan, stealing solar panels and a generator. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers raided Shaab al-Butum in the Masafer Yatta area, demolishing a residential structure and vandalizing solar panels, water tanks, and 70 olive tree saplings. Israeli settlers also attacked 2 Palestinians and 2 foreign journalists during a raid in Manizil and al-Rakiz in the Masafer Yatta, causing bruises. Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man during a raid near al-Arroub refugee camp. Israeli forces also shot and injured a Palestinian during a raid in Arrabah. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished a 4-story building under construction in al-Za’im. Nearly 50 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Hebron, Deir al-Ghusun, Ramallah, Deir Ibzi, Bethlehem, and Qaryut. In Gaza, Israeli forces sealed off the Indonesian Hospital in Beit Lahiya; Israeli shelling of the hospital killed 12 people. 100 patients were later evacuated from the hospital. The Israeli seige of al-Shifa Hospital continued for the fifth day. Israeli forces also attacked a Doctors Without Borders clinic in Gaza City, destroying 4 of its vehicles that were clearly marked with the organization’s logo. Israeli airstrikes targeted Nuseirat refugee camp, killing 20, Rafah killing 15, and Khan Yunis killing a family of 5. The number of fatalities was likely much higher since the Gaza Ministry of Health was unable to communicate with hospitals and civil defense members in northern Gaza. The Israeli military said it attacked 250 sites in Gaza. 2 Israeli soldiers were killed. In Tayibe, Israeli police arrested a 14-year-old Palestinian citizen of Israel for allegedly posting support for Hamas on social media. In Lebanon, Israel attacked several areas, including the home of Amal party official Kabalan Kabalan; no injuries were reported. Israel said Hezbollah launched 25 rockets and 3 drones at Israel, hitting military sites; no injuries were reported. (AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, AP, CNN, HA, HA, NYT, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 11/20; AJ, HA, HA 11/21)

The Gaza Ministry of Health was not able to fully update the casualty figures due to a collapse in services and communications at hospitals in northern Gaza, leaving the casualty numbers at around 13,000 Palestinians killed, including 5,500 children and 3,500 women, and around 32,000 injured in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza since 10/7. At least 3,250 people were missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 208 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 52 children. More than 2,885 people have been injured. Israel reported that 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed and 5,431 have been injured since 10/7. 71 Israeli soldiers have been killed in Gaza since the ground invasion began on 10/27. Over 1.61 million Palestinians, around 70% of the population of Gaza, have been displaced since 10/7. There has been a complete electricity blackout in Gaza since 10/12 due to the Israel blockade. As of 11/6, at least 40,000 housing units had been destroyed and 220,000 had been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7, constituting 45% of all housing units. Some 25,000 people fled northern Gaza to the south. The UN said that since shelters are completely full newly arrived displaced people were sleeping on the streets. 51 aid trucks entered Gaza, including trucks carrying material to build 2 field hospitals run by the UAE and Jordan. 2 trucks carrying 17,000 gallons of fuel entered Gaza. 180 doctors and nurses entered Gaza. 571 foreign nationals and 67 injured Palestinians were evacuated from Gaza via the Rafah crossing. Jordanian crown prince Hussein arrived in Egypt to oversee the establishment of the Jordanian field hospital, which will be set up in Khan Yunis. The Committee to Protect Journalists said 50 journalists have been killed since 10/7, including 45 Palestinians and 1 Lebanese. (AJ, AP, UNOCHA, UNOCHA, WAFA 11/20; HA, UNOCHA 11/21)

Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak told CNN that the tunnels system Israel is claiming that Hamas uses under al-Shifa Hospital was built by Israel “five or four decades ago …. to enable more space for the operation of the hospital within the very limited size of the compound.” (CNN 11/20)

A witness said that the Palestinian man who died at the Ketziot Prison in the Naqab on 11/18, Thaer Samih Abu Assab, was beaten to death by Israeli forces after they raided his cell and assaulted 10 prisoners. (AJ 11/20)

Israeli forces reportedly arrested Palestinian poet Mosab Abu Toha on 11/18 while he was fleeing from northern Gaza to Rafah to get to the U.S. where his son has citizenship. (HA 11/21)

Israel indicted 2 Israelis on charges of terrorism for throwing Molotov cocktails at a court, a post office, banks, and Palestinian homes in Sheikh Jarrah. (HA 11/20)

The Israeli military said there have been several incidents of friendly fire in Gaza, saying Israeli soldiers had been killed as a result. There were more than 10,000 Israeli soldiers in Gaza. Israel’s military also said it had transferred 300 Palestinians from Gaza to Israel. (AP, HA 11/20)

Foreign ministers from the PA, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and Indonesia and a representative from the OIC met with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi in Beijing, calling for a ceasefire. (AJ, AJ, HA, NYT, REU, WAFA 11/20)

Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh met with International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) president Mirjana Spoljaric in Qatar, who demanded that Hamas release all captives immediately and that the ICRC be allowed to visit the captives. The Hamas information ministry called on Egypt to open the Rafah crossing permanently, saying it fears epidemics and famine will hit Gaza due to the lack of food and basic medical services. A Hamas military spokesperson said the Qassam Brigades had destroyed 60 military vehicles in the past 3 days and that Israeli forces had killed their own soldiers after thinking they were captured by Hamas militants. (AJ, AP, HA 11/20)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas met with Latvian president Edgars Rinkević in Ramallah, discussing the situation in Gaza and the West Bank. (WAFA 11/20)

Israeli interior minister Moshe Arbel demanded that the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) build an aid program for Israelis evacuated from the area around Gaza and near the Blue Line, during a meeting with UNHCR representative in Israel Matthias Larota. The Knesset Ethics Committee banned Likud MK Nissim Vaturi from speaking at the next 10 Knesset sessions after he accused 2 Palestinian, MKs Aida Touma-Sliman and Iman Khatib-Yassin, of supporting Hamas. (HA 11/20)

Israel recalled its ambassador to South Africa. South Africa recalled its ambassador to Israel weeks ago and referred the situation in Gaza to the ICC on 10/7. The South African parliament is also scheduled to vote on 11/21 to close the Israeli embassy and cut all ties with Israel until a ceasefire is implemented. (AJ, HA 11/20; AJ, HA 11/21)

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he will not allow the issue of Israeli nuclear weapons to be dropped from the international agenda and said the “shame of the Holocaust has literally taken European leaders hostage,” referring to their support for Israel. (HA 11/20)

White House senior adviser for energy and investment Amos Hochstein met with Israeli officials, discussing the situation at the Blue Line and the development of the Gaza Marine gas field off the coast of Gaza, which he said would benefit the Palestinian economy. Hochstein arrived in Israel after meetings with Lebanese officials. (AJ, AX, HA, REU 11/20)

Amnesty International said Israel had committed war crimes by attacking a church in Gaza City on 10/19 and a residential building in Nuseirat refugee camp on 10/20, which killed 46 civilians, including 20 children. Amnesty said it had visited the sites, interviewed witnesses and survivors, and analyzed satellite imagery to reach its conclusion. (HA, WAFA 11/20)

13 U.S. senators urged President Joe Biden to work with Israel to increase aid to Gaza, including by reopening the Karem Abu Salem (Karem Shalom) crossing and to protect Palestinian civilians. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) called for a ceasefire, the second U.S. senator to do so after Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). 41 members of the House have called for a ceasefire. (AJ, HA 11/20)

Qatar said the revenue from the Asia Cup 2023 soccer tournament held in the country will go to Palestinian relief efforts. The Australian soccer team, which is playing against the Palestinian soccer team in a World Cup qualifying game in Kuwait on 11/21, said its players and soccer association will donate a 5-figure sum to Palestinians in Gaza. (AJ, WAFA 11/20)

In the Gaza Strip, the Union of Civil Servants announces that all govt. employees will go on strike on 12/11, and that school workers will strike on 12/14, in protest of the PA unity govt.’s failure to pay civil servants in Gaza who were hired after Hamas came to power in 2007. An IDF tank stationed along the border e. of al-Bureij r.c. fires on agricultural land, causing damage. Hours later, 4 IDF tanks and 3 armored bulldozers cross the border fence in e. Gaza, leveling land and firing live ammunition toward Palestinian property. In the West Bank, IDF troops detain 2 Palestinians as they approach the Tekoa settlement nr. Bethlehem. Israeli forces confiscate 3 Palestinian-owned tractors while patrolling in a bedouin village in the n. Jordan Valley. They also stop work on a UN Development Program project nr. Salfit, detain 2 Palestinian workers, and confiscate 1 tractor. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids nr. Ramallah, Hebron, Tulkarm, and Jenin. Israeli settlers cut the wires to 4 electricity poles and chop down several olive trees nr. Burin village s. of Nablus, clearing the area for the expansion of 2 nearby settlements. In East Jerusalem, Israeli police raid the Silwan home of Ahmad al-Ghoul, head of the Fatah Youth Movement in Jerusalem, and arrest him. He was recently attacked by Israeli settlers on 11/21. Israeli authorities deliver demolition notices to several residences and commercial buildings in Silwan, al-Tur, Issawiyya, and Jabal Mukabir. Israeli police detain 2 Palestinian women at Haram al-Sharif. They also conduct arrest raids around East Jerusalem; deliver demolition notices in Silwan, al-Tur, Issawiyya, and Jabal Mukabir. (IMEMC, JP, MNA, WAFA 12/9; PCHR 12/10)

After threatening a mass action on 12/6, 70 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons launch a hunger strike in protest of Israel’s treatment of a fellow prisoner and its use of solitary confinement. (MNA 12/9; WAFA 12/10)

The Knesset Finance Comm. approves a series of public funds transfers, including PM Netanyahu’s 12/8 request for around $20 m. to support the West Bank settlements. (AFP, TOI, YA 12/9)

The Lower House of the Irish Parliament unanimously passes a nonbinding res. calling on the Irish govt. to recognize Palestinian statehood, similar to the 1 passed by the Upper House on 10/23. (REU 12/9; HA 12/11)

In the Gaza Strip,IDF troopsshoot and injure a Palestinian as he approaches the border fence e. of Jabaliya. Later, IDF troops along the border fence arrest 2 Palestinians attempting to enter Israel. In the West Bank, an Israeli settler opens fire on a Palestinian taxi driver n. of Hebron, causing no injuries. IDF troops enter Yatta village s. of Hebron and deliver a summons to the home of a Palestinian who has been incarcerated for 3 years. Also, IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and occupation, as well as the recent violence in Jerusalem, in 5 areas nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Nabi Salih, Ni‘lin, Silwad, and outside Ofer prison), 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum), Qalandia r.c., and nr. al-Shuhada Street in Hebron, injuring 12 Palestinians. The IDF conducts house searches and raids nr. Tubas. In East Jerusalem, an Israeli man runs over a Palestinian woman with his car nr. Shu‘fat r.c., seriously injuring her. After 3 Israeli settlers provoke local residents in al-Tur, 2 of the settlers are stabbed and 1 Palestinian is hospitalized with moderate injuries. Separately, Israeli settlers attack Ahmad al-Ghoul, the head of the Fatah Youth Movement in Jerusalem, nr. Damascus Gate, moderately injuring him. In n. Israel, an Israeli man threatens a group of Palestinian employees with a knife at a restaurant nr. Haifa. (MNA 11/21, 11/22; IMEMC 11/22, 11/23; PCHR 11/27)

In the Gaza Strip around midday, an armed Palestinian group launches 3 rockets into Israel that land in an open area nr. Beersheba, breaking the 24-hour extension to the previous 5-day cease-fire. The IDF responds with air strikes, hitting approximately 25 targets across Gaza, killing 2 Palestinians and injuring over 50. In 1 incident late at night, IDF troops launch 6 missiles at a house in Gaza City in an attempt to assassinate Mohammed Deif, Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades commander. Deif’s wife and 7-mo.-old son, as well as 3 other Palestinians, are killed in the attempt. The armed Palestinian groups fire over 50 projectiles into Israel, with 1 rocket hitting a highway nr. Tel Aviv and around 14 intercepted by Iron Dome batteries. At a hospital in Turkey, 1 Palestinian succumbs to injuries sustained earlier in the assault. Overnight in the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and raids in Dayr Istya, Hebron, 3 villages nr. Nablus, 1 village s. of Hebron, and 1 village n. of Tulkarm, arresting 13 Palestinians. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces raid a home and arrest 1 Palestinian. (AP, CNN, HA, MNA, WP 8/19; PCHR 8/21)

In the morning in Cairo, Palestinian and Israeli negotiators, as well as Egyptian mediators, conduct talks on a long-term ceasefire agreement, specifically the Israeli demands for Hamas’s disarmament and the Palestinian demands for lifting the blockade. Head of the Palestinian delegation al-Ahmad says “maybe we will reach an agreement and maybe not.” Palestinian negotiator Qais Abdel Karim says the Israelis have proposed measures that would comprise “not removing the blockade but easing it.” Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum says, in an email to CNN, that “if Netanyahu does not understand our message and people’s demands in Gaza through political language, we know a way to make him understand.” After hostilities resume in Gaza, both Israel and the Palestinian factions accuse the other of violating the cease-fire and instruct their reps. to end the negotiations. (AP, Guardian, HA, MNA 8/19)

German, French, and British diplomats begin circulating a document containing principles for a new United Nations Security Council (UNSC) res. at the UN’s New York headquarters. The principles include a return of PA control to Gaza, reconstruction under international supervision, and a return to Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. U.S. and Israeli diplomats have been briefed on the initiative. (HA 8/21)

The IDF continues its assault on the Gaza Strip, killing 61 Palestinians. Local officials say targets struck include 5 mosques and a soccer stadium, in addition to other Palestinian infrastructure and multiple tunnels. Prolonged Israeli shelling of Khan Yunis kills at least 6 and wounds more than 20. Also, the IDF strikes a UNRWA-run school in c. Gaza. Palestinian fighters kill 2 Israeli soldiers overnight and fire approximately 67 rockets and mortar shells into Israel, with 18 projectiles intercepted by Iron Dome batteries. In the West Bank, an Israeli citizen shoots and kills a Palestinian man between al-Ram and Hizma checkpoint n. of Jerusalem, reportedly after the Palestinian man threw stones at the Israeli’s car. IDF troops shoot and injure 5 Palestinians in ‘Askar r.c. nr. Nablus, during clashes in an arrest raid. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus and 2 villages nr. Ramallah at night. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces clash with Palestinians in at-Tur, Shu‘fat r.c., and Issawiyya, causing no serious injuries. (AFP, AP, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/22; PCHR 7/23)

After 1 rocket lands nr. Ben Gurion Airport, the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) bans flights to and from Israel for at least 24 hours, and the European Aviation Safety Agency advises all carriers to avoid Tel Aviv “until further notice.” Israel’s Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, in a statement, says “there is no need for U.S. carriers to suspend flights and reward terrorism.” U.S. Secy. of State Kerry and PM Netanyahu later discuss the FAA ban on a phone call. (AFP, AP, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/22)

At a monthly meeting of the EU Council, the 28 EU FMs issue a statement that “strongly condemns the indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel by Hamas and militant groups in the Gaza Strip” and also “condemns calls on the civilian population of Gaza to provide themselves as human shields.” Meanwhile, Secy. of State Kerry meets with Egypt’s Pres. al-Sisi in Cairo to discuss Gaza, and afterward, affirms that “there is a framework available to end the violence, and that framework was the Egyptian initiative.” Senior Fatah official al-Ahmad flies in to Cairo to also meet with Kerry. In Israel, UN Secy.-Gen. Ban meets with PM Netanyahu and at a Tel Aviv press conference, Ban condemns the rocket attacks, while the Israeli leader accuses Hamas of committing a “double war crime” of targeting Israeli civilians while using Palestinian civilians as human shields. (AFP, AP, HA, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/22)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmers close to the border fence nr. Khan Yunis, causing no injuries. Off the coast nr. al-Sudaniyya, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, injuring 1. In the West Bank, a Palestinian man is arrested at Tapuach Junction nr. Nablus while wearing an explosive belt. Reports in the Israeli media suggest the individual was acting alone. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning, and in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Tulkarm at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon, and in 3 villages each nr. Hebron and Ramallah at night. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at weekly demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and occupation in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Nabi Salih, and Ni‘lin), and 1 village each nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara), Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum), and Salfit (Kafr al-Dik). There are no serious injuries, except in Bil‘in, where 1 is hit with a tear gas canister, and Ni‘lin, where 1 is hit by a bullet. Meanwhile, a car driven by an Israeli settler nr. al-Ram is hit by small arms fire, according to the Israeli army, causing no injuries. (HA, MNA, REU 5/30; PCHR 6/5)

U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Jen Psaki says that the U.S. has not invited PA PM Hamdallah to Washington, contrary to a claim made by senior Fatah official al-Ahmad. Al-Ahmad reportedly says also that the Obama administration plans to recognize the new PA unity govt., but Psaki denies the comments. Meanwhile in Gaza, Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh says that the final disputes about the formation of the unity cabinet are “under control” and there is “no turning back.” (JP, MNA 5/30; JP 5/31)

Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists (including Palestinian Authority [PA] PM Salam Fayyad, PA communications advisor Sabri Saydam, Fatah Central Comm. mbr. Nabil Shaath, PLO Exec. Comm. mbr. Taysir Khalid, Palestinian National Initiative party head Mustafa Barghouti, and the mayor of Geneva), some of whom throw stones at IDF troops, taking part in a nonviolent march to the separation wall in Bil‘in (10s suffer tear gas inhalation); fires rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades, tear gas at Palestinian and international activists, some of whom throw stones at IDF troops, taking part in protests against the separation wall in Ni‘lin (10s suffer tear gas inhalation); fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, stun grenades at Palestinians staging a nonviolent march to land located between Dayr Nizam and al-Nabi Salih recently confiscated for the expansion of Halamish settlement (10s suffer tear gas inhalation); conducts late-night patrols in Rumana village w. of Jenin. Hamas accuses Fatah of links to the 1/20/10 assassination of Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades founder Mahmud al-Mabhuh, saying that 2 Palestinian suspects in custody in Dubai in connection with the assassination, Anwar Shhaybar and Ahmad Hassanayn, were former Fatah security officers and current employees of a senior Fatah official. Fatah denies the accusation. (NYT 2/20; PCHR 2/24; OCHA 2/25)

In the West Bank, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers conduct arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron; patrol in and around Jenin. In Gaza, where Israel has completely sealed borders to all but humanitarian aid since Hamas’s 6/15/07 ouster of Fatah (see Quarterly Update), 3 Hamas mbrs. are injured when rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) they are handling explode prematurely. The Hamas-dominated Executive Support Force (ESF) detains pro-Fatah Palestinian Authority (PA) Atty. Gen. Ahmad Mughami when he returns to Gaza, which he had fled during the 6/07 intra-Palestinian clashes, and orders him to stay away fr. his offices; Mughami refuses to resign, is released. (NYT 8/17; OCHA 8/22; PCHR 8/23)

Overnight, the IDF makes a major incursion into areas e. of Khan Yunis, conducting arrest raids and house searches, occupying several homes as observation posts, bulldozing 153 d. of olive and citrus trees, rounding up all males ages 16–50 for questioning (arresting 60), exchanging fire with Palestinians, and making 3 air strikes (killing 2 Hamas mbrs.; wounding at least 3 Hamas, 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs.). During the day, the IDF makes 2 more air strikes on Gaza, assassinating senior Islamic Jihad cmdr. Omar al-Khatib, 2 aides (Ahmad al-Balawi, Khalil al-Duayfi) as they drive in Gaza City, and wounding a Palestinian bystander nr. a suspected rocket launching site Bayt Lahiya. In the West Bank, the IDF fatally beats a 16-yr.-old Palestinian at a checkpoint nr. Bethlehem, claiming he attempted to stab a soldier; sends undercover units into al-Dahariyya nr. Hebron, where they hijack a Palestinian taxi, shoot and seriously wound a Palestinian teenager (no motive is given; the IDF transports the boy to an Israeli hospital for treatment); conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, nr. Tulkarm, and in Hebron, Jenin town and r.c. (targeting Islamic Jihad members), Qalqilya. Overnight, 100s of Jewish settlers attempt to set up a new, unauthorized settlement outpost on 1,000 d. of Palestinian land nr. Artas outside Bethlehem. (NYT, WT 7/27; OCHA 8/1; PCHR 8/2)

The IDF makes an air strike on a rocketlaunching site in n. Gaza, killing 1 Palestinian. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Jenin, where they ambush, fatally shoot AMB mbrs. Muhammad al-Dumaj and Ahmad al-Issa, Islamic Jihad mbr. Mahmud Ghalail in an apparent assassination; sends undercover units into Nablus, fatally shooting 2 wanted AMB mbrs. in an exchange of gunfire, also heavily damaging a Palestinian home; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem, in Jenin r.c. (firing on residential areas, fatally shooting a 17-yr.-old Palestinian girl inside her home), nr. Jenin (fatally shooting a Palestinian bystander who steps out on his roof to observe operations). In Gaza, the Army of Islam claims responsibility for a bombing at the American International School in n. Gaza; no injuries are reported. Unidentified gunmen shoot, wound an ESF mbr. nr. Nussayrat r.c. Unidentified assailants throw a hand grenade at a PA General Intelligence vehicle in Gaza City, missing the vehicle and causing no damage or injuries. (WP 4/22; MM 4/24; OCHA 4/25; PCHR 4/26; NYT 5/10)

Overnight, the IDF drops 2 quarter-ton bombs on a 3-story building in Gaza City in an attempt to assassinate chief Hamas bomb-maker Muhammad Dayif, 4 times previously the target of Israeli assassination since 2000, wounding Dayif, killing senior Hamas mbr. Nabil al-Salima,his wife and 7 children, wounding Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades n. Gaza cmdr. Ahmad al-Gander and at least 33 bystanders, seriously damaging 15 surrounding homes. At the same time, the IDF also expands Operation Summer Rains with a major incursion into central Gaza, sending 10s of tanks, APCs, armored bulldozers across the Kissufim crossing under helicopter and drone escort and moving troops north fr. positions nr. Abasan, cutting the Strip in half, ordering PA security forces to leave the area, shelling and bulldozing surrounding areas. During the day, the IDF reportedly kills at least 22 other Palestinians and wounds at least 14 in major gun battles nr. Dayr al-Balah in central Gaza and in air and artillery strikes around Dayr al-Balah and Khan Yunis; the PRC’s Salah al-Din Brigades Khan Yunis leader Hisham Abu Nusayra, a PA policeman are killed in separate air strikes in Khan Yunis and a police station in alQarara is hit. The IDF also bulldozes 65 d. of agricultural land, partially demolishes 8 Palestinian homes and a car, and occupies 10 Palestinian homes as military posts in Dayr al-Balah; withdraws fr. the Qarni industrial estate (held since 7/8), allowing humanitarian and commercial imports to resume, and from Dahaniyya airport (held since 6/28), allowing PA security forces to enter the airport and the Rafah crossing and around 1,000 displaced Palestinians (see 7/8) to return to their homes. Palestinians try to fire rockets fr. Gaza toward Kissufim, but they fall short, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Dura, Nablus to conduct arrest raids. A Palestinian militant dies of injuries received during the 7/7 IDF air strikes on Bayt Lahiya. (BBC, HA, IMEMC, NYT, OCHA, PCHR, WP, WT 7/12; NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 7/13; PCHR 7/20; NYT 7/21; B’Tselem 8/3)

Before dawn, Hizballah launches a crossborder attack on Israel, dubbed Operation True Promise, firing rockets across the Blue Line into n. Israel as a diversion; sending fighters in to n. Israel to attack an IDF patrol btwn. Zarit and Shetula, capturing 2 IDF soldiers, killing 3 soldiers, wounding 2. The IDF sends troops into Lebanon to search for the missing soldiers, where an IDF tank hits a mine, killing 4 IDF soldiers and marking Israel’s 1st ground incursion into Lebanon since its 5/00 withdrawal. (An 8th IDF soldier is killed, 2 others are wounded in Lebanon late in the evening as they try to recover the remains of the 4 tank occupants.) The IDF also launches air strikes and directs heavy artillery, tank fire on some 40 Hizballah positions, roads, bridges, power stations in s. Lebanon, killing at least 2 Lebanese civilians, 1 Lebanese soldier, wounding at least 10. The Lebanese government requests that UNIFIL broker a cease-fire, but Israel says a cease-fire would be contingent upon return of the captured soldiers. Hizballah leader Shaykh Hasan Nasrallah says the group plans to hold the 2 soldiers for the release of 3–4 Lebanese held by Israel. During the day, IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz calls up a reserve infantry division for deployment to the n. Israel border and sends the Israeli navy into Lebanese waters, threatening a massive invasion of Lebanon; makes air strikes on a Palestinian guerrilla base s. of Beirut. (BBC, HA, IFM 7/12; HA, IFM, NYT, WP, WT 7/13; UNIS 7/14)

The IDF closes the Qarni crossing; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus and nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin (fatally shooting a Palestinian gunman), Ramallah (searching the home of Change and Reform PC mbr. Ahmad ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Malik). PA security forces at Gaza’s Qarni crossing prevent 2 Palestinian vehicles of PRC mbrs. carrying explosives that attempt to crash through the PA security barrier to attack the main transit building; 3 PA policemen, 2 gunmen are wounded in the exchange, and 3 gunmen are arrested; Israel claims that the PRCs were acting under the direction of Hamas, which denies the charge; PA Interior M Siyam says that attacking border crossings is against the national interest and should not be done. Meanwhile, mbrs. of the Yasir Arafat Brigades (considered an offshoot of the AMB) say that in response to Siyam’s plans to create the ESF, they are planning to form a new militia “to protect Fatah men against the Israeli enemy and against any attempt by any party inside the homeland to target them.” (IMEMC, REU 4/26; NYT, PCHR, WP 4/27; IFM, XIN 5/1; OCHA 5/3; PCHR 5/4)

The IDF reinforces troops in Hebron; fatally shoots a mentally handicapped Palestinian teenager during an arrest raid in Qalqilya when he emerges fr. a group of stone-throwing youths carrying a toy gun; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin, Qalqilya. Israel releases jailed Change and Reform PC mbr. Ahmad al-Haj (Nablus), who was placed in administrative detention for 4 mos. on 9/24/05. (IMEMC 2/15; PCHR, WP 2/16; PCHR 2/23)

The IDF reopens the Qarni crossing (closed on 1/14); conducts an air strike on 2 cars driving in Gaza City, assassinating Islamic Jihad mbrs. Adnan Bustan, Jihad al-Sawafiri; patrols in and around Jenin (firing on residential areas, wounding 2 Palestinians) and in al-Khadir; conducts arrest raids, house searches in al-Azza r.c., Balata r.c., Bethlehem, Silwad; begins work on the separation wall extension around Ariel settlement. IDF undercover units also attempt to ambush Islamic Jihad’s Nablus military cmdr. Ahmad Raddad nr. Balata r.c. in an apparent failed assassination attempt; Raddad escapes unharmed. A Palestinian fatally stabs an Israeli woman, wounds 4 on a shared taxi nr. Tel Aviv. (IMEMC 2/5; VOI 2/5 in WNC 2/6; NYT, PCHR 2/6; NYT, PCHR 2/9)

An Islamic Jihad suicide bomber fr. Nablus detonates a device in a Tel Aviv restaurant, killing only himself, wounding 24 Israelis (1 critically). The PA accuses Islamic Jihad of trying to derail the 1/25 elections. The IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian throwing a Molotov cocktail at troops in Hebron; arrests Fatah candidate fr. Jerusalem Ahmad ‘Abd al-Rahim at a campaign rally in Shu‘fat, East Jerusalem; raids, seals an office in East Jerusalem linked to Change and Reform campaigning, confiscating computers, documents; demolishes 3 Palestinian homes nr. Jenin for construction of the separation wall; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and nr. Hebron, nr. Ramallah, and in Bethlehem, Jenin, Nablus, Tubas. Palestinians fire a rocket fr. n. Gaza towards Israel, but it lands in Bayt Lahiya, damaging a Palestinian home, lightly injuring a 7-yr.-old girl. (AP, IMEMC, JTA 1/19; HA, NYT, IMEMC, WP, WT 1/20; WT 1/21; PCHR 1/26)

Islamic Jihad mbrs. fire 2 rockets fr. n. Gaza towards an IDF base nr. Ashkelon, injuring 5 IDF soldiers; the IDF retaliates with artillery fire on the launch site, killing 1 Palestinian bystander in adjacent Jabaliya r.c.; Israel warns that it could send ground forces back into Gaza. The IDF also raids Nablus, assassinates local PFLP cmdr. Bashar Hanani (also reported as Bashar Khalani), AMB mbrs. Ahmad Jayyusi and Anas Hamad; shells areas northwest of Bayt Lahiya, wounding a farmer working his land; sends troops into Qabatya, fires on stone-throwing youths who confront them, wounding 5 Palestinians; raids, searches a building in Qiffin nr. Tulkarm, confiscating files fr. and sealing the offices of the Loans Association, Palestinian Peoples Party, Popular Campaign against the Wall, and Union of Agricultural Relief Comms.; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bethlehem, Nablus, Ramallah and nr. Hebron, Jenin; uproots 200 Palestinian olive trees northwest of Hebron to erect a gate cutting al-Jaba village off fr. a nearby Jewish settlement. In the evening, the Israeli security cabinet approves new measures, known as Operation Blue Skies, aimed at curbing Palestinian rocket fire fr. Gaza, including using artillery, helicopter, and gunboat fire to enforce a new n. Gaza buffer zone; more stringent monitoring of the Gaza Strip by air; “other steps we have not taken until now,” but does not immediately give orders for the IDF to implement the plan. (BBC, IMEMC, JTA, PCHR, PM, XIN, YA 12/22; BBC, HA, IMEMC, JTA, NYT, WP, WT 12/23; PCHR 12/29)

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

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

The IDF holds PA presidential candidate Mustafa Barghouthi at gunpoint at a Hebron checkpoint, denies him passage to a campaign stop in nearby Tal al-Armida village; imposes a daylong curfew on al-Khadir; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, seriously injuring a 5-yr.-old Palestinian boy on the roof of his home; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bayt Sahur, Hebron and neighboring Bayt Kahil and Ithna, al-Khadir, Nablus, Taqu‘a nr. Bethlehem. (PM 12/8; PCHR 12/9)

In Damascus, Abbas, PA PM Ahmad Qurai‘ hold reconciliation talks with Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad, agree to resume high-level contacts, suspended by Syria in 1993 over the signing of the Oslo Accord. Abbas, Qurai‘ also hold talks with Hamas leader Khalid Mishal and the leadership of Islamic Jihad, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command to press them to support or take part in Palestinian presidential election, to keep a lid on violence in the run-up to elections in order to bolster national unity. (WT 12/6; MM 12/7; VOP, XIN 12/7 in WNC 12/9; MM, PR 12/8; VOP 12/9 in WNC 12/11; MM 12/10; WT 12/12)

The IDF assassinates Islamic Jihad’s military leader Bashir al-Dabash, his bodyguard Ahmad al-Arayir, firing 2 missiles at their car as they drive in Gaza City, also wounding 3 bystanders. In n. Gaza, the IDF fires a missile at a group of AMB mbrs. allegedly preparing an attack on IDF forces in Jabaliya r.c., killing 2 AMB mbrs., wounding 3; shells residential areas of Bayt Lahiya, hitting 3 homes, killing 3 Palestinians (2 may be Islamic Jihad mbrs. targeted for assassination), wounding at least 11 (including 9 children ages 7 mos.–13 yrs.). A Palestinian militant dies of injuries received in Jabaliya on 10/4. In s. Gaza, an IDF platoon leader wounds, then executes a 13-yr.-old Palestinian girl identified by soldiers under his command as a “nonthreat." The IDF also shells residential areas, conducts arrest raids and house searches, bulldozes 9 Palestinian homes and 52 d. in Khan Yunis; fires on residential areas of al-Qarara. In the West Bank, the IDF kills an AMB mbr. in an overnight exchange of gunfire in Hebron; seals, imposes a curfew on, fires on residential areas of, conducts arrest raids and house searches in Qabatya; lifts the 10/3 ban on Palestinians entering the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. The IDF announces that it has recently arrested 13 UN employees whom it plans to indict for “suspected links to terrorism”; says it has recently arrested a 24-yr.-old tanzim mbr. fr. Silwad for the Wadi al-Haramiyya shooting in 3/3/02 in which a gunman killed 7 IDF soldiers and 3 Jewish settlers using an antique rifle. (HA, PM 10/5; PSCT, VOI, VOP 10/5 in WNC 10/7; NYT, PR, WT 10/6; VOI 10/6 in WNC 10/8; PCHR 10/7; NYT 10/10; VOI 10/10 in WNC 10/12; NYT 10/12; MM 10/13; al-Quds 10/13 in WNC 10/19; MM, WP 10/14; WP 11/28)

The IDF reimposes a curfew (lifted on 8/19) on Nablus, then sends jeeps to the central market square to fire on surrounding areas to force dealers to close stalls and Palestinians to return home, injuring 15 Palestinians (including 8 children). The IDF also bulldozes Palestinian land in Bardala in the northeastern tip of the Jordan Valley for construction of security and tax offices; fires on residential areas in Rafah, nr. Ramallah. Palestinian Hussein Jabari dies of injuries sustained in the IDF assassination attempt against his brother, Ahmad Jabari. Palestinian Authority (PA) Prisoner Affairs M Hisham ‘Abd al-Raziq, 70 Palestinian figures begin a hunger strike in solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners; Israeli prison officials say that the number of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners has nearly doubled to 2,900 since the strike began on 8/15. (WP 8/23; PR 8/25; PCHR 8/26; MM 8/27)

The IDF raids Nablus, fatally shoots local Islamic Jihad military cmdr. Shadi Salim in an apparent assassination, severely beats a 2d Palestinian. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house searches in Dahaysha r.c. and nr. Ramallah, Tulkarm; fatally shoots a Palestinian who allegedly attempts to infiltrate Gaza’s Gan Or settlement; fires on residential areas of Rafah. Palestinians detonate a roadside bomb nr. an IDF patrol in Rafah, causing no damage or injuries. A Palestinian dies of injuries received during the 7/22 IDF raid on Bayt Hanun; a 2d Palestinian dies of injuries received during the 5/18 IDF raid on Rafah. (HA 6/23; VOI, VOP 6/23 in WNC 6/25; PCHR 6/24; PR 6/30; PCHR 7/1)

Egyptian envoy Sulayman presents Arafat, PA PM Ahmad Qurai‘, Sharon with a detailed timetable for moving forward with Sharon’s disengagement plan in a way that would link disengagment to the road map, a comprehensive cease-fire. (AP, MM 6/23; MENA, VOI, VOP 6/23 in WNC 6/25; MM 6/24; AYM, VOP 6/24 in WNC 6/26; NYT 6/25; Globes 7/8 in WNC 7/9)

The IDF continues Operation Rainbow, moving deeper into Rafah, killing 8 Palestinians (including Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades local cmdr. Khalid Abu Azna, who is assassinated in a helicopter air strike), detaining 70, bulldozing at least 1 Palestinian home, knocking down a small zoo (killing some animals, freeing others); the IDF admits it has found no smugglers’ tunnels since the start of the operation. The IDF also assassinates Qalqilya Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades leader Mazin Yasin; opens fire on stone-throwing youths in Hebron (killing a 13-yr.-old Palestinian), Qalqilya; conducts arrest raids in Jenin, Khan Yunis, Qalqilya. Another 13-yr.-old Palestinian dies of injures sustained during the 5/11 IDF raid on Gaza City. An Israeli court convicts West Bank Fatah secy., Palestinian Council (PC) mbr., and tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti on 5 counts of murder in connection with 3 AMB shooting attacks in 2001–2, acquits him on 21 other counts for lack of evidence; Barghouti was detained in 4/02. (MM, REU 5/20; HA, ITAR-TASS, JP, MA, VOI, VOP, YA 5/20 in WNC 5/22; MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/21; PR 5/26; PCHR, WJW 5/27; MEI 5/28; PR 6/2)

The IDF assassinates Hamas leader Rantisi, firing 2 missiles at his car as he drives through Gaza City, also killing his bodyguards Akram Nassar and Ahmad Ghurra, wounding 4 bystanders. 10,000s of Palestinians throughout the West Bank, Gaza take to the streets to protest. Hamas vows retaliation, says it has appointed Rantisi’s replacement but will not identify him for security reasons. (Senior spokesman Mahmud Zahar, senior political leader Ismail Haniyeh are considered the likely successors.) The IDF strike comes hrs. after a Palestinian suicide bomber detonates a device inside the Erez Industrial Zone in Gaza, killing an Israeli border policeman, injuring 3; the AMB, Hamas claim joint responsibility. IDF undercover units raid Hebron and capture, beat, arrest an Arab Bank employee. The IDF also seals all West Bank and Gaza crossings except the Rafah checkpoint; tightens restrictions on Palestinian movement throughout the territories; fatally shoots a mentally handicapped Palestinian who strays too close to a Jewish settlement nr. Gaza City; denies passage to a Palestinian who suffers a heart attack at a Nablus checkpoint, allowing him to die; shells residential areas of Khan Yunis, cutting some electricity, seriously injuring a 9-yr.-old girl inside her home and 6 others elsewhere; fires on, shells residential areas of Dayr al-Balah, Tulkarm (seriously injuring a 5-yr.-old girl); fires on residential areas nr. Rafah; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Dayr al-Balah, Jenin; bulldozes 6 dunams of land in Bayt Hanun. (HA, MA, REU 4/17; AFP, MENA, MNR, PSCT, VOP 4/17, AFP, ATL, HA, IRNA, JP, LBC, MENA, MNR, al-Quds, VOP, YA 4/18 in WNC 4/20; NYT, WP, WT 4/18; CSM, MM 4/19; ITAR-TASS 4/19 in WNC 4/21; DUS, al-Ra’i 4/19, JT 4/20 in WNC 4/22; AYM 4/19, al-Quds, SA 4/21 in WNC 4/23; MM, PR 4/21; PCHR 4/22; WP 4/25; MEI 4/30)

The IDF continues its major raid on Rafah, firing a missile at a building allegedly hiding Palestinian gunmen (killing a Palestinian bystander who attempts to flee the area, wounding 24), demolishing 29 Palestinian homes completely, 9 partially. The IDF also conducts arrest raids in Jenin, Kafr al-Dik in the n. West Bank; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, Nablus. A Palestinian dies of injuries sustained in the 3/22 Yasin assassination. (MM, PCHR 4/15; VOP, YA 4/15 in WNC 4/17; NYT, WT 4/16; PCHR 4/22)

Israel DM Mofaz says the comprehensive closure on the West Bank, Gaza that has been in place since the 3/22 Yasin assassination will be in place until early 5/04. The IDF closes the only entrance to Qalqilya, sets up several new checkpoints on the Qalqilya–Nablus road; raids Tulkarm r.c., fatally shoots wanted Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades mbr. Khalid Kharwish in an apparent assassination, wounds 10 others, raids a hospital emergency room to arrest a critically wounded Palestinian militant; fatally shoots 3 unarmed Palestinian laborers who were apparently attempting to sneak across the Gaza border fence into Israel to find work; conducts arrest raids in Bethlehem; raids, shuts down the Arab Women’s Care Society in East Jerusalem, arresting several employees, confiscating records, seizing its bank accounts on the grounds that the group, licensed by the Israeli Interior Min. as a charitable society in 1994, is run by Hamas; blows up a Palestinian home in Tulkarm r.c.; bulldozes an area of land nr. Hebron, erects a new observation tower; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis; conducts arrest raids, house searches in al-Bireh, Hebron, al-Khadir, Nablus. The IDF also begins work on a 2-km stretch of the separation wall btwn. Dahiyat al-Barid checkpoint n. of Jerusalem and the Qalandia checkpoint s. of Ramallah that will isolate, prevent the expansion of Dahiyat al-Barid and al-Ram. (al-Arabiyya TV 4/4 in WNC 5/7; WT 4/5; VOP 4/5 in WNC 4/7; NYT 4/6; PR 4/7; PCHR 4/8)

The PLF names Omar Shibli (Abu Ahmad) as secy.-gen., succeeding Muhammad Abbas who died in U.S. custody in Iraq on 3/9. (Daily Star 4/3; PR 4/7)

The IDF fires on stone-throwing youths in Dahaysha r.c., killing 1 Palestinian; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, Rafah (wounding a Palestinian playing soccer), conducts arrest raids in Anabta nr. Tulkarm, Bayt Sahur, Jenin, Salfit. In Nablus, an AMB mbr. dies when his car mysteriously explodes in what may be an assassination. UN officials note that nearly all food and other humanitarian aid to Gaza has ceased since Israel closed the Erez crossing on 3/15, warn that a humanitarian crisis could ensue if Israel does not ease restrictions. On the 1st Friday after Yasin’s assassination, 10,000s of Palestinians protest across the West Bank and Gaza. (VOP 3/26 in WNC 3/30; NYT, WT 3/27; AFP 3/30; PR 3/31; PCHR 4/1)

The IDF fatally shoots 2 armed Hamas mbrs. attempting to infiltrate Gaza’s Tal Katifa settlement fr. the sea; demolishes 3 Palestinian homes in Khan Yunis completely, 10 partially; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin and in Balata r.c., Nablus, Qabatya nr. Jenin, Salfit; imposes a curfew, fires on residential areas of Burqa. 71 prominent Palestinians issue a public call for nonviolent protest against the Yasin assassination, renunciation of violence; the AMB, Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades denounce the statement. 3 Palestinians (fr. Gaza City, Hebron, Rafah) die of injuries received earlier. (VOP 3/25 in WNC 3/27; MM, NYT 3/26; VOP 3/26 in WNC 3/30; MA, NYT 3/27; PR 3/31; PCHR 4/1; MEI 4/2; PR 4/7)

The IDF discovers, disarms a bomb underneath a truck with Israeli license plates at a checkpoint outside Nablus; fatally shoots 2 armed Palestinians attempting to infiltrate Morag settlement; fires tear gas to disperse a group of Palestinians in Hebron demonstrating against the Yasin assassination, causing an elderly Palestinian to suffocate, die; fires on stone-throwing youths outside al-Fawwar r.c. nr. Hebron, on residential areas of Rafah (wounding a Palestinian construction worker at an UNRWA school site, a Palestinian inside her home); conducts arrest raids, house searches in Jayyus nr. Qalqilya; bulldozes 62 dunams of Palestinian land in al-Qarara. In the Hebron area, Palestinians throw stones at IDF troops, Jewish settler vehicles on bypass roads, causing no injuries but forcing the IDF to close the bypass routes temporarily. The Israeli navy fires on a “suspicious object” in the water 2 mi. off Gaza’s shore; Palestinian fishermen say they were targeted. Palestinian gunmen fire at a Jewish settler bus nr. Ofra, causing no injuries. Palestinians also fire a mortar at Gush Katif settlement, an antitank rocket at an IDF patrol in Gaza, causing no damage or injuries in either incident. In Israel, 1,000s of Israeli Arabs in Nazareth march in protest of Yasin’s assassination. A Palestinian dies of injuries received in the IDF missile attack on Rafah on 3/17. (AFP, AP, HA 3/23; HA, WT 3/24; PCHR 3/25)

Hamas names hard-line spokesman ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Rantisi as acting political head in Gaza and Hamas politburo chmn. Khalid Mishal, currently in exile in Damascus, acting head of the whole movement. (HA, MM 3/23; VOP 3/23 in WNC 3/25; al-Arabiyya TV [Dubai] 3/23 in WNC 4/27; HA, MM, NYT, REU, WP, WT 3/24; IDF Radio, LBC, MA, al-Quds, SA, VOI 3/24 in WNC 3/26; WP, WT 3/25; AYM 3/25, al-Quds 3/26 in WNC 3/30)

The IDF seals the West Bank and Gaza and tightens restrictions on Palestinian movements (including reimposing all Gaza checkpoints removed after the Palestinian ceasefire declaration on 6/29), expecting retaliation for its 9/6 attempt to assassinate Shaykh Yasin. In Khan Yunis, the IDF fires 4 missiles at the home of Hamas mbr. ‘Abd al-Salam Abu Musa, claiming it is a Hamas arsenal; Abu Musa escapes moments before the attack, which injures 15 bystanders, damages 9 surrounding homes. The IDF alsoarrests PA official Akram Tubasi on charges of smuggling weapons fr. Egypt to Gaza; demolishes a Palestinian home in Tulkarm; conducts arrest raids in Jaba’, Khan Yunis, Qalqilya, Ramallah; fires on residential areas of Rafah. Hamas mbrs. detonate a roadside bomb nr. an IDF patrol in Gaza, lightly wounding 3 soldiers. (Israel National News 9/7; NYT, WP, WT 9/8; PCHR 9/11)

Arafat nominates PC speaker and Oslo architect Ahmad Qurai‘ to replace Abbas as PM. Qurai‘ says he would accept the nomination, provided he receives assurances of cooperation fr. the EU, Israel, U.S. (AP, BBC, HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 9/8; HA, NYT, WP, WT 9/9; AYM, ITAR-TASS 9/9 in WNC 9/11; MM 9/10)

The IDF continues operations in Nablus for the 4th day, blowing up a building in the Old City suspected of being a Qassam missile factory, the 1st found in the West Bank, and clashing with Palestinian protesters, leaving 12 injured; confiscates 360 dunams of land in Nazlat Issa, 300 dunams of land in Baqa‘ al-Sharqiyya; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis; shells areas of Rafah. The PSF seals 5 more tunnels on the Rafah border; Israel says the PA’s actions are not serious. Palestinians fire a Qassam-2 rocket fr. Gaza toward Ashkelon, causing no damage or injuries. In response, the IDF assassinates senior Hamas mbr. Ahmad Aishtawi, firing rockets at his car in Gaza City, also killing senior Hamas mbr. Wahid Hamad, 2 aides, wounding more than 12 bystanders (HA, PM 8/24; NYT, WP, WT 8/25; WT 8/26; PCHR 8/28)