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  • October 14, 2022

    In the West Bank, 1 Palestinian was shot and killed after allegedly opening fire on settlers at the Beit El settlement; 1 settler was lightly injured. Israel forces later arrested 1 other...

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  • April 2, 2015

    In the West Bank, an Israeli man from Beersheba goes missing nr. Hebron. IDF troops conduct a number of searches in surrounding villages and set up numerous mobile checkpoints in an effort to find...

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  • December 31, 2014

    In the West Bank, a Palestinian man is crushed to death in line at a checkpoint nr. Tulkarm, the same checkpoint where 1,000s of Palestinians protested poor conditions on 12/21. An Israeli settler...

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  • September 23, 2014

    In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and kill 2 of the 3 Palestinians suspected of kidnapping and killing 3 Israeli settler teenagers in 6/2014. They are killed during a gun battle in Hebron....

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  • June 17, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, the IDF launches 6 air strikes, destroying a blacksmith workshop and causing damage to vacant training sites belong to various armed groups. There are no injuries. In the West...

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  • June 15, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 4 rockets toward Ashqelon: 2 are intercepted by Iron Dome missile defense batteries and 2 hit open areas causing no damage or injuries. In response, the IDF...

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  • June 12, 2014

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli authorities close the Kerem Shalom crossing. (PCHR 6/19)

    Three teenage Israeli...

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  • June 26, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 3 villages nr. Hebron, Tulkarm, and 1 nearby village, Nablus, Tubas, and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; patrols in Jenin and...

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  • May 19, 2013

    Off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels attack Palestinian fishermen at sea nr. Bayt Lahiya, arresting 2. In the West Bank, between Ramallah and Dayr Jarir, Israeli forces attack...

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  • December 6, 2010

    Argentina and Uruguay recognize Palestine as “a free and independent state” within the 1967 borders. The Israeli FMin. calls the moves “disappointing” and “regrettable.” (JAZ, YA 12/7)

    To...

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  • November 2, 2010

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire on Palestinians scavenging for construction materials at a demolished garbage collection center, wounding 1. IDF troops on the s. Gaza border shoot, wound an...

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  • December 31, 2007

    The IDF sends armored vehicles, bulldozers into Gaza s. of Bayt Hanun to level land; local Palestinian gunmen exchange fire with the troops, leaving no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts...

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  • December 14, 2007

    A Hamas mbr. dies nr. the Gaza border n. of Bayt Hanun when explosives he is handling detonate prematurely. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem; shoots,...

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  • October 14, 2007

    IDF troops on the Gaza border fire a shell into Gaza City, wounding a Palestinian teenager. The IDF also sends troops into Gaza Valley village to conduct arrest raids, house searches. In the West...

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  • June 12, 2007

    In Gaza, Fatah-Hamas fighting escalates for the 4th day, leaving at least 24 armed Palestinians, 4 civilians dead and more than 100 wounded (the highest 1- day total in 18 mos. of factional...

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  • June 10, 2007

    In Gaza, Fatah-Hamas fighting that erupted in Rafah on 6/9 escalates sharply, spreading across the Strip (Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City, Jabaliya r.c., Rafah), with 100s of gunmen exchanging RPG and...

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  • May 19, 2007

    The IDF makes 7 air strikes on Gaza, targeting 2 Hamas rocket-launching sites in n. Gaza, killing 3 Palestinian shepherds, 1 Palestinian child; hitting a car driving in Gaza City, assassinating...

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  • April 10, 2007

    The Israeli navy fires on Palestinian fishing boats off the Gaza border, damaging 3. Palestinian gunmen fire on an IDF observation post on the Gaza border n. of Bayt Hanun; the IDF returns fire;...

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  • April 2, 2007

    The IDF sends bulldozers into s. Gaza nr. Wadi Gaza to level land along the border fence to improve lines of sight. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Balata r.c., exchanging...

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  • March 13, 2007

    Overnight, the IDF revives Operation Hot Winter (see 3/1) in Nablus, conducting major house searches, arresting 2 Palestinians but withdrawing in the morning. During the day, IDF troops on the s....

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  • February 12, 2007

    The AMB fires 4 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Dahaysha r.c. in a car with Palestinian license plates to arrest...

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  • January 25, 2007

    In Gaza, Islamic Jihad mbrs. fire on an IDF observation post on the border e. of Khan Yunis, sparking an exchange of fire that causes no injuries. Egyptian forces blow up 2 smugglers’ tunnels on...

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  • January 6, 2007

    IDF troops on the Gaza border fire on residential areas of Bayt Lahiya, wounding 1 Palestinian; fire on residential areas of alQarara in s. Gaza, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF...

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  • January 1, 2007

    The Israeli navy fires on Palestinian fishing boats off the Rafah coast, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin and in...

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  • December 14, 2006

    Israel closes the Rafah border to prevent Haniyeh fr. returning to Gaza, alleging that Haniyeh’s delegation intended to bring in some $30 m. in cash donations collected during his 16-day regional...

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  • October 24, 2006

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Jenin, Nablus. Jewish settlers fr. Hebron attack Palestinians harvesting their olive grove outside Hebron; the IDF...

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  • August 15, 2006

    Overnight, the IDF sends troops into ‘Askar r.c. in search of a wanted Palestinian, demolishing his family home and 3 nearby homes of relatives, wounding his sister, arresting 4 relatives, firing...

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  • July 11, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF makes air strikes on an AMB car carrying rockets to a launch site nr. Bayt Hanun (the targets escape unharmed, 2 bystanders are wounded; a PA security officer later sent to...

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  • June 24, 2006

    The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus (firing on residential areas and stone-throwing youths who confront the troops, seriously wounding 1), in Hebron, and nr....

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  • June 12, 2006

    The IDF sends undercover units into Tulkarm in a car with Palestinian license plates to arrest a wanted Palestinian; later sends a 2d undercover unit into Tulkarm that is intercepted by PA...

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In the West Bank, 1 Palestinian was shot and killed after allegedly opening fire on settlers at the Beit El settlement; 1 settler was lightly injured. Israel forces later arrested 1 other Palestinian accused of being an accomplice. Israeli settlers raided Huwwara, leading to a confrontation between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians; 1 was injured with live ammunition and 8 others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Israeli settlers also vandalized olive trees in Qusra and Qaryut and stole olive harvests in Awarta. Israeli forces shot and killed 2 Palestinians and injured 5 others, including 3 medics, during a raid in Jenin refugee camp. Israeli forces also seized 1 bulldozer in Bayt Dajan. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 3 with baton rounds and others with tear gas. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinians in Hebron, causing tear-gas related injuries. Meanwhile, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Bayt Dajan, injuring 24 with tear gas. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. 2 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Sheikh Jarrah. (ABC, AJ, AP, CNN, HA, HA, HA, JP, MDW, MEE, REU, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WP 10/14; MEE, MEMO, MEMO, WAFA 10/15; UNOCHA 10/16; PCHR 10/20; UNOCHA 11/1)

1 Palestinian minor held in Israeli custody succumbed to injuries related to his arrest on 9/4 in the Jordan Valley. (WAFA 10/14)

Malaysian authorities freed a Palestinian man who had been abducted, allegedly by Malaysian nationals working for Israel and trained by the Mossad in Europe. The alleged agents were arrested. The abduction is reported to have occurred on 9/28 in Kuala Lumpur. (HA 10/17; MEE 10/18; HA 10/19; WAFA 10/21)

In the West Bank, an Israeli man from Beersheba goes missing nr. Hebron. IDF troops conduct a number of searches in surrounding villages and set up numerous mobile checkpoints in an effort to find the man and his alleged kidnappers. The man is found alive 10 hours later nr. Hebron, having staged the kidnapping for “romantic purposes.” Nr. Salfit, Israeli forces demolish 120 olive trees. The IDF conducts house searches and raids in 2 villages nr. Jenin, arresting 1; patrols in 6 villages nr. Hebron, 2 nr. Ramallah, and 1 nr. Qalqilya. They also arrest Palestine Legislative Council (PLC) member and PFLP activist Khalida Jarrar in al-Bireh nr. Ramallah for allegedly violating restrictions on her movement. (She will be ordered to serve 6 mos. administrative detention on 4/5) A Palestinian man stabs an Israeli soldier nr. Nablus after IDF troops detain him and 5 other Palestinians attempting to cross over the separation wall. Israeli settlers throw stones at 2 Palestinian houses in a village nr. Nablus, then Israeli troops arrive and arrest the 2 homeowners. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 4/2; JP, MNA 4/3; EI, MNA 4/5; HA 4/6; PCHR 4/9)

On a visit to Hebron, PA PM Hamdallah says that Israel has still not transferred the recently unfrozen tax revenues to the PA as the Israeli PM’s office announced it would on 3/27. PA Pres. Abbas threatens to lodge a complaint with the ICC if the Israeli govt. does not transfer the funds. (MNA 4/2; TOI 4/3)

Israel’s Supreme Court rules in favor of Palestinian petitioners hoping to avert an Israeli plan to extend the separation wall through their land nr. Jerusalem. The plan, which has been contested since the IDF ordered it in 2006, would have expropriated of 3,000 dunams of private Palestinian and Vaticanowned land. (AP, MNA, TOI, YA 4/2)

Israeli PM Netanyahu and Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom authorize a $500 m. deal between the Delek Group and Noble Energy (energy companies in control of Israel’s offshore Tamar natural gas field) and 2 Jordanian companies that would ship 1.87 b. m3 of natural gas to Jordan over the next 15 years. (TOI 4/3)

In Lausanne, Switzerland, reps. of the P5+1 and Iran extend their 3/31 deadline, then agree on “key parameters” for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in their negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. They will continue to negotiate on technical details ahead of their 6/30 deadline for a JCPOA. Pres. Obama says he will begin talks with congressional leaders to find a way for Congress to play a constructive oversight role in the implementation of the agreement. (AFP, BB, GDN, HA, NYT, POL 4/2; HA, TOI, YA 4/3)

In the West Bank, a Palestinian man is crushed to death in line at a checkpoint nr. Tulkarm, the same checkpoint where 1,000s of Palestinians protested poor conditions on 12/21. An Israeli settler hits a 10-year-old Palestinian boy with his car nr. Bethlehem, moderately injuring him. Overnight, 2 Israeli settlers throw Molotov cocktails at a Palestinian home nr. Hebron and leave racist price-tag graffiti. Israeli forces demolish a home nr. Hebron and raze a nearby agricultural area. IDF troops detain 8 Palestinian children outside Ofer prison nr. Ramallah, then fire tear gas canisters at their parents when they attempt to recover their children. They also arrest a 14-year-old Palestinian girl after she throws stones at Israeli settlers’ cars. Israeli settlers clash with Palestinians in Burin village, then IDF troops open fire on the Palestinians with live ammunition, injuring 4. Off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. Rafah, Israeli naval forces arrest 3 Palestinian fishermen. In East Jerusalem, unknown assailants throw stones at a bus in Shaykh Jarrah, lightly injuring 1 Palestinian woman. A Jewish Israeli vandalizes the Dormition Abbey nr. the Old City. Then, a Palestinian man stabs an Israeli settler in the back with a screwdriver nearby, moderately injuring him. Israeli police arrest a Palestinian on charges related to violent threats against Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely. (JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA 12/31; WAFA 1/1; OCHA 1/15; DS 1/29)

Under the aegis of the State of Palestine, Pres. Abbas signs a request to join the ICC, and signs many other international treaties and conventions, at a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of Fatah at the presidential compound in Ramallah. The ICC will take up to 60 days to process the request. (MNA 12/30; AM, JP, MNA, NYT, 12/31; MNA, WAFA 1/1)

Hundreds of employees of the Hamas-run govt. in Gaza go on a 1-day strike, protesting the PA unity govt.’s decision on 12/30 to rehire civil servants who lost their jobs when Hamas came to power in 2007. (MNA 12/31; AFP 1/1)

Israel’s High Court of Justice rejects a petition to ban all punitive home demolitions, a policy resurrected following the 6/2014 abduction and killing of 3 Israeli settler teenagers. The court also rejects a petition to block the demolition of the Jabal Mukabir homes of the 2 Palestinians who attacked a West Jerusalem synagogue on 11/18. (Israel’s Supreme Court froze the demolition order for the synagogue attackers’ homes on 11/27.) It also, however, freezes the 2d order to demolish the home of the Palestinian who allegedly attempted to assassinate right-wing Jewish activist Yehuda Glick on 10/29. (HA, JP, TOI 12/31; HA 1/1)

In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and kill 2 of the 3 Palestinians suspected of kidnapping and killing 3 Israeli settler teenagers in 6/2014. They are killed during a gun battle in Hebron. Separately, IDF troops shoot and wound a Palestinian at a checkpoint nr. Nablus. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night. (MNA, REU 9/23; PCHR 9/25)

Israeli officials and the Palestinian delegation hold mediated talks on extending the 8/26 cease-fire and other remaining issues. Israel seeks to ensure the demilitarization of Gaza and a tightly controlled reconstruction process, while the Palestinians seek a broader opening up of Gaza to the outside world, including air and seaports. They present their positions and adjourn, agreeing to meet again at the end of 10/2014. (MNA 9/23)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry announces a more than $71 m. U.S. contribution toward humanitarian assistance in the Gaza Strip, most of which will be spent on UNRWA projects. The U.S. previously pledged $47 m. to the effort on 7/12. (MNA 9/23)

Israeli forces shoot down a Syrian fighter jet after it enters Israeli airspace. The plane is destroyed after it turns back toward the border, so the wreckage lands in Syrian territory. The crew safely ejects prior to impact. This is the 1st time the IDF has shot down a Syrian jet since the 1982 war in Lebanon. (AP, HA 9/23)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF launches 6 air strikes, destroying a blacksmith workshop and causing damage to vacant training sites belong to various armed groups. There are no injuries. In the West Bank, OBK continues. IDF troops open fire on Palestinians in Haris village nr. Salfit during a raid, wounding 1. During separate raids, Israeli soldiers shoot at residents in al-Fara‘a r.c. nr. Tubas, wounding 2, and shoot 1 in Balata r.c. nr. Nablus. IDF troops also demolish a house nr. Hebron because it was built without a permit. Also, IDF troops raid and confiscate property from 5 Hamas-linked charities. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron in the afternoon, and in Hebron and 8 nearby villages, Jenin and 6 nearby villages, Tulkarm and 4 nearby villages, Nablus and 8 villages, ‘Askar r.c. and Balata r.c. nearby, Salfit and 1 nearby village, 1 village nr. Qalqilya, al-Bireh, Tubas, at night; patrols in Hebron at night. (MNA, WAFA 6/17; PCHR 6/19)

Israeli PM Netanyahu meets with Quartet Rep. Blair in Tel Aviv and tells him that the 6/12 kidnapping “exposes the real face of Hamas.” Blair says that Hamas “cannot choose the political path on one hand and violence on the other.” Meanwhile, reps. from a number of factions, including Fatah and Hamas, hold a press conference in Gaza City. No group claims responsibility for the kidnapping of the teenage settlers. The reps. say they are prepared to confront any Israeli “aggression.” EU foreign affairs chief Ashton issues a statement condemning the abduction and urges “close cooperation between the Israeli and Palestinian security services.” (HA, JP, MNA 6/17)

Talks between reps. of Iran and the P5+1 powers on the disputed Iranian nuclear program continue in Vienna. Discussions last an hour and a half and cover “elements of the text that could be part of an agreement,” according to Michael Mann, an EU spokesperson. (AA, REU 6/17)

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 4 rockets toward Ashqelon: 2 are intercepted by Iron Dome missile defense batteries and 2 hit open areas causing no damage or injuries. In response, the IDF launches air strikes on 5 military targets in the n. and s. Gaza Strip, wounding 3. The IDF says Islamic Jihad is responsible for the rocket fire. In the West Bank, gunmen open fire on an Israeli military post nr. Bethlehem, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and Dayr al-‘Arund r.c. and 3 nearby villages, Nablus and 1 nearby village, Jenin and 1 village nearby, 2 villages nr. Qalqilya, Tulkarm, and 1 nearby village, 1 village nr. Salfit; patrols in 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village each nr. Ramallah and Salfit in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Jericho. Israeli settlers throw stones at Palestinian vehicles nr. Salfit, causing no injuries. Separately, settlers throw stones at cars nr. Nablus, causing damage and 1 injury. (HA, JP, MNA 6/15; PCHR 6/19)

Israeli PM Netanyahu reiterates the accusation that Hamas was behind the suspected kidnapping and that the PA is responsible for the fate of the teenagers. U.S. Secy. of State Kerry condemns what he calls a “despicable terrorist act” and says “many indications point to Hamas’s involvement.” The IDF detains dozens more in the West Bank, including parliament speaker ‘Aziz Dwayk, with an estimated 150 Palestinians arrested so far during OBK. Israel’s Coordinator of Govt. Activities in the Territories Yoav Mordechai tells the media that the IDF is not coordinating with PA security forces in the search, and believes Hamas is behind the kidnapping. IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz tells senior officers that “we’re heading towards an extensive operation.” He says the objective is to “find the 3 teens, bring them home, hit Hamas as hard as possible and move forward.” The Executive Comm. of the PLO meets in Ramallah and issues a statement condemning the campaign in the West Bank, while PA spokesperson Ehab Bseiso says that the PA condemns Israel’s “collective punishment of the Palestinian people.” (AFP, HA, JP, MNA, WAFA, YA 6/15)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli authorities close the Kerem Shalom crossing. (PCHR 6/19)

Three teenage Israeli settlers—Eyal Yifrach (19), Gilad Shaar (16), and U.S.-Israeli national Naftali Frenkel (16)—are kidnapped while hitchhiking home from a yeshiva in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc nr. Jerusalem. The affiliation and identity of the perpetrators is immediately a subject of much speculation, and it is later confirmed to be low-level, Hebronbased Hamas activists operating without direction from the political leadership. According to Israeli media reports, security forces suspect a burned out car found nr. Hebron is linked to the kidnapping, with the perpetrators rumored to be trying to leave Israeli-controlled territory via Jordan. In response, the IDF initiates Operation Brother’s Keeper (OBK), a campaign of arrests, raids, and detentions targeting Hamas in the West Bank. (HA, MNA 6/13)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 3 villages nr. Hebron, Tulkarm, and 1 nearby village, Nablus, Tubas, and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; patrols in Jenin and 1 nearby village, and 1 village each in Bethlehem and Hebron. Jewish settlers attack Palestinian-owned vehicles nr. Nablus, causing damage but no injuries. Settlers also set fire to olive trees nr. Hawara village. (MNA 6/26; PCHR 6/27)

The Israeli army reopens Kerem Shalom and Erez border crossings into the Gaza Strip, closed on 6/23 as a punitive measure following rocket fire. (AFP 6/26)

The Jerusalem municipality approves construction permits for 69 new homes in East Jerusalem settlement Har Homa, a day before U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry is due to arrive for talks in Israel and the West Bank. (AFP, JP 6/26)

UNESCO’s World Heritage Cmte. in Phnom Penh passes a Jordanian-sponsored resolution in an 8–3–10 vote condemning Israeli actions in Jerusalem, such as developments of the Western Wall and Temple Mount site, and resolving to maintain the places of the Old City and Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on its World Heritage Sites in Danger list. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticizes the resolution, saying it is a “dark day for UNESCO.” (ToI 6/26)

Austria completes the withdrawal of its UNDOF peacekeepers from the Golan Heights, with the remaining 70 departing via Israel. (HA 6/26)

Unidentified gunmen kidnap 2 Egyptian police officers in the s. Sinai, reportedly in revenge for an earlier assault on a Bedouin man by a police officer during a dispute at a petrol station. (Ahram 6/26)

Off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels attack Palestinian fishermen at sea nr. Bayt Lahiya, arresting 2. In the West Bank, between Ramallah and Dayr Jarir, Israeli forces attack Palestinians attempting to unblock a road closed by the Israeli military the day before, causing no injuries. IDF troops also attack Palestinians demonstrating in al-Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah in solidarity with prisoners, injuring 3. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Bethlehem, 2 villages nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Nablus at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning, 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. (MNA 5/19; PCHR 5/23)

Egyptian police keep the Rafah crossing closed for a 3d consecutive day, and also close the al-Awja border crossing, used to transfer goods between Egypt and Israel, in protest at the kidnapping of security officers by suspected Islamists. The kidnappers post a video online which shows their 7 captives and urges the govt. to meet their demands. (AP, MNA, REU 5/19)

Argentina and Uruguay recognize Palestine as “a free and independent state” within the 1967 borders. The Israeli FMin. calls the moves “disappointing” and “regrettable.” (JAZ, YA 12/7)

To mark the anniversary of the founding of their movement, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) mbrs. fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF fires warning shots at an unidentified Palestinian nr. the Qarni crossing into Gaza, causing no reported injures; restricts animal fodder and wheat imports through the crossing for the rest of the week as punishment. The IDF makes an incursion into s. Gaza to level lands along the border fence e. of Khan Yunis, firing on surrounding areas, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 10 residential structures belonging to 15 Palestinian families (101 persons, including 42 children), a school, and 2 other small classroom structures, and at least 17 animal shelters in Khirbat Tana nr. Nablus. The IDF also conducts daytime patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya and 2 e. of Tulkarm; conducts late-night patrols in Bayt Liqya, firing live ammunition, tear gas, and stun grenades on stone-throwing youths who confront them, causing no injuries; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron. In Gaza, a Hamas-affiliated military court sentences 4 Palestinians to death (3 for a 2007 kidnapping and murder; 1 for collaborating with Israel). (JP, MNA 12/6; OCHA 12/8; PCHR 12/9; OCHA 12/10)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire on Palestinians scavenging for construction materials at a demolished garbage collection center, wounding 1. IDF troops on the s. Gaza border shoot, wound an unarmed Palestinian who strays nr. the border fence e. of Abasan. In the West Bank, the IDF enters Tulkarm in the morning, patrolling streets and photographing the Palestinian Technical College; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Tulkarm. In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities demolish a Palestinian car wash, auto repair shop, and 2 other portable structures in Bayt Hanina. (OCHA reports that another 7 Palestinian structures were demolished in Issawiyya and al-Tur between 10/27 and 11/2.) Meanwhile, at a dedication ceremony in Dahiyat al-Barid (in East Jerusalem but on the Palestinian side of the separation wall), PA PM Fayyad announces that the PA has renovated 15 schools in East Jerusalem in defiance of Israel’s ban on PA activity in East Jerusalem, saying “we are translating steadfastness into facts on the ground.” Fayyad had planned to attend the inauguration of the new schools in Shaykh Jarrah and Shu‘fat as well, but decided not to after Netanyahu pointedly renewed (11/1) his ban on allowing Palestinian leaders to carry out official business in the city and ordered security services to halt the visit if Fayyad proceeded. The Court of First Instance in Gaza sentences a Palestinian man to death by hanging for kidnapping and killing a 9-yr.-old girl in 2004. (JTA, UNSCO 11/2; NYT 11/3; PCHR, WJW 11/4; OCHA 11/5; see also AFP, HA 11/1)

The IDF sends armored vehicles, bulldozers into Gaza s. of Bayt Hanun to level land; local Palestinian gunmen exchange fire with the troops, leaving no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Tulkarm town and r.c., nr. Jenin; uproots 100 Palestinian olive trees in al-Rihiyya nr. Hebron, sparking clashes with local Palestinians, injuring 1 boy. In Hebron, IDF soldiers angry over the 12/28 death of 2 settlers raid and vandalize a Palestinian home near the site of the killings, causing damage but no injuries. Jewish settlers fr. Gush Etzion stone Palestinian vehicles on roads nr. the settlement, damaging 3. Fatah mbrs., Hamas-affiliated security forces clash in Gaza, leaving 5 Palestinians (2 bystanders, 2 Hamas mbrs., 1 Fatah mbr.) dead, at least 30 injured; clashes start in Khan Yunis and spread to Bayt Lahiya, Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City, Jabaliya r.c., al-Maghazi r.c., Nussayrat r.c., and Rafah. Hamas officials say that the fighting began when Fatah mbrs. opened fire on worshipers leaving a mosque in Khan Yunis, killing a local Hamas figure and a 10-yr.-old boy. Separately, suspected unidentified assailants kidnap, assault, release a local Fatah leader in Gaza City; the family accuses Hamas, but Hamas blames internal Fatah disputes. The 2,000 Palestinian pilgrims denied reentry into Gaza by Egypt via the Rafah crossing (see 12/30) riot at a detention camp in al-Arish where Egypt is holding them; no serious injuries are reported. In Rafah, 15,000 Palestinians protest Egypt’s actions. In Battir, nr. Bethlehem, PFLP and Fatah mbrs. clash; no injuries are reported. (NYT, WP, WT 1/1; OCHA 1/2; PCHR 1/3)

A Hamas mbr. dies nr. the Gaza border n. of Bayt Hanun when explosives he is handling detonate prematurely. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem; shoots, wounds a Palestinian farmer working his land nr. the separation wall s. of Hebron; fires rubber-coated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, international activists taking part in nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall in Bil‘in (injuring 4) and Ma‘sara (injuring 2). Jewish settlers vandalize Palestinian homes, cars in Burkin nr. Salfit; the IDF disperses them. In Gaza City, the Hamas-affiliated security forces detain without charge Omar al-Ghul, a senior associate of PA PM Salam Fayyad, prominent journalist, and frequent critic of Hamas; Abbas denounces the “kidnapping.” Also in Gaza City, 3 Fatah supporters are killed, 35 are wounded by an explosion during a funeral for an AMB mbr. killed in an IDF air strike on 12/13; police say a Fatah mbr. accidentally discharged a hand grenade; Abbas accuses Hamas of causing the explosion, calling it an “assault against all our people.” In Khan Yunis, Fatah mbrs. stone a Hamas vehicle promoting a 20th anniversary rally in Gaza City, sparking a fight, gunfire by the police that leaves 17 injured. (NYT, WP, WT 12/15; OCHA 12/19; PCHR 12/27)

IDF troops on the Gaza border fire a shell into Gaza City, wounding a Palestinian teenager. The IDF also sends troops into Gaza Valley village to conduct arrest raids, house searches. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron. Suspected Hamas mbrs. kidnap and beat a Fatah activist in Khan Yunis. In Gaza City, some 200 Palestinians stage a sit-in outside the PC headquarters to protest the PA’s refusal to issue passports and travel documents for Gazans (see Quarterly Update in JPS 145). (OCHA 10/17; PCHR 10/18)

Rice opens 4 days of shuttle diplomacy in the region in an effort to encourage Israel and the PA to bridge gaps on a joint statement to be released at the proposed 11/15 Annapolis summit and to build regional support for the conference. (IFM 10/14; NYT, WP, WT 10/15)

In Gaza, Fatah-Hamas fighting escalates for the 4th day, leaving at least 24 armed Palestinians, 4 civilians dead and more than 100 wounded (the highest 1- day total in 18 mos. of factional fighting), as gunmen on both sides continue to ignore appeals by their political leaders to halt the violence. (Egyptian mediators try to broker another cease-fire, but the Hamas delegation cannot reach the talks because of Fatah roadblocks.) By evening, Hamas is reported to be in control of most of n. Gaza. During the day, Hamas gunmen and ESF mbrs. surround secondary Fatah and PA security posts across Gaza. In light of increasingly coordinated Hamas attacks, Abbas accuses Hamas of attempting to stage a coup, for the 1st time orders his security forces to defend their positions. Of note: Hamas stages major assaults on Fatah’s security headquarters in Khan Yunis and Gaza City, where some 200 Hamas mbrs. firing mortars and RPGs seize the post from 500 Fatah fighters. After dark, 100s of Hamas gunman raid a major hilltop NSF post in Jabaliya r.c., using small arms and grenades, taking the post after an intense gunfight that leaves 21 dead and 60 wounded (included in the figures above). PA presidential guardsmen fire RPGs at Haniyeh’s home in what Hamas condemns as an assassination attempt (no one is injured); in retaliation, Hamas mbrs. fire mortars toward Abbas’s Gaza residence, causing no damage or injuries (Abbas is in Ramallah). Hamas mbrs. also attack the home of PSF cmdr. Hassan Muhsin (not home at the time), killing his wife, son, daughter, and niece; ransack the vacant home of PC mbr. Nabil Shaath; occupy a PA-funded TV station in Gaza City. Human Rights Watch issues a statement accusing both factions of war crimes for executing captives and killing bystanders. In the West Bank, Fatah and Hamas kidnap rival mbrs. (including the AMB kidnapping of Hamas-affiliated Dep. Transportation M Fadi Shabanah); PA presidential guardsmen attack, close a Hamas TV station in Ramallah. Palestinians in Ramallah stage a demonstration against the interfactional fighting. On the Israeli-Palestinian front, Palestinians fire several rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, lightly injuring 1 Israeli. The IDF fires on stonethrowing youths nr. Nablus, wounding an 11-yr.-old Palestinian bystander. More than 1,000 Jewish settlers, escorted by the IDF, reoccupy the evacuated Homesh settlement site nr. Nablus, closing the local stretch of the Nablus–Jenin road to Palestinian traffic. Inside Israel, the Israel Lands Authority demolishes a home in the Israeli Palestinian neighborhood of al-Jawarish in Ramla built without a permit. (MENA, MNA, OCS, PSCT 6/12 in WNC 6/13; NYT, OCHA, WP, WT 6/13; PCHR 6/14)

In Gaza, Fatah-Hamas fighting that erupted in Rafah on 6/9 escalates sharply, spreading across the Strip (Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City, Jabaliya r.c., Rafah), with 100s of gunmen exchanging RPG and machine gun fire, and sides kidnapping rival mbrs. and setting up security checkpoints, leaving at least 4 Palestinians dead, 36 wounded (mostly civilians). Incidents include a PA presidential guard mbr. being shot and thrown off an 18-story Gaza City building, the retaliatory abduction and killing of a Hamas cleric, and the murder of an ESF officer by throwing him off a high-rise building. Late in the evening, Fatah, Hamas officials call on their fighters to leave the streets and observe a cease-fire. Meanwhile, in response to the 6/9 Islamic Jihad–AMB attack, the IDF makes 3 predawn air strikes on Gaza City, destroying a study center and charitable association run by Islamic Jihad and an alleged AMB weapons depot, wounding 7 bystanders. The IDF ends operations in Shuka, releasing all but 6 Palestinians detained at the start of the incursion on 6/8. Citing intraPalestinian fighting, Israel forces the closure of Rafah crossing, barring EU monitors fr. reaching the site. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, nr. Hebron. Jewish settlers burn 200 d. of Palestinian agricultural land nr. Tulkarm. (NYT, WP, WT 6/11; OCHA 6/13; PCHR 6/14)

The IDF makes 7 air strikes on Gaza, targeting 2 Hamas rocket-launching sites in n. Gaza, killing 3 Palestinian shepherds, 1 Palestinian child; hitting a car driving in Gaza City, assassinating Hamas’s Muhiy al-Din al-Sirhi, also killing 2 civilians traveling with him; destroying the Gaza City home of Hamas mbr. Imad Dallul in an apparent assassination attempt, wounding him and 3 other Hamas mbrs.; destroying 4 alleged weapons factories in Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, and Nussayrat r.c., damaging nearby homes. The IDF also shells residential areas in Bayt Hanun, injuring a Palestinian woman, 4 children. In Gaza City, 3 Palestinians are injured by IDF UXO; 3 Hamas mbrs. are injured when explosives they are handling detonate prematurely. Hamas fires an RPG at an IDF bulldozer leveling land along the Gaza border fence, injuring 2 IDF soldiers; fires 5 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, starting a brush fire but causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in, fires on residential areas of Nablus. Jewish settlers fr. Tel Rumeida in Hebron beat 2 international peace activists escorting Palestinian children nr. Beit Hadasah settlement. Jewish settlers fr. Itamar nr. Nablus burn Palestinian olive trees in nearby Bayt Furik. Meanwhile, at least 6 Palestinians are wounded in factional fighting in Gaza that includes a gun fight btwn. ESF and NSF mbrs. in Gaza City, a Hamas attack on a PSF base in Rafah, and Fatah’s kidnapping and malicious wounding of 2 Hamas mbrs. in Gaza City. NSF officers manning several checkpoints reportedly harass observant Muslims, ordering women to remove their head coverings and arresting bearded men on suspicion of being Hamas mbrs., raising public outrage against Fatah. Another Egyptian-brokered cease-fire (involving 3 phone conversations btwn. Abbas, Damascus-based Hamas leader Khalid Mishal) that was to go into effect at 3:00 P.M. local time is ignored by Hamas and Fatah. (NYT, WP 5/20; PCHR 5/21; OCHA 5/23; PCHR 5/24)

The Israeli navy fires on Palestinian fishing boats off the Gaza border, damaging 3. Palestinian gunmen fire on an IDF observation post on the Gaza border n. of Bayt Hanun; the IDF returns fire; no injuries are reported on either side. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Dahaysha r.c., Hebron, Nablus, Nahalin nr. Bethlehem. Shin Bet announces that in late 3/07, it detained 19 Hamas mbrs. fr. Qalqilya whom it says have confessed under interrogation to planning a massive truck bombing in Tel Aviv during the Passover holidays, which end this evening; Olmert cites the case as proof that “terrorism is a cornerstone of the new Palestinian government, a government that should be shunned”; Hamas officials in Qalqilya deny being part of any plot. Jewish settler children fr. Ma’on in Hebron chase, attack a group of Palestinian children (ages 10–12) on their way to school; the IDF observes but does not intervene. A Palestinian gunman shoots, grazes a Jewish settler at a bus stop nr. Qalqilya. In Gaza, unidentified gunmen fatally shoot a PSF officer in Khan Yunis; unidentified assailants kidnap, shoot, wound, release a PA police officer; Jabaliya municipal workers stage a sit-in outside municipal offices to protest the nonpayment of their salaries. (NYT, OCHA, WP, WT 4/11; PCHR 4/12)

The IDF sends bulldozers into s. Gaza nr. Wadi Gaza to level land along the border fence to improve lines of sight. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Balata r.c., exchanging fire with Palestinian gunmen, leaving 1 Palestinian wounded; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Tubas. Palestinian journalists protesting the 3/12 kidnapping of the BBC’s Johnston begin a 3-day boycott of coverage on the PA and Abbas’s office, with some 100 journalists also staging a sit-in outside the PM’s office in Gaza City. (NYT, WP 4/3; OCHA 4/4; PCHR 4/5)

Overnight, the IDF revives Operation Hot Winter (see 3/1) in Nablus, conducting major house searches, arresting 2 Palestinians but withdrawing in the morning. During the day, IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire on Palestinian farmers who stray near the border fence e. of al-Qarara, causing no injuries; later sends tanks, bulldozers across the border in the same area to level land, discovering and dismantling 2 roadside bombs. Late in the evening, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron, and nr. Bethlehem, Ramallah. Jewish settlers fr. Avraham Avino attack Palestinian workers repairing a Palestinian home nearby; the IDF observes but does not intervene. Jewish settlers fr. Ramat Yishai vandalize Palestinian homes nearby. A Palestinian gunman fires on a Jewish settler vehicle driving on the Itamar settlement bypass road nr. Nablus, wounding 1 settler. In Gaza City, suspected Fatah gunmen assassinate Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades cmdr. Ala’ al-Haddad; late in the evening, the ESF fires an RPG destroying a house in Gaza City in apparent retaliation. Fatah-ESF clashes escalate in Bayt Hanun, with ESF mbrs. firing an RPG at the home of a Fatah mbr. and Fatah mbrs. retaliating by firing an RPG at the home of a Hamas mbr.; 3 Palestinians are injured. Hamas spokesman Ghazi Hamad says that the PA has definite information about who kidnapped BBC corresponded Johnston on 3/12, indicating that they are mbrs. of the powerful Daghmash clan, which is involved in criminal activity and was responsible for the abduction of 2 Fox News journalists on 8/27/06; says the government is working to secure his release. (HA, NYT, OCHA 3/14; PCHR 3/15)

The AMB fires 4 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Dahaysha r.c. in a car with Palestinian license plates to arrest a wanted Palestinian teenager; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Tulkarm, nr. Tulkarm, and in and around Hebron, Nablus. Israel’s mayor of Jerusalem Uri Lupolianski suspends for review construction work at the Haram alSharif/Temple Mount, though Palestinians hold small protests, throw stones at the IDF during the day in and around East Jerusalem, Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron and Ginat Shomron nr. Qalqilya prevent Palestinians from working their land nearby. Under IDF escort, Jewish settlers fr. Halamish nr. Ramallah uproot 50 olive trees in the Palestinian village of Dayr Nizam. In Gaza City, 200 family mbrs. of Palestinians held in Israeli jails demonstrate outside the PC headquarters, demanding that the PA do more to free their relatives. In Khan Yunis, unidentified assailants kidnap, quickly release unharmed fmr. PA atty. gen. Khalid al-Qidra. A Fatah mbr. injured during 1/29 ESF-Fatah clashes in Jabaliya r.c. dies. (MM 2/12; MM, NYT, WT 2/13; OCHA 2/14; PCHR 2/15)

In Gaza, Islamic Jihad mbrs. fire on an IDF observation post on the border e. of Khan Yunis, sparking an exchange of fire that causes no injuries. Egyptian forces blow up 2 smugglers’ tunnels on the Rafah border. PA security forces discover, detonate a sophisticated roadside bomb nr. the border fence e. of al-Maghazi r.c. In the West Bank, the IDF fatally shoots a 17-yr.-old Palestinian during an arrest raid in Tulkarm r.c.; sends an undercover unit into Tulkarm town in a van with Palestinian license plates, fatally shoots a wanted Palestinian who attempts to escape; patrols in Qalandia r.c., firing on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops, wounding 1; conducts arrest raids, house searches in ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’ and nr. Hebron, Nablus. In Gaza, 1 AMB mbr. is shot execution style in n. Gaza by Hamas gunmen who blame the AMB for the death of one of their mbrs.; later 2 ESF mbrs. are killed by a roadside bomb in the same area; shots are fired at FM Zahhar’s home, causing no injuries. Fatah mbrs. kidnap 9 Hamas mbrs. in Gaza; Hamas retaliates by kidnapping 5 Fatah mbrs. In Ramallah, AMB mbrs. angry at Abbas’s Presidential Guard for expelling them fr. the Muqata‘a fire on the diplomatic missions of Canada, China, Germany, causing no injuries. (MM 1/26; NYT 1/26, 1/27; WT 1/28; OCHA 1/31; PCHR 2/1)

IDF troops on the Gaza border fire on residential areas of Bayt Lahiya, wounding 1 Palestinian; fire on residential areas of alQarara in s. Gaza, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Nablus (detaining a PA Military Intelligence officer whose brother is wanted). In Gaza City, the Daghmash clan kidnaps several Hamas mbrs.; later in the day, Daghmash mbrs. fatally shoot 3 mbrs. of the Diri clan, a pro-Hamas family, and wound 5 others. In the West Bank, suspected Fatah gunmen kidnap Dep. Mayor of Nablus Mahdi Hambali in Nablus, Interior Min. official Ihad Ghidhan from the Interior Min. offices in Ramallah; Ghidhan is shot, wounded, released later in the day. Suspected Fatah mbrs. also shoot, wound Hamas-affiliated al-Najah University lecturer Marwan Qaddumi in his home in Nablus. In Hebron, AMB mbrs. enforce a strike, prevent stores fr. opening to protest Hamas attacks in Gaza. In Gaza City, a Hamas mbr. dies of injuries he sustained on 12/29 when explosives he was handling detonated prematurely. (HA, NYT, WT 1/7; OCHA 1/10; PCHR 1/11)

The Israeli navy fires on Palestinian fishing boats off the Rafah coast, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin and in Aida r.c., Bayt Fajjar. In Jabaliya r.c., a Hamas mbr. shoots, wounds the brother of a senior Fatah mbr., violating a deal for a general truce btwn. the factions and prompting Fatah mbrs. to seize 10 Hamas mbrs., sparking an exchange of gunfire (leaving 3 wounded, including at least 1 bystander) and the retaliatory kidnapping of 7 Fatah mbrs.; Fatah releases 7 of the Hamas mbrs. later in the day. In Gaza City, unidentified gunmen kidnap Peruvian AFP photographer Jaime Razuri; the Daghmash clan, reportedly behind the 8/27 kidnapping of 2 Fox News journalists in a bid to gain control of the local PRC faction, is reportedly behind the kidnapping, demanding that Hamas handover several mbrs. responsible for killing clan mbrs. in exchange for Razuri’s release. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/2; OCHA 1/3; NYT 1/7; PCHR 1/11)

Israel closes the Rafah border to prevent Haniyeh fr. returning to Gaza, alleging that Haniyeh’s delegation intended to bring in some $30 m. in cash donations collected during his 16-day regional tour. In response, 10s of Hamas mbrs. raid the Rafah crossing, exchanging fire with expelling Presidential Guard mbrs. guarding the post, occupying the transit hall on the Palestinian side of the border, later trading fire with Egyptian border police, leaving 15 Palestinians (mostly Hamas mbrs.) injured. Late in the evening, Israel allows Haniyeh to cross Rafah without the money, which is escorted to the Arab League by 2 Hamas officials under an arrangement brokered by Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Sulayman. Suspected Fatah mbrs. fire on Haniyeh’s convoy as it crosses into Gaza in an apparent assassination attempt, killing Haniyeh’s bodyguard, wounding his son and a political adviser, more than 10 other Palestinians; Hamas accuses fmr. PA security chief and powerful Fatah PC mbr. Muhammad Dahlan of orchestrating the attack; Dahlan denies responsibility. Separately in Gaza, PA security forces arrest PRC mbr. Hisham Mukhaymar for participation in the 12/11 shooting death of intelligence official Balusha’s children, sparking an exchange of gunfire btwn. PRC mbrs. and PA security forces. PRC mbrs. later kidnap a PA security officer, saying he would not be released until Mukhaymar is freed. In the West Bank, suspected Fatah gunmen fire on a rally in Balata r.c. marking Hamas’s 19th anniversary, leaving 4 Hamas supporters wounded. Other rallies to mark Hamas’s anniversary are held in Qalqilya, Tulkarm. Meanwhile, the IDF moves tanks, bulldozers 100 m into n. Gaza nr. Bayt Hanun, but no land leveling is reported. Palestinians fire 1 rocket fr. Gaza into Israel in violation of the 11/26 cease-fire, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units in 2 vehicles with Palestinian license plates into ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’ r.c. nr. Nablus to ambush, assassinate wanted AMB mbr. Muhammad Zaytawi, wounding 1 woman, 5 children; fires on stone-throwing youths nr. Ariel settlement, fatally shooting a Palestinian bystander; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Hebron, Tulkarm (confiscating film fr. journalists covering the incident). (BBC, al-Jazeera, REU 12/14; NYT, WP, WT 12/15; OCHA 12/20; PCHR 12/21)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Jenin, Nablus. Jewish settlers fr. Hebron attack Palestinians harvesting their olive grove outside Hebron; the IDF arrests the Palestinian family for threatening the settlers, releases them but bars them fr. accessing their land. In Gaza City, unidentified Palestinian gunmen kidnap Spanish Associated Press photographer Emilio Morenatti, release him quickly after Abbas’s intervention; no details of the terms of release are given. A Palestinian wounded by the IDF in Bayt Hanun on 10/23 dies. (NYT 10/25; PCHR 11/2)

The German Defense Min. reports an incident btwn. its naval vessels off the Lebanese coast and the IDF in which 2 Israeli F-16s fired twice and released antimissile flares over a German ship. Israel denies the report, saying that jets were dispatched when a helicopter took off fr. a German boat without identifying itself, but as soon as Israel realized the mistake, the jets broke off. (NYT 10/26)

Overnight, the IDF sends troops into ‘Askar r.c. in search of a wanted Palestinian, demolishing his family home and 3 nearby homes of relatives, wounding his sister, arresting 4 relatives, firing on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront the troops, wounding 9; a Palestinian woman dies of a heart attack during the raid; the wanted man is not found. Also in the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Zababda nr. Jenin, firing on stone-throwing youths who confront them; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron, and nr. Bethlehem, Jenin. In Gaza, IDF closes the Qarni crossing; exchanges fire with Islamic Jihad mbrs. nr. Khan Yunis, then moves troops into Abasan to search for the gunmen, patrolling and firing on residential areas, withdrawing late in the evening, leaving 1 Islamic Jihad mbr. dead. Late in the evening, the IDF makes an air strike destroying the Khan Yunis home of an AMB mbr. (residents are warned in advance to leave but are given too little time; an elderly Palestinian and his son are killed, 3 Palestinians are injured, 5 nearby houses are damaged). PA security forces search for 2 Fox News journalists kidnapped in Gaza on 8/14; Haniyeh also appeals for their release. A Palestinian dies of injuries received during an 7/6 IDF attempted assassination in Jenin r.c. (NYT, WP, WT 8/16; PCHR 8/17; OCHA 8/25)

The Israel-Lebanon front remains relatively quiet, with UNIFIL confirming no breaches of the cease-fire, though the IDF fatally shoots 3 Hizballah mbrs. in s. Lebanon in incidents deemed defensive. UNIFIL reports no significant Israeli withdrawals fr. Lebanon, though the IDF does pull several 100 reservists and tanks into Israel. Tens of thousands of Lebanese civilians continue to return to their homes in s. Lebanon, though the IDF drops leaflets warning them to stay away. Hizballah begins disbursing financial aid to displaced families to aid them in their return (reportedly allocating $150 m. to the task); begins recording and assessing damage to personal property and infrastructure, with the aim of executing a long-term reconstruction effort. Now free to move, relief workers in s. Lebanon begin uncovering 10s of bodies buried in the rubble of destroyed buildings. (NYT, WT 8/15; NYT, WP, WT 8/16)

In Gaza, the IDF makes air strikes on an AMB car carrying rockets to a launch site nr. Bayt Hanun (the targets escape unharmed, 2 bystanders are wounded; a PA security officer later sent to retrieve the deserted car is killed by IDF fire that also wounds 2 bystanders) and on a bridge in n. Gaza; allows the Erez crossing to open for several hrs. for the import of food, medical supplies. The International Comm. of the Red Cross (ICRC) reports that 3 Palestinians with medical problems stranded on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border, closed since 6/25, have died of heat stroke; that some 4,000 Palestinians, including 578 “urgent humanitarian cases” are now waiting on the Egyptian border for reentry to Gaza. A 12- yr.-old Palestinian dies of injuries received in the IDF shelling of Bayt Lahiya on 7/6. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, and in and around Hebron, Nablus. Overnight, Hamas mbrs. fire on a group of AMB mbrs. in Gaza City, wounding 5 and kidnapping 2; in retaliation, the AMB kidnaps 2 Hamas mbrs.; all 4 abducted men are released by early morning. (HA 7/11; NYT, OCHA 7/12; PCHR 7/13)

The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus (firing on residential areas and stone-throwing youths who confront the troops, seriously wounding 1), in Hebron, and nr. Bethlehem, Jenin. Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Abbas deploys mbrs of Force 17 (under his command) to Qarni crossing to take over security responsibility fr. security forces under Interior M Siyam’s control. Unidentified gunmen kidnap, shoot and wound a PA intelligence service officer nr. Gaza City. Following the ESF attack on 6/23, ESF, PSF mbrs. exchange fire in Khan Yunis, leaving 1 PSF mbr. wounded. (HA, XIN 6/24; VOI 6/24 in WNC 6/25; OCHA 6/28; PCHR 6/29)

The IDF sends undercover units into Tulkarm in a car with Palestinian license plates to arrest a wanted Palestinian; later sends a 2d undercover unit into Tulkarm that is intercepted by PA security forces, withdraws after an exchange of fire, causing no injuries; sends undercover units into Jenin, who exchange fire with local gunmen, withdraw under IDF support, without making any arrests; demolishes a Palestinian home nr. Jenin next to the separation wall; patrols in Tubas, firing on residential areas; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, Tulkarm and in Aida r.c., al-Fara‘a r.c. (firing on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops). In Rafah, at least 100 Fatah, Hamas gunmen clash, leaving 1 Hamas mbr. and 1 Palestinian bystander dead and 15 Palestinians wounded, with Hamas firing antitank weapons and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) at the local PSF headquarters. (Hamas says that Fatah gunmen fired on a Hamas funeral procession, precipitating the clash, while Fatah says that Hamas mbrs. in the procession fired first on the PSF headquarters along the route.) Soon after, 100s of Fatah-dominated PA security forces and AMB mbrs. reacting to the Gaza violence rampage through Ramallah, raiding, firing on, vandalizing, setting fire to the PC building and the cabinet headquarters in a show of force against Hamas. Later, Fatah gunmen kidnap Change and Reform PC mbr. Khalil Rabei, set fire to his Ramallah office; Rabei is freed hrs. later at Abbas’s intervention; 7 other Change and Reform PC mbrs. take refuge in the Muqata‘a under Abbas’s protection. Abbas declares a state of emergency and curfew. Inside Israel, Israeli police arrest 7 Palestinians in Shafa ‘Amr suspected in the 8/4/05 killing of an IDF soldier who boarded a bus in the town and opened fire, killing 4 Palestinians before being beaten to death. In addition, unknown assailants vandalize the Orthodox Christian Church in Majdal nr. Nazareth; the recently refurbished church, which tends to a growing Russian Orthodox population, has been threatened on several occasions by local right-wing Jews. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/13; PCHR 6/15)