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  • April 15, 2021

    In the West Bank, armed Israeli settlers paraded outside a school in Khirbet Ibziq. Israeli settlers also vandalized 45 olive and citrus seedlings, damaged property, and stole construction...

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  • July 4, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire approximately 20 projectiles into s. Israel, causing no injuries and minor damage to several buildings in 1 kibbutz. Two projectiles are intercepted by Iron...

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  • January 5, 2009

    As OCL enters day 10, IDF ground forces tighten the circle around Gaza City and continue to operate against Palestinian rocketlaunching units across n. Gaza, still avoiding entering densely...

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  • November 30, 2007

    The IDF makes air strikes on 2 groups of armed Palestinians nr. Abasan, killing 5 Hamas and PRC mbrs., wounding 8; sends bulldozers into the Gaza airport site nr. Rafah to level land. In the West...

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  • November 28, 2007

    Israel announces a further reduction in fuel supplies to Gaza, where 70% of fuel stations reportedly are already closed. The IDF withdraws troops who have been stationed in the Erez industrial...

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  • October 19, 2007

    In Gaza, the IDF sends tanks, a bulldozer into the Gaza airport site, exchanging heavy fire (heavy machine guns, mortars) with Hamas mbrs., causing no reported injuries; occupies a strip of land...

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  • August 24, 2007

    In Gaza, the IDF fatally shoots 2 armed Palestinians on the border nr. Jabaliya; sends troops into al-Shuka nr. Rafah to bulldoze 6 d. of agricultural land nr. the Gaza airport; bulldozes...

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  • July 6, 2003

    In Gaza City, PA workers begin whitewashing graffiti praising Palestinian militants as part of the road map’s requirements to halt incitement. The PA announces that as of 7/7 it will ban the...

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  • June 3, 2002

    The IDF continues operations in Balata r.c., Nablus for the 5th day; blows up an alleged bomb-making factory, raids and damages a medical center in Balata r.c. In new Askar r.c., the IDF conducts...

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  • January 11, 2002

    The PSF announces it has arrested Shubaki, Mughrabi in connection with the Karine A; has issued a warrant for Razim, who is believed to be in Jordan. Israel, dismissing the arrests as...

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  • December 26, 2001

    During clashes nr. Jinin, 1 Palestinian is killed, a mosque is partially damaged by IDF helicopter gunfire. The IDF also seizes a Palestinian home nr. Jinin as an outpost; sends 300 soldiers into...

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  • December 13, 2001

    The IDF cuts electricity to Gaza City, Ramallah; sends tanks and F-16s to shell the control tower at Gaza airport, the PA headquarters in Gaza City and Ramallah (Arafat is unharmed), the PA naval...

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  • December 3, 2001

    Upon his return fr. the U.S. Sharon meets with his security cabinet, then his full cabinet to discuss how to respond to the 12/1+n2 attacks. The full cabinet votes to declare the PA "an entity...

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  • October 17, 2001

    At least 1 PFLP gunman assassinates Israeli tourism M Ze'evi in an East Jerusalem hotel, shooting him at point blank range, using a pistol equipped with a silencer, escaping undetected. The PFLP...

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  • September 26, 2001

    Arafat, Peres meet at Gaza airport; issue a joint statement (see 9/20) restarting phased implementation of the Tenet cease-fire plan as the 1st step toward implementation of the Mitchell...

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  • April 23, 2001

    A car bomb explodes in Or Yehuda, outside Tel Aviv, lightly injuring 4 Israelis. The PFLP claims responsibility (see 4/2). In the West Bank and Gaza, Israeli-Palestinian clashes...

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  • April 18, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue. Hrs. after the IDF completes its pulls out of PA-controlled areas of n. Gaza, Palestinians again fire 7 mortars fr. Bayt Hanun toward a Jewish...

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  • February 14, 2001

    A Palestinian bus driver with Israeli security service clearance to transport Palestinian workers to their jobs in Israel drops off his passengers in Holon, then rams his vehicle into a bus stop...

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  • February 12, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 2 Palestinians dead. Palestinians step up attacks on Jewish settlements, with Fatah's Bethlehem branch issuing a leaflet calling on...

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  • February 5, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue. Nr. Rafah border, a Palestinian sniper fatally shoots an IDF soldier. The IDF seals the border with Egypt, closes the Gaza airport, shells areas around Rafah...

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  • January 18, 2001

    As Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, the body of an Israeli boy is found in Ramallah. Ofir Rahum had started an Internet relationship with a Palestinian girl, had arranged to meet...

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  • January 17, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue. Israel eases the closure on Gaza, partially reopening the Gaza airport, Rafah and Qarni crossings, key roads. In Gaza, 3 masked gunmen...

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  • January 11, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes abate significantly. Israel reopens the Gaza-Egypt, West Bank-Jordan crossings; reopens Gaza airport, the main north-south road in Gaza; lifts the blockade...

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  • January 1, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, killing 5 Palestinians. A car bomb explodes in the Israeli town of Netanya, lightly injuring 39, seriously injuring 1 (the suspected perpetrator...

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  • December 1, 2000

    On this 1st Friday of Ramadan, Israel lifts age restrictions on Palestinians attending prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque and places Israeli riot police surrounding the mosque compound under strict orders...

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  • November 8, 2000

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes intensify, especially in Gaza. 4 Palestinians are killed by IDF troops, 2 others die of injuries received earlier, and 1 Israeli customs official is ambushed and killed...

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  • November 7, 2000

    Presidential elections are held in the U.S., but the race btwn. VP Al Gore (D) and Texas Gov. George W. Bush (R) is too close to call. The election rests on some 1,500 votes in Florida, where...

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  • October 22, 2000

    The Arab League closes its 2-day emergency session, issuing a nonbinding resolution calling for a $1 b. Palestinian aid fund, recommending Arab states postpone further normalization with Israel....

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  • October 18, 2000

    In implementation of the Sharm agmts., the PA releases a statement, read on Palestinian TV, urging Palestinians to "refrain from anything that would lead to tension or violence and to work to calm...

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  • June 1, 2000

    In Lisbon, Clinton, Barak hold talks on all tracks of the peace process, strengthening their bilateral relationship. Afterward, Clinton says a framework agmt. on permanent status (FAPS) is "within...

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In the West Bank, armed Israeli settlers paraded outside a school in Khirbet Ibziq. Israeli settlers also vandalized 45 olive and citrus seedlings, damaged property, and stole construction equipment near Jalud. In East Jerusalem, for the 3d night in a row, Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians as tensions over Israeli violations of the status quo of the holy places worsened after Israeli forces prevented the call for prayers on the 1st day of Ramadan on 4/13; 1 Israeli police officer was reportedly injured and 8 Palestinians were arrested. In Gaza, 1 rocket was fired at Israel and Israel fired 4 missiles at Gaza, causing damage west of Nuseirat refugee camp, at the closed Gaza airport, and south of Gaza City; no injuries were reported. (AJ, HA, JP, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/16; PCHR 4/22)

House representative Betty McCollum (D-MN) introduced the “Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act,” which specifies Israeli actions that the U.S. should not be funding, including the detention of minors, destruction of Palestinian property, and annexation of Palestinian territory. The bill also specifies annual oversight of the U.S. aid to Israel. Co-sponsors of the bill includes Andre Carson (D-IN), Danny Davis (D-IL), Marie Newman (D-IL), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Cori Bush (D-MO), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Jesus Garcia (D-IL). The bill also has support from J Street, PeaceNow, and IfNotNow. (INT 4/14; HA, WAFA 4/15)

Russia and the World Food Programme delivered fortified wheat to 72,000 vulnerable Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. (WAFA 4/21)

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire approximately 20 projectiles into s. Israel, causing no injuries and minor damage to several buildings in 1 kibbutz. Two projectiles are intercepted by Iron Dome batteries. The IDF launches air strikes on 3 Hamas-related targets in the s. Gaza Strip. IDF troops on the border fence nr. Rafah fire tank shells at the remains of the Gaza international airport, causing no casualties. Later, IDF troops open fire on farmers close to the border fence nr. Dayr al-Balah, wounding 1. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, IDF naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops injure 8 Palestinians with live ammunition and rubber-coated metal bullets during clashes with demonstrators at Qalandia checkpoint nr. Ramallah. There is also a demonstration in Surayf village nr. Hebron protesting Israeli settlements, and IDF troops open fire during the ensuing clashes, wounding 5 Palestinians. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, in al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. 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 nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum). There are no serious injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces deploy in large numbers and restrict worshippers’ access to Haram al-Sharif. Two days after his death on 7/2, Abu Khdeir’s funeral is held in Shu‘fat, after which there are violent clashes with Israeli police, who use rubbercoated metal bullets and injure 20. (HA, JP, MNA, REU 7/4; PCHR 7/10)

Israeli media reports that Egyptian intelligence officials are mediating a truce between Israel and Hamas, on the basis of “quiet for quiet.” Israeli FM Lieberman criticizes talk of a possible cease-fire and urges the IDF to target the Hamas leadership. Hamas spokesperson Abu Zuhri, meanwhile, says the group is “not interested in a confrontation” and holds Israel “responsible for the escalation.” (REU, ToI, YA 7/4)

As OCL enters day 10, IDF ground forces tighten the circle around Gaza City and continue to operate against Palestinian rocketlaunching units across n. Gaza, still avoiding entering densely populated areas. Troops deploy to segment the Strip into 3 main operational zones: a northern zone running fr. the n. Gaza border south to Netzarim Junction (the Qarni Crossing–Netzarim settlement line drawn on 1/4); a central zone fr. Netzarim Junction to Khan Yunis; and a southern zone fr. Khan Yunis to the Rafah border. While IDF troops are still entering Gaza, IDF reservists have not yet been sent in.

Meanwhile, French pres. Nicholas Sarkozy begins a regional tour to press for a 48-hr. humanitarian cease-fire, meeting with Mubarak in Cairo and Olmert in Israel).

Combat notes: In Gaza City, residents and medical workers report that IDF troops are concentrated in the al-Shuja‘iyya, al-Tuffah, and al-Zaytun neighborhoods (al-Zaytun is a strategic high point, providing a view over the breadth of the Strip) and that fighting is so intense (involving heavy Israeli tank and helicopter fire) that bodies of the dead have been left lying in the street and ambulances are unable to reach the area. IDF troops occupy at least 3 high-rise buildings in eastern areas of Gaza City as observation posts, expelling the residents and exchanging heavy gunfire with Palestinian gunmen. Israeli aircraft drop leaflets over Gaza City warning residents to evacuate their neighborhood; 1,000s of Gazans report receiving automated phone messages form the IDF saying “We are getting rid of Hamas.”

In addition to carrying out air strikes in support of advancing ground troops, the IDF reports making 40 air strikes targeting tunnels on the Rafah border, weapons caches, homes of senior Hamas and PFLP mbrs. (most of whom are in hiding), the Gaza airport site. Target areas include Abasan, Bayt Hanun, Bani Suhayla, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (the center city, al-Tuffah, al-Shuja‘iyya, Tal al-Hawa, alZaytun), Jabaliya, Khan Yunis, Khuza, the al-Mawasi area (w. of Khan Yunis), Nussayrat, Rafah, al-Shabura r.c. (nr. Rafah), Shati’ r.c., al-Shuka, Yibna r.c. (nr. Rafah).

Of particular note: A home in Gaza City’s al-Zaytun neighborhood, where the IDF placed 110 Palestinians it had rounded up on 1/4, is hit by an air strike and repeatedly shelled, killing at least 30 mbrs. of an extended family (including 5 children age 4 and younger) and wounding scores; the IDF bars relief workers fr. reaching the scene until 1/7. A shell fired from an Israeli naval vessel hits a Palestinian home in Shati’ r.c., killing a family of 7 asleep in their beds. A late-night air strike hits an UNRWA school in Shati’ r.c. being used as a shelter, killing 3 members of a single family. The IDF also makes air strikes hitting the offices of the Hamas-affiliated al-Risala for a 2d time (see 1/3). Photographs and live footage of the ongoing operations clearly show IDF artillery firing white phosphorus shells on densely populated areas, though Israel denies using the munitions. The IDF fires flechette shells on residential areas nr. Bayt Hanun, killing at least 1 Palestinian, wounding at least 3.

Palestinians fire 28 rockets, 5 mortars into Israel, hitting Ashdod, Ashqelon, Beersheba, Sederot, and Shaar Hanegev, damaging an empty kindergarten in Ashdod, injuring 2 Israelis in Shaar Hanegev.

More than 40 Palestinians are killed today (almost half of them children), bringing the estimated Palestinian toll to 550 dead, 2,500 injured. The Israeli toll reaches 9–10 dead, more than 70 wounded: 3 IDF soldiers are killed, 24 wounded (4 seriously) by friendly fire when their unit is hit by an Israeli tank shell outside Gaza City; an IDF officer is killed during an exchange of fire in n. Gaza, possibly by an IDF tank shell; 6 IDF soldiers are wounded in clashes with Palestinians nr. the e. Gaza border.

Humanitarian notes: Israel allows 80 truckloads of food, medicine, and medical equipment into Gaza, but the UN says much more is needed. Relief agencies (including the ICRC, UNRWA, and UNSCO) warn that two-thirds of the Strip is still without power, suffering freezing winter temperatures; 250,000 Gazans are without any running water; and water supplies for another 500,000 Gazans are expected to run out within days because of lack of fuel for pumps and backup generators. Shifa hospital, which has been running fully on generators for 3 days, warns that it has only a 2-day supply of generator fuel. (BBC, CNN, IDF, IDF Radio, MM, NYT, REU, RFM, UNIS, UNOSAT, WT 1/5; AFP, BBC, Guardian, HA, IDF, IFM, Israel Radio News, MA, MM, NYT, WP, WT, YA 1/6; IFM, PCHR, WJW, WT 1/8; Committee to Protect Journalists, MM, YA 1/9; NYT, WP 1/10; NYT 1/17; WP 1/27; BBC 2/23)

The IDF arrests 2 12-yr.-old Palestinians at an OCL protest nr. Hebron; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem and in al-Bireh, Ramallah. Clubwielding PASF officers violently disperse a protest against OCL by students attempting to march fr. Ramallah’s Birzeit University to a main IDF checkpoint at Atarot. (PCHR 1/8)

The IDF makes air strikes on 2 groups of armed Palestinians nr. Abasan, killing 5 Hamas and PRC mbrs., wounding 8; sends bulldozers into the Gaza airport site nr. Rafah to level land. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus (searching a mosque), nr. Jenin; 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). (NYT 12/2; OCHA 12/5; PCHR 12/6)

Israel announces a further reduction in fuel supplies to Gaza, where 70% of fuel stations reportedly are already closed. The IDF withdraws troops who have been stationed in the Erez industrial zone since 11/23 but sends tanks, troops into the Gaza airport site nr. Rafah to level land, withdrawing by evening. The IDF makes an air strike on a police post nr. Khan Yunis, killing 1 Hamas-affiliated policeman, wounding 5; fires on an unarmed Palestinian teenager who strays nr. the border fence e. of Rafah, wounding him; makes late-night air strikes on 2 Hamas border patrols nr. Khan Yunis, killing 4 Hamas mbrs., wounding 1. Palestinians fire at least 16 rockets and mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, causing light damage but no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. In Hebron, the PA security forces fire on and beat Palestinians taking part in the funeral procession for the Hizb al-Tahrir supporter killed in an anti-Annapolis demonstration on 11/27, claiming the funeral had turned into a pro-Islamist rally; at least 60 Palestinians are injured, including 24 requiring hospitalization. (JP, NYT, PCHR, WP 11/29; OCHA 12/5; PCHR 12/6)

In Gaza, the IDF sends tanks, a bulldozer into the Gaza airport site, exchanging heavy fire (heavy machine guns, mortars) with Hamas mbrs., causing no reported injuries; occupies a strip of land in the al-Hawouz area northeast of Bayt Lahiya. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Mas’ha nr. Salfit, firing percussion grenades and live ammunition in residential areas, causing no reported injuries; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin, Nablus; begins bulldozing confiscated land nr. Salfit for the expansion of the Burkin industrial zone; 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 5, including a journalist covering the demonstration) and al-Ma‘sara nr. Bethlehem (lightly injuring 3). Hamas, Islamic Jihad mbrs. exchange fire in Khan Yunis’s al-Rihab Mosque, wounding 3 Palestinians, after Hamas allegedly attempts to seize control of the building. (OCHA 10/24; PCHR 10/25)

In Gaza, the IDF fatally shoots 2 armed Palestinians on the border nr. Jabaliya; sends troops into al-Shuka nr. Rafah to bulldoze 6 d. of agricultural land nr. the Gaza airport; bulldozes Palestinian land along the border fence n. of Bayt Lahiya. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Sa‘ida nr. Tulkarm to raid 2 Palestinian homes, mortally shooting Islamic Jihad cmdr. Tariq Milhem in an exchange of fire, allowing him to bleed to death over 2 hrs., also fatally shooting his 11-yr.-old brother, wounding 2 other family mbrs. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in, fires on residential areas of Balata r.c. nr. Nablus, wounding 1 Palestinian woman; conducts house searches in ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’a; fires rubber-coated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, international activists taking part in the weekly nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Bil‘in, injuring 2. Jewish settlers fire on a Palestinian wedding party nr. Nablus, wounding 2 Palestinians. Jewish settlers in Hebron assault an 11-yr.-old Palestinian boy riding his bike, breaking his arm. Meanwhile, 500 Fatah mbrs. hold an unauthorized protest against the Hamas-led government outside the main security headquarters in Gaza City, throwing stones at ESF officers guarding the building, who fire into the air and beat back the demonstrators, injuring 15. Separately in Gaza City, ESF officers raid a wedding to halt celebratory gunfire, scuffling with guests, beating and injuring 1 Palestinian. (WT 8/25; OCHA 8/29; PCHR 8/30)

Under a temporary cease-fire brokered by the Palestinian Clerics Association btwn. the Lebanese army and Fatah alIslam (FI) militants who have been fighting in and around the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Barid nr. Tripoli since 5/07, army soldiers escort the remaining families of FI mbrs. (22 women, 41 children) out of the r.c. in anticipation of a final assault. The army estimates that 70 FI mbrs. are left in the camp and are refusing to surrender. (NYT, WT 8/25)

In Gaza City, PA workers begin whitewashing graffiti praising Palestinian militants as part of the road map’s requirements to halt incitement. The PA announces that as of 7/7 it will ban the firing of guns at wedding celebrations, confiscating guns of violators; will begin inspecting cars for licenses and ownership, reportedly in an effort to confiscate and return vehicles stolen fr. Israel. Israel approves the entry to Israel of 1,500 Palestinian workers, 1,500 Palestinian merchants fr. the Bethlehem area. The Israeli cabinet votes (13-9, with 1 abstention) to release some 300 Palestinian prisoners in the coming days; most will be administrative detainees who are children under age 18 or women over 60; none will be mbrs. of Hamas, Islamic Jihad; each prisoner’s case will be reviewed by a monitoring comm. The PA says that the release would be too small to generate support for Abbas. Mofaz holds what he describes as “very positive” talks with Dahlan regarding further transfers of cities to PA control. Dahlan warns that if Israel blanketly excludes all prisoners fr. Palestinian opposition groups fr. release, it would undermine Abbas. Mofaz reportedly says that Israel agrees in principle to the PA rebuilding, reopening Gaza airport. Meanwhile, the IDF halts, searches an ambulance at a checkpoint nr. Qalqilya, arrests a seriously ill Palestinian patient being transported to the hospital for emergency surgery. (MM, NYT 7/7; VOI 7/7, HJ 7/9 in WNC 7/11; NYT 7/8; AYM 7/8 in WNC 7/10; PR 7/9; PCHR, WJW 7/10; MEI, PRCS 7/11; JPI 7/18)

The IDF continues operations in Balata r.c., Nablus for the 5th day; blows up an alleged bomb-making factory, raids and damages a medical center in Balata r.c. In new Askar r.c., the IDF conducts house-to-house searches, breaking through walls; bulldozes 4 cars; damages 22 stores, a medical center. The IDF also sends tanks into al-`Ayn r.c., `Ayn Bayt Hilma r.c., calling on men ages 15-45 to turn them selves in, detaining 100s; conducts arrest raids in al-Bireh, Khan Yunis, Qalqilya (also confiscating files fr. the Qalqilya Charity Comm., Islamic Club), Tulkarm; shells residential areas of Rafah, destroying 1 Palestinian home, damaging 6; bulldozes 50 dunams of Palestinian land nr. Khan Yunis, areas around the Gaza airport. The IDF, Shin Bet also raid the Arab Chamber of Commerce in Jerusalem, arrest 6 Palestinian employees for violating the closure of the building imposed in 8/01. Israel seizes 30 dunams of Palestinian land along the Green Line nr. Issawiyya for creation of buffer zones, 120 dunams in the Jabal Mukabir neighborhood of East Jerusalem for Jewish housing, a tourists complex. Overnight, Palestinians detonate 2 roadside bombs nr. IDF convoys in the West Bank, causing no damage. (AP, HP 6/3; WP, WT 6/4; LAW 6/5; HA, WJW 6/6)

The PA High Court rules that the PA has no legal ground to hold PFLP head Saadat, must release him immediately. In response, the IDF sends tanks toward Jericho, where Saadat is being held; declares the Jericho area a closed military zone; warns it will kill Saadat if he is freed. Arafat quickly convenes the Executive Authority (EA), the PA's cabinet, which over turns the court decision. (AFP, HA, JP, LAW 6/3; RMC 6/3 in WNC 6/4; WP, WT 6/4; MM 6/5; AYM 6/5 in WNC 6/6) (see 5/19)

The U.S. announces it has just scheduled a mtg. btwn. Bush, Sharon at the White House on 6/10, after a visit by Egyptian pres. Husni Mubarak. Israeli officials say Sharon asked for the mtg. out of concern that Israel's views were being overshadowed by the "near-constant stream" of Arab visitors to Washington. (JP, NYT, WT 6/4; MM, NYT, WP 6/5; AYM 6/7 in WNC 6/10)

The PSF announces it has arrested Shubaki, Mughrabi in connection with the Karine A; has issued a warrant for Razim, who is believed to be in Jordan. Israel, dismissing the arrests as insufficient, shells PA naval targets in Gaza and residential areas of Rafah, destroying 19 Palestinian houses, damaging another 100, injuring 8 Palestinians, leaving up to 850 homeless; bulldozes the remaining Gaza airport runways; shells, destroys the main sewerage network serving Khan Yunis, Rafah; conducts arrest raids in Nablus, Rafah; closes the main southern road in Gaza." The IDF also fires tear gas, rubber coated steel bullets to disperse a peaceful Palestinian demonstration in Ramallah, injuring 2. (AFP, HA, MM, NYT, REU, WP, WT 1/11; NYT, WP, WT 1/12; QA, al-Ra'i 1/12 in WNC 1/14; Amnesty International press release, MM 1/14; LAW, PCHR 1/16; MA 1/16 in WNC 1/17; al-Quds 1/22 in WNC 1/24)

During clashes nr. Jinin, 1 Palestinian is killed, a mosque is partially damaged by IDF helicopter gunfire. The IDF also seizes a Palestinian home nr. Jinin as an outpost; sends 300 soldiers into Azun in area A in a predawn raid to arrest 17 Palestinians; fires on bedouin collecting fire wood nr. Nissanit settlement, wounding an 8-yr.-old child. (PCHR, REU 12/26; NYT, WP, WT 12/27)

Israeli, PA security officials meet at Erez crossing. Israel says the PA may repair Gaza airport (though Israel will continue to bar Arafat fr. leaving Ramallah), extends the hours of the Rafah crossing to Egypt, eases restrictions on Palestinian businessmen entering Israel. (NYT, WP, WT 12/27)

The IDF cuts electricity to Gaza City, Ramallah; sends tanks and F-16s to shell the control tower at Gaza airport, the PA headquarters in Gaza City and Ramallah (Arafat is unharmed), the PA naval police offices in Bayt Lahia, and PSF and Fatah offices nr. Gaza City, Ramallah, and Jinin; blows up the main radio, TV transmitters in Ramallah; bulldozes the Palestinian Media Center offices in Ramallah; occupies the home of Fatah tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti (who is not there at the time); makes incursions into PA-controlled areas of Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahia, Beitunia, Jinin, Nablus, Ramallah, Sudaniyya, Tulkarm, al-Zahra; bulldozes Palestinian land in Rafah. A total of 4 Palestinians are killed during the day; shells strike the Friends Boys School, damaging 3 classrooms. In Gaza City, 2 Israeli missiles land nr. a mosque while Hamas spiritual leader Shaykh Yasin, Hamas spokesman Mahmud Zahar are inside. Israel declares that the Zinni cease-fire talks are over, though Zinni had already planned to leave on 12/14 for Jordan and Egypt, then return to Washington. (AP, HP, MM, NYT, WP 12/13; MENA 12/13 in WNC 12/14; JP, HA, HP, NYT, WP, WT 12/14; HA 12/16; LAW, PCHR 12/19; MEI 12/21)

Upon his return fr. the U.S. Sharon meets with his security cabinet, then his full cabinet to discuss how to respond to the 12/1+n2 attacks. The full cabinet votes to declare the PA "an entity that supports terrorism," adds Force 17 (Arafat's "presidential guard") to its list of terrorist groups, authorizes Sharon to escalate military action. FM Shimon Peres, other Labor MKs walk out of the cabinet mtg. in protest but do not formally withdraw fr. the governing coalition. (AP, CNN, HA, MM 12/3; MM, NYT, WP, WT 12/4; MM, WJW 12/6; MEI 12/7; MA 12/7 in WNC 12/12; WP 12/9)

While the cabinet meets, the PSF continues to arrest mbrs. of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, risking confrontations with hostile Palestinian crowds. Arafat also orders the arrest of Hamas spiritual leader Shaykh Ahmad Yasin, but when PSF officers arrive around midnight, crowds of Palestinians force them to retreat. The PSF says it has arrested more than 100 Palestinians since 12/2. Arafat asks Peres for a 4-day grace period, during which he vows he would crack down on opposition groups. Israel refuses, dismissing the arrests as a "show for international consumption." The U.S. says the PA must "root out the infrastructure of the groups that support terrorists." (HA 12/3; NYT, WP, WT 12/4; AKH 12/4 in WNC 12/5; MEI 12/7; MA 12/7 in WNC 12/11; WT 12/10)

Soon after the cabinet mtg., the IDF launches air raids against Arafat's headquarters and other PA sites around Gaza City, destroying the PSF barracks, Arafat's 2 personal helicopters, injuring 12 Palestinians; sends tanks into Gaza airport to bulldoze runways; sends troops into Ramallah to surround the PA's West Bank headquarters, where Arafat is staying. In Jinin, U.S.-supplied F-16s destroy the Palestinian governate building, jail, PSF headquarters. The IDF also fatally shoots 1 Palestinian nr. Jinin; raids Beitunia, attacking several homes and arresting an Arafat adviser, several Islamic Jihad mbrs. In Bethlehem, Fatah mbrs. Rafat al-Bajali and Nidal al-Dirbani, both on Israel's wanted list, are killed in a mysterious explosion thought to be an IDF assassination. The White House spokesman Ari Fleischer says Israel "obviously has the right to defend itself. The president understands that very clearly." (AFP, AP, CNN, HA 12/3; XIN 12/3 in WNC 12/4; MENA 12/3, AN, MA 12/4 in WNC 12/5; HA, HP, NYT, WP, WT 12/4; HP, LAW 12/5; AYM 12/5 in WNC 12/7; AYM 12/6, al-Safir 12/7 in WNC 12/11; MEI 12/7; WJW 12/14; MEI 12/21)

At least 1 PFLP gunman assassinates Israeli tourism M Ze'evi in an East Jerusalem hotel, shooting him at point blank range, using a pistol equipped with a silencer, escaping undetected. The PFLP says it is retaliating for the assassination of PFLP secy. gen. Mustafa on 8/27; also takes responsibility for a suicide car bombing in Gaza that wounds 2 IDF soldiers. Arafat immediately condemns the assassination, orders the PSF to arrest the killers. The PSF quickly arrests 3 PFLP mbrs. but releases them after questioning. (AP, HA, HP, JP [Internet], MM, REU 10/17; AFP, ATL, XIN 10/17 in WNC 10/18; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 10/18; al-Quds 10/18 in WNC 10/19; Tehran Times 10/20 in WNC 10/22; WJW 10/25)

Meanwhile, Hamas mbr. Iyad al-Akhras is killed in an explosion in his Gaza home in what may be an assassination. The IDF also fires a missile at a Palestinian car in Nablus, but the rocket misses, 3 Palestinians escape unharmed. The IDF makes a predawn incursion into al-Qarara, firing heavy machine guns at homes, bulldozing 10s of dunams of cultivated land for construction of a settler bypass road; directs machine gun fire at residential areas of Gaza City, Jinin, Rafah; bulldozes secondary Palestinian roads around Ramallah. Palestinian gunmen reportedly fire at Neve Dekalim, wounding 2 Jewish settlers. In East Jerusalem, Jewish settlers angry over Ze'evi's murder attack, beat Palestinians. (HP 10/17; WT 10/18)

After a lengthy Israeli inner cabinet mtg., Sharon issues an ultimatum to the PA: arrest and extradite Ze'evi's killers and the PFLP's current leaders and "dismantle terror organizations" or face a response more severe than any recent reprisal. Sharon then convenes a special session of the Knesset (boycotted by Arab MKs), where he declares, "We will wage all-out war on the terrorists" and "those who collaborate with them." National Union+nYisrael Beitunia MKs suspend their resignations to see how Sharon responds. The IDF sends tanks, troops 2.5 mi. into area A around Jinin; reimposes tight closures on, places 24 hr. curfews on, and directs shells and heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Azariyya, al-Bireh, Jinin, Nablus, Ramallah; deploys helicopters to hover over major Palestinian population centers; bars Arafat fr. using Gaza airport. (HP, MM 10/17; AFP, MM, NYT, WP, WT 10/18; JP [Internet], WP 10/29)

Powell phones Sharon to urge Israel to use restraint. The White House calls on the PA to "immediately find and bring to justice those who committed this murder," saying Arafat must "take vigorous action against terrorists." (MM, WP 10/18; Interfax, MENA, QA 10/18 in WNC 10/19)

Arafat, Peres meet at Gaza airport; issue a joint statement (see 9/20) restarting phased implementation of the Tenet cease-fire plan as the 1st step toward implementation of the Mitchell recommendations for resuming negotiations. A comm. led by Peres, PC speaker Qurai` is to oversee implementation. Arafat, Peres plan to meet in 1 wk. to assess progress. Israel also demands that the PA immediately arrest 108 wanted Palestinians. (AP, HA, JP [Internet], MM, WP 9/26; ATL, Interfax, ITAR-TASS, al-Quds, XIN 9/26 in WNC 9/27; MM, NYT, WP, WT 9/27; QA, al-Quds 9/27, MA 9/28, al-Quds 9/29, MA 9/30 in WNC 10/1; NYT 9/28; NYT 10/2; JP 10/5; MEI 10/12)

Meanwhile, a large bomb explodes at an IDF post on the Gaza-Egypt border, lightly injuring 3 soldiers. In response, the IDF shells residential areas of Rafah throughout the day, damaging homes; sends tanks and bulldozers into Rafah in an overnight operation in which soldiers demolish 14 Palestinian homes, killing 3 Palestinians, wounding 31. The IDF also opens fire on Palestinian demonstrators nr. Gaza airport, killing 1 Palestinian, wounding 9; shells residential areas of Hebron, Khan Yunis. This evening, as it does annually, Israel seals the West Bank and Gaza for Yom Kippur; the closure is to be lifted on 9/28. A PA court sentences 3 Palestinians to death for collaborating with Israel. (AFP, BBC, HA 9/26; AFP, HP, NYT, WP, WT 9/27; AFP, MM 9/28; MEI 10/12)

A car bomb explodes in Or Yehuda, outside Tel Aviv, lightly injuring 4 Israelis. The PFLP claims responsibility (see 4/2). In the West Bank and Gaza, Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 1 Palestinian dead; a 2d Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. The PSF claims to fire antitank weapons at 7 IDF tanks, 2 bulldozers, foiling their attempt to reenter Rafah to demolish more homes (see 4/14). A roadside bomb explodes outside Ariel settlement, causing no damage. At a funeral for a PSF officer in Gaza, a 12-yr.-old Palestinian boy is shot dead, 14 Palestinians are wounded when settlers, IDF soldiers at a nearby settlement open fire thinking the PA's 21-gun salute is gunfire aimed at them. The IDF also directs heavy machine gun fire at Gaza airport. (AP 4/23; Interfax 4/23, MENA, al-Quds 4/24 in WNC 4/25; MM, NYT, WP, WT 4/24)

PA and Israeli security officials hold a round of "constructive" talks at the U.S. amb.'s residence in Israel, with CIA participation (see 4/4). Arafat makes a public statement in Arabic that he does not "agree to any form of attack on Israeli or Palestinian civilians." (AP 4/23; MM, NYT, WP, WT 4/24; AP, NYT 4/25; SA 4/25 in WNC 4/26; DUS 4/27 in WNC 4/30; WJW 5/3)

Iran sponsors an NGO conference in support of Palestinians' human rights in Tehran. Attendees call on states to take actions in support of the Palestinians (such as providing aid, boycotting Israel) instead of making statements of support. (IRNA 4/23 in WNC 4/25)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue. Hrs. after the IDF completes its pulls out of PA-controlled areas of n. Gaza, Palestinians again fire 7 mortars fr. Bayt Hanun toward a Jewish settlement in Gaza and the Erez crossing, causing no damage. The IDF sends tanks, bulldozers back into Bayt Hanun to demolish a PSF post. Bush calls Sharon to urge restraint. Sharp clashes are reported in Bethlehem (where the IDF fires surface-to-surface missiles at a new conference center, a stone cutting factory), nr. Jerusalem. The IDF also bulldozes Palestinian land nr. Gaza airport. (MM 4/18; ATL, MENA 4/18 in WNC 4/19; MM, NYT, WP, WT 4/19; AYM, MENA, al-Quds 4/19 in WNC 4/24; WP 4/21)

Israeli FM Peres meets with Arafat economic adviser Muhammad Rashid (Khalid Salam) reportedly to discuss reducing violence, though no details are released. (EFE [Madrid] 4/19 in WNC 4/24; AYM 4/24 in WNC 4/25)

A Palestinian bus driver with Israeli security service clearance to transport Palestinian workers to their jobs in Israel drops off his passengers in Holon, then rams his vehicle into a bus stop full of Israelis, killing 7 IDF soldiers, 1 Israeli civilian, severely injuring 17 Israelis, mostly soldiers. In response, Israel seals the West Bank border with Jordan, the Gaza border with Egypt; closes Gaza airport; tightens the closure on Palestinian villages; suspends VIP travel privileges for PA officials. (HA, REU 2/14; AFP, ATL, MENA 2/14 in WNC 2/15; NYT, WP, WT 2/15)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 2 Palestinians dead. Palestinians step up attacks on Jewish settlements, with Fatah's Bethlehem branch issuing a leaflet calling on Palestinians to target Gilo specifically, but cause no injuries; Palestinians reportedly fire an antitank missile that causes no damage. The IDF directs heavy machine gun, rocket-propelled grenade fire at residential areas of Khan Yunis, forcing many families to flee their homes, severely damaging 20 homes, a mosque; directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Aida camp, al-Azza camp, Beitunia, al-Bireh, and al-Khadir, Ramallah, al-Tuffah destroying 11 Palestinian homes, 1 Red Crescent ambulance; bulldozes Palestinian land nr. Kefar Darom settlement, demolishing 2 Palestinian homes. Israeli officials tell the press there were never plans to demolish Palestinian homes in Mawasi (see 2/11), the IDF informs the 22 families. Israel reopens Gaza airport for 1 wk. to allow Palestinians to fly to Saudi Arabia for the hajj. (Gush Shalom press release, HA, HP, LAW, REU 2/12; NYT, WT 2/13; NYT 2/15)

A Likud spokesman say Sharon, Barak have agreed on most guidelines for a national unity government, including a joint peace platform aiming only at reaching an interim agmt. with the PA and an agmt. that no new settlements would be built, though existing ones would be expanded. (HA, NYT, WP, WT 2/13, 2/16)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue. Nr. Rafah border, a Palestinian sniper fatally shoots an IDF soldier. The IDF seals the border with Egypt, closes the Gaza airport, shells areas around Rafah in response. The IDF also demolishes 4 Palestinian homes nr. Netzarim Junction; bulldozes 40 dunams of Palestinian land to expand Gush Etzion settlement. 1 Palestinian dies of a heart attack when the IDF blocks his transportation to Nablus hospital. Jewish settlers fr. Neve Dekalim attack, seriously injure a Palestinian farmer working his field. (HA 2/5; WP 2/6; LAW 2/8)

As Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, the body of an Israeli boy is found in Ramallah. Ofir Rahum had started an Internet relationship with a Palestinian girl, had arranged to meet her nr. Ramallah earlier in the wk., carrying a large sum of money. Israel partially reopens Gaza airport. The IDF tightens the blockade on Halhul, arresting over 30 Palestinians, confiscating 2 Palestinian homes for use as IDF posts. Jewish settlers attack Palestinian stores in Hebron. (HP 1/18; NYT 1/19; NYT, WP 1/20; NYT 1/21; WJW 1/25)

Sharon offers his plan for a long-term interim agmt. with the PA under which a Palestinian state would be created in the 40-42% of the West Bank (areas A and B) currently under PA control. (HA, MM 1/18; MA [Internet], MM, YA 1/19; HJ 1/19, AYM 1/20 in WNC 1/26; SA 1/22 in WNC 1/23)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue. Israel eases the closure on Gaza, partially reopening the Gaza airport, Rafah and Qarni crossings, key roads. In Gaza, 3 masked gunmen assassinate Palestinian Broadcasting Corp. (PBC) head Hisham Makki, notorious for his corruption, close ties with Arafat. Israel, the PA concurs that the gunmen were probably Palestinian. Jewish settlers continue to attack Palestinian property in Khan Yunis, as they have since 1/14. Armed settlers also bar Palestinians fr. leaving or entering Bayt Furik for a 2d day. The IDF conducts arrest sweeps in Dahiyat Barid, al-Ram, Silat Dahir; further restricts movement btwn. Jerusalem and Bethlehem/Hebron, arresting 60 Palestinian laborers returning fr. Jerusalem; directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas in Tulkarm; bulldozes agricultural land nr. Nablus. (IsRN, MM 1/17; MENA 1/17 in WNC 1/19; HP, LAW, NYT, WP, WT 1/18; NYT, WP 1/19; WJW 1/25; MA 1/25 in WNC 1/26; MEI, MM 1/26; JT [Internet] 2/1)

In Cairo, Arafat meets Israeli FM Ben-Ami, tells him the PA is ready to hold marathon talks aimed at reaching a peace agmt., or at least drafting a document citing agmts. and differences, by the 2/6 Israeli elections. (IsRN, MM 1/17; MENA 1/17 in WNC 1/19; MENA 1/17, 1/18 in WNC 1/20; MM, NYT, WT, YA 1/18; NYT, WP 1/19)

Israel declares it will not cooperate with a UNHRC inquiry into the causes of the al-Aqsa intifada (see 11/22), arguing that the UNHRC comm. is unnecessary since the Mitchell Comm. is charged with the same task. (PA press release 1/22; JP [Internet] 1/26; BDL 1/31) (see 1/13)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes abate significantly. Israel reopens the Gaza-Egypt, West Bank-Jordan crossings; reopens Gaza airport, the main north-south road in Gaza; lifts the blockade on Jinin, Qalqilya; reinstates travel privileges for some Palestinian VIPs. An Israeli civilian discovers, neutralizes a remote controlled bomb in Mea Sherim, West Jerusalem. The IDF shells residential areas of al-Gharbi. (MM, YA 1/11; MENL, MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/12; JT 1/12, MENA 1/14 in WNC 1/16; LAW, WJW 1/18)

Late this evening at Erez, Israel, the PA resume high-level final status talks. Each side sends 3 negotiators: Ben-Ami, Shahak, Sher for Israel; Dahlan, Erakat, Qurai` for the PA. (HP, MM 1/11; MA 1/11 in WNC 1/16; MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/12; NYT, WP 1/13; al-Quds 1/13, 1/14 in WNC 1/18)

In Rafah, PA State Security Court sentences Majdi Makawi, arrested 12/16, to death for treason and espionage for his role in the assassination of his nephew Jamal `Abd al-Razik by the IDF on 11/22. (LAW 1/12)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, killing 5 Palestinians. A car bomb explodes in the Israeli town of Netanya, lightly injuring 39, seriously injuring 1 (the suspected perpetrator); Hamas claims responsibility. Israel shuts Gaza airport completely, tightens the internal closure on the West Bank, Gaza. The IDF demolishes 3 Palestinian homes nr. Kefar Darom settlement as part of work on a new settler bypass road; bulldozes agricultural land nr. Morag settlement; fires on residential areas of al-Matahin Junction, Rafah. 1,500 Jewish settlers blockade several West Bank roads, occupy a hilltop nr. where Kahane's car was ambushed on 12/31 to set up a "protest encampment." (AP, HA, JP [Internet], MA [Internet], UPI 1/1; LAW, NYT, WP, WT 1/2; PCHR 1/6; WT 1/10)

The White House announces that Arafat, Clinton will meet in Washington on 1/2 to discuss Clinton's parameters. (MENA 1/1 in WNC 1/2; NYT, WP, WT 1/2; AYM, SA 1/2 in WNC 1/3)

According to British government files made public today, on 9/19/70, King Hussein of Jordan asked, through Britain and the U.S., for Israeli air raids on the Syrian army, which was supporting Palestinian factions during the Black September revolt. Israeli PM Golda Meir's response is not noted, but intervention by the Israelis was ultimately unnecessary, when Jordanian forces defeated the Palestinians. (NYT 1/2; WT 1/3; WJW 1/4)

On this 1st Friday of Ramadan, Israel lifts age restrictions on Palestinians attending prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque and places Israeli riot police surrounding the mosque compound under strict orders to avoid actions that could spark riots. The IDF, however, bars West Bank Palestinians from entering East Jerusalem, some Jerusalem Palestinians from entering the Old City. Though there are several stone-throwing incidents after prayers, the police do not respond with gunfire as in previous weeks. Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue in the West Bank and Gaza, leaving 3 Palestinians dead. The IDF fires antitank missiles and heavy machine guns at residential areas in Hebron, Ramallah. Israel partially reopens the Gaza airport (closed since 11/8). (LAW 12/1; NYT, WP, WT 12/2; PCHR, WT 12/3)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes intensify, especially in Gaza. 4 Palestinians are killed by IDF troops, 2 others die of injuries received earlier, and 1 Israeli customs official is ambushed and killed in Gaza (both Fatah Uprising, Islamic Jihad claim responsibility). Blaming Arafat for the ambush, Barak shuts the Gaza airport and the Rafah border crossing to Egypt, reportedly sends more tanks and armored vehicles into the West Bank and Gaza. At Qarni crossing, a gun battle erupts btwn. IDF troops, PA police; the IDF shells a building "used as cover" by the policemen. IDF tank, heavy machine gun fire is reported in Aida refugee camp, Bayt Jala, Bayt Sahur, Beitunia, al-Bireh, Hebron, Salfit; in Bayt Jala, 1 house is completely destroyed, 6 homes and a school are damaged. The IDF also uproots a Palestinian olive grove in Qalqilya. (al-Haq press release, LAW, MM, PCHR 11/8; ADM, NYT, WP, WT 11/9; al-Quds 11/9 in WNC 11/13)

Arafat flies to Cairo to confer with Mubarak, EU special envoy Moratinos and then goes to London to meet with British PM Blair before heading to Washington. After meeting with Arafat, Moratinos leaves for a 2-day visit to Israel. (LPA, MENA 11/8 in WNC 11/9; MENA 11/8 in WNC 11/13; WP 11/9)

UN Human Rights Commissioner (UNHRC) Mary Robinson begins a 1-wk. tour of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, Egypt, Jordan to investigate the recent Israeli-Palestinian violence. (AP 11/8; NYT, WP 11/9; WP 11/11; al-Quds 11/11 in WNC 11/13; WP 11/28)

The UNSC holds a closed-door mtg. on the ongoing clashes, the PA's request for international forces. The mtg. is adjourned until 11/10, so Arafat may address the council. (XIN 11/8 in WNC 11/9; SA 11/8 in WNC 11/13; MM, NYT, WT 11/9; MEI 11/10)

Under pressure fr. Israeli Arab MKs, Barak upgrades the inquiry comm. into the deaths of Israeli Arabs during the recent clashes to a state commission, which has more authority. (NYT, WP 11/9) (see 10/22)

Presidential elections are held in the U.S., but the race btwn. VP Al Gore (D) and Texas Gov. George W. Bush (R) is too close to call. The election rests on some 1,500 votes in Florida, where ballot errors could swing results. At the least, Florida absentee ballots must be tabulated and regular votes recounted, meaning it could be weeks before the new president is declared. (MM 11/7; NYT, WP, WT 11/8; al-Quds 11/8 in WNC 11/9; MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/9; AYM, al-Quds 11/9, HJ 11/10 in WNC 11/13; MM 11/10)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 1 Palestinian dead, 150 injured. A 2d Palestinian dies of wounds received earlier. Jewish settlers block roads, attack Palestinians, damage property in Hebron and nr. Nablus, Rafah, Tulkarm. Off Gaza, a fishing boat laden with explosives detonates nr. an Israeli patrol ship, killing the suicide bomber. The IDF shells areas of Bayt Jala in response to Palestinian sniping at Gilo settlement. IDF chief of staff Mofaz says the IDF is preparing contingencies for the evacuation of all 7,000 Jewish settlers in Gaza. Barak allows the Gaza airport, closed since 10/22, to reopen. (ADM, LAW 11/7; al-Quds 11/7 in WNC 11/9; NYT, WP 11/8)

In keeping with the 10/17 Sharm agmts., the White House names fmr. senator George Mitchell (D-ME) to lead an inquiry into the causes of the Israeli-Palestinian clashes. Also named to the panel are fmr. Turkish pres. Suleyman Demirel, Norwegian FM Thorbjoern Jagland, fmr. senator Warren B. Rudman (R-NH), EU foreign policy dir. Solana. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/8; AYM 11/9 in WNC 11/13; MEI 11/24)

The Arab League closes its 2-day emergency session, issuing a nonbinding resolution calling for a $1 b. Palestinian aid fund, recommending Arab states postpone further normalization with Israel. Tunisia orders Israel to shut its representative offices it Tunis. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 10/23; MENA 10/23; HJ, IRNA 10/24 in WNC 10/25; HJ 10/24, 1025 HJ, SA 10/26 in WNC 10/30; WJW 10/26; MEI 10/27)

Barak formally suspends the peace process. In response, Arafat states that Palestinians have a right to an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital and "to accept it or not to accept--let [Barak] go to hell." Meanwhile, Israeli-Palestinian clashes escalate further, leaving 4 Palestinians dead, over 100 injured; 2 others die of injuries received earlier. The most violent exchange is nr. Bethlehem, where the IDF orders residents of Aida camp, Bayt Jala, Bayt Sahur to evacuate their homes before ordering machine guns, tanks, and helicopter gunships to fire into the area, targeting buildings fr. which snipers shot into nearby Gilo settlement and destroying 2 Palestinian factories, several houses, a power plant. The gunfire continues overnight. In Gaza, the IDF bulldozes Palestinian agricultural land along roads leading to Morag settlement. Israel also recloses the Gaza airport, reinstates the internal closure on PA areas, shuts crossings into Egypt and Jordan. (ADM 10/22; BDL, LAW, MM, NYT, WP, WT 10/23; MM 10/24; MA 10/24 in WNC 10/25; MEI 10/27; AYM 11/12 in WNC 11/13)

In Cairo, 1,000s of Egyptian students protest the failure of the Arab League summit to cut ties with or to call for military action against Israel. There are also reports of at least 1 Palestinian protest in Bethlehem denouncing Arab leaders, especially Mubarak, for the weak Arab League statement. Other rallies in support of the Palestinians are held in Bahrain, London, Ottawa. (WP 10/23; HJ 10/24, SA 10/26 in WNC 10/30; Bahrain Freedom Movement press release 10/25; MM 10/26)

Barak announces an inquiry will be held into the deaths of Israeli Arabs during the recent clashes and a 4-yr. development plan for Israeli Arab areas. Israeli Arabs complain that the inquiry's recommendations will be nonbinding. (NYT 10/23; WJW 10/26; MM 10/30)

In implementation of the Sharm agmts., the PA releases a statement, read on Palestinian TV, urging Palestinians to "refrain from anything that would lead to tension or violence and to work to calm down the situation." Barak orders IDF troops to do their utmost to avoid causing casualties. By the end of the day, Israel lifts the internal closure on areas A, pulls tanks back fr. Nablus, reopens border crossings with Egypt and Jordan, and reopens the Gaza airport (see 10/7). Hamas reports that the PA has rearrested all mbrs. released since 9/28, plus others. (MM, PCHR 10/18; NYT, WP, WT 10/19; MEI 10/27)

Israeli, PA, U.S. security officers meet to discuss implementing Sharm agmts. Although Israeli officials for the 1st time acknowledge that Arafat does not have "monolithic control" over Palestinian protesters, Israel expects "total tranquility" by the afternoon of 10/20, is still working on plans for a unilateral separation fr. the Palestinians. (REU 10/18; NYT, WP 10/19; HA [Internet] 10/20; MENL, NYT 10/22)

Despite these actions, Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue unabated, with the IDF continuing to fire live ammunition at Palestinians, but causing no fatalities. 1 Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. In a joint operation, Shin Bet and IDF special forces capture 8 Palestinians suspected in the killing of the IDF reservists in Ramallah on 10/12. The PA says the 8 may have been taken in area A, which would be the 1st incursion into area A since clashes began. In Gaza, 2 roadside bombs explode as a convoy of Jewish settlers under IDF escort pass, causing no injuries. In Gaza, the IDF clears 35 dunams of woodland along the road to Erez checkpoint. (Abu Dhabi TV [Internet], ADM, BBC, MM, PCHR, UPMRC press release 10/18; HA [Internet], MM, NYT, WP, WT, YA 10/19; Globes [Internet] 10/25)

Rallies protesting Israeli actions are held in Canada, Italy, Portugal. In the U.S., similar demonstrations are held in Providence, San Francisco. (Diario de Noticias 10/18 in WNC 10/19)

In Lisbon, Clinton, Barak hold talks on all tracks of the peace process, strengthening their bilateral relationship. Afterward, Clinton says a framework agmt. on permanent status (FAPS) is "within view," but Barak and Arafat are not ready to hold a summit to finalize a deal. He will send Secy. of State Madeleine Albright to the region on 6/5 to work with both leaders on narrowing their differences. (MM 6/1; DUS, RTP 6/1 in WNC 6/2; CSM, MM, NYT, WP 6/2)

Arafat approves formation of a Higher Judicial Council for all Palestinian districts, to be headed by PA Chief Justice Radwan al-Agha. (LAW 6/3; PCHR 6/4)

The PSF shuts al-Mahid TV in Bethlehem, arreststation owner Samir Qumsieh for protesting the PA's intervention i broadcasters' affairs, attempts to silence dissent (LAW 6/2; WP 6/16) (see 5/30)

More than 150 IDF soldiers, armed with automatic weapons, tear gas, and water cannon, storm the Gaza airport transit hall to arrest a wanted man, Nabil Aki, injuring 20 bystanders. (PCHR 6/1; PR 6/7)