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  • July 13, 2014

    The IDF continues attacks across the Gaza Strip, killing 18 Palestinians. Also, the IDF drops leaflets over Bayt Lahiya that tell residents to evacuate ahead of intensified attacks. In response,...

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  • November 25, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF troops uproot around 60 olive trees in Tuqu‘ village nr. Bethlehem, while separately, Jewish settlers nr. Nablus attack a house in Burin village, throwing stones and a...

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  • November 20, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night. (PCHR 11/21)

    At a conference in Sderot, Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman declares that a peace deal with...

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  • January 22, 2013

    srael holds parliamentary elections, dealing a significant setback to current PM Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu joint ticket. The next Knesset will be almost evenly split...

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  • December 4, 2012

    EU diplomats meet in Brussels to discuss the possibility of all 27 EU mbr. states writing to the Israeli government to protest recent settlement expansion news. No agreement is reached. British...

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  • November 25, 2012

    UK foreign secretary William Hague urges the U.S. to take a ‘‘decisive lead’’ in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts in coming months, adding that ‘‘we’re coming to the final chance, maybe, for a...

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  • November 16, 2012

    Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense against Gaza enters its 3d day, leaving another 11 Palestinians dead and bringing the Palestinian death toll since 11/14 to 30, around 1/3 civilians. Intense...

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  • February 19, 2012

    Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah, 2 nr. Tulkarm, 1 n r. Jenin in the morning; patrols...

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The IDF continues attacks across the Gaza Strip, killing 18 Palestinians. Also, the IDF drops leaflets over Bayt Lahiya that tell residents to evacuate ahead of intensified attacks. In response, around a quarter of Bayt Lahiya’s population, approximately 70,000 people, flees and seeks shelter in UNRWA facilities. Palestinians fire more than 70 rockets into Israel, causing some damage and injuring 1 with shrapnel. Meanwhile, Palestinian gunmen execute an alleged collaborator with Israel in Rafah. (AP, HA, JP, MNA, PCHR, REU 7/13)

While in Vienna for talks on Iran’s nuclear program, U.S. Secy. of State Kerry speaks with PM Netanyahu on the phone, and says that the U.S. is ready to help broker a cease-fire along the lines of the 11/2012 agreement. Also, Kerry discusses the crisis with his French, British, and German counterparts. Speaking in Vienna, French FM Fabius and British foreign secy. William Hague both urge a return to the ceasefire agreement of 11/2012. Israeli PM Netanyahu says at his weekly cabinet meeting that “we don’t know when the operation will end” and that “it might take a long time.” (AP, HA, JP, MNA, REU 7/13)

For the 3d day in a row, 2 rockets fired from inside Lebanon land in n. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. IDF troops reply with artillery fire. There is no claim of responsibility for the rocket attack. (AP, HA, REU 7/13)

Unknown persons fire 1 rocket from inside Syria and into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. IDF troops respond with artillery fire toward Syrian military bases, and claim direct hits, though there are no reports of damage or casualties. (HA 7/13)

In the West Bank, IDF troops uproot around 60 olive trees in Tuqu‘ village nr. Bethlehem, while separately, Jewish settlers nr. Nablus attack a house in Burin village, throwing stones and a Molotov cocktail, causing no injuries. (MNA 11/25; PCHR 11/28)

The Israeli NGO Peace Now announces that an Israeli military cmte. has approved the construction of 829 new homes in West Bank settlements Givat Ze’ev, Nofei Prat, Shilo, Givat Salit, and Nokdim. The planned construction is condemned by Nabil Abu Rdeineh, aide to PA Pres. Abbas, as a “policy of escalation aimed at putting obstacles in front of the peace process.” (AFP, REU 11/25)

UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon announces that an international peace conference on Syria will take place in Switzerland on 1/22/14, in an attempt to bring about direct talks between the Syrian govt. and opposition forces. The statement describes 1 of the key goals of the peace talks as “the establishment, based on mutual consent, of a transitional governing body with full executive powers, including over military and security entities.” (AP, REU 11/25) 

Pres. Obama, speaking during a visit to San Francisco, defends the deal with Iran, saying that the U.S. “cannot close the door on diplomacy.” In a clear criticism of those who have attacked the agreement, Obama says that “tough talk and bluster may be the easy thing to do politically, but it’s not the right thing to do for our security.” Meanwhile, Israeli PM Netanyahu announces that national security adviser Yossi Cohen will visit Washington to discuss the agreement with U.S. officials. In the UK, Foreign Secy. William Hague urges Israel to refrain “from taking any steps that would undermine this agreement.” (REU 11/25; AP 11/26)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night. (PCHR 11/21)

At a conference in Sderot, Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman declares that a peace deal with the Palestinians is impossible in the foreseeable future. He also claims that ties with the U.S. are “deteriorating,” and that Israel must “seek other allies with common interests.” Dep. FM Ze’ev Elkin, speaking in Moscow on a trip for talks with Pres. Vladimir Putin, subsequently tries to downplay his boss’ remarks, affirming that “there is no one who can take the place of the Americans.” Meanwhile, senior Palestinian official Nabil Shaath says that Palestinian negotiators Saeb Erakat and Mohammed Shtayyeh will remain on a temporary basis until a new team can be formed. (HA, MNA, REU, YA 11/20)

Negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group of powers resume in Geneva, with hopes of reaching an interim accord on confidence-building steps. Optimism is expressed publicly by the likes of Britain’s Foreign Secy. William Hague, and Russian FM Sergey Lavrov. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a speech in Tehran, in which he says that Iran will not retreat “one iota” from its nuclear rights but says that his country seeks friendly relations with the U.S. Also in his speech, Khamenei describes Israel as “a rabid dog,” which provokes an angry response from Israeli PM Netanyahu who is in Russia to appeal for tougher terms in a nuclear agreement with Iran. (AP, JTA, REU 11/20)

Israel’s “David’s Sling” missile defense system, co-developed with the U.S. and designed to protect the country from potential attack by Syrian and Hizballah-held missiles, passes a 2nd live test. Israeli defense officials say that the system could be deployed in 2014, a year ahead of the Israeli Air Force’s official deadline. (HA, REU 11/20)

A suicide car bomb attack kills 11 Egyptian soldiers nr. al-Arish in the Sinai Peninsula, wounding 37. Separately, a grenade attack on a checkpoint in Cairo injures 4 policemen. Meanwhile, Egyptian authorities close the Rafah crossing with Gaza due to a technical fault with the terminal’s computers. (AP, MNA, REU 11/20)

srael holds parliamentary elections, dealing a significant setback to current PM Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu joint ticket. The next Knesset will be almost evenly split between the right-wing/religious bloc and centrist/center-left blocs, with the headlines dominated by the rise of centrist party Yesh Atid (‘‘There Is a Future’’) and its leader Yair Lapid. The final tally gives 31 seats to Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu, 19 to Yesh Atid, 15 to a resurgent Labor party, 12 to Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home, 11 to Shas, 7 to United Torah Judaism, 6 each to Meretz and Tzipi Livni’s party Hatnuah, 4 each to United Arab List and Hadash, 3 to Balad, and 2 to Kadima. Voter turnout overall is high, with the estimated turnout for Palestinian citizens of Israel at 56%, according to figures cited by Army Radio. At the end of the night, Netanyahu says that he sees ‘‘many partners’’ for his ‘‘goals’’ and will seek to assemble ‘‘the broadest’’ coalition possible. (REU, AP 1/22; JP 1/23; JP 1/24)

British foreign secretary William Hague warns that it is almost the last chance to bring about a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and condemns Israeli settlement construction. (REU 1/22)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers begin work to expand Halamish settlement nr. Ramallah. The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in al-Bireh at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 1 village each nr. East Jerusalem and Ramallah at night. (MNA, WAFA 1/22; PCHR 1/23)

Malaysia’s PM Najib Razak visits the Gaza Strip via the Rafah crossing. Pres. Abbas criticizes the visit as enhancing the Fatah-Hamas division. (MNA, NYT 1/22) 

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate and the PLO’s Information and Culture Department condemn today’s arrest of journalists in the Gaza Strip by Hamas authorities. Most of those detained are affiliated with Fatah. (JP 1/22)

EU diplomats meet in Brussels to discuss the possibility of all 27 EU mbr. states writing to the Israeli government to protest recent settlement expansion news. No agreement is reached. British foreign secretary William Hague rules out sanctions against Israel, but says further steps would be considered if the expansion plans were not rescinded. In a letter to UN secy.-gen. Ban and the UNSC, the Palestinians accuse Israel of planning further ‘‘war crimes’’ by expanding Jewish settlements, and urge Israel to be held to account. Speaking in Bethlehem, PA FM Riyad al-Maliki says that the PA will seek to capitalize on the European support to increase international pressure on Israel. (HA, MNA, REU 12/4)

In occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli bulldozers arrive in the Palestinian neighborhood of al-Tur to demolish a home located on the premises of a designated national park, but lawyers secure a delay. Also, after 2 yrs. in which the Israeli Interior Ministry demolished no homes, supervisors begin patrols in occupied East Jerusalem to prepare for the resumption of demolitions of ‘‘illegally built’’ homes. (HA 12/4)

Palestinian authorities in Nablus report that Israel is changing procedures at al-Hamra checkpoint, controlling Palestinian movement between the n. West Bank and Jordan Valley, so that Palestinians will no longer need permits to cross. Meanwhile, the IDF demolishes a mosque in a village in the s. Hebron Hills nr. Yatta and 2 structures nr. Nablus. The IDF patrols in 1 village each nr. Jericho, Ramallah, and Tulkarm in the morning, and 1 village each nr. Ramallah and Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron and 3 villages nr. Hebron at night. (MNA 12/4; PCHR 12/6)

The UNGA approves a resolution 174–6 (with 6 abstentions) calling on Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and open its nuclear program for inspection. Those voting against were Israel, the U.S., Canada, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau. (AP 12/4)

UK foreign secretary William Hague urges the U.S. to take a ‘‘decisive lead’’ in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts in coming months, adding that ‘‘we’re coming to the final chance, maybe, for a two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be successfully resolved.’’ (BBC 11/25)

Fatah Central Comm. mbr. Nabil Shaath announces that the PA will release Hamas-affiliated detainees as a gesture to boost reconciliation efforts. Hamas officials say they will move to release Fatah prisoners in the Gaza Strip. The leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine Saleh Zeidan reports that Pres. Mahmud Abbas will call a meeting of the PLO Reform Comm. in Cairo after returning from the UN to revive talks of expanding the PLO to include Hamas and Islamic Jihad as part of a national reconciliation deal. Meanwhile, Hamas officials in Gaza announce plans for Hamas leader Khalid Mishal to visit the Gaza Strip for the 1st time on 12/5, timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of Hamas’s founding. (MNA, HA 11/25)

Israel successfully tests its David’s Sling missile defense system, designed to shoot down midrange missiles. Development of David’s Sling, like the Iron Dome long-range missile defense system, has been largely funded by the U.S. (AP 11/25)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF opens fire on farmers nr. Bayt Hanun in the morning and again in the afternoon, causing no injuries. The IDF also opens fire on Palestinians nr. Khan Yunis, lightly wounding 1 man. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning and 5 villages nr. Hebron, 2 villages nr. Jenin, and 1 village each nr. Qalqilya and Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus, Tulkarm, 1 village nr. Salfit, 1 village nr. Tubas, and 2 villages nr. Qalqilya at night. Suspected right-wing Jewish extremists vandalize 8 cars in the Palestinian neighborhood of Shu‘fat in occupied East Jerusalem in a ‘‘price-tag’’ attack. (HA, MNA 11/25; PCHR 11/29)

Turkish FM Ahmet Davutog˘lu tells CNN that Turkey will not make any concessions in order to resolve the diplomatic crisis with Israel, following reports (11/23) of an informal meeting in Geneva. (HA 11/25)

Gunfire coming from inside Syria hits an Israeli military vehicle in the occupied Golan Heights, causing no injuries. Israel lodges a complaint with the UN in response. (REU 11/25)

Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense against Gaza enters its 3d day, leaving another 11 Palestinians dead and bringing the Palestinian death toll since 11/14 to 30, around 1/3 civilians. Intense levels of Israeli air strikes continue, with 40 attacks before dawn and at least 200 overall during the day; reports estimate some 500 targets struck by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) since the operation began. The IDF bombs Gaza’s Ministry of Interior building and the offices of Hamas’s acting PM Ismail Haniyeh. Palestinian armed groups fire a total of 190 rockets into Israel, including a rocket that lands in an open area nr. Gush Etzion settlement bloc s. of Jerusalem, causing no damage or injuries. The Israeli cabinet approves Israeli DM Ehud Barak’s requests to mobilize 75,000 reservists. Israel’s FM Avigdor Lieberman states that the 2 goals of the operation are to restore deterrence and destroy long-range missiles. Meanwhile, in the West Bank, Palestinians hold demonstrations to protest the attack on Gaza, including a rally of hundreds of Hamas activists in Ramallah. IDF forces injure dozens of Palestinians in the solidarity protests, seriously wounding 1 man in Kafr Qaddum village nr. Qalqilya with a tear-gas canister to the head. (AP, HA, Guardian, JP, MNA 11/16)

Internationally, there is a mixture of support for Israel’s actions and caution regarding escalation. The U.S. Senate unanimously passes a resolution expressing support for Israel’s ‘‘right to act in self-defense.’’ UK foreign secretary William Hague warns Israel against staging a ground incursion into Gaza. Egyptian PM Hesham Kandil visits the Gaza Strip, during which time Israel temporarily stops its attacks. Egyptian pres. Mohamed Morsi condemns Israel’s operation and pledges Egyptian support for the Palestinians. Meanwhile, UN high commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay condemns Israel’s aerial bombardment of Gaza as well as Palestinian rocket fire. (HA, Guardian, JP, MNA, REU 11/16)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon, and 1 village nr. Ramallah, 2 villages nr. Salfit, and 1 village nr. Jericho at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Tulkarm in the afternoon, and in Hebron and 1 nearby village, and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. Israeli soldiers violently disperse Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals taking part in weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the Israeli occupation and land confiscations held in 4 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, al-Nabi Salih, Budrus), 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara), and 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum). There are no serious injuries, except in Bil‘in, where 2 Palestinians are wounded by a tear-gas canister and rubber-coated steel bullet respectively, and in Kafr Qaddum, where 1 Palestinian is wounded by a tear-gas canister. (PCHR 11/22)

Egyptian security forces say that unidentified militants fire 3 rockets into Israel from the Sinai Peninsula nr. Rafah. No damage or injuries are reported. (MNA 11/16)

In Amman, Jordanian protests over rising fuel prices continue for a 4th day. Protesters clash with security forces, and a rally of several thousand passes off largely peacefully; chants include demands for the departure of King Abdallah II. (WP 11/16)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah, 2 nr. Tulkarm, 1 n r. Jenin in the morning; patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin (firing tear gas and percussion grenades at stone-throwing youths in 1 instance), 2 nr. Qalqilya, and 1 nr. Tulkarm in the afternoon; and patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin late in the evening; and conducts arrest raids, house searches in Tulkarm (targeting Islamic Jihad mbrs.) and 1 nr. Jenin late in the evening. Jewish settlers vandalize a Baptist church and 3 cars in East Jerusalem. (JP 2/20; PCHR 2/23; OCHA 2/24; JPI 3/2)

U.S. National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon, Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) chmn. Gen. Michael Dempsey, and British FM William Hague are in Israel for talks on Iran and Syria, specifically urging Israel not to launch a preemptive attack on Iran. (WP, WT 2/20; WT 2/29)