Two days after sealing it, Israeli forces re-open al-Rahma Gate to Haram al-Sharif. A senior Islamic Waqf official says that Jordanian officials were actively engaging with the Israeli authorities...
Unidentified Gazans fly a number of incendiary devices strapped to balloons into southern Israel. They land in open areas and no damage is reported. Also along Gaza’s border, hundreds of...Read more
In Gaza, Israeli drones bomb sites near Jabaliya refugee camp and near al-Bureij refugee camp allegedly being used as staging areas for incendiary kite and balloon attacks; there are no reported...Read more
After the conclusion of the humanitarian cease-fire, which Israeli unilaterally extended on 7/26, the IDF resumes its assault on the Gaza Strip, killing 16 Palestinians. Armed Palestinian groups...Read more
Undercover Israeli police officers arrest 6 Palestinian youths in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem on suspicion of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at a Jewish settler-owned house....Read more
The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 nr. Jericho in the morning, and in al-Bireh, 3 villages nr. Tulkarm, 3 nr. Jenin, and 1 nr. Ramallah late in the evening; conducts late-night...Read more
Under continued pressure fr. Obama and Quartet special envoy Tony Blair, Israel’s security cabinet agrees in principle to switch fr. a blanket ban on entry of goods to Gaza to a prohibited list of...Read more
After 2 days of heated debate, Netanyahu’s security cabinet, under heavy international pressure to ease restrictions on Gaza, agrees to increase the amounts of goods already allowed for import and...Read more
Israel begins phase 2 of OCL, a massive ground advance into Gaza, in the evening. The IDF states that “the objective . . . is to destroy the terrorist infrastructure of the Hamas in the precise...Read more
Another FGM boat (see 8/23) carrying 27 international activists defies Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza, sails into a Gaza port delivering humanitarian supplies; Israeli naval vessels do not...Read more
Overnight in Gaza City, Hamasaffiliated police raid a family compound belonging to the Daghmash clan in an attempt to break up the Daghmash-controlled Army of Islam. A heavy exchange of gunfire...Read more
In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem. More than 40 human rights activists fr. 17 countries (including Israel) organized by the U.S.-based Free...Read more
IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire on Palestinian farmers, preventing them fr. reaching their fields nr. the border fence but causing no injuries. In the West Bank, Ni‘lin villagers defy an IDF...Read more
The IDF raids areas of Hebron, performing random ID checks, searching businesses; patrols in Jenin and Nablus, firing on residential areas; raids the offices of the PSA in Hebron, confiscating...Read more
In Gaza, the IDF continues operations in Khuza‘a, wounding 8 Palestinians (including at least 4 civilians), bulldozing areas of agricultural land. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units...Read more
IDF troops and Shin Bet agents abduct Change and Reform Palestinian Council (PC) mbr. and PC secy. Mahmud Ramahi nr. Ramallah. Also in the West Bank, the IDF fires on a taxi attempting to bypass...Read more
Overnight, the IDF pulls troops out of central Gaza; makes air strikes on the PA Economics Min. offices in Gaza City (causing no injuries), a factory in Gaza City (killing 1 Palestinian, wounding...Read more
Overnight in Gaza, the IDF conducts air strikes heavily damaging the offices of Change and Reform PC mbrs. in Bayt Lahiya (causing no injuries), destroying a bridge linking Nussayrat r.c. with...Read more
Overnight, the IDF makes air strikes destroying the PA FMin. building in Gaza City, wounding 13 bystanders (including 6 children); makes an air strike on Khan Yunis, killing 1 Islamic Jihad mbr.,...Read more
PM Netanyahu's personal atty. Yitzhak Molho (acting as the PM's special envoy), PA Local Government M Erakat meet in an attempt to create momentum for higher level mtg. No progress is made. (QY 5/...Read more
At Nahal Oz checkpoint, 100s of Israelis dump tomatoes, burn tires in protest against the import of cheap Palestinian-grown produce fr. Gaza. (WT 2/19)
Rear Adm. Ami Ayalon takes over as...Read more
In Gaza, Israeli, PA justice discuss Israeli plans to grant citizenship to collaborators, other justice issues; PA demands Israel look into claims that the IDF murdered 450 Palestinians in Khan...Read more
White House sends warning to 3 Democratic senators (Daniel Inouye, cosponsor of Dole bill, D. Patrick Moynihan, Joseph Lieberman) that moving U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would have "a...Read more
PA Planning M. Shaath holds informal mtg. with donor states' representatives in Gaza, discusses $244-m. budget for FY 1996, says World Bank is ready to disburse to the PA $600 m. of outstanding...Read more
PM Rabin reiterates offer to Syria of "very small" withdrawal fr. Golan in exchange for 3-yr. period to "test" full normalization, open border, exchange of embassies. Pres. al-Asad rejects...Read more
Israeli sources say Syria, Israel have resumed low-level talks in Washington through mtgs. with U.S. special Middle East coordinator Dennis Ross, some progress has been made on security issues. (...Read more
NATO opens talks with 5 North African, Middle Eastern nations (incl. Israel, Egypt) in Bonn as part of its new focus on maintaining Mediterranean security in the face of rising Islamist movements...Read more
Israeli cabinet unanimously approves new tax package designed to raise $450 million to pay for absorption of Soviet Jewish immigrants [NYT, MEM 9/14].
Meanwhile Ariel Sharon ends week-long...Read more
On 4-day visit to N. Africa, King Hussein meets Qaddafi in Tripoli to discuss Gulf crisis [ADS, AFP 8/26 in FBIS 8/27; LAT 8/27; MET 9/4].
Iraq permit. 2 women and children from U.S....Read more
U.S. warships fire warning shots across bows of 2 Iraqi oil tankers; Saudi Arabia says it will boost oil production by 2 million barrels a day to make up for loss of Kuwaiti and Iraqi oil [WP, NYT...Read more
Two days after sealing it, Israeli forces re-open al-Rahma Gate to Haram al-Sharif. A senior Islamic Waqf official says that Jordanian officials were actively engaging with the Israeli authorities to re-open the gate throughout the closure. Later in the day, Israeli forces assault a number of Palestinian protesters congregating outside after the mid-day prayer; 19 protesters are arrested and several are injured. Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinians gather along Gaza’s border fence to continue the Great March of Return and cheer on approximately 20 Palestinian ships sailing in a symbolic challenge to Israel’s blockade. IDF troops and Israeli naval forces violently disperse the demonstrations; 33 Palestinians are injured. Also off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Rafah, Bayt Lahiya, and Jabaliya refugee camp, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, Israeli forces evacuate and dismantle 2 makeshift Palestinian residential structures, 3 sheep barns, and a water tank in the northern Jordan Valley. IDF troops conduct raids in Sabastiya near Nablus, sparking minor clashes with stone-throwing Palestinians; there are no serious injuries reported. They arrest 22 Palestinians and assault a 23d on further raids near Bethlehem, Tulkarm, Nablus, Hebron, Ramallah, Salfit, and Qalqilya; and patrol near Qalqilya, Salfit, Hebron, and Nablus. (HA, JP, JP, MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/19; MNA, MNA, TOI 2/20; PCHR 2/21)
Two days after Israel’s security cabinet ordered a deduction to the monthly transfers of tax revenues to the PA, PA president Mahmoud Abbas says, “We reject the tax, we don’t want it.” The deductions are set to total NIS 502,697,000 (approximately $138 million), which is purportedly equal to the amount that which the PA distributes in stipends to Palestinians imprisoned in connection with serious crimes against Israelis and the families of Palestinians killed in connection with such crimes. The monthly transfers of tax revenues typically total NIS 800 million (approximately $220 million), which amounts to about a third of the PA’s budget. “Frankly, if we are left with only 20 or 30 million shekels, which is the sum paid to families of martyrs, then we will pay them to the families of martyrs,” Abbas adds. (JP, REU, YA 2/19; TOI 2/20)
Unidentified Gazans fly a number of incendiary devices strapped to balloons into southern Israel. They land in open areas and no damage is reported. Also along Gaza’s border, hundreds of Palestinians gather along Gaza’s northern shore to continue the Great March of Return and to cheer on a number of Palestinian boats sailing in a symbolic challenge of Israel’s blockade. IDF troops and Israeli naval forces violently disperse the demonstrations; at least 35 Palestinians are injured. Four more Palestinians are injured when IDF troops violently disperse a late-night protest along the border fence near al-Bureij refugee camp. Meanwhile, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion to level land near Khan Yunis. In the West Bank, the Israeli authorities order approximately 50 Palestinian families to temporarily leave their homes near Tubas to clear the area for IDF training. Also near Tubas, Israeli settlers assault and injure a Palestinian shepherd. Settlers also chant racist slogans and march through central Hebron, causing minor damage when they throw stones at Palestinian homes. Meanwhile, IDF troops arrest 12 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Ramallah, Hebron, Jenin, Tubas, and Salfit; and patrol near Nablus. The raid in Tubas sparks clashes with stone-throwing Palestinians; 1 Palestinian is injured. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces conduct raids at al-Quds University in Abu Dis, sparking minor clashes with students; 17 Palestinian students suffer from tear gas inhalation. They also demolish 4 Palestinian homes and a warehouse in Silwan and Jabal Mukabir. (MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/12; MNA, MNA, MNA 2/13; PCHR 2/14)
A Palestinian succumbs to injuries sustained when IDF troops violently disperse protests along Gaza’s border fence on 2/8. This brings the death toll stemming from the Great March of Return to 204. (TOI, WAFA 2/12; MNA 2/13; EI, PCHR 2/14)
After reports of an Israeli strike in Syria on 2/11, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that Israel is “constantly operating” against “Iran and its satellites” in Syria. “We do whatever is necessary.” His statements today are taken as a confirmation that Israel was responsible for the 2/11 strikes in Syria. (HA, TOI 2/12)
In Gaza, Israeli drones bomb sites near Jabaliya refugee camp and near al-Bureij refugee camp allegedly being used as staging areas for incendiary kite and balloon attacks; there are no reported injuries. On the other side of the border fence, Israeli firefighters put out 10 small fires allegedly sparked by such attacks. Meanwhile, IDF troops violently disperse dozens of Palestinians gathering near al-Bureij refugee camp to continue the Great March of Return; 1 Palestinian is injured. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Rafah and Dayr al-Balah, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, Israeli forces level Palestinian lands near Bethlehem to make space for the expansion of settlements in the area. IDF troops arrest 9 Palestinians and issue 1 arrest summons during late-night raids near Bethlehem, Ramallah, and Hebron; and patrol near Tulkarm and Hebron. A raid near Ramallah sparks clashes with stone-throwing Palestinian minors; there are no reported injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 1 Palestinian during a late-night raid in Silwan. (HA, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 8/4; PCHR 8/9)
A Palestinian minor succumbs to injuries sustained when Israeli soldiers opened fire on Palestinian protesters along Gaza’s border on 8/3, bringing the death toll stemming from the Great March of Return to 140. (MNA, WAFA 8/4)
Israeli naval forces intercept the second ship of a planned flotilla sailing toward Gaza in a symbolic effort to break the Israeli blockade. As they did with the flotilla’s lead ship on 7/29, Israeli naval forces commandeer the ship, escort it to the port at Ashdod, and detain all 12 activists on board. “The forces made it clear to the sailors that they were violating the blockade and that any humanitarian supplies can be delivered to Gaza through the port of Ashdod,” the IDF states. (HA, MNA, TOI, WAFA 8/4)
After the conclusion of the humanitarian cease-fire, which Israeli unilaterally extended on 7/26, the IDF resumes its assault on the Gaza Strip, killing 16 Palestinians. Armed Palestinian groups fire around 20 rockets into Israel in the early morning. (AFP, AP, HA, MNA, REU, YA 7/27; PCHR 7/28)
U.S. Pres. Obama speaks to Israeli PM Netanyahu on the telephone, saying it is “strategically imperative” to reach a humanitarian cease-fire that “leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the 11/2012 cease-fire agreement.” Obama also expresses support for the Egyptian diplomatic efforts and affirms that the PA must be part of the solution for the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, Hamas leader Mish‘al says on U.S. television that a lasting cease-fire must be based on lifting the blockade. Also, Hamas calls for a 24-hour humanitarian cease-fire to mark ‘Id. Late at night, the UNSC agrees on a presidential statement drafted by Jordan calling for “an immediate and unconditional humanitarian cease-fire.” Israel, however, rejects the calls from Hamas and the UNSC. (AFP, AP, HA, MNA, REU, YA 7/27)
Undercover Israeli police officers arrest 6 Palestinian youths in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem on suspicion of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at a Jewish settler-owned house. In the Gaza Strip, the IDF opens fire on a garbage truck close to the border fence nr. Bayt Hanun, wounding 1 Palestinian. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers from the unauthorized outpost Esh Kodesh nr. Nablus attack the Palestinian village of Qusra, provoking clashes with residents. In response, the IDF deploys troops in the area and fires tear gas and stun grenades at villagers. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning, in 1 village nr. Jericho in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah, 1 village each nr. al-Bireh and Jericho at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in the Old City of Hebron, 1 nearby village, and 1 village nr. Jenin at night. The IDF attacks a nonviolent demonstration against the occupation and settlement expansion held by Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals in Bayt Umar village nr. Hebron, causing no serious injuries. (MNA 1/5, 1/6; PCHR 1/10)
PA security forces arrest the Hebronbased members of the National Unity Brigades, which announced its formation and called for a 3d intifada in a video released on 12/14. (JP 1/5)
Sources tell Palestinian Ma‘an news agency that PLO leaders, the Free Syria Army, and Syrian government forces are working toward a deal to end the fighting in and blockade of Yarmuk r.c. in Damascus, including the withdrawal of rebel fighters and the end to army shelling. (MNA 1/6)
The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 nr. Jericho in the morning, and in al-Bireh, 3 villages nr. Tulkarm, 3 nr. Jenin, and 1 nr. Ramallah late in the evening; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. Palestinians (sometimes accompanied by Israeli and international activists) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, and al-Nabi Salih. IDF soldiers beat and fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, causing no serious injuries. (PCHR 9/8; OCHA 9/9)
The UN’s Palmer commission releases its long-delayed investigative report on the 5/2010 Gaza flotilla raid in which 9 Turkish activists attempting to break the siege of Gaza were killed in the IDF raid on the Mavi Marmara. The report concludes that Israel had the legal right to impose a naval blockade of Gaza and to stage an armed raid of the boat, but that the force used by IDF soldiers to subdue protesters was “excessive and unreasonable.” In response, Turkey expels Israel’s amb. and several other senior diplomats, suspends military agreements with Israel, and vows to expand its naval presence in the Mediterranean to protect its ships. (NYT, WP 9/2; HA, NYT, WP 9/3; WP 9/5; NYT, WP 9/7)
Under continued pressure fr. Obama and Quartet special envoy Tony Blair, Israel’s security cabinet agrees in principle to switch fr. a blanket ban on entry of goods to Gaza to a prohibited list of items considered “weapons and war-supporting materiel” and to allow “a significantly greater volume of goods” into the Strip. The easing would affect overland transportation only. The naval blockade and all restrictions on exports and the entry and exit of individuals remain. Separately, the U.S. and Israel announce that the Obama-Netanyahu meeting originally set for 6/1 will be held at the White House on 7/6. In addition, Mitchell, who has just returned fr. meetings with the Palestinian (6/18) and Israeli (6/19) peace teams, reports that the sides are ready to consider renewing proximity talks. (NYT, WP 6/21; WP 6/23; JPI 7/9)
The IDF makes a brief incursion into the no-go zone in n. Gaza to investigate a heavy explosion, searching the area and pulling back into Israel without incident. In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas at Palestinians staging a nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall nr. Bethlehem, also violently beating 3 Palestinian cameramen for Palestinian and foreign news outlets; conducts synchronized late-night patrols in villages w. of Jenin, making no arrests. Israeli police in Jerusalem seal the Ilaf Association for Education Support, which provides student loans for some 160 college students, for allegedly hosting Hamas meetings and thereby supporting a “terrorist organization.” (PCHR 6/24; OCHA 6/25)
After 2 days of heated debate, Netanyahu’s security cabinet, under heavy international pressure to ease restrictions on Gaza, agrees to increase the amounts of goods already allowed for import and to add some new items to the permitted import list, including allowing import of all foodstuffs and increasing imports of building materials for construction overseen by credible third parties, such as the UN. The strict naval blockade would remain in place. (IFM 6/17; NYT, OCHA, WP 6/18)
IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire on armed Palestinians operating nr. the border fence, wounding 1. In 2 separate incidents (in the fmr. n. Gaza settlement sites and the Erez industrial zone), IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction goods nr. the border, causing no injuries. In a 3d incident later in the day, IDF troops make an incursion into n. Gaza nr. Bayt Lahiya and stay there most of the day to prevent Palestinians fr. entering the area to look for construction materials. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts synchronized late-night house searches in villages s. and w. of Jenin, making no arrests; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Ramallah. (PCHR 6/24; OCHA 6/25)
Israel begins phase 2 of OCL, a massive ground advance into Gaza, in the evening. The IDF states that “the objective . . . is to destroy the terrorist infrastructure of the Hamas in the precise area of operation, while taking control of some of [sic] rocket launching areas used by Hamas in order to greatly reduce the quantity of rockets fired at Israel and Israeli civilians.” Israeli FM Livni acknowledges that Israel has broader aims, stating that toppling Hamas is “a strategic Israeli objective,” but that it might take more than one large-scale military operation such as OCL to do the job.
Israeli actions: Before phase 2 begins in the evening, the IDF launches artillery strikes on some 40 targets concentrated in open areas around Bayt Hanun, east of Rafah, and along Gaza’s main north–south artery in an apparent effort to clear the areas of mines and tunnels, to move Palestinians away from those areas in preparation for the insertion of ground forces.
The IDF also continues air strikes and naval bombardments across Gaza. Target areas include Bayt Lahiya, Gaza City (al-Nasser, al-Rimal, al-Shuja‘iyya, al-Tuffah, al-Zaytun), Jabaliya, Juhur al-Dik, Khan Yunis, Khuza, al-Mughraqa, Nussayrat, Rafah, al-Shuka (e. of Rafah). Targets include 2 mosques in Bayt Lahiya and Jabaliya, killing at least 13 worshipers and injuring 30 during evening prayers; a car in Khan Yunis, assassinating senior Hamas military cmdr. Muhammad Ma‘aruf; 2 PA security compounds in Gaza City; the al-Aqsa Radio and the al-Risala newspaper offices in Gaza City; tunnels on the Rafah border; suspected rocket-launching sites and weapons depots. By evening, the Palestinian toll reaches at least 460 dead and more than 2,000 wounded.
At dusk, the IDF drops leaflets on n. Gaza warning residents that troops will soon operate in this area and that they should evacuate for their safety. Around 8:00 P.M. local time, the IDF cuts power to the Strip and begins sending ground forces into n. Gaza, taking up positions on the outskirts of Bayt Hanun and Bayt Lahiya (occupying homes as operational bases); securing areas e. of Gaza City nr. the Qarni crossing, but notably keeping a distance from Jabaliya (considered a Hamas stronghold), and just inside the s. Gaza border e. of Rafah (with tanks firing flechette shells at houses and agricultural areas, killing 1 Palestinian and wounding 7 inside their homes). Heavy gun battles are reported, with Hamas issuing a statement that it is firing mortars at IDF ground forces. After ground operations begin, the IDF announces a naval blockade of Gaza out to 20 nautical miles.
Palestinian actions: During the day, Palestinians fire 28 rockets and 7 mortars into Israel, hitting as far as Ashdod and Ashqelon to the n., and Netivot to the e., lightly damaging 3 homes and an apartment building, lightly injuring 2 Israelis.
Of note: Embedded with some IDF ground units are the first Israeli journalists and 2 foreign reporters (BBC and Reuters) allowed into Gaza since late 10/08. These journalists have been given “trusted” status by the government for their “long history of relations with the IDF” and are under the strict rules of the IDF censor; the general ban on foreign journalists is still in place, despite a 12/31 High Court ruling ordering the government to allow journalists access. (AFP, AP, BBC, IDF, IFM, ITV, Organization of the Islamic Conference [OIC] press release, REU, YA 1/3; HA, IFM, JAZ, JP, NYT, OCHA, WP, WT 1/4; NYT, UNOSAT, WP, WT 1/5; IFM, PCHR 1/8; HA 1/11; JP 1/22; JPI 2/6; Harpers 3/09)
Another FGM boat (see 8/23) carrying 27 international activists defies Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza, sails into a Gaza port delivering humanitarian supplies; Israeli naval vessels do not challenge the boat. In the West Bank, IDF troops operating in Yamun village nr. Jenin before dawn fatally shoot a 67-yr.-old Palestinian shepherd who fired a rifle at the patrol fearing they were rustlers; demolish 6 structures in the bedouin village of Umm al-Khayr nr. Carmiel settlement s. of Hebron, displacing 45 Palestinians, including a 1-wk.-old baby; conduct late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin town and r.c., in Nablus, and nr. Bethlehem and Hebron. Israel’s High Court orders Jewish settlers to vacate the illegal outpost of Beit Shalom, in the al-Rajabi building in Hebron, within 24 hrs. or face eviction (at the end of the quarter, however, the settlers have not been forced to leave). Israel’s High Court also gives approval for the demolition of the historic Ma’man Allah Muslim cemetery (4,000 tombs) in West Jerusalem for construction of the Center for Human Dignity–Museum of Tolerance, designed by Frank Gehry. (NYT, PCHR, WP 10/30; OCHA 11/5; PCHR 11/6; OCHA 11/19s)
Overnight in Gaza City, Hamasaffiliated police raid a family compound belonging to the Daghmash clan in an attempt to break up the Daghmash-controlled Army of Islam. A heavy exchange of gunfire lasting for several hrs. leaves 1 policeman and 11 Daghmash dead (including a 1-yr.-old, 2 other children, 8 gunmen), and 45 wounded (including Army of Islam head Mumtaz Daghmash; at least 15 other Daghmash members, including 2 women; and 10 police); police confiscate 32 truckloads of weapons from the compound. During the day, 6 Palestinian fishing boats carrying FGM activists who sailed into Gaza on 8/22 attempt to outrun the Israeli naval blockade to get the activists back to Cyprus but are fired upon and forced back to shore by the navy, leaving 1 activist injured and 1 boat damaged (see 8/28). The IDF also sends tanks, bulldozers into c. Gaza to level land along the border fence, withdrawing by evening, marking the 1st cross-border incursion since 7/23. In the West Bank, the IDF makes an afternoon raid into Bayt Umar nr. Hebron, firing on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront them, wounding an 11-year-old Palestinian boy; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron, nr. Bethlehem and Jenin.Jewish settlers fr. Maskiyot in the Jordan Valley drive Palestinian shepherds off nearby land. (NYT, OCHA 9/17; PCHR 9/18; AIC 11/9)
In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem. More than 40 human rights activists fr. 17 countries (including Israel) organized by the U.S.-based Free Gaza Movement (FGM) complete a 2-day voyage fr. Cyprus to Gaza, sailing in 2 boats carrying humanitarian aid, to challenge Israel’s blockade; the Israeli navy allows the boats to pass unchallenged. (NYT 8/24; OCHA 8/27; PCHR 8/28; WP 8/29)
IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire on Palestinian farmers, preventing them fr. reaching their fields nr. the border fence but causing no injuries. In the West Bank, Ni‘lin villagers defy an IDF curfew to stage peaceful protest marches against the IDF blockade imposed on 7/5; the IDF fires tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets at the protesters, lightly injuring around 50. The IDF also bulldozes newly paved roads in Ni‘lin while the curfew is in place, damaging part of the municipal sewage system; conducts latenight arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, in Tulkarm, and nr. Bethlehem, Jenin, Qalqilya, Ramallah. Jewish settlers fr. Asfar settlement nr. Bethlehem beat 2 Palestinian shepherds grazing their flocks nearby. In Hebron, local Jewish settlers harass a French diplomatic delegation touring the city with Palestinian guides, arguing that settlers should lead the tour because the delegation was on “Israeli land.” A carload of Jewish settlers fires on a Palestinian taxi nr. Jenin, seriously wounding 1 Palestinian. (WT 7/7; OCHA 7/9; PCHR 7/10)
The IDF raids areas of Hebron, performing random ID checks, searching businesses; patrols in Jenin and Nablus, firing on residential areas; raids the offices of the PSA in Hebron, confiscating files, sealing the office for 2 yrs.; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem. (PCHR 9/14)
After receiving assurances and pressure fr. the UN, Israel lifts its naval blockade on Lebanon; says that it aims to complete a withdrawal of troops fr. Lebanon in about 2 wks., as the expanded UNIFIL reaches 5,000 troops. Israel, which has been slowly withdrawing troops, says it controls about 25% of the area of s. Lebanon it controlled on 8/14. (NYT, WP, WT 9/9)
In Gaza, the IDF continues operations in Khuza‘a, wounding 8 Palestinians (including at least 4 civilians), bulldozing areas of agricultural land. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units in a car with Palestinian license plates into Jenin to assassinate Islamic Jihad cmdr. Mujahid alSabi‘, also firing on stone-throwing youths who confront them, wounding 1; raids Kafr Dan, firing on residential areas, wounding 1 Palestinian; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Askar r.c. and nr. Bethlehem, Jenin, Tulkarm. (PCHR, WP 9/7; PCHR 9/14)
Israel announces that, in a deal brokered by the UN, it will remove its air and naval blockade on Lebanon as of 6:00 P.M. local time on 9/7 as British, French, German, Greek, Italian forces take over naval patrols and assist the Lebanese army in border patrol, but says it will reserve the right to attack any smugglers it detects crossing the Syrian border. (IFM 9/6; NYT, WP, WT 9/7)
IDF troops and Shin Bet agents abduct Change and Reform Palestinian Council (PC) mbr. and PC secy. Mahmud Ramahi nr. Ramallah. Also in the West Bank, the IDF fires on a taxi attempting to bypass Hawara checkpoint nr. Nablus, killing 1 Palestinian, wounding 2; raids, searches an Islamist charity nr. Hebron, confiscating computers, a fax, some files; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Tulkarm r.c., nr. Nablus. In Gaza, the IDF shells residential areas nr. Dayr al-Balah, damaging a house and car, wounding 2 Palestinians; fires on Palestinians collecting scrap metal nr. Erez industrial zone, wounding 1; fires on Palestinian farmers working a field nr. al-Bureij r.c., wounding 2; bulldozes 20 d. of Palestinian olive groves in Rafah. A Palestinian is injured in an exchange of gunfire btwn. rival Fatah factions in Gaza’s al-Maghazi r.c. A Palestinian woman dies of injures received fr. IDF fire in al-Shuka on 8/5. (NYT, WP, WT 8/21; OCHA 8/23; PCHR 8/24)
The UN reports that Lebanon has deployed only about 3,000 troops to s. Lebanon (2,000 along the border with Syria, 1,000 along the coast). Israel continues daily overflights of Lebanon in violation of the 8/14 truce, IDF troops are still in s. Lebanon, and the Israeli air and naval blockade are still in place, but no new clashes btwn. IDF and Hizballah forces in Lebanon are reported. (AP, NYT, WP, WT 8/21)
Overnight, the IDF pulls troops out of central Gaza; makes air strikes on the PA Economics Min. offices in Gaza City (causing no injuries), a factory in Gaza City (killing 1 Palestinian, wounding at least 9), a bridge nr. Bureij r.c.; fatally shoots an unarmed Palestinian who strays close to the Kissufim crossing. Palestinians fire several rockets into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. A Palestinian dies of injuries received during the IDF’s 7/6 failed assassination attempt on Zubaydi and Sadi. (NYT, WP 7/15; NYT 7/16; PCHR 7/20)
The IDF escalates its attacks on Lebanon, completing the naval blockade of the coast; making air strikes on Hizballah offices, homes of Hizballah leaders and a senior Hamas official; hitting scores of civilian infrastructure targets, particularly in pro-Hizballah neighborhoods in s. Beirut and s. Lebanon, and roads and bridges in e. and n. Lebanon (including destroying the last bridge on the Beirut–Damascus highway), also destroying numerous gas stations, fuel depots (including hitting Jiyeh terminal for a 2d day, creating a major oil slick), a major power plant s. of the capital; shelling ports in Amshit, Batrun, Beirut, Juniyah, Sidon, Tripoli, and Tyre and hitting a radar installation in the new Manara lighthouse in Beirut to disable Lebanon’s coast radar defenses. At least 16 Lebanese civilians are killed in an air strike on a civilian convoy fleeing Marwahin village in s. Lebanon after Israel warned residents to evacuate, bringing the estimated death toll since the start of the crisis to 92 Lebanese killed and at least 250 wounded, almost all of them civilians. Hizballah fires some 90 Katyushas at n. Israel during the day, hitting Tiberias for the 1st time, as well as Carmiel and Nahariya, lightly injuring at least 11 Israelis. Italy begins evacuating its citizens fr. Lebanon; Britain, France, the U.S. say they have plans to do the same. (HA, NYT, WP, WT 7/16; NYT 7/29; WP 8/1; NYT 8/3)
Overnight in Gaza, the IDF conducts air strikes heavily damaging the offices of Change and Reform PC mbrs. in Bayt Lahiya (causing no injuries), destroying a bridge linking Nussayrat r.c. with alMughraqa; directs tank fire on a Palestinian truck approaching its position but refusing orders to halt, killing 1 Palestinian, wounding a 2d. During the day, the IDF continues to shell n. Gaza, targeting 2 PA security offices and damaging 4 Palestinian homes; bulldozes 83 d. of Palestinian land nr. Dayr al-Balah, more than 100 d. of land outside al-Qarara; fires on residential areas of Khuza’ nr. the border, wounding a Palestinian woman inside her home. Some 50 Palestinian militants temporarily take over the Rafah crossing, allowing as many as half of the 4,000 Palestinian stranded on the Egyptian side to enter Gaza; Egyptian border police block Palestinians who try to cross fr. Gaza into Egypt. Palestinians fire at least 7 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing damage in 1 incident but no injuries. The IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron, in Tulkarm; prevents Palestinians under age 45 fr. attending Friday prayers at al-Aqsa mosque. (HA, JP 7/14; NYT, WP 7/15; OCHA 7/19; PCHR 7/20)
Overnight, after Olmert’s security cabinet approves a list of “more significant” Hizballah targets, the IDF makes air strikes on Hizballah sites in s. Beirut and targets the Beirut–Damascus highway (in an attempt to complete an air, sea, and land blockade on Lebanon). During the day, the IDF extends the naval blockade northwards to Tripoli; shells numerous bridges, roads, other civilian infrastructure, especially in s. Beirut; makes air strikes on the building serving as Hizballah’s headquarters and Nasrallah’s residence (destroying it), its al-Nur radio station (missing and hitting an apartment building), and the Beirut airport, a major power plant and a bridge s. of the capital, a PFLP base nr. the Syrian border. At least 8 Lebanese civilians are reported killed (3 in Beirut, 5 in the south), 55 injured during the day, raising the estimated death toll since the start of operations to 66 Lebanese (overwhelmingly civilians), more than 200 wounded. Hizballah continues to fire Katyushas at n. Israel, killing an Israeli woman,her 5-yr.-old grandson in Moshav Meron and injuring as many as 50 Israelis across the Galilee, including in Acre, Carmiel, Kiryat Shimona, Nahariya, Safad. Hizballah also hits an Israeli naval ship 10-mi off the coast nr. Beirut, disabling it, killing 1 Israeli sailor, leaving 3 other sailors missing, raising the comprehensive death toll to 13 Israelis killed (the majority soldiers), around 150 injured (mostly suffering shock). (HA, NYT, WT 7/14; NYT, WP, WT 7/15; NYT, WP 7/16; NYT 7/17, 7/19)
Overnight, the IDF makes air strikes destroying the PA FMin. building in Gaza City, wounding 13 bystanders (including 6 children); makes an air strike on Khan Yunis, killing 1 Islamic Jihad mbr., wounding a 2d; sends troops into al-Qarara, firing on residential and agricultural areas. During the day in Gaza, the IDF continues to shell n. Gaza, wounding at least 2 Palestinians; fires on residential areas nr. Sufa crossing, wounding a Palestinian child outside his home. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Salfit; uproots 50 Palestinian trees nr. the separation wall in Bayt Jala for “security reasons.” A Palestinian teenager wounded in a 7/10 IDF air strike on Bayt Hanun dies. (NYT, WP 7/13; PCHR 7/20)
Officially launching Operation Just Reward (ca. 7/18 renamed Operation Change of Direction), the IDF makes predawn air strikes on s. Lebanon that kill at least 44 Lebanese civilians, wound around 100. Hizballah responds by firing some 60 Katyusha rockets on n. Israel, hitting a home in Nahariya (killing 1 Israeli woman, wounding 29), wounding 11 in Safad, and hitting the northern towns of Carmiel, Majdal Qrum, Zarit. During the day, the IDF intensifies its attacks on Lebanon to cut Hizballah supply lines and prevent internal transportation of weapons and fighters, imposing a naval blockade on Lebanese ports north to Beirut and making air strikes on Beirut International Airport, the Lebanese army’s main Rayak air base nr. the Syrian border, a small military airport in Qulayat in n. Lebanon, Hizballah’s al-Manar TV station outside Beirut (wounding 6) and a relay tower in Baalbek (killing 1 Lebanese, wounding 4), a major oil depot in Jiyeh, numerous roads and bridges. AfterIsrael warns Lebanese to evacuate Hizballah-dominated areas of s. Beirut, Hizballah threatens to strike Haifa if Beirut is targeted. When the IDF conducts overflights of Beirut shortly afterward, Hizballah fires 2 Katyushas at Haifa, damaging a hotel but causing no injuries. Israeli-Hizballah exchanges continue late into the evening, with Hizballah firing around 90 rockets and mortars into Israel, hitting some 20 northern towns and killing a 2d Israeli, whileIsrael attacks 100s of targets across Lebanon (mostly in the south, but including hitting Beirut airport a 2d time, with artillery reportedly fired at a rate of 1 shell per minute throughout the day), killing at least another 10 Lebanese. Total casualties for the day are estimated at 54 Lebanese (overwhelmingly civilians) killed and 103 wounded, and 2 Israelis killed and 90 injured (1 seriously, two-thirds being treated for shock). Israel also warns UNIFIL that the IDF will target anyone moving nr. the Blue Line, including UNIFIL observers, prompting UNIFIL to confine its 2,500 troops (who are either unarmed or lightly armed for personal defense only) to barracks. (AP, HA, MSNBC, National Public Radio, REU 7/13; NYT, UNIS, WP, WT 7/14)
PM Netanyahu's personal atty. Yitzhak Molho (acting as the PM's special envoy), PA Local Government M Erakat meet in an attempt to create momentum for higher level mtg. No progress is made. (QY 5/20 in WNC 5/21)
In Doha, Syrian FM Faruq al-Shara` asks Qatari emir Shaykh Hamad Bin Khalifa al-Thani to suspend, or at least not invite Israel to, the Middle East and North Africa economic summit scheduled to open in Doha 11/16. The emir refuses but says it supports Syria's negotiating position. Shara` then leaves for Saudi Arabia to joint VP `Abd al-Halim Khaddam for similar talks with King Fahd. (MM 5/19, 5/21; al-Nahar 5/21 in WNC 5/23; al-Watan al-Arabi 5/30 in WNC 6/9)
Following rumors that the PM, FM are dissatisfied with his performance, Israeli amb. to the U.S. Ben-Elissar returns to Israel to meet with PM Netanyahu, FM Levy to "clarify his situation." (ITV 5/19 in WNC 5/22)
For the 1st time since 1981, when the border btwn. Syria and Iraq was closed, a private-sector delegation representing Syrian trade unions travels to Iraq to establish trade links. (RMC 5/19 in WNC 5/22; MM 5/20; SA 5/20 in WNC 5/21; MM 5/21, 5/22; RMC 5/22 in WNC 5/23; NYT 5/25; MM 5/28; SA 5/30 in WNC 6/2)
The pro-Iraqi Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) joins forces with the Turkish military; attacks rival PKK offices in Irbil, killing 58 PKK mbrs., losing 53 men. (NYT 5/20) (see 5/17)
Lebanon's Constitutional Council voids the election of 4 parliamentary deputies, including a government minister; orders new elections for their seats; rejects the 15 other appeals submitted by defeated candidates after last summer's elections. (WP 5/20; RL 5/20 in WNC 5/21) (see 8/18/96)
To protests Israel's naval blockade of s. Lebanon, Amal attempts a suicide attack against an Israeli patrol boat off the Lebanese coast, blowing up its own boat but causing no Israeli injuries. (AFP 5/19 in WNC 5/22)
At Nahal Oz checkpoint, 100s of Israelis dump tomatoes, burn tires in protest against the import of cheap Palestinian-grown produce fr. Gaza. (WT 2/19)
Rear Adm. Ami Ayalon takes over as head of the Shin Bet. (MM 2/20; WT 2/21) (see 1/10)
Richard Jones arrives in Beirut to take up his position as the new U.S. ambassador to Lebanon, says one of his priorities will be to remove the travel ban. (WT 2/21; RL 2/29 in FBIS 2/29)
Israeli naval vessels off the coast of s. Lebanon chase 3 fishing boats back toward shore, sinking one; 3 fishermen on board escape. The blockade has been in place since 2/95. (RL 2/18 in FBIS 2/20) (see 2/5)
In Gaza, Israeli, PA justice discuss Israeli plans to grant citizenship to collaborators, other justice issues; PA demands Israel look into claims that the IDF murdered 450 Palestinians in Khan Yunis btwn. 11/6-8/56, during the Sinai campaign. Israel denies event took place. (QY, VOP 9/6 in FBIS 9/7)
In Jerusalem, PLO Exec. Comm. mbr. and Arafat critic Mahmud Abbas meets with Israeli Economic M Beilin to discuss status of Jerusalem. (VOP 9/6 in FBIS 9/7)
1,000 mbrs of the Action Comm. for the Abolition of the Autonomy Plan, a group of IDF reservists, send petition to PM Rabin, saying they will not obey orders to remove West Bank settlers. (MM 9/7)
Continuing the naval blockade begun in 2/96, Israeli gunboats off the coast of Tyre fire on Lebanese fishermen. (RL 9/6 in FBIS 9/6) (see 5/10)
White House sends warning to 3 Democratic senators (Daniel Inouye, cosponsor of Dole bill, D. Patrick Moynihan, Joseph Lieberman) that moving U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would have "a devastating impact on the peace process." (WT 5/15)
Frmr. Secy. of State James Baker calls on Clinton administration to take "more assertive role" in peace process to break impasses, says U.S. should commit now to stationing troops in Golan, opposes moving embassy to Jerusalem. (MM 5/11)
Jerusalem's Waqf authorities say site leased by U.S. as possible embassy location has been Waqf land for 200 yrs. U.S. officials say they doubt documentation supporting claim exists. (NYT 5/11; JP 5/20)
Final vote on NPT is postponed hours before it is to be held because of proposal submitted by Egypt, Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Yemen to single out Israel's undeclared nuclear program for mention. U.S. counters by threatening to call open vote on Egyptian proposal which would surely be defeated. Egypt, U.S. reach agmt. to include general appeal to all nations with undeclared nuclear programs to adhere to NPT. (MM 5/10; NYT, WP, WT 5/11)
Israeli gunboat fires at, detains, searches Lebanese civilian cargo ship of coast of Tyre, s. Lebanon, as naval blockade continues. (RL 5/10 in FBIS 5/10)
IDF soldier is killed by friendly fire during night operation in s. Lebanon. (QY 5/11 in FBIS 5/12)
PA Planning M. Shaath holds informal mtg. with donor states' representatives in Gaza, discusses $244-m. budget for FY 1996, says World Bank is ready to disburse to the PA $600 m. of outstanding loans the EU has pledged. (VOP 3/30 in FBIS 3/30)
In Washington, Jordan's King Hussein meets with U.S. Defense Secy. Adm. William Perry, discusses Jordan's strategic needs, role in preserving peace, security in the Middle East. (RJ 3/31 in FBIS 3/31)
Russian FM Kozyrev, Syrian Pres. al-Asad meet in Damascus, discuss Russian participation in peace process, NPT, sign 5-yr. cultural, scientific cooperation agmt. Rumors suggest al-Asad gives Kozyrev letter to take to PM Rabin 3/31. (SARR 3/30 in FBIS 3/31; MM 3/31)
Saudi Arabia says it will allow Israeli Arabs to enter kingdom for hajj only if they bear Palestinian passports, changes hajj quotas so Israeli Arabs fall under Palestinian, not Jordanian, quota. Israel refuses to permit passports' use. (YA 3/30 in FBIS 3/30; QY 3/30, AFP 3/31 in FBIS 3/31; QY 4/2 in FBIS 4/3) (see 3/29)
Arafat received delegation of Jewish U.S. Congress mbrs., discusses obstacles to implementation of DOP. (VOP 3/30)
IDF forbids PA Justice M Abu-Midyan fr. leaving Gaza for Jericho. PA protests. (VOP 3/30 in FBIS 3/31)
1 IDF soldier killed in s. Lebanon during clash with Hizballah. Israeli vessel patrols north, south of Tyre; gunboats fire warning shots at ports in continuation of blockade. (WT 4/1)
PM Rabin reiterates offer to Syria of "very small" withdrawal fr. Golan in exchange for 3-yr. period to "test" full normalization, open border, exchange of embassies. Pres. al-Asad rejects proposal again, encourages U.S. to offer new ideas to activate talks. Both say if there is no progress by this summer, there will be little hope for an agmt. before 1996 Israeli, U.S. elections. (WT 3/6; RMC 3/5, 3/6 in FBIS 3/6; MM, WT 3/7; MM 3/8; WJW 3/9)
Annual IDF intelligence assessment is presented to Israeli cabinet. Report is pessimistic about securing peace with Syria, says Arafat is not asserting his authority in Gaza, finds probability for war low but says violent acts will likely increase. (MM, WT 3/6; QY 3/5, HA, JP, QY 3/6 in FBIS 3/6; WJW 3/9; JP 3/11)
Arafat, Israeli Police M Shahal meet to discuss "pending issues." IDF claims Arafat also transmitted message fr. Iraqi Pres. Saddam Hussein to PM Rabin expressing willingness to sign peace treaty with Israel. PA denies claim. (MM 3/6; al-Sharq al-Awsat 3/6 in FBIS 3/7)
Senate Foreign Affairs Comm. Chairman Jesse Helms calls for abolition of all foreign aid; asks that $3 b. aid to Israel become part of defense budget; claims similar plan was proposed by Secy. of State Christopher but was shot down by VP Al Gore, Dep. Secy. of State Strobe Talbott, Undersecretary of State Tim Wirth. (WT 3/6) (see 3/3)
Israeli ships enforcing naval blockade of s. Lebanon fire on Adlun port, south of Tyre, killing 1 fisherman. (QY, RL 3/5 in FBIS 3/6)
Israeli sources say Syria, Israel have resumed low-level talks in Washington through mtgs. with U.S. special Middle East coordinator Dennis Ross, some progress has been made on security issues. (ITV 2/26 in FBIS 2/27)
Syria pledges it will not sign NPT unless Israel joins. (WT 2/27)
IDF moves additional 300 troops, 20 tanks into s. Lebanon, deploys them nr. Nabitiyya, Marja'uyun. (MM 2/27)
Israel extends naval blockade of s. Lebanon fr. Sidon to Damur (20 km. south of Beirut). PM Rabin says goal is "a peace agreement with an independent and sovereign Lebanon and a war against the enemies of peace." Lebanese PM Rafiq Hariri calls blockade political, military, economic terrorism that will not force Lebanon to break its alliance with Syria. (MM, NYT 2/27; al-Hamishmar, VOL 2/27 in FBIS 2/27; VOL 2/27 in FBIS 2/28; MM 2/28; QY 2/28 in FBIS 3/1; MEI 3/3; JP 3/4) (see 2/23)
In Tel Aviv, Israeli, PA, U.S. officials discuss establishment of industrial zones in o.t. Israel, PA agree to write position paper on project for U.S., outlining funding, creation of joint supervisory comm. (IGPO 2/27)
PA, Israeli delegations meet at Erez to discuss import, export of agricultural goods, allowing Palestinian trucks carrying produce entry into Israel. Virtually no trucks have been allowed to enter since closure began 1/22. (VOP 2/26 in FBIS 2/28)
PM Rabin says he plans to import over the next few months 20,000 foreign laborers to eliminate the need for Palestinian workers in Israel. (CSM 2/28; WT 3/1)
PA permits reopening of Islamic Jihad's al-Istiqlal newspaper, closed by PA 2/7 for publishing anti-Jordanian articles. (QY 2/26 in FBIS 2/27)
Israeli cabinet extends closure of o.t. (VOP 2/27 in FBIS 2/27; VOP 2/28 in FBIS 3/1; WT 3/1)
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations calls on U.S. to move its embassy fr. Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (WT 2/27)
NATO opens talks with 5 North African, Middle Eastern nations (incl. Israel, Egypt) in Bonn as part of its new focus on maintaining Mediterranean security in the face of rising Islamist movements. (MM 2/20; CSM 2/24)
Lebanese Pres. Hrawi calls on U.S., Russia to pressure Israel stop naval blockade, shelling of s. Lebanon. (RL 2/24 in FBIS 2/27) (see 2/23)
Islamic Development Fund for Investment and Export Security of the Organization of Islamic Conference says it has earmarked $50 m. for agricultural development in autonomous areas. (VOP 2/24 in FBIS 2/28)
Frank Luntz, close advisor of House Speaker Newt Gingrich who masterminded Republican's 1994 victory, announces he will be advising Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu on his 1996 campaign for PM. (WT 2/24)
Israeli cabinet unanimously approves new tax package designed to raise $450 million to pay for absorption of Soviet Jewish immigrants [NYT, MEM 9/14].
Meanwhile Ariel Sharon ends week-long visit to Moscow to discuss arrangements with Soviet firm to build pre-fabricated housing in Israel [MEM 9/14].
Greek ambassador to Israel presents credentials; Greece is last member of the EC to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel [MEM 9/14].
Western diplomats in Damascus say Syria has agreed to send 10,000 additional troops and 300 tanks to Saudi Arabia [NYT 9/14].
PLO Chrmn. Arafat arrives unexpectedly in Baghdad, meets with F.M. Tarik Aziz [WT 9/14; MET 9/25].
UN Sec. Council approves shipment of food through UN blockade of Iraq and Kuwait in humanitarian cases provided food is distributed through UN and similar bodies (13 members for, Cuba and Yemen against) [MEM 9/14; MET 9/25].
On 4-day visit to N. Africa, King Hussein meets Qaddafi in Tripoli to discuss Gulf crisis [ADS, AFP 8/26 in FBIS 8/27; LAT 8/27; MET 9/4].
Iraq permit. 2 women and children from U.S. embassy in Kuwait to leave the country; 3 are turned back at Turkish border; Saddam meets with Austrian Pres. Kurt Waldheim and frees 96 Austrians [WT, LAT 8/27].
Soviet F.M. Shevardnadze demonstrates Moscow's continued reluctance to take military role in Gulf crisis, saying USSR would leave it up to other countries to enforce naval blockade of Iraq [LAT, WT, WP, NYT 8/27].
Israeli military says it will begin blocking exports of Palestinian-produced fruits, vegetables, and other products shipped through Jordan to Iraq [NYT 8/27].
U.S. warships fire warning shots across bows of 2 Iraqi oil tankers; Saudi Arabia says it will boost oil production by 2 million barrels a day to make up for loss of Kuwaiti and Iraqi oil [WP, NYT 8/19; CSM 8/20].
Declaring naval blockade "an act of war," Iraq says foreigners held in Iraq and Kuwait will suffer same food shortages as Iraqis [NYT 8/19].
Egyptian gov't closes Voice of Palestine radio in Cairo because of Arafat's tilt toward Iraq [BDS 8/18 in FBIS 8/21]. Palestinians in W. Bank march in support of Iraq and Jordan; more than 1,000 demonstrators crowd into Nablus streets until IDF troops disperse them with tear gas [MEM 8/20; MET 8/28].