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  • March 24, 2003

    The IDF fatally shoots a 14-yr.-old Palestinian stone thrower in Jenin, wounding a 2d boy; surrounds, seals Ramallah; raids, searches, seals an orphanage in Hebron run by an Islamic charity,...

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  • March 22, 2003

    Palestinians report that the IDF seems to have been imposing a system of “creeping curfews” over the past few days, placing 24-hr. curfews on an increasing number of areas, including Hebron, Jenin...

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  • March 21, 2003

    After Friday prayers in Jerusalem, some Palestinians demonstrate against the U.S.-led attack on Iraq; Israeli police use stun grenades, tear gas to disperse the crowd, causing only light injuries...

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  • March 20, 2003

    The IDF fatally shoots 1 Palestinian nr. Morag settlement; demolishes 1 Palestinian home in Bethlehem, 1 in al-Zawayda; raids al-Quds Open University in Ramallah, detaining 300 students for ID...

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  • March 19, 2003

    As the U.S.’s 48-hr. deadline for Hussein to leave Iraq draws near, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, fearing Israel will step up attacks and impose stiff closures and curfews as soon as war...

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  • March 17, 2003

    The IDF sends 30 tanks, troops into Nussayrat r.c. to capture wanted Islamic Jihad mbr. Muhammad SaaŽn, fatally shooting 7 Palestinians, including Saafin and a 4-yr.-old girl, and demolishing...

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  • March 7, 2003

    The IDF carves out a 4 mi2 “security zone” in Gaza around Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, Jabaliya r.c. to prevent Palestinians fr. firing rockets, mortars into Israel; stations 100 military vehicles in...

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  • March 5, 2003

    A Hamas suicide bomber fr. Hebron detonates a device on a bus in Haifa, killing 14 Israelis, 1 American, wounding 40; Israel seals the West Bank and Gaza borders until further notice, vows to...

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  • February 28, 2003

    The IDF demolishes 8 Palestinian homes in Rafah; shells residential areas of Khan Yunis. A Palestinian dies of injuries received on 2/22. (AP 3/1; PCHR 3/6; LAW 3/13)

    The UN confirms that...

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  • February 26, 2003

    A Palestinian wounded by the IDF 2 wks. ago deteriorates rapidly, dies after an Israeli hospital insisted on transferring him to a Palestinian hospital on 2/25 despite the extreme weather. The IDF...

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  • February 25, 2003

    Violence drops as the worst winter storm in yrs. hits region. The IDF fatally shoots a 13-yr.-old Palestinian, wounds 7 others, demolishes 8 Palestinian homes in Rafah; bulldozes 7 dunams of land...

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  • February 14, 2003

    The IDF demolishes 14 Palestinian homes in Rafah, 2 in al-Mughraqa; fires on residential areas of Rafah. (PCHR 2/20)

    After 6 days of mtgs. in Ramallah with the Quartet reps. of the EU,...

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  • February 3, 2003

    The IDF bulldozes 7 Palestinian homes and an electricity grid in Rafah, 3 homes in Dayr al-Balah; conducts arrest raids in Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis. An...

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  • January 28, 2003

    The IDF sends tanks into Jenin, clashes with residents, killing 4 Palestinians, wounding 1 Palestinian journalist; 2 IDF soldiers are also wounded. The IDF demolishes 7 Palestinian homes in Rafah...

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  • January 27, 2003

    The IDF fatally shoots 2 Palestinians nr. Atzmona settlement; conducts arrest raids (targeting Hamas, Islamic Jihad, PFLP) in Bethlehem, al-Fahs, Hebron, Jenin, Nablus, al-Qarara, Ramallah, Tufah...

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  • January 17, 2003

    Off the Gaza coast, a Hamas mbr. in a booby-trapped raft attempts to ram an Israeli naval patrol boat, but soldiers fire on the raft, causing it to explode, killing the Hamas mbr., causing no...

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  • December 7, 2002

    The IDF assassinates Islamic Jihad mbr. ‘Abd al-Hadi Omar nr. Jenin, also wounding 2 Islamic Jihad mbrs., 2 bystanders; conducts arrest raids in Jenin, al-Til; disarms, arrests a would-be suicide...

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  • November 13, 2002

    Before dawn, in retaliation for the 11/10 AMB kibbutz attack, the IDF sends 150 tanks, APCs into Nablus and its surrounding r.c.’s (Askar r.c., `Ayn Bayt al-Ma’ r.c., Balata r.c.),...

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  • November 8, 2002

    The IDF fatally shoots a wanted Palestinian in Tulkarm in what may be an assassination; opens fire on stone-throwing Palestinians in Tal, killing a PSF officer; conducts arrest raids...

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  • October 17, 2002

    The IDF directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Rafah r.c., killing 6 Palestinians (including 2 women, 2 teenagers, a 9-yr.-old girl) and wounding 50; the IDF says it was...

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  • October 16, 2002

    The IDF directs machine gun fire at residential areas of Rafah r.c. to disperse stone throwing youths, hitting several homes and a school, killing 1 Palestinian bystander, wounding 14...

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  • October 11, 2002

    Israeli security forces guarding the U.S. emb. in Tel Aviv capture a Palestinian suicide bomber when he bolts fr. the entrance of a nearby cafe after his explosives belt set off a...

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  • October 2, 2002

    The IDF demolishes 1 Palestinian home in Tamun; clashes with Palestinians in Silat al-Haratiyya, injuring 9; fires on residential areas of Jenin; conducts house-to-house searches in Juhur al-Dik...

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  • September 29, 2002

    Israel ends the siege on Arafat's compound in Ramallah, allowing Arafat, all those inside with him to leave; troops remain in Ramallah however. A Palestinian heart attack victim dies...

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  • September 27, 2002

    The IDF fatally shoots wanted Palestinian Muhammad Yaghmur in nr. Hebron in an apparent assassination; shells residential areas of, conducts arrest raids in Dayr al-Balah, Jenin. 100s...

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  • September 12, 2002

    The IDF demolishes 2 Palestinian homes nr. Gaza City, damaging 8 others; halts an ambulance nr. Nablus, taking a relative of the patient into custody; fires tear gas at PRCS property...

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  • August 1, 2002

    The IDF soldiers stationed in Netzer Hazani settlement direct shells, machine gun fire at nearby residential areas of al-Qarara, fatally shooting a 9-yr.-old Palestinian girl. A Palestinian dies...

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  • March 28, 2002

    A Hamas gunman infiltrates Elon Moreh settlement, kills 4 Jewish settlers. 1 Israeli injured in the 3/27 Netanya attack dies. The IDF closes main roads across Gaza, cutting the Strip into 3...

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  • January 29, 2002

    The IDF sends tanks, troops into Artas village, nr. Bethlehem, to detain a wanted Islamic Jihad mbr. Omar Ayish. In the process the IDF wound 4 Palestinians; throw a grenade into the Ayish home,...

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  • September 19, 2001

    The Israeli-Palestinian temporary cease-fire generally holds, though scattered violence is reported. Despite personal appeals by Arafat envoys, Hamas and Islamic Jihad say that they will continue...

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The IDF fatally shoots a 14-yr.-old Palestinian stone thrower in Jenin, wounding a 2d boy; surrounds, seals Ramallah; raids, searches, seals an orphanage in Hebron run by an Islamic charity, confiscating documents, computers; conducts arrest raids, fires on residential areas of Jenin late in the evening. The IDF also removes an unauthorized settlement outpost nr. Hebron, evicting 10 settlers, demolishing 1 structure, removing 3 trailers. An IDF military court sentences 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs. to life in prison for staging attacks that killed Israelis. (PM 3/24; HA, NYT, WT 3/25; NYT 3/26; PCHR 3/27; LAW 3/28)

Coalition forces in Iraq continue toward Baghdad, meeting strong resistance in Karbala. Sandstorms slow troops’ progress. Clashes are still underway around Basra, in Nasiriyya, and house-to-house fighting is reported in Umm Qasr. (NYT, WP, WT 3/25)

Palestinians report that the IDF seems to have been imposing a system of “creeping curfews” over the past few days, placing 24-hr. curfews on an increasing number of areas, including Hebron, Jenin, Qalqilya, Yabad. The IDF raids a home in Dayr al-Balah, causing a Palestinian to suffer a fatal heart attack; fires on Palestinians violating the curfew in Qalqilya to buy food, injuring 2; conducts arrest raids nr. Rafah; demolishes a cement factory in Gaza City; bulldozes 15 dunams of olive groves nr. Shuhada Junction. (PM 3/22; PCHR 3/27; LAW 3/28)

U.S.-led forces in Iraq stage the largest bombing of Baghdad since the 1991 Gulf War; launch a ground assault on Nasiriyya, pushing north, meeting heavy resistance; continue efforts to secure Basra, Umm Qasr. (NYT, WP 3/23)

After Friday prayers in Jerusalem, some Palestinians demonstrate against the U.S.-led attack on Iraq; Israeli police use stun grenades, tear gas to disperse the crowd, causing only light injuries. The IDF fires on Palestinians in Qalqilya who defy the 24-hr. curfew to attend Friday prayers, injuring 4; demolishes a Palestinian home in Bethlehem; bulldozes 64 dunams of land nr. Dayr al-Balah. (AFP, HA 3/21; al-Quds 3/22 in WNC 3/24; PCHR 3/27; LAW 3/28)

U.S.-led coalition forces launch the “shock and awe” air campaign across Iraq, intended to precede a major ground offensive toward Baghdad. Ground troops launch operations to capture Umm Qasr, Basra ports and the Rumayla oil field in the south, meeting significant resistance. (CNN 3/21; NYT, WP, WT 3/22)

The IDF fatally shoots 1 Palestinian nr. Morag settlement; demolishes 1 Palestinian home in Bethlehem, 1 in al-Zawayda; raids al-Quds Open University in Ramallah, detaining 300 students for ID checks, holding a number for questioning; conducts arrest raids in Nablus, Qalqilya (targeting Hamas). The PA Preventive Security Forces (PSF) raid a Hamas training exercise nr. Jabaliya r.c., killing 1 Hamas mbr. Hamas later fires a Qassam rocket at a Gaza settlement, causing no damage or injuries. (HA 3/20; NYT 3/23; PCHR 3/27; LAW 3/28)

After dark, U.S.-led coalition forces launch missile, helicopter strikes on Basra, Baghdad in the 1st sustained aerial assaults on Iraq. Coalition troops are also reportedly operating in w. Iraq to prevent Scud missile strikes on Israel. (AP, HA, MM, REU 3/20)

As the U.S.’s 48-hr. deadline for Hussein to leave Iraq draws near, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, fearing Israel will step up attacks and impose stiff closures and curfews as soon as war on Iraq begins, close schools and businesses, hoard provisions, stay inside. Israel extends the closure on the territories (imposed 3/17 for Purim) until 3/30. The IDF demolishes a Palestinian home in Dayr al-Balah; conducts arrest raids in Jenin, al-Maghazi r.c., Qalqilya, Tulkarm. AMB gunmen ambush, fatally shoot a Jewish settler driving nr. Jenin. Israeli police arrest 3 Israeli Arabs fr. Acre on suspicion of joining Islamic Jihad, plotting attacks on Israelis. (AFP, JTA 3/19; HA, NYT, PCHR 3/20; PCHR 3/27; HA 4/3)

Abbas accepts Arafat’s nomination as PM, is given 3 wks. to form a government. (HA, MM 3/19; AYM, Interfax 3/19 in WNC 3/20; HA, NYT, WP 3/20; AYM 3/25, al-Quds 3/27 in WNC 3/28)

Just 90 mins. after the U.S. deadline passes for Hussein to leave Iraq, the U.S. makes a single strike on Baghdad, acting on intelligence of where Hussein, his top officials and sons could be found, assassinated. The strike marks the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, but not the start of the “shock and awe” air campaign that the U.S. previously indicated would launch the war. Iraqi TV airs 2 videos of Hussein that suggest he was unharmed. (MM 3/19; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/20; MM 4/21)

The IDF sends 30 tanks, troops into Nussayrat r.c. to capture wanted Islamic Jihad mbr. Muhammad SaaŽn, fatally shooting 7 Palestinians, including Saafin and a 4-yr.-old girl, and demolishing Saafin’s home. The IDF also fires on a funeral procession in Khan Yunis, killing 1 Palestinian, injuring 10s; fires on, seriously damages 2 ambulances in Jabaliya r.c.; raids Balata r.c. (arresting Fatah Palestinian Council mbr. Hussam Khadir on charges of “involvement in terrorism,” confiscating his computer), Bayt Lahia (ordering all men btwn. 15 and 40 to turn themselves in, detaining 100s, fatally shooting 4 Palestinians, including 2 naval police officers); conducts house-to-house searches in Jenin town. In Tulkarm, 2 Fatah mbrs. are killed, 3 injured in a mysterious explosion. Hamas fires 5 Qassam rockets at Sederot, causing no damage or injuries. (HA, MM 3/17; NYT, WP 3/18; MM 3/19; PCHR 3/20)

After wks. of negotiations with other UNSC mbrs, the U.S., Britain abandon efforts to pass a new UN res. on Iraq, determining it would certainly fail. In the evening, Bush makes an address stating that “Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military confiict commencing at a time of our choosing,” and urging all foreign nationals, including inspectors and journalists, to leave Iraq immediately for their own safety. (AP 3/17; MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/18; IDF Radio, ITV 3/18 in WNC 3/19)

The IDF carves out a 4 mi2 “security zone” in Gaza around Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, Jabaliya r.c. to prevent Palestinians fr. firing rockets, mortars into Israel; stations 100 military vehicles in the zone; razes 100 dunams of land; says troops will stay indefinitely. The IDF also fatally shoots 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs. who attempt to infiltrate Netzarim settlement; conducts house searches in Nablus, breaking through walls to move from house to house. In the West Bank, 2 Hamas mbrs. dressed as yeshiva students infiltrate Kiryat Arba settlement, fatally shoot 2 Jewish settlers, wounding 6 before being killed by armed settlers. (HA 3/7; NYT, WP, WT 3/8; WP 3/9; PR 3/12; LAW, PCHR, WJW 3/13)

At the UNSC, UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix reports that Iraq is cooperating with inspectors, who have yet to find evidence of WMDs; estimates inspections could be completed within wks. U.S. Secy. of State Colin Powell replies that Iraq clearly has not met the requirements for cooperation, disarmament set out in UNSC Res. 1441, saying, “There are some people who simply, in my judgment, don’t want to see the facts clearly.” The U.S., Britain submit a draft UNSC res. that would give Iraq until 3/17 to reveal all its WMDs or face retaliation. France, Germany, Russia argue for completing UN inspections, saying that lack of progress on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is much more of a threat to the region than Iraq. (WP 3/7; NYT, WP, WT 3/8; NYT 3/9; MM 3/10)

A Hamas suicide bomber fr. Hebron detonates a device on a bus in Haifa, killing 14 Israelis, 1 American, wounding 40; Israel seals the West Bank and Gaza borders until further notice, vows to respond “but not [on] a scale that would disrupt any U.S. preparations for a possible attack on Iraq.” Overnight, Palestinians also reportedly fire 13 antitank missiles and grenades at IDF forces on the Rafah border, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF demolishes 1 Palestinian home in Nablus, 1 in Qalqilya, a mosque in Rafah r.c. that had been heavily damaged in earlier attacks; conducts arrest raids in Bethlehem, Qalqilya (targeting Fatah), Ramallah (nabbing senior Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades mbr. Abdallah Barghouti), Yamun; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis. Late in the evening, the IDF launches a major raid into Jabaliya r.c., sending in 50 tanks and helicopters, firing several missiles, killing 3 Palestinians, wounding 11; fatally shoots Islamic Jihad mbr. Muhammad al-‘Asas in an exchange of gunfire in Bethlehem, leaving 1 IDF soldier wounded. A Jerusalem court sentences Israeli Arab Murad Ajluni to life plus 20 yrs. for taking part in a 3/02 AMB shooting in Tel Aviv that left 3 Israelis dead. (HA 3/5; Interfax, VOI 3/5 in WNC 3/6; HA, MM, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 3/6; MA 3/6 in WNC 3/7; HA 3/7; LAW, PR 3/13; PCHR 3/13; JPI 3/14)

The IDF demolishes 8 Palestinian homes in Rafah; shells residential areas of Khan Yunis. A Palestinian dies of injuries received on 2/22. (AP 3/1; PCHR 3/6; LAW 3/13)

The UN confirms that Iraq has begun destroying missiles, which inspectors determined could fly beyond limits set by UN sanctions. The White House declares, however, that disarmament alone is not enough (see 2/25), that the only way for Iraq to avoid war is for Hussein to step down as well. (NYT, WP 3/1; HA, NYT, WP, WT 3/2)

A Palestinian wounded by the IDF 2 wks. ago deteriorates rapidly, dies after an Israeli hospital insisted on transferring him to a Palestinian hospital on 2/25 despite the extreme weather. The IDF arrests an Islamic Jihad mbr. in the West Bank, blows up a car it says he was rigging as a bomb; blows up 9 Palestinian homes in Rafah, 1 in Balata r.c. (also destroying 2 nearby homes). An IDF military court accuses a Nablus-based PFLP cell of plotting to assassinate Shas leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the Israeli amb. to Jordan. A Tel Aviv court sentences an Israeli Arab to 4 yrs. for transferring arms to the tanzim. (HA 2/26; HA, LAW, PCHR, PM 2/27; LAW 3/13)

Bush outlines his vision for the Middle East in a post-Saddam Hussein environment, arguing that the overthrow of the Iraqi pres. and his regime will serve as a catalyst for peace in the region, explicitly linking resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and creation of a “truly democratic Palestinian state” to removing Hussein (HA, NYT, WP, WT 2/27; MENA 2/27 in WNC 2/28; JP, WP 2/28; al-Quds 3/2 in WNC 3/5; MM 3/5; WJW 3/6; MEI 3/7)

Violence drops as the worst winter storm in yrs. hits region. The IDF fatally shoots a 13-yr.-old Palestinian, wounds 7 others, demolishes 8 Palestinian homes in Rafah; bulldozes 7 dunams of land and demolishes 1 Palestinian home in Khan Yunis, also shelling residential areas; conducts arrest raids in Bethlehem, Jenin, Tulkarm. A 2d Palestinian dies of injuries received on 2/16. A Haifa district court convicts 2 Israeli Arabs fr. the Galilee on charges of aiding a Palestinian who detonated a suicide bomb on 8/4/02. Israeli DM Shaul Mofaz says Israel plans to step up “active defense” in the Strip targeting Hamas. (HA, MM 2/25; HA, WP, WT 2/26; LAW, PCHR 2/27)

U.S. Pres. George W. Bush warns that he will accept nothing short of “full disarmament” by Iraq, he is willing to go to war even without passage of a 2d UNSC res., slated for vote on 3/3. U.S. diplomats tell UNSC mbrs. that a military attack is inevitable, any attempt to delay would destroy the UN’s credibility. (NYT, WP, WT 2/26)

The IDF demolishes 14 Palestinian homes in Rafah, 2 in al-Mughraqa; fires on residential areas of Rafah. (PCHR 2/20)

After 6 days of mtgs. in Ramallah with the Quartet reps. of the EU, Russia, the UN (the U.S. declines to send a rep.), Arafat publicly declares his intention to appoint a PM. (HA, MM, WT 2/14; NYT, WP 2/15; MM 2/17, 2/18, 2/20; MEI 2/21)

At the UNSC, UN weapons inspectors give their 2d report on Iraq, saying that they have not found any evidence of WMDs, there is no “convincing evidence” that Iraq is evading inspections, but Iraq has not accounted for all of the weapons it was believed to have held previously. An irate Powell reiterates U.S. claims that Iraq is hiding weapons of mass destruction, duping the inspectors. (HA, MM 2/14; NYT, WP, WT 2/15; MEI 2/21)

 

The IDF bulldozes 7 Palestinian homes and an electricity grid in Rafah, 3 homes in Dayr al-Balah; conducts arrest raids in Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis. An Israeli military court sentences Gazan Hamas mbr. Palestinian Nabil Okal, arrested in 6/00, to 27 yrs. in prison for training with al-Qa`ida in Afghanistan, plotting anti-Israeli attacks; he is not accused of being a mbr. of al-Qa`ida or of taking any violent action; Okal has denied the charges. Israel transfers $58 m. to the PA in VAT taxes. YESHA settlers council reports that the West Bank, settlement population increased by 6% in 2002, reaching 226,028; has increased by 11.8% over the past 2 yrs. despite the intifada; Israel’s Interior Min. confirms the numbers. (HA 2/3; HA, NYT 2/4; LAW, PCHR 2/5; al-Quds 2/5 in WNC 2/7; TJT 2/6)

Countries begin recalling their embassy staff fr. Iraq in anticipation of a U.S. strike. The U.S. strongly urges its citizens to leave the Persian Gulf. (WT 2/4)

 

The IDF sends tanks into Jenin, clashes with residents, killing 4 Palestinians, wounding 1 Palestinian journalist; 2 IDF soldiers are also wounded. The IDF demolishes 7 Palestinian homes in Rafah, 2 in Balata r.c.; bulldozes Palestinian land nr. Jabaliya r.c.; fires on stone-throwing Palestinians protesting the curfew in Nablus, killing 1 Palestinian; fires on residential areas of Tal al-Sultan. (AP, HA, PM 1/28; LAW, PCHR 1/29)

Sharon and his Likud party win a landslide election victory largely at the Labor party’s expense. Likud gets 38 seats (up fr. 19 in the 2/01 elections; higher even that top projections, which figured Likud would take 32 seats), Labor gets 19 seats (down fr. 25), Shinui comes in 3d with 15 seats (up fr. 6), and the ultra-Orthodox Shas party gets 11 seats (down fr. 17); Meretz, 1 of Israel’s clear-cut peace parties, gets 6 seats (down fr. 10); the far-right National Union party, not represented in the last Knesset, gets 7 seats. Yisra’el Ba’Aliya party head Natan Sharansky quits the Knesset, Meretz head Yossi Sarid resign fr. as party chmn. in light of their parties’ poor showing. During the day, Israeli police detain 4 Israeli Arabs for leading a 15-car caravan around the Galilee, calling for an election boycott. Voter turnout was 68.5%-- lowest in Israel’s history. Sharon has 42 days to form a majority coalition. The new Knesset will have 40 freshmen MKs. (HA, MM, WP 1/28; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/29; AYM, al-Quds 1/29 in WNC 1/30; JP, MM, WJW, WP 1/30; JPI 1/31; PR 2/5; MEI 2/7; MM 2/18)

Bush gives State of the Union address, focusing on Iraq; says Saddam Hussein has missed his “final chance” by showing “utter contempt” for the UN inspectors; claims Iraq is hiding and amassing weapons of mass destruction (WMDs; including an active nuclear weapons program), deceiving inspectors, aiding al-Qa`ida; says the U.S. seeks to work with an international coalition to remove Hussein but will go it alone if necessary, adding that “The liberty we prize is not America’s gift to the world; it is God’s gift to humanity.” Regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict, he says only that the U.S. will continue to work for a “secure Israel and a democratic Palestine.” (NYT, WP, WT 1/29; MM 1/30; MA 1/30 in WNC 1/31; MEI 2/7)

The IDF fatally shoots 2 Palestinians nr. Atzmona settlement; conducts arrest raids (targeting Hamas, Islamic Jihad, PFLP) in Bethlehem, al-Fahs, Hebron, Jenin, Nablus, al-Qarara, Ramallah, Tufah; demolishes a Palestinian home in Ras al-Amud, 1 in `Aqbat Tafuh. Late in the evening, IDF helicopters fire missiles at the Gaza City home of senior Hamas mbr. Muhammad Atil, killing his 2 teenage children, wounding 11. The IDF reports that it has removed fr. his post an intelligence officer who “disrupted” a planned air strike in retaliation to the 1/5 Tel Aviv bombing in order to “prevent harm to innocent Palestinians”; the officer was in possession of, refused to share intelligence information critical to the mission. The IDF begins work on a 45 km stretch of the separation fence btwn. Kafr Salim and Beit She’an, nr. Jenin. (HA, REU 1/27; HA, NYT, WT 1/28; MA 1/28 in WNC 1/29; LAW, PCHR, PR 1/29; PR 2/5)

Palestinian factions close 4-days of talks in Egypt without reaching an agmt. on a cease-fire and national unity platform. (HA, MM 1/27; MENA 1/27 in WNC 1/28; MENA, SA, XIN 1/28 in WNC 1/29; PCHR, PR 1/29; MM 1/30; MEI 2/21)

International Atomic Energy Agency, UN inspectors report that Iraq has generally cooperated with inspections but has not been proactive; they have found no evidence of biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons but say some questions remain. (MM 1/27; MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/28; MM 1/31)

Off the Gaza coast, a Hamas mbr. in a booby-trapped raft attempts to ram an Israeli naval patrol boat, but soldiers fire on the raft, causing it to explode, killing the Hamas mbr., causing no damage. Nr. Hebron 2 Hamas gunmen attack a lone trailer marking an illegal hilltop outpost, occupied by a single Jewish settler family; 1 Palestinian, 1 Jewish settler (a prominent mbr. of the outlawed Kach movement) die in an exchange of gunfire, 3 settlers are wounded, the other Palestinian escapes. Soon after Jewish settlers attack, vandalize Palestinian homes in Hebron. The IDF erects a sand barrier around the al-Sayafa area in the n. of the Gaza Strip, closing it off fr. its surroundings; bulldozes 1,500 m2 of land, a main road in al-Qarara; conducts arrest raids in Tulkarm; erects a new checkpoint e. of Dayr al Balah. Some 3,500 Palestinians attend a Hamas-led rally in Gaza City protesting U.S. plans to attack Iraq. The IDF says that it is concerned over the increase in weapons thefts fr. IDF bases during 2002; claims Jewish underworld figures, Israeli Arabs, Palestinians involved. The IDF reports that its undercover units have been rounding up 20 + n30 Palestinians/night in raids around the West Bank since 1/14. (HA 1/17; HA, NYT 1/18; NYT, WP, WT 1/20; LAW, PCHR 1/22)

 

The IDF assassinates Islamic Jihad mbr. ‘Abd al-Hadi Omar nr. Jenin, also wounding 2 Islamic Jihad mbrs., 2 bystanders; conducts arrest raids in Jenin, al-Til; disarms, arrests a would-be suicide bomber, wearing a 33 lb. explosives belt nr. Tulkarm; finds, safely defuses a 110 lb. bomb planted by the Gush Katif security fence. (HA, NYT 12/8; LAW, PCHR 12/11)

A day before the UN deadline, Iraq turns over a 12,000-page declaration on its biological, chemical, nuclear weapons programs, asserting that it has no weapons of mass destruction. (WP 12/7; NYT, WP, WT 12/8; MM 12/11)

 

Before dawn, in retaliation for the 11/10 AMB kibbutz attack, the IDF sends 150 tanks, APCs into Nablus and its surrounding r.c.’s (Askar r.c., `Ayn Bayt al-Ma’ r.c., Balata r.c.), conducts house-to-house searches, occupies schools and buldings as outposts, surrounds Nablus’s Old City, fires on residential areas of adjacent Balata r.c. In another predawn attack, IDF helicopters fire missiles at the same car repair shop targetted on 11/11, destroying it, killing a 2-yr.-old Palestinian child, damaging several surrounding homes. The IDF also arrests 30 Hamas mbrs. across the West Bank, 11 of them in Nablus, some in Birzeit; fires on residential areas of Tal al-Sultan. (LAW, MM, NYT, PCHR, PR, WP, WT 11/13; MM, NYT, WT 11/14)

Israeli atty. gen. Eliyakim Rubinstein announces that the government intends to press charges against Greek Orthodox spiritual head Father Theodosis Atallah Hanna for “unauthorized contact with the enemy,” meeting with “terrorists,” inciting violence for recent travels to Lebanon, Syria to visit Greek Orthodox communities there. Father Theodosis notes that the atty. gen. has not charged rabbis who visit Jewish comunities in Iraq, Syria, or Yemen. (Father Theodosis press release 11/13)

Iraq accepts UN Res. 1441 unconditionally, opening the door for arms inspectors to return to Iraq for the 1st time since UN arms experts left in 1998 beginning on 11/18. (AP 11/13; MENA 11/13 in WNC 11/14; MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/14; MM 11/15)

The IDF fatally shoots a wanted Palestinian in Tulkarm in what may be an assassination; opens fire on stone-throwing Palestinians in Tal, killing a PSF officer; conducts arrest raids in, fires on residential areas of, demolishes 1 Palestinian home in Khan Yunis. (NYT 11/9; LAW, PCHR 11/13)

After 3 wks. of debate, the UNSC (including Syria, which is a rotating mbr.) votes unanimously for a tough resolution (UN Res. 1441) giving Iraq the “final opportunity” to disarm, allow inspectors in, an fully comply with all UN demands or face “serious consequences.” (MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/9; MENA, QA, al-Quds 11/9, JT, MENA 11/10, SA 11/11 in WNC 11/12; MM 11/12; JT 11/13 in WNC 11/14; MM 11/14; MEI 11/22)

The IDF directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Rafah r.c., killing 6 Palestinians (including 2 women, 2 teenagers, a 9-yr.-old girl) and wounding 50; the IDF says it was responding to Palestinian gunfire on an IDF bulldozer working build an observation tower with an overview of the camp, causing no injuries. The IDF also bulldozes 2.5 dunams of Palestinian land and an irrigation system nr. Tulkarm; conducts arrest raids in Tal; shells, destroys a closed Palestinian summer resort nr. Aley Sinai settlement. The IDF removes Jewish settlers, trailers fr. Havat Gilad; late in the evening, some 300 Jewish settlers retake the site. Settlers voluntarily leave a 2d enclave, allowing the IDF to dismantle it, bringing to 22 the number of enclaves removed in recent days. Jewish settlers assault Palestinians, Israeli peace activists attempting to harvest olives nr. Yasuf village; the IDF presses settlers to leave the area, allow harvesting to continue. Jewish setters nr. Hebron confiscate 90 dunams of Palestinian land. A PA security court sentences 1 Palestinian, a fmr. Hamas mbr., to death for collaborating with Israel. (REU 10/17; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 10/18; AFP, al-Quds 10/18 in WNC 10/21; WP 10/19; LAW, PCHR 10/23; MEI 10/25; JPI 11/8)

A fmr. U.S. defense official corroborates rumors that Israeli special forces recently conducted a covert reconnaissance mission in w. Iraq to determine Iraq's capacity to strike Israel with Scud missiles. Military analyst and fmr. Pentagon official Anthony Cordesman says that Baghdad is estimated to have only 12+n25 Scuds; by comparison, during the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq fired 39 Scuds at Israel alone. (WP 10/18) (see 9/29)

The IDF directs machine gun fire at residential areas of Rafah r.c. to disperse stone throwing youths, hitting several homes and a school, killing 1 Palestinian bystander, wounding 14, including 9 children; conducts arrest raids in Hebron; bulldozes 100 dunams of olive groves s. of Hebron. Some 2,000 Jewish settlers gather at Havat Gilad to protest the IDF's removal of the unauthorized settler outpost, the 1st inhabited enclave (2 families) to be removed by the IDF in the past wk.; 10s of settlers throw stones at, slash tires of reporters vehicles, Palestinian vehicles, a PRCS truck but do not assault soldiers; most settlers leave in the evening, saying the IDF agreed to allow settlers to stay at the site during daylight hrs. (LAW, MM, PCHR 10/16; HA, NYT, WT 10/17; HA, MM 10/18)

            In Washington, Bush receives Sharon for talks on Iraq, the Palestinians; gives Sharon a U.S. draft road map for creation of a Palestinian state that the U.S. plans to submit to the Quartet as an alternative to the EU draft discussed on 9/17. (HA, MM 10/16; AP, HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 10/17; AYM 10/17 in WNC 10/21; HA, MM 10/18; HA 10/19; al-Quds 10/20 in WNC 10/22; MM 10/22; MEI 10/25)

 

Israeli security forces guarding the U.S. emb. in Tel Aviv capture a Palestinian suicide bomber when he bolts fr. the entrance of a nearby cafe after his explosives belt set off a metal detector; no one is injured. 1 Palestinian dies of injuries received on 9/30. The IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian in her home in Nablus, shells residential areas of Bayt Hanun. Israel bars access to al-Aqsa Mosque for Friday prayers to Palestinians under age 40. Jewish settlers retake the only inhabited settler outpost removed by the IDF on 10/10; the IDF says it has shut 17 of 24 unauthorized outposts it aims to close. (HA, MM 10/11; NYT, WP 10/12; WT 10/13; MM 10/14; LAW, PCHR, PR 10/16)

Some 5,000 Christian evangelicals hold a rally in solidarity with Israel on the sidelines of a Christian Coalition conference in Washington. Addressing the rally, Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson states that "Palestine has been occupied by Yasir Arafat and his thugs . . . [and] we cannot turn it over to them." House majority whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) declares that when he visited the Jewish state, "I didn't see any occupied territory--what I saw was Israel." (WJW 10/17; JPI 10/25; Guardian 10/28)

Senate passes (77-23) a concurrent res. approved by the House (296-133) on 10/10 giving Bush the authority to strike Iraq unilaterally, meaning he needs no further congressional approval to deploy troops, order air strikes, wage a ground war with Iraq. The Pentagon issues orders for the army's V Corps, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force to deploy headquarters staffs, which would coordinate an attack on Iraq, to Kuwait, marking the 1st official nonroutine dispatch of conventional ground forces to the Gulf. (NYT, WP, WT 10/11; NYT 10/12)

The IDF demolishes 1 Palestinian home in Tamun; clashes with Palestinians in Silat al-Haratiyya, injuring 9; fires on residential areas of Jenin; conducts house-to-house searches in Juhur al-Dik nr. Gaza City, detaining more than 100 Palestinians, taking them to Neve Dekalim settlement for interrogation (all but 6, who are taken to jail in Israel, are released after 9 hrs.). IDF soldiers discover a package bomb at a gas station in Afula; the device is disarmed; no group claims responsibility. Palestinians throw an explosive device and an IDF vehicle nr. Askar r.c., lightly injuring 1 soldier. Jewish settlers fr. Tapuach nr. Hebron harvest Palestinian olive trees while Palestinian residents are under curfew, shoot at international peace activists who attempt to intervene. Israel says it has arrested alleged West Bank ALF leader Rakad Salim on charges of paying families of Palestinian suicide bombers, other Palestinians wounded or killed during the intifada on behalf of Iraq. (HA, LAW, PCHR, Rabbis for Human Rights press release 10/2; HA 10/3; PCHR 10/9)

Israel ends the siege on Arafat's compound in Ramallah, allowing Arafat, all those inside with him to leave; troops remain in Ramallah however. A Palestinian heart attack victim dies at an IDF checkpoint nr. Khan Yunis when troops deny his passage to a hospital for several hrs. Palestinians in Nablus defy the curfew by reopening schools. The IDF surrounds 3 Nablus schools, forces them to close; fires on curfew breakers in nearby Balata r.c., injuring 3 children. The IDF also fires tear gas into an education center for children and the mentally disabled in Shu`fat r.c., injuring 150 children; demolishes 4 Palestinian houses nr. Netzarim settlement; fires on stone-throwing Palestinian children nr. Bayt Hanun and Khan Yunis, injuring 4. (AFP, JT 9/29, Interfax, MENA, QA 9/30 in WNC 10/1; MM, NYT, WP, WT 9/30; CSM 10/1; LAW, PCHR 10/2; MEI 10/11; WP 11/8)

The Jerusalem Report, citing Britain’s respected Jane’s Foreign Report, claims that IDF special forces are currently operating inside western Iraq, with the knowledge of the U.S., to locate missile launchers that could be used against Israel. (JP 9/29)

The IDF fatally shoots wanted Palestinian Muhammad Yaghmur in nr. Hebron in an apparent assassination; shells residential areas of, conducts arrest raids in Dayr al-Balah, Jenin. 100s of Palestinians defy curfews in West Bank cities to hold peaceful marches marking the 2d anniversary of the al-Aqsa intifada. In Gaza City and Khan Yunis, 1,000s of Palestinians protest against the 9/26 IDF missile strike targeting Dayif. The IDF fires tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets at stone-throwing youths in Khan Yunis (seriously injuring a Palestinian boy), Ramallah. Israeli police arrest 3 Israeli Arabs in Ramla on suspicion of plotting an attack for Hamas; bar Palestinians under age 40 fr. attending Friday prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque. (NYT, WP 9/28; LAW, PCHR, PR 10/2; HA 10/7)

U.S. Amb. to Israel Daniel Kurtzer delivers a personal message fr. Bush to Sharon, asking the PM to quickly end the IDF siege on Arafat's Ramallah offices, noting that Israel's continued defiance of the 9/24 UNSC res. is hurting U.S. efforts to build a coalition against Iraq; Secy. of State Colin Powell, National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice follow up with phone calls. Sharon sends his bureau chief Dov Weisglass to Washington for low-key mtgs. with Powell, Rice. (HA 9/27; WP 9/28; WT 9/29; NYT 9/30; MM 10/2; MEI 10/11)

The IDF demolishes 2 Palestinian homes nr. Gaza City, damaging 8 others; halts an ambulance nr. Nablus, taking a relative of the patient into custody; fires tear gas at PRCS property, ambulances, paramedics in Nablus, Tulkarm. Palestinians fire 2 mortars, a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, damaging 1 home, causing no injuries; the IDF believes the rocket was a new, larger Qassam-3, with a range of up to 12 km. Palestinian gunmen fire at a Jewish settler vehicle nr. Tulkarm, injuring 1 settler. A Palestinian dies of injuries received on 9/10. An Israeli court indicts 4 East Jerusalem Palestinians for murder for their alleged role in the 7/31/02 Hebrew University bombing. A Palestinian indicted in civilian court on terrorism charges on 7/30 is convicted, sentenced to 22 yrs. Israel announces that 6 wks. ago it arrested 10 bedouin IDF soldiers fr. the Galilee on charges of spying for Hizballah. (JTA 9/12; HA, WP 9/13; LAW, PCHR 9/18; PCHR 9/20; HA 10/23; MM, NYT, WP, WT 10/24; MM 10/29)

In a speech to the opening session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) a day after the 1st anniversary of the al-Qa`ida attacks on the U.S., Bush warns the UN to take action quickly to force Iraq to "unconditionally accept" inspection, disarmament of its chemical and biological weapons and nuclear research facilities, intimating that the U.S. will take action unilaterally if the UN does not. Bush also reiterates his support for the creation of "an independent and democratic Palestine living side by side with Israel in peace and security," adding that "Palestinians deserve a government that serves their interests and listens to their voices." (NYT, Jerusalem Times, WP, WT 9/12; HA, MM 9/13; AYM 9/13, MENA, al-Quds 9/14, MENA 9/15 in WNC 9/16; NYT 9/14; JT, WP 9/15; MM 9/17; MEI 9/27)

The American Jewish Comm., Israel 21c (a Silicon Valley+n based group supported by executives of high-tech companies) launch an ad campaign to run on cable TV news stations in 100 U.S. cities promoting Israel's side in its conflict with the Palestinians, portraying Israel as the only democratic country and country sharing American values in the Middle East. (JTA 9/17; AP 9/18; WJW 9/19, 9/26)

 

The IDF soldiers stationed in Netzer Hazani settlement direct shells, machine gun fire at nearby residential areas of al-Qarara, fatally shooting a 9-yr.-old Palestinian girl. A Palestinian dies of injuries received on 7/15. The body of a bound, fatally shot Israeli businessman is found in a Tulkarm industrial zone. The IDF bulldozes Palestinian agricultural land nr. Dayr al-Balah, Rafah; demolishes the home of local Islamic Jihad military cmdr. Muhammad Abu Tabikh in Jenin; blows up a home in al-Brazil, damaging 7 nearby houses; directs heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Khan Yunis; conducts arrest raids in Tulkarm. (MM 8/1; NYT 8/2; LAW, PCHR 8/7)

In Washington, King Abdallah holds talks with Bush on the peace process, dangers of striking Iraq. Abdallah urges Bush to outline specific steps, time line for moving the peace process forward. Bush says that he's still committed to the creation of a Palestinian state in 3 yrs. but he does not think any new steps by Israel are necessary at the moment. (JT 8/1 in WNC 8/2; NYT, WP, WT 8/2; DUS 8/2 in WNC 8/7)

A Hamas gunman infiltrates Elon Moreh settlement, kills 4 Jewish settlers. 1 Israeli injured in the 3/27 Netanya attack dies. The IDF closes main roads across Gaza, cutting the Strip into 3 sections. The PSF arrests senior Hamas, Islamic Jihad mbrs. in Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus, Ramallah. Arafat issues an urgent appeal for an unconditional cease-fire. Sharon convenes his cabinet to discuss the escalating Palestinian attacks. U.S. Secy. of State Colin Powell phones Sharon to urge against exiling Arafat. The cabinet agrees to "totally isolate" Arafat, calls up 20,000 IDF reserves in preparation for a major assault. (HA 3/28; XIN 3/28 in WNC 3/29; MM, NYT, REU, WP, WT 3/29; NYT 3/30; WT 4/1; MEI 4/5; WP 5/6)

The Arab summit unanimously adopts the Saudi initiative, pledges $480 m. aid to the Palestinians, urges against a U.S. attack on Iraq. (CNN 3/28; al-Quds, XIN 3/28 in WNC 3/29; HA, NYT, WP, WT 3/29; al-Majallah 3/30 in WNC 4/1; HA 4/4; MEI, MM 4/5)

The IDF sends tanks, troops into Artas village, nr. Bethlehem, to detain a wanted Islamic Jihad mbr. Omar Ayish. In the process the IDF wound 4 Palestinians; throw a grenade into the Ayish home, causing damage but no injuries; leave a trail of cars crushed and overturned by tanks. In response to the raid, Palestinian gunmen fire on Gilo fr. Bayt Jala, lightly injuring 1 Jewish settler. IDF soldiers detain and beat a Red Crescent doctor, ambulance driver at a checkpoint in Nablus. The doctor is released after several hrs. but the driver is kept in custody. (AP 1/29; NYT, PCHR 1/30)

Omri Sharon, the PM's son, meets Arafat in Ramallah to arrange a secret mtg. btwn. Sharon, senior PA officials in Jerusalem for 1/30. (SA 2/3 in WNC 2/4; MM 2/4)

In his State of the Union address, Bush calls Iran, Iraq, North Korea an "axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world"; also refers to a "terrorist underworld, including groups like Hamas, Hizballah, [and] Islamic Jihad." (HA, NYT, WP, WT 1/30; MM 1/31; MM 2/1; MA 2/1 in WNC 2/4; JP, MEI 2/8)

The Israeli-Palestinian temporary cease-fire generally holds, though scattered violence is reported. Despite personal appeals by Arafat envoys, Hamas and Islamic Jihad say that they will continue to target Israeli occupation forces (i.e., troops, settlers) in the territories, though they will halt attacks inside Israel as long as Israel continues to suspend its assassination policy. A Force 17 mbr. is shot dead in Hebron. A 2d Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. Palestinian gunmen fire on the Jewish enclave in Hebron; in response the IDF shells a residential neighborhood in the Palestinian section of the city, injuring 9. Palestinians throw 6 hand-made grenades at an IDF post on the Rafah border causing no injuries; the IDF fires on residential areas of Rafah in response. A roadside bomb explodes outside Oranit settlement, injuring 2 settlement security guards. (AP 9/19; MM, NYT, WP, WT 9/20; WP 9/21; NYT, WT 9/23; HP 9/24; LAW 9/29)

Bush continues building an international coalition against Bin Laden, focusing on Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan as the primary land bases for any military operation. Bush admin. officials say that the 1st high-level quarrels have developed over the scope, timing of a military response to the 9/11 attacks, with some urging a focused attack on Bin Laden and the Taliban, others pressing for a broad military campaign that would also target other "countries of concern" such as Iraq. (NYT, WP 9/20; WP 9/21)