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  • September 11, 2023

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces injured 2 Palestinians with stun grenade shrapnel during a raid in ‘Aqabat Jaber refugee camp. Israeli forces also shot and injured 3 Palestinians, including 1...

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  • July 16, 2023

    In the West Bank, 3 Israeli settlers, including 2 minors, were shot and injured in a drive-by shooting outside of the Tekoa settlement south of Harmala. Israel said its military had arrested a...

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  • March 24, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers tried to set fire to a mosque and wrote racist graffiti on Palestinian homes in Zeita Jama’in. Israeli settlers also vandalized 3 homes and 20 vehicles in Muhmas...

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  • October 13, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked 2 Israeli soldiers and 1 Palestinian man with tear gas when the 2 soldiers were asking the Palestinian about settler vandalism at al-Mughayyir near the...

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  • January 15, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces violently dispersed a protest in al-Mughayyir, injuring 1 Palestinian with rubber-coated bullets and 1 Palestinian with tear gas canister shrapnel; others suffered...

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  • November 15, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers used dogs to attack Palestinian farmers near Yatta. Israeli forces seized 4 Palestinian-owned tractors in al-Hadidyya. Israeli forces also fired tear gas at...

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  • July 30, 2020

    In the West Bank, 9 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Nablus, Qalqilya, Bethlehem, and Hebron. In the East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif...

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  • February 24, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces arrested 21 Palestinians during raids in and around Ramallah, Hebron, Bethlehem, Jericho, Qalqilya, Tubas, Jenin, and Nablus. Israeli forces injured 2 Palestinians...

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  • February 20, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israel issued demolition orders for 4 residential structures south of Hebron and 5 homes in the Ramallah area as punitive demolitions against alleged Palestinian attackers....

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  • October 2, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces open fire at agricultural land close to the border fence nr. Khan Yunis, causing no injuries. (WAFA 10/2)

    Israeli PM Netanyahu responds to U.S. criticism...

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  • October 1, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion to level land close to the border fence nr. Khan Yunis. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in al-‘Arub r.c...

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  • December 19, 2012

    Fourteen of 15 mbrs. of the UNSC make statements condemning Israel’s settlement construction plans, while the U.S. vows to veto any resolution on the issue. Four separate statements are made by...

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  • December 17, 2012

    Israel approves 1,500 new housing units in the Ramat Shlomo settlement in East Jerusalem. The government is expected to approve a total of 6,500 settlement housing units over the next week,...

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  • December 3, 2012

    Britain, Denmark, France, Spain, and Sweden summon the Israeli ambassadors to their countries to protest Israel’s settlement construction plans. An anonymous senior European diplomat tells the...

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  • May 1, 2012

    Unidentified gunmen fire on the home of Jenin governor Qaddura Moussa in apparent effort to assassinate him; the shots miss, but within hours Moussa dies of a heart attack. By 5/9, the PASF...

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  • October 14, 2011

    Israel approves formal plans to build an entirely new 2,610-unit Jewish settlement, Givat Hamatos, in southern East Jerusalem with the aim of completely dividing Jerusalem from Bethlehem. The IDF...

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  • August 11, 2011

    Israel’s Interior Min. gives final approval for the construction of the 1,600 new housing units in Ramat Shlomo settlement in East Jerusalem that were first announced during U.S. VP Joe Biden’s...

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  • September 14, 2010

    The 2d round of direct talks opens in Sharm al-Shaykh, Egypt, with Mubarak hosting Abbas, Netanyahu, and Clinton for the first day of meetings with talks now set to continue in Jerusalem on 9/15...

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  • March 13, 2008

    The IDF resumes air strikes on rocketlaunching sites in Gaza, citing the need to respond to 15 rockets, 10 mortars fired by Islamic Jihad fr. Gaza into Israel (causing light damage but no injuries...

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  • January 8, 2007

    For the 2d day, IDF troops stationed in the Erez industrial zone fire at Palestinians collecting scrap metal nr. the border fence, wounding 1. Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel,...

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In the West Bank, Israeli forces injured 2 Palestinians with stun grenade shrapnel during a raid in ‘Aqabat Jaber refugee camp. Israeli forces also shot and injured 3 Palestinians, including 1 minor, during a raid in al-Arroub refugee camp. 17 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Hebron, Dura, Sa’ir, Beit Umar, Beit Kahel, Surif, ‘Azzun, Jenin, and Aqabat Jaber refugee camp. In East Jerusalem, 3 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Jabel Mukaber and Biddu. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian fisherman with a baton round and arrested 2 others northwest of Rafah. (WAFA, WAFA 9/11; PCHR 9/14; UNOCHA 9/26)

10 Palestinians were killed and dozens injured during fighting in Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in Lebanon over the weekend. Fighting reignited on 9/7 after a month of relative quiet. A ceasefire was declared later in the day after Lebanese general Elias al-Baysari met with members of Palestinian factions at his office in Beirut. (AJ, ALM, AP, REU 9/11)

The Jerusalem District Planning Authority approved the construction of 2 new Israeli settlements, Kidmat Tzion and the Hebron Strip, which is an extension of Givat Hamatos, in East Jerusalem. Kidmat Tzion lies within Ras al-Amud and will have 385 housing units. The plan was pushed by the Ateret Cohanim settlement organization which presented the plans in April. The Hebron Strip, of which 2/3 is in East Jerusalem, will have 3,500 housing units, a hotel, and a commercial area. (PCN 9/8; HA 9/11)

Al-Quds newspaper reported the U.S. has supplied the PA with armored vehicles, bullets, tear gas, sound bombs, riot shields, and k-9s with the approval of Israel. Palestinian and Israeli sources later told Haaretz that the U.S. had only transferred armored vehicles to the PA. The U.S. State Department denied that the U.S. had supplied weapons or ammunition. Israeli national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of consequences if Israel had allowed weapons to be transferred to the PA. Netanyahu later confirmed that Israel had facilitated the transfer of armored vehciles to the PA, but not weapons. The PA said it had not received equipment from Israel. Hamas said the reported transfer will only bolster the interests of the occupation.  (QDS 9/11; QDS 9/12; HA, HA, HA, QDS, WAFA 9/13; MDW 9/14; ALM 9/15)

The Israeli broadcaster Kan reported that the Israeli military had admitted to mistakenly shooting 3 Palestinians during a raid in Jenin on 8/28, injuring the 3, including 1 who is now a paraplegic. None of the Palestinian victims were interrogated after being dropped off at different hospitals. (TOI 9/11; MEMO 9/12)

Haaretz reported that Israeli police had banned vendors in the Old City of Jerusalem from selling t-shirts featuring the Palestinian flag, the Palestinian key, and other Palestinian symbols and slogans. (HA 9/11; MEMO 9/12)

4 Palestinian border police officers were sentenced to between 4 years in prison and community service for attacking and robbing Palestinians entering Israel via a hole in the separation wall south of Hebron. (HA 9/11; MEMO 9/12)

Israel’s Interior Ministry said that Palestinian Americans living in Gaza who are not considered a security threat by Israel will be able to enter Israel on a B2 tourist visa and use Israeli airports. First-degree Palestinian American relatives of people living in Gaza will also be allowed to visit Gaza for up to 90 days once a year. The policy change was part of Israel’s efforts to be admitted to the U.S. Visa Waiver program. (MEE, MEMO, REU 9/11)

U.S. assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs Barbara Leaf met with Israeli officials, reportedly discussing Palestinian demands related to the Israel-Saudi normalization deal. Israeli national security advisor Tzachi Hanegbi said at a conference at Reichman University that he is in talks with the PA about their demands but had threatened that if the PA approach the ICJ Israel will sever security and political ties. (HA, HA, QDS 9/11)

More than 20,000 people were feared dead after a storm broke 2 dams near the eastern Libyan city of Derma. At least 23 Palestinians died in the flood. The PA’s Emergency Intervention and Response Team arrived in Libya on 9/13 to assist with finding survivors. The storm also caused flooding in Gaza, damaging infrastructure and homes. (WAFA, WAFA 9/11; AJ, HA, NYT, WAFA 9/12; AJ, AJ, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 9/13; AJ, QDS 9/14; AP 9/15)

In the West Bank, 3 Israeli settlers, including 2 minors, were shot and injured in a drive-by shooting outside of the Tekoa settlement south of Harmala. Israel said its military had arrested a Palestinian suspect near Bethlehem. Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles traveling near Beitin and Haris, causing damage. Israeli settlers also set fire to olive trees and attacked Palestinian homes in Burin. When Israeli forces arrived, they fired tear gas at Palestinians trying to fend off the settlers. Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian during a raid in Shufa. Israeli forces also shot and injured 2 Palestinians with baton rounds and injured others with tear gas during a raid in Bethlehem. Elsewhere, Israeli forces seized 1 bulldozer in Barta’a. 7 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Tell, Qusin, Yatta, Abu Nujaym, and Arrabah; 1 Palestinian was shot and injured with live ammunition during the raid in Tell. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. Israel forced 1 Palestinian family to demolish their own home in Silwan. 3 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids. (AJ, HA, MEE, NA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 7/16; WAFA 7/17; PCHR 7/19; UNOCHA 7/29)

Haaretz reported that Israeli settlers had returned to reoccupy a Palestinian-owned building in a closed military zone in Hebron. (HA 7/16)

The Israeli-run Jerusalem Municipality approved 4 building permits, laying the foundations for construction of the new Israeli settlement Givat Hamatos in East Jerusalem. Applications for construction of 900 housing units are pending approval. (FMEP, Ir Amim 7/21)

Hamas said it was unable to pay around 50,000 public sector workers due to a delay in receiving monthly aid from Qatar. (REU 7/16)

The Israeli foreign and defense ministries amended rules to allow U.S. citizens of Palestinian, Syrian, and Iranian background to enter Israel and Palestine through the Ben Gurion Airport and not have to undergo additional screening at an Israeli embassy. The changes were made to satisfy U.S. demands to admit Israel into the Visa Waiver program. U.S. citizens who live in Gaza will continue to have to go through the Allenby crossing and receive special permission 45 days in advance of their travels. (HA 7/16; HA 7/19)

Ynet reported that Israeli foreign minister Eli Cohen met with the foreign minister of an unnamed Muslim-majority country that does not have diplomatic relations with Israel in Nairobi ahead of an African Union summit. (ALM, MEMO, QDS 6/17)

EU representative to Palestine Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff paraglided on a beach in Gaza, saying after his flight “[o]nce you have a free Palestine, a free Gaza, you can do exactly the same thing,” The Israeli Foreign Ministry called von Burgsdorff’s flight a “provocative action.” (REU 7/18; BBC 7/19; MDW 7/22)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers tried to set fire to a mosque and wrote racist graffiti on Palestinian homes in Zeita Jama’in. Israeli settlers also vandalized 3 homes and 20 vehicles in Muhmas. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers uprooted some 200 olive trees in Turmus ‘Ayya and wrote racist graffiti in the village. 10 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Bayt Rima, Jenin, Iktaba, Tubas, Dheisheh refugee camp, Hebron, and Sa‘ir; 3 Palestinians were injured by live ammunition when Palestinians confronted the Israeli soldiers in Dheisheh refugee camp. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers slashed tires on more than 20 Palestinian-owned vehicles in Sheikh Jarrah. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Gaza; no injuries were reported. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian farmers east of Abasan and Khuza‘a; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/24; HA 3/25; PCHR 3/31; UNOCHA 4/10)

The Israeli ministry of housing and construction added 468 settlement housing units in the Givat Hamatos settlement in East Jerusalem to its lottery, providing steep discounts to the winners of the lottery in purchasing the settlement units. Peace Now said that once the winners of the lottery are announced, it will be harder to prevent the settlement expansion of the Givat Hamatos settlement. (HA, PCN 3/24)

The PA Detainees Affairs Commission said Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons had canceled a planned open-ended hunger strike scheduled to begin on 3/25 after Israel’s prison service agreed to the prisoners’ demands. (WAFA 3/24)

PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh met with EU commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi in Ramallah. The 2 discussed Várhelyi’s insistence that the PA rewrite its schoolbooks to have EU financial support for the PA released. Prime Minister Shtayyeh told Várhelyi that the PA refuses Várhelyi’s demands. Várhelyi has been a lone voice in the EU for demanding the revision of PA schoolbooks as a condition for the EU releasing its annual aid to the PA. (WAFA 3/24)

Haaretz reported that Israeli soldiers are forced to register information about at least 50 Palestinians during their shifts at checkpoints and guard posts, and those who do not fill their quota are not allowed to leave their post until they have registered their quota. The registration of information is used in Israel’s Blue Wolf system, a database with photos and details about random Palestinians living in the West Bank including ID number, age, gender, residence, license plate number, and contacts. The Blue Wolf system was 1st reported by the Washington Post in November 2021. In footage obtained by the Israeli anti-occupation group Breaking the Silence, a security coordinator at an Israeli settlement is also heard telling Israeli soldiers to photograph foreign activists in the West Bank to make sure they will not be allowed to enter Israel at Ben Gurion Airport next time they try to enter. (HA, HA, MEE, WAFA 3/24; WAFA 3/25)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked 2 Israeli soldiers and 1 Palestinian man with tear gas when the 2 soldiers were asking the Palestinian about settler vandalism at al-Mughayyir near the Adei Ad settlement outpost. Israeli settlers from the Ariel settlement also vandalized Palestinian property in Marda, spraying racist graffiti on walls and vehicles and puncturing tires. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers stole olive harvesting equipment in Burin. Israeli forces issued a demolition notice for a newly built road connecting Ya‘bad and Khirbat Emreha. Israeli forces also delivered notices for the seizure of 40 dunams (9.9 acres) of land in Yasuf. 10 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around ‘Azzun, Beita, Burqa, Nawawrah, Beit Umar, and Hebron; during the raid in Beit Umar, Israeli forces damaged 2 vehicles and fired tear gas at Palestinians confronting the soldiers. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians from the Damascus Gate plaza, forcing them to leave the area. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 6 nautical miles west of Gaza; no injuries were reported. (HA, MEMO, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/13; HA, PCHR 10/14; AJ 10/17)

The Jerusalem local planning committee approved the expropriation of land in the planned East Jerusalem Israeli settlement of Givat Hamatos, where 1,257 housing units are planned, along with filing plans to expand Pisgat Ze’ev. (AJ, HA, MEE, MEMO 10/14; AP, TOI 10/15)

Some 400 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons started an open-ended hunger strike to protest new restrictions imposed after 6 prisoners escaped Gilboa prison on 9/6. (MEMO, WAFA 10/14)

In Syria, Syrian officials said Israel had conducted an air strike near Palmyra, targeting a telecommunications tower and causing damage. Russia said that the Syrian air defense system did not engage the Israeli-fired missiles because the Israeli jets firing them were using civilian airplanes as cover. 9 people were killed in the attack, according to the London-based Syrian opposition group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. (AP 10/13; TOI 10/15)

Chairman of the Religious Zionist party Bezalel Smotrich told Palestinian Israeli lawmakers during a Knesset discussion that they are only in Israel because “Ben-Gurion didn’t finish the job and throw you out in 1948.” Smotrich also called the lawmakers “terror supporters.” (HA 10/13; MEMO 10/14)

Israel’s regional cooperation minister Issawi Frej and deputy minister of foreign affairs Idan Roll met with Sudanese justice minister Nasredeen Abdulbari in Dubai. They talked about promoting future projects between the 2 countries and how to further their normalization deal. (AP 10/13; ALM 10/14)

U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken met with Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid and later had a trilateral meeting with Foreign Minister Lapid and foreign minister of the UAE Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Washington D.C. During a press conference, Secretary Blinken said that the U.S. is moving forward with reopening the U.S. consulate to Palestinians in Jerusalem, despite Israeli opposition. Lapid also later confirmed that the U.S. had raised the issue of Israeli settlement expansion during his meetings with U.S. officials. (AJ, ALM, AX, HA, HA, MEE, REU, REU 10/13; AP, REU 10/14)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces violently dispersed a protest in al-Mughayyir, injuring 1 Palestinian with rubber-coated bullets and 1 Palestinian with tear gas canister shrapnel; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also shot and injured 1 Palestinian man using live ammunition at a checkpoint near Qusra. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in al-Twana and Kafr Qaddum; 5 were injured by rubber-coated bullets in Kafr Qaddum and tear-gas related injuries were reported during both protests. Israeli forces also sealed off al-Twana. 2 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Tulkarm. In East Jerusalem, 2 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Issawiyya and al-Tur. In Israel, Palestinian citizens of Israel protested in Umm al-Fahm against the Israeli police’s inaction in dealing with violence in their community. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/15; PCHR 1/21)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas signed a presidential decree setting dates for Palestinian elections. The elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council are scheduled to be held on 5/22 and presidential elections on 7/31. The decree was signed after weeks of meetings between chairman of the Palestinian Central Election Committee Hanna Nasser and Hamas and Fatah leadership. It remains unclear how the elections will be carried out given the Israeli-controlled physical barriers between Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank. Elections for the PLO National Council are scheduled for 8/31. Hamas welcomed the presidential decree. (AJ, HA, HILL, NYT, WAFA 1/15; AP, GDN, HA, HA, PCHR, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WSJ 1/16; AJ, SG, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/17; WAFA, WAFA 1/19)

An Israeli court froze the bidding process for an Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem after a petition by Palestinian residents and Ir Amim. The residents and human rights organization complained that 40% of the planned housing would be for Israeli citizens only, forbidding Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem from buying the property. At the same time, the Israeli ministry of housing and the Israel land authority opened the bidding process for the construction of 1,257 new settler units in the Givat Hamatos settlement in East Jerusalem. (HA, PCN 1/15; TOI 1/19 MEE 1/20)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers used dogs to attack Palestinian farmers near Yatta. Israeli forces seized 4 Palestinian-owned tractors in al-Hadidyya. Israeli forces also fired tear gas at Palestinians trying to enter Israel near al-Midya. The Nablus governate was placed on a partial lockdown for 5 days after a rise in COVID-19 cases. The PA asked residents to stay inside between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. 2 Palestinians were arrested; 1 during a late-night raid in Hebron and 1 at a military checkpoint near Nablus. In Gaza, Hamas launched 2 rockets at Israel, both landing in open areas, and Israel fired missiles at Gaza, causing damage near Rafah, Bayt Hanun, and Khan Yunis. A source from Hamas said that the rockets were launched by mistake due to lighting and that Hamas does not seek an escalation of violence. Israel later said it believed the claim that the rockets were launched by mistake. (AJ, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 11/15; HA, PCHR 11/19)

The Israeli Lands Authority issued tenders for construction of a new settlement, Givat Hamatos, in East Jerusalem, dubbed the doomsday settlement as it would cut East Jerusalem off from Bethlehem and cut Bayt Safafa off from its surrounding towns. Tenders for a total of 1,257 settler units were issued. Israel’s plans drew condemnation form the PA, and the international community. The Israeli anti-occupation organization Peace Now called the plans a “lethal blow” to the 2-state solution. The EU high representative for foreign affairs Josep Borrell said in a statement that he was “deeply worried” about the decision and that “Israel should instead show vision and responsibility and reverse these negative decisions at this critical and sensitive time.” The UN envoy for the Middle East peace process Nickolay Mladenov also condemned the plans, saying “settlement construction is illegal under international law and I call on the authorities to reverse this step.” (AJ, EEAS, HA, PCN, REU, WAFA, WAFA 11/15; AJ, HA, PCHR, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 11/16; WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 11/17; SG, WAFA 11/18; WAFA 11/19)

In the West Bank, 9 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Nablus, Qalqilya, Bethlehem, and Hebron. In the East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound; the Jordanian ministry of foreign affairs denounced the violation of the Status Quo agreement. 6 Palestinians were arrested as the Israeli settlers toured the compound. In Israel, Palestinian activists and members of the Israeli Knesset demonstrated outside the Israeli magistrate court in support of the PA governor of Jerusalem Adnan Gheith who has been detained by Israel since 7/19. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire on agricultural lands east of Dayr al-Balah; no injuries were reported. Outside of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence, more than 1,000 protesters demanded Netanyahu’s resignation; pro-Netanyahu counter-protesters attacked 1 Palestinian bus driver and 2 photojournalists. ( HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 7/30; PCHR 8/13)

The EU and 15 European countries delivered a letter to the Israeli foreign ministry expressing “grave concern regarding the advancement of settlement construction in Givat Hamatos and potentially in the E1 area.” (TOI 7/31)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces arrested 21 Palestinians during raids in and around Ramallah, Hebron, Bethlehem, Jericho, Qalqilya, Tubas, Jenin, and Nablus. Israeli forces injured 2 Palestinians with rubber-coated bullets during a raid in Bayt Sira. In East Jerusalem, 15 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Issawiyya. In Gaza, the rocket exchange continued from 2/23; there were no reports of casualties but reports of damage in Gaza, including to the power grid in Khan Yunis. A truce between Islamic Jihad in Palestine and Israel was implemented at the end of the day. Israeli forces also opened fire on Palestinian agricultural lands east of Khan Yunis and Dayr al-Balah; no injuries were reported. (AJ, BBC, CNN, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/24; AJ, HA 2/25; PCHR 2/27)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered 12 West Bank settlement outposts, deemed illegal by Israel, to be connected to Israel’s electrical grid. The Israel Lands Authority also issued tenders for the construction of 1,077 housing units in the East Jerusalem settlement Givat Hamatos. (HA, HA 2/24)

The PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh called on all Palestinians working in Israeli settlements to stop working there. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, around 23,000 Palestinians work in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. (WAFA 2/24)

In the West Bank, Israel issued demolition orders for 4 residential structures south of Hebron and 5 homes in the Ramallah area as punitive demolitions against alleged Palestinian attackers. Israeli forces violently dispersed a protest against the U.S. administration’s peace plan in Qalqilya, leading to tear-gas related injuries. 7 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Halhul, Ramallah, Salfit, and Anata. Israeli settlers severely beat 1 Palestinian doctor visiting patients near Bethlehem. In East Jerusalem, 3 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Silwan and Issawiyya. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian lands near Bayt Hanun and east of Dayr al-Balah. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/20; PCHR 2/27)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel will expand 2 settlements, Har Homa and Givat Hamatos, in East Jerusalem with 2,200 and 3,000 housing units respectively. Prime Minister Netanyahu also said that Israel would apply sovereignty to al-Ibrahimi Mosque. The PA called Netanyahu’s announcement part of “a systematic destruction of the two-state solution.” (HA, NYT, WAFA 2/20; JP 2/23)

Israel and the PA ended its trade dispute, allowing Palestinian goods to exit the West Bank and Israeli agricultural products to enter the West Bank market. Israel started banning Palestinian goods to the Israeli market on 2/2 and later expanded the ban of export from the West Bank altogether. (HA, WAFA, WAFA 2/20)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces open fire at agricultural land close to the border fence nr. Khan Yunis, causing no injuries. (WAFA 10/2)

Israeli PM Netanyahu responds to U.S. criticism over the planned 2,610 new settlement housing units in Givat Hamatos, alleging that the Obama administration is unfamiliar with “the facts.” He also criticizes Peace Now for intentionally publishing the news ahead of his meeting with Obama to undermine their talks. (AFP, YA 10/2)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion to level land close to the border fence nr. Khan Yunis. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron. (PCHR 10/2)

Israeli nongovernmental organization Peace Now reports that the Jerusalem municipality is going ahead with the proposed construction of 2,610 new settler homes in Givat Hamatos, a settlement in East Jerusalem. Tenders can now be published for the project, soliciting construction of the units. The U.S. is “deeply concerned” with the news and the announcement overshadows a meeting in the White House between Pres. Obama and Israeli PM Netanyahu. (AFP, WP 10/1)

Fourteen of 15 mbrs. of the UNSC make statements condemning Israel’s settlement construction plans, while the U.S. vows to veto any resolution on the issue. Four separate statements are made by the 8 council mbrs. from the Non-Aligned Movement, the 4 European mbrs., as well as Russia and China. Meanwhile, the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Comm. approves the creation of a new Jewish settlement, Givat Hamatos, in the s. of East Jerusalem, not far from Har Homa. In addition, Israel’s Defense Ministry advances plans to build 523 homes in Giva’ot settlement in the Gush Etzion bloc, though this plan is long-standing and unrelated to the recent high-profile construction announcements tied to the Palestinian bid at the UN. (REU, HA, JP 12/19)

The IDF announces that it will issue permits to around 500 Christian Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to visit Bethlehem for Christmas. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Jenin, Nur Shams r.c. nr. Tulkarm, 1 village each nr. Hebron and Jenin, and 2 villages nr. Nablus. (JP 12/19; PCHR 12/20)

Palestinian government employees begin a 2-day general strike to protest a delay in the payment of their wages due to Israel’s withholding of around $100 m. customs revenue. Around 50,000 workers take part in the strike. Meanwhile, Palestine Monetary Authority chief Jihad al-Wazir says that Palestinian banks will lend the PA $100 m., set to be repaid when the Arab League delivers its promised financial safety net. (REU 12/19; MNA 12/19)

Israel’s Central Elections Comm. votes to disqualify MK Haneen Zoabi, from Balad party, from running in the forthcoming elections, a decision based largely on her participation in the 2010 Gaza flotilla. (HA 12/19)

Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas offers to take in Palestinian refugees fleeing from fighting in Syria, and UN secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon calls on Israel to facilitate their entry. Meanwhile, the UN launches its biggest aid appeal to date for Syria, estimating that it needs $1.5 b. to cope with a ‘‘dramatically deteriorating humanitarian situation.’’ Meanwhile, the Security Council passes a U.S.-and-Russian-drafted resolution on extending the peacekeeping mission in the demilitarized zone between Syria and Israel. The resolution expresses concern at the presence of both government and rebel forces in the zone. (MNA 12/18; AP, Guardian, UN News Center 12/19)

Israel approves 1,500 new housing units in the Ramat Shlomo settlement in East Jerusalem. The government is expected to approve a total of 6,500 settlement housing units over the next week, including almost 4,000 in Givat Hamatos–a new settlement nr. Bayt Safafa–and 1,000 units in Gilo South. Palestinian envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour urges permanent members of the UNSC to take action to stop Israel’s settlement plans in East Jerusalem. (JP, REU, MNA 12/17)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen working 7 naut. mi. off the Gaza coast nr. Wadi Gaza (wounding 1) and nr. al-Waha (causing no injuries). In the West Bank, the IDF shoots and injures a Palestinian man in a village nr. Nablus, after Jewish settlers entered the village and clashed with residents. Israeli forces also raid Jaba village in the n. West Bank, ransacking several homes and taking photographs of a number of buildings. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning, and in 1 village nr. Jenin, and Tulkarm and 1 nearby village in the afternoon; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon, and in Salfit, Hebron and 3 nearby villages at night. (MNA 12/17; PCHR 12/20)

Teachers in the West Bank go on strike to protest the delay in the payment of their salaries. The PA has not set a target date for paying back salaries. Meanwhile, the PA civil servants union accuses Israel of collective punishment for withholding Palestinian tax revenues and calls a strike from 12/18 to the end of the week. (MNA 12/17)

Hamas’s Interior Ministry in Gaza says that Fatah will be allowed to celebrate its 48th anniversary in Gaza, in order ‘‘to promote the atmosphere of unity.’’ (MNA 12/17)

Syrian rebels take control of Yarmuk r.c. nr. Damascus after a fierce battle pitting rebels and anti-Asad Palestinians against the pro-Asad PFLP–GC. PLO official in Syria Anwar Abdul-Hadi says that over half the Palestinian population of Yarmuk r.c. has fled; Palestinian amb. to Syria puts the figure at 95%. (MNA, REU 12/17)

Britain, Denmark, France, Spain, and Sweden summon the Israeli ambassadors to their countries to protest Israel’s settlement construction plans. An anonymous senior European diplomat tells the Israeli newspaper Ha’Aretz that Britain and France see E1 development as a ‘‘red line’’ and feel Israel is acting ungratefully after the support it received during Operation Pillar of Defense. Former U.S. amb. to Israel Dan Kurtzer tells Ha’Aretz that the Obama admin. is angry over an Israeli official’s suggestion in a recent briefing that Israel generated the E1 plan in anticipation that Obama would refuse to reaffirm Bush’s 2004 letter to Sharon (which Israel views as U.S. approval of Israeli settlement expansion in areas it intends to keep under final status; see the Quarterly Update in JPS 132), when he entered office in 1/2009, as indeed occurred. Meanwhile, a source in the Israeli PM’s Office says there will be no retraction of the E1 construction plan. (HA, NYT, YA 12/3)

The dep. mayor of Jerusalem reveals that the municipality is expected to give final approval to a new settlement in occupied East Jerusalem called Givat Hamatos, the 1st of its kind since Har Homa in 1997. Located between Talpiot and Bayt Safafa, the new settlement will be on the agenda of the planning comm. on 12/19. In addition, Jewish settlers occupy a 5-story building in the Har Homa/Jabal Mukabir neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem that had previously been sold to a settler organization. (HA, JP 12/3)

Twelve Fatah mbrs. return to the Gaza Strip after fleeing in the 2007 conflict with Hamas. Returning Fatah mbr. Mahmoud Musleh says that around 450 Fatah mbrs. who fled to countries across the region, as well as to the West Bank, will return once procedures are complete. (MNA 12/3)

PM Ismail Haniyeh appeals to Arab states to help pay for reconstruction of the Gaza Strip following damage inflicted during Operation Pillar of Defense, estimated at $250–545 m. (REU 12/3)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF shoots a Palestinian child nr. al-Bureij r.c. close to the border fence, causing minor injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF kills a Palestinian civilian when a military jeep hits a car traveling on the Nablus– Ramallah road. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in Jericho and 1 nearby village, 3 villages nr. Ramallah, and 2 villages nr. Jenin later in the day; conducts night-time house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Tulkarm, and in Nablus and Balata r.c. (MNA 12/3; PCHR 12/6)

UN secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon accuses the Syrian government of serious violations of the 1974 agreement separating Israeli and Syrian forces in the Golan Heights. In a UNSC report, Ban expresses concern about recent incidents across the cease-fire line, and recommends a 6-mo. extension of the UN peacekeeping force in the Golan Heights. (AP 12/3)

Unidentified gunmen fire on the home of Jenin governor Qaddura Moussa in apparent effort to assassinate him; the shots miss, but within hours Moussa dies of a heart attack. By 5/9, the PASF detains 10s of Palestinians in connection to the shooting but does not made a formal arrest. Those detained include a number of PASF officers, raising concerns of fissuring and infighting within the PASF. Others worry (see NYT 5/10) that gangs might be attempting to assert local authority. Jenin residents say that instability in Jenin has been growing since the 4/4/11 murder of Jenin’s Freedom Theater director, Juliano Mer-Khamis. The decline in Jenin worries Israel and the Quartet, which have considered Jenin a model for transition from Israeli to Palestinian security control. (NYT 5/10)

Israel’s Jerusalem municipality submits maps for plans for the massive housing construction (4,010 units, first announced in 10/2011) in Givat Hamatos settlement in s. Jerusalem. The drawings show new ideas for construction of 9 hotels (1,100 rooms) in the area, intended to make the area a major tourist center that would compete with Bethlehem by capitalizing on its close proximity to Bethlehem’s religious sites. Meanwhile, Israeli authorities seize a Palestinian home in Bayt Hanina, East Jerusalem, and turn it over to a Jewish settler family that claims to own the land on which the house sits. (HA, WAFA 5/1; PCHR 5/3, 5/10)

In the morning, IDF troops make 2 incursions in to s. Gaza e. of Abassan and al-Qarara to level lands and clear lines of sight. IDF troops and a helicopter guarding the unit nr. Abassan fire on surrounding agricultural areas to keep Palestinians away, wounding 1 Palestinian. Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Late at night, an Israeli warplane fires a missile at a smuggling tunnel on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Hanun, causing no injuries. OCHA reports that in the previous week, Israel granted 60 of 100 applications from Gazan UN staffers for 3-month multiple exit permits (rather than time-bound permits for specific events, valid for up to 1 week only). OCHA says this marks 1st time the UN has received so many long-term permits at one time and constitutes a considerable improvement in access for UN Gaza staff. In the West Bank, the IDF bulldozes 2 cow pens and 2 structures nr. a settler-only bypass road outside Hebron; demolishes a Palestinian home under construction without permits nr. Qalqilya. About 30 Palestinians rally in solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners outside the IDF’s Ofer prison nr. Ramallah; IDF troops fire live ammunition and tear gas at the demonstrators, wounding 3. (WP, YA 5/2; NYT, PCHR 5/3; OCHA 5/4)

The IDF ends is probe into the 1/5/2009 shelling of a house in Gaza City during Operation Cast Lead that killed 21 mbrs. of a family that had been ordered by troops on the ground to stay in the home, concluding that the building was not deliberately targeted and therefore the incident did not constitute a war crime. (WP 5/2; NYT 5/3)

Israel approves formal plans to build an entirely new 2,610-unit Jewish settlement, Givat Hamatos, in southern East Jerusalem with the aim of completely dividing Jerusalem from Bethlehem. The IDF conducts synchronized afternoon patrols in the same 2 villages northeast of Jenin they patrolled on 10/13, synchronized late-night patrols in 6 villages btwn. Jenin and Tulkarm, and separate late-night patrols in Jenin (shooting in the air to intimidate residents). The weekly demonstrations by Palestinians and international activists in Bil‘in express solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, calling for the release of Fatah’s Barghouti and the PFLP’s Sa‘adat. In Ni‘lin and al-Nabi Salih, Palestinians and international activists rally in support of the Palestinian statehood bid at the UN. In all 4 cases, IDF soldiers beat and fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, but no significant injuries are reported. Jewish settlers fr. Gil’ad settlement nr. Qalqilya escorted by IDF troops stop a Palestinian family fr. harvesting olives on their land, saying they had exceeded the time allocated by the IDF for the harvesting. (NYT 10/15; PCHR, WJW 10/20; OCHA 10/21; PCHR 10/27; WJW 11/6)

Israel’s Interior Min. gives final approval for the construction of the 1,600 new housing units in Ramat Shlomo settlement in East Jerusalem that were first announced during U.S. VP Joe Biden’s visit to Israel in 3/2010 (see Quarterly Update in JPS 156). The ministry says it also intends to give final approval to another 2,700 new units in East Jerusalem’s Givat HaMatos and Pisgat Ze’ev settlements in response to the recent popular protests in Israel that have demanded, among other things, more and cheaper housing. The U.S. says “unilateral action of this kind works against our [peace] efforts.” Israel’s Peace Now accuses the government of “exploiting the housing crisis in Israel to promote its settlement policy” with the intention of undermining the peace process. (NYT, WP 8/12; PCHR 8/18; OCHA 8/19)

In Gaza, a mbr. of Hamas’s Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades is killed in a “mysterious explosion” in Rafah. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning and in 1 nr. Jericho late at night; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Ramallah and Tubas. In Nablus, 1,200 international activists fr. 22 countries take part in a peace rally in solidarity with the Palestinians; the event was organized by Los Angles Cable International Center in coordination with Nablus’s governor. (AFP 8/11)

The 2d round of direct talks opens in Sharm al-Shaykh, Egypt, with Mubarak hosting Abbas, Netanyahu, and Clinton for the first day of meetings with talks now set to continue in Jerusalem on 9/15 and Ramallah on 9/16, and thereafter alternating between Jerusalem and Jericho. The U.S. tries but is unable to secure Israeli-Palestinian agreement on the agenda for the talks. (YA 9/14; NYT, WP, WT 9/15; JPI 9/24)

As Abbas and Netanyahu meet in Egypt, Israel’s Jerusalem city planners schedule a meeting for 10/7/2010 to debate construction of 1,362 new settlement housing units in Givat HaMatos s. of the Old City btwn. Gilo and Talpiot settlements. In addition, the Israeli construction company Na’out HaPisga, citing business losses, resumes construction of 2,400 settlement housing units in Mod’in Ilit settlement west of Ramallah that had been halted under the settlement freeze. In Gaza, IDF troops make a brief incursion into c. Gaza e. of Gaza Valley village to level land in the no-go zone to clear lines of sight, firing 4 artillery shells at armed Palestinians in the area, seriously wounding 1 and cutting electricity to nearby areas. Late in the evening, armed Palestinians on the n. Gaza border fire an antitank missile at IDF troops operating inside Israel, causing no damage or injuries; IDF troops fire back, killing 1 armed Palestinian, seriously wounding at least 1 other. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches, patrols in 5 villages nr. Qalqilya between late afternoon and late evening; also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. In Tel Aviv, Israeli police fatally shoot an East Jerusalem Palestinian who is handcuffed and in custody on charges of car theft, claiming that the Palestinian attacked an officer, who accidentally shot him. OCHA reports that since 9/1, 1 Palestinian was fatally electrocuted in a tunnel accident on the Rafah border. (HA 9/14; PCHR 9/16; OCHA 9/17; JPI 9/24)

The IDF resumes air strikes on rocketlaunching sites in Gaza, citing the need to respond to 15 rockets, 10 mortars fired by Islamic Jihad fr. Gaza into Israel (causing light damage but no injuries) since the IDF assassinations on 3/12. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts daytime arrest raids, house searches in and around Qalqilya and in Tulkarm and neighboring Nur al-Shams r.c.; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin. In Bethlehem, 1,000s of Palestinians from all factions observe a general strike and attend the funeral for 4 Islamic Jihad and AMB mbrs. assassinated on 3/12 in a massive show of unity and protest against Israel’s ongoing attacks since the 11/07 Annapolis conference. A Palestinian shepherd is critically injured when he accidentally triggers IDF UXO nr. Jericho. Jewish settlers fr. Beit Hadasah in Hebron attack a Palestinian elementary school, demolishing a wall and several structures for the ongoing expansion of the school, attempt to occupy the school, beat a Palestinian security guard; the IDF removes the settlers. Israel’s Jerusalem Planning Comm. gives preliminary approval for construction of 2,200 Jewish settler housing units in Givat Hamatos in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Bayt Safafa. In al-Bureij r.c., unidentified assailants kidnap an Islamic Jihad mbr. (BBC 3/13; NYT 3/14; OCHA, PCHR 3/19)

For the 2d day, IDF troops stationed in the Erez industrial zone fire at Palestinians collecting scrap metal nr. the border fence, wounding 1. Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Abu Dis, Azariyya, Nablus, and Qabatya, in and around Hebron, and nr. Jenin, Tulkarm. Israel’s Local Committee at the Jerusalem Municipality submits plans to build 1,000 housing units in the East Jerusalem settlement of Har Homa. Plans reportedly are also being drafted to expand the Jewish settlements of Ramat Rachel, Mei Naftuah, New Arnona, Gilo, and Givat Hamatos. In Ramallah, unidentified assailants attempt to kidnap the acting mayor of al-Bireh; unknown gunmen fire on the offices of fmr. PA Finance M Salam Fayyad, causing no injuries; suspected Fatah mbrs. fire on 13 shops and offices run by Hamas mbrs., set fire to 1. In Gaza, 10,000s of Fatah supporters hold the largest Fatah rally since 1994 marking the 42d anniversary of the movement; speeches by Fatah leaders focus on rallying support for Fatah and against Hamas. (MM, YA 1/8; MM 1/9; OCHA 1/10; PCHR 1/11; OCHA 1/17)