17 / 14704 Results
  • December 3, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, the union of hospital sanitation workers goes on a full strike following weeks of partial strikes protesting the govt.’s failure to pay them since 6/2. Off the coast nr. Gaza...

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  • February 15, 2014

    In the West Bank, the IDF opens fire on a Palestinian vehicle at a checkpoint nr. Nablus, wounding 1. The IDF also violently disperses a demonstration in Tura village nr. Jenin, organized by the...

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  • November 19, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces launch air strikes targeting 2 chicken farms, a border fence tunnel, and an Islamic Jihad training site nr. Khan Yunis. There are no injuries reported in any of...

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  • November 16, 2013

    Off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. al-Waha, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya...

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  • October 20, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Dayr al-Balah to level land close to the border fence. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village...

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  • January 5, 2013

    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....

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  • December 20, 2012

    In the West Bank, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians in 1 village nr. Jenin and arrests 2 wounded civilians. The IDF also patrols in 2 villages nr. Jericho and 3 villages nr. Ramallah in the...

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  • January 14, 2012

    The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning; conducts synchronized patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin at midday and 1 village nr. Jenin later in the afternoon; and conducts latenight...

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  • January 20, 2010

    Israel deports Americans Jared Maslin (chief English editor for the Bethlehembased Palestinian news agency Ma‘an) and Faith Rowold (a volunteer with a Lutheran Church group in Jerusalem) to the U....

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  • January 16, 2009

    In Washington, Livni and Rice sign the MOU on curbing arms smuggling, aimed at facilitating Israel’s acceptance of the EgyptHamas cease-fire offer (see 1/15). Anonymous Israeli military officials...

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  • January 7, 2009

    Israel agrees in principle to the 1/6 Egyptian-French cease-fire proposal, agreeing to send an envoy to Cairo on 1/8 to discuss details with Egyptian officials. On the ground, Israeli air, naval,...

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  • May 13, 2007

    The Israeli navy fires on Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Rafah, forcing them to return to shore. The IDF makes a helicopter rocket strike on a suspected rocket-launching site nr. Bayt...

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  • May 19, 1998

    PA Planning M Nabil Shaath arrives in Amman on 4-day visit, holds talks with Jordanian FM Anani on economic cooperation, creation of free trade zone. (RJ 5/19 in WNC 5/23; RJ 5/22 in WNC 5/27)...

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  • May 12, 1998

    In hastily scheduled address to the National Press Club, Secy. Albright gives long-planned speech, urging Israel to accept U.S. terms for renewing accelerated final status talks that...

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  • April 15, 1998

    In Cairo, Syria's Pres. Asad briefs Pres. Mubarak on results of 4/13 Syrian-Lebanese summit in Latakia, discusses holding mini-Arab summit. (ESC Television [Cairo], MENA, RMC, SANA,...

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  • February 28, 1998

    PM Netanyahu sends media adviser David Bar-Ilan to Washington to call on Jewish-American leaders, Christian Right, allies in Congress to fend off expected U.S. government initiative...

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  • February 22, 1998

    UN Secy. Gen. Annan reaches agmt. (signed 2/23) with Iraq on resuming unrestricted inspections under which UN Special Committee (UNSCOM) teams of technical experts will be accompanied...

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In the Gaza Strip, the union of hospital sanitation workers goes on a full strike following weeks of partial strikes protesting the govt.’s failure to pay them since 6/2. Off the coast nr. Gaza City, Israeli naval forces open fire on a Palestinian fishing boat, critically injuring 1 fisherman. IDF troops along the e. border open fire on agricultural lands, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, a Palestinian man enters a supermarket in Mishor Adumim, an Israeli industrial zone in the Ma’ale Adumim settlement bloc, and stabs 2 Israeli settlers, lightly injuring them. An off-duty Israeli security officer shoots him in the leg and the Israeli police detain him. Later, 2 Palestinian men are arrested in connection with the incident and IDF troops raid the injured man’s home in al-‘Izzariya. Separately, IDF troops shut down a secondary school nr. Nablus after a group of Palestinians throws stones at Israeli vehicles on a nearby road on 12/2. IDF troops patrol in ‘Askar r.c. nr. Nablus and 1 area in the e. part of the city, sparking clashes with residents and shooting 1 Palestinian in the foot. Israeli forces deliver demolition orders and stop-work notices to Palestinians in 2 villages nr. Bethlehem. The IDF conducts arrest raids and house searches nr. Nablus, Ramallah, and Tulkarm. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces enter the Jabal Mukabir neighborhood, sparking clashes with stone-throwing Palestinians nr. the homes of the 2 Palestinian men who were killed after they attacked a West Jerusalem synagogue on 11/18. During the clashes, Israeli forces detain 1 Palestinian boy and injure others with tear gas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets. Separately, Israeli forces arrest another Palestinian boy in Silwan. Meanwhile, around 300 Israeli security officers escort multiple construction vehicles into Shu‘fat r.c., and they demolish around 20 stores and the abandoned Cola building for the expansion of an Israeli checkpoint. None of the Palestinian proprietors were notified prior to the demolition. Also, Israeli forces raid the home of a Palestinian reporter with Ma‘an News Agency. The soldiers detain his brother and father and tell the reporter that they will not be released until he turns himself in, which he does soon after. (AnA, AP, HA, JP, MNA, WAFA, YA 12/3; MEMO, MNA, PCHR 12/4; PCHR 12/11)

Reps. of all the parties in the Knesset meet and agree to hold elections on 3/17/2015. Following the meeting, the full body votes in favor of dissolving the 19th Knesset. This vote constitutes a 1st reading, and like any bill it must pass 2 more (both scheduled for 12/8) before being implemented. (AFP, IHY, JP, TOI, YA 12/3)

The Jerusalem City Council announces its plans to use NIS 50 m. to fund new construction projects in the Har Homa settlement in East Jerusalem. (AFP 12/3; JP 12/4)

The U.S. House of Reps. passes the U.S.- Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014, after the Senate passed it on 9/19. U.S. Pres. Barack Obama will sign it into law on 12/19. (AFP 12/3)

In the West Bank, the IDF opens fire on a Palestinian vehicle at a checkpoint nr. Nablus, wounding 1. The IDF also violently disperses a demonstration in Tura village nr. Jenin, organized by the DFLP to mark its 45th anniversary, wounding 1. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Hebron, Jenin, and Tulkarm at night; patrols in 1 village and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night. (WAFA 2/15; PCHR 2/20)

Egyptian forces destroy 10 tunnels and 7 homes in Rafah, as part of efforts to create a 300–500 meter buffer zone along the border with the Gaza Strip, according to an anonymous official cited by Ma’an News Agency. (MNA 2/15)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces launch air strikes targeting 2 chicken farms, a border fence tunnel, and an Islamic Jihad training site nr. Khan Yunis. There are no injuries reported in any of the attacks. IDF troops also conduct a limited incursion in s. Gaza to level land nr. the border fence. The IDF also shells agricultural land nr. Gaza City, with no damage or casualties. Separately, a Palestinian fighter is killed in an accidental explosion in Gaza City. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 3 nearby villages and al-‘Arub r.c., and 1 village each nr. Bethlehem, Jenin, Nablus, and Ramallah at night. Meanwhile, a Palestinian man shot by Israeli forces in 2006 dies of his wounds. Jewish settlers vandalize 2 cars and leave racist graffiti in a village nr. Nablus. (MNA 11/19; PCHR 11/21)

Following the 11/16 decision by Hamas officials, Ma’an News Agency’s office in Gaza City reopens, following 4 mos. of closure, with the authorities also announcing that Al-Arabiya TV’s offices would also reopen. Hamas closed the 2 news organizations on 7/25 after they reported that Muslim Brotherhood officials who had fled Egypt were being sheltered in the Gaza Strip. (MNA 11/19)

UNRWA Under Secy.-Gen. Jeffrey Feltman tells the UN Security Council (UNSC) that the agency will be unable to pay salaries to roughly 30,000 employees in 12/2013, including teachers and medical personnel, due to a $36 m. deficit. Meanwhile, hundreds of teachers gathered outside the High Court of Justice in Ramallah after the PA appealed to the court with the claim that the limited strike launched on 11/17 was in contravention of labor laws. (AFP, MNA 11/19)

A double suicide bombing kills 23 outside the Iranian embassy in Beirut, including an Iranian diplomat. The attack was claimed by al-Qa‘ida linked group Abdullah Azzam Brigades that, in a statement, said their demands were the withdrawal of Hizballah forces from Syria and the release of Salafist jihadists from Lebanese jails. Following the bombings, Hizballah’s dep. leader Naim Kassem says that the group will not be swayed from its course of support for the Syrian govt. Saudi Arabia condemns the attack as “cowardly.” (AFP 11/19; AP, REU 11/20)

Egyptian security forces storm Tahrir Square in Cairo, clashing with protesters who had gathered to mark the anniversary of deadly 2011 demonstrations. One person is killed in the confrontation. (AFP 11/19)

Off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. al-Waha, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya and al-‘Arub refugee camp (r.c.) nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, and 1 village nr. Jenin at night. Jewish settlers uproot more than 100 olive trees nr. Yatta in the s. West Bank. (MNA 11/17; PCHR 11/21)

Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh meets with leaders of several Palestinian political factions including Islamic Jihad and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), but without representation by Fatah. Haniyeh suggests the formation of a cmte. to oversee the implementation of the 2012 Cairo and Doha agreements on national reconciliation. In the same meeting, the Hamas authorities decide to reopen Ma’an News Agency’s office in Gaza, 4 mos. after it was shut. (MNA 11/16)

A Muslim Brotherhood-led coalition offers negotiations to end the political crisis in Egypt, without specifically demanding the reinstatement of deposed Pres. Mohamed Morsi. The statement also promises further “peaceful opposition.” Meanwhile, gunmen kill an Egyptian police officer in al-Arish in the n. Sinai. (AFP, MNA 11/16)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Dayr al-Balah to level land close to the border fence. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron and Nablus at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Jericho in the morning, in 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Ramallah, Qalqilya and Tulkarm at night. Unknown assailants throw a petrol bomb at a Jewish settler’s car nr. Nablus, causing no injuries. (MNA 10/20; PCHR 10/24)

Hamas’s armed wing Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades claims direct responsibility for digging the tunnel under the Gaza-Israel border recently exposed by the IDF. Meanwhile, Israeli authorities open Kerem Shalom border crossing for truckloads of imports including commercial commodities and limited amounts of fuel and gas for domestic use. Construction material is not part of the consignment. (MNA, REU 10/20)

Journalists demonstrate in Ramallah to demand the reopening of the Gaza Strip offices of Ma’an News Agency and Al-Arabiya, which have been shut since the summer. Meanwhile, the PA Public Workers’ Union announces a general strike to begin on Wednesday in all govt. offices in the West Bank, due to an industrial dispute about rising living costs requiring a commensurate increase in wages. (MNA 10/12)

Gunmen shoot dead 3 people including a child outside a Coptic church in Cairo, opening fire on congregation mbrs. as they leave the church. In the Sinai, gunmen attack Egyptian security forces nr. Shaykh Zuweid in the Sinai, injuring 3. Meanwhile, some 3,000 student supporters of ousted pres. Morsi protest in Al-Azhar University, with security forces using tear gas to disperse demonstrators and arresting 11. (AFP, AP, MNA, REU 10/20)

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)

In the West Bank, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians in 1 village nr. Jenin and arrests 2 wounded civilians. The IDF also patrols in 2 villages nr. Jericho and 3 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, Jericho, and 4 villages nr. Hebron, 2 nr. Tulkarm, and 1 nr. Ramallah at night. Jewish settlers from Ma’ale Ephraim settlement nr. Nablus set fire to 2 Palestinian-owned cars. (PCHR 12/27)

Various Palestinian officials close to Pres. Abbas tell the Associated Press that there are plans to encourage the international isolation of Israel should Israeli PM Netanyahu win reelection and the peace process remain stalled. Options being considered include war crimes charges, urging sanctions, and ending security cooperation in the West Bank. Fatah official Nabil Shaath tells Palestinian news agency Ma‘an that the PA will further develop a strategy of boycott and civil disobedience in 2013. In response to these reports, the Israeli Foreign Ministry says that Abbas seeks to ‘‘incite a confrontation with Israel no matter what.’’ (AP, MNA 12/20; YA 12/21)

The EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton releases a statement expressing strong opposition to Israel’s ‘‘unprecedented expansion of settlements around Jerusalem.’’ Meanwhile, South Africa’s governing party, the African National Congress, votes at its annual conference to support the Palestinians’ Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. (EU Press Office 12/20; HA 12/21)

Human Rights Watch says that the IDF’s attacks on the media in the Gaza Strip during Operation Pillar of Defense that killed 2 and injured 10 media personnel violated the laws of war. (AP 12/20)

Israeli newspaper Ha’Aretz reports that the state has informed the High Court of Justice that the IDF will reduce the amount of time Palestinian minors can be held before they are brought before a judge. (HA 12/20)

An anonymous Israeli government official says that Israel and Egypt are continuing discussions behind the scenes in Cairo, intended to further ease restrictions on the Gaza Strip and to prevent a rearming of Hamas. (JP 12/21) I

srael’s UN amb. Ron Prosor submits a letter to the Security Council complaining that Hizballah has rearmed with tens of thousands of missiles, in violation of a UN arms embargo. (REU 12/20)

The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning; conducts synchronized patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin at midday and 1 village nr. Jenin later in the afternoon; and conducts latenight patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah, 1 nr. Jenin, and 1 nr. Tulkarm. In Gaza, Hamas-affiliated police raid a Bayt Lahiya house, beating and detaining 15–20 Palestinians before releasing them later in the day. Palestinian media sources (e.g., Ma’an News Agency 1/17) claim the small group was performing prayers to mark a Shi’i holy day and was targeted because they are Shi’i, but Hamas officials deny this, saying that “police tracked an illegal group with corrupted views that were planning to commit crimes.” Palestinian human rights groups demanded an investigation. (MNA 1/17; PCHR 1/19; OCHA 1/20)

Israel deports Americans Jared Maslin (chief English editor for the Bethlehembased Palestinian news agency Ma‘an) and Faith Rowold (a volunteer with a Lutheran Church group in Jerusalem) to the U.S. on visa violations after having detained them the preceding wk. at Ben-Gurion Airport; Palestinians and NGOs operating in the occupied territories view Maslin’s deportation in particular as further evidence that Israel is stepping up its crackdown on individuals and organizations, especially ones with foreign funding, that promote Palestinian interests. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Nablus, Ni‘lin, and nr. Hebron. (PCHR, WP 1/21; OCHA 1/27; PCHR 1/28)

Syrian-based senior Hamas commander Mahmud al-Mabhuh, a founder of Hamas’s Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades, is found murdered in his hotel room in Dubai. Hamas accuses Israel of assassinating him, but Israel refuses to comment. (NYT, WP 1/30; JPI 2/11; NYT, WT 2/16)

In Washington, Livni and Rice sign the MOU on curbing arms smuggling, aimed at facilitating Israel’s acceptance of the EgyptHamas cease-fire offer (see 1/15). Anonymous Israeli military officials state that OCL is “in its final act.”

Combat notes: Early in the day, the IDF pulls back to the outskirts of Gaza City (with reports indicating that Tal al-Hawa has been devastated), but fighting intensifies again in the evening. Intensified IDF ground operations under cover of air strikes and heavy shelling are reported on the outskirts of Khan Yunis. The IDF reports hitting more than 50 targets during the day, including 15 rocket-launching sites, 13 groups of armed men, 4 suspected weapons depots, 2 smuggling tunnels, at least 1 mosque, Hamas’s Asda’ media center outside Khan Yunis (previously hit on 12/27). Air strike target areas include Bani Suhayla, Bayt Lahiya, alBureij r.c., the al-Fukhari area, Gaza City (al-Shuja‘iyya, Tal al-Hawa; al-Tuffah), Izbat ‘Abid Rabbuh, Jabaliya town and r.c., Khan Yunis (white phosphorous suspected), alNasser (n. of Rafah), Rafah, the al-Satar al-Gharbi area (nr. Khan Yunis), and the alTannour area (e. of Rafah). Artillery and tank fire are reported in Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr al-Balah (white phosphorous suspected), Gaza City (city center and al-Sudaniyya, al-Zaytun), Jabaliya town, Khan Yunis, al-Qarara, al-Shuka, Twam, Wadi alSilqa (white phosphorous suspected). Naval bombardments center on open areas w. of Khan Yunis and in the al-Mawasi area, and in s. Rafah. Ground engagements are reported in Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, the al-Fukhari area and nearby Ma’an, Gaza City, al-Mughraqa, al-Zahra’. At least 3 ambulances are hit trying to evacuate the dead and wounded in clashes in central Gaza nr. Shuhada junction and in al-Mughraqa.

In a highly publicized incident, IDF tank shells hit a Gaza City home, killing 4 young girls (3 sisters, 1 cousin). Father of the 3 sisters, Izzeddin Abu al-Aish, a prominent Gazan doctor who appears regularly as a commentator on Israeli TV, phones ITV channel 10’s live broadcast to beg for medical assistance for his injured family, reports that his daughters are dead. In addition, an IDF air strike targets a home receiving condolence visits in Gaza City’s al-Shuja‘iyya neighborhood, killing 10 Palestinians, wounding 7. Another air strike on a home in al-Bureij r.c. kills a mother and her 5 children, ages 7–15. Gazan medical officials put the Palestinian toll at 1,140 dead, more than 5,100 wounded (470 in serious condition).

Palestinians fire 22 rockets and 5 mortars into Israel. Areas hit include Ashdod and Kiryat Gat (where at least 3 Israelis are injured, 1 seriously).

Humanitarian notes: The IDF allows up to 109 trucks of humanitarian aid entry to Gaza during the 4-hr. lull. (AFP, AP, IDF, IFM, ITV, MA, MM, REU, XIN, Zaman 1/16; IFM, NYT, WP, WT, XIN 1/17; NYT 1/18; AY, DUS, ITIC, MM 1/19; PCHR, WT 1/22; PCHR 1/29; ITV, MM 2/4; NYT 2/5)

The IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin, Nablus; fires rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians who attend nonviolent demonstrations against OCL following Friday prayers in Hebron (injuring 4) and neighboring Bayt Umar (injuring 3), Issawiyya (injuring 4); fires live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists taking part in weekly nonviolent protests against the separation wall in Bil‘in (injuring 5 Palestinians, 4 with live ammunition); fires rubber-coated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists taking part in weekly nonviolent protests against the separation wall in Ni‘lin (injuring 12 Palestinians, including 7 children). In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces beat and fire rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians protesting against OCL nr. al-Aqsa Mosque (injuring 1) and in Ras al-Amud neighborhood (injuring 1). (PCHR 1/22)

Israel agrees in principle to the 1/6 Egyptian-French cease-fire proposal, agreeing to send an envoy to Cairo on 1/8 to discuss details with Egyptian officials. On the ground, Israeli air, naval, and ground attacks continue across the Strip, “tightening the noose” around Gaza’s population centers. IDF reservists begin to complete their training and deploy to staging areas on the Gaza border. IDF officials say that since Israeli troops entered Gaza on 1/3, Hamas and other Palestinian fighters have largely pulled back into the cities and refugee camps, sniping and engaging IDF troops on the edges of densely populated areas but not coming out to engage directly.

Combat notes: The IDF carries out more than 40 air strikes on targets across Gaza, hitting the PA presidential compound in Gaza City (already hit several times), 14 rocketlaunching sites, more tunnels on the Rafah border, 9 homes allegedly hiding smuggling tunnels, 4 groups of armed Palestinians, 1 Hamas outpost, 1 suspected weapons depot, 2 mosques (Bani Suhayla, Khan Yunis). Target areas include Abu Middayn (c. Gaza), Bani Suhayla, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (Shaykh Ridwan), the al-Fukhari area (nr. Khan Yunis), Jabaliya, Khan Yunis, Khuza, Ma’an (e. of Khan Yunis), al-Maghazi, Nussayrat, Rafah, the Western Sawahira area (c. Gaza). Particularly heavy IDF artillery fire and exchanges of gunfire are reported in al-Atatra, the al-Salatin area northwest of Bayt Lahiya, the Izbat ‘Abid Rabbuh area e. of Jabaliya, alQarara, and al-Zaytun in Gaza City. In the afternoon, the IDF drops leaflets on houses nr. the Rafah border, ordering residents to evacuate their homes; aerial bombing there begins after dark.

Palestinians fire 17 rockets and 5 mortars into Israel, lightly injuring 2 Israelis; around a dozen are Grads that land in Ashdod and Ashqelon, the rest are Qassams that land closer to the Gaza border. With IDF troops now in control of open areas around Bayt Hanun and Bayt Lahiya, most rocket and mortar fire is coming from densely populated urban areas.

At least 29 Palestinians are killed today, bringing the estimated Palestinian toll to at least 682 dead and 3,085 injured. One IDF soldier is moderately wounded, 8 are lightly wounded in exchanges with Palestinians inside Gaza.

Humanitarian notes: In the afternoon, the IDF observes a 3-hr. cease-fire nr. Gaza City to allow 80 truckloads of humanitarian aid to enter the Strip and to give Gazans an opportunity to seek food, fuel, and medical care. Some Israeli gunfire is reported (WP 1/22) during the lull, leaving at least 2 Palestinian girls (ages 2, 7) dead and their father and sister wounded. Aid groups say the imports do not come close to relieving the dire crisis. Moreover, Palestinians are reportedly (NYT 1/8) running low on cash to buy supplies because Israel has barred the import of currency; banks are closed because of the fighting; and ATMs do not work because of the lack of electricity.

The ICRC reports finding 16 bodies (7 women, 6 children, 3 men) and 18 seriously wounded Palestinians (including 4 emaciated children too weak to stand) in a cluster of destroyed houses in Gaza City’s al-Zaytun neighborhood. The ICRC received specific reports of these casualties on 1/3, but the IDF had barred ambulances and rescue workers fr. reaching the site; international aid workers finally enter the area with donkey carts to evacuate the wounded, ignoring IDF efforts to chase them away. The ICRC later attempts to return to the area to remove the bodies and check reports of additional casualties but is blocked by the IDF. The ICRC’s headquarters in Geneva issues a rare denunciation of Israel, calling (WP 1/8) the IDF’s handling of the incident “unacceptable,” stating that it had “failed to meet its obligations under international law to care for and evacuate the wounded.” (AP, Arutz 7, AYM, BBC, HA, IDF, JP, MA, MM, REU, RFM, RIA, YA 1/7; IDF, IFM, IHY, JP, MA, MM, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT, YA 1/8; WP 1/14; PCHR 1/15; NYT 1/17; ITIC 1/18; WP 1/22)

The IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron; fires rubbercoated steel bullets, tear gas, percussion grenades to disperse Palestinian and international activists demonstrating against OCL in Ni‘lin; no injuries are reported. (PCHR 1/8, 1/15)

The Israeli navy fires on Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Rafah, forcing them to return to shore. The IDF makes a helicopter rocket strike on a suspected rocket-launching site nr. Bayt Hanun, causing no injuries. Olmert’s security cabinet discusses military options for dealing with continued rocket fire fr. Gaza; no decisions are reached; talks are expected to continue over the next several days. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron, nr. Jenin, and in Balata r.c., Nablus. Israel’s Jerusalem authorities issue an eviction order to the Palestinian al-Ansari Library in Jerusalem (one of the largest collections in Jerusalem with 45,000 books), slating the building for demolition to make way for a train station. A Jewish settler guard at Burkan settlement nr. Salfit shoots, wounds a Palestinian driver who routinely transports Palestinian workers to and fr. the settlement; no reason is given. Heavy Fatah-Hamas fighting in Gaza escalates, leaving 5 Palestinians dead (including AMB cmdr. Bahaa Abu Jarad and his bodyguard), around 20 wounded. Egyptian mediators broker a truce late in the day, but fighting continues. (Ma’an News Agency 5/13; NYT 5/14; OCHA 5/16; PCHR 5/17)

PA Planning M Nabil Shaath arrives in Amman on 4-day visit, holds talks with Jordanian FM Anani on economic cooperation, creation of free trade zone. (RJ 5/19 in WNC 5/23; RJ 5/22 in WNC 5/27)

PA Elections Appeals Court cancels the Gaza by-election set for 5/29 to fill Haidar `Abd al-Shafi's seat on the Palestinian Council (PC). (PCHR 5/21; PR 5/29)

Israeli DM Yitzhak Mordechai discusses with Russian special envoy Viktor Posuvalyuk Israel's conditional withdrawal proposal for s. Lebanon, Russian military assistance to Iran. Posuvalyuk then heads to Amman for talks with Jordan's Crown Prince Hassan. (IDF Radio, QY, RJ 5/19 in WNC 5/21; JTV 5/19 in WNC 5/27)

The American Israel Public Affairs Comm. (AIPAC) holds rally on Capitol Hill to commemorate Israel's 50th anniversary. Speakers addressing the rally include Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS), Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA), House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-MO). (MM 5/20; Near East Report 6/1)

Kuwait releases last 3 of 13 Jordanian detainees pardoned 4/26. (JTV 5/19 in WNC 5/21) (see 5/13)

Jordanian court pardons opposition leader Laith Shubailat, sentenced 5/12 to 9 mos. in prison for inciting anti-U.S. riots in Ma'an in 2/98, pending withdrawal of his appeal. Shubailat is already free on appeal. (RJ 5/19, JT 5/20 in WNC 5/21)

Roadside bomb explodes in s. Lebanon, killing 2 civilians. SLA, Hizballah blame each other. (RL 5/19 in WNC 5/21)

In hastily scheduled address to the National Press Club, Secy. Albright gives long-planned speech, urging Israel to accept U.S. terms for renewing accelerated final status talks that she calls "balanced, flexible, practical, and reasonable." Albright then heads to Capitol Hill for closed session with congressmen. She also holds hr.-long mtg. with small group of Jewish leaders. (ITV 5/12 in WNC 5/13; MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/13; WJW 5/14)

In Amman, Arafat adviser Abbas briefs PM Majali on peace process given failure to convene 5/11 Washington summit. (RJ 5/12 in WNC 5/13)

Israel for the 1st time names an Arab judge, `Abd al-Rahman Zuabi, to the High Court. (WP 5/13)

Croatian delegation arrives in Israel on 1st official Croatian visit, opens talks on expanding bilateral relations. (HINA [Zagreb] 5/12 in WNC 5/13; HINA 5/13 in WNC 5/14)

UAE announces plans to buy 80 F-16s fr. Lockheed Martin in a deal valued at $7 b. (WP 5/13)

Jordanian military court sentences opposition leader Shubailat to 9 mos. in prison for inciting anti-U.S. riots in Ma'an in 2/98. (RJ 5/12 in WNC 5/13; WP 5/13) (see 4/15)

Hizballah attacks IDF unit in s. Lebanon, wounding 2 soldiers. (WT 5/14)

In Cairo, Syria's Pres. Asad briefs Pres. Mubarak on results of 4/13 Syrian-Lebanese summit in Latakia, discusses holding mini-Arab summit. (ESC Television [Cairo], MENA, RMC, SANA, SATN 4/15 in WNC 4/16; MENA 4/15 in WNC 4/17; MM 4/16; al-Thawra, Tishrin 4/16 in WNC 4/21)

King Hussein sends letter to PM Majali, asking him to prevent media criticism of Arafat, the PA, the peace process; to draft new press law that will "safeguard the interests of the kingdom." (JTV 4/15 in WNC 4/16; al-Ra'i 4/21 in WNC 4/28) (see 1/26)

In Amman, Jordan, Iran discuss expanding cultural, religious relations. (IRNA 4/16 in WNC 4/17)

Israel releases administrative detainees Ahmad Qattamesh (held 5 yrs., 8 mos.), Hassan Fatafteh (held 4 yrs.). Both men are Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine activists. (MM 4/16; PR 4/17; JP 4/25)

Jordan releases opposition leader Shubailat, arrested 2/20 during Ma'an riots. (JT 4/15 in WNC 4/16; MEI 4/24)

PM Netanyahu sends media adviser David Bar-Ilan to Washington to call on Jewish-American leaders, Christian Right, allies in Congress to fend off expected U.S. government initiative to press Israel for an FRD. (MM 3/3; WT 3/4; WJW 3/12)

Alerted by Jordanian security, IDF intercepts 2 boatloads of arms being smuggled to the West Bank via the Dead Sea, detains 1 Palestinian, claims the arms were intended for the PA. PA denies charge. (WT 3/1; WT 3/2; PR 3/6; JP 3/7)

Jordan lifts curfew on Ma'an. (WT 3/1) (see 2/22)

1 Hizballah mbr. is killed in an attack on an SLA post in s. Lebanon. (RL 2/28 in WNC 3/5)

UN Secy. Gen. Annan reaches agmt. (signed 2/23) with Iraq on resuming unrestricted inspections under which UN Special Committee (UNSCOM) teams of technical experts will be accompanied by senior diplomats appointed by Annan to act as observers. The UNSC must approve the agmt. U.S. expresses cautious optimism. (RJ 2/22, ITV, MENA, RJ 2/23, al-Ahram, al-Ra'i, RL 2/24 in WNC 2/26; CSM, MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/23; Le Soir [Brussels] 2/25 in WNC 3/3; MEI, PR 2/27)

Violent clashes continue in Ma'an, Jordan, for 3d straight day. (JTV, MBC, RJ 2/22, JT, JTV, RJ 2/23 in WNC 2/26; MM, WP, WT 2/23; WP 2/26; MEI 2/27) (see 2/21)

In Cairo, 15,000 students fr. `Ayn Shams, Cairo university demonstrate against U.S. policy toward Iraq. (MENA, RMC 2/22 in WNC 2/26)

3 Palestinians are injured when IDF breaks up "pro-Iraq" demonstration in Birzeit. Another protest is held at al-Najah University in Nablus. (ITV 2/22 in WNC 2/26; PR 2/27)

Jordan arrests 3 Jordanians for plotting attacks on Israeli targets, possession of explosives. (SA 2/23 in WNC 2/26)