35 / 14490 Results
  • May 26, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers assaulted 3 Palestinians in Burqa and threw stones at vehicles and homes in the town. Israeli forces closed the main road between Nablus and Qalqilya, impeding...

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  • September 23, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers leveled Palestinian agricultural land near Deir ‘Ammar before Israeli forces removed them from the area. Israeli forces sealed off Sabastia for the 2d day in a...

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  • September 9, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces issued demolition orders for 4 Palestinian-owned houses in Bani Na‘im and took measurements for a punitive demolition of a house owned by the family of an alleged...

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  • August 18, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces arrested 8 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Jenin, Tubas, Nablus, Jericho, and Bethlehem. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian was shot and injured...

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  • June 16, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces raided Ramallah for the 1st time since the PA ended security coordination with Israel on 5/19. 13 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Bayt Umar,...

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  • May 19, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces arrested 9 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Ya‘bad, Kaubar, and Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrested 8 Palestinians including a...

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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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  • June 6, 2019

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers seized a tract of land near Bayt Jala and placed barbed-wire fencing around it. Near Hebron, Israeli forces prevented Palestinian farmers from farming their land...

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  • July 5, 2018

    After a second day of clashes and confrontations at Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin village near Jerusalem slated for evacuation and demolition, Israel’s High Court of Justice issues a temporary freeze...

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  • January 5, 2014

    Off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels attack Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest...

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  • August 25, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon and in 1 village each nr. Ramallah and Salfit at night, patrols in 2 villages nr....

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  • August 11, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian farmer working close to the border fence nr. Gaza City. The IDF also opens fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no...

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  • June 17, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Bethlehem, 2 villages nr. Qalqilya, and 1 village nr. Hebron at night; patrols Qalqilya and in 1 village each...

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  • May 12, 2013

    The Fatah Central Committee accepts the Arab League’s latest proposal (4/29) authorizing land swaps with Israel and welcomes U.S. efforts to revive the peace process. Meanwhile, Israeli opposition...

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  • April 18, 2013

    Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF violently disperse dozens of Palestinian protesters in alKhader...

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  • April 15, 2013

    IDF troops in a watchtower on the Gaza border open fire on Palestinian farmers who stray close to the border fence nr. al-Buraij r.c., seriously injuring 1. Israeli naval vessels open fire on...

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  • February 26, 2013

    The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry warns that ‘‘the two-state solution is now on life support’’ and that 2013 is a ‘‘critical year.’’ Meanwhile, U.S. Secy....

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  • January 31, 2013

    A UNHRC investigation into Israel’s settlements in the West Bank publishes its conclusions, declaring such activity a contravention of the Geneva Convention and thus a potential war crime under...

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  • January 30, 2013

    The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah release a statement expressing deep concern over the number of Palestinians killed recently in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and also the ongoing...

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  • January 23, 2013

    White House spokesperson Jay Carney responds to a question about the consequences of the Israeli election for peace efforts by restating the administration’s call for a resumption of direct...

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  • January 22, 2013

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

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  • December 31, 2012

    In the Gaza Strip, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians collecting rubble along the n. border fence, wounding 1 child. IDF forces make a brief incursion to Gaza to level land nr. Rafah. In the West...

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  • December 18, 2012

    Israel’s Housing and Construction Ministry publishes tenders for construction of West Bank settlement housing units in Karnei Shomron, Efrat, and Givat Ze’ev as part of the government’s decision...

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  • December 13, 2012

    The European Parliament passes a resolution stating that Israel’s plan to build 3,000 new settlement housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem would make a two-state solution impossible. (...

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  • November 30, 2012

    Israel announces that it will build 3,000 new settlement housing units as a response to the successful Palestinian UN vote, as well as advance plans for thousands more units in occupied East...

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  • November 25, 2012

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

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  • November 11, 2012

    The IDF carries out air strikes on a number of targets in the Gaza Strip, killing 1 armed Palestinian and wounding a number of civilians. Palestinian groups fire around 100 rockets and mortars...

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  • November 8, 2012

    PA pres. Abbas circulates a draft resolution to UN member states, ahead of an expected vote later in the month on upgrading the Palestinian status to that of non-member observer state. The draft...

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  • August 26, 2012

    PA pres. Mahmud Abbas says that the plans for Palestine to request nonmember observer status in the UN at the General Assembly (UNGA) session in 9/2012 aim to preserve the two-state solution. (...

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  • April 12, 2012

    Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat responds to Israel PM Netanyahu’s 4/11/12 call for an immediate resumption of talks without preconditions by stating that talks would be meaningless unless...

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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers assaulted 3 Palestinians in Burqa and threw stones at vehicles and homes in the town. Israeli forces closed the main road between Nablus and Qalqilya, impeding Palestinian movement. Israeli forces also leveled 3 dunams (0.75 acres) of land planted with olive trees near Wadi Rahal. 24 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Silwad, Ramallah, Huwwara, Qalqilya, Ya‘bad, Yatta, Sa‘ir, and Bani Na‘im. In East Jerusalem, 5 Palestinians were arrested during raids. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinians east of Khuza‘a and Maghazi; no injuries were reported. (MEE, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/26; UNOCHA 6/4)

The PA announced it had finished its investigation into the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, concluding that Israel deliberately killed her. The PA findings are aligned with investigations made by AP and CNN, and with eyewitness accounts. Israel called the PA conclusion “a blatant lie.” The investigation found that the bullet that hit Abu Akleh was a 5.56 mm round used by NATO forces and that it was fired from 186 yards. The PA will not hand over the bullet to Israel, as Israel had requested. The PA handed a copy of its investigation to the U.S. (AJ, AP, AX, HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA 5/26)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas appointed PA minister for civil affairs Hussein al-Sheikh the new secretary-general of the PLO Executive Committee. The position of secretary-general had been vacant since Saeb Erakat passed due to complications from the COVID-19 virus on 11/10/2020. (HA, MEE, WAFA 5/26)

Al Jazeera said it was preparing a file to be sent to the ICC pertaining to the Israeli killing of its journalist Abu Akleh and the Israeli bombing their offices in Gaza in May 2021. (AJ, MEE, REU 5/26; AP, HA 5/27)

The Iraqi parliament approved a law criminalizing the normalization of Israel, with 275 out of 329 votes in favor. The law applied to all Iraqi citizens, state and independent institutions, and foreigners working in Iraq. Violations of the law can be punishable by death sentences or life imprisonment. (AJ, HA, WAFA 5/26; NYT 5/27; MEMO 5/30)

83 Democrats in the U.S. house and senate signed a letter to U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken urging him to intervene against Israeli plans to forcefully displace more than 1,000 Palestinians living in Masafer Yatta, an area Israel has converted into a firing zone. The letter underscored that the Israeli move “could further undermine efforts to reach a two-state solution” and contravenes international law. (ALM, HA 5/26; MDW, MEE, WAFA 5/27; TOI 5/31)

The U.S. company Meta, which operates Facebook, turned down an Israeli request to block a Facebook page Israel claims is “clearly linked to Hamas.” Meta said that the Israeli claim did not hold any merit. (HA 5/26)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers leveled Palestinian agricultural land near Deir ‘Ammar before Israeli forces removed them from the area. Israeli forces sealed off Sabastia for the 2d day in a row and closed Palestinian stores. 7 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Jalazun refugee camp, Bani Na‘im, Bayt Awa, Ya‘bad, and Beit Sira. In East Jerusalem, some 600 Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. 6 Palestinians were arrested in Silwan, al-Tur, Isawiya, and at the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions and leveled land north of Beit Lahiya and east of Dayr al-Balah. Israeli forces also opened fire at Palestinian agricultural lands east of Khan Yunis and Beit Hanun; no injuries were reported. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fisherman within 3 nautical miles west of al-Sudaniyya; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 9/23; PCHR 9/30)

2 Palestinians who had been missing after going fishing on 9/3 off the coast of Gaza were reported detained at a prison in Egypt. (MEE 9/23)

The PA commission of detainees’ affairs said in a statement that 1 39-year-old Palestinian who died of leukemia 7 months after being released from an Israeli prison perished because of medical neglect while he was incarcerated by Israel. (AJ, WAFA, WAFA 9/23)

The PLO rejected an agreement made between the U.S. and UNRWA to keep the U.S. providing funds to the agency, saying that the agreement is an attempt to abolish the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees. (WAFA 9/23)

It was reported that Sudan had seized a number of companies and bank accounts belonging to Palestinians. According to the reporting, the assets belong to Hamas as a means to generate revenue for the organization. Later, on 9/24, Hamas said that it did not have links to the companies and individuals targeted by Sudan. 1 day later, on 9/25, the PA urged Sudan to hand over the assets to the PA. A Hamas official said the seizing of the funds by Sudan was a way for the new government to win the support of the U.S by slandering Hamas. (HA, REU, TOI 9/23; AA, HA, MEMO, REU, TOI, WAFA 9/25; ALM 9/30)

The U.S. house of representatives passed a bill 420-9-2, providing Israel with another $1 billion of military aid to allegedly restock Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system after Israel’s attack on Gaza in May. The $1 billion was removed from a stopgap government-funding bill on 9/21, prompting Democratic majority leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) to present the funding as a stand-alone bill. The 9 representatives to vote against the bill were Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), André Carson (D-IN), Marie Newman (D-IL), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Cori Bush (D-MO), And Thomas Massie (R-KY). Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Hank Johnson (D-GA) voted present. Representative Tlaib gave a speech before the vote calling Israel an apartheid state, drawing ire from several pro-Israel Democrats, including Ted Deutch (D-FL) who said that calling Israel an apartheid state was anti-Semitic. Later, Israel’s envoy to the UN Gilad Erdan said that the 9 representatives who voted against the bill were “either ignorant or antisemitic.” It is estimated that the deployment of the Iron Dome during May cost Israel a maximum of $120 million. (AJ, AP, FOX, FOX, HA, HA, HA, MEE, MEMO, MEMO, NYT, REU, TOI 9/23; CNN 9/24; WAFA 9/25; HA 9/26; HA 9/27; JCUR, MEE 9/28)

Also in the house of representatives, representative Andy Levin (D-MI), supported by more than 24 Democrats, introduced the Two-State Solution Act, aimed at preserving the feasibility of a 2-state solution. Among its provisions, the bill aims at distinguishing between Israel and occupied Palestinian territory, defined as the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza. The authors of the bill want the U.S. to label products from occupied Palestine as such and not as Israeli products. It also aims at pushing the U.S. administration to reopen the PLO mission in D.C. and U.S. consulate to Palestinians in Jerusalem. Lastly, the authors want the PA to end its payments to Palestinian prisoners and their families convicted of terrorism by Israeli military courts. (POL 9/22; AJ, HA, JP, MEE 9/23; TOI 9/24)

Texas’s state comptroller Glenn Hegar said that Ben & Jerry’s had been added to the state’s list of companies that boycott Israel and that Texas will start to divest from the company. Texas is the 4th state to divest from Ben & Jerry’s over its decision to stop selling ice cream in West Bank settlements and to move its franchise regional office from Israel. (NWK 9/23; JP 9/24)

Denmark and the PA signed an agreement for Denmark to provide $72 million in grants over the next 5 years to help development in, among other areas, local government, agriculture, and civil society. (WAFA 9/23; MEMO 9/24)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces issued demolition orders for 4 Palestinian-owned houses in Bani Na‘im and took measurements for a punitive demolition of a house owned by the family of an alleged attacker in the village. Israeli forces also uprooted 22 Palestinian-owned olive trees in Ras Karkar. In East Jerusalem, Israel informed PA governor of Jerusalem Adnan Ghaith that he was no longer allowed to leave Silwan and that he could not contact some 50 individuals, including PA president Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions to level land east of Gaza City. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles offshore; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 9/9; PCHR 9/10)

At a virtual Arab League meeting, a majority of countries rejected a Palestinian proposal to condemn the UAE for its normalization deal with Israel. PA foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki accused the U.S. of blackmailing Palestinians and some Arab countries. The secretary-general of the Arab League Ahmad Aboul Gheit reiterated that the Arab Peace Initiative remains the Arab League’s stance on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. (HA 9/8; AJ, HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 9/9; WAFA 9/10)

According to senior advisor to U.S. president Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, Saudi Arabia has allowed Israeli commercial air traffic to use Saudi Arabian airspace. Kushner also said that the U.S. peace plan presented in January was aimed at “trying to save the two-state solution, because . . . if we kept going with the status quo . . . ultimately, Israel would have eaten up all the land in the West Bank.” The U.S. peace plan allows Israel to annex 30 percent of the West Bank. (HA 9/9; TOI 9/10)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces arrested 8 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Jenin, Tubas, Nablus, Jericho, and Bethlehem. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian was shot and injured during a confrontation with Israeli forces that was sparked by a demolition of a 5-story Palestinian-owned building in Jabal Mukabir. In Gaza, incendiary balloons were sent toward Israel from Gaza, causing fires, and 1 rocket was launched at Israel. Israel fired missiles at Gaza near Rafah, Gaza City, Bayt Hanun, and Bayt Lahiya, causing damage; no injuries were reported. Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen west of Bayt Lahiya on 2 occasions; no injuries were reported. (AJ, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 8/18; AJ, HA, PCHR, WAFA 8/19)

The Gaza power plant stopped producing electricity as Israel stopped all deliveries of fuel to Gaza on 8/13. Palestinians in Gaza only have between 3-4 hours of electricity a day, as opposed to 8-12 hours, because of the power plant closure. (AJ, HA, REU, WAFA 8/18)

Secretary general of the PLO Saeb Erakat attacked the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation for not condemning the UAE’s move toward normalization, violating the Arab countries’ consensus of not making agreements with Israel until Israel and Palestinians have negotiated a peace agreement. PA president Mahmoud Abbas called the UAE-Israel deal nonsense and said that the UAE “have turned their backs on everything: the rights of the Palestinian people, the Palestinian state, the two-state solution, and the holy city of Jerusalem.” At the meeting, attended by officials from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Abbas praised the steps toward Palestinian organizational unity. (HA, REU, WAFA 8/18)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied reports that Israel would support U.S. sales of advanced weapons to the UAE as part of the normalization deal between the 2 countries. A spokesperson for the Sudanese foreign ministry said that Sudan is looking at normalizing relations with Israel; however, after Prime Minister Netanyahu welcomed the news and said the dialogue had been going on since 2/2020, the Sudanese foreign ministry walked back the announcement, saying that normalization had not been discussed. The prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan said that Pakistan would not recognize Israel until the establishment of a Palestinian state acceptable to Palestinians. (HA, HA, REU 8/18; AJ 8/20)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces raided Ramallah for the 1st time since the PA ended security coordination with Israel on 5/19. 13 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Bayt Umar, Yatta, Ya‘bad, Anata, and Ramallah. In East Jerusalem, 3 Palestinians were assaulted and arrested by Israeli forces at a gate to the Haram al-Sharif compound. Off the coast of Gaza, Israel naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported. (AJ, WAFA, WAFA 6/16; PCHR 6/18)

The AP reported that the U.S. administration is considering withholding or cutting aid to Jordan because the country is refusing to extradite 1 Palestinian-Jordanian woman who served 8 years in Israeli prison after being convicted of organizing an attack in Jerusalem that killed 15 people in 2001, including U.S. citizens. She and more than 1,000 others were released in a prisoner exchange between Hamas and Israel, and she has been living in Jordan since being released in 2011. (AJ, HA, TOI 6/16)

UK prime minister Boris Johnson said at the British parliament that he believes “that what is proposed by Israel would amount to breach of international law” and that he “strongly objected and we believe profoundly in a two state solution and we will continue to make that case.” (HA 6/16)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces arrested 9 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Ya‘bad, Kaubar, and Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrested 8 Palestinians including a Waqf guard at the Haram al-Sharif compound, 1 other in the Old City, 5 during late-night raids in the Old City, and delivered 2 summonses for interrogations. In Gaza, Israeli forces detained a Palestinian journalist returning via the Erez Crossing from Jordan, where he had undergone treatment for liver cancer. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/19; PCHR 5/21)

The Islamic Waqf announced that the Haram al-Sharif compound and al-Aqsa Mosque would reopen after the end of Ramadan. (WAFA 5/19)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas announced that the PA will end all agreements with Israel and the U.S., including security agreements, because of Israel’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank. Haaretz reported that Palestinian sources said that coordination with Israel would continue at a lower level of engagement, at least for a time. In a speech, President Abbas said that, by Israel making the unilateral decision to annex parts of the West Bank, it has “annulled the Oslo agreement and all agreements signed with it, after snubbing all these years all these agreements and all the resolutions of the international legitimacy and international law.” Abbas further stated that the PA is ready to negotiate within the parameters of the Arab Peace Initiative, and that it had signed agreements “to accede to international agreements and conventions that we [the PA] have not yet joined.” (Guardian, WAFA, WAFA 5/19; HA, NYT, WAFA 5/20)

PA prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh and German foreign minister Heiko Maas released a joint statement after a virtual meeting, stipulating that “[a]nnexation of any part of occupied Palestinian territories including East Jerusalem constitutes a clear violation of international law and seriously undermines the chances for the two-state solution within a final status agreement.” It further read that Germany “took note of the Palestinian view that such a step would put an end to all signed agreements.” Separately, the French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned that Israeli annexation will have consequences for the EU’s relationship with Israel. (HA, WAFA 5/19)

A plane from the UAE with COVID-19-related aid materials for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza landed in Israel. The aid package included 14 tons of medical supplies, including 10 ventilators. The direct flight from the UAE to Israel is the 1st of its kind. (AJ, HA, REU 5/19)

The EU Police Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support donated $65,500 worth of protective equipment and hand sanitizer to the Palestinian Civil Police. (WAFA 5/19)

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 West Bank, Israeli settlers seized a tract of land near Bayt Jala and placed barbed-wire fencing around it. Near Hebron, Israeli forces prevented Palestinian farmers from farming their land. (WAFA, WAFA 6/6)

A leaked document showed that the PA in 2017 secretly increased the salaries of PA ministers by 67 percent. The UN special coordinator for the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov criticized the pay increases in light of the Palestinian economy and said that he had spoken to PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh who committed to end the practice and investigate the salary increases. (AJ 6/6)

A group of Democratic senators in the U.S. congress introduced a draft resolution opposing possible Israeli annexation of the West Bank. The resolution stipulated that, “[u]nilateral annexation of portions of the West Bank would jeopardize prospects for a two-state solution, harm Israel’s relationship with its Arab neighbors, threaten Israel’s Jewish and democratic identity and undermine Israel’s security.” (Axios 6/6)

After a second day of clashes and confrontations at Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin village near Jerusalem slated for evacuation and demolition, Israel’s High Court of Justice issues a temporary freeze on the demolition orders amid a dispute over land ownership. During the clashes, 3 international activists are detained and 4 vehicles belonging to activists and journalists are impounded. Meanwhile, The UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain jointly convey a formal protest to the Israeli authorities over their plans to demolish the village, warning that such demolitions make a two-state solution less viable. UN officials also protest the demolition plan. UK, Italian, Swedish, Belgian, Norwegian, Finnish, Danish, Swiss, German, Spanish, and Irish diplomats all visit Khan al-Ahmar today. The IDF blocks them from seeing the community’s 10-year-old schoolhouse, which was made from tires. (ALM, HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 7/5; EI, HA, JP, MNA, WAFA, YA 7/6)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces confiscate a length of water pipe in Bardala village near Jericho and a residential tent outside Susiya near Hebron. They also patrol near Nablus, Tulkarm, Qalqilya, and Hebron. Israeli settlers cut down 350 grapevines in Palestinian farmland near Bethlehem. They leave racist graffiti at the scene as well. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolish 4 agricultural buildings, a gas station, and a car wash in Hizma village and arrest 2 Palestinians during raids in Issawiyya and the Old City. Along Gaza’s border fence, IDF troops open fire on a Palestinian riding a motorcycle near Dayr al-Balah, causing no damage or injuries. In Gaza, an Israeli drone bombs a Palestinian motorcycle in Dayr al-Balah, destroying the vehicle and causing no injuries. (HA, JP, MNA, WAFA 7/5; HA 7/6; PCHR 7/12)

Off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels attack Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Ramallah and Jenin at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Salfit in the morning, in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm, in Salfit and 1 nearby village, and in Hebron in the afternoon, and in 1 village and al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron and in Tulkarm at night. (PCHR 1/9)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry visits Jordan and Saudi Arabia before returning to Jerusalem, in a day of whistle-stop diplomacy focused on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. In Amman, Kerry meets with Jordan’s King Abdallah II and FM Nasser Judeh, and then with King Abdallah in the Saudi monarch’s desert residence. Following 3 days of talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, an anonymous Palestinian official says that Kerry demanded Abbas recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland, in exchange for Israel’s acceptance of its pre-1967 borders as the basis for talks. Meanwhile, Israeli FM Lieberman tells a meeting of Israeli diplomats that he supports a comprehensive agreement with the Palestinians in the context of U.S.-led negotiations, but also says that he would only accept an agreement including the exchange of land and population, a reference to his longstanding proposal to move a number of Palestinian citizens into a putative Palestinian state. (See document C2 in JPS 171 for extended excerpts of Lieberman’s remarks.) Separately, Israel’s ministerial cmte. on legislation rejects 2 bills proposed by the Labor Party that would have facilitated a two-state solution by placing restrictions on settlement construction and preventing unilateral annexation. (AFP, AP, HA, JP 1/5)

UNRWA workers in the Gaza Strip go on strike over pay and employment conditions, joining West Bank-based UNRWA employees, who went on strike on 12/3. (MNA 1/5)

The Israeli PM’s Office passes responsibility for creating and implementing govt. development plans for the Bedouin communities in the Negev to the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry. Until now, the legislative measure set to codify the Prawer Plan was being overseen by former minister Benny Begin. (ToI 1/3; ToI 1/5)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon and in 1 village each nr. Ramallah and Salfit at night, patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 village each nr. Jericho, Ramallah and Tulkarm in the morning, in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm and 1 village each nr. Jenin and Salfit at night. Israeli bulldozers level privately-owned Palestinian land nr. Nablus to enlarge an illegal settlement outpost. In Jerusalem, dozens of right-wing Jewish activists enter the al-Aqsa compound and held discussions on the possibility of building a Jewish temple there. (MNA 8/25, PCHR 8/29)

The Jerusalem Municipality approves a budget for a NIS 62.4 million extension of the Ramat Shlomo settlement, adding some 1,600 housing units. Other projects approved include a NIS 20 million budget for developing a national park at the settlerowned “City of David” project in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan. Half of that latter budget will come from the prime minister’s office. Meanwhile, Israel’s Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel dedicates 2 new neighborhoods of 160 homes in the West Bank settlement Keddumim and says that a two-state solution will never happen. (AP, HA, JP 8/25)

Israel’s cabinet unanimously approves the appointment of Yossi Cohen as the new head of the National Security Council (NSC). Cohen, who spent 3 decades working for Mossad, replaces Yaakov Amidror. (YA 8/25)

Syria agrees to allow UN inspectors to visit the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Ghouta, a Damascus suburb. The U.S. State Dept. says that Secy. of State John Kerry told his counterparts in Britain, France, Russia, and Canada in a round of phone calls that there is “very little doubt” the Syrian govt. is responsible for gassing its own citizens. An unnamed administration official tells the media that despite this near certainty in Washington, the pres. still hasn’t decided how to respond. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich says that the U.S. and its allies should await the findings of the UN inspection team and avoid military action. (AP, REU, 8/25)

Three leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, including the organization’s Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie did not appear in court on the 1st day of their separate trials, apparently due to security reasons. The judge adjourns proceedings until 10/29. The charges are of inciting lethal violence during the events leading up to the military coup. (REU 8/25)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian farmer working close to the border fence nr. Gaza City. The IDF also opens fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Bethlehem, 1 village nr. Hebron, Qalqilya, 1 village nr. Ramallah, and Nablus and Balata r.c. at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Salfit and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night. (PCHR 8/15)

The Israeli govt. publishes a list of 26 Palestinian prisoners to be freed in the 1st stage of a planned release of 104 total prisoners in the context of renewed negotiations. Fourteen of the 26 will be deported or sent to the Gaza Strip, and 12 to the West Bank, with most having been jailed between 1985 and 1994. Meanwhile, Israel approves nearly 1,200 more settlement homes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, an announcement that prompts Palestinian negotiator Mohammed Shtayyeh to accuse Israel of trying to destroy the viability of a two-state solution. (BBC, REU, WP 8/11)

The Egyptian military kill at least 12 suspected militants in helicopter strikes in Shaykh Zuweid in the Sinai, a group that the army claims was responsible for attacks on Egyptian soldiers and abductions of security officials. (WP 8/11)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Bethlehem, 2 villages nr. Qalqilya, and 1 village nr. Hebron at night; patrols Qalqilya and in 1 village each nr. Salfit, Jenin, and Hebron at night. (PCHR 6/20)

Israel’s Economics and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett says that the idea of a Palestinian state is “dead” and urges Israel to annex Area C of the West Bank as soon as possible. In response, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat says that the international community needs to recognize that Israel has declared the end of the two-state solution. However, separately, Israel’s Housing Minister Uri Ariel says that the govt. has frozen nearly all housing starts in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, to boost efforts to restart talks. (AFP, JP, REU, YA 6/17)

Reports in Fiji’s media suggest that the Pacific island will replace some of the UNDOF peacekeepers withdrawn by Austria (following previous withdrawals by Croatia and Japan), sending 170 troops by the end of 6/2013. (JP 6/17)

The Fatah Central Committee accepts the Arab League’s latest proposal (4/29) authorizing land swaps with Israel and welcomes U.S. efforts to revive the peace process. Meanwhile, Israeli opposition leader Shelly Yachimovich (Labor) meets with PA Pres. Mahmud Abbas in Ramallah and expresses her support for a two-state solution. (JP, HA 5/12)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Jenin in the morning, 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and 1 village each nr. Jenin and Jericho at night. IDF soldiers conduct house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Jenin, and in Qalqilya. (PCHR 5/16)

Israeli newspaper Ha’Aretz speculates that Israel has opened a new diplomatic mission in the Gulf, based on its examination of Finance Ministry budget allocations for 2014. (HA 5/12)

The Yarmouk Martyrs’ Brigade releases the 4 Filipino UN peacekeepers it captured last week (5/7) on the Syria side of the Golan Heights demarcation line. (REU 5/12)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF violently disperse dozens of Palestinian protesters in alKhader nr. Bethlehem, causing no serious injuries. The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in al-Bireh, al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, 2 villages nr. Jenin, and 2 villages nr. Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Bethlehem, 1 village nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Jenin, and 1 village nr. Salfit at night. (REU, YA, MNA 4/18; PCHR 4/25)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry tells the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee that the ‘‘window for a two-state solution is shutting’’ and that the chance to create a Palestinian state alongside Israel will be lost in 1–2 years. (Guardian 4/18)

Officials from a dozen Palestinian factions including the PFLP, DFLP and Islamic Jihad—but excluding Hamas and Fatah—meet in Gaza City to discuss the resignation of Salam Fayyad. In a subsequent news conference, the factions say Pres. Mahmud Abbas should immediately start forming a Palestinian unity government of technocrats to be sworn in within three weeks. The government should then set a date for presidential, parliamentarian, and Palestinian National Council elections. (MNA 4/18)

Anonymous diplomats say that Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency have agreed to discussions in mid-5/2013. Meanwhile, U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry tells the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he was disappointed by the failure of talks in Kazakhstan but that a diplomatic solution to the dispute with Iran is still the best option. (AP 4/18)

IDF troops in a watchtower on the Gaza border open fire on Palestinian farmers who stray close to the border fence nr. al-Buraij r.c., seriously injuring 1. Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the n. Gaza coast, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF forces shoot and injure 6 Palestinians with rubber-coated metal bullets during clashes in al-Khader nr. Bethlehem. The IDF patrols in Qalqilya and 2 villages nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Balata r.c. in Nablus and in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. (MNA 4/15; AFP, MNA 4/16; PCHR 4/18)

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry praises outgoing Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad, following the latter’s resignation (effective 4/13). Serry reaffirms the necessity of a negotiated two-state solution, and says that Fayyad ‘‘had to contend with circumstances that kept constraining the success of the state building agenda’’ that is now ‘‘at serious risk.’’ Meanwhile, Fatah Central Committee member Azzam al-Ahmad says that Abbas must form a national unity government and set a date for elections, in the light of Fayyad’s resignation. (AFP, WAFA 4/15)

The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry warns that ‘‘the two-state solution is now on life support’’ and that 2013 is a ‘‘critical year.’’ Meanwhile, U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry says that Pres. Barack Obama will not bring a new peace initiative with him on his planned visit to the region in 3/2013. (HA, REU 2/26)

The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) claims responsibility for a single rocket fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip, which causes no casualties or damage. The group says the rocket is in retaliation for the death of Arafat Jaradat in Israeli detention. Israel responds by closing the Erez and Kerem Shalon crossings. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in and around Hebron and al-Fawar r.c. during the day, causing no serious injuries. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Nablus in the afternoon, and in and around Bethlehem and Aida r.c. and in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. Meanwhile, more than 200 activists and residents of Bayt Safafa in East Jerusalem protest plans for an extension of the Begin Highway that will run through the neighborhood. (HA, JP, REU 2/26; HA 2/27; PCHR 2/28)

The Palestinian Authority announces that it has paid the remainder of 1/2013 salaries owed PA civil servants. (MNA 2/26) The U.S. Senate confirms Chuck Hagel as the new defense secy. in a 58-41 vote. Only four Republicans voted to confirm his nomination, reflecting the controversy over Hagel’s appointment (see JPS 167). (REU 2/26)

Iran and the P5+1 group (permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) begin two days of talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan, the first such meeting since 7/2012 (see QU 165). (AP, REU 2/26)

A UNHRC investigation into Israel’s settlements in the West Bank publishes its conclusions, declaring such activity a contravention of the Geneva Convention and thus a potential war crime under the jurisdiction of the ICC. The investigators, led by French judge Christine Chanet, call on Israel to halt settlement expansion and withdraw all settlers. Israel’s Foreign Ministry rejects the report, calling it counterproductive and the result of a ‘‘one-sided and biased approach towards Israel.’’ PLO Executive Comm. member Hanan Ashrawi welcomes the report, saying that the Palestinians are encouraged by its ‘‘candid assessment of Israeli violations.’’ (JP, REU 1/31)

Area council head for the Gush Etzion settlement bloc Davidi Perl says that the Israeli Defense Ministry has moved forward plans to build 346 housing units in Tekoa and Nokdim settlements. (JP 1/31)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in ‘Ayn al-Sultan r.c. nr. Jericho and 1 village each nr. Jericho and Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Bethlehem and 1 village each nr. Hebron and Jenin at night. (PCHR 2/7)

Senior Hamas official Yahya Moussa denies recent reports (see 1/30) that Khalid Mishal told Jordan’s King Abdallah to inform U.S. pres. Barack Obama that Hamas accepts the two-state solution. (MNA 1/31)

Syria and its allies condemn the presumed Israeli attack on a site close to the Lebanese border, which the Syrian military says struck a research center and which Western officials stated was a convoy of anti-aircraft batteries headed toward Lebanon for Hizballah. Israeli officials refuse to comment. Syrian amb. to Lebanon Ali Abdul-Karim Ali says that the country may choose a ‘‘surprise’’ response to Israeli ‘‘aggression,’’ while Syria also summons the head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Golan Heights to formally protest the raid. Russia says that if reports are confirmed, then the Israeli attack is a violation of the UN Charter and is ‘‘unacceptable.’’ The Arab League condemns what it calls Israel’s ‘‘cruel aggression,’’ while Hizballah releases a statement expressing ‘‘solidarity’’ with Syria and calling the strike ‘‘barbaric aggression.’’ (AFP, AP, FT, REU 1/31)

Iran writes a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency to announce its plans to install and operate advanced uranium-enrichment machines. The U.S. says that installation of new Iranian centrifuges would be a ‘‘provocative step.’’ (REU 1/31)

Pres. Barack Obama’s nominee for defense secretary, Republican Chuck Hagel, is questioned at a Senate Armed Services Comm. hearing, and is attacked by Republic lawmakers over his record on Israel and Iran. Hagel repeated his apology for his previous use of the term ‘‘Jewish lobby’’ in a 2006 interview with Aaron David Miller, and says it was wrong to suggest that pro-Israel groups ‘‘intimidate’’ Congress into doing ‘‘dumb things.’’ (AP, JTA, REU 1/31)

The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah release a statement expressing deep concern over the number of Palestinians killed recently in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and also the ongoing incursions by the IDF into West Bank Area A (under full PA control). UN humanitarian coordinator in the occupied Palestinian territories James W. Rawley says he is ‘‘seriously concerned’’ about Palestinian civilian casualties resulting from live fire by IDF soldiers. (EU Press Office, UNNC 1/30)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning and in Bethlehem at night. (PCHR 1/31)

Saudi newspaper al-Sharq reports that in discussions with King Abdallah of Jordan, Hamas chief Khalid Mishal accepted the idea of a two-state solution, which would mark a significant change in official Hamas policy if reiterated publicly (claims subsequently denied (1/31) by Hamas officials. Previously, Hamas had expressed willingness to observe longterm truce with Israel, but not to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. (HA 1/30)

Anonymous U.S. officials say that Israeli warplanes conducted an air strike inside Syria targeting a convoy believed to be transporting anti-aircraft weaponry to Hizballah in Lebanon. The Syrian government claims that the planes struck a military research center. The Lebanese military say that Israeli warplanes have increased their activity over s. Lebanon in the past week, including at least 12 sorties in the previous 24 hours. (AP, NYT, REU 1/30)

White House spokesperson Jay Carney responds to a question about the consequences of the Israeli election for peace efforts by restating the administration’s call for a resumption of direct negotiations on final-status issues. Meanwhile, the UN’s special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Robert Serry, tells a UNSC meeting that courageous steps by Israeli and Palestinian leaders are required to save the two-state solution. At the meeting, Palestinian FM Riyad al-Maliki sits behind a ‘‘State of Palestine’’ nameplate, drawing criticism from U.S. amb. Susan Rice, who says that the U.S. does not recognize the UNGA vote in 11/2012 (see Quarterly Update in JPS 166). After the meeting, Maliki says that the Palestinians’ decision about whether to go to the ICC over Israel’s settlement construction will depend on what the Israeli government does in the E1 area nr. Jerusalem. (AP, REU, UNNC 1/23)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. The IDF also makes a brief incursion into Gaza to a distance of 200 m from the border fence nr. Bayt Hanun to level land. In the West Bank, IDF soldiers open fire on Palestinians at the entrance to al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, killing 1 woman with a shot to the head. Eyewitnesses say the soldiers were traveling in a civilian car. Also, a Palestinian teenager shot by the IDF during clashes in Aida r.c. on 1/18 dies in the hospital. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Jenin at night. (MNA, PCHR, WAFA 1/23)

Human rights NGO the Palestinian Center for Human Rights publishes a list of media workers in the Gaza Strip arrested by Hamas security services over the previous 48 hours. Meanwhile, dep. head of Hamas politburo Musa Abu Marzuq says that there is no disagreement within Hamas about Mahmud Abbas heading a unity government. (MNA 1/23)

PA fin. min. Nabil Qassis says that the government’s financial crisis is structural, requiring systematic changes in the budget and culture. He reveals that the deficit has now exceeded $1.4 b. (MNA 1/23)

Jordan holds parliamentary elections, which are boycotted by the Muslim Brotherhood–affiliated Islamic Action Front. The boycott is based on claims that the electoral system is biased in favor of rural tribal areas where pro-regime sentiment is highest, in contrast to large, more densely populated urban areas, where pro-Brotherhood views are strong among poor Palestinians. In the election, 1,425 candidates compete for 150 seats, up from 120, in the lower house. King Abdallah has agreed to cede some powers to the new legislature, such as choosing the PM and running day-to-day affairs. There are numerous reports of vote-buying and small-scale clashes in Karak governorate and some districts of Amman. The results see pro-government candidates maintain their dominance of the parliament, though 37 Islamist and other government critics win seats in the legislature. (AKH, AP, NYT, REU 1/23; AP, REU 1/24)

The Lebanese army states that 12 Israeli warplanes violated Lebanese airspace overnight, claiming that the breach of Lebanon’s sovereignty is a violation of UN Res. 1701, which was accepted as the basis for the cease-fire that ended the Israeli-Lebanon war of 2006. (Daily Star 1/23)

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

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

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

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

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

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians collecting rubble along the n. border fence, wounding 1 child. IDF forces make a brief incursion to Gaza to level land nr. Rafah. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers uproot around 190 olive trees in Qusra village nr. Nablus and attack villagers. Settlers also enter Bayt Umar village nr. Hebron, set fire to a car and spray ‘‘price-tag’’ graffiti. The IDF clash with residents of al-Nabi Salih village nr. Ramallah and Salfit, injuring 2 in the latter. In both cases, clashes begin after forces enter the communities and are met with protests and stonethrowing. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the afternoon, and in 3 villages nr. Jenin and 1 village each nr. Qalqilya and Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village each nr. Bethlehem and Jenin at night. (MNA 12/31, PCHR 1/3)

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics says that the population of Palestinians around the world totalled 11.6 m. in 2012, with 2.7 m. in the West Bank, 1.7 million in the Gaza Strip, 1.4 million in Israel, and around 6 million in the Middle East and worldwide. (MNA 12/31)

Israeli television reports that Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu stands behind his 6/2009 statement of support for the two-state solution, though without directly quoting from the PM. Earlier, Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely said that the PM’s 2009 statement had been a tactical maneuver designed to placate the international community. (ToI 12/31)

Israel’s Housing and Construction Ministry publishes tenders for construction of West Bank settlement housing units in Karnei Shomron, Efrat, and Givat Ze’ev as part of the government’s decision to build 3,000 new settlement units to punish the Palestinians for their successful UN bid. The U.S. expresses disappointment with what it calls Israel’s ‘‘pattern of provocative action’’ with regard to settlement construction, saying the repeated announcements and plans ‘‘run counter to the cause of peace’’ and put the two-state solution ‘‘further at risk.’’ Britain, France, Germany and Portugal–European members of the UNSC–issue a joint statement condemning Israel’s 12/17 decision to construct homes in Ramat Shlomo settlement in occupied East Jerusalem. (ToI, AP, HA 12/18)

IDF forces make a brief incursion into s. Gaza to level land along the border fence. In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians nr. Aida r.c. in Bethlehem, causing no injuries; this marks the 6th day of confrontations since Israeli forces killed a Palestinian youth in Hebron’s Old City on 12/12. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 each village nr. Bethlehem and Hebron at night. (PNN 12/19; PCHR 12/20)

Israeli military sources say that there are cracks appearing in the co-operation between the IDF and the PA’s security forces, though the operational relationship remains generally positive. One example of this deterioration is the PA security forces stopping IDF troops from pursuing their activities on at least 2 occasions in the past few weeks. (YA 12/18)

Reports suggest that more than 1,000 Palestinian refugees living in Syria crossed over the border into Lebanon in just 24 hours, fleeing fighting in Yarmuk r.c. (REU 12/18)

The European Parliament passes a resolution stating that Israel’s plan to build 3,000 new settlement housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem would make a two-state solution impossible. (Europarl 12/13)

Palestinian pres. Abbas criticizes Hamas leader Mishal’s 12/8 statements on Palestine ‘‘from the river to the sea,’’ emphasizing that ‘‘we recognized Israel in 1993’’ and that Mishal previously approved an agreement between Hamas and Fatah to pursue a two-state solution. Later, Tzipi Livni telephones Abbas to congratulate him for criticizing Mishal. Meanwhile, thousands of Hamas supporters gather in Nablus to celebrate the movement’s 25th anniversary, marking the 1st Hamas rally of its kind permitted by the PA since 2007; some senior Fatah officials attend. (HA, MNA 12/13)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians collecting scrap metal close to the border fence nr. Dayr alBalah, wounding 5. In the West Bank, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians protesting in Hebron over the IDF’s killing of a teenager on 12/12; in total, dozens receive medical attention, including 21 Palestinians wounded by rubbercoated steel bullets. The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin in the afternoon; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night. (MNA 12/13; PCHR 12/20)

Israel announces that it will build 3,000 new settlement housing units as a response to the successful Palestinian UN vote, as well as advance plans for thousands more units in occupied East Jerusalem and the area known as E1, between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim settlement. White House spokesperson Tommy Vietor says the Israeli decision is ‘‘counterproductive’’ and makes ‘‘it harder to resume direct negotiations or achieve a two-state solution.’’ Palestinian pres. Abbas says he has no immediate plans to take Israel before the ICC in The Hague, but suggests it could be a future option. (AFP, YA, HA, JP 11/30)

U.S. secy. of state Hillary Clinton praises the PA in a speech at Brookings Institutions’ Saban Forum 2012 in Washington, D.C., for ‘‘building a security force that works every single day with the IDF’’ and being ‘‘nationalistic—but largely secular.’’ (HA 12/1)

The Palestinian Ministry of Public Works in the Gaza Strip announces that the Hamas government will sign an agreement with Egypt next week to enable construction materials to enter the territory via the Rafah crossing. (MNA 12/1)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF fires on Palestinian civilians and farmers close to the border fence in separate incidents nr. Jabalya, Khan Yunis, al-Bureij r.c., and Bayt Hanun; a total of 10 Palestinian civilians are injured. The IDF also mortally wounds 1 Palestinian civilian nr. Rafah when Israeli forces open fire on dozens of Palestinians nr. the border fence; he dies on 12/1. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, 1 village each nr. Jericho and Hebron in the afternoon, and in Hebron and 1 village each nr. Hebron, Jericho, Ramallah, and Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Ramallah at night. Israeli soldiers violently disperse weekly nonviolent demonstrations held by Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, al-Nabi Salih) and 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara). There are no serious injuries, except in Bil‘in, where 1 Palestinian is shot in the hand with a rubber-coated metal bullet, and another Palestinian is wounded in the leg by a tear-gas canister. (PCHR 12/6)

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

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

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

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

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

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

The IDF carries out air strikes on a number of targets in the Gaza Strip, killing 1 armed Palestinian and wounding a number of civilians. Palestinian groups fire around 100 rockets and mortars into Israel, causing 3 injuries and structural damage. Israeli PM Netanyahu tells the weekly cabinet meeting that the army is prepared to intensify its attacks; a number of ministers urge an escalation in military operations (such as assassinations), as well as other measures, like cutting off electricity. A source in Netanyahu’s office says that the PM is preparing international public opinion for a military operation in Gaza. (AP, HA 11/11; JP 11/12; PCHR 11/14)

U.S. pres. Barack Obama tells PA pres. Abbas that his administration opposes a Palestinian bid for non-state membership of the UN. Abbas tells a rally in Ramallah marking the anniversary of Yasir Arafat’s death that the PA is under huge pressure to stop the UN initiative, but that they would continue regardless, as it is intended to save the two-state solution. (AFP, JP 11/11)

PA pres. Abbas announces that Russia will join an international investigation into whether Yasir Arafat was murdered. French and Swiss experts will exhume the late Palestinian leader’s body later in the month, after an Al Jazeera report in July suggested he was murdered with polonium. (REU 11/11)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Bethlehem (firing rubber bullets and tear gas at children going to school) in the morning; patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah. Israeli police deliver notices to 13 Israeli activists, banning them from taking part in weekly demonstrations in West Bank villages. (972mag 11/11; PCHR 11/14)

Israeli forces fire into Syria in what the military calls a warning, after stray munitions from fighting between Syrian troops and rebels hit the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The incident, described by Israel Radio as the 1st direct engagement of the Syrian military on the Golan since the countries’ 1973 war, highlights international fears that Syria’s civil war could ignite wider regional conflict. An Israeli security source said the military fired in the direction of a Syrian army mortar crew that had launched a shell that overshot the Golan disengagement fence on Sunday, exploding near a Jewish settlement without causing casualties. (REU 11/11)

PA pres. Abbas circulates a draft resolution to UN member states, ahead of an expected vote later in the month on upgrading the Palestinian status to that of non-member observer state. The draft text includes the Palestinian commitment to the two-state solution. An anonymous Palestinian official says that Arab League foreign ministers will discuss the draft and the timing of the vote in a meeting in Cairo on 11/12–13. Israeli FM Lieberman warns of ‘‘far-reaching implications’’ to the UN bid, but Palestinian officials respond with their own threats, such as cancelling the 1994 Paris Protocol, should Israel impose sanctions on the PA after the vote. In meetings with Quartet envoy Tony Blair and the U.S. and French consuls, PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erakat says the UN bid does not contradict the two-state solution. (AP, REU 11/8; JP, MNA 11/9)

The IDF makes a brief incursion into the Gaza Strip nr. Khan Yunis, where troops are engaged by armed PRC mbrs.; the IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian boy during the gun battle. In response, IQB mbrs. detonate a bomb near the border fence, damaging an IDF jeep and wounding 1 soldier. In the West Bank, the IDF uproots trees on land belonging to Nahalin village nr. Bethlehem; patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah, 2 villages nr. Qalqilya, and 4 villages nr. Jenin in the morning; patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya, 1 nr. Jenin, and 1 nr. Ramallah (firing rubber bullets and tear gas at stone-throwing Palestinians) at night; conducts late-night house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Ramallah. (MNA, REU, YA 11/8; MNA 11/9; PCHR 11/14)

Three mortar shells fired from inside Syria land inside the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no injuries. (HA 11/8)

PA pres. Mahmud Abbas says that the plans for Palestine to request nonmember observer status in the UN at the General Assembly (UNGA) session in 9/2012 aim to preserve the two-state solution. (WAFA 8/26)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel, causing some damage but no injuries. Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya and also on a group of fishermen 2.5 nautical miles (naut. mi.) offshore, causing no injuries in either incident. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Qalqilya and 1 nearby village in the afternoon. (PCHR 8/30)

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat responds to Israel PM Netanyahu’s 4/11/12 call for an immediate resumption of talks without preconditions by stating that talks would be meaningless unless Israel halted settlement construction, which creates facts on the ground that could supersede a negotiated settlement. He calls on the Quartet to find “a mechanism to compel Israel to stop settlement and to act on the twostate solution.” (AFP 4/12; WT 4/13)

The IDF conducts morning patrols in 3 villages nr. Jericho (synchronized), 3 villages nr. Ramallah (2 synchronized), and 1 nr. Qalqilya; conducts afternoon patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya; and conducts late-night patrols in Jericho and Nabi Salih. Jewish settlers fr. Itamar settlement nr. Nablus attack 5 Palestinian farmers working their land nearby, moderately injuring them; the IDF observes and intervenes, detaining the Palestinians for questioning. (PCHR 4/19; OCHA 4/20)