356 / 14704 Results
  • July 11, 2004

    A parcel bomb explodes next to a Tel Aviv bus stop, killing 1 IDF soldier, wounding 20 Israelis, marking the 1st fatal bombing inside Israel since the 3/14 Ashdod bombings; AMB takes...

    Read more
  • June 23, 2004

    The IDF raids Nablus, fatally shoots local Islamic Jihad military cmdr. Shadi Salim in an apparent assassination, severely beats a 2d Palestinian. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house...

    Read more
  • May 24, 2004

    During the day, the IDF continues operations in Rafah, demolishing 5 Palestinian houses completely, redeploying tanks surrounding Tal al-Sultan away fr. the area (bulldozing 120 dunams of...

    Read more
  • May 4, 2004

    The IDF launches a major predawn raid on Khan Yunis, fatally shooting 2 Palestinians, wounding 23, demolishing 34 Palestinian homes completely, 8 partially before withdrawing during the day;...

    Read more
  • April 27, 2004

    The IDF opens fire on stone-throwing youths in Tulkarm r.c., wounding 6. In Gaza, unidentified armed Palestinians raid a Hamas hideout in an attempt to steal explosives, sparking an exchange of...

    Read more
  • March 31, 2004

    The IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian who strays too close to Gaza’s Neve Dekalim settlement; demolishes a Palestinian home nr. Ramallah; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin. In Silwan...

    Read more
  • March 24, 2004

    The IDF catches a 16-yr.-old Palestinian boy wearing a suicide bomb at a checkpoint s. of Nablus, defuses the bomb, detains the boy; the Balata r.c. AMB takes responsibility, angering many...

    Read more
  • March 11, 2004

    The IDF raids a high school nr. Nablus, arrests a 10th grader; raids a mosque in al-Bireh, arresting 1 Palestinian; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, wounding a man on his roof; conducts...

    Read more
  • February 18, 2004

    In an incident in Dayr al-Balah, IDF soldiers grant permission to an international delegation, including 3 UN staff members, to visit and question a local Palestinian family, provided they stay...

    Read more
  • January 22, 2004

    The IDF pulls out of Rafah after 2 days, having found no smugglers’ tunnels; conducts arrest raids, fires on stone-throwing Palestinians, blows up a 5-story apartment building in Nablus;...

    Read more
  • January 12, 2004

    The IDF raids Tulkarm r.c., rounding up all inhabitants of 1 section of the camp for questioning, detaining 230 Palestinian men, allowing women and children to go after 10 hrs.; sends APCs into...

    Read more
  • January 11, 2004

    The IDF intercepts a Palestinian suicide bomber (the 16-yr.-old brother of a 15-yr.-old killed by the IDF on 1/3) nr. Nablus; to avoid capture, the bomber detonates his device, killing only...

    Read more
  • January 4, 2004

    The IDF begins requiring all visitors to Gaza and the PA-controlled areas of the West Bank (areas A) to obtain prior written permission for travel fr. the Civil Admin. or face the chance that they...

    Read more
  • November 23, 2003

    The IDF transfers 3 West Bank Palestinian administrative detainees to Gaza for 2 yrs. for their involvement in Palestinian violence; fires on residential areas of Brazil r.c. , Khan Yunis;...

    Read more
  • November 17, 2003

    The IDF makes a predawn raid on Tulkarm, sparking an exchange of gunfire that leaves 1 Hamas mbr. dead, arresting 3 Palestinians, including local Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (...

    Read more
  • September 11, 2003

    In response to the 9/9 suicide bombings, Sharon’s security cabinet declares Arafat “a complete obstacle” that Israel will “work to remove . . . in a manner, and at a time of its choosing.” In...

    Read more
  • August 20, 2003

    The IDF seals the West Bank and Gaza; surrounds, tightens closures on all Palestinian cities; sends additional tanks to the outskirts of Ramallah; conducts arrest raids in Hebron, detaining 17...

    Read more
  • July 29, 2003

    The IDF fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, Rafah. (PCHR 8/7)

    Bush, Sharon meet in Washington. Bush urges Sharon to make gestures to bolster Abbas. Sharon pledges to free 540...

    Read more
  • July 27, 2003

    On the eve of Sharon’s 7/28 mtg. with Bush in Washington, the IDF removes 6 West Bank checkpoints (3 outside Bethlehem, 2 outside Ramallah, 1 outside Hebron), in most cases adding roving...

    Read more
  • July 21, 2003

    The Knesset approves (47-27) Sharon’s decree authorizing the removal of all unauthorized settlement outposts constructed in the past 2 yrs. (NYT 7/22)

    Read more
  • July 18, 2003

    Israeli police acknowledge that they have begun letting obviously religious Jews (e.g., wearing kippas) join tours of the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif; say this is part of a gradual process to...

    Read more
  • June 21, 2003

    The IDF assassinates senior Hamas mbr. Abdallah Qawasmi, ambushing and shooting at his car as he drives through Hebron; Israel claims Qawasmi plotted the 6/11 Jerusalem bus bombing; Sharon calls...

    Read more
  • May 18, 2003

    A Hamas suicide bomber detonates a device on a bus outside French Hill settlement in East Jerusalem, killing 6 Jewish settlers, 1 West Bank Palestinian laborer, wounding 12 settlers; as rescue...

    Read more
  • May 17, 2003

    A Hamas suicide bomber detonates a device in Hebron, killing 2 Jewish settlers. Nr. Qalqilya, 2 Palestinian gunmen infiltrate a settlement, wound 2 Jewish settlers before being killed; no group...

    Read more
  • May 11, 2003

    The IDF places its tightest seal on the Gaza Strip since the al-Aqsa intifada began, barring everyone except diplomats and aid workers fr. entering or exiting (though 9 international aid workers...

    Read more
  • May 10, 2003

    The IDF imposes a tight curfew on Hebron; demolishes 3 Palestinian homes in Khan Yunis, 1 in Bayt Hanun; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis; bulldozes 25 dunams of land in Khuza, 20 dunams e...

    Read more
  • February 27, 2003

    The IDF raids a branch of the Arab Bank in Azariyya, East Jerusalem, confiscates documents related to bank accounts belonging to Jerusalem residents allegedly linked to Hamas. A roadside bomb...

    Read more
  • February 9, 2003

    Outside Gush Katif settlement, 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs. detonate a car bomb nr. an IDF checkpoint, killing themselves, lightly injuring 4 IDF soldiers; soldiers open fire on Palestinians waiting to...

    Read more
  • January 28, 2003

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

    Read more
  • January 5, 2003

    In the 1st suicide bombing in Israel since 11/21/02, 2 AMB suicide bombers fr. Nablus detonate devices on parallel streets nr. the Tel Aviv bus station during evening rush hr., killing...

    Read more

A parcel bomb explodes next to a Tel Aviv bus stop, killing 1 IDF soldier, wounding 20 Israelis, marking the 1st fatal bombing inside Israel since the 3/14 Ashdod bombings; AMB takes responsibility. Sharon, stressing that the bombing proves the need for the separation wall, calls the bombing the “first murder sponsored by the International Court of Justice.” Palestinians also fire an antitank missile at Gaza’s Atzmona settlement, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF demolishes 1 Palestinian home and a factory, fires on residential areas in Bayt Hanun; demolishes a Palestinian home in Qabatya. (VOI 7/11 in WNC 7/13; MM, NYT, WT 7/12; PR 7/14; PCHR 7/15; MEI 7/23)

The IDF raids Nablus, fatally shoots local Islamic Jihad military cmdr. Shadi Salim in an apparent assassination, severely beats a 2d Palestinian. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house searches in Dahaysha r.c. and nr. Ramallah, Tulkarm; fatally shoots a Palestinian who allegedly attempts to infiltrate Gaza’s Gan Or settlement; fires on residential areas of Rafah. Palestinians detonate a roadside bomb nr. an IDF patrol in Rafah, causing no damage or injuries. A Palestinian dies of injuries received during the 7/22 IDF raid on Bayt Hanun; a 2d Palestinian dies of injuries received during the 5/18 IDF raid on Rafah. (HA 6/23; VOI, VOP 6/23 in WNC 6/25; PCHR 6/24; PR 6/30; PCHR 7/1)

Egyptian envoy Sulayman presents Arafat, PA PM Ahmad Qurai‘, Sharon with a detailed timetable for moving forward with Sharon’s disengagement plan in a way that would link disengagment to the road map, a comprehensive cease-fire. (AP, MM 6/23; MENA, VOI, VOP 6/23 in WNC 6/25; MM 6/24; AYM, VOP 6/24 in WNC 6/26; NYT 6/25; Globes 7/8 in WNC 7/9)

During the day, the IDF continues operations in Rafah, demolishing 5 Palestinian houses completely, redeploying tanks surrounding Tal al-Sultan away fr. the area (bulldozing 120 dunams of agricultural land before leaving), moving tanks and bulldozers into Brazil r.c., firing on residential areas. The IDF withdraws fr. Rafah after sundown, effectively ending Operation Rainbow, saying that since 5/17 it found 3 tunnels and demolished 56 “structures” that allegedly had provided cover for Palestinian gunmen, that it will regroup and resume operations soon. After the pullback, the IDF fires on a funeral in Rafah, seriously injuring several Palestinians. The IDF also raids Balata r.c., fires on stone-throwing youths, killing 1 Palestinian. (JTA, MM, NYT, PM, REU 5/24; MENA, VOI 5/24 in WNC 5/26; AP, NYT, WP, WT 5/25; MM, PR 5/26; PCHR 5/27; JPI 6/4)

Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Sulayman meets separately with Israeli PM Ariel Sharon, Palestinian Authority (PA) head Yasir Arafat to present them with a list of conditions that Egypt would require to be in place before it would agree to retrain Palestinian security forces to assume security control in Gaza under Sharon’s disengagement plan. (MM 5/24; MENA, VOI, YA 5/24 in WNC 5/26; AP, MM, NYT, REU, WT 5/25; MENA, VOP 5/25 in WNC 5/27; WP 5/26; AYM 5/26, AYM, VOP 5/27 in WNC 6/1; NYT, WP 5/28; VOP 5/31 in WNC 6/2) 

The IDF launches a major predawn raid on Khan Yunis, fatally shooting 2 Palestinians, wounding 23, demolishing 34 Palestinian homes completely, 8 partially before withdrawing during the day; reinvades Khan Yunis after dark, demolishing another 16 Palestinian homes completely, 1 partially. During the day, IDF also deploys troops to surround Arafat’s headquarters in Ramallah; shells residential areas of the Old City of Nablus, Rafah; fires on stonethrowing youths nr. Nisanit settlement; conducts arrest raids, bulldozes 10 dunams of land in Wadi al-Silqa; conducts arrest raids, house searches in al-Arub r.c., Jenin, Nablus, al-Qarara, and nr. Dayr al-Balah. Nr. Tulkarm, a 10-yr.-old Palestinian is killed, 2 children are wounded when they accidentally detonate unexploded IDF ordnance while playing. A 17-yr.-old Palestinian dies of injuries received on 4/23. (BBC, MM, PCHR, PM, WP, XIN 5/4; VOP 5/4 in WNC 5/6; WT 5/5; PCHR 5/6)

The Quartet (the European Union, Russia, UN, and U.S.) gives qualified endorsement to Sharon’s disengagement plan. (MM, WP 5/4; FT, JTA, MM, NYT, PR, WP, WT 5/5; VOP 5/5 in WNC 5/7; MM 5/6; AYM 5/9 in WNC 5/12; VOP 5/11 in WNC 5/13)

The IDF opens fire on stone-throwing youths in Tulkarm r.c., wounding 6. In Gaza, unidentified armed Palestinians raid a Hamas hideout in an attempt to steal explosives, sparking an exchange of gunfire that leaves 2 attackers, 1 Hamas mbr. dead. In Gaza’s Gush Katif settlement, some 70,000 Israelis, Jewish settlers rally against Sharon’s disengagement plan. (WP 4/28; PCHR 4/29; NYT 4/30)

The IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian who strays too close to Gaza’s Neve Dekalim settlement; demolishes a Palestinian home nr. Ramallah; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin. In Silwan, East Jerusalem, 50 Jewish settlers (11 families) escorted by heavily armed Israeli border police occupy a multistory building, a Palestinian home they claimed to have purchased, evicting Palestinian residents, sparking clashes btwn. the IDF, Palestinians (9 of whom are arrested). The IDF dismantles 2 unauthorized settlement outposts: 1 nr. Hebron comprising a single tent that served as a synagogue, the other nr. Bethlehem comprising 2 containers; 300 Jewish settlers scuffle with the troops at the Hebron site, resulting in some moderate injuries. Palestinians fire an antitank rocket at IDF forces nr. Rafah, causing no damage or injuries. (AP, PR, REU 3/31; VOI, VOP 3/31 in WNC 4/2; NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 4/1; MM 4/6; PCHR 4/8)

Abrams, Burns, Hadley return to the region for consultations with Israeli, Palestinian officials on Sharon’s disengagement plan. (WP 3/27; HA 3/28; MM, NYT, WT 4/1; VOP 4/1 in WNC 4/3; HA, MM, NYT, WT 4/2)

The IDF catches a 16-yr.-old Palestinian boy wearing a suicide bomb at a checkpoint s. of Nablus, defuses the bomb, detains the boy; the Balata r.c. AMB takes responsibility, angering many Palestinians. The IDF also sends 25 tanks, bulldozers into Khan Yunis to raze 5 farms, 7 Palestinian homes that allegedly “provided cover” for Palestinian gunmen, also demolishing a main road and effectively dividing the town in half; fires on stone-throwing Palestinians in Hebron (wounding 8), residential areas nr. Qalqilya; conducts arrest raids in Aida r.c., ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’a r.c., Balata r.c., Dahaysha r.c., Jayyus, Nablus, Tubas nr. Jenin; temporarily occupies a Palestinian home nr. Nablus as an observation post. Palestinian gunmen fire on an IDF patrol outside Gaza’s Gadid settlement, lightly injuring 1 soldier; also fire on IDF soldiers nr. Ramallah, nr. Netzarim settlement, causing no damage or injuries. A Palestinian dies of injuries received on 2/11. (BBC, HA, REU, WT 3/24; VOP 3/24 in WNC 3/26; MM, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 3/25; AYM 3/26 in WNC 3/30; PR 3/31; PCHR 4/1; MEI 4/2; PR 4/7)

In Washington, Weisglass, Eiland present U.S. officials (including Rice) Sharon’s “preferred plan” for unilateral disengagement fr. Gaza plus 6 settlements in the West Bank (Ganim, Hermesh, Homesh, Mevo Dotan, Qadim, Sa-Nur). (MM 3/24; MM 3/26; HA 3/28)

The IDF raids a high school nr. Nablus, arrests a 10th grader; raids a mosque in al-Bireh, arresting 1 Palestinian; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, wounding a man on his roof; conducts house searches, arrest raids in Nablus, Rafah. In implementation of a new security plan (Quarterly Update), the PA deploys large numbers of PSF officers on the streets of Gaza City. (MM 3/11; HA 3/14; PR 3/17; PCHR 3/18)

The U.S.’s Abrams, Burns, Hadley arrive in Israel for further consultations on Sharon’s disengagement plan. Meanwhile in Washington, Israeli DM Shaul Mofaz briefs U.S. VP Dick Cheney, Powell on Israel’s latest thinking regarding evacuating settlements, maintaining security control in Gaza postwithdrawal. In Cairo, Israeli FM Silvan Shalom meets with Egyptian pres. Husni Mubarak and FM Ahmad Maher, who provide assurances that Egypt would secure its border with Gaza following an Israeli pullout. (AFP, HA, JP, MM, NYT, REU 3/11; MENA 3/11 in WNC 3/13; MM, WP 3/12; MA 3/12 in WNC 3/16; PR 3/17; MEI 3/19)

In an incident in Dayr al-Balah, IDF soldiers grant permission to an international delegation, including 3 UN staff members, to visit and question a local Palestinian family, provided they stay only 30 mins. and not enter the family’s home; the delegation complies, but as it is leaving, an IDF soldier deliberately shoots the 15 yr. old son of the family fr. a distance of 20 m., hitting him in the back, partially paralyzing him; the international team transports the boy to a Gaza City hospital. IDF also fires on residential areas of Brazil r.c., wounding an 11-yr.-old Palestinian boy; bulldozes 15 dunams of land, demolishes a Palestinian home nr. Jenin, 1 in Salfit nr. Nablus, a poultry farm in Dayr al-Balah; conducts arrest raids in Bayt Hanina, Gaza City, nr. Jenin. Armed Jewish settlers attack a Palestinian neighborhood in Hebron, seriously beating a 13-yr.-old Palestinian girl. In Jenin, unidentified assailants open fire on Palestinian Authority (PA) health minister Jawad al-Tibi, Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction head Muhammad Ishtiyya during a visit to inaugurate a new hospital; neither is injured. (VOP 2/18 in WNC 2/20; PCHR 2/19; VOP 2/19 in WNC 2/21; LAW, PCHR 2/26; HA, DUS 2/28)

U.S. National Security Council Middle East Adviser Elliott Abrams, Dep. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, Asst. Secy. of State William Burns arrive in Israel for3days of talks with senior Israeli, Palestinian officials on Israeli PM Ariel Sharon plan for unilateral disengagement fr. Gaza. (MM 2/18; VOP 2/18 in WNC 2/20; BBC, HA, MM, WT 2/19; VOP 2/19 in WNC 2/21; MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/20; HA 2/22; WP 2/26; Forward 2/28)

The IDF pulls out of Rafah after 2 days, having found no smugglers’ tunnels; conducts arrest raids, fires on stone-throwing Palestinians, blows up a 5-story apartment building in Nablus; demolishes 2 buildings under construction nr. Tulkarm; conducts arrest raids nr. Khan Yunis. The IDF also fires on a group of Palestinian boys that strays too close to the Gaza border fence while hunting for birds, killing an 11-yr.-old Palestinian, wounding 2 (ages 12, 16); IDF officials say they cannot confirm the death, but state that soldiers do not issue a warning call or fire warning shots at Palestinians approaching the fence and that “terrorists sometimes [have] dispatched children to test Israeli defenses.” (HA 1/22; VOP 1/22 in WNC 1/24; HA, NYT 1/23; PR 1/28; LAW, PCHR 1/29)

Sharon’s chief of staff Weisglass meets with NSA Rice in Washington for further discussions on Sharon’s unilateral disengagement plan. (HA, MM 1/22; WP 1/23; JTA 1/26; HA 1/29)

The IDF raids Tulkarm r.c., rounding up all inhabitants of 1 section of the camp for questioning, detaining 230 Palestinian men, allowing women and children to go after 10 hrs.; sends APCs into Rafah, shelling residential areas, wounding 3, demolishing 1 Palestinian home and 2 stores, severely damaging 5 homes; demolishes another Palestinian home nr. Hebron; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Anabta nr. Tulkarm, Asira nr. Nablus, Jaba’ nr. Jenin, Kubar nr. Ramallah, Nablus, Qalqilya, Tarqumiyya and Yatta nr. Hebron. Israel completes a section of separation wall cutting off Abu Dis fr. Jerusalem. Palestinians report that the IDF has bulldozed 24 dunams of agricultural land outside Hebron since 1/9, for construction of the wall. (ISM press release 1/12; WT 1/13; PCHR 1/15; WP 2/10)

Sharon makes a statement to the Knesset reiterating his intention to disengage unilaterally fr. the occupied territories if the Palestinians do not make concessions soon. The Knesset endorses Sharon’s statement byavote of 51-39. (AFP 1/12; MM 1/13; PR 1/14)

The IDF intercepts a Palestinian suicide bomber (the 16-yr.-old brother of a 15-yr.-old killed by the IDF on 1/3) nr. Nablus; to avoid capture, the bomber detonates his device, killing only himself; no group claims responsibility. The IDF fires on stone-throwing Palestinian youths in Beita nr. Nablus, killing 1 Palestinian bystander. In Tel Aviv, 100,000 right-wing Israeli protesters (many affiliated with the settler movement) protest against rumored plans by Sharon to uproot Jewish settlements as part of a unilateral disengagement fr. the occupied territories. (AFP, HA, MM 1/11; NYT 1/12; VOP 1/11 in WNC 1/13; MM 1/13; NYT, PR 1/14; YA 1/14 in WNC 1/16; PCHR 1/15; JPI 1/23)

Right-wing settler activist Baruch Marzel announces a new Israeli political party, the Jewish National Front, which advocates the “transfer” of Arab communities to “new locations east of the Jordan River” and pledges “to ensure the immigration of 2 million Jews and the emigration of 2 million Arabs” in the coming yrs. Marzel says that the only group to submit a formal objection to the new party was the National Religious Party, which argued that the goals of the 2 parties were too similar. (Itim News Service 1/11)

The IDF begins requiring all visitors to Gaza and the PA-controlled areas of the West Bank (areas A) to obtain prior written permission for travel fr. the Civil Admin. or face the chance that they may be prosecuted, denied reentry into Israel, or deported; allows Palestinian workers in Gaza over age 28 to apply for work visas in Israel (previously workers had to be over age 35). The IDF also ends 4 days of bulldozing nr. Dayr al-Balah, during which 8 Palestinian homes, 12 dunams of land were razed; fires on residential areas nr. Hebron; fires on Palestinian, foreign peace activists staging a nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall nr. Ramallah, injuring 18. Sharon orders the removal of another 2 uninhabited unauthorized settlement outposts; settlers immediately appeal to the High Court. (WP, WT 1/5; MM 1/6; PR 1/7; PCHR 1/9; PR 1/14; PCHR 1/22)

The IDF transfers 3 West Bank Palestinian administrative detainees to Gaza for 2 yrs. for their involvement in Palestinian violence; fires on residential areas of Brazil r.c. , Khan Yunis; conducts arrest raids in Tubas nr. Jenin. (BBC 11/24; VOP 11/24 in WNC 11/26; PCHR 12/4)

Sharon tells his cabinet that he is considering submitting a plan to cabinet vote for “unilateral steps” in the West Bank and Gaza. Sharon does not confirm leaks to the press that the steps would include dismantling some isolated Jewish settlements, especially in Gaza, as part of a final status deal. (HA 11/23; Los Angeles Times 11/24)

The IDF makes a predawn raid on Tulkarm, sparking an exchange of gunfire that leaves 1 Hamas mbr. dead, arresting 3 Palestinians, including local Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) leader Nayif Jaradat; pulls bulldozers out of Bureij r.c., ending a 4-day operation that leveled 55 dunams (4 dunams = 1 acre) of Palestinian land. (HA, XIN 11/17; VOP 11/17 in WNC 11/19; NYT 11/18; PCHR 11/20)

Israeli PM Ariel Sharon meets secretly in Rome with U.S. National Security Council Middle East adviser Elliott Abrams, reportedly briefs Abrams on his plans for unilateral actions in the occupied territories. (HA, VOI 11/22 in WNC 11/25; HA, MM 11/24; WP 11/26)

In response to the 9/9 suicide bombings, Sharon’s security cabinet declares Arafat “a complete obstacle” that Israel will “work to remove . . . in a manner, and at a time of its choosing.” In Ramallah, the IDF tightens restrictions on Palestinian movement; occupies the PA Culture Min. building, overlooking Arafat’s headquarters; flies low-level sorties over Arafat’s compound. In response, 1,000s of Palestinians surround Arafat’s headquarters to provide him protection. The IDF also demolishes 16 Palestinian homes in Rafah, 2 in Hebron, 2 in Ramallah; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis; conducts arrest raids in Hebron. (AFP, HA, MM, REU 9/11; AFP, JP, XIN 9/11 in WNC 9/12; MENA 9/11 in WNC 9/13; MM, NYT, WP, WT 9/12; AFP, ATL, ITAR-TASS, Palestine Satellite Channel Television, QA, al-Quds, VOP, XIN 9/12, AN, ATL, IRNA, MENA, alQuds 9/13, HA, IRNA, JT, MA, MENA, YA 9/14 in WNC 9/16; MM, NYT, WP 9/13; PR 9/17; PCHR 9/18; JPI, MEI 9/26)

The IDF seals the West Bank and Gaza; surrounds, tightens closures on all Palestinian cities; sends additional tanks to the outskirts of Ramallah; conducts arrest raids in Hebron, detaining 17 Palestinians, including relatives of the 8/19 bomber; fires on residential areas of Rafah. Late in the evening, the IDF imposes curfews on, sends tanks and troops into Hebron (raiding, searching 3 mosques), Jenin, Nablus (where residents report hearing helicopters, machine gun fire through most of the night), Tulkarm (where the IDF fatally shoots 1 Palestinian, wounds 7). Israel also opens the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif to non-Muslims without agreement of the Waqf; some 150 Jews under police protection visit the site. (HA, REU 8/20; YA 8/20 in WNC 8/22; MM, NYT, PCHR, PM, WP, WT 8/21)

Abbas convenes the PA Executive Authority (EA, or cabinet) to discuss how to respond to the 8/19 suicide bombing; puts 4 recommendations to PA head Yasir Arafat for approval, threatening to resign if he does not accept them all, which he does. (HA 8/20; HA, NYT, WP 8/21; AYM 8/24 in WNC 8/26)

Israeli PM Ariel Sharon convenes his security cabinet, which approves “a series of military steps” against Hamas, Islamic Jihad, which Israel would launch only if the PA fails to take action itself. (HA 8/20; JP, YA 8/20 in WNC 8/22; NYT, WP 8/21; IDF Radio, QA, VOI, YA 8/21 in WNC 8/23)

U.S. Pres. George W. Bush phones Sharon to tell him that Israel has a right to defend itself following the “vicious” 8/19 bombing, reportedly does not urge restraint. U.S. Secy. of State Colin Powell phones Abbas tourge him to take action against Palestinian militant groups immediately. (HA 8/20; WP 8/21; HA 8/24; AYM 8/24 in WNC 8/26)

The IDF fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, Rafah. (PCHR 8/7)

Bush, Sharon meet in Washington. Bush urges Sharon to make gestures to bolster Abbas. Sharon pledges to free 540 Palestinian prisoners, remove a few road blocks, dismantle unauthorized settlement outposts; says he will not do more until the PA begins to dismantle militant groups; rejects Bush’s appeal to halt construction of the separation wall, but says he will slow construction deep in Palestinian areas and add more crossing points. (JP, MM 7/29; BBC, MM, NYT, PR, WP, WT 7/30; AYM, HJ 7/30, IDF Radio, JP, MA, VOI 7/31 in WNC 8/1; HA, WJW 7/31; MM 8/1; TJT 8/1 in WNC 8/5; JPI, MEI 8/8)

On the eve of Sharon’s 7/28 mtg. with Bush in Washington, the IDF removes 6 West Bank checkpoints (3 outside Bethlehem, 2 outside Ramallah, 1 outside Hebron), in most cases adding roving checkpoints nearby to search cars, slowing traffic considerably; pledges to release 100 Palestinian prisoners. The IDF also bulldozes a greenhouse, some land in Rafah. (AYM 7/27 in WNC 7/31; MM, NYT, WP, WT 7/28; MM 7/29; UN Office for the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs press release 8/5; PCHR 8/7)

The Knesset approves (47-27) Sharon’s decree authorizing the removal of all unauthorized settlement outposts constructed in the past 2 yrs. (NYT 7/22)

Israeli police acknowledge that they have begun letting obviously religious Jews (e.g., wearing kippas) join tours of the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif; say this is part of a gradual process to reinstate the status quo before the 9/00 Sharon visit to the site that sparked the al-Aqsa intifada. (HA 7/18; HA, MM 7/22)

The IDF assassinates senior Hamas mbr. Abdallah Qawasmi, ambushing and shooting at his car as he drives through Hebron; Israel claims Qawasmi plotted the 6/11 Jerusalem bus bombing; Sharon calls the killing a “successful and very important act.” The IDF also bulldozes a Palestinian home, a poultry farm, 3 dunams of land nr. Dayr al-Balah. A Palestinian dies of injuries received during the IDF assassination of Lidawi on 6/13, bringing that toll to 1. (NYT, WP, WT 6/22; VOI 6/22 in WNC 6/24; MM, WP 6/23; AYM 6/23, al-Ra’i 6/24 in WNC 6/26; PR 6/25; PCHR 6/26; MEI 6/27)

A Hamas suicide bomber detonates a device on a bus outside French Hill settlement in East Jerusalem, killing 6 Jewish settlers, 1 West Bank Palestinian laborer, wounding 12 settlers; as rescue workers arrive at the scene, a 2d Hamas suicide bomber detonates a device in the area, killing only himself. (Reports indicate that the 2 bombers today and the 1 yesterday were friends fr. Hebron, possibly mbrs. of the same soccer team.) The IDF expels Mahmud al-Safuri, brother of detained Islamic Jihad military cmdr. Haj ‘Ali al-Safuri, fr. Jenin to Gaza for 2 yrs. for allegedly aiding his brother in staging attacks; this is the first such forced transfer since 9/4/02. The IDF also seals the West Bank, places closures on most villages, cities; continues operations in Bayt Hanun, fatally shooting 1 Palestinian, demolishing 3 Palestinian homes, bulldozing more land, tightening the closure; fatally shoots a 2d Palestinian in Khan Yunis; chases, fires on a group of laborers on their way to work in Israel, causing 1 Palestinian to suffer a fatal heart attack; bulldozes 120 dunams of land in Abasan; demolishes 10 Palestinian homes in Rafah r.c.. Sharon convenes a cabinet mtg. to discuss responses, overrules calls to expel PA head Yasir Arafat. Palestinian gunmen fatally shoot an alleged collaborator in Nablus. (WT 5/18; ITAR-TASS 5/18 in WNC 5/19; HA, MM, NYT, WP 5/19; MM, PCHR 5/20; HA, MM, PR 5/21; LAW, PCHR 5/22; HA 5/23; al-Haq 5/24; NYT 6/13)

In light of the Jerusalem bombing, Sharon postpones plans to leave for Washington today to meet with Pres. George W. Bush regarding implementation of the road map; convenes his security cabinet to discuss retaliation. (NYT, WP, WT 5/19; VOI 5/20 in WNC 5/21)

A Hamas suicide bomber detonates a device in Hebron, killing 2 Jewish settlers. Nr. Qalqilya, 2 Palestinian gunmen infiltrate a settlement, wound 2 Jewish settlers before being killed; no group takes responsibility. The IDF continues operations in Bayt Hanun, fatally shooting an Islamic Jihad mbr., wounding 24, bulldozing land, firing on residential areas; demolishes 7 Palestinian homes in Rafah refugee camp (r.c.), 2 in al-Mughraqa; bulldozes 120 dunams (4 dunams = 1 acre) of Palestinian agricultural land in Khan Yunis. The IDF also fires flares e. of Khan Yunis, staring a fire in a wheat field; bars Palestinian firefighters fr. reaching the area, allowing 32 dunams to burn. In Hebron, Jewish settlers beat a pregnant Palestinian, causing her to suffer a miscarriage; set fire to a Palestinian home. (NYT, WP 5/18; MM 5/19; PR 5/21; LAW, PCHR 5/22; NYT 5/30)

Despite the Hebron bombing, new Palestinian Authority (PA) PM Mahmud Abbas, Israeli PM Ariel Sharon meet in Jerusalem regarding the road map, marking their 1st meeting and the 1st senior-level PA-Israeli talks since 9/26/00. Sharon says he cannot accept the road map but offers to redeploy the IDF from 1 (unnamed) West Bank Palestinian city and fr. n. Gaza in exchange for a commitment to crack down on militant groups. (NYT, WP, WT 5/18; MM 5/19; AYM 5/20 in WNC 5/23; NYT, PR 5/21; HA 5/23; al-Musawwar 5/23 in WNC 5/27; HA 5/28; MEI 5/30)

The IDF places its tightest seal on the Gaza Strip since the al-Aqsa intifada began, barring everyone except diplomats and aid workers fr. entering or exiting (though 9 international aid workers are denied entry for no reason; see 5/10), requiring journalists to apply for entry and to coordinate their trips with the IDF. International medical relief organization Medecins du Monde permanently ends its operations in Gaza, saying IDF measures make it impossible to continue work; numerous other international aid groups suspend Gaza operations. The IDF demolishes at least 3 Palestinian homes in Rafah, also bulldozing 40 dunams of land; conducts arrest raids in Jenin. Palestinian gunmen fire on a vehicle nr. Ofra settlement, killing 1 Jewish settler; the AMB, PFLP each claim responsibility. (XIN 5/11; AIDA, HA, MM, NYT 5/12; AYM 5/13 in WNC 5/15; PR 5/14; PCHR 5/15)

Sharon presents Powell with a plan for a series of limited measures to ease restrictions on Palestinians, releases 63 Palestinian prisoners as a gesture. Powell asks Israel to accept the road map, but Sharon refuses. Powell then meets with Abbas and PC speaker Ahmad Qurai‘, presses the PA to disarm Palestinian militant groups. Abbas says he will start with dialogue, not force; criticizes Sharon’s proposed gestures as mostly symbolic. (MENA, VOI 5/11 in WNC 5/12; SA 5/11, JP, QA 5/12 in WNC 5/13; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/12; AFP 5/13; AYM 5/12 in WNC 5/15; MM, PR 5/14; MEI 5/16)

The IDF imposes a tight curfew on Hebron; demolishes 3 Palestinian homes in Khan Yunis, 1 in Bayt Hanun; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis; bulldozes 25 dunams of land in Khuza, 20 dunams e. of Bayt Hanun; arrests another 3 ISM volunteers in Tulkarm; bars 6 foreign aid workers fr. entering Gaza, without giving a reason (see 5/5). (GS, HA 5/10; AFP, Arab News 5/11; AIDA 5/12; PCHR 5/15)

Powell arrives in Israel for mtgs. aimed at starting implementation of the road map with Abbas (who has accepted the plan), Sharon (who has not); meets with FM Shalom, who reiterates Israel’s position that Abbas must dismantle militant groups before Israel would take steps to implement the road map. (HA 5/10; XIN 5/10 in WNC 5/12; HA, NYT, WP, WT 5/11; MEI 5/16)

The IDF raids a branch of the Arab Bank in Azariyya, East Jerusalem, confiscates documents related to bank accounts belonging to Jerusalem residents allegedly linked to Hamas. A roadside bomb explodes nr. a Jewish settler bus in the West Bank, causing no injuries. A Palestinian dies of injuries received on 2/23. (HA, JTA 2/27; PCHR 3/6; LAW 3/13)

The Knesset approves (68–48) Israeli PM Ariel Sharon’s (reelected on 1/28/03) new coalition government. The 68-seat coalition includes the right-wing, pro-settler National Religious Party (6 seats), opposed to creation of a Palestinian state; the right-wing, secular nationalist Shinui (15 seats), which supports unilateral separation; and the ultraright-wing National Union Party (7 seats), which represents Jewish settlers, opposes talks with the Palestinians, and advocates expelling PA head Yasir Arafat and Palestinians from the occupied territories and annexing the land. Acting FM Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) becomes finance minister, acting Finance M Silvan Shalom (Likud) becomes FM; Likud’s Tshai Hanegbi (previously under criminal investigation by Israeli police) becomes internal security minister; Mofaz remains DM. Sharon says that the economy will be his 1st priority, the peace process his 2d; that the Palestinians would have to give up the right of return, agree to Jerusalem remaining the unified capital of Israel, and halt all violence if they want a comprehensive peace. (HA, MM, NYT, WP 2/27; NYT, WP, WT 2/28; MA 2/28 in WNC 3/3; WT 3/1; MEI 3/7)

Outside Gush Katif settlement, 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs. detonate a car bomb nr. an IDF checkpoint, killing themselves, lightly injuring 4 IDF soldiers; soldiers open fire on Palestinians waiting to cross the checkpoint, wounding 2. The IDF demolishes 8 Palestinian homes in Rafah; conducts arrest raids in East Jerusalem; fires on residential areas of Abasan, Khan Yunis, Rafah, Tulkarm. (HA, REU 2/9; HA, NYT, WT 2/10; VOI 2/10 in WNC 2/11; PCHR 2/20)

Israeli pres. Moshe Katsav formally invites Sharon to form a coalition government. Sharon accepts saying that “The new government will have to complete the campaign against terror, remove the terrorist leadership, and create the conditions for the emergence of a new Palestinian leadership with which it will be possible to make real peace.” (WT 2/10)

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

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

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

In the 1st suicide bombing in Israel since 11/21/02, 2 AMB suicide bombers fr. Nablus detonate devices on parallel streets nr. the Tel Aviv bus station during evening rush hr., killing 22 (14 Israelis, 6 foreign workers, 2 remain unidentified and are suspected to be illegal foreign workers) injuring around 100. (Of note, AMB cells in Gaza, Nablus issue statements claiming the operation, whereas cells in Ramallah disavow responsibility, pledge to continue cease-fire talks.) Sharon convenes his security cabinet, including Netanyahu, Mofaz to discuss how to respond. Soon afterward, IDF helicopters fire 8 missiles at, destroys 3 iron workshops in Gaza City allegedly used as mortar factories, injuring 10 Palestinians; 30 IDF tanks enter Rafah, arrest senior Islamic Jihad mbr. Hassan Abu `Armana, his 2 brothers and demolish their family home. During the day, the IDF raids a house in Jenin, arresting 3 brothers of a wanted Palestinian, informing the family that the 3 would not be released until the wanted man turns himself in; also raids Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, Kafr Khalil, Qalqilya. An IDF soldier is lightly wounded by a Palestinian sniper firing fr. Khan Yunis. (HA, REU 1/5; MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/6; QA 1/6, ATL, XIN 1/7 in WNC 1/8; MM, WP 1/7; AYM 1/7, AN, JT, al-Nahar 1/8 in WNC 1/9; LAW, PCHR, PR 1/8; WJW 1/9; MEI 1/10; JPI 1/17; MEI 1/24; HA 2/10)