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  • January 19, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces kill a senior Islamic Jihad operative in an air strike on Jabaliya r.c., wounding 2 (including a child). The Israeli military claims the targeted operative was...

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  • August 20, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian children close to the border fence nr. Jabaliya r.c., wounding 2. The IDF also opens fire on Palestinian fishermen working nr. Gaza City,...

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  • July 29, 2013

    Israeli and Palestinian negotiators hold their 1st direct peace talks since late 2010, beginning with an iftar meal at the U.S. State Dept. Alongside Secy. of State John Kerry and newly-appointed...

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  • July 1, 2013

    An anonymous, senior Israeli official says that U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry presented Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas with a proposal for the renewal of direct negotiations during meetings in...

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  • June 28, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and kill a Palestinian in Qalandia r.c. nr. Ramallah, during clashes sparked by an IDF arrest raid in the camp. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids...

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  • May 27, 2013

    U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry meets with Israeli justice minister Tzipi Livni and Special Envoy Yitzhak Molcho in Amman, their 4th meeting since Kerry’s arrival in the region on 5/23. Kerry also...

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  • May 2, 2013

    In a meeting with Swiss FM Didier Burkhalter, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says that he intends to bring any proposed peace agreement with the Palestinians to a national referendum. Meanwhile,...

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  • February 24, 2013

    Palestinians respond to the 2/23 death of prisoner Arafat Jaradat with demonstrations across the West Bank and Gaza Strip, while around 4,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails launch hunger-...

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  • April 17, 2012

    Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat and PA intelligence chief Majid Faraj deliver the long-anticipated letter fr. Pres. Abbas to Israeli PM Netanyahu and his chief negotiator Yitzhak Molcho...

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  • January 1, 2012

    Jordan announces that Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to send their chief negotiators to Jordan on 1/3 to meet with Quartet officials. Though the parties stress that the meeting will not...

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  • September 20, 2010

    Israeli DM Ehud Barak comes to the U.S. with a backchannel proposal for Israel to extend its temporary settlement freeze (set to expire on 9/26) for a short period in exchange for rewards and...

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In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces kill a senior Islamic Jihad operative in an air strike on Jabaliya r.c., wounding 2 (including a child). The Israeli military claims the targeted operative was responsible for rocket fire. Two other Israeli air strikes cause some damage but no injuries. Islamic Jihad say that strikes on Gaza may lead to the end of the cease-fire broadly observed since 11/2012. Separately, Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian farmers close to the border fence nr. Bayt Hanun, causing no injuries. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages each nr. Hebron and Ramallah, Jenin and 1 nearby village, and in Nablus at night; patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin in the morning, and in Hebron and 2 villages and al-‘Arub r.c. nearby, and in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Tulkarm at night. (MNA, REU 1/19; PCHR 1/23)

Israel’s Justice Minister Livni and Special Envoy Yitzhak Molcho depart for Washington to meet with U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry, to discuss details of his draft framework for a peace agreement. Other attendees of their meeting include Israeli amb. to the U.S. Ron Dermer and U.S. mediator Martin Indyk. Meanwhile, Israeli radio reports that Netanyahu has told Kerry that he intends to annex a 4th bloc of settlements, adding Beit El-Ofra-Psagot to the Etzion, Ma’ale Adumim and Ariel blocs. (AFP, HA, JP 1/19)

UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon says that he invited Iran to the Syria peace talks in Switzerland and held discussions with Iranian FM Zarif about the constructive role the country could play. In response, the U.S. says the invitation should be withdrawn unless Tehran states its support for the 2012 agreement establishing a Syrian transition govt. (i.e., the 6/30/12 Geneva Communiqué). Meanwhile, the Islamic Front opposition alliance rejects participation in the talks. (AP, HA, REU 1/19)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian children close to the border fence nr. Jabaliya r.c., wounding 2. The IDF also opens fire on Palestinian fishermen working nr. Gaza City, injuring none but causing damage to their boats. In the West Bank, the IDF shoots and kills 1 Palestinian and wounds 2 others in Jenin r.c. after opening fire in clashes sparked by an arrest raid. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin, 1 village nr. Nablus, and in Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem. During clashes in Dahaysha, the IDF wounds 1 Palestinian with a rubber-coated metal bullet. IDF troops also demolish 15 structures of Bedouin residents in the n. Jordan Valley, including residential sheds and animal barns. (MNA, REU, WAFA 8/20; PCHR 8/22)

Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams meet in Jerusalem to continue discussions taking place following the resumption of official peace talks. U.S. envoy to the peace process Martin Indyk joins the teams, following the previous session that lacked a U.S. presence. The Israeli delegation is headed by Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Molcho, while the Palestinian side is led by Saeb Erakat and Mohammed Shtayyeh. Livni tells Israeli media that both sides have agreed on not sharing details of their discussions to build trust. (AFP, AP, HA 8/20)

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abbas Araqchi hints that Tehran’s FM Mohammad Javad Zarif is poised to take over as negotiator in talks over the country’s nuclear program. Previous negotiator Saeed Jalili was one of the more conservative candidates defeated in the June 14 presidential election. (AP, NYT 8/20)

Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses Israel of being involved in the military coup that removed Pres. Morsi in Egypt, though offers only a reference to a meeting between French intellectual Bernard-Henri Levy and Tzipi Livni as evidence of his claim. The Egyptian cabinet rejects the comments as baseless, and Erdogan’s remarks are also condemned by White House spokesperson Josh Earnest as “offensive.” (AP, REU 8/20)

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators hold their 1st direct peace talks since late 2010, beginning with an iftar meal at the U.S. State Dept. Alongside Secy. of State John Kerry and newly-appointed special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations Martin Indyk, Israel is represented by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Molcho, while the Palestinians are represented by chief negotiator Saeb Erakat and Mohammed Shtayyeh. Talks will continue on 7/30. (HA, JTA, REU 7/29)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Jenin r.c. at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning, in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. (PCHR 8/1)

An anonymous, senior Israeli official says that U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry presented Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas with a proposal for the renewal of direct negotiations during meetings in the past few days. The official did not elaborate on the proposal’s contents. With Kerry now in Brunei, Middle East adviser Frank Lowenstein and State Dept. legal expert Jonathan Schwartz meet with Israel’s National Security Adviser Ya’akov Amidror and Special Envoy Yitzhak Molcho to continue discussions on how to break the deadlock. (HA, JP 7/1; JP 7/2)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages and al-Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah, and 1 village each nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, and Jerusalem at night. (PCHR 7/4)

Jerusalem Municipal officials meet with members of the Knesset Finance Cmte. and approve funding for infrastructure construction on housing tenders for 930 homes in Har Homa settlement. The work is part of a project approved in 8/2011 for around 1,000 housing units to further the development of Har Homa. Meanwhile, Israeli DM Moshe Ya’alon announces that extremist Jewish settlers carrying out so-called price-tag attacks against Palestinians will be designated a “forbidden organization,” enabling security forces to use broader powers in investigating such incidents. The statement comes 2 weeks after the cabinet approved the step. (HA 7/1)

The Egyptian military issues a 48-hour ultimatum to Pres. Mohamed Morsi to meet the demands of protesters or face the army’s intervention, as hundreds of thousands of supporters and opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated govt. again take to the streets. (AP, REU 7/1)

In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and kill a Palestinian in Qalandia r.c. nr. Ramallah, during clashes sparked by an IDF arrest raid in the camp. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 4 villages nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning, and in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Salfit at night. Israeli soldiers also attack regular demonstrations by Palestinians, Israelis, and international activists against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and the occupation in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, Nabi Salih), 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum) and 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara), causing no serious injuries except in Bil‘in (1 injury from tear gas canister) and Kafr Qaddum (2 injuries from rubber-coated metal bullets). (MNA 6/28; PCHR 7/4)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry conducts further shuttle diplomacy, holding talks in Amman with Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas followed by discussions in Jerusalem with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, which are also attended by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, National Security Adviser Ya’akov Amidror, and Special Envoy Yitzhak Molcho. Kerry meets separately with Israeli pres. Shimon Peres. Meanwhile, director of the Palestinians’ High Coordination Cmte. for Prisoners’ Release Amin Shuman says that Israelis and Palestinians have held secret talks about freeing prisoners detained before 1993. (AFP, HA, MNA, REU 6/28)

Three people are killed and hundreds injured as violent clashes take place between supporters and opponents of Egyptian pres. Mohamed Morsi, with the Muslim Brotherhood office ransacked in Alexandria. (NYT 6/28)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry meets with Israeli justice minister Tzipi Livni and Special Envoy Yitzhak Molcho in Amman, their 4th meeting since Kerry’s arrival in the region on 5/23. Kerry also meets with Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas in Amman, their 3d meeting of the trip, before returning to Washington. Kerry tells reporters before he leaves the region that he expects answers from both Netanyahu and Abbas within one or 2 weeks. (HA 5/27)

Off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops demolish 3 Palestinian-owned houses and 2 sheds in the Jordan Valley village of al-Jiftlik. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 1 village each nr. Ramallah, Jenin, and Hebron, as well as al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning, 1 village each nr. Qalqilya, Jenin, and Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages each nr. Tulkarm, Ramallah and Qalqilya, and 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night. In East Jerusalem, suspected right-wing Jewish extremists vandalize 15 Palestinian-owned cars in the Shaykh Jarrah neighborhood. (MNA, WAFA 5/27; PCHR 5/30)

During talks in Brussels, EU foreign ministers fail to reach agreement on supplying arms to Syrian rebels but reinstate sanctions on Damascus and lift an arms embargo for the opposition. Member states like Britain and France are now free to go it alone in sending weapons should they see fit at some point. (NYT, REU 5/27)

In a meeting with Swiss FM Didier Burkhalter, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says that he intends to bring any proposed peace agreement with the Palestinians to a national referendum. Meanwhile, Israeli sources suggest that PM Netanyahu is afraid that Israel’s negotiation position would be undermined if U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry accepts the Arab League’s recent statement on borders and territorial exchange (see 4/29). Hamas leader Khalid Mishal rejects the Arab League endorsement of land swaps, and claims that the proposal is designed to find economic peace between Arab states and Israel. Meanwhile, Israel’s Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Netanyahu’s negotiation adviser Yitzhak Molcho arrive in Washington to discuss peace process issues with Kerry. (AP, HA, MNA 5/2)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 mortars from Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Hamas deploys Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigade (IQB) members nr. along the border fence to prevent rocket fire. Meanwhile, the IDF make a brief incursion into Gaza nr. Bayt Hanun to level land and clear lines of sight along the border fence. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers cut down over 50 olive trees in Dayr Jarir village nr. Ramallah. IDF forces attack a Palestnian funeral procession in Bayt Ummar village nr. Hebron, shooting and injuring 3 mourners. The IDF patrols in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, 3 villages nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Jenin, 2 villages nr. Jericho and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. At night, IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Bethlehem at night. (AA, MNA, ToI, YA 5/2; PCHR 6/9)

Hamas authorities in Gaza say that they have arrested 6 Salafists on suspicion of stealing weapons and plotting attacks. The Mujahidin Shura Council calls on the government to stop the detention campaign against its members. (MNA 5/2; PCHR 5/9)

Israel’s High Court orders DM Moshe Ya’alon to halt construction of the separation wall nr. the West Bank village of Batir, in response to a petition submitted by residents and Friends of the Earth Middle East. (HA, MNA 5/2)

Palestinians respond to the 2/23 death of prisoner Arafat Jaradat with demonstrations across the West Bank and Gaza Strip, while around 4,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails launch hunger-strikes in protest. At a press conference in Ramallah, Palestinian officials claim that Jaradat died from torture, based on evidence presented by PA chief pathologist Saber Aloul, who attended the autopsy. At the protests by Ofer detention center nr. Ramallah, Israeli soldiers wound 26 Palestinian protesters with rubbercoated metal bullets and live ammunition. At least 2 other Palestinians are wounded by live fire in Aida r.c. (nr. Bethlehem) and al-‘Arub r.c. (nr. Hebron). Meanwhile, Jewish settlers uproot more than 50 olive trees in Bayt Awwa village nr. Hebron. Jewish settlers from Esh Kodesh attack a house nr. Qusra village, prompting clashes with villagers; the IDF intervenes to violently disperse the Palestinians. At night, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah; and conducts house searches and arrest raids in al-Bireh, Hebron, 1 village each nr. Jenin, Hebron, and Jenin. Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the north Gaza coast nr. al-Waha on 2 separate occasions, causing no serious injuries or damage. (HA, MNA 2/24; PCHR 2/28)

To ease tensions in the West Bank over the 2/23 Jaradat killing, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu authorizes the transfer to the PA of its tax revenues for 1/2013. He also sends a message to the Palestinian Authority through negotiations liaison official Yitzhak Molcho reportedly (JP 2/24)

stating that the PA now (in light of the tax transfer) has no ‘‘excuse not to enforce calm on the ground.’’ (JP 2/24; MNA 2/25)

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat and PA intelligence chief Majid Faraj deliver the long-anticipated letter fr. Pres. Abbas to Israeli PM Netanyahu and his chief negotiator Yitzhak Molcho at a meeting in Jerusalem. Netanyahu pledges to respond in writing within 2 wks. While the letter is not released publicly, a draft version was leaked to the press by a Palestinian source on 4/15, with the disclaimer that that the text might change before it was given to Netanyahu. Of note: PA PM Fayyad had planned to deliver the letter, but pulled out at the last minute. While there is no official comment as to why, various Palestinian sources say (WP 4/18) that Fayyad either (1) disagreed with the content of the letter or (2) thought it would be inappropriate for him to hold a high-level meeting with Netanyahu on the same day as an annual rally in support of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Fayyad had opposed early drafts that threatened to dissolve the PA if there was no significant progress toward peace. The 4/15 draft includes an implied threat, stating: “The PA is no longer as was agreed and this situation cannot continue.” (Times of Israel 4/15; NYT, WP 4/18)

IDF troops on the s. Gaza border e. of Khan Yunis fire into Gaza for unknown reasons, wounding a Palestinian man in Khuza’ village, 2,000 m. from the border (well outside the 300-m. no-go zone). In the West Bank, the IDF imposes a late-night curfew on Kafr Haris village nr. Salfit and escorts at least 3,000 Jewish settlers into the village to perform religious services at a local holy site; the group stays for 6 hrs., attacking and beating Palestinians who venture onto the street; the IDF arrests 1 Palestinian. The IDF conducts latenight patrols in Tulkarm, firing tear gas and stun grenades at stone-throwing youths who confront them and searching 1 home. Across the West Bank, Palestinians demonstrate in solidarity with the 4,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails to mark Prisoners Day. IDF troops fire live ammunition, rubbercoated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at 1 group demonstrating outside Ofer prison nr. Ramallah, wounding 2. About 1,200 Palestinian prisoners declare a hunger strike to protest their conditions and detentions without trial. (According to B’Tselem, there are currently about 320 administrative detainees, down from about 800 in 2007.) About 10 Palestinians have already gone on hunger strike, including 2 who have been granted early release (including Khader Adnan, who is freed today and Hana Shalabi, freed on 4/1) and 2 (Islamic Jihad mbrs. Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh) who have now been hospitalized after refusing food for more than 40 days. (NYT, WT 4/18; PCHR 4/19; OCHA 4/20; WP 4/24; JPI 4/27)

Jordan announces that Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to send their chief negotiators to Jordan on 1/3 to meet with Quartet officials. Though the parties stress that the meeting will not be a formal negotiating session, it will mark the 1st time the negotiators have met since 9/2010. The Quartet hopes that Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat and Netanyahu’s personal emissary Yitzhak Molcho will present their positions on security and borders and agree on the agenda for future direct talks, technically relaunching negotiations by the Quartet’s selfimposed 1/26/12 deadline (see QU in JPS 162 for background). Erakat says the Palestinian demand for a settlement freeze still stands and that the Palestinians have agreed to attend out of respect for Jordan. (HA 1/1; NYT, WP, WT 1/2)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries; Israel claims the mortars carried white phosphorous that Palestinians would have scavenged fr. Israeli munitions fired into Gaza during OCL. The IDF conducts morning patrols in 3 villages northwest of Jenin (firing rubber-coated steel bullets at stonethrowing youths in 1 instance, causing no serious injuries); conducts synchronized afternoon patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah; conducts evening patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah (firing rubbercoated steel bullets at stone-throwing youths in 1 instance, causing no serious injuries), and 1 each nr. Jericho and Salfit; conducts late-night patrols in Jericho, Birzeit, 2 villages nr. Ramallah, and 1 village nr. Tulkarm; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Jenin, Nablus. (JP 1/1, 1/2; OCHA, PCHR 1/5)

Israeli DM Ehud Barak comes to the U.S. with a backchannel proposal for Israel to extend its temporary settlement freeze (set to expire on 9/26) for a short period in exchange for rewards and guarantees from the U.S. He shuttles between New York and Washington discussing the proposal with various senior U.S. officials. Separately, Israel’s chief negotiator Yitzhak Molcho, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat arrive in the U.S. for their own meetings with U.S. officials regarding the upcoming expiration of the settlement freeze and the consequences for peace talks. (NYT 9/21; WT 9/22; JPI 10/1)

Israel for the 1st time since 6/07 allows 20 used cars to be imported to Gaza. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them back to shore. Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts morning patrols in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya, randomly checking Palestinian IDs, but making no arrests; late-night patrols in a village nr. Tulkarm, making no arrests. Jewish settlers fr. Ramat Gilad settlement nr. Qalqilya begin working a Palestinian olive grove near the settlement, telling local Palestinians who challenge them that they purchased the land; they leave when the Palestinian owner arrives. In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities stage a predawn raid on several houses in Silwan village, arresting 4 Palestinians. In addition, Jewish settlers seize a Palestinian house in the suburb of Bayt Safafa (home to 20 people), sparking fights between settlers and the Palestinian owners. Israeli police and municipal officials intervene, arresting 2 Palestinians, and issuing an order to demolish the house (not immediately implemented). (JP 9/20; NYT 9/21; PCHR 9/23; OCHA 9/24)