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  • January 21, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 3 shells into s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Separately, Palestinians detonate a small bomb on the border with Israel, causing no injuries. In the...

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  • November 22, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinians who were close to the border fence nr. Jabaliya r.c., injuring 2. In the West Bank, IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in 1...

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  • November 19, 2013

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

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  • October 16, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 4 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Jericho at night. Jewish settlers throw stones at Palestinian vehicles nr. Nablus, damaging around 20 cars. (MNA 10/16...

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  • August 22, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries or damage to vessels. In the West Bank, the IDF shoots and injures a Palestinian in Dahaysha r...

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  • May 30, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians who threw stones at a routine patrol in al-Khadir village nr. Bethlehem, wounding an 11-year-old with a rubber-coated metal bullet. The IDF...

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  • October 25, 2012

    Armed Palestinians fire a mortar from the Gaza Strip into Israel, causing no injuries. Later in the day, an unofficial truce, believed to have been negotiated by Egyptian intelligence, takes hold...

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  • June 19, 2012

    Israeli pres. Shimon Peres says he has met with Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas and other Palestinian officials several times in recent months to discuss resuming peace talks. The Palestinians do...

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  • March 21, 2012

    The donors’ Ad Hoc Liaison Comm. (AHLC) holds a regular semiannual meeting in Brussels to discuss the state of the Palestinian economy, PA budget priorities, and donor assistance. The AHLC...

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  • January 27, 2012

    Late in the evening, IDF troops on the c. Gaza border fire 2 artillery shells into Gaza City, hitting a home (failing to explode, but causing damage) and a farm (causing no reported injuries). In...

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  • August 18, 2011

    Unidentified assailants armed with heavy weapons and explosives enter s. Israel fr. the Egyptian Sinai and stage coordinated attacks on a bus, several cars, and an IDF patrol, killing 7 Israelis (...

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  • August 13, 2011

    The IDF beats and fires tear gas and stun grenades at Palestinians and international activists staging a nonviolent march fr. Bayt Umar to nearby Palestinian lands confiscated for the expansion of...

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  • July 5, 2011

    A French boat in the Freedom Flotilla II secretly departs Greece and is the first boat from the group to make it into international waters, headed toward Gaza. In the early afternoon, the IDF...

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  • June 28, 2010

    U.S. special envoy Mitchell returns to the region for 3 days for another round of Israeli-Palestinian proximity talks. No details are released. (NYT, WP 7/1)

    Unidentified Palestinians fire...

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  • April 4, 2008

    Palestinian gunmen in n. Gaza shoot across the border at an Israeli government delegation leading a Canadian group on a tour of Sederot, seriously wounding an aide to Israel’s Public Security M...

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  • August 27, 2006

    Overnight, the IDF launches a major raid into eastern neighborhoods of Gaza City to look for “terrorist infrastructure,” sending in troops, tanks, bulldozers, accompanied by helicopters; making an...

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  • May 21, 2006

    The IDF opens Gaza’s Sufa commercial crossing (closed since 5/17); shells Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, injuring a 12-yr.-old Palestinian; sends troops into Hebron to surround the Polytechnic...

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  • October 7, 2004

    The IDF fires a missile at 2 Palestinian boys (ages 12 and 15) playing with pipes and sticks in a street Jabaliya r.c., killing them; says video footage fr. drones in the area appeared to show...

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  • May 12, 2003

    The IDF fatally shoots 2 AMB mbrs. laying a roadside bomb nr. the Rafah border; fatally shoots a Palestinian farmer tilling a field nr. Khan Yunis; raids a hospital in Nablus, closing it for 3 hrs...

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  • May 8, 2003

    The IDF assassinates senior Hamas mbr. Iyad al-Bik, whom Israel claims is tied to al-Qa‘ida, firing 3 missiles at his car as he drives through Gaza City, causing no other injuries. The IDF fatally...

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  • March 6, 2003

    The IDF continues operations in Jabaliya r.c., demolishing 8 Palestinian homes, shelling an apartment building and attached store; as firemen fight the blaze and Palestinians gather at the scene,...

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  • February 3, 2003

    The IDF bulldozes 7 Palestinian homes and an electricity grid in Rafah, 3 homes in Dayr al-Balah; conducts arrest raids in Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis. An...

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  • 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...

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  • November 28, 2002

    In Mombassa, Kenya, a previously un-known group called the Government of Universal Palestine in Exile–Army of Palestine, thought to be connected to al-Qa‘ida, stages a dual attack marking the 55th...

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  • September 12, 2002

    The IDF demolishes 2 Palestinian homes nr. Gaza City, damaging 8 others; halts an ambulance nr. Nablus, taking a relative of the patient into custody; fires tear gas at PRCS property...

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In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 3 shells into s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Separately, Palestinians detonate a small bomb on the border with Israel, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF shoots and wounds 1 Palestinian with a rubber-coated metal bullet during clashes in Aida r.c. nr. Bethlehem. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon, and in Nablus and 3 villages nearby and 1 village nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron at night. Jewish settlers vandalize 8 Palestinian vehicles nr. Nablus, and leave “price-tag” graffiti. (MNA, WAFA 1/21; JP 1/22; PCHR 1/23)

Israel announces plans for 381 housing units in West Bank settlement Givat Ze’ev nr. Ramallah. Israeli NGO Peace Now also reports that building plans were advanced by the Jerusalem municipality for a new settler-run visitor center in Silwan. (AFP, JP 1/21)

A car bomb kills 4 people and wounds more than 30 in Beirut, striking in a Hizballah-dominated neighborhood of the city. The attack is claimed by Jabhat al-Nusra in Lebanon, assumed to be connected to the Syriabased al-Qa‘ida-linked group. (AFP, AP 1/21)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinians who were close to the border fence nr. Jabaliya r.c., injuring 2. In the West Bank, IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and at night in 1 village each nr. Hebron, Jericho, and Ramallah. The night raid in Ramallah provokes clashes, leaving 1 Palestinian injured with live ammunition. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at weekly demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements and occupation in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Nabi Salih, and Ni‘lin), 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum), and 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara). There are no serious injuries, except in Bil‘in (1 wounded by a bullet) and Kafr Qaddum (2 struck by tear gas canisters). Meanwhile, around 200 Jewish settlers gather outside Yabad village nr. Jenin and burn tires, blocking a road. In East Jerusalem, IDF troops open fire on Palestinians protesting against the occupation nr. Abu Dis, in Qalandia, and in Issawiyya, injuring dozens with rubber-coated metal bullets and stun grenades. Palestinians respond by throwing stones and burning tires. (MNA 11/22; PCHR 11/28)

Israel’s Labor Party elects former minister Isaac Herzog as its new leader, defeating incumbent Shelly Yachimovich with 58.5% of the vote compared to the latter’s 41.5%. Herzog announces in his victory speech that the Labor Party will not join the governing coalition led by PM Netanyahu. (REU, YA 11/22)

Russian FM Lavrov arrives in Geneva to join diplomats struggling to finalize a deal between Iran and the P5+1 powers, with remaining disputes including Iran’s right to produce nuclear fuel, the fate of the Arak heavy-water reactor project, and the extent of sanctions relief. (AP, REU 11/22)

Six large Islamist opposition groups in Syria declare a new Islamic Front, the biggest alliance of rebel fighters to date. The group is distinct from both the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the al-Qa‘ida-linked factions. (REU 11/22)

Muslim Brotherhood supporters hold protest rallies across Egypt to mark 100 days since the mass killings by security forces in 8/2013 (see the QU in JPS 169). Clashes with Muslim Brotherhood opponents leave 2 dead, 1 in Cairo and 1 in Suez. Meanwhile, Hamas PM Haniyeh says that his organization is not breaking ties with Egypt, despite the recent conflict with Cairo’s military rulers. (AP, MNA 11/22)

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

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

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

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

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

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 4 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Jericho at night. Jewish settlers throw stones at Palestinian vehicles nr. Nablus, damaging around 20 cars. (MNA 10/16; PCHR 10/23)

Talks between Iran and the P5+1 group end with negotiators sounding positive about a follow-up round set for 11/7–8 in Geneva, and speaking of progress in addressing concerns about Tehran’s nuclear program. However, 1 source of disagreement between the sides, according to U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Jen Psaki, is what sanctions relief might be provided if Iran took concrete steps demanded by the international community regarding the nuclear work. (AFP, AP, REU 10/16)

The Turkish army fires on what it describes as al-Qa‘ida-linked militants in n. Syria, after the latter accidentally fired a mortar shell into Turkey’s territory. (REU 10/16)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no injuries or damage to vessels. In the West Bank, the IDF shoots and injures a Palestinian in Dahaysha r.c. in Bethlehem after troops entered the camp, provoking clashes. IDF troops also clash with residents in Jaba‘ village nr. Jenin during a patrol, with Palestinian youth throwing stones and soldiers responding with rubber-coated metal bullets. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron at night, patrols in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Ramallah in the morning, 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Jenin at night. (PCHR 8/29; WAFA 8/22)

Palestinian officials say that U.S. envoy Martin Indyk and his team have not attended any of the negotiating sessions thus far at the request of the Israelis. Both Yasir ‘Abid Rabbuh and Hanan Ashrawi claim that Israel intends for the lack of U.S. participation in the 3 meetings, since the resumption of talks to strengthen Israel’s power over the Palestinians. Meanwhile, Pres. Mahmud Abbas meets with a delegation from the Israeli party Meretz in Ramallah, telling them that signing a peace agreement will mean the “end of the conflict” and that a future Palestinian state would agree to be demilitarized. Abbas also tells the Israeli politicians that the Palestinian leadership is unhappy with the slow pace of negotiations. (HA, JP, ToI 8/22)

Suspected mbrs. of the al-Qa‘ida-linked Brigades of Abdullah Azzam fire 4 rockets from s. Lebanon into n. Israel, causing no damage or injuries (and with 1 intercepted by Iron Dome missile defense batteries). The IDF says it views the attack as an isolated incident, and attributes it to “global jihad” elements. On 8/27, the brigades appear to directly claim responsibility for the attack via a statement published on the Twitter account of a Salafist cleric known to be affiliated with the group. Meanwhile, gunmen in Tripoli open fire and kill 3 outside the home of Hizballah supporter. (AP, HA, REU 8/22; YA 8/27)

Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz says that the govt. believes that Syrian forces are responsible for a chemical weapons attack that reportedly killed hundreds of people in Ghouta, a rebel-controlled suburb of Damascus. Meanwhile, Syria’s dep. PM says that foreign fighters and their international supporters are to blame for the attack. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich says that his govt. urges the Syrian authorities and the UN to agree on chemical weapons experts visiting the site of the alleged attack. (AP, AFP, REU 8/22)

Former Egyptian pres. Husni Mubarak is released from a prison cell and moved to house arrest at a military hospital. (NYT 8/22)

In the West Bank, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians who threw stones at a routine patrol in al-Khadir village nr. Bethlehem, wounding an 11-year-old with a rubber-coated metal bullet. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village each nr. Jenin, Qalqilya and Tulkarm in the morning, in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya, 2 villages nr. Tulkarm, and in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Hebron, and Tulkarm and 1 village nearby at night. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces clash with Palestinians in the Abu Dis and Eizariya neighborhoods while conducting arrest raids, detaining 29. Meanwhile, in Israel, security forces demolish 11 structures and tents in Attir and 3 homes in Beer al-Mashash, 2 Bedouin villages in the Negev. In the latter case, Israeli police officers fire rubber-coated plastic bullets and tear gas at residents, injuring 5. (MNA 5/30; PCHR 6/5)

Israel’s Housing Ministry releases a tender for the construction of 300 new homes in Ramot, a settlement in East Jerusalem, and also confirms a decision to sell 797 housing units in Moradot Gilo, another East Jerusalem settlement. A U.S. State Dept. spokesperson describes the move as “counterproductive,” while Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat says that the announcement sabotages U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry’s efforts to restart peace talks. Israeli officials stress that the announcement is not new construction but a republication of a tender previously issued. (AP, HA 5/30)

Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad says during an interview with Al-Manar TV that Russia is still committed to supplying his country with S-300 air defense missiles. Meanwhile, the UN Security Council agrees to add Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qa‘ida-linked rebel group operating in Syria, to a UN sanctions blacklist that imposes an assets freeze, travel ban, and arms embargo on the associated individuals and entities. (AP, REU 5/30)

Armed Palestinians fire a mortar from the Gaza Strip into Israel, causing no injuries. Later in the day, an unofficial truce, believed to have been negotiated by Egyptian intelligence, takes hold, bringing relative calm after 4 days of IDF strikes and Palestinian rocket fire. An aide to Israel’s DM Ehud Barak denies any agreement had been reached with Hamas. (ToI 10/25)

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and FM Avigdor Lieberman announce that their respective Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu parties will run together in the upcoming elections. Reports suggest that there would be no rotation of the PM slot and Netanyahu would remain leader. Lieberman tells reporters that the unity deal was first discussed a year ago. Labor leader Shelley Yacimovich urges a unification of ‘‘centrist’’ parties to challenge the new alliance. Some analysts claim that the move signals the forming of a ‘‘war cabinet’’ for confronting Iran. (HA, JP 10/25; HA, YA 10/26)

Al-Qa‘ida in the Arabian Peninsula issues a statement of condolences for the deaths of 2 Salafist jihadists killed by the IDF in the Gaza Strip on 10/13. (JP 10/25)

Israeli pres. Shimon Peres says he has met with Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas and other Palestinian officials several times in recent months to discuss resuming peace talks. The Palestinians do not comment. (WT 6/20) A previously unknown group calling itself the Mujahiddin Shura Council of Jerusalem (which claims ties to alQa‘ida) releases a video claiming responsibility for the 6/18 cross-border attack on Israel from Egypt. The video shows the 2 assailants killed by the IDF, identifying them as an Egyptian and a Saudi. (WP 6/20; NYT 6/21)

Responding to recent Israeli air strikes and cross-border shootings in Gaza that killed 6 Palestinians, Hamas’s IQB for the 1st time in more than a year fires a barrage of at least 45 rockets (including at least 10 Grads) fr. Gaza into Israel; 1 rocket damages an Israeli police barracks and injures 2 police officers, but the others land in open areas. The IQB says it is aiming predominantly at open areas to minimize the severity of its rocket fire and to ‘‘send a message’’ to Israel. Expecting retaliation, Hamas security officials vacate their bases. Israel initially issues a stern warning and carries out 1 air strike on a Palestinian rocketlaunching team nr. Dayr al-Balah, wounding 1 armed Palestinian. Late at night, however, Israeli warplanes and drones carry out 7 air strikes on Hamas targets across Gaza, seriously wounding 1 IQB mbr. The targets include a garage and a group of armed Palestinians in Gaza City, a vacant house in al-Bureij r.c., and 2 IQB training camps nr. Bayt Lahiya and Rafah. (HA 6/19; NYT, YA 6/20; PCHR 6/21; OCHA 6/22)

In the West Bank, Jewish settlers set fire to a mosque in the village of Jaba nr. Bethlehem and spray graffiti on its walls warning the Israeli government against evacuating the unauthorized settlement outpost of Ulpana (5 buildings, 30 families). This is the 12th mosque vandalized by Jewish settlers since 1/2011. Jewish settlers also vandalize the car of the settler leader negotiating the terms of Ulpana’s evacuation with the Israeli government. OCHA reports that in the previous week, the IDF carried out several significant demolitions in Israelicontrolled Area C: 14 residential structures and 11 animal pens in the al-Hirma bedouin community near Bethlehem (64 displaced, including 37 children); 6 seasonal residential structures in the Jordan Valley (20 displaced); 1 residential structure nr. Qalqilya; and 2 animal pens nr. East Jerusalem. (NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 6/20; OCHA 6/22)

The P5+1 and Iran close 2 days of ‘‘intense and tough’’ nuclear talks in Moscow. Both sides say that the talks were so detailed and so heated that they need a break to digest all that has been discussed and to confer with their governments. Iran reportedly offers to halt enrichment of uranium to 20% purity if the international community acknowledges Iran’s right to enrich uranium and immediately rolls back sanctions. The P5+1 refuses to delay or waive sanctions until Iran meets specific benchmarks of compliance. Ashton announces that the sides plan to send technical experts to Istanbul on 7/3 ‘‘to make sure all clearly understood the nature of both sides’ proposals’’ and to gauge the prospects for narrowing gaps and holding more negotiations. Meanwhile, the next round of EU and U.S. sanctions are scheduled to go into effect as scheduled on 7/1. (NYT 6/19; NYT, WP 6/20; NYT 7/2; WT 7/4; NYT 7/5)

Unidentified U.S. and Western officials confirm to the Washington Post (6/20) that the U.S. and Israel jointly developed the Flame virus to map and monitor Iran’s computer networks in preparation for a major cyberwarfare campaign. They said, however, that Israel deployed the virus unilaterally, without consulting the U.S., leading to its premature detection by Iran and to development of critical Iranian countermeasures. U.S. intelligence officials had hoped that Flame would reside undetected on Iran’s networks for years sending back valuable information. Computer experts said (WP 6/20) that Flame contained ‘‘DNA-like evidence’’ linking it to the Stuxnet virus (see QU in JPS 158). This would make the Stuxnet and Flame attacks the first recorded sustained cyber-sabotage campaign against a state. (WP 6/20)

Lebanon releases 9 Islamists (7 Lebanese, 1 Palestinian, 1 Saudi) tied to Fatah al-Islam who were among the approximate 180 people detained during the 2007 clashes between Fatah al-Islam and the Lebanese army in Nahr al-Barid r.c. in n. Lebanon (see QU in JPS 145–46). (WT 6/20)

The donors’ Ad Hoc Liaison Comm. (AHLC) holds a regular semiannual meeting in Brussels to discuss the state of the Palestinian economy, PA budget priorities, and donor assistance. The AHLC expresses concern that the growth of the Palestinian economy slowed significantly in 2011 and that the PA budget deficit has grown dangerously, largely because donor contributions have fallen and Israeli restrictions on Palestinian movement and access have not been adequately reduced. While acknowledging PA efforts to maintain a stable economy, the AHLC warns that the PA cannot be successful without increased donor support and positive actions from Israel. (Europa 3/31)

The IDF makes a pre-dawn incursion into n. Gaza to level land and clear lines of sight along the border fence nr. Bayt Lahiya, firing on nearby agricultural areas to keep Palestinians away, causing no injuries. In the evening, unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket and 2 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night patrols in Tulkarm and 1 village nr. Jericho. (YA 3/21; PCHR, YA 3/22; PCHR 3/29; OCHA 3/30)

A 24-yr.-old French man of Algerian descent, Mohammed Merah, claims responsibility for the shootings in and around Toulouse (see 3/19/12) and barricades himself in his apartment in a tense stand-off that includes exchanges of gunfire, leaving 2 police officers wounded. Merah confirms that he carried out the attacks to protest French foreign intervention in Afghanistan, as well as to avenge the deaths of Palestinian children killed by the IDF in Gaza. While Merah claims to have received al-Qa`ida training and had been on French and U.S. government watch lists, the French authorities believe he acted alone and had no serious link to alQa`ida or other groups. (NYT 3/22)

Late in the evening, IDF troops on the c. Gaza border fire 2 artillery shells into Gaza City, hitting a home (failing to explode, but causing damage) and a farm (causing no reported injuries). In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 nr. Jericho in the morning; patrols in Jericho and 1 nearby village, 5 villages nr. Salfit, and 1 nr. Tulkarm late at night. Palestinians (sometimes accompanied by Israeli and international activists) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil’in, Kafr Qaddum, Nabi Salih, and Ni’lin. IDF soldiers fire live ammunition (Nabi Salih only), rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters. As a result, 1 Palestinian photographer is injured (rubber-coated steel bullets) in Bil’in; 1 Palestinian cameraman (tear gas canister) and 1 Palestinian demonstrator (live ammunition) are wounded in Nabi Saleh. (PCHR 2/2; OCHA 2/3)

The Pentagon says it is rushing to modify the aging amphibious assault ship USS Ponce, previously scheduled for decommission, for dispatch to the Persian Gulf by summer 2012 for use as a large floating staging base for commando teams and a docking station for small high-speed boats and helicopters. The U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, recommended the move amid concerns about rising tensions with Iran, al-Qa’ida in Yemen, and Somali pirates. (WP 1/28)

Unidentified assailants armed with heavy weapons and explosives enter s. Israel fr. the Egyptian Sinai and stage coordinated attacks on a bus, several cars, and an IDF patrol, killing 7 Israelis (1 IDF soldier, 6 civilians) and wounding up to 40, marking the deadliest attack on Israel since 3/2008. The attacks begin at midday with gunfire on a bus nr. Elat carrying mostly soldiers fr. a nearby army base; when an IDF unit arrives on the scene, it is quickly ambushed and hit with explosive devices. Within the hour, at least 3 reports of mortar fire fr. Egypt and attacks on civilian vehicles with antitank weapons are reported in the Elat area. Israeli security forces engage in firefights with the infiltrators over the next several hours, killing at least 7 attackers, noting that 3 of the bodies were booby trapped. At one point, IDF troops pursue the attackers into Egypt and clash with Egyptian border guards, killing an Egyptian military officer and 2 Egyptian border police and injuring 2 others. Israel accuses Hamas of sending terrorists fr. Gaza through the Rafah smuggling tunnels into Egypt and then on to Israel, and criticizes Egypt’s inability to secure its borders. The IDF quickly launches 12 air strikes on s. Gaza in retaliation, primarily targeting the Popular Resistance Committees (PRCs)—an umbrella group comprising mbrs. of all Gaza factions, including Fatah and Hamas. In total, 7 Palestinians (including 2 children) are killed and at least 23 Palestinians (including 7 children, 6 women) are wounded. Among the dead are 5 senior PRC members who were targeted for assassination, including PRC leader Kamal Abu Abed al-Nairab, PRC chief military cmdr. Imad Hamad, and a PRC rocket expert. Later in the evening, gunfire erupts again in Elat, killing 1 Israeli border policeman and critically injuring another. The PRCs fire 4 rockets (including at least 1 manufactured Grad rocket) fr. Gaza into Israel, where at least 3 are intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system; no damage or injuries are reported. By late evening, the Israeli DMin. reports no further fire, but says assailants may still be on the loose. Hamas and the PRCs deny any part in the attacks. Egyptian and American analysts (e.g., NYT, WT 8/19) say that “it is not a remote possibility for [Egypt’s radical militant elements] to cross the border and launch attacks against Israeli targets. It makes a lot of sense” given Egypt’s recent crackdown on al-Qa‘ida-inspired Islamist militants in the n. Sinai (see 8/13). (AHR, AP, HA, IFM, JP, JTA, MNA, REU, WAFA, YA 8/18; NYT, OCHA, WP, WT 8/19; al-Masri al-Yawm 8/20; JAZ 8/21; PCHR 8/25; OCHA 8/26)

Meanwhile, in the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Bayt Liqya nr. Ramallah during the day and in Jenin, Jericho, and 2 villages nr. Ramallah and Salfit. Jewish settlers fr. Beit El nr. Ramallah enter nearby Dawar al-Qare’ village and set fire to 2 cars. (PCHR 8/25)

The IDF beats and fires tear gas and stun grenades at Palestinians and international activists staging a nonviolent march fr. Bayt Umar to nearby Palestinian lands confiscated for the expansion of Karme Tzur settlement, injuring 2 Palestinians and arresting 1. The IDF also patrols in 3 villages w. of Ramallah; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem and Nablus. (PCHR 8/18; OCHA 8/19)

Egypt sends 250 tanks and armored vehicles, 1,000 special forces, and 1,000s of police into the n. Sinai (including the Rafah area) to secure the region after a series of attacks on the natural gas pipeline (see 7/30) and increased attacks on Egyptian police by suspected al-Qa‘ida-inspired Islamists groups. It is unclear if Israel approved the increased military presence, which is limited under the 1979 peace treaty. (WP 8/14; NYT 8/29)

A French boat in the Freedom Flotilla II secretly departs Greece and is the first boat from the group to make it into international waters, headed toward Gaza. In the early afternoon, the IDF carries out air strikes on mbrs. of Tawhid and Jihad, a radical Islamist group that claims inspiration from al-Qa‘ida and is opposed to Hamas, as they prepare to launch a rocket fr. c. Gaza into Israel, killing 2 armed Palestinians and wounding 1. Late at night, the IDF carries out another air strike on armed Palestinians operating e. of Gaza City, lightly wounding 3. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Nablus. Israel’s Jerusalem municipality approves construction of 900 new housing units in Gilo settlement in East Jerusalem. (HA, JTA, YA 7/5; JP, NYT, WP, WT 7/6; PCHR, WJW 7/7; OCHA 7/8)

U.S. special envoy Mitchell returns to the region for 3 days for another round of Israeli-Palestinian proximity talks. No details are released. (NYT, WP 7/1)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 mortar fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Later, mbrs. of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) fire several mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, targeting an IDF unit patrolling the border inside Israel, damaging a vehicle but causing no injuries; the unit shells the launch site, killing 1 PFLP mbr. On the n. Gaza border, IDF troops fire warning shots at Palestinian, international activists who stage a nonviolent march to the border fence n. of Bayt Lahiya to protest Israel’s imposition of a no-go zone, causing no injuries. Also in Gaza, Palestinians believed to be fr. an extremist Islamist group destroy a 2d UNRWA summer camp for children nr. Dayr al-Balah, tying up guards, setting a fire, destroying toys and an inflatable pool; another summer camp was destroyed on 5/23. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Ramallah. Inside Israel, Israeli police indict 7 Israeli Palestinians arrested in 4/2010 in and nr. Nazareth on charges of supporting al-Qa‘ida and plotting attacks on Jews and Christians; no details are released. (YA 6/28; NYT, WT 6/29; PCHR 7/1; OCHA, WJW 7/2)

Palestinian gunmen in n. Gaza shoot across the border at an Israeli government delegation leading a Canadian group on a tour of Sederot, seriously wounding an aide to Israel’s Public Security M Avi Dichter; the IDF returns fire, causing no reported injuries; several Palestinian groups claim responsibility including the AMB, Hamas, and 2 little-known Islamist groups: the Army of the Nation, and Protectors of the Homeland (which claims to be inspired by al-Qa‘ida). Separately, the IDF sends troops into al-Bureij r.c., where they clash with local gunmen (wounding a Palestinian girl inside her home), shell a Palestinian home (causing extensive damage but no injuries), arrest 1 Palestinian, temporarily detain 2 children (ages 12, 17); bulldozes 40 d. of citrus trees inside the Gaza border e. of Bayt Hanun. In al-Qarara, 2 Palestinians are injured when explosives they are handling detonate prematurely. In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, international activists taking part in the weekly nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Bil‘in (10s suffer tear gas inhalation), beat Palestinian demonstrators at a similar demonstration in al-Masa’ra nr. Bethlehem (injuring 2 children, ages 6 and 7). In Nablus, 12 AMB mbrs. who had agreed to remain in PA custody overnight as part of a 7/07 amnesty deal with Israel flee Jnaid prison, claiming they were severely beaten by PA security forces; they refuse to return to the jail but pledge to respect the cease-fire. (HA 4/4; NYT, WP, WT 4/5; OCHA, PCHR 4/9)

Overnight, the IDF launches a major raid into eastern neighborhoods of Gaza City to look for “terrorist infrastructure,” sending in troops, tanks, bulldozers, accompanied by helicopters; making an air strike on a clearly marked Reuters TV truck covering the incursion, saying it was “acting suspiciously,” seriously wounding 2 Reuters journalists; during the day, the IDF fires on residential areas, warns residents to leave, exchanges fire with and conducts air strikes on Palestinian gunmen (killing 3 Palestinian gunmen, 1 Palestinian civilian; wounding 2 Palestinian militants, 10 civilians), occupies houses as observation posts. Also in Gaza, the IDF closes the Rafah crossing, Nahal Oz pipeline. In the West Bank, the IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian guard outside a school in Jenin, claiming he was acting suspiciously; raids, searches the Ramallah home of Hamas-affiliated PC mbr. Mahmud Muslih, arresting him; patrols in Jenin town and r.c., Nablus (firing on residential areas in both cases, causing no injuries); conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron and nr. Bethlehem, Jenin, Qalqilya. Jewish settlers in Hebron break into the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs, violating agreements that this day is reserved for Muslims to pray there. After 13 days, the Holy Jihad Brigade releases unharmed 2 Fox News Journalists; the PA says that none of the group’s 8/23 demands were met, the group is not linked to al-Qa‘ida but is a group of “young men who carried out the action out of private beliefs.” (AFP, HA 8/27; NYT, WP, WT 8/28; PCHR 8/31; PMG 9/1)

The IDF opens Gaza’s Sufa commercial crossing (closed since 5/17); shells Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, injuring a 12-yr.-old Palestinian; sends troops into Hebron to surround the Polytechnic University campus, firing percussion grenades, tear gas and arresting 7 students; sends undercover units into Tamun nr. Jenin in a car with Palestinian license plates to arrest 3 Palestinians; sends troops into Tubas nr. Jenin, firing on stonethrowing youths who confront them; patrols in, fires on residential areas of Nablus; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Tulkarm and nr. Hebron, Jenin, Nablus. Israeli DM Amir Peretz authorizes the expansion of the “jurisdictional area” of 4 West Bank Jewish settlements, often the prelude to construction of new settlement neighborhoods: Givat Ze’ev nr. Jerusalem (to be expanded by 60 dunum [d.; 4 d. = 1 acre].); Beitar Ilit nr. Bethlehem (to be expanded by 400 d.); Oranit, just over the Green Line nr. Kefar Saba; Maskiyot, in the Jordan Valley, where Israel plans to relocate the 40 settlers evacuated fr. Shirat Hayam settlement in Gaza. Jewish settlers fr. Ma’on nr. Hebron attack Palestinian school children being escorted to school by the IDF, injuring 2. PA security forces find, dismantle a 150-lb roadside bomb planted along the motorcade route of Internal Security Service dir. gen. Rashid Abu Shibak, who was appointed by Abbas to the new position on 4/6 in a bid to wrest control of the security forces away fr. Interior M Siyam; no group takes responsibility, but Fatah officials hint that Hamas is to blame, note that the PRCs have previously fired on his home. In reaction, 100s of Fatah mbrs. rally in Gaza City in support of the PA security forces, offering to volunteer their services to counterbalance Siyam’s new volunteer force. Overnight, a previously unknown group calling itself the al-Qa‘ida Organization of the State of Palestine claims responsibility for the 5/20 attack on Abu Rajab in a statement on the Internet. (MM, NYT 5/22; OCHA 5/24; see also MA 5/20 in WNC 5/21; PCHR, PNN 5/25)

The IDF fires a missile at 2 Palestinian boys (ages 12 and 15) playing with pipes and sticks in a street Jabaliya r.c., killing them; says video footage fr. drones in the area appeared to show militants preparing to launch a rocket. Also in n. Gaza, the IDF fires on residential areas of Bayt Hanun, seriously wounding a 12-yr.-old child in her home; demolishes 1 Palestinian home north of Bayt Hanun. A 13-yr.-old Palestinian dies of injuries received in an IDF attack on Jabaliya on 9/30; a 16-yr.-old Palestinian dies of injuries received in Jabaliya on 10/1; a 22-yr.-old Palestinian dies of injuries received in Bayt Hanun on 10/3. The IDF also fires on 2 Palestinians who approach the Israeli border fence nr. the Sufa crossing into Israel in s. Gaza, killing 1 Palestinian while the other escapes; fires on residential areas, demolishes 1 Palestinian home in Rafah; shells residential areas, bulldozes 86 d. nr. Khan Yunis. Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets at Sederot, 2 antitank missiles at IDF troops in Rafah, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF moves troops into Balata r.c. and Tulkarm, fires on residential areas, then fires on stonethrowing youths who confront the troops; halts a Palestinian school bus at a Hebron checkpoint, detains 3 students; conducts arrest raids, house searches in ‘Arub r.c., Jenin r.c., and in villages around Nablus, Tulkarm; bulldozes 60 d. southwest of Hebron for construction of the separation wall. The UNRWA delivers food, water to half of the 600 Palestinian families (ca. 3,300 individuals) who have been trapped in their homes east of Jabaliya r.c., unable to leave and without electricity or water since Days of Penitence began on 9/29. (United Nations Information Service 10/7; PSCT, VOI, VOP 10/7 in WNC 10/11; MEZ, WP 10/8; PR 10/13; PCHR 10/14)

In Egypt, a huge truck bomb explodes at the Hilton hotel in Taba, 2 smaller bombs explode at hotels further south along the Red Sea in Nuwayba and Ras al-Shaytan in what appear to be al-Qa‘ida attacks targeting Israelis vacationing for the Sukkoth holidays; 34 people are killed (including at least 13 Israelis, 9 Egyptians, 2 Italians, 1 Russian), some 150 are wounded. (BBC, HA, NYT, WP, WT 10/8; ITAR-TASS, MA, MENA, MM, VOI, VOP 10/8, MENA, al-Quds 10/9, VOI 10/10 in WNC 10/12; NYT, WP, WT 10/9; NYT 10/10; al-Ra’i 10/10, AYM 10/11 in WNC 10/14; LBC 10/10, MM 10/11; VOP 10/11 in WNC 10/13; MM 10/12; MM, NYT, PR 10/13; JP, WJW 10/14; MM 10/15, 10/18, 10/19; WT 10/20; MEI 10/22; WP 10/26)

The IDF fatally shoots 2 AMB mbrs. laying a roadside bomb nr. the Rafah border; fatally shoots a Palestinian farmer tilling a field nr. Khan Yunis; raids a hospital in Nablus, closing it for 3 hrs., but leaving without arresting anyone; conducts arrest raids in Nablus (targeting the tanz im), Qalqilya (targeting the PFLP). A Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. Jewish settlers set up a tent at the site of the fatal 5/5 shooting of a Jewish settler on the Nablus–Ramallah road, vowing to erect a permanent settlement at the location. Palestinians fire a mortar at a Jewish settlement in Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. Israel releases another 35 Palestinian prisoners—significantly less than the 120 Israel had said it would release today. (HA 5/12; NYT, WP 5/13; PCHR 5/15)

Powell meets briefly with Quartet reps. in Jerusalem before meeting with Egyptian pres. Husni Mubarak in Cairo, King Abdallah of Jordan in Amman to rally Arab support for a PA crackdown on Palestinian militant groups. Powell says that it makes “no difference” whether or not Israel has declared acceptance of the road map; the important thing is for both sides to begin implementation. (HA, NYT, WP 5/12; MENA 5/12 in WNC 5/13; HA, WP, WT 5/13)

Late in the evening, on the eve of Powell’s arrival in Saudi Arabia, suicide bombers in Riyadh simultaneously detonate 3 car bombs outside residential compounds for foreigners and 1 outside a Saudi-U.S.-owned business, killing 34 persons (including8 Americans, 5 Saudis), wounding around 200 (including at least 40 Americans), many seriously. Most of the bombers appear to be Saudi, but no group takes responsibility; the U.S., Saudi Arabia suspect al-Qa‘ida. (BBC, NYT, WP, WT 5/13; NYT, REU, WP, WT 5/14; NYT, WP 5 /15)

The IDF assassinates senior Hamas mbr. Iyad al-Bik, whom Israel claims is tied to al-Qa‘ida, firing 3 missiles at his car as he drives through Gaza City, causing no other injuries. The IDF fatally shoots 1 Palestinian riding a donkey nr. Nablus; fires on residential areas of Rafah, killing 1 Palestinian; fires on stone-throwing youths in Balata r.c., injuring 5; bulldozes 30 dunams of land s. of Khan Yunis; raids the Ramallah central bus station, arresting a wanted Hamas mbr.; conducts additional arrest raids in Tulkarm, nearby refugee camps. A 13-yr.-old Palestinian dies of injuries received on 3/3/03; another Palestinian dies of injuries received in 4/29/03. Palestinian gunmen fire on an IDF patrol nr. Kefar Darom, luring an IDF tank to the scene; a Palestinian suicide bomber drives up to the tank, detonates a car bomb, killing only himself; no IDF soldiers are injured in the incident; the IDF demolishes a PSF office in retaliation. Palestinians fire a mortar at a Jewish settlement in Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. (BBC, HA, JP 5/8; HA, NYT, WP 5/9; AYM 5/9 in WNC 5/12; PCHR 5/15)

U.S. officials say that the 11/02 ruling by a secretive 3-judge federal appeals panel interpreting the 2001 Patriot Act as permitting the use of classified wiretaps and intelligence reports fr. foreign security agencies against terrorism suspects has allowed the FBI to intensify greatly its decades old investigations of alleged U.S. supporters of Hamas, Hizballah. Investigations reportedly have been focusing on U.S. mosques. (WP 5/8)

The IDF continues operations in Jabaliya r.c., demolishing 8 Palestinian homes, shelling an apartment building and attached store; as firemen fight the blaze and Palestinians gather at the scene, an IDF tank fires a shell, possibly containing flechettes, at the crowd, killing 8 Palestinians (including 1 firefighter, 3 children), wounding more than 60 (including 2 Reuters journalists; another 60 Palestinians are wounded in Jabaliya during the day); the IDF pulls out of the camp later in the morning. The IDF also fatally shoots a Palestinian demonstrator in Nablus; fatally shoots a Palestinian during an arrest raid in Bethlehem; returns gunfire directed at an IDF patrol outside Hebron, killing a Palestinian shepherd tending her flock nearby; demolishes a Palestinian home outside Jenin; fires on residential areas of Nablus, al-Qarara. A 13th Palestinian dies of injuries received on 2/5/03. Late in the evening, the IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian allegedly attempting to infiltrate Hamra settlement; arrests Islamic Jihad Jenin head Muhammad Abu Rub. Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets at Sederot, causing no damage or injuries. (AP, HA, MM, REU 3/6; MENA 3/6 in WNC 3/7; MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/7; al-Quds 3/7 in WNC 3/10; PR 3/12; LAW, PCHR 3/13; MEI 3/21)

Arafat nominates Abbas as his candidate for PM. Abbas says he would accept only if it is not merely a symbolic post. The PM’s duties have yet to be defined. (HA, MM, NYT 3/7; AYM, al-Quds 3/8 in WNC 3/10; PR 3/12; WJW 3/13)

In a rare speech to the nation, Bush prepares the public for imminent war with Iraq, claiming that Iraq has trained and financed “al-Qa‘ida and al-Qa‘ida-type organizations” and is building new missiles and weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) rather than destroying them. (NYT, WP, WT 3/7)

The IDF bulldozes 7 Palestinian homes and an electricity grid in Rafah, 3 homes in Dayr al-Balah; conducts arrest raids in Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis. An Israeli military court sentences Gazan Hamas mbr. Palestinian Nabil Okal, arrested in 6/00, to 27 yrs. in prison for training with al-Qa`ida in Afghanistan, plotting anti-Israeli attacks; he is not accused of being a mbr. of al-Qa`ida or of taking any violent action; Okal has denied the charges. Israel transfers $58 m. to the PA in VAT taxes. YESHA settlers council reports that the West Bank, settlement population increased by 6% in 2002, reaching 226,028; has increased by 11.8% over the past 2 yrs. despite the intifada; Israel’s Interior Min. confirms the numbers. (HA 2/3; HA, NYT 2/4; LAW, PCHR 2/5; al-Quds 2/5 in WNC 2/7; TJT 2/6)

Countries begin recalling their embassy staff fr. Iraq in anticipation of a U.S. strike. The U.S. strongly urges its citizens to leave the Persian Gulf. (WT 2/4)

 

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 Mombassa, Kenya, a previously un-known group called the Government of Universal Palestine in Exile–Army of Palestine, thought to be connected to al-Qa‘ida, stages a dual attack marking the 55th anniversary of the 1947 UN partition res., firing 2 missiles at an Israeli charter jet carry-ing 261 Israeli tourists leaving Mombassa airport, missing the plane; simultaneously, 3 suicide bombers detonate a car bomb outside the lobby of an Israeli-owned hotel, killing 3 Israeli tourists, 10 Kenyans (an 11th dies on 12/18), injuring 80, causing extensive damage. Hrs. later in Beit She’an in n. Israel, 2 AMB mbrs open fire on, toss grenades at a crowd of voters outside the local Likud polling station, killing 6 Israelis, wounding 20 before being fatally shot by Israeli police. Sharon convenes a security mtg. to discuss responses; once again does not invite Netanyahu (see 11/21). In Hebron, a 4-yr.-old Palestinian is fatally wounded by IDF gunfire in his home. The IDF also shells residential areas of Rafah r.c.; conducts arrest raids in al-Qarara, Tulkarm. In a Tel Aviv court, Israeli Arab Nissim Nasser pleads guilty to spying for Hizballah in exchange for a reduced sentence. (AP, CNN, HA, MM 11/28; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/29; HA, NYT, WP, WT 11/30; AYM 12/2 in WNC 12/6, 12/9; LAW, PCHR 12/3; JT 12/4 in WNC 12/5; JPI, MEI 12/6; WT 12/7; JTA 12/18)

Likud primaries go on despite the day’s attacks, with Sharon winning (56% to 40%) over Netanyahu. (MM 11/28; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/29; NYT 11/30; MEI 12/6; AYM 12/13 in WNC 12/16)

The IDF demolishes 2 Palestinian homes nr. Gaza City, damaging 8 others; halts an ambulance nr. Nablus, taking a relative of the patient into custody; fires tear gas at PRCS property, ambulances, paramedics in Nablus, Tulkarm. Palestinians fire 2 mortars, a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, damaging 1 home, causing no injuries; the IDF believes the rocket was a new, larger Qassam-3, with a range of up to 12 km. Palestinian gunmen fire at a Jewish settler vehicle nr. Tulkarm, injuring 1 settler. A Palestinian dies of injuries received on 9/10. An Israeli court indicts 4 East Jerusalem Palestinians for murder for their alleged role in the 7/31/02 Hebrew University bombing. A Palestinian indicted in civilian court on terrorism charges on 7/30 is convicted, sentenced to 22 yrs. Israel announces that 6 wks. ago it arrested 10 bedouin IDF soldiers fr. the Galilee on charges of spying for Hizballah. (JTA 9/12; HA, WP 9/13; LAW, PCHR 9/18; PCHR 9/20; HA 10/23; MM, NYT, WP, WT 10/24; MM 10/29)

In a speech to the opening session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) a day after the 1st anniversary of the al-Qa`ida attacks on the U.S., Bush warns the UN to take action quickly to force Iraq to "unconditionally accept" inspection, disarmament of its chemical and biological weapons and nuclear research facilities, intimating that the U.S. will take action unilaterally if the UN does not. Bush also reiterates his support for the creation of "an independent and democratic Palestine living side by side with Israel in peace and security," adding that "Palestinians deserve a government that serves their interests and listens to their voices." (NYT, Jerusalem Times, WP, WT 9/12; HA, MM 9/13; AYM 9/13, MENA, al-Quds 9/14, MENA 9/15 in WNC 9/16; NYT 9/14; JT, WP 9/15; MM 9/17; MEI 9/27)

The American Jewish Comm., Israel 21c (a Silicon Valley+n based group supported by executives of high-tech companies) launch an ad campaign to run on cable TV news stations in 100 U.S. cities promoting Israel's side in its conflict with the Palestinians, portraying Israel as the only democratic country and country sharing American values in the Middle East. (JTA 9/17; AP 9/18; WJW 9/19, 9/26)