19 / 14490 Results
  • May 26, 2022

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

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  • November 10, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers shot and injured 2 Palestinians and injured 5 others with stones near Khalat al-Daba; 3 cars were also damaged. 13 Palestinians were arrested during late-night...

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  • October 7, 2021

    In the West Bank, some 60 Israeli settlers from the Yitzhar settlement threw stones at Palestinians harvesting olives in Burin. Israeli settlers from the Telem settlement also uprooted and...

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  • May 24, 2021

    In the West Bank, 1 Israeli settler shot and injured 1 Palestinian minor using rubber-coated bullets in al-Janiya. Israeli settlers also damaged and uprooted 130 olive seedings in al-Rihaya south...

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  • December 19, 2018

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces raze an area of Palestinian farmland near Nablus. IDF troops arrest 6 Palestinians during late-night raids near Hebron and Ramallah; and patrol near Nablus and...

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  • June 6, 2015

    In Gaza, Sarayat al-Shaykh Umar Hadid fire a Katyusha 130 rocket into Israel and it lands nr. Ashqelon, causing no serious damage or injuries. The group says that the recent rocket attacks (today...

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  • February 4, 2014

    An Israeli officer is killed by friendly fire nr. the border fence between the Gaza Strip and s. Israel. In the West Bank, IDF troops raid the protest village ‘Ayn Hiljeh and detain 18...

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  • December 30, 2012

    Israeli security forces evacuate the unauthorized settler outpost of Oz Zion in between Ramallah and Jerusalem, removing right-wing activists who were still on site. (ToI 12/30)

    At a...

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  • July 9, 2012

    An Israeli government-appointed commission headed by former Israeli supreme court justice Ephraim Levy issues a nonbinding legal judgment that Israel’s presence in the West Bank is not occupation...

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  • December 22, 2011

    The IDF makes a brief incursion into n. Gaza in the morning to level lands and clear lines of sight along the border e. of Jabaliya r.c., firing on nearby residential areas to keep Palestinians...

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  • December 20, 2011

    Israeli troops on the n. Gaza border twice fire at suspicious movement in open areas e. of Bayt Hanun, causing no reported injuries. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the...

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  • January 27, 2011

    In the West Bank, a Jewish settler opens fire on a group of Palestinian youths who throw stones at him as he passes nr. Iraq Burin village nr. Nablus, killing 1 Palestinian teenager. Jewish...

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  • October 26, 2008

    A week ahead of her deadline to form a government, Kadima party head and acting Israeli FM Tzipi Livni, with powersharing deals with the Labor and Meretz parties already drafted, unexpectedly...

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  • August 4, 2005

    An IDF soldier, who deserted 2 mos. ago to protest disengagement and moved to the right-wing West Bank settlement of Tapuach, boards a Haifa–Shafa‘ Amr bus, still dressed in fatigues and carrying...

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  • September 13, 1989

    Social/Economic/Political

    Other Countries: Switzerland decides it is unable to rule on PLO's request to join the 1949 Geneva Convention as a state [MET 9/26].

    Military Action

    ...

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  • September 7, 1987

    Social/Economic/Political

    Arab World: Lebanese government states it will lodge formal protest with UN for Israeli air raid in S. Lebanon which killed 40 people [CSM 9/8].

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  • August 27, 1985

    Social/Economic/Political

    Occupied Palestine/Israel: Israeli military officials state they have uncovered underground political cell in Golan town of Majd al-Shams responsible for attacks ...

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  • July 9, 1985

    Social/Economic/Political

    Occupied Palestine/Israel: Knesset passes, on first reading, bill to outlaw racial incitement. Bill would amend Basic Law and penal law to prevent Knesset lists...

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  • December 6, 1983

    SOCIAL/POLITICAL:

    Occupied Palestine/lsrael: 12 men in al-Arub refugee camp near Hebron arrested under suspicion of stone-throwing. Shamir denies any military commitments to US as quid pro...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers shot and injured 2 Palestinians and injured 5 others with stones near Khalat al-Daba; 3 cars were also damaged. 13 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Beit Ur al-Tahta, al-Bireh, Jenin, Bethlehem, Husan, Dura, and Fawwar refugee camp. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces raided the home of 1 Palestinian prisoner in Wadi al-Juz and ordered its occupants to demolish it; municipality workers demolished parts of the inside of the home before leaving. (MEMO, WAFA, WAFA 11/10; HA, PCHR, WAFA 11/11)

PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh told reporters during a press conference in Ramallah that if Israel does not embrace a 2-state solution, it will result in a 1-state reality of “apartheid.” Prime Minister Shtayyeh reiterated his charge against Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett, accusing him of a 3-no mantra: no to meeting PA president Abbas, no to peace negotiations, and no to a Palestinian state. (AP, HA 11/10)

Palestinian politician, nephew of Yasir Arafat, and former chairman of the Arafat Foundation Nasser al-Kidwa charged PA president Mahmoud Abbas with destroying the Arafat Foundation in an advance statement for the anniversary of Arafat’s death. Al-Kidwa said that President Abbas is destroying the foundation by dismissing its board and canceling its independence from the PA. (MEMO 11/11)

Israel claimed to have new evidence against the 6 Palestinian rights organizations recently deemed terrorist organizations by the state, based on a plea deal from a Spanish citizen who worked for Health Work Committee, which is not 1 of the 6 rights organizations in question. According to the indictment, some money raised by the woman was transferred to the PFLP without her knowledge. The woman, however, only said that she had suspected the organization acted on behalf of the PFLP. (AP, HA, JP, TOI 11/10; +972, MEE 11/11)

Israel, the U.S., Bahrain, and the UAE participated in a joint military drill in the Red Sea. The naval drill is scheduled to last for 5 days. (AJ, AP, HA, MEMO 11/11)

6 progressive-leaning members of U.S. congress, including Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Mondaire Jones (D-NY), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Barbara Lee (D-CT), Melanie Stansbury (D-NM), and Mark Pocan (D-MN) met with Israel’s prime minister Naftali Bennett during a J Street-sponsored trip to Israel and Palestine. Representatives Bowman and Pocan also visited Hebron and Susiya with Palestinian activist Nasser Nawajah and the executive director of Breaking the Silence Avner Gvaryahu. A bipartisan group of House representatives and senators led by Chris Coons (D-DE) also met with Prime Minister Bennett and PA prime minister Shtayyeh. Senator Coons said the group had asked Israel to provide more evidence against the 6 Palestinian rights organizations (see above). Members of the Democratic Socialists of America, of which Bowman is a member, debated whether to expel Bowman due to his participation in the meeting with Naftali Bennett and his association with J Street. In the end, the Democratic Socialists of America did not expel Bowman but said that it expected to see significant movement from him on Palestine if it was to endorse him for the 2022 elections. (HA, TOI, WAFA 11/10; HA, MEMO 11/11; FOX, HA, MDW 12/1; HA 12/3)

The U.S. Biden administration reverted to the voting pattern of the Obama administration on UNGA resolutions pertaining to UNRWA. The U.S., Cameroon, Canada, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, and Uruguay abstained on 1 resolution in support of Palestinian refugees’ right of return, while Israel was the only country that voted against. The U.S. and Israel were the only 2 countries to vote against a resolution calling for Israel to end its occupation of the Golan Heights. The U.S., Canada, Hungary, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, and Israel also voted against a resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity and evictions in East Jerusalem. (MEMO, WAFA 11/10; FOX, JNS, JP 11/11)

In the West Bank, some 60 Israeli settlers from the Yitzhar settlement threw stones at Palestinians harvesting olives in Burin. Israeli settlers from the Telem settlement also uprooted and vandalized some 100 olive seedlings in Tarqumiyah. Israeli forces razed land near al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya, leading to a confrontation with Palestinians protesting the attack on their land; 1 was physically assaulted and 4 were injured by rubber-coated bullets. Israeli forces also razed land in al-Zawiya for the 2d day in a row and demolished 2 residential buildings in al-Zanbah. 8 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Tell, Zabbuba, al-Fara‘a refugee camp, and Aida refugee camp. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians in the Old City. 3 Palestinians were arrested, including 2 during a raid in Isawiya and 1 at the Haram al-Sharif compound. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Gaza; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/7; HA 10/11; PCHR 10/14)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas spoke to Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi over the phone. (WAFA 10/7)

Members of the Israeli Labor Party met with Palestinian officials in Ramallah. (WAFA 10/8)

Haaretz reported that the Israeli military did not refer an incident to the Israeli police where an Israeli settler took an assault rifle from an Israeli soldier and shot at Palestinians on 6/26. The Israeli military said it had referred the case to the Israeli police, but the police denies it ever received notice of the incident. Palestinian eyewitnesses said that the Israeli soldier gave the settler the gun for him to shoot with. The Israeli military also refused to respond to Haaretz’s enquiry about an incident in May where a masked Israeli soldier shot and killed 1 Palestinian in ‘Urif. The soldier in question was also a settler and was not on duty when he shot and killed the Palestinian man, wearing only a face covering and army pants. (HA 10/7)

At Americans for Peace Now’s annual gala, Democratic senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) said that he and Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) are working to significantly increase the U.S. humanitarian aid to Gaza as the Senate is working on a bill to give Israel $1 billion in military aid, allegedly to replenish the Iron Dome missile defense system arsenal. Senator Sanders said giving Israel $1 billion in military aid without addressing the suffering of the people in Gaza “would be wrong and unconscionable.” Sanders explicitly called for the U.S. to condition its military aid to Israel, saying that “[i]t is totally appropriate for the United States to say what that aid may and may not be used for.” Sanders also said that he is unimpressed by the policies of Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett, saying that Bennett is pursuing the same policies as Benjamin Netanyahu when it comes to occupied Palestinian territories. Sanders called the current Israeli policy “a one-state reality in which one people enjoy perpetual political dominance over another.” (HA, MEMO 10/8)

In the West Bank, 1 Israeli settler shot and injured 1 Palestinian minor using rubber-coated bullets in al-Janiya. Israeli settlers also damaged and uprooted 130 olive seedings in al-Rihaya south of Hebron. Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian with live ammunition in Far‘un. 19 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Bayt Umar, Yatta, Bethlehem, al-Walaja, Kaubar, Silwad, Tell, Qabalan, ‘Azun, al-Twana, and Jenin; during a house raid in al-Twana, 1 Palestinian 5-year-old got a black eye during the raid on her home. In East Jerusalem, around 120 Israeli settlers with military escort raided the Haram al-Sharif compound for the 2d day in a row. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian after he allegedly stabbed and injured 1 settler and 1 soldier near Shaykh Jarrah. 26 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Silwan, Jabal al-Mukabir, Shu‘fat, and the Old City. In Gaza, 2 Palestinians injured in Israeli air strikes on Bayt Hanun on 5/11 succumbed to their injuries and 4 Palestinians were found dead in rubble from Israeli air strikes in Khan Yunis, raising the comprehensive death toll since 5/10 from 253 to 259, including 67 children and 3 pregnant women. (AJ, ALM, AP, HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/24; HA, MEMO, WAFA 5/25; PCHR 5/27)

3 Jewish-Israelis were charged with terrorism after severely beating 1 Palestinian-Israeli man on 5/12 in Bat Yam. The Palestinian man was pulled from his car and beaten by a large mob of Jewish-Israelis while an Israeli TV crew filmed the incident as it was unfolding. 6 people were for the attack, while TV footage show the faces of several others beating the man who have not been arrested. (HA 5/24; HA 5/26)

The Palestinian Prisoners Society said Israel had issued 155 administrative detention orders since the beginning of May. (WAFA 5/24)

AP reported that 17 journalists in Gaza had their WhatsApp accounts blocked since 5/21. WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, which has been accused of silencing Palestinian voices. WhatsApp is considered an important tool for sharing information among journalists and activists. (AP 5/24; AJ, F24, NAT, TOI 5/25; AJ, MEMO 5/26)

Iran said it would allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to continue monitoring Iran’s nuclear activities for 1 additional month after a previous agreement expired. (AP, AX, HA, NYT, REU 5/24)

U.S. president Joe Biden spoke to Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, thanking him for his role in mediating the Hamas-Israel ceasefire that went into effect on 5/21. The 2 also discussed rebuilding Gaza. (HILL, REU 5/24; AJ, NAT 5/25)

A U.S. federal court ruled a 2016 Georgia law, prohibiting state contracts with people who engage in boycotts of Israel, unconstitutional. The lawsuit was brought by 2 U.S. rights organizations on behalf of journalist Abby Martin. (MEMO 5/25)

In an attempt to deflect from international outcry, Belarus said it had forced a Ryanair plane traveling from Athens to Vilnius to land in Minsk because a bomb threat in the name of Hamas was made against it. Hamas denied the allegation. In the incident, which happened on 5/23, Belarusian warplanes forced the commercial jet to land in Minsk for Belarusian forces to arrest a passenger who runs a website for opponents of Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko. (HA 5/24; MEMO 5/26)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces raze an area of Palestinian farmland near Nablus. IDF troops arrest 6 Palestinians during late-night raids near Hebron and Ramallah; and patrol near Nablus and Hebron. Israeli settlers assault and injure several Palestinian farmers working their lands near Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 3 Palestinians during late-night raids in Hizma and Issawiyya. Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian shepherds working near Dayr al-Balah, causing no injuries. Israeli forces also conduct a limited incursion to level land near al-Bureij refugee camp. (MNA, MNA, WAFA 12/19; PCHR 12/20)

The undersecretary of the PA’s Agriculture Ministry, Abdallah Lahlouh, says that the PA has not been officially informed of any new Israeli policy to ban imports of fruits and vegetables from the West Bank, but that the PA will respond in kind if the recent reports of a ban continue. Although it was not publically announced at the time, Israel’s Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel ordered such a ban on 12/17 after the PA barred Palestinian meat-sellers from buying lamb from Israel on 12/2. (TOI, TOI, WAFA 12/19)

Israel’s Knesset passes a first reading of a bill that would allow the IDF to order the expulsion of the families of Palestinian assailants from their homes, despite objections from Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and senior IDF officers. The Knesset also passes a first reading of the so-called Young Settlement Bill, which would allow for the temporary retroactive authorization of certain settlement outposts in the West Bank and which the Israeli cabinet unanimously approved on 12/16. (HA 12/19; HA 12/20)

At a UN Security Council meeting on alleged violations of Resolution 1701, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon presents new information that he claims shows the extent of Hezbollah’s tunneling operations along the Israel-Lebanon border. He also says that Israel “gave UNIFIL precise information about the location of [1 of the tunnels],” but that compromised Lebanese army officers leaked the information to Hezbollah, allowing the group to conceal certain offensive operations. “Lebanese army officials are working for Hezbollah, while UNIFIL is not working to fulfill its mandate in the region in the necessary manner,” Danon alleges. While several UNSC members condemn Hezbollah’s tunneling activities, the UNSC takes no action at today’s meeting. (HA, HA, TOI, YA 12/19; TOI 12/20)

UN World Food Programme (WFP) country director Stephen Kearney announces that funding shortfalls have forced “drastic” cuts to food aid initiatives planned in the West Bank and Gaza in 2019. Starting on 1/1/19, the WFP plans to suspend food assistance to 27,000 people in the West Bank and reduce by 20% the food aid delivered to 166,000 additional recipients across the occupied Palestinian territories. “The major donor that we have had in the past years has been the U.S.,” Kearney says. “They have cut funding, not just to UNRWA, who work with the refugees in Gaza, but also to the rest of the humanitarian community, including WFP.” A WFP spokesperson says that an additional $57 million would be needed to maintain the current level of food aid in 2019. (AFP, AJ, REU, TOI 12/19; MEE 12/20)

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announces that it has filed a legal challenge to an anti-BDS law in Texas on behalf of 4 Texans who either lost their jobs or lost the opportunity to be hired after they refused to renounce their support for boycotts against Israel or its settlements in the West Bank. “Whatever you may think about boycotts of Israel, the bottom line is that political boycotts are a legitimate form of nonviolent protest,” says an ACLU lawyer. “The state cannot use the contracting process as an ideological litmus test or to tell people what kind of causes they may or may not support.” Texas’s anti-BDS law, which requires all state contractors to certify that they do not support or participate in any boycotts of Israel or its West Bank settlements, has been on the books since 5/2/17. (HA, TOI 12/19)

In Gaza, Sarayat al-Shaykh Umar Hadid fire a Katyusha 130 rocket into Israel and it lands nr. Ashqelon, causing no serious damage or injuries. The group says that the recent rocket attacks (today and 6/3) are meant to remind Hamas that Israel is the enemy. In response, IAF jets launch air strikes on a vacant Hamas military base in n. Gaza, causing severe damage. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval forces fire warning shots at Palestinian fishing boats, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian and international activists nonviolently commemorating the 48th anniversary of al-Naksa nr. Jerusalem; there are no serious injuries. The IDF also conducts house searches and raids in 2 villages each nr. Hebron and Qalqilya, arresting 4 Palestinians and issuing arrest summons to 3 others; patrols in 2 villages each nr. Ramallah and Tulkarm, and 1 each nr. Hebron, Qalqilya, and Jericho. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 3 Palestinians on raids in Issawiyya and the Old City. (MNA, WAFA 6/6; HA, MNA, REU 6/7; PCHR 6/11)

An Egyptian appeals court overturns a lower court’s 2/28 designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization, following an appeal from the State Litigation Authority. A court official says the previous ruling is thrown out because the lower court did not have the proper jurisdiction. Hamas welcomes the new decision. (AHR, MNA, YA 6/6)

On the 2d day of billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s summit for pro-Israel U.S. megadonors in Las Vegas, a letter is read aloud from Israeli PM Netanyahu announcing that the Israeli govt. will begin expanding its efforts to counter the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The same day, Netanyahu announces that Strategic Affairs Min. Gilad Erdan’s office will receive NIS 100 m. (around $25.4 m.) to escalate its anti-BDS efforts, including hiring 10 new employees to deal solely with “delegitimization” activities worldwide. (FWD 6/4; TOI, YA 6/7; HA [Beinart Analysis], JTA 6/10)

An Israeli officer is killed by friendly fire nr. the border fence between the Gaza Strip and s. Israel. In the West Bank, IDF troops raid the protest village ‘Ayn Hiljeh and detain 18 participants. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron and al-Fara‘a r.c. nr. Tubas at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning, and 1 village nr. Hebron at night. During the raid in al-Fara‘a r.c., soldiers clash with residents, leaving 2 Palestinians wounded by live ammunition. In East Jerusalem, around 30 Israeli intelligence officers enter Haram al-Sharif, while separately a group of 17 Israelis enter the compound under armed guard. (HA, MNA 2/4; PCHR 2/6)

U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice tweets in defense of Secy. of State Kerry, following criticism from Israeli politicians. Rice states that attacks on Kerry are “totally unfounded and unacceptable” and that the U.S. govt. rejects “efforts to boycott or delegitimize Israel.” Meanwhile, Hamas official Salah Bardaweel tells the media that the organization will not accept any agreement that Abbas might sign with Israel. (JP 2/4)

The U.S. State Dept. confirms that top Syria diplomat Amb. Robert Ford will retire by the end of the month. He has been amb. to Syria since 1/2011, but left Damascus in 2/2012. (AP 2/4)

The Egyptian army shoots and kills 21 militants in 2 villages in c. Sinai during a raid on the area. (MNA 2/4)

Israeli security forces evacuate the unauthorized settler outpost of Oz Zion in between Ramallah and Jerusalem, removing right-wing activists who were still on site. (ToI 12/30)

At a meeting of Israeli ambassadors, Israeli pres. Shimon Peres praises PA pres. Abbas as a leader with whom Israel could make an agreement, describing him as ‘‘one of the only leaders in the Arab world to publicly and boldly say that he supports peace and a demilitarized state, and opposes terrorism.’’ (ToI 12/30)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin, 1 village nr. Qalqilya, and 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning; in 1 village each nr. Bethlehem, Qalqilya, and Ramallah and in 2 villages nr. Jenin in the afternoon; and in ‘Aqaba r.c. nr. Jericho, Tulkarm and 3 nearby villages, 5 villages nr. Jenin, and 2 villages each nr. Hebron and Ramallah at night. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Nablus at night. (PCHR 1/3)

A team from the Gaza Strip-based Ministry of Justice visits Cairo for discussions with Egyptian officials on the terms of the truce agreement with Israel and other matters. Meanwhile, the 1st shipment of gravel for private construction since 2007 enters Gaza (see 12/26). (MNA 12/30; REU 12/30)

Israel’s Supreme Court overturns the ban the Central Elections Comm. imposed (see 12/19) on MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) participating in the next elections. (Guardian 12/30)

An Israeli government-appointed commission headed by former Israeli supreme court justice Ephraim Levy issues a nonbinding legal judgment that Israel’s presence in the West Bank is not occupation and that the government should grant retroactive approval to unauthorized settlement outposts. The commission states that unauthorized outposts were established with the knowledge and encouragement of senior government officials that amounted to ‘‘implied agreement’’ by the government. (NYT 7/10) (see Doc. C1 in JPS 165)

During the day, unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the evening, Palestinian gunmen inside Gaza fire into Israel, hitting a parked civilian vehicle, but causing no injuries. Late at night, Israeli warplanes and helicopters carry out 3 air strikes on Khan Yunis and Rafah in s. Gaza, causing no reported casualties. The targets include a training site used by the al-Ansar Brigades (military wing of a small faction called al-Ahrar Movement, which was formed shortly after Hamas’s 2007 takeover of Gaza by disaffected Fatah members who aligned themselves with Hamas), and 2 open areas used by rocket-launching teams. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning; in Tulkarm in the afternoon; and in Qalqilya, 1 nearby village, and 1 village nr. Jenin late at night. The IDF also bulldozes a plot of Palestinian agricultural land outside Qalqilya and conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Bayt Umar. Jewish settlers stone Palestinian cars driving nr. Hebron. Jewish settlers also enter a Palestinian area (exact location not reported) to pray at a local religious site without proper coordination with the IDF; the IDF intervenes to remove the settlers. (TOI 7/9; WT 7/11; PCHR 7/12; OCHA 7/13; JPI 7/20)

The IDF makes a brief incursion into n. Gaza in the morning to level lands and clear lines of sight along the border e. of Jabaliya r.c., firing on nearby residential areas to keep Palestinians indoors. In Dura and Ithna villages nr. Hebron, the IDF destroys 1 Palestinian home, part of 2 other homes, 9 agricultural pools and irrigation networks, 4 water tanks, and 5 wells, also confiscating 15 water pumps and other agricultural equipment. The IDF also patrols in 3 villages nr. Qalqilya and 1 nr. Jenin in the evening; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Bethlehem and neighboring Dahaysha r.c. Washington Jewish Week reports that in the previous wk., Israel’s Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court rejected 2 lawsuits demanding the eviction of Palestinian families fr. their Silwan homes; the suits were brought by Eldad, an organization seeking to Judaize Jerusalem in part by settling Jews in the predominantly Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, nr. the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. (WJW 12/22; PCHR 12/29; OCHA 1/5)

At the close of 2 days of talks in Cairo, Fatah’s Abbas and Hamas’s Mishal agree that they will both sit on the comm. that will prepare for the next elections of the PLO’s parliament-in-exile, the Palestinian National Council (PNC), marking a major step toward Hamas joining the PLO. They also agree to form an interim unity government by the end of 1/2012 and to bring elected Hamas-affiliated legislators back into the PA’s parliament, the Palestinian Council (PC), in 2/2012. (NYT, AP, WP, WT 12/23; HA 12/28)

Reports indicate that Hamas is scaling back its presence in Syria because of violence there, but overall feels buoyed by the Arab Spring. Senior Hamas official Mahmud Zahar states that Hamas feels strengthened and validated by the popular support shown for Islamist parties in countries affected by the Arab Spring, suggesting that the new Tunisian model of power-sharing among Islamist and secular nationalist parties could be a model for the Palestinians. (WP 12/22)

Israeli troops on the n. Gaza border twice fire at suspicious movement in open areas e. of Bayt Hanun, causing no reported injuries. 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 patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning and in Tulkarm town and r.c. in the evening, in both cases firing at stone-throwing youths who confront them, causing no reported injuries. OCHA reports that in the previous wk., the IDF demolished 10 tents and 5 animal pens in the Bedouin village of Fasayil al-Wusta and 2 animal pens in the neighboring Bedouin village of Fasayil al-Fauqa, both in the Jordan Valley. (PCHR 12/22; OCHA 12/23)

Fatah and Hamas announce that, in keeping with their 5/2011 reconciliation deal, they have agreed on formation of a new Central Elections Commission to prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections. They fail to reach an agreement on formation of a caretaker government to take the Palestinians to elections, postponing further discussion until late 1/2012. (JPI 12/30)

After a UNSC briefing on the Middle East, 14 UNSC mbrs. criticize the U.S. (without naming it directly) for blocking any criticism of Israel’s recent approvals for new settlement construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank and of the increasing settler violence, as well as for threatening to veto any UNSC res. supporting Palestinian statehood. British UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, speaking on behalf of the European UNSC mbrs. (Britain, France, Germany, and Portugal), calls recent Israeli settlement and settler actions “devastating” to the 2-state solution, saying “Israel’s security and the realization of the Palestinians’ right to statehood are not opposing goals. On the contrary, they are mutually reinforcing objectives. But they will not be achieved while settlement building and settler violence continues.” Grant also calls on Israel and the Palestinians to send their comprehensive proposals on territory and security to the Quartet as soon as possible. (The Palestinians have already submitted theirs to the Quartet, so this is seen as an added rebuke to Israel, which has not done so.) (HA 12/21, NYT 12/22)

In the West Bank, a Jewish settler opens fire on a group of Palestinian youths who throw stones at him as he passes nr. Iraq Burin village nr. Nablus, killing 1 Palestinian teenager. Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar nr. Nablus set fire to a Palestinian car and vandalize a Palestinian home in the nearby village of ‘Ayn Abous. The IDF prevents Palestinian farmers guarded by solidarity activists (including PA officials and a rep. of the U.S. consulate) fr. reaching their agricultural land nr. Bet Ayn and Karme Tzur settlements nr. Hebron; patrols in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya, 1 nr. Jenin, and 1 nr. Tulkarm. In East Jerusalem Jewish settlers harass Palestinians in Silwan. In Gaza, 2 Palestinian brothers tending sheep nr. Shuka village accidentally trigger IDF UXO, killing 1 Palestinian boy and 2 sheep. (OCHA, WP 1/28; PCHR 2/3; OCHA 2/4)

More than 10,000 Yemenis rally in Sana’a and 1,000s in other cities around the nation, taking inspiration from antigovernment protests in Tunisia and Egypt. The government deploys riot police, but little violence is reported. Government spokesmen state that the regime “strongly respects the democratic right for a peaceful assembly.” Unlike Tunisia and Egypt, where demonstrations were spontaneous and broad based, those in Yemen seem to be made up mostly of students organized by opposition parties. While all protesters highlight poverty, corruption, and lack of jobs among their grievances, they seem divided on other key goals, with some prioritizing secession for the south and others calling on Pres. Saleh to resign after being in power for more than 30 yrs. (NYT, WP, WT 1/28)

In Tunisia, after a spike in violence in the week following Ben Ali’s departure on 1/14 (mostly involving desperate Ben Ali loyalists making a final attempt to reassert control) and days of low-level demonstrations (1,000 or fewer protesters) denouncing the high number of Ben Ali loyalists in the new interim government, demonstrations taper off. By this date, the interim government has reduced the curfew and released at least 1,800 political prisoners, with more to be freed soon. Today, a reshuffled interim government with the “clear mission” of guiding “a transition to democracy” is announced and begins work to redraft the constitution and prepare for elections in 6 mos. While most mbrs. of Ben Ali’s old cabinet have now stepped down, Ghannouchi retains his post as interim PM but vows he will not run in elections. (NYT 1/27, 1/28; NYT 2/14; see also NYT, WP, WT 1/17; NYT, WP, WT 1/18; NYT 1/19; WP 1/20; WT 1/21; WP 1/26)

A week ahead of her deadline to form a government, Kadima party head and acting Israeli FM Tzipi Livni, with powersharing deals with the Labor and Meretz parties already drafted, unexpectedly informs Israeli pres. Shimon Peres that she cannot form a coalition. She blames other Israeli parties for making unreasonable political and economic demands, stating that she was unwilling to compromise her priciples to form a government (see Quarterly Update). (NYT, WP 10/26; WP 10/27)

Overnight, the IDF, Israeli police, and border police evacuate Jewish settlers fr. the unauthorized settlement outpost of Federman Farm in Hebron, sparking violent clashes with the settlers in which 1 policeman is seriously injured, 2 settler girls attempt to burn police vehicles, and settlers rampage through Palestinian areas, slashing the tires of 22 cars and vandalizing a Muslim cemetery. In interviews with the press afterward, Jewish settlers call for retributive attacks on the Israeli security forces. During the day, Jewish settlers fr. Harsina settlement in Hebron attack, vandalize, attempt to occupy a Palestinian home and land adjacent to the settlement; Jewish settlers vandalize Palestinian cars in Hizma village nr. Jerusalem; and 10 masked settlers attack IDF soldiers guarding Palestinians harvesting olives nr. Otniel settlement nr. Hebron, injuring 1 soldier. At the weekly Israeli cabinet meeting, Olmert warns that the government “will show no tolerance toward such expressions and actions,” while Shin Bet security chief Yuval Diskin states that he is “very concerned” that right-wing settler groups might try to assassinate pro-peace politicians. Meanwhile, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus and nr. Bethlehem. (IFM 10/26; NYT 10/27; OCHA 10/29; PCHR, WJW 10/30; WP 11/2)

An IDF soldier, who deserted 2 mos. ago to protest disengagement and moved to the right-wing West Bank settlement of Tapuach, boards a Haifa–Shafa‘ Amr bus, still dressed in fatigues and carrying his military issue weapon; when the bus enters the Israeli Palestinian town of Shafa ‘Amr, the driver asks him whether he’s on the right bus; the soldier then shoots the Israeli Palestinian driver dead and opens fire on the passengers, killing another 3 Israeli Palestinians, wounding 20 before a mob beats him to death. Sharon denounces the “reprehensible act by a bloodthirsty Jewish terrorist”; YESHA settlers council also condemns the attack; the U.S. terms it a “terrible act of terrorism.” In Gaza City, the PA opens (symbolically on Arafat’s birthday) a 2-wk. “victory festival” to celebrate the pending disengagement and a wk.-long UNDP-funded publicity campaign called “Gaza—Reclaiming our Gem”; 10,000s of Palestinians, predominantly Fatah supporters, rally outside Gaza’s PC headquarters to hear speeches by Abbas, Qurai‘, Dahlan, who emphasize national unity, call on Palestinians not to take any actions that would jeopardize the national image, emphasize that the world is watching how Palestinians react to disengagement and assume responsibility for Gaza. The IDF raids Ramallah, arrests Islamic Jihad spokesman Shaykh Khadir ‘Adnan; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Aida r.c. (arresting a PA security officer), Bayt Fajjar, Hebron (occupying 2 houses as observation posts), al-Til, Yatta; patrols in Bethlehem; arrests a PA security officer at a checkpoint outside Jerusalem. A Jewish settler fr. Neve Dekalim throws a Molotov cocktail at a Palestinian home in al-Mawasi, causing damage but no injuries. Israel announces plans to build 72 new housing units in Beitar Ilit settlement nr. Jerusalem. A Palestinian dies of injures received on 8/2 in Bayt Hanun. (IMEMC, HA, REU, YA 8/4; AFP, BBC, JAZ, MA, NYT, WP, WT, YA 8/5; VOP 8/5 in WNC 8/5; NYT, WP, WT 8/6; OCHA, PR 8/10; PCHR 8/11)

The BBC reports that papers in the British National Archives show that in 1958, Britain secretly sold Israel 20 tons of heavy water vital for production of plutonium and the manufacture of nuclear weapons at its Dimona reactor. No “peaceful use only” condition was placed on the sale. (BBC 8/4) The World Bank releases a report showing Israel to be 2d only to Italy as the most corrupt, least efficient of developed countries. The report states that “Israel is considered one of the riskiest places in the Western world, with an unstable, inefficient regime, low accountability, a relative high rate of state corruption, and poor law enforcement.” (HA 8/4)

Social/Economic/Political

Other Countries: Switzerland decides it is unable to rule on PLO's request to join the 1949 Geneva Convention as a state [MET 9/26].

Military Action

Occupied Palestine/Israel: U.S. diplomat's car is set on fire by Palestinians in E. Jerusalem [MET 9/26]. Israeli police drafts some 200 Israeli Arabs into O.T. service [FBIS 9/15].

Social/Economic/Political

Arab World: Lebanese government states it will lodge formal protest with UN for Israeli air raid in S. Lebanon which killed 40 people [CSM 9/8].

Social/Economic/Political

Occupied Palestine/Israel: Israeli military officials state they have uncovered underground political cell in Golan town of Majd al-Shams responsible for attacks against IDF and civilians during the past 6 months [JTA 8/28]. Latest poll by Modi'in Ezrachi shows that if elections were held, Kach would be third largest party in the Knesset, getting 11 seats in the 120-seat parliament. Labor would get 51 seats and Likud 24 [PI, USN 8/28]. Curfews continue in Tulkarm and Jenin while investigations are conducted into 8/24 attacks on Israelis. [JP 8/28]. Chicago Tribune reports more than 70 Israeli-owned West Bank land offices are under investigation in unfolding land fraud scandal. Among those questioned are former senior officials in Agriculture Ministry involved in settlement activity, ex-officials in the West Bank military government, police authorities, and several land brokers, 4 of whom have been arrested [CT 8/27]. P. M. Peres says Chairman Afarat is directly responsible for attacks against Israelis, and Israeli govemment has evidence to prove it. He says 'Amman has been wamed of the consequences of letting the PLO station itself in 'Amman [DT 8/28]. Isramco, U.S. oil company with oil and gas interests in Israel, announces it is launching expanded program for oil and gas production in the Negev. Company plans to spend between $5-6 million by the end of the first quarter of 1986 UC 8/27].

Other Countries: First International Christian Zionist Congress convenes in Basel, Switzerland for three days, gathering 500 Christian lay leaders and theologians, active supporters of Israel. Congress is organized by the Intemational Christian Embassy in Jerusalem [JTA 8/22].

Military Action

Occupied Palestine/Israel: Palestinian in Qalqilya is shot as he tries to flee IDF patrol attempting to detain him and 2 others [JP 7/28]. The wounded man was hospitalized and the 2 arrested.

Social/Economic/Political

Occupied Palestine/Israel: Knesset passes, on first reading, bill to outlaw racial incitement. Bill would amend Basic Law and penal law to prevent Knesset lists from running in elections if they negate existence of Israel, negate democratic nature of state, incite to racism, or are believed to be fronts for illegal activity [JP 7/10]. Israeli military government extends Employment Service Law and the National Insurance Institute Law to occupied territories; settlers are now eligible for unemployment compensation and income benefits [JP 7/9]. Israeli military authorities issue new military order requiring all local Palestinian newspapers to publish official ads from military governorate without alterations. Arab newspaper owners reject order and decide to confront it [FJ 7/12].

Arab World: Amal leader Nabih Birri and Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, meeting in Damascus with Syrian government and Lebanese religious leaders, discuss a new security plan for Lebanon with Syrian-backed Palestine National Salvation Front. Plan requires all militias to disarm [MG 10/7].

Other Countries: Forum '85, nine-day NGO conference preceding official UN conference concluding Decade for Women, begins in Nairobi; 10,000 women participate in 1,800 workshops, seminars, and films. Eight women from occupied territories are prevented by Israelis from travelling to symposium; half a dozen make the trip [JP 7/14, NS 7/28].

Military Action

Arab World: Two Lebanese students backed by Syrian National Socialist party kill 15 Lebanese (including 2 South Lebanese Army soldiers) and themselves in 2 suicide car bomb attacks at security zone checkpoints. Two IDF soldiers are also injured [LT, JP, PI, LAT, TI 7/10].

SOCIAL/POLITICAL:

Occupied Palestine/lsrael: 12 men in al-Arub refugee camp near Hebron arrested under suspicion of stone-throwing. Shamir denies any military commitments to US as quid pro quo for aid received during recent visit to Washington. Jerusalem mayor Kollek calls Birkat Avraham students troublemakers, urges their removal from Old City.

Other Countries: US Securities and Exchange Commission cites Development Corporation for Israel for failing to report to IRS large sums received in exchange for Israel Bonds from 1/82 to 4/83. Antonio Tricolli, Argentine Interior Minister describes anti-Semitism as "barbaric attitude" to be eliminated from the country; Argentine FM Dante Caputo states new constitutional gov't. would recognize PLO as legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

MILITARY ACTION:

Occupied Palestine/Israel: 4 killed and 46 wounded in bomb explosion on #18 bus in West Jerusalem; 41 detained for interrogation; anonymous caller from Israeli terror group, "TNT", (Terror Neged Terror), claims responsibility.