13 / 14704 Results
  • December 1, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces shoot at Palestinian farmers working close to the perimeter fence nr. Rafah, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest...

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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 4, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Qalqilya in the afternoon, 3 villages nr. Hebron and 1...

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  • October 1, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols nr. Tulkarm at night. In East Jerusalem, suspected Jewish extremists vandalize a Christian cemetery in Silwan, and left racist slogans on the perimeter walls. (...

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  • July 3, 2013

    Off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. IDF troops also conduct a limited incursion nr. al-Maghazi...

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  • February 11, 2011

    In East Jerusalem, a group of Jewish settlers stabs and beats 2 East Jerusalem Palestinians, killing 1 Palestinian and wounding the other; Israeli authorities confiscate the body of the man killed...

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  • February 10, 2011

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Bayt Dajan village nr. Nablus in the morning, photographing several homes, the local council building, and a mosque; patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah, firing...

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  • February 8, 2011

    The PA sets 7/9/2011 as the start date for municipal elections in the West Bank. (WT 2/9)

    In the morning, unidentified Palestinians fire 2 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, causing light damage...

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  • February 4, 2011

    In advance of a major Quartet meeting on 2/5, Netanyahu announces that Israel has drawn up a package of steps (under discussion with Quartet special envoy Tony Blair for months) to encourage...

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  • February 1, 2011

    The PA, under heavy criticism for the negotiation details revealed by the Palestine Papers, announces that it will hold Palestinian municipal, legislative, and presidential elections as quickly as...

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  • January 30, 2011

    In light of domestic security concerns, Egypt seals its border with Gaza, causing almost all trade through the smuggling tunnels along the Rafah border to cease, sparking hoarding by Gazans. Hamas...

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  • January 28, 2011

    Paraguay recognizes Palestine as independent state on the 1967 borders. (JP 2/5)

    In Gaza, 1,000s of Hamas supporters protest against the PA in light of the Palestine Papers revelations...

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  • January 25, 2011

    Ireland upgrades the status of the Palestinian representation in Dublin from a “delegation” to a “mission” and grants the mission head ambassador status. It does not recognize Palestine as a state...

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In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces shoot at Palestinian farmers working close to the perimeter fence nr. Rafah, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 2 villages and al-‘Arub r.c. nearby, and 1 village each nr. Bethlehem and Ramallah at night; patrols in Hebron and al-‘Arub r.c. in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Hebron, and 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces escort 24 Jewish Israelis at Haram al-Sharif, prompting clashes with worshippers. (MNA 12/1; PCHR 12/5)

An anonymous official in Israeli PM Netanyahu’s office says that the govt. will not be proceeding with the preliminary planning procedures for 24,000 settlement homes, as previously indicated on the Housing Ministry’s website. Israeli TV reports that the PA directly appealed to U.S. Secy. of State Kerry about the matter, threatening to quit the negotiations if the tenders were not cancelled. Meanwhile, PA Pres. Abbas meets with opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog in Ramallah, and tells him he is keen to reach an agreement with Israel. In a statement released after the meeting, Herzog says, “We have a partner that is ready to go the distance for peace and take original, brave steps on core issues.” (HA, JP 12/1) 

Iranian pres. Ruhani says construction will soon start on a 2nd nuclear power plant, according to local media reports. Meanwhile, Iranian FM Zarif meets with his Kuwaiti counterpart Shaykh Sabah Khaled al-Sabah, on his 1st official visit to a Gulf Arab country. Following the meeting, Zarif says that the 6-mo. interim deal with the West is in the Gulf states’ interests. (AFP, JP 12/1)

Egyptian security forces violently disperse anti-govt. demonstrators in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, as the cmte. charged with amending the constitution approves changes to the text in the 2nd day of discussions. The new constitution give women and Christians “suitable representation” and also stipulates there must be elections, either parliamentary or presidential, within 90 days of the document’s adoption. The use of military tribunals for civilians is also scaled back, to be permitted only in cases of attacks on military personnel or property. However, the armed forces are given the exclusive right to name the defense minister for the next 2 presidential terms. The draft constitution is now handed over to Egyptian interim pres. Adly Mansour who has 1 mo. to call a national referendum. (AP, REU 12/1)

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 conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Qalqilya in the afternoon, 3 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night. In East Jerusalem, IDF troops open fire with live ammunition and rubber-coated metal bullets on Palestinian protesters in al-Ram, injuring 9.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 where 4 are injured (2 by rubber-coated metal bullets and 2 by tear gas canisters). (MNA 10/4; PCHR 10/10)

PA Pres. Abbas meets with U.S. peace process envoy Martin Indyk in Ramallah, to discuss efforts to create a positive climate for the ongoing but stuttering peace talks. (JP 10/4)

Supporters of ousted pres. Morsi demonstrate attempt to march into Tahrir Square, Cairo, with the Egyptian military keeping them out with force, including live ammunition. Clashes in other neighborhoods kill at least 4. (AP, REU 10/4)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols nr. Tulkarm at night. In East Jerusalem, suspected Jewish extremists vandalize a Christian cemetery in Silwan, and left racist slogans on the perimeter walls. (MNA 10/1; PCHR 10/3)

Israeli PM Netanyahu addresses the UNGA with a focus on Iran, and dismisses efforts at a diplomatic thaw by new Pres. Ruhani as a trick by a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Netanyahu says Israel is prepared to go it alone in resisting what he says is Tehran’s drive to acquire a nuclear weapon. (AP, REU 10/1)

Inspectors from OPCW arrive in Damascus to begin the mission of dismantling and destroying Syria’s chemical weapons capacity and arsenal. (AP 10/1)

Egypt’s army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi calls for a quick transition to elections in an address to military officials. Meanwhile, around 100 protesters gather in Tahrir Square and chant anti-coup slogans. In the Sinai, 3 Egyptian police officers are injured by a roadside IED between Rafah and al-Arish, while Egyptian authorities announce that the Rafah crossing is open until Friday to allow Hajj pilgrims and humanitarian cases to cross. (MNA, REU 1/10)

Off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. IDF troops also conduct a limited incursion nr. al-Maghazi r.c. in the Gaza Strip, reportedly including a bomb detection device. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 8 villages and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, 2 villages nr. Jenin, 2 villages nr. Nablus, and 1 village each nr. Bethlehem and Ramallah. (PCHR 7/4)

The Egyptian armed forces chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announces the ousting of Pres. Mohamed Morsi and the suspension of the constitution, as the military’s 48-hour deadline passes without Morsi relinquishing office as demanded. Al-Sisi appoints Adly Mansour, head of the constitutional court, as interim president for an indefinite period of time, but says that presidential and parliamentary elections will follow in due course. Al-Sisi makes his address in front of a symbolically-loaded panel featuring religious leaders, Mohamed El-Baradei, and a representative of the Tamarod campaign, which drove the anti-Morsi protests. Late at night, a Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson says that Morsi is being held in an unknown location, while a military official says that the head and deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Freedom and Justice Party have been arrested, and that arrest warrants for 300 Brotherhood members have been issued. Following al-Sisi’s announcement, opponents of Morsi celebrate in Tahrir Square, while clashes in Cairo, Alexandria, Marsa Matrouh, and the s. city of Minya kill some 30 people and leaves hundreds wounded. U.S. Pres. Barack Obama expresses concern about the military’s actions in a written statement issued by the White House. A U.S. official says that the State Dept. has ordered nonessential U.S. diplomats and families of embassy personnel to leave the country. (AP, NYT, REU 7/3, Guardian 7/4)

In East Jerusalem, a group of Jewish settlers stabs and beats 2 East Jerusalem Palestinians, killing 1 Palestinian and wounding the other; Israeli authorities confiscate the body of the man killed and return it to the family with orders to hold the burial immediately, with no more than 10 family mrbs. present to prevent rioting (the family complies). In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah, 2 nr. Qalqilya, and 2 nr. Tulkarm in the afternoon and evening, and in 1 village nr. Qalqilya late at night; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Nablus. Palestinians (accompanied by Israeli and international activists in some areas) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, and Dayr Nizam/Nabi Salih. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters; 3 Palestinians are injured, and 3 are arrested. (PCHR 2/17; OCHA 2/18)

Early in the day, with massive antigovernment protests expected in Egypt after Friday’s midday prayers, rumors spread that Mubarak has left Cairo for his residence in Sharm al-Shaykh under pressure from the army. Soon after, the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces issues communiqué no. 2 indicating that the military is in effective control of the country and will oversee “the peaceful transfer of authority . . . towards a free democratic community that the people aspire to,” and pledging not to take action against protesters for demonstrating against the government. Timed with lateevening prayers, VP Suleiman confirms that Mubarak has “decided to relieve himself of his position as president and the supreme military council has taken control of the state’s affairs,” ending the 82-yr.-old leader’s 30-yr. rule. Flag-waving crowds in Tahrir Square and nationwide erupt in celebration. (AHR, NYT 2/11; NYT, WP, WT 2/12)

In Gaza, 1,000s of Hamas supporters rally to celebrate Mubarak’s fall, calling on the next Egyptian government to open the Rafah border and reconsider Egypt’s relations with Israel. In the West Bank, the PA continues to bar rallies in solidarity with Egyptian protesters, but 100s of Palestinians spontaneously honk horns and cheer in the streets when news of Mubarak’s exit broadcast. (NYT 2/12)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Bayt Dajan village nr. Nablus in the morning, photographing several homes, the local council building, and a mosque; patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah, firing rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at stone-throwing youths in 1 incident, causing no serious injuries; patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm in the afternoon, checking Palestinian IDs but making no arrests. (PCHR 2/17; OCHA 2/18)

Early in the day, Egyptian military and ruling party officials announce that Mubarak will make a televised address later in the day and “meet the demands of the protesters.” The statement’s title, “communiqué no. 1 of the army command,” and accompanying TV footage showing DM Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and military chief of staff Gen. Anan chairing a meeting of senior army officers without Mubarak or Suleiman present spark rumors that the military has staged a coup. Raising expectations, Gen. Anan and Gen. Hassan al-Roueini (military cmdr. of Cairo) separately go to Tahrir Square to tell protesters that “all your demands will be met today.” When Mubarak gives his statement, however, he only turns over powers to Suleiman temporarily and makes some constitutional amendments, but vows again not to step down before his term expires and that he will oversee the reform process. Suleiman follows with a separate speech telling Egyptians to “go back home and to work. Do not listen to foreign[ers] whose aim is to . . . weaken Egypt.” The immediate reaction of protesters listening to the addresses in Tahrir Square is deep anger and frustration, with demonstrators chanting “Leave! Leave! Leave!” as Mubarak’s speech unfolds. Senior military officers soon after tell the Egyptian press that the speeches were not seen in advance by the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces and were “in defiance of the armed forces.” (AP, Huffington Post, NYT, WP 2/10; NYT, WP, WT 2/11)

The PA sets 7/9/2011 as the start date for municipal elections in the West Bank. (WT 2/9)

In the morning, unidentified Palestinians fire 2 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, causing light damage but no injuries. In the afternoon, Islamic Jihad mbrs. fire 2 more mortars into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Late in the evening, the IDF retaliates with an air strike, destroying an abandoned plastics factory in Gaza City (an alleged weapons manufacturing facility), also damaging a nearby PA Health Min. warehouse used for storing medicine, a textile factory, and a school and lightly injuring 11 Palestinian civilians (including 4 children). An hr. later, the IDF makes 2 air strikes on an Islamic Jihad training site in Khan Yunis (injuring 2 Islamic Jihad mbrs.) and a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border (no injuries). Also during the day, the IDF makes a brief incursion into s. Gaza e. of Shuka village to level lands and clear lines of sight, firing on nearby residential areas to keep Palestinians indoors, causing no injuries. UNRWA reports that it has resumed 3 stalled construction projects in Gaza after Israel allowed in 2 large shipments of construction aggregates (see 2/1). In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night patrols in 1 village nr. Tulkarm; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Tubas, in Nablus, and nr. Hebron. (YA 2/9; PCHR 2/10; OCHA 2/11)

Egyptian demonstrators hold the largest rally in Tahrir Square to date and surround the parliament building, rejecting government proposals for an extended transition and demanding Mubarak’s immediate removal and dissolution of parliament. Huge demonstrations are also held in Alexandria, Suez, and other cities. Egyptian labor unions begin a nationwide general strike to observe a “Week of Steadfastness” with demonstrators. Since 2/4, Mubarak has released some activists arrested since 1/25, allowed government contact with the Muslim Brotherhood for the first time, agreed in principle to lift emergency regulations and allow a free press, formed a legal panel (all Mubarak loyalists) to explore constitutional changes demanded by protesters, announced 15% raises for civil servants and pensioners, and vowed to open corruption investigations of senior government and NDP party officials. Some opposition figures note (e.g., WP 2/7) that some of these steps were significant and might have been enough to appease protesters 2 wks. ago, but that the mood has shifted significantly since then and these steps are now seen as far too little. Another round of massive demonstrations in Tahrir Square is called for Friday 2/10. In the interim, labor strikes and demonstrations grow and spread nationwide. (NYT, WP, WT 2/8; NYT, WP, WT 2/9; NYT, WP, WT 2/10; see also NYT, WP 2/6; NYT, WP, WT 2/7)

In advance of a major Quartet meeting on 2/5, Netanyahu announces that Israel has drawn up a package of steps (under discussion with Quartet special envoy Tony Blair for months) to encourage infrastructure development and economic growth in the West Bank, Gaza, and Arab areas of East Jerusalem in effort to “enhance stability” by improving the Palestinian quality of life. He stresses, however, that the package has not yet been offered to the PA. (NYT 2/5; OCHA 2/11)

Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and conducts arrest raids nr. Salfit. Palestinians (accompanied by Israeli and international activists in some areas) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, and Dayr Nizam/Nabi Salih. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters; 2 Palestinians (including 1 journalist) are injured, and 4 unidentified activists are arrested. (HA 2/4; PCHR 2/10; OCHA 2/11)

Despite 2 days of violent clashes initiated by pro-Mubarak elements (at least 8 Egyptians killed and more than 800 injured), massive crowds (100,000s of Egyptians) answer the call to turn out after midday Friday prayers to demand for Mubarak’s immediate removal. The army redeploys around Tahrir Square to create buffers separating pro- and anti-Mubarak demonstrators to reduce the chance of violent clashes. Though anticipated as the “Day of Departure” for Mubarak, he does not step aside. The U.S. calls on opposition figures and leaders of the military and society to step forward and bless, if not join, talks between the government and opposition parties. Opposition figures say that while they see “encouraging signs” that Mubarak is seeking a face-saving way to step down, they will not negotiate about a transition until Mubarak has gone. (NYT, WP, WT 2/5)

The PA, under heavy criticism for the negotiation details revealed by the Palestine Papers, announces that it will hold Palestinian municipal, legislative, and presidential elections as quickly as possible, pledging to set dates within a wk. (NYT 2/2)

UNRWA reports that it has been forced to suspend another 26 Gaza construction projects because of Israeli limits on gravel imports (see 1/25). In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in a village nr. Ramallah in the morning; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Jenin town and r.c. and nr. Hebron. A Palestinian court in Nablus finds a Palestinian guilty of selling land to an Israeli, sentencing him to 10 yrs. in jail. (PCHR 2/3; OCHA 2/4; JPI 2/5)

Jordan’s King Abdullah dismisses PM Samir Rifa‘i and his cabinet in response to widespread protests by Jordanians inspired by demonstrations in Egypt and Tunisia. He taps Maruf al-Bakhit, a popular retired general and fmr. amb. to Israel, to form a new cabinet. (NYT, WP 2/2)

In Cairo, 100,000s of Egyptians join protesters in Tahrir Square for the March of Millions, as similar protests are held around the country. (Little violence is reported.) Protesters hold fast to demands that Mubarak resign, rejecting his offers over the past 2 days to reshuffle his cabinet, to open talks with El-Baradei, and not to seek reelection when his formal term ends in 9/2011. Meanwhile, the U.S. and EU have stepped up diplomatic efforts to pressure Mubarak to begin an “immediate transitional process leading to democratic elections,” without explicitly calling on Mubarak to step down. Mubarak, outraged, today hardens his positions and escalates violence to break up the protests, while the international community steps up diplomatic efforts (especially U.S. talks with Egyptian military figures) to put him in check. (NYT, White House press release, WP, WT 2/1; JP, NYT, WP, WT 2/2; Human Rights Watch press release, NYT, WP, WT 2/3; NYT, WP, WT 2/4; NYT, WP 2/7; see also YA 1/31)

In light of domestic security concerns, Egypt seals its border with Gaza, causing almost all trade through the smuggling tunnels along the Rafah border to cease, sparking hoarding by Gazans. Hamas authorities assure the public that it has enough fuel and food stockpiled to last several days, warning merchants against hiking prices. OCHA however—noting that Israel continues to cut off all industrial fuel imports to Gaza for a 3d week making Gaza all the more reliant on smuggled fuel—expresses concern that fuel shortages will quickly become a problem, affecting the ability of municipal authorities to provide electricity, water, and sewage treatment. Meanwhile, Hamas officials in Gaza report that at least 8 Hamas mbrs. jailed in Egypt are among those freed during prisons breaks and rioting across Egypt in recent days; at least 2 have already returned to Gaza through smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in a village nr. Tulkarm during the day; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron and nr. Jenin and Qalqilya (warning the mayor of Jayyus that his house would be turned into an IDF post if stone-throwing at troops fr. the village continued). (AFP, MNA 1/30; PCHR 2/3; OCHA 2/4)

With major protests (10,000s) in Egypt continuing unabated and a “march of millions” called for 2/1, the Obama admin. calls on Mubarak to facilitate an “orderly transition” to a more representative government but does not explicitly call on him to resign, with Secy. Clinton stressing “we are not advocating any specific outcome,” but “it needs to be done immediately.” France and Germany issue similar statements. Joint Chiefs of Staff head Adm. Mike Mullen phones Egyptian military chief of staff Gen. Sami Anan to express “his appreciation for the continued professionalism of the Egyptian military” in refusing to engage protesters. Amid signs that Mubarak’s regime might really topple, Egypt’s organized opposition parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood, huddle for most of the day to discuss whether they could project a united front to provide direction and leadership to the popular protests, choosing opposition figure and fmr. IAEA head Muhammad El-Baradei (as a nonthreatening figure to the West) to represent the opposition in negotiations with the government over a transition and naming 10 persons they would delegate to an interim unity government. But when El-Baradei speaks in Tahrir Square in the evening, demonstrators reject him, saying the opposition parties do not represent them. Fearing that outside forces could begin smuggling weapons into the country to back an overthrow, Egypt seals the Gaza border indefinitely and, with Israel’s permission, moves 2 battalions (800 soldiers) into the Sinai for the 1st time since the 1979 peace treaty was reached, requiring the area to be a demilitarized zone. Israeli officials hold nearly around-the-clock strategy meetings to discuss the implications for Israel if Mubarak’s government falls, fearing that Mubarak’s overthrow could strengthen Hamas in Gaza and destabilize Jordan, but seeing Mubarak’s appointment of Suleiman, who has overseen Israeli-Hamas prisoner release talks, as a hopeful sign. Netanyahu orders officials to stay publicly silent as events play out. (MNA, NYT, WP 1/30; NYT, WP, WT 1/31)

Paraguay recognizes Palestine as independent state on the 1967 borders. (JP 2/5)

In Gaza, 1,000s of Hamas supporters protest against the PA in light of the Palestine Papers revelations about negotiation concessions, particularly on the right of return. In the West Bank, around 2,000 Palestinians in Hebron and smaller groups in other cities attend Fatah-organized rallies in support of Abbas and against al-Jazeera. Also in the West Bank, a group of 100 armed Jewish settlers hiking nr. Khirbat Safa nr. Hebron is confronted by stone-throwing Palestinian youths, prompting 1 Jewish settler to open fire, killing 1 Palestinian teenager and wounding a 2d, marking the 2d such shooting in 2 days. Jewish settlers fr. Yonatan outpost in the East Jerusalem environs attack nearby Palestinian houses; accompanying IDF soldiers fire tear gas and stun grenades to keep Palestinians at a distance, sparking a fire that lightly damages 1 home. Meanwhile in the West Bank, the IDF patrols in villages nr. Ramallah, Tulkarm; enters Jayyus village nr. Qalqilya, searching 1 home but making no arrests. Palestinians (accompanied by Israeli and international activists in some areas) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil‘in and Ni‘lin. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, injuring 2 Palestinians. PA General Intelligence units detain leading Hizb al-Tahrir mbr. Mus‘ab Abu Arqub after Friday prayers in Dura nr. Hebron. (WP 1/29, MNA 1/30; PCHR 2/3; OCHA 2/4)

Across Egypt, 100,000s of protesters heed the call to observe a “Friday of rage” in Egypt, launching massive demonstrations after midday prayers. Protesters burn the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) headquarters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Police stations and NDP offices are torched in several of Cairo’s middleclass neighborhoods and poorer quarters, as well as in Alexandria, Suez, Port Said, Damietta, Damanhour, and other areas of Upper Egypt and Sinai; prisoners in several jails are freed. With regular police already largely having withdrawn fr. the street, not wanting to confront protesters, Mubarak sends out security and plain-clothes police who violently clash with demonstrators and target journalists, killing as many as 300 and injuring as many as 2,000. Protesters in Cairo and Alexandria overwhelm the security police by dusk, forcing Mubarak to withdraw them to regroup and send the army and tanks into the cities to impose a curfew; but when protesters ignore the curfew, the army does not act. Later, Mubarak appears on state TV and, in effort to appease critics and quell protests, pledges to speed up his program of political and economic reforms, announcing that he has dissolved his cabinet, appointed a new PM to form a new government, and named military intelligence chief Gen. Omar Suleiman as his 1st ever VP, but protesters vow to remain in the streets until he steps down. The U.S. issues its first warnings that it will review its $1.56 b. in annual aid to Egypt depending on how events unfold in the coming days, pressing its contacts within the Egyptian army to avoid violence. Abbas, however, phones Mubarak to assure him of the PA’s support for Egypt’s security and stability. (IHS Global Insight, Middle East Research and Information Project, NYT, WP 1/29; MNA 1/30)

In Jordan, where criticism of the king is banned, 1,000s of demonstrators inspired by events in Egypt and Tunisia turn out after Friday prayers in Amman and cities across the kingdom to demand the resignation of PM Samir al-Rifa‘i and his cabinet, dissolution of the parliament, and a new round of free and fair elections. (The last parliamentary elections held in 11/2010 were widely criticized as fraudulent.) (NYT 1/29; NYT, WP 1/30; WP 2/1; NYT 2/2)

Ireland upgrades the status of the Palestinian representation in Dublin from a “delegation” to a “mission” and grants the mission head ambassador status. It does not recognize Palestine as a state or give the mission greater diplomatic privileges or immunities. Israel expresses its “regret.” (HA, YA 1/25; WJW 1/27)

OCHA reports that Israel has barred the import of industrial fuel for Gaza’s electricity plant for 2 weeks and is now internally discussing disconnecting Gaza fr. Israel’s electricity and water grid. (Gaza authorities have been able to keep electricity generation at 30% of demand by increasing the amount of fuel smuggling through tunnels fr. Egypt.) UNRWA reports that it has suspended 23 approved building projects in Gaza because of Israeli restrictions on gravel imports. Meanwhile, IDF troops make 2 brief incursion into Gaza e. of Gaza Valley village and e. of al-Maghazi r.c. to level land and clear lines of sight. Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. OCHA reports that since 1/19, 3 Palestinians have been injured in tunnelrelated accidents (2 crushed transporting construction materials, 1 electrocuted). (JP 1/25; PCHR 1/27; OCHA 1/28)

Some 150,000 Egyptians of all socioeconomic backgrounds inspired by events in Tunisia answer a week of calls to attend a “day of revolution” antigovernment rally in Cairo’s Tahrir Square today (a national holiday to honor police), bringing blankets, food, and water and vowing to continue protests until Mubarak steps down, his government is dissolved, and parliament is disbanded. (The Muslim Brotherhood does not participate to allow the voice of the people to stay at the fore.) The government cuts cell phone and Internet service to limit international coverage and mobilization efforts via social networking sites. Late at night, government security forces raided the square firing tear gas and water cannons, beating some demonstrators, and arresting others in an unsuccessful effort to drive them out. After a paroxysm of retaliatory violence that kills 1 police officer and some looting in the National Museum on the square, protesters disengage and mobilize to call for nonviolence, notably creating a cordon around the museum to protect it. Parallel protests are held in Alexandria, Suez (where violent clashes kill 2 demonstrators), and several smaller towns, with larger protests called for Friday 1/28. By this date, there have also been several days of protests in Yemen calling for Pres. Saleh’s removal, citing economic ills, corruption, and rumors Saleh plans to install his son as his successor. (NYT, WP, WT 1/25; AFP, al-Masri al-Yawm 1/26; see also NYT 1/23; AFP 1/26; NYT 1/27)