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  • December 8, 2023

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with a military escort assaulted 3 Palestinians in Khallet al-Daba in the Masafer Yatta area and stole their mobile phones. Israeli settlers also vandalized 8...

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  • June 10, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort raided an anti-displacement protest in Masafer Yatta, causing injuries to Palestinians and Israeli activists, including 1 journalist....

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  • October 13, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked 2 Israeli soldiers and 1 Palestinian man with tear gas when the 2 soldiers were asking the Palestinian about settler vandalism at al-Mughayyir near 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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  • October 22, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct 2 separate limited incursions to level land close to the border fence nr. Bayt Hanun and Khan Yunis. In the West Bank, IDF troops kill 1 armed Palestinian...

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  • September 16, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2...

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  • September 14, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Jenin at night; patrols in Hebron and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. (PCHR 9/19)...

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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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  • August 21, 2013

    In the West Bank, IDF forces shoot and injure 1 Palestinian in clashes provoked by an IDF arrest raid in Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nur...

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  • July 2, 2013

    In the West Bank, Israeli soldiers shoot and kill a Palestinian man in Dura village nr. Hebron in response to stone-throwing at an IDF patrol. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2...

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  • June 22, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night. Jewish settlers from Brakha nr. Nablus attack...

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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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  • May 27, 2013

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

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  • April 21, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin in the morning, in 3 villages nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron, 1 village each nr. Ramallah and nr. Tulkarm at...

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  • April 3, 2013

    Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv reports that U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry is planning to visit Jerusalem and Ramallah ‘‘once every two weeks’’ in a bid to revive peace talks. His third trip to the...

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  • February 16, 2013

    In the West Bank, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and...

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  • January 5, 2013

    Undercover Israeli police officers arrest 6 Palestinian youths in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem on suspicion of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at a Jewish settler-owned house....

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  • December 15, 2012

    Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen working 6 naut. mi. off the coast nr. al-Waha resort in the n. Gaza Strip, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF issues a...

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  • November 14, 2012

    The IDF assassinates Hamas commander Ahmad Jabari and his bodyguard and separately kills 7 other Palestinians in a number of air strikes on military and civilian targets across the Gaza Strip,...

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  • October 19, 2012

    President of the UNGA Vuk Jeremic says that the Palestinian bid for non-member state is likely to succeed, and that it would likely occur in the second half of 11/2012. (REU 10/19)

    The EU...

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  • June 28, 2012

    The PA announces that pres. Abbas will receive new Israeli vice PM Mofaz on 7/1 in Ramallah to discuss relaunching peace talks. Mofaz’s office says discussions about a meeting are underway but...

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  • March 15, 2012

    Retaliating for Palestinian rocket fire on 3/14, the IDF carries out 2 air strikes on training sites in Gaza. Unidentified Palestinians fire at least 2 rockets in response. No injures are reported...

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  • March 14, 2012

    Retaliating for Palestinian rocket fire on 3/13, Israeli warplanes carry out 3 air strikes on open areas north and southeast of Gaza City and on a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border, in 1...

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  • February 24, 2012

    In the evening, IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of Gaza City fire an artillery shell at a Palestinian home but it does not explode, causing damage but no injuries to the 4 adults and 8 children...

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  • May 25, 1996

    Syria accuses Turkey of waging a disinformation campaign against Syria, blaming it for supporting the Kurdish opposition. (SANA [Damascus] 5/25 in FBIS 5/29) (see 5/23)

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  • September 18, 1993

    International Olympic Comm., meeting in Monte Carlo, grants provisional recognition to Palestine Olympic Comm., set to open office in Jericho. Ruling allows Palestinian athletes to compete as...

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  • November 24, 1983

    Military Action:

    Syrian forces shoot down pilotless Israeli drone aircraft over Beqaa valley; PLO rebels announce open-ended cease-fire in Tripoli area; IDF reports several guerrillas...

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  • June 30, 1983

    Military Action:

    Syrian Army tanks and forces surround Shtawra; PLO rebel forces move toward Baalbek; cease-fire reported between PLO factions.

    Casualties:

    1 Lebanese civilian...

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  • June 28, 1983

    Military Action:

    PLO rebels, supported by PFLP-GC and Saiqa fighters, launch series of attacks against loyalist positions along Beirut-Damascus highway toward Shtawra, taking 3 to 6...

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  • June 21, 1983

    Military Action:

    IDF patrol attacked with RPGs near Zahrani River, WAFA reports joint Lebanese-Palestinian force responsible.

    Casualties:

    1 Border Policeman killed, 3 soldiers...

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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with a military escort assaulted 3 Palestinians in Khallet al-Daba in the Masafer Yatta area and stole their mobile phones. Israeli settlers also vandalized 8 olive trees in Burin. Israeli forces shot and killed 6 Palestinians, including a child, during a raid in al-Fara’a refugee camp. Israeli forces also shot and injured 8 Palestinians, including a child, during raids in Fawwar refugee camp, Kafr Ni’ma, Beit Umar, and Hizma. Elsewhere, Israeli forces arrested the deputy director of the Islamic Waqf in Jerusalem, Sheikh Najeh Bkerat, in Dar Salah. Israeli forces also raided Qarawat Bani Hassan, destroying a memorial erected for a Palestinian killed by Israeli forces on 12/2. An Israeli soldier was shot and injured during a raid in Ya’bad. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians heading for the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Gaza, Israeli forces bombed Jabalia refugee camp, Gaza City, Nuseirat refugee camp, Khan Yunis, Rafah, and Dayr al-Balah, killing around 350 people. Israeli airstrikes targeted the Yaffa Hospital in Dayr al-Balah, Al Amal Hospital in Khan Yunis, and Palestinians queuing for water in Khan Yunis. Rockets were fired at Israel; no damage was reported. 4 Israeli soldiers were killed in combat. In Lebanon, Israeli forces attacked a military hospital in Ain Ebel, causing damage. Israeli forces also injured 3 Lebanese soldiers in Naqoura. In Syria, Israel said it attacked several targets near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. 4 people were reportedly killed in an airstrike on a car in Madinat al-Baath. (AJ, AP, HA, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/8; AJ, HA, REU 12/9)

More than 17,487 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 7,729 children and 5,153 women, and around 46,480 have been injured since 10/7. At least 7,000 people were missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 264 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 68 children. More than 3,387 people have been injured. Israel reported that 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed and 5,400 have been injured since 10/7. 97 Israeli soldiers have been killed in Gaza since the ground invasion began on 10/27. Over 1.93 million Palestinians, nearly 85% of the population of Gaza, have been displaced since 10/7. There has been a complete electricity blackout in Gaza since 10/12 due to the Israeli blockade. As of 12/3, at least 52,000 housing units had been destroyed and 253,000 had been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7, constituting 60% of all housing units. UNRWA said that at least 273 Palestinians sheltering at its shelters have been killed and 966 injured in Israeli attacks since 10/7. Rafah remained the only governate to receive aid. 4 injured Palestinians and 585 foreign nationals were evacuated to Egypt while 13 humanitarian staff and 11 ambulances donated by Turkey entered Gaza. (AJ, HA, UNOCHA, UNOCHA, WAFA 12/8; UNOCHA 12/9)

Hamas said an Israeli attempt to free a captive failed, leading to the death of the captive, Israeli solider Sa’ar Baruch. Israel said 2 Israeli soldiers were seriously injured in the rescue attempt. (AJ, HA, NYT, REU 12/8; AJ, HA 12/9)

Al Jazeera said a number of the Palestinians taken by Israeli forces from UN schools in Beit Lahiya on 12/7 and stripped to their underwear were released, while others were taken to a military base in Israel, including Al-Araby Al-Jadeed journalist Diaa al-Kahlout. (AJ, AP, NYT 12/8)

The Israeli Education Ministry ordered school principals in East Jerusalem to suspend Palestinian students who were released as part of the prisoner exchange last week until 2024. (HA 12/8)

Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant signed an order to place an Israeli settler in administrative detention for attacks on Palestinians. Gallant also spoke with U.S. secretary of defense Lloyd Austin, who urged him to “increase efforts to protect civilians in Gaza, increase delivery of humanitarian assistance, and curb extremist settler violence in the West Bank.” Israel said an Israeli military helicopter killed an Israeli soldier during an attack on a building in Gaza last week. (HA, HA 12/8)

A UN Security Council resolution calling for ceasefire and the unconditional release of the Hamas-held captives was vetoed by the U.S., with the UK abstaining and the remaining 13 members voting in favor. Before the vote, PA UN envoy Riyad Mansour said the objective of the Israeli campaign was to ethnically cleanse Gaza, adding Israeli representatives were publicly admitting it. U.S. UN ambassador Robert Wood said the Hamas attack on 10/7 was the “worst attack on our people” in decades. After the vote Wood explained the veto, calling the resolution imbalanced for not condemning Hamas’ operation on 10/7. UNRWA commissioner-general Philippe Lazzarini said the constant Israeli bombings have made UNRWA’s ability to operate extremely limited. After the vote, Mansour called the U.S. vote a disaster. Hamas called the veto “unethical and inhumane.” Israeli UN ambassador Gilad Erdan thanked the U.S. for “standing firmly by our side.” Human Rights Watch UN director Louis Charbonneau said that the U.S. risks being complicit in Israeli war crimes by continuing to provide weapons and diplomatic cover. Scottish first minister Humza Yousaf called the UK’s abstention “incomprehensible.” (AJ, AJ, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/8; AJ, AJ, HA, NYT, NYT, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/9)

During an interview with Reuters, PA president Mahmoud Abbas called for an international conference to end the war in Gaza and to create the foundations for a lasting end to the Israeli occupation. Abbas said he was for “peaceful resistance” that led to a 2-state solution with a sovereign Palestinian state in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. Abbas also said he would accept a future election result if Hamas won. Later, Abbas’ office released a statement saying the U.S. veto at the UN Security Council made it complicit in war crimes against Palestinians. (HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA 12/8; REU 12/9)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his opposition to the PA governing Gaza after Bloomberg News ran an interview with PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh on 12/7, where he said the PA was working with the U.S. in preparation for taking over the governing of Gaza. (AJ, HA 12/8)

French president Emmanuel Macron spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu, urging him to open the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing and calling on Israel to protect civilians in Gaza and the West Bank. (AJ, HA 12/8)

The Arab-Islamic Summit Ministerial Committee met with U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken, discussing the need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. The committee expressed their disappointment with the U.S. veto at the UN Security Council. The committee was represented by foreign ministers from the PA, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt. Qatari prime minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and Saudi foreign minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud also met with Blinken separately, calling for a ceasefire. (AJ, HA, NYT, WAFA 12/8; AJ, HA, NYT 12/9)

The Biden administration bypassed congressional review of the sale of 14,000 tank shells to Israel worth $106.5m. The Biden administration had asked Congress to approve the sale of 45,000 shells with the sale of the remaining 31,000 pending congressional approval. (AJ 12/8; AJ, AJ, HA, NYT, REU 12/9)

The European Commission announced that the EU will provide Palestine with at least $135 million in humanitarian aid through 2024. (HA 12/8)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort raided an anti-displacement protest in Masafer Yatta, causing injuries to Palestinians and Israeli activists, including 1 journalist. Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian using a baton round at a checkpoint in Hebron; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. In the West Bank, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 7 with baton rounds and others with tear gas. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Bayt Dajan, injuring 3 with baton rounds and 12 with tear gas. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Beita, injuring 1 with a baton round and 4 with tear gas. Meanwhile, Israeli forces fired flare bombs near the separation wall in Rumana, sparking a fire that damaged Palestinian olive trees. 1 Palestinian was arrested during a late-night raid in Izbit al-Tayyah. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian was arrested. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/10; PCHR 6/16; UNOCHA 6/17)

1 Palestinian who has been protesting his administrative detention by hunger striking by more than 100 days was taken to a hospital as his condition deteriorated. (WAFA 6/10)

Israeli forces conducted air strikes at Damascus International Airport, causing damage and forcing Syrian authorities to suspend flights in and out of the airport. The London-based Syrian opposition group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said that Iranian personnel were injured. Syrian media reported that civilian injuries occurred. Later reporting said that the Israeli air strikes damaged several runways at the airport. It was suggested that the airport will remain closed until 6/20. (AJ, AP, HA, JP, MEE, REU, REU, TOI, TOI 6/10; AJ, AP, F24 6/11; HA, TOI 6/12; AP 6/14)

The PA and the German development bank KfW signed an agreement worth $10.5 million to improve the PA health sector. (WAFA 6/10)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked 2 Israeli soldiers and 1 Palestinian man with tear gas when the 2 soldiers were asking the Palestinian about settler vandalism at al-Mughayyir near the Adei Ad settlement outpost. Israeli settlers from the Ariel settlement also vandalized Palestinian property in Marda, spraying racist graffiti on walls and vehicles and puncturing tires. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers stole olive harvesting equipment in Burin. Israeli forces issued a demolition notice for a newly built road connecting Ya‘bad and Khirbat Emreha. Israeli forces also delivered notices for the seizure of 40 dunams (9.9 acres) of land in Yasuf. 10 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around ‘Azzun, Beita, Burqa, Nawawrah, Beit Umar, and Hebron; during the raid in Beit Umar, Israeli forces damaged 2 vehicles and fired tear gas at Palestinians confronting the soldiers. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians from the Damascus Gate plaza, forcing them to leave the area. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 6 nautical miles west of Gaza; no injuries were reported. (HA, MEMO, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/13; HA, PCHR 10/14; AJ 10/17)

The Jerusalem local planning committee approved the expropriation of land in the planned East Jerusalem Israeli settlement of Givat Hamatos, where 1,257 housing units are planned, along with filing plans to expand Pisgat Ze’ev. (AJ, HA, MEE, MEMO 10/14; AP, TOI 10/15)

Some 400 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons started an open-ended hunger strike to protest new restrictions imposed after 6 prisoners escaped Gilboa prison on 9/6. (MEMO, WAFA 10/14)

In Syria, Syrian officials said Israel had conducted an air strike near Palmyra, targeting a telecommunications tower and causing damage. Russia said that the Syrian air defense system did not engage the Israeli-fired missiles because the Israeli jets firing them were using civilian airplanes as cover. 9 people were killed in the attack, according to the London-based Syrian opposition group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. (AP 10/13; TOI 10/15)

Chairman of the Religious Zionist party Bezalel Smotrich told Palestinian Israeli lawmakers during a Knesset discussion that they are only in Israel because “Ben-Gurion didn’t finish the job and throw you out in 1948.” Smotrich also called the lawmakers “terror supporters.” (HA 10/13; MEMO 10/14)

Israel’s regional cooperation minister Issawi Frej and deputy minister of foreign affairs Idan Roll met with Sudanese justice minister Nasredeen Abdulbari in Dubai. They talked about promoting future projects between the 2 countries and how to further their normalization deal. (AP 10/13; ALM 10/14)

U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken met with Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid and later had a trilateral meeting with Foreign Minister Lapid and foreign minister of the UAE Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Washington D.C. During a press conference, Secretary Blinken said that the U.S. is moving forward with reopening the U.S. consulate to Palestinians in Jerusalem, despite Israeli opposition. Lapid also later confirmed that the U.S. had raised the issue of Israeli settlement expansion during his meetings with U.S. officials. (AJ, ALM, AX, HA, HA, MEE, REU, REU 10/13; AP, REU 10/14)

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, IDF troops conduct 2 separate limited incursions to level land close to the border fence nr. Bayt Hanun and Khan Yunis. In the West Bank, IDF troops kill 1 armed Palestinian after he sought refuge in a cave nr. Bayt Liqya village, a man wanted for his alleged role in an attack on an Israeli bus during “Operation Pillar of Defense” in 11/2012. In addition, a Palestinian run over by a settler car in Qalqilya on 10/15 dies in hospital from his injuries. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning, and in Hebron and 3 nearby villages at night. In Qabatya nr. Jenin, IDF troops set up a flying checkpoint at the entrance to the village where around 20 soldiers check IDs and inspect vehicles. Residents throw stones and soldiers fire tear gas, causing no reported injuries. Also in the West Bank, IDF troops temporarily displace 17 families in the n. Jordan Valley on the basis of conducting military drills. Jewish settlers nr. Bethlehem uproot 80 olive seedlings, and other settlers nr. Bethlehem pump sewage water on agricultural lands, while in a further separate incident nr. Bethlehem, settlers throw stones at Palestinian vehicles, causing minor damage. Settlers nr. Qalqilya uproot more than 50 olive trees, while separately, settlers from Yitzhar assault a Palestinian farmer from Burin village nr. Nablus. (MNA 10/22; PCHR 10/24)

PA Pres. Abbas warns that the Palestinians will not accept Israeli control over a border with Jordan and that it could be a deal breaker. Speaking on a visit to Lithuania, Abbas also praises EU demands that Israel stops settlement construction. (AFP 10/23)

Reps. of 11 countries from the “Friends of Syria” group meet in London to encourage the Syrian opposition to join talks under the proposed “Geneva 2” framework. However, SNC head Ahmed Jarba tells a news conference following the meeting that their conditions included the impossibility of Asad being allowed to remain in power. The SNC says it will continue internal discussions about whether or not to attend the proposed peace conference. (REU 10/22)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Ramallah, 1 villages nr. Tulkarm and Qalqilya at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Bethlehem and 1 village nr. Bethlehem in the morning. Israeli forces also demolish a Palestinian village in the Jordan Valley, destroying around a dozen residential structures as well as 2 dozen other structures. Dozens of residents of Khirbat Makhul are left homeless. (MNA 9/16; PCHR 9/19)

The Israeli media reports that PM Netanyahu is unhappy with Justice Minister and chief negotiator Tzipi Livni, who is apparently undermining his position in talks with the Palestinians. Livni reportedly is willing to remove all IDF troops from the Jordan Valley, something Netanyahu will not countenance. Meanwhile, PA Pres. Abbas says that Israel will have no presence along the future border of a Palestinian state with Jordan. (INN, JP 9/16)

The U.S., Britain, and France issue a joint warning to Syrian pres. Asad that there would be consequences should he fail to comply with the international community’s demand he hand over his entire chemical weapon stockpile. Meanwhile, UN human rights investigator Karen Koning Abuzayd says that war crimes attributed to the Syrian opposition are largely being carried out by foreign fighters. Also today, Turkish warplanes shoot down a Syrian helicopter after it crossed the border, according to the Turkish military. (AP, REU 9/16)

Egyptian forces storm Delga in c. Minya province, seizing control from supporters of ousted pres. Morsi and arresting more than 50 persons. Meanwhile, in the n. Sinai Peninsula, assailants hit a police bus with a roadside bomb, wounding 9, and then kill 1 of those who jumped clear. (AFP, AP, MNA 9/16)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Jenin at night; patrols in Hebron and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. (PCHR 9/19)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry and Russian FM Sergey Lavrov conclude a deal on the removal of Syrian pres. Asad’s chemical arsenal as a means of averting a U.S. military strike on regime targets. The agreement obliges Asad to account for his stockpile within a week, and permit international inspectors destroy the weapons by mid-2014. Head of the Free Syrian Army Gen. Selim Idriss rejects the deal. Meanwhile, the Syrian National Council elects Ahmad Tomeh to be the opposition’s provisional PM. (AFP, NYT, REU 9/14)

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, IDF forces shoot and injure 1 Palestinian in clashes provoked by an IDF arrest raid in Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nur Shams r.c. nr Tulkarm at night; patrols in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, Jenin, and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. Inside Israel, suspected Jewish extremists vandalize a monastery nr. Beit Shemesh and leave “price-tag” graffiti. (WAFA 8/21; PCHR 8/22)

Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi says that the Palestinians may turn to UN bodies in response to Israeli settlement construction even before the current peace negotiations have come to a conclusion. In remarks made during a tour of East Jerusalem settlements, Ashrawi tells journalists “if Israel does not stop, then we have to move.” Meanwhile, Israel’s High Court of Justice rules that 30 structures in the Amana outpost in the West Bank should be demolished, but gives no evacuation date and leaves room for an appeal. (AP, JP 8/21)

A suspected chemical weapons attack takes place in Ghouta, a rebel-held suburb of Damascus, with wildly differing claims of fatalities (from a few hundred to over 1,000). Opposition forces blame the Bashar al-Asad regime, a claim denied by the govt. The UNSC holds an emergency meeting in response and calls for clarity, welcoming Ban Ki-moon’s call for a prompt investigation by UN inspectors. The U.S.-France-UK-drafted res. was changed to accommodate objections from Russia and China. (AFP, REU 8/21)

EU FMs meet for an emergency session in response to events in Egypt and agree to suspend the sale of security equipment and arms. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton says that “recent actions of the military have been disproportionate.” (NYT 8/19; AFP 8/21)

In the West Bank, Israeli soldiers shoot and kill a Palestinian man in Dura village nr. Hebron in response to stone-throwing at an IDF patrol. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Jenin, 1 village and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin at night. In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Khan Yunis to level land alongside the border fence. (MNA, REU 7/2; PCHR 7/4)

Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas says he is “optimistic” about U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry’s shuttle diplomacy, in comments he makes to reporters at a Ramallah press conference with Italian PM Enrico Letta. Meanwhile, U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Jen Psaki says in a press conference that no details of the peace talks will be divulged for the time being. In another development, Israel and the PA agree to form a biweekly committee on economic matters, a decision made in a meeting between Palestinian FM Shukri Bishara and Israeli FM Yair Lapid. Issues of concern for the committee will include crossings, fuel, and tax. (JP 7/2; MNA 7/3)

Egyptian pres. Mohamed Morsi rejects the military’s ultimatum to relinquish power, insisting on his democratic legitimacy and warning that any attempt to remove him and his govt. by force will plunge the country into chaos. Both Morsi and the military leadership say they will not back down from a violent confrontation. Violent clashes between supporters and opponents of Morsi in different neighborhoods of Cairo result in an estimated 7–11 deaths. Meanwhile, the Israeli army issues a statement revealing that the Egyptian military has moved several dozen armored vehicles into the border area nr. the Gaza Strip in coordination with Israel, part of efforts to combat security threats in the Sinai. (AP, NYT 7/2)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry meets with Russian FM Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of a security conference in Brunei and tells reporters afterward that a proposed peace conference on Syria will not happen until at least 9/2013. Lavrov also says that Kerry had recognized that “consolidating” the various Syrian opposition forces was the most important task ahead of any possible peace conference. (WP 7/2)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night. Jewish settlers from Brakha nr. Nablus attack Palestinian shepherds nr. Burin village, sparking clashes that are dispersed by the Israeli army, with no serious injuries reported. (MNA 6/22; PCHR 6/27)

Hamas announces the execution of 2 Palestinians found guilty of spying for Israel, the 1st to be killed since an amnesty offer expired in 4/2013. A total of 16 Palestinians have been executed for spying in the Gaza Strip by Hamas authorities since 6/2007. (REU 6/22)

A meeting of the Friends of Syria group in Doha, attended by U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry, produces an agreement to give urgent military support to opposition forces confronting both an Asad regime counteroffensive and jihadist fighters. (REU 6/22)

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)

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

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

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

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin in the morning, in 3 villages nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron, 1 village each nr. Ramallah and nr. Tulkarm at night. At night, IDF soldiers conduct house searches and arrest raids in al-Azza r.c. in Bethlehem, Aida r.c. in Bethlehem, 1 village nr. Bethlehem, 2 villages nr. Hebron, and 2 villages nr. Jenin. (PCHR 4/25)

U.S. Defense Secy. Chuck Hagel begins a Middle East tour in Israel, where he is expected to have meetings with Pres. Shimon Peres, PM Benjamin Netanyahu, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz and DM Moshe Ya’alon. Hagel will discuss Iran, Syria, and also the sale of U.S. military equipment to Israel. Hagel’s weeklong tour of the region will also include Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. (HA, NYT 4/20; WP 4/21)

U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry meets Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas in Istanbul to continue discussions about restarting negotiations, particularly a proposal to focus on boosting the Palestinian economy. Palestinian amb. to Turkey Nabil Maarouf says that the meeting fails to make any substantial progress with regards to Palestinian conditions for resuming negotiations. Secy. Kerry says that restored ties between Turkey and Israel can allow both countries to work with Washington on Iran and Syria. Kerry asks Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan to delay his planned trip to the Gaza Strip in order not to disrupt efforts to improve Turkish-Israeli relations. Secy. Kerry also attends a major meeting between the Syrian opposition and its main 11 foreign supporters. After the meeting, Secy. Kerry says that Washington will double its nonlethal aid to the Syrian opposition to $250 million, support that will be funnelled through the rebels’ Supreme Military Council. (AFP 4/20; MNA, NYT, REU 4/21; JP 4/22)

Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv reports that U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry is planning to visit Jerusalem and Ramallah ‘‘once every two weeks’’ in a bid to revive peace talks. His third trip to the region in 2 weeks (3/4, 3/24) begins 4/6. (AFP, AP 4/3)

Israeli soldiers stationed at a military post shoot and kill a Palestinian teenager nr. Tulkarm, after what the IDF says was a firebomb attack (an account disputed by witnesses). A Fatah-called general strike is observed in Hebron and East Jerusalem, as protests continue following the death of prisoner Maysara Abuhamdieh. Palestinians protesting the death clash with IDF forces in and around Hebron, in Nablus and Tulkarm, nr. Bethlehem, and outside Ofer prison nr. Ramallah (where 7 are injured with rubber bullets). In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in and around Hebron and nearby al-‘Arub r.c. in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Hebron at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in al-‘Arub r.c. and 1 village nr. Hebron, in 1 village nr. Ramallah, and in Tulkarm at night. Unidentified Palestinian militants fire 2 rockets from Gaza into Israel, causing no injuries or damage. (HA, MNA 4/3; HA, PCHR 4/4)

A source in the office of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says that special envoy to Turkey Joseph Ciechanover and National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror will go to Ankara on 4/11 for the start of talks on restoring Turkish-Israeli ties. (HA 4/3)

U.S. and Jordanian officials say that the two countries are training Syrian opposition forces that could be used to establish a future buffer zone alongside Syria’s southern border. (WP 4/3)

In the West Bank, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 3 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrests in Hebron in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. (PCHR 2/21)

The Palestinian Central Elections Commission (CEC) announces that 155,000 people in the Gaza Strip (79% of eligible voters) have registered to vote in planned legislative elections, with 2 days remaining until the electoral roll closes. The CEC says that 76% of eligible West Bank voters are on the roll. The voter registration drive is the necessary step towards as yet unscheduled elections, should Fatah and Hamas agree on how to proceed and with several outstanding issues that could cause a delay. (MNA 2/16)

European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton issues a statement calling on Israel to improve conditions for Palestinian prisoners, noting ‘‘with concern’’ the case of 4 particular inmates on long-standing hunger strikes. (REU 2/16)

IDF soldiers provide medical assistance to 7 injured Syrian nationals they discover nr. the border fence in the occupied Golan Heights. The injured men reportedly are rebels fleeing fighting against forces loyal to Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad. (HA 2/16)

Hizballah leader Hasan Nasrallah makes a speech from an undisclosed location stating that his group does not need support from Syria or Iran for any future battle against Israel. The comments are seen as a reference to claims that Israel’s 1/30 attack on Syria targeted a weapons convoy destined for Hizballah. (REU 2/16)

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says that the country does not want to build nuclear arms but that if they did, no country could stop them. Khamenei also promises revenge on Israel for the death of Revolutionary Guards commander Hessam Khoshnevis, also called Hassan Shateri in some news accounts, who was killed in Syria close to the Lebanese border by rebel fighters that Tehran accuses of working to advance U.S. and Israeli interests. (REU 2/16)

Undercover Israeli police officers arrest 6 Palestinian youths in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem on suspicion of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at a Jewish settler-owned house. In the Gaza Strip, the IDF opens fire on a garbage truck close to the border fence nr. Bayt Hanun, wounding 1 Palestinian. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers from the unauthorized outpost Esh Kodesh nr. Nablus attack the Palestinian village of Qusra, provoking clashes with residents. In response, the IDF deploys troops in the area and fires tear gas and stun grenades at villagers. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the morning, in 1 village nr. Jericho in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah, 1 village each nr. al-Bireh and Jericho at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in the Old City of Hebron, 1 nearby village, and 1 village nr. Jenin at night. The IDF attacks a nonviolent demonstration against the occupation and settlement expansion held by Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals in Bayt Umar village nr. Hebron, causing no serious injuries. (MNA 1/5, 1/6; PCHR 1/10)

PA security forces arrest the Hebronbased members of the National Unity Brigades, which announced its formation and called for a 3d intifada in a video released on 12/14. (JP 1/5)

Sources tell Palestinian Ma‘an news agency that PLO leaders, the Free Syria Army, and Syrian government forces are working toward a deal to end the fighting in and blockade of Yarmuk r.c. in Damascus, including the withdrawal of rebel fighters and the end to army shelling. (MNA 1/6)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen working 6 naut. mi. off the coast nr. al-Waha resort in the n. Gaza Strip, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF issues a demolition order for a home in Yatta nr. Hebron. The IDF patrols in 4 villages nr. Jenin in the morning. (MNA 12/15; PCHR 12/20)

Palestinian undersecretary of the Ministry of National Economy Nasser Tahboub says that the PA may go to the sponsors of the Paris Protocol to pressure Israel to stop holding back tax revenues collected on the Palestinians’ behalf. (MNA 12/15)

Palestine’s Central Elections Commission announces that the 2d stage of local elections in the West Bank will take place on 12/22/12, after 78 districts failed to register any candidate in the 1st round (10/20/12, see QU in JPS 166). (MNA 12/16)

In Syria, the head of the pro-Asad PFLP–GC, Ahmed Jibril, leaves the Yarmuk r.c. after 12 days of clashes with Syrian rebel forces supported by Palestinian fighters known as Liwa al-Asifah (Storm Brigade), who have gained ground in the camp. (MNA 12/15)

The IDF assassinates Hamas commander Ahmad Jabari and his bodyguard and separately kills 7 other Palestinians in a number of air strikes on military and civilian targets across the Gaza Strip, leaving around 90 wounded. The dead include 2 children and an elderly man. Code-named Operation Pillar of Cloud in Hebrew (a Torah reference) and renamed Operation Pillar of Defense for foreign audiences, the Israeli military attacks are described as the ‘‘beginning’’ of an effort to increase deterrence and remove Hamas’s rocketlaunching capabilities. The IQB warns that Israel has ‘‘opened the gates of hell’’ with Jabari’s assassination, and fires dozens of rockets and mortars into Israel. They are joined by the DFLP, Islamic Jihad, PFLP, and PRCs, all of whom claim responsibility for rocket and mortar fire. In total, over 90 projectiles hit Israel from the Gaza Strip, causing 4 injuries. The Iron Dome rocket-defense system intercepts 30 rockets. Overnight, the IDF undertakes air strikes on around 100 sites across the Gaza Strip. U.S. pres. Obama calls Israel PM Netanyahu to express his support for Israel’s military operation and the country’s right to selfdefense. Obama also calls Egyptian pres. Mohamed Morsi to stress the importance of de-escalation and to pledge to stay in close touch. Egypt strongly condemns Israel’s military assault, and UN secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon calls for a cease-fire. The UNSC holds an emergency meeting but takes no action. (Guardian, REU 11/14; JP, MNA 11/15)

Unidentified assailants fire 4 rockets from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula into Israel, landing nr. an agricultural community and causing no injuries. (HA 11/14)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Jericho in the morning, in 1 village nr. Salfit in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Jericho and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Balata r.c. and 1 village nr. Hebron at night. Palestinians across the West Bank demonstrate to mark the day before the 24th anniversary of the PLO’s declaration of independence, blocking roads nr. Bethlehem, Jericho, and Ramallah, and clashing with soldiers at checkpoints in Atara (nr. Ramallah) and Bethlehem. (AFP, PCHR 11/14)

Israeli DM Barak says that almost all the villages nr. the border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights are now controlled by the Syrian opposition. (AP 11/14)

On a 2d day of violent protests in Jordan against price hikes and in general opposition to King Abdullah’s regime, unidentified gunmen attack 2 police stations, and ensuing clashes leave 1 protester dead—the 1st fatality in Jordanian demonstrations in 2012. (AP 11/15)

President of the UNGA Vuk Jeremic says that the Palestinian bid for non-member state is likely to succeed, and that it would likely occur in the second half of 11/2012. (REU 10/19)

The EU issues an expression of regret over Israel’s decision (see 10/18) to approve 800 new houses in Gilo settlement, East Jerusalem. (MNA 10/19)

Armed Palestinians in the Gaza Strip detonate an improvised explosive device nr. the border fence with Israel, damaging an IDF jeep but causing no injuries. IDF troops on the Gaza border open fire on volunteers working on farmland nr. al-Bureij r.c., causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning. (YA 10/19; PCHR 10/24)

A bomb blast in Beirut kills Wissam al-Hassan, head of Lebanese domestic intelligence, as well as another 9 people and injuring more than 100. In the aftermath, opposition politicians, including Saad Hariri, blame the Syrian government, and there are demonstrations across the country by Sunni Muslims. Lebanese PM Najib Mikati says he suspects the killing was linked to al-Hassan’s role in uncovering Syrian involvement in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafiq Hariri. Iran condemns the blast the next day and hints that Israel is responsible. (Guardian, NYT, REU 10/19; BBC, REU 10/20)

The PA announces that pres. Abbas will receive new Israeli vice PM Mofaz on 7/1 in Ramallah to discuss relaunching peace talks. Mofaz’s office says discussions about a meeting are underway but does not confirm that a date has been set. (WP 6/29)

Jewish settlers complete the evacuation of Ulpana outpost. The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 nr. Tulkarm in the morning; and in 1 village each nr. Jenin, Jericho, Qalqilya, and Ramallah late at night. (NYT 6/29; PCHR 7/5; JPI 7/6; OCHA 7/13)

Hamas reports that senior IQB official Kamal Ghanaja (an aide to assassinated IQB commander Mahmud al-Mabhuh; (see QU in JPS 155) has been killed in Damascus. His body, bound and tortured, was found in his burned Damascus home. While Hamas accuses Israel of assassination, Israel says it believes the Syrian regime, angry over Hamas’s refusal to support Asad, carried out the murder. Syrian opposition groups suspect pro-government militias. (WP 6/29)

Washington Jewish Week reports that 60 rabbis representing the Washingtonbased Rabbinic Cabinet of the Jewish Federation of North America (JFNA) recently made a lobbying trip to New York to meet with the UN representatives of 12 countries (mostly Eastern European) to press the UN to reverse its ‘‘poor and unjust treatment of Israel,’’ to block Palestinian statehood efforts, and to urge the dismantling of UN committees that focus exclusively on Palestinian issues (e.g., the Division for Palestinian Rights, the Comm. on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and the Special Comm. to Investigate Israeli Human Rights Practices Affecting the Palestinian People). The group was advised by fmr. U.S. ambs. to the UN Richard Shifter and Jeanne Kirkpatrick. The JFNA says it requested meetings with 14 countries, but 2 (unnamed) declined. (WJW 6/28)

Retaliating for Palestinian rocket fire on 3/14, the IDF carries out 2 air strikes on training sites in Gaza. Unidentified Palestinians fire at least 2 rockets in response. No injures are reported in the exchange. IDF soldiers at the Qalandia crossing detain a Palestinian leaving Jerusalem for the West Bank, suspecting him of involvement in the stabbing and wounding of an IDF soldier on Jerusalem’s light rail train earlier in the day. The IDF also demolishes a Palestinian home and animal farm in Qalqilya; uproots olive and almond trees on 30 d. of confiscated Palestinian agricultural land nr. Hamra settlement (nr. Nablus); patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah (synchronized), 1 nr. Qalqilya, and 1 nr. Tulkarm in the morning; and in 3 villages nr. Jenin (synchronized) and 1 nr. Ramallah late at night. Palestinian rights activists report that the health of administrative detainee Hana Shalabi is deteriorating after 30 days on hunger strike (see 2/16/12). Dozens of Palestinians rally outside Ofer prison in solidarity with her; IDF troops fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, stun grenades to disperse them. (JP, YA 3/15; WP, WT 3/16; PCHR 3/22; OCHA 3/23)

After Syrian pres. Asad issues a statement reiterating his position that opposition forces must first halt their fire before his forces would cease fire, Hizballah chief Nasrallah issues a statement saying that both sides should cease fire simultaneously. The statement is seen as Hizballah’s 1st cautious attempt to tone down its support for the Asad regime since Arab Spring protests in Syria began in 1/2011. Days after this, Nasrallah calls on Asad to undertake “serious and genuine” reform efforts, stating that it is the duty of all “whose hearts are throbbing with sympathy for the Syrian people” to seek a political solution to the problem (a statement seen as a rebuke to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, which wanted to arm the Syrian opposition forces to overthrow Asad). (NYT 4/6)

Retaliating for Palestinian rocket fire on 3/13, Israeli warplanes carry out 3 air strikes on open areas north and southeast of Gaza City and on a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border, in 1 instance causing a brush fire that heavily damages several business and 1 home, but causing no injuries. Later, unidentified Palestinians fire 2 rockets (1 Qassam, 1 Grad) fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF demolishes a car wash facility in Husan village (nr. Bethlehem) that is 200 meters fr. a settler-only bypass road. (JP, PCHR, YA 3/15; PCHR 3/22; OCHA 3/23)

As fighting between Syrian government and opposition forces intensifies, Hizballah endorses a Hamas’s plan to reach out to Syrian opposition contacts inside Syria and offer to mediate a cease-fire with the regime, but does not offer to participate itself. Hamas and Hizballah made a similar joint offer in 4/2011 to mediate a cease-fire but it was rebuffed by the Syrian government. (NYT 4/6)

In the evening, IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of Gaza City fire an artillery shell at a Palestinian home but it does not explode, causing damage but no injuries to the 4 adults and 8 children inside. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 4 villages nr. Ramallah, 2 nr. Qalqilya and 1 nr. Tulkarm during the day; conducts late-night patrols in Jenin town and r.c., 4 villages nr Jenin, 2 nr. Qalqilya, 2 nr. Salfit, 1 nr. Tulkarm. Palestinians (sometimes accompanied by Israeli and international activists) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil’in, Nabi Salih, and Ni`lin; demonstrations in Bil’in also call for solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, causing no reported injuries. Palestinians and international activists also hold 3 large nonviolent demonstrations and marches in various parts of Hebron to mark the 18th anniversary of the Tomb of the Patriarchs massacre. IDF soldiers fire foul-smelling skunk spray, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters. In total, 13 Palestinians are moderately injured and hospitalized 27 are lightly injured and treated by medical crews at the scene, and 2 Palestinians and 1 international are arrested. (PCHR 3/1; OCHA 3/2)

Meanwhile, Palestinians responding to rumors (claimed by Israel to be false) that Israeli security forces plan to escort a group of right-wing Jews onto the al-Aqsa Mosque compound march on the IDF’s al-Ram checkpoint into Jerusalem, blocking the access road with burning tires, throwing stones, and setting off fire works, injuring 11 Israeli soldiers and border police. The IDF fires live ammunition, tear gas, and percussion grenades at the protesters, killing 1 Palestinian. (WP 2/27; PCHR 3/1)

Speaking at Friday prayers in Cairo’s al-Azhar Mosque, Hamas’s acting PM in Gaza, Haniyeh, issues the movement’s 1st public call supporting the Syrian opposition, stating: “I salute all people of the Arab Spring . . . and I salute the heroic people of Syria who are striving for freedom, democracy, and reform.” (NYT, WP 2/25; JPI 3/9)

Syria accuses Turkey of waging a disinformation campaign against Syria, blaming it for supporting the Kurdish opposition. (SANA [Damascus] 5/25 in FBIS 5/29) (see 5/23)

International Olympic Comm., meeting in Monte Carlo, grants provisional recognition to Palestine Olympic Comm., set to open office in Jericho. Ruling allows Palestinian athletes to compete as Palestinians at 1994 Winter Olympics and 1996 Olympics. (WP 9/19; NYT 10/9)

Iranian Dep. FM Hussein Sheikholeslam, visiting Damascus, meets DFLP's Hawatmah, PFLP-GC's Jibril, Hamas delegation, pledges Iranian support for opposition to PLO-Israel accord. (WT 9/19)

Military Action:

Syrian forces shoot down pilotless Israeli drone aircraft over Beqaa valley; PLO rebels announce open-ended cease-fire in Tripoli area; IDF reports several guerrillas killed, arms and ammunition caches seized in Beqaa.

Casualties:

Massive prisoner exchange takes place as 6 IDF POWs released by PLO, 4500 Arab prisoners, including 63 Palestinians convicted of attacks in Israel, and 37 Palestinians arrested at sea in late September by Israeli navy off the coast of tripoli, released by Israel; Ansar camp closed, 3400 prisoners remain in Lebanon, 1100 flown by Air France to Algeria; IDF returns Palestinian Research Center archives seized in Beirut during 1982 invasion.

Political Responses:

Israel/ Occupied Territories: Council of Jewish Settlements on West Bank and Gaza criticizes release of Palestinians from Israeli prisons, calls for death penalty in certain cases to prevent repetition.

Palestinians/ Lebanese: Saudi FM, in Damascus, says general agreement has been reached for cease-fire and withdrawal of all Palestinian forces in and around Tripoli, practical steps under discussion; Lebanese government announces it will break diplomatic relations with Iran, freeze relations with Libya.

US and Other Countries: White House announces that Reagan will meet Gemayel on December 1.

Military Action:

Syrian Army tanks and forces surround Shtawra; PLO rebel forces move toward Baalbek; cease-fire reported between PLO factions.

Casualties:

1 Lebanese civilian wounded by IDF fire after remote controlled bomb explodes near IDF patrol.

Political Responses:

Israel/ Occupied Territories: Habib returns to Israel from Lebanon; Hebron municipality electric pylons uprooted, Kiryat Arba settlers claim responsibility.

Palestinians/ Lebanese: PLO Executive Committee meets in Tunis, PFLP-GC and Saiqa representatives not present; Abu Nidal group confirms its support for Fateh rebels.

Arab Governments: Syria says it rejects logic of the independence of Palestinian decisions when they concern the Arab-Israeli conflict.

US and Other Countries: US reportedly proposes that Israel agree to a 'date certain' for total, unilateral withdrawal of IDF from Lebanon.

Military Action:

PLO rebels, supported by PFLP-GC and Saiqa fighters, launch series of attacks against loyalist positions along Beirut-Damascus highway toward Shtawra, taking 3 to 6 positions.

Casualties:

15 killed, 20 wounded among Fateh loyalists, commander of Yarmouk brigade reportedly captured by rebels; Lebanese police report total of 28 deaths in Beqaa fighting since Monday.

Political Responses:

Palestinians/ Lebanese: Arafat travels to Algiers.

Arab Governments: Egypt's newly appointed ambassador to Israel says he will not take up residence there as long as Israeli troops remain in Lebanon without timetable for their withdrawal; Habib meets King Fahd in Riyadh, then travels to Cairo.

Military Action:

IDF patrol attacked with RPGs near Zahrani River, WAFA reports joint Lebanese-Palestinian force responsible.

Casualties:

1 Border Policeman killed, 3 soldiers wounded in ambush near Zahrani, village of Arab Salim sealed; several residents arrested; 6 killed, 9 wounded as gunmen attack worshippers in Tripoli mosque.

Political Responses:

Palestinians/ Lebanese: Fateh rebels, supported by PFLP-GC and Syrian troops and tanks, overrun 8 loyalist positions in eastern Lebanon, take control of Palestinian positions along highway between Syrian border and Shtawra; commander of loyalist Yarmouk brigade reportedly held by Syrian Army; Arafat travels from Damascus to Tripoli, says he will not return to Damascus until Syria ends support of rebels; Syrian news agency SANA carries full text of rebel statement for first time.