16 / 14704 Results
  • December 15, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces delivered stop-work notices for 1 agricultural structure, 1 residential structure, 1 water well, and 1 playground in Susiya. Israeli forces arrested 3 Palestinian...

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  • October 7, 2021

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

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  • November 15, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin the morning, in 1 village and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron and...

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  • October 21, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. Also, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Gaza City to level land close to...

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  • October 6, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village each nr. Bethlehem, Jenin and Salfit at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron at night....

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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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  • September 27, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 1 rocket into s. Israel which causes no damage or injuries. In addition, Israeli troops fire upon a demonstration that approaches the border fence, as part of...

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  • September 20, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinians walking close to the border fence nr. Bayt Lahiya, wounding 2. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1...

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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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  • September 9, 2013

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

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  • November 24, 2012

    Khalil Assaf, the chair of the Palestinian Public Freedoms Comm., established in order to implement the May 2011 Fatah-Hamas reconciliation deal, announces that Egypt will invite all Palestinian...

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  • December 27, 2008

    After early morning consultations with senior cabinet mbrs., the IDF launches its major offensive on Gaza, Operation Cast Lead (OCL), at 11:25 A.M. local time (4:25 A.M. EST). Israeli DM Barak...

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  • July 20, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF continues operations in al-Maghazi r.c., engaging in heavy clashes with local gunmen, killing 4 armed Palestinians and 1 bystander, wounding at least 32 (in addition, 1...

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  • September 7, 2003

    The IDF seals the West Bank and Gaza and tightens restrictions on Palestinian movements (including reimposing all Gaza checkpoints removed after the Palestinian ceasefire declaration on 6/29),...

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  • March 19, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 2 Palestinians dead. A Jewish settler is killed in a drive-by shooting nr. Bethlehem; the IDF reseals the city. Some 600 mbrs. of the...

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  • April 19, 1991

    Meeting with Israeli leaders, Sec. Baker says Israel should consider series of fundamental compromises with Arabs if there is to be a peace conference; Baker gives P.M. Shamir list of possible...

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In the West Bank, Israeli forces delivered stop-work notices for 1 agricultural structure, 1 residential structure, 1 water well, and 1 playground in Susiya. Israeli forces arrested 3 Palestinian farmers and seized their tractor in al-Rakiz. 6 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Biddu, Beit ‘Anan, Bethlehem, Kafr ad-Dik, and Qarawat Bani Hassan. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers fenced off houses in Sheikh Jarrah with barbed wire, set up surveillance cameras, and assaulted 1 member of the Salem family, the owners of the land; the family is threatened with forced eviction. 1 Palestinian family demolished their own 3 houses on a plot of land in Silwan, displacing 35. 2 Palestinians were arrested in Isawiya. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/15; MEMO, PCHR 12/16)

UNESCO added Palestinian embroidery, tatreez, to the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh thanked UNESCO for “protect[ing] our Palestinian identity, heritage and narrative, in the face of the occupation’s attempts to steal what it does not own.” Prime Minister Shtayyeh’s comment follows criticism of Miss Universe contestants dressing in Palestinian thobes while promoting Israel during events linked to the Miss Universe competition in Israel last week. (WAFA 12/15; AJ, WAFA 12/16)

The spokesperson for Christian churches in the Holy Land charged Israel with discriminating against Christian tourists by closing off Israel and the West Bank to foreign travelers due to the COVID-19 pandemic while at the same time allowing Jewish-only “Birthright” tourism. An official from the Catholic church called Israel’s discrimination shocking. (AP 12/15; DT 12/18; LT, TOI 12/19)

Al Monitor reported that Qatar and Israel had agreed to a bilateral agreement on allowing diamond trade between the 2 countries. The reporting suggested that Israeli diamond merchants will be allowed to enter Qatar and Qatari merchants will be able to enter Israel. Qatar and Israel have not had official ties since 2009. (ALM 12/15)

The Israeli supreme court criticized interior minister Ayelet Shaked for maintaining a ban on Palestinian family reunifications, despite the ban legally expiring in July this year. (HA 12/15)

U.S. senator Rand Paul (R-KY) blocked the passage of $1 billion in additional military aid to Israel, allegedly to replenish the Iron Dome arsenal. The Senate has been trying to pass the additional military aid to Israel through unanimous consent, but Senator Paul has blocked the 4 efforts. Senator Paul insists that the funding for Israel’s military should be deducted from aid earmarked for Afghanistan. (TOI 12/16; MEMO 12/18)

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

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

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

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

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

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin the morning, in 1 village and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron in the morning, and in Qalqilya and Hebron in the afternoon. In Dura, nr. Hebron, IDF troops shoot and injure 1 Palestinian after opening fire on Palestinian demonstrators in clashes in the village. 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 Kafr Qaddum, where 4 are injured by rubber-coated metal bullets. In East Jerusalem, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian demonstrators in al-‘Izzariya, wounding 3 with live ammunition. Separately, Palestinian activists make a 10-meter hole in the separation wall nr. Bir Nabala, while another group of activists cut barbed wire around Ofer prison nr. Ramallah. (MNA 11/15; PCHR 11/21)

The OPCW meets a deadline for reaching a detailed plan and timetable for the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, publishing a statement saying that the mission will be completed no later than 6/30/14. The “most critical” chemicals will be removed by 12/21/13, according to the plan. (BBC, REU 11/15)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. Also, IDF troops conduct a limited incursion nr. Gaza City to level land close to the border fence. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Tubas in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Salfit, and 1 village each nr. Jenin and Ramallah at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, in 1 village each nr. Hebron, Jenin and Salfit in the afternoon, and in 1 village each nr. Hebron, Jenin and Ramallah, and in Qalqilya at night. In East Jerusalem, an Israeli security guard is stabbed in Silwan, prompting Israeli security forces to patrol the community and clash with residents. (MNA 10/21; PCHR 10/24)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry says that IsraeliPalestinian talks are intensifying with “core issues . . . on the table.” He makes the remarks in a joint press conference with Qatari FM Khaled al-Attiyah after meeting with Arab League officialsin Paris. It is also announced that Qatar has agreed to provide $150 million in debt relief to the PA. Kerry praises what he calls the Arab League’s “remarkable commitment” to advancing the peace process. (AFP, REU 10/21)

Syrian pres. al-Asad says that “the factors are not yet in place” for an international peace conference known as “Geneva 2” intended to secure a political transition and settlement to the civil war. Asad, talking to Lebanese television, questions what groups will be present and their claims to be legitimate reps. of the Syrian people. Meanwhile, chief of the OPCW Sigrid Kaag says in Damascus that the Syrian govt. has thus far “fully cooperated” in the destruction of its chemical weapons arsenal. (AFP 10/21–22)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village each nr. Bethlehem, Jenin and Salfit at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. Jewish settlers raze agricultural land nr. Salfit. (MNA 10/16; PCHR 10/10)

Clashes across Egypt between supporters and opponents of ousted pres. Morsi end with at least 51 people dead, while the Interior Ministry says that 423 were arrested. (REU 10/6) Inspectors from the OPCW begin their mission to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, overseeing Syrian forces as they destroy equipment and munitions. (REU 10/16)

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)

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 1 rocket into s. Israel which causes no damage or injuries. In addition, Israeli troops fire upon a demonstration that approaches the border fence, as part of protests in solidarity with Palestinians facing restricted access to al-Aqsa mosque, injuring 5. In the West Bank, hundreds of Palestinians clash with Israeli troops as part of demonstrations marking the 13th anniversary of the 2d intifada. In al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron, the IDF opens fire with rubber-coated metal bullets, hitting a child and blinding her in 1 eye. In c. Hebron, more than 200 Palestinians throw stones at Israeli soldiers, who injure 23 Palestinians with live ammunition and rubber-coated metal bullets. There is also a protest outside Ofer prison nr. Ramallah, and in the Nablus area at Hawara checkpoint (where 1 person is injured with a rubber-coated metal bullet to the head). The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin and Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah at night. Jewish settlers set fire to 2 Palestinian vehicles nr. Beit El settlement n. of Ramallah. In East Jerusalem, Palestinian youths smash a hole in the separation wall in Abu Dis before Israeli forces arrive and violently disperse them. Outside the Old City nr. Damascus Gate, Palestinians throw stones at police officers. (JP, MNA, NYT 9/28; PCHR 10/3)

Diplomats from the Quartet meet on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York and issue a statement calling on both sides to take “every possible step” to make the current negotiations a success. Envoy Tony Blair says that the meeting heard of initiatives accompanying peace talks to boost the Palestinian economy. The Quartet reps. were also joined by Tzipi Livni and Saeb Erakat in their capacities as lead negotiators for their respective sides. (AP, JP 9/28)

The UNSC votes unanimously for a res. that will see Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile secured and destroyed. Kerry says that the res. shows diplomacy is able to “peacefully defuse the worst weapons of war,” adding that destruction of the arsenal will begin in 11/2013 and run through to mid-2014. The council also backs a road map for political transition in Syria, and calls for an international conference to be convened “as soon as possible.” (AP, ToI, REU 9/27)

U.S. Pres. Obama and Iranian pres. Ruhani speak on the telephone, the highest-level contact between the 2 countries since 1979. Obama, in comments at the White House, and Ruhani, via a Twitter account, said that both are committed to solving the nuclear issue. (REU 9/27)

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops open fire on Palestinians walking close to the border fence nr. Bayt Lahiya, wounding 2. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night; patrols in 2 villages nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Jericho and Jenin at night. 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), and 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum). There are no serious injuries, except in Kafr Qaddum, where 5 are injured (4 struck by tear gas canisters, including 1 international, and 1 hit by a live bullet). (MNA 9/20; PCHR 9/26)

An Arab-introduced res. at the IAEA’s annual conference in Vienna to censure Israel’s refusal to allow international oversight of its nuclear weapons is voted down 43–54–32 (and another 30 countries were absent during the vote). (AP 9/20)

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) says that Syria has given details of some of its arsenal but still needs to fill in the gaps by next week to satisfy the timetable proposed by the Russian-U.S. plan. (REU 9/20)

White House dep. spokesperson Josh Earnest says that the Obama administration is ready to engage in talks with Iran “on the basis of mutual respect” about the country’s nuclear program. (REU 9/20)

Egyptian police arrest some 87 wanted men in a village nr. Cairo, while separately, gunmen target 3 military vehicles in Rafah, injuring 3 soldiers. Security forces say they also arrested 15 Salafist militants in villages in the n. Sinai. (AFP, AP, MNA 9/20)

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 West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Qalqilya and 1 village nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya at night. Jewish settlers from Beit El nr. Ramallah throw stones at Palestinian vehicles, while in a separate incident, settlers uproot some 40 Palestinian olive trees in the s. Hebron hills. In East Jerusalem, Jerusalem municipality-owned bulldozers level lands to make a trench between Issawiyya village and French Hill settlement, at the request of the latter’s residents. (MNA 9/9; PCHR 9/12)

Palestinian official Nabil Shaath tells the media that U.S. Secy. of State Kerry had “guaranteed us in writing” that talks would start from the 1967 lines, with State Dept. spokesperson Marie Harf subsequently denying such a document. (NYT 9/9)

The EU announces a €52 million assistance package to help PA development schemes, such as municipal infrastructure projects and private sector-led economic initiatives. The aid is the final part of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument assistance, with the total contributed to the Palestinians in 2013 now standing at €300 million. (MNA 9/9)

Russian FM Sergey Lavrov makes a statement calling for military action against Syria to be averted through a plan for the internationally coordinated destruction of Damascus’s chemical weapons’ arsenal. The dramatic intervention is welcomed as a possible breakthrough by Pres. Obama, who faces opposition in Congress and among the public to any U.S. military intervention. Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid postpones a scheduled test vote for lawmakers to assess the Russian plan. Syrian FM Walid Muallem welcomes the Russian proposal as a way of preventing “an American aggression.” (AFP, AP, REU 9/9)

The Egyptian military’s offensive in the Sinai continues, with security forces killing a further 9 militants and arresting 10 nr. Rafah. In 2 separate incidents in c. Sinai, gunmen open fire and wound 3 soldiers. In addition, Egyptian forces destroy 6 smuggling tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza border located n. of Rafah, with an Egyptian official claiming that more than 90% of the smuggling tunnels have now been destroyed. As part of the operation, Egypt’s military claims to have seized caches of weapons including a mortar belonging to Palestinian Islamic Jihad. (AFP, AP, MNA, REU 9/9)

Khalil Assaf, the chair of the Palestinian Public Freedoms Comm., established in order to implement the May 2011 Fatah-Hamas reconciliation deal, announces that Egypt will invite all Palestinian factions to Cairo to resume national unity talks after the upcoming UN session in New York on 11/29, at which it is expected the Palestinian request for upgraded status will be debated. Separately, Amin Maqboul— secy.-gen. of Fatah’s legislative body, the Fatah Revolutionary Council—says he will lead an 11-mbr. Fatah delegation on a visit to the Gaza Strip on 11/23. Meanwhile, senior Hamas official Abu Marzuq says Hamas will not oppose Mahmud Abbas’s UN recognition bid, but believes that it is a waste of time, since ‘‘occupation needs resistance, not negotiations.’’ Meanwhile, Israeli officials continue to threaten unspecified consequences if Abbas moves forward with the UN bid; Ramallah officials in turn reiterate Abbas’s determination to go ahead. (AP, JP, MNA 11/24)

Hamas officials in Gaza say that Egypt has notified PM Haniyeh that Israel has agreed to extend the permitted fishing zone off the Gaza coast from 3 nautical miles (naut. mi.) to 6 naut. mi. and to reduce restrictions on Palestinian farming along the Gaza border (not further specified). However, and though the cease-fire continues to hold, the IDF opens fire on Palestinian farmers nr. Bayt Hanun and Jabaliya in the afternoon, causing no injuries. Meanwhile, groups affiliated with the Fatah-affiliated al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in Gaza claim they fired over 500 projectiles during the recent Israeli operation. (REU 11/24; PCHR 11/29)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon, and 5 villages nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Salfit at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus and 4 villages nr. Hebron at night. (PCHR 11/29)

The UN and UK government express their hope that a conference aimed at banning nuclear weapons in the Middle East would take place soon, despite what the U.S. has called a ‘‘deep conceptual gap’’ relating to participants’ views on Israel’s presumed nuclear arsenal. (REU 11/24)

After early morning consultations with senior cabinet mbrs., the IDF launches its major offensive on Gaza, Operation Cast Lead (OCL), at 11:25 A.M. local time (4:25 A.M. EST). Israeli DM Barak acknowledges (WP 12/28) that OCL has been planned for several months, stating that the aim is “to strike Hamas severely so as to change the situation from its base,” cautioning that “it won’t be short.”

Israeli actions: After an initial “shock and awe campaign” lasting 3 min. and 40 sec., with 64 warplanes hitting more than 50 targets across the Strip, the IDF conducts periodic air strikes throughout the day, recording a total of 170 sorties against 150 targets, killing at least 228 Palestinians, wounding more than 700 (140 seriously), marking the highest single-day death toll and Israel’s largest offensive in the territories since 1967. The midday timing of the initial onslaught, just as schools let out for lunch, increases the number of civilian casualties, including an estimated 25 women and children. Israeli Military Intelligence sends automated calls to 20,000 Palestinians across the Strip warning of further air strikes targeting anyone with weapons or guns.

Targets struck are primarily civil police stations, military training bases, Hamas-related command-and-control centers, suspected weapons depots, and sites believed to manufacture rockets. Target areas include Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (the city center and al-Daraj, al-Shuja‘iyya, Tal al-Hawa, alTuffah, al-Zaytun neighborhoods), Jabaliya r.c., Khan Yunis, al-Mughraqa (s. of Gaza City), Rafah, Shati’ r.c., and al-Zahra’ (c. Gaza nr. Jabaliya).

Palestinian actions: Palestinians fire 59 rockets (including some that reach the farthest north to date), 19 mortars into Israel during the day, killing 1 Israeli civilian in Netivot, wounding 4. (The fatality may have occurred before the official launch of OCL.)

Humanitarian notes: Gaza’s hospitals report (BBC 12/27) overflowing wards and not enough surgeons or supplies to cope. Egypt temporarily opens the Rafah crossing to allow transportation of some wounded to Egyptian hospitals.

Of note: During the initial “shock and awe,” the IDF hits a police academy graduation ceremony in Gaza City, killing at least 60 new civil police recruits and the chief of Palestinian police Maj. Gen. Tawfiq Jabber. Other targets include Gaza City’s main jail (the Saraya, holding Hamas opponents, hitting only the gates), the PA Preventive Security headquarters in Gaza City, the PA security compound in Rafah (southern headquarters of the PASF, PA Internal Security Service, and PA civil police), PA naval police facilities in n. Gaza and Khan Yunis, Palestinian Telecommunication Company offices in n. Gaza, a Gaza City mosque identified by the IDF as “a base for terrorist activities,” Hamas’s al-Aqsa TV station, the agriculture control dept. in Khan Yunis, numerous police stations and training sites, at least 9 homes, several workshops (considered rocket-manufacturing sites), and Hamas’s Asda’ media center outside Khan Yunis. One IDF airstrike on a PA ministry building kills 8 Palestinian students at an adjacent UNRWA training center, wounding 19 others (8 seriously). Hamas and Palestinian human rights groups in Gaza estimate that the dead include around 165 civil police officers (including those at the graduation ceremony) and Hamas’s central district governor, Abu Ahmad Ashur. Some targets are hit with U.S.-supplied GBU-39 bunkerbusting munitions received as recently as 9/08 (see Quarterly Update in JPS 150 and the “Israeli Arsenal” document in this issue’s Special Focus section). (al-Arabiyya TV, BBC, HA, IDF, JAZ, Middle East News Agency [Cairo], Palestine News Agency, YA 12/27; AFP, AP, BBC, HA, IFM, JAZ, NYT, Radikal, REU, WP, WT, XIN 12/28; JP, NYT, Zaman [Ankara] 12/29; PCHR 1/1; BBC 12/30; UNOSAT 12/31; JP, WJW 1/1; WP 1/4; Eurasia Daily Monitor [online], NYT, UNOSAT 1/5; IFM, JPI 1/8; NYT 1/11)

In other Israeli-Palestinian violence, the IDF fires tear gas, percussion grenades, rubber-coated steel bullets to disperse Palestinians demonstrating against OCL in the East Jerusalem suburbs of Anata, Issawiyya, Shu‘fat r.c. An E. Jerusalem Palestinian, reportedly angry over events in Gaza, injures an Israeli border police officer in a deliberate hit and run in the city. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Jenin. (HA 12/28; PCHR, WJW 1/1)

In Gaza, the IDF continues operations in al-Maghazi r.c., engaging in heavy clashes with local gunmen, killing 4 armed Palestinians and 1 bystander, wounding at least 32 (in addition, 1 Palestinian child wounded in al-Maghazi on 7/19 dies of her injuries); drops leaflets across Gaza warning that “anyone who has . . . an arsenal, ammunition, or weapons in their house must destroy them or will face dangerous consequences.” The IDF also continues to shell n. and s. Gaza to prevent rocket fire; makes air strikes on 2 groups of Palestinians allegedly laying roadside bombs (no injuries are reported); fires warning shots fr. gunboats to keep Palestinian fishermen fr. going out to sea. Palestinians fire at least 1 rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, lightly wounding 1 Israeli. In the West Bank, the IDF continues major operations in Nablus, surrounding the local PA headquarters where a number of wanted Palestinians have taken refuge since fighting began on 7/19; 15 give themselves up during the day, but 10 remain inside, as IDF tanks shell the building and bulldozers begin to demolish the structure, troops fire on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront them (wounding 5). Also in Nablus, some 4,000 Palestinians demonstrate in support of Hizballah. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron; clears Palestinian trees nr. Har Homa settlement. (NYT, WP 7/21; IFM 7/22; PCHR 7/27)

Israel warns Lebanese s. of the Litani River that they have 24 hrs. to evacuate to the north. The IDF increases pinpoint ground operations in s. Lebanon, engaging in fierce clashes with Hizballah, leaving at least 2 IDF soldiers, 2 Hizballah mbrs. dead and 6 IDF soldiers injured; sends tanks, bulldozers across the n. border to destroy tunnels, bunkers, posts used by Hizballah (Hizballah claims to destroy 2 tanks; the IDF does not comment); continues air and artillery strikes on 150 targets across Lebanon, including Baalbek, Hermel, and al-Khiyam (destroying the infamous jail there, formerly run by Israel’s proxy, the South Lebanon Army). Late in the evening, 2 IDF helicopters collide over n. Israel nr. the Lebanese border, killing at least 4 IDF soldiers. Hizballah fires some 40 rockets at n. Israel, hitting Carmiel, Kiryat Shimona, Safad, Tiberias; there are no reported injuries. Syria reports that more than 140,000 people have crossed over fr. Lebanon since the violence began. Some 10,000 foreigners are evacuated by sea fr. Beirut and Tyre (including some 2,250 Americans and many Southeast Asian laborers evacuated by the Indian navy); UNIFIL evacuates its post at Naqura. Lebanese report that the cost of basic goods has risen 500% in some areas. (BBC, UNIS, WP 7/20; AP, NYT, WP, WT 7/21; WP 7/22)

The IDF seals the West Bank and Gaza and tightens restrictions on Palestinian movements (including reimposing all Gaza checkpoints removed after the Palestinian ceasefire declaration on 6/29), expecting retaliation for its 9/6 attempt to assassinate Shaykh Yasin. In Khan Yunis, the IDF fires 4 missiles at the home of Hamas mbr. ‘Abd al-Salam Abu Musa, claiming it is a Hamas arsenal; Abu Musa escapes moments before the attack, which injures 15 bystanders, damages 9 surrounding homes. The IDF alsoarrests PA official Akram Tubasi on charges of smuggling weapons fr. Egypt to Gaza; demolishes a Palestinian home in Tulkarm; conducts arrest raids in Jaba’, Khan Yunis, Qalqilya, Ramallah; fires on residential areas of Rafah. Hamas mbrs. detonate a roadside bomb nr. an IDF patrol in Gaza, lightly wounding 3 soldiers. (Israel National News 9/7; NYT, WP, WT 9/8; PCHR 9/11)

Arafat nominates PC speaker and Oslo architect Ahmad Qurai‘ to replace Abbas as PM. Qurai‘ says he would accept the nomination, provided he receives assurances of cooperation fr. the EU, Israel, U.S. (AP, BBC, HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 9/8; HA, NYT, WP, WT 9/9; AYM, ITAR-TASS 9/9 in WNC 9/11; MM 9/10)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 2 Palestinians dead. A Jewish settler is killed in a drive-by shooting nr. Bethlehem; the IDF reseals the city. Some 600 mbrs. of the Union of Palestinian Women's Comms. hold a nonviolent march nr. the al-Ram checkpoint, where the IDF fires tear gas and percussion grenades, beating some with their rifles, injuring 15, including Hanan Ashrawi. The IDF directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Brazil, Khan Yunis, Rafah (hitting an elementary school, injuring 8 children); bulldozes 50 dunams of Palestinian land nr. Bayt Hanun, destroying a PSF post. Nr. Jerusalem, IDF soldiers stop, arrest, beat 2 ambulance drivers returning from a call; the pair are freed after the International Comm. of the Red Cross intervenes. (MM, Palestinian Red Crescent Society press release, REU 3/19; HP, MM, WT 3/20; WJW 3/22; MEI 3/23; LAW 3/24; JP 4/6)

At Manara kibbutz on the Israeli-Lebanese border, residents find the kibbutz's security head murdered, the kibbutz's arsenal ransacked, 60 rifles and handguns stolen. The border fence with Lebanon is intact, so Israel suspects Palestinians or Israeli Arabs. (MM 4/20; WJW 3/22; MA 3/24 in WNC 3/26)

Sharon arrives in Washington for his 1st mtg. with U.S. officials since his inauguration; also addresses the annual American Israel Public Affairs Comm. conference. (MM 3/19; WT 3/20; WJW 3/22; MM 3/23; JP 3/30; NYT 4/19; MEI, WP, WT 4/20; NYT 4/22; MM 4/24; WJW 4/26)

Meeting with Israeli leaders, Sec. Baker says Israel should consider series of fundamental compromises with Arabs if there is to be a peace conference; Baker gives P.M. Shamir list of possible concessions [NYT, LAT 4/20; IDF 4/19 in FBIS 4/19; MET 4/30].

Palestinian leaders hold news conference in Ramallah on questions of who will participate in talks with Sec. Baker [JTN 4/19 in FBIS 4/22].

Iraq makes public contents of 4/18 report given to UN: Baghdad says substantial arsenal of its chemical and ballistic weapons survived Gulf war, including 11,131 chemical warheads; Iraq also denies having nuclear arms, nuclear weapons-grade materials, or biological arns; U.S. says Iraq's inventory is incorrect [NYT, LAT 4/20; MET 4/30].

Blockade imposed on o.t. because of Sec. Baker's visit to Israel is lifted, allowing Palestinians to return to jobs over green line [JDS 4/19 in FBIS 4/19].

Lebanese media publishes results of public opinion poll conducted by Jerusalem's Arab Research Center: 55.34% of Palestinians now support confederation with Jordan, as opposed to 9.82% before Gulf war; 45.62% predict that PLO candidates would win majority of votes if elections were held in o.t. [MEM 4/19].