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  • May 7, 2023

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set up caravans on Palestinian land near Mukhmas. Israeli forces demolished 1 Palestinian school in Jubbet ad-Dik; the EU delegation to the Palestinians called...

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  • October 27, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces delivered demolition notices for 6 agricultural structures and 1 residential structure and delivered stop-work orders for 2 houses and a water well in Wadi Rahal....

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  • October 24, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers tried to steal sheep in Qarawat Bani Hassan before being chased away by Palestinians. Israeli forces delivered stop-work notices for 1 house, 1 water well, and 1...

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  • November 3, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Hebron, Jenin, Jerusalem, Nablus, and Ramallah at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. (PCHR 11...

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  • December 18, 2012

    Israel’s Housing and Construction Ministry publishes tenders for construction of West Bank settlement housing units in Karnei Shomron, Efrat, and Givat Ze’ev as part of the government’s decision...

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  • January 3, 2012

    In Amman, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators meet with Quartet reps. (including special envoy Blair) and then with Jordanian FM Nasser Judeh. Judeh says that the Palestinian team, as requested,...

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  • December 12, 2011

    IDF spokesman Maj. Guy Inbar acknowledges that Israel plans to relocate some 2,000 Bedouin fr. 20 encampments in the hills e. of Jerusalem (in area C) to clear the way for the expansion of Ma’ale...

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  • October 10, 2011

    The IDF makes a brief incursion into s. Gaza to level land and clear lines of sight along the border e. of al-Qarara. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinian farmers...

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  • July 18, 2011

    Israel issues tenders for construction of 294 new settlement housing units in Beitar Ilit nr. Jerusalem and Karnei Shomron nr. Nablus (see 5/21). The IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear...

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  • March 18, 2011

    Palestinians in Gaza fire an antitank missile at an IDF patrol inside Israel, causing no damage or injuries. During the day, Palestinians also fire 10 mortars toward Israel in 2 barrages, causing...

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  • March 17, 2011

    Israeli warplanes overfly s. Gaza, dropping leaflets warning Palestinians not to enter the 300-m no-go zone along the border fence. Israel seals the West Bank until 3/21 for the Purim holiday....

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  • March 15, 2011

    Uruguay recognizes an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 lines. (XIN 3/16)

    Egypt completes repairs to its natural gas pipeline damaged during the 2/2011 Egyptian unrest (see...

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  • March 6, 2011

    In Jerusalem, 2 Israeli municipal workers are injured (1 seriously, 1 lightly) when they accidentally trigger a pipe bomb hidden in a trash can; Palestinians are suspected, but no one takes...

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  • March 5, 2011

    Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Israel responds with at least 3 air strikes on Hamas training sites in Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City, and Khan Yunis,...

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  • November 23, 2010

    The Knesset passes (65-33) the 2d and 3d readings of a bill that would require a public majority referendum vote and the votes of 60 MKs before any Israeli territory could be ceded in a peace...

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  • August 17, 2010

    In the morning, members of the Palestinian Popular Resistance Comm. (PRCs), retaliating for the death of an Islamic Jihad mbr. on 8/16, fire 2 mortars across the s. Gaza border at IDF troops...

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  • May 28, 2010

    Late at night, unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing damage but no injuries. The IDF retaliates with 5 air strikes on the Dahaniyya airport site (hitting...

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  • April 10, 2009

    In the West Bank, the IDF fires live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and percussion grenades at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists taking part in weekly...

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  • October 2, 2008

    In the West Bank, the IDF raids a Palestinian home in Hebron based on complaints fr. local settlers, arrests 3 Palestinian youths; conducts large-scale, late-night arrest raids and house searches...

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  • October 1, 2008

    The UN reports that 1 Palestinian rocket was fired toward Israel between 9/21 and 9/27 but landed inside Gaza, causing no damage or injuries; the last Palestinian rocket fired was on 9/14. In the...

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  • April 23, 2008

    In Gaza, the IDF makes a late-night air strike on a group of Hamas mbrs. in Khan Yunis, missing them, hitting an apartment building, causing no injuries; makes a latenight incursion into Bayt...

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  • October 20, 2007

    The IDF fires a surface-to-surface missile at central Bayt Lahiya in an attempt to assassinate 3 Hamas mbrs., missing them but injuring 3 bystanders, damaging 2 homes and a car. The Israeli navy...

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  • October 17, 2007

    Overnight in Gaza, the IDF sends tanks and bulldozers supported by aircraft into Abasan, raiding and searching homes, occupying several houses as observation posts, bulldozing 23 d. of olive trees...

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  • September 14, 2007

    The IDF makes an air strike on a car carrying Islamic Jihad mbrs. in Gaza City, missing the target, damaging a house and lightly injuring 1 bystander. Egyptian border police demolish a smuggling...

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  • May 31, 2007

    The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba in Hebron raze Palestinian agricultural land nr. the settlement, attack and beat several...

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  • February 12, 2007

    The AMB fires 4 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Dahaysha r.c. in a car with Palestinian license plates to arrest...

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  • September 21, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF makes an overnight arrest raid into Um al-Nasir nr. Rafah, surrounding a home, exchanging gunfire with wanted Palestinians, firing tank shells at the house, killing 1 wanted...

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  • February 13, 2006

    The IDF reopens the Erez crossing (shut on 2/9); fatally shoots a Palestinian shepherdess grazing sheep outside Wadi al-Silqa in central Gaza after she strays too close to the border fence;...

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  • January 26, 2006

    The IDF fires on a “suspicious figure” nr. the Gaza border with Israel nr. Khan Yunis, killing a 9-yr.-old Palestinian girl; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. Jewish settlers fr....

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  • December 18, 2005

    The IDF conducts 11 air strikes and 6 mock air raids on n. Gaza (destroying a bridge nr. Bayt Hanun; hitting several main roads in Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, and Um al-Nasser; damaging several homes...

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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set up caravans on Palestinian land near Mukhmas. Israeli forces demolished 1 Palestinian school in Jubbet ad-Dik; the EU delegation to the Palestinians called the demolition appalling. Israeli forces also demolished 1 guest house in Jiftlik and 2 houses under construction in al-‘Awja. 8 Palestinians were arrested, including 3 minors, during late-night raids in Ras Karkar, Jalazun refugee camp, Bayt Jala, Beit Sahour, al-‘Awja, and Masafer Yatta. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. (AN, F24, MEE, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/7; HA, WAFA 5/8; PCHR 5/11; UNOCHA 5/19)

Israeli forces partially lifted the siege on Jericho after 16 days, easing restrictions on entry and exiting the city, but maintaining the barriers and checkpoints that have been erected. (QDS 5/7)

The Israel Land Authority issued tenders for 1,248 housing units in the Beitar Ilit, Efrat, Kiryat Arba, Ma’ale Ephraim, and Karnei Shomron settlements in the West Bank and in the Gilo settlement in East Jerusalem. (REU 5/7; QDS, WAFA 5/8)

The Supreme Court of Israel denied a petition to immediately expel Palestinians living in Khan al-Ahmar. The judges said in the ruling that they accepted the government’s argument that the Palestinians cannot be expelled “for current reasons related to the security of a country and its foreign relations.” The petition was submitted by the settler organization Regavim. (HA 5/7; AA, HA 5/8)

The Israeli government allocated $8.8 million to develop an archaeological site in Sebastia. The government wrote in the proposal for the development of the site that it is doing so to prevent the PA from restoring the site. (TOI 5/7; PCN 5/8)

The World Food Programme announced that it will suspend food aid to 200,000 Palestinians, about 60% of current recipients in Palestine, from June due to severe shortage in funds. The organization said that it will have to suspend all its programs in the West Bank and Gaza by August if it does not receive new funding. (HA, REU 5/7; PCHR 5/8; AJ 5/28; HA 5/31)

Israel released Jordanian lawmaker Imad al-Adwan who was arrested on 4/23 at the Allenby Bridge, accused of smuggling weapons and gold. (AJ, AP, HA, REU 5/7)

U.S. national security advisor Jake Sullivan met with Saudi crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman in Riyadh, discussing normalization with Israel and peace in Yemen. Sullivan also met with the national security advisors of India and the UAE to discuss infrastructure plans in the Middle East. (AX 5/6; REU 5/7; AJ, AP, AX 5/8; HA 5/9)

The Arab League voted to readmit Syria to the organization during a closed meeting of foreign ministers in Cairo. Syria’s membership was suspended in 2011. (AJ, HA, MEE, NYT, REU 5/7)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces delivered demolition notices for 6 agricultural structures and 1 residential structure and delivered stop-work orders for 2 houses and a water well in Wadi Rahal. Israeli forces also raided Khirbet Humsa, seizing tools and tents used for agricultural purposes. 10 Palestinians were arrested, including 8 during late-night raids in and around Tuqu’, Hebron, Beit Umar, and Bir al-Basha, and 2 were arrested at a checkpoint near Jenin. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli forces confiscated 2 boats anchored 7 nautical miles from the coast. (MEMO, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/27; PCHR 10/28)

An Israeli military court convicted 1 Palestinian man of murdering an Israeli settler in the northern West Bank on 12/20/2020. (HA, JP, TOI 10/27)

Israel’s civil administration advanced, for the 1st time during the U.S. Biden administration, settlement units to be built in the West Bank. 2,860 housing units were approved in Har Brakha, Revava, Elon Moreh, Hermesh, Karnei Shomron, Beit El, Givat Ze’ev, Kefar Etzion, Alon Shvut, Teneh, Sansana, Vered Yericho, Ma’aleh Mikhmash, Efrat, Tal Manashe, Talmon, Shima’a, and Kedumim. The approval also included the retroactive approval of units in Elon Moreh, Alei Zahav, Peduel, and Eli, and the “legalization” of the Mitzpe Danny outpost and an outpost in Haroeh Haivri. The U.S. publicly criticized the move and privately asked Israel to reverse course on 10/26. (AP, HA, JP, JP, MDW, MEE, MEMO, PCN, TOI, WAFA, WAFA 10/27; AJ, ALM, CNN, HA 10/28)

PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh met with EU officials, including the high representative for foreign affairs Josep Borrell in Brussels. Prime Minister Shtayyeh called on the EU to take concrete steps to end Israeli settlement expansion. Shtayyeh also called on the EU to recognize the State of Palestine. Separetly, Shtayyeh called on Belgium to recognize the State of Palestine during a meeting with the speaker of the Belgian parliament. (WAFA 10/27; WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/28)

The Israeli Knesset voted down a bill that would recognize the 1956 Kafr Qasim massacre. Only 12 members voted for the bill while 93 voted against. The bill was sponsored by Aida Touma-Sliman, Ofer Cassif, and Ayman Odeh of the Joint Arab List. (HA 10/26; HA 10/27; HA 10/28)

U.S. deputy of state for management and resources Brian McKeon told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that it is his understanding that the U.S. needs Israel’s permission to reopen the U.S. consulate to Palestinians in Jerusalem. (HA, JP, MEMO 10/28)

Florida’s boycott of the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream company’s parent company Unilever went into effect after a 90-day period given to the company to reverse Ben & Jerry’s decision to stop selling ice cream in West Bank settlements and to end its franchise agreement in Israel. Florida will now stop new investments in Unilever, but its $39 million already invested in the company will not be affected. (TOI 11/26; JP 11/27; MEMO 11/29)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers tried to steal sheep in Qarawat Bani Hassan before being chased away by Palestinians. Israeli forces delivered stop-work notices for 1 house, 1 water well, and 1 outhouse in al-Twana. 6 Palestinians, including 2 11-year-old boys, were arrested during late-night raids in Hebron, Husan, and al-Zawiya. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian minor was arrested during a late-night raid in Silwan. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Gaza; no injuries were reported. (PCHR 10/28; HA 11/26; BTselem 11/28)

Israel advanced 1,355 Israeli settlement units in the West Bank by inviting bids for construction, the last step before they are constructed. It was the 1st time that Israel promoted new settlement units since U.S. president Joe Biden took office in 1/2021. Of the 1,355 units, 729 are for the Ariel settlement, 324 are for the Beit El settlement, 102 are for the Elkana settlement, and some are for the Geva Binyamin, Immanuel, Karnei Shomron, and Betar Illit settlements. The Israeli construction and housing ministry said it is working toward doubling the settler population in the Jordan Valley by 2026. The UN envoy to the Middle East Tor Wennesland said that the UN is “deeply concerned” about the settlement expansion. The U.S. state department spokesperson Ned Price said, after being asked, that the U.S. is “concerned” and asked both Israel and the PA not to take steps to undermine a 2-state solution. The EU called on Israel to reverse its decision to publish the tenders for the construction. (AJ, DW, HA, HILL, JP, MEE, WAFA, WAFA 10/24; HA, MEMO, MEMO, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA 10/25; WAFA 10/26)

Israel’s Knesset passed a bill to connect homes built without a permit before 2018 to the electricity grid inside of Israel. The bill, pushed by the United Arab List, will provide electricity to many Palestinian Israelis living in the Negev desert. (HA 10/24)

Israeli Labor leader Merav Michaeli and Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz, both part of the Israeli government coalition, demanded in a cabinet meeting that prime minister Naftali Bennett put a hold on the 10/22 labeling of 6 Palestinian rights organizations as terrorist organizations and further settlement expansion. The leaders of all government coalition parties are scheduled to meet on 10/29 to discuss their disagreements on several issues. (TOI 10/24; HA 10/25; ALM 10/26)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village each nr. Hebron, Jenin, Jerusalem, Nablus, and Ramallah at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Hebron at night. (PCHR 11/7)

Israel issues tenders for the construction of more than 1,700 homes, shortly ahead of a visit by U.S. Secy. of State Kerry. The tenders are part of 3,500 homes whose planned construction was announced after the latest prisoner release. The tenders are for homes in East Jerusalem settlements Ramat Shlomo and Gilo, as well as West Bank settlements like Elkana, Ma’ale Adumim, and Beitar Ilit. There is also 196 homes planned for Karnei Shomron, a settlement outside the “blocs” Israel expects to keep in any future deal. Separately, Israeli media report that PM Netanyahu intends to build a separation barrier between the West Bank and Jordan, as part of the govt.’s plans to maintain an Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley. Responding to developments, Pres. Abbas spokesperson Abu Rudayna says that the decision to build a fence along the border with Jordan is aimed at undermining Kerry’s upcoming mission, while PLO mbr. Wassel Abu Yousef slams the settlement tenders and says the PLO is considering how to get UN action against these decisions. Kerry, in Egypt, responds to a question at a press conference with FM Nabil Fahmy by saying that settlement construction disturbs “people’s perceptions of whether . . . we’re moving in the right direction.” (AFP, JP, MNA, REU, ToI 11/3)

U.S. Undersecy. of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman assures Israel that Obama has not offered any sanctions relief to Iran and that Israeli security is a priority of the administration. Speaking to Israeli television, Sherman says that the U.S. may offer temporary, limited sanctions relief as part of the diplomatic process while leaving core oil and banking sanctions in place. (HA, JP 11/3)

In Egypt, U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry expresses optimism about a return to democracy, and describes Cairo as a vital partner of Washington. Unnamed senior State Dept. officials say that Kerry did not discuss ousted pres. Morsi’s trial in meetings with Pres. Adly Mansour and Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. (REU 11/3)

Israel’s Housing and Construction Ministry publishes tenders for construction of West Bank settlement housing units in Karnei Shomron, Efrat, and Givat Ze’ev as part of the government’s decision to build 3,000 new settlement units to punish the Palestinians for their successful UN bid. The U.S. expresses disappointment with what it calls Israel’s ‘‘pattern of provocative action’’ with regard to settlement construction, saying the repeated announcements and plans ‘‘run counter to the cause of peace’’ and put the two-state solution ‘‘further at risk.’’ Britain, France, Germany and Portugal–European members of the UNSC–issue a joint statement condemning Israel’s 12/17 decision to construct homes in Ramat Shlomo settlement in occupied East Jerusalem. (ToI, AP, HA 12/18)

IDF forces make a brief incursion into s. Gaza to level land along the border fence. In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians nr. Aida r.c. in Bethlehem, causing no injuries; this marks the 6th day of confrontations since Israeli forces killed a Palestinian youth in Hebron’s Old City on 12/12. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 each village nr. Bethlehem and Hebron at night. (PNN 12/19; PCHR 12/20)

Israeli military sources say that there are cracks appearing in the co-operation between the IDF and the PA’s security forces, though the operational relationship remains generally positive. One example of this deterioration is the PA security forces stopping IDF troops from pursuing their activities on at least 2 occasions in the past few weeks. (YA 12/18)

Reports suggest that more than 1,000 Palestinian refugees living in Syria crossed over the border into Lebanon in just 24 hours, fleeing fighting in Yarmuk r.c. (REU 12/18)

In Amman, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators meet with Quartet reps. (including special envoy Blair) and then with Jordanian FM Nasser Judeh. Judeh says that the Palestinian team, as requested, turned over its position papers on security and borders and that the Israeli team formally received them. The sides have agreed to hold talks “on a continual basis” in Jordan to explore reviving formal negotiations and to observe a media blackout, with only Judeh issuing public statements after the sessions. Israel does not submit its own comprehensive position papers, but pledges “that through this continuing dialogue there will be an Israeli counterproposal or an Israeli response.” (WJW 1/3; NYT, WP 1/4; WT 1/5)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials inside the demolished Erez industrial zone, forcing them to flee. IDF troops make a brief incursion into s. Gaza to level land and clear lines of sight along the border fence e. of Abasan and Khuza, firing toward nearby residential areas to keep Palestinians indoors (causing no reported injuries). Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts morning patrols in Jenin and (synchronized) in 3 villages nr. Ramallah; conducts evening patrols in Tulkarm and 1 village nr. Jenin; conducts latenight arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya. OCHA reports that since 12/21, the IDF has demolished 25 water-related structures (wells, cisterns, water pools, and water storage tanks) used for domestic and agricultural purposes; 21 were in Hebron governorate, 4 in Salfit governorate. OCHA also reports that in the past 2 wks., the IDF has demolished the remaining structures on the Palestinian side of the Qarni crossing, which Israel closed on 3/2/11 when the Kerem Shalom crossing became fully operational. (OCHA, PCHR 1/5)

The Israeli High Court accepts an agmt. reached between the state and settlers under which the state agrees to suspend plans to demolish immediately 9 structures in the Ramat Gilad unauthorized settlement outpost, giving the settlers until 3/2012 to remove the structures themselves. The settlers claim that the state has agreed in exchange to expand the zoning boundaries for nearby Karnei Shomron settlement to include Ramat Gilad (retroactively legalizing the outpost), but the official documents submitted to the court do not say this. (JPI 1/3)

IDF spokesman Maj. Guy Inbar acknowledges that Israel plans to relocate some 2,000 Bedouin fr. 20 encampments in the hills e. of Jerusalem (in area C) to clear the way for the expansion of Ma’ale Adumim settlement into the E1 zone to link it with Jerusalem. Officially, the government says the relocation plans are part of its broader initiative to “provide the bedouin across the West Bank with sites where they can build legally with access to water, electricity, and government services.” Construction in the E1 zone and settlers’ preparations for expansion of Ma’ale Adumim into the area have been planned since 2009, but this marks the 1st admission that the government has started logistical planning to remove the Bedouin population fr. the area. Meanwhile, Israeli DM Ehud Barak approves establishment of a new 40-unit settlement neighborhood and farm nr. Efrat settlement to expand the Gush Etzion settlement block s. of Bethlehem; the new settlement, to be called Givat Hadagan, was approved for development in the 1990s, with plans to build 500 housing units. Israel closes the old wooden Mughrabi footbridge (deemed unsafe) used by non-Muslims to reach the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount; the PA and Waqf officials protest, saying Israel plans to build a larger permanent structure to assert its control over the site, which is holy to both Muslims and Jews. Also in East Jerusalem, the IDF demolishes a Palestinian home in Bayt Hanina. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Qalqilya twice in the afternoon; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem and Jenin. Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar settlement nr. Nablus vandalize nearby Palestinian homes and cars twice during the day, including throwing a Molotov cocktail at a home. Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron nr. Qalqilya stone passing Palestinian vehicles, injuring 3 Palestinians. (HA 12/12; NYT, WP 12/13; PCHR 12/15; OCHA 12/16; HA 12/18)

Israel’s new amb. to Egypt, Ya’akov Amitai, arrives in Cairo. Israel withdrew its former ambassador for safety reasons on 9/9/11, when Egyptian protesters ransacked the Israeli embassy (see QU in JPS 162). (WP 12/13)

The IDF makes a brief incursion into s. Gaza to level land and clear lines of sight along the border e. of al-Qarara. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinian farmers working their land nr. the border fence, forcing them to flee but causing no injuries. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes a Palestinian house under construction nr. Bethlehem; patrols in Tulkarm in the morning; patrols in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron (including in al-‘Arrub r.c.), Jenin, and Qalqilya (arresting 4 Palestinian children ages 15–17). In 2 separate incidents, Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron nr. Qalqilya chase off Palestinians harvesting olives nearby; the IDF intervenes both times, removing the settlers but barring the Palestinians fr. resuming the harvest. (PCHR 10/13; OCHA 10/14)

Israel issues tenders for construction of 294 new settlement housing units in Beitar Ilit nr. Jerusalem and Karnei Shomron nr. Nablus (see 5/21). The IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at mourners attending a funeral in Bayt Umar, sparking stone-throwing clashes that leave 3 Palestinians injured; patrols in al-Til nr. Tulkarm, randomly stopping and searching Palestinian cars; conducts late-night patrols in Tulkarm and late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem and in Jenin. Jewish settlers fr. Migron settlement outpost nr. Ramallah stone and beat 3 Palestinian shepherds. (HA 7/18; PCHR 7/20; OCHA 7/22)

Palestinians in Gaza fire an antitank missile at an IDF patrol inside Israel, causing no damage or injuries. During the day, Palestinians also fire 10 mortars toward Israel in 2 barrages, causing no damage or injuries; some of the mortars land inside Gaza. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts synchronized morning patrols in Tulkarm and several nearby villages; patrols in alBireh and neighboring al-Am‘ari r.c., and in 3 villages nr. Jericho and Ramallah. Palestinians (sometimes accompanied by Israeli and international activists) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, and Nabi Salih/Dayr Nizam. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, injuring 4 Palestinians, including 2 children. A Jewish settler deliberately attempts to run down a Palestinian nr. the Hawara checkpoint nr. Nablus, moderately injuring him; the IDF does not intervene. Jewish settlers fr. Taffuh settlement attempt to seize a plot of nearby Palestinian agricultural land but are sent away by the IDF. Jewish settlers close Jit intersection nr. Qalqilya with burning tires, blocking the main Qalqilya-Nablus road. In separate incidents, Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim and Karnei Shomron settlements stone Palestinian vehicles nr. Qalqilya. In East Jerusalem, Palestinians clash with Israeli border police in Silwan, leaving at least 1 Israeli officer injured. (IsRN, JP 3/18; WP 3/19; PCHR 3/24; OCHA 4/1)

After 2 days of clashes with protesters, arrest raids targeting opposition figures, and imposition of a nighttime curfew in Manama, Bahrain’s troops demolish the giant pearl monument in Pearl Square in a symbolic crushing of antigovernment protesters. No further demonstrations are reported this quarter. By 3/20 observers describe daily life returning to normal (schools and stores reopen, traffic moving) but note “a sense of political paralysis.” Saudi, UAE, and Kuwaiti forces remain in the country through the end of the quarter. (WP 3/19; NYT 3/21)

In Syria, govt. forces violently disperse protests (ranging in size fr. the 100s to the 1,000s) held after Friday prayers in Baniyas, Dara‘a, Damascus, and Homs, fatally shooting 6 protesters and wounding 10s. Though protests are small, the govt. response is harsh and tensions are high. (NYT, WP 3/19)

In Yemen, govt. troops and supporters open fire for more than 20 minutes on protesters demonstrating after Friday prayers in Sana’a, leaving at least 47 dead and 100s injured but failing to disperse the crowd. Afterward, the govt. declares a state of emergency, allowing authorities to curtail civil rights and monitor communications. Over the next 5 days, Yemen’s ambassador to the UN, several other ambassadors, the country’s most influential military commander Maj. Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar (a relative and very close ally of Pres. Saleh), and 4 other generals resigned in protest, and Saleh’s own tribe and another key tribal leader called on him to step down. Saleh also fires his cabinet in an apparent attempt to preempt a mass resignation to protest recent deadly clashes. Popular protests also continued. (NYT, WP 3/19; NYT, WP 3/20–21; NYT, WP, WT 3/22–23; NYT, WP 3/24)

Israeli warplanes overfly s. Gaza, dropping leaflets warning Palestinians not to enter the 300-m no-go zone along the border fence. Israel seals the West Bank until 3/21 for the Purim holiday. During the day, the IDF patrols in al-Bireh, Ramallah, Tulkarm (randomly stopping and searching vehicles), 4 villages nr. Qalqilya (searching several shops in 1 village but making no arrests), and 3 others nr. Jenin (ordering 4 Palestinians to appear for questioning). Late at night, the IDF patrols in Jericho and conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin. Jewish settlers beat a Palestinian laborer working inside Shilo settlement; a settlement security guard intervenes, calling Israel border police who transport the Palestinian to a Ramallah hospital. Jewish settlers burn the cars of 2 Palestinian laborers working in Keddumim settlement nr. Qalqilya. Later, Keddumim settlers stone Palestinian cars on a nearby road; the IDF intervenes to disperse them. Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron settlement nr. Qalqilya stone passing Palestinian vehicles. In Gaza, Hamas-affiliated police break up 40 protesters rallying in Gaza City calling for national reconciliation, arresting 1 protester and 2 Palestinian cameramen covering the event. (AFP, NYT 3/18; PCHR 3/24; OCHA 4/1)

The UNSC authorizes (10-0, with Brazil, China, Germany, India, and Russia abstaining) “all necessary measures” short of foreign occupation to protect civilians in Libya, including calling for an immediate halt to the heavy fighting ongoing nationwide, imposition of a no-fly zone, and interdiction of ships heading to support Qaddafi’s forces. (NYT, WP, WT 3/18)

Uruguay recognizes an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 lines. (XIN 3/16)

Egypt completes repairs to its natural gas pipeline damaged during the 2/2011 Egyptian unrest (see Quarterly Update in JPS 159) and resumes sending natural gas to Israel. The Israeli navy detains a ship, the German-owned and Liberian flagged Victoria, en route fr. Syria to Egypt, 200 mi. off the Israeli coast that Israel claims was attempting to deliver arms to Gaza fr. Iran, taking it to Ashdod for further inspection; Israeli authorities said the ship carried 4 crates holding some 70,000 rounds of ammunition for Kalashnikov rifles, 1,000s of mortars, 6 Chinese C-704 antiship missiles, and 2 radar systems. Iran denies smuggling arms. The IDF makes a brief incursion into c. Gaza to level lands e. of al-Bureij r.c. to clear lines of sight. On the Rafah border, 2 Palestinians are killed, 4 are injured in an explosion in a smuggling tunnel. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that another 4 Palestinians have been killed in tunnel accidents since 3/2. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night patrols in Jenin and surrounding villages; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron. Jewish settlers attempt to enter Kafr Laqif village nr. Qalqilya but are prevented by the IDF and stone nearby Palestinian homes instead. In separate instances, Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron and Keddumim settlements, both nr. Nablus, stone passing Palestinian vehicles. Across the West Bank and Gaza, 1,000s of Palestinians turn out for candlelight vigils calling for national reconciliation. Hamas security forces violently break up the biggest rally (as many as 100,000) in Gaza City, injuring 5 protesters. In the West Bank, PA security forces (PASF) fire tear gas at some 8,000 protesters in Ramallah, briefly dispersing them and injuring 20; some protesters return, vowing to stay in Ramallah’s Manara Square until the West Bank and Gaza are reunited (they stay until 4/17). Meanwhile, Hamas’s acting PM in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh invites Abbas to Gaza for reconciliation talks; Abbas responds favorably. Inside Israel, 2 cars owned by Israeli Palestinian students at Safad Academic College were torched during a campus event to promote Arab-Jewish dialogue. Anti-Arab graffiti also was sprayed on the wall of the college, saying: “Arabs get out,” “Death to Arabs,” and “Kahane was right.” (General Delegation of the PLO to the United States letter, IFM, National Public Radio 3/15; JAZ, JP, JTA, MNA, NYT, WP, WT 3/16; PCHR 3/17; OCHA 3/18; JPI 4/1)

In Bahrain, protesters ramp up demonstrations in response to Saudi Arabia’s incursion, while the king imposes a 3-mo. state of emergency, deploys the military, and closes schools and govt. offices. (NYT 3/16)

In Jerusalem, 2 Israeli municipal workers are injured (1 seriously, 1 lightly) when they accidentally trigger a pipe bomb hidden in a trash can; Palestinians are suspected, but no one takes responsibility. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 4 villages nr. Salfit and Tulkarm. For a 2d day, Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron settlement nr. Qalqilya stone Palestinian vehicles. (JP 3/7; PCHR 3/10; OCHA 3/18)

Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Israel responds with at least 3 air strikes on Hamas training sites in Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City, and Khan Yunis, causing collateral damage to 6 homes but no reported injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts patrols in Jericho and 3 villages nr. Qalqilya and Tulkarm; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Nabi Salih, arresting an organizer of the weekly demonstrations against the separation wall. Palestinians and international activists demonstrate against construction of settlements and the separation wall at the Qalandia crossing and in Bayt Umar. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, injuring 4 Palestinians (including 2 journalists) and 1 international activist. Jewish settlers fr. Taffuh settlement s. of Nablus attempt to seize Palestinian agricultural lands e. of Salfit but are removed by the IDF. Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron settlement nr. Qalqilya stone Palestinian vehicles. (AFP 3/5; IsRN 3/6; PCHR 3/10; OCHA 3/18)

The Knesset passes (65-33) the 2d and 3d readings of a bill that would require a public majority referendum vote and the votes of 60 MKs before any Israeli territory could be ceded in a peace agreement. (JAZ 11/23)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts synchronized late-night patrols in 3 villages nr. Hebron, searching 1 home but making no arrests. Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron settlement burn 3 d. of Palestinian olive trees nr. Qalqilya. In Jerusalem, Israeli authorities evict the Palestinian Qara’in family (14 mbrs., including 7 children) fr. their home in Jabal Mukabir and allow Jewish settlers to move in and fence off the surrounding property. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that 2 Palestinian boys (ages 11 and 12) were killed since 11/19 in a tunnel collapse on the border e. of Jabaliya. (NYT 11/24; PCHR 11/25; OCHA 11/26)

In the morning, members of the Palestinian Popular Resistance Comm. (PRCs), retaliating for the death of an Islamic Jihad mbr. on 8/16, fire 2 mortars across the s. Gaza border at IDF troops operating inside Israel, lightly injuring 2; the IDF returns fire but no injuries are reported. Late in the evening, the IDF responds with 6 air strikes targeting a deserted house near the c. Gaza border e. of Gaza Valley village (destroying it, a well, and damaging a nearby factory) and several smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border, causing no injuries. During the day, IDF troops make a brief incursion in to s. Gaza to level lands e. of Abassan to clear lines of sight; fire warning shots at Palestinians staging a nonviolent march to the Erez crossing to protest Israel’s imposition of a no-go zone along the border, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron settlement nr. Qalqilya stone passing Palestinian vehicles, causing no injuries. An Israeli court rules that Israel is responsible for the 1/2007 death of a 10-yr.-old Palestinian girl who was fatally shot by Israeli border police while observing a Palestinian demonstration from a distance; the border police alleged she was hit by a rock thrown by protesters, but the court finds that “there cannot be any dispute . . . that Abir was hit by a rubber bullet fired by border police, meaning the fire was conducted either due to negligence or violation of the rules of engagement.” (JP 8/17; AFP 8/18; PCHR 8/19; OCHA 8/20)

Lebanon passes a law granting the country’s approximately 400,000 Palestinian refugees the same rights to work as other foreigners and giving them access to social security benefits, easing decades of restrictions that had barred them from all but menial jobs. (NYT 8/18) 

Late at night, unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing damage but no injuries. The IDF retaliates with 5 air strikes on the Dahaniyya airport site (hitting previously destroyed buildings, causing no injuries) and on a suspected weapons factory in the al-Zaytun neighborhood of Gaza City (destroying it but causing no injuries). In the West Bank, the IDF partly opens Route 443 between Jerusalem and Ramallah to Palestinian traffic for the 1st time in 8 yrs., but Palestinians will still have to go through several checkpoints and will not be allowed to take the road all the way into Ramallah (see Quarterly Update in JPS 155 for background). Palestinians (sometimes accompanied by Israeli and international activists) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall and land confiscations in Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, and Dayr Nizam/al-Nabi Salih. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, leaving scores suffering tear gas inhalation, injuring at least 2 Palestinians, and arresting 4 Israelis. Jewish settlers fr. the unauthorized outpost of Beit Yonatan nr. Silwan retaliating for the 5/25 Jerusalem District Court decision harass a group of Palestinian women, sparking a stone throwing clash between the settlers and local Palestinians; the IDF intervenes, firing tear gas and beating back the Palestinians, including a pregnant Palestinian woman who miscarries as a result. Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron nr. Qalqilya stone Palestinian vehicles on the Qalqilya–Nablus road, breaking the windows of 1 car, injuring 4 Palestinians. (YA 5/28; NYT, WP 5/29; JP 5/30; PCHR 6/3; OCHA 6/4)

In the West Bank, the IDF fires live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and percussion grenades at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists taking part in weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall in Bil‘in (injuring 3 Palestinians, including a pregnant woman); fires tear gas and beats several Palestinians at a similar nonviolent demonstration in al-Ma‘sara (injuring an Israeli man and a 9-yr.-old Palestinian child). Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron and Keddumim nr. Qalqilya force Palestinian farmers off land nr. the settlement, block roads in the area to Palestinian traffic. Jewish settlers fr. Ramat Yishai in Hebron stone a Palestinian Red Crescent Society ambulance transporting a patient fr. a hospital to her home, forcing the ambulance back to Hebron hospital; the IDF observes but does not intervene. (OCHA 4/15; PCHR 4/16)

In the West Bank, the IDF raids a Palestinian home in Hebron based on complaints fr. local settlers, arrests 3 Palestinian youths; conducts large-scale, late-night arrest raids and house searches nr. Bethlehem. The IDF evacuates Jewish settlers fr. the unauthorized outpost of Shvut Ami nr. Qalqilya; in retaliation, the settlers attack nearby Palestinian farmers, set fire to 10 d. of agricultural land (burning 100 olive trees), block a road to Palestinian traffic, stone passing Palestinian vehicles; IDF troops bar Palestinians fr. extinguishing the crop fire. Jewish settlers fr. Ginot Shomron nr. Qalqilya attempt to storm the nearby Palestinian village of Azun, but the IDF blocks them to prevent clashes. Jewish settlers fr. Ramat Yishai settlement nr. Hebron attack Palestinians harvesting olives nearby, steal their olives; the IDF arrests 2 Palestinian teenagers who try to fend off the settlers. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba damage Palestinian water pipelines nearby, demolish several branch roads that had previously been blocked off by the IDF and settlers. (OCHA 10/8; PCHR 10/9)

The UN reports that 1 Palestinian rocket was fired toward Israel between 9/21 and 9/27 but landed inside Gaza, causing no damage or injuries; the last Palestinian rocket fired was on 9/14. In the West Bank, Palestinians throw stones at Jewish settler vehicles nr. Qalqilya, damaging 7 cars and lightly injuring 2 settlers. In response, the IDF imposes a curfew on and patrols in nearby Azun village, firing on residential areas and then on stone-throwing Palestinian youths who confront them, causing no reported injuries. Jewish settlers fr. Ginot Shomron (part of Karnei Shomron) nr. Qalqilya vandalize Palestinian homes in Azun village, burn 12 d. of Palestinian olive groves. (OCHA 10/1, 10/8; PCHR 10/9; AIC 11/9)

In Gaza, the IDF makes a late-night air strike on a group of Hamas mbrs. in Khan Yunis, missing them, hitting an apartment building, causing no injuries; makes a latenight incursion into Bayt Hanun, under cover of aircraft that fire on several groups of Palestinians and buildings, killing a 55-yr.-old Palestinian in his home, seriously wounding another Palestinian, demolishing several greenhouses, damaging 5 homes. A Palestinian shepherd is injured when he accidentally triggers a landmine e. of Jabaliya r.c. In the West Bank, the IDF shoots, wounds an unarmed Palestinian who strays nr. the separation wall northwest of Jerusalem; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah, in Anata e. of Jerusalem and Qabatya, and nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Qalqilya. Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron nr. Tulkarm stone Palestinian cars passing by the settlement, damaging 1. (PCHR 4/24; OCHA, PCHR 4/30)

The IDF fires a surface-to-surface missile at central Bayt Lahiya in an attempt to assassinate 3 Hamas mbrs., missing them but injuring 3 bystanders, damaging 2 homes and a car. The Israeli navy fires on 2 Islamic Jihad mbrs. in a boat off the Gaza coast, killing them. The IDF also withdraws troops from a strip of land northeast of Bayt Lahiya occupied on 10/19. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Nablus, Ramallah; raids and searches homes, checks IDs of residents in Bayt Jala nr. Bethlehem. Jewish settlers fr. Shavei Shomron nr. Nablus, escorted by IDF troops, attack Palestinians harvesting olives nearby. Jewish settlers fr. Beitar Ilit nr. Bethlehem beat a Palestinian passing by the settlement. Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron steal a harvest of olives fr. a Palestinian farmer nr. Qalqilya. In Gaza City, mbrs. of a Fatah-affiliated clan fire on a car of Hamas mbrs., sparking clashes that leave 3 Palestinians dead (1 clan member, 2 bystanders), 35 wounded. In Rafah, ESF officers attempt to confiscate a vehicle fr. armed Islamic Jihad mbrs., sparking an exchange of fire that leaves 1 Palestinian bystander dead and 16 Palestinians (including bystanders) injured. (WP, WT 10/21; OCHA 10/24; PCHR 10/25)

Overnight in Gaza, the IDF sends tanks and bulldozers supported by aircraft into Abasan, raiding and searching homes, occupying several houses as observation posts, bulldozing 23 d. of olive trees, demolishing 1 Palestinian home, clashing with local gunmen (including firing tank shells and making air strikes), leaving 1 IDF soldier, 1 Hamas mbr. dead, wounding 6 armed Palestinians and 1 bystander. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus and Tulkarm (arresting at least 1 AMB mbr. who was among the AMB mbrs. granted amnesty by Israel in 7/06; see 9/23), in Qabatya, and nr. Hebron, Ramallah. Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron steal a harvest of olives fr. a Palestinian farmer nr. Qalqilya. In Gaza City, 4 mbrs. of a Palestinian clan are killed in clashes with ESF when the ESF attempts to arrest 1 family mbr. for firing on an ESF patrol earlier in the day; the ESF arrests 25 family mbrs. In Gaza City, 100 Palestinians demonstrate outside the UN Special Coordinator’s Office (UNSCO) against the continued closure of the Rafah border. (NYT, PCHR 10/18; OCHA 10/24; PCHR 10/25)

The IDF makes an air strike on a car carrying Islamic Jihad mbrs. in Gaza City, missing the target, damaging a house and lightly injuring 1 bystander. Egyptian border police demolish a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border. A Palestinian is injured when explosives he is handling detonate prematurely. In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, international activists taking part in the weekly nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Bil‘in (injuring several) and a similar protest at alWalaja (causing no reported injuries). Palestinian gunmen fire on a Jewish settler’s vehicle nr. Karnei Shomron settlement nr. Qalqilya, injuring 2 settlers. Having sealed the West Bank border for Rosh Hashanah (see 9/12), the IDF allows only Palestinian men over age 60 to enter Jerusalem fr. the West Bank to attend prayers marking the 1st Friday of Ramadan. (OCHA 9/19; PCHR 9/20)

The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba in Hebron raze Palestinian agricultural land nr. the settlement, attack and beat several Palestinians and international peace activists who attempt to stop them; the IDF intervenes to detain a Palestinian journalist who arrives on the scene. The Israeli Housing Min. issues tenders for 20 new housing units in Karnei Shomron settlement. (OCHA 6/6; PCHR 6/7)

The AMB fires 4 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Dahaysha r.c. in a car with Palestinian license plates to arrest a wanted Palestinian teenager; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Tulkarm, nr. Tulkarm, and in and around Hebron, Nablus. Israel’s mayor of Jerusalem Uri Lupolianski suspends for review construction work at the Haram alSharif/Temple Mount, though Palestinians hold small protests, throw stones at the IDF during the day in and around East Jerusalem, Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron and Ginat Shomron nr. Qalqilya prevent Palestinians from working their land nearby. Under IDF escort, Jewish settlers fr. Halamish nr. Ramallah uproot 50 olive trees in the Palestinian village of Dayr Nizam. In Gaza City, 200 family mbrs. of Palestinians held in Israeli jails demonstrate outside the PC headquarters, demanding that the PA do more to free their relatives. In Khan Yunis, unidentified assailants kidnap, quickly release unharmed fmr. PA atty. gen. Khalid al-Qidra. A Fatah mbr. injured during 1/29 ESF-Fatah clashes in Jabaliya r.c. dies. (MM 2/12; MM, NYT, WT 2/13; OCHA 2/14; PCHR 2/15)

In Gaza, the IDF makes an overnight arrest raid into Um al-Nasir nr. Rafah, surrounding a home, exchanging gunfire with wanted Palestinians, firing tank shells at the house, killing 1 wanted Palestinian, 1 female bystander (allowing her to bleed to death over 4 hrs., barring an ambulance fr. reaching her) in what may be an assassination, wounding another 8 Palestinians, demolishing 13 Palestinian homes before withdrawing; shells shepherds tending a flock nr. Jabaliya r.c., killing 3 Palestinian teenagers. A 13-yr.-old Palestinian boy is injured when he accidentally detonates unexploded IDF ordnance in al-Maghazi r.c. Palestinians fire 4 rockets into Israel, causing damage but no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Dayr Abu Sa’if nr. Jenin in a car with Palestinian license plates, arresting 3 farmers working in a field, quickly releasing 2; patrols in, fires tear gas at residents of Tubas; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin town and r.c. and in Nablus, Tulkarm (firing on residential areas, cutting phone service, damaging an electricity transformer) and nearby Bala’a (firing live and rubber-coated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at stone-throwing youths, wounding 10s of Palestinians). The Israeli Housing Min. approves construction of 164 new settlement housing units in 3 West Bank settlements (Ariel 88; Alfe Menashe 56; Karnei Shomron 20). (PCHR 9/21; NYT, WP 9/22; OCHA 9/27; PCHR 9/28)

The IDF reopens the Erez crossing (shut on 2/9); fatally shoots a Palestinian shepherdess grazing sheep outside Wadi al-Silqa in central Gaza after she strays too close to the border fence; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Tulkarm and in al-Azza r.c, Askar r.c., Balata r.c., al-Bireh, Hebron, Nablus. Israel extends the administrative detention order of jailed Change and Reform PC mbr. Omar ‘Abd al-Razzaq for 8 days; he was detained in 12/05. Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron prevent Palestinians fr. traveling the Hebron–Qalqilya road. Jewish settlers fr. Tekoa settlement nr. Bethlehem chase off Palestinian farmers working their land nearby. (JAZ 2/13; IMEMC 2/15, PCHR 2/16)

The IDF fires on a “suspicious figure” nr. the Gaza border with Israel nr. Khan Yunis, killing a 9-yr.-old Palestinian girl; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron nr. Qalqilya throw stones at Palestinians, vandalize homes in nearby Kafr Laqif. Hamas, Fatah mbrs. scuffle in Ramallah over Hamas’s big election win there. (IMEMC, YA 1/26; HA, IMEMC, NYT, WP, WT 1/27; Voice of Palestine 1/27 in WNC 1/28; WP 1/29; PCHR 2/2)

The IDF conducts 11 air strikes and 6 mock air raids on n. Gaza (destroying a bridge nr. Bayt Hanun; hitting several main roads in Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, and Um al-Nasser; damaging several homes and injuring 6 Palestinian bystanders, including 3 children). Later, Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza towards Ashkelon, causing no damage or injuries; the IDF threatens to cut off electricity to the Gaza Strip if rocket attacks continue. The IDF also tightens restrictions on Palestinian movement into and out of Qalqilya; bars a Palestinian heart attack victim fr. crossing a checkpoint into Tulkarm (still under closure; see 12/15) to reach a hospital, allowing him to die; conducts arrest raids in Balata r.c. (an IDF dog bites a 12-yr.-old and a 19-yr.-old Palestinian), Bayt Umar nr. Hebron, al-Bireh, Tulkarm (targeting the AMB). In Alar nr. Tulkarm, 2 Palestinian construction workers surprise an IDF undercover unit inside an unfinished house; the soldiers detain and beat the men, fire on other Palestinians who arrive on the scene, call in reinforcements to extract them. An IDF jeep hits, injures a 10-yr.-old Palestinian nr. Qalqilya. Israel issues tenders for the construction of 137 new housing units in Ariel and Karnei Shomron settlements. Jewish settlers fr. Matan nr. Qalqilya raze 110 d. of nearby Palestinian agricultural land. (AP, BBC, HA 12/18; WT, XIN, YA 12/19; HA, PLO press release 12/21; PCHR 12/22)

Sharon is hospitalized after suffering a mild stroke. Doctors say there will be no permanent damage; he will not be at any greater risk of another stroke, will stay in the hospital for “a few days” of observation. (JTA, NYT, WP, WT 12/19; NYT, WP, YA 12/20)