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  • December 14, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort attempted to raid a school in al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya before they were repelled by Palestinians protecting the students. Israeli forces razed...

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  • December 13, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian man and injured 3 others during a late-night raid in Nablus, Israel claimed that explosives had been thrown at the Israeli forces as...

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  • July 23, 2013

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in al-Bireh and 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin at night. The raids in al-Bireh provoke clashes...

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  • March 22, 2013

    IDF forces shoot and injure 2 Palestinians during clashes in Anata nr. Jerusalem. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Hebron, in al-‘Arub r.c. and 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon; conducts...

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  • February 11, 2013

    U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Victoria Nuland says that Secy. of State John Kerry, appointed on 2/1, is working to try to free up almost $700 m. in aid for the PA held up in Congress. Separate...

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  • January 2, 2013

    Israel announces that the military has completed the main section of the 142-mi. Israel-Egypt border fence, a task that took 21=2 yrs. at a cost of around $377 m. PM Netanyahu, visiting the fence...

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  • April 24, 2012

    In an op-ed in the New York Times, former lead Israeli peace negotiator Gilead Sher, former Israeli Security Agency head Ami Ayalon, and Israeli entrepreneur Orni Petruschka (organizers of a new...

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  • January 17, 2012

    In Washington for talks with Pres. Obama, King Abdallah of Jordan tells reporters that he is convinced that Israel and the Palestinians are each making sincere efforts to find a way to jumpstart...

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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort attempted to raid a school in al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya before they were repelled by Palestinians protecting the students. Israeli forces razed agricultural lands in Birin, uprooting 120 olive and almond trees and demolishing 1 well in Khillat al-Furn. Israeli forces also raided Birzeit University, injuring 1 student with a rubber-coated bullet who was protesting the raid. 17 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Deir Abu Mash‘al, Deir Nidham, Kafr Ni‘ma, Bethlehem, al-Walaja, Sa‘ir, al-Shuyukh, Tarqumiyah, Tulkarm, Far‘un, and Kafr al-Labad; Israel also said that it had arrested 11 students of An-Najah University in Nablus, saying they were connected to a Hamas student network. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolished the foundations to a house in al-Tur and demolished 1 house near the Old City. 2 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Wadi al-Juz and Isawiya; Israeli forces confiscated 11,500 NIS ($7,300) during a raid in Sur Baher. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 6 nautical miles north of Rafah; no injuries were reported. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/14; PCHR 12/16)

Israeli Channel 13 reported that a group called Returning to the Mount are praying at the Haram al-Sharif compound by disguising themselves as Muslims while following Islamic practices of prayer, but reciting Jewish prayers. Channel 13 reported that members of the group meet to learn how to appear like Muslim worshippers. (MEMO, TOI 12/14)

The Palestinian prisoners’ club said Israeli prison guards assaulted at least 3 female prisoners in Damon prison when they refused to leave their cell. The 3 prisoners were also transferred to solitary confinement. (MEMO, WAFA 12/19; MEE, MEMO 12/20)

PA and U.S. officials held a virtual meeting discussing economic ties. The meeting was headed by PA economic affairs minister Khaled Osaily and acting assistant secretary of state for Near East Affairs Yael Lambert. (MEMO, WAFA 12/15; ALM 12/18)

Israel’s prime minister Naftali Bennett said settler violence is an “insignificant phenomena” in the West Bank, criticizing Israel’s public security minister Omer Bar-Lev, who on 12/13 brought up the issue in a meeting with U.S. state department undersecretary for political affairs Victoria Nuland. Prime Minister Bennett said that the settlers were the victims in the West Bank and needed the support of the Israeli government. Public Security Minister Bar-Lev subsequently reiterated his focus on settler violence during a trip to Hebron, saying that “it is truly difficult for some to look in the mirror” instead of tackling the issue of extremist settlers. (HA 12/14; HA 12/15; ALM 12/17)

Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on the UN Commission of Inquiry to investigate what HRW have found to be organized discriminatory behavior of Israeli law enforcement agencies when dealing with “Jewish ultra nationalist” and Palestinian citizens of Israel during the May 2021 civil unrest. HRW found that Israeli law enforcement used excessive force when dispersing Palestinians in Lydda while “failing to act even-handedly as Jewish ultra-nationalists attacked Palestinians.” (HRW, MEMO, WAFA 12/14)

Israel’s interior minister Ayelet Shaked announced that plans to construct the Trump Heights settlement in the Israeli occupied Golan Heights had advanced. The Trump Heights settlement, named after former U.S. president Donald Trump, will cover 70 acres. The announcement stated that construction of homes, public buildings, industrial zones, and roads can begin. (HA 12/14)

The Knesset passed the 1st reading of a bill that would allow Israeli police to conduct house raids in Israel without a court-issued warrant. An explanatory note to the bill clarified that the bill was intended for the Israeli police to use “in its battle against serious crime, and particularly serious crime in Arab society.” (Knesset 12/14; MEMO 12/15)

The officer of the Knesset granted the leader of United Arab List Mansour Abbas a security detail, as he was receiving a growing number of death threats. (MEMO 12/15)

The UAE said it had suspended talks with the U.S. on buying 50 F-35 fighter jets, citing “[t]echnical requirements, sovereign operational restrictions, and cost/benefit analysis.” The announcement follows U.S. concerns about the UAE’s relationship to China, including the UAE using Huawei 5G technology. The Trump administration had agreed to allow the UAE to purchase the F-35 fighter jets as part of the UAE’s and Israel’s normalization agreement. The UAE announced on 12/3, during a visit to the country by French president Emmanuel Macron, that it would buy 80 French-made Rafale fighter jets and 12 military helicopters. (AJ 12/3; AJ, AP, HA, MEMO, REU 12/14; REU, REU 12/15)

18 Democratic members of U.S. Congress wrote a letter to the Treasury and State Departments asking them to put sanctions on 4 foreign surveillance companies, including the Israeli NSO Group, citing the companies’ assistance in human rights abuses. Among the signatories were Senate finance committee chairperson Ron Wyden (D-OR) and House intelligence committee chairperson Adam Schiff (D-CA). (AJ, HA, MEMO, REU 12/15; +972 12/17)

Italy contributed $2.25 million to UNRWA programming in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and $1.13 million to UNRWA programming in Syria. (WAFA 12/14)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian man and injured 3 others during a late-night raid in Nablus, Israel claimed that explosives had been thrown at the Israeli forces as they raided the city; no Israeli was injured during the raid; the PA condemned the killing. 23 Palestinians were arrested, including 1 at the Allenby Bridge and 22 during raids in Beitunia, Bayt Liqya, Ramallah, al-Bireh, al-Eizariya, Hebron, al-Arroub refugee camp, Qarawat Bani Hassan, Bidya, Ras al-Ain, Jamma‘in, and Qalqilya. In East Jerusalem, the Israeli municipality began razing land seized from 4 Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah, which served as a parking lot and car wash in preparation for construction of a settler park. 5 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in the Old City. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Beit Lahiya; no injuries were reported. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions and leveled land in the northern part of Gaza near the Gaza fence. Israeli forces also opened fire at Palestinian farmers working their lands east of Maghazi and Khuza‘a; no injuries were reported. (AJ, AP, HA, JP, MDW, MEE, MEMO, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/13; PCHR 12/16)

Haaretz reported that the Custodian General’s unit in the Israeli Justice Ministry is exploring plans to build 5 Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem: 1 in Sheikh Jarrah, 1 near the Damascus Gate, 1 in Sur Baher, 1 in Bayt Hanina, and 2 in Bayt Safafa. The Custodian General manages private property claimed by Israel to have unknown owners. Most of the properties managed by the Custodian General are in East Jerusalem. (HA, MEE 12/13)

The patriarchs and heads of local churches of Jerusalem released a statement warning that Israeli government is failing to protect the Christian community in Jerusalem from physical attacks by “radical groups” and groups trying to displace the Christian community from Jerusalem by acquiring “strategic property . . . using underhanded dealings and intimidation tactics to evict residents from their homes.” (TOI 12/19; BBC, HA, MEE 12/21)

Israel released the former leader of the northern branch Islamic Movement in Israel Sheikh Raed Salah after 17 months in prison for “incitement.” (MEMO 12/8; AJ, MEE, MEMO 12/13; MEMO 12/14)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas met with U.S. state department undersecretary for political affairs Victoria Nuland in Ramallah. (WAFA 12/13)

Israel’s prime minister Naftali Bennett met with UAE crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi. The 2 were said to have discussed Iran and building on the 2 countries’ normalization agreement. A joint statement later announced that the 2 countries had plans to establish a joint research and development fund. (AP, CNN, HA, MEMO, NYT, REU, REU 12/13; ALM, MEMO 12/14)

Israel’s public security minister Omer Bar-Lev told Undersecretary Victoria Nuland that he views settler violence “severely” and is taking action against it. Public Security Minister Bar-Lev’s comments drew the ire of Israeli politicians in his coalition and further right, who said that there is no issue with Israeli settler violence toward Palestinians. (HA 12/13; HA 12/16; ALM 12/17)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in al-Bireh and 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin at night. The raids in al-Bireh provoke clashes, in which 1 Palestinian is injured by rubber-coated metal bullets. (PCHR 7/25)

U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Jen Psaki says that Secy. of State John Kerry is finalizing his team for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, but does not confirm or deny reports that former amb. to Israel Martin Indyk had been chosen to head the team. (AFP 7/23)

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Cmte. approves the appointment of Pres. Barack Obama’s nominee for amb. to the UN, Samantha Power, by a vote of 16–2. The committee also approves Victoria Nuland as an asst. secy. of state for European and Eurasian affairs. (REU 7/23)

Supporters and opponents of ousted pres. Morsi clash in Cairo, killing 12 people and wounding 86. Meanwhile, an Egyptian police officer is shot and killed in the Sinai. (MNA, NYT 7/23)

IDF forces shoot and injure 2 Palestinians during clashes in Anata nr. Jerusalem. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Hebron, in al-‘Arub r.c. and 1 village nr. Hebron in the afternoon; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. IDF soldiers violently disperse Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals taking part in nonviolent demonstrations in multiple villages against the Israeli occupation and in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners. Protesters are dispersed in 5 villages nr. Ramallah (Abud, Bayt Laqiya, Bil‘in, alNabi Salih, Ni‘lin), al-Haraiek nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum), and at Ofer prison nr. Ramallah. There are no serious injuries, except in Abud (2 wounded) and in al-Haraiek (1 wounded). (MNA 3/22; PCHR 3/28)

U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Victoria Nuland says that the Obama admin. has unblocked almost $500 million in aid—including $200 million in direct budget support—to the PA, previously frozen by Congress in October 2011 as a response to the UN statehood bid (see QU 162). According to Nuland, the White House also notified Congress in late 2/2013 that it seeks a further $200 million to fund USAID projects for the Palestinians. In response, Palestinian Labor Minister Ahmad Majdalani says that the PA’s financial crisis is not over. (AFP 3/22; MNA 3/23)

Hamas authorities complain to Egypt about Israel’s 3/21 decision to restrict Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza. The government in Gaza also reportedly arrests 2 members of the Mujahidin Shura Council, which claimed responsibility for the 3/21 rocket attack on Israel. (ToI 3/22)

Under pressure from Pres. Obama to restore normal ties with Turkey, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu phones Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan to apologize for ‘‘mistakes made’’ during the IDF’s attack on a Gaza-bound flotilla in 2010, when 9 Turks (including one U.S. dual national) were killed aboard the Mavi Marmara (see QU 157). They agree to dispatch envoys to each other’s countries. After coordinating this diplomatic breakthrough, Pres. Obama leaves for Jordan. (NYT 3/23)

U.S. Pres. Barack Obama meets with Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Amman for talks primarily on the Syrian civil war and the refugee crisis. Pres. Obama pledges to work to supply Jordanian authorities with $200 million extra assistance to care for the estimated 460,000 Syrian refugees who have crossed the border seeking refuge. (REU 3/22)

Lebanese PM Najib Mikati resigns due to divisions within the government about elections later in the year and to protest the cabinet’s refusal to extend the tenure of the national police chief, a figure perceived by the Sunni community as sympathetic to their interests. (AP 3/22)

U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Victoria Nuland says that Secy. of State John Kerry, appointed on 2/1, is working to try to free up almost $700 m. in aid for the PA held up in Congress. Separate from that figure is an additional $100 m., which has been released but can only be used on anti-narcotics and law enforcement. (AFP 2/11)

Hamas says that the Egyptian army is flooding tunnels between the Gaza Strip and Sinai used for smuggling, and that there is a reinforced troop presence on the border. Meanwhile, Turkish media reports that Israel has agreed to allow Turkish trucks to bring building materials into Gaza for the construction of a hospital that will be opened by PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (HA 2/11)

Israeli NGO Peace Now says that Israel has given final approval to 90 new homes in Beit El settlement nr. Ramallah. (AFP 2/11)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF destroys 3 structures, including a home, in Bayt Awa village nr. Hebron. The demolitions prompt clashes with residents, and 1 Palestinian is injured from a tear-gas canister to the leg. The IDF patrols in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Tulkarm in the morning; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Bethlehem and nearby Aida r.c., Tulkarm, 2 villages nr. Hebron, and 1 village each nr. Nablus, Qalqilya, and Tulkarm at night. (MNA 2/11; PCHR 2/14)

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and West Bank start registering to vote in preparation for legislative and presidential elections, the dates for which have not been set. Once the process is completed, an election could theoretically be called for 3 mos. later. (REU 2/11)

Two Israeli companies sign an agreement to acquire a 30% stake in exploration rights for gas and oil off Cyprus’s s. shore to be carried out by U.S. company Noble Energy. Cypriot commerce min. Neoclis Sylikiotis says the deal marks a ‘‘new era of Cyprus-Israeli strategic cooperation.’’ (AFP 2/11)

Israel announces that the military has completed the main section of the 142-mi. Israel-Egypt border fence, a task that took 21=2 yrs. at a cost of around $377 m. PM Netanyahu, visiting the fence, says that ‘‘tens of thousands’’ of African migrants (‘‘infiltrators’’) will soon be forcibly repatriated. (ToI, AP 1/2)

U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Victoria Nuland says that the Obama admin. is urging Israeli and Palestinian leaders to resume direct talks in 2013 and halt ‘‘counter-productive unilateral actions.’’ (AFP 1/2)

Israeli newspaper Ha’Aretz reports that Israeli authorities have begun barring foreign nationals living and working in the West Bank from entering East Jerusalem and Israel by stamping their passports with ‘‘Judea and Samaria only.’’ Some of these people are Palestinians born in the West Bank, but whose residency status was rescinded by Israel pre1994 due to a prolonged stay abroad. (HA 2/1)

The IDF orders dozens of Palestinians in the Jordan Valley to leave their homes for the duration of military exercises. Bedouin communities say that these temporary evacuation orders have increased in frequency and that they are being pressured to permanently leave the area. (AP 1/2)

Elsewhere in the West Bank, Jewish settlers enter Jalud village nr. Nablus and clash with residents, injuring 4 Palestinians (including 1 child). Settlers also vandalize a mosque nr. Efrat settlement s. of Bethlehem. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. (AP 1/2; PCHR, PNN 1/3)

Following protests on 1/1, the PA announces that it will cancel outstanding electricity bill debts for every West Bank resident. Those being investigated for electricity theft will not be included in the deal. (MNA 1/2)

In an op-ed in the New York Times, former lead Israeli peace negotiator Gilead Sher, former Israeli Security Agency head Ami Ayalon, and Israeli entrepreneur Orni Petruschka (organizers of a new group called Blue White Future) argue that since serious Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are unlikely to resume soon, Israel should adopt a “radically new unilateral approach” (which they term “constructive unilateralism”): openly “strive . . . to establish facts on the ground” that would impose a 2-state solution based on 1967 borders with Israel’s desired land swaps “regardless of whether Palestinians leaders have agreed.” The proposed borders would be based on Israel’s separation wall. At the same time, Israel would cease settlement expansion in areas that it does not intend to keep and prepare a plan to relocate settlers (they estimate 100,000) from settlements that would fall under permanent Palestinian control. Relocation would not take place, and the IDF would remain deployed in the West Bank, until the Palestinians signed a formal final-status agreement recognizing Israel’s fait accomplis. They argue that the plan meshes well with the Palestinians’ own constructive unilateralism of late (i.e., Abbas’s mission to gain UN recognition of Palestinian statehood), since it would be easier for Israel to negotiate with the Palestinians state to state. (NYT 4/24)

Netanyahu’s special ministerial panel examining the future of 3 unauthorized West Bank settlement outposts legalizes the outposts of Bruchin (pop. 350) and Rachelim (pop. 240) in the north, and Sansanna (pop. 240) in the south, stating that “these communities were founded in the 1990s based on the decisions of a past government.” The panel also calls on the Israeli High Court to put off the 5/1/12 deadline to evacuate 30 homes in Ulpana outpost (constructed on private Palestinian land), which the government describes as a “neighborhood of Beit El” settlement. UN. Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-Moon calls the decision “illegal under international.” U.S. State Dept. spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says: “We don’t think this is helpful to the [peace] process, and we don’t accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity.” (Forward, HA, JTA 4/24; NYT, WP 4/25; WP 4/28)

Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. They surround and confiscate 1 boat, detaining 2 fishermen. In the West Bank, the IDF bulldozes a Palestinian barnyard nr. Bethlehem; conducts morning patrols in 4 villages nr. Ramallah (2 synchronized) and 1 nr. Jericho; afternoon patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin, Jericho, and Qalqilya; and late-night patrols in al-Bireh, 2 villages each nr. Qalqilya and Ramallah, and 1 nr. Jenin. Jewish settlers, escorted by IDF troops, enter Balata village nr. Nablus in the morning to pray at Joseph’s Tomb. (PCHR 4/26)

In Washington for talks with Pres. Obama, King Abdallah of Jordan tells reporters that he is convinced that Israel and the Palestinians are each making sincere efforts to find a way to jumpstart serious peace talks, but cautions there are serious obstacles to overcome and time is running out. Separately, State Dept. spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says that the U.S. knows that the 1/26/12 target date for restarting final status negotiations is “out there, [but] we do not want to see it be a rigid sort of straitjacket that chills the atmosphere.” In Israel, PM Netanyahu tells lawmakers in a closed mtg. that “the Palestinians have no interest in entering peace talks.” (WP 1/17)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Hanun fire warning shots at Palestinians and international activists staging a nonviolent march to the border fence to protest Israel’s imposition of a no-go zone; no injuries are reported. The IDF makes a late-night incursion into al-Shuka village in s. Gaza to arrest a mbr. of the Islamic Jihad’s al-Quds Brigade. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Tulkarm in the morning and afternoon; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Nablus. (WT 1/15; PCHR 1/19; OCHA 1/20).

Hamas officials announce that the movement’s leadership has decided to evacuate their families and most personnel fr. Syria in response to the deteriorating security situation; 3 senior officials (Musa Abu Marzuq, Muhammad Naser, and Izzat Rishiq) will remain in Damascus. Meanwhile, Hamas’s former rep. in London, Mustafa Lidawi, says that Hamas leader Mishal plans to retire as politburo head (a position he has held since 1996) when the organization holds elections in the coming months to allow “a fresh leader to steer Hamas towards a new strategy,” but other Hamas officials deny he has made a final decision. (Guardian, WT, al-Watan 1/18; NYT 1/30)

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) formally apologizes to Israel for allowing a Hamas mbr. to take part in a dialogue in Geneva (ca. 1/14) on Israel’s treatment of Palestinian prisoners as part of a Palestinian delegation and vows that Hamas mbrs. will be barred fr. future IPU events. Israel had threatened (1/16) to withdraw fr. the IPU in protest. The IPU is a nongovernmental organization with permanent observer status at the UN. It was formed in 1889 to arbitrate conflicts but has evolved into an organization that promotes democracy and interparliamentary dialogue. (JPI 1/27; see also AFP 1/16)

Israeli hackers bring down the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency and the Abu Dhabi Securities and Exchange websites, release the email addresses and passwords of 89 Saudi university students, and steal and threaten to release the Facebook login information for 30,000 account holders in Muslim countries in retaliation for the 1/16 denial of service attacks on the TASE and El Al and the 1/6 leak of Israeli credit card information. One of the Israeli hackers, Anonymous 972, issues a statement saying “Usually we do not like to hurt innocent sites, but there is now a cyber war, and every war has victims. . . . Every time an Israeli site get[s] hacked, the same thing will happen to Saudi sites.” The Israeli hacker who claims to have the Facebook information, Hannibal Hacker, also claims that he could publish bank account details of 10 million Arabs and the credit card details of 4 million Arabs if cyberattacks on Israel continue. (ZDNet 1/19; HackRead 1/25; JPI 1/27)