22 / 14824 Results
  • January 22, 2013

    srael holds parliamentary elections, dealing a significant setback to current PM Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu joint ticket. The next Knesset will be almost evenly split...

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  • December 27, 2012

    Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen 6 naut. mi. from the Gaza shore nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah in the...

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  • November 27, 2012

    An Israeli official tells the media that U.S.-Israeli efforts to soften the wording of the Palestinians’ resolution for the UNGA have failed, though reports indicate that the U.S. is still trying...

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  • November 22, 2012

    Israeli leaders defend the 11/21 Gaza cease-fire in the face of strong criticism from politicians like Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid and Kadima’s Shaul Mofaz, who believe that the operation had not...

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  • September 21, 2012

    Three unidentified gunmen enter Israel from the Egyptian Sinai nr. Mount Harif, where Israel’s new border fence is currently under construction. They are killed in an exchange of gunfire with IDF...

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  • July 17, 2012

    The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm (synchronized) and 1 nr. Ramallah during the day; patrols in Jenin, Jericho and 2 villages nr. Jericho and Ramallah late at night; and conducts late-night...

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  • July 2, 2012

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announces plans for a 2-day visit to Israel before he formally accepts the Republican nomination. He plans to meet with Israeli PM Netanyahu, PA PM...

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  • June 20, 2012

    Kadima head Shaul Mofaz arrives in Washington for his 1st official visit as Israel’s vice PM in charge of overseeing peace process issues. He meets with U.S. secy. of state Hillary Clinton and U.S...

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  • May 7, 2012

    Hours before the Knesset is set to vote on whether to hold early elections, Israeli PM Netanyahu and opposition leader, Kadima party head Shaul Mofaz, make the surprise announcement that Kadima...

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  • May 6, 2012

    At the annual Likud party convention in Tel Aviv, Israeli PM Netanyahu expresses support for holding early elections in 9/2012, stating that waiting until scheduled elections in 10/2013 could “...

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  • March 27, 2012

    No Israeli-Palestinian violence is reported. OCHA reports, however, that in the previous week, 2 Palestinian children were injured when they accidentally triggered unexploded IDF ordnance while...

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  • February 20, 2009

    Palestinians detonate a roadside bomb nr. the Gaza border fence, sparking an exchange of gunfire with the IDF that leaves 2 armed Palestinians dead. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover...

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  • February 12, 2009

    Final Israeli election results are posted, showing Kadima maintaining a 1-seat lead over Likud. The close race means that Kadima’s Livni and Likud’s Netanyahu will have to compete to form a...

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  • February 10, 2009

    Israeli elections are held but results are too close to call; late returns show Kadima with a thin lead over Likud (28 seats to 27), and both Kadima’s Livni and Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu declare...

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  • October 26, 2008

    A week ahead of her deadline to form a government, Kadima party head and acting Israeli FM Tzipi Livni, with powersharing deals with the Labor and Meretz parties already drafted, unexpectedly...

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  • September 17, 2008

    Israeli FM Tzipi Livni narrowly wins Kadima party elections to replace Ehud Olmert as party head. Olmert, Israel’s current PM, called for party elections on 6/11/08, after government investigators...

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  • July 30, 2008

    Amid investigations into his criminal wrongdoing, Olmert announces that he will not run in the Kadima party elections, now set for 9/17, and will resign as PM as soon as the party picks a new...

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  • June 11, 2008

    Overnight, the IDF sends troops, bulldozers into al-Qarara, raiding and occupying several homes, bulldozing 150 d. of agricultural land and 1 Palestinian home, damaging 2 mosques, detaining and...

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  • May 4, 2006

    The IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian taxi driver who stops to wait for a passenger nr. a sand barrier set up by the IDF nr. a checkpoint outside Nablus; sends undercover units in cars with...

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  • March 28, 2006

    Israel closes all Gaza crossing into Israel, reimposing the full seal on the territories (set on 3/11) for parliamentary elections; sends troops into al-Fawwar r.c. to conduct arrest raids and...

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  • January 4, 2006

    Sharon suffers a massive stroke. Sharon, who was expected to win a 3d term in the 3/06 elections at the head of his new Kadima party, is not expected to return to politics, throwing the elections...

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  • November 21, 2005

    The IDF bulldozes 2 Palestinian homes in Anata nr. Jerusalem, conducts arrest raids, house searches in Dahaysha r.c. The Israeli Housing Min. approves plans for 350 new housing units in Ma’ale...

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srael holds parliamentary elections, dealing a significant setback to current PM Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu joint ticket. The next Knesset will be almost evenly split between the right-wing/religious bloc and centrist/center-left blocs, with the headlines dominated by the rise of centrist party Yesh Atid (‘‘There Is a Future’’) and its leader Yair Lapid. The final tally gives 31 seats to Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu, 19 to Yesh Atid, 15 to a resurgent Labor party, 12 to Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home, 11 to Shas, 7 to United Torah Judaism, 6 each to Meretz and Tzipi Livni’s party Hatnuah, 4 each to United Arab List and Hadash, 3 to Balad, and 2 to Kadima. Voter turnout overall is high, with the estimated turnout for Palestinian citizens of Israel at 56%, according to figures cited by Army Radio. At the end of the night, Netanyahu says that he sees ‘‘many partners’’ for his ‘‘goals’’ and will seek to assemble ‘‘the broadest’’ coalition possible. (REU, AP 1/22; JP 1/23; JP 1/24)

British foreign secretary William Hague warns that it is almost the last chance to bring about a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and condemns Israeli settlement construction. (REU 1/22)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers begin work to expand Halamish settlement nr. Ramallah. The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in al-Bireh at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and 1 village each nr. East Jerusalem and Ramallah at night. (MNA, WAFA 1/22; PCHR 1/23)

Malaysia’s PM Najib Razak visits the Gaza Strip via the Rafah crossing. Pres. Abbas criticizes the visit as enhancing the Fatah-Hamas division. (MNA, NYT 1/22) 

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate and the PLO’s Information and Culture Department condemn today’s arrest of journalists in the Gaza Strip by Hamas authorities. Most of those detained are affiliated with Fatah. (JP 1/22)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen 6 naut. mi. from the Gaza shore nr. al-Waha, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning, in 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Ramallah in the afternoon, and in 1 village nr. Jericho, 2 villages nr. Hebron, and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Bethlehem at night. Jewish settlers uproot 40 olive trees in Qusra village nr. Nablus. (MNA 12/27; PCHR 1/3)

PA pres. Abbas tells Israeli newspaper Ha’Aretz that if both settlement construction and the diplomatic stalemate continue after the forthcoming Israeli elections, he will dismantle the PA. He also says that Israel has reduced security cooperation with the PA since the UN vote in 11/2012. Abbas says he does not intend to bring charges against Israel at the ICC in The Hague, at least ‘‘as long as there are diplomatic negotiations.’’ Meanwhile, UK min. for the Middle East Alistair Burt condemns Israel’s plans to expand settlements in East Jerusalem and its official recognition of Ariel University Center as a university in unusually strong terms that refer to the Geneva Conventions. (HA, ToI 12/27)

Kadima chair Shaul Mofaz warns that Israel might be on the brink of a 3d intifada. Israeli media report an increasing number of small-scale clashes between Palestinians and the IDF in different locations throughout the West Bank since the end of Operation Pillar of Defense, including stone-throwing Palestinians attacking Israeli vehicles and IDF troops. (ToI 12/27)

Hamas issues an order banning Palestinian journalists in the Gaza Strip from working with or giving interviews to the Israeli media, and instructs government officials similarly. Meanwhile, Fatah cancels its anniversary celebrations in Gaza, citing Hamas’s refusal to agree to their proposed locations for the event. (Guardian, MNA 12/27)

In Syria, 4 Palestinians are killed when Syrian government forces shell Yarmuk r.c. nr. Damascus, the 1st attack of its kind since the rocketing of the camp on 12/16 that killed at least 25 people. (NYT 12/27; MNA 12/28)

An Israeli official tells the media that U.S.-Israeli efforts to soften the wording of the Palestinians’ resolution for the UNGA have failed, though reports indicate that the U.S. is still trying to convince key countries not to support it. Other reports suggest that the UK will back the bid if Abbas agrees not to use the upgrade to take Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague. France says it will vote in favor. (Guardian, HA, JP, REU 11/27)

Investigators exhume the remains of Yasser Arafat in Ramallah in order to seek possible traces of poison. A Palestinian medical team worked with Swiss, French, and Russian forensic teams, before the tomb is resealed. French magistrates opened a murder inquiry into Arafat’s death in August, following findings by a Swiss institute of high levels of polonium on Arafat’s clothing supplied by his widow Suha, as part of an Al Jazeera investigation. (AFP, REU 11/27)

Former Israeli FM Tzipi Livni announces that she is leaving the Kadima party and will run in the forthcoming elections as the head of a new party, Hatnua. A handful of Kadima MKs resign from the party and are expected to join her new party. (YA 11/27)

In Gaza, a Fatah delegation joins Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh for a ceremony to honor families bereaved in Operation Pillar of Defense. Meanwhile, Palestinian factions hold a meeting in Gaza Strip and agree to hold a joint rally raising Palestinian flags to support the UN bid. (MNA 11/27)

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF opens fire on farmers and civilians nr. Jabalya at the border fence, causing no injuries. The IDF opens fire nr. Rafah at Palestinians nr. the border, wounding 1. The IDF also fires warning shots at Palestinians collecting scrap metal nr. Bayt Hanun, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin, and conducts house searches and arrest raids in Tulkarm at night. Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails launch a 1-day hunger strike in solidarity with long-term hunger strikers Ayman Sharawna and Samer Issawi. (MNA 11/27; PCHR 11/29)

Israeli leaders defend the 11/21 Gaza cease-fire in the face of strong criticism from politicians like Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid and Kadima’s Shaul Mofaz, who believe that the operation had not successfully restored ‘‘deterrence.’’ DM Barak asserts that ‘‘it is still not time to enter Gaza in a very wide operation and conquer it.’’ Barak also reveals that Israel dropped 1,000 times as many explosives on the Gaza Strip as landed on its soil. FM Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) states that Israel will ‘‘eventually need to overthrow the Hamas regime.’’ (INN, JP, REU, YA 11/22)

In Gaza, Palestinian factions organize a major rally in Gaza City to celebrate the cease-fire and call for national reconciliation. On a rare visit to Gaza since the Hamas takeover in 2007, Fatah Central Comm. mbr. Nabil Shaath tells the crowds that Israel failed to isolate them from the West Bank. PM Ismail Haniyeh tells the rally that the ‘‘resistance fighters changed the rules of the game’’ but that the fighters should ‘‘guard’’ the truce ‘‘as long as Israel respects it.’’ (AP, MNA 11/22)

Meanwhile, the toll of Operation Pillar of Defense continues to climb: an Israeli soldier dies from injuries sustained by a Palestinian rocket attack during the operation, becoming the 2d soldier and 6th Israeli to die in the fighting. In the Gaza Strip, rescue workers pull the bodies of 2 more Palestinians from the rubble of the Dalou family home (bombed on 11/18), raising the Palestinian toll to 160. Though the ceasefire generally continues to hold, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians who protest at the border fence nr. Khan Yunis, injuring 1 man. (AP, MNA 11/22; PCHR 11/29)

In the West Bank, Israeli authorities transfer 30 Palestinian prisoners to administrative detention, apparently because of their involvement in solidarity events for Gaza. (MNA 11/22)

The IDF patrols in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Tulkarm in the afternoon; conducts house searches and arrests in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning and in Qalqilya, al-Bireh, Balata r.c. nr. Nablus, 3 villages nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Jenin, 1 village nr. Qalqilya, 1 village nr. Tulkarm, Nur Shams r.c. nr. Tulkarm, 1 village nr. Ramallah, and Bethlehem, 4 nearby villages, and Dahaysha r.c. and al-Azza r.c. (both nr. Bethlehem) at night. Those detained overnight include at least 5 mbrs. of the Palestinian parliament affiliated with Hamas. Right-wing Jewish extremists chop down 300 olive trees belonging to Palestinians nr. Hebron, leaving graffiti nearby reading ‘‘price tag’’ and ‘‘regards from Beersheba and Tel Aviv.’’ (MNA 11/22; MNA, ToI 11/23; PCHR 11/29)

The European Parliament passes a resolution expressing support for ‘‘Palestine’s bid to become a UN nonmember observer.’’ (EJP 11/22)

The Lebanese army disables a rocket aimed at Israel and say 2 others were fired but fell short of the border. No group claims responsibility. (REU 11/22)

Three unidentified gunmen enter Israel from the Egyptian Sinai nr. Mount Harif, where Israel’s new border fence is currently under construction. They are killed in an exchange of gunfire with IDF soldiers that also leaves 1 IDF soldier dead. (HA, MNA, REU 9/21)

Palestinian protesters angered at the EU’s policies toward Israel and Palestine demonstrate under the banner of ‘‘Palestinians for Dignity’’ outside the Ramallah offices of the European mission training Palestinian police. (MNA 9/21)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village in Ramallah in the morning; conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Qalqilya and al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron in the morning; patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon; patrols in Hebron, 1 village nr. Jenin, and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron, 2 villages nr. Hebron, and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron. (PCHR 9/27)

Israel’s opposition leader MK Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) says that Israel will not attack Iranian nuclear sites this year and that the U.S. must take the lead in any attack on Iran. (MNA 9/21)

The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm (synchronized) and 1 nr. Ramallah during the day; patrols in Jenin, Jericho and 2 villages nr. Jericho and Ramallah late at night; and conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. Hamas authorities in Gaza hang 3 Palestinian prisoners (all convicted of murder in 2004, 2009, and 2010). (PCHR 7/19; OCHA 7/20)

The Knesset education comm. votes to grant full university status to an academic center in Ariel settlement, deep in the West Bank, making it the first accredited Israeli university in occupied Palestinian territory. The decision comes as Palestinian medical students from al-Quds University in Abu Dis, just outside East Jerusalem, await a verdict on their appeal of a 2/2012 Israeli ruling that denied their request to be allowed to sit for Israeli exams that would certify them to practice in East Jerusalem or Israel. The Israeli government had denied the students permission to sit for the exams on the grounds that al-Quds was not an accredited Israeli university and could not gain accreditation because it was a Palestinian entity located in the West Bank. When they then sought permission to take the tests as foreigners, the Israeli court denied permission on the grounds that al-Quds could not be considered a foreign university, since it also has a campus in East Jerusalem. There has long been a shortage of doctors to treat Palestinians in East Jerusalem, where most Palestinian doctors are forced to work without licenses. (HA 2/13/12)

After 2 weeks of unsuccessful efforts to draft plans that would integrate ultraOrthodox Jews and Palestinian citizens of Israel into the Israeli military, Kadima head Shaul Mofaz quits PM Netanyahu’s governing coalition; Netanyahu does not try to dissuade him. Analysts believed the decision (e.g., NYT 7/19) hurts both Kadima and Likud, and might hasten early elections. (NYT 7/18, 7/19)

Fmr. Israeli government attorney David Scharia is named the UNSC’s chief counterterrorism lawyer, marking the first time that an Israeli has been appointed to a security post within the UN Secretariat. (WP 7/18)

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announces plans for a 2-day visit to Israel before he formally accepts the Republican nomination. He plans to meet with Israeli PM Netanyahu, PA PM Salam Fayyad, U.S. amb. to Israel Daniel Shapiro, and leaders of Israel’s Labor party. He has visited Israel 3 times previously, most recently in 1/2011. (NYT, WP 7/3)

An Israeli drone makes a predawn air strike on a Palestinian rocket-firing team nr. Dayr al-Balah, missing them and causing no injuries, but damaging 2 homes. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya during the day; raids and searches a Palestinian home nr. Jenin in the afternoon; and conducts latenight arrest raids, house searches in Tulkarm, and nr. Bethlehem and Qalqilya. (PCHR 7/5; OCHA 7/13)

Hamas authorities suspend the CEC’s work a day before voter registration is scheduled to open across Gaza, accusing Fatah authorities of having intimidated Hamas supporters in the West Bank to keep them from registering there. Fatah spokesman Fayiz Abu Aita calls the Hamas action a ‘‘suspension of the reconciliation process.’’ (NYT 7/3)

In Israel, public debate intensifies regarding a 2/2012 High Court decision to order the 2002 Tal Law, exempting ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students from military service, to expire on 7/31 and to move toward a universal draft. Fearing a coalition split over the issue, Israeli PM Netanyahu disbands a committee he had charged with forming the new policy on national military service. Instead, he orders the leaders of the parties in his coalition to draft the policy proposal, stating that if no agreement can be reached by 7/31, he will instruct the IDF to ‘‘draft according to its needs’’ but take ‘‘into consideration the various publics so as to prevent a rift in the nation.’’ Kadima head Mofaz, who joined the coalition based on a pledge by Netanyahu to move toward a universal draft, calls the move a ‘‘crass’’ violation of their coalition agreement. (NYT 7/3; WT 7/4; WP 7/5)

Kadima head Shaul Mofaz arrives in Washington for his 1st official visit as Israel’s vice PM in charge of overseeing peace process issues. He meets with U.S. secy. of state Hillary Clinton and U.S. security officials and urges the U.S. to support reviving peace talks with the Palestinians, stating that the greatest threat to Israel is not Iran but a Palestinian demographic majority. He presents his own peace plan (1st unveiled in 2009 and not endorsed by Netanyahu), which calls for the creation of an interim Palestinian state with temporary borders on 60% of the West Bank, land swaps making up for the other 40%, and Israel’s permanent control over most settlement areas. (WP 6/20)

Israeli drones and warplanes carry out another 5 air strikes across Gaza, leaving at least 2 armed Palestinians and 1 Palestinian child dead and 10 Palestinians (2 armed, 8 civilian) wounded. The strikes include (1) an air strike on Gaza City targeting 2 members of the Salafist Tawhid and Jihad (TAJ) group whom Israel now alleges were involved in the 6/18 attack on Israel from the Sinai (1 TAJ member is killed, 1 is wounded; a family picnicking nearby is also hit, leaving a 13-yr.-old Palestinian boy dead, and 4 mbrs. of his family, including 3 children, seriously injured); (2) 2 missiles fired at a rocket-launching team in Rafah (1 armed Palestinian killed, 1 wounded); (3) air strikes on 2 IQB training camps in Jabaliya r.c. and Nussayrat r.c. (injuring 5 bystanders in nearby homes). Meanwhile, Palestinians fire more rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, damaging a house but causing no injuries. Since 6/17, Israel has carried out at least 17 air strikes on Gaza, and Palestinians have fired more than 100 rockets and mortars. By late evening, Hamas officials in Gaza say that Gaza’s factions have agreed to an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire with Israel to end 3 days of cross-border violence. In addition, Israeli naval vessels fire on and detain 3 Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza shore, questioning 6 fishermen (all released on 6/21). In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Salfit, and nr. Hebron and Jenin; conducts late-night patrols in Jericho. (YA 6/20; NYT, PCHR, WP 6/21; PCHR 6/28; OCHA 6/29)

Overnight, the YESHA settlers’ council reaches a deal with the Israeli government to peacefully evacuate Ulpana outpost in exchange for a promises that 300 new housing units will be built in neighboring Beit El settlement and that the deal would not be used as a precedent for deciding the fate of other unauthorized settlement outposts. Meanwhile, some 1,000 Israeli police officers undergo special training to prevent violence and injuries during the Ulpana evacuation. (NYT 6/20)

Several U.S. representatives from both parties testifying before the House Armed Services Comm. recommend that the Pentagon begin preparing for military action against Iran, including expediting deployment of bunker-busting munitions that could target Iran’s underground facilities. (WP 6/21)

Hours before the Knesset is set to vote on whether to hold early elections, Israeli PM Netanyahu and opposition leader, Kadima party head Shaul Mofaz, make the surprise announcement that Kadima has agreed to join the governing coalition and that they will form a new unity government rather than send the country to early elections (see 5/6/12). The deal is contingent on meet 3 Kadima demands: (1) that Mofaz becomes a vice PM and “special minister in charge of the process with the Palestinians” (already agreed by Netanyahu); (2) that the Knesset passes legislation requiring all Israeli citizens including the ultra-Orthodox to perform military service if they are to receive government benefits; and (3) that unspecified elections reforms are enacted. With Kadima’s 28 Knesset seats, the coalition deal gives Netanyahu control of 94 of 120 seats in parliament and leaves no single faction in a position to topple the government. The deal is also a benefit to Netanyahu from the standpoint that he can keep Barak, a strong ally on the Iran issue, as DM. Kadima is seen (e.g., NYT 5/9) as being “given a life-line.” (NYT, WP 5/8; NYT, WP 5/9; WJW 5/10; JPI 5/18)

Israel’s High Court rejects appeals for the release of Islamic Jihad administrative detainees Diab and Halahleh, who have been on hunger strike for 69 days. The High Court also issues a ruling affirming the legal purchase by Jewish settlers of a Palestinian home in Jerusalem’s Old City, ordering the Palestinian family to vacate; and ruling ordering a Palestinian to vacate his shop in the Old City, ruling it is a historic Jewish property. A lower court in Jerusalem rules that Jewish settlers legally purchased a house in Shaykh Jarrah, East Jerusalem, ordering the Palestinian residents to vacate. (NYT 5/8)

The IDF raids the offices of the Palestinian People’s Party and the Public Comm. against the Annexation Wall in al-Bireh, confiscating computers, cameras, files, and photos. The IDF also conducts daytime patrols in Kafr Qaddum and 1 nearby village; conducts late-night patrols, arrest raids, and house searches in and around Tulkarm (rearresting 1 Palestinian released during the recent prisoner swap that freed captured IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit). (PCHR 5/10; OCHA 5/11)

At the annual Likud party convention in Tel Aviv, Israeli PM Netanyahu expresses support for holding early elections in 9/2012, stating that waiting until scheduled elections in 10/2013 could “damage the state,” but he does not official call for early elections, as many had expected. Polls show that Netanyahu would likely win by a large margin and gain the leeway to form a more supportive and stable ruling coalition, leading some analysts to speculate (see NYT, WP 5/7) that a strong 9/2012 victory might embolden Netanyahu to stage an Israeli pre-emptive strike on Iran before U.S. presidential elections in 11/2012. The polls also indicate that the big losers in an early election would be DM Ehud Barak’s Independence party (likely to lose its 1 Knesset seat and control of the Defense Min. portfolio) and the opposition party Kadima (likely to lose half of its 28 seats).NYT, WP 5/7; NYT 5/9)

The IDF makes a brief incursion into the border area e. of al-Maghazi r.c. in c. Gaza, arresting 2 Palestinians who were attempting to cross into Israel to search for jobs. Israeli naval vessels twice fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the s. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts daytime patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 each nr. Jenin and Qalqilya; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Tubas; and conducts late-night patrols in Bayt Umar, Qalqilya, Tulkarm and 1 nearby village. (PCHR 5/10; OCHA 5/11)

No Israeli-Palestinian violence is reported. OCHA reports, however, that in the previous week, 2 Palestinian children were injured when they accidentally triggered unexploded IDF ordnance while playing nr. Gaza City (different from those injured on 3/20). (PCHR 3/29; OCHA 3/30)

Israel’s centrist Kadima party replaces Tzipi Livni as leader, giving the post to fmr. IDF chief of staff Shaul Mofaz. (NYT 3/28)

Some 700 mbrs. of the critically pro-Israel lobbying group J Street spend the day lobbying Capitol Hill against a military strike on Iran. The advocacy day is part of J Street’s annual conference, which this yr. drew 2,500 participants. The conference itself, in addition to focusing on lobbying against a strike on Iran, stressed the importance of supporting a 2-state solution and settlement expansion as undermining peace. (NYT 3/28; WJW 3/29)

Palestinians detonate a roadside bomb nr. the Gaza border fence, sparking an exchange of gunfire with the IDF that leaves 2 armed Palestinians dead. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units in a car with Palestinian license plates into Qabatya nr. Jenin to arrest a Palestinian; enters Bayt Umar village nr. Hebron to chase several stone-throwing youths, raiding 2 homes and a store, occupying rooftops, and firing on residential areas, wounding 1 Palestinian, arresting 2; fires live ammunition, rubbercoated steel bullets, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists taking part in a nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Ni‘lin (injuring 9); fires live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, percussion grenades at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists, some of whom throw stones at IDF troops, taking part in a demonstration against the separation wall in Bil‘in (10s suffer tear gas inhalation); uproots 70 olive seedlings on a Palestinian plot nr. Efrat settlement nr. Bethlehem; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in al-Fara‘a r.c. nr. Tubas, nr. Bethlehem and Jenin. (OCHA 2/24, 2/25; PCHR 2/26)

After nearly 2 wks. of consultations with top 2/10/08 election vote-getters Tzipi Livni (Kadima) and Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud), Israeli pres. Shimon Peres taps Netanyahu to form a government. Netanyahu quickly opens coalition talks with various parties. (IFM 2/20; NYT, WP 2/21; WP 2/23; NYT 2/24)

Final Israeli election results are posted, showing Kadima maintaining a 1-seat lead over Likud. The close race means that Kadima’s Livni and Likud’s Netanyahu will have to compete to form a governing coalition. (al-Ahram, AY, IHY, JP, Jordan Times, MA, MM, NHR, QA, al-Ra’i, YA, 2/12; NYT, WP 2/13)

During the day, the IDF makes an air strike on a lumber store in Gaza’s Jabaliya r.c., destroying it, heavily damaging 20 other stores, wounding 11 Palestinians (including 5 children ages 1–6). Late in the evening, an IDF drone fires on 2 PRC mbrs. riding a motorcycle nr. Khan Yunis, assassinating PRC mbr. Ali al-Qidra, wounding a 2d PRC mbr. Israel allows 109 truckloads of humanitarian aid and commercial goods into Gaza, as well as a limited amount of fuel for Gaza’s power plant. In addition, Israel permits Gazans to export 25,000 carnations to Europe via the Kerem Shalom crossing and Ben-Gurion Airport, marking the 1st permitted exports in nearly a yr. The IDF says no further Gazan exports are planned, though the situation will be reviewed periodically. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Qabatya and nr. Hebron, Ramallah, Salfit. (WP 2/13; PCHR 2/19)

Israeli elections are held but results are too close to call; late returns show Kadima with a thin lead over Likud (28 seats to 27), and both Kadima’s Livni and Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu declare victory. Overall distribution of Knesset seats shows a dramatic shift to the Right. (AP, AYM, HA, HJ, MA, MM, REU 2/10; DUS, HA, HJ, IHY, JP, MA, MM, NYT, QA, WP, WT, YA 2/11; WP 2/12; WT 2/13)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire on a group of international activists searching for the body of 1 Islamic Jihad mbr. killed on 2/8 (the other body was retrieved on 2/8), causing no injuries; the IDF eventually allows the body to be retrieved. In the West Bank, the IDF searches homes in Tarama village s. of Hebron, uproots trees fr. a plot of Palestinian land with the intention of annexing it to an adjacent IDF post; conducts a midday patrol in the al-Udaysiyya area nr. Hebron, arresting 4 children (ages 14–16) for throwing stones at them; makes a late-night raid on a pool hall in Kafr Ra’i, interrogating patrons but making no arrests. (NYT, WT 2/11; PCHR 2/12)

A week ahead of her deadline to form a government, Kadima party head and acting Israeli FM Tzipi Livni, with powersharing deals with the Labor and Meretz parties already drafted, unexpectedly informs Israeli pres. Shimon Peres that she cannot form a coalition. She blames other Israeli parties for making unreasonable political and economic demands, stating that she was unwilling to compromise her priciples to form a government (see Quarterly Update). (NYT, WP 10/26; WP 10/27)

Overnight, the IDF, Israeli police, and border police evacuate Jewish settlers fr. the unauthorized settlement outpost of Federman Farm in Hebron, sparking violent clashes with the settlers in which 1 policeman is seriously injured, 2 settler girls attempt to burn police vehicles, and settlers rampage through Palestinian areas, slashing the tires of 22 cars and vandalizing a Muslim cemetery. In interviews with the press afterward, Jewish settlers call for retributive attacks on the Israeli security forces. During the day, Jewish settlers fr. Harsina settlement in Hebron attack, vandalize, attempt to occupy a Palestinian home and land adjacent to the settlement; Jewish settlers vandalize Palestinian cars in Hizma village nr. Jerusalem; and 10 masked settlers attack IDF soldiers guarding Palestinians harvesting olives nr. Otniel settlement nr. Hebron, injuring 1 soldier. At the weekly Israeli cabinet meeting, Olmert warns that the government “will show no tolerance toward such expressions and actions,” while Shin Bet security chief Yuval Diskin states that he is “very concerned” that right-wing settler groups might try to assassinate pro-peace politicians. Meanwhile, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus and nr. Bethlehem. (IFM 10/26; NYT 10/27; OCHA 10/29; PCHR, WJW 10/30; WP 11/2)

Israeli FM Tzipi Livni narrowly wins Kadima party elections to replace Ehud Olmert as party head. Olmert, Israel’s current PM, called for party elections on 6/11/08, after government investigators turned up serious new evidence of his financial impropriety (see Quarterly Update in JPS 149). He vowed to resign as PM formally once a new party head was elected. (NYT 9/17; HA, NYT, WP, WT 9/18)

Israel reopens Gaza’s Kerem Shalom crossing for limited imports of humanitarian goods and the Nahal Oz crossing for limited fuel (see 9/14). In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, international peace activists taking part in a nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Ni‘lin, injuring 6; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, in Azariyya nr. Jerusalem and al-Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah, and nr. Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar burn Palestinian olive trees nr. Nablus. (PCHR 9/18; OCHA 9/24; PCHR 9/25; AIC 11/9)

Amid investigations into his criminal wrongdoing, Olmert announces that he will not run in the Kadima party elections, now set for 9/17, and will resign as PM as soon as the party picks a new leader. (HA, REU 7/30; NYT, WP, WT 7/31)

Israeli, Palestinian negotiators arrive in Washington for talks under U.S. auspices (see 6/24). (MM 7/30; WP 7/31)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts daytime arrest raids, house searches nr. Nablus and similar late-night operations nr. Nablus and Salfit, and in and around Hebron, Jenin town and r.c., Tubas; sends undercover units in a car with Palestinian license plates into Burqin to abduct a wanted Islamic Jihad mbr.; fires on the funeral for the 11-yr.-old Palestinian boy killed in Ni‘lin on 7/29, leaving 1 Palestinian teenager brain dead, wounding 7 others; takes up positions in Anabta nr. Tulkarm, fires on residential areas, then fires on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront them, wounding 1 Palestinian. (WP 7/31; OCHA 8/6; PCHR 8/7)

Overnight, the IDF sends troops, bulldozers into al-Qarara, raiding and occupying several homes, bulldozing 150 d. of agricultural land and 1 Palestinian home, damaging 2 mosques, detaining and interrogating 11 Palestinians; during the operation, the IDF fires tank shells at armed Palestinians approaching the area, killing an 8-yr.-old Palestinian girl and 2 Hamas mbrs., wounding the girl’s mother and a 3-yr.-old boy. An IDF helicopter fires on an IQB post in Jabaliya r.c., killing a 65-yr.-old Palestinian man in a shop nearby, wounding his 5-yr.-old granddaughter. Palestinians fire 3 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, lightly injuring 1 Israeli. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin town and r.c., in Nablus. The IDF also demolishes 3 Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, displacing 25 Palestinians (including 18 children). Palestinian youths throw stones at IDF settler vehicles nr. Ramallah and East Jerusalem, causing no injuries. In Gaza’s Nussayrat r.c., a bomb explodes outside a Hamas activist’s home, causing damage but no injuries. (PCHR, WP 6/12; OCHA 6/18; PCHR 6/19)

Olmert authorizes his Kadima party to begin preparations for party primaries as early as late summer 2008 in effort to deter the Labor party fr. calling a no-confidence vote over the latest corruption charges against him, a move that could collapse the government and force new elections. (HA 6/11; MM, WP 6/12)

The IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian taxi driver who stops to wait for a passenger nr. a sand barrier set up by the IDF nr. a checkpoint outside Nablus; sends undercover units in cars with Palestinian license plates into Azun and Hebron to arrest wanted Palestinians; also conducts arrest raids in Balata r.c. (exchanging fire with Palestinian gunmen, leaving 3 wounded), Bayt Jala, Nablus, Yatta. Palestinians fire 6 rockets fr. s. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. A Jewish settler fr. Kiryat Arba injures a 3- yr.old Palestinian in a deliberate hit and run in Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Ramat Yishai throw bottles, stones at Palestinian children (ages 7–12) playing nearby. (WP 5/6; PCHR 5/11)

The Knesset approves, swears in PM Ehud Olmert’s new cabinet, including Vice PM and FM Tzipi Livni (Kadima), DM Amir Peretz (Labor). The new coalition controls 67 of 120 parliamentary seats, with Kadima holding 29 seats, Labor 19, the ultra-Orthodox Shas 12, the Pensioners Party 7. (MM 5/4; MM, WP, WT 5/5)

Israel closes all Gaza crossing into Israel, reimposing the full seal on the territories (set on 3/11) for parliamentary elections; sends troops into al-Fawwar r.c. to conduct arrest raids and house searches, fires on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops, wounding 6; also conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron and in Bethlehem, Nablus, Tubas. Israeli security contractors guarding the separation wall nr. Jerusalem shoot, wound a Palestinian who strays too close to the wall. Islamic Jihad fires a Grad missile (an Eastern European rocket with a range greater than a Qassam but less than a Katyusha) fr. Gaza towards Ashkelon, which lands unexploded causing no damage or injuries. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba attack Palestinians, vandalize property in Hebron. Separately, Jewish settlers fr. Hebron attack Palestinian children on their way to school by a Palestinian road that passes near a settleronly bypass road. Inside Israel, 2 bedouin are killed in the Negev when they accidentally detonate an unexploded Palestinian rocket. (IMEMC, YA 3/28; VOP 3/28 in WNC 3/29; HA, MM, NYT, OCHA 3/29; PCHR 3/30; MM 4/7, 4/13, 4/21)

Israel holds parliamentary elections, with voter turnout at a relatively low 63%. The Kadima party, founded by Ariel Sharon and led by Ehud Olmert, wins 29 of the 120 Knesset seats (less than expected) compared to Labor with 19 seats, Likud (the biggest loser compared with its 38 seats last election) with 12, Shas with 12, Yisrael Beiteinu with 11, National Union–National Religious Party with 9, Pensioners’ Party with 7, United Torah Judaism with 6, Meretz with 5, and 3 Arab parties with a total of 10. (MM 3/28; HA, JP, MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/29; NYT, WT 3/30; WP 3/31; XIN, YA 4/3)

The PC approves (71–36, with 2 abstentions) the Hamas-led cabinet. (NYT 3/29; XIN 3/28 in WNC 3/29)

Sharon suffers a massive stroke. Sharon, who was expected to win a 3d term in the 3/06 elections at the head of his new Kadima party, is not expected to return to politics, throwing the elections into question. Political powers are transferred to Vice PM Ehud Olmert, Sharon’s close ally. (BBC, JTA 1/4; CSM, NYT, WP, WT 1/5; DS 1/6; CSM 1/9)

The IDF seals the West Bank, Gaza for the 4-day Muslim holiday of Id al-Adha; conducts predawn mock air raids over Gaza, breaking the sound barrier; raids a house in East Jerusalem, breaks up a mtg. being held by Change and Reform candidate Ahmad Attoun; bulldozes a Palestinian home nr. Bethlehem; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Jenin town and r.c. (firing on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront the troops, wounding 9), in and around Bethlehem, Ramallah, Tulkarm. In continued retaliation for the 1/2 killings (see 1/3), Islamic Jihad, the AMB fire 8 rockets fr. Gaza towards Ashkelon, Sederot, and the IDF base at the Erez crossing, causing no damage or injuries. IDF soldiers, Israeli police scuffle with Jewish settlers when serving them with notices that they must evacuate by 1/15 Palestinian-owned buildings they have occupied in the Hebron central market; 4 policemen are injured. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba vandalize Palestinian homes in Hebron, bar Palestinians fr. using a road linking the settlement to the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs; the IDF observes but does not intervene. About 40 armed AMB mbrs. occupy 4 PA government buildings in Gaza, fire on a police station to protest the 1/3 arrest of AMB leader Hams; other AMB mbrs. set burning barricades on the road to the Rafah crossing (barring all but medical cases fr. reaching the border), detonate an explosive device under the Rafah border wall (causing only minor damage). AMB mbrs. later steal 2 bulldozers, tear down a 15-ft stretch of the concrete Gaza border wall; as many as 1,000 Palestinians, some armed, overrun the Egyptian border guards, who fire in the air, call in reinforcements, declare the area a closed military zone, arrest around 100 Palestinians and injure 3; during the skirmish, some Palestinians set fire to an Egyptian armored vehicle, throw hand grenades and fire at the Egyptian contingent, leaving 2 Egyptian border guards dead and around 30 injured; Egypt closes the Rafah border until further notice. The PA says it will release Hams on 1/5 in response to the protests. PA police in Gaza City, fatally shoot a Hamas mbr. hanging campaign posters. Meanwhile, 5 armed Palestinians raid a Gaza house, attempt to kidnap the parents of Rachel Corrie, an American college student who was killed by the IDF in Gaza in 2003; the gunmen back off when the owners of the home explain who the Corries are. (IMEMC, JAZ, YA 1/4; AP, HA, IMEMC, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 1/5; HA, NYT 1/9; al-Ahram Weekly 1/10; PCHR 1/19; PLO Negotiation Affairs Dept. press release 1/23)

The IDF bulldozes 2 Palestinian homes in Anata nr. Jerusalem, conducts arrest raids, house searches in Dahaysha r.c. The Israeli Housing Min. approves plans for 350 new housing units in Ma’ale Adumim settlement. (IMEMC, PM 11/22)

After several days of mtgs. with advisers and Likud colleagues, Sharon asks Israeli pres. Moshe Katsav to dissolve parliament, announces his departure fr. Likud and plans to form a more moderate centrist Forward party (Kadima) to run in 2006 elections; 15 of Likud’s 40 MKs pledge to follow Sharon. (AP, BBC, JTA, NYT, REU, WP, WT 11/21; CSM, HA, WP 11/22; WP 11/25)