51 / 14704 Results
  • January 4, 2013

    PA pres. Abbas’s legal adviser Hassan al-Ouri says that the PA’s financial crisis may prevent it from joining several international and UN institutions. (MNA 1/4)

    In the West Bank, the IDF...

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  • August 18, 2011

    Unidentified assailants armed with heavy weapons and explosives enter s. Israel fr. the Egyptian Sinai and stage coordinated attacks on a bus, several cars, and an IDF patrol, killing 7 Israelis (...

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  • January 7, 2010

    In the morning, the Israeli air force drops leaflets over Gaza warning residents that they will be shot if they approach closer than 300 m to the Gaza border fence; a map showing the no-go zones...

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  • January 17, 2009

    With the 1/16 MOU in hand, along with a letter from European heads of state pledging to support the U.S.-led efforts outlined therein and a private message from Mubarak to the Israeli security...

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  • January 9, 2009

    The Israeli security cabinet reportedly begins internal debate on opening phase 3 of OCL, which would involve deep incursions into Gaza’s built-up areas to deal a crushing blow to Hamas. Israeli...

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  • June 27, 2007

    Overnight, the IDF sends tanks and troops, backed by air support, into Gaza City and Khan Yunis in a major day-long ground offensive targeting primarily Hamas and Islamic Jihad, but also including...

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  • January 28, 2007

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Hanun shoot, wound 2 Palestinians who stray nr. the border fence while trapping birds. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in...

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  • November 23, 2006

    A 64-yr.-old Palestinian woman detonates a suicide bomb nr. IDF soldiers in Bayt Lahiya, lightly wounding 3; the attack is claimed by Hamas, marking its 1st suicide bombing in 2 yrs., in...

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  • November 7, 2006

    The IDF pulls most troops out of Bayt Hanun before dawn; bulldozers and tanks remain positioned nr. Bayt Lahiya. Clashes continue in Jabaliya during the day, leaving at least 8 Palestinians dead,...

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  • November 4, 2006

    The IDF expands operations in n. Gaza, launching an air strike on a minivan in Gaza City, assassinating Hamas cmdr. Luay alBurnu, 2 other Hamas mbrs.; shelling Jabaliya r.c., killing 1 Hamas mbr...

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  • November 1, 2006

    Overnight, the IDF launches a major raid into Gaza, dubbed Operation Autumn Clouds, sending 100s of infantry soldiers, tanks, helicopters into Bayt Hanun, sealing and imposing a curfew on the town...

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  • August 3, 2006

    Overnight, the IDF launches ground operations in al-Shuka, using helicopters, drones, and some 50 tanks, armored vehicles, bulldozers; seals off Dahaniyya airport, the eastern entrance to Rafah,...

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  • July 26, 2006

    The IDF expands Operation Summer Rains overnight, sending 50 tanks, troops back into n. Gaza in and around Gaza City, engaging in intense clashes with and conducting air strikes on Palestinian...

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  • July 25, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF shells areas nr. Khan Yunis, wounding 2 Palestinians and damaging an ambulance coming to their rescue; fires on a Palestinian family tending their fields nr. the border fence with...

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  • July 24, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF drops leaflets on and makes automated phone calls to residents in n. Gaza warning them to evacuate areas around rocket launch sites, buildings used by militants; shells Bayt...

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  • June 25, 2006

    Before dawn, 8 Palestinian gunmen dressed in IDF uniforms sneak across the s. Gaza border into Israel using a tunnel, attack an IDF border post nr. Kerem Shalom with grenades, rifles, antitank...

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  • May 8, 2006

    The IDF shells n. Gaza, wounding 2 Palestinians outside the Bayt Lahiya hospital; raids several shops, homes, and the General Union of Palestinian Workers and the Union of Ex-Combatants offices in...

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  • July 11, 2005

    The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Jenin and Qalqilya targeting Islamic Jihad. A Palestinian is injured when he apparently triggers a roadside bomb nr. Morag. Palestinians fire an...

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  • July 8, 2005

    An Israeli civilian security guard responsible for separation wall construction area outside Bayt Laqia fires on stonethrowing youths, fatally shoots a 15-yr.-old Palestinian working in his family...

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  • June 19, 2005

    Claiming retaliation for recent arrest raids and attacks on its mbrs., Islamic Jihad, the Abu Rish Brigades (a Fatah offshoot) take responsibility for 2 Palestinians firing an antitank round at an...

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  • May 15, 2005

    The IDF lifts the seal on the West Bank, Gaza (imposed on 5/10); fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, wounding a 12-yr.-old Palestinian boy; shoots, wounds 2 Palestinians who toss Molotov...

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  • September 29, 2004

    The IDF continues operations in Bayt Hanun and Jabaliya r.c. launched on 9/28, expands into Bayt Lahiya; occupies buildings as sniper posts; shells, fires on residential areas, killing 1 stone-...

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  • July 25, 2004

    IDF undercover units assassinate local AMB mbrs. Hani Awayda, Mahdi Tanbur in Tulkarm, opening fire on them as they sit in an outdoor caf´e, also killing 4 bystanders, wounding a 3d AMB mbr. IDF...

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  • July 13, 2004

    The IDF raids Jenin, fatally shoots local Islamic Jihad cmdr. Numan Tahayna in an assassination, also searches a hospital; conducts arrest raids, searches houses, bulldozes 159 dunams in al-Qarara...

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  • June 15, 2004

    The IDF raids Balata r.c., takes up sniper positions atop a number of houses, fires on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops, fatally shooting 1 Palestinian inside his home; conducts house...

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  • April 11, 2004

    IDF undercover officers surround the home of a wanted Palestinian in Aqraba nr. Nablus, fatally shoot wanted man’s brother in an apparent botched assassination. The IDF also fires on stone-...

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  • March 31, 2004

    The IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian who strays too close to Gaza’s Neve Dekalim settlement; demolishes a Palestinian home nr. Ramallah; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin. In Silwan...

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  • March 30, 2004

    The IDF conducts arrest raids in Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah. Palestinians throughout the territories, Israeli Arabs inside Israel hold demonstrations to mark the 28th anniversary of Land Day, when...

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  • March 23, 2004

    The IDF discovers, disarms a bomb underneath a truck with Israeli license plates at a checkpoint outside Nablus; fatally shoots 2 armed Palestinians attempting to infiltrate Morag settlement;...

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  • March 22, 2004

    The IDF assassinates Hamas spiritual leader and founder Shaykh Ahmad Yasin, firing 3 internationally banned flechette missiles at him as he leaves a Gaza City mosque after morning prayers, also...

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PA pres. Abbas’s legal adviser Hassan al-Ouri says that the PA’s financial crisis may prevent it from joining several international and UN institutions. (MNA 1/4)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning and in al-‘Arub r.c. and Ithna r.c. (both nr. Hebron), 5 villages nr. Ramallah, 3 villages nr. Hebron, and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night; conducts house searches and arrest raids in Bayt Sahur and Aida r.c. in Bethlehem at night. Israeli soldiers attack weekly nonviolent demonstrations held by Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, al-Nabi Salih), 1 village nr. Bethlehem (al-Ma‘sara), and 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum). There are no serious injuries, except in Bil‘in, where 2 Palestinians are wounded with live ammunition. Jewish settlers enter al-Manshiya village nr. Bethlehem, vandalize a car, and write ‘‘price-tag’’ graffiti. (PCHR 1/10)

Hundreds of thousands of Fatah supporters rally in Gaza City to mark the 48th anniversary of the founding of the movement, the 1st such show of support for Fatah in Gaza since 2007. Pres. Abbas tells the crowds in a televised address that Palestinian national unity is coming soon. Hamas’s acting PM Ismail Haniyeh calls Abbas to congratulate him on the occasion of the anniversary. Meanwhile, a report in Ha’Aretz says that IDF-PA security coordination is improving again, and the PA is renewing arrests of Hamas and Islamic Jihad suspects. (HA, MNA, REU 1/4)

Christian Science Monitor reports that Palestinian support for military operations against Israel has registered its most significant jump in 10 years (50.9%, up from 29.3% in 1/2011), spurred by Operation Pillar of Defense, ongoing Israeli settlement expansion, and frustration over a peace process that has been essentially deadlocked for more than 4 yrs. (CSM 4/1)

Egyptian security forces seize antitank and anti-aircraft missiles in the Sinai Peninsula, weaponry thought by Egyptian security sources to be bound for the Gaza Strip via the tunnels. (MNA 1/4)

In Syria, fighting between pro- and anti-government groups resumes in Yarmuk r.c. nr. Damascus, ending a short-lived cease-fire (see 12/21) and prompting another wave of Palestinian refugees. (AKH 1/4)

Recently retired Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin says in an interview with Israeli media that PM Netanyahu acted irresponsibly regarding Iran’s nuclear program and tried to convince him and colleagues to approve an ‘‘illegal’’ decision to attack Iran. (AP 1/4)

Unidentified assailants armed with heavy weapons and explosives enter s. Israel fr. the Egyptian Sinai and stage coordinated attacks on a bus, several cars, and an IDF patrol, killing 7 Israelis (1 IDF soldier, 6 civilians) and wounding up to 40, marking the deadliest attack on Israel since 3/2008. The attacks begin at midday with gunfire on a bus nr. Elat carrying mostly soldiers fr. a nearby army base; when an IDF unit arrives on the scene, it is quickly ambushed and hit with explosive devices. Within the hour, at least 3 reports of mortar fire fr. Egypt and attacks on civilian vehicles with antitank weapons are reported in the Elat area. Israeli security forces engage in firefights with the infiltrators over the next several hours, killing at least 7 attackers, noting that 3 of the bodies were booby trapped. At one point, IDF troops pursue the attackers into Egypt and clash with Egyptian border guards, killing an Egyptian military officer and 2 Egyptian border police and injuring 2 others. Israel accuses Hamas of sending terrorists fr. Gaza through the Rafah smuggling tunnels into Egypt and then on to Israel, and criticizes Egypt’s inability to secure its borders. The IDF quickly launches 12 air strikes on s. Gaza in retaliation, primarily targeting the Popular Resistance Committees (PRCs)—an umbrella group comprising mbrs. of all Gaza factions, including Fatah and Hamas. In total, 7 Palestinians (including 2 children) are killed and at least 23 Palestinians (including 7 children, 6 women) are wounded. Among the dead are 5 senior PRC members who were targeted for assassination, including PRC leader Kamal Abu Abed al-Nairab, PRC chief military cmdr. Imad Hamad, and a PRC rocket expert. Later in the evening, gunfire erupts again in Elat, killing 1 Israeli border policeman and critically injuring another. The PRCs fire 4 rockets (including at least 1 manufactured Grad rocket) fr. Gaza into Israel, where at least 3 are intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system; no damage or injuries are reported. By late evening, the Israeli DMin. reports no further fire, but says assailants may still be on the loose. Hamas and the PRCs deny any part in the attacks. Egyptian and American analysts (e.g., NYT, WT 8/19) say that “it is not a remote possibility for [Egypt’s radical militant elements] to cross the border and launch attacks against Israeli targets. It makes a lot of sense” given Egypt’s recent crackdown on al-Qa‘ida-inspired Islamist militants in the n. Sinai (see 8/13). (AHR, AP, HA, IFM, JP, JTA, MNA, REU, WAFA, YA 8/18; NYT, OCHA, WP, WT 8/19; al-Masri al-Yawm 8/20; JAZ 8/21; PCHR 8/25; OCHA 8/26)

Meanwhile, in the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Bayt Liqya nr. Ramallah during the day and in Jenin, Jericho, and 2 villages nr. Ramallah and Salfit. Jewish settlers fr. Beit El nr. Ramallah enter nearby Dawar al-Qare’ village and set fire to 2 cars. (PCHR 8/25)

In the morning, the Israeli air force drops leaflets over Gaza warning residents that they will be shot if they approach closer than 300 m to the Gaza border fence; a map showing the no-go zones places the southern villages of Abasan and Khuza within the no-go area. Claiming retaliation for the 1/5 IDF air strike that killed 2 of its mbrs., the PRCs fire at least 10 mortars toward the Kerem Shalom crossing (3 land inside Gaza), causing no damage or injuries. Israel shuts the Kerem Shalom crossing through 1/9 in response. Later, unidentified Palestinians fire an antitank weapon across the border at an IDF patrol operating inside Israel e. of Jabaliya, causing no damage or injuries; the IDF directs artillery fire (6 shells) at the launch site causing no injuries. Late in the day, unidentified Palestinians fire a manufactured Grad-type rocket that lands nr. Ashqelon, causing no damage or injuries. (IFM, YA 1/7; JP, NYT, WP 1/8; OCHA 1/13; PCHR 1/14)

With the 1/16 MOU in hand, along with a letter from European heads of state pledging to support the U.S.-led efforts outlined therein and a private message from Mubarak to the Israeli security cabinet received today, Olmert formally declares a unilateral cease-fire in Gaza effective 2:00 A.M. local time on 1/18 (7:00 P.M. 1/17 EST). Stressing that Hamas was not party to any of the pledges secured by Israel, Olmert states: “If [the Palestinians] stop firing, we will consider leaving Gaza at a time that is suitable to us,” but if they continue rocket fire (NYT 1/17), “the Israeli army will regard itself as free to respond with force.” Hamas denounces Israel for ignoring Egyptian efforts to broker an agreed upon truce.

Combat notes: Olmert’s announcement comes at the end of a day of “sporadic and intensive” fighting in Gaza. The IDF reports hitting more than 120 targets, mostly comprising a final massive bombardment of more than 100 tunnels along the Rafah border that lasts 10 hrs., but also including strikes on at least 10 rocket-launching sites, 5 groups of armed Palestinians, 3 Hamas outposts. In addition to Rafah, air strike target areas include Bayt Hanun, Gaza City (city center), Jabaliya, Khan Yunis. Heavy artillery and tank fire are reported in: Bayt Lahiya, Jabaliya, al-Nasser (n. of Rafah). In Bayt Lahiya, IDF shells (possibly including white phosphorous) hit an UNRWA school sheltering 1,600 Gazans, killing 2 Palestinian brothers (ages 4, 5) and wounding 36 Palestinians (including the boys’ mother, who loses both legs. Naval bombardments center on Khan Yunis. Ground engagements are reported in al-Bureij r.c., al-Mughraqa, Nussayrat r.c., al-Zahra’. Late in the evening, IDF troops pull out of al-Shuka (where troops seized positions on 1/14), with residents reporting many houses demolished and damaged, wide areas of agricultural land razed, and significant damage to the village infrastructure (water systems, etc.).

Palestinians fire 19 rockets and 5 mortars into Israel, lightly injuring 5 Israelis (possibly all shock). The IDF reports 4 IDF soldiers seriously wounded in a friendly fire incident involving Israeli mortar fire, plus another 13 soldiers injured (3 seriously, 3 moderately, 7 lightly) in clashes with Palestinian gunmen over the previous 24 hrs., including 5 soldiers wounded by a Palestinian antitank round today.

With the truce ordered, the IDF put Israel’s comprehensive casualty toll for OCL at 3 (perhaps 4; see casualties chart in special document section for details) civilians and 10 soldiers dead, more than 100 soldiers and an unstated number of civilians injured. (This marks the 1st time the IDF has given estimates for comprehensive IDF casualties inside Gaza.) Gazan health officials estimate the Palestinian toll to be at least 1,200 killed and more than 5,000 wounded, though numbers are expected to change as rescue workers gain access to damaged areas.

Humanitarian notes: The IDF allows 62 truckloads of humanitarian aid into Gaza. Israel gives no indication whether or how quickly it will ease restrictions on imports once the cease-fire goes into effect. (IDF, IFM 1/17; IFM, ITIC, NYT, QA, WP, WT 1/18; ITIC, JP, MM 1/19; JAZ 1/20; PCHR 1/22; FT 1/28; PCHR 1/29)

The IDF imposes a curfew on Hawara village s. of Nablus. (PCHR 1/22)

The Israeli security cabinet reportedly begins internal debate on opening phase 3 of OCL, which would involve deep incursions into Gaza’s built-up areas to deal a crushing blow to Hamas. Israeli military and intelligence sources warn that the new goal would require deep, sustained incursions into Gaza’s densely populated areas, likely resulting in months of combat and heavy casualties.

Combat notes: Heavy IDF aerial, naval, and ground assaults across Gaza continue. The IDF reports carrying out more than 110 air strikes, in many cases to support troops battling on the ground. Targets include 20 “terror operatives” (possibly assassinations), more than a dozen rocket-launching sites and squads, more than 20 suspected weapons depots (including homes of 3 Hamas mbrs.) and other outposts, at least 10 homes and 1 apartment building, 2 tunnels on the Rafah border, a market in Bayt Lahiya, 1 ESF post in Gaza City, a mosque in Dayr al-Balah. Target areas include Abasan, Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr alBalah, Gaza City (city center and al-Nasser, Shaykh Ridwan), Jabaliya town and r.c., Khan Yunis, Khuza, Nussayrat, al-Qarara, Rafah, Shati’ r.c., open areas in central Gaza.

At least 1 air strike on a residential area e. of Jabaliya involves white phosphorous munitions that cause extensive fire damage to 4 homes. Another air strike hits the rooftop of a Gaza City building housing the offices of some 20 international press agencies, destroying broadcasting equipment and wounding 1 journalist.

IDF ground forces take up new positions in Juhur al-Dik and al-Mughraqa in c. Gaza, and al-Shuka in s. Gaza (bulldozing 13 homes). Heavy tank and artillery fire are reported in Bayt Lahiya, Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (al-Shuja‘iyya, alTuffah, al-Zaytun), Jabaliya. Heavy closequarter combat is reported in Gaza City and nr. Bayt Lahiya, with Palestinians firing antitank weapons and mortars and sniping at ground troops, moderately wounding 1 IDF soldier and lightly wounding 7.

Palestinians also fire 30 rockets and 1 mortar into Israel (including several Grads that hit Ashqelon), causing no reported damage or injuries.

At least 35 Palestinians are killed during the day, bringing the estimated Palestinian toll to around 795 dead and 3,300 wounded.

Humanitarian notes: The UN and other relief groups resume humanitarian aid transfers after receiving assurances fr. the Israeli government that they will not be targeted. During today’s 3-hr. humanitarian lull, Israel allows 41 trucks carrying food and medicine into the Strip. (Committee to Protect Journalists, Daily News, IDF, MA, MM, YA 1/9; IDF, NYT, WT, WP 1/10; NYT 1/11; PCHR 1/15)

Israel seals the West Bank through 1/10 citing unspecified security concerns. The IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, percussion grenades at Palestinians demonstrating against OCL after Friday prayers in Bayt Umar nr. Hebron (injuring 2), Hawara s. of Nablus, Hebron (injuring 4), Issawiyya, Ras al-Amud in East Jerusalem; also fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, percussion grenades at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists attending weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall in Bil‘in (injuring 3 Palestinians, arresting 5), Jayyus (injuring 9, including 2 wounded by live ammunition, which is not used at the other rallies), Ni‘lin (injuring 5 Palestinians); conducts late-night house searches in Azmut nr. Nablus. Jewish settlers fr. Shilo nr. Ramallah beat and fire on 2 Palestinians collecting water at a well nr. the settlement, wounding 1. (IDF 1/9; PCHR 1/15)

Overnight, the IDF sends tanks and troops, backed by air support, into Gaza City and Khan Yunis in a major day-long ground offensive targeting primarily Hamas and Islamic Jihad, but also including the AMB, arresting 10s of Palestinians, bulldozing 1 Palestinian home and 70 dunams of land, and leaving at least 13 Palestinians (including at least 4 gunmen and 6 civilians, including a 10-yr.-old boy) dead, more than 50 Palestinians and at least 2 IDF soldiers wounded; Fatah and Hamas gunmen fight side-by-side against the IDF, using small arms and antitank weapons. The IDF also makes an air strike on a car in Gaza City, assassinating Islamic Jihad senior cmdr. Raed Fanuna; bulldozes Palestinian land on the Gaza side of the Qarni crossing and industrial zone, along the border southeast of Khuza’a in s. Gaza. For a 2d day, the Israeli navy fires on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza City coast, forcing them back to shore. Islamic Jihad fires 4 rockets, 5 mortars fr. Gaza toward the Erez crossing; 2 mortars land on the Gaza side, injuring a Palestinian child; those landing on the Israeli side cause no damage or injuries. In Khan Yunis, a Palestinian is killed when explosives he is handling detonate prematurely. In the West Bank, the IDF launches a major arrest campaign in the Old City of Nablus, imposing a curfew, searching homes (occupying at least 7 as sniper posts), taking over local radio stations, searching hospitals; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem, nr. Jenin. In Ramallah, unidentified gunmen fire on the home of senior Fatah official Hani al-Hassan, causing no injuries. In Hebron, unidentified gunmen fire on the home of the local PA General Intelligence head, causing no injuries. Islamic Jihad mbr. Zakariyya al-Tartar dies of injuries received in a 6/24 IDF air strike on his vehicle in Gaza City. (PCHR, WP, WT 6/28; OCHA 7/4; PCHR 7/5)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Hanun shoot, wound 2 Palestinians who stray nr. the border fence while trapping birds. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Qalqilya, nr. Jenin; begins construction of a new fence around Karmi’el, Ma’on settlements nr. Hebron that will confiscate around 1,000 d. of Palestinian land to create territorial unity btwn. the 2 settlements. In Gaza City, Hamas-Fatah violence continues for a 6th day, leaving an ESF officer, 3 Hamas mbrs. dead, and 8 ESF mbrs. injured; among the incidents, a bomb explodes outside the home of a Dahlan bodyguard (causing no injuries), Hamas mbrs. fire mortars and antitank rounds at the Fatah-controlled PA police headquarters. Other clashes are reported in and around Khan Yunis, nr. Jabaliya, and in Bayt Hanun. Several Palestinians are also kidnapped during the day in Hamas-Fatah rivalries: Fatah’s Brig. Gen. Sayyid Shaban, head of the PA National Security Forces in central Gaza (quickly released); senior Hamas cmdr. Ashraf Firwana; 2 teenage children of a Fatah col.; a senior Fatah official; a Fatah municipal official. A Fatah mbr. dies of injuries received in the latest round of intra-Palestinian fighting. Fighting also spreads to Nablus, where Fatah mbrs. kidnap, quickly release several Hamas mbrs. In Jabaliya r.c., PFLP mbrs., Islamist parties hold a sit-in to protest the ongoing Palestinian violence. In Ramallah, AMB mbrs. kidnap, kill an alleged Palestinian collaborator with Israel. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/29; OCHA 1/31; PCHR 2/1; AIC 2/13)

A 64-yr.-old Palestinian woman detonates a suicide bomb nr. IDF soldiers in Bayt Lahiya, lightly wounding 3; the attack is claimed by Hamas, marking its 1st suicide bombing in 2 yrs., in retaliation for the 11/8 shelling of Bayt Hanun that killed 19 Palestinians; the woman’s family says that she was motivated to stage the attack because her son had been killed, a grandson severely injured, and her mother’s house demolished by the IDF. (Separately, Israel reportedly is considering paying compensation to the families of those killed on 11/19; Israel has previously refused to pay compensation for such artillery errors.) Also in n. Gaza, the IDF makes an air strike on a car, assassinating PRC cmdr. Fa’iq Abu alQumsan, whom Israel claims have been responsible for rocket fire into Israel, his dep. Mahmud al-Basyuni, and Ahmad Abu al-Qumsan, also a PRC mbr.; kills 4 Palestinians (at least 2 of them armed, 1 a bystander), wounds at least 18 (at least 17 of them bystanders) in clashes, shelling related to ongoing operations in which 4 IDF soldiers are lightly wounded by an antitank rocket. The IDF also fires on Palestinian fishermen on the Gaza shore, causing no damage or injuries. Palestinians fire at least 5 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes a Palestinian home, an animal farm in Qarawat Bani Hassan nr. Salfit; fires on stonethrowing Palestinian children nr. Hebron, seriously wounding 1; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Jenin town and r.c. PA security forces demonstrate in Gaza City against the Hamas-led government’s failure to pay back salaries. (MM, NYT, WT 11/24; OCHA 11/29; PCHR 11/30)

The IDF pulls most troops out of Bayt Hanun before dawn; bulldozers and tanks remain positioned nr. Bayt Lahiya. Clashes continue in Jabaliya during the day, leaving at least 8 Palestinians dead, including an AMB mbr. assassinated in an air strike on his car in n. Gaza (3 AMB mbrs. are wounded), 2 Islamic Jihad mbrs. nr. Bayt Lahiya, the sister-in-law of Change and Reform PC mbr. Jamila al-Shanti (who helped organize the 11/3 women’s demonstration in Bayt Hanun), 2 Palestinians affiliated with Hamas are killed in Jabaliya r.c. when the IDF fires tank shells at Palestinians who allegedly fired RPGs fr. Shanti’s home, a Palestinian civilian fatally shot nr. Bayt Lahiya. IDF air strikes destroy the Gaza City home of a senior Hamas military cmdr., damage several neighboring homes after ordering the residents to leave. A Palestinian wounded in Bayt Hanun on 11/6 dies. Palestinians fire 6 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel (4 hitting nr. Ashkelon), causing no damage or injuries; IDF artillery shells Bayt Hanun in response. The IDF says it seized “large amounts of weaponry” during the operation, including rocket launchers, RPGs, mines, rifles, ammunition but no rockets or antitank weapons. The UN estimates that some 250 Palestinians were wounded, 30 Palestinian homes demolished, 100 damaged (residents put the number at around 40 demolished, 400 damaged), water and sewerage systems damaged, large tracks of trees uprooted during the operation. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Qalqilya (in a car with Palestinian license plates to arrest several wanted Palestinians, wounding 1), al-Yamun nr. Jenin (assassinating AMB mbrs. Tahir ‘Abahra, Salim Abu al-Hayja, Mahmud Abu Hasan, ‘Ala’ Khamaysa and killing 1 Palestinian bystander, wounding 3 Palestinians); conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem. (IFM, REU 11/7; NYT, WP, WT 11/8; PCHR, WP 11/9)

The IDF expands operations in n. Gaza, launching an air strike on a minivan in Gaza City, assassinating Hamas cmdr. Luay alBurnu, 2 other Hamas mbrs.; shelling Jabaliya r.c., killing 1 Hamas mbr., wounding 4; later making an air strike on Jabaliya, killing 2 Hamas mbrs., wounding a by stander in what may be an assassination. An IDF sniper fatally shoots a 12-yr.-old Palestinian girl in the head in Gaza; the IDF say he was aiming at an armed Palestinian. In Bayt Hanun, the IDF fatally shoots a Hamas mbr. in exchanges that also leave an IDF officer seriously wounded; fires an antitank rocket to demolish the home of a Palestinian militant, collapsing the walls of a neighboring home, killing a Palestinian civilian; demolishes at least 4 other Palestinian homes; continues house to house searches; lifts the curfew for 3 hrs. to let residents buy food. IDF operations along the Rafah border also continue. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Ramallah, in Jenin and Nablus; demolishes a Palestinian home in Bethlehem. (NYT, WP, WT 11/5; PCHR 11/9)

Overnight, the IDF launches a major raid into Gaza, dubbed Operation Autumn Clouds, sending 100s of infantry soldiers, tanks, helicopters into Bayt Hanun, sealing and imposing a curfew on the town, clashing with Palestinians (who fire automatic weapons, antitank rounds), conducting air strikes, occupying some Palestinian homes as operational bases and sniper posts, bulldozing 18 d. of land, killing 5 Hamas mbrs., 1 Islamic Jihad mbr., 1 PA security officer, 2 civilians, wounding 41 Palestinians (the majority gunmen, but including 8 children, 2 women); 1 IDF soldier is also killed. Palestinians fire at least 8 rockets fr. n. Gaza into Israel in response, lightly wounding 2 Israelis, marking the largest 1-day barrage in wks. The IDF also fires on residential areas of Abasan, wounding 1 Palestinian. Meanwhile, the Israeli cabinet debates, rejects requests by the IDF, frustrated over continued (though declining in recent wks.) rocket fire fr. Gaza, to expand military operations in Gaza, voting instead to continue pinpoint operations. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus and Tulkarm (firing on residential areas, stone-throwing youths, wounding 5), in Qalqilya, and nr. Bethlehem, Jenin. (REU 11/1; NYT, PCHR, WP 11/2; IFM 11/6)

Overnight, the IDF launches ground operations in al-Shuka, using helicopters, drones, and some 50 tanks, armored vehicles, bulldozers; seals off Dahaniyya airport, the eastern entrance to Rafah, the main north–south Gaza highway; makes heavy air and artillery strikes on residential areas throughout the day, with Palestinian militants retaliating with antitank and light weapons fire, leaving 2 Hamas mbrs., 2 Islamic Jihad mbrs., 1 PA security officer, 5 bystanders dead and more than 30 Palestinians wounded (including at least 8 militants, 18 civilians). Palestinians fire 4 rockets toward Israel, but all land inside Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya and in ‘Ayn alSultan r.c. nr Jericho, Balata r.c., Hebron, Nablus. (NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 8/3; NYT, WP 8/4; PCHR 8/10)

The IDF operates in 20 villages in s. Lebanon, most of them less than 2 mi. inside the border, engaging in intense clashes with Hizballah (particularly in Bint Jubayl, Maroun al-Ras, Marwahin, Rajmin), with Hizballah killing 4 IDF soldiers, wounding 4, destroying at least 4 APCs in Aita al-Sha‘b and Taybeh. The IDF also continues air strikes across Lebanon, including in s. Beirut (hitting houses of senior Hizballah and Hamas mbrs.), Blat, Nabatiyya, Rashaya, Taybeh, in the Biqa‘ Valley, and in the far n. nr. the border with Syria. Hizballah fires around 180 rockets into n. Israel, killing 5 Israeli civilians in Acre and 3 bedouin in Tarshiha nr. Ma’alot (all 8 killed during a 1- hr. barrage of 40 rockets), also hitting Kiryat Shimona (in another barrage of 30 rockets). (BBC, JAZ, NYT 8/3; AP, NYT, WP, WT 8/4)

The IDF expands Operation Summer Rains overnight, sending 50 tanks, troops back into n. Gaza in and around Gaza City, engaging in intense clashes with and conducting air strikes on Palestinian gunmen, leaving at least 7 Hamas mbrs., 5 Islamic Jihad mbrs., 9 civilians dead, at least 57 Palestinians wounded, bulldozing wide tracts of land. In at least 3 incidents in Jabaliya r.c., the IDF phones Hamas mbrs. warning them to evacuate their houses, then conducts air strikes destroying the homes. The IDF also closes the Qarni crossing. Palestinians fire 13 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, lightly injuring 1 Israeli in Sederot. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units in a car with Palestinian license plates into Kafr Qadim nr. Qalqilya, surrounds a home, evacuates and checks residents, demolishes the home, arrests 1 Palestinian, injures 1; bars a Palestinian heart attack victim fr. crossing a checkpoint to reach a Qalqilya hospital, allowing him to die; patrols, searches cars in Yatta nr. Hebron; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron, and in al-Fara‘a r.c. nr. Jenin, Nablus. In Rafah, a Palestinian is killed in an exchange of fire btwn. PA security forces, armed Palestinians. Israeli security sources reveal that Israeli-Canadian citizen Falah, arrested on 7/8 and held without access to a lawyer, was detained for photographing a military antenna nr. Ras al-Naqura, alleging that he was sent “to photograph and report where rockets have landed in Israel,” noting that he visited Beirut, Tehran within the last 2 yrs.; Falah, who was arrested before Hizballah’s 7/12 cross-border raid and the firing of rockets into Israel, said the photos were for academic purposes, he did not know the antenna was military, and his trips to Lebanon, Iran were public knowledge. (REU, NYT, WP 7/26; NYT, WP, WT 7/26; PCHR 7/27; OCHA 8/2; PCHR 8/3)

The IDF faces intense fighting in s. Lebanon, where some 100 Hizballah mbrs. ambush an elite IDF Golani Brigade unit in Bint Jubayl, pinning them down for 1 hr. under a heavy barrage of mortars, antitank rounds, RPGs, and small-arms fire before they could return fire, killing 8 IDF soldiers, wounding at least 22; the IDF estimates that it killed around 20 Hizballah mbrs. A 9th IDF soldier is killed, 5 are wounded by antitank fire in clashes nr. Maroun al-Ras. Meanwhile, the IDF continues air strikes nr. Beirut and in s. Lebanon, including hitting an Amal command center and the Hizballah headquarters in Tyre. In Anjar nr. the Syrian border, a truck carrying emergency food, medical supplies donated by the UAE (see 7/18) is hit, killing the Syrian driver. Hizballah fires around 150 rockets into Israel, striking Carmiel, Haifa, Jish, Safad, Tiberias. Israel allows 2 Jordanian military transports carrying humanitarian aid to land at Beirut airport, though it still will not provide safety guarantees for trucks transporting the supplies southward on the coastal highway or across the border fr. Syria, where relief goods for 20,000 people have been stockpiled. The UN moves 5 convoys of supplies (containing wheat, soap, diapers, water purification tablets, medical kits) to the south on 5 routes approved for one-time use by the IDF. (NYT, WP, WT 7/27)

In Gaza, the IDF shells areas nr. Khan Yunis, wounding 2 Palestinians and damaging an ambulance coming to their rescue; fires on a Palestinian family tending their fields nr. the border fence with Israel e. of al-Qarara, killing a Palestinian teenager; bulldozes 7 d. of agricultural land nr. al-Maghazi r.c. Palestinians fire several rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into al-Bireh for a day-long operation, imposes a curfew, surrounds 2 apartment buildings, occupies neighboring homes as sniper and observation posts, orders all residents out for ID checks, then raids the building arresting a wanted Palestinian; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron (firing on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront the troops, wounding 1), Nablus; bulldozes 10s of d. of agricultural land nr. Bethlehem for construction of the separation wall. To protest U.S. Secy. of State Condoleezza Rice’s mtg. with Abbas today, Palestinians in Ramallah observe a general strike, 100s conduct a protest march (some waving Lebanese flags). A Jewish settler fr. Beitar Ilit nr. Bethlehem fires on a 47- yr.-old Palestinian walking nearby, wounding him with a live bullet in the jaw. A Jewish settler fr. Tene Oranim in Hebron throws a grenade at Palestinian shepherds tending a flock nearby, wounding 1 Palestinian, killing 3 sheep. A Palestinian civilian injured during IDF operations in al-Maghazi r.c. on 7/19 dies. (NYT, WP, WT 7/26; PCHR 7/27)

The IDF conducts air and artillery strikes on a UNIFIL post in al-Khiyam, hitting the area 21 times (at least 11 of them air strikes), killing 4 UNIFIL mbrs., continuing the aerial assault while rescue efforts are underway; continues air strikes in s. Beirut and across s. Lebanon, especially in Nabatiyya (where at least 6 Lebanese civilians are killed when 2 homes are hit by missiles), Tyre. Ground battles involving IDF tank and Hizballah antitank fire, fierce house-to-house combat supported by IDF artillery and helicopter fire continue in Bint Jubayl and Maroun al-Ras and are reported in Yaron to the west; by nightfall, the IDF claims to have secured control of Bint Jubayl, killed senior Hizballah cmdr. Abu Jaafir and 20–30 Hizballah mbrs., though there is no independent confirmation; at least 3 IDF soldiers are wounded. Hizballah fires more than 90 rockets into n. Israel, killing an Israeli Druze in Maghir, injuring 30 Israelis (mostly suffering fr. shock); other targets include Haifa, Ma’alot, Nahariya, Safad, Tiberias. (NYT, WP, WT 7/26; NYT 7/27)

In Gaza, the IDF drops leaflets on and makes automated phone calls to residents in n. Gaza warning them to evacuate areas around rocket launch sites, buildings used by militants; shells Bayt Lahiya, killing 3 Palestinian civilians, wounding 11 others (the IDF says a shell may have misfired); repeatedly shells Bayt Hanun and perimeter, killing 3 Palestinian civilians, wounding 8; shells a shed on a farm nr. Gaza City, allegedly serving as a weapons depot. IDF troops stationed at the Dahaniyya airport fire on residential areas of nearby al-Shuka, wounding 1 Palestinian woman outside her home. Palestinians fire 8 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Late in the evening, the IDF conducts air strikes destroying 2 Palestinian homes in Gaza City and Khan Yunis (belonging to an Islamic Jihad mbr.), damaging surrounding stores and residences, wounding 3 bystanders; in both cases, the IDF phoned the homes 20 min. before the attack to warn residents to evacuate. The IDF also makes an air strike destroying a house of a Hamas mbr. under construction in Brazil r.c., also destroying 2 neighboring homes, damaging several others, wounding 15 bystanders (including 7 children). In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Beitunia nr. Ramallah; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Jericho, Tulkarm, and in ‘Askar r.c., Azariyya, Jenin town and r.c.; bulldozes 35 d. of Palestinian land for construction of the separation wall nr. Jerusalem. (WP 7/24; NYT, WP 7/25; PCHR 7/27; B’Tselem 8/3)

IDF ground forces advance another halfmile into s. Lebanon, using bulldozers to clear roads and demolish buildings, engaging Hizballah mbrs. in Bint Jubayl and encountering artillery fire, antitank weapons, land mines, leaving 2 IDF soldiers dead, 14–20 IDF soldiers wounded, 2 Hizballah mbrs. captured, an unknown number of Hizballah casualties, up to 5 IDF tanks disabled; an IDF helicopter returning fr. Bint Jubayl crashes in the n. Galilee, killing another 2 IDF soldiers. Meanwhile, IDF-Hizballah clashes continue in Maroun al-Ras. The IDF also continues air strikes across Lebanon, targeting at least 70 Hizballah sites (particularly around Tyre), killing at least 7 Lebanese civilians; also hitting a UN post, injuring 4 UNIFIL soldiers. Hizballah fires around 80 rockets into n. Israel, injuring 20 Israelis, 2 seriously, and starting brush fires. (JAZ, NBC Nightly News, Slate, Wall Street Journal 7/24; NYT, WP, WT 7/25; WP 7/26)

Before dawn, 8 Palestinian gunmen dressed in IDF uniforms sneak across the s. Gaza border into Israel using a tunnel, attack an IDF border post nr. Kerem Shalom with grenades, rifles, antitank rockets, killing 2 IDF soldiers, wounding 4, capturing 1 (IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit, apparently wounded in the exchange) in what they call Operation Dispel Illusion; 2 Palestinian gunmen are killed by retaliatory fire; the IDF sends tanks, bulldozers a half-mile inside Gaza to search for the captured soldier, the tunnel; several groups including Hamas’s Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades, the PRCs, and a previously unknown group, the Army of Islam, jointly claim the attack as retaliation for the IDF’s 6/8 Abu Samhadana assassination; Abbas, some Hamas political leaders call for the captured IDF soldier’s immediate release. In response, Israel shuts all crossings into Gaza (including forcing the closing of the Rafah crossing by barring EU monitors fr. entering Gaza through Kerem Shalom, leaving as many as 3,000 Palestinians stranded on the border inside Egypt, and some 400 medical patients awaiting treatment abroad stranded on the Gaza side); shuts off fuel supplies to Gaza; bars Palestinian fishermen fr. going out to sea; tightens restrictions on Palestinian movement at checkpoints and roadblocks across the West Bank. During the day, the IDF also conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus (firing on a clearly marked al-Jazeera TV vehicle, causing damage but no injuries), and nr. Hebron, Jenin (firing on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops, wounding 2), Qalqilya. (AFP, HA, IFM, YA 6/25; MENA, OSC, VOI 6/25 in WNC 6/26; AFP, AP, CSM, JP, MM, NYT, WP, WT, YA 6/26; WT 6/27; NYT, OCHA 6/28; PCHR 6/29; NYT 7/8)

The IDF shells n. Gaza, wounding 2 Palestinians outside the Bayt Lahiya hospital; raids several shops, homes, and the General Union of Palestinian Workers and the Union of Ex-Combatants offices in Hebron; fires on residential areas of nearby Halhul; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin, Nablus (exchanging gunfire with Palestinian gunmen in Askar r.c., wounding 1), in Jericho, and nr. Bethlehem, Ramallah. In a predawn incident in Abasan nr. Khan Yunis, AMB mbrs. kidnap 3 Hamas mbrs., and Hamas mbrs. kidnap 4 AMB mbrs. (it is unclear who kidnapped whom first), sparking a heavy exchange of fire, with Hamas mbrs. firing an antitank rocket killing 2 AMB mbrs. and Fatah shooting dead 1 Hamas mbr.; some 10 Palestinians, mostly bystanders, are wounded; those kidnapped are released after negotiations. (BBC, MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/8; MM 5/9; PCHR 5/11)

The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Jenin and Qalqilya targeting Islamic Jihad. A Palestinian is injured when he apparently triggers a roadside bomb nr. Morag. Palestinians fire an antitank rocket at IDF soldiers patrolling the Philadelphi route, wounding an Israeli civilian contractor, 2 soldiers. A 14-yr.-old Palestinian girl wounded by IDF fire in Balata r.c. on 7/6 dies. (IMEMC, XIN 7/11; VOP 7/11 in WNC 7/12; VOI, YA 7/12 in WNC 7/13; OCHA 7/13; PCHR 7/14)

An Israeli civilian security guard responsible for separation wall construction area outside Bayt Laqia fires on stonethrowing youths, fatally shoots a 15-yr.-old Palestinian working in his family’s vineyard nearby; the IDF bars an ambulance fr. reaching the area for 2 hrs. The IDF conducts arrest raids in Hebron and Jenin, targeting Islamic Jihad; fires on Palestinians holding a daily nonviolent protest against the separation wall nr. Bil‘in, critically wounding 1 Palestinian with a bullet to the head; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis; arrests 2 Palestinian farmers working their land nr. Hebron for being too close to the separation wall; raids, occupies 2 Palestinian homes nr. Tulkarm as observation posts. The AMB detonates a roadside bomb nr. an IDF patrol in Rafah, injuring 4 IDF soldiers. Palestinians fire an antitank rocket at an IDF patrol nr. Neve Dekalim, causing no damage or injuries. (AFP, IMEMC 7/8; VOI, YA 7/8 in WNC 7/9; AFP, HA, NYT, WP, WT, XIN 7/9; HA 7/10; AYM 7/10 in WNC 7/11; OCHA 7/13; PCHR 7/14)

Claiming retaliation for recent arrest raids and attacks on its mbrs., Islamic Jihad, the Abu Rish Brigades (a Fatah offshoot) take responsibility for 2 Palestinians firing an antitank round at an IDF post on the Rafah border, killing 1 IDF soldier, wounding 2; firing a rocket-propelled grenade at IDF soldiers and civilian laborers working nearby, causing no injuries; the IDF fires back, killing 1 Palestinian militant, while the 2d escapes; Israel vows to launch a crackdown on Islamic Jihad. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem and in Jenin, Tubas. (WP 6/20; OCHA, PR 6/22; PCHR 6/23)

The IDF lifts the seal on the West Bank, Gaza (imposed on 5/10); fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, wounding a 12-yr.-old Palestinian boy; shoots, wounds 2 Palestinians who toss Molotov cocktails at an IDF patrol nr. Ramallah, causing no damage or injuries; conducts arrest raids, house searches in al-‘Arub r.c. nr Hebron; arrests 3 Palestinians attempting to sneak into Israel fr. Dayr al-Balah to find work. Palestinians fire an anti-tank rocket at Israeli civilian workers installing a fence along the Philadelphi Route in Rafah, lightly injuring 4; fire 2 mortars at Gush Katif, causing no damage or injuries. Jewish settlers fr. Ma’on attack, attempt to force 4 Palestinian farmers off their land. (PM 5/15; HA, WP 5/16; OCHA 5/18; PCHR 5/19)

The IDF continues operations in Bayt Hanun and Jabaliya r.c. launched on 9/28, expands into Bayt Lahiya; occupies buildings as sniper posts; shells, fires on residential areas, killing 1 stone-throwing Palestinian youth, 4 armed Palestinian (including 1 Hamas mbr., wanted PRC mbr. Mosad Baradi), and 1 Palestinian bystander, wounding around 60. Palestinians target military vehicles with roadside bombs, antitank rockets, causing no injuries. Despite the maneuvers, Hamas fires a Qassam rocket at Sederot, killing 2 Israeli children, wounding 5; Sharon says that operations in n. Gaza will be expanded as a result. Late in the evening, the IDF carries out 2 missile strikes at Jabaliya r.c., killing 3 Palestinians and destroying an Islamic charitable organization. The IDF also continues operations begun 9/28 in Shaykh Ajlin, bulldozing 8 Palestinian homes, 8 d.; fires on stone-throwing youths outside Gaza City, killing 1 Palestinian; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, seriously injuring a 4-yr.-old Palestinian inside her home. In the West Bank, the IDF sends troops into Jenin town and r.c., fires on a taxi wrongly thought to be carrying wanted Palestinians, killing the Palestinian driver, a Palestinian man, wounding his wife. In Hebron, 5 Jewish settlers armed with heavy metal chains, rocks, sticks severely beat, rob 2 American women working with Christian Peacemaker Teams escorting Palestinian children to their school; 1 woman suffers a punctured lung, the other a broken arm and knee. Jewish settlers set fire to 400 d. of olive trees nr. Bayt Furik, damaging 100s of trees. (HA, MM 9/29; VOI, VOP, YA 9/29 in WNC 10/1; HA, MM, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 9/30; AFP 9/30 in WNC 10/2; PCHR, PR 10/6, 10/13; JPI 10/15)

IDF undercover units assassinate local AMB mbrs. Hani Awayda, Mahdi Tanbur in Tulkarm, opening fire on them as they sit in an outdoor caf´e, also killing 4 bystanders, wounding a 3d AMB mbr. IDF helicopters rocket a Gaza City building (the IDF claims it is a Hamas workshop, Palestinians say it is the home of a Hamas mbr.) twice during the day, wounding 4 Palestinians, destroying the building. The IDF also expands operations in Bayt Hanun, searching homes and a medical clinic (temporarily detaining some patients and staff), bulldozing 300 dunams; fatally shoots a 50-yr.-old mentally handicapped Palestinian woman who enters a closed military zone nr. Rafah (the same woman was wounded in a similar incident in the area on 9/8/02); begins digging a trench around the Rafah border crossing; fires on residential areas of Bayt Rima, Khan Yunis; bulldozes 5 farm buildings, 5 dunams of land nr. Khan Yunis. Palestinians fire a mortar, an antitank rocket at Gaza’s Neve Dekalim settlement, slightly wounding 6 Israeli children. Jewish settler leaders rally 10,000s of Israelis (organizers say 200,000, police say 70,000; mostly settlers, ultra-Orthodox) to form a human chain stretching 56-mi. fr. Nisanit settlement in n. Gaza to the Western Wall in Jerusalem to protest plans for an Israeli withdrawal fr. Gaza. (JAZ, VOI, VOP, YA 7/25 in WNC 7/27; HA, MM, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 7/26; VOP 7/26 in WNC 7/28; PR 7/28; PCHR 7/29)

The IDF raids Jenin, fatally shoots local Islamic Jihad cmdr. Numan Tahayna in an assassination, also searches a hospital; conducts arrest raids, searches houses, bulldozes 159 dunams in al-Qarara; conducts arrest raids in Wadi al-Silqa, detaining 50 men and boys, taking them to an IDF base for questioning, releasing all but 5, plus bulldozing 1 Palestinian home, 51 dunams of land; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Aida r.c., Bayt Iqsa nr. Ramallah, al-Bireh, Dayr Sharaf nr. Nablus, Hebron, Jayous nr. Qalqilya; fires missiles at a workshop in Gaza City, completely destroying it; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, al-Maghazi. Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket at Gush Katif (causing light damage but no injuries), an antitank rocket at an IDF post in Rafah (causing no damage or injuries). A Jewish settler deliberately runs into an elderly Palestinian man with his car nr. Bethlehem, killing him. (VOI, VOP 7/13 in WNC 7/15; NYT, PR, WT 7/14; VOP 7/14 in WNC 7/16; PCHR 7/15)

The IDF raids Balata r.c., takes up sniper positions atop a number of houses, fires on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops, fatally shooting 1 Palestinian inside his home; conducts house searches in the Old City of Nablus, blowing the doors off 8 houses and 53 shops, detonating explosives to clear an alley blocked by barrels they fear could be booby trapped, damaging a church and a mosque; demolishes 15 Palestinian homes s. of Ramallah for construction of the separation wall; conducts arrest raids in Anabta, Nablus, al-Ram and nr. Bethlehem, Jenin, Ramallah. Palestinians fire an antitank round at an IDF patrol in Gaza, lightly injuring 2 soldiers. (VOI, VOP 6/15 in WNC 6/17; NYT 6/16; VOI, VOP 6/16 in WNC 6/18; PCHR 6/17)

IDF undercover officers surround the home of a wanted Palestinian in Aqraba nr. Nablus, fatally shoot wanted man’s brother in an apparent botched assassination. The IDF also fires on stone-throwing youths nr. Jenin, in Nablus; occupies a Palestinian home nr. Hebron as an observation post; fires on residential areas of Jenin; conducts arrest raids in Jenin, in and nr. Tulkarm. Palestinians detonate roadside bomb by an IDF patrol nr. Nablus, causing no damage or injuries; fire 2 Qassam rockets at the western Negev, damaging a roadway but causing no injuries; fire antitank rockets at IDF patrols nr. Rafah and Gadid settlement, causing no damage or injuries. Armed Jewish settlers break into, take over a mosque in Hebron, remove its contents, set up cots inside; IDF soldiers are notified by Palestinians but do not intervene. Jewish settlers fr. Elon Moreh nr. Nablus vandalize Palestinian property in nearby Azmut, steal a horse. (HA, IDF Radio, VOI, VOP 4/11 in WNC 4/13; VOP 4/12 in WNC 4/14; PR 4/14; PCHR 4/15)

The IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian who strays too close to Gaza’s Neve Dekalim settlement; demolishes a Palestinian home nr. Ramallah; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin. In Silwan, East Jerusalem, 50 Jewish settlers (11 families) escorted by heavily armed Israeli border police occupy a multistory building, a Palestinian home they claimed to have purchased, evicting Palestinian residents, sparking clashes btwn. the IDF, Palestinians (9 of whom are arrested). The IDF dismantles 2 unauthorized settlement outposts: 1 nr. Hebron comprising a single tent that served as a synagogue, the other nr. Bethlehem comprising 2 containers; 300 Jewish settlers scuffle with the troops at the Hebron site, resulting in some moderate injuries. Palestinians fire an antitank rocket at IDF forces nr. Rafah, causing no damage or injuries. (AP, PR, REU 3/31; VOI, VOP 3/31 in WNC 4/2; NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 4/1; MM 4/6; PCHR 4/8)

Abrams, Burns, Hadley return to the region for consultations with Israeli, Palestinian officials on Sharon’s disengagement plan. (WP 3/27; HA 3/28; MM, NYT, WT 4/1; VOP 4/1 in WNC 4/3; HA, MM, NYT, WT 4/2)

The IDF conducts arrest raids in Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah. Palestinians throughout the territories, Israeli Arabs inside Israel hold demonstrations to mark the 28th anniversary of Land Day, when Israeli forces confiscated 5,500 acres of land fr. Arab villages in the Galilee for the construction of Jewish enclaves, sparking clashes in which 9 Israeli Arabs were killed, 96 were injured, 300 were arrested; IDF troops clash with demonstrators in Beitunia. Palestinians fire an antitank rocket at IDF forces outside Gaza’s Neve Dekalim settlement, causing no damage or injuries. A group of 81 prominent Palestinians (mostly veteran leftists, some Fatah mbrs.) issue a call for nonviolent protest similar to that made on 3/25, but also warning that Palestinian violence will not cease until Israel halts its attacks on, oppression of the Palestinians. (AFP, MM, XIN 3/30; PR, WT 3/31; YA 3/31 in WNC 4/2; PCHR 4/1; MEI 4/2)

The IDF discovers, disarms a bomb underneath a truck with Israeli license plates at a checkpoint outside Nablus; fatally shoots 2 armed Palestinians attempting to infiltrate Morag settlement; fires tear gas to disperse a group of Palestinians in Hebron demonstrating against the Yasin assassination, causing an elderly Palestinian to suffocate, die; fires on stone-throwing youths outside al-Fawwar r.c. nr. Hebron, on residential areas of Rafah (wounding a Palestinian construction worker at an UNRWA school site, a Palestinian inside her home); conducts arrest raids, house searches in Jayyus nr. Qalqilya; bulldozes 62 dunams of Palestinian land in al-Qarara. In the Hebron area, Palestinians throw stones at IDF troops, Jewish settler vehicles on bypass roads, causing no injuries but forcing the IDF to close the bypass routes temporarily. The Israeli navy fires on a “suspicious object” in the water 2 mi. off Gaza’s shore; Palestinian fishermen say they were targeted. Palestinian gunmen fire at a Jewish settler bus nr. Ofra, causing no injuries. Palestinians also fire a mortar at Gush Katif settlement, an antitank rocket at an IDF patrol in Gaza, causing no damage or injuries in either incident. In Israel, 1,000s of Israeli Arabs in Nazareth march in protest of Yasin’s assassination. A Palestinian dies of injuries received in the IDF missile attack on Rafah on 3/17. (AFP, AP, HA 3/23; HA, WT 3/24; PCHR 3/25)

Hamas names hard-line spokesman ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Rantisi as acting political head in Gaza and Hamas politburo chmn. Khalid Mishal, currently in exile in Damascus, acting head of the whole movement. (HA, MM 3/23; VOP 3/23 in WNC 3/25; al-Arabiyya TV [Dubai] 3/23 in WNC 4/27; HA, MM, NYT, REU, WP, WT 3/24; IDF Radio, LBC, MA, al-Quds, SA, VOI 3/24 in WNC 3/26; WP, WT 3/25; AYM 3/25, al-Quds 3/26 in WNC 3/30)

The IDF assassinates Hamas spiritual leader and founder Shaykh Ahmad Yasin, firing 3 internationally banned flechette missiles at him as he leaves a Gaza City mosque after morning prayers, also killing 3 bodyguards, 4 bystanders, wounding at least 17 Palestinians, including Yasin’s 2 sons. Immediately, 100,000s of Palestinians take to the streets throughout the territories to protest the assassination. The IDF seals Gaza; clashes with Palestinian demonstrators in Balata r.c. (killing an al-Najah Radio correspondent in Balata r.c., apparently thinking his mobile phone was a weapon), Bethlehem, Dayr al-Balah, Hebron (fatally shooting 1 Palestinian watching fr. his balcony), Jenin, Khan Yunis (killing 3 Palestinians), Nablus; fires on residential areas of Rafah, Qalqilya, Tal Zu’rub; imposes a curfew on areas around Jenin, fires on residential areas; temporarily occupies a Palestinian home as an IDF post nr. Dayr al-Balah. 100s of Palestinian youths in East Jerusalem gather at checkpoints to throw stones at IDF soldiers; Palestinian prisoners in 2 Israeli jails riot. Palestinians fire Qassam rockets, mortars, antitank rockets at Gush Katif and Netzarim settlements, nearby IDF posts, the western Negev, damaging 2 apartments in Netzarim but causing no injuries. An ax-wielding Palestinian fr. the West Bank village of Bidiyya wounds 3 Israelis outside an army base in Tel Aviv before being arrested. An unidentified assailant said to be Arab stabs, lightly wounds 3 Israelis on a Jaffa bus. 4 Palestinians are arrested for beating up a Jewish settler in East Jerusalem. Jewish settlers detain, beat a Palestinian man in the Jordan Valley. An estimated 200,000 Palestinians, including reps. of all Palestinian factions, take part in Yasin’s funeral services later in the day, with 21 PSF officers forming an honor guard for Yasin’s coffin, Gaza churches ringing their bells, mosques broadcasting Qur’anic verses. Meanwhile, Israeli defense chiefs meet, agree to target the entire remaining Hamas leadership immediately, without waiting for another Hamas attack. Israel also announces that it will close the only mental health clinic serving East Jerusalem Palestinians (1,200 patients) because of “security concerns.” (AP, BBC, CSM, HA, MA, MM, NYT, REU, WP, WT 3/22; AP, ATL, ITARTASS, MNR, MENA, IDF Radio, IRNA, ITARTASS, JP, VIRI, VOI, VOP, XIN 3/22 in WNC 3/24; al-Arabiyya TV [Dubai], Syrian Arab News Agency 3/22 in WNC 4/27; AFP, BBC, CSM, HA, JT, MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/23; AFP, AYM, DUS, HA, al-Hayat al-Jadida, JT, MA, MENA, al-Ra’i, THWR, TSHR, VIRI, YA 3/23 in WNC 3/25; MM, NYT, PR, WP 3/24; ATL, ITAR-TASS, Izvestiya, JT, al-Ra’i, SA, VOP, XIN 3/24 in WNC 3/26; AYM 3/24 in WNC 4/3; JT, MM, PCHR, WJW 3/25; ITAR-TASS, MENA, NHR, VIRI 3/25 in WNC 3/27; MM 3/26; MNR 3/27 in WNC 3/30; AYM 3/30, VOP 3/31 in WNC 4/2; MEI 4/2; PCHR 4/15)

In Washington, Shalom holds further talks on Sharon’s disengagement plan with VP Dick Cheney, Powell, Rice. (WP 3/23)