689 / 14704 Results
  • May 3, 2011

    In Cairo, reps. of 15 small Palestinian factions initial the national unity deal agreed by Fatah and Hamas on 4/27. Fatah and Hamas plan to sign the text on 5/4. (WP, WT 5/4)

    In the West...

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  • April 4, 2011

    Israeli pres. Shimon Peres arrives in Washington for a 3-day visit. He meets today with Secy. of State Clinton; no details are released. (WJW 4/7)

    Israel’s Jerusalem planning comm. gives...

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  • February 21, 2011

    In the West Bank, the IDF tears down Palestinian’s tents in Khirbat Tana, where the IDF demolished homes and other structures on 2/9/11 (see Quarterly Update and Settlement Monitor in JPS 159);...

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  • February 14, 2011

    To demonstrate some accountability in light of the Palestine Papers and to give Abbas the chance to strengthen his base in advance of elections, his cabinet resigns. Abbas immediately reappoints...

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  • February 7, 2011

    Israel refuses Egypt’s request to deploy additional forces in the Sinai. (JP 2/7; WJW 2/10) (see 1/30)

    IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of Bayt Hanun fire warning shots at Palestinian...

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  • January 25, 2011

    Ireland upgrades the status of the Palestinian representation in Dublin from a “delegation” to a “mission” and grants the mission head ambassador status. It does not recognize Palestine as a state...

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  • January 17, 2011

    Israel’s Jerusalem planning comm. approves construction of 92 housing units in Talpiot settlement and 32 apartments in Pisgat Ze’ev settlement. Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket fr....

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  • December 13, 2010

    U.S. special envoy Mitchell returns to the region for a 2-day visit aimed at reviving indirect talks. He says he will urge the Israeli and Palestinian sides to present their final status positions...

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  • December 5, 2010

    The Mount Carmel forest fire (which started on 12/2) is put out, and Palestinian fire fighters return to the West Bank; the fire, which destroyed an estimated 40,000 d. of land and left 44...

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  • December 1, 2010

    Responding to an appeal made by PA Pres. Mahmud Abbas in 11/2010, Brazil recognizes Palestine as a state based on 1967 borders. The Israeli FMin. opens low-profiles talks with other Latin American...

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  • November 29, 2010

    Israel’s Jerusalem municipal authorities approve zoning of land in East Jerusalem to accommodate construction of 130 new housing units in Gilo settlement. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire...

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  • November 7, 2010

    The Arab League postpones its planned 11/9 meeting until after the 11/16–20 Eid al-Adha holiday to give ongoing U.S.-Israeli talks a final chance to reach an arrangement that would allow...

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  • November 2, 2010

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire on Palestinians scavenging for construction materials at a demolished garbage collection center, wounding 1. IDF troops on the s. Gaza border shoot, wound an...

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  • September 27, 2010

    In the first full day after the expiration of the settlement freeze, the Israeli government approves construction of a new settler-only bypass road linking Kiryat Arba to the Tomb of the...

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  • August 7, 2010

    The Israeli navy fires warning shots at a Lebanese fishing boat that strays into Israeli territorial waters after it ignores several verbal warnings to turn back. The boat is not damaged and the...

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  • July 27, 2010

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night patrols in Tulkarm and 2 villages nr. Jenin, making no arrests; conducts latenight arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. In Jerusalem, Israeli...

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  • July 9, 2010

    Obama phones Abbas to urge him to agree to begin direct negotiations with Israel. Abbas reiterates demands for a comprehensive settlement freeze including East Jerusalem and assurances that all...

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  • July 5, 2010

    In an effort to show positive movement on the peace process in advance of Netanyahu’s 7/6 meeting with Obama, Israel releases its new guidelines for the entry of goods to Gaza in keeping with its...

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  • June 28, 2010

    U.S. special envoy Mitchell returns to the region for 3 days for another round of Israeli-Palestinian proximity talks. No details are released. (NYT, WP 7/1)

    Unidentified Palestinians fire...

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  • June 14, 2010

    In the West Bank, Palestinian gunmen open fire on an IDF border police vehicle nr. Hebron, killing 1 Israeli border police officer and wounding 3 in the first fatal shooting attack against...

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  • June 13, 2010

    IDF troops on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the industrial zone, wounding 1 Palestinian. Late in the evening,...

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  • June 9, 2010

    Obama receives PA PM Mahmud Abbas in Washington for talks on bilateral relations and how best to proceed with peace talks in light of the flotilla incident. Obama, who has been in regular contact...

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  • June 1, 2010

    The U.S. summons Israeli amb. Michael Oren and national security advisor Uzi Arad to a 4-hr. mtg. at the White House to discuss how to “contain fallout” fr. the flotilla raid and to find ways for...

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  • May 31, 2010

    Overnight, Israeli naval commandos in boats and helicopters easily commandeer 5 small boats in the FGM-IHH flotilla to Gaza without incident, but open fire on passengers when they attempt to seize...

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  • May 23, 2010

    Based on Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s 5/20 meeting with Mitchell (see 5/19) and a meeting today between Israeli and PA security officials, Israel announces plans to relax some restrictions on...

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  • May 11, 2010

    Egyptian naval forces fire on a Palestinian fishing boat fr. Gaza that strays nr. Egyptian territorial waters, killing 1 Palestinian fisherman, wounding 3. The UN reports that 1 Palestinian has...

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  • May 10, 2010

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem. In Israel, the IDF censor reports that several wks. ago authorities arrested Israeli Palestinians Ameer...

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  • May 3, 2010

    U.S. special envoy Mitchell arrives in the region to secure formal PA-Israeli agreement to open proximity talks, but the PA says Israel must halt all new settlement construction and evictions of...

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  • March 28, 2010

    The Arab League ends 2 days of talks in Libya to debate whether to re-endorse proximity talks without reaching an agreement, though members renew support for the 2002 Arab League initiative...

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  • March 22, 2010

    Clinton, Netanyahu both address the AIPAC conference in Washington and then hold an 80-min. meeting on the sidelines to discuss recent tensions. In the evening, Netanyahu holds a working dinner...

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In Cairo, reps. of 15 small Palestinian factions initial the national unity deal agreed by Fatah and Hamas on 4/27. Fatah and Hamas plan to sign the text on 5/4. (WP, WT 5/4)

In the West Bank, Jewish settlers illegally enter Nablus to pray at Joseph’s Tomb and refuse to leave, barricading themselves inside the tomb and sparking stone-throwing clashes with Palestinians. The IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron, arresting Hamas-affiliated fmr. PC mbr. Issa alJabari. Palestinians report the arson of a mosque in Hawara nr. Nablus, blaming Jewish settlers. OCHA reports that since 4/27, 3 Gazan children have been injured when they accidentally triggered unexploded IDF ordnance (UXO). (WP 5/4; PCHR, WJW 5/5; OCHA 5/6)

Israeli pres. Shimon Peres arrives in Washington for a 3-day visit. He meets today with Secy. of State Clinton; no details are released. (WJW 4/7)

Israel’s Jerusalem planning comm. gives preliminary approval for 942 new settlement housing units in Gilo and the Israeli DMin. announces that it has finished new zoning plans for several West Bank Jewish settlements, retroactively legalizing construction already underway. The State Dept. expresses “deep concern,” stating that the “Israeli settlements [are] illegitimate” and “Israel’s actions run counter to efforts to resume direct negotiations.” Israel charges Gazan engineer Abu Sisi (see 3/10) with developing rockets for Hamas and establishing a “military academy” in Gaza to train Hamas commanders. Hamas and Abu Sisi deny the charges. In Jenin r.c., unidentified assailants fatally shoot Israeli actor Juliano Mer-Khamis (half Jewish and half Palestinian) who runs a theater troop for Palestinian children in the camp (see Quarterly Update for details). Meanwhile, the IDF patrols in ‘Ayn al-Sultan r.c. nr. Jericho in the morning and in 4 villages nr. Jenin and Qalqilya in the afternoon; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Awarta (possibly in connection with the 3/11 Itamar murders). Jewish settlers fr. Taffuh settlement attempt to fence off a nearby plot of Palestinian land; the PA district liaison intervenes with the IDF, which removes the settlers but leaves the fencing marking off the land in place. (AFP, HA, MNA, YA 4/4; NYT, WP, WT 4/5; WP 4/6; NYT, PCHR 4/7; OCHA 4/15)

In the West Bank, the IDF tears down Palestinian’s tents in Khirbat Tana, where the IDF demolished homes and other structures on 2/9/11 (see Quarterly Update and Settlement Monitor in JPS 159); conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches, and patrols in 6 villages nr. Qalqilya, as well as nr. Bethlehem and Jenin. More than 80 Palestinian nonprofit organizations from the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip issued a statement calling on Fatah and Hamas to take practical steps toward ending their rift. (MNA 5/23; PCHR 2/24; OCHA 2/25)

The Knesset passes the Foreign Govt. NGO Funding Transparency Law tightening requirements on groups that accept foreign funding, widely seen as an effort to undermine left-wing Israeli organizations. (MNA 2/23; WJW 2/24)

After a week of violent clashes, the Libyan govt. has lost control of most of the eastern part of the country to armed antigovernment protesters. Qaddafi responds with overwhelming force, dispatching warplanes, helicopters, special forces, and heavily armed mercenaries (paid and flown in to Tripoli by the planeload in recent days to shore up the regime) to hunt down demonstrators. Fighting has also reached Tripoli, where there are reports of strafing fr. the air, combat in the streets, burning buildings, and looters ransacking police stations. Dozens of senior Libyan officials and diplomats resign in outrage, and widespread defections by the military nationwide are reported. (WP, WT 2/21; NYT, WP, WT 2/22)

To demonstrate some accountability in light of the Palestine Papers and to give Abbas the chance to strengthen his base in advance of elections, his cabinet resigns. Abbas immediately reappoints Fayyad as PM to form a new government. (NYT, WP 2/15)

Israel’s Jerusalem municipal authority approves 120 new housing units in Ramot settlement in East Jerusalem. Israeli authorities also bulldoze 1 d. of Palestinian fruit trees in Shaykh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Timed with the swearing-in ceremony of Israel’s new IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz, unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel; coming after several days of relative calm on the Gaza border, Israel says it interprets the strike as a message fr. the Gaza factions that they will not “make life easy” for Gantz in his new position. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the fmr. settlement sites, wounding 1. OCHA reports that Gaza hospitals have received 2 shipments of medical supplies fr. the PA Health Min. in Ramallah in recent days (see 1/18), reducing the number of supplies at zero stock fr. 183 to 150 (out of 480 essential items tracked). In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm, 2 nr. Ramallah, and 1 nr. Jericho, firing rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and percussion grenades at stone-throwing youths who confront them in 1 incident, causing no serious injuries; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, and Jenin. Jewish settlers fr. Halamish settlement nr. Ramallah uproot 12 olive seedlings in neighboring Nabi Salih. (JP, YA 2/14; PCHR, WJW 2/17; OCHA 2/18)

Israel refuses Egypt’s request to deploy additional forces in the Sinai. (JP 2/7; WJW 2/10) (see 1/30)

IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of Bayt Hanun fire warning shots at Palestinian farmers who stray nr. the border fence, forcing them to flee; fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials nr. the border e. of Gaza City, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin, 2 nr. Salfit, 1 nr. Ramallah, and 1 nr. Tulkarm; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin r.c. and nr. Salfit. (PCHR 2/10; OCHA 2/11)

Ireland upgrades the status of the Palestinian representation in Dublin from a “delegation” to a “mission” and grants the mission head ambassador status. It does not recognize Palestine as a state or give the mission greater diplomatic privileges or immunities. Israel expresses its “regret.” (HA, YA 1/25; WJW 1/27)

OCHA reports that Israel has barred the import of industrial fuel for Gaza’s electricity plant for 2 weeks and is now internally discussing disconnecting Gaza fr. Israel’s electricity and water grid. (Gaza authorities have been able to keep electricity generation at 30% of demand by increasing the amount of fuel smuggling through tunnels fr. Egypt.) UNRWA reports that it has suspended 23 approved building projects in Gaza because of Israeli restrictions on gravel imports. Meanwhile, IDF troops make 2 brief incursion into Gaza e. of Gaza Valley village and e. of al-Maghazi r.c. to level land and clear lines of sight. Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. OCHA reports that since 1/19, 3 Palestinians have been injured in tunnelrelated accidents (2 crushed transporting construction materials, 1 electrocuted). (JP 1/25; PCHR 1/27; OCHA 1/28)

Some 150,000 Egyptians of all socioeconomic backgrounds inspired by events in Tunisia answer a week of calls to attend a “day of revolution” antigovernment rally in Cairo’s Tahrir Square today (a national holiday to honor police), bringing blankets, food, and water and vowing to continue protests until Mubarak steps down, his government is dissolved, and parliament is disbanded. (The Muslim Brotherhood does not participate to allow the voice of the people to stay at the fore.) The government cuts cell phone and Internet service to limit international coverage and mobilization efforts via social networking sites. Late at night, government security forces raided the square firing tear gas and water cannons, beating some demonstrators, and arresting others in an unsuccessful effort to drive them out. After a paroxysm of retaliatory violence that kills 1 police officer and some looting in the National Museum on the square, protesters disengage and mobilize to call for nonviolence, notably creating a cordon around the museum to protect it. Parallel protests are held in Alexandria, Suez (where violent clashes kill 2 demonstrators), and several smaller towns, with larger protests called for Friday 1/28. By this date, there have also been several days of protests in Yemen calling for Pres. Saleh’s removal, citing economic ills, corruption, and rumors Saleh plans to install his son as his successor. (NYT, WP, WT 1/25; AFP, al-Masri al-Yawm 1/26; see also NYT 1/23; AFP 1/26; NYT 1/27)

Israel’s Jerusalem planning comm. approves construction of 92 housing units in Talpiot settlement and 32 apartments in Pisgat Ze’ev settlement. Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts patrols in 3 villages nr. Qalqilya, 2 nr. Salfit, 1 nr. Jenin, and 1 nr. Ramallah during the day and evening; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches, and patrols nr. Hebron, Salfit, and Tulkarm. (YA 1/17; PCHR, WJW 1/20; OCHA 1/21)

Israeli DM Ehud Barak resigns as head of the Labor party, taking 4 rightleaning party mbrs. with him to form a “new centrist independence faction” within Netanyahu’s governing coalition. The 8 remaining Labor MKs immediately withdraw fr. the coalition, leaving Netanyahu with a smaller but more stable coalition, controlling 66 of 120 Knesset seats. (NYT, WP, WT 1/18; WJW 1/20; JPI 1/28)

U.S. special envoy Mitchell returns to the region for a 2-day visit aimed at reviving indirect talks. He says he will urge the Israeli and Palestinian sides to present their final status positions separately to the U.S. in writing so that the U.S. can recommend bridging proposals. (HA 12/13; NYT, WP 12/14)

EU FMs meeting in Brussels say the EU will not recognize a unilateral Palestinian declaration of statehood until “an appropriate time.” (WJW 12/14)

In the afternoon, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire a flechette round on a group of armed IQB mbrs. operating nr. the border fence n. of Bayt Lahiya, wounding 2. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Qalqilya, Ramallah. Jewish settlers fr. Susia settlement nr. Hebron attack 4 nearby Palestinian homes, beating several Palestinians. (PCHR 12/16; OCHA 12/17)

The Mount Carmel forest fire (which started on 12/2) is put out, and Palestinian fire fighters return to the West Bank; the fire, which destroyed an estimated 40,000 d. of land and left 44 Israelis dead, is the largest in Israeli history. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts daytime patrols in 5 villages nr. Jenin and 4 villages nr. Tulkarm in the evening (firing stun grenades in 1 instance). Twice during the day, 50 Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim settlement nr. Qalqilya attempt to seize a plot of Palestinian agricultural land and drive off the owner, but the IDF intervenes and sends them away. (YA 12/5; PCHR 12/9; OCHA 12/10; JTA 12/14; WJW 12/15; YA 12/16; WP 12/27)

Responding to an appeal made by PA Pres. Mahmud Abbas in 11/2010, Brazil recognizes Palestine as a state based on 1967 borders. The Israeli FMin. opens low-profiles talks with other Latin American leaders to prevent them fr. following suit. (WP 12/4; WJW 12/16; JPI 12/17)

Israeli municipal authorities in East Jerusalem demolish 1 Palestinian home in al-Tur neighborhood. IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of Jabaliya direct at least 17 artillery shells and gunfire at armed Palestinians planting explosive devices along the border fence, killing 2 Islamic Jihad mbrs.; later makes a brief incursion into the area to level land in the area to clear lines of sight. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night patrols in Zayta nr. Tulkarm; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. (PCHR 12/2; NYT 12/3; PCHR 12/9; OCHA 12/10)

Israel’s Jerusalem municipal authorities approve zoning of land in East Jerusalem to accommodate construction of 130 new housing units in Gilo settlement. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians and international activists staging a nonviolent march to the Erez crossing to protest Israel’s imposition of a no-go zone inside the Gaza border; no injuries are reported. In the West Bank, the IDF releases Palestinians arrested on 11/24 for organizing weekly demonstrations outside Karme Tzur, forcing them to sign pledges that they will stay away fr. the settlement; conducts morning patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 2 nr. Tulkarm. (WP 11/30; PCHR, WJW 12/2; OCHA 12/3)

The Arab League postpones its planned 11/9 meeting until after the 11/16–20 Eid al-Adha holiday to give ongoing U.S.-Israeli talks a final chance to reach an arrangement that would allow continuation of Israeli-Palestinian direct talks. (MNA 11/7; Foreign Policy 11/9)

Netanyahu arrives in the U.S. on a 5-day visit to attend the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) general assembly in New Orleans and consult with U.S. officials (excluding Obama, who left on 11/5 for a 10-day trip to South East Asia). On the sidelines of the JFNA assembly today, he meets with VP Joe Biden for talks that focus primarily on Iran (WP 11/9; WJW 11/11)

IDF troops on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials inside the industrial zone, wounding 1. IDF troops make a brief incursion into c. Gaza to level lands along the border fence e. of Gaza Valley village. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts a rare daytime house search nr. Jenin; patrols without incident 2 villages nr. Jenin during the day; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya (also detonating explosives in a store on the 1st floor of a Palestinian building, causing heavy damage), Ramallah. (OCHA, PCHR 11/11)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire on Palestinians scavenging for construction materials at a demolished garbage collection center, wounding 1. IDF troops on the s. Gaza border shoot, wound an unarmed Palestinian who strays nr. the border fence e. of Abasan. In the West Bank, the IDF enters Tulkarm in the morning, patrolling streets and photographing the Palestinian Technical College; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Tulkarm. In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities demolish a Palestinian car wash, auto repair shop, and 2 other portable structures in Bayt Hanina. (OCHA reports that another 7 Palestinian structures were demolished in Issawiyya and al-Tur between 10/27 and 11/2.) Meanwhile, at a dedication ceremony in Dahiyat al-Barid (in East Jerusalem but on the Palestinian side of the separation wall), PA PM Fayyad announces that the PA has renovated 15 schools in East Jerusalem in defiance of Israel’s ban on PA activity in East Jerusalem, saying “we are translating steadfastness into facts on the ground.” Fayyad had planned to attend the inauguration of the new schools in Shaykh Jarrah and Shu‘fat as well, but decided not to after Netanyahu pointedly renewed (11/1) his ban on allowing Palestinian leaders to carry out official business in the city and ordered security services to halt the visit if Fayyad proceeded. The Court of First Instance in Gaza sentences a Palestinian man to death by hanging for kidnapping and killing a 9-yr.-old girl in 2004. (JTA, UNSCO 11/2; NYT 11/3; PCHR, WJW 11/4; OCHA 11/5; see also AFP, HA 11/1)

In the first full day after the expiration of the settlement freeze, the Israeli government approves construction of a new settler-only bypass road linking Kiryat Arba to the Tomb of the Patriarchs/al-Ibrahimi Mosque in c. Hebron, which could require the removal of 10s of Palestinian homes and confiscation of Palestinian agricultural land. Jewish settlers begin construction of 56 new houses in Karme Tzur. Armed Jewish settlers accompanied by IDF soldiers begin leveling 8 d. of Palestinian land in Wadi al-Hussein neighborhood in Hebron seized by settlers in 2008. State Dept. spokesman P.J. Crowley says the U.S. is “disappointed” Israel allowed the freeze to expire, saying Mitchell phoned Abbas to thank him for not suspending talks immediately and that Clinton had held a “business-like” phone conversation with Netanyahu about the freeze. (NYT, WP 9/28; PCHR, WJW 9/30; OCHA 10/1)

Secy. of State Clinton meets with Syrian FM Walid Moualem in New York to broach the possibility of reviving the Israeli-Syrian peace track, with the U.S. and Syria agreeing to develop some ideas on how to proceed. (NYT, WP 9/28)

In Gaza, IDF troops make a day-long incursion into s. Gaza to level lands in the no-go zone e. of al-Qarara to clear lines of sight. In the West Bank, the IDF seals an entrance to Jayyus village nr. Qalqilya; seals 2 entrances to Azun village, checking Palestinian IDs, saying stones were thrown from the village at passing IDF patrols (no arrests are made); conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Tulkarm; conducts late-night patrols in Jenin and 2 nearby villages, making no arrests. (PCHR 9/30)

The Israeli navy fires warning shots at a Lebanese fishing boat that strays into Israeli territorial waters after it ignores several verbal warnings to turn back. The boat is not damaged and the crew is not harmed. In the West Bank, the IDF fires tear gas and stun grenades at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists taking part in weekly nonviolent demonstrations against land confiscation and settlement expansion nr. Karme Tzur settlement nr. Hebron and nr. Beit Romano settlement in Hebron, beating 2 Palestinian cameramen and 1 U.S. activist. (PCHR, WJW 8/12; OCHA 8/13)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night patrols in Tulkarm and 2 villages nr. Jenin, making no arrests; conducts latenight arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. In Jerusalem, Israeli police and municipal authorities crack down on Palestinian street vendors operating without licenses, confiscating their goods and fining them $270. Inside Israel, 1,300 Israeli police evict 300 bedouin fr. the unofficial village of al-Arakib before dawn, then level the village, demolishing 45 structures including homes and chicken coops to make way for the Jewish National Fund to plant a forest. (BBC, JAZ, YA 7/27; HA 7/28; PCHR 7/29; OCHA 7/30; Inter Press Service 8/10; WJW 8/12; NYT 8/26)

Obama phones Abbas to urge him to agree to begin direct negotiations with Israel. Abbas reiterates demands for a comprehensive settlement freeze including East Jerusalem and assurances that all final status issues will be discussed. (White House press release 7/9; WJW 7/15)

In Gaza, unidentified assailants break into the Palestinian Liaison Office on the Gaza side of the Erez crossing, stealing copies of medical referral documents and communications equipment used to coordinate transit through the crossing with the Israeli Liaison Office on the Israeli side. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts synchronized evening patrols in 3 villages nr. Tulkarm, making no arrests; patrols in a 4th village nr. Tulkarm late at night, making no arrests. Palestinians (sometimes accompanied by Israeli and international activists) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall and land confiscations in Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, and Dayr Nizam/al-Nabi Salih. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, leaving 10s suffering tear gas inhalation, injuring 2 Palestinians, and arresting 1 Palestinian, 1 Israeli, 1 international activist. (PCHR 7/15; OCHA 7/16)

In an effort to show positive movement on the peace process in advance of Netanyahu’s 7/6 meeting with Obama, Israel releases its new guidelines for the entry of goods to Gaza in keeping with its 6/20 cabinet decision, issuing 2 lists of (1) prohibited goods, which include all weapons and munitions, and (2) restricted “dual use” items with military or terrorist applications (including many common chemicals and fertilizers, optical equipment, knives). Israel also itemizes 19 permitted construction goods allowed for import only for PA or internationally supervised projects. Israeli DM Barak personally briefs Abbas, Fayyad on Israel’s steps to ease the Gaza blockade and improve security and economic coordination in the West Bank. (NYT, WT 7/6; WJW 7/8; OCHA 7/9)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials 700 m fr. the border, seriously wounding a 13-yr.-old boy. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the c. Gaza coast, seriously wounding a 14-yr.-old boy and damaging the boat. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Tulkarm and neighboring Dayr al-Ghusun in the morning and Bidya village in the afternoon, making no arrests; enters Kafr Lakif village nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon, raiding a metal workshop and arresting 2 Palestinians; fires rubber-coated bullets, tear gas, stun grenades at Palestinians holding a nonviolent demonstration against settlement expansion in Bayt Jala (injuring 4, including 1 journalist); conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya, Salfit. Israeli tax authorities search Palestinian shops in East Jerusalem’s al-Misrara market, seizing the truck of one shop, releasing it later in the day after the owner pays $13,000 in back taxes. (PCHR 7/7; OCHA 7/9)

U.S. special envoy Mitchell returns to the region for 3 days for another round of Israeli-Palestinian proximity talks. No details are released. (NYT, WP 7/1)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 mortar fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Later, mbrs. of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) fire several mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, targeting an IDF unit patrolling the border inside Israel, damaging a vehicle but causing no injuries; the unit shells the launch site, killing 1 PFLP mbr. On the n. Gaza border, IDF troops fire warning shots at Palestinian, international activists who stage a nonviolent march to the border fence n. of Bayt Lahiya to protest Israel’s imposition of a no-go zone, causing no injuries. Also in Gaza, Palestinians believed to be fr. an extremist Islamist group destroy a 2d UNRWA summer camp for children nr. Dayr al-Balah, tying up guards, setting a fire, destroying toys and an inflatable pool; another summer camp was destroyed on 5/23. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Ramallah. Inside Israel, Israeli police indict 7 Israeli Palestinians arrested in 4/2010 in and nr. Nazareth on charges of supporting al-Qa‘ida and plotting attacks on Jews and Christians; no details are released. (YA 6/28; NYT, WT 6/29; PCHR 7/1; OCHA, WJW 7/2)

In the West Bank, Palestinian gunmen open fire on an IDF border police vehicle nr. Hebron, killing 1 Israeli border police officer and wounding 3 in the first fatal shooting attack against Israelis in the West Bank in over 1 yr.; a claim of responsibility and threat of more attacks are issued by a group calling itself the Freedom Flotilla Martyrs. Also in the West Bank, the IDF conducts 3 separate synchronized late-night arrest raids, house searches in Bethlehem and neighboring Dahaysha r.c., al-Far‘a r.c. and Tammun village nr. Tubas, Jenin town and r.c. and 2 nearby villages; additional late-night arrest raids, house searches are carried out nr. Salfit, Tubas. In Gaza, unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket fr. the s. Gaza border area into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF fires 5 artillery shells at the launch site, causing no damage or injuries. Separately, the IDF makes a brief incursion into s. Gaza to level land to clear lines of sight. IDF troops on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing fire on Palestinian scavenging for construction materials in the industrial zone, wounding 1 Palestinian. IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians staging a nonviolent march to the border fence e. of Khan Yunis to protest Israel’s no-go zone; no injuries are reported. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. (NYT, YA 6/15; PCHR, WJW 6/17; OCHA 6/18)

IDF troops on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the industrial zone, wounding 1 Palestinian. Late in the evening, unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. A Palestinian teenager is fatally electrocuted in a smuggling tunnel under the Rafah border. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. (WP 6/15; PCHR, WJW 6/17; OCHA 6/18)

In addition to the IDF internal investigation announced on 6/8, Israel names a government-appointed “independent public commission” with foreign participation to examine a narrow set of circumstances surrounding the Gaza flotilla incident. (IFM 6/13; JTA, NYT 6/14; NYT, WP 6/15)

Obama receives PA PM Mahmud Abbas in Washington for talks on bilateral relations and how best to proceed with peace talks in light of the flotilla incident. Obama, who has been in regular contact with Netanyahu since the flotilla attack, for the first time publicly proposes that Israel switch fr. a blanket ban on imports to Gaza with a list of exempted items permitted entry and instead allow all imports minus a list of banned items. (WP 6/9; NYT, WP, WT 6/10; WJW 6/17)

The PA says it has given Mitchell its baseline positions for direct talks with Israel and is prepared to begin direct negotiations once Israel does the same. Israel, however, says it will not lay out its negotiating position until direct talks begin “because that would be asking us to negotiate against ourselves.” (NYT 6/10)

IDF troops on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging construction materials in the industrial zone, causing no injuries. IDF troops make a brief incursion into the s. Gaza border area to level land to clear lines of sight. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrests raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron (including surrounding and searching the home of one of the organizers of the local separation wall protests, questioning him for 3 hrs. but not arresting him), Jenin; breaks up Palestinians and Israeli activists holding a nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in al-Walaja nr. Bethlehem, arresting 1 Palestinian, 2 Israelis. (PCHR 6/10, 6/17; OCHA 6/18)

The U.S. summons Israeli amb. Michael Oren and national security advisor Uzi Arad to a 4-hr. mtg. at the White House to discuss how to “contain fallout” fr. the flotilla raid and to find ways for Israel to ease the siege of Gaza without harming Israeli security. Separately, U.S. Secy. of State Hillary Clinton phones Israeli DM Ehud Barak to urge Israel to be very careful about what it says and does in the coming days to defuse the situation as quickly as possible. (WP 5/27; IFM 6/1; NYT, WJW, WP 7/2)

In light of the 5/31 flotilla incident, Egypt says it will open its border with Gaza indefinitely as of 6/2 for unlimited travel for humanitarian purposes, though import of goods will remain restricted per Israeli demands. Overnight, unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing damage but no injuries. In response, the IDF carries out 2 air strikes and fires 7 tank shells on the launch site nr. Abasan in s. Gaza, killing 2 armed Palestinians; then sends troops 400 m into Gaza to clear lines of sight in the area. Later in the day, Islamic Jihad mbrs. fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. n. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries; the IDF shells the launch site, killing 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs. Meanwhile, IDF troops on the s. Gaza border for unknown reasons fire into al-Shuka neighborhood in Rafah, wounding a 71 yr.-old-Palestinian woman inside her home. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging construction materials inside the Erez industrial zone, causing no reported injuries. The UN reports that in the previous wk., Hamas authorities in Gaza for unstated reasons shut down 6 Palestinian NGOs and confiscated some of their property; UN special coordinator for Middle East peace Robert Serry expresses concern over the impact on Palestinian civil society. The UN also reports that in the previous wk., 6 Palestinians were killed, 12 injured when a gas canister being smuggled through a tunnel on the Rafah border exploded; 1 Palestinian was killed and 2 were injured in a separate tunnel collapse. (JP 6/1; NYT 6/2; PCHR 6/3; OCHA 6/4)

Overnight, Israeli naval commandos in boats and helicopters easily commandeer 5 small boats in the FGM-IHH flotilla to Gaza without incident, but open fire on passengers when they attempt to seize the main vessel (Mavi Marmara) sailing with the group, killing 9 Turkish activists (1 with dual U.S. citizenship); another 53 passengers (23 seriously, including 1 Australian) and 7 Israeli commandos (1 seriously; 1 stabbed, several with gunshot wounds) are injured. The IDF claims commandos acted in self-defense, saying they faced a premeditated attack by passengers; FGM-IHH says passengers were unarmed and nonviolent and at most acted in selfdefense. In light of the incident, the U.S. cancels a meeting at the White House between U.S. Pres. Barack Obama and Israeli PM Netanyahu scheduled for 6/1 and issues a statement saying that the U.S. is “deeply concerned by the suffering of civilians in Gaza” and “will continue to engage the Israelis on a daily basis to expand the scope and type of goods allowed into Gaza.” (IFM 5/31; IFM, NYT, WP, WT 6/1; AHR 6/3; JPI 6/11; ITIC 7/6; Counterpunch 6/10; JPI 7/16)

Meanwhile, IDF troops on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging construction materials fr. destroyed buildings inside the Erez industrial zone, causing no reported injuries. Israeli border police fire tear gas at Palestinian and international activists staging a nonviolent demonstration against Israel’s attack on the flotilla nr. the Qalandia crossing into Jerusalem, hitting an American activist in the head with a tear gas canister (she loses an eye). (PCHR 6/3; OCHA 6/4; WJW 6/10)

Based on Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s 5/20 meeting with Mitchell (see 5/19) and a meeting today between Israeli and PA security officials, Israel announces plans to relax some restrictions on West Bank movement and access over the next 2 wks. as a goodwill gesture to support proximity talks. The promised moves include: removing 60 roadblocks (around 10% of total) across the West Bank, various steps to improve Palestinian tourism and trade, and lifting some restrictions on Israeli Palestinians access to the West Bank. (IFM 5/23; JTA 5/24; OCHA, WJW 5/27)

In Gaza, around 20 armed Palestinians vandalize and set fire to an United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) beachside summer camp for refugee children under construction w. of Gaza City, binding the caretaker and leaving him with a letter threatening UNRWA senior staff; Hamas denounces the attack; no group takes responsibility, but previously Islamist extremists have condemned UNRWA for corrupting Gazan youths by introducing them to activities they deem at odds with Islam. The Israeli navy fires on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging construction materials fr. former settlement sites nr. Bayt Lahiya, wounding 1 Palestinian. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids in and around Hebron and neighboring al-‘Arub refugee camp (r.c.), in Jenin and Qalqilya, nr. Jericho and Ramallah. (IFM 5/23; NYT 5/24; OCHA, PCHR 5/27; NYT 6/29)

Israel begins a 5-day nationwide civil defense exercise to test the preparedness of civilians, emergency services, local authorities in case of war. Netanyahu stresses that the drill does not mean Israel is expecting or planning a major security engagement. (NYT 5/24)

Egyptian naval forces fire on a Palestinian fishing boat fr. Gaza that strays nr. Egyptian territorial waters, killing 1 Palestinian fisherman, wounding 3. The UN reports that 1 Palestinian has been killed in a tunnel collapse on the Rafah border since 5/4. Israel’s Peace Now reports that construction has begun of 14 new Jewish homes in Ras al-Amud in East Jerusalem. The PA informs the U.S., calling the construction a violation of Israel’s pledges at the start of proximity talks. Israel says the homes are being built privately and the government has no authority to stop it. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Bayt Umar village in the afternoon, firing live ammunition at stone-throwing Palestinian youths who confront them, wounding 1; makes a late-night raid on a Palestinian home in Bil‘in, summoning 1 resident for interrogation; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Salfit, arresting 11 Palestinian teenagers. Israel’s Jerusalem municipality orders Palestinian business owners to evacuate a 3 d. plot of land nr. the U.S. consulate, saying it is state-owned land; the order is not immediately enforced. (OCHA, PCHR, WJW 5/13)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem. In Israel, the IDF censor reports that several wks. ago authorities arrested Israeli Palestinians Ameer Makhoul and Omar Said, mbrs. of Israel’s Balad party, on charges of spying and making contact with Hizballah. Lawyers for the men say Israel’s espionage laws are overly broad and the government construes e-mail conversations with anyone in Lebanon as being contact with Hizballah. (NYT 5/11; OCHA, PCHR, WJW 5/13)

U.S. special envoy Mitchell arrives in the region to secure formal PA-Israeli agreement to open proximity talks, but the PA says Israel must halt all new settlement construction and evictions of Palestinians during the 4-mo. duration of negotiations, while Israel says the PA must halt all incitement, especially its boycott of settlement-made goods. (NYT, WT 5/4; WJW 5/6)

Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the Bayt Lahiya coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF destroys several structures in Shavei Shomron settlement built in violation of the 10-mo. settlement freeze; conducts synchronized late-night arrest raids, house searches in 3 villages nr. Hebron. (NYT 5/5; OCHA, PCHR 5/6)

The Arab League ends 2 days of talks in Libya to debate whether to re-endorse proximity talks without reaching an agreement, though members renew support for the 2002 Arab League initiative offering full normalization for full peace. (WP 3/29; WJW 4/1)

The IDF makes a brief incursion into s. Gaza e. of Abasan to level land along the border fence to clear lines of sight. In the West Bank, 10s of Palestinians, Christian clerics, and international activists take part in a nonviolent march from Bethlehem to the main IDF checkpoint to Jerusalem to protest Israeli restrictions on Christians entering Jerusalem today, Palm Sunday; IDF troops beat marchers, arrest 12 Palestinians (including Fatah Central Comm. mbr. Abbas Zaki; all are released on 4/1) and 4 internationals (releasing them later in the day), and seal the Gilo crossing to Jerusalem (including to medical cases and tourists) through 3/31. (OCHA, PCHR 4/1)

Clinton, Netanyahu both address the AIPAC conference in Washington and then hold an 80-min. meeting on the sidelines to discuss recent tensions. In the evening, Netanyahu holds a working dinner with Biden on bilateral relations. (JTA 3/22; JTA, NYT, WP, WT 3/23; WJW 3/25; JPI 4/2)

In Gaza, 1 IDF soldier is killed by friendly fire when IDF infantry and tank units on the Gaza border are mobilized to halt 3 unarmed Palestinians nr. the border fence, and the tank crew accidentally fires on the infantry unit on the Israeli side of the border; the Palestinians are not injured. After unidentified Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries, the IDF makes an air strike on an alleged weapons depot in Gaza City, destroying it and lightly injuring 8 Palestinian civilians (including 1 woman and 2 children). Later in the evening, unidentified Palestinians fire another rocket toward Israel, but it lands harmlessly nr. the Erez crossing. Late in the evening, IDF troops on the central Gaza border e. of Dayr al-Balah shoot, wound an unarmed Palestinian outside his home 500 m fr. the border. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in al-Fara‘a r.c. nr. Tubas. (HA, JP, NYT, YA 3/23; OCHA, PCHR, WJW 3/25)