689 / 14704 Results
  • June 14, 2009

    Netanyahu gives a major policy speech on Israeli peace and security, drafted as a rebuttal to Obama’s 6/4 Cairo address and intended to inject a Zionist narrative (see Doc. C1). In an effort to...

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  • June 9, 2009

    In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 1 Palestinian home and an addition to a 2d home in East Jerusalem, displacing 15 Palestinians (including 8 children), with 1 family fined $3,000 for unlicensed...

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  • June 2, 2009

    Overnight, in East Jerusalem, an Israeli gunman fires on 3 Israeli Palestinians at a bus stop in an apparent hate crime, killing 1 Israeli Palestinian, seriously wounding the 2d, and missing the...

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  • May 30, 2009

    The IDF evacuates the tiny unauthorized outpost of Shvut Ami nr. Nablus; Jewish settlers quickly begin rebuilding the site. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron...

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  • May 18, 2009

    Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu begins a 2-day visit to Washington to discuss the peace process, Iran, bilateral relations, and Middle East regional affairs, holding his 1st mtg. with U.S. pres....

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  • May 12, 2009

    The IDF sends troops into Gaza to bulldoze land nr. the border fence e. of Jabaliya. The UN reports several previously unreported Gaza incidents that took place between 5/7 and 5/12 (no exact...

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  • May 11, 2009

    In the morning, the IDF raids the Ambassador Hotel in Shaykh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, shuts down a temporary news bureau set up by the Palestinian Media Center to cover the pope’s visit,...

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  • April 12, 2009

    In the West Bank, the IDF evacuates a Palestinian home nr. Tulkarm occupied on 4/11; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Khirbat Safa and nr. Hebron, Ramallah. (OCHA 4/15; PCHR 4/...

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  • April 2, 2009

    In the West Bank, an unidentified assailant with an ax kills a 13-yr.-old Jewish settler boy and wounds a 7-yr.-old inside Bet Ayn settlement in the Gush Etzion bloc nr. Bethlehem; several...

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  • March 31, 2009

    IDF troops fire on armed Palestinians laying a roadside bomb nr. the Israel-Gaza border, sparking a cross-border exchange of gunfire and calling in an air strike, leaving 2 armed Palestinians dead...

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  • March 26, 2009

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts synchronized late-night house searches in several villages southeast of Jenin, making no arrests; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Salfit. (...

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  • March 15, 2009

    The IDF opens a main checkpoint at Bayt Ibia nr. Nablus for the 1st time in 8 yrs., as a 1st step toward permanently relocating it (see 3/30 below). Unidentified gunmen fatally shoot 2 Israeli...

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  • February 21, 2009

    Some 400 Gazans protest on the Rafah border demanding that Egypt unilaterally open the crossing into Gaza. Egypt deploys 100s of additional police and border patrol officers along the Rafah border...

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  • February 9, 2009

    No violence is reported in the West Bank or Gaza. UNRWA reports that Hamas authorities have returned all of the aid seized fr. the agency in the previous wk., allowing the agency to resume...

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  • February 3, 2009

    Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the Rafah coast, causing no injuries. Palestinians fire a Grad rocket fr. Gaza into Israel (the 1st Grad fired since the end of OCL),...

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  • January 26, 2009

    No violence is reported in Gaza. Israel allows in 293 truckloads of humanitarian aid and commercial goods. In the West Bank, the IDF raids Battir village nr. Bethlehem early in the morning and...

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  • January 12, 2009

    Olmert’s security cabinet revives discussion of opening phase 3 of OCL (see 1/9), agreeing to make a final decision whether to expand or wind down operations within 2–3 days, by which time the IDF...

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  • January 10, 2009

    Israel warns of an expanded ground war in Gaza and begins moving more tanks and reservists to the Gaza border. The IDF drops leaflets and sends out automated phone messages across Gaza, warning of...

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  • January 8, 2009

    The UNSC passes (14–0, with the U.S. abstaining) res. 1860, calling for an “immediate, durable, and fully respected cease-fire, leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza” but not...

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  • December 29, 2008

    As Israel continues widespread air and naval bombardment of Gaza for a 3d day, Israeli DM Barak declares “all-out war” on Hamas. The IDF declares a 2-mi. buffer zone around the Strip a closed...

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  • December 28, 2008

    As massive Israeli strikes on Gaza enter a 2d day, IDF Southern Command head Maj. Gen. Yo’av Galant says (HA 12/28) that the IDF aims to “send Gaza decades into the past” in terms of Hamas’s...

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  • December 9, 2008

    Israel allows 70 truckloads of food and medicine, some cooking gas into Gaza. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Marda village nr. Salfit in the morning, beating 2 Palestinian men; conducts late...

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  • December 1, 2008

    The Israeli navy turns back a Libyan freighter carrying 3,000 tons of humanitarian aid attempting to breach Israel’s blockade of Gaza. In the West Bank, the IDF sends an undercover unit into...

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  • October 20, 2008

    By this date, Palestinian factions have agreed to an Egyptian proposal to resume their national unity dialogue in Cairo on 11/9. Hamas and Fatah are considering a draft memorandum of understanding...

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  • October 19, 2008

    In the first such cross-border incident in Gaza since 9/16, the IDF sends bulldozers and armored vehicles into areas n. of Bayt Hanun to level land along the border. In the West Bank, the IDF...

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  • March 19, 2006

    Israel extends the seal on the West Bank and Gaza (imposed on 3/11) until after the 3/28 Israeli elections. The IDF arrests 3 unarmed Palestinians attempting to sneak into Israel fr. n. Gaza to...

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  • March 1, 2005

    Israeli security officials say they now believe that a renegade Islamic Jihad cell fr. Jenin, commanded fr. outside the territories, was responsible for the 2/25 bombing. IDF severely beats a...

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  • February 27, 2005

    The IDF steps up military actions in response to the 2/25 Tel Aviv bombing, placing curfews on Alar, Saida villages nr. Tulkarm; conducts overnight arrest raids, house searches nr. Tulkarm;...

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  • November 2, 2004

    U.S. Pres. George W. Bush narrowly wins reelection. (MM 11/2; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/3; VOP 11/3 in WNC 11/5; MM 11/4; Globes, HA, JAZ, JP, JT, MA, MENA, YA 11/4 in WNC 11/6; al-Safir 11/4, al-...

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  • October 29, 2004

    The IDF continues operations in Jenin for a 3d day, firing on stone-throwing youths, conducting arrest raids and house searches; demolishes 7 Palestinian homes in Rafah; confiscates 308 d. of...

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Netanyahu gives a major policy speech on Israeli peace and security, drafted as a rebuttal to Obama’s 6/4 Cairo address and intended to inject a Zionist narrative (see Doc. C1). In an effort to appease Obama, he for the 1st time agrees to support the creation of a Palestinian state, but only under a host of conditions that would essentially redefine Palestinian sovereignty. (IFM 6/14; NYT, WP, WT 6/15; WJW 6/18; JPI 6/26)

The badly decomposed body of a Palestinian shepherd missing since 4/21/09 is found 50 m fr. the n. Gaza border fence nr. Bayt Hanun, raising speculation that he was fatally shot by the IDF when he strayed nr. the border. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin (firing on residential areas, causing no injuries), Jerusalem. Jewish settlers attack a 10-yr.-old Palestinian boy in Silwan nr. Jerusalem; when the boy’s family intervenes, 30 settlement guards fr. settlements in the area join in the attack, beating another 4 Palestinians. A Palestinian dies in an Egyptian hospital of injuries received in an IDF drone strike on Jabaliya r.c. during OCL. (OCHA, PCHR 6/18)

In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 1 Palestinian home and an addition to a 2d home in East Jerusalem, displacing 15 Palestinians (including 8 children), with 1 family fined $3,000 for unlicensed construction; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron, Nablus and neighboring ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’, and Hizma village northeast of Jerusalem (arresting 3 12-yr.-old Palestinians and a 14-yr.-old), and nr. Jenin. The UN reports that in the previous wk., the IDF vacated 3 checkpoints around Qalqilya (including completely dismantling 1: Izbat Jalud) and increased the operating hours of 4 main checkpoints around Nablus (Asira al-Shamaliyya, Bayt Iba, Hawara, Shavei Shomron) to 24 hrs./ day 7 days/wk., significantly easing Palestinian travel btwn. Qalqilya and Nablus. The UN also reports that since the 5/31 and 6/4 Fatah-Hamas clashes in Qalqilya, Hamas police have arrested 73 Fatah-affiliated Palestinians on charges of “seeking to undermine internal security in Gaza.” Meanwhile, the PASF has arrested at least 74 Palestinians in the West Bank, making this the 2d wk. that the PASF has arrested more Palestinians than the IDF. (OCHA, PCHR 6/11)

U.S. special envoy Mitchell begins a 2-day visit to Israel and Ramallah (his 4th trip to the region) to follow up with Israeli and PA leaders regarding Obama’s 6/4 speech. (IFM 6/9; NYT, WT 6/10; NYT, WJW, WT 9/11) 

Overnight, in East Jerusalem, an Israeli gunman fires on 3 Israeli Palestinians at a bus stop in an apparent hate crime, killing 1 Israeli Palestinian, seriously wounding the 2d, and missing the 3d before being arrested. In Gaza, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border for no apparent reason fire 4 flechette rounds at a Bedouin village, injuring 2 teenagers. In the West Bank, the IDF announces that effective immediately the Atara and al-Tayba checkpoints will no longer be staffed, easing Palestinian movement btwn. the n. West Bank and Ramallah, and btwn. Ramallah and Jericho, respectively; patrols in Ramallah in the morning, halting Palestinians to check their IDs. The UN notes that in the previous wk., the PASF for the 1st time arrested more Palestinians in the West Bank than the IDF, detaining 122 Palestinians compared to around 80 arrested by the IDF. (OCHA, PCHR, WJW 6/4)

The IDF evacuates the tiny unauthorized outpost of Shvut Ami nr. Nablus; Jewish settlers quickly begin rebuilding the site. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Jenin. (OCHA 6/1; OCHA, PCHR, WJW 6/4)

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu begins a 2-day visit to Washington to discuss the peace process, Iran, bilateral relations, and Middle East regional affairs, holding his 1st mtg. with U.S. pres. Barack Obama at the White House. Obama privately presses for a total Israeli settlement freeze and endorsement of a 2-state solution, with Netanyahu demurring. The leaders emerge showing no signs of tensions, instead stressing shared goals of preventing Iran fr. developing nuclear weapons and achieving peace btwn. Israel and the Palestinians. (HA, IFM, WP, WT 5/18; NYT, WP, WT 5/19; NYT, WJW 5/21; WP 5/24; NYT 5/29; JPI 6/4; HA 6/11; see also NYT, WP 5/17)

In the West Bank, the IDF makes a rare daytime incursion into al-Khadir nr. Bethlehem, raiding 2 secondary schools while classes are in session, holding the students for several hours while searching for a wanted person; no arrests are made. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in al-‘Arub refugee camp (r.c.) and 3 villages nr. Hebron. (OCHA 5/20; PCHR 5/21)

A 5th round of Palestinian national unity talks (5/16–18) ends in Cairo without any progress. (Xinhua–New China News Agency 5/18; NYT 5/20)

The IDF sends troops into Gaza to bulldoze land nr. the border fence e. of Jabaliya. The UN reports several previously unreported Gaza incidents that took place between 5/7 and 5/12 (no exact dates given): the IDF killed 1 armed Palestinian and wounded 1 armed Palestinian and 7 civilians (no details); Palestinians fired “several” rockets and mortars into Israel, causing no injuries but damaging 1 house; the IDF made several air strikes on Rafah border tunnels in response; there were 6 incidents of IDF gunfire and shelling across the border at Palestinian farmers, in 1 case setting 15 d. of wheat ablaze nr. al-Qarara. In the West Bank, the IDF makes a morning incursion into Qalqilya to raid and search the home of a wanted Palestinian (not at home), arresting his mother. Jewish settlers perform religious ceremonies at the vacated Homesh settlement site northwest of Nablus. Jewish settlers in Hebron stage a provocative march through the town (fr. Kiryat Arba through Wadi al-Husayn, Wadi al-Nasara, Jabir, al-Salayma, the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs, al-Sahla, and al-Shuhada to Ramat Yishai settlement) in a show of force, vandalizing Palestinian homes and threatening Palestinians along the way; the IDF observes but does not intervene. (OCHA, WP, WT 5/13; PCHR, WJW 5/14)

In the morning, the IDF raids the Ambassador Hotel in Shaykh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, shuts down a temporary news bureau set up by the Palestinian Media Center to cover the pope’s visit, confiscates documents fr. the news team, and threatens to close the hotel if it allows Palestinian media to work fr. the site again. Late in the evening, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. A PA court in Nablus sentences Hamas mbr. Muhammad Silman Qatanani, arrested by the PA 10 mos. ago on suspicion of illegal possession of weapons and explosives, to 18 mos. in prison for establishing clandestine Hamas cells with the aim of staging a coup against the Abbas government. (OCHA 5/13; PCHR, WJW 5/14)

Netanyahu meets with Egyptian pres. Husni Mubarak in Sharm al-Shaykh to promote building a regional coalition against Iran, as well as his idea for economic (as opposed to comprehensive) peace with the Palestinians. (WT 5/11; WP 5/12)

In the West Bank, the IDF evacuates a Palestinian home nr. Tulkarm occupied on 4/11; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Khirbat Safa and nr. Hebron, Ramallah. (OCHA 4/15; PCHR 4/16; WJW 4/30)

In the West Bank, an unidentified assailant with an ax kills a 13-yr.-old Jewish settler boy and wounds a 7-yr.-old inside Bet Ayn settlement in the Gush Etzion bloc nr. Bethlehem; several Palestinian groups (including the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Imad Mughniyah Group [see 3/15], and Islamic Jihad) take responsibility; the IDF undertakes a manhunt (imposing a curfew on neighboring Khirbat Safa, searching homes, interrogating 10s of Palestinians), believing the attacker, suspected to be a Palestinian who worked in the settlement, may have acted alone; Jewish settlers blame the Israeli government for easing restrictions on Palestinian movement. The IDF conducts late-night house searches nr. Ramallah, but no arrests are reported. Jewish settlers fr. Avraham Avino settlement in Hebron blow the doors off 4 locked Palestinian shops nearby the settlement and occupy them. (NYT, WP, WT 4/3; OCHA 4/8; PCHR, WJW 4/9; JPI 4/17)

IDF troops fire on armed Palestinians laying a roadside bomb nr. the Israel-Gaza border, sparking a cross-border exchange of gunfire and calling in an air strike, leaving 2 armed Palestinians dead and 3 armed Palestinians and 1 IDF soldier wounded; the IDF enters Gaza to clear the area, claiming to find a cache of grenades and an antitank missile. Palestinians also fire 2 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The UN reports that in 3/09, a total of 10 Palestinians were killed in tunnel incidents (7 collapses, 2 electrocutions, 1 fall) and 12 were rescued fr. tunnels experiencing unexplained breathing difficulties. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Jenin, Tubas. The UN reports that over the previous wk., the IDF has installed a guardrail along 7 km of Road 317 (used by Jewish settlers) nr. Hebron to prevent Palestinian herders fr. crossing the road to access grazing areas. (OCHA, WP 4/1; PCHR 4/2)

The Knesset approves (69–45, with 5 Labor MKs who had opposed joining the coalition abstaining, 1 Israeli Palestinian MK absent) Netanyahu’s coalition government, which bills itself as representing Israelis who are unhappy with the peace process, worn down by Palestinian rocket fire fr. Gaza, and increasingly worried about the growing regional influence of Iran. (IFM, NYT, WP, WT 4/1; WJW 4/2)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts synchronized late-night house searches in several villages southeast of Jenin, making no arrests; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Salfit. (OCHA 3/31, 4/1; PCHR 4/2)

The Sudanese government reveals (and U.S. officials confirm) that in 1/09, during OCL, an Israeli aircraft attacked a truck convoy in the Sudan believed to be transporting arms to Gaza, killing at least 39 and perhaps more than 100. (HA 3/26; NYT, Reuters 3/27; WJW 4/2; CounterPunch 4/13)

The IDF opens a main checkpoint at Bayt Ibia nr. Nablus for the 1st time in 8 yrs., as a 1st step toward permanently relocating it (see 3/30 below). Unidentified gunmen fatally shoot 2 Israeli border policemen driving nr. Massu’a settlement in the Jordan Valley n. of Jericho, marking the 1st Israeli death in the West Bank since 4/25/08; Israel blames Palestinians, and individuals identifying themselves as mbrs. of the Imad Mughniyah Group, after the Hizballah military cmdr. assassinated in Damascus by unknown assailants in 2/08, later (3/16) claim responsibility. Jewish settler groups in the n. West Bank say Israel’s reckless removal of Palestinian checkpoints is to blame for the policemen’s deaths; the Israeli government denies any connection. The IDF conducts rare daytime arrest raids, house searches in Jalazun r.c.; patrols in Bayt Rima nr. Ramallah in the afternoon, firing on stone-throwing youths who confront them, wounding 4; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Tulkarm, and nr. Jenin, Ramallah. Palestinians in Umm Lasfa village southeast of Hebron report that in the past few days, the IDF has leveled 500 d. of village land to build 2 km of a new settler bypass road to Carmiel settlement; once completed, the IDF is expected to confiscate 1,000 d. of Palestinian land and displace 13 Palestinian families. (IFM 3/15; AFP, HA, NYT, WP 3/16; OCHA 3/17, 3/18; PCHR, WJW 3/19)

Some 400 Gazans protest on the Rafah border demanding that Egypt unilaterally open the crossing into Gaza. Egypt deploys 100s of additional police and border patrol officers along the Rafah border, fearing another breach, as occurred in 1/08 (see Quarterly Update in JPS 147). On the Rafah border, 5 Palestinians are killed, 3 are injured when a smuggling tunnel collapses. In the West Bank, the IDF raids and occupies a Palestinian home nr. Bethlehem as an observation post; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin, Tulkarm. Israeli security forces raid a theater in East Jerusalem to prevent a Palestinian folklore troupe fr. performing as part of a series of events billed as celebrating the Arab League designation of Jerusalem as the capital of Arab culture for 2009), saying the program violates the ban on Palestinian political activity in the city. (WT 2/22; OCHA 2/24, 2/25; PCHR 2/26)

Unknown assailants fire a Katyusha rocket fr. s. Lebanon into n. Israel, lightly injuring 3 Israelis. A 2d rocket lands inside Lebanon, causing no damage or injuries. Israel files a formal complaint with the UN, demanding stepped-up UNIFIL and Lebanese government enforcement in s. Lebanon in keeping with UN Res. 1701’s provisions to halt arms smuggling into s. Lebanon and reiterating Israel’s right to self-defense. (WJW 2/26)

No violence is reported in the West Bank or Gaza. UNRWA reports that Hamas authorities have returned all of the aid seized fr. the agency in the previous wk., allowing the agency to resume operations; the agency notes, however, that food distributions have been hampered by a shortage of plastic bags, which Israel is banning for import to Gaza. Israel allows 112 truckloads of humanitarian aid and commercial goods, 74 truckloads of seed and fodder into Gaza. (NYT 2/10; PCHR, WJW 2/12) 

Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the Rafah coast, causing no injuries. Palestinians fire a Grad rocket fr. Gaza into Israel (the 1st Grad fired since the end of OCL), causing damage in Ashqelon but no injuries. Hamas denies responsibility. Late in the evening, the IDF responds with air strikes on smuggling tunnels along the Rafah border and a Hamas outpost nr. Khan Yunis, causing no injuries. Israel allows 185 truckloads of goods (much of it seed and fodder), 15 tons of medicine and medical equipment into Gaza. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late night arrest raids, house searches in Bil‘in, nr. Salfit. In the East Jerusalem environs, Israeli authorities bulldoze a parking lot, fence, guard house of a Palestinian bus company in Abu al-Tur, a Palestinian fuel depot and tract of land at the entrance to al-Za‘im, and a Palestinian commercial building in Jabal al-Tur as part of Israel’s project to link the E1 and Ma’ale Adumim settlement areas. Jewish settlers and IDF troops bulldoze 50 d. of Palestinian agricultural land in Sa’ir village nr. Hebron; Palestinian residents attempt to block the Israelis, but troops fire in the air and troops and settlers beat back the Palestinians, injuring 6. (MM, NYT, WP 2/4; PCHR, WJW 2/5; JPI 2/13)

No violence is reported in Gaza. Israel allows in 293 truckloads of humanitarian aid and commercial goods. In the West Bank, the IDF raids Battir village nr. Bethlehem early in the morning and occupies a Palestinian home, stating the home is needed for several days “for security purposes”; makes a latenight raid on a market in al-Fara‘ r.c. nr. Tubas, firing on stone-throwing youths who confront them, wounding 2 but making no arrests; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem, nr. Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah. (PCHR 1/29)

Obama’s newly appointed Middle East envoy George Mitchell begins an 8-day “listening tour,” with planned stops in Israel, Ramallah, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, France, and Britain. He will not meet with Hamas officials. (Globes, MM, al-Ra’i, YA 1/26; MM, NHR, NYT, QA, al-Thawra [Damascus], WP 1/27; WJW 1/29)

Olmert’s security cabinet revives discussion of opening phase 3 of OCL (see 1/9), agreeing to make a final decision whether to expand or wind down operations within 2–3 days, by which time the IDF believes ground forces will have done all they can from the open and suburban areas they currently hold to weaken Hamas’s ability and desire to fire rockets.

Combat notes: The IDF significantly increases attacks, particularly around Gaza City, and continues to send troops into Gaza. Palestinians report (AYM 1/12) heavy clashes with the IDF n. of Bayt Lahiya, in Daraj and al-Shuja‘iyya neighborhoods on the eastern boundary of Gaza City, and in Dahadih and al-Zaytun to the south of the city. Overnight, the IDF also sends troops back into Khuza (see 1/11) under heavy artillery fire (possibly including white phosphorous), occupying a number of homes as staging posts and prompting 1,000s of residents to flee their homes.

The IDF reports carrying out more than 120 air strikes (half of them after nightfall, targeting Gaza City), uncovering 1 boobytrapped home and 2 booby-trapped tunnels. Targets include the PA Interior Min. offices in n. Gaza, more than 35 tunnels on the Rafah border, homes of Hamas leaders, at least 22 mortar and rocket launching sites, at least 26 groups of armed men, at least 10 “Hamas outposts,” 2 suspected weapons depots and manufacturing facilities, 2 mosques, 2 hotels. Air strike target areas include Bayt Lahiya, Gaza City (city center and Shaykh Ridwan, al-Sudaniyya, Tal al-Hawa, al-Zaytun), Jabaliya town, al-Maghazi r.c., Nussayrat, Rafah, al-Shabura r.c., al-Shuka, Tal al-Za‘atar, the Twam area (northern outskirts of Gaza City), Yibna r.c. IDF gunboats shell Nussayrat, Rafah, a fishing port w. of Rafah. Heavy tank and artillery fire are reported in Bayt Hanun, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (al-Shuja‘iyya, al-Zaytun), Jabaliya town, al-Mughraqa, Twam.

Israeli attacks are so intense that reliable updates on Palestinian casualty estimates are not possible. The IDF estimates killing at least 30 Palestinians in air strikes. UNRWA reports at least 19 Palestinian children killed and 52 children injured in nighttime operations (possibly overlapping with air strikes), 1 paramedic killed by tank fire in Jabaliya during the day. The IDF reports 8 soldiers wounded (1 severely, 1 moderately, 6 lightly) in various incidents, all after nightfall; 3 of the soldiers are injured when they trigger a setup in a booby-trapped house.

Palestinians fire 17 rockets and 7 mortars into Israel, with 1 rocket in Ashqelon and 1 in Sederot causing damage but no reported injuries.

Humanitarian notes: The IDF observes the daily 3-hr. humanitarian lull, allowing 120 trucks carrying humanitarian aid to enter Gaza. UNRWA estimates that internally displaced Gazans number now 90,000: 30,000 seeking shelter in UNRWA schools; 60,000 in the homes of friends and relatives. (AP, AYM, BBC, HA, IDF, IFM, JP, MA, MM, al-Ra’i, REU, RFM, WP, YA 1/12; HA, MM, NYT, REU, WP, WT, YA 1/13; AYM, HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/14; PCHR 1/15; BBC, WJW 1/16; ITIC 1/19)

In the West Bank, unidentified armed Palestinians fire on an IDF patrol nr. Kiryat Arba settlement, wounding 3. In response, the IDF raids, searches Palestinian homes nr. Kiryat Arba, making no arrests. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. (HA 1/13; PCHR 1/15)

Israel warns of an expanded ground war in Gaza and begins moving more tanks and reservists to the Gaza border. The IDF drops leaflets and sends out automated phone messages across Gaza, warning of an escalation in fighting.

Combat notes: IDF tanks and artillery pound Gaza throughout the day. The IDF reports making air strikes on about 120 targets, including the home of IQB head Ahmad Jabari (presumed to be in hiding), at least 15 rocket-launching sites, 21 suspected weapons depots (including a mosque and school in Rafah, the homes of several Hamas mbrs.), 16 tunnels, 3 Hamas outposts, 1 police station, and 2 vehicles allegedly transporting weapons. In Khan Yunis, an air strike destroys Gaza European Hospital’s fuel depot, electricity generator, and water supply system. Target areas include Bani Suhayla, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Gaza City (al-Nasser, Shaykh Ridwan, al-Shuja‘iyya), Jabaliya, Khan Yunis, al-Maghazi, Nussayrat, Rafah. IDF ground forces engage in heavy exchanges with Palestinians in and nr. Bayt Lahiya. Heavy IDF tank and artillery fire are reported in Jabaliya (where 8 family mbrs. are killed by an IDF tank shell that lands outside their home), Khuza (possibly involving white phosphorus, burning 15 homes and 100s of individuals), Nussayrat, and Tal al-Hawa in Gaza City. The IDF claims to kill 16 armed Palestinians, including Hamas’s “leading authority on Grad rockets,” IQB cmdr. Amir Mansi, during a strike on a rocket-launching site. The estimated Palestinian toll reaches 820–840 dead.

Palestinians fire 9 rockets and 10 mortars into Israel, the fewest since OCL began on 12/27; 3 Grad rockets strike Ashqelon (each causing damage and light injuries, including shock), others land in open areas nr. Ashdod and in the Negev (causing no damage or injuries). The IDF reports 7 ground troops lightly wounded in various exchanges.

Humanitarian notes: The IDF observes a 3-hr. humanitarian lull to allow relief agencies to recover casualties and distribute food but does not allow new aid through Gaza’s crossings on the Sabbath.

Of note: The IDF reports that ground troops have been facing extensive tunnel networks inside the Strip, especially in Gaza City, which the Palestinian factions are using to try to ambush soldiers. IDF sources and Israeli journalists embedded with IDF troops report recent incidents in which Palestinian fighters tried to lure troops into a boobytrapped building in al-Zaytun; left a weapons cache rigged with explosives where the IDF would find it (the booby trap did not detonate); and sent a suicide bomber on a failed attempt to attack a group of soldiers. The IDF also acknowledges that it has rounded up and interrogated scores of Palestinians to gain knowledge of local Hamas positions and tactics. Israeli intelligence officers acknowledge phoning Gazans, sometimes overtly and sometimes pretending to be sympathetic Arabs fr. abroad, to gain information about conditions and locations of Palestinian forces on the ground. (AP, BBC, IDF, REU 1/10; IDF, NYT, WP, WT 1/11; MM, QA, WP 1/12; al-Akhbar, MM 1/13; NYT 1/14; PCHR 1/15; WJW 1/16; ITIC 1/19; JPI 1/23)

The IDF fires live ammunition at Palestinians demonstrating against OCL in Bayt Awa nr. Hebron, seriously wounding a 13-yr.-old boy; fires live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians holding a similar protest in Sa’ir nr. Hebron, wounding 3 Palestinians; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in ‘Askar r.c. nr. Nablus, nr. Hebron. (PCHR 1/15)

The UNSC passes (14–0, with the U.S. abstaining) res. 1860, calling for an “immediate, durable, and fully respected cease-fire, leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza” but not outlining an implementation or enforcement mechanism (see Doc. A8). Israel says it will not halt its operations until a Hamas cease-fire can be guaranteed. Meanwhile, Egypt begins intensive bilateral talks with Israeli and Hamas envoys to mediate a cease-fire.

Combat notes: The IDF carries out another 60 air strikes across Gaza, with heavy bombing of the Rafah border. Targets include more than 18 homes of senior IQB members (all believed to be in hiding), “a number of armed operatives” assassinated (not named), several groups of armed men, 15 tunnels (including some homes believed to be covering entrances to tunnels), 11 suspected weapons depots (including 1 mosque in n. Gaza), 15 rocket-launching sites, the PASF headquarters and PA Youth and Sports Min. offices in Rafah, and an Islamic Jihad office in Abasan. Target areas include Abasan, Bani Suhayla, Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (city center, al-Nasser), Jabaliya town and r.c., Khan Yunis, al-Nasser (n. of Rafah), Nussayrat, Rafah. Heavy naval shelling of Dayr al-Balah and the nearby al-Qur’an area of c. Gaza is also reported. As ground operations continue, the IDF begins moving a small number of reservists into the Strip for the 1st time since OCL began. Heavy artillery and ground fire is reported in Abasan, Gaza City (al-Sha‘af, al-Shuja‘iyya, Tal al-Hawa, alZaytun), al-Qarara. Late in the evening, IDF troops withdraw from al-Qarara; residents report at least 20 homes destroyed since the IDF took up positions in the city on 1/6.

Palestinians fire at least 15 rockets and 1 mortar into Israel, lightly injuring 4 Israelis. Areas hit by rockets include Ashdod, Ashqelon, Beersheba (4 Grads), Ofakim.

The Palestinian toll, including bodies recovered during the humanitarian lull today (see below), reaches at least 758 dead and more than 3,100 injured. In addition, a Ukrainian woman (married to a Gazan) and her toddler are killed by an IDF shell in Gaza City, becoming the 1st foreign casualties inside Gaza (1 Egyptian was killed on the Rafah border on 12/28). Today, 3 IDF soldiers are killed and 14 are wounded (1 seriously, 1 moderately, 12 lightly) during clashes inside Gaza, bringing the Israeli toll to 13–14 dead and more than 100 injured.

Humanitarian notes: IDF soldiers fire on relief workers in 3 incidents in which the UN and ICRC had fully coordinated their movements with the IDF in advance (providing the IDF with the license plates of the vehicles, giving precise times and routes of travel, and using clearly marked vehicles) and received IDF assurances that travel would be safe. One UN driver is killed and 2 other UN employees and 1 ICRC employee are wounded. The UN and other groups scale back or suspend aid deliveries to Gaza, citing security concerns.

During the humanitarian lull, the IDF allows ICRC workers back into a heavily damaged residential block of al-Zaytun (see 1/7), where they rescue 103 injured Palestinians who have been stranded since 1/5 and report finding 40–50 bodies, fearing that more dead and injured may be trapped under demolished homes. The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem reports (WP 1/9) new evidence that IDF soldiers stationed outside the destroyed houses were aware people were trapped but denied aid. UN Undersecy. Gen. for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes urges Israel to investigate, calling (WP 1/9) it “a particularly outrageous incident” and “absolutely horrifying.”

Israel allows 223 Palestinian dual nationals to exit Gaza via the Erez crossing for Jordan (see 1/2).

The UN estimates that 20,000 Gazans have been internally displaced by the fighting. (AP, HA, IDF, IHY, JP, MA, NYT, UNIS, YA 1/8; AFP, Daily Star, IDF, IFM, ITARTASS, MET, NYT, RFM, UNIS, WP, WT 1/9; AFP, AP, NYT, WT 1/12; AYM, JP, NYT, WT 1/13; IHY, MM 1/14; PCHR 1/15; WJW 1/16; NYT 1/17; ITIC 1/18; JPI 1/23)

In the West Bank, the IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian who allegedly attempts to set fire to a gas station outside the Ma’ale Adumim settlement e. of Jerusalem; fires live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians demonstrating against OCL in al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron, seriously wounding 2 (including a 12-yr.-old boy); fires live ammunition at Palestinians protesting against the separation wall in Bil‘in, wounding 1; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, in Qabatya nr. Jenin. (PCHR 1/15)

The PFLP General Command fires 4 rockets fr. s. Lebanon into Israel, 3 of which explode near Nahariya, lightly wounding 4 Israelis (5 others are treated for shock). The IDF fires 5 shells the border as a “measured response” and intensifies surveillance overflights of s. Lebanon. Hizballah, the Lebanese government, and Fatah and Hamas reps. in Lebanon condemn the fire, assuring Israel they have no intention of opening a 2d front. The Lebanese army and UNIFIL pledge to step up surveillance in s. Lebanon (ITV, MM, MNR, RFM 1/8; Guardian, HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT, SFR, al-Watan, YA 1/9; YA 1/10; AFP, AP, NYT, WT 1/12; HA, MM 1/15; JPI 1/23)

As Israel continues widespread air and naval bombardment of Gaza for a 3d day, Israeli DM Barak declares “all-out war” on Hamas. The IDF declares a 2-mi. buffer zone around the Strip a closed military zone and continues amassing tanks and troops there, indicating further preparations for a ground invasion. Israeli military officials speaking anonymously say they have expanded the IDF’s target list to include Hamas’s support network and symbols of Hamas power, stating that “there are many aspects of Hamas, and we are trying to hit the whole spectrum, because everything is connected and everything supports terrorists against Israel” and that “anything affiliated with Hamas is a legitimate target.”

Israeli actions: The IDF reports hitting 100 sites today, including more Islamic University buildings (including the engineering dept., library); homes and offices of Hamas leaders; PA government buildings (including the Interior Min., Finance Min., Foreign Min., Labor Min., Construction and Housing Min., and a PA presidential guest house); Bani Suhayla’s municipal building; the alZawiyya Mosque in Jabaliya r.c. and Omar Bin al-Khattab Mosque in al-Bureij r.c.; more civil and naval police stations; more tunnels along the Rafah border; the headquarters of Hamas’s al-Aqsa TV; Gaza’s port (for a 2d day); and 1 Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades training site. Target areas include Abasan, Bani Suhayla, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (city center, al-Rimal, al-Sabra, Shaykh Ajlin, Tal al-Hawa), Jabaliya town and r.c., Khan Yunis, Nussayrat r.c., al-Qarara, Rafah, Shati’ r.c., Tal al-Za‘atar. Just before strikes on Rafah, Israeli Military Intelligence makes 10,000 automated calls to Rafah residents warning of pending air strikes, breaks into Palestinian radio broadcasts to urge residents across Gaza to move to city centers. Palestinian medical officials report at least 364 Palestinians dead, 1,500 wounded since 12/27.

Palestinian actions: Palestinians fire 66 rockets, 14 mortars into Israel (twice as many as in the previous 24 hrs.), killing 3 Israeli civilians (1 each in Nahal Oz, Ashdod, Ashqelon; 1 of them an Israeli Palestinian) and wounding 5 (3 of them Israeli Palestinians), with 2 rockets hitting 23 mi. north in Gan Yavne/Ashdod. A Palestinian mortar hits an IDF base in Netivot, s. and e. of the Nahal Oz crossing, killing 1 IDF soldier (a Druze), seriously wounding 1, lightly injuring 4. The Israeli toll stands at 4–5 dead, about 20 injured. Reports circulate (e.g., NYT 12/30) of Hamas gunmen executing at least 5 accused collaborators with Israel inside hospitals; the 5 had been jailed for collaboration and transferred to hospitals after being wounded in IDF air strikes on jails.

Humanitarian notes: Israel allows 40 truckloads of humanitarian aid into Gaza; Egypt allows 23 truckloads of emergency goods in, some wounded out through Rafah. International aid groups (including Amnesty International, the UN) say aid transfers are insufficient, warn that the death toll is rising in part because of lack of medicines and medical supplies, food, and fuel.

Of note: One Israeli air strike heavily damages the UN Special Coordinator’s Office (UNSCO) headquarters in Gaza City, prompting the UN to issue a formal complaint. Egyptian TV reports that captured IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit has been wounded in an Israeli air strike in recent days; Hamas does not comment. (BBC, CNN, HA, Houston Chronicle, IFM, REU, White House press briefing, YA 12/29; BBC, IDF, Independent, NYT, WP, WT 12/30; IDF, UNOSAT 12/31; JP, PCHR, WJW 1/1; ITV 1/2; IDF 1/3; NYT, WP 1/4; WT, UNOSAT 1/5; IFM 1/8; Committee to Protect Journalists 1/9)

In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubbercoated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinians demonstrating against OCL in Issawiyya, Shu‘fat r.c., al-Tur neighborhood in East Jerusalem, causing no serious injuries; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in East Tura village nr. Jenin, Hebron. (PCHR 1/1)

As massive Israeli strikes on Gaza enter a 2d day, IDF Southern Command head Maj. Gen. Yo’av Galant says (HA 12/28) that the IDF aims to “send Gaza decades into the past” in terms of Hamas’s leadership, weaponry, and smuggling capabilities while achieving “the maximum number of enemy casualties.” Israel’s security cabinet authorizes the IDF to call up 6,500 reservists, and the IDF begins massing tanks and troops on Gaza’s border, indicating planning for a ground incursion. Israel’s Homefront Command orders 80 factories and businesses within 3 mi. of the Gaza border to close indefinitely for their safety (a move expected [WJW 1/1] to cost Israel’s economy $1 m./day), indicating concerns of increased Palestinian rocket fire once ground operations begin. Israeli Military Intelligence breaks into Palestinian radio broadcasts to warn Gazans against cooperating with Hamas. The IDF drops 300,000 leaflets across Gaza warning residents to evacuate areas where Hamas is operating or storing weapons or to remain at their own risk. The Israeli FMin. opens an international media broadcast outlet in Sederot (a main target of Palestinian rockets), begins tours of Sederot and other Gaza border communities for foreign media, diplomats, and VIPs. (Israel continues to prevent the foreign media fr. entering Gaza.)

Israeli actions: The IDF reports air and naval bombardment of 100 sites across Gaza, bringing the number of targets destroyed since operations began to more than 210. The 2-day Palestinian toll rises to an estimated 300 dead (including at least 22 children, 9 women, 60 other civilians) and 1,300 injured (including at least 235 children and 200 women). Target areas include Abasan, Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, Bani Suhayla (s. Gaza), Bir al-Naja (n. Gaza), Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (city center, al-Rimal, Shaykh Ridwan, Shati’ r.c., al-Shuja‘iyya, Tal al-Hawa, al-Zaytun), Jabaliya town and r.c., Khan Yunis, Khuza (east of Khan Yunis), Nussayrat r.c., al-Qarara (s. Gaza), Rafah, Shati’ r.c., and Tal al-Za‘atar (nr. Jabaliya).

The IDF’s primary targets are around 40 tunnels along the Rafah border, hit with GBU-39s. Other major targets include several buildings at Islamic University (including a science building Israel claims was connected to rocket manufacturing); Gaza City’s PA ministry compound, the offices of acting PM Ismail Haniyeh, and the main police station (destroying the Saraya; allowing about 50 Fatah prisoners to escape, but killing at least 4); Rafah’s main PASF, governorate, and municipal complexes; more civil and naval police stations, metal workshops believed to make rockets; the Gaza City and Rafah ports; at least 3 mosques (Imad ‘Akel Mosque in Jabaliya r.c., Izzeddin al-Qassam Mosque in Abasan, al-Rimal Mosque in Gaza City) alleged to be weapons depots; a Palestinian Energy Authority building in Khan Yunis; a private medical warehouse; and at least 8 homes and 3 apartment buildings.

Palestinian actions: Palestinians fire 17 rockets, 18 mortars into Israel, injuring at least 6 Israeli civilians (including cases of shock). The rockets include 1 manufactured Grad/Katyusha that lands in Gan Yavne 20 mi. inside Israel, outside Ashdod, the farthest to date. In the evening, 100s of Palestinians attempt to flee Gaza through small breaches in the border wall apparently caused by IDF air strikes; they are sent back by Egyptian security forces, who exchange fire with the crowd, leaving at least 1 Palestinian, 1 Egyptian border policeman dead, 4 Palestinians, 5 Egyptian border policemen, an 8-yr.-old Egyptian child wounded.

Humanitarian notes: Israel allows the entry to Gaza of 100 truckloads of food and medical aid, 10 ambulances, and fuel for hospitals, donated by Jordan, Turkey, and international aid organizations. The shipments include 4 truckloads of pharmaceuticals from the PA central pharmacy in Ramallah (the 2d PA delivery since the PA had blocked the shipments of medicine to Gaza in early 9/08; see 12/16), transferred by the PA at UNRWA request. Humanitarian groups, however, continue to warn of deteriorating medical conditions and lack of food in Gaza and urge Israel to allow unrestricted entry of aid. OCHA reports power outages of up to 16 hrs./day in Gaza City, n. Gaza, and c. Gaza; says all flour mills have shut down for lack of grain imports, threatening widespread bread shortages. (AFP, AP, BBC, HA, IDF, IFM, JAZ, OCHA, REU 12/28; IDF, JP, al-Masryun[Egypt], NYT, SFR, WP, WT 12/29; BBC, Defense Update [online], Global Research [online], WP 12/30; REU, UNOSAT 12/31; JP, PCHR, WJW, WP 1/1; IDF, NYT 1/3; WP 1/4; IFM 1/8; WP 1/10)

Across the West Bank, Palestinians protest against OCL, clashing with the IDF at numerous points (Abu Dis, Issawiyya, and al-Ram nr. Jerusalem; Bani Na‘im nr. Hebron; Ni‘lin and Silwad nr. Ramallah), leaving 3 Palestinians dead, 31 Palestinians, 1 IDF soldier, 1 Israeli child injured. In at least one instance, PASF breaks up one protest by 100s of Palestinians in Ramallah when demonstrators unfurl Hamas banners; the PASF reportedly (NYT 1/3) has been ordered to prevent any popular displays of support for Hamas. The IDF conducts daytime house searches nr. Jenin, making no arrests; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Bil‘in and nr. Hebron, Nablus. Palestinians stone a Jewish settler vehicle nr. Hebron, lightly injuring an 8-yr.-old girl. (PCHR, WJW 1/1)

Israel allows 70 truckloads of food and medicine, some cooking gas into Gaza. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Marda village nr. Salfit in the morning, beating 2 Palestinian men; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Tulkarm, Nablus (heavily damaging a home in Burma village when they set off percussion grenades inside). (WJW 12/11; PCHR 12/18)

The Israeli navy turns back a Libyan freighter carrying 3,000 tons of humanitarian aid attempting to breach Israel’s blockade of Gaza. In the West Bank, the IDF sends an undercover unit into Nablus to ambush and assassinate al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) mbr. Muhammad Abu Thira’ while he is in PA security force (PASF) custody in a PASF vehicle being transported fr. his home to a PASF facility where he would stay overnight, as part of the process to be granted amnesty by Israel. IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin town and r.c., nr. Bethlehem; conducts separate, synchronized late-night house searches in 4 villages nr. Jenin, without making any arrests. The IDF guards buses bringing 100s of Jewish settlers to Hebron to “defend” Beit Shalom. After dark, settlers rampage through Palestinian neighborhoods, attempt to seize a Palestinian home, heavily damage others. Jewish settlers fr. Shilo nr. Ramallah protesting the government order to evacuate Beit Shalom rampage through the villages of Turmusayya and Sinjil, slashing tires, vandalizing homes and a mosque, spraying graffitti saying “Death to Arabs” and “Muhammad is a Pig.” (NYT, WT 12/2; WJW, PCHR 12/4)

By this date, Palestinian factions have agreed to an Egyptian proposal to resume their national unity dialogue in Cairo on 11/9. Hamas and Fatah are considering a draft memorandum of understanding on national reconciliation proposed by Egypt that would be issued at the close of the Cairo summit (see Quarterly Update). (Electronic Intifada [online] 10/28; MNA 11/2; MNR 11/7; AFP 11/8; NYT, WT 11/9)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols, searches houses in al-Khadir, beats 3 Palestinians (ages 28, 37, and 63), claiming that Palestinians in the area had thrown stones at Israeli vehicles on a nearby settlersonly bypass road; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, nr. Hebron. More than 100 Jewish settlers block roads and throw stones at Palestinian cars nr. Qalqilya to prevent Palestinians, accompanied by international and Israeli peace activists, fr. reaching their groves to harvest olives. Inside Israel, Israeli police arrest 6 Israeli Jews fr. Tel Aviv for taking part in recent arson attacks against Israeli Palestinian property in Acre. (BBC 10/20; OCHA, WT 10/22; PCHR, WJW 10/23)

In the first such cross-border incident in Gaza since 9/16, the IDF sends bulldozers and armored vehicles into areas n. of Bayt Hanun to level land along the border. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Bayt Furik nr. Nablus. Jewish settlers fr. Ramat Yishai beat a Palestinian family harvesting olives in Hebron, steal their olives. Jewish settlers fr. Elon Moreh attack Palestinains harvesting olives nr. Nablus. Under pressure to prevent further clashes like those that recently occurred in Acre, Israeli police arrest 3 Israeli Jews for assaulting Palestinians in Jerusalem and stoning Palestinian cars. Also in Israel, right-wing Jewish extremists vandalize buildings in Tel Aviv with graffiti threatening Peace Now secy. gen. Yariv Oppenheimer (cf. 9/24). (OCHA, WT 10/22; PCHR, WJW 10/23; AIC 11/9)

Israel extends the seal on the West Bank and Gaza (imposed on 3/11) until after the 3/28 Israeli elections. The IDF arrests 3 unarmed Palestinians attempting to sneak into Israel fr. n. Gaza to find work; patrols in Nablus; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin, Nablus; seizes 766 d. of Palestinian land in Bethlehem for construction of the separation wall. (AFP, IMEMC 3/19; PCHR 3/23)

The UN warns that Gaza is dangerously short of basic foodstuffs and faces a major humanitarian crisis as a result of Israel’s continued closure of the Qarni trade crossing. The UNRWA Gaza dir. reports that the agency has run out of food to distribute to impoverished families. In a bid to avert a crisis, U.S. Amb. to Israel Richard Jones calls an emergency mtg. with Israeli, PA delegations (with the participation of reps of the EU, Egypt) in Tel Aviv to discuss declining humanitarian conditions in Gaza; says shortages of food, medicine are beginning to threaten Palestinians’ basic welfare. The sides agree to open Israel’s Kerem Shalom crossing in s. Gaza on 3/20 for the transport of humanitarian goods fr. Egypt. (AFP, AP 3/19; MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/20)

Having failed in its negotiations with Fatah and other parties to form a national unity government or agree on a national unity program, Hamas presents its cabinet slate to Abbas for approval and issues the draft national unity program as its platform. (AP, NYT, WT 3/19; AP, MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/20; HA 3/21; MM 3/22; MM, Washington Jewish Week 3/23)

Israeli security officials say they now believe that a renegade Islamic Jihad cell fr. Jenin, commanded fr. outside the territories, was responsible for the 2/25 bombing. IDF severely beats a Palestinian at a checkpoint nr. Hebron; demolishes 10 shops built without permits in Bardala, ‘Ayn al-Bayda; blows up a workshop in al-Yamun nr. Jenin that it claimed was a Hamas weapons factory; issues military orders for the demolition of 1 Palestinian home, 3 wells in Wadi Fukin nr. Bethlehem; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Nablus, nr. Tulkarm. Jewish settlers fr. Ma’ale Shomron nr. Qalqilya beat a Palestinian. PA Interior M Nasr Yusuf takes part in a ceremony in Jenin r.c., marking the opening of a new security headquarters there; al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) mbrs. fire in the air to protest that the PA security services did not coordinate Yusuf’s visit with them; Yusuf, local AMB head Zakariyya Zubaydi meet at the Jenin headquarters to discuss the issue, with Yusuf saying such incidents would not be tolerated. The PA says it has arrested a total of 6 Palestinians in connection with the 2/25 Tel Aviv bombing. (MM, VOI, VOP 3/1; PR 3/2; JAZ, VOP 3/2 in WNC 3/3; PCHR 3/3; NYT 3/6)

British PM Tony Blair hosts a 1-day conference aimed at encouraging and supporting PA reform, strengthening PA governance in advance of Israel’s disengagement fr. Gaza in mid-7/05. The U.S., EU, and World Bank agree to lead an international effort to coordinate “institutional renewal” in the Palestinian territories. (AFP, AP, BBC, MM 3/1, ITAR-TASS, JAZ, MENA, VOP 3/1; Independent, MM, NYT, PR, WP, WT 3/2; DUS, ITAR-TASS, JP, MENA, al-Quds al-Arabi, VOI, VOP 3/2 in WNC 3/3; HA, MM, WJW 3/3; HJ, VOP 3/6 in WNC 3/7; MM 3/9; JPI 3/11; see also WP 2/26)

According to the U.S. State Dept.’s annual report on human rights, the Palestinian population of Israel and the occupied territories has reached 5.3 m., for the first time exceeding the Israeli Jewish population of 5.2 m. (Electronic Intifada 3/1)

The IDF steps up military actions in response to the 2/25 Tel Aviv bombing, placing curfews on Alar, Saida villages nr. Tulkarm; conducts overnight arrest raids, house searches nr. Tulkarm; conducts late night arrest raids, house searches in al-Bireh, nr. Tulkarm. Jewish settlers fr. Gil’ad uproot 25 olive trees belonging to Palestinians fr. nearby Jinsafut. The PA arrests 2 Palestinians in connection with the 2/25 Tel Aviv bombing. (VOP 2/27; WT 2/28; OCHA 3/2; PCHR 3/3)

The Israel on Campus Coalition, an umbrella group of some 26 Jewish organizations across the U.S., launches a free hotline for students who “feel intimidated because of their pro-Israel views.” The coalition will track complaints across the country and “offer support teams of faculty, students, and Jewish professionals for complainants who want further aid.” (WJW 2/24)

U.S. Pres. George W. Bush narrowly wins reelection. (MM 11/2; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/3; VOP 11/3 in WNC 11/5; MM 11/4; Globes, HA, JAZ, JP, JT, MA, MENA, YA 11/4 in WNC 11/6; al-Safir 11/4, al-Dustur, MNR, al-Ra’i 11/5, al-Dustur 11/6 in WNC 11/9; SA 11/6 in WNC 11/10; MM 11/5; HA 11/9; JPI 11/12)

The IDF blows up 3 Palestinian homes in and nr. Askar r.c. belonging to the family of the 11/1 suicide bomber, 2 senior PFLP mbrs.; raids a clinic in Nablus, searches ambulances, interrogates paramedics; conducts arrest raids and house searches, bulldozes 50 d., demolishes 2 poultry farms and several wells nr. Kefar Darom. AMB mbr. Fadi Qaffisha dies of injuries received in the IDF assassination of Mari on 11/1. Palestinians fire several mortars at Neve Dekalim, causing no damage or injuries. A Jewish settler injures a 7-yr.-old Palestinian girl in a hit-andrun incident nr. Hawara south of Nablus. (PRCS 11/2; VOI 11/2 in WNC 11/4; NYT, WP 11/3; VOI 11/3 in WNC 11/5; PCHR, WJW 11/4)

The IDF continues operations in Jenin for a 3d day, firing on stone-throwing youths, conducting arrest raids and house searches; demolishes 7 Palestinian homes in Rafah; confiscates 308 d. of Palestinian land in Shufa nr. Tulkarm for military purposes; bulldozes 31 d., 3 wells nr. Rafah; conducts arrest raids, house searches in ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’, al-‘Aza, al-Khadir. Armed Jewish settlers fr. Shvut Rachel chase Palestinian olive harvesters away fr. their groves; the IDF intervenes, allowing Palestinians to continue the harvest. (HA, PM 10/29; VOI 10/29 in WNC 10/30; PRCS 10/30; PCHR 11/4)

Arafat arrives at a military hospital in Paris. Before leaving Ramallah, he authorizes Abbas, who is secy. gen. of the PLO Exec. Comm. and the dep. secy. of the Fatah Central Comm., to assume responsibility for day-to-day affairs of the PLO and Fatah in the territories. (Technically, Faruq Qaddumi, as secy. of the Fatah Central Comm., automatically becomes Fatah chmn. in Arafat’s absence, but since he based in Tunis, Abbas, as dep. secy., assumes his duties in the territories.) (BBC, HA, MM, WT 10/29; AFP, HJ, Interfax, ITAR-TASS, JAZ, al-Quds, PSCT, VOI, VOP 10/29 in WNC 10/30; NYT, WP, WT 10/30; MM 11/1; WJW 11/4; MEI 11/5)